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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Emanuel Byers - Civl War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

Member of Hancock Post, Sherwood, OH

The date of Emanuel Byers' birth is a little fuzzy - his tombstone stated October 29, 1839 and someone reported on the 1900 U.S. Federal Census that he was born in February, 1840.  Either way, he started life in Crawford County, the son of George Washington Byers and Mary Homan Byers.  

He enlisted when he was about 22 or 23 years old, on August 15, 1862, in Toledo, into Company F, 111th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  He appeared on the Civil War draft registrations as living in Washington Township in June, 1863,  Emanuel was a farmer, then 25, married, and was in service already, it stated.
He reported in the 1890 Veterans Census that he had been wounded, but no other information could be determined.  A look at his complete pension record would solve that mystery.  He served until the end of the war, mustering out on June 27, 1865, at Salisbury, North Carolina, having served two years, ten months and twelve days.

Emanuel Byers claimed two marriages when asked on the 1910 census, but perhaps there were three. After all, he did report that he was married in the 1863 draft registrations.  Two are well documented, but the earliest is a mystery unless he once lived in Kansas in 1860 with a wife named Rhoda and a child.  That Emanuel Byers was also born in Ohio and was of the correct age, but more evidence would be needed to support that theory.

His marriage to Esther L. Wilson on September 3, 1883 was documented in Defiance County, but apparently, the couple had lived together quite awhile prior to that date.  By the 1880 census, Emanuel Byers, 52 (an age error) lived with Esther, 20, his wife in Steuben County, Indiana.  They had two children: Mirtie B., 4, (meaning the child was born when Esther was about 16) and George E, 2.  Living with them was Rachel Wilson, 18, sister-in-law, and John W. Wilson, 16, brother-in-law.  It was an age difference of about 20 years between husband and wife.  As it turned out, Emanuel had not been completely truthful with his child bride.

In 1897, Esther filed for divorce from Emanuel and the notice appeared in the Defiance Daily Crescent on February 13, telling her story:

In addition, in a companion newspaper article, Esther claimed that Emanuel was extremely cruel and "called her vile names and otherwise abused her...That defendant owns real estate to the value of $500 in Delaware Township and personal property worth $150 and also draws $12 pension per month."  So she requested custody of the youngest child and alimony based on the values stated.

 But, then the pendulum would swing the other way.  It seemed that perhaps neither party was as morally upright as each claimed.  By March 13, 1897, one month later, the cross-complaint of Emanuel Byers against Esther appeared in the Defiance Daily Crescent:

In May, 1897, several papers reported the result of the divorce which was granted on the grounds of adultery.  Judge Hockman heard the case and found for the defendant on his cross-petition, saying, "There were several grounds on which the defendant proved his right to a divorce." (Defiance Daily Crescent, May 8, 1894)

The 1900 census of Delaware Township, Defiance County, showed Emanuel with his next wife, Bertha (Rollins) Byers, his bride of about one year.  Emanuel, 59, and Bertha, 23, had one child - S. Bryan, two months old.  Also with them was Alice, Emanuel's daughter from his first marriage, who was single and 18.  Emanuel worked as a day laborer and owned his own home.

He appeared last on the 1910 census at the age of 69, with Bertha, 36.  Now the son was called Noble N., 10 years old, and a daughter, Elva, was 7.  Emanuel lived on his own income and Bertha worked as a dressmaker at home.  
In 1915, Bertha would suffer two great losses - the death of Emanuel on May 20, 1915, at the age of 75, and the death of her son, Noble, on Christmas Eve, 1915, of an accidental gunshot when he was just 15.  

Emanuel was buried in Farmer Cemetery, while Noble was buried in Sherwood Cemetery.

The Bryan Press printed a short death notice on May 29, 1915 for Emanuel in the news of Farmer:
 "Mr Byers of Sherwood, who recently departed this life, was laid to rest in the Farmer Cemetery, Sunday, May 23."

The Defiance Democrat reported Noble's death on December 30, 1915 on the front page:

Buried in Sherwood Cemetery

 Bertha lived on until 1923, when she died on October 27 at the age of 44 years, 11 months and 26 days.  She was buried in Sherwood with her son.

