Sunday, February 28, 2016

Mary Loretta McQuillen, Died at Age Three

Mary Loretta McQuillen, daughter of H. and M. McQuillen died on February 28, 1883, at the age of three. She was buried at the St. Joseph Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio. Though worn after over a century of being exposed to the elements, a lamb adorns the top of the tombstone of Mary Loretta McQuillen. Rest in peace little one.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hunter and Edgar Miner, Children of Mr. and Mrs. M.F. Miner

Recently on a wintry day, I  came across this tombstone in Block 23 of Oakland Cemetery, which honors the memory of Hunter and Edgar Miner. These youngsters were the children of Mr. and Mrs. M.F. Miner. Edgar Miner was aged 1 years, 6 months, and 13 days, and he died on July 25, 1855. Hunter Miner had died on July 19, 1855, at the age of 3 (some sources state he was age 13.) How very sad for Mr. and Mrs. Miner to lose two children within a week's time! M.F. Miner, also known as Martin Fitch Miner, was an agent for a steamboat line that sailed the Great Lakes in the 1850s. The Daily Sanduskian of September 7, 1850 featured these advertisements for steamboat lines.

Martin F. Miner's first wife Stella, died in 1847. His second wife, Susan, died in 1854.After the death of Mrs. Susan Miner, Martin took as his third wife Elizabeth G. Heylman. In 1870, the Martin F. Miner family was residing in Carey, Ohio, where Martin was employed as a miller. By 1880, the Miner family had moved to Steuben County, Indiana. In 1900 the family had moved again, this time to Almena Township, Van Buren County, Michigan. On February 12, 1901, Martin F. Miner died in Van Buren County, Michigan. He lived a long and full life, and his ties to Sandusky, Ohio are still evidenced by the lovely tombstone of two youngsters he lost so long ago.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

William B. Rice, Civil War Veteran

William B. Rice was born to Charles and Laura Rice in Sandusky, Ohio on September 14, 1835. During the Civil War, Mr. Rice enlisted in Company B of the 101st Ohio Infantry. He enlisted as a Corporal, and he rose to the rank of Sergeant. On December 31, 1862, William B. Rice was captured at Stone's River. For a time he was imprisoned at the infamous Libby Prison, but eventually he was exchanged. After the Civil War, Mr. Rice came back to Sandusky for a short time. Later he lived in Chicago and Detroit, and eventually he moved to Los Angeles, California. In September of 1919, William B. Rice returned to Ohio for the 53rd Annual Reunion of the 101st Ohio Infantry. The unit, which was organized in Monroeville, originally had over one thousand men. By 1919, only 166 of the soldiers were still living. A brief article about the reunion appeared in the Sandusky Star Journal of September 3, 1919.

In 1921, it was believed that William B. Rice was the oldest man alive who had been born in Sandusky, Ohio. He shared his recollections of his time spent in Sandusky, and they were recorded in the April, 1925 issue of the Firelands Pioneer. He recalled that his father had a blacksmith shop in Sandusky. Circuses were held in the block south of Adams Street. There was a quarry not far from the public square, which provided the stone for Grace Episcopal Church, Oran Follett's house, and other homes in Sandusky. Mr. Rice attended school in the basement of the Episcopal Church, where he recalled that among the older scholars at the school were Rush Sloane, Jay Cooke, and F.D. Parish. You can read the entire article about the recollections of William B. Rice in the Firelands Pioneer. On January 10, 1925, William B. Rice died in California. Funeral services under the auspices of the G.A.R. were held in California, and burial was in the family lot at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. An obituary for William B. Rice was featured in the January 23, 1925 issue of the Sandusky Register.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: February 20, 2016

Randy at GeneaMusings has given us this challenge:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:

1) Think about who your neighbors were when you were a child.  Where did you live?  Who lived next door or across the street?  

2)  Tell us a story about one or more of your neighbors.  If you want to keep them anonymous, just use first names.   Do some research if you need to recall names and years.

3)  Share your story in your own blog post (but leave a comment on this post so we can find it), in a comment to this blogpost, or on Facebook or Google+.


Growing up in Bay View, Ohio, we had wonderful neighbors on our street. A couple that became like family to us was Ed and Agnes Balduff, who lived two doors down on Martin's Point Road. Bay View is a small community located in Margaretta Township, Erie County, Ohio, adjacent to the Sandusky Bay.

Our neighbor Ed taught my mom and I how to drive. His wife Agnes was a wonderful listener, and she loved us six Orshoski kids like we were her own! Agnes was always there to lend a helping hand at wedding and baby showers. When my dad, Paul Orshoski, Sr., was dying from cancer, Ed sat with Dad by the hour. Ed was older than my dad, and I think his heart was breaking to lose such a good friend. I don't have any pictures of Ed and Agnes, but the memories I have of them are as vivid as can be. After they died, Ed and Agnes were buried at Sand Hill Cemetery.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Albert C. Close

Albert C. Close was born on February 4, 1876 to John and Louise (Erckman) Close, who were both natives of Germany. In the 1880 U.S. Census, Albert was the youngest of seven children living in the John Close household in Sandusky, Ohio. In 1903, Albert C. Close married Walla Young, the daughter of Stephen M. and Belle Young. They were married in Huron County, Ohio, and Albert stated that his occupation was real estate agent. On April 22, 1931, Albert C. Close suffered a heart attack while he was on business at the Sandusky County Probate Court in Fremont, Ohio. He was only 55 years of age.

