DCGS Website


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Hamilton and Mary Catherine "Cassie" Farmer

When this photo of Hamilton and Cassie (Mary Catherine) Farmer was shared 
with me, it was necessary to fill in their story.  Lifelong Farmer Township residents, everyone in the area probably knew this couple or their daughter, Esther Farmer Graham.

Hamilton and Cassie Farmer and dog

 No birth record could be found for Hamilton, but his death certificate provided his parents' names: Adam Farmer, born Montgomery County, Ohio, and Elizabeth Shearer, born Clermont County, Ohio.  Hamilton, it was recorded, was born in 1854, in Miami County, Ohio, joining his siblings: Samuel, Alfred, Catherine, and Warren.
The first record of Hamilton in the Federal Census was in 1860 with his parents in Miami County, Ohio.  Adam, 39, a farm laborer, and his wife, Elizabeth, 42, lived with the children, Samuel, 15; Alfred, 9; Catherine, 8, Alvin, 6 (thought to be Hamilton by his age and placement in the siblings) and Warren, 3.
By 1870, the family were settled in Farmer Township, Defiance County, Ohio  Father Adam was farming real estate worth $3000 with a personal worth of $500.  Alfred, 19, and Hamilton, 16, worked as farm laborers on the home farm. Catherine, who was 18, was not able to write.  That and the fact that she always was under the guardianship of one of her brothers suggested that Catherine perhaps could not live on her own.  Warren, 13, was at school.
 On December 21, 1879, Hamilton married Mary Catherine Ringer in Defiance County, Ohio.  They settled in Farmer Township where Hamilton rented/ farmed land for shares  On the agricultural census of 1880, he reported ten tilled acres, 5 acres mowed.  Five acres were set aside for Indian corn of which he harvested 300 bushels, along with five acres for oats which yielded 150 bushels. On December 4, 1880, they had a female child who would pass away in childhood.
A local newspaper reported in September, 1889, that Hamilton had had a finger mashed by a shaker rod of a separator; the finger had to be amputated.  That could be on the right hand shown in the photo above, but it was not clearly noticeable.
Hamilton, 45, and Mary C., 46, were still in Farmer Township for the 1900 census.  By this time, they had little Esther, 5, born March, 1895. Hamilton's brother, Alfred, 49, lived with them and worked as a farm laborer, as did Perry C. North, 27, a servant, widowed and a farm laborer.  Catherine M. Bayes, a servant, 24 and single, was help for Mary.
Ten years later, two of Hamilton's siblings lived with them - Alfred, 59, farm laborer, and Catherine, 57, housekeeping, along with Esther, now 15.  Catherine stayed on with the family until her death in 1933.  In 1920, Catharine and Esther, now 24, were still living with Hamilton and Mary C.  Now a servant and farmer, Walter Graham, 26 and single. also lived and worked with the family.  Eventually he would marry their only daughter.
The decade of 1930 - 1940 was a tough one for Hamilton and Cassie.  In 1933, sister, Catherine, died.  Her obituary appeared in the Defiance Crescent-News on December 20, 1933.
Hicksville, Dec. 20 - Funeral for Mrs. Catherine Farmer, 81, will be held Friday at 2 o'clock from the home of her brother, Hamilton Farmer, near Lost Creek, where she died.  Rev. M. Lung of Sherwood will officiate and burial will take place in Kent Cemetery, Farmer Township.  Miss Farmer resided at Six Corners until going to live with her brothers 35 years ago.  She leaves another brother, Warren, of Six Corners.  Infirmities of age caused death." 
In 1934, a terrible fire hit the farm of Hamilton and Cassie.  The Crescent News reported on October 4, 1943:
"Hamilton Farmer, 80, whose barn and other farm buildings were destroyed by fire during the threshing season, is replacing all new ones on the old foundation.  The carpenters are Charles Byers and Walter Graham, with Schrader and Sons.  The trees are being cut by Oney Allen in Mr. Farmer's woods, assisted by Harold Allen and Mr Farmer, himself, and hauled to the mill on the grounds of Wallace Buda."
The fire was caused by a ball of fire coming from the threshing machine which set fire to hay in the mow.
On September, 1943, Esther Farmer, 48, and the only daughter of Cassie and Hamilton, married Walter Graham, 50.  Neither had been married before, but they had probably known each other most of their lives.  Walter, a carpenter, was the son of Irvin and Clara Lloyd Graham. on September 9, 1943, the newspaper stated that the young couple would live with her parents.
Then, on December 10, 1943, Mary Catherine "Cassie" Farmer passed away.  She was born on Christmas Day, 1853 and was 89 years, 11 months, and 5 days old when she died.  A daughter of Peter Ringer and Abigail Ella Alexander, Cassie was born in Richland County, Ohio.  Her death certificate named edema of the lungs and pneumonia as the causes of death. An earlier newspaper tidbit mentioned that she had fallen in her kitchen while putting together a cream separator and taken to Bryan Hospital in critical condition.  Even before this she was described as a semi-invalid, but a broken hip, as stated below, must have made her bedridden. Her obituary appeared in the Defiance Crescent News on December 10, 1943: 

