DCGS Website

VISIT THE WEBSITE OF THE DEFIANCE COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY
http://defiancecountygenealogy.org/

Friday, April 27, 2018

School District No. 8, Hicksville Twp., Defiance Co., Ohio, 1911

School District No. 5
Hicksville Twp., Defiance Co., O.

Sada E. Bender, Teacher
Pupils

Mildred Brown
Della Shull
Loie Morris
Elsie Brown
Elma Shull
Everett Brown

Lavon Timbrook
Elmer Brown
Charles Brown
William Brown
James Brown
Glen Morris

Crasten Brown
Fay Timbrook
Royal Timbrook
Arden Shull
Guy Shull
Melvin Miller

O. P. Bevington, Supt.
William Timbrook, Sub-Director

School Board
George Sholl, President
George Henning
William Miller
George Batchelor
Henry Bruggeman

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Jacob H. Robertson - Bishop Post, G.A.R.


This photo was identified as Jacob Robinson on the old GAR photo from the 1910 era.  But that name led to a dead end until I realized that this was actually John Robertson!  His name was spelled from Robinson to Robterson to Robertson on the censuses of Tiffin Township, Defiance County.  In one of the Virginia censuses including his parents and siblings, three versions of the spelling appeared in one entry.  This made John H. a problem at first!

A visit to the 1890 veterans census was enlightening as his name was crossed off with CONF. written next to it.  Yes, he was a private in Company A, 35th Virginia Cavalry, White's Battalion or White's Rebels.  His service of 42 days found him as a POW at least once briefly.

The Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern Ohio, 1899 had this to say about Jacob H. Robertson:

"This gentleman has for almost a quarter of century been prominently identified with the agricultural interests of Defiance County.  He is a native of the Old Dominion, born March 3, 1844, in Loudoun County, Virginia, a son of Seth and Christine (Mason) Robertson, the former who is a native of Loudoun County, the latter of Fauquier County, in the same state.  They died in the former county, honored and respected by all who knew them.  By occupation, the father was a miller and millwright."

In 1850, Jacob was enumerated on the census with his parents and siblings: Betsy, 15 (probably Matilda Elizabeth, who later lived with and kept house for Jacob in Ohio), Jane, 13, Mary and Jacob, both 8.  It could be that they were twins.  In this entry, among the family members, both Robertson and Robinson were used as the surname.  Both of Jacob's parents died by 1859, so in 1860, Jacob worked out as a farm laborer for the Ben Brown family at the age of 16.

The Commemorative Record continued:

" The subject of this sketch, who is the youngest in the family of five children, was reared and educated in his native county.  During the Civil War, he enlisted in Company A, Thirty-fifth Virginia Battalion of Cavalry, C.S.A. and served three months, being honorably discharged at the end of that time on account of physical disability, as he was seriously wounded during an engagement in Loudoun county. 






 In the War of the Rebellion, Formal Report by the U.S. War Department, Brig. Gen John W. Gray wrote of a battle near Wheatlands, VA on October 22, 1862.  He wrote: 
"Of prisoners, we took 2 officers and 20 men.  Of these, Jacob H. Robertson was so badly wounded that I paroled him."

The Commemorative Record continued

"On leaving home at the age of twenty years, Mr. Robertson came to Ohio, and for ten years engaged in farming in Seneca county.  In 1875 he removed to Defiance county and located in Tiffin township, where he bought eighty acres of land, to the cultivation and improvement of which he at once turned his attention.  As his financial resources increased, he added to the original purchase one hundred and twenty acres, and now has one of the best and most highly cultivated farms in the township.

1890 Defiance County Plat Map, Section 24

 The Commemorative Record continued:

"In Seneca county, Mr. Robertson married October 19, 1876, to Miss Minerva Berger, who was born and raised in that county and died March 16, 1881, aged thirty-three years, six months, four days leaving two children: Edgar M., born September 14, 1877, and Howard E., born April 17, 1880.  They lost one son, Worth D. (B for Berger), who died in infancy."

The obituary of Edgar Mayo Robertson revealed that his mother, Minerva, died when he was three years old.  No obituary could be found for her.  So, in 1881, Jacob was left with three year old Edgar and an infant to raise.  Perhaps this was why his unmarried sister, Elizabeth, came to live with the family.  

