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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Charles Bowker - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

Lurana Butler Bowker
 Born in 1812 in New York, he married Lurana Butler about 1837, and they set up housekeeping in Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York.

The census enumerator found them there in 1850 when Charles, at 38, was a successful farmer with $2000 in real estate.  He and Lurana had children - Marian, 11, Sherman, 9, and Homer, 1, at that time.  Again in 1860, they were there with the addition of Charles C., their last child.

In 1860, they were still in New York farming when their son, Sherman, turned 20.  He enlisted in the Union Army just a few years later and came to an early death as described in the previous post.

At some point, Charles also served for the Union, but it has been difficult to zone in on the unit in which he served.  Researchers at the Farmer Cemetery where he is buried have him on their list of veterans as a member of the National Guard.  He would have been over 50 years old, so that could be a good assumption.

The family moved to Center Township, Williams County, before the 1870 census with their remaining son, Charles Jr., 13, and Etta, 26, perhaps a boarder, who taught music.  Charles, at 58, had been denied voting due to insanity.  He had real estate worth $550 and person effects worth $200.  He died just about six months after the census taker's August visit, on February 3, 1871.  

By the 1880 census, Charles C. Jr. was now head of the household at 23, with his wife, Mary Ann, also 23.  Lurana, 65, lived with them in Center Township, Williams County.   Lurana married again to John Stackhouse on January 7, 1883, but he died in 1890.

Lurana Bowker Stackhouse lived in Farmer in 1900, 85 and a widow and a landlord.  Born December, 1814, she had had four children, but only one was living.  Charles C. had died, and Lurana lived next to his widow, Mary Ann Bowker, a capitalist, now 45.  Two of Mary Ann's children lived there also: Louis, 25, a teacher, and Neal, 15, a grocery salesman.  

Thirty-seven years after her first husband's death, Lurana died in March, 1908.  Her obituary appeared in the Defiance Crescent-News on March 19, 1908, in local news.  Her son-in-law (husband to deceased daughter, Marian) had come to assist.

"Mr. Hiram Weldon, formerly of this city but of late years a resident of Elyria, was called to this place Saturday of last week on account of the death of his mother-in-law, Mrs. Stackhouse of Farmer, who departed this life at the ripe old age of ninety three years.

Mrs. Stackhouse had resided in Farmer for a number of years prior to her death and during her sojourn in life, had made a host of friends.  She was a christian lady and devoted to her church.

The body was brought to this place by undertaker Charles W. Miller of this city Monday of this week and laid in state until Tuesday last.  Funeral services conducted by Rev. Miller of this place; interment in the Farmer Cemetery Tuesday last."

Friday, March 15, 2019

Sherman O. Bowker - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

92nd Regiment, Company A - Read more about the 92nd HERE.

Sherman Bowker's early life was spent near Potsdam in Saint Lawrence County, New York.  Born to Charles and Lurana Bowker about 1840, Sherman grew up on a farm and called himself a farmer, too.

In June, 1863, the Civil War draft was instituted, and Sherman Bowker registered and went to serve.  He was a single farmer, just 23 years old, when he enlisted on June 30, 1863, into Company C, 92nd New York Infantry.  By July, the company was at Fort Anderson, North Carolina in battle.  They eventually made their way back into Virginia where they suffered heavy losses at Cold Harbor in June, 1864.  He remained in Virginia until mustering out in January, 1865.

At some point, Sherman married Henrietta Fuller and the Bowkers relocated to Defiance County.  Soon after, Sherman became ill and died, leaving no children.  He died on New Year's Day, 1867 in Hicksville.  Only one obituary could be located for Sherman and that was in the Courier and Freeman newspaper in Potsdam, New York, on January 10, 1867.

"In Farmer, Ohio, on the 1st Inst. of hemorrhage of the Liver, Sherman O. Bowker, aged 25 years and 4 months."

Farmer Cemetery
 His wife, Henrietta, apparently returned to New York where she was listed on the 1890 Veterans' Census as Sherman's widow.  Pension records show that she received her widows pension until her death on March 24, 1928.


Monday, March 11, 2019

Oak Grove School, Delaware Township - 1930, 1932-1935

The Oak Grove School, District #4, was located in Delaware Township, Section 24, on State Route 18 at Flickinger Road.

