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Friday, April 28, 2017

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - Hill Cemetery, Delaware 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
Delaware Township 

1. Name of Cemetery:
The Hill Cemetery, Delaware Township, so named because most of the persons buried in it are named Hill.

2. Location, how reached:
On the bank of the Maumee River, five miles west of the city of Defiance, Ohio, and half a mile or more just northof Route U.S. #24, a blind end road leads back to this graveyard and the river from the main highway.  It is a at the eastern start of the horse-shoe bend in the river.  This graveyard is not very well known.

3. Name and address of caretaker:
A. J. McFeeters, Sherwood, Ohio 

Photo from www.findagrave.com
5. General description, size, appearance, etc.:
This graveyard is kept up by the trustees of Delaware Township.  It is fenced in with plain wire and has a wooden gate kept locked.  The grounds have not been well kept up this year, are weed grown and much brush has piled up in it.  It sets on a hill back in a field about a hundred feet from the river bank and contains about half an acre of ground, which is well wooded with walnut and pine trees.  It is not a church cemetery and is controlled by the trustees of the township.  It never was much used.  There are only twenty five marked graves in it.

6. Name and date of first burial recorded:
George Mast, a seven year old boy, buried in 1859, is the oldest marker in the graveyard.

7. Names of important persons buried there:
Two old Civil War veterans, one named Hill and the other Duck, seem to be the only persons of any note buried there.

George Duck, veteran - www.findagrave.com
7. Markers of unusual appearance:
The markers are mostly all old white slabs, although in the last ten years, the Hills have erected two modern granite markers to their family.

8. Unusual epitaphs:  None

9. Is cemetery used for new burials?  Yes.

C. Cadwallader and C. Gish, Reporters
Mrs. L. C. Kretzer, R. R. #7, Defiance, Ohio
Mr. A. J. McFeeters, Sherwood, Ohio


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Banner School, Delaware Township, District #9

This souvenir booklet was undated, but the teacher is named on the front  - Camile A. Dustin.
The copy was poor, so I have listed the students here:

Boys -
Freddie Ausman
Earnest Huber
Godfry Huber
Arnold Huber
Floyd Kellermeier 
Eddie Kintner
Charley Kintner
Harry Kraus
Earnest Kraus
Roy Miller
Clyde Moats
Forest Miller
Johnie Millimen
Henry Rosebrock
Wm. Rosebrock
Christ Rosebrock
Henry Rahmer
Arthur Sprow
Lloyd Sprow
Charley Welker

Girls -
Anna Ausman
Emma Ausman
Lydia Huber
Susie Kaser
Elsie Kaser
Grace Kellermeier
Leah Kellermeier
Fannie Kintner
Laura Moats
Clara Miller
Lydia Rahmer
Ella Rahmer
Minnie Rosebrock 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dedication of St. Michael's Catholic Church - September, 1903


New Catholic Church at North Ridge Tuesday.


A Veritable Monument to the Zeal and Devotion of the Congregation.
Complete Report of The Ceremonies and a Short History of the Parish.

The magnificent new church of St. Michael's in Adams township was dedicated Tuesday.  The event was a triumphant festival of faith.  Its joy and glory were not confined to Adams township, nor to one faith, but was shared by a vast multitude from Defiance and Henry counties.  The event marked an epoch in the history of Catholicism in Defiance county, but especially in Adams township, which will be remembered by every resident and told to the generations to follow.

No less than twelve hundred people were present to witness the sacred ceremonies.  Some began arriving as early as six o'clock and all remained until Father Gloden pronounced benediction just before the noon hour.

The new church is located near the center of Adams township and just a little west of the ridge road.  For miles this magnificent church is clearly outlined against the sky, and from nearer approaches, its grandeur fills one with awe as it lifts itself clear of the surroundings, so insignificant in comparison.  This house of worship is well proportioned, the dimensions being 120 feet by 54 feet and 28 feet high with the spire towering 148 feet in the heavens.

 The church is wrought in stone till above the basement and completed with pressed brick with trimmings in stone.  The large slate roof is broken with four dormer windows on each side, making an exceedingly handsome appearance.  Situated as it is, in the heart of a most prosperous farming community, with all other buildings seeming like miniature play houses, it towers high toward the Lord's domain to express the congregation's aspirings and is recognized as a universal type of the churchly and the devotional architectural incarnation of the Catholic spirit.

