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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Defiance County Obituary Notice of 1897 and 1898

This small article, found in the Defiance Express of September 15, 1898, concerned deaths occurring in the county and its surroundings in 1897 and 1898. Such good leads for genealogists are here.  One could find a post office address, a date of death, an age at death and the date of settlement in the county...a treasure trove of facts for the genealogist to verify.


Name                   P.O Address        Date of Death    Age      Date of Settlement
Nancy Snider       Evansport             Sept. 13, '97                             1831
Catharine Kraft     Defiance               Sept. 6,  "             76                1839
Mrs. Brice Hilton   Brunersburg         Sept. 27, "             76                1834
Edwin Phelps        Defiance               Sept. 29, "            82                1834
Jacob Coy            Evansport             Dec. 19, "              90                1831
Catharine Ernst    Defiance               Dec. 19, "              85                1850
*Lucy Hall              Indianapolis         Dec. 29, "              60                   
John H. Kiser        Defiance               Dec. 29                 56  Born here 1839

Calvin Cleveland   Cicero                  Jan. 5, '98             69                 1849
Alanson Smith      Montpelier             Jan. 8, "                74      About  1848

James C. Sanford  Stryker                Jan. 13, '97            63                 1836

Hubert Naveau      Junction               Jan. 16, '98           71                  1847
Sarah Landis          Hicksville             Jan. 13, "              71  Born here 1826

Mary H. Bradley     Newville               Dec. 29, '97                                                    

**Mary Jane Wood   Hicksville              Jan. 31, '98          83                    1836
Thomas Yeager     Evansport             Feb. 3,   "             70                    1847
Rebecca Battershell  Milford               Jan. 24, "             73
Abraham Jackson     Scipio                Feb. 15, "             79                    1839
Susannah Ridenour   Farmer             Mar. 2, "                86                    1843
John Banks               Hicksville           Mar. 5, "                84                    1827

John Elliot                 Defiance            Mar. 19, "              77                    1813
Ellen Presler             Hicksville            Mar. 22, "              55   Born here 1842
Electa Alshouse        Defiance            Apr. 11, "               77            June 1844

Mrs. Weisenberger-
Eck                           Defiance             Apr. 28, "              78                     1835
Julius Lueders          Brunersburg       May 1, "                78         About   1848
Geo. Benner             Pulaski, Wms Co  July 13, "            86                     1846
Martha Dorsey          Scipio                 July 31, "               76

Wm. Babbage          Hicksville             Aug. 17, "             87                     1837
Catharine Lutz          Noble Twp          Aug. 19, "              72        About   1848
Adam P. Beadle       Crane Twp          Aug. 29                 69        About    1850
Fred Omo                Allen Co, Ind.                                    79        Before   1844

*Lucy Hall, who died at Indianapolis, December 29, 1897, was one of the first white persons born in the Maumee valley."

** An obituary for Mary Jane Wood(mentioned above) was found in Obituaries, Pioneers of Northwest Ohio, Carma Rowe estate, Hicksville.


On Monday of last week occurred the death in this city of Mrs. Mary Wood, truly a link connecting the early part of this country with the present.  Of the heads of families who resided here when she came, there now remains but Mrs. David Green, Mrs. Lewis Michaels, Mr. Floid, and Dr. B. M. Rakestraw.

Mary Jane Wood, nee Brown, was born in the city of London, England, in the year 1815, and was married to a Mr. Yexly of that city in 1831.  They left the shores of their native land on the sailing bark, 'Triel,' Aug. 17, 1832, and after 11 weeks on the stormy deep, they arrived at the Canadian city of Montreal.  A child was born to them, May 24, 1833, Alexander by name, who is now a resident of Illinois.

While still at Montreal, her first husband died, and she was married a second time to Edward Wood, Dec. 30, 1835.  To them were born three children.  Two of them have passed away.  The other, Mrs. Lucy Hattery, still survives and is a resident of this city.  It was at her home that the aged mother breathed her peaceful, last breath, after a lingering affliction of five months.  There was no struggle, just the sweetsleep in the arms of her Savior.  Deceased was aged at the time of her death, 82 years and 10 months.

Together with her husband, she came to Defiance county in 1836, and settled in Hicksville township.  Her husband purchased the first tract of land sold by Mr. Hicks in the township, the late Hon. A. P. Edgerton, acting as Mr. Hicks' agent.

She united with the Baptist church society in 1862, and became a member of the M. E. church in 1881, of which she remained a faithful and devoted member until the end.  She was ready and expressed a desire to go.  Her last audible words to her pastor were that prayer was her great consolation.

In the touching ceremony, conducted by her beloved pastor, Rev. A. A. Thomas, many historical facts and incidents concerning the deceased were commented upon.  Among them being the fact of her being among the very earliest settler of this neighbornhood. Also that this, at that time, was an unbroken wilderness, the only roads through the matted forest being a few Indian trails.  The dismal howl of the wolf and the occasional shout of the Indian warrior, as he pursued his game through the forest, were common sounds to her in those days.

Her happy home for years was a log cabin with its chimney made of sticks and mud, and its windows being greased paper.  She was an expert at scutching flax and spinning wool, two arts that the modern woman knows nothing about.  The seats in the cabin home consisted of puncheon boards with wooded stakes for legs, and the table of the same, being taller and larger.

When herself and husband landed here, there existed a Pottawatomie Indian village on what is now known as the J. J. Waltenberger farm.  Another on the Spindler farm, at the junction of the Gorden creeks, and another near Hall's Corners. She had helped to grind corn on the primitive mills used in those days that consisted of a hollow burned in a large stump and a large stone that was turned by a pole, the operator walking round and round the stump until the heavy stone had accomplished its work.  How little the women of today know of the real hardships and privations  Many peaceful night's rest has she enjoyed on a bed of poles with leaves and small branches for the mattress.

Among the stories that she was fond of relating was one regarding a trip made by Mrs. Hicks to this place from New York City.  The arrival was in the dusk of evening, and seeing hundreds of log heaps in a blaze caused the city lady to remark that they had arrived at the city, as she could see the many lights from the windows.  She really expected to see a considerable town.  Many other interesting facts could be added, had we the time and the space.  Her's, indeed, was a useful and busy life.

Funeral services were conducted from the home of her daughter by Rev. A. A. Thomas on Wednesday of last week at 2;30.  Interment at Forest Home.  We made add that the community contained no resident more respected than she." 

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