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Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas Break 2017

This blogger will be taking a Christmas
break, but will be back in January, 2018.



The Sherwood Band - circa 1910

Photo given to newspaper by Mrs. Harry McMillen
Lloyd Tuttle wrote in this undated column, "Backward Glances," about the Sherwood Band, identifying some its members.

"Shown in the photo are:
From left, front row - George Rock, Henry Rock, Dale Miller, Roy Whitman, last two not identified. 

From left, second row - George Coffin, Alva Dickey, Melbern Miller, John Core, Glenn Reyff

back row - Eli Dickey, Charles Dickey, Roy Rock, Bert Dickey, and Curt Haver 

Sherwood had a band of some sort for many decades, but this particular band was all male and began in the early 1900's.  They were popular entertainers at socials, conventions, and parades around the countyl  
The Defiance Crescent News reported on August 16 1907:


Music was furnished by the Sherwood band.  Less than a year ago, four was the number of persons having any musical experience.  Thursday, this excellent band numbered twenty pieces and was led by Roy Rock, a young musician of note in this part of the state  Any town would be proud of the splendid showing this musical organization is making  The citizens of Sherwood have contributed funds necessary to buy band suits and the boys have good instruments.

Members- Roy Rock, leader, Henry Rock, Richard Yeagley, Dale Miller, Byrl Wineland, Clyde Wagner, John Lero, Charles Dickey Jr., Melbourne Miller, Alva Dickey, Bert Dickey, William D. Rock, Glenn Reyff, Eli Dickey, Curtis Haver, Floyd Etchie, Ferrell Whitman, Arthur Stone, and Richard Richardson."


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery, Mark 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:

St. John Lutheran Church Cemetery
Mark Township

1. Name of cemetery: Mark Township Lutheran Graveyard of the St. John's Lutheran Church

2. Location, how reached:

Two miles northwest of Sherwood, Ohio, one mile north of Route #18 on the first gravel road, west of U.S. #127 in Mark Township and on the township line road.  It sets just back of the church and school located there.

3. Name and address of caretaker:
Members of the St. John's Lutheran Church, for information, see John Behnfeldt

St. John Lutheran Cemetery at www.findagrave.com
4. General description, size, appearance, etc.:

Modern German graveyard, fenced in with wire with an iron gate, cedar trees surrounding the plot, but no trees in the yard itself.  Contains about an acre of land, only a small part of it is now used.

5. Name and date of first burial recorded: Caroline Behnfeldt, 1901

Carolina Behnfeldt at www.findagrave.com
6. Important persons buried there:

Behnfeldts, Eichoffs, Wittes, and Millers, important only in their German community as thrifty farmers.

John and Elizabeth Eickhoff at www.findagrave.com

7. Markers of unusual appearance:

The markers are all new and modern.  The only thing that this cemetery is not like others is that, it was planned in the beginning to start at the southwest end and bury people along in a row as they died.  There were supposed to be no lots.  This worked for awhile, but people wished to be buried beside their relatives and this practice was discontinued.  There are around twenty fine markers here; none are unusual.

8. Unusual epitaphs: 

None unusual for a German graveyard; most of the inscriptions are in the German language.

9. Is cemetery used for new burials?  It is still used today.

C. Callawader and C. Gish, Reporters
Consultant: A. J. McFeeters, caretaker of the Sherwood Cemetery, supplied the above information.    

(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, December 11, 2017

James Repp - G.A.R., Bishop Post

Born on June 27, 1847, James Repp lived with his parents, Conrad and Susannah, in Montgomery Township, Ashland County, Ohio, according to the 1860 census.  At that time, James had three siblings: Margaret and George, who were older, and Susannah, who was six years younger.

