Monday, July 30, 2012

A Basket Picnic Dinner at the 1913 Young-House Family Reunion

In a letter I found in my Great Grandma's Ada's notebooks, I learned that a "Basket Picnic Dinner" was to be held at the 1913 Young-House Family Reunion. The event was to take place on July 31, 1913, at Ruggles Beach, a popular spot for summer gatherings in the early twentieth century in Huron, Ohio.

My great grandfather, Leroy J. Parker was the Vice President of the Young-House Family Reunion Committee in 1913, and his mother, my Great Great Grandma Marian, was the secretary of the committee. I am guessing that Grandma Marian typed the letter to the various members of the Young and House families. Grandma Marian's parents were Lindsey House and Mary Ann Young. It was the descendants of Lindsey and Mary Ann (Young) House who attended the Young-House reunion.

Pictured below are just a few of the family members who attended this event. The photocopy of an old family photograph shows Leroy and Ada (Steen) Parker, and their two oldest children, Steen (younger child) and Glenn (older child.)

I have a feeling that the food in those picnic baskets was scrumptious! Many of the women who attended the reunion were the wives of farmers, who specialized in fried chicken and wonderful pies!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Cousins

The prompt for Week 31 of 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, from Amy Coffin at We Tree, and hosted by Geneabloggers, is: Cousins

One of the best experiences in family history is meeting with new cousins found through your research. Tell us about your favorite cousin meet-up. How did you discover each other? Where did you meet? What type of information was exchanged and how did it benefit your research?

I have had so many wonderful cousin meet-ups, that I can’t name just one! Last Spring, I had cousins from two different branches of my family tree stop in to see me while I was at work at the local library. One family was connected to my Parker branch of the family. It was wonderful to see how the youngsters in the family had grown since I last saw them.

Later that day, a cousin named Pam, from the Steen side of the family stopped in. I helped Pam plan for some area cemetery visits, and later we re-connected and shared family stories and photographs.

Another delightful cousin meet up was a “virtual visit” from a cousin in Nevada. In the last couple of years, D. has shared many, many photographs from our mutual Yeager and Orshoski relatives. Sometimes we enlist the help of other relatives in Florida to help us in identifying these pictures. My favorite family picture from D's treasure trove is this one. My paternal grandparents, Steve and Emma Orshoski, are in this 1929 photo, along with my Aunt Bertie, and my father, Paul R. Orshoski, Sr. (Dad is the little boy with his eyes closed.) The baby held by my Grandpa Steve is my Uncle Wayne. Before receiving this image, I had never seen my dad at such a young age!

God bless my generous cousins! They have taught me many things about my family heritage.

*Note: The images and information in this blog post have appeared in previous blog posts at the Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

John Clausius, 1816-1854

John Clausius is buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. According to the book Sandusky Then and Now, John Clausius was born in Germany on March 9, 1816, and he died on July 28, 1854. Erie County Probate Court records the marriage of John Clausius and Mary Oetinger as taking place in Erie County, Ohio on November 10, 1841. (Several Erie County marriage records are accessible at Family Search.)

In the 1850 U.S. Census for Erie County, John and Mary were living in Portland Township (now the city of Sandusky), and John's occupation was listed as Grocer. Sadly, John Clausius died at the age of 38 years, 4 months, and 19 days. The simple tombstone of John Clausius is amazingly legible in 2011.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Program from Sandusky Bay Regatta, July 26-27, 1952

Recently a local collector allowed me to take a look at the program from the Sandusky Bay Regatta, held on July 26-27, 1952. Members of the Sandusky Yacht Club and Sandusky Sailing Club participated in the event. While few of my ancestors had a boat, they most certainly were familiar with several of the employers and Sandusky businesses who advertised in the program of the Sandusky Bay Regatta. Click on the words SANDUSKY BAY REGATTA, below, to view a slideshow which contains images of several pages from the program of the Sandusky Bay Regatta in 1952.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dr. Lyle Steen Hill

Lyle Steen Hill was born in 1881 in Berlin Heights, Ohio, to George F. Hill and Mary Steen Hill. In 1908 Lyle S. Hill earned an engineering degree from the University of Michigan,and in 1912 he received his medical degree from the Detroit Medical School.

Dr. Hill did his internship in Cleveland, and practiced several years there before moving to Sandusky in 1920. At that time Dr. Hill was an X-Ray specialist. He worked at both the Good Samaritan and Providence Hospitals.

