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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Highland Center Basketball - 1917

For many years, Lloyd V. Tuttle contributed historic photos and information to the Defiance Crescent-News for his column: "A Backward Glance."  This clipping was undated.

"THE FIRST basketball team of the Highland Center School is shown here.  The picture is of the 1917 team.

According to Orland Deckrosh, 1009 Holgate Ave., who submitted the picture, the team lost all four games played the first season.  But they did better in later years.

Shown are: From left, in rear, Lloyd Wisler, Urban Troeger, Prof. Randolph, Lloyd Soles; and front row, Ray Blue, Zona Mansfield, Forrest Kneese, and Roma Mansfield."

Monday, November 27, 2017

George W. Butler - Bishop Post, G.A.R.

George W. Butler was on the older side when he signed up at the end of the war.  He enlisted in March, 1864, at the age of about 32 and mustered out on the same date in 1867, it would seem he served three years as a professional soldier in the U.S. Infantry in two different units.  His pension card shows the 16th and 25th Infantry.

In the 1890 census, however, he reported two years of service, with his only disability a hernia.

Upon returning home, he married Margaret Mattocks on July 25, 1867.  In 1870, the census found them in Defiance with two small children: Francis, a son, 2, and Lucinda, 9 months, born in September 1869.  George worked as a day laborer.

By 1880, children George and Hattie were additions to the family.  George now had a skill - he was a carpenter and they had a home at 207 High Street in Defiance, a home which they had for many years and at one point, later in their lives, rented out.  On one census, it was listed as 207 Union Street, and it seems it may have been a corner property.

In 1910, their daughter, Lucinda Bodenburg, 40, moved in with them, along with her son, William, 4.  The census cited that Lucinda was married for 6 years, but does not give her the label as widow.

The couple grew old in their home until 1920 when George was 87 and Margaret 76.  Mary Batt lived with them then, a 77 year old boarder.  On June 2, 1920, George died at his home.  His obituary appeared on June 4 in the Defiance Crescent News:

George W. Butler was buried at Independence Cemetery.

Margaret Mattocks Butler lived on through 1938, when she celebrated her 94th birthday, which was reported in the paper on March 24, 1938..

She became quite ill and needed the help of her family.  In the Defiance Crescent News on November 23, 1938:

Margaret Mattocks Butler passed away on December 19, 1944.  Her obituary appeared in the Crescent News on December 20:

She was buried with her husband at the Independence Cemetery.

(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, November 21, 2017

The Defiance Flour Mill

Lloyd Tuttle wrote in 1963:

"During the First World War, the Defiance Flour Mill depicted here was torn down as the federal government had practically taken over the Defiance Machine Works for the manufacture of machine tools and anti-aircraft guns.  It was feared the old flour mill that stood at the northeastern corner of Perry and Fourth streets, where a gas station is now located, might burn and endanger the machine tool plant.

The flour mill was one of the pioneer industries of Defiance.  It was at first known as the Wilhelm Mill.  At the time it was razed, it was operated by the Defiance Grain and Milling Co.

At one time, the mill was operated by water power from a raceway in the old Miami and Erie Canal.  Later, steam furnished the power and, still later, it was one of the first industries to use Auglaize River hydro-electric power.  It was a four story frame building of heavy construction.  The top story was a mass of chute and beams.

The building adjoining the mill, part of which is shown, was a mill where wool was carded.  It was operated by the Jarvis interests.  It was also torn down.  The picture was furnished by Edward S. Bronson." 

***John R. Wilhelm was born in Independence, Ohio, on July 28, 1848, according to his obiturary.  In 1852, his father, Adam, sold their farm and purchased a grocery and packing business in Defiance.  In 1871, Adam bought the Defiance Flouring Mill and John entered into business with him, eventually becoming part owner and manager of the mill.
Head miller there for many years was August Spring, of Holgate Avenue. In June, 1900, John and his father sold their holdings in the mill.

The mill went through various names, including the Defiance Milling Company and the Maumee Valley Milling Company.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Charles R. Crossland - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

Charles was a member of the Farmer Post

Charles Crossland was originally a Muskingham County boy, but his family was settled in Farmer Township by 1850.  In the 1860 census, Charles' father, L.G. (Luke) Crossland, was listed as a tailor with real estate worth $750, a goodly sum for the time.  His wife Rebecca, 59, and daughter, Rebecca, 24, joined sister, Terrasy, 16 and Charles, 18, our subject, to complete the family.

Charles enrolled in Company F, 111th Regiment, Ohio Infantry in 1862, and in June, 1865, transferred to Company D, 183rd Regiment, Ohio,
until he was mustered out in July, 1865 at Salisbury, Connecticut.
In the 1890 Veterans Census, he reported his disability as kidney disease.