On February 24, 1864, at 17, he enlisted in Company G, 23rd Ohio Infantry.  He probably began his service near Charleston, West Virginia until April, 1864, when the battle of Cloyd's Mountain was fought.  In May, the regiment marched to Lynchburg, Virginia, and in July, they fought at the battle of Winchester, Virginia.  This battle lasted from early morning until evening, and the Union soldiers were defeated. One hundred fifty three men were killed, along with ten officers.  The unit had several other engagements before spending the winter in West Virginia, and finally mustering out at the end of the war on July 26, 1865.  (www.civilwarindex.com)

At some point after returning home, James settled in Madison Township, Williams County.  By the 1870 census, he lived with Israel and Julia Dilcum where he worked as a farm laborer at the age of 23. With them lived Elizabeth Lawson, 58.  The maiden name of James' mother, Susannah, was Lawson, so this was possibly a relation of his.  

A marriage record indicated that James married Rebecca Oldshoe (Oldshue) in Ransom, Hillsdale County, Michigan on October 8, 1871. Both were 24 years old and both resided in Williams County, and it was there they settled.  In 1880, James and Rebecca lived in Madison Township, Williams County, Ohio with their children: Jill J. (James?), 6; Mary Eta, 5; and Charles, 5 months.  James rented a farm for shares.  Sadly, Rebecca died the next year, on February 11, 1881, at the age of 35 years, 5 months and 13 days.  She was buried in Primrose Cemetery in Williams County.

With three young children to raise, James probably turned to family to help him in this task.  On January 5, 1888, he married Sarah C. Oldshoe, once again in Hillsdale, Michigan.  He was 40 years old and she was about 22.  It might be that Sarah Caroline was a younger sister or some other relation to his first wife, Rebecca.  

In 1900, the family lived in Brady Township, Williams County, with children, Jessie W., 12 (James Warren), Rebecca, 8, Lewis G., 5, Charles R.B. 20.  Charles was just a baby when his mother, Rebecca Oldshoe Repp, died.  James was working as a teamster in 1900.  Sarah had had three children and all were living.

The move to Defiance County, Noble Township, came between 1900 - 1910.  In 1910, James and Sarah lived on a mortgaged farm with only Lewis G, 14, at home.    James was farming again, and this was the year that his pension increased from $24 to $30 a month.  In September, 1914, Sarah Repp died and was buried in Clinker Cemetery, Defiance County.  (In 1913, James and Sarah lost their son, Jessie, and in 1916, Louis died. A very rough three years for James Repp.)

On August 28, 1919, James Repp married for the third time - Elizabeth Grupe/Grube Deckrosh, daughter of Thomas and Mary Grupe/ Grube - according to the marriage certificate.  James was then 73, and the couple married in Winebago, Illinois, reason unknown. The marriage must have been a bit stormy, as divorce was at one time a possibility.  This notice appeared in the newspaper in 1923. 

 Three years later, on April 2, 1926, James died in Defiance and was buried next to his second wife, Sarah, in Clinker Cemetery.

His third wife, Elizabeth, lived until 1931. 

She was buried in Brunersburg Cemetery with no sign of the Repp surname on her grave.

(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!)

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Other Joseph Brown, Civil War Veteran from Delaware Township

Buried at Riverside Cemetery
An earlier Joseph Brown post discussed a man from the Defiance G.A.R.  But, another man of the same name lived in rural Defiance County and also served in the Civil War - Joseph M. Brown.

Joseph M. Brown grew up in Noble Township, Defiance County, with his parents, Barnhart and Rosena and siblings Lana, George and John.  His parents were born in Germany, but the three oldest children were born in New York.  John, the youngest, at 11 on the 1860 census, was born in Ohio.  The family probably came to Ohio between 1845 and 1849.

At the age of 25, Joseph M., the oldest son, enlisted on March 10, 1865, into Company I of the 125th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  He gave six months service, mustering out at Camp Irwin, Texas, on September 25, 1865.

After the war, he and his wife, Emma (Anna on some records), settled in Delaware Township. Joseph M. took up farming to support his young family of John, who was 2, in 1870, and Cornelius who was 3 months old.

The family remained in Delaware Township, adding children Rosena, Caroline, William and Charles to the clan by 1880.  Joseph owned his farm, which was worth $1500 in 1870.

He was reported on the 1890 Veterans Census in Delaware Township with a post office of Brunersburg.  He claimed a disability of rheumatism, crippled in the left hip.  He would have been about 50 years old at the time of that enumeration.

