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http://defiancecountygenealogy.org/

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Benjamin K. Sevrence - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery


Many discrepancies and mysteries have plagued the research on Benjamin Sevrence.  Is his middle initial K. or S.?  Is his middle name Samuel?  Was his mother's name Esther Knaff or Kraft?  He was married in 1860, according to calculations based on a later census, but where was the that year?

We do know that Benjamin was born the day after Christmas in 1833, in Crawford County to parents, David and Esther.  He married Rachel Bates in 1859, and the two had five children together.  

He waited until near the end of the war to enlist in Company D, 195th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  This unit organized in March of 1865, and the men mustered in in December.  They went first to Harper's Ferry for just a few days until they were marched back to Winchester, Virginia.  It was there they learned of Lee's surrender.  A march to Alexandria, Virginia for provost (military police) and guard duty completed their service.  Benjamin was mustered out with his unit on December 18, 1865 in Washington, D.C.


By 1870, he and Rachel had settled in Gorham Township, Fulton County, Ohio with four of their children: Mary, Marion, Ada and Dora.  Benjamin worked as a general laborer and owned real estate worth $2000.

A move to Center Township, Williams County, was made before the 1880 census.  Benjamin farmed there.  The next census he could be found in was the 1910 census in Center Township.  Benjamin was 75 by this time and Rachel, 68, and they had been married fifty years.  It was interesting to note that Benjamin was classified as mulatto in this census; it was the first time in census history that that was a choice for race.

Benjamin died on April 28, 1912 in Williams County at 78 years, 4 months and 2 days.  He was buried on May 1st in the Farmer Cemetery.

An obituary for Benjamin Severence appeared in the Bryan Press on May 4, 1912:

"Benjamin H. (K.?) Severence, son of David and Esther Severence, was born in Crawford County, Ohio, December 26, 1833, and died at his home in Melbern, Ohio, April 28, 1912, aged 78 years, 4 months, 2 days.  He was united in marriage with Rachel Bates of William(s) Co.,Ohio, June 26, 1859.  To them were born five children, one boy and four girls.

He was converted about forty years ago, and united with the Christian Union church at Olive Branch in this Co., and never lost sight of the necessity of trusting in the Lord for salvation and leading a christian life.

In 1865, he enlisted as a soldier in Co. D, 195 Reg Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and at the close of the war, received an honorable discharge.

He was a good citizen, a kind husband and father and a most obliging neighbor.  He leaves wife, 5 children, 1 sister, 17 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren with other relatives and many friends to mourn their loss.

Funeral services were conducted on Wednesday from the M. E. church in Melburn, conducted by Rev. J. W. Lilly, of Hicksville, Ohio.  Interment at Farmer Cemetery."

 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Paulding County Newspapers Archived Online


Congratulations to the Paulding County Carnegie Library for digitizing their county newspapers and placing them on a searchable database online.

The oldest paper available is the Paulding Independent, Thursday, January 3, 1861, and the latest, The Paulding County Progress, December 31, 2016.  The database includes five different Paulding County papers of different eras, as well as, two from Antwerp, one from Payne, one from Oakwood, and one from Grover Hill.

Paulding County Carnegie Library
 To enjoy this database, FREE, travel to 

 Remember, that Defiance and its people could possibly be found in these neighboring newspapers.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Chinese Laundries



Henry Hop Kee --------------Tueng Lee -----------------Lee Sang-----------
Leong Jim-------------------Sam Wah-------------------Charley Lune

Each of the men listed above once ran his own Chinese laundry in downtown Defiance.  Popular during the late 19th and early 20th century, these laundries were usually run by Chinese immigrants who would hand wash and press clothes for their patrons.  

 The first mention found in the local newspapers of a Chinese laundry in Defiance was that of Henry Hop Kee.  The Defiance County Express ran this brief advertisement on May 11, 1882:

"Henry Hop Kee, Chinese laundryman, 3 doors west of Carey's billiard parlor on Front street, Defiance.


Tueng Lee's business was first announced on September 3, 1885.  He, perhaps, was the laundryman burglarized in a news report of 1886, losing a silver watch and two dollars.

Charley Luna followed in 1890.


On July 6, 1895, a reporter wrote in the Defiance Daily Crescent:

"Leong Jim, the almond eye 'washee man' will open a laundry in the Harley building at 418 Clinton Street." 