Buried in Sherwood Cemetery

Monday, November 28, 2016

From the Marckel Scrapbook - Daniel Hane and Catharine Bock

 From the Marckel Scrapbook...


 “Lightning Kills Daniel Hane and Destroys a Barn in North Richland Twp.  Belonging to John Hane
 – Death Was Instantaneous – Barn and Contents Consumed By Flames.

Lightning played and havoc in North Richland township, Monday afternoon and caused the loss of a life and big damage to property.  During the storm which raged yesterday, Daniel Hane was instantly killed by a bolt from the sky and the barn belonging to his father was set on fire and with its contents, consumed by flames.

John Hane was having the threshing of his grain in the field done yesterday.  When the rain came up, all the men hastened to the barn for shelter. D. W. Clemens, proprietor of the Central meat market of this city, was driving along the road near the Hane farm and also went into the barn and had been there only five minutes _  young Hane was killed.  Clemens was standing only a few feet from Hane, talking to him, when the latter turned around to close a window to prevent the rain from coming in the building and was in the act of reaching up to catch hold of the sash when a bolt of lightning struck him.  He fell sideways, striking against Clemens.  On alighting on the floor, he rolled over and was dead. Clemens stooped over the prostrate form and picked it up and in so doing, received a slight shock from the electricity still in the body.  An examination of Hane’s body was made, when for the last time, it dawned upon those in the barn that he was dead.

The remains were carried to the stable, where they were laid on a pile of straw for a short time, when it was discovered that the barn was on fire and the deceased was taken to his home.  Almost instantaneous the flames burst from various parts of the barn and in a few moments the entire building was ablaze.  In the stable were ten horses which were hastily gotten out, some having very close escapes.  A full bred short horned Durham bull and calf were in the building and both perished.  The bull made an effort to escape, and broke the large chains with which it was fastened and the body was found near the door.

There were in the barn besides Daniel Hane at the time he was killed, C. W. Clemens, James Carpenter, __ Engle, William Deepe, Geo. Gilbert, Martin Young and one other person, all of whom but Clemens were knocked down by the shock as were also all the horses in the stable.  Mr. Cameron, of Jewell, examined the body of Daniel Hane which (showed) that he was struck by a direct hit near the temporal and the lightning passed downward along his left side, which is badly discolored and is a peculiar purple color.

The contents of the barn which are destroyed by the fire were fifty bales of hay, unthreshed wheat estimated at between 500 and 600 bushels, two top buggies nearly new, Champion mower new, grain drill and roller, disk harrow, three walking cultivators, two horse cultivators, farm wagon, hay forks, slings and a large amount of rope, set of single harness, two plows, two scrapers and many other articles.  The loss on the barn and contents is estimated at $3000 on which there was $1600 insurance.

Daniel Hane, who met such an untimely death, was eighteen years old and was the son of John Hane.  He was an ambitious and pleasant young man who was very popular with his associates and stood very high in the community.  He was a member of the Tiffin River United Brethern church which he joined last winter.


“Catharine Jane Bock Dies at her Home in East Defiance, 
Was Well Known.

“Death claimed an aged and prominent resident of the county Sunday afternoon when the spirit of Mrs. Catherine Jane Bock, widow of the late Henry Bock, passed into the great beyond.  The deceased had been suffering for some time with stomach trouble, but the exact cause of her death was apoplexy.  She was aged 63 years, 7 months and 28 days.

Mrs. Bock was born in Cleveland, where she grew to womanhood. Shortly after her marriage to John Bock, she and her husband removed to Defiance. This was thirty-seven years ago last May. The purchased a farm in Tiffin township, on which place all their children were born.  Mr. Bock died in August 1877.     

Deceased was the mother of eleven children, all of whom are living except one.  They are Frank, William, John Bock, of Defiance; Fred, now in Tampa, Fla., and Charles of Garrett; Mrs. Elizabeth, wife of Ex-Sheriff, W. I. Rath, Mrs. Catherine Hanna, Mrs. John Daubel and Miss Addie Bock, of this city, and Mrs. Charles Hall, of Evansport.  All the children will attend the funeral with the exception of Fred, who cannot arrive here in time.

