Sunday, November 28, 2010

Spencer Baird Newberry

Spencer Baird Newberry was the son of geologist John Strong Newberry. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio on May 11, 1857. Spencer B. Newberry graduated from the School of Mines at Columbia University in 1878. After studying in Europe, he returned to the United States, and earned a Doctor of Philosophy at Columbia University.He became a professor of chemistry at Cornell University.

In 1892, Spencer B. Newberry, along with his brothers Arthur St. John and William Newberry, organized the Sandusky Portland Cement Company at Bay Bridge, Ohio, due to the rich deposits of marl and clay in this area. The discovery of these raw ingredients necessary for the manufacturing portland cement were discovered by John Strong Newberry during his geological survey of Ohio. Later, the Sandusky Portland Cement Company became known as the Medusa Portland Cement Company.

The first wife of Spencer B. Newberry was Clara White Newberry, daughter of former ambassador Andrew White.The 1900 U.S. Census for Erie County, Ohio lists Spencer and Clara Newberry as living in Bay Bridge with their sons Andrew and Arthur in 1900. Spencer and Clara divorced in 1901. Mr. Newberry then married Helena Printy.

Spencer B. Newberry was issued several patents. Below is a portion of Patent Number 927,585, issued in 1909 for fire brick lining, accessed at Google Patents.

On November 28, 1922, Spencer B. Newberry passed away. He is buried in the Newberry family lot at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Benjamin E. Deeley

This weathered stone at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery honors the memory of Civil War Veteran Benjamin E. Deeley. According to HISTORY OF THE WESTERN RESERVE, by Harriet Taylor Upton, Benjamin Deeley was born in Sandusky on August 31, 1841, to Edmond and Dora Kinney Deeley. Banjamin helped his father in the local fishing industry, and he was also a carpenter by trade. In 1861, Benjamin Deeley enlisted in Company E of the 8th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, for three months' service. In 1862, Benjamin re-enlisted, this time in Company G of the 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Twice during his years of service during the Civil War, Benjamin Deeley was held prisoner. After the war was over, Benjamin worked for the railroad in Sandusky, building railroad cars. In politics, Mr. Deeley was a Republican. He was also an active member of the G.A.R. During Sandusky's Memorial Day services of 1911, Benjamin Deeley was chairman of the decorating committee.

On June 8, 1866, Benjamin E. Deeley married Jane Steen, a daughter of Charles and Lorenda Stevens Sexton Steen. The family residence was 619 Perry Street in Sandusky. Benjamin E. Deeley passed away on November 26, 1925. He is buried at Oakland Cemetery with his wife, Jane Steen Deeley, who died in 1908. An obituary for Benjamin Deeley is found in the 1925 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK, in the genealogical section of the Sandusky Library. Benjamin Deeley was survived by Dr. William Steen Deeley and Dr. B. C. Deeley, both of Mount Vernon, Ohio; Mrs. E. W. House of Cleveland; and Mary and Sarah Deeley, both of Sandusky. Benjamin Deeley had another son who was a physician in Mount Vernon. Dr. Stanton E. Deeley died in 1923.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Follett House Museum is Ready for Christmas

The Follett House Museum is the former home of early Sandusky resident, Oran Follett and his family. Mr. Follett was active in the publishing business. He was also connected with early Ohio Railroads and was active in politics as well.

The theme for the 2010 holiday season at the Follett House is "Peace on Earth."

Beautiful decorations adorn the home's several rooms.

Mr. Follett's portrait appears below.

Mrs. Eliza Follett was kind hearted. She was active in charity work throughout her life.

Puck and Punch were connected with former Sandusky businesses. Their home is now in the basement of the Follett House Museum.

Many portraits of early Sandusky residents can be seen at the Follett House Museum.

The "Toy Room" is always popular with youngsters.

You can take a free tour of the Follett House Museum. Call the Sandusky Library at 419-625-3834 for more information. Oran and Eliza Follett's former home provides us with a wonderful look at Sandusky in days gone by.

