Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sandusky History Blog features Post about C. Keim's Excelsior Monumental Works

Check out this recent post from the Sandusky History blog, which features C. Keim's Excelsiior Monumental Works. Conrad Keim operated the C. Keim Monumental Works in Sandusky from 1902 until 1927. Many of his monuments can be seen in the cemeteries in  Sandusky and the surrounding area.Click here to read the post.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday's Child: Charles M. Metzgar

Charles M. Metzgar is buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Charles was the son of Peter and Barbara Metzgar. In the 1860 Census, Charles was age 3, and residing with his parents and three siblings in Sandusky, Ohio. His parents were both aged 40, and stated that they had been born in Baden, Germany.

The tombstone of young Charles M. Metzgar records his date of death as March 28, 1867. He was aged 10 years, and 3 months at the time of his death. At the top of the tombstone for Charles is a lamb, above which are inscribed the words:

Gone Home

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Christopher and Emma Ruff

Christopher Ruff was born in Sussex County, England on December 23, 1826. In the late 1800s, Christopher Ruff worked as an undertaker in Sandusky, Ohio. The advertisement below appeared in the January 15, 1890 issue of the Sandusky Register.

After losing the business to fire in the 1890s, Christopher Ruff and his family moved to St. Paul, Minnesota. An obituary for Christopher Ruff appeared in the December 6, 1893 issue of the Sandusky Register. Christopher Ruff died at St. Paul, Minnesota on December 4, 1893. His remains were returned to Sandusky, Ohio, where he was buried in the North Ridge section of Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Mr. Ruff was survived by his wife Emma, and two sons. Mrs. Emma Ruff passed away in South Chicago, Illinois, on March 22, 1908. She was buried beside her husband at Oakland Cemetery.

A large monument which features the surname Ruff is found at the Ruff family lot at Oakland Cemetery.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Magdalina M. Heck, 1806-1880

Magdalina M. Heck was born in Germany on February 7, 1806. According to Germany marriage records at FamilySearch, Maria Magdalena Mack married Samuel Heck in Plankstadt, Mannheim, Baden, Germany on October 14, 1832. Passenger Lists, accessed at Ancestry Library Edition, show that Samuel and Magdalene Heck arrived in the U.S. on May 15, 1848, aboard the ship Havre. With them were six children, ranging in age from 9 months to 15 years of age. The 1870 U.S. Census shows Samuel and Lena Heck residing in Ward 3 of Sandusky in Erie County, Ohio. They were aged 65 and 64, and both stated that their birthplace was Baden.  The U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules indicated that M.M. Heck died of typhoid fever in March 1880, in Sandusky, Ohio. A brief obituary for Mrs. Magdalina M. Heck, which appeared in the March 22, 1880 issue of the Sandusky Register, stated that funeral services for Mrs. Heck were held at Zion Lutheran Church. Burial was at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. At the base the tombstone for Mrs. Heck, one can very faintly see the name of the monument maker: Schlenk.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday's Child: Maria A. Thorwarth

 According to her death record at FamilySearch, Maria A. Thorwarth died on March 18, 1883, when she was not yet one year old. Her parents were Lenhart and Mary (Lear) Thorwarth. Maria A. Thorwarth was buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. A floral design adorns her tombstone. 

(Note: When you examine the dates of Maria's birth and death, there is a discrepancy in the exact date of each, though both took place in the year 1883.)

Monday, March 17, 2014

John W. Large, Veteran of the Third Ohio Cavalry

On a cold winter's day, I came across this tombstone for a Civil War Veteran at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. The only portion of the name that I could very well was John W., and a surname beginning with the letters La. A search in the Oakland Cemetery database yielded the name John W. Large. The National Park Service Soldiers and Sailors Database has a record for John W. Large. He served in Company A of the Third Regiment, Ohio Cavalry.  A lengthy inscription is found on the front facing side of this obelisk shaped monument, and I could read only a few words.

I did google searches for the various phrases that I could read, and discovered that the inscription on the tombstone for John W. Large was a portion of the poem "The Soldier's Funeral" by Letitia Elizabeth Landon. Inscribed on the tombstone are the words:

In Memory Of
John W. Large

Died at his home
Oct. 29, 1864

29 yrs.