The dignity of the exterior hardly prepares one for the beauty of the interior.  The first effect is almost dazzling.  The impression is both of color and of light.  It has evidently been the aim of the decorators to reproduce the natural glow of the outer sunlight in the marble wainscoating, in the terra cotta and gold of the frescoes, in the blue filling of the upper arches and in the predominance of gold tints in the transept and sanctuary windows.  The main altar is of Italian marble with onyx columns.

 The side altars are of marble.  The pews and pulpit are of oak in a natural finish.  The windows are of stained glass, all donated by members of the congregation.  The seating capacity is about seven hundred.  In the gallery there is commodious quarters for a large choir and the new pipe-organ, costing nearly $2000, sounded its first joyful notes at the dedication yesterday.

At 9:30 o'clock, the ceremonies were opened by an imposing procession about the church, which included cross bearer, Father J. B. Bell of Collingwood, Cleveland; the acolytes; Master of Ceremonies, Father G. C. Schoeneman of Canton; assistant priests, Father Zinsmayer of Landeck, Father M. Puetz of Napoleon, Father J. P. Gloden of Defiance, Father L. Heiland of New Bavaria, Father J. H. Muehlenbeck of Toledo, Father J. B. Heiland of North Ridge, Father A. I. Hoeffel of Delphos and Mgr. Thorpe of Cleveland.  
Next followed the blessing of the outer and inner walls with chanting the 'Miserere' on the outside and the 'Litany of the Saints' on the inside. 

Mgr. Thorpe then delivered a sermon in English outlining the duties of a Catholic and then congratulated the rector, Father J. B. Heiland, and the congregation on the handsome edifice that day dedicated.  He spoke of his presence here at the time the cornerstone was laid in June of 1902.  He also congratulated them on dedicating their house of worship on the Feast of St. Michael, the patron saint of the congregation, their parish house and their homes.  Mgr. Thorpe's address was a masterful one and was received with the closest attention.

 After this address, the Pontifical mass began, Father J. P. Gloden was celebrant with Father Muehlenbeck - deacon, Father Bell - sub-deacon and Father Schoeneman, master of ceremonies.  Fathers Hoeffel and L. Heiland were deacons of honor.  During the services, the choir, all young members of the congregation, rendered the mass of St. Michael.  The singing was excellent.

Father Muehlenbeck addressed those present in German.  He opened his sermon by congratulating the pastor and congregation and spoke of the time he served St. Michael's congregation as its pastor.  He had formed ideas of a new church, but was removed before he could begin action.  He told his congregation a new school was needed to educate their children and ended his talk with remarks directed to the young people and imploring them to live upright as true Catholics...

St. Michael's congregation was founded about 1860 with Rev. A. I. Hoeffel as first resident pastor, with about 20 families among whom were John Coressel Sr., John Coressel, Jr., Michael Sheets, Peter Leithauser, Peter Lenhart, Michael Lutz, Michael Costello, Adam Clemens, John Rauth, John Donler, Nicholas Clemens, Christian Seibert, Michael Turner, Wm. Zeller, Peter Clemens, Lawrence Rumbaugh, James Cronin, Peter Smith, Joseph Fronk who came in 1862, and Frank Sommers, Sr. who located in 1864.  These with two exceptions have passed to the great beyond.

In 1862, under the direction of Father Maloney, old St. Michael's was erected, all the labor necessary being performed by the members of the congregation.  As nearly as could be ascertained without referring to the church records, Father Carroll succeeded Father Maloney who was was succeeded by Father Hannin.

The next pastor was Father Machenhahn, who remained but a short time.  Next in order of succession was Father O'Kief, who remained about a year.  In 1870, Father Drackenholz was assigned to the parish and remained but a few months.  Father Ellert followed and remained a couple of years.  During his pastorate, the first parochial resident was built.

Father Conway was next and also remained but a few months and was followed by Father Blosser, who came in 1875, serving the congregation for about 2 years.

