Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

This grave marker, which is also a bench, honors the memory of Edward F. Krueger, a longtime Erie County barber, who was born in 1876 and died in 1927; and his wife Elsie Christ Krueger, who was born in 1881 and died in 1942.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lieut. E. G. Jack of the 10th Ohio Cavalry

The listing for Ebenezer Jack, from the database U.S. Civil War Records, available at Ancestry Library Edition, indicates that he was commissioned an officer in Company D of the Ohio Tenth Cavalry on 03 Mar 1863, and mustered out on June 19, 1863. His tombstone inscription on his grave marker at Oakland Cemetery states that Lieut. E. G. Jack died in Nashville, Tennessee on June 29, 1863, at the age of 51 years, 5 months, and 5 days.

An article in the July 25, 1905 Sandusky Register gives an account of two of Lieut. Jack’s daughters, Mrs. Louise J. Woods and Mrs. Effie Kennedy, who came to Sandusky from Indiana and Illinois, to tend to the graves of their parents. The article describes how Lieutenant E. G. Jack opened a recruiting office on Columbus Avenue during the Civil War. Through his efforts, hundreds of men were recruited.

Ebenezer G. Jack was born in Pennsylvania. Records at FamilySearch tell us that he married Esther Thomas on March 7, 1838, in Wayne County, Ohio. The children of Ebenezer G. and Esther Thomas Jack were: Mrs. Louise J. Woods, Mrs. Effie Kennedy, Col. J. H. Jack, Capt. Alvin A. Jack, and Mrs. Nellie Hall.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Titus Tilden

According to the 1850 Census,
Titus Tilden was a farmer in Oxford Township of Erie County, Ohio. Mr. Tilden was born in Vermont about 1813. His wife in 1850 was Elvira (sometimes spelled Alvira.) Children in the household were:

Denera age 8
Viola age 7
Plimpton age 3

THE ERIE COUNTY CEMETERY CENSUS, BEFORE 1809 lists the death of Elvira Tilden as October 4, 1854, at age 33. Records located on FamilySearch show that after the death of his first wife, Titus Tilden married Catherine Freeman.

Titus Tilden passed away on June 27, 1867, at age 51. Titus Tilden is buried next to his first wife Elvria in Erie County's Scott Cemetery.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nikolas Kuhman

At Oakland Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio is the tombstone of Nikolas Kuhman. Roughly translated the tombstone inscription reads:

Here lies
Nikolas Kuhman
Born on 27 October 1861
Died on 25 June 1880
Age 18 years, 8 months

The Kuhmann family was listed in the 5th Ward of Sandusky, Erie County in the 1880 Census. The parents were August and Elisa Kuhmann, who both listed their place of birth as Baden. Other children in the family were Frank, Julia, and Charles. Nikolas's age was given in the census record as 19, and his occupation was "moulder."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Edward J. and Lydia Lockwood

The tombstones of Edward J. and Lydia Lockwood are found near the group camping area of East Harbor State Park in Danbury Township of Ottawa County, Ohio.

Records at Erie County Probate Court list February 17, 1839 as the marriage date of Edward J. Lockwood and Lydia Ramsdell. The book CEMETERY INSCRIPTIONS OF OTTAWA COUNTY, OHIO, provides the dates of death of Mr. and Mrs. Lockwood as:

Edward J. Lockwood, died November 14, 1897
Lydia Lockwood, died May 24, 1890

From the 1840’s through the 1890’s, the land that is now East Harbor State Park was owned by the E. J. Lockwood family. See pages 10 and 11 of the Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s Management Plan for more historical information about East Harbor State Park.

During the summer season, the Lockwood tombstones can be seen very close to campers at the State Park. The shelter house which is located near the pond is called the Lockwood Shelter, in honor of the Lockwood family.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Charles H. Becker, Newspaper Editor

Charles H. Becker was born on June 20, 1861 to John and Mary Becker of Berlin Heights, Ohio. Charles H. Becker was the city editor of the Sandusky Register for seventeen years. While still in his thirties, Charles H. Becker died on March 15, 1894. At the summer picnic of the Sandusky Register correspondents, Mr. J. F. Greene gave a tribute in memory of the former city newspaper editor, known affectionately as Charley. Mr. Greene said, in part, "It tinges with sadness and sorrow our festivities today: but we love to pause and drop a tear over his untimely grave and in memory's loom weave choicest garlands of flowers in sweet remembrance of his many virtues." The full tribute can be read in the August 15, 1894 issue of the Sandusky Register.

