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Friday, March 31, 2017

The Farmer Post Office in the Early Days

Original Farmer Post Office desk
It is said that Nathan Farmer settled in what is now named Farmer Township in the early 1830s.  But it was about 1842 - 1843 before the post office was established in the village of Farmer.  

Throughout the years, the site of the post office moved from private homes to grocery stores and even to a Grange building at the corner of Rt. 249 and Farmer- Mark Road. 

 Luckily, someone thought to save the original desk that was "the post office" - one that could be moved from place to place -  and it is still preserved by a local family.

The official U.S. Appointments of Postmasters list gave the names of these earliest postmasters and their appointment dates:

1843 August 31 - Oney Rice, Jr.
1848 September 5 - Orley N. Foot

1850 July 8 - Samuel D. Knight
1851 March 15 - Samuel Ayres
1854 January 16 - Richard Knight
1855 April 4 - William M. Brown
1856 July 8 - Samuel D. Knight

1861 May 23 - John Norway
1863 April 28 - Noah E. Cory
1864  April 10 - Newell O. Foot

1885 August 21 - Emory E. Martin
1889 May 21 - Belle Bowker
1893 June 22 - Ora J. Martin
1897 June 16 - David C. Lord

1904 January 2 - Clyde R. Norway  

Thursday, March 30, 2017

From the Marckel Scrapbook - Anna Caroline Linebrink Snellenberger

From the scrapbook of Doris E. Marckel Bates, Defiance, Ohio

Date on the cover – March the 11, 1906

A collection of newspaper articles about the folks of Defiance County, Ohio, all undated and with no source named.



It has pleased our Heavenly Father to call from our midst our sister, Anna Caroline Snellenberger (nee Linebrink).  She was born in Tiffin township, Defiance county, March 24, 1878, and passed away to younger Heavenly Home, Sunday, May 5, 1907, at her home in Paulding county. 

She was married November 21, 1906, to Benjamin Snellenberger. This union was very short, and her last words were, ‘The cord will soon be broken.’  She was a loving wife, but too soon was she called away.  Her father related to me, she was a good and obedient child.  She was raised in the Methodist Episcopal church and in her early youth, joined the same; she also was a charter member of the Epworth League of the St. John’s church in Tiffin township.  About 3 years ago she made the glorious experience that Jesus came to save sinners; she enjoyed the religion of Jesus Christ.  The Saviour that she had loved so, and so beautifully represented in her daily life, was her unfailing and constant support. 

She was very patient in her sufferings.   

She leaves to mourn her loss her bereaved husband, her parents, four sisters, four brothers, and many friends.  May the Lord comfort the bereaved.  The funeral, which was largely attended took place Tuesday afternoon at the St John’s church in Tiffin township.  The interment was in the family lot at St. John’s cemetery, Tiffin township.  Wm. Jauch, Pastor.

-We desire to express our most sincere thanks for the kindness and sympathy shown during the illness and at the loss of our dear daughter.  Louis Linebrink and Family.”

*Learn more at www.findagrave.com - HERE.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Dry Creek United Brethren Church - Farmer Township

The Dry Creek U.B. Church was organized in 1887 in Farmer Township and was located in Section 26 near Dry Creek, one mile east and one and one-half miles south of Farmer.  Eventually, about 1915, the church merged with the Williams County United Brethren Church.  However, some families went to the Union church in Farmer, as well. The church building no longer stands.

This photo of the Men's Bible Class was probably taken between 1900 and 1910.

Top Row (L to R): 
Art Biglow, Jesse Ewers, Roy Byers, Loren Smith, Carl Smith, Burt Rogers, William Ott, Claud Fickle and John Calhoun

Bottom Row (L to R):
Roy Byers, John Lee, Charles Culler, Calvin Rogers Sr., Matt Hilbert, William Bayes, and Jim Rogers 

Rudolf Baden was peeking out of the doorway!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - Independence Cemetery, Richland 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:

 Independence Cemetery

1. Name of cemetery:
Independence Cemetery, Independence, Ohio

2. Location, how reached:
On old U.S. #24, three miles east of Defiance, Ohio on the high bank of the Maumee River at Independence crossroads.

3. Name and address of caretaker:
Mr. A. Young, R. R. #4, Defiance, Ohio

Photo from www.findagrave.com
4. General description, size, etc.:
This burial plot contains 1 1/2 acres of well-kept land.  It lies on a high bluff overlooking the Maumee River and is dotted by numerous shade trees.  There are numerous gravel paths throughout and the markers are large and of granite and marble, and the entire plot is fenced. This cemetery is kept up by the Methodist Church and various people who have relatives buried there.

5. Names of important persons buried here and for what noted:  None

6. Name and date of first burial recorded:  Thomas Elliot, 1856

Oldest Elliot tombstone there now - Samuel Elliot
7. Markers of unusual appearance: None

8. Unusual epitaphs:  "Life's work well done, she sleeps in peace."

9. Is cemetery used for new burials?  Yes

C. Cadwallader and C. Gish, Reporters
Consultant: Mr. John Elliot, Independence, Ohio

Monday, March 27, 2017

Hiram F. Rice - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

Member of Farmer G.A.R.

Born, raised, and died in Farmer Township, Defiance County, Ohio - that described Hiram F. Rice.  His parents were early settlers in the township, established a farm there, and passed that farm down through the generations.

In 1860, Hiram lived there with his mother, Lydia, who was 52 and widowed.  She was listed as the head of the family in the census, with real estate valued at $4000 - quite an amount for the time.  Hiram, 22, and his brother, Aaron, 19, lived with their mother on the farm.

