Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: Ohio's First Railroad Marker in Sandusky

This historical marker is located near Battery Park along Sandusky Bay, in Sandusky, Ohio. Ground was broken for the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad here in September of 1835. The introduction of the railroad in northern Ohio provided jobs for local residents, and increased the economy by providing the means to transport goods produced locally, as well as goods that were shipped in to Sandusky via the Great Lakes.. Visit the Mad River and NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue, Ohio, to learn more about the history of Ohio's railroads!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

George Concklin Beautified the Bogart Cemetery in the 1920s

An article which appeared in the May 30, 1925 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported on George Conklin (sometimes spelled Concklin) and how he beautified the Bogart Cemetery in Perkins Township. This cemetery is now in a different location in Perkins, and is known as the Perkins Cemetery. George Concklin saw that the final resting place of several of his family members was in disrepair. He had a new road constructed from the main highway to the cemetery, at a cost of $800. Then he had nine new tombstones placed in the cemetery, and he placed a concrete curb around the family lot. George Conklin, a Civil War veteran, died on November 16, 1935, at the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home. He was buried in the Bogart Cemetery, which he had helped to improve.

A few years after the death of George Conklin/Conklin, the old Bogart Cemetery had to be moved, because of the U.S. Government purchasing several acres of land in Perkins Township, for the construction of a munitions factory, when America was just on the verge of entering World War Two.

The individuals who moved the cemetery must have recalled George Conklin's efforts, because in the new cemetery, there is a lot with several members of the extended Conklin/Concklin family, fenced in with a low concrete fence.

Thank you for your generosity to the cemetery in Perkins Township, Mr. Conklin!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Samuel Draper of Massachusetts

Photo by T. Renwand.

When my nephew visited Boston recently, he graciously took some pictures of tombstones for me. Above is the tombstone of Samuel Draper, who died on March 21, 1767 at age 30. Samuel Draper is buried the Granary Burying Ground in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Pages 197 and 198 of the book THE DRAPERS IN AMERICA tell a bit about Samuel Draper:

Samuel Draper was the nephew and apprentice of John Draper (10). Soon after he came of age he went into trade with Zachariah Fowle, who stood in much need of a partner like Draper; their connection was mutually advantageous. Fowle had been in business seven years, but had made no progress in the advancement of his fortune. Draper was more enterprising, but had not capital to establish himself as a printer. He was a young man of correct habits and handsome abilities, industrious and a good workman. The connection continued five years, during which they printed three or four volumes of some magnitude; a large edition of "The Youth, Instructor in the English Language;" another of the " Psalter;" also a variety of pamphlets, and Chapman's small " Books and Ballads." They so far succeeded in trade that they kept free of debt, obtained a good livelihood, and increased their stock. Their printing house was in Marlborough Street, at the south corner of Franklin Street, Boston. The articles of co partnership contemplated a continuance of " Fowle & Draper," but the latter's uncle's death and the delicate health of his cousin, Richard Draper, who made liberal proposals to him, caused Draper to leave Fowle, and go into partnership with Richard Draper, where he remained till his death in 1767.

It is amazing to me that well over 200 years since his death as a young man, we can learn that Samuel Draper was "a young man of correct habits and handsome abilities, industrious and a good workman." Stones in cemeteries still tell stories! Thanks to Tony for taking this picture, and thanks to Google Books for helping me learn about this early Massachusetts printer!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Andreas Kromer, 1786-1859

According to St. Marys' Cemetery interment records, Andreas Kromer was born on November 18, 1786, and he died on April 5, 1859. The 1850 U.S. Census lists an Andrew Kromer in Perkins Township, Erie County, Ohio. At this time he was aged 63, and stated that his birthplace was in Germany. His wife's name was Margrett. Several other Kromer family members were listed in the household, including: Ferdinand, Charles, Joseph, Andrew, and Elizabeth, ranging in age from 8 to 32. A portion of an 1863 map shows the Kromer family property in Perkins Township. The names of the sons of Andrew Kromer can be seen at the bottom center of this map fragment.

In the early 1940s, the U.S. Government bought land from several Perkins Township farmers, in order to build a munitions factory for the war. This inscription on the back of the tombstone of Andreas/Andrew Kromer states that the Kromer ancestors' tombstones and remains were moved by the U.S. Government in 1941, from their original location on the family plot in Perkins Township to the St. Mary's Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Italian Vital Records at FamilySearch.Org

Image from

Though I have no Italian heritage, several of my cousins and friends and co-workers have ancestors who hail from Italy. At FamilySearch.Org there are a wide variety of Italian vital records, some indexed, and some that are images only, that are not indexed. This week I had a chance to browse through two different regions in Italy:

Palermo Civil Registrations


Agrigento Civil Registrations

This process involves browsing through page after page of chronological data. This Italian Indexing Guide  helps in understanding the layout of an Italian birth  record, and translation of key words.  words

Buona ricerca!

