Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mrs. Mary Clark Orshoski

Mrs. Mary (Clark) Orshoski, widow of Andrew Orshoski, passed away on September 29, 2009 at the age of 96. Her obituary can be read at the website of the Foster Funeral Home in Huron, Ohio.

C. C. Keech

Christopher Columbus Keech was born in New York, but by the 1850’s he had moved to Sandusky, where he had a business selling caps, hats and furs. Helen Hansen wrote in her book AT HOME IN EARLY SANDUSKY that C. C. Keech helped care for the sick and bury the dead during the cholera epidemics of 1849 and 1852.

“Oak Grove Villa” was the name of the stone house built by C. C. Keech in 1854, located on South Hayes Avenue. Eventually the Keech home became part of Sandusky’s Providence Hospital, which was later acquired by Firelands Regional Medical Center.

Mr. Keech married Louisa M. Carr in 1849. After her death, he married Mattie Scheidel. During his life, C. C. Keech was a generous man, donating money to area churches and hospitals. Mrs. Hansen wrote, “When C. C. Keech died it was said his gifts to charity probably surpassed those of any citizen before or during his lifetime.”

The July 1888 issue of the “Firelands Pioneer” states that C. C. Keech was among the “earliest and earnest friends” of the Underground Railroad of the Firelands. The Underground Railroad was a network of individuals who aided slaves from the Southern states make their way to freedom in Canada. Many fugitive slaves passed through Sandusky until they could secure passage across Lake Erie to Canada. Many leading citizens of Erie County were involved in this activity, including lawyers, ship captains, and business men. C. C. Keech died on May 31, 1891. He is buried in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.

Mr. Keech ran this ad in the 1855 Sandusky City Directory.

Below is the inscription on the Keech monument which honors Louisa Keech.

Friday, September 25, 2009

E. H. Wetherell

Edward H. Wetherell died on September 25, 1857, at the age of 35. He was buried in Block 9 of Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. The interment card from Oakland Cemetery indicates that Edward H. Wetherell died of consumption.

Several lodge symbols are found on Mr. Wetherell's tombstone. including the Masonic eye, the masonic square, and the Odd Fellows symbol containing three intertwining circles, which represent friendship, love, and truth.

The 1855 Sandusky City Directory lists another member of the Wetherell family, Mr. W. W. Wetherell, who owned the Fulton Car Works, which manufactured railroad cars.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fred A. Martin

Fred A. Martin died on September 23, 1939. He had been in the restaurant business in Sandusky for more than twenty five years. Mr. Martin was born in Belgium in 1882, but he came to the United States as a young child. Fred Martin worked several summers at Cedar Point. He opened an ice cream shop and candy store in Sandusky in the old West House block, after he purchased the Ideal Confectionery. A year later, Fred moved the business to the corner of Columbus Avenue and Market Street, eventually opening the first tea room in Sandusky, in connections with his ice cream and candy business. Eventually Mr. Martin focused on the wholesale candy business and ventured into the restaurant business as well.

Mr. Martin was active in the community, serving on many boards and committees engaged in work to boost the city. Fred Martin was married to the former Alpha Steen, daughter of Charles and Sarah Milner Steen. Alpha was an identical twin to Ada Steen Parker, the wife of Leroy Parker. Fred and Alpha Martin are both buried in Oakland Cemetery in the North Ridge section.

Ada and Alpha Steen are pictured below with their older brother Harry.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Amos and Emily Graves Miller

Articles about Mr. and Mrs. Amos Miller appeared in the Sandusky Register on December 23, 1870 and September 21, 1885. Amos and Emily Graves Miller were residents of Margaretta Township in Erie County, Ohio from 1852 to 1866. In 1866, the couple moved back to the state of New York. They returned to Margaretta in April of 1870, to live near their only son Capt. Wells W. Miller. Mrs. Miller was ill at the time of her move back to Ohio, and she was an invalid the last several months of her life. She suffered from rheumatism.

According to the Sandusky Register, Mrs. Miller was "a woman of extraordinary force of character and enterprise. Few persons are better read in the political history of the day than was Mrs. Miller. Amiability and mental force were peculiarly blended in her character. She bore her long and most painful illness with great fortitude." The article continued, "Mr. and Mrs. Miller had returned to this county at the solicitation of their son, Capt. Miller, and her death so soon after settlement here destroyed the promise of a long anticipated permanent reunion of the family."