Hiram enlisted in Company F of the 111th Ohio Infantry on August 13, 1862 in Toledo, along with many other Defiance County men. His unit spent quite a bit of time in Kentucky and Tennessee, only to return again in 1863 to patrol and protect areas along the Ohio River against Confederate invasion.  In the fall of 1863, the group headed south again for battles at Kennesaw Mountain and Jonesboro, and then they chased Hood's army around the south.   On January 1, 1865, Hiram was promoted to First Sergeant. At some point after that promotion, Sgt. Hiram was wounded in the spine. (His pension papers would add details to this incident.)  He mustered out at the end of the war on June 27, 1865 at Salisbury, North Carolina.

In 1890, Hiram reported on the Veterans' Census that he had served 2 years, 10 months and 15 days. 

On March 20, 1870, he married Rhoda E. Stone, the daughter of Alpha and Samantha (Marihugh) Stone.  After the war, his mother had apparently deeded over the farm to Hiram, as it appeared in his name in the 1866 plat book.

Section 21
In the 1870 census, Hiram was listed as head of household at the age of 32, with Rhoda, 24, and Lydia Rice, mother, aged 63.  Emory Heartman (Hartman?), 11, lived there, too as a laborer.  The farm had increased to $7000 in value. On June 18, 1885, the Defiance County Express reported that Hiram Rice "had a large barn raised and when completed, it will be one of the finest barns in the country."

Hiram and Lydia would have sons, Oney and Clark, and they also raised their grandson, Blake, an infant when his mother, wife to Oney, died. Lydia Rice died in 1895, and the Defiance Republican Express noted on June 6, 1895:

"Lydia Rice, mother of Hiram R. of Farmer township, died Saturday morning at the ripe old age of about 87 years.  She was on of the pioneers of Defiance County.  She was buried Sunday afternoon at Farmer cemetery."

Hiram's brother, Oney, had a wife, Hattie, who also died in 1895 at the age of 23.  She was the mother of Blake, who was then raised by Hiram and Rhoda.  In 1900, Hiram (born 1837), was 62 and he and Rhoda had been married thirty years.  With them were Clark, their youngest son, 21 and single, and Blake B. their grandson, aged 6, born in April 1894. 

Her obituary appeared in the Defiance County Republican Express on January 24, 1895:

Her husband, Oney, remarried in 1897 to Blanch and had children with her: Oney Jr.,Milo and Mabel.
 Hiram F. Rice died on October 3, 1906.  An obituary appeared in the Bryan Press on October 4, 1906:

"Hiram F. Rice died at his home near Farmer on the 3rd of October at the age of 68 years, 11 months and 2 days.  

He was born in Farmer township, Defiance county, where he always lived, except during three years spent as a soldier in the war of the Rebellion, where he served as a member of Co. F., 111th O. V. I.

He was married to Rhoda E. Stone on the 20th of March 1870, and to this union were born two sons, Oney and Clark.  A grandson, Blake, on account of his mother's death when a baby, has made a third member of the family since 1895.

On the 27th of last December, while in Bryan, Mr. Rice was stricken with paralysis, which gradually spread to his whole body and caused his death.  

Funeral services were held by the Rev. Mr. Kelly, of the M.E. church in Farmer, October 7th, at two o'clock."

Rhoda Rice lived on until 1914.

Memorial card found among Rice family possessions, Farmer, Ohio

The Defiance Crescent-News had an informative article about the Rice family farm on July 27, 1932, in its Rural Rambler column:

"A Family Farm
Clark Rice, who lives just west of Farmer, says that the old Rice eighty acres has been transferred only twice since it became a farm.  The first member of the Rice family to reside here was Dr. Oney Rice (father to Hiram F. Rice) who homesteaded it upon his arrival from St. Lawrence County, N.Y.  Then his son Hiram resided on the old home farm, and now the grandson, Clark resides here.

First Post Office
Mr. Rice showed the Rambler a desk that served as the first post office in Farmer.  This desk stood just inside the hall door of the old Rice residence which was destroyed by a fire about twelve years ago.  And from the desk was distributed the first mail at Farmer.

Antique Oil Can
Hanging on the wall of the farm shop on the Clark Rice farm is the coal oil can that Mrs. Hiram Rice purchased on a trip to Defiance when she bought the first coal oil lamp that the family owned.  The purchase of the lamp marked the passing of the tallow candle for the purpose of illumination in the farm home.

Building By Generation
This farm has buildings erected by three generations of Rices.  The old barn, now used as a utility barn, was erected by Dr. Oney Rice.  The farm barn was built by Hiram Rice, and following the fire which destroyed the old dwelling.  The modern residence were constructed by Clark Rice.

Handling the Farm
The farm, which has grown to comprise 171 acres, is beautifully set off by an eighty rod row of maples extending along the concrete road which passes the place.  Dale Rice, the only son, is actively engaged with his father in operating the farm on which an important factor is the flock of 140 sheep.

This farm has been kept at a high level of productivity as is indicated by the 36 bushels per acre yield of this season's wheat crop.  Oats looks good, but Mr. Rice says they are rustier than any oats he ever harvested.

Farm procedure includes the pasturing of sweet clover and oats by sheep each year as a successful method of maintaining soil productivity.    

Family All At Home
Besides his farmer son, Dale, Mr. Rice has three daughters, all at home present.  Miss Helen, who will teach in the Farmer school the coming term, is actively engaged as a 4-H club leader.  Miss Grace will teach in District No. 1 in Farmer township this term, andMiss Doris is intending to complete the course in the Farmer School."