When he returned from the war, he was enumerated in Farmer Township in 1870 when he was 28 and his wife, Isabell, was 28.  They had one child, a daughter named Florence.  Charles had a job in the sawmill.  

In the 1880 agricultural census, he was the owner of 12 tilled acres and 8 wooded acres with a value of $700.  He had one cow, seven swine, and forty chickens.  He basically grew enough crops for the family to subsist.

His wife, Isabel Snyder, died on January 14, 1895, and in 1897, he married his second wife, Susan Fraker.  Charles was 58 on the 1900 census and his wife, Susan, was 44.  Susan was a weaver of carpets and she kept this profession until she was quite elderly.  Living with them was Susan's son, Earl Fraker, 16.

On October 6, 1904, Charles Crossland died in Farmer Township.
His obituary appeared in the Bryan Democrat on October 13, 1904:

"Charles R. Crossland was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, Nov. 7, 1841, and died at his home in Farmer township Oct. 6, 1904, aged 62 years, 10 months and 29 days.  On Dec. 5, 1867, he was married to Miss Isabel Snyder.  To this union one child was born, who is now Mrs. Benton Sweet.

His wife died Jan. 14, 1895.  On Oct. 2, 1897, he was married to Mrs. Susan Fraker.  He leaves a wife, one child, four grandchildren, two brothers, three sisters and many other relatives and a large number of friends.

Mr. Crossland was a member of Co. F, 111 reg.

On Sunday, Oct. 9 at 1 p.m., after a brief service at the home, the funeral procession, led by the Lew Bowker Post of the G.A.R. went to the Farmer Union church where the funeral services were held, D. N. Kelly of Williams Center officiating.  A very large company followed the remains to the Farmer cemetery, where interment took place.  The G.A.R. had charge of the burial at the grave.

The family wish to thank the friends for their kindness during the bereavement."

Susan Crossland eventually moved back to Williams County where she continued her weaving and never remarried.  She died about 1933. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sunday School at the U. B. Church, Defiance

"This Sunday School Class was of the old United Brethren Church when it was on Hopkins St., the picture being taken about 55 years ago.  The late police chief, Karl A. Weaner, Sr., was the teacher.

Photo donated to the newspaper by Mrs. Martin Snyder

The members of the class were: from left, first row - Christena Parmenter, Mabel Miley, Karl H. Weaner, Jr., Cecelia Ecelbarger, and Pearl Dunkelbarger
and back row - Mildred Rummel, Nina Hahn, Karl A. Weaner, Sr., Dessia Yackels, and Donnie Miller."

Source: Lloyd Tuttle, "A Backward Glance," undated clipping from the Defiance Crescent-News.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - Poole Graveyard, Noble 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.

Poole Graveyard

1. Name of cemetery:  The Old Poole Graveyard, Noble Township

2. Location:

Four miles west of Defiance, Ohio, on the north bank of the Maumee River in sections 19 and 20, Noble Twp. on the Old Poole farm, now owned by J. A. Stuckey.  Reached, from Defiance County Court House by taking route #66 north from the court house, crossing the New Fort Defiance River Bridge over the Maumee River and turning to the left or to the West on the second street over the river, called W. High St.  Then following this road out of Defiance which becomes the Jerico Road and angles along the river.  The Old Indian Graveyard mentioned (in an earlier report) is at the point four miles out where the road comes directly along the river's bank.  The Poole Graveyard is just beyond this Indian burying ground, and back off the road forty rods.  At this point, the river makes a big bend.

3. Caretaker: 

None, not kept up, dilapidated and stones all gone but one.  Information gained from J. Brown who lives on the Gruner farm a mile this side.

4. Description:

This is another old burying ground and was a private burying ground for the Poole family, who at one time were well known in this vicinity.  It sets at the edge of an ancient apple orchard on a hill about sixty feet from a ravine, and some two hundred yards from the Maumee River.  There is an old, wooden house, the old Poole Home, which sets close by and is reputed to be haunted by the people in the neighborhood.

Thre are no close inhabited homes within a half mile of here, and it is in very wild country and not farmed.  It is all grass and weed grown.  The stones are all gone except one.  It contains about an eighth of an acre, is well shaded and in a very ideal location for a cemetery.

5. Name of first burial:

The only stone here which we had to dig out from under rotting leaves.  Gives the names of Susanna Poole, died in 1847, and Frederick Poole, died in 1850.  No birth record was given.

6. Important persons:

Frederick Poole was an early settler of Noble Twp., and at one time was wealthy.  There is a Fred Poole living in Defiance today who is a relative of his.  There are five graves in this graveyard.  The others are mounded, but only small stones mark them; there are no other names on these.     

