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Monday, September 18, 2017

Defiance County Pioneers - Mary E. Smith Weisenberger Eck

"Grandma Weisenberger" was a well respected citizen of Defiance.  Born Mary Elizabeth Smith (Schmidt) in Germany, she married twice - first to Francis "Frank" Weisenberger and second, to John P. Eck.  Francis died in 1860, so by the 1880 census, Mary had remarried to John Eck, a saloonist in Defiance.  In 1880, she was 59 and John was 43 - quite a distance between their ages.  They lived on Clinton Street and had two boarders, Rudolph Smith, a laborer, and Henry Weisenberger, probably her youngest son.  The passing of Mrs. Weisenberger - Eck was well covered by the Defiance Democrat on May 5, 1898.

 "Mrs. Weisenberger-Eck.
An Aged Pioneer.  Summoned. 

Sketch of Her Earthly Career.  Most of Which Was Associated With Defiance.

A general feeling of sadness and regret pervaded the community Thursday occasioned by the death of Mrs. Weisenberger-Eck, who passed from time to eternity at twenty minutes past 9 o'clock Thursday morning, after an illness of some months. 
True, the old must die, but 'Grandma Weisenberger,' as she has been affectionately called by so many for years, has been such a landmark in the local history of Defiance that her death seems a personal loss to many.
She has lately been a great sufferer, but as her feet have drawn near to the brink of death's river, her faith has not faltered and her trust in her Savior has been an example to others, for from her earliest childhood, she has been a conscientious Christian.

Miss Smith came to Defiance in 1836, from Tiffin, O., following the old Indian trail.  She had in her possession at the time of her death, the old kettle in which she has made soup many times for the suffering hungry Indians, for she was a kind, good woman.
On February 13, 1837, she was married to Frank Weisenberger, and became, in time, the mother of 13 children, 6 of whom are living and all of whom were with her at the time of her death, as follows: Mrs. Josephine Haller, Mrs. Mary Hoeffle, Henry, George and John Weisengerber, of Defiance, and Mrs. Frances Shoner, of Napoleon.  She leaves also a large number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She has been a resident of Defiance for 61 consecutive years.  She was born in 1820, on the 9th of February, and was 17 years of age when she came to Defiance.  She is a native of Germany, being born in the Saxon province, and came with her parents to this country in 1832.
In 1870, she was married the second time to Mr. Eck, and for 41 years, she has been living in the house in which she died.

The date of the funeral will be Saturday morning at 9 o'clock at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church.  Rev. M. P. Kinkead officiating.

Riverside Cemetery, Defiance

Mrs. Eck's Funeral Fittingly Conducted at Father Kinkead's Church.

The funeral services over the remains of Mrs. Weisenberger-Eck were solemnized Saturday morning from Our Lady of Perpetual Help church, at 9 o'clock, Rev. M. P. Kinkead officiating.  
The church was crowded with the friends of the departed lady.  The flowers were beautiful.  During the service, the choir sang a familiar hymn the mother had learned to love from hearing her youngest son, 'Hen,' play it upon his flute.  The air is "Raise Me Jesus to Thy Bosom.'  There were a large number of relatives present and six of the grandsons.

Frank and Arthur Weisenberger, Fred and Charlie Haller, Harry and Earl Weisenberger acted as the pall bearers for their grandma.
Mrs. Rosa Smith Keisel, of Tiffin, only living sister of Grandma Weisenberger - Eck, was present with her son...

The body was laid to rest by the side of the departed children...
See full inscription and information at www.findagrave.com


Thursday, September 14, 2017

William Brown Yeagley - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

William Yeagley once described himself as a "capitalist," and he surely was.  He bought and sold land, ran a farm, worked as a surveyor and invested in a canning factory.  William was a Pennsylvania man, born on November 15, 1833, to Andrew and Catharine (Dougherty) Yeagley.  