When quite young, the deceased identified herself with the United Brethern church, and although of late years, she has not been an active worker in the church, yet her Christian worship was in accordance with the doctrines taught by the denomination.  About two years ago, Mrs. Bock removed to this city, she and her unmarried daughter, Addie, making their home in East Defiance near Ottawa avenue.

The funeral occurred Wednesday morning at 10 o’clock from the house and 1 o’clock from St. John’s M. E. church, Tiffin township.  The remains were buried in the cemetery at the church.”

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sherwood High School Basketball - 1917-1918

Boys' Basketball Team - partial identification.
Back row: Harold Rock, Howard Schleiser, Currey__, Morris Miller, Wallace __

Front row: ___, Walter Miller, Charles Holler

Please comment if you can help with identification! 

 Girls' Basketball Team
Top Row - Fern Haver, Arnetta___ , Blanche Ross, Bernice Hammond, Mable Michael
Bottom Row - Grayce Simmons, Leta (?) Bess Harrison, Olive Fraker

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thomas H. Mavis - Civil War Soldiers Buried in Farmer Cemetery

By 1860, the family of Thomas Mavis had changed drastically.  His father, Andrew, had died, and Thomas was the oldest son at home at 17 years old. An older brother, Abraham, who also served in the war, had left home. So Thomas was listed as the farmer in the family which consisted of his mother, Mary, and siblings: George, 14; Robert 12; Andrew, 10; and Ira, 8. It had to be no small task for a seventeen year old.

Yet, just a few years later, in September, 1862, Thomas enlisted at Toledo into Company F, 111th Ohio Infantry.
Several other Farmer boys were in this regiment, including Lew Bowker and Harry Sweet. An active unit, it spent the first year of its three year term in Tennessee, but soon enough were sent on the path to Georgia and all the battles on the way through Atlanta.  Near the end of his term, on June 1, 1865, Thomas was promoted to Corporal.  He mustered out on June 27, 1865, at Salisbury, North Carolina.

Thomas (Huston) Mavis (Huston/Husted was his mother's maiden name) married Agnes Ross in 1863, and together they had nine children, according to their reporting on the censuses.  By 1900, five were living.  Thomas lived in and farmed his whole life in Farmer Township.  He was not yet sixty years old when he died on March 11, 1903.  

Farmer Cemetery

Agnes lived on in their home, but by January 16, 1913, the first note of some problem was found.  The Hicksville Tribune reported in the Farmer social column:

"Agnes Mavis fell last Thursday and injured her head.  Her daughter, Mrs. Newell Snyder and family, will move in with her and take care of her."

By the 1920 census taken in the summer, Agnes, 80, lived with her daughter, Minnie Doud and husband, Neal, and daughter, Gladys, 14.  Minnie was named the guardian of Agnes, an imbecile, noted one paper.  In other words, Agnes had drifted into dementia.  She died that same year on December 17 and was buried with her husband in the Farmer Cemetery.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Abraham J. Mavis - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

Abraham J. Mavis (sometimes called Abram) was in Farmer Township as early as 1850, when the census enumerator came around,  Born in 1840 in Knox County, Ohio, Abraham lived with his parents, Andrew and Mary (Husted) Mavis and siblings, Thomas H., George R. and Robert in 1850.  His father farmed in Farmer Township.  Abraham's whereabouts could not be found in the 1860 census, but he was ready when war broke out in 1861.

Abraham enlisted right away in Bryan on August 15, 1861 into Company A, 38th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  After serving that term, he then reenlisted again at Chattanooga on November 21, 1863 for a three year term as a veteran.  His reenlistment papers described him as 6 foot, 7 inches tall, with hazel eyes and black hair, 22 years old.  This regiment was involved in some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and it was at the Battle of Missionary Ridge in Tennessee that Abraham was shot in his left side, severely wounded.

Battle of Missionary Ridge, lithograph, 1886
One would guess that Abraham spent some time in the hospital to heal before rejoining his unit, and his papers do note that his mustering in was December 26, 1863. He served the entire war, with a promotion to Corporal on September 14, 1864.  Abraham's final mustering out was July 12, 1865, in Louisville, Kentucky.

About eight months after arriving home again in Farmer Township, he married Carolina Stahl and they began their farming life at home.  Together they had eight children.  Clayton, their youngest son, stayed at home and helped with the farming through 1910.

