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Friday, November 17, 2017

Sunday School at the U. B. Church, Defiance

"This Sunday School Class was of the old United Brethren Church when it was on Hopkins St., the picture being taken about 55 years ago.  The late police chief, Karl A. Weaner, Sr., was the teacher.

Photo donated to the newspaper by Mrs. Martin Snyder

The members of the class were: from left, first row - Christena Parmenter, Mabel Miley, Karl H. Weaner, Jr., Cecelia Ecelbarger, and Pearl Dunkelbarger
and back row - Mildred Rummel, Nina Hahn, Karl A. Weaner, Sr., Dessia Yackels, and Donnie Miller."

Source: Lloyd Tuttle, "A Backward Glance," undated clipping from the Defiance Crescent-News.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - Poole Graveyard, Noble Township

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.

Poole Graveyard

1. Name of cemetery:  The Old Poole Graveyard, Noble Township

2. Location:

Four miles west of Defiance, Ohio, on the north bank of the Maumee River in sections 19 and 20, Noble Twp. on the Old Poole farm, now owned by J. A. Stuckey.  Reached, from Defiance County Court House by taking route #66 north from the court house, crossing the New Fort Defiance River Bridge over the Maumee River and turning to the left or to the West on the second street over the river, called W. High St.  Then following this road out of Defiance which becomes the Jerico Road and angles along the river.  The Old Indian Graveyard mentioned (in an earlier report) is at the point four miles out where the road comes directly along the river's bank.  The Poole Graveyard is just beyond this Indian burying ground, and back off the road forty rods.  At this point, the river makes a big bend.

3. Caretaker: 

None, not kept up, dilapidated and stones all gone but one.  Information gained from J. Brown who lives on the Gruner farm a mile this side.

4. Description:

This is another old burying ground and was a private burying ground for the Poole family, who at one time were well known in this vicinity.  It sets at the edge of an ancient apple orchard on a hill about sixty feet from a ravine, and some two hundred yards from the Maumee River.  There is an old, wooden house, the old Poole Home, which sets close by and is reputed to be haunted by the people in the neighborhood.

Thre are no close inhabited homes within a half mile of here, and it is in very wild country and not farmed.  It is all grass and weed grown.  The stones are all gone except one.  It contains about an eighth of an acre, is well shaded and in a very ideal location for a cemetery.

5. Name of first burial:

The only stone here which we had to dig out from under rotting leaves.  Gives the names of Susanna Poole, died in 1847, and Frederick Poole, died in 1850.  No birth record was given.

6. Important persons:

Frederick Poole was an early settler of Noble Twp., and at one time was wealthy.  There is a Fred Poole living in Defiance today who is a relative of his.  There are five graves in this graveyard.  The others are mounded, but only small stones mark them; there are no other names on these.     

7. Markers:

The only maker is an old slab, straight sand stone, badly defaced and hardly readable.  It was buried under leaves and we had to scrape these to get the name and date.

8. Epitaphs:  Nothing readable except name and date.

9. This burial plot has not been used, I am told, since the death of Fred Poole in 1850.  Several other graves were here at one time, it is said, but could get no authentic proof of same.

Cecil Cadwallader, Reporter
Authority: J. Brown, Defiance, Route #7   

(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.)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Benjamin Blosser - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

Ben was a member of the Lew Bowker Post.

Born about 1837, Benjamin Blosser was a Seneca County man, and there he married Nancy Zimmerman in 1859.  In the 1860 census, he lived in Jackson Township with his wife and their infant daughter, Rebecca J., 4 months.  Also with them was Elizabeth Zimmerman, 19.  Benjamin farmed then and throughout his lifetime.  

According to the 1890 census,  served in Company E, 186th O.V.I. from February 6, 1865, to September 18, 1865.  The company officially mustered out Sepember 25th. The regiment served in Tennessee and Georgia at the end of the war.  Benjamin enlisted when he was married and 27 years old.

After the war, he returned to Seneca County and by 1870, his family had expanded to include Rebecca J., 10, John J. 8, Daniel H., 6 and Ida E., 8 months.  In the censuses that asked, Benjamin reported that he could neither read nor write.  

