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Monday, January 16, 2017

Andrew P. McConkey - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

McConkey was a member of the Farmer GAR

Once there were three brothers McConkey from Farmer Township who answered the call of the Union in 1861.  Andrew, Alexander, and Charles McConkey enlisted in August/ September 1861, all into the same company and regiment - Company E, 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry - for a three year term.  All of them would serve until 1865.

Andrew was the oldest McConkey brother, born in 1838 in Harrison County, Ohio.  Just before the war, in 1860, he lived with the Eleazer and Hannah Sisco family, where he worked as a farm laborer. On August 27, 1861, at the age of 22, he enlisted as a private and would go on to serve until May 3, 1865, a total of 1 year, 5 months, and 6 days, as he reported on the 1890 Veterans Census.  The 21st Ohio was actively involved in battles, Nashville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, to name just a few, and the unit lost many men.  

His obituary noted that Andrew (and his brother, Alexander), were both captured at Chickamauga and spent time in Andersonville Prison until the close of the war.  Their names could not be found online on the prisoner lists of the Confederate prison, but their pension papers are available at the Bowling Green State University Archives, and copies could easily be obtained for more details.

(Contact information: Center for Archival Collections, BGSU
Information to give to the librarians:
Repository Catalog Number: MMS1173
Description: McConkey/Anderson Pension Files
Pension files of Alexander, Charles and Andrew McConkey and of Alexander and Thomas Anderson.)  

Not long after he returned home, Andrew married Mary E. Brown on September 17, 1865, and they settled in Milford Township.  By 1870, they had children, Orley A., 2, and Jennie, 4 months.  Andrew was a farm laborer and he had land worth $800.  An agricultural census in 1880 reported that he had 40 acres - 30 tilled and 10 in pasture in Farmer Township.  He was a typical small farmer of the day with a few milk cows, some sheep and swine and fifty poultry.  Indian corn was his major crop with a little wheat and oats, probably for feed.  The family had a small, one acre orchard with six trees.

By 1900, Andrew, 61, and Mary, 52, were alone at home in Farmer Township.  Mary had had four children, but only two survived. Andrew was a landlord, meaning he may have had a son or renter who did his farming.  Andrew McConkey died on September 7, 1906.

His obituary appeared in the Bryan Press on September 13, 1906:


Andrew P. McConkey was born in Harrison county, Ohio, on the 23rd day of October, A.D., 1838, died on the 7th day of September A.D., 1906, aged 67 years, 10 months, and 14 days.

At about 9 years of age, he came with his parents to Williams county, Ohio.  In the year 1858, he came to Defiance county where he spent the greater part of his life.  

About the first day of August, 1861, he enlisted in Co. E of the 21st regiment Ohio Volunteers and on the 3rd day of May, 1865, he was honorably discharged at Columbus, Ohio. He was taken a prisoner of the battle of Chickamauga and for one year, five months and six days, he was held a prisoner at Andersonville until the close of the war.

On the 17th day of September 1865, he was married to Mary E. Brown.  To this union four children were born. One died in infancy, Jennie died in 1889, aged 19 years, 9 months and 19 days.  The widow and two sons, Orley A., of Edgerton, Ohio and Emery L., of Farmer, Ohio, survive."

Mary McConkey lived on until 1921.  After her husband's death, she had difficulty collecting her pension, so she contacted her Congressman, who helped her.  This article appeared in the Hicksville Tribune on April 30, 1908:

"Mrs. Mary McConkey, widow of Andrew McConkey, who died about two years ago, is experiencing an evidence of the kindness and careful attention of our present congressman, T. T. Ansberry.  She made an application for a widows pension, but could not get her claim attended to.  She was advised to solicit the attention of Mr. Ansberry.  He responded in more than mere words.

Her claim is now acted upon and she has the pleasing notice that she has been allowed $8 per month form October 21, 1907 to April 19, 1908, and $12 since that time.  The twelve dollar law went into effect April 19, and her claim for $12 was allowed that very day.  It was the first or among the very first allowed.  This shows how close Mr. Ansberry was watching the matter."

As to Andrew's brothers...

