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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Defiance County Pioneers - Brice Hilton

From the Defiance Express, March 13, 1899

He is Visited by a Number of his Friends.

This afternoon two bus loads of gentlemen drove to Brunersburg and paid their respects to the venerable Brice Hilton, who was celebrating his 91st birthday.  
The visitors took a handsome chair along as a gift to their friend.  Mr. Hilton was rejoiced to see his friends, and gave them a hearty welcome.  After a general passing of compliments, L. E. Beardsley, who accompanied the party, took two negatives of the old gentleman.  There are only two other pictures of Mr. Hilton extant.  One was taken when he was 50, and the other when he was 70 years old.

After this had been done, the visitors and Mrs. Lyman Hilton and daughter Hazel gathered in the front yard, and Mr. Beardsley took a snap shot of all of them.  Mr. Hilton is at the home of his son, Lyman, and the company received a gracious welcome from his and his wife and Filmore Hilton.

The party was made up of the following gentlemen, who came to Defiance in the years noted: Rev. B. W. Slagle, 1862; Adam Wilhelm, 1839; E. P. Hooker, 1859; K. V. Haymaker, 1856; L. E. Beardsley, 1865; Dr. C. E. Slocum, 1871; Charles B. Squire, 1858; Rev. A. E. Smith, 1895; L. E. Myers, 1852; L. G. Richardson, 1848; H. B. Harris, 1853; Edward Squire, 1858; E. E. Carter, 1856; W. A. Kehnast, 1861; John W. Slough, 1847; George Bechel, 1860; J. P. Buffington, 1853.  The press was represented by Charles Sampson, N. R. Webster, John Ury, and W. H. McClintock.

Mr. Hilton looks quite feeble, but he stated to the Daily Express man as he bid him good bye: 'When I am dead and gone, don't say that Brice Hilton died of old age.'"

In just a few months, Brice Hilton passed away, and one of Beardsley's photos appeared in the obituary.




Amid the Scenes of an Eventful
and Well Spent Life, He Lays
Down to His Final Rest.

The venerable Brice Hilton, of Brunersburg, who previous to the time of his death, was considered the oldest resident of this section, passed away from earth, Monday morning at about 7 o'clock.
Mr. Hilton has been sinking for several weeks and the end had been anticipated for some time.  Since the date of his 91st birthday last March 13, at which time several of his acquaintances of this city drove out and made him a call, he has been failing in health.

On the above occasion, a photograph of the excellent old gentleman was made by artist, L. E. Beardsley, of this city, from which the cut which accompanies this article was made.  He was conscious and conversed intelligently with members of his family right up to the last.  He passed a very good night the last night.

The funeral was held Wednesday afternoon, July 19th, from the residence of Lyman Hilton, services being conducted by Rev. E. L. Rexford, a Universalist minister who is pastor of a church in Columbus.  He was a friend of Mr. Hilton during his lifetime and was also President of a College at Athens which Lyman Hilton attended for awhile.

While Brice Hilton was not a member of a church, he leaned to the Universalist creed.  At one time, he built a church at Brunersburg and supported religious services there of the Universalist denomination.

The news of the death of this old landmark will be received with regret by a wide circle of friends, not only in Defiance county, but in surrounding territory.  He was an excellent citizen and goes to his reward revered by all who knew him personally or were familiar with his wonderful traits of character.

He has been a giant physically and mentally, and the story of his life is full of toil and hardships, as well as deeds of charity and benevolence.  His closing years, however, were ones of peace and comfort and he passed away attended by every mark of affection that loving hands could minister.

Upon the death of his wife in 1897, he took up his residence with his son Lyman and wife, and they have put forth every effort and pains to attend to his ever want since then.

He was born at Stark, Somerset county, Maine, March 13, 1808.  He came into the Maumee Valley in the spring of 1821 and was married to Sophia Umbenhaur, at Brunersburg, Dec. 4, 1836.  Mrs. Hilton died Sept. 27, 1897.  There were born to this worthy couple twelve children.  Of this number, the following are living: Walter, Ezra, Filmore, Lyman L. and John C. Hilton.

Brice Hilton was the son of Joshua and Hepzibah Hilton.  They were married Oct. 10, 1805.  The father died in Defiance in August 15, 1835, and the mother August 15, 1850.

The Hilton family in America sprung from three brothers, Benjamin, Ebenezer and Isaac, who sailed from England and landed near Philadelphia about the year 1600. Brice Hilton was a descendant of Benjamin and is the 7th generation down the line.