A member of Co. A 3rd OVC

This soldier had stood,
On the battle pain
Where every step
Was over the slain
Brand and ball
Had passed him by
And he came
To his native land to die
Twas hard to come
To that native land...

(the remaining words were illegible)

While I could not read every word inscribed on the tombstone, I found the full text of Miss Landon's  poem "The Soldier's Funeral" in the book The Poetical Works Of Miss Landon, (Phillips, Sampson, and Co., 1853) available online at Google Books,  which reads:

The Soldier's Funeral, by Letitia Elizabeth Landon

And the muffled drum rolled on the air,
Warriors with stately step were there;
On every arm was the black crape bound,
Every carbine was turned to the ground;
Solemn the sound of their measured tread,
As silent and slow they followed the dead.
The riderless horse was led in the rear,
There were white plumes waving over the bier;
Helmet and sword were laid on the pall
For it was a soldier's funeral.

That soldier had stood on the battle-plain,
Where every step was over the slain:
But the brand and the ball had passed him by,
And he came to his native land to die.
'Twas hard to come to that native land,
And not clasp one familiar hand!
'Twas hard to be numbered amid the dead,
Or ere he could hear his welcome said!
But 'twas something to see its cliffs once more,
And to lay his bones on his own loved shore;
To think that the friends of his youth might weep
O'er the green grass turf of the soldier's sleep.

The bugles ceased their wailing sound
As the coffin was lowered into the ground;
A volley was fired, a blessing said,
One moment's pause -- and they left they dead! --
I saw a poor and an aged man,
His step was feeble, his lip was wan:
He knelt him down on the new-raised mound,
His face was bowed on the cold damp ground,
He raised his head, his tears were done, --
The father had prayed o'er his only son!

Rest in peace, John W. Large, and thank you for your years of service to your country.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Irish Connections and Questions

Close to St. Patrick's Day, I am always reminded of my Irish heritage, though many questions remain. My third great grandfather, Patrick Larkins, came with his father Daniel Larkins to the United States about 1830. They lived first in Connecticut, and then settled on a farm in Perkins Township, Erie County, Ohio. A distant cousin told us that according to family lore, they were originally from County Tipperary, but we have no documentation. Supposedly Daniel's wife died young, and he re-married in America. Mom always said that after the funerals for members of the Larkins family, there was a big dinner, with lots of eating and drinking and storytelling. Pictured below are four generations of my Larkins ancestors:

In the picture, taken in 1941, are: my great great grandfather, Thomas Francis Larkins, my great grandmother, Irene Larkins Risko, my grandmother, Doris Wheeler Parker, and my mother, Joyce Parker Orshoski. Mom always hoped to go to County Tipperary. She had a notion that if she went to enough Catholic churches there, she may be able to find a birth record for Patrick Larkins. She passed away before she got a chance to visit the Emerald Isle.
In a different line, are my Steen ancestors. According to the book THE STEEN FAMILY IN EUROPE AND AMERICA, Charles Armstrong Steen, my third great grandfather, was born in Armagh in Northern Ireland. Another cousin told me that according to the family legend, Charles wanted to marry a poor girl, and his parents did not approve, so he emigrated to the United States. He settled in Berlin Heights, Erie County, Ohio, and he married Sally Stevens, the daughter of a school teacher. My great great grandfather was Charles F. Steen, pictured below. Like Patrick Larkins, as an adult, he was a farmer in Perkins Township, Erie County, Ohio.

Charles F. Steen died before I was born, but Mom told me he was a generous, kind man, who dearly loved his family. His daughter, Ada Steen Parker, kept a clipping scrapbook and family pictures, and told my mother many family stories through the years. Mom passed that love of family down to me, and I joyfully tell those stories to  my children, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews, especially when they have a family history project for school or college! I am thankful for my Irish heritage, though of course, I wish I had more answers to my many questions! 

Happy St. Patrick's Day, a bit early!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Elihu Parker, Civil War Veteran

Elihu Parker was born in  Margaretta Township, Erie County, Ohio on December 7, 1845 to Elihu and Eliza (Walker) Parker. During the Civil War, Elihu Parker served in Company A of the 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and also in the 10th Ohio Cavalry. While he was still serving in the military in 1865, Elihu Parker stood watch over the body of slain President Abraham Lincoln, as his body lay in state at the statehouse at Indianapolis. From 1909 until 1930, Elihu Parker was a resident of the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, now known as the Ohio Veterans Home. On March 13, 1936, Elihu Parker passed away at the hospital of the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home. He was buried at the Castalia Cemetery, next to  his first wife, the former Mary Tompkins.