When he was 21, he married Margaret Hendershot, but after settling the family in Dekalb County, Indiana, and starting a family, he enlisted in the Indiana Volunteer Infantry - Company H, 88th Regiment.  He was twenty eight years old and had three children (and possibly one on the way) at the time of his enlistment on August 12, 1862.  Organized at Newville, Indiana, the 88th met together in Fort Wayne before marching together to Louisville.  They pursued Bragg through Kentucky and Tennessee, losing fifty-six men at the Battle of Stones River.  They were involved in the horrendous battle at Chickamauga, climbed Lookout Mountain with Hooker by November 24th, and then fought at Missionary Ridge on the next day.  They were heavily involved in the fighting on Sherman's march to the sea.  Later, William would name his son, born in 1863, Sherman, in honor of the general he admired.  

By 1870, William and Margaret had settled in Center Township, Williams County, where he farmed.  Their children, at that time, were Blanche, 14; Park, 13; Lottie, 8; and Sherman, 7.  The first two children were born in Ohio and the second two in Indiana.  

Washington Township, Defiance County, was the family's home in 1880.  Little Madge, who was 5 then, was now in the family.  Park and Sherman helped their father on the farm.  In 1886, William purchased 80 acres in Farmer Township from Allen Barrows, and at some point the family moved there.  William not only farmed, but he was a businessman, too, investing in and serving on the board of the Farmer Canning Company.

Defiance Weekly Express, August 10, 1899

In the 1900 census, William, then 66, gave "capitalist" as his occupation, as did his sister, Catharine J. Britton, a widow, who lived with him.  Margarette, 62, also had Madge, 25, single, at home, and Ella B. Tharp, 22, a granddaughter.  Madge worked as a saleslady in a grocery store and Ella was a dressmaker.  It was noted that Ella was married less than a year, but her husband's whereabouts...and name...are unknown.

About 1901, Madge married Vernon E. Cunningham, a house painter, and the couple lived with her parents.  William was then 76 and Margaret, 72, in Farmer Township.  

William died on February 19, 1915.  His obituary appeared in the Crescent-News on March 5, 1915:

Daniel D Diehl, comrade of William Yeagley in Company H

Margaret Hendershot Yeagley lived on another ten years, passing away in February, 1925.  Her obituary appeared in the Crescent News on February 7, 1925:

Farmer Cemetery


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Methodist Episcopal Church, Third and Wayne, Defiance, Ohio

From the Defiance Democrat, July 26, 1894...an article describing the beautiful churches and cemeteries of Defiance, Ohio


"The Methodist Episcopal church of Defiance is situated on the corner of Third and Wayne streets, and is a fine brick building which was built in 1873 at a cost of nearly $25,000.  It is a handsome structure with a basement and upper story, is out of debt, and has 600 members.  The interior is finished and frescoed and presents an attractive appearance.  It also has a nice, large lecture room.  Rev. J. M. Mills is the pastor and has been for the past four years.

The first Methodist sermon was preached in this city in 1825 by Rev. William Simmons of Xenia, Ohio, nearly seventy years ago.  Not long after, Rev. Wier preached at the residence of Mr. Seavell.  In 1826 Rev. Elias Pettit was regularly appointed as minister to take charge of Defiance.  He organized a small society which in the same year, built a log church on the lot where the parsonage now stands.  In 1834, the first Sunday school was organized with four officers and teachers and thirty-four scholars.

The new church was built by J. B. Seamans in 1841 at a cost of $1,050.  Defiance was made a station in 1857 and in 1873, the present handsome church was built.

From the Historic Homes Calendar, July 2004

The principal societies of the church are: The Epworth League, with over 100 members.  The Woman's Home Missionary Society.  The Woman's Foreign Missionary Society.  The Ladies' Helping Hand Society.  The Young Ladies' Lend-a-Hand Missionary Society.

The parsonage is a magnificent building of brick, beautifully trimmed with cut stone and is a modification of the Queen Anne style of architecture.  Peter Kuhn was the contractor and architect.

