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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Early Female Physicians in Defiance County - Dr. Adelia Rohn

Around the turn of the century, and even earlier, Defiance was blessed with at least five dedicated female physicians: Dr. Kate Hoover, Dr. Nettie Belau, Dr. Adelia Rohn, Dr. Ella White, and Dr. Bell Slocum.

* Dr. Adelia Rohn (Delia, Dr. D. A. Rohn) 

Dr. Rohn was truly a product of Defiance, Ohio, growing up in Richland Township with her parents, Samuel and Charity Rohn.  As early as the 1850 census, Adelia, at 3, lived with her parents (spelled Rhon) on the census) and her siblings: Margaret, 11 - Delena, 5 - Orisa, 1 - Samuel, 0.  Living with them were also Mary Porter, 18, and William Rohn, 79.

By 1870, at the age of 23, she was still with her parents on their farm.  But in the 1880 census, she boarded with the Joseph Ralston family on Nichols Street in Defiance.  It is thought that her first office was at Wayne and Court Streets in 1879.  In the 1880 census, she described her occupation as "Doctress."  Someone else may have reported to the enumerator as Delia's age is given as 28.  In 1881, the newspapers reported that Dr. Rohn went to New York to do post graduate work; she returned in June of that year.

Quite a scandal brewed in Delia Rohn's life in 1889 and 1890.  The Defiance Democrat reported on August 1, 1889:

 And so, it did go to court - a jury trial.  This was Dr. Rohn's reputation on the line and she was going to defend herself.  Dr. Rohn was, until this disruption, a valued member of the community, serving in numerous organizations and on many committees.  She could not afford to have herself besmirched by gossip.

Finally on May 8, 1890 - nine months after the first reporting - the jury was selected and the matter took much of a week to be decided.
Defiance Democrat, May 8, 1890
On May 15, 1890, the Defiance Democrat reported the verdict.  For Dr. Rohn, it was a matter of preserving her reputation and the trust of her patients.

 From the 1900 census until 1930, Dr. Rohn resided at 415 Third Street, renting a home by herself.  She continued to serve as a physician while into her seventies.  By 1930, she had moved in with her nephew, Rollin Woodward, 70, and his wife, Ida, and his sister, Gertrude. (Dr. Rohn's ages were not always correct in the censuses.)

Dr. Delia A. Rohn died in Richland Township, the place of her birth, on August 17, 1930 at the age of 84.  Her obituary appeared in the Crescent News on August 18, 1930: 

 Her tombstone could not be located.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Early Female Physicians in Defiance - Dr. Kate Hoover

Around the turn of the century, and even earlier, Defiance was blessed with at least five dedicated female physicians: Dr. Belle (Craven) Slocum, Dr. Kate Hoover, Dr. Nettie Belau, Dr. Adelia Rohn and Dr. Ella White.  All dedicated themselves to the care of the people of Defiance and its immediate surroundings.

* Dr. Catherine (Kate) Hoover - 1848-1919
In the 1860 census, Catherine (Kate) Hoover was first located at age 12 living with her parents, Isaac and Hannah.  Her parents were a bit older - Isaac was 52 and Hannah, 50.  With them lived William McFarland, 20, a carpenter.

In 1870, Kate, 22, was still at home with her parents in Defiance, along with Emma Shopbell, 18. Kate was a teacher. By 1870, William McFarland was married and living with his wife, Orpha (Garrett) and children, Eddie, Willie, Harry and Terah Garrett, an apprentice.  Both William died in October, 1974 and Orpha died in 1874, leaving minor children.

In 1880, Isaac and Hannah Hoover still had Kate at home; she was 32 years old and still teaching.  Also with them were Nella McFarland, 9, and William McFarland, 14, named as their grandchildren. William Jr. worked at the woolen factory. The actual relationship of William McFarland, the father, who lived with the Hoovers in 1860 to the Hoovers should be researched further. Maybe he is a grandson and Nella and William Jr. are great-grandchildren?