Below is a picture of my Uncle Dominic, whose father was born in Italy. Uncle Dom loved his family!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Civil War Encampment This Weekend in Sandusky, Ohio

A Civil War Encampment will be held on the grounds of the Ohio Veterans Home on August 22 and August 23, 2015.  This free event is a terrific way for people of all ages to learn about American history. If you can't make it to this event, the Museum on the grounds of the Ohio Veterans Home is open year round.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: Circus Poster from 1962

On Sunday, August 19, 1962, the Clyde Beatty and Cole Brothers Circus performed at 2 p.m. in Sandusky on East Perkins Avenue, near the A and P Store. The Jaycees sponsored the circus. The following ad appeared in the Sandusky Register of August 15, 1962. The poster pictured above is now on display on the second floor of the Follett House Museum.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Dr. Carl Heiter, 1828-1904

In the 1867 Sandusky City Directory, Dr. Carl Heiter's name was listed as Charles Heiter. His occupation was physician, and he boarded at the National House. In April of 1867, Charles/Carl Heiter married Bertha Rosa. The wedding was solemnized by Sandusky Mayor Ferdinand Geiersdorf.

In the 1880 U.S. Census for Sandusky, Dr. Carl Heiter was a physician residing on Fulton Street. He and his wife Bertha listed their birthplaces as Poland. Their four daughters, ranging in ages from 2 to 12, were all born in Ohio. On August 14, 1904. Dr. Carl Heiter died at the age of 76. Dr. Heiter came to the United Stated from Poland as a young man, and became a well respected physician in Sandusky. I am sure that other immigrant residents of Sandusky appreciated going to a doctor, who like themselves, were not natives of America.. Dr. Carl Heiter was laid to rest at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Campbell Monument at St. Joseph Cemetery

Between 1874 and 1895, five children of Timothy and Catherine Campbell all passed away.

John Campbell died in August, 1874,
Thaddeas Campbell died in May 1881,
William Campbell died in March, 1895.
Fanny Campbell died in February 1888.
Catherine Campbell died in May, 1882.

Though their lives were short, the memory of these young members of the Campbell family members lives on at St. Joseph Cemetery in Sandusky.

A notebook containing the names and death dates from hundreds of interments at St. Joseph Cemetery is in the genealogy section of books at the Sandusky Library.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Simmons

This beautiful monument at Clyde's McPherson Cemetery honors the memory of Thomas A. and Elva A. Keefer Simmons. Thomas C. Simmons served in the Ohio 22nd and the Maryland 52nd Infantries during the Civil War, according to the 1890 Veterans Schedules, accessed at Ancestry Library Edition. He died at the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home on May 23, 1929. Mrs. Keefer had died in Michigan on April 17, 1928, while their son Harry Simmons, passed away in Cleveland just a few weeks before the death of his father in 1929.

The tombstone is in the shape of a couch or bench, with pillows for Mother and Father on either side.

A G.A.R. marker and an American flag are found on the right side of the Simmons monument. An obituary for Thomas C. Simmons appeared in the May 25, 1929 issue of the Sandusky Register. At the time of his death, Mr. Simmons was survived by two daughters, a daughter in law, and a grandson.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Museum Day Live! Sponsored by Smithsonian Magazine

Click here to learn how you can obtain free tickets to a museum near you. This annual event is sponsored by the Smithsonian magazine. Several museums on the list are just a short drive for my family!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: Sandusky Cement Company Sponsored a Radio Program from Cleveland, Ohio in the 1920s

According to the website of the Cleveland Orchestra, in the 1920s, the Sandusky Cement Company, which had at one time been known as the Medusa Portland Cement Company, sponsored radio programs which featured the Cleveland Orchestra playing from the Masonic Auditorium in Cleveland. The broadcasts were named the "Medusa Period," in honor of the Medusa cement products made by the Sandusky Cement Company. These radio programs brought quality music into the homes of people who may not have ever been able to travel to Cleveland to hear the orchestra in concert. Check out this interesting post at the website of the Cleveland Orchestra. Maybe your grandparents tuned in on their radio!