An obituary for Elihu Parker appeared in the March 14, 1936 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Franz J.M. and Sophia Otto

Franz J.M. Otto was born on March 14, 1824 in Hamburg, Germany. He married Sophia Priscilla Hutter in 1851, and emigrated to the United States soon after they married. After residing for some time in New York state, Franz and Sophia Otto came to Sandusky in 1868. Mr. Otto was a landscape gardener, and for several years he ran a greenhouse on South Columbus Avenue in Perkins Township in Erie County. An article in the March 14, 1909 issue of the Sandusky Register stated that many fruit and shade trees in Sandusky and Erie County were planted by Franz J.M. Otto. The article continued, "He was a great lover of bird and plant life and a great hunter until old age demanded him to hang his trusty gun upon the antlers and say 'Good night.'"

Franz J.M. Otto died on March 12, 1909 at his home in Perkins Township. His wife Sophia had preceded him in death in 1886. The Register obituary paid tribute to both Mr. and Mrs. Otto, saying that their lives "were lives of industry, frugality and good will towards God's creatures and their lives and their good deeds will not be forgotten by those who knew them best." Franz J.M. Otto and Sophia Otto were laid to rest in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Their six children were Fredericka, Jennie, Clara, Herman, Franz, and Albert Otto. The tombstone of Franz and Sophia Otto is adorned with two scrolls, above which are the words Mother and Father. A fern is found at the bottom of their tombstone, which has survived so very well over a century after their passing.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Charles Cooper, Civil War Veteran

Civil War Veteran Charles Cooper is buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. According to an article in the Sandusky Register of March 9, 1939, Charles N. Cooper enlisted in the Army in 1864 when he was still a teenager. He served as a private in Company F, 68th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. For over twenty years, Mr. Cooper made his home at the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home in Sandusky, Ohio. He died on March 8, 1939, at the age of 90.  Mr. Cooper was the last surviving member of the McMeens Post No. 19, Grand Army of the Republic. He was survived by two nephews,Charles and John Gates of Washington, D.C.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Joseph J. and Catherine Farrell

Joseph J. Farrell was born in 1862, to Timothy and Jane (Dempsey) Farrell, who were both natives of Ireland. An article in the August 11, 1892 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that Joseph J. Farrell went into business with John Rosino. Farrell and Rosino operated a shoe store on Columbus Avenue in downtown Sandusky. According to Erie County Probate Court Records, on September 14, 1893, Joseph J. Farrell married Catherine Strobel. In 1900 Mr. Farrell's health began to fail, and he and his wife moved to New Mexico, where Mr. Farrell hoped to find his improvement in his health. Joseph J. Farrell died in Albuquerque, New Mexico on March 3, 1905. He was survived by his wife Catherine, and a son, Desmond Farrell. Mrs. Farrell survived until 1941 after a lengthy illness. She passed away in San Antonio, Texas on May 26, 1941. Both Joseph J. Farrell and Jane (Dempsey) Farrell were laid to rest in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

A granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph J. Farrell, Dr. Elnora Anne Farrell, was a well respected physician in San Antonio, Texas, where she practiced medicine for over fifty years.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: "Stops Winter at Your Doorway"

This charming advertisement from the February 14, 1927 issue of the Sandusky Register, stated that American radiators and Ideal boliers could stop winter at your doorway. With all the snow we have had in Ohio this winter, I would love to find a way to stop winter!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Leonard B. Jorrey, 1916-1918

Leonard Burton Jorrey, born in 1916, was the son of Bert and Catherine (Winkler) Jorrey. Sadly, he died at the age of two years and four months, on March 1, 1918. His cause of death of muscular rheumatism.  Young Leonard B. Jorrey was buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. An obituary for Leonard appeared in the Sandusky Register of March 2, 1918. In the year 1918, there were many obituaries in local newspapers, due to the influenza epidemic and the ongoing Great War.