On February 10, 1909, Sam Wah's laundry was advertised, as was Lee Sang's later.   

Defiance Daily Crescent, February 10, 1909
 Lee Sang did put a shadow over the occupation, however, when he absconded with all his patrons' laundry.  He left his shop in the Wayne Hotel building on Clinton Street in the night and fled to Fort Wayne. Although a patron notified the police, the laundry could not be confiscated and apparently Mr. Lee Sang was not found. 

Discrimination abounded toward the Chinese, even in our own local papers, calling them 'chinks' and Celestials.  A stereotype developed around the Chinese laundryman and eventually their shops closed. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

George Thomas Squire - Bishop Post, G.A.R.


Before enlisting into the 21st Regiment of the Ohio Infantry, George Squire lived with his parents, Virgil and Rebecca within the 1860 corporation limits of Defiance.  Virgil, born in Connecticut, had done well for himself as a merchant, reporting $10,000 of personal estate.  George's mother, Rebecca, 44, was seven years younger than her husband and had three sons at home.  Charles, 23, worked as a telegraph officer, while George, 18, and Edward, 11, were students.  They had a domestic servant, Frances Felix, 22.

In the next year, on August 21, 1861, George would enlist as a sergeant in Company E of the 21st Infantry Regiment. His three year term and more was filled with warfare at some of the most important battles of the War Between the States.

Of the earlier battles in Tennessee, the Battle of Stones River and others nearby inspired George to write two letters home to his father and mother.  Copies were discovered in the Ohio Regimental Files held at Stones River Battlefield. (The originals are in the hands of his grandson.)  The first is short and will be included here, while the other letter is of some length, and will be accessible through a link below.

"In line of Battle Near Murfreesboro
Jan. 4, 1862 (actually 1863)

Dear Father and Mother,
Once more I am permitted by kind Providence to pencil you a few lines - I have went through two very severe battles, besides several skirmishes without a scratch.  Our killed in the Comp. are 2.  Wesley Johnson and Sherman ? Mussen of Hicksville, 10 wounded and 3 missing - the loss in the Regt. are 181 killed, wounded and missing.  Brewster is back somewhere showed the white feather and left us.  Cheney all right - brave as can be.

Day before yesterday the enemy attacked Sheriden's Division - drove them across the river.  Our Regt. laid down close to the river, let Sheriden's men run over us - then rose up, pitched into them, chased them, waded the river, wasn't deep, took 3 cannons and chased them 3/4 mile until our ammunition gave out, then reinforcements came up and charged on and took seven more cannons.  The Rebels suffered terribly.

Can't write any more.  Good Bye.  If I go through all right, I'll write soon.
Write soon.
George" 

LINK to LETTERS FROM GEORGE T. SQUIRE 
 
George was promoted to full Sergeant of Company E on January 14, 1863, to full Quartermaster on February 15, 1865, and to First Lieutenant on February 15, 1865.  He mustered out on July 3, 1865, and returned to his family in Defiance.


Ina Asenath Carey became the bride of George Thomas Squire on September 22, 1868 in Lake County, Ohio.  By the 1870 census, they were settled in at Maumee, Lucas County, Ohio.  George, 28, was a railroad agent, while Ina A., 21, stayed home to care for their first child, Virgil, 1.

George's name was found for the first time in a Defiance newspaper of August, 1877, when he was appointed chairman of the Working Men's Club organizational meeting.  In 1879, he was a salesman for "the Great Singer Sewing Machine," but he also was establishing himself as the city telegraph operator.  He built a building as a telegraph office that year.

In the 1880 census, he and his family lived at 286 Warren Road, Defiance.  George's occupation was listed as a telegraph operator.  Four sons now completed the family: Virgil, 10; Edward C., 7; Guy P., 5, and George T., 1.  Mary Schindler, 19, a servant, and Harriet Davis, 20, a telephone clerk and boarder, also lived there.

In January, 1881, George managed the Bell Telephone Exchange was substituted for the Edison Exchange.  In 1882, he was sent to Joliette, Illinois, according to the Defiance County Express of June 29th, to take charge of that city's Western Union Office.  The family remained in Defiance at that time, perhaps because their first daughter, Rebecca, born in January 1881, was just about 5 months old.

