Wiess, Simon (1800–1868)

By: Robert Wooster

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: May 6, 2016

Simon Wiess, merchant, the son of middle-class parents of German origin, was born on January 1, 1800, at Lublin, Poland. As a young man he took to the sea, where he traveled extensively. Wiess moved to Texas in 1833, and after the Texas Revolution he secured a position as deputy collector for the port of Camp Sabine, near Milam. On January 6, 1836, he married Margaret Sturrock at Natchitoches, Louisiana. Wiess was a merchant at Nacogdoches until 1838. He subsequently opened stores at Beaumont and Grigsby's Bluff before moving to Jasper County in 1840. Wiess settled on the Neches River at a point that had previously been known as Grant's Bluff. However, his general store soon became a fixture among Neches River traders, who began calling the location Wiess's Bluff in his honor. In addition to his store, Wiess built warehouses and a small sawmill at the Jasper County site and took part in extensive land transactions throughout East Texas. He also helped to fund the first dredging of the Neches River channel. By 1860 Wiess had an estate totalling $30,000. He and his wife had six children, and several of his sons became prominent Beaumont industrialists. Wiess died on August 13, 1868, and was buried at Wiess's Bluff.

William T. Block, "From Cotton Bales to Black Gold: A History of the Wiess Families of Southeastern Texas," Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record 8 (1972).

  • Peoples
  • Germans
  • Business
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution
  • Republic of Texas
  • Antebellum Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Robert Wooster, “Wiess, Simon,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 25, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/wiess-simon.

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May 6, 2016