Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lucius Spencer Graves

The 1870 Erie County Census lists the Lucius Graves family in Margaretta Township,with these family members:

Lucius S., age 37, born in New York, occupation farmer
Emily, age 28
William, age 9
Etta, age 6
Anna age 5
A farmhand named John Wick also resided with the Graves family

In the book GENEALOGY OF THE GRAVES FAMILY IN AMERICA, by John Card Graves, we read that Lucius S. Graves was the son of Spencer and Ann Mills Graves, who moved from New York State to the Castalia area of Margaretta Township in Erie County, Ohio.

Lucius Spencer Graves was the youngest son of Spencer and Ann Graves, born on August 24, 1833. Lucius S. Graves married Emily Caswell, a daughter of Calvin Caswell, in 1858. Lucius S. Graves died in October, 1884, and he is buried in the Graves Cemetery.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Worthy and Estella Brown

Worthy R. Brown was born in Port Clinton, Ohio on March 17, 1884. He was the first person to operate charter boats for reel fishing on Lake Erie. He founded Channel Grove in East Harbor, and for many years operated "Sandy Beach," now known as East Harbor State Park. In 1904, Mr. Brown started Worthy Brown & Sons, Inc., which was later known as Brown's Marina. He started Brown's Boats, Inc. in Sandusky about 1929. On March 31, 1959, Worthy R. Brown passed away suddenly, at the age of 85. He was survived by his wife Estella, and two sons from his first marriage. His first wife, and a son who died during World War Two predeceased him. Mrs. Estella Brown followed her husband in death in September, 1959. Worthy and Estella Brown were buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. A lengthy obituary for Worthy R. Brown appeared in the March 31, 1959 issue of the Sandusky Register. Mr. Brown played an active role in the development of the area of north central Ohio known for years as Vacationland.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Genealogy Lock In

Last evening I had the privilege of working at our local library's second "Genealogy Lock In." It was so much fun!  We started off with a few computer glitches, but those got worked out quickly. Luckily, the local chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society provided several volunteers to help us assist in guiding the attendees research their families. We helped folks locate death records, obituaries, and census records. One lady got so excited that she broke out in hives! The bonus of having free printing for the evening delighted all those in attendance. We had a few mishaps, a crying infant distracted some people, and there were a few questions which remained unanswered...we could not  track down the hometown of a German immigrant from the 1860s, and we were not sure just which "Mr. Moore" was the ancestor of one of our ladies. If you are associated with a library, I recommend trying out a "Genealogy Lock In" in your library! One of our volunteers said she wished the Courthouse would let us have a lock in there! (Well it can't hurt to dream, can it?)

Thanks to all those who attended the Lock In, and thanks to all the terrific staff and volunteers who helped make it a success!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Edwin S. Wild

Edwin S. Wild was born on October 28, 1891. His parents were Thomas R. and Elizabeth Wild of Sandusky. Mr. Wild worked as a cooper in Sandusky, according to the 1900 U.S.Census for Erie County. Young Edwin died on November 14, 1900, of croup.

A touching tribute to Edwin S. Wild is found at the base of Edwin's tombstone. It reads simply "We loved him."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Genealogy Lock In at Sandusky Library on October 19, 2012

Join us at the Sandusky Library on Friday evening, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. for another Genealogy Lock In. Library staff and volunteers from the Erie County Chapter, Ohio Genealogical Society will be on hand to assist with your family history questions. The computer lab will be open, along with access to hundreds of local history books, historical newspapers on microfilm, and a finding aids which highlight historical photographs and primary sources held by the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. To register, call 419-625-3834 and press 0 for the switchboard operator, or  select Option 6 to leave a message.