The parsonage cost about $6,000, $1,000 of which was raised by the Helping Hand Society, $600 was given by J. A. Orcutt and the balance was raised by the members of the church.

The interior is convenient and is finished off in handsome, modern style. It was carpeted throughout by the members of the church with beautiful carpets of finest texture.  Altogether the home of the Methodist minister is a lovely and luxurious one." 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Defiance City Police Force, 1916 - 1917

For many years, Lloyd V. Tuttle contributed historic photos and information to the Defiance Crescent-News for his column, "A Backward Glance."
On March 5, 1963, Tuttle wrote about the Defiance police force, a small, but dedicated group of men.

"Here is a picture of the Defiance police force in 1916 - 1917 when Edward S. Bronson was serving his first term as mayor.  Note that the helmets have been discarded for caps.

Reading from left to right, lower row, are: Charles Miller, patrolman; Julius Spengler, chief; Gus Wahl, patrolman and
back row, Henry Hall, patrolman; S. A. Craven, safety director; Mayor Bronson, and Frank Baker, patrolman

The patrolmen were paid $60 per month.  They worked seven days a week, and extra time when required.  The mayor's salary during this era was $700 annually.  Each patrolman walked all over his assigned ward.  The chief did duty downtown during the day and was always on call."

Monday, September 4, 2017

Lewis D. Blue - Bishop Post, G.A.R.

Born in 1832 in Miami County, Ohio, Lewis DeWeese Blue lost both of his parents when he was young.  His mother, whose maiden name was DeWeese, died when he was about eight, and his father when Lewis was a teenager.

By the 1850 census, he lived with Charlotte Blue, 45, head of the family, and Joseph Blue, 39, a teacher, who were probably relatives of his deceased father.  He had attended school that year. Marriage records for that county indicated that Lewis married Martha Elizabeth Kelly on January 8, 1856, in Piqua.

At some point Lewis, sometimes called L.D., moved to Highland Township, Defiance County, where he and Elizabeth were enumerated on the 1860 census with their young daughter, Anna.  The couple lived with Charles and Deborah Lockey that year.

When Lewis enlisted in 1862, he and Elizabeth had two small children, Anna Bell and Nelson Scott.  On July 18, 1862, he joined Company D of the 100th Ohio Regiment.  Later on, he would also serve with the 2nd North Carolina Mounted Infantry in Company D which he helped to organize. 
Identified as Lewis D. Blue on an ancestry family tree
 Most records indicated that Lewis joined them on October 1, 1863, in Cedar Creek, Tennessee at the age of 31.  On the day he mustered out of the 100th Ohio Regiment in October, 1863, he was promoted to Second Lieutenant.  He then served with the mounted infantry until October 11, 1864.

Lewis could not be located on the 1870 regular census, but he was on the HIghland Township agricultural census.  With one horse, one milk cow, and five swine, his livestock holdings were small.  He had only fourteen improved acres and thirty-nine unimproved, and from that he gained one hundred bushels of corn and forty bushels of oats.

By 1880, children Harry, Clarence, Edwin, Mattie and Nellie were added to the family.  L.D. farmed and his son, Scott (Nelson), who was eighteen then, helped him.  Only Mattie, 28, and Nellie, 19, were home with parents, Lewis, 67, and Elizabeth, 64, in 1900.  Martha Elizabeth had had nine children and by 1900, just six survived.

Mrs. Lewis D. Blue died at the age of 70 in 1906.  Her obituary appeared in several newspapers, but this was from the Defiance Express, published on November 6, 1906:

Lewis DeWeese Blue followed his wife in death on January 18, 1907, just a few months later.  His obituary appeared in the Defiance Weekly Express on January 25, 1907:

In the will of Lewis Blue, he divided his property, giving 21 acres for Mattie and Nellie to divide evenly and 9 acres to Nelson Scott.  To insure equity, he had some children paying others various amounts of money.

He was buried in the Ayersville Cemetery.

