Gluckstadt gavel harvested from tree
GLUCKSTADT — Bill Weisenberger is invested in Gluckstadt, literally.
“I like Gluckstadt,” Weisenberger said. “I want to see it prosper.”
And that is not just talk. Weisenberger recently donated the city’s first revenue in the form of a $500 personal check to the city coffers.
City officials accepted Weisenberger’s donation during the board’s second-ever meeting held July 6 at the St. Joseph Catholic Church Parish Hall.
“I have been in Gluckstadt all of my life,” Weisenberger said. “This is my home. My family has been here since 1913.”
Weisenberger not only has lived in Gluckstadt for most of his soon-to-be 64 years, except for a brief stint living in Canton, he has also devoted most of his life to a career in public service to Madison County.
He is retired after a 38-year career working in various capacities for Madison County, including as a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, a sheriff’s deputy and a judge.
Weisenberger said he was thrilled when Gluckstadt was finally able to incorporate in June, and he wants to support the new city in any way possible, thus the donation.
In accepting the donation, Gluckstadt Mayor Walter Morrison noted Weisenberger’s contributions to the community, including that one of his two sons, Adam Lee Weisenberger, was killed while responding to a traffic accident in 2002.
Adam, a volunteer firefighter in Gluckstadt at the time, had responded to a traffic accident on I-55 and was tending to a victim on the side of the interstate when two other cars collided and threw Adam into traffic where he was struck and killed.
The Mississippi Legislature later named the Gluckstadt interchange the Adam Lee Weisenberger Interchange in honor of Adam, and the Board of Supervisors later named one of the Gluckstadt Fire District’s buildings after Adam.
“He has a fire station and a highway bridge named after him,” Bill said. “That was 19 years ago, and we still think about him every day.”
Weisenberger’s other son, Will Jr., now serves as a deputy sheriff and as a commissioner on the Gluckstadt fire commission, Bill said.
After the Gluckstadt Mayor and Board of Aldermen accepted Weisenberger’s donation last week, Bill announced he had another presentation to make, and he asked his friend, Dustin Barrick, a teacher and a coach at Germantown High School and Germantown Middle School, to join him.
Together the two presented the board with a handmade gavel and sounding board the two had made from wood reclaimed from a pecan tree believed to have been planted in 1905 by Henry Klaas, an original Gluckstadt settler.
Weisenberger, who has a sawmill and an interest in woodworking, said Gluckstadt Alderman John Taylor had given him the wood from the tree that had blown over on his property.
“When I went to the first meeting, the mayor said he didn’t have a gavel,” Weisenberger said, adding he remembered having the wood from the pecan tree. “I called Barrick and asked if he would help. He has a lathe, so he turned it and I made the base, or the soundboard, whatever you want to call.”
Morrison gladly accepted the gift for the city.
“That is awesome,” Morrison said as Weisenberger and Barrick presented the gavel to him. “I might be dangerous now.” He gave the gavel an initial tap on the base and said, “That is something that will outlive us all.”
The sounding board is laser inscribed on the top with the words, “The City of Gluckstadt, MS Incorporated June 6th, 2021” surrounding the state seal.