Frs. Sproull and McCarty were the next rectors within a year and a half.  Father Jacob Christophory came in June of 1878 and under his direction, the parochial schools were established.  Father J. H. Muehlenbeck took charge in 1881 and during his charge, the present brick school house was erected in 1882 and the old church was enlarged.  During his residence, the parsonage was burned in the spring of 1886.

Fr. Schoeneman came to North Ridge in 1886, and during his stay, the present parsonage was built.  He remained as pastor for three years.  Father Schoeneman left in February, 1890, the church being without a pastor until Father Kress came in 1891, who remained during the summer.  In the fall of 1891, Father Bell was assigned to the charge who remained about two yearsa nd was succeeded by Father J. B. Heiland, the present pastor, under whose guidance and persevering effort, the magnificent structure dedicated Tuesday was made possible.  Father Heiland and his congregation deserve the congratulations of everyone in the county.
The ladies of the congregation deserve unlimited praise in the manner in which they fed the great crowd present.  The dining tables were in the old church, seating about a 100 at a time.  Not a thing to appease the hunger and delight, the palates of mankind were not lacking.  And there was plenty for all.  It is estimaged that the receipts from the dinner and ice cream stands will foot up nearly $500."

From the Defiance Crescent News, September 30, 1903.

John B. Houtz - G.A.R. Bishop Post

Born about 1839, John B. Houtz was a Defiance boy who learned the blacksmithing trade early.  When he was 12, he was enumerated in the 1850 census with his parents, Michael and Nancy.  Michael was a blacksmith and living with the family were Jacob Houtz, 32, another blacksmith, and two young men who were probably apprentices - Harman Lisman, 16, and Charles Oden, 15.  

But the war called to John in 1861, when he was about twenty-two.  He first enlisted in a three month unit - Company K, 21st Ohio Infantry and served from April 27 to August 12, 1861.

He must have come home for awhile before reenlisting as his marriage to Henrietta Bates was recorded as occurring on January 26, 1862.  John enlisted again on August 1, 1862 into Company D, 100th O.V. I. where he served another 2 years, 10 months and 19 days, mustering out on July 20, 1865 in Columbus, Ohio.  

Once home, John and Henrietta set up housekeeping in Defiance where John worked at what he knew best - blacksmithing.  In the 1870 census, John and Henrietta were joined by children: John, 7 - William, 3 - and Christian, 6 months.  And by 1880, the family had added Albert, Henry, and Nelly. 

Sometime between 1870 and 1880, John added the job of constable in Defiance. The job seemed to involve serving papers and helping in court, for the most part. He made the newspaper in 1878 for a bit of clumsiness with his gun.

Constable John Houtz, while cleaning his revolver, last Friday, shot himself through one of the fingers of his right hand.  The accident happened while he was in the act of replacing the cylinder.  The question which naturally arises is what use has a constable for a revolver anyway?  Guess Houtz begins to wonder himself."  
Defiance County Express - August 1, 1878

By 1900, John Houtz was working as a constable as his main occupation.  At 64, he lived with wife, Henrietta, sometimes called Nettie, and two of his sons who were single: William,32, who worked as a bridge carpenter, and Henry, 24, a cigar maker.  Daughter Nellie was also still at home.  

In June of that year, he worked on some renovations on his home at 224 Water Street, where some new historical information was revealed.

"John Houtz, of Water Street,has been making some improvements on his residence in the way of a new roof and cornice.  A historical event is connected with the house which is known to but few.  The house was built about the year 1850 by Fred Wolsiffer and was used as a brewery, that being the first brewery introduced in this county.  The building is wonderfully well preserved.
Defiance Weekly Express - June 14, 1900

In 1915, it was reported that Defiance had had SIX bald-headed smithies!  Big news - enough so that a special portrait had been taken of the six which was then hung in the Bishop Post - John B Houtz, Peter Dickman, James M. Wilt, Peter M. Sieren, E. P. Rhoades, and Benny Shupp.  
Who knows what happened to that photo?