(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, September 1, 2017

Highland Township Schools - 1903-1904

This old souvenir booklet contained not only the high school, but also all the individual, one room school pupils' names.  The graduating class appeared on the front.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Thomas R. Carroll - G.A.R., Bishop Post

Born in Ohio in 1842, Thomas Carroll, 8, lived in Evansport in 1850 with his parents:
William Carroll, 37, a pearl ash maker, born in Maryland, and his mother, Sarah, 32, born in New Brunswick, Canada.  He had an older sister, Susan, and two younger brothers, William J. and Edwin E.

According to the History of Defiance County, 1883, this regards Thomas's father, William:
"At the age of ten years he (William), with his two brothers and one sister, were left orphans.  They came to Ohio in 1829, and were bound out (indentured) until of age, having no advantages of schooling.  In 1834, he came to Evansport, Defiance County, and was married to Sarah Evans..."

By 1860, the family had moved to Pulaski in Williams County.  Thomas's father had taken on farming with William (Jr.) serving as his farm hand.  Susan had a job as a domestic and Thomas was a store clerk.  Edwin was still in school.

According to the 1883 country history:
"At the age of eleven, he (Thomas) commenced clerking in the dry goods store of A. W. Boynton at Pulaski.  After two years, he hired out to W. E. Kintigh of Defiance, and with him, moved to Napoleon, Ohio, and continued clerking for him as long as he remained in the business.  He afterward clerked for Imber & Richards, dry goods merchants, for five years."

The history mentioned that he enlisted in the Union Army in 1863, but no other source could be found to confirm that. His obituary mentioned his membership in the 68th OVI in 1863, but that could not be found. The 1890 census and Thomas's pension card both noted that he enlisted May 2, 1864, into the National Guard, eventually known as the 163rd Regiment.  Most Henry County men were in Company G, as was Thomas.  it was a 100 day enlistment and his discharge on both sources said September 10, 1865.  Thomas did report on the 1890 census that he was also a private in Company A, 114th O.V.I. from February 9, 1865 to September 20, 1865.  Perhaps it was a special assignment, but it was not mentioned in the company lists or on the pension card.  A mystery to be solved.

The 163rd was first ordered to Fort Reno near Washington, D.C. and then to the battlefront in Virginia.  Some men were involved in a skirmish on June 15th, while the others built a large portion of Fort Pocahontas.  Soon they were ordered back to Columbus and mustered out in September.

Upon his return from the war, he married Miss G. (Glorian) A. Cary in Henry County, Ohio on October 12, 1865.  They had two daughters who died in infancy, and one son, Charles H., born in Napoleon in 1872.   He joined forces with H. E. Cary to open a branch store in Defiance in 1876, of which Thomas would be in charge.

On December 4, 1878, Thomas married his second wife, Anna B. (called Betty) Opdycke, a resident of Pulaski, and the daughter of John and Harriet (nee Baird).

The 1880 census enumerator found the Thomas Carroll family at 265 Holgate Avenue.  Thomas, a grocer, 37, and his wife, Betty, 26, and Charles, his son from his previous marriage, now 7, lived there.  In 1881, Thomas bought out his partner, Cary, and ran the Defiance store himself for two years.  According to the 1883 history, he joined with new partners, C. W. and T. J. Prettyman to form Carroll & Co. in 1883, a predecessor to the Defiance Grocery Company.  He also served as a Defiance City councilman, as well as being a well respected and very successful businessman and a very active member of the G.A.R.

One of his later projects was running a restaurant on Island Park.

Thomas R. Carroll died on July 29, 1900 at the age of 58 years, 6 months and 25 days.  Obituaries and Funeral notes were found in both the Defiance Crescent News on July 30, 1900, and the Defiance Weekly Express on August 2, 1900.

He was buried in Riverside Cemetery.  His second wife, Betty, lived on until November 4, 1933.

