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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.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting to me... Esther Graham was my neighbor when we moved to the old Ringer farm in the late 70s.. I got to know her well before she passed away.