Buried at Kent/ Kemp Cemetery in Farmer Township.  Photo from www.findagrave.com

Just a few years later, Hamilton passed away at the age of 90 years, 8 months, and 25 days on March 2, 1945 at 8:30 a.m.  The death certificate named general exhaustion and infirmities of old age as the causes of death.  He was buried with Cassie in what was then known as Kent Cemetery.  (A more recent name for it is Kemp Cemetery in Farmer Township.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Early Years of the Ney Band

The first newspaper reference found naming the Ney Band was in the Defiance County Express on March 14, 1890, although it is likely that a band in some form or another probably existed earlier in the village.

"Winfield Scott Yarlot and Mary Elser, both of Washington Twp., hied themselves unto the sandy shores of Michigan, and were joined in the holy bands of wedlock, Saturday, February 22d.  The NEY BAND and a posse of kids gave them a howling old serenade last Monday evening, the racket being heard 4 miles away."

Photo imprinted on the front - John Bergman, Ney.  Undated
 The June 12, 1900, Defiance Weekly Express stated:

"A band of twelve pieces has been organized at Ney.  Many were already trained in a former band so they can render excellent music in a short time.  The Ney band will play at a social to be held after the junior entertainment at the Methodist Episcopal church Saturday evening, July 14.  The entertainment promises to be good.  Admission free."

 The band was mentioned as playing for Labor Day festivities, at memorial services, at open air concerts, at the fair and even at a picnic in Defiance at Island Park.  They seemed to be quite active from 1900 onward, at least until the early 1930s. 

In this closeup, one can see the band leading a parade of some kind.  Could it be veterans of the Civil War following behind the band?  In a closeup, it appeared all the men wore sashes across their chests.  Perhaps it was a Memorial Day parade.  Who were some of the folks who played in the band?  If you know more information, please comment.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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

Born in Pennsylvania in 1841, James Corbin, the son of Vincent and Mariah (Hines) Corbin, lived in Ohio by the time of the 1860 census.  James lived in Napoleon, Henry County, with his widowed mother, Maria.  (His father had died in 1857.)  His siblings, William, 22, Susan, 20, James, 17, David, 13, and John, 9 completed the family.  To help support the family, William and James worked at day laborers and Susan worked as a domestic.

When he was 22, James enlisted for a 100 day term on May 12, 1864, into the 163rd Regiment, Company G.  This unit was made up of four National Guard units in the area.  James was probably already a member of the 72nd Ohio National Guard of Henry County.

On May 13, 1864, the 163rd headed for Washington, D. C. to Fort Reno where it stayed until early June when ordered to the front.  James' group did reconnaisance on the Petersburg and Richmond Railroad.  Two hundred fifty men in the 163rd were in a severe skirmish on June 15; it is not known if James Corbin was among them.   By August 29th, they were relieved of duty and proceeded back to Columbus, Ohio, where they mustered out on September 10, James having served four months and eight days.

