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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Charles Bowker - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

Lurana Butler Bowker
 Born in 1812 in New York, he married Lurana Butler about 1837, and they set up housekeeping in Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York.

The census enumerator found them there in 1850 when Charles, at 38, was a successful farmer with $2000 in real estate.  He and Lurana had children - Marian, 11, Sherman, 9, and Homer, 1, at that time.  Again in 1860, they were there with the addition of Charles C., their last child.

In 1860, they were still in New York farming when their son, Sherman, turned 20.  He enlisted in the Union Army just a few years later and came to an early death as described in the previous post.

At some point, Charles also served for the Union, but it has been difficult to zone in on the unit in which he served.  Researchers at the Farmer Cemetery where he is buried have him on their list of veterans as a member of the National Guard.  He would have been over 50 years old, so that could be a good assumption.

The family moved to Center Township, Williams County, before the 1870 census with their remaining son, Charles Jr., 13, and Etta, 26, perhaps a boarder, who taught music.  Charles, at 58, had been denied voting due to insanity.  He had real estate worth $550 and person effects worth $200.  He died just about six months after the census taker's August visit, on February 3, 1871.  

By the 1880 census, Charles C. Jr. was now head of the household at 23, with his wife, Mary Ann, also 23.  Lurana, 65, lived with them in Center Township, Williams County.   Lurana married again to John Stackhouse on January 7, 1883, but he died in 1890.

Lurana Bowker Stackhouse lived in Farmer in 1900, 85 and a widow and a landlord.  Born December, 1814, she had had four children, but only one was living.  Charles C. had died, and Lurana lived next to his widow, Mary Ann Bowker, a capitalist, now 45.  Two of Mary Ann's children lived there also: Louis, 25, a teacher, and Neal, 15, a grocery salesman.  

Thirty-seven years after her first husband's death, Lurana died in March, 1908.  Her obituary appeared in the Defiance Crescent-News on March 19, 1908, in local news.  Her son-in-law (husband to deceased daughter, Marian) had come to assist.

"Mr. Hiram Weldon, formerly of this city but of late years a resident of Elyria, was called to this place Saturday of last week on account of the death of his mother-in-law, Mrs. Stackhouse of Farmer, who departed this life at the ripe old age of ninety three years.

Mrs. Stackhouse had resided in Farmer for a number of years prior to her death and during her sojourn in life, had made a host of friends.  She was a christian lady and devoted to her church.

The body was brought to this place by undertaker Charles W. Miller of this city Monday of this week and laid in state until Tuesday last.  Funeral services conducted by Rev. Miller of this place; interment in the Farmer Cemetery Tuesday last."

Friday, March 15, 2019

Sherman O. Bowker - Civil War Soldier Buried in Farmer Cemetery

92nd Regiment, Company A - Read more about the 92nd HERE.

Sherman Bowker's early life was spent near Potsdam in Saint Lawrence County, New York.  Born to Charles and Lurana Bowker about 1840, Sherman grew up on a farm and called himself a farmer, too.

In June, 1863, the Civil War draft was instituted, and Sherman Bowker registered and went to serve.  He was a single farmer, just 23 years old, when he enlisted on June 30, 1863, into Company C, 92nd New York Infantry.  By July, the company was at Fort Anderson, North Carolina in battle.  They eventually made their way back into Virginia where they suffered heavy losses at Cold Harbor in June, 1864.  He remained in Virginia until mustering out in January, 1865.

At some point, Sherman married Henrietta Fuller and the Bowkers relocated to Defiance County.  Soon after, Sherman became ill and died, leaving no children.  He died on New Year's Day, 1867 in Hicksville.  Only one obituary could be located for Sherman and that was in the Courier and Freeman newspaper in Potsdam, New York, on January 10, 1867.

"In Farmer, Ohio, on the 1st Inst. of hemorrhage of the Liver, Sherman O. Bowker, aged 25 years and 4 months."

Farmer Cemetery
 His wife, Henrietta, apparently returned to New York where she was listed on the 1890 Veterans' Census as Sherman's widow.  Pension records show that she received her widows pension until her death on March 24, 1928.


Monday, March 11, 2019

Oak Grove School, Delaware Township - 1930, 1932-1935

The Oak Grove School, District #4, was located in Delaware Township, Section 24, on State Route 18 at Flickinger Road.