In this connection, this paper gives the story of the moving of the Hiltons from Maine to Ohio, which was recently dictated by Brice Hilton himself and related to K. V. Haymaker:

'Brice Hilton says that in 1817, his father, Joshua Hilton, moved from Maine to Ohio with his family, which then consisted of his wife, Hepzibah, and the following children:  Mary, Brice, Thomas, Ezra and John.  At that time, Joshua and his brother Edgar lived in what had been their father's old homestead at Stark Mills, Somerset county, Maine.  This old homestead was a large, double house and each brother with his family, lived in either part.

Joshua and his brother, Edgar, were owners of the grist mill and Joshua and his oldest brother, Richard, owned the saw mill.  Those mills were located on a small mill stream which emptied into the Sandy river about a mile below, which in turn emptied into the Kennebec a mile further down.  Bruce says he remembers seeing the mill dam and the mill destroyed by flood.

My mother has often told me the story, which she learned from
Hepzibah, that it was on account of the loss of those mills, and being too much discouraged on account thereof to attempt to again rebuild them, that Joshua resolved to remove to the west.  These mills had only been rebuilt a few years before, possibly within a year, prior to the time the flood swept them out.

It was in the spring of 1817 that this loss occurred, and they spent the summer in preparing for the journey to Ohio.  Brice states as another reason why his father desired to leave Maine, was that every winter he was afflicted with ulcerated sore throat, the same disease of which Joshua's father had died.  The hope of finding a milder climate, was one of the strong incentives which induced him to come to Ohio.

The trip was commenced in September.  In addition to Joshua and his wife and five children above named, they were also accompanied by Rachael Hilton, Hepzibah's siter, then a young woman of 18 or 19 years, and also by a young man named Hilton, who was a second cousin of Hepzibah and whose first name Brice cannot recall.  He states that this young man was a brother of Jesse Hilton who had come to Ohio before that time, and who then lived at Hillsboro, in Highland county, Ohio.

After their arrival, this young man, who furnished one of the three horses with which they made the trip, left Joshua and his family, to join his brother Jesse at Hillsboro, and Brice cannot now recall that he ever saw or heard of him thereafter.  Jesse Hilton, some years after, perhaps in 1824 or 1825, came to northern Ohio, and settled near Defiance, and was the first man to raise a crop of wheat in the Maumee Valley.

The trip from Maine was made in a wagon drawn by three horses.  Aside from the living freight,the load consisted of but little save the wearing apparel of the moving party.  The trip was made in a remarkably short time, and without any serious mishaps.  The final halting place was at Reading, near Cincinnati, Ohio, where they parted company with the young man who had accompanied them.

Joshua and his family lived for four years in Hamilton county and in Miami county near Piqua, on rented farms, and for one season, Joshua run a large saw mill located near the city of Cincinnati in the valley of Mill Creek.  The desirable farming lands in the locality had been mostly taken up, and were of such value that they were beyond the slender means of Joshua to purchase.  So in the spring of 1821, Joshua and his two oldest sons, Brice and Thomas, with two horses, Joshua riding one and the two boys, the other, rode from Miami county to Fort Defiance.

This point was then a frontier post, with garrison, and with but few white families located here.  Joshua looked over the public lands which were then open for entry, and selected about 130 acres just above the fort.  A family named Shirley was then here, and Joshua rented some cleared bottom land of Robert Shirley, and with the assistance of his boys, constructed a fence of longs and brush around it, plowed and planted to corn and potatoes.  They also chopped trees for rail cuts on the land which they had selected for entry.

After this was done, Joshua and Thomas mounted one of the horses and returned to Miami, leaving Brice, then 13 years old, to cultivate the crops, and split the rail cuts.  Brice tended the crops until the corn was so far along as to need no further cultivation, and in his leisure time, split rails sufficient to enclose 80 acres of the land his father had selected.  This work being completed, he bestrode the horse and rode back to Miami county to help harvest the wheat and other crops.

The distance from Piqua to Defiance is about 100 miles.  That fall, the family moved to Defiance and settled on the land which Joshua had selected, and which he filed a certificate of entry on his return to Piqua in the spring.  The federal land office for this district being then located in Piqua.

The log house which Joshua built for his family on his arrival was considered a marvel of size and pretentiousness.  It was a double log house, two stories in height, with an open passage between the wings and for a considerable time, the highest type of architecture in the Maumee Valley.  Some years later, Joshua burned brick and erected a two story brick home which is still occupied as a residence by the present owners of the farm.  The brick house referred to is ...on the Smith farm, west of the city, near the water works.' "

Defiance Democrat - July 20, 1899


Buckskin School, District # 3, Noble Township - 1928


Friday, September 25, 2015

Fair School, District # 1, Delaware Township - 1910-1911

The Fair School (also known as the Shellenbarger School) was located at the intersection of Buckskin and Flickinger Roads in Section 11, Delaware Township.
This photo is from the 1910 - 1911 school year when J. J. Langdon was the teacher.  Unfortunately, the children are not labeled on the photo, but we did have a list of those who attended the school that year with appropriate grade.