Defiance Crescent News, September 10, 1937
 In 1900, Elizabeth, Jacob's sister, was identified as a housekeeper in the census.  She was 65 at that time.  Edgar, 22, single, and Howard E., also single, both lived at home.  By 1910, the boys were grown and gone, and Jacob, 65, lived with sister, Matilda E. (Elizabeth?) who was then 75.
Photo from the Commemorative Record

The Commemorative Record continued:

" Mr. Robertson uses his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Populist party, and takes a commendable interest in political affairs.  As one of the leading and representative citizens of his township, he has been called upon to serve in a number of local positions of honor and trust, the duties of which he most ably performed."

Jacob Robertson died on August 7, 1920 in Defiance County.  He was buried at the Webb Cemetery, which is now called the Noble and Tiffin Cemetery. Buried with him were his sister, Elizabeth, and infant son, Worth Berger.



 
Images are from findagrave.com

(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, April 23, 2018

Washington Township High School - Class of 1944


WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL - CLASS OF 1944

TOP ROW, L to R: Burl E. Snorf, Faculty
Rita Hankish, Faculty
Dale O. Sander, Prin.
Richard Gisler, Agri. June Wilsburg, Faculty

Second Row from Top: Robert Mack
Howard Zipfel - V. Pres.
June Hageman - Pres.
Pauline Stratton - Secy-Treas.
Marvin Crites

Third Row from Top: Burton Carver
Norma Jean Timmerman
Kenneth Beattie
Mary Schriner
Calvin Bergman
Pauline Karlstadt

Bottow Row: Joe VanWagner
Howard Anderson
Elaine Smith
Ned Mack

Friday, April 20, 2018

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - Methodist and Presbyterian Cemetery, Defiance

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 punc
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:
 http://defiancecountygenealogy.org/cemeteries.html)





Methodist and Presbyterian Cemetery

1. Name: Methodist and Presbyterian Cemetery

2. Location: 

On the western bank of the Auglaize River near the Hopkins Street Bridge, just three blocks south of Ohio 15, 18, and 281.

3. Caretaker: Trustees of the Presbyterian Church

4. Description: 

It consists of ten acres of ground on the high bank of the river.  This graveyard was the first plotted in the county.  It is not a well kept cemetery and overgrown with weeds.

5. First burial:  Daughter of Robert Shirley, 1823

6. Important persons:

This cemetery is said to be the resting place of Captain Logan, a famous Indian who joined the American forces under General Harrison and was later killed near Turkey Foot Creek.

7. Unusual markers:  None.

8. Unusual epitaphs:  None

9. This cemetery is not used for new burials.

Harold Pugh, Editor
Mr. Al. Young, R. R. #4, Defiance, Ohio

 (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.)

 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dickey School - 1908

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

This undated article featured the students and teachers of the Dickey School, located two miles east of Sherwood, in 1908.  The photo was submitted by Rev. E. H. Joost and the students were identified.


"Front row (left ot right) are Alvin Miller, Bracie Sponseller, Fred Kline, Roscoe Etchie, Roy Saylor, Ernest Joost, Vernie Sponseller, Clarence Kuhl, Purl Schliesser, Ola Fraker, and Alwine Miller.

Back row (left to right) Pearl Sponseller, Hazel Goshia, Gertrude Limbaugh, Rose Etchie, Emmett A. Clingermann (teacher), Ruth Saylor, Grover Kline, Charles Kuhl, and William Saylor."

Monday, April 16, 2018

George J. Solly - Bishop Post, G.A.R.


Born in Kent, England, on October 15, 1847, George Solly (Solley) immigrated to the United States in 1856, as he reported to the census, or 1857, the date on the ship, the John Bright, list.  He came with his parents, John and Mary, and sister, Jane. The family settled in New York where they were enumerated on the 1860 and 1870 censuses.

When George was only 17, he enlisted in Company I, 61st Regiment, New York Infantry. The muster rolls of New York indicated his enlistment was on October 8, 1864.  This would have been right before his birthday on October 15, so by the time he reached the company in Virginia, he probably would have been of age.  

