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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Canal Boats in Defiance, 1900

It used to be very common to read in the local newspapers of the canal boats coming through the canal into Defiance.  Sometimes they were just passing through; other times, they were taking out timber or grain or delivering supplies of some kind.  
The Crescent-News of June 30, 1900 had this "Marine News:"

"The 'A. Tuttle' passed the locks this morning with 34 cords of wood and the 'Shamrock' with 18000 feet of lumber for Toledo.  Both boats are in charge of Capt. Dolman.

The 'Brooklyn,' Capt. Fisher's craft with 15000 feet of hickory bending timber passed through today enroute for Toledo.

The 'Walbridge' commanded by Capt. Sarah Hammon, brought down twenty-five cords of wood today and is unloading at Monen's brick yards."
Visit this site for more information.

So, were women canal boat captains?  Did they actually run the boats?  In reading A Photo Album of Ohio's Canal Era, 1825 - 1925, the author stated that the rank of captain automatically went to the boat's owner.  So was Sarah the owner and the one in charge on the boat?  Research has led nowhere.  No Sarah Hammon was found who had canal boat captain as an occupation on the 1900 U.S. Census.  A search for The Walbridge also came up nil.

Any help out there?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Defiance County Pioneers - Loyal B. Wort, G.A.R. Donafin Post, Hicksville

1830 - 1893

"Loyal Barber Wort died at his residence in Hicksville, April 30, 1893, aged 62 years, 4 months and 24 days.  He was born in Luzerne county, Pa., Dec. 6, 1830.  When two years old, he with his parents moved to Delaware county, where he resided until 1848, when the family came to Defiance county, settling in Hicksville.  By this, it appears that Mr. Wort has been a resident of Hicksville and vicinity for 45 years.
On Jan. 4, 1853, he was united in marriage to Miss Susan G. Hendershot.  To this union came the blessing of eight children, one son and seven daughters, all of whom are yet living.

In answer to his country's call, Loyal B. Wort enlisted in Co. E, 21st Ohio Infanty on Aug. 26, 1861.  He was mustered out of service on Sept. 19, 1864, serving twenty days over his time.  As regimental musician, it was his duty to bear wounded comrades from the field of battle, and while performing his duty, he was taken prisoner by the enemy.

On Saturday, April 22, while deceased was working in his shop and apparently in usual health, he was, without a moment's notice, stricken down with paralysis. He was brought to his home and all that skill and care could do for him was done; but all was fruitless, and he quietly passed away on last Sunday evening.

The deceased comrade was for some time a regular of the G.A.R., and though not for years an active worker in that order, yet it was his special request, made to friends and comrades, that I. Donafin Post should conduct his obsequies, and he be laid in the grave with the service of the order, and by the hands of his comrades in arms.  In compliance with this request, he was buried in Hicksville cemetery on the afternoon of May 2, 1893." 
Loyal B. Wort was buried at Forest Home Cemetery - www.findagrave.com

Obituary source - Obituaries of Northwest Ohio Pioneers found at the Defiance Public Library and its branches. 

The very special thing about Loyal B. Wort is that so many letters of his survive from his service in the Civil War.  The entire set may be found in the Bowling Green State University Archives.  Their catalog description is quite informative.  See HERE.

Several of his letters have also been published online.  One, from the Battle of Chickamauga, was especially interesting to historians.  See HERE.

One can almost hear him speaking to his wife, Susan, as he tells her how he misses her and the children, and his longing to receive mail telling news from home.  

This letter was written by Loyal in May, 1862, about 9 months after his enlistment:

"Camp Taylor  Ala  May 23, 1862

Dear wife
it is with mutch pleasure that i again take my pen in hand to let you know that i am well and hope these fiew lines will find you all the same
the mail came in yesterday but i was domed to disappointment   
i got no letter
the 28 of this month it will bee two months Since the dait of your last letter and it makes me feel verry lonley
there is no news here to right
their is a chance to Send this to Shelbyville by wayne miller
he is agoing with the teams and this will come right threw
we hurd from dave thornton this morning
he is at murfreesboro at the hospital
he says he don't like the hospital
i hav to right this in a hurry and i cant right mutch
you will excuse my short letter
the hicksville boys are all well
i believe the wheat here is a bout reddy to harvest
you must give me all the news when you right
i sent aletter the 20 but i thought this was a good chance and i would Send a fiew lines
the wether here is fine
give my love to the children
tell them pa would like to See them
tell Sis to right me a letter and Send it in yourn
i want to see if She improves in righting
i would like to See you all and clasp you in my arms
at presant my mind is constantly at home
i am all the time a thinking that Some of you are Sick and i can't get it out of my mind
right often a letter from you would do me good know
tell me if you got the last 20 dollars that i Sent you or not
i must bring my Scribbeling to a close
he is a waiting on me
good by for this time
i remain as ever your affectionate husband till deth.
L. B. Wort
To his best earthly friend Susan G. Wort
Direct to Huntsville Alabama
goodby for this time
right often 


Thursday, May 26, 2016

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - Riverside Cemetery, PART 4 (Final)

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:

Riverside Cemetery

6.  Names of important persons buried there (continued):

- Captain John B. Ury, Defiance physician and surgeon, born in 1877, died while on duty during the World War during the "flu" epidemic in 1918 in Georgia at Atlanta.  A large granite stone marks his last resting place.