Before May 1886, when their last daughter, Dorothy, was born in Dakota, the family settled in the Dakota Territory, in what would be South Dakota. Records indicated that he applied for land through the U.S. General Land Office that was issued to him after his death.  Two parcels in Edmunds, South Dakota, were issued in November, 1888, and July, 1890.

George T. Squire passed away in Bowdle, Dakota, on September 17, 1888.  A notice was published in the Defiance County Republican Express on September 21, 1888:



Riverside Cemetery

The Ohio Soldiers Grave Registration for George indicated that he died of pneumonia.  However, a recent find in a National Archive newspaper database contradicted that conclusion.

The Dickinson Press of Dickinson, Stark County, Dakota Territory on September 22, 1888 printed this death notice for George:

"George T. Squire, Milwaukee agent at Bowdle, committed suicide Monday by shooting himself."

 So did the family use pneumonia as a coverup for suicide?  What really happened and why?






Ina Squire lived on until her death in 1927, raising her six children, several of whom were quite young when their father died. 



(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, November 16, 2018

Defiance County Pioneers - John Kniss


"DEATH OF A PIONEER.

Passing of John Kniss Who Started the First Shoe Store Here.

John Kniss died Wednesday morning at 5:30 o'clock, at his home, 1022 Harrison street, of old age.
The deceased was one of the oldest settlers of this section, having been a resident of this county for more than 65 years.

John Kniss was born in Armstrong County, Pa., Oct. 14th, 1814.  He came to this state with his parents when two years of age.  Later, in 1834, he came to Defiance where he resided until his death.

March 10th, 1839, he was married to Sarah Wells, of this county, who survives him.  To their union, twelve children were born, five boys and seven girls, five of whom are now living.  These are Mrs. A. Bruner, of this city, Frank Kniss of Liberty Center, Henry, Wesley and William Kniss of this city.
Fifteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren are among the descendants of this pioneer citizen.

Mr. Kniss was next to the oldest settler in the county, Brice Hilton, of Brunersburg, alone being of longer residence.

Mr. Kniss was engaged in the boot and shoe business for 60 years, he and his
brother Jacob having opened the first shoemaker's shop in Defiance.

Mr. Kniss was a highly respected gentleman, at all times giving evidence of the possession of those qualities that make up the Christian man.

The funeral will be held Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock, from his late residence at 1022 Harrision street, Rev. A. Thomas and Rev. O. C. Wright officiating."

Defiance Democrat - October 27, 1898

Monday, November 12, 2018

Hugh Tomlinson - Bishop Post, G.A.R.


It was in the depths of winter, on February 14, 1836, when Hugh, the firstborn son of Jesse and Catharine (nee' Gaskill) made his appearance in what was then Pickaway County, Ohio.  Jesse was a farmer born in Maryland, and his wife, Catharine was a Pennsylvania native.

By the 1850 census of Union Township, Madison County, Ohio, Hugh, 15, was joined by his siblings: Leah, George, Melinda Catharine, Jesse and Albert.  Just seven years later, his father, Jesse would die on May 24, 1857, at the age of 59.  

Hugh was married by that time to Clara Eastman.  Jesse would have been 19 years old when the marriage took place on September 23, 1855, in Fayette County, Ohio.


Much searching led to a dead end as to the location of Hugh and Clara in 1860.  Their daughter, Alice Arabel was born on August 7, 1856, in Bloomingburg, Fayette County, Ohio.  

Hugh enlisted for three years service as a Private in Company K of the 90th Ohio Infantry, a unit consisting largely of Pickaway County men, on August 6, 1862.  A history of the 90th Ohio Infantry revealed that Hugh's short time in the service - only three months - was filled with hardships.  A little over 1100 men began with the unit and 468 of those were discharged with wounds or disease, a likely case for Hugh as he was discharged on a Surgeon's Act of Disability on December 18, 1862.  The unit actually lost 67% of its men before mustering out at the end of the war.

When Hugh began his journey in Kentucky, it was already cold and would only get colder. On September 3, 1862, the group marched 100 miles in 86 hours with only 16 hours sleep.  Men were forced to drink from stagnant pools of water causing illnesses.  Rations would not always arrive in time, so days would go by when they marched or survived on empty stomachs.  When the meager amount of food did arrive, they ate it all at once. 