On March 31, 1866, James married Frances E. Kashner in Henry County, Ohio.  In the 1870 census of Highland Township, James and Frances and their two children, Carley, 2, and Emma, 4 months, lived with Daniel and Sarah Carmer and their six chldren, as well as two other boarders, William and Martha Austin.  It must have been quite crowded.  James worked as a carpenter.  Eventually the couple would have six children together.

The couple settled at 272 Corwin Street at some point and James was hired as a wagonmaker.  By 1910, when James was 67 and Frances 64, they had two single daughters left at home: Corbit, 35, who worked from home as a dressmaker, and Margery, 29, who listed no occupation.  James had retired from work.

James Corbin died in January, 1918, at his Corwin Street home at the age of 76 years, 10 months, and 13 days.  The funeral was held at the home and at the Baptist Church.

 A son, Harry, preceded his mother in death, in November, 1924.

Four years later, Mrs. James Corbin passed away in March, 1928.  Her obituary appeared in the Defiance Crescent-News on March 12, 1928, page 1.  Her pall bearers were A. E. Gearing, John Billinger, A. C. Helf and Martin Desgrange.

Both James and Frances were buried in Riverside Cemetery, Section 26, Soldiers' Circle.

(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, September 14, 2018

Defiance County Pioneers - Orlando B. Partee


Account of His Death and Sketch of His Life and Character.

Orlando B. Partee, a well known citizen of Tiffin township, passed away at his home south of Evansport, Saturday morning, April 1st.  His death was a surprise to all his neighbors.  Although he had been failing for the last two or three years.  He was not confined to his bed until Friday evening, March 30.  He died with dropsy and heart disease.
Mr. Partee was born in Williams county, Sept. 13th, 1835.  His parents died when he was 10 years old.  From that time until he was married, he lived with his friends, making his home most of the time with Mr. Porter, who lived in Tiffin township, Defiance county.

Mr. Partee has always lived upon a farm.

In 1858 he was united in marriage with Susannah McCaulay.  For the last sixteen years they have lived upon what is known as the old McCauley farm.

In 1858 he was converted at a revival meeting held in a school house; he then joined the M. E. church and has been a faithful member ever since.  He helped to build what is known as the Rural Chapel church.  He wanted to see the building repaired.  He said, 'Many are now in the glory world who used to worship there.'  We can add one more to that number.  He said to his family when it looked as if he must die, 'I am prepared to go.'

Mr. Partee leaves a wife and a large family of children who will all miss him.  His children are all living.  Ida Rash, Tillie Kellermeir, Wallace Partee, Kallie Hall, Mary Stever, Fannie Gares, Frank Partee, Daniel Partee, Dora Partee and Clement Partee.
Mr. Partee was a devoted husband, a loving father and good neighbor.  The funeral services were held at the house, notwithstanding the extremely bad roads, a very large crowd was present to show forth their sympathy with the grief stricken family and to express the honor in which Mr. Partee was held."

Defiance Democrat - April 13, 1899

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Mark Center High School, 1913

Mark Center High School

Front Row, L to R:
Cassie Culler, Norma Huber, Pauline Routsong, Marguerita Wagner, Mabel Elser, John Locke, Lelah Ridenour, Ford Locy, Victor Balser

Back Row:
Edith Reeb, Lois Perry, Blanche Slough, Ruth Lovejoy, Charlotte Gillespie, Flo Conley, Charles Core, Levon Elder

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Some Early Wills Recorded in Defiance County - PERKINS, POCOCK and KINTIGH


 Simon Perkins lived in Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio, but his will was also recorded in Defiance County, perhaps because of his multiple land holdings.  The will was written and signed on April 20, 1844, and General Perkins was a very wealthy man at that time.  