Memories of the Girl Scouts

2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of America.  From the time I was in Grade 2 through Grade 12, I was a member of the Girl Scouts. Through those many years, I made many wonderful memories. We made crafts, had festive parties, put on skits, and  sang fun songs. As I got older, we got to go camping, and have special learning opportunities. We learned how to hike, how to cook over an open fire, and work as a team. As a teen, we attended cooking school at the Gas Company, and toured a beauty college. We went to series of classes on "Home Nursing," where I learned health and safety facts that I still recall to this day. A special overnight trip during my high school years was a trip to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. We got to stay in a dorm, and the staff there saw that we went to breakfast via a hay ride. 

During several of my years in Scouts, my leader was Mrs. Winifred Sessler. Mrs. Sessler worked at the school cafeteria, and had a family of her own, but she still devoted many hours to being a Scout leader. For a special treat, she used to invite us to her own kitchen, and taught us how to make homemade "all day" suckers. Thanks for your years of service to the Girl Scouts, Mrs. Sessler! In May of 1980, Mrs. Sessler passed away at the age of 67. She was laid to rest in the Venice Cemetery, not far from her home, and the Venice School, where we had many a Scout meeting!


(Note: Image of  Girl Scout emblem from Wikipedia.)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Daniel D. and Dora Chase White

A biographical sketch about Daniel D. White in Hewson Peeke's A STANDARD HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO begins with these glowing words:

"There are in every community men of great force of character who by reason of their capacity for leadership become recognized as foremost citizens and bear a most important part in public affairs. Such has been the creditable position in the Castalia community of Daniel D. White, who for many years was a progressive farmer in Groton Township, has frequently been honored with those positions which denote community esteem and for the past ten years has been cashier of the Castalia Banking Company. He was one of the principals on the organization of that solid financial institution in September, 1905, and has since been a director and cashier."

Daniel D. White was the son of Ebenezer and Ellen Jones White, and the grandson of pioneer Erie County settler, Capt. John White. Besides being associated with his farm and the Castalia Banking Company, Daniel D. White was a member of the Board of Control of the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station at Wooster for six years. Mr. White was also a member of the Perseverance Lodge in Sandusky, the Knights of the Maccabees in Castalia, and was quite active in the Margaretta and Erie County Pomona Grange. On October 28, 1885, Daniel D. White married Dora Chase, the daughter of Henry Chase. Mr. and Mrs. Daniel D. White were the parents of Sidney White, a veteran of World War Two.

In 1961, Daniel D. White died at the age of 100. He is buried in Graves Cemetery, south of Castalia, Ohio. Mrs. Dora White passed away in 1943. The family papers of Daniel D. White are in the historical files of the library at the R. B. Hayes Presidential Center.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Eliza and Sarah Moore

Eliza and Sarah J. Moore were early teachers in the Sandusky local schools. According to FROM THE WIDOW'S WALK, by Helen Hansen and Virginia Steinemann, former pupils of the Moore sisters collected pennies so that a monument could be erected at Oakland Cemetery. In May of 1891, the monument to Eliza and Sarah Moore, in the form of two large books, was dedicated in memory of the teachers.

Eliza Moore was born on February 17, 1817, and died on March 30, 1883. Sarah J. Moore was born on April 27, 1822, and died March 13, 1890. They were the daughters of O.M. and Ruth Moore.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mrs. Daphne Irvine

Daphne Foster was born on October 6, 1839 to William and Caroline Foster of Erie County, Ohio. According to the book THE IRVINES AND THEIR KIN, available on Google Books, Daphne Foster married Samuel Irvine on January 1, 1866. According to A STANDARD HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY,by Hewson L. Peeke, the father and uncle of Samuel Irvine were always ready to assist fugitive slaves make their way to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

Daphne Foster Irvine's husband Samuel passed away in 1923. He had served in the 7th Kansas Cavalry during the Civil War. Mr. Irvine's obituary appeared in the January 26, 1923 issue of the Sandusky Register. Mrs. Daphne Foster lived to the age of 91 years and 4 days. She passed away on October 11, 1930. She is buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Her obituary from the Sandusky Register stated that she had been active in the First Congregational Church, the Women's Relief Corps, and she took an active interest in the work of the Children's Home. Mrs. Irvine made numerous articles of clothing for soldiers during World War One. Mrs. Irvine was survived by two sons, three grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Mrs. Daphne Foster Irvine lived a very full, rewarding life, which often was focused on serving others in her family and her community.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Outstanding Online Learning Presentation for Beginners