The souvenir booklet from 1930 could not be scanned, but the contents are here:

"Oak Grove School District No. 4
Delaware Twp., Defiance Co., Ohio
April 18, 1930

"Teacher - Mary R. Lipp
M. E. Brandon, Co. Supt.
School Board
Arthur Sprow, President                  Charles English
H. L. Traxler, Clerk            Harry Bayliss
Otto Luce                           Edward Kretzer 

Grade Eight- Mildred Lipp, Monroe Weaner, Edmund Mack

Grade Six - Emery Slough
Grade Five - Leone Corwin, Charles Mitchell, Maurice Weaner

Grade Four - Florence Lipp, Robert Weaner

Grade Three - Clarence Corwin

Grade Two - Mary Slough, Mary Margaret Weaner, Francis Singer, Bernard Singer

Grade One- Betty Dell, Dorothy Lipp, Robert Corwin"

In the 1932 booklet, students' names were written in and included those above and the new first graders who were:

"Iris Traxler, Jean Sanders
Elizabeth Sanders, Rita Weaner
Luella Corwin, Lawrence Stephey"

Mildred Lipp, Monroe Weaner, and Edmund Mack had moved on.


In 1933...

and in 1934...

 and in 1935...


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Michael Gorman - An Obituary

Almost any genealogist would be overjoyed to find an obituary of an ancestor, especially one filled with details that can enhance his or her family research.  This obituary of Michael Gorman from 1889 is especially generous with the family story of his immigration and settlement in Defiance.  Also, it is notable because it offers a drawing of Mr. Gorman, said to be the only likeness of him, and it names his home village in Ireland. 

(This cut is an exact reproduction of the only picture of Mr.Gorman in
existence which is some twenty-five years old.) 

"The familiar face of Michael Gorman will no longer be seen upon our streets.  He has met the grim messenger of Death and followed him beyond the troubles and turmoils of this earth.  Three score years and ten found him quite hale and hearty, and with a step far from feeble.  Two weeks ago, Sunday, April 7th, he was taken ill and rapidly failed, until Friday evening at 8:30 o'clock when, after suffering excruciating pain, he passed away surrounded by his family and many friends.

His funeral took place from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Tuesday at 9 o'clock A.M., Rev. Father Kinkard conducting the solemn service.

Michael Gorman had a life more full of ups and downs than is allotted to most men.  Born September 8th, 1818, in Elphin, Roscommon county, Ireland, he emigrated to America at the age of 28.  He landed at Quebec and made his way to the States of Toronto and Buffalo.  Between the last two cities he traveled by rail, the coaches being drawn by horses. From Buffalo he went to Warren, O., Beaver Falls, Pa., Wheeling, Va and later to Cairo, Ills, when he obtained work on a steamboat as deckhand.  He staid on the river but a short time coming at last to Defiance where he arrived on the 8th of April, 1847, with $7.00 in his pocket.

He began work almost immediately for Edwin Phelps at $1.00 a day.  He was married on the 11th of September, 1851, to Miss Sophia Haverstadt.  From this union ten children have been born, five of whom are living.  

About 1850 he began in the grocery business near the canal west of the Russell House.  He followed this seven years, then purchased a farm but returned to the store in two years.  In 1865 by a speculation in beef and pork, he lost $17,000, which nearly ruined him financially.  But with the pluck and energy of his nation, he began to build up his fortune and succeeded so well as to soon place himself in independent circumstances.  His home on Jefferson street was very pleasant and his other real estate possessions were numerous.

A Democrat all his life, he was elected to the Council when Defiance was but a small town, and in 1882 became County Commissioner which office he held for two terms, serving with honor to himself and his county."

Defiance County Republican Express, Friday, April 19, 1889, p. 4.  
(This was typed because the newspaper print was too light to reproduce here.) 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Craine School, Tiffin Township, 1912

For many years, Lloyd V. Tuttle contributed historic photos and information to the Defiance Crescent-News for his column: "A Backward Glance."  This article was undated.  The photo is of the Craine School pupils of 1912.

"HERE IS the Craine School which was located in the center of Tiffin tp. and was taught by Wade L. Sever, retired county engineer.

Shown are: From left back, Donelda Spangler, Samuel Bevard, Elda Bevard, Wade Stever, the teacher, Richard Fremian, Clela Partee, Alfred Schultz
Middle Row: Elizabeth Bevard, Esther Schultz, Helen Partee, Hazel Dezellet
Front Row: Wilbur Clemens, Lawrence Bevard, Melvin Tittle, Roscoe Bevard and Lester Bevard.

THE picture, which was taken Dec. 3, 1912, was brought in by Mrs. Howard Long, 272 Broadway St.  It belongs to Melvin Tittle, who once worked at the Gray and White plant in Defiance and now lives at 411 Seymore Ave., Jackson, Mich."

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Turnbull Wagon Works, c. 1913

For many years, Lloyd V. Tuttle contributed historic photos and information to the Defiance Crescent-News for his column: "A Backward Glance."  The topic for Tuesday, August 27, 1963, was the Turnbull Wagon Works, a very successful early business in Defiance.

"THIS IS a picture of some of the employees of the old Turnbull Wagon Works, taken about 50 years ago.  Perhaps old timers will recognize some of the faces.