He first remembered his beloved wife, Nancy, by giving her the 60 acre farm where they lived, along with buildings, a "pleasure carriage," stock and farming tools and woodland to use for fencing and wood.  Stock in the Hartford Bank of Connecticut would also be hers - worth $7500.  With that was another $22, 693.19 of various stocks so she could use the interest for her necessities.  The executors would be allowed to reinvest the money with consultation from Mrs. Perkins. She was also given all apparel, household furniture, paintings, family likenesses and books, which should be inventoried.  

All of Simon's children had already received $5,000 each, except for son, Henry, who would get that amount when he turned 24.  Anything else that remained should be divided among the children equally.

He held land in Warren and Howland in Trumbull County and in the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County which he granted to his wife with the directive that it was not to be sold unless for the necessities or education of minor children.

Simon Perkins wrote in his will, "My rule through life has been to avoid law suits as far as practicable, consistently with justice to myself and also to decline any and all commerce with men of refuted dishonesty or a suspicious integrity in their dealings, and I advise my executors to observe these rules in all their negotiations as far as my estate is concerned or my heirs interistal.  
As to where my children shall settle, I am not disposed to dictate, but it would give me pleasure if I could know that one of them would occupy the farm where I now live and where I have spent the most and best of my days.

 His sons, Simon Perkins, Joseph Perkins and Jacob Perkins were named executors, along with his nephew, Frederick Hinsman.  If one of those named did not want to serve, then his son Henry was to serve once he reached the age of 24.  The executors were to each have a one milliion dollar bond.

The will was probated on December 3, 1844, in Trumbull County, and on April 20, 1850, in Defiance County.

Simon Perkins died November 6, 1844. 

Jesse Pocock lived in Delaware Township, and seemed to distribute his estate before writing his will.  He stated that these children have "received of my estate all that I design he (she) shall receive."  He named those children as Eli Revek, Israel James, Jemima Bond, Charity Burrel, Anna Eaton, Thirojea Sampson and Mary Rutledge.

However, he gave to his son, Jesse F., one brown mare, 1 yoke of oxen, one 2-horse wagon, all farming materials, household furniture, beds and bedding and all the notes and demands that "I hold against all persons whomever and all moneys that remain of mine after my burial."   He wanted no administration letters from the court and revoked all former wills; this one was dated September 11, 1845.   He passed away on the 14th of September, 1845.

Daniel lived in Evansport, Tiffin Township. He left three lots in Evansport and ten acres in Section 4, along with all stock and household goods, furniture and provisions to his wife, who was unnamed.  After she died, everything listed was to go to his daughter, Katherine Kintigh.  His son, William F., received a lot in Evansport, while sons, Adam, John, and Jacob "to each their notes which I hold against them as their portion of my estate."

Daniel's wife was appointed guardian of their daughter, Katherine, and after her decease, son William was to care for Katherine.  Jacob and William F. Kintigh were named as executors.

The will was signed on November 17, 1845, and Daniel died on February 1, 1847.  He was buried in the old section of Evansport Cemetery.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Coe G. Robinson - Bishop Post, G.A.R.

Paulding County, Ohio, was the birthplace of Coe Gordon Robinson.  On September 13, 1848, Isaac and Ann Evelyn Robinson welcomed their son and called him, "Coe."  
He was joined by two sisters, Martha and Flora, in the 1860 census with their parents in Crane Township, Paulding County.  Father, Isaac, was a farmer with real estate worth $60.

Coe enlisted into Company K, 182nd Ohio Infantry on September 19, 1864, according to the 1890 Veterans Census.  Coe would have just turned 16; however, the official record noted he was 18 when he enlisted.  His company was ordered to Nashville, Tennessee, on November 1, 1864, to meet up with General Sherman.  They participated in the Battle of Nashville, and after the battle, the unit stayed there as guards and provosts (military police). Coe was mustered out with his regiment on July 15, 1865, having served nine months and twenty-six days.

