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Monday, September 18, 2017

Defiance County Pioneers - Mary E. Smith Weisenberger Eck

"Grandma Weisenberger" was a well respected citizen of Defiance.  Born Mary Elizabeth Smith (Schmidt) in Germany, she married twice - first to Francis "Frank" Weisenberger and second, to John P. Eck.  Francis died in 1860, so by the 1880 census, Mary had remarried to John Eck, a saloonist in Defiance.  In 1880, she was 59 and John was 43 - quite a distance between their ages.  They lived on Clinton Street and had two boarders, Rudolph Smith, a laborer, and Henry Weisenberger, probably her youngest son.  The passing of Mrs. Weisenberger - Eck was well covered by the Defiance Democrat on May 5, 1898.

 "Mrs. Weisenberger-Eck.
An Aged Pioneer.  Summoned. 

Sketch of Her Earthly Career.  Most of Which Was Associated With Defiance.

A general feeling of sadness and regret pervaded the community Thursday occasioned by the death of Mrs. Weisenberger-Eck, who passed from time to eternity at twenty minutes past 9 o'clock Thursday morning, after an illness of some months. 
True, the old must die, but 'Grandma Weisenberger,' as she has been affectionately called by so many for years, has been such a landmark in the local history of Defiance that her death seems a personal loss to many.
She has lately been a great sufferer, but as her feet have drawn near to the brink of death's river, her faith has not faltered and her trust in her Savior has been an example to others, for from her earliest childhood, she has been a conscientious Christian.

Miss Smith came to Defiance in 1836, from Tiffin, O., following the old Indian trail.  She had in her possession at the time of her death, the old kettle in which she has made soup many times for the suffering hungry Indians, for she was a kind, good woman.
On February 13, 1837, she was married to Frank Weisenberger, and became, in time, the mother of 13 children, 6 of whom are living and all of whom were with her at the time of her death, as follows: Mrs. Josephine Haller, Mrs. Mary Hoeffle, Henry, George and John Weisengerber, of Defiance, and Mrs. Frances Shoner, of Napoleon.  She leaves also a large number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She has been a resident of Defiance for 61 consecutive years.  She was born in 1820, on the 9th of February, and was 17 years of age when she came to Defiance.  She is a native of Germany, being born in the Saxon province, and came with her parents to this country in 1832.
In 1870, she was married the second time to Mr. Eck, and for 41 years, she has been living in the house in which she died.

The date of the funeral will be Saturday morning at 9 o'clock at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church.  Rev. M. P. Kinkead officiating.

Riverside Cemetery, Defiance

Mrs. Eck's Funeral Fittingly Conducted at Father Kinkead's Church.

The funeral services over the remains of Mrs. Weisenberger-Eck were solemnized Saturday morning from Our Lady of Perpetual Help church, at 9 o'clock, Rev. M. P. Kinkead officiating.  
The church was crowded with the friends of the departed lady.  The flowers were beautiful.  During the service, the choir sang a familiar hymn the mother had learned to love from hearing her youngest son, 'Hen,' play it upon his flute.  The air is "Raise Me Jesus to Thy Bosom.'  There were a large number of relatives present and six of the grandsons.

Frank and Arthur Weisenberger, Fred and Charlie Haller, Harry and Earl Weisenberger acted as the pall bearers for their grandma.
Mrs. Rosa Smith Keisel, of Tiffin, only living sister of Grandma Weisenberger - Eck, was present with her son...

The body was laid to rest by the side of the departed children...
See full inscription and information at www.findagrave.com


Thursday, September 14, 2017

William Brown Yeagley - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

William Yeagley once described himself as a "capitalist," and he surely was.  He bought and sold land, ran a farm, worked as a surveyor and invested in a canning factory.  William was a Pennsylvania man, born on November 15, 1833, to Andrew and Catharine (Dougherty) Yeagley.  