First Grade - Murl Speiser, Ollie Babinger, Addie Wickersham, Harley Lieby

Second Grade - Garnet Lentz, Bertha Myers, John Shock, Paul Clinker, Clara Babinger, Orland Shock

Third Grade - Ethel Speiser

Fourth Grade - Clara Frolich, Florence Speiser, Paul Lavergne, Ray Myers, Pearl Lentz, Ruth Lavergne, Isidore Mack

Fifth Grade - Victoria Mack, Vada Sisco, Washington Myers, Cyrus Lentz
 (No Sixth Grade)
Seventh Grade -  Albert Babinger, Basil Lavergne, Gladys Speiser

Eighth Grade - Bertha Mack, Eugenia Lentz, Ruby Lentz

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rural Free Delivery - Here Comes the Mailman!

The mail carrier always delivers, just as the old saying goes - "through wind and rain,and sleet and snow"...no matter where you are located.  But in Defiance County, in 1899, we were just putting together our Rural Free Delivery (RFD) system for the outlying areas of the east side of the county. Not everyone thought the system would work.  Before this time, country folks had to travel in to the nearest post office to pick up the stack of mail.  

Defiance Democrat - May 18, 1899
Mail Carrier in 1905
Government Agent Inspecting Proposed Route in Defiance County.

Billy Gaitree, who is at the head of the rural free delivery division of the U.S. Postal Department, arrived inthe city Saturday to look after the movement towards establishing some routes through the county of Defiance county.

In company with Postmaster Thompson, he drove out through Noble, Tiffin, Adams and Richland townships to inspect the routes for which the service has been petitioned. 

Rural Mail Delivery in Defiance County Will be Tried. 
Eastern Townships Will Get the Benefit Along Some of the Principal Thoroughfares.

Defiance County will have three rural mail delivery routes commencing the first of July.  This was settled by Superintendent Gaitree of that division of the postal service, who was here Saturday and in company with Postmaster Thompson of this city, drove over the territory north of Defiance.

There are to be three routes, to be designated by letters A, B, and C.  Route A will be from this city north through Brunersburg, past the Infirmary and Children's Home to Evansport, thence east to the Holgate pike and back to Defiance.

Route B will be east to Independence, then doubling back to the Adrian road,then north to Adams Ridge, thence west to Cup, thence to Domersville and back to this city.  This route will do away with the Adams Ridge, Cup and Domersville post offices and the sta-?-  routes which have heretofore been run in connection with them.

Route C will be east and southeast through South Richland and Highland townships, a roundabout course the exact line of which will be named later.  Postmaster Thompson went out over this territory today to settle upon the route.

The carriers on the rural routes will be paid $400 per year each, they to furnish their own conveyances.  Postmaster Thompson says he has these practically decided upon but he is not yet prepared to announce them.
The rural carriers will be under about the same regulations as the city carriers and in addition will sell money orders on the routes."

Taken in connection with the addition to be made to carrier force in this city the first of July when two new regular carriers are to be put on it will increase the duties and responsibilities of the Defiance postmaster quite materially.  The city will have to be redistricted and quite a change inaugurated on account of the increased service.

The success of the rural mail routes will depend on the interest manifested by the people along the routes and the enthusiasm with which they take advantage of the service.  Postmaster Thompson will soon issue complete detailed instructions concerning the requirements of the patrons of the service as to erecting mail boxes, etc."

Charles Kent, a Rural Free Delivery carrier for Route 7, prepares to take mail to northwest Ohio's rural families in this undated photo. The Rural Free Delivery system revolutionized postal service for farm families, allowing delivery of "every man's mail to every man's door." TOLEDO BLADE file photo 


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Defiance County Pioneers - David Miller of Tiffin Township


Ex-Commissioner David Miller Passed to His Reward.

Well Known and Highly Respected Farmer of Tiffin Township and a Staunch Supporter of Democracy.

Another old resident and prominent citizen of Defiance county was called to his long home Sunday morning, April 23, at 8:30 in the person of David Miller of Tiffin township.
Mr. Miller has been sick for several months and his death was anticipated by those familiar with his condition.  Mr. Miller was well known throughout the county and universally respected.