Mr. and Mrs. Oran Follett are buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jay C. Smith, Civil War Veteran

Jay C. Smith was born in 1844 to Samuel H. and Rachel Mack Smith. In June of 1863, Jay C. Smith enlisted in Company M of the Ohio Heavy Artillery during the War Between the States. He served under Capt. Henry Bly, who was the father of journalist Nellie Bly. Jay was honorably discharged from military service in 1865, and he returned to his home in Margaretta Township of Erie County, where he ran the family farm, which consisted of 400 acres. He had a superior stock of cattle, and for over twenty-five years, he provided milk to the Ohio Soldiers Home in Sandusky.

Jay C. Smith married Alice Sewell of Louisiana.They had three children. Following the death of his first wife, Jay married May O. Palmer, and they also had three children. Hewson Peeke in his STANDARD HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, available full text on Heritage Quest, wrote about Jay C. Smith: "The members of Mr. Smith's family are typical representatives of the best American citizenship, who do credit to their upbringing, and are respected and esteemed wherever they reside."

On May 4, 1929, Jay C. Smith passed away. He is buried in the Castalia Cemetery, where a flag and GAR symbol still mark his grave. A biographical sketch of Samuel H. Smith, Jay's father, is found online.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Love of Genealogy

When my niece was working on her family history for a 4-H project, she said to me, “My friends say that genealogy should be the study of genies!” At a state genealogy conference, my co-worker and I heard someone say she heard there were several people attending a gynecology conference! Then, this week a library patron asked for the geology study room.

Whatever it is called, I know that I love to do genealogy research, which according to the 2010 edition of the Random House dictionary is: a record or account of the ancestry and descent of a person, family, group, etc.
(I accessed this information at

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: Emma and Steve Orshoski's Family in 1929

My second cousin from Nevada recently sent me several pictures that had been in a box in her mother's closet. The pictures originally belonged to her grandmother. Included in the pictures were this one of Emma (Yeager) and Steve Orshoski, and their first three children, Alberta, Paul, and baby Wayne, from about 1929.

Steve Orshoski was a longtime employee of the Medusa Cement Factory in Bay Bridge. Steve and Emma celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in Bay Bridge in 1951. Until this lovely surprise made its way to my mailbox, I had never seen a photo of my father, Paul R. Orshoski, Sr., at such a young age. God bless Debbie and the box in her mother's closet!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Clifford Orshoski

Clifford Orshoski was the youngest child of Steve and Emma (Yeager) Orshoski. He married Barbara Lindsley on April 7, 1956, and they had four children, two sons and two daughters. Cliff attended Margaretta High School in Castalia, Ohio, and he served in the U.S. Army in 1954 through 1955. Sadly, Barbara Lindsley Orshoski died in November of 1983. Cliff and Barb's son Mike died very young, in an automobile accident in 1993.

Cliff Orshoski worked with his brother Wayne, for Orshoski Construction. He also worked as a cook at the Log Cabin Inn in Bay View, Ohio. Cliff Orshoski passed away on November 17, 2005. He is buried next to his wife at Meadow Green Memorial Park, not far from the grave site of their son Mike. Cliff will always be remembered for his lively personality, and gusto for life. He especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Asa Loomis, 1775-1859

According to the book DESCENDANTS OF JOSEPH LOOMIS IN AMERICA, by Elias Loomis, Asa Loomis was born on September 11, 1775 to Ezekial Loomis and his wife Mable Bidwell Loomis, in Lebanon, Connecticut. Asa Loomis married Mary Gay in 1796, but Mary died in 1826. Asa and Mary Loomis had a family of ten children: Miranda, Russell, Eliza, Juliet, Lewis, Asa, George, Henry, Chauncey, and Mary Cornelia Loomis. The only personal details about Asa Loomis, written in the book DESCENDANTS OF JOSEPH LOOMIS IN AMERICA were that Asa Loomis was a Whig and a Methodist.