During World War II, Dr. Hill used his engineering degree, as he worked in the chemistry lab at the Farrell Cheek Steel Company. In an article in the October 6, 1953 Sandusky Register, Dr. Hill said that his first love was engineering. "After all, fracture work is merely engineering," he said.

Dr. Lyle Steen Hill died in Sandusky on July 25, 1962. He was survived by his wife Helen, a son James D. Hill, and a daughter Harriet. His son Merritt Hill died had died as a young man. Dr. Hill and his wife Helen are buried in Oakland Cemetery.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Old photo of Aunt Bertie and Great Aunt Hilda

Thanks to my dear cousin in Florida, I now have an image of my Aunt Bertie, my father's older sister, who is the younger child (on the left) in the picture above, about 1926. Hilda was an aunt to Bertie, though Hilda was only one when her niece was born! The older toddler (child on the right) is my Great Aunt Hilda Yeager. Aunt Bertie lived a full, rich life, which included serving as a police woman and co-owning a family restaurant for many years.

Great Aunt Hilda Yeager died when she was only four years of age. She was the daughter of my great grandparents, Andrew and Lena Yeager. Hilda died as a result of influenza. She was buried at St. John's Cemetery, near her parents' final resting place.

Below is a transcription of the obituary for Hilda Yeager, which appeared in the April 7, 1930 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal:

Child 'Flu' Victim To Be Buried Tuesday
Huron, April 7 -

The funeral of Hilda Elizabeth Yeager, 4, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Yeager, who died of "flu" Saturday, will be held from the family residence on River Rd., about a mile south of Huron, Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 and 2:00 from Zion Lutheran Church, the Rev. W. R. Lucht, pastor, officiating. Besides her parents the child leaves two brothers, Fred and Andrew, and three sisters, Mrs. Emma Orshoski, Mrs. Norma Ernst, and Miss Dorothy Yeager, all of Huron.

Rest in peace Aunt Bertie and Great Aunt Hilda!

Raymond Yeager, 1912-1914

In 1912, when my paternal grandmother Emma Yeager Orshoski was six years old, her parents, Andrew & Lena Yeager had a little boy named Raymond Yeager. Sadly, little Raymond died when he was only two years old. He was buried at St. John's Cemetery, south of Sandusky, Ohio, off of Route 250. I was always told that my father, Paul Raymond Orshoski, Sr., had the middle name of Raymond in memory of his uncle who died as a toddler. My brother was named after Raymond Yeager, too, since my brother was named after my dad.

Raymond Yeager's tombstone is adjacent to a farm field. His father, Andy, often worked as a farm laborer in Erie County, Ohio. How fitting that this little one's tombstone is still in a farm setting!

Tombstone Tuesday: "Our Darling"

Miss Ellen Joan "Bonnie" Klohn died on July 22, 1940,at St. Joseph's Mercy Hospital in Detroit, after a brief illness. Bonnie was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Klohn of Sandusky. She was an active member of Grace Episcopal Church, the Girl Scouts, and Jobs' Daughters. She was survived by her parents and a brother, Franklin Klohn. Ellen Joan "Bonnie" Klohn was buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery, after funeral services were held at the family home on Sloane Street. Honorary pallbearers for Bonnie were her friends and classmates: Marilyn Mischler, Murial Stout, Mary Ellen Gentry, Dorothy Pierpont, Mary Pilot, Donna Jean Bragg, Lowell Schnecke, Anna Vienis and Elizabeth Curtis. An obituary for Ellen Klohn is found in the 1940 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK, at the Sandusky Library. Young "Bonnie" was sadly missed by her family and friends.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Jasper Wood, Pioneer Settler of Erie County

According to Volume 2 of Harriet Upton Taylor's book HISTORY OF THE WESTERN RESERVE, Jasper Wood was reared in New York State, and emigrated to Erie County, Ohio in 1818. He was a civil engineer, and his wife was the former Elizabeth Boylston. Miss Taylor's biographical sketch of Jasper Wood, in the article about his grandson, Thomas Corwin Wood, provides very interesting details about his experience as a settler:

Jasper Wood, his grandfather, was born, reared and educated in Onondaga county, New York, and there married Elizabeth Boylston, the descendant of a substantial New England family. He was well educated, being fitted for a civil engineer. Migrating to Ohio in 1818, he became one of the first settlers of Groton township, Erie county, locating near Bloomingville. He found his way to these wilds by following a path marked much of the way by blazed trees, settling here when the country was in its primeval condition, bears, deer, wolves and other wild beasts being plentiful. He bought 1,000 acres of land, making but a partial payment of the tract. Before acquiring title to his land, in about three years after his arrival, he died, a victim of milk fever, leaving his widow with several children to care for. Being unable to meet the payments on the land, the entire sum invested was lost, and the widow and children had to battle for a living. She was a woman of heroic courage, and reared her two sons and three daughters to men and women of worth, training them to habits of industry and thrift.