The last census for Joseph M. was in 1910 when he and Emma had been married 44 years, with eight children.  One child, May (probably Caroline), was single and still living at home with her parents.  Joseph M. Brown died on February 10, 1916.

The Defiance Crescent-News ran his brief obituary on February 11, 1916:

His wife moved into Defiance after his death and died there in 1932.  Her obituary ran in the same paper on June 22, 1932:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Abram Coy, Willie Foss, Nancy Lantow Obituaries

From the scrapbook of Doris E. Marckel Bates, Defiance, Ohio

Date on the cover – March the 11, 1906

A collection of newspaper articles about the folks of Defiance County, Ohio, all undated and with no source named.

“Mr. Abram Coy, one of the oldest and most respected residents of Evansport, died very suddenly at his home this morning.  Mr. Coy was apparently in the best of health and spirits.  At about 7 o’clock this morning, he went out to do his chores.  No more was seen of him until at about noon, when he was found in the hay mow, dead.  Death was due to heart failure.
The deceased, who was the son of Jacob and Mary Coy, was born January 18, 1832, at Evansport.  He lived with his parents until manhood, when he set out for himself.  February 14, 1857, he was united in marriage to Miss Marguerite Donaldson, whose death occurred December 2, 1888.  Having no children of their own, Mr. and Mrs. Coy adopted two, a daughter, Ida, whose death occurred some years ago, and a son, Mr. Jacob E. Mercer, who now resides in Hicksville.
Mr. Coy spent the greater part of his life in the milling business, having built three mills upon the Tiffin River, all of which have been destroyed by fire.
The deceased is survived by four brothers, D. E. Coy, of Defiance; Dr. Clinton Coy, of Napoleon; Dr. Isaac Coy, of Archbold; and Dr. Martin Coy, of Evansport, and two sisters, Mrs. Mary Fager and Mrs. Martha Johnson, both of Defiance.  Mr. Coy has always been a prominent member of the Methodist church, and was also one of the charter members of the Evansport Lodge F. & A. M. No. 511.  Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.”

“John William Foss was born April 3rd, 1894, died March 30, 1908, aged 13 years, 11 months, and 26 days. He leaves a father, mother, two sisters, relatives and friends to mourn his sad death.”

“Mrs. Nancy Lantow, wife of John Lantow, died this morning at 7:30 at her home on Gray street in North Defiance, after a lingering illness.  Mrs. Lantow was well known in this city and has a large circle of friends who mourn her death.  She was 50 years of age and leaves a husband and five children who are, Mrs. Bud Murphy, and four sons, Aleck, Geo., Fred, and Eugene, all residing in this city.  She also leaves two sisters and two brothers, Mrs. Susan Ball, Mrs. Mary Devault, Henry Merrihugh, and Robert Merrihugh. The funeral will occur Wednesday afternoon at the residence at 2 o’clock, Rev. Griffith officiating.  Burial will be in Riverside cemetery.”

Monday, December 4, 2017

Defiance Post Office Employees of 1920

For many years, Lloyd V. Tuttle contributed historic photos and information to the Defiance Crescent-News for his column: "A Backward Glance."  This article appeared in the paper on  Thursday, September 12, 1963.  Although the photo is unclear, the information included in Mr. Tuttle's remarks is quite interesting.  Note the mail delivery vehicles lined up behind the workers.

"Time makes many changes.  Most of the men in this picture, taken in front of the Defiance Post Office in 1920, have passed to the Great Beyond.  The picture, loaned by Lowell Folk, Ayersville, is of the rural mail carriers and a few other employees of the Defiance Post Office at that time.

They are: From left, Gale E. Hale, substitute; Albert Anderson, route 7; Edward Schessler, route 6; Harry Fribley, route 1; Clem Stonebraker, route 5; Bert Easley, route 6; Walker Morris, route 10; Herman W. Spangler, postmaster; William Rasor, route 3; Frank Smith, route 11; John W. Folk, substitute; Walter Spangler, city 4; George Smith, route 12; August Emmert, special; Frank Folk, route 2; Wesley Lloyd, route 9; Louis Packer, mail messenger; and Isaac Deveaux, route 4."