Monday, August 18, 2014

Conrad and Anna Maria Bechtel

Conrad Bechtel was born in Germany in February, 1831. His wife, the former Anna Maria Wiederkehr was born in Germany on August 18, 1833. The database Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929, accessible at Family Search, provides a marriage record for Mr. and Mrs. Bechtel.

Johann Konrad Bechtel married Anna Marie Wiederkehr on December 22, 1853 in Hockenheim, Baden, Germany. The parents of Johann Konrad Bechtel were: Johann Bechtel and Barbara Graul, and the parents of Anna Marie Widerkehr were Christian Wiederkehr and Magdalene Schoepfer.

By the time of the 1860 Census, Conrad and Anna Maria were residing in Sandusky, Ohio. In 1860, they had a family of three children: Gertrude, age 7; Frederick, age 5; and Jacob age 3. All the children had been born in Ohio. By 1870, Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Bechtel had five children. Sadly, at the time of the 1880 Census for Erie County, Ohio, Anna Maria Wiederkehr Bechtel had died, and Conrad Bechtel was a widower with four children still residing at home. The Bechtel children ranged in age from 12 to 22 years old. Anna Maria Conrad died on February 18, 1880, and she was buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Conrad Bechtel passed away in Sandusky, Ohio on July 15, 1903. His funeral was held at the home of his son-in-law, Jacob Richter, on Harrison Street. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. William Leonhardt of St. Stephen's Church. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. Bechtel came to America in the mid-nineteenth century; they worked hard and raised a big family. The lovely tombstone honoring the memory of Conrad and Anna Maria Bechtel reminds us of the rich German heritage of Sandusky and Erie County, Ohio.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Wise Monument at Brighton Township Cemetery

This beautiful zinc monument, at Brighton Township Cemetery in Lorain County, Ohio honors several members of the Wise family. The panel of the monument,  picture above, has on it the name of Rudolph K. Wise, who died in 1884, and the name of Maggie Wise, the daughter of Rudolph and Maggie Wise, who also died in 1884 at age 10 months and days. This side of the Wise monument features a figure clinging to the cross, clasped hands, and a decorative drape.

Margaret Wise, the wife of Philip Wise, died on February 4, 1881.

Sarah L. Wise, the wife of Rudolph K. Wise, died on March 10, 1880 at the age of 18 years, 8 years, and 7 days.

All the names of this  lovely monument are still legible well over a century after the Wise family members passed away. The Wise monument was made by the Monumental Bronze Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Rev. Ray A. Evans

Rev. Ray A. Evans passed away on August 20, 1964, at the age of 68.  He had served as the pastor of Calvary Episcopal Church from 1939 until 1964. A native of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Rev. Evans was a graduate of Kenyon College and Bexley Hall Seminary. Several members of the clergy took part in the funeral services of Rev. Ray A. Evans, including Rev. Nelson Burroughs, Rev. Beverley D. Tucker, and Rev. Robert George. Burial was at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. The monument which honors the memory of Rev. Evans features an open Bible, atop a pedestal, not unlike the pulpit in the church.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bell Frances West

According to records in the Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage Books (Vol. 39, page 85), Miss Bell Frances West (Miss West's middle name is sometimes spelled Francis)  was descended from Robert Francis West, who served in the Revolutionary War. Bell F. West was born in the early 1870s to Robert Francis West and Julia Bell West. She lost her father when was just a toddler. Bell's ancestors on both her mother's and father's sides were among the earliest settlers of Erie County, Ohio. Her great great grandfather Eleazur Bell came west to Perkins Township in 1815, with a group of several families from Connecticut, led by another of Bell F. West's ancestors, John Beatty. Bell F. West's grandfather, T.D. West was a pioneer merchant in Sandusky. Sadly, Bell F. West's great grandparents, Horace Bell and Sarah Rickie Beatty Bell both died in the cholera epidemic in Sandusky. When Bell F. West married Dr. Charles E. Perkins, the local newspaper printed a feature article, including a drawing of the happy couple. The article appeared in the February 4, 1891 of the Sandusky Daily Register. A portion of the article is pictured below.

According to census records, by 1900 the couple had divorced.

On August 14, 1922, Bell F. West passed away at Good Samaritan Hospital after a lengthy illness. She had been a longtime employee of the Bender-Woodward Company. Obituaries for Miss West are found in the 1922 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK at Sandusky Library. The articles stated that Miss West had been held in high esteem. Funeral services were held at Miss West's home at 428 East Washington Street in Sandusky, with Rev. E. G. Mapes officiating. Burial was at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery in the West family lot.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

SNGF: Share Some Elementary School Memories

Randy, at Genea-Musings, has challenged us to share some elementary school memories in this week's edition of Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

From grades one to three, I attended Venice Elementary School in Venice, Ohio, now within the city limits of Sandusky, Ohio's west side. Above I am seated on the merry go round with my friend Lydia Torres. I can remember being so excited to go to the first day of school! My cousin Carol, who was a bit older than me, watched out for me. I can recall Mrs. Pack, my first grade teacher. She was so lovely, and she seemed so smart!

In Mrs. Wheaton's 2nd grade, we said the Lord's Prayer every day, as well as the Pledge of Allegiance. I really enjoyed doing book reports in elementary school. In the third grade, my teacher was Mrs. Hall. She had a way about her that really made us all sit down, shut up, and behave ourselves! Below is classroom picture from my year in third grade.

 I can recall my dad being very active in the PTA, and he helped to raise funds to get a projector for our school. Another time, he helped organize a carnival, with the proceeds going to the PTA. I can recall that the school lunches were delicious, prepared by Mrs. Sessler and Mrs. Bluhm. It was at Venice School where I met my lifelong friend Linda.   After Grade 3, we all moved to the "big school" in Castalia, where we got to know children from the Castalia Elementary School. My mother, children, and grandchildren all attended Margaretta Local Schools, so writing  this post brings back many wonderful memories that cover a long, long time.

Thanks for the walk down "Memory Lane," Randy!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Michael Von Hausen

Michael Von Hausen's tombstone at Oakland Cemetery has fallen down, and is split in two locations. (Click on the image for a larger view.) A wreath adorns the top of his stone, and a banner with an inscription is found at the bottom of the stone, though the inscription is not legible after so many years of weathering. Michael Von Hausen was born in Germany on November 10, 1818, and he died in Sandusky, Ohio on August 4, 1852.

In the 1850 Census Records for Erie County, available at Family Search Labs, Michael's last name is listed as Fonhausen. His family unit is made up of:

Michael, a grocer, age 40 or 46
Sophia, age 40 (other sources list her name is Sabina or Sabrina)
George, age 17
Elizabeth, age 13
Rachel, age 5
Jacob, infant

All the family members were born in Germany, except for Rachel and Jacob, who were born in Ohio. In 1860, a Sabina Von Hausen appears in the Erie County Census. She gives her occupation as running a Boarding House. George, Rachel and Jacob are still living with her.

Michael Von Hausen's family must have been sad to have the head of their household leave this earth at such a young age. The shape of his tombstone gives the appearance of a doorway decorated with a wreath, reminiscent of a doorway to a home welcoming loved ones in to visit.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Frederick Keep Monument at Rock Creek Cemetery

Photo by T. Renwand

The Frederick Keep Monument, at Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C., was created by James Earle Fraser, in memory of Frederick and Florence Keep, and their infant, who died in 1902. Frederick Keep passed away on June 2, 1911, and Florence Keep died on January 26, 1954. Read more about the Frederick Keep monument at the Art Inventories Catalog of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Photo credit: Thank you to my nephew Tony for taking this photograph.