A few years since, he held the responsible office of County Commissioner, having been elected by the Democratic party to which party he was ever loyal, and he filled the position to the credit of himself and satisfaction of all concerned.

He leaves a wife and several children as well as a wide circle of acquaintances and friends to mourn his loss. 

The funeral was held Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., from his late residence, and 10 o'clock at Salem Evangelical church.  Interment in Webb cemetery.

The following concerning Mr. Miller's career is gleaned from the biographical history of Defiance county.

'David Miller, one of the most extensive farmers of Tiffin township, was born April 18, 1825, in Holmes county, Ohio, his ancestors being from Germany, who first located near Baltimore, Md., then removed to Pennsylvania, thence to Ohio in 1802.  His grandfather's name was Jacobs, his grandmother's name was Hartman. 

David Miller was married Feb. 13, 1857, to Mary A. Partee.  Their children were Lewis, Frank L., Orlando, John, Allen, Sophia, Malinda and Charlotte.

Mr. Miller came to Defiance in the fall of 1857 and entered 160 acres of land in Tiffin township, section 25, at $1.00 per acre and $1.33 1/2 per acre.  He was township trustee and held other local offices."

Defiance Democrat - April 27, 1899

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Alice Hatry and a Place for Jewish Burials in Defiance

  Because of the death of an eight year old Jewish girl, Alice Hatry, in June, 1898, a movement was made to designate a special section of Riverside Cemetery for Jewish burials.


Untimely Demise Of An Attractive Daughter of L. Hatry.

Alice, youngest daughter of Leopold and Caroline Hatry, of this city, died at the family residence, corner of Wayne and First streets, Wednesday afternoon, June 1, between 4 and 5 o'clock.

Her sickness was of short duration, only from Sunday, May 22, but in that time, Alice proved herself a heroic sufferer, brave beyond her years.

She was born March 14, 1890, in this city, the youngest of the two daughters, and all her little life has been lived in Defiance.  As a child, she has won a place in the affection of older hearts, outside that bereaved homestead, in which she has been the light and sunshine.  With a happy smile and a kind word for all she knew; patient, obedient and affectionate at home and at school.  

Alice has become a favorite with many, and older people feel a sense of personal loss in her early death, and universal regret is expressed by the community for her afflicted grandmother, parents and only sister."

Defiance Democrat  June, 1898

Of Little Alice Hatry With Impressive Ceremonies

A large concourse of people assembled Friday morning at 10 o'clock at the Hatry homestead to attend the funeral services of little Alice, the youngest daughter.  The profusion of flowers attested the estimation of the child by her own and her parents' friends.  Flowers and floral emblems were more numerous than ever before in Defiance.

All the stores with proprietors of the Jewish faith were closed until after the ceremonies.

Rabbi Myer, of Toledo, had charge of the services.  He is a splendid orator and his sermon was most appropriate.  One portion of the services was in the original Hebrew.

The beautiful white casket was covered with flowers, and the entire rooms filled with these tender expressions of sympathy sent by friends.

The pall bearers were Ferd. Kittner, Dave Phillips, Isadore Wertheimer and Mr. Mickelson.

Mr. and Mrs. Hatry have received telegrams of condolence from friends in all parts of the country, and Mrs. Shoal, of Toledo, and other friends from away attended the services.

At the cemetery, after the solemn and beautiful burial services for the dead, conducted by Rabbi Myers partly in Hebrew, the body was left in the chapel vault until the new burial grounds are dedicated, when the interment will occur."  

And so the grounds were chosen and dedicated appropriately.  Today in the regulations for Riverside, we can read: "Designated areas are reserved for the exclusive use of the Catholic and Jewish faith when religious beliefs require burial in segregated grounds."


The members of the Jewish faith have decided to purchase a burying ground in Riverside and those of their people, who die here in the future, will be laid to rest at home, the same as members of other faiths.  This will be a great addition to the beauties of Riverside...as it will give to the city of the dead, a number of lots that will be most exquisitely kept according to the belief of these citizens."

Defiance Democrat - June, 1898  


Friday, September 18, 2015

More Photos from Garman School, Defiance Township

Sometimes we are lucky to find a vintage photo with the people in it nicely identified, but often...too often...we have those photos that are blank on the backs.  In the case of several of the school photos that are posted, we could sure use some help in identification.  If you recognize someone, please feel free to identify him or her through leaving a comment!