Sometime after 1880, Kate must have begun and completed her medical training because the paper reported that in 1882, she opened an office with Dr. Belle Craven over Hengstler's Clothing Store.  By 1888, she had an office of her own over the Goodyear Building in Defiance.  The Defiance Daily Crescent reported on July 12, 1890 on page 6 that "Dr. Kate Hoover will soon have her home completed and her office fitted for occupancy."  One might conclude that her office was finally at her home.

In 1895, she unsuccessfully ran for the school board, losing to E. E. Carter by 20 votes.  In March of that year, her mother, Hannah, died at Kate's home at the age of 85.  Apparently, her father had died prior to this.

She was vice-president of the Defiance County Medical Society in 1903.  It was common for her, in later years, to winter in Long Beach, California.  She also traveled the United States for various conventions and trainings. She was truly a liberated, independent woman of her time.

When she died in February, 1919, William McFarland of Defiance was named as her executor.

Her obituary appeared in the Crescent-News on February 3, 1919: 

"Dr. Catherine Hoover
Dr. Catherine Hoover died at the home of her niece, Mrs. John Willett, at Indianapolis Saturday evening.  The remains will be brought to Defiance over the Wabash at eight o'clock this evening and will be taken to the home of H. L. Brinsmade, 630 Riverside Avenue.  The funeral will be held from the Brinsmade home Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock.  The body will be laid to rest at Riverside.
Dr. Hoover was aged 70 years.  She practiced for many years in Defiance and had a large circle of friends in this city."  



Sunday, August 28, 2016

Early Female Physicians in Defiance County - Dr. Nettie Belau

Around the turn of the century, and even earlier, Defiance was blessed with at least five dedicated female physicians: Dr. Kate Hoover, Dr. Nettie Belau, Dr. Adelia Rohn, Dr. Ella White, and Dr. Bell Slocum.

From public tree on ancestry.com
*Dr. Nettie Belau

In the 1880 census, Nettie lived with her parents, Augustus and Mary Belau, both immigrants from Russia.  The family lived in Kansas at the time, but several siblings, including Nettie, were born in Ohio. Nettie, herself, was born in Paulding County and the youngest child was born in Kansas.  

Dr. Belau was included in a Physicians' Directory and named as a graduate of the Ohio Medical University in 1896.  However, a later newspaper article from the Fort Wayne Sentinel on August 9, 1901 noted:
"Dr. Nettie Belau of Defiance, Ohio, is at Hope Hospital under treatment for a severe stomach infection.  She is a graduate of the local medical college."  Most sources name her college as the Ohio Medical University in Columbus, Ohio.

After her graduation, Dr. Belau set up a practice with Dr. P. H. Aldrich in Defiance.  Nettie lived at 126 Clinton Street, according to the 1900 census, with a boarder, Nellie VanSkiver, who was a seamstress.  The women rented the house.   

During the late summer of 1901, Dr. Belau became quite ill and was sent to Hope Hospital in Fort Wayne for treatment for a stomach infection.  The Defiance Express of September 9, 1901 noted:
"L. H. Holmes received a telephone message from the hospital at Fort Wayne on Sunday night asking him to send family friends of Dr. Nettie Belau to that place soon if they want to see her alive."  
By October, she had gained strength and could sit up, but still remained in the hospital.  It was in October, 1901, that the Defiance Democrat reported that Dr. Belau was actually secretly married!


In 1903, Dr. Belau had offices over the Central Union Telephone Exchange in Defiance, so she did go back to work as a physician upon her healing.   

In 1903, Nettie's father, August died in Paulding County.  His obituary appeared in the Crescent News on September 1: 
"August Belau, well known citizen and farmer of Paulding County, died last night about 6:30 o'clock at his home one mile south of Junction of old age.  He was aged 77 years.  Besides a wife, the deceased leaves five children, three girls and two boys.  He was the father of Miss Dr. Nettie Belau of this city.  He was a relative also of A. W. King and George H. Dicus.
The funeral will occur Wednesday afternoon at 1 o'clock from the house.  Rev. E. D. Whitlock of this city will conduct the service.  The remains will be brought to Defiance and placed in the vault at Riverside temporarily."

No mention was made of any marriage for Dr. Belau in the obituary. 