At one time, the Turnbull Wagon Company employed about 400 workers.  Native timber was used in the manufacture of wagons.  Later, with the advent of the horseless carriage, the company produced wooden spoke automobile wheels.

When the native timber was depleted, the company bought a large tract of timber in Arkansas. However, it turned out to be an inferior timber, far below standards for wagons and wheels with the wood, water soaked and impossible to kiln dry properly.

The plant was located in East Defiance at the foot of Seneca St., and stretched along the south bank of the Maumee River.  The plant had a complex of 24 buildings, two of them still in use.

The large brick building is used by the Compo Corp. for storage and another brick building is part of the Defiance Metal Products."

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Dr. Merari Bunajah Stevens - G.A.R., Bishop Post - After the War

A continuation from  the Commemorative Biographies of Northwest Ohio in italics:

"After a short stay in New York, the youth proceeded to Michigan, and wisely resumed his interrupted studies.  Locating in Fenton, in that State, he attended school there two years, when he began the study of medicine in the office of Wells B. Fox, M.D., at Marshallville, and later graduated in 1869.  

Immediately after his graduation, he began the practice of his chosen profession with his former preceptor, Doctor Fox, then located at Byron, Michigan, and this partnership existed until the reopening of the university in the fall, when he again became a student there, completing the course in pharmacy the next year.

He then resumed practice at Byron, without a partner, however, remaining there until 1875, which year was made memorable by his appointment as delegate from the State Medical Society of Michigan to the meeting of the American Medical Association in Louisville, Kentucky, and by his matriculation at Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York, from which institution he graduated in the class of '76.  A brief stay at Byron followed; then, in December, 1876, he located in Defiance, Ohio, where he has since been actively engaged in the practice of his profession.

"In 1870, at Fenton, Michigan, Doctor Stevens was united in marriage with Miss Irene Boice, who died January 29, 1873, leaving one son, Harry B., (Harvey) born January 19, 1873, at present a student in his father's office."

Irene and Merari were married just over two years when she died soon after giving birth to their son whose name was actually Harvey.  Irene was buried in Michigan.

 "In February, 1878, the Doctor married, for his second wife, Miss Nettie Brower, and to this union a son, Harry B., was born May 22, 1879.  The mother passed away on the 25th of the same month."

Nettie's short obituary appeared in the Defiance Democrat on May 29, 1879, p. 3:  "On Sunday, Mrs. Nettie B. Stevens, wife of Dr. M. B. Stevens, died in this place after a short illness.  She was an estimable lady, and although a resident of Defiance for about one year, she had formed a large circle of acquaintances who were warmly attached to her.  The remains were taken to Byron, Michigan, for burial.  In his hour of sad affliction, Dr. Stevens has the sympathy of all citizens."

In the 1880 census, Dr. M. B. Stevens lived at 445 Wayne Street in Defiance, a widowed physician with his two sons, H. B., 7, and Harry B., 1.  His sister, U. M., 23, lived with them and kept house, along with Fanny Smith, 22, a servant.  The family had two boarders: Clara Adams, 22, a music teacher, and Jennie Rorabooker, 18, also a music teacher.

 "On March 21, 1883, the Doctor was married to his present wife, formerly Miss Ellen Amelia Ames, the only daughter of Rev. Lucius F. Ames ( a Baptist minister) and Amelia Bennett Ames, both of New England stock...  Mrs. Stevens has been actively engaged in church and charity work.  The chlldren of this marriage are: Gale A., born August 31, 1885; Edwin Burr, born June 24, 1889; and Frank Bennett, born July 28, 1893.  The family resides in a commodious and delightful home on the corner of Fifth and Wayne streets, while adjoining stands the doctor's office - a substantial and well-equipped building erected by himself.

Dr. M. B. Stevens, 1885
 Dr. Stevens did appear in the 1890 Veterans Census in Defiance which noted his service in both Company L, 8th Regiment, New York Infantry and Company H, 10th New York Infantry where he was promoted to Corporal.  Another source, the New York Muster Rolls, described him at the time as 5 foot, 8 inches, with grey eyes and brown hair and a light complexion.  He gave his occupation as brickmaker, perhaps working for his father in his early years.

In the 1900 census, the family lived at 602 Wayne Street, Defiance.  Ellen, 47, and Merari, 55, had four sons at home then, along with her father, Lucious, 80 and widowed.  Son Harry, 27 and single, was a rug salesman, while the younger boys - Gale A., E. Burr, and Frank B. were in school.  Naomi M. Stevens, 48, the doctor's sister and a school teacher, also lived there.

In the same home in 1910, Dr. M.B. and Ellen had just two sons left at home - Burr E., 20, a driver, and Frank B., 16, who worked in a machine shop. Sister Manora Stevens, 53, also stayed with the family now.  Three roomers filled the house: Adolphus M. Heite, 30, a traveling salesman of portraits; May F. Heite, 31, a portrait painter and an owner of her own gallery; and Herbert Fisher, 37, who also worked as a salesman for the "portrait house."