New York Civil War Muster Roll for the 61st Infantry
 The above copy of the New York muster roll named George and gave a detailed description of the teenager who was 5 foot, 3.5 inches with gray eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion.  But the biggest surprise was his occupation - brewer!  At 17.  

George caught up with his company in Virginia and engaged in some battles there, most notably Petersburg and the pursuit to Appomatox where Lee finally surrendered in April, 1865. The 61st then marched to Washington, D.C. before the mustering out on July 14, 1865.

 
By 1869, George, 22, had married Julia, a New York born girl of about 17, and they were enumerated in the 1870 census in Victor, Ontario County, NY.  They lived with the Milo Webster family and worked for them.  George was a farm laborer and Julia, a domestic servant.  At some point before 1875, Julia died, and George remarried to Rachel Frederick in Paulding County, Ohio. 

In 1880, George (Sollely) and Rachel were settled in Auglaize Township in Paulding County.  At that time, George was 29 and farming, along with helping to raise two young sons - Alfred 2, and Richard, 5 months.  It was 1900 before the census person found the family in Defiance, but they could have moved there much sooner. George could not be located on the 1890 Veterans Census which would have helped determine his residence.

Newspapers indicated that he had been a storekeeper and a rural postman in the past.  In 1888, one paper noted that "George Solley has thawed out and is "on the warpath" selling the Triumph steam washer."  So although listed as a farmer, he also had some side jobs.

 In 1900, George and Rachel had all four of their children at home.  Richard, 20 and divorced, worked as a day laborer, while John, 18, was a printer.  Mary, 11, and Mamie, 9, were at school.  Where was Alfred?  Rachel reported on this census that she had four children and all four were living.  On this census, George listed no occupation at the age of 53.  Was he ill?

On September 26, 1905, George was admitted to the Old Soldiers Home in Sandusky, Ohio.  The records revealed that George had a myriad of health problems, the most serious related to his heart. His next of kin was noted to be Rachel Solly, born in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, on September 26, 1843.  At someone's request, he was discharged on August 14, 1906. It appeared he had a second stay there later, discharged on July 14, 1921. 

In 1910, he and Rachel lived alone in Defiance Township, still with farming as an occupation, but the 1920 census indicated they had moved to Defiance.  By the time of Rachel's death in January, 1924, the couple lived at 1056 Grove Street.  The Crescent News published Rachel's obituary on January 3, 1924.

George, 83, left alone, moved in as a lodger with Mary C. Wilder, 45, a widow and her two daughters, Florence and Lucille.  This is where the census taker found him in 1930.  George lived until June 3, 1934, age almost 87.  His death certificate indicated he died of a cerebral hemorrhage and arteriosclerosis.  His daughter, Mary McKellips, of 1012 Sunday Street was the informant.  The veteran soldier was buried with his wife in Riverside Cemetery.


Crescent News, June 8, 1934






(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, April 13, 2018

Ney - Washington Township School - 1920 and 1924

District #5, the Ney - Washington Township School, had a Primary section.  This photo is thought to be from about 1920.  All of these students had one teacher.

None identified.

These are the high school students from the Ney - Washington Township School, District #5, in Ney from about 1924.

Bottom Row, 2nd from Right: Edgar Bergman
Top Row, Extreme Right: Clifford Koeppe?

If you could help with any identification, please comment!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

William Shirkey - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery


William Shirkey's family were settlers in Farmer Township very early, probably from 1840 - 1848, based on the birthplaces of his siblings on the censuses.  The family came from Pennsylvania and that was where William was born about 1835.
He lived with his parents, Hannah and William and at least nine siblings in the early days and continued to live with them even after coming back from the war.


William enlisted for a three month term with Company A, 38th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 26, 1861, serving until January 9, 1862, when he was mustered out in Columbia, Kentucky.  He returned to Farmer Township and farmed with his father.
Error in spelling, but unit and death date match.

On April 23, 1872, he married Sarah Randall.  Almost a twenty year difference in age existed between them.  He was about 35 or 36 when married, and Sarah was about 17 or 18.  The couple had two children, most sources agree - Oris (Otis?) born in 1875, and Stephen E. born about 1876.  

In the Veterans Census of 1890, William reported his disability was a heart disease.  No occupation was listed with him from the 1880 census on.  He did, however, serve on some veterans' committees and in 1901, the year of his death, he was listed as assistant Sunday School superintendent.  