No evidence could be found for the wedding to Wilson; however, it would seem that Nettie married George F. Moss at some point.  In the 1920 census,  George F. Moss and Nettie Moss lived at 150 River Drive in Defiance.  George, 34, worked as a machinist at the local machine works and Nettie, 35, was a physician. 

By 1930, Nettie and George had moved to Allen Park, Michigan in Wayne County.  He worked as a machinist in an auto factory.  They remained there, showing up in the 1940 census in Detroit, with George still working in the auto factory.  Nettie, apparently, gave up her medical career to follow George to the booming "Motor City," as no occupation was listed for her in either census.  The couple had no children.

Dr. Nettie Belau Moss died on May 25, 1945 at about age 69.  Her obituary appeared in the May 28, 1945, Defiance Crescent-News:

Nettie A, Wife of G. F. Moss, Died May 25, 1945      www.findagrave.com

Friday, August 26, 2016

Albert W. King rides the Loop-the-Loop in 1904

When Albert W. King, Defiance citizen and Civil War veteran, attended the National G.A.R. Encampment in August, 1904, he took the time to visit Coney Island.  It was an eye-opening experience for Albert and his friend, John Altshuch, especially when they came face to face with a roller coaster called the Loop-the-Loop.

Albert wrote in his journal:

"Our next trip was over the Brooklyn Bridge out to Coney Island, after getting refreshments, our little guide suggested we cross the street and take a ride in a car.  We went to the office, bought ticket for admittance and boarded a car - four of us - and started on the ground.

We noticed Oscar, our guide, was greatly pleased when I drew the strap from over my shoulder which the manager had placed there for my safety, and the guide says, 'Mr. King, you are all right!  I see you have got the grit!'

By this time the car was ascending a high trestlework, perhaps 80 to 100 feet high, the car making a short curve and we could see what was at the bottom.  

It was now too late to get my shoulders under the strap, and we went flying down the track into a 30 foot loop at lightning speed; and the sensation was one I shall never forget.  

The car ran perhaps 300 feet in a circuit and finally stopped at the place where we boarded her.  We stepped from the car as soon as the manager unfastened John Altschuh, Oscar, and the other man.

When Altschuh got on his feet, he exclaimed, 'My Got! Vot vas dat?  My bloot all stands still!'  Then all cheered and laughed.

The manager says, 'Man, didn't you know that you was going to loop the loop when you boarded the car?'

'No," says John, 'What is the loop the loop?'

'Well you surely know now,' says the manager.

'Vell,' says John, 'I never want to loop the loop again!'

I says, 'Nor do I want any more of it.'

We started for the entrance to leave the place where some people entered, amongst them a young lady who heard John say he wouldn't loop again for a thousand dollars.  She at once bantered him to get into a car with her and run the loop.  She put out all inducements for him to make one trip with her, even so much as to promise to be his wife.  But John said, 'No more loop-the-loop for me!  Wife or no wife!'

To read more about this roller coaster, check out

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Behrens School, Adams Township

The Behrens School was located at the corner of Banner School Road and Behrens Road.

It was District #7 in Adams Township.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Marckel Scrapbook - Johnathan P. Buffington

From the Marckel Scrapbook...



 Like a tall and mighty oak in the great forest which the sturdy pioneers cleared to make way for what is now Defiance, J. P. Buffington, one of the pioneers of early Defiance, has fallen to rise no more off this earth…

Surrounded by his family and friends, who mourn his sudden death, who will ever cherish his memory, Mr. Buffington breathed his last Wednesday night at 7:30 o’clock, aged 82 years, 4 months and 17 days.   

He had been over town during the day and remarked about how well he felt.  At about 4:30 in the afternoon, he fell on the walk in the rear of his home.  He was picked up and carried into the house.  Physicians were summoned who found that his entire right side was paralyzed.  Death ensued several hours later…

Jonathan P. Buffington was born Nov. 12, 1828, on the old homestead of the family in Brandywine township, Chester county, Pennsylvania.  He descended from a sturdy, honest and God-fearing stock, remotely natives of England and members of the Society of Friends, who formed part of the colony that came with Wm. Penn and founded the city of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania.  There his ancestors were farmers and with strong arms, industrious and steady habits, helped to lay the foundation of a mighty nation.  The ancestral home in Chester county, Pennsylvania, covered part of the ground on which the Revolutionary ‘Battle of Brandywine’ was fought.