A major snow appeared that year on October 22, leaving more than six inches of snow.  Many had no overcoats, having left them on a hedge during an early skirmish, and finding them gone later.  Many no longer had wearable shoes, and so rags were wrapped around the feet.  The unit history noted:

"Reader, imagine a day's tramp through a chilling wind, a scant supper prepared by your own hands, a short supply of firewood, a single, worn blanket to wrap around you..."

And so, Hugh returned home to his wife and daughters, Alice and Emma, in December, 1862, in time for Christmas.

 
 The 1870 Federal Census enumerator found the Tomlinson family in Blanchard Township, Hancock County, Ohio.  Hugh, by then 35, worked in a sawmill and his wife, Clara, was mother to three daughters: Alice, 13; Emma, 11; Elsie, 5. Elsie was born after the war in 1865.  The family had real estate worth $500 and a personal worth of the same.  

Clara passed away in 1879.  Hugh did not remarry until December 30, 1885, in Defiance, Ohio, when he married Amelia Barrack.  Together they had a daughter, Grace, born in 1890.   That same year, Hugh was enumerated on the Veterans Census in Defiance.  He did not list any disability.

Hugh was a faithful member of the Church of Christ and the G.A.R.  It was at a G.A.R. meeting that Hugh first became very ill, as the Defiance Evening News reported on October 7, 1895:



 Hugh could not overcome this stroke.  His obituary appeared in the Defiance Democrat on October 17, 1895.


An earlier obituary appeared in the Defiance Republican Express on October 14, 1895:

"Hugh Tomlinson was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, February 14, 1836.  He died at his late home on Seneca Street, Defiance, Ohio, October 10, 1895, being 59 years, 7 months and 26 days old.  He was married in Fayette County to Miss Clara Eastman in 1855.  To them were born three children who were present at the funeral.  They are Mrs. Williamson of Benton Ridge, Ohio; Mrs. Swinehart, wife of Rev. Swinehart of VanLue, Ohio, and Mrs. Church of Pomeroy, Ohio.  Mr. Tomlinson's wife died in 1879 at Benton Ridge, Ohio and was buried at Benton Ridge.

On December 10, 1885, he was married to Miss Amelia Barrack, of Defiance, who with one child, Grace, survives him.  The funeral services were conducted at the residence by J. W. Taylor, assisted by Rev. Pilgrim.  Interment today at Benton Ridge.

Mr. Tomlinson was a charter member of the church of Christ of this city.  He was faithful in the discharge of his Christian duties, as a fond and loving husband and father, and highly respected by all who knew him."

Hugh's wife, Amelia, lived until October 27, 1937, when she passed away in Toledo.  Her daughter, Grace, married Maynard Jordan.


(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, November 9, 2018

J. F. Singer's Store

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

"ABOUT FIFTY YEARS AGO, the enticing aroma of roasting coffee pervaded downtown blocks.  It was Jake's Pride Coffee being roasted by the J. F. Singer Grocery Co. which occupied the room of the southwest corner of Clinton and First Sts.

Sometimes it was the aroma of roasting peanuts.  Whenever this happened, F. W. Cheney, who operated Cheney Lumber Co., across the canal from the rear of the store, hastened over and got a big bag of peanuts.



J. F. Singer operated the store for years.  In the picture are: E. T. Grube, who happened to come along; John  Reinemeir, the delivery boy; John Bresnan, a clerk; John Forst, who was a clerk at that time; J. F. Singer, Harry Wrede, meat cutter, and Charles Brown, a passer-by.

JOHN FORST purchased the business later and continued to roast Jake's Pride Coffee and peanuts.  He had a big rural trade and was noted for the fine eggs he sold.  He and his wife are now retired at their home on Jackson Ave..."




 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

William H. H. Ramsey - A Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery



Farmer Cemetery

William H. Harrison (Henry Harrison?) Ramsey lived a short, but full life.  Born on September 3, 1838, little could be found on William's early life.

On August 23, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, 49th OVI.  Men in this unit signed up for a three year service.  The 49th participated in so many battles throughout the south after their initial appearances in Louisville, KY.  Shiloh - Corinth - Murfreesboro - Battle of Stone River - Chickamauga - Missionary Ridge - and Atlanta Campaign. Ramsey was promoted to full sergeant on March 3, 1863, and to full corporal on August 26, 1863.