In August, 1915, Abraham lost his wife of almost fifty years when Caroline passed away.  The Hicksville Tribune printed this obituary on August 12, 1915 on page 1: 

Caroline, daughter of Peter and Catharine Stahl, was born near Carey, Wyandotte County, January 6, 1844, and lived there until about fourteen years of age when they moved to Williams County and lived there until her marriage.  
 She was baptized when a child, and at an early age united with the United Brethern Church and lived a consistent Christian life. 

She was married March 11, 1866, to Abraham Mavis.  To this union, eight children were born, all of whom are living to mourn the loss of a loving and devoted mother.  They are Tillie Hesrich and Elsworth Mavis of Bryan, Jennie, Katie Hoffman and Clayton Mavis of Edgerton, Charles Mavis of Toledo, Nettie Showalter of Quincy, Mich., and Nellie Burgess of Angola, Ind.  These, with her husband and three sisters and one brother, twenty-three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, survive her.

She became ill about five weeks ago and remained patient until called home Sunday, August 1s, at the age of 71 years, 6 months and 26 days.  Funeral services were conducted from the home in Farmer Township Tuesday afternoon by Rev. J. W. Lilly.  Interment at Farmer." 

Daughter, Jennie, single, stayed home and took care of her father until his death in 1927.  Just before his death, Abraham celebrated his 87th birthday and the Crescent-News reported on the celebration on February 16, 1927.

 Then, on the 15th of May, the old soldier, Abraham Mavis, died at his home in Farmer.  His obituary appeared in the Crescent News the very next day.

Another obituary, adding even more information, appeared in the Bryan Democrat on May 20, 1927:

"Abram Mavis died Sunday, May 15, at the age of 87years on February 3.  He was born in Knox Co., O. (unreadable line) ...a very young boy, his father dying while he was but 11, leaving him to care for the family of small children and his mother.  All of his five brothers except one, Ambrose of Lorain, preceded him in death, as did also his wife, Caroline, to whom he was united in marriage, March 11, 1866, and who was taken from him August 1, 1915.

His children, eight in all, remain to mourn their loss.  They are Mrs. George Hesrick of Bryan, Charles Mavis of Toledo, Miss Jane Mavis at home, Mrs. Kate Huffman,Bryan, Mrs. Nettie Showalter, Coldwater, Mich., Ellsworth Mavis and Mrs. Foed (Ford?) Willennar of Auburn, Ind. and Clayton Mavis of Edgerton.
Besides these are 23 grandchildren and 35 great grand-children. 

Mr. Mavis served the whole four years in the Union Army 1861 - '65, and was an active member of G.A.R. at Farmer so long as it held together.  His taking away leaves but two old Farmer Twp. soldiers, W. S. Tomlinson and J. W. Donley.  Mr. and Mrs. Mavis lived in the same neighborhood all except about the first year and a half of their married life."


Monday, November 21, 2016

Edmund N. Lewis - G.A.R., Bishop Post

Dr. Edmund Lewis ended his military career as a hospital steward for Company C, 11th Cavalry, but he originally enlisted as a sergeant in Company C, 1st Independent O. V. I. on October 24, 1861.  He was not discharged until March 1, 1867.  According to the 1890 census, he served in the hospital from February 29, 1864 until his discharge in 1867.

The 1st Independent eventually merged with the 11th Cavalry and the men were sent to the plains out west to keep telegraph and overland trails open.  There they met the hostilities of the Native Americans.  It had to have been quite an adventure.  Read more about it here.

After returning from the war, Dr. Lewis married Abigail E. Perkey of Williams County, on November 11, 1868.  He and his wife moved to Defiance in 1874, according to his obituary, and there he established himself as a druggist in his pharmacy at the corner of Clinton and Third Streets.  By the 1880 census, he and his wife had children: Harry, 10; Martin, 8; Kate, 4; and Emma, 1.  With them lived Emma Faltz, 39, and her daughter, Lollie, 19.  Emma was born in England and could have been the sister of Edmund, but that is unknown.  They also had a domestic servant, Margaret Miller.