(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!)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Defiance County Infirmary Residents - 1910

The census enumerator listed the following residents when he visited the infirmary on April 28, 1910:

Glenn L. Leaders, Superintendent, 32 and wife, Sarah, 30, Matron
Their children: Marion R. Leaders, 6, and John E., 4

Charles R. Smith, farm laborer, 26, single
Aschbacher, Charles F., engineer, 52, married
Stelter, Edith M., 20, cook, single

Residents, in alphabetical order: 

Baer, Mary E., 66 widow
Bice, Martha, 20, single
Bower, John, 67, single
Crago, Iven, 48, single

Dercurn, John, 74, single
Dotterer, George, 58, single
Garrity, Martin, 63, widow

Hassemeier, Theresa, 52, married
Hensey, Martin, 78, widow
Hilbert, William, 24, single
Hixon, Lilly, 64, widow
Holt, Charles, 76, single
Hopkins, Edith, 30, single

Kammerer, David, 76, widow
Kaney, Peter, 56, single
Kellogg, James, 41, single
Kunkle, Susie, 65, single

Lemon, John, 35, single
Lewis, Bessie, 46, widow
Moyer, William, 65, widow
Moris, Faye, 28, marrie (3x)
Neddalost, J. 62, single
Nicks, Fred, 85, married (2x)
Onstott, Samuel, 36, single

Reuder, Louie, 58, single
Rumple, Eliza, 59, single
Sawyer, Julie, 41, married (3x)
Schreider, John, 62, married
Schnker, Gertrude, 85, widow
Schooley, Julia, 68, widow
Sewell, Mary, 50, widow
Sines, Ricka, 62, widow
Sinn, Frank, 52, single
Smith, Norman, 83

Walters, Lizzie, 41, single
Webster, Clarence, 9 months old
Webster, Emma, 25, married
White, John, 89, widow
Williams, Thomas, 71, single
Williamson, Viola, 50, single
Wrede, Leo, 39

For a list of Defiance County Home residents in 1920 and 1940 from the censuses, visit our society webpage HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

How Cornelia Street in Hicksville Was Named

Forest Home Cemetery, Hicksville, OH

Cornelia A. DuFoe Spindler

Cornelia A. DuFoe Spindler was born September 30, 1846, in Branch county, Michigan, and departed this life at the home of her sister, Mrs. Maud H. Bachman in Collinsville, Illinois, March 10, 1811*
 *(Incorrect date - it should be 1911.) 

During her girlhood, the deceased for a number of years was a teacher in the public schools of her native county.  When a young woman, she was united in *marriage with Jacob F. Spindler, for whom she was a helpful wife until his death, nearly a quarter of a century ago.  Soon after their marriage, the deceased and her husband came to Hicksville to make their home and where they remained until the time of his death.
*Michigan marriage records indicated that Jacob F. Spindler, born Lancaster, PA, a carpenter who was 33 years old, married Cornelia A. DuFoe, who was 24, on October 6, 1870, in Coldwater, MI.) 

The deceased, after the death of her husband, continued to live in her home on Cornelia street in this village until about ten years ago.  By the death of her husband, Mrs. Spindler was left with the care of three young sons, Victor H. Spindler; Melvin Spindler, and Clifton Spindler.  The three sons afterward died, leaving their mother alone in the world and in ill health. 

When the deceased and her husband settled here, Hicksville was a small hamlet and the residents were intimately acquainted with each other.  The lot upon which stood the dwelling which she occupied for many years was the first lot sold upon the street upon which it fronted, and in giving the street a name, the late Hon. A. P. Edgerton gave it Mrs. Spindler's Christian name, Cornelia, in her honor, he having been the proprietor of the addition in which her home is located.

Two members of the family of the deceased sacrified their health for the perpetuity and  glory of this nation.  The husband was a brave soldier in the 58th*
regiment O.V.I. and died from the effects of privations endured in Andersonville prison.  One son, Clifton, was a brave soldier in the Spanish-American war and in the Philipine War.  
*Jacob F. Spindler was actually in the 68th Ohio, as many sources agree.  He enlisted at the age of 26 on October 2, 1861.  He was captured on June 15, 1865, at Big Shanty, Georgia and then taken to Andersonville as a POW.  He was one of the lucky ones who survived.  Jacob mustered out on May 15, 1865, and died on December 4, 1886.

