Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Burtie McFall

Burtie McFall was the infant son of Erie County Auditor Thomas McFall and his wife Nettie. He is buried at Oakland Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio.

His tombstone inscription reads:

Little Burtie
Infant Son of
Thos. & N. McFall
Aug. 17, 1870
Aged 4 mos.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Miss Mary McCann, Librarian

Miss Mary McCann, died on June 19, 1991 in the Huron Health Care Center. Miss McCann was a graduate of the Western Reserve University. She was a librarian with the Sandusky Library for 36 years, having retired in 1976.

Before becoming a librarian, Miss McCann was an English teacher with the Sandusky City Schools. Miss McCann had been one of the founding members of the Erie County Historical Society. She was a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, the College Club, Women's Civic Club, the Harlequins, Ohio Library Association, North Central Arts Council, Sandusky Federation of Women's Clubs, and the Sandusky Business Women's Club.

An obituary for Miss Mary McCann is found in the July 1, 1991 issue of the Sandusky Register. She was buried at Oakland Cemetery, near her parents, James and Lizzie (Kratz) McCann. Miss McCann was survived by several cousins.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Why Do Genealogy?

Randy at Genea-Musings asked bloggers to think about this question tonight: "Why do I pursue genealogy and family history research?"

As far back as I can recall, I always asked my parents to tell me about what the world was like when they were a child.

I would listen to their stories over and over again. Mom always was more talkative than Dad about "the good old days," but I enjoyed hearing the stories over and over. I loved hearing how the Parker children didn't get to see their Christmas tree until Christmas Eve, and how once on April Fool's Day, Grandma Doris told Mom and her sister and brother that there were worms in the chicken noodle soup.

Dad told us how many good pals he made while serving in the U.S. Navy, and how he hoped someday to go back to Hawaii.

Working at a library, I also have the opportunity to help people learn more about their family heritage. Sometimes we have patrons who drive for long hours to go back to Ohio to learn more about their own roots.

We are privileged to have many valuable resources at the library, as well as close access to the County Courthouse for significant vital records, as well.

So, whether I am doing research on my own family lines, or just walking through a local cemetery and viewing the many different tombstones there, I enjoy the challenge of trying to find out more details about the individual who is honored by that stone, and learning more than just the names and dates that are carved on the granite.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wells W. Miller, Agriculturist and Teacher

Wells W. Miller
was born in New York, but moved to Castalia in 1852. He served as a Captain in the Ohio 8th Infantry during the Civil War. Eventually he taught school in Castalia, Ohio. Mr. Miller was one of Ohio’s best known agriculturalists, serving as Ohio’s ninth Secretary of Agriculture.

Wells W. Miller and his wife Mary Caswell Miller are buried in Castalia Cemetery. A beautiful monument honors their memory. Mr. Miller died in 1906, and his wife passed away in 1913.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Update on Charlotte at Oakland Cemetery

After fellow blogger Katie encouraged me to get a different view of the stone of Charlotte who is buried at Oakland Cemetery, I was able to solve a mystery! Charlotte's last name is Engels. When I first took the photo of Charlotte's tombstone, it was cold and snowy, and I didn't linger long at the cemetery. On a warm summer's night, I re-visited her tombstone, and discovered that the two stones closest to hers were for members of the Engels family. So, after looking more closely, I could see the shapes of the letters for the surname Engels, below her name, which Katie helped me to translate as Charlotte Wilhelmina. So....Charlotte Wilhelmine Engels is the married name of the tombstone which honors the person formerly known only as Charlotte! Thanks for your encouragement, Katie!

By looking for the surname Engels in Sandusky Einst Und Jetzt we read that Jacob Engels was first married to Wilhemlmine Reef, though she was called "Charlotte Wilhelmine" on her tombstone, and that he married secondly, Alwina Lange.

Below are the tombstones of Charlotte and Alwina Engels.

Jacob Engels' tombstone is just north of the tombstones of Charlotte and Alwina. Jacob Engels died on November 6, 1875. According to records at Family Search Labs, he married Alvina/Alwina Lange on December 15, 1859. Alwina Engels died on February 2, 1874. According to THE HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, Jacob Engels was a key individual in the importing of wine and growing of grapes in the Sandusky area. His early work led to the formation of the Engels and Krudwig Winery.

*Click on images for an enlarged view.