Dr. Lewis and his wife built a substantial house at 616 Holgate Avenue.  The 1900 census revealed that Abbie had five children, but only four survived.  By the 1910 census, Dr. Lewis had retired and he, at 73, and Abbie, at 62, had only their grandson, Harry B., 12, with them and their servant, Berte Otte.

Abigail Perkey Lewis died in October, 1916.  Her obituary appeared in the Crescent-News on October 16, 1916.
 In 1920, Dr. Lewis lived alone at the Holgate Avenue home.  He was 83 and no domestic servant lived there.  He died on February 12, 1923 there at the age of 86.  Two articles appeared in the Crescent-News on February 13, 1923.

 Dr. Lewis was buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Defiance.

(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, November 18, 2016

Farmer High School Graduation - 1920

Back Row - L to R - Mona Buda, Esther Cook, Clara Smith, Lilly Byers, Bessie Lord, Orpha Kimmell

Center Row - Nora Hepker, Inez Staup, Leta Smith

Front Row - Marie Greenfield, Russell Hilbert, Esther Husted, Paul Flightner, Bessie Beattie, Doyle Battershell, Ruth Culler

Thursday, November 17, 2016

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - Hill Cemetery, Highland 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:

Hill Cemetery
Highland Township

1. Name of cemetery:
The Hill Graveyard, so named for two reasons: first, it sets on top of a sand mound with valleys on every side and second, it is on the Hill farm and the first man buried in it was named Hill.  Also, in the beginning, it was the private burial grounds of the Hills.

2. Location, how reached:
The Hill Cemetery is in section 10, Highland Township, Defiance County, one mile south and one half mile east of Ayresville Village on a sand road and in a very picturesque spot.

3. Name and address of caretaker:
George Berringer, R. R. #6, Defiance, Ohio

Photo from www.findagrave.com
4. General description, size, appearance, etc.:
The Hill Cemetery sets of top of a sand knoll, overlooking a fertile farming region.  At one time, by the site of the graveyard was a church which was torn down a few years ago.  The graveyard is not kept up as well as it might be, weeds and grass being high.  The caretaker only gets paid for one day a month or when a grave has to be dug.  It is shaded with numerous large trees of cedar and sycamore.  It is fenced along the road.  It is undenominational at the present time, formerly was the Methoist Cemetery, but now kept up by the trustees of Highland Township.  There is two acres in the ground. 

5.Name and date of first burial recorded:
Jane Hill, wife of Harvey Hill, is the first person buried here.  She died in 1852 and a large pedestal marker of gray granite is erected to her memory.

Jane Hill - www.findagrave.com
6. Names of important persons buried there:
 Early pioneer settlers of Highland Township are the most important people.  This graveyard was started sometime after the Ayresville graveyard, north of Ayresville. People, however, of the same families seem to be buried here as at Ayresville. 
Harvey Hill, the greatest man and the great ancestor of the Hills now living in Highland Township, is the most foremost citizen buried here.  

Harvey J Hill - www.findagrave.com

Also John K. Myers, Justice of the Peace of Highland Township for 40 years and well known throughout Defiance County, is buried here.
Also John M. Myers, a cousin of the last named Myers and Master of Ceremonies of the G.A.R. Bishop Post of Defiance County for 20 years.  He died in 1919, is buried here.

This is the first graveyard found so far in which colored persons are buried.
Charles Mumford, a southern slave who migrated to Highland Township during the Civil War and owned a farm and raised a family.  The only living relative of his now in Defiance County is Bell Hitower (Hightower), who lives near here.

William Mumford (born 1818) - www.findagrave.com

Other important personages are the Fulmers, Blanchards and Dunlaps.

7. Markers of unusual appearance:
The highest marker is that of Harvey and Jane Hill which stands at the entrance gate.  It is of gray granite and of the pillar type, with a Doric capital on top of it.  The finest and most modern marker is a heavy, red granite one about five feet high, three feet wide and a foot and one half thick, with three carved logs on top of it.  This belongs to the Dunlaps.

Dunlap stone - www.findagrave.com

8. Unusual epitaphs:  None

9. Is cemetery used for new burials?
This cemetery is now used; however, no new lots are being sold or laid out in it.  It is only for the people who have relatives buried there.

C. Cadwallader and Charles Gish, Reporters