Alexander B. McConkey was buried in Six Corners Cemetery.  He died at the age of 83 after serving not only in Company E, 21st Regiment O.V.I, but also in Co. F and Co. D, 8th Ohio Cavalry and Co. F, 44th Ohio Infantry where he was promoted to Sgt. He also was a prisoner in Andersonville for 18 months, one source noted. He married first Phebe Waltz in 1866 in Nebraska and second, Alwilda Bowman in 1875 in Nebraska.  He died, however, in Hicksville.

The brothers lost touch for awhile.  The Hicksville Tribune reported on August 19, 1920:
"Alex McConkey had not heard from his brother, C. C. McConkey for about four years and with the friends has been much concerned about the matter.  He is now in receipt of a letter dated Aug. 12, and written from Alberton, Montana, from the brother.  He is well and getting along fine and says he is seeing some great sights."
Charles C. McConkey spent most of his life after the war in Nebraska, where he died in January, 1928, living until 85.  The youngest brother, born in 1843, he married Minerva Jennie Daniels in 1875.  He mustered out as a Corporal in 1865, and it might be that he spent his latter days in the Sailors and Soldiers Home in Grand Island, Nebraska.  He is buried in Red Cloud, Webster, Nebraska.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Warner Wrede - Bishop Post, G.A.R.

(Thank you to our guest blogger, Joanne Allison, who provided information and wrote most of the following post on her ancestor, Warner Wrede.)

Warner (Werner) Wrede was born on May 8, 1838 in Johannisleben, Preussen, Germany, to Henry Wrede and an unknown mother.  If Warner immigrated to America the same time as his brother, Adolph, it was the year 1854. 

A marriage record, dated August 25, 1857, was found in Defiance County which named Werner Wrede, age 19, as marrying Louisa Kahlo, his first wife.  They were divorced on May 31, 1860.  In the divorce papers, Louisa was listed as a faithful and obedient wife, and she was the mother of a three month old at the time.  The divorce degree said Werner disregarded his duties as a husband for two years and was guilty of gross neglect of duty, leaving his wife dependent on the charity of relatives and friends, although he occasionally cohabited with her during that time.  She was always ready to live with him and frequently requested him to provide a home for her.  At first he did, but then neglected his promises and spent all his money on "dissipation" (habitual drunkeness ) instead.  Louisa was awarded custody of the infant child.

On August 9, 1862, Warner enlisted into Company K of the 107th Ohio Volunteer Infantry as a musician.  Military musicians were used to entertain the troops, position troops in battle and to stir them on to victory.  The nonmilitary duties of the musicians were largely medical.  After the fighting, they helped carry the wounded to hospitals and helped surgeons perform amputations or other tasks. Musicians were by no means overpaid when their high casualty rate was taken into account.  Warner mustered out on July 10, 1865, and left the unit in Cleveland.

The Defiance Democrat ran a column called "A Glimpse Back Into History" on August 10, 1910, that gave an account of some of the service of the 107th.  This is a partial clip:

 After the war, he married Carolyn Richholt in October, 1865. Their son, Albert, was born in 1866.  Warner's profession was listed as a baker in the 1870 census.  His brother, Adolph, operated a bakery, so Warner may have worked with him.  

One newspaper noted that Warner opened a bakery/ confectionary shop of his own in January 1882 at the corner of Perry and 5th Streets. He erected a building there for his shop.  By 1887, he had a shop at the corner of Clinton and 5th Streets in the Weaner Building.

After Carolyn Richholt Wrede died in 1895, Warner went to live with his son, Albert, in North Baltimore, Wood County, Ohio for the last fifteen years of his life.  He died on June 2, 1915, and he was buried in Riverside Cemetery after a funeral in North Baltimore.  The Bishop Post of the G.A.R. gave their comrade the last rites.

Warner Wrede's obituary appeared in the Defiance Democrat on June 3, 1915:


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - Goldberg (Hughes, Glore) Cemetery, Delaware Township

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.