Crescent-News - May 12, 1915
John B. Houtz died on July 15, 1919 and he rests at Riverside Cemetery, Defiance.
Crescent-News - July 16, 1919

(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, April 25, 2017

Sherwood High School Graduates - 1922

Top row: Dorothy Hosler, Helen Hosler, Lelah Mohley, Evelyn Bayliss

Row 2 from top: Thurza Hoff, Raymond Miller, Bernard Decker, Paul Moats, Tom Baldwin

Row 3: Kelly Motherspaugh, Morris Johnson

Bottom Row: Alfred Heber, Mildred Smith, Violet Croyle, Harold Gier

Monday, April 24, 2017

Thomas B. Mullenix - A Civil War Soldier from Hcksville


Thomas B. Mullenix, son of Gideon and Hannah Mullenix, was born in Wilmington Township, Dekalb county, Indiana, Sept. 7, 1843, and died at his home in Newville township, March 30, 1914, age 71 years, 5 months, and 23 days.

The parents of Mr. Mullenix came from New York and were among the early settlers of Dekalb county, but later moved to Hicksville. They were of the strong Quaker faith, which belief was held and practiced by the subject of this sketch.  After their removal to Hicksville, the family affiliated with the United Brethren church.

When but 18 years of age, he enlisted in the Civil War, 21st O.V.I. and served for fifteen months, then was transferred to the 4th U.S. Cavalry and served a total of four years, three months, and was discharged with honors at San Antonio, Texas, Dec. 4th, 1865.

21st Regt., Ohio Infantry, battle flag   The Cavalry flag would probably have had crossed swords.
His discharge shows that he took part in battles of Stone River, Middleton, Snow Hill, Chickamauga, Okalona, Dallas, Cumberland Mountains, Moonday Creek, Alley, Jonesboro, Rome, Nashville, Selmax and Columbus.

August 25, 1866, he was united in marriage to Mary Adeline Sherod.  To this union were born three sons and two daughters.  One daughter died in infancy.
James, Mrs. H. H. Horn, Mrs. Ross Reed and Knolte, who lived at home.  These with the widow and a large circle of neighbors mourn his departure.

He has been in ill health for five years, but his last illness was a duration of seven weeks.  He was a loving father, a devoted husband, and obliging neighbor and will be greatly missed.  As the sun was sinking  to rest in the western skies, March 30, our friend and brother went to sleep in Jesus.

'Soldier, rest, thy warfare o'er.
Sleep the sleep that knows no waking
Dream of battlefields no more,
Days of danger, nights of waking.'"

An obituary from The Tribune, April 8, 1915

Forest Home Cemetery, Hicksville.   More on www.findagrave.com.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Highland Center School, Highland Township

The Highland Center School was located in Section 21 of Highland Township at the corner of Blanchard Road and Highland Center Road.  This beautiful, vintage souvenir booklet is from the winter term of 1892 - 1893.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Benjamin F. Southworth - Bishop Post, G.A.R.

Benjamin F. Southworth ended the Civil War as a Major in Company E, 111th Ohio.  He enlisted on August 9, 1862, at the age of 36. He was discharged on May 15, 1866, with three years, 8 months and 6 days of service.  

On the 1890 veterans' census, he listed his disabilities as rheumatism and catarrh (respiratory inflammation), although his
obituary added other afflictions encountered during his service.

Born in New York to Epaphrus and Esther Southworth, B. F. and his parents were early settlers of Defiance County. Benjamin's father was also a veteran - of the War of 1812.  He served in Parkhurst's Detachment, New York militia.  So he came from a patriotic family, as well.

Benjamin was an educator, a stock breeder, and an entrepreneur in the county who was well-respected in the community.  In later years, he lived with his nephew, Charles Corwin, son of one his sisters who was deceased.  After B. F.'s death, Charles found two old newspapers among Benjamin's papers - a Boston Gazette and Country Journal, dated March 12, 1770, and a New England Weekly Journal, dated April 8, 1728, yellowed, but still readable, according to the report. These were possibly passed down from his own father and/or grandfather.

When B. F.'s will was probated, his estate was left to his two remaining sisters and his nephew.  The funeral was held at his residence on Water Street and burial was at Riverside Cemetery.  His obituary appeared in the Defiance Democrat on February 2, 1899:

He is buried with his mother, Esther Doud, and Albert T. Southworth (1853 - 1871), relationship unknown.

(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, April 19, 2017

Did You Say Your Sister Talks Too Much?

Do you have a sister or a neighbor who just talks constantly?