Another article about Charles Becker is found in the November 23, 1897 issue of the Sandusky Register. When Charles Becker died, his first grave was located in the rear portion of the West End Cemetery in Berlin Heights. Charley's mother, Mary Becker, had a lovely monument made in honor of her son. A new lot was donated to Mary Becker by Samuel Reed, the sexton of the West End Cemetery. The new plot was located in a portion of the cemetery which overlooks the ravine. The McKnight and Smith Monumental Works of Norwalk made the monument, which was made of Millstone Point granite. Atop the monument is a carving of a scroll and pen, to signify Mr. Becker's occupation as a newspaper man. The inscription reads:

Born June 20, 1861
Died Mrch 15, 1894
He lived the law of kindness
And never dipped his pen in gall

The 1897 article concludes: "These lines bear fitting memorial to Charley Becker's nobility of soul. The design of the monument is an original one of George H. Smith of this city, who was a warm personal friend of Mr. Becker. It stands four feet and eight inches high and its weight is two tons."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Almost Summer at Castalia Cemetery

The gentle rolling hillside and shady trees create a tranquil setting at Castalia Cemetery in Erie County, Ohio.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wesley B. Jennings

Wesley B. Jennings, a well known railroad employee of the Big Four, died on June 17, 1904. His obituary, which appeared in the June 18, 1904 Sandusky Register, gave many details concerning the circumstances on the evening of his passing.

Friday afternoon, Wesley Jennings went to Cedar Point, and had a hearty supper. While reading the newspaper after supper, Mr. Jennings asked his daughter to play a selection on the piano. Before the song was finished, Mr. Jennings threw his hands in the air. His family called Dr. Lehmann and Dr. Blakeslee, but Mr. Jennings had already died before the physicians arrived.

Surviving Wesley Jennings were his wife, two sons, a daughter, three brothers, and 2 sisters. The Sandusky Register article stated: "Mr. Jennings was one of the most prominent railroad men in this section of the country, being for twenty-three years a passenger conductor on the Big Four between this city and Springfield. Few, if any, of the employees of the company were so favorably known along the line as Mr. Jennings."

The burial service for Mr. Jennings was held at Oakland Cemetery by members of the Elks Lodge. Many floral tributes were sent, including a large floral column from the employees of the Big Four, which represented a broken shaft. Wesley B. Jennings was age 64 at the time of his death. He had served as a Sergeant in Company G of the 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Emma L. Wade

Emma L. Wade died on June 12, 1850. She was buried in Oakland Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio. Emma was the daughter of Alonzo and Cornelia Wade. She was aged one year and three months at the time of her death.

The Wade family appears in the 1850 Erie County Census in Portland Township (an early name for the area now called Sandusky.) Alonzo Wade listed his occupation as a sailor, age 45. Cornelia was age 32. The children were:

Sarah A., age 9
A.V., age 4
Emma L., age 1

It seems as the family may have moved away from Erie County, as they do not appear in later Erie County Census Records.

Though it is difficult to read, the inscription at the base of the tombstone for Emma L. Wade may be a portion of the Biblical passage from Luke 18:16:

"Suffer the little children to come unto me"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Judge Ebenezer Lane

Ebenezer Lane was born in Massachusetts in 1793 and died in Sandusky, Ohio on June 12, 1866. He was married to Frances Griswold, the daughter of Governor Roger Griswold of Connecticut.

In 1817, Ebenezer Lane moved to Ohio. He settled in Sandusky, after living in Elyria for a short time. Ebenezer Lane became Judge of Common Pleas of the Second Circuit in 1824, and in 1830 he became of Judge of the Supreme Court of Ohio. He held that position until 1845. Judge Lane was fond of books, owned 4,000 of them. Some called him a "walking library."

After his career as a judge, Ebenezer Lane focused his attention on railroads. Helen Hansen wrote in her book AT HOME IN EARLY SANDUSKY that Judge Lane had interests in the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad, the Junction Railroad, and the Central Railroad of Illinois. He lived for some time in Chicago.

Judge Lane died of throat cancer in 1866. He was sadly missed by his family and friends. Judge Lane and his wife, and several family members are buried at Sandusky in Oakland Cemetery. An article about the life of Judge Ebenezer Lane can be found in the June 1867 "Firelands Pioneer."

William Lane, the son of Ebenezer Lane, was also a judge. He is buried in Oakland Cemetery as well.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Janice Brown Puckerbrush Award for Excellence

Thank you Harriet, from Genealogy Fun,for awarding the Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay blog with the Janice Brown Puckerbrush Award for Excellence!

The award was created in honor of genealogy blogger Janice Brown by Terry Thornton, author of Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi, who explained that "Janice told us all about the word 'puckerbrush' in an article she posted August 27, 2007 at "Cow Hampshire". Terry explained: 'On any land allowed to go fallow and left untended, a wild assortment of wild plants grow – in some areas, this wild growth results in such a thicket of plants that it is almost impossible to push your way through the growth. So it is with the growth of blogs --- so many that it is impossible to read them all. But in the puckerbrush eventually a few plants/trees become dominant and influence all who view them through the thick surrounding puckerbrush. And it is those outstanding blogs whose influence spreads beyond just the surrounding rabble of puckerbrush that I'm honoring.' Terry issued this challenge: Henceforth these awards will be called the Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence. Bloggers who receive this award are challenged to name the ten blogs which have influenced their writing the most and list them as a tribute to Janice.

Even though I am very much influenced by a large number of genealogy and graveyard blogs, the two bloggers who influenced me the most in my early days of blogging are:

The Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi

Terry's writing is amazing; his stories bring history to life!


