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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:
Hagerstown, Md. 1863
Fort Wagner, S.C. 1864
John’s Island, S.C.
Camp Finnegan, Fla.
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
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, 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.

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.

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.

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!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Wabash Cannon Ball Bowlers, Defiance, 1924

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 discussed the Wabash Cannon Ball Five, a bowling team in Defiance.

Mr. Tuttle wrote: "THERE IS a song entitled 'Wabash Cannon Ball.'"  There is also a train known as the 'Wabash Cannon Ball' that runs on a part of the old Wabash Railroad.  Once there was a bowling team in Defiance known as the 'Wabash Cannon Ball Five.'

This picture, taken back in the 1920's, is of that team.  It is composed of men who worked for the Wabash and bowled together in a league at the alleys owned by Julius Weber, 118 Clinton St., in the building now occupied by the Lorenzen's Furniture.  If you go back far enough, they could have bowled at the Pete Zenz alleys which were located in a building where Bob Zenz now operates The Heritage House, Clinton and Fourth Sts.

JULIUS Weber also had an alley in a big red barn at Second and Perry Sts. which has been replaced by a building now occupied as a printing shop and warehouse by the Blue Crown Spark Plug Co.  The Gray and White Co. erected the building.  It was then that Weber moved to 118 Clinton St.

In the picture are: from left, back row, Roy Weber and Harry (Sweeney) Myers; and in front row, Joe Beez, Ed Williams - captain, and Claude (Red) McMillen.

The picture was submitted by Gene Williams, 2109 Shawnee Drive." 

Kunz Bowling Alley c. 1911

Friday, October 5, 2018

Sylvester Donley - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

In 1850, Sylvester Donley was a thirteen year old boy, who lived with his parents, William and Melinda, and his siblings - Cynthia, John, and Eliza.  The family lived in Washington Township and farmed on real estate valued at about $200.

 By 1860, the family had moved to St. Joseph Township in Williams County, with their post office as Edgerton.  Sylvester was 23.  Within the next year, he would be enlisted in the Union Army.

His first enlistment was into Company K, 21st Regiment, Ohio Infantry, on July 8, 1861.  It was supposed to be a three month enlistment, beginning in Findlay, and then moving to Camp Chase near Cleveland.  Just before Sylvester's enlistment, the group was sent to West Virginia where they found the Confederates and fought them.  Then the group returned to Ohio on a steamer, back to Gallipolis where they did reconnaissance work and had one skirmish while defending the Ohio border.  On August 12, 1861, Sylvester mustered out at Columbus, Ohio

He probably went home before he reenlisted the next year on August 23, 1862, into Company D, 124th O.V.I.  There he served until the end of the war and on July 9, 1865, he mustered out in Nashville, Tennessee.  This unit fought in some of the most well known battles in the south, including Lookout Mountain, Chickamauga and the Siege of Atlanta. The 1890 Veterans Census noted that he was wounded in the left ankle.  Sylvester mustered out as a Corporal on July 9, 1865.

Helen Jennette "Nettie" Carlisle became Sylvester's wife before 1870, and they settled in California Township, Branch County, Michigan.  Sylvester, 32, and Helen, 22, had children Albert, 4; Angelia, 2; and Edward, 8 months, according to that census.  Sylvester worked as a day laborer and they owned no house or land, they reported.

By 1880, they were back in Defiance County, this time in Farmer Township, with the addition of Mertie, age 6.  Sylvester was a farm laborer.   He died a rather early death on March 19, 1897, in Evansport, at the age of 59.

The Bryan Press ran the obituary of Sylvester Donley on April 1, 1897:

"Died.  March 18, 1897, at his home in Farmer township, Sylvester Donley, aged 53 years, 3 months, and 21 days.  

Mr. Donley was born in Williams county, Ohio, on November 23, 1837.  He enlisted in Co. K, 21 O.V.I., was discharged July 8, 1861, reenlisted August 23, 1862, in Co. D, 124 O.V.I. and served until war ended, and was discharged July 9, 1865.  He was a member of Cervin (Lewis) Bowker post G.A.R. and sergeant of that post at time of death.

He leaves a wife and six children.  The funeral sermon was preached at Farmer by Rev. Bartlett, of Edgerton, and the text was the latter part of first verse of the thirty-eighth chapter of Isaiah: 'Thus saith the Lord, set thine house in order, for thou shalt die and not live.'  One of the best and most impressive sermons followed this text.