Original Post first appeared as a Tombstone Tuesday Post:

This tombstone at Oakland Cemetery honors the memory of a person named Charlotte who passed away on June 12 of 1837 or 1857. She was either 37 or 57 years of age at the time of her death. After searching through U.S. Census listings, cemetery records, Ancestry Library Edition, and the Ohio Obituary Index, I was unable to decipher her last name, which may be Millspaugh or Millhouse. A seated angel adorns Charlotte's tombstone. The German words on Charlotte's indicate that she is most likely of German origin. Charlotte remains a mystery to me!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

John A. and Mary A. Wright

John A. Wright and his wife, the former Mary A. Mallory, are buried in Block 23 of Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. A website from Oswego County, New York, lists the marriage date of John A. Wright and Mary Mallory as November 24, 1830. They were wed by Rev. Mr. Bruce.

Mr. Wright's obituary, which appeared in the January 11, 1889 issue of the Sandusky Register, stated that John A. Wright came to Sandusky in 1830, and that he was engaged in ship building there for many years. He moved to Green Springs, Ohio in 1876. John A. Wright passed away on January 10, 1889. Mary A. Wright had died in October of 1887. (Click on the images for an enlarged view.)

An article in the November 25, 1880 Sandusky Register reported on the golden wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Wright. A celebration was held in Green Springs and was attended by over fifty of the couples' family and friends,including several of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Several members of the Wright family are buried in Block 23 at Oakland Cemetery. Moving to the right of the tombstones of John A. and Mary A. Wright are the grave makers of their daughters Samaria Rouse, who died in 1857; Mercia Wright, who died in 1872; and Alida Wright, who died in 1917. (Alida's stone is flush with the ground.) In front of the tombstones of John A. and Mary A. Wright are tombstones for their married daughter Harriet Salisbury, who died in 1919, and her husband James Salisbury, who died in 1910.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Update on Samaria

Since the original posting of Samaria's tombstone, I was able to learn more details about her through Family Search Labs. By entering the first name of Samaria in the first name field, and the name Erwin the spouse's first name field, I retrieved a marriage record for Samaria E. Wright to Erwin Rouse, in Erie County, Ohio, on December 28, 1852. Samaria was the daughter of John A. Wright, who was a ship carpenter in Sandusky in the 1840's. After finding out that Samaria's last name was Rouse (instead of House) I checked for name in Oakland Cemetery records, which stated that her date of interment at Oakland Cemetery was March 27, 1857.

Family Search Labs continues to help us all solve those genealogical mysteries! I appreciate the flexible searching options.

The name Samaria E. is the name at the top of this weathered tombstone at Oakland Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio. It appears that Samaria was the wife of a man named Edward, Erwin, Edwin, or Edmund. I cannot determine if House is the surname or middle name of Samaria's spouse. If anyone has any more information about Samaria who died long ago in Erie County, please leave a message in the comments field.

Monday, June 21, 2010

F. Edward Cripps

F. Edward Cripps is buried at the St. Paul Catholic Cemetery in Norwalk, Ohio. He was born on November 13, 1886 to Englebert and Gertrude Weidinger Cripps. Edward who was a well known athlete in the Norwalk area, died on June 21, 1910.

He was with a group of college friends in the summer of 1910, near Ceylon Junction. The Sandusky Register of June 22, 1910 reports that Edward Cripps, Arthur Hinaman, Miss Margaret Senhauser, and Miss Josephine Smith had gone to Old Woman's Creek for water lillies. On the return trip, the canoe in which they were traveling capsized. Arthur Hinaman assisted Josephine Smith to safety. Edward Cripps was attempting to take Margaret Senhauser to safety. Mr. Hinaman went to their assistance. After he took hold of Miss Smith, Edward Cripps sank to the bottom of the lake. It is thought that Edward Cripps may have been exhausted in his efforts to save the others after their canoe capsized.

The June 26, 1910 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that the funeral services for Edward Cripps were held at St. Paul's German Catholic Church in Norwalk. "The church was crowded to the doors with relatives and mourning friends. The floral offerings were among the most numerous and beautiful ever seen in the city...The whole city mourns his untimely death."

A painting of F. Edward Cripps, painted by Charles Courtney Curran, is on display at the Norwalk Public Library.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: "25 Year Men" of Medusa Cement Co.

This copy of a photograph from the Medusa Cement Company honors the men who were employed at the plant for 25 years or more.(Dated from the early 1950's.) The Sandusky Portland Cement Company opened its first factory in Bay Bridge, Ohio in 1892. Soon the company's name was changed to Medusa, after the Greek goddess, who turned to stone all those who looked upon her. Click on this link for a clearer view of Medusa's 25 year men. The Bay Bridge division of the Medusa Cement Corp. closed about 1960.