Maybe 1925 or 1926

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Garman School, Defiance Township

Defiance Township
Section 10
Intersection of Walnut Grove and Watson Road

Velma Shuler, Teacher 1932-33

County Superintendent - M. E. Brandon
Defiance Township Board of Directors - L. C. Rieckhoff, Earl Dreher, Herman Link, Roy Williamson, R. A. Shuler


Edith Carpenter
Dorthy Conkright
Doris Jean Cromly
Janice Rieckhoff
Glenna Mae Osborn
Phyllis Rieckhoff
Bernice March
Mable Conkright
Mary Royer

Alfred Conkright
Virgil Sponsler
Charles Cromly
Karl Conkright
Lawrence Carpenter
Garman Rieckhoff
Amos Mulligan
Robert Cooper
Ervin Kershner
Lavere March


**Occasionally, on this blog, we will post vintage school photos or school programs that we collected during a one room school project begun in 1976.  Often the photos are not well labeled, so we always welcome further information on any photographs.  Please comment if you can help in identification or by sending additional information on photos!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Defiance County Pioneer - Peter Kuhn


One of the Prominent Manufacturers and Business Men.

Brief Review of His Life's Business Experience and a Biographical Sketch of an Event in Career

Peter Kuhn died at his home on Second street Sunday evening at six o'clock, after a severe illness of three months.

The funeral service was held at St. Paul's M. E. church Wednesday at 10 a.m., Dr. A. Edwin Smith officiating.  The remains were laid to rest at Riverside.

Find a Grave
Peter Kuhn was born in Tiffin township, Defiance county, July 11, 1847.  He was the son of Christopher and Mary Borer Kuhn and was one of six children,the others being Barbara, Anne Kuhn - Kellermier, Henry, John and Christopher C. Kuhn.
Mr. Kuhn spent his childhood and youth on his father's farm and received such education as the common schools then afforded.  He was married to Miss Sarah G. McCauley, March 13th, 1873.  After his marriage, he engaged in farming for a time and later, in 1875, moved to this city where he engaged in the lumber business.  Two years later, he associated with his brother, C. C. Kuhn and J. B. Ulrich.

They then purchased the old saw mill on Perry street between First and Second streets and immediately built a large planing mill, and box factory, began business upon an extensive scale.  After three years, Mr. Ulrich sold his interest to Peter and C.C. Kuhn, who continued the business under the firm name of Kuhn Bros.  Under their management, the business was very successful.  The business was greatly enlarged and gave employment to a large number of men.  For fifteen years, the business continued under this management and the firm was one of the best known and most reliable in the city.
Defiance City Directory 1877 - 1878

In 1887, C.C. Kuhn disposed of his interest and Peter Kuhn became the sole proprietor.  He conducted the business for several years, and by his great business ability, made it one  of the leading enterprises of the city.  During this period of his business career, Mr. Kuhn gave evidence of unusual ability as a financier, and was prominent in various leading transactions.

It was largely due to this fact that he was involved in so many enterprises of a speculative character that financial reverses came and nearly destroyed the work of years.  The financial stringency a few years since, bore heavily upon some of his enterprises referred to, and their collapse involved the main business to such an extent that Mr. Kuhn was force to make an assignment.

The business was reorganized in 1895, C.C. Kuhn again entering into a partnership and the business was continued under the management of Peter Kuhn.  It is more than probable that it would have surmounted the pecuniary difficulties and regained his former position in business had not his failing health accompanied his other troubles.

During the past three years, Mr. Kuhn has been subject to frequently recurring attacks of sickness of increasing violence, which baffled the skill of his attending physicians.  

Mr. Kuhn early united with the church, becoming a member of Salem Evangelical church at the age of 14.  Upon changing his residence to this city, he united with St. Paul's M. E. church and has been a prominent and faithful member since, being one of the trustees of the church for many years.  He was also a member of the Masonic bodies, having reached the degree of Knight Templar and was a member of the Royal Arcanium.

Mr. Kuhn leaves a highly respected family, consisting of a widow and four children, three daughters and one son, respectively in the order of their age, Lura, Orval, Hattie and Nellie, two older children, Nora and William, having been deceased for some time..."

Defiance Democrat - February 2, 1889

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Page From the Past - Brunersburg

This article first appeared in the Defiance Crescent News on Wednesday, January 18, 1922, and then was reprinted in the society's newsletter, Yesteryears Trails in 1988.  It was written by J. F. Dowe.


The things I am going to tell you are what I have heard old settlers tell about and what I have seen.

At one time, the 'Burg' had a greater population than Defiance.  The people had to come out here to vote.  That was before 1845 when this part of the county belonged to Williams County.

At one time, the Burg had four hotels and all had plenty to do.  They had large barns nearby as a place to keep horses.  In those days, the travelers came on foot or on horseback.  At times, the hotels were so crowded that the travelers had to sleep on straw ticks on the floor.  Most of these people seeking lodging were looking for homesteads or places where they could buy cheap land.  They all wanted land near some river or ravine.