The souvenir booklet from 1930 could not be scanned, but the contents are here:

"Oak Grove School District No. 4
Delaware Twp., Defiance Co., Ohio
April 18, 1930

"Teacher - Mary R. Lipp
M. E. Brandon, Co. Supt.
School Board
Arthur Sprow, President                  Charles English
H. L. Traxler, Clerk            Harry Bayliss
Otto Luce                           Edward Kretzer 

Grade Eight- Mildred Lipp, Monroe Weaner, Edmund Mack

Grade Six - Emery Slough
Grade Five - Leone Corwin, Charles Mitchell, Maurice Weaner

Grade Four - Florence Lipp, Robert Weaner

Grade Three - Clarence Corwin

Grade Two - Mary Slough, Mary Margaret Weaner, Francis Singer, Bernard Singer

Grade One- Betty Dell, Dorothy Lipp, Robert Corwin"

In the 1932 booklet, students' names were written in and included those above and the new first graders who were:

"Iris Traxler, Jean Sanders
Elizabeth Sanders, Rita Weaner
Luella Corwin, Lawrence Stephey"

Mildred Lipp, Monroe Weaner, and Edmund Mack had moved on.


In 1933...

and in 1934...

 and in 1935...


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Michael Gorman - An Obituary

Almost any genealogist would be overjoyed to find an obituary of an ancestor, especially one filled with details that can enhance his or her family research.  This obituary of Michael Gorman from 1889 is especially generous with the family story of his immigration and settlement in Defiance.  Also, it is notable because it offers a drawing of Mr. Gorman, said to be the only likeness of him, and it names his home village in Ireland. 

(This cut is an exact reproduction of the only picture of Mr.Gorman in
existence which is some twenty-five years old.) 

"The familiar face of Michael Gorman will no longer be seen upon our streets.  He has met the grim messenger of Death and followed him beyond the troubles and turmoils of this earth.  Three score years and ten found him quite hale and hearty, and with a step far from feeble.  Two weeks ago, Sunday, April 7th, he was taken ill and rapidly failed, until Friday evening at 8:30 o'clock when, after suffering excruciating pain, he passed away surrounded by his family and many friends.

His funeral took place from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Tuesday at 9 o'clock A.M., Rev. Father Kinkard conducting the solemn service.

Michael Gorman had a life more full of ups and downs than is allotted to most men.  Born September 8th, 1818, in Elphin, Roscommon county, Ireland, he emigrated to America at the age of 28.  He landed at Quebec and made his way to the States of Toronto and Buffalo.  Between the last two cities he traveled by rail, the coaches being drawn by horses. From Buffalo he went to Warren, O., Beaver Falls, Pa., Wheeling, Va and later to Cairo, Ills, when he obtained work on a steamboat as deckhand.  He staid on the river but a short time coming at last to Defiance where he arrived on the 8th of April, 1847, with $7.00 in his pocket.

He began work almost immediately for Edwin Phelps at $1.00 a day.  He was married on the 11th of September, 1851, to Miss Sophia Haverstadt.  From this union ten children have been born, five of whom are living.  

About 1850 he began in the grocery business near the canal west of the Russell House.  He followed this seven years, then purchased a farm but returned to the store in two years.  In 1865 by a speculation in beef and pork, he lost $17,000, which nearly ruined him financially.  But with the pluck and energy of his nation, he began to build up his fortune and succeeded so well as to soon place himself in independent circumstances.  His home on Jefferson street was very pleasant and his other real estate possessions were numerous.

A Democrat all his life, he was elected to the Council when Defiance was but a small town, and in 1882 became County Commissioner which office he held for two terms, serving with honor to himself and his county."

Defiance County Republican Express, Friday, April 19, 1889, p. 4.  
(This was typed because the newspaper print was too light to reproduce here.) 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Craine School, Tiffin Township, 1912

For many years, Lloyd V. Tuttle contributed historic photos and information to the Defiance Crescent-News for his column: "A Backward Glance."  This article was undated.  The photo is of the Craine School pupils of 1912.

"HERE IS the Craine School which was located in the center of Tiffin tp. and was taught by Wade L. Sever, retired county engineer.

Shown are: From left back, Donelda Spangler, Samuel Bevard, Elda Bevard, Wade Stever, the teacher, Richard Fremian, Clela Partee, Alfred Schultz
Middle Row: Elizabeth Bevard, Esther Schultz, Helen Partee, Hazel Dezellet
Front Row: Wilbur Clemens, Lawrence Bevard, Melvin Tittle, Roscoe Bevard and Lester Bevard.