Emily Graves Miller died on December 19, 1870, and Amos Miller died on September 20, 1885. They are buried in the Castalia Cemetery in Margaretta Township of Erie County, Ohio.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Historic Walk of Oakland Cemetery

A cemetery walk relating to the founding fathers of Sandusky who are buried in the North Ridge section of Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery will take place on September 23 and 26, 2009. See this link for more information.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

40 Best Genealogy Blog Nominations

Family Tree Magazine is asking people to nominate their favorite genealogy blog from now until September 30, 2009. See this link for more information:

The 40 Best Genealogy Blog Nominations

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Irene Larkins Risko

Irene Mary Larkins (sometimes spelled Larkin) was born on October 1, 1891 to Thomas F. Larkins and Mary Louise Cross Larkins. Irene attended Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School as a youngster. A local newspaper clipping dated June 30, 1900 featured a story about the school's closing exercises in 1900. Irene participated in numbers entitled "Ten Little Sunflowers" and the "Gossip's Pantomime," while her younger brother Arthur was in the "Brownie Band." Irene was an excellent seamstress and cook. She often made cake and coffee to share with her neighbors after supper.

Though Irene Larkins was married several times, family members believe that the true love of her life was a Mr. Shirey. During the 1930's and 1940's, Irene helped care for her three grandchildren. When Irene's daughter Doris became seriously ill, Irene cared for her. Irene was also the primary caregiver for her father Thomas, after he suffered a debilitating stroke.

In 1939, before the deaths of her daughter and father, Irene took her oldest grandchild Tom on a train trip to Southern California. A family friend worked at a movie studio, so they attended several films, and even saw a few movie stars in person. In the early 1950's, Irene took her granddaughter Joyce, and Joyce's toddler daughter on another trip to California by train. When people mistakenly thought Irene's great granddaughter was her own little girl, Irene was delighted! She always dressed well, and curled her hair in pin curls at night. She had a youthful appearance, even as a great grandmother. One of Irene's favorite skin care products was "Lady Esther" skin cream.

Irene Larkins Risko spent the last years of her life in a nursing home, after she suffered a stroke. Her granddaughters Joyce and Sally saw to it that Irene spent time with the extended family, often with Sunday dinners or picnics. Irene Larkins Risko died on September 17, 1961. She is buried in Sandusky's Calvary Cemetery. Though she suffered tragic losses throughout her life, Irene kept a hopeful, positive outlook on life.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Margary R. Crippen

In Groton Township's Deyo Cemetery is the tombstone of Margary Crippen. The inscription reads:

Margary R.
daughter of E.S.
& Sarahann Crippen
Died Sept. 14, 1847
Aged 1 year 8 mos.
& 7 days

A pedigree chart found at Rootsweb indicates that Margary was the daughter of Elisha S. Crippen and Sarah Ann Lemon. Margary was the great granddaughter of Seth Harrington, a pioneer settler of Groton Township. The book HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, reports that in the early days of Groton Township, Seth Harrington and George Sprague made coffins out of oak trees.

To learn more about the Harrington family, see the description of the Captain Jonathan Harrington collection at the R. B. Hayes Presidential Center's website.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Officers Interred at Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial

The Battle of Lake Erie
was fought on September 10, 1813 during the War of 1812. Oliver Hazard Perry, who led the Americans, became a national hero after his victory. Casualties numbered over one hundred for both the British and the Americans.

(Image from Perry's Victory Memorial: First Annual Report of the Perry's Memorial Commission, available at Google Books.)

Three British and three American officers are entombed at the Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. The names of the men, as listed in the 1916 PERRY'S VICTORY CENTENARY are: Lieutenant Brooks and Midshipmen Laub and Clark of the American service; and Captain Finnis and Lieutenants Garden and Garland of the British service.

More details about these officers are available online at the Ohio Genealogy Express and at FindaGrave.

While Put in Bay is now known for its thousands of tourists every summer, in 1813, many lost their lives in the Battle of Lake Erie. A news item in the Toledo Blade reported that the Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial on South Bass Island is going to be closed for repairs for two seasons beginning in August, 2009.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tom Parker at Cedar Point

Steen Thomas "Tom" Parker is pictured on a pony at Cedar Point in 1929. Tom's grandfather, Leroy Parker, was a concessionaire at Cedar Point from about 1924 until 1954. Leroy, along with two other Sandusky men, operated the Concourse Amusement Company. Among the rides in the company were: Noah's Ark, Caterpillar, Rocket Ships, Joy Plane, Scooter, and Heigh-De-Ho in the Dark. Leroy and his wife Ada owned a farm in Perkins Township until 1941, but they would still manage to put in many hours during the summer at Cedar Point. They had a cottage on the Point, and their many grandchildren would often spend the weekend at the cottage, enjoying the beach and the many fun attractions of Cedar Point. Tom's younger sister Sally used to mention playing with the gypsies' children while she was spending time with her Grandma and Grandpa Parker.