Perhaps you should call in the police, or the mayor, or the judge, or the prosecutor?  That's the way one lady tried to solve the problem in Defiance in 1903.

From the Defiance Daily Crescent News, July 24, 1903:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Frank Lloyd - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

Member of Farmer Post 725

Frank Lloyd - Warren Franklin Lloyd - was born in Bennington, Vermont on August 10, 1844.  His parents were David and Emily (Phillips) Lloyd who, by the time of the 1850 census, were living in Rensslaer County, New York.

Eventually, they made their way to Ohio and settled in Williams County, Ohio.  When Frank was nineteen, he enlisted on July 3, 1863, into Company F of the 86th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  He was set to serve a six month term of service, and soon the company was chasing General Morgan and fighting in Tennessee.  Much of the time at the end of his service was spent on guard duty in Tennessee.  He mustered out on February 10, 1864 at Camp Cleveland, Ohio.

Mary Belle Wolford became the bride of Frank Lloyd in Defiance County on January 27, 1872.  The couple settled into farming in Center Township, Williams County.  They had three children: Clara Belle, born in 1873; William, born in 1877, and Martin, born in 1883.  

The Bryan Democrat reported on February 21, 1878, on page 3, that Frank had had a terrible accident involving a saw and his foot.

"Frank Loyd, who had his foot torn off by the bursting of a wood saw flywheel, near West Buffalo a few weeks since, has so far recovered as to be moved to his father's in the southwest corner of Center township.  His wound is healed and he expects soon to be able to stump about on his heel to pretty good advantage."

The 1890 Veterans' Census gave no information on Frank, as his discharge papers had been lost.  By 1900, Frank, 55, and Mary, 43, had moved to Farmer Township.  They were enumerated there in July, but actually Frank had passed away on January 17th of that year.  (As long as a person was alive during the year of the census, he or she was to be reported.)  His wife lived on until 1949.


Monday, April 17, 2017

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - Colby Cemetery, Mark 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:
Colby Cemetery

1. Name of cemetery:
Colby graveyard, so named after a Mr. Colby who one day owned the land on which it is located.

2. Location, how reached:
Three miles south and two miles east of Mark Center in Mark Township.  In Section 36, and on the Paulding County line.  It is on no state highway from Defiance; it is reached by taking state route #18, west to Mark Center and turning south as directed.

3. Name and address of caretaker:
Kept up by the Mark Township Trustees.  For information, see Mrs. E. Diehl, R.R. #1, Mark Center, who lives in the house (be)side the cemetery.

Photo from www.findagrave.com
4. General description, size, appearance, denomination, fencing, etc:
A typical rural cemetery setting on a hill, shaded with pine and oak trees and containing three acres.  It is well fenced with an ornamental iron fence, has two gateways with iron gates, as different from other graveyards a few years ago, the ground being wash(ed) away down the hill and a solid concrete wall was built around this hill.  It is laid out in lots and has many nice stones and markers.  It is undenominational.  It is not as well kept as some, the shrubbery is overgrowing and becoming ragged and the trees need trimming.  The markers are, however, kept up in good shape.

5. Name and date of first burial recorded:
John Reed, 1860

6. Names of important persons buried there, for what noted:
Most of the persons buried here were residents of Paulding County, which county is just across the road from the graveyard.  The Gordens and Havers are the most important people, being early settlers of the district.  Gorden Creek is named for Geo. Gorden buried here.

Photo from www.findagrave.com
 7. Markers of unusual appearance:
The main attraction is the high obelisk marker eleven feet high with an urn setting on top of it.  It is the only one of this description we have found yet.  It is made of grey sand stone and sets near the center of the cemetery.

Tombstone of Orlando Coffin and family.  Photo from www.findagrave.com
 8. Unusual epitaphs:
There are no unusual epitaphs, but the name on one of the markers might be mentioned.  It is "Winkumpleck" and appears odd written across a large red granite stone.

Photo from www.findagrave.com
 9. Is cemetery used for new burials?
The cemetery is still used; several open lots are still available.  A burial took place here just before we surveyed it.