Hester Ann Ashton became the bride of Coe Robinson on September 14, 1869 in Allen County, Indiana.  They went to live on the farm of Eliza A. Ashton who could have been Hester's mother, a widow who was 46.  In 1870, Crane Township, Paulding County, Coe and John Lathan (who was deaf and dumb) worked on the farm. Hester kept house, while two other possible siblings were at home - Lorey J., 11 and Samuel E., 27, who was described as "insane."  That term covered a myriad of developmental issues and mental illnesses. Elizabeth had real estate worth $1600.

By 1880, Coe and Hester lived in Decatur City, Iowa with their one son, William.  Coe worked still as a farm laborer.  It is not known how long they stayed, but the family was home in Paulding County again when the Veterans Census was taken in 1890.  Coe had a terrible time trying to get his pension amount increased - he applied four times.  Finally in 1900, with some help from a local politician, it was raised to $12 from $6. His final pension of $24 a month was granted on December 2, 1910.

The Robinsons appeared in the 1900 census, living at 203 Second Street in Defiance, where they rented a house and where Coe had a barber shop.  All of their living children were there with them: William, 23, a town day laborer; Arley E., 16, a telephone operator; and Earl R. , 11, and Vivian B., 8, who were at school.  They stayed in this home through 1910, although the barber shop might have moved.  In 1910, only Vivian (Berdie, Birdie), 18, was still at home.  

In 1914, Birdie married Louis J. Krutsch, Jr. in Defiance.  She had been a teacher in the Richland Township Schools for three years, and he worked at Tenzer Lumber. A short account of the wedding appeared in the Defiance Crescent News on July 15, 1914.

Coe and Hester moved in with their daughter, Vivian, and husband at 529 Nicholas Street sometime before the enumerator visited them in 1920.  Coe, at 71, painted houses, while Hester kept house.  After a period of illness, Hester died on March 16, 1927, in Defiance at the age of 77.  Her death certificate indicated that she had heart disease and kidney failure.  The Defiance Crescent News ran the obituary on March 19, 1927 on page 5: 


Last rites for Mrs. Hester Ann Robinson, wife of Coe G. Robinson, who succumbed at her home, 529 Nicholas Street, Wednesday afternoon, were held Friday at 2 p.m. at the home, with Rev. R. B. Foster, pastor of St. Paul's M.E. church, officiating.  
Interment was in Riverside Cemetery. Pall bearers were Elwood Horn, Joseph Krutsch, Dewey Weirbaugh, Charles Ashton, Clarence Hinsch, and Frank Robinson.  Mrs. Pepper, Mrs. Phariison, Miss Perry, Mrs. Joseph Krustsch and Miss Weeks were flower bearers."  

On November 8, 1928, at the age of 80, Coe Gordon Robinson passed on.  His obituary appeared in the Crescent News on November 9, 1928:

Riverside 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!)

Monday, September 3, 2018

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

His mother, Matilda's, obituary noted that her son, George W., was the only one of her children to survive into adulthood.  The son of Danial (Daniel) and Matilda (nee Billings) Killey (often misunderstood and misspelled as Kelly or Kelley) were residents of Bellevue, Huron County, when George was born on November 15, 1848.  

The first time the family was located in Defiance County was on the 1860 census.  Father Danial, born in New York in 1825, was a miller.  One other child was living at the time besides George, who was 11 - Edgar, 11 months

On January 15, 1864, when just 16, George enlisted into Company F, 9th Ohio Cavalry.  The official roster and pension showed his name as Kelly, and pension papers were eventually corrected with the name, Kelly, labeled an alias. The official roster also said he was 18 when enlisting, which could not have been true.  He was soon on the road into the battles in Alabama and Georgia, eventually following the march into North Carolina.  George mustered out on July 18, 1865, on a surgeon's certificate of disability.  No mention was found of the injury or disease that caused this to happen, and by that time, the war was over.