After Tom married and moved to California, on occasion he would bring his family back to Ohio. These candid family snapshots were taken in August, 1954. Tom is pictured with his Grandpa Leroy Parker and his extended family.

Take a look at Cedar Point's website to read more about history of this delightful amusement park. The grandchildren and great grandchildren of Leroy and Ada Parker have fond memories of their summer days and nights spent at Cedar Point.

See previous posts in the Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay to learn more about the Parker family, and view photos of the final resting places of Tom, Leroy, and Ada Parker.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rev. John T. Kellam, Circuit Rider

Rev. John Theodore Kellam, one of the oldest members of the North Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, passed away at Norwalk, Ohio on September 8, 1894. He was affectionately known as "Father Kellam" or "Uncle John." Rev. J. T. Kellam had a brother named James Kellan, who was also a minister.

According to the "Memoirs" section of the Minutes of the North Ohio Conference in 1894, Rev. John T. Kellam was born in Sussex County, Delaware on July 30, 1809. He moved with his family to Ohio in 1816. Rev. Kellam was licensed to preach in the M.E. Church in 1833. He ministered first on the Mt. Gilead circuit. Later appointments included: Lower Sandusky (now Fremont), Sandusky, Wellington, Brunswick, Mansfield, Mt. Vernon, Utica, Plymouth, Maumee, Tiffin, Milan, Brooklyn, Dalton, Canal Dover, Wooster, Chesterville, Fredricktown, North Fairfield, and Olivesburg. In 1869 Rev. Kellam was a member of the General Conference in Buffalo. Rev. Kellam retired from active ministry in 1867, but he attended the annual sessions of the North Ohio Conference whenever possible.

The "Memoirs" stated, "As a pioneer preacher he was a man of heroic constitution, and endured the hardships of ...early ministry with fortitude,....the large circuits, the daily preaching, the path through the forest by blazed trees, the bridgeless rivers, the long rides on horseback...the manifestation of the power of God in saving souls...These things which filled his youth and manhood, were in his old age and decline the things of which he loved to think and talk..."

Rev. J. T. Kellam was married twice, first to Miss Mary House, daughter of longtime Methodist Sunday School teacher Julius House. Following the death of Mary House Kellam, Rev. Kellam married Mrs. Nancy McMillan of Milan, Ohio. In 1891, Rev. John T. Kellam became sick with an attack of la grippe, from which he never fully recovered. Ref. Kellam's funeral was held on September 10, 1894 at Perkins Township. He was buried in the old Perkins Cemetery next to his first wife, Mary, who had died in North Fairfield, Ohio on February 26, 1886.

To learn more about the Methodist Church in Erie and Huron Counties,see the article, "Methodism in the Firelands, 1811-1881," by M. M. Hester in the 1878 Firelands Pioneer.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Sallee, Sr.

Charles and Cora Nell Sallee were Sandusky residents in October of 1958, when W. S. Bittner wrote an article about them for the Sandusky Register. Mr. and Mrs. Sallee were both born in Kentucky. Charles learned the trade of plastering in Pittsburgh, but later he moved to Oberlin, Ohio. While in Oberlin, Charles was a plasterer on the campus of Oberlin College, where George Feick of Sandusky was the contractor.

Charles and Cora were married, and their first son, Charles Sallee, Jr., was born in Oberlin in 1911. Eventually the Sallee family moved to Sandusky, Ohio. The Sallees had a total of fourteen children, but only seven were alive in 1958. At that time, the children ranged in age from 24 to 47, and four of the children had obtained college degrees.

Charles Sallee, Jr., an artist, was a graduate of the Cleveland School of Art and Western Reserve University. June Sallee earned degrees from Ohio State and Western Reserve University. Regina Sallee Williams became a nursing educator. Marlene Sallee received a bachelor's degree in Social Work, and was working at the United Nations in 1958. Leroy Sallee followed his father's trade as a plasterer. Rebecca Sallee married, and had a family of six chidren. Henry Sallee was a free lance artist.

Charles and Cora Nell Sallee were members of the Second Baptsit church. They claimed that prayer had helped them throughout their lives, and the love of family was always present. Charles Sallee, Sr. died on April 30, 1967, and Cora Nell Sallee died on December 17, 1980. They are buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.Paintings by Charles Sallee, Jr. can still be seen at Second Baptist Church at 315 Decatur Street in Sandusky. The frames of the paintings were created by Charles Sallee, Sr.