Sadly, Jasper Wood died on July 24, 1821, leaving behind his wife and five children. The inscription on Jasper Wood's tombstone at the Bloomingville Cemetery in Oxford Township, Erie County, reads:

Of the cup of life.
I have taken a sip.
Then reclined my head.
And now I sleep.

The Bloomingville Cemetery is east of State Route 4 in Oxford Township of Erie County, Ohio, close to the intersection of Mason Road and Taylor Road. The Ohio Turnpike is just south of the Bloomingville Cemetery.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mrs. Anne Drake

Mrs. Anne Drake is buried at the North Monroeville Cemetery in Huron County, Ohio. The inscription at the base of Mrs. Drake's tombstone reads:
"Erected by her daughters Anne and Florence."

Records at FamilySearch indicate that Frederick Dean Drake married Ann Conry on February 17, 1853 in Erie County. The 1870 U.S. Census for Erie County shows the Drake family living in Oxford Township.

The parents were:

Frederick, age 68, born in New York
Anna, age 38, born in Ireland

The children were:

Anna, age 16
Julia, age 15
May, age 14
Fanny, age 11
John , age 10
Florence, age 7
Sally, age 6

Mrs. Anne Drake passed away on July 20, 1916, in Kimball, Ohio. Her obituary, which was carried in the July 22, 1916 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that Mrs. Drake was the mother of former Ohio State Senator John C. Drake and five grown daughters.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Israel Miller Freeman, 1845-1861

Israel Miller Freeman was born on November 1, 1845, and he died of consumption on July 18, 1861. He was buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. He was the son of Rev. Lyman N. and Caroline (Miller) Freeman. Rev. Lyman N. Freeman served as the minister of Grace Church in Sandusky, Ohio from 1845-1850. During the Civil War, Rev. Freeman was the chaplain for the 8th Ohio Infantry. An article in the January 30, 1890 Sandusky Register reported that Rev. Lyman N. Freeman had died in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The tombstone of Israel Miller Freeman reminds us of the Freeman family's years in Sandusky, before the Civil War broke out, and before Israel's short life had ended.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Almon Ruggles, Surveyor

Almon Ruggles died on July 17, 1840 in his 69th year. He is buried in Oak Bluff Cemetery in Berlin Township of Erie County, Ohio, along the shore of Lake Erie. Henry Howe wrote in his HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS OF OHIO that Almon Ruggles was the original surveyor of the Firelands. He came to Ohio from Danbury, Connecticut in 1805, to survey the Firelands, an area of the Connecticut Western Reserve which now is made up primarily of Erie and Huron Counties in north central Ohio. Almon ruggles became the first recorder of Huron County in 1809. He was appointed Associate Judge of Huron County about 1815, and he was elected State Senator in 1816 and 1818. In 1824 he was elected State Representative. Almon Ruggles was married to Annis Dibble in 1808. After Annis Dibble Ruggles passed away in 1815, Almon Ruggles married Rhoda Buck, whose maiden name was Rhoda Sprague.

In a Firelands Pioneer article, which now appears online at a USGenWeb Archives site, we read this description of Almon Ruggles:

Judge Ruggles possessed fine conversational powers. He had an almost inexhaustible fund of anecdote, and generally entertained both the learned and unlearned by his happy use of it. He knew just where a laugh should come in in conversation and would often set the example by laughing himself, and his laugh was very apt to be contagious. It was something more than a smile or the laughing of the face - it was a hearty laugh, and shook him all over. He laughed "from head to heel."

An excellent biographical sketch of Almon Ruggles is found online.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ernest/Ernst P. Heyman

According to his death certificate, Ernst P. Heyman (sometimes known as Ernest Heyman) was born on November 14, 1854 in Sandusky, Ohio, to Christian and Jacobina Heyman. He passed away on July 16, 1914. Huron County Probate Court records the date of marriage of Ernst Heyman and Hermine Hoffman as March 30, 1879. The 1880 U.S. Census for Ottawa County,Ohio, accessible at Family Search, lists an Ernst Haymann, age 26, as a farm laborer. His wife, Hermine Haymann, was also age 26, and she gave her birthplace as Prussia. Ernst and Hermine had a baby boy, who was 10 months old at the time the census was taken.