In January, 1901, William's beloved wife, Sarah died.  His son, Oris had left for either Indiana or Illinois, and his son, Stephen, lived with him.  Stephen was a barber and in 1897 had built a new barber shop in Farmer.  Apparently, the loss of Sarah had a devastating effect on William, enough so that he did not feel like living himself.  On March 22, 1901, he ended it all.  The Defiance Express reported on that very day:



William Shirkey's obituary appeared in the Bryan Democrat on March 28, 1901:

"WAS A CASE OF SUICIDE.
William Shirkey Drank the Carbolic Acid.

Farmer Center Man Took His Own Life After Brooding Over the Death of His Wife.

John Norway and F. O. Hutchins of Farmer Center, were in the city Saturday on business in connection with the Farmer Canning company.  From them, more particulars were learned concerning the death of William Shirkey of that place.

The autopsy held discloses that Mr. Shirkey committed suicide.  The doctors found that his throat was burned and that his stomach bore evidences of being burned with the acid.

Two months ago the deceased's wife died and his loss preyed heavily upon his mind.  Before her death, he was in the habit of making daily visits among the stores there, as the pension he received enabled him to enjoy a life of ease.  At that time, he was a well known figure about the village.

When the remains of his wife were interred, his visits ceased and he began to live the life of a recluse.  From a happy spirit, he became a man always melancholy and with his son, remained alone, cooking their own meals.

Yesterday when the son came home to dinner, his father was in bed with the covers pulled over him.  He was breathng heavily.  All was not well and a physician was called, but too late, as death had resulted.  The suspicions that he had committed suicide were verified by the autopsy.

The bottle of carbolic acid was recognized by the attending physician as the same he had furnished for disinfectant purposes during the illness of his Mrs. Shirkey.  The amount of acid left in the bottle caused the doctor to think that the old gentleman had taken his own life.  Funeral Services were held Sunday." 

William was buried with his wife in Farmer Cemetery.

www.findagrave.com
  

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Second Ward School, Defiance, Ohio - 1884

From "A Backward Glance" by Lloyd Tuttle, and published in the Crescent-News on January 30, 1964.

"ONLY REAL old timers will recognize this picture of the original Second Ward School on Holgate Ave.  The site is now a playground.  The picture was brought in by Mrs. Elsa Colwell, rt. 8, Defiance, who also furnished the date.
The lot was purchased in June of 1875 from Sarah Kipler, for $1800.  It consisted of one acre of land.  The two-story building , as pictured, was completed on Oct. 15, 1875, at a cost of $5,350.

This picture was taken in 1884."



"THERE WERE two large rooms with narrow hallways running along the side.  Two teachers taught, one on each floor.  The building was heated by enormous wood burning stoves, surrounded by sheet iron.

Frequently , the plaster would fall, creating a diversion.  The rest rooms were in one story brick buildings to the rear of the main structure.  There were a number of menacing apple trees in this school yard.  Whenever a boy was to receive a switching, the teacher ordered him to go out and cut a switch from one of the trees.  The kids got wise to this and would mutilate the switch so that it would not last long.  Nearly all the second ward from Division St. west and between Harrison Ave. to the Maumee River had large apple trees, remnants of the Ike Warren nursery.

A larger and more modern building replaced the one shown in the picture.  However, while it was a handsome two story brick structure with a half dozen or more rooms and a basement, its interior was wood with long flights of wooden stairs and it would have been a veritable fire trap.

When the Slocum School was built, the Second Ward School was combined with it because the Holgate Ave. location is at the extreme northwest side of the ward with the Maumee River in the background.  Children living on Perry St. had to walk across almost an entire ward.  The site is now the only playground in the second ward."

Friday, April 6, 2018

John W. Zimmerman - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery


In 1860, John W. Zimmerman lived with his parents, Conrad and Jane, in Farmer Township, Defiance County.  John was the second son of six children at the time and 12 years old.

When he was just 17, he enlisted in Company A, 38th O.V.I. late in the war, on February 28, 1865.  He mustered out about five months later on July 12, 1865 at Louisville, Kentucky.