The family could not be found in the 1880 census, but Benjamin reported himself on the 1890 census in Farmer Township, Defiance County.  In 1900, Benjamin was 63; he and Nancy had been married 41 years and had five children together, all living.  Only Ida E., 31 and single, lived with them, and she worked as a dining room waitress in the hotel, perhaps the Allen Hotel in Farmer.

Benjamin lived only three more years, until December 27, 1903.  Only a short death notice could be found for him as part of the Farmer community news in the Defiance Express on December 30, 1903.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Franklin Duck - Bishop Post, G.A.R.

Franklin Duck and his wife, Elizabeth, were nicely settled in Defiance Township when the census enumerator visited in 1860.  Married on the day after Christmas in 1859 to Elizabeth Cannon, Franklin Duck was ready to begin his life farming.

However, on July 26, 1862, he enlisted, along with many other Defiance men, into the 100th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company D.  He left two young sons at home with his wife - George, born in December, 1860, and William born in January, 1862.  It must have been a difficult decision, but later his name came up to be drafted in 1863, but he was already in service.

The 100th fought all through the south and was present at the storming of Atlanta.  Franklin Duck was captured at Utoy Creek, Georgia on August 6, 1864, according to Civil War records, and taken to Andersonville Prisoner of War Camp in Georgia.  The Andersonville records indicated that he escaped on September 12, 1864.  It was in August, 1864, that Andersonville reached its peak population of 33,000 men in a space meant for 1/3 of that.  So, the Confederates were busy transferring men to different prison camps to ease the load on Andersonville.  It may be that Franklin escaped during a transfer or during a work detail outside of the camp, but apparently he was captured again.  First, his name did not appear among the just 32 Union men who successfully escaped from Andersonville, and secondly, the Andersonville records noted that he was there until the close of the war.  He mustered out with his company on June 20, 1865 in Greensboro, North Carolina

It appeared that Franklin and family moved to Cedar Creek, Allen County, Indiana, and were there for the 1870 census.  Franklin Duche, farmer, and wife, Lisey, 22, and children George, 9; William, 8; Benjamin, 2; Mary, 9 months were enumerated there.  Marion Duche,19, was hired as a farm laborer.

The younger children of Franklin and Elizabeth did not survive, and so by 1880, just the two older sons lived with their parents back in Defiance on Warren Road.  Franklin had a job as a laborer and William worked in the wheel factory.  The older son, George, had ague (malaria) at the time of the census-taking and had had it or was recovering for four months.

In 1890, Elizabeth died at the age of 53.  Her funeral notice appeared in the Defiance Daily Crescent on July 14, 1890:

At some point after that, Franklin went to live with his son, George, a hotel keeper in Harvey City, Cook County, Illinois.  George was married with several children by then.  Franklin was there for the census in the summer of 1900, but on October 6, 1900, he was admitted to the Soldiers' Home in Sandusky, Ohio.

His admission papers were available on FamilySearch.org and indicated that he received a $12/ month pension and had a general disability.  He was born in Tuscarawas County on September 26, 1837, and had two living children: George and William.  He died in Sandusky on April 28, 1904, of "cerebral softening" (brain hemorrhage) and was brought back to Defiance for burial.

Defiance Crescent-News, April 28, 1904

The location of his burial could not be found.

(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!)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Gathering at the Blacksmith Shop in Farmer, Ohio

It appeared the blacksmith shop was a great place to meet your friends and neighbors in Farmer.

  Mary Stone was seated in the chair on the left and beside her, holding the wheel, was Vinnie Stone.  The man who looks like he may be ready to use that hammer was Pat Beattie.
The young boy was unidentified, but perhaps he was an apprentice, as he is dressed to work.
On the bench were John Donley, on the left, and William P. Bayes on the right.

 From the left, Perry Hand, Arthur Stone, Braton Hand, John Donley, Bert Smith

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Elias K. Dains, Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

Elias K. Dains

Most sources agree that Elias K. Dains was born about 1804 in Stockbridge, Vermont.  Although a Civil War G.A.R. marker is set at his grave, he did not serve in that war.  Just think that he would have been 57 at the start of the war!  No, Elias has another tale to tell.

The Descriptive and Historical Register of Enlisted Soldiers in the Army reported Elias Dains' enlistment on March 30, 1830 at Whitehall, Vermont.  At 27 years old, he stood 5 foot, 6 inches, with hazel eyes and dark brown hair.  He was assigned to the 1st Infantry Company under Captain Loomis for 5 years service.  He was discharged on March 30, 1835 at Fort Armstrong, Illinois.

His pension card was marked Old War, which could mean any service between the end of the Revolutionary War and the beginning of the Civil War.  The Blackhawk War began in 1832 and took place in Michigan and Illinois, so perhaps this was where he served, but it is only speculation.The fact that he was discharged from the Army in Illinois might add to the idea. Undoubtedly, his pension records would give more information.  It was actually his widow who applied for the pension in 1894, as Elias died in 1893.

The earliest found mention of Elias in the Federal Census was in 1850, Lorain County, Sheffield, Ohio.  By then he was 47 and living with his wife, Mary (nee' Martin, sometimes called Polly) and their two children: Elias R., 21, and Frances, 10.  He owned real estate worth $255.
Mary Martin Dains

Elias K. (Keyes, Keiser, Keyser) Dains
 These photos of Elias and Mary were located on a public family tree on Ancestry.com.

Elias' middle name varied, according to the source, but no birth record could be found to verify any of them.

Their son, Elias R., eventually went to Michigan and then settled in Nebraska.
Daughter Frances married a local teacher, Horace Doud, and lived next door to or with her parents most of her life in Farmer. 

By 1860, the Dains family had made their way to Farmer, Ohio where Elias settled down to farm.  He and Mary were both 57 at the time of the census, and they owned real estate valued at $1000, quite a sum for the time.  In 1870 and 1880, they were still enumerated in Farmer.

By 1880, Elias, at age 76, had retired from farming.   Elias reported on this census that his father was born in Denmark.

On January 23, 1893, Elias passed away and he was buried in Farmer Cemetery.  His grave registration card also erroneously noted that he served in the Civil War.  He may have participated in G.A.R. activities as a veteran.

A new plaque, obtained through the local Veterans Office, marks his grave.  It is thought that his wife is buried next to him.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Kemper's Colts - A Winning Baseball Club

For many years, Lloyd V. Tuttle contributed historic photos and information to the Defiance Crescent-News for his column: "A Backward Glance."  This article ran on March 23, 1964, with information on the popular baseball team, Kemper's Colts

"WAY BACK in 1903 and 1904 when the hum of the trolley was heard in Defiance and the street cars carried crowds that even sat on their roofs to the stands in the baseball park, Kemper's Colts were in their prime.

This winning baseball club was the brainchild of A. H. Kemper, who was the general manager of the Van Cleve Glass Co., which later became a Diamond Glass Co.  The factory did not make glass but was the woodworking division of the Diamond Glass Co., Cleveland.  The glass factory was located at Fairchance, Pa.  The Defiance plant produced doors, sash, interior trim and the like.  For instance, the doors of the San Francisco post office were made in the Defiance factory.

The baseball team, known as Kemper's Colts, played teams from all over Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan.  Defiance was a great baseball town (in) those days.
Here is the lineup of the team:
Back Row: Hale, p; Hull, fielder; Ed Polson, manager; A. H. Kemper, general manager Diamond Glass Co.; Charles Long, ss
Middle Row: Warren Carpenter, cf; Harry Kreps, 3b; Pat Kyne, 2b; Jim Duerk, fielder, Ed Franzdorf, 1b
Front Row: Coy Jones, p; Manager Polson's son, the mascot; Frank Buckmaster, c

This picture was found by Harry L. Kreps, 1015 Schultz St."

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Let's Ride the Trolley!

"FOR A NICKEL, you could ride in this deluxe open street car from the old Baltimore and Ohio railroad station on Deatrick St., where the Wabash also stopped, a distance of more than two miles to Island Park, located on the 24 acre Preston Island in the Maumee River, east of town 

With this ride, you also got the thrill of crossing the old wooden trestle that then carried the cars high over Preston Run.  The trestle was a tall, spindly affair and, according to rumor, was not safe.  However carload after carload passed over it without incident. The trestle still stands, but unseen because it was covered over when the city made the Hopkins St. fill over Preston Run.