Many of the employees of Medusa were Hungarian and German immigrants. Some of the surnames of the employees are: Fitz, Quinn, Krafy, Brunner, Orshoski, Weyer, Krebs, Uhas,Hurak,Nuber, Miller, and Mavros, just to name a few. In 2005, the Erie County Historical Society placed a marker honoring the former cement factory in Bay Bridge, Ohio.

Many of the men who formerly worked at the Medusa Cement Company in Bay Bridge are buried at the Venice Cemetery and the Castalia Cemetery in Erie County.

Pictured below are Ralph Brooks, Paul Orshoski,Sr., and Louie Lakner at the cement mill in the 1950's. They had not been at Medusa as long as those men who are the in photo of the "25 Year Men."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Watson Hubbard Butler

Watson Hubbard Butler, born November 19, 1874, was the son of Jay Caldwell Butler and Elizabeth Hubbard Butler. Watson's father was Captain of Company B, 101st Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. Watson's mother was the daughter of Watson Hubbard, a Sandusky business man who had lumber businesses in Michigan and in Sandusky. Watson Hubbard Butler was named for his maternal grandfather.

In 1930, Watson Hubbard Butler had his father's Civil War letters published privately. The book was entitled LETTERS HOME.For many years, Watson Hubbard Butler was the president of the Percheron Society of America. Mr. Butler had a large stock farm on South Hayes Avenue in Erie County, before he moved to Franklin County, Ohio. His farm near Columbus was called Woodside Farms. Watson H. Butler was always a lover of horses, according to his obituary found in the 1944 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK at the Sandusky Library. One of the horses owned by Butler was "Sir Laet."

Watson Hubbard Butler passed away on July 19, 1944, in Blendon Township, Franklin County, Ohio. His daughter Anne Hubbard Butler had died before him in 1926. (Anne was the daughter of Watson H. Butler and his first wife, the former Susan Quay.) Mr. Butler was survived by his wife Miriam C. Butler of Columbus and a daughter Elizabeth H. Butler, from a former marriage.He was buried in the family lot at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Miss Yvonne M. Fievet

Yvonne M. Fievet was born in 1909 in Hartford City, Indiana to Pierre and Camille Andres Fievet. Both of Yvonne's parents were born in Belgium. An article in the June 27, 1928 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that Yvonne had recently completed her studies at the Chicago Musical College. Both the President of the College and Miss Fievet's instructor, David W. Guyon, praised her ability. Professor Guyon stated, "Yvonne Fievet is one of the most gifted students I have ever had the pleasure of teaching. She is unusually fortunate in possessing a natural piano technique carefully and rightfully developed. Her musicianship is far above the average. She has a quiet, charming and unassuming personality characterized by those qualities that make a musician efficient and successful." Before studying in Chicago, Miss Fievet studied with Mrs. Helen Fox, mother of the talented Fox Sisters. Later, Yvonne attended Bowling Green State University and the Columbia School of Library Science. After teaching piano lessons for ten years, Yvonne began her career in libraries. She was a librarian for the Providence School of Nursing, and she worked for the Sandusky Library for thirty seven years.

Her duties at the Sandusky Library included Children's Librarianship, Cataloging, and serving as Assistant Director for many years. I had the pleasure of working with Miss Fievet throughout my college years, and also after my graduation from Bowling Green State University. Miss Fievet was professional, kind, and fair. She was always a gracious lady. At Christmas time, Miss Fievet would provide the staff with homemade waffle cookies, made with a special waffle iron from Belgium.

Yvonne M. Fievet passed away on June 16, 2000 at the age of 91. Her later years were spent caring for her sister Lillian, who was housebound following a stroke. Miss Fievet is buried at Calvary Cemetery.

Though I didn't realize the connection until many years after Miss Fievet's retirement from the library, we shared a connection through the Martin family. Miss Fievet's aunt married Alex Martin. My great grandmother's twin sister Alpha Steen was the wife of Alex Martin's brother Fred Martin. Miss Fievet recalls that when she was a young lady, Ada and Alpha's mother, Mrs. Sarah Steen, invited the Fievet sisters to play the piano at a Perkins Grange meeting. Miss Fievet said that my Great Great Grandma Steen looked after the Fievet sisters, and made sure that they got to have a piece of homemade pie after their piano performance.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Singler Family Lot at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery

The Singler family lot is in Section H of St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery on Mills Street in Sandusky, Ohio. The base of the main monument features a lovely angel, and the surname SINGLER on the base of the monument. Behind the angel are individual tombstones for Albert R. Singler (1861-1936), Amelia Singler (1866-1919) and Cyril Singler (1887-1911). Albert and Amelia's stones also bear the inscription Father and Mother on their stones.