An obituary for Ernest P. Heyman appeared in the July 13, 1914 issue of the Sandusky Register. It stated that Mr. Heyman died at his home on Lindsley Street on July l6, 1914. He had been a foreman at the local water works. Ernest/Ernst P. Heyman was survived by his wife, a son Arthur, and four daughters: Mrs. Albert Shorte of Detroit; Mrs. Marco Smith, Edith Heyman, and Esther Heyman, all of Sandusky. A sister and three brothers also survived him. Rev. H. K. Hillberry officiated at the funeral, which was held at the Heyman residence at 236 Lindsley Street in Sandusky. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Organizational Tools

The prompt for Week 29 of 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, from Amy Coffin at We Tree, and hosted by Geneabloggers, is: Organizational Tools

Which organizational tool or tip is your favorite? How did you find it? How does this tool or tip assist in your family history research?

An organizational tool that I find helpful for storing my cemetery pictures that may appear on my blog is DropShots. The url for Dropshots is:

With a free account, up to five hundred pictures and ten videos can be uploaded, at no cost. With a premium account, unlimited pictures, along with videos up to ten minutes in length may be uploaded.

As a rule, I take several cemetery pictures in one visit, when I have a free morning or afternoon. At home, I edit the pictures with Kodak EasyShare software and/or Windows Live. After editing the pictures, I use the "Drag-n-Drop" feature of DropShots to upload the images.

When I want to retrieve my cemetery pictures, I just log onto my DropShots account, where the images are stored by date. Pictured below are thumbnails from a photo shoot in the Spring of 2012.

My niece in Mississippi told my about DropShots. She enjoys using her DropShots account to share family pictures across the many miles with her relatives in Ohio and Michigan with ease! I hope you will check out the DropShots website, it you haven't already!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mrs. Emily Sadler

The wife of Judge E. B. Sadler, Emily, died of cholera on July 14, 1849, at the age of 34. Her tombstone is found in the North Ridge section of Oakland Cemetery. From the book CHOLERA VICTIMS OF 1849, by Katharyn Wunderley, we read this passage about Judge and Mrs. Sadler:

"Our long known, highly esteemed and well-tried friend, Judge Sadler. He lost his wife and her young child on the 13th and 14th of July, and soon after left, in feeble health, in company with his deceased wife's friends for West Bloomfield, in the State of New York, for the recovery of his health, and to take his only remaining child to a place where it could receive the next best thing to a Mother's care."

Judge Ebenezer B. Sadler never re-married. It is said that he "lived without an enemy."

Monday, July 9, 2012

Jerome R. Widmer

Jerome R. Widmer was a well known house mover in Sandusky,Ohio in the early part of the twentieth century. An advertisement in the June 17, 1911 issue of the Sandusky Register stated that he could move houses, barns, or heavy machinery. In 1903, Mr. Widmer served as the foreman of streets in Sandusky, Ohio. Sadly, Jerome R. Widmer took his own life on April 30, 1921. An article in the May 3, 1921 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that he had been despondent over ill health. He killed himself with a revolver, and his dead body was discovered by his brother in law, Sandusky City Commissioner Theodore Miller, in a cottage at Willow Beach, on the west side of Sandusky. Jerome R. Widmer was survived by three sisters and a brother. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Theodore Stellhorn at the Miller residence. Jerome Widmer must have been dearly loved, as his tombstone was adorned with a picture of Mr. Widmer, which can still be seen at Oakland Cemetery today. Most likely his loved ones were comforted by seeing his likeness when they visted Jerome's tombstone.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

David Orlando Steen

David Orlando Steen was the older brother of my Great Great Grandpa Charles F. Steen. David, sometimes known as Orlando, was born on March 9, 1845 to Charles A. and Lorinda/Lorenda Steen, in Berlin Heights, Erie County, Ohio. Sadly, David's father died when David was only a young teenager. In 1860, David was living in Florence Township, Erie County, Ohio with his mother, his maternal grandmother, and his three siblings.

Erie County Probate Court records show that Orlando Steen married Julia Minard at the bride's residence on September 12, 1868, by a Rev. William Bassett.

David and Julia Steen had a large family of six children. According to census records, Herbert and William were born in Ohio; Fred and Sadie were born in Nebraska; and Robert and Hattie were born in Iowa. By 1885, the David Steen family was residing in Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa. In 1880, when the family was still living in Merrick County, Nebraska, David Steen was working as a butcher. By 1900, David Steen had become a coal dealer. Below is a map which shows the three locations where the David Orlando Steen family lived. They seemed to move almost straight across the country, moving from Erie County, Ohio to Merrick County, Nebraska in the 1870s, and then backtracking to Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa by 1885.