THE DEFIANCE STREET RAILWAY, which was one of the first electric street railways in Ohio, boasted four cars and two trailers.  One was a summer car, open all around, as pictured above. When it rained, patrons pulled down curtains.

At the time this picture was taken the cars hauled the U.S. mail.  The line ran from the south end of Harrison Ave. to Third St., under the Wabash overpass, east on Third to Clinton, south on Clinton to Juliet, over Juliet to Jefferson, then to Hopkins, east on Hopkins to a point near the American Steel Package Co., where it turned north to the Maumee bank across from Preston Island.  Here there was a wooden platform and wooden stairs to a pontoon bridge that connected with the island.  For a short time, there was a spur of the street car line from Third St., east on Clinton to First, but this was soon abandoned

THE LINE made a little money until the advent of the automobile, and that was its finish.  The 1913 flood swept everything off of Island Park.

This picture was brought in by Mrs. Blanche Heller, rt. 6, Defiance.  As far as she can learn, it was taken about 1897, somewhere in that period.  The car was standing on the Preston Run trestle.  The motorman-coachman was George B. Heller."

Source: Lloyd Tuttle, "A Backward Glance," undated clipping, Defiance Crescent-News.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Garman School, Defiance Township - 1925 or 1926

The donator of this photo was not quite sure of the date, but felt it had to be 1925 or 1926.  The Garman School was located in Section 10 of Defiance Township and was known as District #3.
If anyone can label those who are currently unknown in the photo, please comment!

Back Row - Lewy Preist, Gertrude Paul, Teacher - Leatha Harding, Mary Boyd.

First Row - Earl Boyd, Virg Sponsler, Margaret Thomas, Vernice and Vernell Sponsler, Audry Royer

Friday, October 27, 2017

Jesse M. Benner - G.A.R., Bishop Post

As a young man of twenty-one in 1860, Jesse Benner was working on the farm of A. Resor (Rasor?).  When the call came for men to enlist, Jesse was probably one of the earliest to sign up.  He enlisted in Defiance on August 15, 1861, for a three year term of service with Company D, 38th Ohio Infantry.  
The 38th first went to Kentucky and then to Tennessee.  They were not engaged in the battle of Chickamauga, but were instead behind the scenes, guarding the supply train. They actively fought at the Battle of Missionary Ridge, where the unit lost seven men.  

The group was then furloughed home for thirty days where many reenlisted as veterans and met up again in Georgia.  They were active in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain and then marched with Sherman through Atlanta and appeared at the Grand Review in Washington, D. C. at the end of the war.
Jesse was discharged on July 12, 1865 and he returned to Defiance.  He reported on the 1890 veterans census that he suffered from heart disease and rheumatism as a result of his war service.

In November, 1866, Jesse married his wife, Phoebe, and they settled down in Tiffin Township.  The 1870 census enumerator found them there with one son, Oreng (Ora).  Jesse was 28 and farming.  The 1880 agricultural census indicated that he had 55 tilled acres and 25 acres of wood.

At some point, Jesse began to teach in District 10 in Tiffin Township, at least from 1893 - 1895, and maybe even more years than that.  One newspaper reported in November, 1895, that he had been ill with malarial fever for three weeks and "had to give up his school."  About that same time, Jesse and his wife moved into Defiance and their grown son, Ora, moved to the farm.

Jesse and Phoebe had one other son, Jesse M. Benner, Jr. who attended Michigan State University from 1895 - 1901 to become a dentist.  His father went to Ann Arbor to witness his son's graduation.

Jesse Benner not only farmed and taught school, but he also served at various times as Commander of the Bishop Post, G.A.R., as a school board member, as a trustee of the Children's Home, and as Chaplain of the Post.  He went into the schools as a patriotic instructor for the G.A.R., as well.  

In 1900, he and Phoebe were settled into a home at 820 North Clinton Street.  He mentioned that he was a landlord at that time.  In 1910 and 1920, Dr. Jesse Benner Jr. lived with his parents and maintained a dentist's office in Defiance.

Jesse Benner died on May 4, 1920 and was buried at Riverside Cemetery. His obituary appeared in the Crescent-News on May 4, 1920:

Phoebe Benner lived until 1922, and her obituary appeared in the Crescent-News on October 10, 1922:

(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!)