 His, widow, Emma Ramsey, appeared on the 1890 veterans census with her deceased husband's name.  That record recorded his first duty  from August 23, 1861, to December 31, 1863 - two years, four days, nine months. His unit had a thirty day furlough home and at some point, Ramsey reenlisted into the veterans' army where he served from January 1, 1864, to November 30, 1865, another one year and eleven months.  After Atlanta, the unit was sent to New Orleans and eventually to Texas where the 49th was mustered out at Victoria, Texas on November 30, 1865.


Harrison Ramsey married Emma Foltz in Putnam County on February 29, 1864.
They applied for the license just a few days before.  It might be a guess that this was during his 30 day furlough from the war, as he was not mustered out until November 1865.

 By or before 1870, they were settled in Liberty Township, Putnam County, Ohio.  William farmed and they had one child at that time, Frank D., six months old.  Ellen Foltz, 15, lived with them - probably Emma's sister.

By 1880, the couple had settled in Farmer Township, Defiance County. He was listed on the census as W. H. Harrison Ramsey, 41.  Emma, 33, had her hands full with children: Frank, 10; Lulu, 9; Ella M., 7; Orie (Ora Alice), 5; Mable, 2; and Guy, 8 months.  Six children filled the house when the tragedy occurred - 
William H. H. Ramsey passed away on September 2, 1884. 

It would appear from tidbits in the newspapers and most of all, from the census, that Emma stayed on the farm.  In 1894, she sold 1/2 acre of ground in Section 10 for $225 to the commissioners for a gravel pit.  She built a new milkhouse, one Farmer reporter noted.  In 1900, the widowed Mrs. Ramsey lived on a farm she owned free with her children, Ella, 27; Mable, 22; and Guy, 20, all listed as farm laborers.  And Emma gave her occupation as farmer.

Her obituary, so short, does not give credit to the strength of Emma Ramsey.

"Emma Ramsey departed this life September 17th, aged 55 years.  The funeral was held at the home Friday afternoon. Rev. C. H. Davenport officiating.  Interment in the Farmer Cemetery." 
Defiance Weekly Express, September 25, 1902, p. 8

She had had a stroke in early August and could never recover. The Ramsey children lost their father at 46 years old, and their mother at 55.








Friday, November 2, 2018

Vintage Photos of Homes in Farmer, Ohio


Some of these homes may still stand, perhaps in a remodeled state.


The home of Clyde and Gertrude Norway

The home of Emery and Olive Shank

The Shank house, pictured above, is the first house on the right in this photo.
The home of Sylvester Close
The home and barn of A. C. (Andrew?) Biglow
Home of William P. Bayes
"The old Hutchins farm"
And for good measure, here is a mystery house.  Anyone recognize it?


Recognize this?

We'd love to know more about any of these homes.  Do they still stand?  Do they look nearly the same or have they had a facelift?  Please comment if you are in the know!  It would be fun to have a modern photo of the house, too.

Monday, October 29, 2018

J. J. Hale, Architect

Photo donated for use by Mrs. Tom Rath

"THIS PICTURE, taken in later years, is of J. J. Hale, the only full-time architect Defiance ever had.  His office and drafting room occupied the entire second floor of the two- story frame office building of the Tenzer Lumber Co. that once stood south of the plant.

It is thought this picture was taken about 50 years ago...

In the picture to the left is Mrs. Katherine (Andrew) Brown and to the right Mrs. Miriam (Andrew) Rath, grandchildren of Mr. Hale.

Architect Hale leaned toward the Queen Ann style of architecture."
Queen Anne architecture example

Source: Lloyd Tuttle, " A Backward Glance," Defiance Crescent News, August 31, 1964.

Looking around Defiance, expecially in the historic district, one might spot the characteristics of a Queen Anne home:

-Several stories, and usually with a wraparound or large porch
-Towers, often with cone shaped roof
-Turrent, a small tower that comes out of the top story or the roof
-A deep pitched roof with lots of irregular shapes
-Often gables and or dormer windows 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Louis Sitterly - G.A.R., Bishop Post



Louis Sitterly, born July 15, 1844, was German born and immigrated to the U.S. with his parents when just a boy.  .