In this series, some of the general surveys of Defiance County cemeteries will be shared, transcribed as written 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:

Goldberg Cemetery
(also known as Hughes Cemetery or Glore Cemetery)

1. Name of Cemetery:
The Goldberg Cemetery, sometimes called the Hughes Graveyard

2. Location, how reached:
Located in section #33, Delaware Township, eight miles west of the city of Defiance and a half mile back off of U.S. 24 and also a half mile from the Maumee River, reached by U.S. 24, going west from Defiance for eight miles and turning to the right on a dirt road. (Gier Road)

3. Name and address of caretaker:
There seems to be none in charge, nor does the township keep it up. However, it is not in such bad shape for a graveyard not taken care of.

Photo from www.findagrave.com
 4. General description, size, appearance, denomination, fencing, etc.:
Sets on a small knoll, back on a dirt road about one half mile from the Maumee River.  This little graveyard contains about one acre of land and is practically a private one of the Hughes and Goldbergs, although a few others were at times buried here.  It is on the Carl Buff farm. 
It is fenced in with ordinary wire and has a gate kept locked, a small ravine runs along its north side.  It is not directly on the road, but some ten rods back, toward the river.  It is undenominational and is not Jewish as the name may sound.

5. Name and date of the first burial recorded:
Barbara Regel, 1813 - 1868

6. Names of important persons there, for what noted:
Neither the Goldbergs or this family of Hughes buried here are very well known in the vicinity.  This graveyard was never very much used.

7. Marker of unusual appearance:
The outstanding marker is that of Allison Goldberg, 1856 - 1933, which was recently erected, and the only modern marker in the cemetery.  The others are mostly the slab type or headstones.

8. Unusual epitaphs: None

9. Is cemetery used for new burials?
The last grave is that of Allison Goldberg, buried in 1933, and he was the first for about ten years.  Several lots are not yet full, and people living away from here may in the future be brought back to be buried.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

William J. Bryan - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

A native of southern Ohio, William Bryan moved a few times over the years with his family before settling in Northwest Ohio.  William James Bryan was found in the 1850 census in Blanchard, Hardin County with his parents, William C. and Elizabeth, and siblings, George, Isaac, Martha, Samuel and Eliza.  William was sixteen.  

He could not be found in the 1860 census, but official records show that he enlisted on April 27, 1861 into Company A, 21st Ohio Infantry.  This unit was formed in northwest Ohio and enlisted first for 3 months. He was mustered out with his company on August 12, 1861. William was not listed on the roster for the three years service that followed for this regiment.

William married Sarah Newcomer in 1863, and by 1870, their family was enumerated on the census of Bryan, Williams County.  At that time, they had three children: Elizabeth, 6, Byron E, 5 and Otis C., 2.  William was farming, and listed only $100 as the total of his personal estate.

Again, the family could not be located for the 1880 census nor could William be found on the veterans census.  But in 1900, the family had moved to Mark Township in Defiance County and were enumerated there.  William was 65 by that time (born January 1835) and was still farming.  Sarah was 59 and four children were at home: Elmer, 35 (probably Byron E) who was 35; William L. and Darla, who were both teachers; and Maude, who was only 14.

One more move brought the family to Farmer, Ohio by 1910, perhaps for their retirement home, as William was 75 and reported he worked at odd jobs.  Sarah was 69 and with them were their daughter, Jessie B. Fickle, 37, who was divorced, and granddaugter, Beulah G. Fickle, 14.  Jessie worked as a nurse for a private family.

William died on December 29, 1914 at the age of 79, almost 80.
The obituary for William James Bryan appeared in The Bryan Democrat on January 8, 1915:


William James Bryan was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, January 11, 1835, and departed this life at Farmer, Ohio, December 29, 1914, aged 79 years, 11 months and 26 days.  He was the son of William and Elizabeth Gaskell Bryan.

In the year 1861, he enlisted in the service of his country, being among the first to respond to the call for volunteers to defend the old flag of his fathers.  He was assigned duty in the twenty-first regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was honorably discharged owing to disability contracted during his service.

On March 22 1863, he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Newcomer.  To this union were born nine children, one of whom died in infancy.