Front Row: Harvey Boice Stevens and Dr. Merari Bunajah Stevens
Back row (l to r) Burr Edwin, Frank Bennett, Gale A. and Harry Brower Stevens
Taken on Thanksgiving Day, 1915.  (Dr. Stevens would pass away the next year.)

The Commemorative Biographies continued:

"Successful from the first, during the twenty years of his residence there, the Doctor has achieved a well-merited reputation as an able general practitioner and highly skilled surgeon; indeed, he has attained a degree of eminence that places hm at the head of his profession.  He is established in an extensive practice, and by reason of his celebrity is frequently called to operate in the most difficult cases of surgery.  He held the position of United States examining surgeon for pensions for several years, and is at present a member of the Defiance County Medical Society,the Ohio State Medical Society, the Northwestern Medical Society, and the American Medical Association...

Doctor Stevens is a member of the G.A.R.; politically he affilates with the Republican party.  He has been a member of the Baptist Church for thirty nine years.  His strict integrity and honor shed a bright luster on his character and, with other noble qualities, strength of intellect, mental culture and professional ability, combine to render him a valued and highly-esteemed citizen of the community."

 Dr. M. B. Stevens died on October 18, 1916, at his residence in Defiance at the corner of Fifth Street and Wayne Avenue.  He was 71 years old.

Defiance Crescent News, October 20, 1916

 Dr. D. W. Slagle, a friend of forty years, preached at the funeral, following a Scriptural reading at the home.  Dr. Stevens' last request was that the church quartet sing "Nearer My God to Thee" at his funeral and they did.  A G.A.R ceremony preceded his interment at Riverside Cemetery.  His pall bearers were Henry Helpman, A. B. Davis, and M.A. Bell for the G.A.R., Frank Whitney and Theodore Ewing for the Baptist Church and Earl Couch, a close friend of the family. Flower bearers were A. King, John Myers, James Benner and George Solly.

 His wife, Ellen Amelia Ames Stevens, died in 1932, still a resident of Defiance.

Defiance Crescent News, April 4, 1938

Harvey Boice preceeded his stepmother in death in 1921, and her other stepson, Harry Brower Stevens, became a Baptist preacher.  Edwin Burr Stevens became a doctor and resided in Michigan.  Gale A. worked as a salesman and lived in Defiance. Frank Bennett, in 1917, worked as a civilian at the Rock Island Arsenal in Davenport, Iowa.  In that year, he was sent overseas to study the manufacturing of field artillery for the war. 

(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, February 12, 2019

Dr. Merari Bunajah Stevens - Bishop Post, G.A.R. -The War Years

Born in Livingston County, New York, in 1844/1845 to Harvey and Hannah Ann (nee' Gale), Merari was a good student and exceptionally bright young son, who worked his way to a medical degree.  (Merari, a Biblical name, son of Levi). His father was a teacher and his siblings also went on to higher educations.  His brother, Alviso, was a graduate in pharmacy at the University of Michigan and his sister, Naomi, taught for many years in New York.

When his mother, Hannah, died in 1863, both Merari and his father enlisted into Company L, 8th New York Heavy Artillery.  The son was 18 and the father about 49 years old.  This decision came to a tragic end.

From the New York Muster Rolls

 The Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern Ohio spoke to Merari's war experience in this entry on page 76:

 - this action being in the highest sense voluntary, as age in the one case and extreme youth in the other exempted them from subjection to the draft for the increase of the army, as also to other military duty.  They soon joined their regiment, which was then located at Baltimore, and while on duty there the son was afflicted with a severe attack of inflammatory rheumatism.  

In the spring of 1864 (while he was suffering from it), the regiment was ordered to the front, and as he was so nearly disabled by the swellings attending his malady, his father and others advised him to go to the hospital; but the same spirit that inspired the lad to enlist now asserted itself, and impelled him forward, still persistently on to the front, although suffering excruciating pain.

Keeping up with his company and regiment, he was ready for action, and with them, took part in the battle of Spotsylvania where his regiment acted as infantry. Their next engagement was at North Anna River, and this, in turn, was followed by the desperate conflict of Cold Harbor, where, in the brief space of half an hour, nearly ten thousand Union soldiers fell dead or wounded before the Confederate intrenchment.

During a charge on the enemy's fortifications, there, his father, alas! was shot down by his side, the fatal bullet passing toward the hips and the lower part of the abdomen, and inflicting a wound from which he died twenty-eight hours later, and soon for him the scene of the battle's roar and din was transformed to a peaceful, quiet spot - his final resting place - his son paying a last sad tribute of affection by placing a handkerchief over the face of the loved one as the body was consigned to the grave.  The son secured the deadly, battered bullet, which he still keeps as a sad memento."