Topic # 624
Defiance County
District # 13
C. Cadwallader and C. Gish, Reporters
Consultant: Mrs. E. Diehl, R.R. #1, Mark Center, Ohio

Friday, April 14, 2017

Some Ayersville School Photos 1939-1940

1939 - Second Grade

Know anyone?  Please identify in the comments!
1940 - Third Grade
Undated from a county newspaper

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Defiance County Infirmary

From the Defiance Democrat - October 8, 1909

The infirmary was located on Evansport Road, south of Evansport about eight miles.  It was a place for the aged, the infirm, the disabled - most of the inmates, as they were called, could not care for themselves and had no one to help them.  Probably there were some with developmental disabilities or some other disability that made it difficult for them to fend for themselves, as among the population were younger adults, as well as the aged. 

The infirmary sat on a working farm of over 200 acres, the proceeds of which contributed to the home's operations. Those inmates who were able helped on the farm and those who could paid some room and board.  Part of the county's taxes were also marked for a Poor Fund to cover those who were indigent.

The following newspaper article was condensed for the purpose of the blog, but it may be read in full on microfilm at the Defiance Public Library.

Defiance County Institution Might Be Copied After By Other Similar Institutions in the State.
A Visit Through the Home

"...The Defiance County Infirmary is without a doubt one of the best arranged and equipped institutions of its kind in the entire Buckeye state...During the past year, a new building has been completed at an expenditure of about $25,000 and an electric light plant installed at a cost of about $15,000 ($1500).  In addition to this, the other buildings on the farm have been improved and the farm brought up to a much higher standard.
Men and women have separate dining rooms. The dining rooms each have a seating capacity of 24 and are airy and neat.  The ceilings are of steel, the walls colored prettily and the floors hardwood.
On each floor is located a line of hose attached to the water system insuring the best of fire protection.

The electric lighting plant that furnishes light to the Infirmary...is located in a one story brick building to the rear of the main building.  The dynamo...is operated by a 25 h.p. gasoline engine.  This is assisted by a storage battery with a capacity of 18, 16 c.p. for 8 hour lamps.  Each evening the engine is shut down about 8:30 and the lights burned the balance of the night from the storage battery.  The plant was installed at an expenditure of $1500 and in time the light will be carried over to the Children's Home, across the road from the Infirmary buildings.  The plant is capable of taking care of both institutions."

Photo from the vertical files at the Defiance Public Library
 The article goes on to describe each area of the infirmary - the kitchen, sitting rooms and sleeping apartments, sitting rooms and lavatories on each floor, large clothes closets, a medical department with a well stocked pharmacy and rooms for those who are sick.  The building boasted hot and cold water, large verandas, and an excellent heating system.
Praise was heaped upon Supt. Glen Leaders and his wife who served as Matron and their caring attitude toward each person at the infirmary.

"No dissatisfaction can be found among the inmates of the institution.  Instead they all are glad that they have such a home.  Said one old gentleman who is 92 years of age, 'I want to stay here as long as it remains as it does now while Supt. Leaders is in charge.'  Another said, 'he is like a brother to me.  When I was sick, every night he came and sat by my bedside for awhile.  I would shed tears if I had to leave.'

As an evidence of how the inmates like the place and are perfectly satisfied, Norman Smith of Hicksville, an old gentleman who has lived at the home for some time had an opportunity to leave.  E. P. Morton, a wealthy relative, desired him to come and live with him and personally called at the Infirmary, asking Mr. Smith to accompany him home.  The old gentleman said that he was perfectly satisfied and as long as Mr. Leaders was superintendent, he would remain, paying board..."

Mischief at the Infirmary!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Captain John Partee, Brunersburg

Captain John Partee was a well known, early pioneer in Noble Township.  He was active in his church, his grange, and in community affairs, including military service.  Early newspapers published about fair time each year listed his name as a winner for his potato and apple entries.  
His extensive obituary appeared in the Defiance County Express on April 1, 1886:


Capt. John Partee, son of John and Nancy Partee, was born near Adelphi, Ross county, Ohio, May 15, 1812, and died at his residence near Brunersburg, March 19th, 1886, aged 73 years, 10 months and 4 days.   

He was the youngest child and last survivor of a family of ten children.  The older were George, Elizabeth, James, Joseph, Enoch, Deborah, Lewis, Lawrence, and Hannah.  His brothers, James, Joseph and Enoch, came to what is now Brunersburg 1817 to 1822.  