In the summer of 1862, the 107th Regiment of the Union Army, Company K, was organized in Cleveland.  Almost all Germans, Louis must have felt that he would fit right in when he enlisted on September 9, 1862.  This unit was in some of the heaviest fighting of the war.  But it was at Chancellorsville that they suffered quite heavy losses of men through death, sickness and captures. 

 Louis Sitterly became one of the prisoners of war because of his capture there.  One would have to order his pension file to fill in the details of this capture.  Was he sent to a POW camp in Virginia, or paroled back to his unit with a vow never to lift arms against the enemy again, or was he in a prisoner exchange? 
A later report by him indicated that he was held as a prisoner, probably in Libby Prison.

If he was exchanged, and if he was physically able, he would have moved with his unit to Gettysburg where Lee was threatening on Northern territory.  The enemy pushed his unit back to Cemetery Hill, where they held steady.  Their losses numbered 550 men, but they captured the flag of the 8th Louisiana Tigers.

 


107th Ohio Infantry2nd Brigade 1st Division 11th Corps
This memorial is dedicated by the surviving members of the regiment to their fallen comrades Ohio’s Token of Gratitude

From the rear:
Principal engagements:
Chancellorsville
Gettysburg
Hagerstown, Md. 1863
Fort Wagner, S.C. 1864
John’s Island, S.C.
Camp Finnegan, Fla.
Devereaux’s
Neck, S.C.
Combahee Ferry, S.C., 1865
Dingle’s Mills, S.C.
Statesburo, S.C.
Swift Creek, S.C.
The 107th Ohio Infantry
—-
Left Emmitsburg at 8 a.m. and reached Gettysburg at 1 p.m. July 1. Engaged the enemy with their brigade, losing heavily. Subsequently fell back to Cemetery Hill, and there formed in front of Wiedrich’s Battery. Evening of July 2, participated in repulsing the attack of Hays’ Louisiana Brigade, Adjutant P.F. Young capturing the colors of the 8th Louisiana Tigers. July 3 remained on East Cemetery Hill, exposed to fire of sharpshooters and artillery. Early July 4, made a sortie to the town. Number engaged in the battle 400, killed 23, wounded 111, missing 77, total loss 211.
From the left side:
The 107th Ohio Infantry  was organized at Cleveland, Ohio Sept. 9, 1862 and mustered out of  service at Charleston S.C. July 10, 1865. Regimental commanders
Colonel Meyer
Lieut. Col. C. F. Yueller
Captain J.M. Lutz
Major A. Vignos
Captain E. S. Meyer
Lieut. Col. J.S. Cooper
From the right side:
Principal engagements
—-
Chancellorsville
Gettysburg
Hagerstown, Md. 1863
Fort Wagner, S.C. 1864
John’s Island, S.C.
Camp Finnegan, Fla.
Devereaux’s Neck, S.C.
Combahee Terry, S.C., 1865
Dingle’s Mills, S.C.
Statesburo, S.C.
Swift Creek, S.C.

Louis mustered out on July 19, 1865, at Charleston.  At the end of its term, the unit served picket duty in South Carolina, and from there captured a train, all of its cars with provisions and ammunition for the Confederates. How good it must have felt when Louis headed home after 2 years, 11 months and 23 days!  The only disability he mentioned on the 1890 census was "sunstroke, while a prisoner," which suggested time spent as a prisoner after his capture at Chancellorsville.


Louis, still a single man, returned home to his parents after the war.  At 25, he lived with his parents, Joseph, 57, and Elizabeth, 59, on a farm where he helped his father, according to the 1870 census.  On October 8, 1874, he married Miss Isabella Schoonover in Defiance, Ohio.

It seemed that Louis Sitterly remained in Defiance Township for the rest of his life.  In 1900, he and Isabel were settled into a rental farm with their three daughters: Sarah E., a school teacher, 23 and single;  Anna, at school; and Bertha, 14, at school.  Another daughter, Mary Antoinette (Nettie) would have been 24 and perhaps married and living elsewhere. 

 In 1916, their daughter, Bertha died at home at the age of 27.  The Defiance Democrat reported the obituary on October 19, 1916:

"MISS BERTHA SITTERLY DIES.
Miss Bertha Sitterly, age 27, died Saturday morning at 12:30 o'clock at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Sitterly, four miles south of the city in Defiance township.  Funeral services will be held from the home Monday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock, and at 2 p.m. in the Oakland Methodist Episcopal Church.  The remains will be buried in the Myers Cemetery."