 The life of John W. was very hard to follow as he seemed to have eluded the census enumerators, or if not that, he moved.  We know from his obituary that after the war, he spent time out west until just a few years before his death.  Because of the number of men named John Zimmerman, locating him was difficult.

It appeared this census entry of 1910 might fit the elusive John W.:

Salt Lake City, Utah, 1165 Downington Avenue
Zimmerman, John W., 62, married once, born Ohio, hoist engineer
Zimmerman, Nettie G., 60, married three times, has one child.
They have been married seventeen years, making their marriage date about 1893.

His death certificate did identify his wife as Jennete and his parents as Conrad and Jane.  His occupation was listed as miner and hoist engineer.  He died on December 12, 1922, in Williams County with the causes listed as dementia and paralytic and chronic nephritis.

His obituary appeared in the Bryan Press on December 14, 1922:

"John Zimmerman died Tuesday about noon at the residence of Mrs. John Hickox, on S. Main St., at the age of 75 years.  He lived for years in the west, but returned east two or three years ago after the death of his wife.
Funeral services will be held this afternoon at 1:30 o'clock at the residence, in charge of Rev. Mr. Gatherson, and the burial will be in the cemetery at Farmer." 

 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - Myers Cemetery, Highland 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:
 http://defiancecountygenealogy.org/cemeteries.html)

Myres Cemetery
(Myers Cemetery)

1. Name of Cemetery:  The Myres Cemetery in Highland Township

2. Location, how reached:

Myres Cemetery is five and one half miles south of Defiance, Ohio on State Route #15 at the bridge over Powels Creek, in section #19 of Highland Township.

3. Name and address of caretaker:

L. E. Myres, R.R. #8, Defiance, Ohio

Myres Cemetery at www.findagrave.com
 4. General descripton, size, appearance, etc.: 

This cemetery sets on a hill on the bank of Powels Creek about thirty rods back off the road in a well wooded grove of oak and cedar trees.  Over the driveway at the road entrance is an ornamental iron gateway with the name of the cemetery over the iron arch over the drive.  This drive then runs back to the grave plots and is of stone.

This is a regular rural cemetery kept up by Highland Township and is laid out in lots (like our) city graveyards.  It contains around seventy five stones, most of them very elaborate.  One erected on the Hoyt lot is a red granite marker on a gray stone base.  It is of the pointed obelisk type and is eighteen feet high, is surrounded on all sides by an iron, New York style ornamental fence painted green, and is kept locked up.  In this enclosure is planted shrubbery and a wreath hangs on the monument at all times.  This is the finest marker I have so far found in any rural cemetery.

Hoyt monument at www.findagrave.com
 Ten other stones are of the massive, granite type belonging to Halls, Myres (3), Skiver, Boyd (2), Knopp, Sloppy and Wiler.  The grounds of this fine cemetery are as well kept up as any city cemetery.  It is surrounded by a heavy wire fence.  It is undenominational and contains five acres.

5. Name and date of first burial recorded:

Athelbert Hall is the first marked grave in the cemetery, died 1855.

6. Names of important people buried there:

The Myres are the most important people, were rich farmers, soldiers, county officials, and church members.  Next in importance are the Boyds.  One of the uncles of Thomas A. Boyd, the author of "Through the Wheat," Samuel Drummond and other stories whose fiction and historical novels I have referred to several tmies in the material on American Guide, and whose name was listed in Who's Who in America until his death last fall, is one of the graves.

7. Markers of unusual appearance:

See description of the Hoyt marker in topic number four above as this marker is really unique for a rural graveyard.

8. Unusual epitaphs:

Epitaph on the stone of Daniel Myres, 1847 - 1908, reads, "Meet Me In Heaven."

Daniel Myers at www.findagrave.com

Epitaph on a marker of Lary A. Boyd reads:
"Affections sore, for years I bore,
Physicians were in vain;
At length, God pleased to give me ease
And freed me from all pain."

Lany Boyd at www.findagrave.com



 (The name is actually Lany Boyd.)


9. Is cemetery used for new burials? 

This cemetery is now well used, well kept up and a lot can be purchased here by anyone wishing a burial plot.

C. Cadwallader and C. Gish, Reporters
Consultant:
L. E. Myres, R.F.D. #8, Defiance, Ohio 



(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.)