Asa Loomis eventually moved to Sandusky, Ohio, after having lived in Utica, New York for a time. Asa Loomis died on November 14, 1859 in Sandusky, Ohio, and he was buried in Sandusky, Ohio. Read more about the Loomis family online at the Internet Archive, where the book DESCENDANTS OF JOSEPH LOOMIS IN AMERICA is available full text.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Technical Sergeant William R. Jarrett

Technical Sergeant William Jarrett was killed in action during World War Two, on February 22, 1944. Though William Jarrett was buried in the Neuville-en-Condroz United States Military Cemetery in Belgium, this marker at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery honors him.

William R. Jarrett was the son of James W. and Blanche A. Jarrett. He left behind a widow, Rose Ann Keller Jarrett. An article which reported William Jarrett missing appeared in the March 8, 1944 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News. Thank you for your brave service to your country, Technical Sergeant William R. Jarrett!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Emma Teut

Emma Teut, daughter of J. K. Teut is buried in Deyo Cemetery in Groton Township of Erie County. Emma's name is found in the 1880 Erie County Census in Groton Township with her family, whose surname is spelled Tite in that year's census. Later the family surname would be spelled Tight. Family members listed in 1880 are:

John Tite, age 50, born in Mecklenburg
Carie, age 44, born in Mecklenburg

Emma, age 16, born in Ohio
Lewis, age 14, born in Ohio
Sophi, age 12, born in Ohio
John, age 10, born in Ohio
Adam, age 8, born in Ohio
Frederick, age 6, born in Ohio

Emma died on November 15, 1881, while still in her teens. Her grave marker features a hand with a finger pointing upward to heaven.

Sadly, Emma's brother Adam, and his son Arthur, were both victims of the Cleveland Clinic Fire of 1929. Emma's nephew Alvin Tight, another son of Adam, became a successful physician in Sandusky, Ohio.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Capt. Merritt Sexton and Sarah Milner Sexton

A biographical sketch of Merritt Sexton is found in HISTORY OF THE WESTERN RESERVE, by Harriet Taylor Upton. Merritt Sexton was the son of Martin Sexton and Lorenda Stevens Sexton, born in Berlin Township, Erie County, Ohio on February 1, 1838. In 1861, Merritt Sexton enlisted in Company G of the 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Merritt was seriously wounded at the Battle of Shiloh, but he recovered, and he was eventually commissioned as Captain of Company F. of the 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

In 1866, Merritt Sexton married Sarah Milner, a daughter of Thomas and Ann Bowser Milner. Mr. and Mrs. Sexton farmed for many years, and then Merritt worked for the gas company for thirty-three years. Merritt Sexton was a member of the G.A.R., and Sarah Milner Sexton was a member of the Woman's Relief Corps. Merritt Sexton died on June 30, 1912. Mrs. Sarah Milner Sexton died on November 10, 1904. Mr. and Mrs. Sexton are buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Old Post Office in Downtown Sandusky

This building in downtown Sandusky, at the intersection of Washington and Jackson Streets, served as the United States Post Office from 1927 until 1986. I am sure my childhood mail carrier, George Orr, and our family friend Clarence Seavers. both passed by this window many times during their long careers at the Post Office.

Now the former Sandusky Post Office is home to the Merry Go Round Museum. The Museum features an operating carousel, which is fun for visitors of all ages.

The display below pictures carousel stamps, which were issued when stamps for first class mail cost twenty five cents.

A highlight of the lobby of the Merry Go Round Museum is a mural of Sandusky.

A visit to Sandusky's Merry Go Round Museum provides an experience that is both educational and entertaining, while the vintage carousel animals will remind us of the pasttimes of our ancestors.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Alida Wright

According to her death certificate, Alida Wright was born Mary Elida Wright, to John A. Wright and Mary Mallory Wright, in Oswego, New York on August 18, 1833. By the 1850 Census, Alida was living in Sandusky, Ohio with her parents, and her five younger siblings. John A. Wright listed his occupation as carpenter, and he was a neighbor to Daniel Dibble, a shipbuilder. The ledger book of John A. Wright, Alida's father, is housed in the Charles E. Frohman Collection of the R.B. Hayes Presidential Center. (John A. Wright was also involved in ship building.)

