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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dr. Ludwell Gaines Thacker - Bishop Post, G.A.R

Born in Clermont County, Ohio, on April 29, 1843, Ludwell Gaines Thacker (L.G.)  was born to Dr. Isaac Newton Thacker and his wife, Lydia.

By 1860, the family was settled in Defiance and L.G.'s physician father was practicing medicine in the city.   His father,I. N. (Isaac Newton) Thatcher, was 49, he reported on the 1860 census.  In his household were his wife, Lydia, 47, and children: W. H., 20, who was a medical student, Ludwell, 17, also a student, and Sarah, 15, Newton, 11, and Mary, 8.

When only 19, L. G. enlisted in Company D of the 100th Ohio Infantry on July 23, 1862.  He mustered in as a private, but in just a few months was promoted to sergeant.  Although he had signed up for a three year term of service, he was mustered out on January 6, 1863 on a surgeon's certificate of disability.

Upon his return home, he either began or continued his medical training at various institutions, including New York University and Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York.  Following in his father's path, he served the people of northwest Ohio as a dedicated physician.

On January 26, 1869, he married Ann Eliza Noble, often called Lillie.  L. G. also became more and more active in affairs of the community, serving on the Board of Elections and the school board, and he was active in the G.A.R.

In 1899, the Thackers built a fine home at 412 Holgate Avenue.  On the 1900 census, Anna noted that she had had seven children, but only two were living: Eugenia and Myrtle.  Myrtle, 22 and single, was still living at home at that time with her parents.

But just a few years later, tragedy would strike the family.  First in January, L. G.'s father became ill and passed away.  Dr. I. N. Thacker was aged and no longer practicing medicine at the time, but he was a greatly revered man in the community.
His obituary appeared in the Defiance Weekly Express on January 10, 1901.

Just five months later, L. G., himself, died of tuberculosis at the age of 48, a young death even for the times. His obituaries appeared in the Defiance Democrat on June 27, 1901.

Click to make larger.

Mrs. L. G. Thacker lived on until 1911, and her obituary appeared in the Defiance Democrat on July 5, 1911.

(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!)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mark Center High School - Graduates, 1939

Top Row, L to R: Faculty - Henry Gecowets, Victor Batterson, M. H. Palmer - Principal, Helen Neiderhauser, Raymond Rex

Row 2: De'Nelda Joost - Pres., Max Gecowets - V. Pres., Betty Ruth Elder - Secy-Treas., Irene Schliesser

Row 3: Jim Worrick, Donald Witte, Agnes Schroeder, Delores Rosebrock

Bottom Row: Kenneth Blosser, Vera Arend, Pauline Arend, Lucille Beltz, Ila Rose Breininger, Arthur Wonderly

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Ney Saloon

The first mention found of a saloon in Ney was in 1889 when the Defiance County Republican reported on August 30 that "there was strong talk of a saloon starting up in Ney."

In 1891, the Farmers' Convention was held in Ney and the Defiance Democrat reported: "The water was excellent and there was plenty of it.  The delegates had to be contented with that alone, for it is said there are no saloons in Ney."  

But, eventually, Ney did get their saloon.

This photo is labeled 1899 and shows the inside of the Ney Saloon.  

 The two young boys and dog were not identified, but the men were, but if listed in order or not is unknown.  The men: Charly Weber, Weston Welker, Ed Kibble, John Maisch, Johnie Kibble, Charles Hehr.  An arrow pointed to Johnie Kibble as the man in front of the bar by the stool.
It appeared a gas light was above the bar.
Who owned the bar at this time?  It seemed to change hands frequently.

Among the owners were Weston W. Welker, Ed Kibble, John Hehr and H. M. Kelley.  At various times, there may have been two saloons in the village.

This undated photograph is labeled on the back: "Old Saloon - outside"
The back of the photo identified the man on the left as Frank Dunkle and the man with the apron as John Hehr.  By enlarging the photo, one can discern a barber's pole on the small addition on the left side, so that likely was the barber.  On the far right of the building is a sign, "Sherwin Williams Paint," so that side may have been a hardware or store of some sort.  But in the middle, beside the right side window by the double doors, is a Diehl Beer sign.  Aha, the saloon in the center. The shadow of a seated man may be seen in the right side window.

