DCGS Website


Friday, April 21, 2017

The Highland Center School, Highland Township

The Highland Center School was located in Section 21 of Highland Township at the corner of Blanchard Road and Highland Center Road.  This beautiful, vintage souvenir booklet is from the winter term of 1892 - 1893.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Benjamin F. Southworth - Bishop Post, G.A.R.

Benjamin F. Southworth ended the Civil War as a Major in Company E, 111th Ohio.  He enlisted on August 9, 1862, at the age of 36. He was discharged on May 15, 1866, with three years, 8 months and 6 days of service.  

On the 1890 veterans' census, he listed his disabilities as rheumatism and catarrh (respiratory inflammation), although his
obituary added other afflictions encountered during his service.

Born in New York to Epaphrus and Esther Southworth, B. F. and his parents were early settlers of Defiance County. Benjamin's father was also a veteran - of the War of 1812.  He served in Parkhurst's Detachment, New York militia.  So he came from a patriotic family, as well.

Benjamin was an educator, a stock breeder, and an entrepreneur in the county who was well-respected in the community.  In later years, he lived with his nephew, Charles Corwin, son of one his sisters who was deceased.  After B. F.'s death, Charles found two old newspapers among Benjamin's papers - a Boston Gazette and Country Journal, dated March 12, 1770, and a New England Weekly Journal, dated April 8, 1728, yellowed, but still readable, according to the report. These were possibly passed down from his own father and/or grandfather.

When B. F.'s will was probated, his estate was left to his two remaining sisters and his nephew.  The funeral was held at his residence on Water Street and burial was at Riverside Cemetery.  His obituary appeared in the Defiance Democrat on February 2, 1899:

He is buried with his mother, Esther Doud, and Albert T. Southworth (1853 - 1871), relationship unknown.

(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!)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Did You Say Your Sister Talks Too Much?

Do you have a sister or a neighbor who just talks constantly?

Perhaps you should call in the police, or the mayor, or the judge, or the prosecutor?  That's the way one lady tried to solve the problem in Defiance in 1903.

From the Defiance Daily Crescent News, July 24, 1903:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Frank Lloyd - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

Member of Farmer Post 725

Frank Lloyd - Warren Franklin Lloyd - was born in Bennington, Vermont on August 10, 1844.  His parents were David and Emily (Phillips) Lloyd who, by the time of the 1850 census, were living in Rensslaer County, New York.

Eventually, they made their way to Ohio and settled in Williams County, Ohio.  When Frank was nineteen, he enlisted on July 3, 1863, into Company F of the 86th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  He was set to serve a six month term of service, and soon the company was chasing General Morgan and fighting in Tennessee.  Much of the time at the end of his service was spent on guard duty in Tennessee.  He mustered out on February 10, 1864 at Camp Cleveland, Ohio.

Mary Belle Wolford became the bride of Frank Lloyd in Defiance County on January 27, 1872.  The couple settled into farming in Center Township, Williams County.  They had three children: Clara Belle, born in 1873; William, born in 1877, and Martin, born in 1883.  

The Bryan Democrat reported on February 21, 1878, on page 3, that Frank had had a terrible accident involving a saw and his foot.

"Frank Loyd, who had his foot torn off by the bursting of a wood saw flywheel, near West Buffalo a few weeks since, has so far recovered as to be moved to his father's in the southwest corner of Center township.  His wound is healed and he expects soon to be able to stump about on his heel to pretty good advantage."

The 1890 Veterans' Census gave no information on Frank, as his discharge papers had been lost.  By 1900, Frank, 55, and Mary, 43, had moved to Farmer Township.  They were enumerated there in July, but actually Frank had passed away on January 17th of that year.  (As long as a person was alive during the year of the census, he or she was to be reported.)  His wife lived on until 1949.


Monday, April 17, 2017

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - Colby Cemetery, Mark 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:
Colby Cemetery

1. Name of cemetery:
Colby graveyard, so named after a Mr. Colby who one day owned the land on which it is located.

2. Location, how reached:
Three miles south and two miles east of Mark Center in Mark Township.  In Section 36, and on the Paulding County line.  It is on no state highway from Defiance; it is reached by taking state route #18, west to Mark Center and turning south as directed.

3. Name and address of caretaker:
Kept up by the Mark Township Trustees.  For information, see Mrs. E. Diehl, R.R. #1, Mark Center, who lives in the house (be)side the cemetery.

Photo from www.findagrave.com
4. General description, size, appearance, denomination, fencing, etc:
A typical rural cemetery setting on a hill, shaded with pine and oak trees and containing three acres.  It is well fenced with an ornamental iron fence, has two gateways with iron gates, as different from other graveyards a few years ago, the ground being wash(ed) away down the hill and a solid concrete wall was built around this hill.  It is laid out in lots and has many nice stones and markers.  It is undenominational.  It is not as well kept as some, the shrubbery is overgrowing and becoming ragged and the trees need trimming.  The markers are, however, kept up in good shape.

