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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:
"TAKEN TO TOLEDO
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. 
 http://www.answers.com/Q/What_is_a_drayer

 
(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!)

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Flag Pole in the Intersection




The Clyde Norway store was on the left.  Hal Spires climbed the flag pole.

Do you recognize the intersection of State Route 249 and the Farmer-Mark Road/ Route 2 which is the center of the village of Farmer?  Once upon a time, a flag pole was smack dab in the middle of the crossing. Why?  No one seems to know.

Not much information could be found on this situation, even from a couple of ladies who grew up in or lived near Farmer for over ninety years. They only knew that the pole was gone in the late 1920s or 1930.