Friday, May 31, 2013

Michael Hommel

Michael Hommel, pictured above from an article which appeared in volume 17 of Wine and Spirit Bulletin, was a well known Sandusky business man.  At the time of his death on May 31, 1903, Mr. Hommel was the head of the M. Hommel Wine Company in Sandusky, Ohio. An obituary for Michael Hommel was found on page 35 of volume 17 of the Wine and Spirit Bulletin. It read:

The Death of Michael Hommel

Michael Hommel, head of the M. Hommel Wine Co. of Sandusky, Ohio, died at his home in that city at 7:35 o'clock, Sunday evening, May 31st, of peritonitis, after a short illness. Mr. Hommel was born in Rippweiler, Grandy Duchy of Luxembourg, France January 10, 1844. At fourteen years of age, he went to Ay, where he secured work in a wine and champagne cellar. Being apt, he soon learned the work, and at eighteen he was made champagne maker for one of the largest concerns in France. Four years afterward, he came to this country and lived in New York, Cincinnati and St. Louis, until 1871, having been married in the latter city in 1867 to Miss Mary Daumont.

In 1871, Mr. Hommel came to Sandusky and obtained employment with Mr. W. H. Mills, where he remained for seven years. Then he decided to go into the wine business on his own account, which he did on the site of his present plant, making the wine in a shed, and storing it in the cellars of his house, which were made for the purpose. That was in 1878, and, at the time of his death, he had the satisfaction of knowing that he and his company possessed one of the largest and best-stocked champagne cellars in America, every bottle of which had been mode under his personal supervision.

No man in Sandusky was better known or more highly respected than Mr. Hommel. For fourteen years he was a member of the city council, a part of the time its president. He was a man of unswerving honesty, and was never known to speak ill of any one. Every one he knew was his friend, because he refused to have enemies. He is survived by a widow, two sons and two daughters. His demise will in no way change the business of the company, Mr. William H. Hommel, his eldest son, having been taught the business thoroughly.

Michael Hommel was laid to rest at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: "Dearest Sister Thou Hast Left Us"

Eliza W. Hull was the first wife of John L. Hull, a prosperous farmer who resided in Perkins Township,  in Erie County, Ohio,  according to the 1850 U.S. Census. Details provided on the  death record of Eliza's son, Rev. John Henry Hull, indicate that  Eliza's maiden name was Eliza Wilson Harsh.  Eliza died on Christmas day in 1852, when she was age 31.  Mrs. Eliza W. Hull was laid to rest in Oakland Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio. Below is the inscription on Eliza's tombstone:

It reads:

Dearest sister, thou has left us,
Here thy loss we deeply feel
But tis God that both bereft us,
He can all our sorrows heal.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cenotaph Honoring Staff Sergeant James A. Riggs

At Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery is a cenotaph in memory of Staff Sergeant James A. Riggs, who lost his life in World War Two. A cenotaph is a monument in memory of someone who is buried elsewhere. James A. Riggs enlisted in the U.S. Army on April 4, 1942. He was the son of Harry and Elizabeth Riggs of Sandusky, Ohio. During World War Two, Staff Sergeant James A. Riggs served with the 550th Bomber Squadron and the 395th Bomber Group. The February 7, 1944 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News reported that in June of 1943, a Flying Fortress was lost in the North Atlantic theater. James A. Riggs was among the crew of ten. All were lost, and their bodies were not recovered. Staff Sergeant James A. Riggs was honored, along with over one hundred other Erie County residents who lost their lives during World War Two in a community wide tribute held in Sandusky on August 21, 1946. You can read all the names of the 108 Erie County War Dead from World War Two in the August 19, 1946 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News, on microfilm at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor Buried at Ohio Veterans Home Cemetery

Two United States Veterans who were the recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor were laid to rest at the Ohio Veterans Home Cemetery. William Louis Carr received the China Relief Expedition Congressional Medal of Honor while he was serving as a Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Boxer Rebellion. Corporal Carr died on April 14, 1921.

James Jardine served in Company F, 53rd Ohio Infantry during the Civil War. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallant service at Vicksburg, Mississippi on May 22, 1863. First Lieutenant Jardine died on December 9, 1922.