5. Name and date of first burial recorded:
John Reed, 1860

6. Names of important persons buried there, for what noted:
Most of the persons buried here were residents of Paulding County, which county is just across the road from the graveyard.  The Gordens and Havers are the most important people, being early settlers of the district.  Gorden Creek is named for Geo. Gorden buried here.

Photo from www.findagrave.com
 7. Markers of unusual appearance:
The main attraction is the high obelisk marker eleven feet high with an urn setting on top of it.  It is the only one of this description we have found yet.  It is made of grey sand stone and sets near the center of the cemetery.

Tombstone of Orlando Coffin and family.  Photo from www.findagrave.com
 8. Unusual epitaphs:
There are no unusual epitaphs, but the name on one of the markers might be mentioned.  It is "Winkumpleck" and appears odd written across a large red granite stone.

Photo from www.findagrave.com
 9. Is cemetery used for new burials?
The cemetery is still used; several open lots are still available.  A burial took place here just before we surveyed it.

Topic # 624
Defiance County
District # 13
C. Cadwallader and C. Gish, Reporters
Consultant: Mrs. E. Diehl, R.R. #1, Mark Center, Ohio

Friday, April 14, 2017

Some Ayersville School Photos 1939-1940

1939 - Second Grade

Know anyone?  Please identify in the comments!
1940 - Third Grade
Undated from a county newspaper

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Defiance County Infirmary

From the Defiance Democrat - October 8, 1909

The infirmary was located on Evansport Road, south of Evansport about eight miles.  It was a place for the aged, the infirm, the disabled - most of the inmates, as they were called, could not care for themselves and had no one to help them.  Probably there were some with developmental disabilities or some other disability that made it difficult for them to fend for themselves, as among the population were younger adults, as well as the aged. 

The infirmary sat on a working farm of over 200 acres, the proceeds of which contributed to the home's operations. Those inmates who were able helped on the farm and those who could paid some room and board.  Part of the county's taxes were also marked for a Poor Fund to cover those who were indigent.

The following newspaper article was condensed for the purpose of the blog, but it may be read in full on microfilm at the Defiance Public Library.

Defiance County Institution Might Be Copied After By Other Similar Institutions in the State.
A Visit Through the Home

"...The Defiance County Infirmary is without a doubt one of the best arranged and equipped institutions of its kind in the entire Buckeye state...During the past year, a new building has been completed at an expenditure of about $25,000 and an electric light plant installed at a cost of about $15,000 ($1500).  In addition to this, the other buildings on the farm have been improved and the farm brought up to a much higher standard.
Men and women have separate dining rooms. The dining rooms each have a seating capacity of 24 and are airy and neat.  The ceilings are of steel, the walls colored prettily and the floors hardwood.
On each floor is located a line of hose attached to the water system insuring the best of fire protection.

The electric lighting plant that furnishes light to the Infirmary...is located in a one story brick building to the rear of the main building.  The dynamo...is operated by a 25 h.p. gasoline engine.  This is assisted by a storage battery with a capacity of 18, 16 c.p. for 8 hour lamps.  Each evening the engine is shut down about 8:30 and the lights burned the balance of the night from the storage battery.  The plant was installed at an expenditure of $1500 and in time the light will be carried over to the Children's Home, across the road from the Infirmary buildings.  The plant is capable of taking care of both institutions."

Photo from the vertical files at the Defiance Public Library
 The article goes on to describe each area of the infirmary - the kitchen, sitting rooms and sleeping apartments, sitting rooms and lavatories on each floor, large clothes closets, a medical department with a well stocked pharmacy and rooms for those who are sick.  The building boasted hot and cold water, large verandas, and an excellent heating system.
Praise was heaped upon Supt. Glen Leaders and his wife who served as Matron and their caring attitude toward each person at the infirmary.

"No dissatisfaction can be found among the inmates of the institution.  Instead they all are glad that they have such a home.  Said one old gentleman who is 92 years of age, 'I want to stay here as long as it remains as it does now while Supt. Leaders is in charge.'  Another said, 'he is like a brother to me.  When I was sick, every night he came and sat by my bedside for awhile.  I would shed tears if I had to leave.'

As an evidence of how the inmates like the place and are perfectly satisfied, Norman Smith of Hicksville, an old gentleman who has lived at the home for some time had an opportunity to leave.  E. P. Morton, a wealthy relative, desired him to come and live with him and personally called at the Infirmary, asking Mr. Smith to accompany him home.  The old gentleman said that he was perfectly satisfied and as long as Mr. Leaders was superintendent, he would remain, paying board..."

Mischief at the Infirmary!