The deceased was a sufferer from physical ailments for many years. She was industrious, painstaking, loyal, forgiving and charitable.  Many years ago she united with the First Methodist Episcopal church of Hicksville and continued to be a loyal member until the time of her death.  

The deceased leaves surviving her: one brother, John DuFoe of Union City, Michigan, and one sister, Mrs. Maud E. Bachman of Collinsville, Illinois.  The funeral services were conducted by Rev. J. C. Shaw from the First Methodist Episcopal church of Hicksville last Friday afternoon and interment was made in Forest Home Cemetery."

Forest Home Cemetery, Hicksville, Ohio  (www.findagrave.com)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Albert Born Farnsworth - A Pioneer of Milford Township

Albert Born Farnsworth

Albert Farnsworth was born in Boston, Mass., March 14, 1830, and when about five years old, the family moved to New York City where they resided about three years.
They then moved to Brookfield, now Massilon, Stark County, Ohio.  After residing in Brookfield until a boy of eleven years, his parents moved by wagon in the year of 1841 to the old homestead in Milford township, Defiance county, where he was reared to manhood.

There were in all twelve brothers and sisters to share the pleasures of his boyhood days.  He learned the carpenter's trade in early manhood and labored and toiled, helping  wrest Defiance county from its native wilderness and fit it for habitation.  Few, if any, contributed more than did Mr. Farnsworth.  It is meet that for the arduous and important labor he has performed he should receive his due credit. 

Upon the home farm in Milford township, he resided until his marriage, August 30, 1854, to Miss Eliza Martin, a native of Vermont, and a daughter of Reuben and Thankful (Bolton) Martin, who in 1853, removed from Portage county, Ohio, to Milford township, this county.
Five children were born of this union: Newell A., Emma, wife of Frank Place, Warren A., Effie, wife of C. E. Warner, and Charles H.  The mother departed this life December 21, 1894, in Hicksville.

October 8, 1896, Mr. Farnsworth was again married.  His second union being with Mrs. Catherine (Tracht) Hilbert, a daughter of Peter Tracht and a widow of Isaac Hilbert, who departed this life October 10 1917.*
(*printing error)

During the Civil War, deceased manifested his patriotism by enlisting in August, 1862, in Company F, 111th O.V.I. for three years, and was made a non-commissioned officer.  After one year's service, he was placed in detached duty in the Engineer Corps. He participated in the Battle of Murfreesboro, in the siege of Knoxville, as well as in several skirmishes, and when his term of service had expired, he was honorably discharged.

His experience was a remarkable one, he having been providentially saved from guerrilla bullets and rope while serving as Recruiting Officer in East Tennessee, in the organizing of colored troops; also in a successful rescue of three comrades from a watery grave, taking them from a wreck in a frail skiff in Holston River, while it was at high water mark and covered with rapidly floating ice.

While living in Milford township, he held the offices of trustee and clerk, but never cared for political honors.

At the age of twelve years, he was converted to God, and as there was no church in that vicinity at that time,  he did not unite with any congregation until he was twenty-one, and lived a true and consistent Christian life for sixty-seven years.  He was a member of the U. B. church and has served as class leader and superintendent of Sunday School for ten successive years, and took an active part until his sickness prevented his attending services.

He departed this life July 28, 1918, at his residence on North Main street. aged 88 years, 4 months and 14 days.  As an honored pioneer, highly respected citizen, and devoted Christian, his memory is worth of being perpetuated.  May his mantle fall upon others.  Funeral services were held from the U.B. church, conducted by Rev. J. W. Lilly, assisted by Rev. Hendrickson.  Interment in Forest Home Cemetery."

Hicksville Tribune, August 15, 1918
For more information on Albert Farnsworth, visit


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Garman School, Defiance Township, District #3 - 1906

The Garman School, District #3, was located in Defiance Township at the intersection of Walnut Grove and Watson Roads, in Section 10.