A road on the grounds of the Ohio Veterans Home Cemetery was named in honor of First Lieutenant James Jardine.

Click here to read more about the Ohio Veterans Home in Erie County, Ohio.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Follow Friday: Vintage Memorial Day Post Cards from the Family Curator

For a holiday delight, visit this post at the Family Curator's blog:

Treasure Chest Thursday: Vintage Postcards Picture the History of Decoration Day

Denise discusses the history of Decoration Day and Memorial Day, and illustrates her post with delightful vintage postcards! Thanks for the terrific post!


 Note: Above vintage image is from:  


Monday, May 20, 2013

Arthur Phinney, Sandusky Lawyer

According to the HISTORY OF THE CLASS OF 1864: YALE COLLEGE, Arthur Phinney was the son of James and Cynthia (Mosher) Phinney, having been born on March 28, 1837 in Gorham, Maine. He graduated from Yale in 1864. After graduation, Arthur Phinney worked with the Scientific Department of the Sanitary Commission. In 1865, he became the principal of the Chester Academy at Chester, New York. From 1867 to 1870, Arthur Phinney was the principal of the high school for Sandusky City Schools in Sandusky, Ohio. After studying law in Sandusky and the Michigan Law School, Arthur Phinney was admitted to the bar of Ohio in 1872. Mr. Phinney practiced law for many years in Sandusky, Ohio. He and his wife, the former Sara E. Bell, had three daughters. An article in the Sandusky Star of May 23, 1899 stated that "As a lawyer his tastes were quiet and studious; in legal research he was painstaking and accurate, and his conclusions when formed were relied on with tenacity and sincerity." He was considered by the community, as well as his peers, to be an honest lawyer.

After being deeply grieved following the death of his wife Sara in 1898, his health began to fail. On May 21, 1899, Arthur Phinney died at his home in Sandusky. Funeral services for Arthur Phinney were held on May 23, 1899. Erie County attorneys and court officials all attended the funeral services as a group. Many beautiful floral tributes were displayed at the funeral in memory of the deceased, including the "Gates Ajar" arrangement from the Bar Association. Arthur Phinney was laid to rest at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery, next to his beloved wife Sara.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Anna E. Scheufler

Anna E. Scheufler, daughter of L. & E. Scheufler died on May 16, 1896. She was age 23 years and 10 months.The translation of the inscripton on Anna's tombstone is:

In German:

Die Hand der Liebe
Deckt Dich zu,
Nun schlummre sanft
in Ewiger Ruh.

In English:

The hand of love
tucks you in,
Now slumber softly
in eternal peace.

The 1900 U.S. Census for Erie County indicates that Louis Scheufler was a dry goods dealer, who was born in Germany. He and his wife Elizabeth stated that they had been married for 39 years in 1900.

Many thanks to the librarians from the Local History & Genealogy Department from the Washington County Public Library for their kind assistance in translation!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Oak Bluff Cemetery in Berlin Township

Oak Bluff Cemetery is located in the northern portion of Berlin Township of Erie County, Ohio. Other names for this cemetery include "Ruggles Beach Cemetery" and "Cranberry Creek Cemetery." Just east of Oak Bluff Cemetery is Ruggles Beach, which used to be a summer resort area. Ruggles Beach was named for Almon Ruggles, an early resident of this region, and a surveyor of the Firelands.

An early burial at Oak Bluff Cemetery was an unknown soldier. According to Erie County Cemetery Records, compiled by Marjorie Loomis Cherry, when the sailor's body washed ashore in 1813, shortly after the Battle of Lake Erie, the sailor's remains were buried by Almon Ruggles. The original stone was replaced by the Martha Pitkin Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in the mid 1930's.

To drive to Oak Bluff Cemetery, take U.S. Route 2 east. Exit at Route 61 and travel north. Turn right at Cleveland Road East. The Oak Bluff Cemetery is located on the left side of the road, just before the Cranberry Creek Marina. Lake Erie will be visible to the north of the cemetery.