 A visit to www.collectmedicalantiques.com added to the story of Dr. Stevens, sharing a letter he had written back home describing the ordeal.  He revealed that his father had died in Merari's arms in the morning after Merari, himself, had removed the bullet.

Parts of Merari's letter to his friend, Ezra: 

"Dear friend Ezra,

I take pen in hand to let you know that I yet live.  We are camped near Petersburg and we are having tolerable good times now.  However, that was not the case last summer during the 'killing season.'

We left Baltimore on May 15th...then we went to Coal (sic) Harbor getting ready for the grand assault on the 3rd.  The rebs had all the advantages of position an dthey were all well protected by breastworks and rifle pits.  When the order was given, we charged across the open plain into a hailstorm of rebel balls and shells.  Men were struck down as if by a giant sythe like grass in haying time andit was here that Father was struck...The bullet exited near the right hip ...and then with my bowie knife took the ball out...Then I helped carry Father off the field and I stayed with him until he died...Father must have suffered greatly...and he was  very brave and calm.  
Father said he was prepared to die and that he had done his duty.  He bade me farewell and then died in my arms.  So much bloodshed on both sides so as to be.  He bade me farewell and then died in my arms. So much bloodshed on both sides so as to be beyond description  If we could only live in peace with our Southern brothers."

The Commemorative Biographies continued Merari's (known as M.B.) story:

"In this fearful battle (Cold Harbor), their regiment lost six hundred and seventy-eight in killed and wounded; but, notwithstanding this depletion in numbers, on June 16 and 18, it moved to the position assigned it in the battle of Petersburg, and June 22, while it was charging the Rebel works at that place, the son (M.B.) received a severe wound over the stomach from an exploding shell, which, together with rheumatism and other chronic troubles, kept him in hospital at Washington and the Harwood Hospital at Philadelphia three months, during which time he was reduced to a mere skeleton.

At the end of that time, having recovered to some extent - though still but a mere shadow of his former self, he, with other wounded soldiers, was ordered before the board of surgeons for examination as to fitness for active duty and, wholly unfit though he was, was ordered to the front again without even the semblance of a personal examination by the board.  Obedient to the command, the youthful soldier's pride and indignation forbidding remonstrance, he rejoined his regiment, then in front of Petersburg, and October 22 took part in the fight at Hatcher's Run.

He was subsequently one of a detachment to take charge of a battery before Petersburg, where he served from December 9, 1864, to the fall of Richmond and Petersburg, first as a gunner and then as acting orderly, and later as corporal, having been thus promoted.  After taking part in the grand review in Washington that followed the final triumph, he was discharged and mustered out of the service June 30, 1865, and though physically almost a wreck, and deprived of the companionship of him by whose side he had marched against the enemy, he returned to the paths of peace with the proud satisfaction of having done his duty to his country in its time of peril, and bearing a noble heritage in the sonship of a martyred hero."

Pension card

To be continued...

(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!)

Mark Township School, District 2 - c. 1918

from the Hicksville News-Tribune, February 7, 1973

Friday, February 8, 2019

Orphaned Photos

Could anyone help in identifying the family in these photos?  

Mr. D. Doss, of Michigan, travels around and purchases old photos to mail back to their places of origin.  He sent these to us last year, and we, of course, are interested in giving this mother and daughters (?) names.  Beardsley Studio, then located at the corner of Clinton and Third Sts. in Defiance, took the photograph.

The above photo of a young girl was taken by D. R. Fisher whose studio was located at the corner of Clinton and Second Streets.  (Oh, my, her pantaloons are showing.)

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Al Maag's Saloon

For many years, Lloyd V. Tuttle contributed historic photos and information to the Defiance Crescent-News for his column: "A Backward Glance."  On Monday, September 30, 1963, Mr. Tuttle wrote about a favorite gathering place for some in Defiance - Maag's Saloon.

"Fifty years ago, places where liquor was sold were known as saloons.  Here is a picture of the Al Maag saloon which was located in the room at 406 Clinton St.

Those were the days of the 'he-men.'  Note the cuspidors or spittoons for tobacco juice.  Many men chewed tobacco.  Note the footrail at the bar.  Men stood up and took their whiskey straight.  Al Maag is behind the bar.

Saloons had a screen in front of the bar so that all that could be seen from the outside of those standing was their feet.  There were no women in saloons except in isolated cases where entire families went in, ate dinner and had a few beers.  Saloons closed at 11 p.m. sharp.  They closed tight on Sundays.  Beer was the favorite drink in Defiance.

Al Maag's place was a great gathering place during the First World War.  Although Al was a German, he was bitter against the German government.  Many were the arguments that took place concerning the strategy of the war.

The picture was furnished by Glen Killey, 1301 Jefferson Ave.  His father, George W. Killey, an attorney and justice of the peace, had his office over the Maag place."