The papers actively reported an altercation in one Ney Saloon in late September and early October, 1900.

And later...
"John Small, who assaulted Wm. Lantz with a chair in a Ney Saloon, Sept. 10th, was fined $10 and cost by Judge J. H. Hockman Tuesday.  He will stand committed until fine and cost, amounting to $30, are paid."

On January 17, 1901 : "H.M. Kelly, the saloonist, has sold his Bryan saloon and will move to Ney.  Later editions of the newspaper indicated that the plan may have fallen through.

The presence of the saloon in Ney was very controversial.  What rules did they have to follow?  In the Defiance Crescent-News on May 5, 1902:

"Weston W. Welker, the Ney saloonist, recently convicted of violating the ordinance regulating the saloons of that village, has taken the matter into the common pleas and on account of alleged error in the proceedings before the Mayor of Ney, with the hope of having his conviction reversed.  Baker and Phelps, attorney for Welker."

In 1905, James Herzter purchased a saloon in Ney, and Ed Kibble ran a saloon in 1907.
"Ed Kibble is running a saloon in Ney and has now bought the M. E. church which was sold to the highest bidder.  He says he will turn it into an ax handle factory."
Defiance Weekly Express, July 12, 1907)

In 1913, one paper reported four saloons in Sherwood and two in Ney.  The state kept increasing their license/tax costs in order to force them out, but it didn't seem to work.  Ney voted by a slim margin to maintain their saloon(s) in 1914, reported the Defiance Crescent News.
Please comment and tell us what you know about the old saloon or saloons in Ney.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - Presbyterian/ Upper Lost Creek Cemetery, Farmer 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.

For more up to date information on the cemeteries, check out this chart on our website:

Presbyterian Graveyard
(Upper Lost Creek Cemetery)

1. Name of cemetery:

Presbyterian Cemetery (Upper Lost Creek) in Farmer Township

2. Location, how reached:

Just two miles straight west of Farmer Center on state route #249 and reached over this route.  Also nine miles northeast of Hicksville on route 2.  (Section 19) 

3. Name and address of caretaker:

Members of the Presbyterian church and those who have relatives buried there.  For information, see Perry Hand, Farmer Center, Ohio, caretaker of Township graveyards.

Presbyterian - Upper Lost Creek Cemetery on www.findagrave.com
4. General description, size, appearance, denomination, fencing, etc.:

This graveyard is small, not quite an acre.  It sets directly back of the church, is not very well kept up and the shrubbery is shaggy.  It is partly fenced with ordinary wire fencing in the back; in the front, it is open.  It is surrounded by four maple trees, but none on the lot itself.  It is Presbyterian in denomination.  There are no larger markers or recent ones.

5. Name and date of first burial recorded:

William Battershell, a child in 1853, is the first grave. The Battershells used this as a private burying plot until 1865, when it was officially opened as a graveyard.

6. Names of important persons buried there, for what noted:

John Battershell, 1815 - 1895, is the most important, being an early pioneer settler and founder of the well to do Battershell family still residing in this district and in and around Hicksville, Ohio.
John Battershell at www.findagrave.com
 Thomas Cheyney, 1798 - 1865, was the earliest born man in the cemetery; nothing is known of him, however.

7. Markers of unusual appearance:

The unusualness about the markers in this graveyard is that they are all small and about the same size.  There are no large, heavy stones, at all, just white slabs and headstones.

8. Unusual epitaphs:

Again, no odd or different readings on the stones in this graveyard.  Just the usual verses.

9. Is cemetery used for new burials?

The graveyard still is used, however, not very often.  Twice in the last five years, we are told.

C. Cadwallader and C. Gish, Reporters
Consultant:  Harry Metz, R.R. #2, Hicksville, Ohio     

(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.)