Then the body was laid to rest in Farmer cemetery.  One by one the members of the G.A.R. are crossing the bourne to that undiscovered country from whence none ever return ..."


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Defiance Sausage Works to Bahmer Packing Plant to Eckert's

In November, 1963, Lloyd Tuttle wrote for the Crescent-News about both the Defiance Sausage Company and the Bahmer Packing Plant in Defiance, which eventually morphed into the Eckert Packing Company.  The earliest related business was the Defiance Sausage Works, pictured here in Tuttle's column, "Backward Glance."

Photo provided to the paper by Mrs. Forest Hohenberger

Tuttle wrote: "JUST SOUTH of the Farmers Co-operative, South Clinton St., was the Defiance Sausage Works which occupied a small stucco building as pictured above.  The business was started by George Wilsnach and, after his death, his widow sought to dispose of the business.

Frank Bahmer, 23, who had recently arrived from Germany and who was living in Fort Wayne, wanted to buy the business and engaged Edward S. Bronson, who then was active as a realtor here.  Mr. Bronson learned that Frank had only $45 to his name, but he also learned that the young man had been trained in the meat business, was an expert buyer, and knew how to produce a quality product.  So, a long term deal was arranged and Bahmer assumed the business.  He changed the name to the Bahmer Packing Co. and diversified the line.  His wife was the bookkeeper. 

ALONG ABOUT this time, L. M. Page, who was sales manager for the Defiance Division of the Toledo Edison Co., and also president of the Defiance Chamber of Commerce, noted the progress young Bahmer was making.  The little plant needed refrigeration equipment, so Page took a chance and sold him $2500 worth on a long term contract.  Page envisioned the possibilities of building up a meat packing industry."

Photo provided to the newspaper by Mrs. Forest Hohenberger
"BY 1935, the business of the Bahmer Packing Co., formerly the Defiance Sausage Works, had grown so rapidly that Bahmer bought land out West High St., along the Tiffin River and built the building pictured above.  It is still a part of the group of buildings that comprise the present day Eckert Packing Co. plant.  The business grew to the point that Frank proudly announced that he employed 18 people. The plant was the first in this area that was completely refrigerated.

At the top of his success, Bahmer took down with a fatal illness.  In 1944 the business was sold to Denver M. Eckert and E. L. Elberson.  They organized the Eckert Packing Co. and its growth has been phenomenal.  Annual sales of Eckert products reached $47,162,119, it was announced at a recent shareholders meeting.

The company now has plants in Archbold, Newark, Defiance and recently purchased a plant at Troy.  At present, almost 700 persons are employed in all the plants and when the Troy plant is in full production, 400 to 500 more will be added.  Headquarters of the company are in Defiance."

Prices on January 8, 1935
Crescent-News, June 28, 1927

Monday, October 1, 2018

Ney High School - 1939 and 1940, Seniors


Top Row: Maurice G. Snyder, Irene F. Hellemn, David J. Shamp, Lowell Kelley, Jean L. Garber, William O. Crossley, Mark D. Garver, 
Kathleen F. Moon, Robert J. Mack

Second Row from Top: Myrtle G. Walsh, Joseph Timmerman, Robert F. Brenner, Betty Rose Goller - Secretary-Treasurer, Bob Speiser- Vice-President, Marvin Rice - President, Dalton Mack, Stanley Smith, Margaret J. Cooper

Third Row from Top: Francis M. Krohn, Delmar Notestine, Donald R. Tompkins, Merlin Gaylord, Junior E. Anderson, Roger Motter

Bottom Row: Esther Moninger - Mathematics, Latin, Home Economics
Richard Gisler - Vocational Agriculture
Dale O. Sander - Principal, Science
Dudley Ebersole - Social Science, Coach
Ross Cox - English, History
Margaret Graessie - Music, Typing 



Top Row: Freda Elser, Paul R. Temmerman, Ora E. Helleman, Lester L. Johnston - Secretary-Treasurer, Bill R. Welker- President, Katherine N. Balser - Vice-President, Bernadette G. Schindler, Beatrice H. Hammersmith

Middle Row: Marshall Hutchins, Nicholas E. Kozumplik, LaVerne Baker, Ethel M. Hammersmith, Dallas L. Jaques, Ralph N. Miller

Bottom Row: Esther Moninger - Latin, Mathematics, Home Economics
Dudley Ebersole - Coach, Biology, Social Science
Dale O. Sander - Principal, Chemistry, Social Science
Richard Gisler - Vocational Agriculture
Ross Cox - English, History
Margaret Graessie - Music, Typing, English