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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.

Joseph George Pask - 1838-1930  *With permission from the Pask One Name Study website

 - see below

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."

*For more information on Joseph Pask and his ancestral line, please enjoy the Pask One-Name Study at this website: http://pask.org.uk/Pask-p/p198.htm#i4944

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!)

Monday, July 10, 2017

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - Old Rohn Cemetery, Richland 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:

 Old Rohn Cemetery

1. Name of cemetery:  Old Rohn Cemetery in Richland Township

2. Location; how reached:

Located on U. S. #24, four and one half miles east of Defiance, Ohio along the old Miami and Erie Canal and Maumee River, one mile east of Independence State Dam and directly across the highway from the last shelter houses in this park.  However, the graveyard, itself, sets back 40 rods or more from this highway to gain access to it.  One turns in the lane or driveway of Mr. A. F. Trubey, who owns this land.  These people, Mr. and Mrs. Trubey, welcome visitors very gladly.

3. Name and address of caretaker:  Mr. A. F. Trubey, R.F.D. #4, Defiance, Ohio
4. General description, size, appearance, etc.:

This old, historic graveyard, which dates back to the first part of the nineteenth century, covers a plot of ground on a high bluff, in fact, on the Glacier Moraine Hill.  It is fenced in with wire, is kept in good condition by Mr. Trubey, who gets no pay for doing it.  

It has about a dozen good markers of granite and sand stone and as many more of not so good stones.  The most conspicuous marker is the one at the entrance gate that is in memory of Samuel Rohn, who died in 1884.  His happens to be the latest gravestone in the plot.

The plot contains today around a quarter acre, but in former times, before some of the graves were moved to the Independence graveyard two miles up the river, it was more than twice as large.  This graveyard was undenominational and was almost a family plot, very near all the people and settlers in that part of this township being related.

5. Name and date of first burial recorded: 

There is a flat stone in this graveyard that bears the date 1818.  The name is Mary Landis, beloved wife of Aberham Landis.  Now whether this grave was made here at the time of this woman's death or the marker put down in memorial to her years later, it is not known.
Mary Landis at www.findagrave.com

Also Indian, Jake Conky-pot's (Konkapot) grave marker is an old one.  No one knows when he died, but not as early as 1818, we are sure, because grandfathers of persons I interviewed had seen and talked to Indian Jake and Jake was over a hundred years old when he died, supposedly, in the house on this farm, and buried on the high hill back of it.  

Outside of Indian Jake, the oldest man lying here was William Rohn, father of Samuel Rohn, who was born in 1773 in New York State and died on this farm in 1855. 

6. Names of important people buried here:

William Rohn, 1773 - 1855, pioneer settler.
Samuel Rohn, 1812 - 1844, son of William and founder of the Rohn homestead and richest man in Richland township, owning at one time almost two sections of land.  The man about who Thos. A. Boyd wrote the fiction story called 'Samuel Drummond.'
Indian Jake Conky-pot, Old Indian Medicine Man, Christian and friend of white men.

7. Markers of unusual appearance:

The marker of Indian Jake is, of course, original, being a brown colored pointed stone, a little more than a foot high, and set in concrete recently.  The stone is old and worm eaten.  Another old Indian marker is also in this graveyard, but no one knows whose grave it marks.
And Samuel Rohn's tombstone is indeed very fine and stately to be setting out here.  Mr. Trubey tells me that before he got the farm, all these stones were tipped over and some broken.  We can see where he has patched up a lot of them.

8. Unusual epitaphs:

Nothing on the stones of anything original or unusual.  The Rohns were good, everyday Methodists, so the markers that have an lettering at all are verses from songs and the Bible.

9. Is cemetery used for new burials?

This graveyard has not been used since 1884, Samuel Rohn being the last to be buried here.  A Lot of the graves were moved along about this time to the graveyard on Independence Hill, two miles west of here.

C. Cadwallader and Chas. Gish, Reporters
Consultants: Most of this data obtained from Mr. and Mrs. A. F. Trubey, R.F.D. #4, Defiance, Ohio, and who live in the old house on this farm.
Mr. Al. Young, caretaker of the graveyard at Independence.

Bibliography: "Samuel Drummond"  fiction book by Thos. A. Boyd

(A photo of Jake Conky-pot's grave was attached to this original report, but was not with the copy used here.)

(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.)