I think Uncle Brice Hilton and his parents came to this country in 1822.  And a few years later, he purchased a good part of the business in the Burg.  Well do I remember when he had two tanneries, shoe shops, saw mill and grist mill and owned a good scope of land near the Burg.

There was a dam across the river -  one end a saw mill and on the other end a grist mill.  That was one of the fine dams in this country.  It was built long before the dam at Independence on the Maumee river.

I saw the grist mill and two of the hotels burn down and the other two hotels torn down.  The last hotel was owned and run by John Kniseley. 

In those days the Burg had all kinds of business except a bank.  But we had three saloons where you could deposit.

Benjamin Hilton and Daniel Bruner ran a dry goods store and a general store.  They also bought grain and did a good business.  They had to haul their grain to Defiance and load it on a canal boat and ship to Toledo.

This is when the Burg began to lose business.  They could pay more for grain in Defiance.  You remember the John Tuttle warehouse on the bank of the Maumee.  It was known for miles around.

A few years later came the Wabash railroad which put Defiance on the map, and it looks like it is there to stay.

Just a few words about our bridges.  There have been five bridges across the river at the Burg.  The first one was about 50 rods north of our present bridge.  It was built early in 1800, one which I never saw.  It was built by labor and money donations mostly.  In those days, the bridge was not more than 12 feet from low water.  We did not have such high water nor did the water run so swift.  In fact, the river would be a month rising and falling.

The second bridge was built while this section yet belonged to Williams county.  It was constructed of white and bur oak, three-span, with wooden bents.  The spot where the west abutment now stands was near the center of the river.

The third bridge was built right after the Civil War, probably about 1865 or '66.  It was a two-span bridge, set on wooden piers and wooden abutments.  The center pier was a wooden box filled with stone and dirt.  The framework of this bridge was pine, with two pieces 12 x 14 inches, well bolted and dovetailed together.  The siding was made of inch boards 10 feet long.

The year 1884 saw the building of the fourth bridge - a steel structure with 200 foot span.  It was erected by the Youngstown bridge company under the direction of Martin Struble, Levi Colby and Michael Gorman, commissioners and T. S. Knight, surveyor.  This was the bridge which the storm tore down on March 28, 1920, when a large part of the Burg was also destroyed.

The present bridge was built in the fall of 1920 by a Lima company - a three arch concrete affair which looks as if it would stand longer than all the rest combined.  The same abutments were used as on the former bridge." 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Brothers Quarrel in Tiffin Township

From the Defiance Democrat - August 23, 1894

Results in the Death of Albert Allen.

Sad Occurence in Tiffin Township at a Brick Yard 
Owned by the Allens and Millers.

Albert Allen lay cold in death at the residence of his brother, Lafayette, in Tiffin township Thursday.
Lafayette, his brother, is in the county jail to await the finding of an inquest being held by Coroner Westrick.  Lafayette Allen is perhaps directly or indirectly the cause of Albert's death, although there are circumstances connected with the affair tending to show that Lafayette acted in self-defense, being threatened by his brother.

A representative of the DEM. visited the scene of the tragedy last Thursday, which is a tile yard in Tiffin township, about one mile west of the Banner school house.  The tile mill is not a very elaborate affair. It is owned by John and Lafayette Allen and George and Henry Miller.  The mill is located on the Miller farm.

John and Lafayette live a short distance from the mill, as both are married and have quite large families. Albert Allen, a brother aged 45, works for the firm.  He is at present, unmarried but has been married twice, and has a son sixteen years old. Albert has been boarding with Lafayette.  It is said he had an ungovernable temper and when in a rage, was almost insane.

An eyewitness to the occurence that led to the death of Albert, Louis Emmons, tells the following story:
About ten o'clock yesterday the force of the tile mill, the Allen boys, himself and Henry Miller, was engaged in putting tile in a kiln to prepare it for burning.  Lafayette was on top of the kiln, placing the brick and tile in position.  Albert Allen was wheeling tile from the shed, a short distance, and tossing them to Lafayette to place.  The latter called to Albert to bring him some six-inch tile and a dispute arose in regard to the work, which became quite animated.  The size of the tile to be placed seemed to be the question in dispute.

Finally Albert said to Lafayette, "Come down here and I'll give you a G_D_ licking!"
Lafayette declined to come down as Albert was on the ground.  Then Albert threw a brick at Lafayette which barely missed his head.  Lafayette dodged it.  John Allen, who was near, remonstrated with Albert, when he said to John, "I'll go up and give him a d_d good licking and knock the h_ out of him."  