Image from Google Maps.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hull Monument at Oakland Cemetery

Found in Block 24 of Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery, this beautiful monument honors the memory of John Linn Hull, his first wife Eliza, and his second wife, the former Angeline Walker. A lengthy tribute to John L. Hull appeared in the December 17, 1894 issue of the Sandusky Register. In the article, we learn that John Linn Hull was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, on October 24, 1822, to Joseph and Elizabeth Hull. In 1822, John L. Hull came to Ohio with his parents. The family settled in Perkins Township in 1828. John helped his father clear the land and work the family farm. On August 29, 1845, John Linn Hull married Eliza Wilson Harsh of Warren, Ohio. The young couple lived in a log house in Perkins Township. Sadly, when she was only 31 years of age, Eliza Hull died on Christmas Day in 1852. She left behind a young son, John Henry Hull, who would go on to become a well respected minister. In 1854, John L. Hull took as his wife Angeline Walker, the daughter of Samuel and Betsey Walker, pioneers of Erie County.

Mr. and Mrs. John L. Hull had extensive property in Perkins Township, as seen in this photocopy of a portion of a map of Perkins Township from the 1874 Erie County Atlas. The Hull parcels were located in Section 2.

They had two children, Judge Linn Walker Hull and Mrs. Ida Barber.  In December of 1894, John Linn Hull was injured in an railway accident in Cleveland. He died of his injuries on December 12, 1894. Funeral services for John L. Hull were held at the family homestead. Mr. Hull's remains lay in an oak casket from Krupp's. Many beautiful floral tributes were sent to honor Mr. Hull. A favorite hymn, "Sweet Bye and Bye" was sung. Rev.C.A Vincent offered prayer, and Rev. George Peeke delivered the eulogy, which was said to have been elegant. Rev. Peeke said, in part, " My friends, let me say to you, as we admire the character of this man, I do not think we want preachers so much, I do not think we want lawyers so much, I do not think we want doctors so much, as we want good stalwart farmers. That is what the country wants more than it wants anything else, farmers of good character. They are the backbone of the country. ..The middle class of farmers with character are the backbone of any nation, and woe be to the day when such men as Brother Hull drop out..." Rev. Peeke said that the Hull home was a home of peace and prosperity, and that John L. Hull was a man of truth, who was always true to his word.  John Linn Hull was laid to rest in Oakland Cemetery. A long procession of carriages followed the hearst to the cemetery. Mrs. Angeline Walker Hull followed her husband in death in 1898. Mrs. Hull's Civil War diary now is found in the historical collections of the Ohio Historical Society.  John Linn Hull, his first wife Eliza, and his second wife Angeline represent the true pioneer spirit. They helped to lay the groundwork for the future generations of Erie County, Ohio, through love, character, and a deep work ethic.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: May 11, 2013

Randy, at GeneaMusings, has given us this Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge:

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) What genealogy fun have you had this week?  What is your genealogy highlight of the week?  It could be attending the NGS conference, it could be finding a new ancestor, or it could be reading a new genealogy book, or anything else that you have enjoyed.

2)  Tell us about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a comment to this post, or in a Google Plus or Facebook post.


I had two delightful experiences in my genealogical pursuits this week. 

1. The first one happened at my daytime job, at our local public library. I was able to assist a couple from out of state in learning more about their ancestor, who was once an elected official. We found the person's burial record in a nearby Erie County Cemetery, and we found a biographical sketch of their ancestor  in a local history book that covers Erie County elected officials, entitled  ELECTED TO SERVE ERIE COUNTY ,1838-2003. It was fun to help new patrons get to know our Erie County resources here at the library.

2. The second highlight of the week was the weather! I was able to take several photographs at Oakland Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio. Being an absolute amateur photographer, I was very happy that the somewhat cloudy, but warm, weather in northern Ohio allowed for digital pictures to be taken without those pesky shadows.

Thanks, Randy, for another round of Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Jessie Meenan, Sandusky Milliner

Miss Jessie Meenan was born in 1872 to John and Bridget Meenan, both natives of Ireland. Most of her life, Jessie Meenan worked as a milliner in Sandusky, Ohio. An article in the November 26, 1921 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal stated that Jessie Meenan was "an artist when it comes to millinery making." The article below appeared in the February 18, 1922 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal.