THE picture, which was taken Dec. 3, 1912, was brought in by Mrs. Howard Long, 272 Broadway St.  It belongs to Melvin Tittle, who once worked at the Gray and White plant in Defiance and now lives at 411 Seymore Ave., Jackson, Mich."

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Turnbull Wagon Works, c. 1913

For many years, Lloyd V. Tuttle contributed historic photos and information to the Defiance Crescent-News for his column: "A Backward Glance."  The topic for Tuesday, August 27, 1963, was the Turnbull Wagon Works, a very successful early business in Defiance.

"THIS IS a picture of some of the employees of the old Turnbull Wagon Works, taken about 50 years ago.  Perhaps old timers will recognize some of the faces.

At one time, the Turnbull Wagon Company employed about 400 workers.  Native timber was used in the manufacture of wagons.  Later, with the advent of the horseless carriage, the company produced wooden spoke automobile wheels.

When the native timber was depleted, the company bought a large tract of timber in Arkansas. However, it turned out to be an inferior timber, far below standards for wagons and wheels with the wood, water soaked and impossible to kiln dry properly.

The plant was located in East Defiance at the foot of Seneca St., and stretched along the south bank of the Maumee River.  The plant had a complex of 24 buildings, two of them still in use.

The large brick building is used by the Compo Corp. for storage and another brick building is part of the Defiance Metal Products."

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Dr. Merari Bunajah Stevens - G.A.R., Bishop Post - After the War

A continuation from  the Commemorative Biographies of Northwest Ohio in italics:

"After a short stay in New York, the youth proceeded to Michigan, and wisely resumed his interrupted studies.  Locating in Fenton, in that State, he attended school there two years, when he began the study of medicine in the office of Wells B. Fox, M.D., at Marshallville, and later graduated in 1869.  

Immediately after his graduation, he began the practice of his chosen profession with his former preceptor, Doctor Fox, then located at Byron, Michigan, and this partnership existed until the reopening of the university in the fall, when he again became a student there, completing the course in pharmacy the next year.

He then resumed practice at Byron, without a partner, however, remaining there until 1875, which year was made memorable by his appointment as delegate from the State Medical Society of Michigan to the meeting of the American Medical Association in Louisville, Kentucky, and by his matriculation at Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York, from which institution he graduated in the class of '76.  A brief stay at Byron followed; then, in December, 1876, he located in Defiance, Ohio, where he has since been actively engaged in the practice of his profession.

"In 1870, at Fenton, Michigan, Doctor Stevens was united in marriage with Miss Irene Boice, who died January 29, 1873, leaving one son, Harry B., (Harvey) born January 19, 1873, at present a student in his father's office."

Irene and Merari were married just over two years when she died soon after giving birth to their son whose name was actually Harvey.  Irene was buried in Michigan.

 "In February, 1878, the Doctor married, for his second wife, Miss Nettie Brower, and to this union a son, Harry B., was born May 22, 1879.  The mother passed away on the 25th of the same month."

Nettie's short obituary appeared in the Defiance Democrat on May 29, 1879, p. 3:  "On Sunday, Mrs. Nettie B. Stevens, wife of Dr. M. B. Stevens, died in this place after a short illness.  She was an estimable lady, and although a resident of Defiance for about one year, she had formed a large circle of acquaintances who were warmly attached to her.  The remains were taken to Byron, Michigan, for burial.  In his hour of sad affliction, Dr. Stevens has the sympathy of all citizens."

In the 1880 census, Dr. M. B. Stevens lived at 445 Wayne Street in Defiance, a widowed physician with his two sons, H. B., 7, and Harry B., 1.  His sister, U. M., 23, lived with them and kept house, along with Fanny Smith, 22, a servant.  The family had two boarders: Clara Adams, 22, a music teacher, and Jennie Rorabooker, 18, also a music teacher.

 "On March 21, 1883, the Doctor was married to his present wife, formerly Miss Ellen Amelia Ames, the only daughter of Rev. Lucius F. Ames ( a Baptist minister) and Amelia Bennett Ames, both of New England stock...  Mrs. Stevens has been actively engaged in church and charity work.  The chlldren of this marriage are: Gale A., born August 31, 1885; Edwin Burr, born June 24, 1889; and Frank Bennett, born July 28, 1893.  The family resides in a commodious and delightful home on the corner of Fifth and Wayne streets, while adjoining stands the doctor's office - a substantial and well-equipped building erected by himself.