Recently I was browsing the web in search of materials to share with beginners in genealogy. I ran into this outstanding online presentation. Getting Started in Genealogy, by Rhonda R. McClure, is a joint project of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and Family Search. Rhonda R. McClure is an experienced researcher, and she presents easy to understand tips for beginning to research your family tree. Click here to view this online presentation. More online learning opportunities from the New England Historic Genealogical Society can be accessed at this page. We are fortunate to have so many tools so readily available for learning more about genealogical research. Thanks for the excellent resources, New England Historic Genealogical Society and Family Search!

Monday, October 8, 2012

The "Birthday Four"

My great great grandfathers, George B. Parker, and Charles F. Steen both had the same birthday, May 17th. They, along with two of their friends, Frank N. Hills and Albert N. Baker, celebrated their birthdays together every year for much of their adult lives. All these men were farmers who lived in Perkins Township, Erie County, Ohio. They all worked very hard on their family farms, and it sounds as though they surely enjoyed their leisure time together when day was done!

An article which appeared in the Sandusky Register of May 18, 1891, read:
The birthdays of Messrs, Frank N.
Hills, Chas. F. Steen, Geo. B. Parker
and Albert N. Baker, of Perkins, occur
on the same date, May 17, and are annually
celebrated at the home of one
of the gentlemen. According to the
usual custom, the birthday quartette
was entertained at dinner on Sunday
by Mr. Chas. F. Steen.

Though my great great grandfather, George B. Parker, was the youngest of this foursome, he was the first to die.

Grandpa George died tragically in an automobile accident on the way home from a visit to the Sandusky County Fair in Fremont, Ohio on  September 23, 1914. He was laid to rest in Perkins Cemetery. I am sure the friends who shared his birthday celebrations with him were very sad to see him leave this earth when he was only 58 years old. Albert N. Baker passed away in 1916.

This article appeared in the May 15, 1921 issue of the Sandusky Register. It was entitled "To Dine: Survivors of  'Birthday Four.'"

Those of the "Annual Birthday Four"
who for more than thirty years celebrated 
their birthday together on May 17, will
celebrate this year at the home of Mrs.
Albert Baker on May 17, the coming
Tuesday. The quartet, originally was
composed of Messrs. Charles Steen, 
Frank Hills, George Parker and Albert
Baker, all of Perkins Township. Two
have died - Messrs. Parker and Baker.
Accordingly there will be but two to
partake of the hospitality of next
Tuesday's hostess, Mr. Baker's

On August 12, 1933,  Charles F. Steen, he last of the "Birthday Four," passed away.
Great Great Grandpa Charles Steen had a Masonic funeral, and he was buried next to his beloved wife Sarah at Oakland Cemetery. I am quite sure that prior to his death in 1933, Grandpa Charlie thought about the "Birthday Four" every year on May 17th. Through vital records on file at Family Search, I was able to verify that Charles F. Steen, George B. Parker, and Albert N. Baker were all born on May 17, though in different years. The birthdate of Frank N. Hills was listed as August 2, 1842  on his death record in 1922. I am not sure of the explanation of why Mr. Hills was part of the "Birthday Four" if he didn't really share the same birthday as the other three men, but some things are just left unexplained.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Helen Burggraf

Miss Helen Elizabeth Burggraf died on October 9, 1918. Her death certificate stated that she was the daughter of John Burggraf and Jesse Goodwin Burggraf. Little Helen was age three years, three months, and twenty two days. The cause of death was listed as laryngitis.

Some ninety years after Helen's death, someone remembered her with a floral tribute. A sculpture of a lamb and cross symbolize that this youngster was a child of God.

Helen Elizabeth Burggraf is buried in Castalia Cemetery in Margaretta Township.