In 1920, Louis, 76, had retired as a farmer and lived with Isabell (Isibell) on the Defiance township farm.  He identified himself as an alien on this census, but in 1910, he reported he was naturalized.  Louis died on June 27, 1922, and was buried beside his daughter, Bertha, in Myers Cemetery.  His obituary appeared in the Crescent-News on June 28, 1922: 




 
Isabell lived about a year and a half longer, passing away on December 10, 1923 at the age of 77.  This notice appeared in the Crescent News on December 11, 1923.




 
 (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!)

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Some Early Wills Recorded in Defiance County - TITTLE, SUTHERLAND and EVANS


Defiance County officially became a county on March 1, 1845.  Prior to that most county records were kept in Bryan, as we were a part of Williams County.  So, if one conducted early research before 1845, one would want to check the Williams County records as well as the Henry County and Defiance County records.


From an 1845 map, before Defiance County was created

 The documents below were located in Defiance County and were some of the earliest wills discovered here.

JACOB TITTLE -  
His will was dated on July 30, 1839 and recorded in Henry County in 1846 and entered in Defiance Common Pleas court on 12 November 1850.  His wife, Rachel, inherited 200 acres, all the stock, household goods, etc. to have during her natural life.  After her death, the majority of the land was divided between his sons, James and Jefferson with the residue of the estate going to sons Peter and George, and daughters, Polly Perkins, Elizabeth Perkins, Rachel Davidson, all equally divided.
He gave his son, Jefferson, the "gray horse creature he claims," and son, James, the "roan horse creature he claims."  He directed all his sons and daughters to "take care of and provide a comfortable living for my son, Jonas Tittle, due to his inability to take care of himself."  His wife was named guardian of the minor sons.  Peter Tittle and Jacob Davidson were named executors and the will was signed in the presence of Pearce Evans and Wm. Musher.

ALEXANDER SUTHERLAND -
Mr. Sutherland left all his estate and personal goods to his "beloved wife, Jane" for the support of herself and the two children, Mary Jane and Rebecca Elizabeth.  After Jane's death, it was to all be equally divided between the daughters and son, John H. Sutherland.
The will revealed that Mr. Sutherland was in a partnership with James Ross, John Andrews, N. Dike, and H. H. Leavitt to the tune of $10,000 with the Steubenville Land Company which invested in lands in Williams and Henry Counties.  His portion was $800.  He bequeathed this interest to his son, John H., to pay.  If the son declined, then everything was to be sold and the surplus to go to his daughters.
An outlot of 1 1/4 acred in south Steubenville was bequeathed to Rebecca Howard.  No relationship was mentioned.
He left to his two daughters 120 acres in Section 28 of Williams County.  If one sister died, it was to go to the others and their heirs.  If needed for their support or education, as determined by the executors, it could be sold for that.
His friend, Dr. John Andrews was appointed guardian of the two daughters.  His wife and brother, William, were to be executors.
Sutherland signed 25 Feb 1840 and by 30 April 1840, it was presented in the Steubenville court.  It was 1847 before it came back to the Williams County court.
His burial was in Union Cemetery, Steubenville.

JOHN EVANS -
As it turned out, John Evans wrote his will on 10 August 1842, the day before he died.  He began the document proclaiming his weakness in body and his sound mind, as well as his faith in God.  His first directive was to have his body buried in Fort Wayne, and that was carried out in Lindenwood Cemetery.


 Dr. Evans appointed his daughter, Merrica, and sons, Carey and Rush, and Allen Hamilton, Hugh McCullough, and Pierce Evans as his executors.  He asked that the last three named allow the sons, Carey and Rush, to continue the mercantile business until all the debts were paid.  After that, his wife (unnamed in the will) should receive 1/3 of all the personal and real estate.

He indicated that his daughter, Eliza Hill "shall receive nothing" more until the other children had each received $1000.
"And I further direct that my children shall provide for Ally Cumberlin as long as she may live."  Her relationship to the family was not stated.
Lastly, he asked the last three executors to not have a public sale of his property, but instead to allow the sons to conduct a private sale to their best interests.