- Hon. Charles J. Thompson, Congressman from the Fifth District of Ohio, former newspaper man and postmaster of the city of Defiance, born in 1862 and died in 1932, after being beat in the primaries for his fifth consecutive term.  Buried in new graveyard in the Thom(p)son family plot. 

- Fred Thien, sailor on the U.S.S. North Carolina, died in service in 1910, a large monument erected to his memory by the crew of the North Carolina. 
Fred Thien on www.findagrave.com
- Dr. Wm. S. Powell, beloved physician and surgeon of Defiance and vicinity for over sixty years.  Born in 1850, died in 1935, after breaking his leg at the age of eighty-five years.  Buried in the Powell plot in the new cemetery.  Large tombstone erected to his memory. 

- Captain E. P. Rhodes, 1833 - 1914, noted Civil War officer and writer of stories, buried in Soldiers' Field in the G.A.R. Bishop Post plot of the new cemetery.  Died somewhere in the east and was not known in Defiance until his death, leaving here soon after the Civil War.

- Dallas Hamilton, 1890 - 1918, killed in action in France during the World War.  Monument to his memory in new cemetery.

- Lieutenant Herbert Anderson, 1896 - 1918, killed in action on the front in the World War. American Legion Herbert Anderson Post of Defiance, Ohio is named in memory to him.   
Herbert E. Anderson at www.findagrave.com
- Wm. Kirtley, 1858 - 1914, hotel owner and politician, ran for Secretary of State of Ohio on Progressive ticket in 1912.  W. Guy H. Kirtley, owner of the Crosby House in Defiance, is his son.  Buried in new cemetery where a large boulder marker is erected to him. 

Dr. J. J. Burns at www.findagrave.com
- Dr. J. J. Burns, scholar, historian, and first superintendent of Defiance City Schools, born in 1838 and died in 1911.  Buried in new part of cemetery where a large square marker is erected to his memory.
- Dr. Chas. W. Butler, 1853 - 1921, also superintendent of Defiance City Schools for ten years.  Buried next grave to Dr. Burns on the Butler plot.

- Peter Kettenring, 1836 - 1919, founder and owner of the Defiance Machine Works at Perry Street and Third, Defiance, Ohio.  First foundry in northern Ohio erected by him.  Peter Kettenring was Defiance's only millionaire.  The Kettenring family owns four lots in the new part of the cemetery in the first section back of the chapel and have three large, red, granite markers.

Peter Kettenring at www.findagrave.com

7. Markers of unusual appearance:

- The beautiful, modern, unique and costly Italian marble markers and benches and flower urns, setting in evergreen landscaped grounds, on the burial plot of Dr. Chas. M. Zeller.  The most costly and finest plot in Riverside Cemetery.  (Authority: John Sherry, cemetery superintendent)

- The stately and oddly inscribed statue like monument of Dr. Chas. E. Slocum with its front side portraying the likeness of the doctor, the back telling his genealogy, one side a dove of peace, on the other a sheaf of wheat and on its top a tall obelisk shaft raising to the heavens.  This marker is directly back of the Riverside Chapel.

- The large, unnatural boulder that marks the grave of Dr. J. J. Burns, weighing over a ton.

- The Latty, Holgate and Houghton vaults in the old part of the old cemetery.
Latty at www.findagrave.com
- The chapel, itself, as described earlier
- The Mausoleum, also described earlier. 

8. Unusual epitaphs:

That of Dr. Chas. E. Slocum giving the genealogy of his whole ancestry is the only strange epitaph found.

9. Is cemetery used for new burials?

Riverside Cemetery is used today, kept up by the City of Defiance, Lodges of Defiance, The St. John's and St. Mary's Catholic Churches and by selling lots to private individuals.

C. Caldwell (Cadwallader) and Chas. Gish, Reporters 
John Sherry, superintendent of grounds, Wilhelm St., Defiance, Ohio
John Scheurman, Defiance City Clerk, Defiance, Ohio
Defiance Crescent News
Beers History of Defiance County, published in 1883
A History of the Maumee River Basin by Dr. C. E. Slocum, 1905

(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.)