Lafayette then told Albert he did not wish any trouble and warned him to keep down.  Albert, it appears, was in a passion he could not control, and he started to climb up the side of the kiln, which he found somewhat difficult.  When he drew near to Lafayette, the latter had what is known as a dry brick in his hand, one not burned.  He raised it in both hands and struck Albert on the back of the head; the latter fell backward and struck his right temple on the side of the kiln.  In falling, he jarred some of the bricks loose and seven or eight struck him.  They must have hit him on the back of the head.

for his eco friendly village

Albert fell, but soon arose and placed his hand to his head, when he said, "G_d_you, as soon as I get on my feet again, I'll whip h_ out of you."  Then Albert went into the shed used for drying tile and brick and laid down.  The brothers did not think his injuries were serious.  The men continued to pass in and out of the shed, loading their trucks with dried tile and brick to put in the kiln.

At noon they went to dinner, but Albert did not accompany them.  When they returned from dinner, they found Albert in the shed unconscious.  They thought at first he was asleep.  About two o'clock John said to Lafayette, "I believe Al is hurt worse than we think."

Albert was then taken to Lafayette's house.  Mrs. Lafayette Allen details what happened then.  She says Albert laid in a stuper unconscious until he died.  Dr. Westrick was summoned and arrived some time in the afternoon.  She says his pulse ran high and a frothy substance came from his mouth, which afterward became bloody.  He died about 9:30.  

Mrs. Allen said herself and her husband gave him the best care possible.  She says Albert had a bad temper and was always trying to involve Lafayette in a quarrel. The dead man was much stronger and larger than his brother, and weighed 215 pounds.  Lafayette is almost crazy over the unfortunate affair.  When the DEM. man was there Thursday morning, John and Lafayette had come to town to purchase a casket.  

The eye-witnesses to the affair besides Lafayette were John Allen, Louis Emmons and Henry Miller, and they all tell the same story.  Mrs. Allen is a daughter of John Myers of Highland township and Lafayette has quite a family of children.  The formerly resided near Ayersville.  

It is the opinion of many that Albert's death resulted from internal injuries he received by the fall of the brick which fell on him.  Coroner Westrick is investigating the matter.  Himself and Dr. Stevens holding a post mortem examination on the body last Thursday.  The investigation is being held at Allen's house. Those who saw the affair as well as those who know of anything that will throw any light on the matter will be called upon to give evidence in the unfortunate occurence.

Lafayette came to town this forenoon and when he heard that an investigation was to be instituted, he gave himself up voluntarily and went to jail.  He was visited by a DEM. man in the afternoon.  He talked freely of the affair and expressed much regret.  He says he held the brick in his hand when he struck Albert's hand which he had placed on his head to avoid the blow and struck him purely in self defense as he could not get away from his brother, and he wished to avoid an encounter if possible, as he did not court trouble.  Mr. Allen says his brother has repeatedly threatened to do him bodily harm and tried to assault him one day last week.  His brother, John, tried to pacify Albert Wednesday, but could do nothing with him.

Mr. Allen says he is forty years old and has three children and ...and seems to think he should be held blameless in the matter.  
The funeral of the dead man was held at Ayersville last Friday at one o'clock at the Baptist church.  Rev. Doll having charge of the services."

Saturday, September 5, 2015

First Communion at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (St. Mary's) - 1898


List of the Class Which Will be Enrolled at St. Marys.

The following children of the parochial schools of Our Lady of Perpetual Help church have passed their examinations in the catechism under their pastor,
 R. V. M. P. Kinkead, and last Sunday received their first Holy Communion. 

It is a solemn and beautiful spectacle when half a hundred young people in one body, thus take a stand for God and are numbered among his earthly children. Our Lady of Perpetual Help, so lately decorated and re-opened to the public, was filled last Sunday with her church members and Protestant friends of the large class, to witness these solemn, beautiful, first communion services in the new church.

Harry Adams, Ralph W. Baker, John H. Beatty, Alvin G. Blanchard, Wm. P. Bohannon, Lawrence A. Boon, Ralph W. Brady, Joseph A. Brown, Frank J. Cantlon, Stephen P. Deveaux, Charles Dupont, Joseph H. Eckert, Ambrose Gase, Thomas E. Gorman, Victor J. Haller, Joseph Imber, Alonzo Imber, Hector D. Maranda, Wm. T. Nolan, Jeremiah Quinlan, John Rowe, Fred Wagner, Chas. E. Weigerding, Peter J. Weikinger, Carl A. Westrick, Wm. J. Wilhelm.