The will was first recorded in Allen County on 16 August 1842, and later recorded in Defiance.  No date was given

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Loyal Employees of the Defiance Machine Works - 1943

For many years, Lloyd V. Tuttle contributed historic photos and information to the Defiance Crescent-News for his column, "A Backward Glance."   The loyal workers of the Defiance Machine Works were named in this undated clip.



"THESE MEN served with the old Defiance Machine Works through three wars and had a combined total service of 450 years.  The picture was taken in March, 1943.

Standing are, from left: Otis Ensign, Fay Martin, Claude Ensign, T. Fahey, E. Steffel, and O. Pickering; and seated, Fred Miller, F. Houck, Charles Ensign and E. Miller." 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

William W. Lance - G.A.R., Bishop Post



Rev. William W. Lance had two different assignments as pastor of St. Paul Methodist Church in Defiance.  It was probably during his first term from about 1886 - 1890 that he joined the Bishop Post of the G.A.R.

As a young man of about 20, William enlisted in the 132nd Infantry Regiment, Ohio, Company F, and soon after was named principal musician of the company along with one other man.  His pension listed him as a drum major, one who would use the drums to synchronize marching or to send communications from officers to men in the field. In this regiment, however, it is doubtful that these services were much needed.


The 132nd was a Hundred Days unit, formed at Camp Chase in Ohio, on May 15, 1864, of three National Guard units.  On May 22, they marched to Columbus Ohio, where they jumped on a train to Washington, D. C. to set up at Camp Albany.  On the 30th of that same month, they took a steamer from Alexandria right to the White House where they remained on picket duty until June 11.  The unit was then ordered to Bermuda Hundred, battles that were taking place around Richmond, Virginia.  By August 27th, they were headed back to Columbus where they were mustered out on September 10.


After the war, according to the 1870 census, William was a student in Delaware, Ohio, perhaps studying theology there.  He lived with the George Howard family while attending college and eventually married Cynthia A. Howard, who was not enumerated with the George Howard family, but could have been relation.  The marriage occurred on October 19, 1871.

In 1880, Wm. W. Lance, 38, minister of the gospel, and Cynthia A., his wife, 28, were settled in Dunkirk, Blanchard Township, Harden County, Ohio.  Children Hoyt, 8, and Roy, 3, were now a part of the family.  Due to his position in the church, the Lance family resettled many times throughout Ohio.  William could not be located on the 1890 Veterans' Census.

From about 1886 - 1890, Rev. Lance and his family resided in Defiance, Ohio.  They lived in the E.R. Mallett residence on Jefferson Street.  After 1890,he moved to Sydney, Ohio and in 1907, Wauseon.

The Lance family resided at 149 West Crocker Street, Fostoria, according to the 1900 census.  On this census, a conflicting date of 1846 was given for William's birthdate as compared to an earlier source using 1844.  He was 56 and a minister of the gospel, while his wife, Cynthia, cared for their expanded family:
May, 19; Winifred, 17; Ralph, 13; and William W., 7.  The family also had a domestic servant, Callie Shrall.  The older two children, Hoyt and Roy, had probably gone out on their own.

A newspaper article that appeared in a Defiance newspaper reported that their daughter, Winifred Lance, had married, much to her father's consternation.  

Defiance Crescent News, April 26, 1902

 In about 1908, Rev. Lance returned to Defiance for a second round as pastor at St. Paul's Methodist.  One source said it was a time of great progress "during which the church was enlarged, redecorated, and otherwise improved, at an expense of $36,000, no indebtedness."  In the 1910 census, they were settled on Wayne Street in Defiance.  William, 62, pastor of a church, and Anna C.(Cynthia), 56, rented a home with just William W. Jr., 17, in residence with them. Cynthia reported that she had six children, but only five were living at the time.

Reverend William W. Lance died on October 16, 1918, of pneumonia while in Celina, Ohio.  His obituary appeared in the Van Wert Bulletin on October 17, 1918.





Fountain Cemetery, Fostoria, Hancock County with wife, Cynthia Anna

Cynthia then moved in with their oldest daughter, May, in Indianapolis where they were enumerated for the census in 1920 on Johnson Street.  May, 38, was a music teacher and her husband, Ralph L. Donnan, 37, was a secretary for the Young Men of America.  One grandchild, Anna J., 4, was at home.  

 Cynthia lived just one more year, passing away on December 30, 1921. 

(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!)