Dr. M. B. Stevens, 1885
 Dr. Stevens did appear in the 1890 Veterans Census in Defiance which noted his service in both Company L, 8th Regiment, New York Infantry and Company H, 10th New York Infantry where he was promoted to Corporal.  Another source, the New York Muster Rolls, described him at the time as 5 foot, 8 inches, with grey eyes and brown hair and a light complexion.  He gave his occupation as brickmaker, perhaps working for his father in his early years.

In the 1900 census, the family lived at 602 Wayne Street, Defiance.  Ellen, 47, and Merari, 55, had four sons at home then, along with her father, Lucious, 80 and widowed.  Son Harry, 27 and single, was a rug salesman, while the younger boys - Gale A., E. Burr, and Frank B. were in school.  Naomi M. Stevens, 48, the doctor's sister and a school teacher, also lived there.

In the same home in 1910, Dr. M.B. and Ellen had just two sons left at home - Burr E., 20, a driver, and Frank B., 16, who worked in a machine shop. Sister Manora Stevens, 53, also stayed with the family now.  Three roomers filled the house: Adolphus M. Heite, 30, a traveling salesman of portraits; May F. Heite, 31, a portrait painter and an owner of her own gallery; and Herbert Fisher, 37, who also worked as a salesman for the "portrait house."

Front Row: Harvey Boice Stevens and Dr. Merari Bunajah Stevens
Back row (l to r) Burr Edwin, Frank Bennett, Gale A. and Harry Brower Stevens
Taken on Thanksgiving Day, 1915.  (Dr. Stevens would pass away the next year.)

The Commemorative Biographies continued:

"Successful from the first, during the twenty years of his residence there, the Doctor has achieved a well-merited reputation as an able general practitioner and highly skilled surgeon; indeed, he has attained a degree of eminence that places hm at the head of his profession.  He is established in an extensive practice, and by reason of his celebrity is frequently called to operate in the most difficult cases of surgery.  He held the position of United States examining surgeon for pensions for several years, and is at present a member of the Defiance County Medical Society,the Ohio State Medical Society, the Northwestern Medical Society, and the American Medical Association...

Doctor Stevens is a member of the G.A.R.; politically he affilates with the Republican party.  He has been a member of the Baptist Church for thirty nine years.  His strict integrity and honor shed a bright luster on his character and, with other noble qualities, strength of intellect, mental culture and professional ability, combine to render him a valued and highly-esteemed citizen of the community."

 Dr. M. B. Stevens died on October 18, 1916, at his residence in Defiance at the corner of Fifth Street and Wayne Avenue.  He was 71 years old.

Defiance Crescent News, October 20, 1916

 Dr. D. W. Slagle, a friend of forty years, preached at the funeral, following a Scriptural reading at the home.  Dr. Stevens' last request was that the church quartet sing "Nearer My God to Thee" at his funeral and they did.  A G.A.R ceremony preceded his interment at Riverside Cemetery.  His pall bearers were Henry Helpman, A. B. Davis, and M.A. Bell for the G.A.R., Frank Whitney and Theodore Ewing for the Baptist Church and Earl Couch, a close friend of the family. Flower bearers were A. King, John Myers, James Benner and George Solly.

 His wife, Ellen Amelia Ames Stevens, died in 1932, still a resident of Defiance.

Defiance Crescent News, April 4, 1938

Harvey Boice preceeded his stepmother in death in 1921, and her other stepson, Harry Brower Stevens, became a Baptist preacher.  Edwin Burr Stevens became a doctor and resided in Michigan.  Gale A. worked as a salesman and lived in Defiance. Frank Bennett, in 1917, worked as a civilian at the Rock Island Arsenal in Davenport, Iowa.  In that year, he was sent overseas to study the manufacturing of field artillery for the war. 

(This is part of a series on Civil War veterans of Defiance County who were part of the G.A.R., Bishop Post, that headquartered in the city.  Formed in 1879, the post was named after a local man, Captain William Bishop, Company D, 100th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army who died as a result of wounds received in battle.  The veterans' photos are part of a composite photo of members that has survived.  If you have other information or corrections to add to the soldiers' stories, please add to the comments!)