When he was 21, he married Margaret Hendershot, but after settling the family in Dekalb County, Indiana, and starting a family, he enlisted in the Indiana Volunteer Infantry - Company H, 88th Regiment.  He was twenty eight years old and had three children (and possibly one on the way) at the time of his enlistment on August 12, 1862.  Organized at Newville, Indiana, the 88th met together in Fort Wayne before marching together to Louisville.  They pursued Bragg through Kentucky and Tennessee, losing fifty-six men at the Battle of Stones River.  They were involved in the horrendous battle at Chickamauga, climbed Lookout Mountain with Hooker by November 24th, and then fought at Missionary Ridge on the next day.  They were heavily involved in the fighting on Sherman's march to the sea.  Later, William would name his son, born in 1863, Sherman, in honor of the general he admired.  

By 1870, William and Margaret had settled in Center Township, Williams County, where he farmed.  Their children, at that time, were Blanche, 14; Park, 13; Lottie, 8; and Sherman, 7.  The first two children were born in Ohio and the second two in Indiana.  

Washington Township, Defiance County, was the family's home in 1880.  Little Madge, who was 5 then, was now in the family.  Park and Sherman helped their father on the farm.  In 1886, William purchased 80 acres in Farmer Township from Allen Barrows, and at some point the family moved there.  William not only farmed, but he was a businessman, too, investing in and serving on the board of the Farmer Canning Company.

Defiance Weekly Express, August 10, 1899

In the 1900 census, William, then 66, gave "capitalist" as his occupation, as did his sister, Catharine J. Britton, a widow, who lived with him.  Margarette, 62, also had Madge, 25, single, at home, and Ella B. Tharp, 22, a granddaughter.  Madge worked as a saleslady in a grocery store and Ella was a dressmaker.  It was noted that Ella was married less than a year, but her husband's whereabouts...and name...are unknown.

About 1901, Madge married Vernon E. Cunningham, a house painter, and the couple lived with her parents.  William was then 76 and Margaret, 72, in Farmer Township.  

William died on February 19, 1915.  His obituary appeared in the Crescent-News on March 5, 1915:

Daniel D Diehl, comrade of William Yeagley in Company H

Margaret Hendershot Yeagley lived on another ten years, passing away in February, 1925.  Her obituary appeared in the Crescent News on February 7, 1925:

Farmer Cemetery


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Methodist Episcopal Church, Third and Wayne, Defiance, Ohio

From the Defiance Democrat, July 26, 1894...an article describing the beautiful churches and cemeteries of Defiance, Ohio


"The Methodist Episcopal church of Defiance is situated on the corner of Third and Wayne streets, and is a fine brick building which was built in 1873 at a cost of nearly $25,000.  It is a handsome structure with a basement and upper story, is out of debt, and has 600 members.  The interior is finished and frescoed and presents an attractive appearance.  It also has a nice, large lecture room.  Rev. J. M. Mills is the pastor and has been for the past four years.

The first Methodist sermon was preached in this city in 1825 by Rev. William Simmons of Xenia, Ohio, nearly seventy years ago.  Not long after, Rev. Wier preached at the residence of Mr. Seavell.  In 1826 Rev. Elias Pettit was regularly appointed as minister to take charge of Defiance.  He organized a small society which in the same year, built a log church on the lot where the parsonage now stands.  In 1834, the first Sunday school was organized with four officers and teachers and thirty-four scholars.

The new church was built by J. B. Seamans in 1841 at a cost of $1,050.  Defiance was made a station in 1857 and in 1873, the present handsome church was built.

From the Historic Homes Calendar, July 2004

The principal societies of the church are: The Epworth League, with over 100 members.  The Woman's Home Missionary Society.  The Woman's Foreign Missionary Society.  The Ladies' Helping Hand Society.  The Young Ladies' Lend-a-Hand Missionary Society.

The parsonage is a magnificent building of brick, beautifully trimmed with cut stone and is a modification of the Queen Anne style of architecture.  Peter Kuhn was the contractor and architect.

The parsonage cost about $6,000, $1,000 of which was raised by the Helping Hand Society, $600 was given by J. A. Orcutt and the balance was raised by the members of the church.