Beside the angel are tombstones for two more family members, Milton Singler (1899-1900)and Albert Singler (1892-1893.) We know the maker of this monument, as the inscription C. Keim appears at the bottom right of the base of the monument. Conrad Keim was a stone carver in Sandusky for many years.

The father of the family, Albert R. Singler, died in Fremont on May 20, 1936. His obituary is located in the 1936 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK at the Sandusky Library. From his obituary, we learn that Mr. A. R. Singler was widely known in the bakery business in Sandusky. His bakery was located in the old Kanzler bakery location on Water Street.

Mrs. Amelia Singler, nee Amelia Kanzler, had preceded her husband in death in 1919. At the time of his death, Albert R. Singler was survived by five daughters, Mrs. Herman Welker, Sister Mary Catherine (the former Miss Juanita Singler), Mrs. Howard L. Magers, Mrs. Frank Link, and Mrs Clarence Hepp; a son, Lamont R. Singler, ten grandchildren, and a brother, Joseph A. Singler. The funeral mass for Albert R. Singler was held at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Link, with family friend the Rev. Father A. J. Bishop officiating. The sermon was given by Rev. Father Carl Reineck of Toledo. Prior to the funeral, services were also conducted by the courts of Catholic Order Foresters and the Knights of Columbus. Though Mr. and Mrs. Singler, and their three young children have been gone for many years, this lovely family lot helps keep their memory alive.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

100 Year Rededication Ceremony of the Bronze Monument to the Confederate Soldiers at Johnson's Island

Click on the word Dixie for a link to a video of the band playing "Dixie." A news article about this event is featured in the News Messenger.

June 12, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy: Challenge 24

Challenge 24 in the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy series asks us to learn about the differences between the Dewey Decimal Classification System and Library of Congress Classification System. Charts comparing the two systems are found at Wikipedia as well as at the Randolph C. Watson Library at the Kilgore College Library in Kilgore, Texas.

For this challenge I looked at several titles in the OhioLink card catalog, which features the holdings of several Ohio academic libraries.

SANDUSKY THEN AND NOW, which provides genealogical information about many of Sandusky’s early residents of German descent, is found at several Ohio libraries. Mount Union College has this title filed under the Dewey Decimal System with the number 977.122, while the other three libraries have used the Library of Congress Classification System with call numbers beginning with either F499 or F486.

A GENEALOGIST’S GUIDE TO DISCOVERING YOUR GERMANIC ANCESTORS, by Chris Anderson, has a Dewey Decimal call number of 929.108931, and Library of Congress classification that begins with E184.G3.

THE CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO, by Hewson L. Peeke is filed under 977.122 in the Dewey system, and this book’s Library of Congress designation begins with F497.

The book entitled THE TOWN OF MILAN, by James A. Ryan, has a Dewey Decimal call number of 977.122 and a Library of Congress classification that begins with F499.M64.

For me, I am just delighted to be able to locate these titles, no matter what their call numbers are. In this age of electronic card catalogs, I can access card catalogs from hundreds of different libraries on my home computer, and if necessary, plan a trip to the library where most of the titles can be located. My personal favorite "road trips" to libraries include: the Library of the R.B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio; the Ohio Genealogical Society Library,soon to be located in Bellville, Ohio; and the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Happy searching!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Carrie Lea Marsh

Caroline M. Lea was the daughter of James Davis Lea and Caroline Mackey Lea. Mr. Lea was associated with the lumber business in Sandusky. Known as Carrie, Caroline M.Lea married Edward H. Marsh in 1879. The newly married couple lived in a lovely home at the corner of Washington and Franklin Streets in Sandusky. Edward was in the gypsum business with his father, and Carrie taught Sunday School at St. Lukes, a chapel of the Grace Episcopal Church in Sandusky.

Sadly, Carrie Lea Marsh died in 1885, leaving two young children, Edward Lea Marsh and a baby named Caroline Marsh. In honor of her faithfulness in teaching Sunday School, after Mrs. Marsh’s death, a fund was designated for the purchase of a bell.

This bell is now located just outside the side door of Grace Episcopal Church, in memory of Carrie Lea Marsh.

Edward H. Marsh never married again, after losing his young wife. He was a successful businessman, and also was a personal friend of William Howard Taft. When the future President Taft was campaigning in Ohio, he visited E. H. Marsh at his Sandusky home.

Edward H. Marsh and Carrie Lea Marsh are buried in Section 4-B of Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.