 He was a remarkable man in many respects.  He was one of the few men who could and did make a sharp distinction between right and wrong.  On all moral questions, he was ever found on the side of the right.  With him, right was right and there must be no deviation from it as far as he was concerned.

In the year 1873, he united upon confession of faith with the Christian church of Bryan, his former home, and always clung steadfastly to that faith.

He leaves to cherish his memory, his faithful wife, eight children, eleven grandchildren, and one great grandchild, and one sister.

His funeral was conducted from the Union church at Farmer, Wednesday, December 29, 1914, by John A. Jayne, pastor of the Christian church at Bryan.  The funeral was attended by a great number of friends who gathered from near and distant places to do him respect and honor.

Card of Thanks - To all who have been so kind to us during our sorrow, especially the trustees of the Union Church at Farmer, the male quartet and accompaniest, and many friends for floral tributes, we extend our heartfelt appreciation.  Mrs. Sarah Bryan and Family." 

William J. Bryan was a member of the Lew Bowker Post, G.A.R. at Farmer, Ohio.

Tombstone in Farmer Cemetery

Monday, January 9, 2017

Sherwood School - 1906-1907

Top Row, Left to Right:
Estelle Mack, Marie Voss, Maybelle Bercaw, Sarah Fleck, Helen Rock, Grace Parent, Florence Smith, Maude Cain

Second Row from Top:
Haley Etchie, Roy Good, Forrest Musselman, Roy Stinger, Fred Wonderly, Farrel Whitman, Earl Heller, Bessie Ward, Mona Whitman    Teacher - E. H. Porter (?)

Third Row from Top:
Emma Andrews, Freda Miller, Olive Worthington, Nellie Haynes, Lulu Worthington, Floyd Etchie, Walter Core, Roy Ward

Bottom Row: 
Charley Dickie, Marvel Miller, Clell Miller, Orville Bercaw, Jesse Ward, Roy Cain

Friday, January 6, 2017

William E. Carpenter, - Bishop Post, G.A.R.

William Edgar Carpenter lived in Adams Township, Defiance County, in the 1860 census.  He was 17 and the oldest child at home with seven younger siblings.  At the age of 18, he enlisted in Company F, 48th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on November 2, 1861 for a three month tour.  He then re-enlisted for three years, climbing up in the ranks throughout the war.

On July 13, 1862, he was promoted to Full Corporal and then again to Sergeant on October 5, 1865.  When he re-enlisted, he was transferred to Company D of the 48th.  Later, a consolidation took place with the 48th, the 114th and the 83rd, so before mustering out, he was in Company E of the 83rd, as his pension card noted.

Just thirty days after he enlisted his unit suffered a surprise Confederate attack at Shiloh.  It must have been a rude shock for young Carpenter.  In April, 1864, the 48th was part of General Banks' Red River expedition in the south.  The entire regiment was captured after the fighting at the Battle of Sabine Crossroads near Mansfield, Louisiana.  

The regiment was taken to the Prisoner of War Camp near Tyler, Texas, called Camp Ford.  There, the conditions were quite crude before their arrival and the situation was worse after more than 3,000 new prisoners were added after the capture of the 48th.  Overcrowding, reduced rations, disease - all were problems within the stockade of the camp.
Information on Camp Ford

In October, 1864, after about six months, a massive prisoner exchange took place where the 48th was released.  Most of them had worn the same clothes since their captivity and had suffered from lack of food.  But they went on to serve, first to fight near Mobile, Alabama and then they were on duty in New Orleans until January 1865.  They were mustered out in Galveston, Texas on July 24, 1865.  William E. Carpenter reported on the 1890 veterans' census that he had served 4 years, 6 months, and 21 days.

After the war, William married Harriet M. Chase and they settled in Defiance.  The 1880 census enumerator found them living on Water Street - William was 37 and employed as Defiance County Recorder.  His wife, Harriet, was 30, and they had children Lenora, 12 - Emma, 9 - Louis, 2 - and Daisey - 8 months.  Later, another child, Bessie, would come along.

William died at the relatively young age of 53, after giving many more years of service to the people of Defiance County.

William E. Carpenter is buried at Riverside Cemetery - www.findagrave.com