The inscription on Helen's tombstone reads:

She was too pure for earthly love
Pure as the angels that are free from stain
She left us to join them in heaven above
Where we shall all meet her again.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lutz Monument at Pleasant Union Cemetery

This beautiful monument at Pleasant Union Cemetery in Old Fort, Ohio honors the memory of three members of the Lutz family. According to the 1870 U.S. Census, Francis M. Lutz was born about 1842 in Pennsylvania. He was married to Catherine,and they had an infant son named Harry. The small Lutz family lived in Washington Township of Henry County, Ohio in 1870, where Francis was a farmer. The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database, from the National Parks Service, indicates that Francis M. Lutz enlisted as a Private in Company B of the 195th Ohio Infantry during the Civil War, and his rank when he left military service was Second Lieutenant.

Sadly, young Harry Lutz died when he was only four years old, in 1874.

Francis M. Lutz died in his 38th year, on December 15, 1880. A G.A.R. symbol and an American flag remind us of his military service during the Civil War.

Mrs. Lutz, whose name has not been inscribed on the monument, died on January 23, 1915, according to Ohio Death Records, accessible at Family Search.

Though all these individuals passed away so very long ago, the monument which honors their memory Ohio still serves as a fitting tribute!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Verse in Honor of Sandusky Pioneers

According to an article in the December 31, 1922 issue of the Sandusky Register, this verse was found in an old scrapbook in Sandusky. It was authored by someone whose initials were J.H., and it was dedicated to the pioneers of Sandusky. The verse reads:


    I welcome you
Who seek your fortune in the
Within my sheltering bay your
    ships shall ride
Secure from storms; and foreign
Shall enter bringing trade. - No
    life of ease
I offer you, but rich reward for
Hewn from my sandstone, may
    Your dwellings rise
Substantial; built on solid rock,
    so that
Your children's children still may
    dwell in them.
My woods shall furnish you with
    oak and walnut
That endure and grow more
    beautiful with years.
My fields are fertile, offering
    ample yield
Of grains and fruits; my winter
    snows shall wrap
Your what from cold; and sum-
    mer suns shall warm
And sweeten grapes upon the
    vine. While in
The waters of my lake the fish
    shall thrive
To furnish food and source of
Within my borders may your sons
    grow strong,
Straight as my oaks, and firm in
As the stone whereon you build
    So may
They do you honor, you, my pioneers.



Several of my mother's ancestors, on both her paternal and maternal side, were early residents of Erie County, Ohio. This simple verse reminds me of how rich the natural resources were in Ohio in the 1800s, and how the early settlers truly lived off the land. The natural harbor of Sandusky provided a place for ships to bring them goods from far away. I truly love living in northern Ohio, and I am thankful for having found this lovely tribute to Sandusky's pioneers. Without the endurance of my ancestors who settled in Erie County, I wouldn't be here today!

To read about my the journey of my ancestors, Julius and Percy House, from Connecticut to Ohio by oxen train, see the June 1865 issue of the "Firelands Pioneer," which is available at many larger Ohio libraries.

(Note: Image from Henry Howe's HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS OF OHIO. )

Edward Lewis, Railroad Engineer

Edward Lewis was born and raised in Tiffin, Ohio. In his twenties, he moved to Chicago Junction (now known as Willard, Ohio) where he worked as an engineer for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. On October 2, 1900, Edward Lewis lost his life in a tragic accident, in which he was crushed under a locomotive at the railroad yard at Chicago Junction. Newspaper articles about the tragic accident in which Edward Lewis died, appeared in the Sandusky Daily Star on October 3, October 5, and October 6, 1900.Funeral services were held for Edward Lewis on October 5, 1906 at the chapel of Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. One floral offering was in the design of a miniature B. & O. locomotive. It was presented by the Chicago Junction members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. Mr. Lewis was age 45 at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife and daughter. Mrs. Jane Lewis moved to Cleveland, Ohio. After her death in 1934, she was laid to rest next to her husband in Block 99 of Oakland Cemetery.