The interior is convenient and is finished off in handsome, modern style. It was carpeted throughout by the members of the church with beautiful carpets of finest texture.  Altogether the home of the Methodist minister is a lovely and luxurious one." 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Defiance City Police Force, 1916 - 1917

For many years, Lloyd V. Tuttle contributed historic photos and information to the Defiance Crescent-News for his column, "A Backward Glance."
On March 5, 1963, Tuttle wrote about the Defiance police force, a small, but dedicated group of men.

"Here is a picture of the Defiance police force in 1916 - 1917 when Edward S. Bronson was serving his first term as mayor.  Note that the helmets have been discarded for caps.

Reading from left to right, lower row, are: Charles Miller, patrolman; Julius Spengler, chief; Gus Wahl, patrolman and
back row, Henry Hall, patrolman; S. A. Craven, safety director; Mayor Bronson, and Frank Baker, patrolman

The patrolmen were paid $60 per month.  They worked seven days a week, and extra time when required.  The mayor's salary during this era was $700 annually.  Each patrolman walked all over his assigned ward.  The chief did duty downtown during the day and was always on call."

Monday, September 4, 2017

Lewis D. Blue - Bishop Post, G.A.R.

Born in 1832 in Miami County, Ohio, Lewis DeWeese Blue lost both of his parents when he was young.  His mother, whose maiden name was DeWeese, died when he was about eight, and his father when Lewis was a teenager.

By the 1850 census, he lived with Charlotte Blue, 45, head of the family, and Joseph Blue, 39, a teacher, who were probably relatives of his deceased father.  He had attended school that year. Marriage records for that county indicated that Lewis married Martha Elizabeth Kelly on January 8, 1856, in Piqua.

At some point Lewis, sometimes called L.D., moved to Highland Township, Defiance County, where he and Elizabeth were enumerated on the 1860 census with their young daughter, Anna.  The couple lived with Charles and Deborah Lockey that year.

When Lewis enlisted in 1862, he and Elizabeth had two small children, Anna Bell and Nelson Scott.  On July 18, 1862, he joined Company D of the 100th Ohio Regiment.  Later on, he would also serve with the 2nd North Carolina Mounted Infantry in Company D which he helped to organize. 
Identified as Lewis D. Blue on an ancestry family tree
 Most records indicated that Lewis joined them on October 1, 1863, in Cedar Creek, Tennessee at the age of 31.  On the day he mustered out of the 100th Ohio Regiment in October, 1863, he was promoted to Second Lieutenant.  He then served with the mounted infantry until October 11, 1864.

Lewis could not be located on the 1870 regular census, but he was on the HIghland Township agricultural census.  With one horse, one milk cow, and five swine, his livestock holdings were small.  He had only fourteen improved acres and thirty-nine unimproved, and from that he gained one hundred bushels of corn and forty bushels of oats.

By 1880, children Harry, Clarence, Edwin, Mattie and Nellie were added to the family.  L.D. farmed and his son, Scott (Nelson), who was eighteen then, helped him.  Only Mattie, 28, and Nellie, 19, were home with parents, Lewis, 67, and Elizabeth, 64, in 1900.  Martha Elizabeth had had nine children and by 1900, just six survived.

Mrs. Lewis D. Blue died at the age of 70 in 1906.  Her obituary appeared in several newspapers, but this was from the Defiance Express, published on November 6, 1906:

Lewis DeWeese Blue followed his wife in death on January 18, 1907, just a few months later.  His obituary appeared in the Defiance Weekly Express on January 25, 1907:

In the will of Lewis Blue, he divided his property, giving 21 acres for Mattie and Nellie to divide evenly and 9 acres to Nelson Scott.  To insure equity, he had some children paying others various amounts of money.

He was buried in the Ayersville 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!)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Highland Township Schools - 1903-1904

This old souvenir booklet contained not only the high school, but also all the individual, one room school pupils' names.  The graduating class appeared on the front.