The ad for a veil from Miss Meenan's shop was in the March 29, 1923 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal.

On May 9, 1958, Jessie Meenan passed away after a long illness. Miss Meenan had been a member of Saints Peter and Paul Church, and she was a charter member of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War. She was survived by a brother, two sisters, and nieces and nephews. Jessie Meenan was buried at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio.

Jessie Meenan was ahead of her time. She was a well known business woman in a time when many females stayed at home.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"We All Loved Her"

In the 1860 U.S. Census, Carrie L. Wilcox was listed as an infant in the household of Edward and Sophia Wilcox in Sandusky, Ohio, where Carrie's father was a dry goods merchant. Carrie L. Wilcox was born on November 16, 1859. Sadly, Carrie died as a teenager, on May 7, 1873. Carrie L. Wilcox was buried in the family lot at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Along the top of her tombstone are the words, "We All Loved Her." To see these words on a young person's tombstone, well over a century after her death, are so heart warming. You can imagine that since her father was a merchant, Carrie most likely had lovely clothes and she probably received nice gifts from her father's store on her birthdays and at Christmas. I am sure that young Carrie was dearly missed by her family after her short life ended.

To read more about the Wilcox family see this Online Finding Aid at the OhioLink Finding Aid Repository.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Karl Jäckle

In Block 73 of Oakland Cemetery is a tombstone for Karl Jäckle. THE ERIE COUNTY, OHIO CENSUS BEFORE 1909 lists this inscription for Karl's tombstone:

Karl Jäckle
Died Feb. 7, 1880
Age 51 years, 10 days

Clasped hands are found on his tombstone, which can symbolize the deceased person being welcomed into Heaven.

Trying to learn a bit more about Mr. Jäckle, I checked for his name in the 1870 U.S. Census for Erie County, Ohio. Here his name is spelled:

Charles Jeckel, age 38, born in Bavaria; occupation carpenter

The rest of his family is recorded here also:

Wife, Josephine, age 39, born in Bavaria
Child Josephine, age 14, born in Ohio
Child Amelia, age 12, born in Ohio
Child Charles, age 9, born in Ohio
Child Oscar, age 6, born in Ohio

The Oakland Cemetery Interment Card lists the name of Karl Jäckle as Charles Yecley. The card states that Mr. Jäckle/Yecley was buried on February 9, 1880.

The Ohio Obituary Index gives yet another spelling for Karl/Charles Jäckle/Yecley/Jeckel as Charles Yerchle.

Keep an open mind when you are doing family history research! The person whose tomstone reads Karl Jäckle has variations in the spelling of both his first and last name! Comparing the various sources and dates in all the records for this individual, I am confident that Karl Jäckle, Charles Jeckel, Charles Yecley, and Charles Yerchle are all the same person! May he rest in peace.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Joseph Orshoski, Jr., 1907-1954

Joseph Orshoski, Jr. was born on July 11. 1907, the second child of Joseph Orshoski and Julia Herzog Orshoski. He was a younger brother of my paternal grandfather, Steve Orshoski. As did most of the men folk on my Orshoski side, Joseph Orshoski, Jr. worked at the Medusa Cement Company. In the Spring of 1954, Joe, Jr. was in a fire in the trailer in which he lived in Bay Bridge. He was severely burned, and he died as a result of his burns on Sunday, May 2, 1954. I was just a very little girl when Great Uncle Joe passed away, and I do not remember him at all. Everyone tells me that his nickname was "Monk." Joe, Jr. had a very sad life. His mother died when only 11, and he worked hard at the cement company. My dear neighbor Mary told me that drank too much, and he actually may have been under the influence of alcohol when the trailer caught fire. Funeral services for Joseph Orshoski, Jr. were held at the Holy Angels Church in Sandusky, Ohio, and Joe, Jr. was buried at Castalia Cemetery, next to his beloved mother, Julia Orshoski.

In the picture below, Joe, Jr. is among the young men standing next to the casket of the first Mrs. Joseph Orshoski, Sr.