As a side note, Danial Killey, probably his father, appeared on the 1890 Veterans Census in Defiance as having also served.  Danial entered company H, 6th Ohio Cavalry on February 17, 1865; he would have been about 40 years old.  He served 6 months and 4 days, mustering out on August 4, 1865.  George's obituary also mentioned that his father served in the Mexican War.

On the official roster, George W. Kelley appeared.

 When George came home from the war, he moved back in with his parents and taught school for awhile.  Defiance County marriage records show the marriage of George W. Killey to Mannie E. Greenlee on August 3, 1871.  For a reason not known at present, she passed away and there were no surviving children.  On March 11, 1876, George married Abbie (Abigail) F. Mason in Allen County, Indiana.  The couple settled into a home at 903 Perry Street, Defiance, by 1880, with their two children George H., 3, and Edgar, 1.  George must have been studying law in the previous years, as he was listed as an attorney at law on this census..

George Killey could not be located in the 1890 Veterans Census.  In Abigail Killey's obituary, it was mentioned that the family spent six years in Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas. If fact, their youngest daughter, Ella, born about 1897, was born in Colorado.  So there were some years where the family was on the move and more difficult to locate.

But, they were back in Defiance by the 1900 census, living at 207 East Street.  George was a lawyer who owned this home free of a mortgage.  At age 51, George lived with Abbie, 56, and their children: Eddie B., 21 - Mattie,  19 - Glen F., 17 - Arza, 14 - Nettie, 10 - and Ella, 4.  Nellia M. Killey, 20, daughter-in-law and wife of Eddie, lived with them.  Eddie was a cigar maker.

In 1910 (found as Kelley) and 1920, they were located at 1301 Jefferson Street. Each time four of their unmarried children lived with them.  Glen worked as a truck gardener in 1910, but had a job as a laborer at a packing house in 1920 at the age of 36.  Arza was a delivery driver in 1910, but was a grocery salesman at the age of 34 in 1920.   Confusion existed in naming in 1910 when Millie, 20, was home, but in 1920, she was named as Nettie, 30, both times not working outside the home.  Finally, the youngest daughter, Ella, was home and at school in 1910 at the age of 13, and employed in 1920, at 23, as a saleslady in a store. 

On March 11, 1926, the Defiance Crescent News reported a grand party for the 50th anniversary of George and Abbie Killey.
George W. Killey died on February 16, 1929, in Defiance at the age of 80 and was buried in Riverside Cemetery.

Defiance Crescent News, February 18, 1929, page 1

Mrs. Abigail Killey lived on in the house on Jefferson Street until she passed away on March 19, 1949.  The Defiance Crescent News reported it this way:

Funeral Will be Tuesday 2 P.M.

Funeral will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. in Mansfield funeral home for Mrs. Abbie F. Killey, 94, who died Saturday night at her home, 1301 Jefferson St.
She was taken ill Monday with influenza.  Pneumonia was the final cause of death.

Mrs. Killey was the widow of the late George W. Killey, Defiance attorney who died Feb. 16, 1929.  They were married in Fort Wayne, March 11, 1876.

Surviving are three sons, George H., Glen F. and Arza  A. and three daughters, Mrs. Lewis Baker (Mattie), Mrs. Ferd Maag (Nettie), and Mrs. Elmer Schwarzbek (Ella), all of Defiance.  She leaves also a brother, Herbert Mason, of Camden, Mich.  There are 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and five great -great grandchildren.
A son, Edgar, and Mrs. Killey's four sisters, are dead.

Mrs. Killey was the former Abbie F. Mason.  She was born April 21, 1854, in Lorain couny, a daughter of Leander and Elnora Mason.  At age 12, she came with her parents to Adams tp. in Defiance county.  After her marriage at age 22, she lived in Defiance continuously with exception of six years in Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas.

As a young woman, Mrs. Killey won fame as an accomplished horsewoman, winning prizes forher handling of saddle horses at county fairs in this area.

She was a member of St. Paul's Methodist church.  Dr. Joseph C. Richards will conduct the services.  Burial will be in Riverside.  The body will remain at the funeral home."

(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!)