Desktop Genealogist Unplugged

Another Terry also features terrific writing, and her list of links is my "go to"
list for keeping up with other blogs.

Blogs that help me to learn more about family history and graveyards are:



The Association of Graveyard Rabbits

Both blogs are gateways to many, many more blog entries related to genealogy and graveyard. My life is incredibly richer because of them!

Two blogs which exhibit outstanding creativity are:

Shades of the Departed


Destination Austin Family

A blog that always keeps me laughing with his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is:


A blog which teaches me a lot about New York City is:

The Bowery Boys

Most of these blogs have probably already been given the Janice Brown Puckerbrush Award, but here is yet another one! Visit them and enjoy the sights and sounds!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Henry Ritter, Cigar Manufacturer

"Veteran Business Man Passes Away" was the headline for the obituary of Henry Ritter, a well known Sandusky merchant who died in June, 1907. The article in the June 9, 1907 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that Henry Ritter was "one of Sandusky's oldest and best known citizens and the veteran tobacco merchant of this section of Ohio." The article continued, "All realized of late that the condition of Mr. Ritter was precarious, but it was hoped in spite of the fact, that the care which only reverence and kindness can prompt and the best of medical attention would prolong his days. Such however, was not the case. He grew weaker and weaker until the end came."

Henry Ritter was 69 years old when he died. Henry first was in the cigar business in Sandusky with a Mr. Embse. After Mr. Embse retired, Henry Ritter was the sole proprietor of the cigar store. In 1892, he formed a partnership with his son, William H. Ritter, changing the name of the business to Henry Ritter & Son. by 1900, Henry Ritter retired, and the name of the business was changed to Henry Ritter's Sons, as another son Edwin joined William H. Ritter in the firm. A photograph of the Ritter cigar factory can be seen at the Sandusky History web site.

The first wife of Henry Ritter was Christina Andrews, though her tombstone gives Elizabetha as her first name. The first Mrs. Ritter passed away on April 12, 1889. Henry Ritter and Christina/Elizabetha Ritter's children were: William, Edwin, and Albert Ritter.

After the death of his first wife, Henry Ritter married Lena Griener. They also had three children, Karl, Helen, and Florence. Mrs. Lena Ritter died in Ashville, North Carolina on October 18, 1911. Obituaries for Mrs. Lena Ritter appeared in the Sandusky Register on several days, October 21, 22, and 24, 1907. The pallbearers for Lena Ritter included her son Karl, her three stepsons, and two other family members, William and John Ritter.

Henry Ritter and both his first and second wives are buried in Block 75 of the North Ridge section of Oakland Cemetery.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Constantine Zipfel

Constantine Zipfel was born in Baden, Germany in 1839 to Joseph and Mary Zipfel. The family came to the United States in 1853, and settled in Sandusky in 1856. Constantine Zipfel had a popular meat market in Sandusky for over thirty years. He also owned several farms and was involved in farming and raising stock. Mr. Zipfel marred Mary Daniel in 1860, and the couple had seven children. After Mary Zipfel passed away, Constantine married Miss Kate Lies.

The Sandusky Register of June 4, 1894 reported that, "Mr Zipfel was a business man of superior qualities, enterprising and prosperous, a worthy citizen, a kind neighbor, a warm hearted fiend and a devoted husband and father. He was a prominent member of St. Mary's Catholic church, and every effort for the upbuilding of our city and the welfare of the community had his support." Constantine Zipfel died on June 3, 1894, and is buried with his first wife in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Harry Milner Steen

Harry Milner Steen was the oldest child of Charles F. and Sarah Steen, born on May 6, 1876.His middle name was the surname of Sarah's adoptive parents, Henry and Huldah Milner. Harry M. Steen is pictured with his identical twin sisters, Ada and Alpha Steen, about 1883. The Steen family lived on a farm in Perkins Township.

Harry died when he was only eight years old, on March 26, 1884. He is buried near his parents' graves in the North Ridge section of Oakland Cemetery. Alpha Steen Martin would later name her first son Harry, after her beloved brother who died so young.

An obituary for young Harry Steen appeared in the March 30, 1885 issue of the Sandusky Register:

The death of Master Harry Steen, only son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Steen, occured Thursday. The funeral took place at the family residence of the grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Milner, on Saturday at 2 p.m. The attendance at the services and to Oakland Cemetery was very large. The services were conducted by Rev. S. Z. Kauffman. Harry was a bright, winsome lad of nine years, and well known among those who knew him as one precocious beyond his years. The sympathy of a very large circle of relatives and friends is extended to this household in this hour of their very deep sorrow and and bereavement.

A "Card of Thanks" from the Steen and Milner families appeared in the the March 31, 1885 Sandusky Register:

Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Steen and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Milner, of Perkins, desire to express their heartfelt thanks to those friends and neighbors who extended so many acts of kindness, assistance and sympathy in the family's recent great bereavement. Toward one and all a gratitude that words fail to express is cherished and the bonds of freindship made the stronger and sweeter.