This photo was dated October 23, 1906, and the names were labeled to correspond with the numbers written on the pupils in the photo.

1 - Teacher, June (Knight) Degler
2 - Ruth Carpenter Leever
3 -Winona Garman Boehm
4 - Vida Garman Rieckhoff
5 - John A. Garman
6 - Nelson Rose
7 - Ralph Rose
8 - Gale Keller
9 - Mervin Hall

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Alice E. Stewart - Death by Coffee


"Mrs. Alice E. Stewart, wife of Dr. Stewart, died Friday morning at a few minutes past nine o'clock, after an hour of terrible suffering.

Mrs. Stewart arose as usual and prepared breakfast for the family - a bright faced, happy woman, full of life and enjoying excellent health - only to be cut off within one short hour by the messenger of death.

The morning meal having been prepared, the family seated themselves at the table.  Mrs. Stewart reached over the table for something, and in drawing her arm back, it struck the coffee pot at plate and the boiling fluid was spilt in her lap, scalding her about the abdomen and breast in a terrible manner, which resulted in her death a short time later.

Several physicians were called and every attempt to alleviate the terrible sufferings of the dying woman was made.  The accident was not such as would in many instances prove fatal, but the accident was so sudden and the nervous shock incident thereto so great that Mrs. Stewart was immediately thrown into convulsions, in which condition she remained until death relieved her.  Her husband gave her every attention and sent immediately for other physicians who used their best efforts and labored with the suffering woman for two hours; but their efforts availed not, and two hours after the accident, she passed away.

Mrs. Stewart was one of the leading ladies of Hicksville, an earnest Christian woman, and was most highly esteemed for her many excellent qualities.  Her sudden death cast a gloom over the entire community.

Funeral services were conducted from the house at 6:30 o'clock Saturday evening, Rev. T. E. Burrowes officiating, assisted by the entire clergy of the town, and the remains were taken to Fostoria for burial on Sunday.

Mrs. Alice E. Stewart was born July 14, 1857, in Hancock county, Ohio; died July 22, 1892, aged 35 years and 8 days.  She was married to Clarence E. Stewart December 24, 1870.  She was the mother of two children, a boy and a girl.  Her little son preceded her since August 20, 1879.   Lelah May, born May 7, 1885, survives her mother.  Mrs. Stewart was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jonas Hofmaster.  She leaves a father and a mother, two sisters - Mrs. M. C. Smith, of this place, and Mrs. Dr. Miller, of Fostoria - one brother, a husband and daughter, with a large circle of friends, to mourn her departure."

Source: Obituaries - Pioneers of Northwest Ohio, Carma Rowe estate, Defiance Public Library.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Joseph G. Pask - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

Born in Lincolnshire, England, Joseph George Pask came with his parents, Thomas and Elizabeth, to the United States in about 1844.  By the 1850 census, the family had settled in the town of Milford, Jefferson County, Wisconsin.  They were also in that same place in 1860, where Joseph's father was established as the postmaster of Milford.

On April 13, 1862, when 24, Joseph enlisted in the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry, Company D.  The Third Cavalry spent most of its time traveling in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and some of the Indian territories, trying to defeat any Confederate forces in those areas.  They scouted and served on guard duty, and fought in what was described as "guerilla warfare."  In March of 1865, when some companies in the regiment mustered out, Joseph transferred to the reorganized Company I until mustering out in May, 1865.

 After the war, he married Sarah E. Reed and at some point before the 1870 census, they settled in Washington Township, Defiance County.  At that time, Joseph was farming and owned real estate valued at $5000.  (Soldiers from Wisconsin were offered land in Kansas for serving in the war, so it would be interesting to know if Joseph did get land there and then sold it to buy land in Ohio.)