Several newspaper clippings covering the death of A.C. Close are found in the 1931 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK at the Sandusky Library. Mr. Close was considered to be "one of Sandusky's first and foremost citizens."  A tribute stated that he was "a good citizen, a capable business man, a political leader and as a husband and father whose devotion to his family an acknowledged virtue."  For thirty years Mr. Close was a leader in the Erie County Republican party. He was a close adviser to Ohio Congressman James T. Begg. Albert C. Close was very active in the community, having been a member of the Masons, Knights of Pythias, Order of Eastern Star, Sandusky Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, Sunyendeand Club, and the Sandusky Yacht Club. Mr. Close was survived by his wife Walla, and a son, Albert S. Close. Funeral services for Albert C. Close were held at the First Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. A.J. Funnell and the Rev. C. L. Alspach officiating. Burial was at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Mrs. Walls Young Close died in 1934, and she was buried beside her husband in the family lot at Oakland Cemetery.

A lovely floral arrangement adorns the monument of A.C. Close.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

John M. and Catherine Wirth

John M. Wirth was born in Germany in 1829. According to Erie County Probate Court records, John M. Wirth married Catherine Deehr on November 14, 1857. In the 1890 Schedule of Civil War veterans, John M. Wirth was enumerated with several other veterans from the Venice area of Margaretta Township, Erie County, Ohio. He had served in Company I of the 145th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Mr. Wirth is number 9 on the listing below.

John M. Wirth died in 1899, and he was laid to rest in the Venice Cemetery. Mrs. Catherine Worth survived him, along with several children. Mrs. Worth died suddenly on February 14, 1907, when she was staying with friends in Sandusky, Ohio. Rev. Theo. Stellhorn officiated at the funeral of Mrs. Wirth, and burial was at the Venice Cemetery. Pallbearers were: Fred With, George Wirth, William J. Frey, Darwin Zehner, John Diehr and Julius Diehr. A broken log adorns the top of the Wirth monument.Obituaries for Mrs. Catherine Wirth appeared in Sandusky Register on February 15, 16, and 18, 1907.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Census Taker Wrote Down the Wrong Name of Great Grandpa Parker's Wife in 1910

My great grandmother, Ada Steen, and her identical twin sister Alpha, were born to Charles and Sarah Steen on February 3, 1880.  Below is a picture of the Charles Steen family, in the late 1890s.

Grandma Ada marred Leroy Parker on March 7, 1901.

For an unknown reason, the census enumerator for the 1910 U.S. Census wrote down Alpha as the wife of Leroy Parker, instead of the name of her twin sister, Ada. Grandpa Roy was definitely married to Ada, and not Alpha! (By 1910, Alpha was married to Fred Martin, who ran a confectionery business in Sandusky.)

Even though the U.S. Census is considered a valid government record, be aware that sometimes mistake were made!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Plat Map of Perkins Township, Erie County,Ohio from the 1920s

A wide variety of historical maps is found at the website of the Erie County Auditor. Above is a portion of a 1920s era map of Perkins Township. My great grandfather Leroy J. Parker's name is listed at the corner of Taylor Road and Columbus Avenue, above the words "Acre 8." The name of my  great great grandfather, Charles Steen, can be seen at the top of this map, opposite his father-in-law's name, Henry Milner (number 16.) The full map can be seen at this link. When you look at the full map, you can see Oakland Cemetery, the Erie County Infirmary, and dozens of land owners who lived in Perkins Township in the 1920s. When you see the listing below, each link takes you to another menu of more maps. Take some time to investigate this interesting collections of historical maps! It helps you learn more about where your ancestors may have lived, and who their neighbors were. My mother told me time and again, that in the 1940s, in Perkins Township, neighbors were almost like family, as the farmers shared equipment, went to church and Grange together, and shared deeply in the joys and sorrows of everyday life in a rural setting.

Zilpha Vandercook, Died in 1848

Zilpha Vandercook was the daughter of L. and E. Vandercook. She died on February 10, 1848, at the age of 4 years and 6 months. She was buried at the Strong's Ridge Cemetery in Lyme Township, Huron County, Ohio.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Mrs. Barbara Schoepflin, 1844-1919

Mrs. Barbara Schoepflin, the widow of Henry Schoepflin, died on February 8, 1919. She was buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. The eight-sided stone reads "Our Mother" at the top of the stone, and "Gone but not forgotten" at the bottom of the stone. Mrs. Schoepflin had been born in Germany, and was a pioneer resident of Sandusky. An obituary which appeared in the Sandusky Register of February 9, 1919, reported that she was survived by four daughters, three sons, and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

John Seibel, A Native of Bavaria

According to Sandusky Then and Now, John Seibel was born on February 12, 1820 in Hauenstein, Rhenish, Bavaria, Germany.  In 1851 he married Margaret Bieck. That same year he emigrated to the United States, and settled in Sandusky, Erie County, Ohio. In the 1880 U.S. Census, John Seibel and his wife were residing in Sandusky, Ohio, and he listed his occupation as Grocer. In 1880 the Seibels had a large family of seven children. John Seibel died of blood poisoning on February 4, 1884. He was buried in the St. Mary's Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Catharine Sexton, Wife of Henry Sexton

According to marriage records at Erie County Probate Court, Catharine Bennett married Henry Sexton on Christmas Day in 1851. Sadly, Mrs. Catharine Sexton died on February 2, 1853, at the age of 28 years and 2 months. This touching inscription is found at the base of Catharine's tombstone at Perkins Cemetery, Erie County, Ohio:

How vain is all beneath the skies
How transient every earthly bliss
How slender all the fondest ties
That bind us to a world like this

Though some of the words have been worn away after all the years of exposure to the elements, a quick Google search helped me track down the inscription, which was found in a book of spiritual songs and poems.