Mary M. Becker, Anna Buhrn, Mary M. Cantlon, Winnie B. Daoust, Marie Mabel Evans, Irene M. Gallagher, Regina Gaffney, Harrietta Grant, Regina Grossell, Ellen Hoschak, Mary Hutter, Gertrude R. Kesselmyer, Clara Krotz, Jenny Krummell, Jenny McCann, Nellie C. Meek, Angela O. Norman, Grace O'Conner, Mary E. Riley, Margaret Sheets, Anna Shindler, Loretta St. Amant, Sophia St. Amant, Annetta E. Steinberger, Agnes M. Wahl. 

Defiance Democrat - May 19, 1898 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Bible Records from the Anna and John Bauman family

Not the actual Bible

A Holy Bible was donated to the Defiance County Historical Society by Les and Betty Duerk Nelson.  

The original owner of the Bible was Anna Dickerhof Bauman, presented to her by John C. Bauman on September 5, 1882, Akron, Ohio.

The names listed here from the Bible were first reprinted in the DCGS newsletter, Yesteryear's Trails, in 1983, Vol. II, No. 1. (Spelling original to the document.)

"This certifies that John C. Bauman and Anna D. Hagemann were solemly united by me in the Holy bond of Matrimony at Akron, Summit Co., O., on the twenty sixth day of October in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and eighty one, conformably to the Ordinance of God, and the Laws of the state.  In Presence of Christ & Eva Bauman, Wm. & Louisa Hageman.
Signed Wm. Lothmann, Pastor, Luth. Ch.

John C. Baumann and Anna Dickerhof Hageman were united in holy wedlock Oct. 26th 1881, 8 P.M. in Akron, O., at the residence of Wm. Hageman, 119 N. Walnut St., in the presence of relatives.  By Rev. William Lothmann.

John C. Baumann, born Aug. the 20th, 1855, at Akron, O.
Anna Dickerhof Hageman Bauman, born July 9th, 1855, at Akron O.,
         119 Walnut St.
Father Christoph Baumann, July 4th, 1832
Mother Eva Baumann, Apr. 27th, 1829

Kate Baumann Schoeninger, Nov. 16th, 1853
John C. Baumann, Aug. 20th, 1855
Mary Baumann Klink, Nov. 30th, 1856
Rose Baumann Felten, March 5th, 1862
Wm. Baumann, Sept. 3rd, 1868
Wm. F. L. Hagemann, Apr. 6, 1860
Louisa Hagemann, Sept. 15, 1857
Mary Hagemann, Jan. 29, 1863
Adolph Hagemann, Oct. 3, 1866
Emma Hagemann, July 15, 1872

Father Christopher Bauman, May 15, 1904, Age 70 yrs.
Mother Eva Baumann, Dec. 13, 1909.  Age 80 yrs.
Mother Louise Hageman, Jan. 20, 1906. Age 70 yrs.
Father William Hageman, Sept. 7, 1907.  Age 79 yrs.
Louisa Hagemann, Sept. ?  Age 4 yrs.
Emma Hageman, Sept. ?  Age 4 yrs.
Mary C. Hagemann, Sept 14, 1922.  Age 59 yrs.
Katherine Shoeniger, Nov. 10, 1922

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Red Beets and Rattlesnakes in Mark Township


Something Concerning the Mark Township Soil Which Produced Them.

The two large beets on exhibition in the window of Harley's clothing store were grown on the farm of Elias Ridenour in Mark township.  These beets attained an unusual size, the smaller weighing forty-one and the larger forty-seven pounds, and are a sample of what Mark township soil and agriculturalists can do.

A few years ago the 'marsh' was one of the most forsaken regions in this part of the country, but now it is the garden spot of the county.  A great deal of patience and hard work have been necessary to bring about this transformation, and among those who have been most instrumental in doing so is Mr. Ridenour, who has lived on the farm he now occupies for nearly a quarter of a century.

The marsh was formerly thickly inhabited by rattlesnakes, and the old residents tell some most incredible tales about them.  

Mr. Ridenour relates that the first time he cut his hay, the mower mangled so many rattlers that the buzzards were attracted to the place in large numbers.

Also that the snakes were accustomed to take possession of the schoolhouse to the great dismay of teacher and pupils.

Mr. Ridenour has a wide acquaintance and is very popular wherever known.  He is a genial host, and takes delight in extoiling the many excellent qualities of the 'marsh' and always has a fund of humorous stories.

He was for several terms one of our most efficient Infirmary Directors."

Defiance Democrat - December 1, 1898