Friday, January 25, 2019

James Franklin Crandall - GAR, Bishop Post

A veteran of two wars, an entrepreneur, public servant, homesteader, husband and father - all of these roles were those of James F. Crandall.  Born on February 28, 1844, in Smithville, Chenango County, New York, James came into the world with purpose.  

According to the 1850 census, he was the son of Collins Crandall and his wife Lucy, who also had children Horatio, Marshall, Lafayette and Edwin at that time.  By 1860, the whole family had moved to Oquawka, Henderson County, Illinois where Collins, then 41, worked as the police constable.  James was then 16.

The very next year, at the age of 17, James enlisted in the Union forces, Company A, 52nd Illinois Infantry, formed in 1861, and made up mostly from Kane County, Illinois men. It was a regiment of 945 men when it moved to serve in St. Louis, Missouri and surrounding areas.  In March, 1862, they left and joined the Army of Tennessee where they were heavily involved in the Battle of Shiloh, losing about 170 men, wounded, dead or missing.  That was followed a few months later by the Battle of Corinth.  The unit would foray out and often return to Corinth, chasing the enemy and guarding the railroad lines.

In January, 1864, three-fourths of the men in the regiment re-enlisted and were then mustered in as a veteran organization.  First they left for a furlough of about a month back to Illinois.  At this time, the muster rolls of Illinois described James F. as 20 years old with black hair, blue eyes and a dark complexion, standing at 5 foot, 10 inches.  In May of 1864, the regiment began the Atlanta campaign, fighting in many of the battles there. 

By then James was moving up in rank until appointed 2nd Lieutenant on September 15, 1864, and given command of the 8th United States Colored Heavy Artillery.  The first African-American unit in Kentucky, it was a very controversial one.  Most of the men who joined were from Paducah or that area, and some whites definitely did not want colored soldiers.  Violence often racked the recruitment centers and the soldiers' marches.  The group saw combat in March of 1864, but by the time Lt. Crandall was put in charge, they were mainly in the Paducah area at Fort Anderson.  

Crandall mustered out with his unit on July 20, 1866.  On the 1890 Veterans Census, he mentioned his disabilities as malaria and lung issues.  He served in continuous service for the Union from August of 1861 to July of 1866.  But he wasn't done yet; he was just a young man of about 22.

He apparently moved to Eaton, Charlotte County, Michigan, and here he was found in the 1870 census, working as a clerk in a store.  He had no personal goods or real estate.  One source said that he came to Defiance in 1872, where he and his brother, L. E. (Lafayette) were dry goods merchants.  On May 7, 1874, James married Sarah Partee, daughter of John Partee.

In 1880, the Crandall family lived at 53 Front Street in Defiance. James's occupation was "traveling agent," while Sarah, then 26, was home with children: Charles T., 4; Edith M., 2; and John N. 1.  Kate Clemmens was a servant in the home.  James, then, did appear in the 1890 Veterans Census, as mentioned earlier.

  A look at the city directories of the time revealed that James Crandall was a man of many occupations.  In the directory of 1877-78, he was in a business called McKelvey and Crandall, and a few years later, in the 1881-1882 volume, he was listed as a traveling salesman.  In those years, his address was on Ralston Avenue "west of Plain, between Plain and Whitmore," 
In 1892-1893, he was a letter carrier, in 1895-1896, a deputy sheriff and later, after the Spanish-American War service, as an insurance agent in 1899.  From 1892 on, his address was 731 High Street.

The Defiance Evening News noted on October 23, 1894, that James F. Crandall and Mr. Haymaker were relieved of their duties as letter carriers.  Appointed under Benjamin Harrison, a Republican, the tides had turned as the Democrats were now in office.  A letter informed him that his services were no longer needed. Hence the job change to deputy sheriff mentioned above  That same year, his son, Charles, purchased the Sherwood Signal newspaper.  

Company M of Ohio Infantry was originated by now Captain James F. Crandall and mustered into the U.S. service on May 12, 1898 at Camp Bushnell for service in the Spanish-American War. Crandall was fifty-four years old when he gathered a group of Defiance men to join him in the fight against the Spanish.  The conflict lasted only three months and his company did leave for Cuba at the end of December, 1898, returning in April, 1899. On May 18, the Defiance Weekly Express reported on the return home of our soldiers.  On Memorial Day that year, Captain James Crandall served as Chief Marshall of the annual parade in Defiance.

Now he needed employment.  He and Sarah had had six children, with four still living.  Two of those children, Edith M., 22, and Helen L., 12, were at home in 1900.  Through his contacts both in the military and the post office, James was transferred to a job at the post office in Chicago "at a snug salary," according to the Defiance Weekly Express of September 2, 1900.  He and his family moved to Grossdale, Illinois, "a beautiful suburb of Chicago."   In 1910, the census found them in Chicago Ward 14 at 3017 West Lake Street.  James, 66, was still working as a letter carrier for the post office.  Just he and Sarah lived in their rented house.