His father was a teamster in the war of 1812, and his brothers, James and Joseph, were privates in Capt. Duncan McArthur's (afterward Governor of Ohio) company and were stationed at the ill fated field of River Raisin at the time of Hull's surrender of Detroit.  At the age of 19 years, he came from Ross county with the rest of his father's family and settled on the farm in Noble township where he resided till his death, a period of nearly 62 years.  This was 1824, and government lands being cheap, different members of the family bought several fractions lying along the Tiffin river, from Brunersburg to the present site of Evansport.

Among the other early settlers were John Perkins (who came in 1816), William Travis, John Wissler, Brice Hilton, Enos Partee, William Doty, Obadiah Webb, William Buck, and John Lawrence.  His uncle, Enoch Williams, was also in the war and his discharge written at Lower Sandusky in 1814 is in possession of J. P. Partee of Defiance.  Among other interesting papers handed down from early times is a summons from Sheriff Preston to John Partee, Sr. to attend court in Defiance as a juror and dated 1826 also a deposition filed by him in 1804.

In their route from Ross county, they came by way of Sidney and Wapakoneta, thence down the river to old Fort Defiance which was still partially preserved as was old Fort Winchester which was not far from the present site of the Russell House.  At that time there were but two houses on the Tiffin river near Defiance.  These were occupied by John Perkins and Joseph Partee.  After stopping all night at Joseph's, they cut their way to what is now the old homestead, then a unbroken wilderness, inhabited by wild beasts and Indians.  The latter were generally friendly disposed toward the new comers, and they made the acquaintance of some noted chiefs, among them Occonoxee, a Pottawatomie, and an old man named Shane who stated he was born under the large apple tree near the bank of the river across from Defiance.
Large numbers of bullets were found on the banks of the Maumee, and sometimes brass kettles were found hidden in hollow trees, no doubt left there by the Indians. 

The subject of our sketch was in early life a great hunter and trapper, and even if memoranda were at hand, it would require a volume to give a full account of his life, of his privations in the early development of the country, his hardships in subduing the wilderness, and his struggles in company with the early pioneers.

He loved to range the woods where Nature had erected her throne, and in the last years of his life, when age had enfeebled his once athletic frame, he was as skilled with the rifle as most young men of his day.  

Of the history of his ancestors, but little is known with certainty.  Those on his mother's side were from Holland and on his father's, natives of France.  No family record was made and the date and place of birth of his parents were unknown, nor was the ages of most of his brothers and sisters correctly known.

About 1841, he was appointed Captain of a company of Ohio militia and rose to the rank of Major, and again in 1861, he was elected capain of a company of Home Guards.

Nancy Brown Partee
Oct. 10th, 1839, he was married to Miss Nancy Brown who survives him.  To them were born 7 children, 5 of whom are living.  Alvaro, the eldest was killed in the war of the rebellion, and Reuben B. died in infancy.  

About 1840, his parents removed to near Pulaski, Ohio, where his mother soon after died, his father then returned and died at the residence of his son in 1846, aged about 81 years.  At the time of his death, 

Father Partee had been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church for a period of more than a third of a century, having united with that branch in 1852, during which time had held many important official positions in the church, and while in him, it could sometimes be seen that it was human to err, yet those who knew him best always recognized in him the ever obliging neighbor, the honest and upright citizen, a true and affectionate husband, and the kind and indulgent father.

For two years last past, he had been a patient sufferer, partly from a slight attack of paralysis, and in part from injuries received by the kick of a horse.  The cause of his death was dropsy of the heart, consequent from his injuries received last July, at which time he was seriously injured internally by being run over by a drunken and reckless driver.  

During his last suffering, he was patient and resigned, and conscious almost to his last moments, and rejoicing in the Christian's hope and promise that beyond the dark cloud of suffering, there was a happier worldabove.

Appropriate services were held Sunday, March 21st at Rural Chapel, conducted by Rev. S. W. Scott, after which the remains were quietly interred in the family lot in the Webb Run cemetery on the pleasant banks of the river over whose surface he loved to glide more than three score years ago, and the music of whose rushing waters shall be his requiem as from a deserted bedside there runs back tender memories to a grave of buried love." 

Defiance County Express - April 1, 1886