By 1880, Joseph was still farming in Washington Township at the age of 43. He and Sarah had four children: Rosa, 14 - Anna, 7 - Ella, 5 - and Chester, 10 months.  A child named Walter, age 1, listed in the 1870 census, was not named here.  He could be deceased or the child, Chester, may have been called Walter in the earlier census.

Joseph told the enumerator of the 1890 Veterans' Census that he had disabilities due to the war - rheumatism and a disease of the eye.  Despite any health issues, Joseph Pask lived a long life.  Before 1920, he and Sarah moved to Hillsdale County, Michigan.  Sarah died in 1920, and after that, Joseph moved in with their son, Raymond, who was a farmer.  Joseph died on June 18, 1930, in Osseo, Michigan.

An obituary appeared in the Bryan Press on June 26, 1930, on page 8:


Joseph G. Pask died at his home near Osseo, Mich., June 18, two days after his 92nd birthday.  He was born in Lincolnshire, England and came with his parents to America when he was a lad of six years.  The family settled in Richland county, afterwards coming to Defiance county, where he lived south of the Chickasaw for many years and where his four children, three daughters and one son were born.

Several years ago, he moved to his Michigan home where he died.

He was widely known in this vicinity and highly respected.  His sister, Mrs. J. A. Field, of Bryan, is the only surviving member of his father's family, but his children are all living.

Mr. Pask served through the Civil war, enlisting in 1862 at Madison, Wis., and serving until the end of the war.

Mrs. Field feels very grateful to the friends and neighbors at his Michigan home and also of his former home around Farmer for their many kindnesses during his death and burial.  Funeral services were held at his late home, Friday afternoon at one o'clock and the interment was in the Farmer cemetery, where his parents and wife are buried."

Monday, July 17, 2017

John H. Mohr - Bishop Post, G.A.R.

Following the life of John H. Mohr (sometimes Moore) through the censuses was not easy, as the family moved frequently throughout Ohio.  But before the war, in 1860, John H. was 18 and located in Harrison Township, Champaign County, Ohio.  It was there he was listed on the draft registration of 1862:
"John H. Mohr, 20, white, unmarried, farmer, residence, Harrison, Champaign County, O.

John enlisted in Company E, 14th Ohio Infantry.

The connection noted between Kuhl and Mohr is that Henry Kuhl's widow, Ida, became John H. Mohr's second wife. I am guessing that the government didn't let her "double-dip" on the widow's pension.
 Back home in Defiance, he married Mary Marea on May 29, 1883.  On May 26, 1888, he checked into the National Soldiers' Home in Dayton.  By that time, his wife had died.  Their records told us much of John Mohr who reported that he had enlisted on February 8, 1864, in Toledo, and was discharged on July 11, 1865, in Louisville, Kentucky.  Perhaps as a result of the war,he had lost part of a finger on the right hand and the thumb of his left hand.  He was only 45 when he entered the home, and he gave his occupation as plumber and pipe fitter.  John was of fair complexion with gray eyes and brown hair.  He stayed at the home until his discharge on August 8, 1892; the reason for the discharge could not be read.  He was sent to live at 608 Perry Street in Defiance, perhaps with his brother, Joseph.

John moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in about 1895.   In January of  1897, a few months before his second wedding, he decided to have his teeth fixed in Wisconsin and, sure enough, the paper printed the exciting news...the Defiance Express, that is, January 7, 1897:

His second marriage was reported in the Defiance Express, too, even though it took place in Wisconsin - March 11, 1897:

 The couple settled into a rental house at 533 Main Street in Fond du Lac where the census enumerator found them in 1900.  John was 57 then, and Ida was 41.  Ida was a dressmaker and John said he was a railroad engineer who had not been employed for 12 months.  Their marriage was very short-lived, as John died on November 17, 1901, and was buried in Rienzi Cemetery in Fond du Lac.  The tombstone names his military service as Co. B, 107th Ohio Infantry, so perhaps that was at the end of his service or his unit was transferred.  That information could not be found.

A short death notice for John was found in the Defiance Crescent News on November 18, 1901:

Other source indicated the death date was November 17.

(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!)