At some point before 1920, James's need for adventure and entrepreneurship kicked in and he and Sarah moved to Lamar, Prowers County, Colorado.  In 1920, he was 77 and Sarah was 67.  Because of the Homestead Act of 1862, James had acquired land through his extensive military service.  Soldiers could deduct their time served in the military from the residency requirements, and if they wanted to own the land even faster, they could pay $1.25 an acre and have it in six months. The Bureau of Land Management recorded a claim in Prowers County in 1914 for 320 acres near Cat Creek.  In 1922, four grants of land were given to Crandall in Colorado for a total of 320 acres near the Pueblo County and Animas County line.  

Apparently, James's health declined and he was admitted at the age of 81 to the Hot Springs, Fall River, South Dakota, Battle Mountain Sanitarium.  Here the records described him as 5 foot, 11 inches with blue eyes and gray hair and a dark complexion.  He could read and write, was Protestant, and gave his occupation as merchant in Colorado.  (Did he begin a dry goods business there?)   He was married and his next of kin was John N. Crandall, his son, of Brookfield, Illinois.

He was admitted to Battle Mountain Sanitarium on November 29, 1924 and discharged on June 18, 1926.  He spent July through September of 1926 in the Danville (Illinois) Home for Disabled Soldiers, and went back to Battle Mountain in December.  In the end of his life, he was at the Old Soldiers Home in Dayton, Ohio where he passed away on October 4, 1931 at the age of 87.  He suffered from "hemplegia" (paralysis of one side of the body) and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle).

Defiance Crescent News, October, 1931

Defiance Crescent-News, October 5, 1931, page 1
Captain James F. Crandall was buried in Riverside Cemetery, Defiance

His wife, Sarah Ann, lived on until 1947 in Illinois; she was 93 when she 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!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Coy Sawmill

For many years, Lloyd V. Tuttle contributed historic photos and information to the Defiance Crescent-News for his column: "A Backward Glance."  This article was dated October 18, 1962.

"The last sawmill to operate in Defiance was the Coy Mill which was located in East Defiance near the old Turnbull Wagon Co. factory.  

It started in 1906 and was operated by Al Roehrig.  Dan Coy took it over in 1910 and still later, his son, Glen Coy, was in charge.  It operated until 1932.

Dimension lumber was produced from native timber.

From left: Charles A. Hardy, engineer; Al Roehrig, John Shock, Kay DeVault, John Roehrig and Charles Corwin."

Friday, January 18, 2019

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

James Hatfield led a somewhat sad life after his return from the war.  According to the 1890 Veterans Census of Defiance County, James served in Company M, 111th Indiana, enlisting on November 19, 1861.  He was discharged on October 4, 1864, having served 2 years, 11 months, and 15 days.

He appeared in the Indiana Civil War Index as enlisting in Goshen, Indiana, at the age of 18.  That listing put him in Company M, 2nd Cavalry, 41st Regiment.  James Hatfield does appear on that roster, mustering out as a Corporal.  Hatfield's unit was involved in some of bloodiest, hardest fighting of the war, including Shiloh, Chickamauga and the Siege of Atlanta.

At some point, he settled in Defiance, Ohio, after the war.  In the 1880 census, he lived on High Street with his wife, Kate, who was born in Ireland.  In 1880, he labored as a drayer*, but prior to that he worked on a machine at the Turnbull Wagon Company.  Perhaps the following incident at the company caused James to seek other employment: 

Defiance County Express, February 28, 1879

 Beginning about 1894, James Hatfield's health, both mental and physical, began to decline.

September 6, 1894: "James Hatfield had a stroke of paralysis.  This is his third attack and quite serious."  (Defiance Evening News)

September 20, 1894: James Hatfield, who has been dangerously ill, is able to be on the streets again."  (Defiance Republican Express)

December 20, 1894:
James Hatfield of East Defiance Placed in the Asylum Today.

James Hatfield, of East Defiance, was adjudged insane by Judge Hay some days ago.  Mr. Hatfield suffered a severe spell of sickness early in the fall, from which he has never fully recovered.  For some time, his friends have noticed that his mind was unsettled and were fearful that he might do some deed of violence.  It is hoped and believed that after he receives treatment at the asylum, he will finally recover his health.

Mr. Hatfield is aged about 50 years, and is an honored member of Bishop post, G. A. R.  Monday, officer Dave Ross went to Mr. Hatfield's home and told him that they wanted to take him to some medical institute where he would receive treatment.  He agreed, and Tuesday morning Sheriff Rath took him to Toledo."
 (Defiance Republican Express - December 30, 1894)

January 10, 1895: "Mrs. Hatfield has been appointed guardian of her husband, James Hatfield."  (Defiance Democrat, January 10, 1895)

No evidence was found to indicate that James ever made it home again.  The Defiance Democrat reported on November 25, 1897:

"DIED AT ASYLUM.  Judge Hockman has received notice from the Toledo Asylum that James Hatfield, a Defiance County inmate, died there November 17." 