(Google Maps and Kodak EasyShare Software were used to create the map above.)

Records at FindaGrave show that David O. Steen, Julia Steen, and their son Herbert Steen, all died in 1934. All three of these Steen family members were buried in Lot 16, Section 47, at Forest Cemetery in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

Thanks to a wonderful volunteer at the Oskaloosa Public Libray in Oskaloosa, Iowa, I now have an obituary for my ancestor David Orlando Steen. It is from the Oskaloosa Daily Herald, dated January 22, 1934. A transcription of the obituary reads:

David Orlando Steen

David Orlando Steen was born March 9, 1845 in Sandusky, O., and died at his home in Oskaloosa, Ia., at 12:00 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, January 16, 1934, after a short illness, at the age off 88 years, 10 months and 7 days. He was married to Julia Minard of Florence, O., September 10, 1868. To this union six children were born. One son, Frederick, preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Julia Steen, two daughters, Mrs. Guy Reynolds of Oskaloosa and Mrs. John I. Nelson of Ames; three sons, Herbert, William and Robert Steen of Oskaloosa; five grandchildren; one great grandchild; one sister, Mrs. Mary Hill of Berlin Heights, O., and a host of other relatives. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Oskaloosa for over 50 years. Mr. Steen was a well informed man on the general topics of life. He kept himself posted through the reading of the daily papers which he enjoyed so much. Funeral services were held at the Wilcox-Garland chapel at 2:30 o'clock Thursday afternoon, with Rev. E. E. Hickox pastor of the First Baptist Church in charge. Burial was in Forest Cemetery.

I have never seen photographs of David and Julia Steen, but they truly had a pioneer spirit. They left family and friends in their home state; moved twice while they had young children; and they made a good life for themselves.

Note: In a previous blog post, I discussed an article which mentioned that my Great Great Grandpa, Charles F. Steen, had recently been living in Lone Tree, Nebraska. While researching the David Orlando Steen family, I learned that the David O. Steen family lived in Merrick County, Nebraska in the 1870s. Lone Tree, Nebraska is also in Merrick County, Nebraska. Great Great Grandpa Charlie must have gone to visit his older brother's family in Nebraska, and stayed there for a time. It is so much fun to put these pieces of the puzzle together!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Great Grandpa Roy was a Partner in the Concourse Amusement Company

According to an article in the February 27, 1925 issue of the Sandusky Register, my Great Great Grandpa Leroy J. Parker was one of the partners in the Concourse Amusement Company. The company was incorporated on February 25, 1925, for $100,000 by J.B. Sutton, David R. Steinemann, Gust Ebert, George A. Singler, and Leroy J. Parker. The purpose of the company was to be: the operation of amusement devices at resorts. To the best of my knowledge, the only resort with which the Concourse Amusement Company was associated was Cedar Point. From 1925 to 1955 the Concourse Amusement Company operated such attractions as Noah's Ark, the Cyclone, the Rockets, and the Caterpillar. Until the U.S. Government bought out Grandma and Grandpa's farm in Perkins Township in 1941, they would work on the farm, making sure to get the crops in, and the animals fed, but then they would go on over to Cedar Point to work at the attractions. The main ride that my mom spoke of was Noah's Ark. It was a fun house,with an uneven floor, and the back ends of the animals were moving, while their heads peeked out of the Ark. Grandma Ada often sold tickets outside Noah's Ark. I've been told that Grandpa Roy and his friends often played cards in a room in the lower level of Noah's Ark.

All the Parker grandchildren went to Cedar Point to have fun on the rides and the beach, and then at night they got to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's cottage. Many of the concessionaires had modest cottages on the Cedar Point peninsula at that time. There were plenty of trees and picnic grounds close by the cottages. The G.A. Boeckling steamer, named for the president of the Cedar Point Pleasure Company, picked the grandchildren up in downtown Sandusky. Besides having fun at Cedar Point, a ride on the Boeckling was a wonderful treat, and it helped to beat the heat on a hot summer day.

Pictured below are some snapshots of several members of the extended Parker family in 1954, towards the end of the existence of the Concourse Amusement Company. When relatives came to visit during the summer months, going to Cedar Point was a high point!

Note: This post was written for the 120th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, hosted by Creative Gene. Some of the information and images have appeared in previous blog posts at the Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay.