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Friday, February 24, 2017

Albert J. Lovejoy - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

The family of Albert Lovejoy were early settlers in Defiance County, arriving about 1844 into Farmer Township from Yates County, New York.  David and Charity Lovejoy had children, John, Simeon and Albert when they were enumerated in the 1850 census here.  David was a carpenter and he and all the family were born in New York - Albert on November 10, 1842.

In 1860, at the age of 17, Albert still attended school in Farmer Township, but just a few years later on August 12, 1862, he volunteered to serve the Union in Company C, 111th Ohio Volunteer Infantry for a three year term.  Company C was mostly from Fulton and Williams County, and they were very active throughout the war.  They began in Kentucky with Buell's forces, and later in May, 1863, served on the left wing of Sherman's forces in the march through Atlanta to the sea.  Their service ended in North Carolina where Albert mustered out with his company on June 27, 1865.

During a furlough home from the war in 1863, Albert married Temperance Wartenbe and together they settled near Williams Center in Williams County, Ohio, and had six children.  In 1880, the enumerator listed the children as William -13, Anna - 11, Frank -8, Jay - 4, Otis - 2 and Arthur - 6 months.  In 1870, Albert worked as a farm laborer, but by 1880, he had a job in the sawmill.

On the Veterans Census of 1890, he was enumerated with the Defiance men.  He counted his service as 2 years, 10 months and 15 days, with disabilities named - chronic diarrhea and piles - a common complaint of all the old soldiers.  He also was a member of the G.A.R. in Farmer.

 Albert's first wife, Temperance died and he remarried Martha Aurilla Wartenbe in 1893.  (The relationship to his first wife, if any, is unknown.)  It was a first marriage for Martha who was about ten years younger than Albert.  They continued to live in or near Williams Center until the end of his life on March 18, 1911.

The Bryan Press ran this obituary on March 30, 1911:

"Albert J. Lovejoy was born November 10, 1842 in Yates county, N. Y., and departed from this life March 18, 1911 age 68 years, 4 months and 3 days.  In September, 1848, he moved with his parents to Williams county, Ohio and on August 3, 1863, he was married to Temperance Wartenbe.  To this union were born six children, five sons and one daughter.

In 1890, his first wife died, leaving him with the care of the family.  He was married again Sept. 3, 1893 at Hicksville, Defiance county, Ohio, to Aurilla Wartenbe.  He was converted in 1865 and joined the Methodist Episcopal church.

Mr. Lovejoy enlisted in defense of his country in August, 1862, and served until the war closed in Co. C, 111th Regt. O.V.I.  He was a good soldier and stood in front rank during his whole time of service and came home honorably discharged.  He has suffered ever since with diseases caused from army life but now his days of marching and tramping are all over.  When the summons came, he was ready to answer to the call of his commander.

Mr. Lovejoy was a patient sufferer during his last illness and left this testimony that he was going home to be with Him who has been his stay and comfort during his illness.  He leaves to mourn his loss a loving wife, one daughter, five sons, one brother, and many friends and loved ones." 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - Ney Cemetery, Washington Township

In this series, some of the general surveys of Defiance County cemeteries will be shared, transcribed as written on the original W.P.A. reports, with a few punctuation and/or spelling changes for readability.  The surveys were probably done around 1936.

For more up to date information on the cemeteries, check out this chart on our website:

Ney Cemetery

1. Name of cemetery:  Ney Cemetery

2. Location, how reached:

This cemetery is located at the northwest outskirts of the Village of Ney in Washington Township, Defiance County.  (It) is on the east side of state route #15, which goes to Bryan, Ohio.

3. Name and address of caretaker:  George Garver, Ney, Ohio

Ney Cemetery at www.findagrave.com
4. General description, size, appearance, denomination, fencing, etc.:

There are ten acres in Ney Cemetery.  It is fenced with an ornamental iron fence, (and) is well shaded with numerous pine trees as well as maple and oak.  It also has much evergreen shrubbery throughout the grounds.  The cemetery is laid out in lots.  It has two gateways and two stone driveways.  It is well kept and the trees and shrubbery trimmed; however, it is not so beautiful or stately as the Farmer Center Cemetery.  The village of Ney and the trustees of Washington Township keep the cemetery up.  It has, however, many fine markers of marble and granite.

5. Name and date of first burial recorded:

The cemetery was started in 1865.  Several graves were made that year, an Artline child, John Welker, and Chas. Dean, all in July of that year.