The burial place of James Hatfield remains unknown.  It was noted that Mrs. Hatfield received relief from the township during her latter years, from $3 - $5 a month. 

*Drayer -
What is a drayer? A drayer is one who pulls a cart, known as a dray. This cart is low, sturdy, without sides, and is used to carry heavy loads. Originally, the the cart had no wheels, and was rather like a sledge or sled. This sled would have to be "dragged" or "drayed" along the ground, either by horse or by the drayer himself. The drayer could have carried any load, and can be viewed as the equivalent of the modern day supply delivery man. A popular occupation for a "Drayer" was to bring beer and spirits to the local bars/pubs. 

(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!)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Look of the B & O, 1905

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

On Tuesday, May 14, 1963, Mr. Tuttle discussed the B & O railroad as it once looked before the track was lifted and the viaduct formed on South Clinton Street.

Mr. Tuttle wrote:
"Here is a picture which will stump many old timers.  It was contributed by Stuart Duerk, 96 Grove Street.

The man in the photograph, taken in 1905, is Garrett Curns.  At the time the picture was snapped, the Baltimore & Ohio, was a single track railroad through Defiance.  It depicts the site of the present Clinton Street viaduct at the B & O passenger depot.

Before the B & O elevated its tracks through Defiance, there were watchmen at Deatrick and South Clinton Sts., and Jefferson and Ottawa Aves.  Each watchman had a little shanty, and took great pride in keeping the adjacent area neat by growing flowers and even shrubbery.

Mr. Curn's pride and joy were the morning glories, shown here climbing over one side of the shanty.

There was quite a big natural hump in the ground where Clinton Street passed over the track at this time.  Later, workmen transformed the hump into the present South Clinton Street viaduct.

Back of the shanty is now Bell Place, a little subdivision.  The photograph also depicts the bridge which once passed over the defunct Miami-Erie Canal."

Sunday, January 6, 2019

George A. Woods - Bishop Post, G.A.R.

George Albert Woods, the oldest child of David Woods and Leah Eckels, was born in Pennsylvania in 1843, but moved to Ohio at a very young age.  He was the only child of the couple to be born in Pennsylvania, as the other siblings were all born in Ohio, according to censuses.

By the 1850 census, the family were settled in Xenia, Greene County, Ohio, where David, 31, and Leah, 30, farmed and raised their three children at the time: George, W.B. (William), 4, and Charles, 2.

A move north prior to meeting the 1860 census enumerator found them in Pulaski in Williams County.  David had real estate worth $500 on which to raise his growing family which now included David, John, Mary, James and Anna.  George was sixteen years old and his occupation was given as farmhand.

Participation in the Union cause called to him when he was nineteen, as he enlisted on August 21, 1862, as a private in Company E, 111th O.V.I. The unit was organized in Toledo with a three year signup.  These soldiers fought through Kentucky and Tennessee and then into the large battles in Georgia.  Almost as soon as enlisting, George was promoted to full colonel on August 26, 1862, and later on to full sergeant.  He stayed throughout the war, being discharged in 1865, after serving two years, ten months and five days, according to the 1890 Veterans Census.  On that document, he reported his disability as "rhumatism (rheumatism) contracted in the U.S. Army."

According to Paulding County Marriage Records, George married Cynthia Jane Daniel in March of 1867.  By 1870, they were settled in Highland Township, Defiance County.  George was ready to farm with real estate worth $1000.  Their first child, Anna, was one year old.

In the 1880 census, George, 36, reported that he was a saw miller, while Cynthia stayed home with Anna, 11; Charles, 9; John, 7; Curtis, 5; Laura, 3; and Nora 2 months.  With them lived the teamster, Joseph Calkins, 20.
Now they lived in Richland Township.

George was a mover, as in the 1890 Veterans Census, he reported his residence as Sherwood, O.  By 1900, he and his family were in Farmer where George, 55, owned a farm, free and clear.  Their daughter, Jennie L. Nisley, 23, a widow, with one child, Roy L. Nisley, 3, lived with them at the time.  

The Defiance Express reported on April 6, 1905, that "George A Woods, who recently disposed of his farmer near Ney, has removed to this city and is now a resident of North Defiance."  Perhaps it was his retirement home.  He was active in the G.A.R. and elected President of the 111th, Company E reunion.

His wife died on March 21, 1917.

George A. Woods died on May 11, 1918, at the age of 74.  Several obituaries appeared in the newspapers, one in the Defiance Democrat and another in the Crescent News.

Defiance Democrat

(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!)