Alida Wright passed away in Paulding County, Ohio, on November 6, 1917, and she is buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. At the time of her death, Alida had been residing in Benton Township of Paulding County, with her nephew and his family.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

There's One in Every Family: Great Grandma Ada and Her Love of Family Heritage

Ada Steen, who later married Leroy Parker, is seen to the left with her identical twin sister Alpha. The twin girls were born to Charles and Sarah Steen on February 3, 1880. Ada Steen Parker was my great grandmother. She and Grandpa Roy Parker lived on a farm on Perkins Township for many years. My mother, Joyce Parker Orshoski, used to spend a lot of time at her grandparents' farm. During long winter afternoons, Grandma Ada would let Mom look through her family scrapbooks.

The scrapbooks were part diary, and part scrapbook, and contained other information as well.

A recipe for corned beef, which starts with 100 pounds of beef is found inside the front cover of the scrapbook.

These entries from November, 1929, tell briefly of Grandma Ada's daily activities. She seems to have had a lot of enjoyable events with family and friends, in between the many tasks connected with helping her husband run the family farm. Between November 2 and 12, 1929, Grandma helped haul sand, haul cabbage, made cider, and also had the children for supper one night, and had a birthday dinner on another evening.

In the second half of the scrapbook are newspaper clippings of events that were important to Grandma Ada. Below is an article about distant relatives who celebrated an anniversary.

Many obituaries were included in Grandma's scrapbook.

I think that the love of family was instilled in Ada by her mother Sarah.(Sarah is at the far left in the Steen family image below.) Sarah was adopted by Henry and Huldah Milner when she was quite young. I think that because Sarah was loved by her adoptive parents so much, that she wanted to ensure that her husband and children were also loved and appreciated. The love and devotion to family that the Milners extended to their youngster Sarah was passed on by Sarah to her own children, and my Great Grandma Ada just kept that theme going. To me their family devotion shows the Golden Rule in action.

Shortly before Grandma Ada died, she gave two family scrapbooks to my mom, her granddaughter. Mom treasured these items, which she always called "Grandma's books." When I learned how to read, I too would go page by page through these scrapbooks, asking questions of my mom. So often I did not know whether the article was about a family or friend, and I asked Mom about the people who were mentioned in the newspaper clippings. I learned so much by looking through these scrapbooks. Now the scrapbooks have been passed down to me. I feel so blessed to have them, even they are well worn and crumbling from age. I am thankful that Grandma Ada passed the love of the family heritage on to my mother, who then passed it down to me. Even my young niece Julia is interested in the family tree. Thanks Grandma Ada for that "genealogy bug."

Here is a photo of Grandma Ada and Grandpa Roy with their children, Glenn, Janet, and Paul at their fiftieth wedding anniversary. By that time, son Steen had already passed away.

Though Grandma Ada and Grandpa Roy Parker are gone, their memories remain, and the love of the family history is being passed down to future generations.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jacob and Adelaide Wahl

According to the United States 1880 Census, Jacob Wahl was born in Baden, Germany in 1838, while his wife Adelaide was born in Prussia about 1846. Jacob was a farmer, and the couple had a little girl named Anna who was 12 at the time of the census. During the Civil War, Jacob Wahl served in Company I in the 145th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, a unit of the National Guard. Jacob Wahl died in 1905, and his wife Adelaide died in 1933. Both are buried in the Castalia Cemetery in Margaretta Township.

In the nineteenth century, a significant number of German immigrants made their way to Erie County. Dr. E. Von Schulenburg wrote a chapter on the “German Element of Erie County” in THE HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich in 1889. Dr. Ernst Von Schulenburg, who was both a minister and a physician in Sandusky, first published his book Sandusky "Einst und Jetzt in 1889. The book was later translated into the English language by Dr. Norbert A. and Marion Cleaveland Lange. Persons of German origin have added greatly to the growth of businesses, churches, and the cultural heritage of Sandusky and Erie County.