George W. Erlston, died Sept. 1865, at www.findagrave.com

 6. Names of important persons buried there; for what noted:

Charles Doud, Ney businessman and farmer, who was killed this spring, is perhaps the best known.
Geo. W. Ury, 1814 - 1895, one of the pioneer Urys who settled this district in 1845, is also buried here, as are the Garvers, Motters, and Pollocks, all well to do farmers and early settlers.
George Washington Ury at www.findagrave.com
This is not the first graveyard in Washington Township.  Many of the old timers are buried elsewhere, several of them at Farmer Center, six miles to the west.

7. Markers of unusual appearance:

The outstanding marker in this cemetery is the new, modern, heavy Italian marble monument on the Chas. Doud lot erected to Chas. Doud after his untimely death last spring.  It is placed on a built up lot and at each side are urns of the same material as the large marker.  There are three markers of this description in Defiance County, one in Riverside Cemetery at Defiance one at Farmer Center, and one here.

Charles Edward Doud at www.findagrave.com
8. Unusual epitaphs:  None

9. Is cemetery used for new burials?

The cemetery is used today.  Recently, some land was bought to be sold in lots.  Many of the markers already placed haven't the death date inscribed yet.  

C. Callawader and C. Gish, Reporters
Consultant: Mrs. D. L. Barrick, Ney, Ohio  

(The Works Progress Administration was formed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in reaction to the Great Depression as a means of employing Americans and stimulating the economy.  Established in 1935, one of the projects of the W.P.A. was to conduct Historical Records Surveys, one of which included finding information on cemeteries and the graves of veterans.  The W.P.A. was disbanded in 1943, but the historical information provided on these surveys continue to be of interest and are, thankfully, preserved.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

St. John Catholic School - 8th Grade Graduation 1927 and 1929

(Attached with the 1927 photo below was the following information - source unknown.  The text seemed to indicate that it was written after 1971, but it is undated. Currently, the Holy Cross School in Defiance has replaced both of these schools.)

"Why is Defiance blessed with two parochial schools?  Defiance's first parish was St. John, established in 1841 by predominately German speaking members.  With a growing population, it was decided to create a second parish, St. Mary's, in 1873, which would accommodate English speaking members.

St. John's School -  Although the exact date for the first St. John parish school is not known, it was probably built about 1854-1855.  It was erected beside the log church and faced Fifth street. The school was first staffed either by the Sanquist or the Precious Blood sisters.  Growing numbers of students forced the classes to move into the parish hall which had been built in 1886 and was moved to the back of the church property where it stood until the present two story brick building was erected in 1915.  Students pre-K through 8th grade are currently taught at St. John.

St. Mary's School - In 1886, a two story brick building consisting of four rooms was built at Arabella and Washington Streets with the original teachers made up of Dominican Sisters from Caldwell, New York.  About 1899, this building was partially destroyed by fire, and when the school was reopened in 1901, it was then staffed by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian.  This building was replaced in 1926 and then added to it in 1960.  Since 1971, the school's personnel are almost all lay persons, and the building currently houses pre-kindergarten through the 6th grade."

Top Row - Leonard Rosselet, John Shadorf, Therese Roland
Second Row - Beaulah Mack, Anna Margaret Stites, Loretta Hetz, Velma Layman, Dorothy Smith, Florian Hasselschwert, Gertrude Kissner
Bottom Row - Agnes Wannamaker, Catherine Hench, Eunice Corressel, Bill Hummer, Irene Singer, Elizabeth Vondran, -?- Holley 

This photo from 1929 has no identification of pupils, so please comment if you know someone.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Louis P. Rife - G.A.R., Bishop Post

Louis (Lewis) was a Butler County, Ohio, boy born and raised.  In 1860, he lived with his parents Peter (Reiff) and Elizabeth in St. Clair Township.  Peter was an immigrant from Bavaria, Germany, who was a master blacksmith.  They had a large family of ten children, of which Lewis was the fourth oldest and 12 at the time.

At about 16 years old, he enlisted in Company F, 69th Ohio Infantry as a private on February 27, 1864.  He served about a year and five months, mustering out on July 17, 1865.  During that time, the 69th fought mostly in Georgia and the Carolinas, securing the end of the war.