7. Markers:

The only maker is an old slab, straight sand stone, badly defaced and hardly readable.  It was buried under leaves and we had to scrape these to get the name and date.

8. Epitaphs:  Nothing readable except name and date.

9. This burial plot has not been used, I am told, since the death of Fred Poole in 1850.  Several other graves were here at one time, it is said, but could get no authentic proof of same.

Cecil Cadwallader, Reporter
Authority: J. Brown, Defiance, Route #7   

(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.)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Benjamin Blosser - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

Ben was a member of the Lew Bowker Post.

Born about 1837, Benjamin Blosser was a Seneca County man, and there he married Nancy Zimmerman in 1859.  In the 1860 census, he lived in Jackson Township with his wife and their infant daughter, Rebecca J., 4 months.  Also with them was Elizabeth Zimmerman, 19.  Benjamin farmed then and throughout his lifetime.  

According to the 1890 census,  served in Company E, 186th O.V.I. from February 6, 1865, to September 18, 1865.  The company officially mustered out Sepember 25th. The regiment served in Tennessee and Georgia at the end of the war.  Benjamin enlisted when he was married and 27 years old.

After the war, he returned to Seneca County and by 1870, his family had expanded to include Rebecca J., 10, John J. 8, Daniel H., 6 and Ida E., 8 months.  In the censuses that asked, Benjamin reported that he could neither read nor write.  

The family could not be found in the 1880 census, but Benjamin reported himself on the 1890 census in Farmer Township, Defiance County.  In 1900, Benjamin was 63; he and Nancy had been married 41 years and had five children together, all living.  Only Ida E., 31 and single, lived with them, and she worked as a dining room waitress in the hotel, perhaps the Allen Hotel in Farmer.

Benjamin lived only three more years, until December 27, 1903.  Only a short death notice could be found for him as part of the Farmer community news in the Defiance Express on December 30, 1903.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Franklin Duck - Bishop Post, G.A.R.

Franklin Duck and his wife, Elizabeth, were nicely settled in Defiance Township when the census enumerator visited in 1860.  Married on the day after Christmas in 1859 to Elizabeth Cannon, Franklin Duck was ready to begin his life farming.

However, on July 26, 1862, he enlisted, along with many other Defiance men, into the 100th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company D.  He left two young sons at home with his wife - George, born in December, 1860, and William born in January, 1862.  It must have been a difficult decision, but later his name came up to be drafted in 1863, but he was already in service.

The 100th fought all through the south and was present at the storming of Atlanta.  Franklin Duck was captured at Utoy Creek, Georgia on August 6, 1864, according to Civil War records, and taken to Andersonville Prisoner of War Camp in Georgia.  The Andersonville records indicated that he escaped on September 12, 1864.  It was in August, 1864, that Andersonville reached its peak population of 33,000 men in a space meant for 1/3 of that.  So, the Confederates were busy transferring men to different prison camps to ease the load on Andersonville.  It may be that Franklin escaped during a transfer or during a work detail outside of the camp, but apparently he was captured again.  First, his name did not appear among the just 32 Union men who successfully escaped from Andersonville, and secondly, the Andersonville records noted that he was there until the close of the war.  He mustered out with his company on June 20, 1865 in Greensboro, North Carolina

It appeared that Franklin and family moved to Cedar Creek, Allen County, Indiana, and were there for the 1870 census.  Franklin Duche, farmer, and wife, Lisey, 22, and children George, 9; William, 8; Benjamin, 2; Mary, 9 months were enumerated there.  Marion Duche,19, was hired as a farm laborer.

The younger children of Franklin and Elizabeth did not survive, and so by 1880, just the two older sons lived with their parents back in Defiance on Warren Road.  Franklin had a job as a laborer and William worked in the wheel factory.  The older son, George, had ague (malaria) at the time of the census-taking and had had it or was recovering for four months.

In 1890, Elizabeth died at the age of 53.  Her funeral notice appeared in the Defiance Daily Crescent on July 14, 1890:

At some point after that, Franklin went to live with his son, George, a hotel keeper in Harvey City, Cook County, Illinois.  George was married with several children by then.  Franklin was there for the census in the summer of 1900, but on October 6, 1900, he was admitted to the Soldiers' Home in Sandusky, Ohio.

His admission papers were available on FamilySearch.org and indicated that he received a $12/ month pension and had a general disability.  He was born in Tuscarawas County on September 26, 1837, and had two living children: George and William.  He died in Sandusky on April 28, 1904, of "cerebral softening" (brain hemorrhage) and was brought back to Defiance for burial.

Defiance Crescent-News, April 28, 1904

The location of his burial could not be found.

(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!)