Mr. Buffington was about four years old when his parents moved to Ohio.  He was reared a farmer boy, attending the neighborhood schools and the high school at Springfield, O. and later his education was completed by a three years’ attendance at Granville College in Licking county, at which college he had as classmates and fellow students, Geo. H. Williams, afterwards district attorney of the United States for Oregon under President Grant; Geo. R. Sage, once judge of the U. S. court; Geo. L. Converse, member of Congress; Wm. H. Corwin, who became a prominent physician.

On leaving college, Mr. Buffington was 23 years of age, and he once became engaged in buying and selling cattle.  In 1853 he removed to Defiance, O. and engaged in the drug business in a store on First street which he occupied for eight years when he removed to Clinton street where he remained till he retired from business a short time ago.  In 1854 he established a drug store at Bryan, conducting both stores for two years, and they at that time, had the distinction of being the only drug stores in three counties, Defiance, Williams and Paulding.

Mr. Buffington was a member of St. Paul’s M. E. church, in the building of which he was a large contributor.  He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, being Knight Templar.

Politically he was originally a Whig, and when the Whig party was merged into the Republican, he went with his party and has always remained an advocate of the political principles represented by that party.  He was chairman of the first Republican Judicial convention ever held in the Northwest, which convened at Defiance, O. in 1855 and represented six surrounding counties; he was also chairman of the first Republican Legislative convention held in the same year.

At this convention, every county had a candidate, but the delegates could not agree, and had started to go home without nominating a candidate when Mr. Buffington arrested their attention by calling from a window to them and suggesting the name of a man who had not before been mention(ed) as a candidate – Judge Haymaker of Brunersburg.  The name was unanimously accepted, the delegates returned to the hall and Haymaker was nominated and duly elected.

Mr. Buffington, during his career in public affairs, numbered among his friends and acquaintances many prominent men in State and Nation, among whom may be mentioned Hon. Salmon P. Chase, Governor of Ohio, Secretary of the Treasury under President Lincoln’s administration and Chief Justice of the United States; Hon. James A. Garfield, member of Congress and President of the United States, accompanying both of these distinguished men in their campaigns through this section of Ohio.  He formed a strong affection for Mr. Garfield whom he described as one of the most lovable and companionable of men.  

Mr. Buffington was associated in different campaigns with Hon. Columbus Delano General Jas. Ashley and others.  One notable trip was made with Salmon P. Chase, from Defiance to Antwerp, (18 miles through rainy, disagreeable weather), where Chase was to speak.  They secured a canoe or pirogue, a pair of horses and driver , which towed them on the canal, arrived at Antwerp at 12 noon, took dinner at the little hotel, and left to return about 4 o’clock, but on arriving within three miles of Defiance, at Schooley’s lock, the canoe got fast and the team gave out, compelling the party to abandon the boat and walk through the rain and mud to Defiance, where they arrive a little after midnight.

In 1857, Mr. Buffington was married to Harriet C. Piper of Clifton Springs, N. Y., to which union three children were born: Florence M., who married John D. Lamb; Alice M. and Carrie, who including Mrs. Buffington, survive the husband and father, all residing in Defiance.

During the war of the Rebellion, Mr. Buffington was warmly loyal to the Union cause.  He was secretary of the military committee of Defiance county through the entire war; was Deputy United States Provost Marshal of the Northern District of Ohio, and assisted largely in raising two companies of men for the One Hundred and Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and one company for the Thirty-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  He never applied for any compensation for his services, but after the war the government, through its bookkeeping and accounts discovered that compensation was due him, and the amount was sent, though through no solicitation on his part.  Mr. Buffington has been identified with the business interests of Defiance in different ways: was formerly a director of the Merchants’ National Bank and a stockholder in the Turnbull Wagon Company.

The last sad rites will be said Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock from the home.  Rev. Lance of St. Paul’s M. E. church will officiate.  The funeral will be in charge of Defiance Commandery, Knights Templar.  Burial in Riverside.”