Upon the end of the war, Louis came home to his family.  His father died in 1867, and his widowed mother surely needed his help.  In 1870, his mother, Elizabeth, was 47 with nine children at home.  The four older boys worked to help support the family.  John, the oldest, and brother, Charles, worked at the blacksmith shop; Louis, 22, worked at the brickyard, and George, 16, worked at the broom shop.

Louis was 33 when he married Clara Bell Thornburg in Butler County on September 28, 1871.  They were still in Butler County in 1890 when Lewis appeared on the Veterans Census there, but by 1900, the census enumerator found them in Defiance, Ohio.  At 52, Louis was a foreman at the plow works company, and he and Clara had two children with them, Fanny and Earl.  Another daughter might have been married by that time.

Louis was an active member of the G.A.R., Bishop Post, serving as commander during the decade of the 1920s.  Clara Bell Rife died in February, 1920.  On February 6, 1920, the Defiance Crescent-News printed this obituary:

"Mrs. Clara Bell Rife, wife of L. P. Rife, passed away Friday morning at nine o'clock at the Defiance Hospital, aged 68 years, 6 months.  The deceased had been in poor health for some time, and her death was not unexpeced to those near to her.  She leaves to mourn her death her husband, two daughters, Mrs. C. J. Lockman of Washington, D. C. and Mrs. Clinton H. Seither, of this city, one son, Earl L. Rife of Pittsburg, Pa. and six grandchildren.  Funeral arrangements have not yet been completed, but the funeral will probably be held Monday and will be in charge of the W.R. C." 

In 1922, Louis had an accident at work that resulted in the loss of some of his fingers.  Apparently, by that time, he was living with one of his daughters.

At the age of 78, Louis remarried to Malinda (Wolff) Partee, 73, a widow, of Defiance, and they moved into a home at 323 Hopkins Street.  In 1933, Malinda was interviewed for a newspaper story which appeared in the Rural Rambler column of the Crescent-News on November 15:

On January 9, 1937, the Crescent-News reported on the 90th birthday celebration for Louis, and about a month later, he died.

The Defiance Crescent-News of February 9, 1937:

His second wife, Malinda, lived on just a few more years until April, 1940.  

(Error concerning Louis's date of death)
Malinda was buried with her first husband, Frank Partee, in Riverside Cemetery.

(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!)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Two Irate Females of Highland Township

From the Defiance Democrat - October 25, 1894


Trouble in a Highland Township Neighborhood.

There is trouble in Highland township.

The misery has been caused by two females and a suit in Justice Ansberry's court is the result.

Thursday, Adam Heinrich came before Justice Ansberry and made affidavit, charging Margaret Umbs with threatening his wife, Barbara Heinrich in a threatening manner.

Thursday eve, Officer Eiser drove out to the residence of Mrs. Umbs, and served her with a summons to appear in court Friday morning.

The trouble originated in a jawing match over some neighborhood matters pertaining to some turkeys, which roamed at large and destroyed crops.  The material for thanksgiving dinners caused the ladies to come together and material for an airing in court cropped out.

Friday morning Mrs. Umbs appeared in court accompanied by her attorney, H. G. Baker.  James B. Woods appeared for the prosecution.  The case was postponed until Monday the 29th."

It was just not a good day for Mrs. Umbs... that same day...

A Highland Township Young Lady Meets with an Accident.

Friday Mrs. Margaret Umbs, accompanied by her daughter, aged 15, came to this city.
When they were returning that evening, the horse became unmanageable in East Defiance, and backing up, partially overturned the vehicle, throwing the young lady out.  Her right wrist was dislocated and she was bruised somewhat.
Dr. Westrick was summoned, who attended to her injuries, and she was taken to her home."

Unfortunately, I could not find the outcome of this tiff over turkeys, but I imagine the judge felt he might have better things to do that day than referee these two ladies.  

Friday, February 17, 2017

The "New" Sherwood School - 1912

The Sherwood Chronicle of December 22, 1911 reported:

"The new school house is nearing completion.  The carpenters are now doing the interior finishing which will complete the building, and it looks now as if it will be ready for occupancy within a very few weeks."

One source noted that it was March 1, 1912 before it opened.  This photo was of the workers on the school house.  They are identified, but perhaps not in order of appearance on the photo.

Photo taken February 7, 1912
 Sepy Stinger, Chas. Ross, Sylos Coy, Ed Brinck, Clarence Thieroff, Mr. Wallace, John Fraker, Houston Hanner, Carrie Knisley, Fred Motherspaw, Roy Shilling, Clyde Dornen, Merrel Simmons.