Saturday, April 23, 2016

Historic Key West Cemetery

Recently my co-worker Dennis, and his wife, had the opportunity to visit the Key West Cemetery in Florida. Knowing how much I enjoy historic cemeteries, Dennis took several pictures at the Key West Cemetery. (All pictures in this post are courtesy Dennis M.)  Several sculptures of angels are found at this beautiful cemetery.

Several of the tombstones are high above the ground in the Key West Cemetery, which is not seen  as often in cemeteries in the Midwest United States.

Thank you Dennis for taking these lovely pictures on your vacation! 

To learn more about the Key West Cemetery, see this document from the city of Key West. To see more pictures from the Key West Cemetery, see these images from the Florida Memory Project.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

William G. West, 1850-1913

William G. West was born in Sandusky, Ohio, in 1850, to William T. West and his wife the former Lydia Mahala Todd. For several years, William G. West helped his father manage the West House hotel, which had been built in Sandusky in the 1850s. By 1910, William G. West was listed in the U.S. Census in Prince George County, with his wife Cora. His occupation was farmer at that time. An article in the Norwalk Reflector of April 18, 1913, reported that William G. West had died at his country home in Virginia. His remains were returned to Sandusky, Ohio, for burial in the family lot at Oakland Cemetery. You can read much more about the West family in the Encyclopedia of Massachusetts available at the Internet Archive.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Herman Knupke

Herman Knupke was born in Germany in 1881. In the 1900 U.S. Census for Erie County, Ohio, Herman was residing in Sandusky with Gustave and Johana Knupke, ages 60 and 58, and 17 year old Lizzie. The family's surname was spelled Kemupka in the census listing. Herman stated in the census report that he arrived in the United States in 1883.

On May 30, 1905, Herman Knupke married Mary Hager in Erie County. An abstract of their marriage record is available at Family Search Labs in the Ohio Marriages Collection. Herman listed his parents names as Gust Knupke and Johanna Eichman, and Mary's parents were listed as Joseph Hager and Lena Brower. Herman's birthplace was Berlin, Prussia, and Mary's birthplace was Germany.

Herman Knupke, whose occupation was carpenter, passed away on June 12, 1923 at his Taylor Street residence in Sandusky. Oakland Cemetery interment cards list the cause of death for Herman Knupke as tuberculosis. Herman Knupke was survived by his widow, two sons, and five daughters. His tombstone, which lies flat against the ground, is located in Block F of Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Bend in the Road

In the picture above, I am helping my youngest brother Matt, as he learns to walk, in the back yard of our childhood home in Bay View, Ohio. Now we are all grown up, and Matt is facing a major change in his life. He has had Multiple Sclerosis for several years, now, and his balance is affected, as well as his mobility, vision and dexterity. He and his wife have decided that Matt will soon be going into a nursing home, so he can receive more medical care. Throughout all these challenges, Matt has never lost his sense of humor. Whenever someone spends time with him, he is always his old sweet self, and asks about how the other person is doing, their kids, their jobs, their latest vacation...I am so blessed that Matt has not become bitter. When he was in the hospital following an ankle fracture, he used to talk with the other people on the floor. He especially enjoyed asking people their "story" and how they happened to be upon the rehab floor. Some stroke victims would begin talking, and while they didn't even realize it, Matt's interest in their life helped the person improve their speech as they told the story of what brought them to the hospital. I love Matt with all my heart, and I wish this disease hadn't hit him so hard. His family and friends will be with him every step of the way. Below is a picture of Matt with several members of our extended family, as another brother, Paul, was inducted into the Margaretta High School Athletic Hall of Fame, for being a part of an outstanding high school baseball team back in the 1970s. (We come from a long line of Margaretta Polar Bear fans!)

One of my favorite memories is helping to plan a baby shower for my mom when she told us she was expecting Baby "number five." Aunt Betty did all the planning, really, and it was a great time in the old party room of the Log Cabin Restaurant. We have covered a lot of miles since that baby shower!!
Love you Matt O!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Mr. and Mrs. Patrick McNamee and Daughters

This monument at the St. Joseph Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio, honors the memory of an entire family. Patrick McNamee and Annie Martin were married in Erie County in October of 1872. They had their first child, Mary, in July of 1874. In the month of June, 1876, Patrick McNamee and John Randolph were working at the Whiskey Run Sewer, where they were trying to clear out rock. A dreadful accident took place, which was described in this brief article from the Osage City Free Press of June 16, 1876.

A shocking accident occurred at Sandusky, Ohio, recently, by which Patrick McNamee and John Randolph will lose their lives. Both were engaged in tamping down powder for a blast, when the tamping iron struck a piece of flint, the fire from it ignited the powder and an explosion followed. Both men were terribly mangled and burned. 

Both men lost their lives in this tragic accident.  Patrick McNamee was survived by his wife Ann, and young daughter Mary. Daughter Katherine L. McNamee was born in the fall of 1876, a few months after her father’s death. Ann and her daughters lived out their lives in a home on Reese Street in Sandusky, Ohio. Ann died on January 4, 1926, at the age of 82. Mary Cecelia McNamee passed away on September 14, 1958, and her sister Katherine Loretto McNamee died on May 28, 1961. All the members of the McNamee family were of the Catholic faith. I am sure Patrick McNamee came to the minds of his surviving wife and daughters, throughout the course of their lives.

At the base of the McNamee monument is the inscription:

"He giveth His beloved, sleep"

Monday, April 4, 2016

Ann Synnot, A Native of Ireland

A cross adorns the tombstone of Ann Synnot, who was buried at the St. Joseph Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio, after her death in 1904. Ann was born in Ireland about 1828. In the 1860 U.S. Census,  Ann Synnot, age 32, was listed a housekeeper in the residence of Catholic clergyman Rev. R.A. Sidley. From 1880 to 1900, Miss Synnot served as Father Sidley's housekeeper while he was a resident of Sandusky, Ohio. Father R.A. Sidley was the priest at Sts. Peter and Paul parish Sandusky, from 1871 to 1900. He had been the priest at the Holy Angels Church in Sandusky for a time in the 1860s. Miss Ann Synnot died on April 4, 1904. Her funeral services were held at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, and burial was at the St. Joseph Cemetery. Prrobate records on file at Ancestry Library Edition indicate that Ann had a brother and two sisters still residing in Ireland, as well as a cousin, Michael J. Doyle, of Cleveland, Ohio. On the same tombstone as Ann Synnot, is the name of another member of the Synnot family. John Synnot had passed away on March 19, 1876 at the age of 33.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

When the School Bell Rang, My Great Uncles and Aunts Listened...and So Did Grandpa!

According to an article which appeared in the April 2, 1922 issue of the Sandusky Register, my great uncles Andrew Orshoski and Frank Orshoski had perfect attendance at the Bay Bridge school, which was a part of the Margaretta Local School District at the time. As an adult, Uncle Andy Orshoski worked for Margaretta Schools, and he was very proud of his workmanship in keeping the Polar Bears' football field mowed!

In the last paragraph of the article above, I learned that my Great Aunts Maribel Storrs (later Mrs. Paul Parker) and Janet Parker (later Mrs. Paul Baumeister) and Great Uncle Paul Parker, and my maternal grandfather Steen Parker had all been neither absent or tardy at the Lincoln School in Perkins Township in March of 1922. Such fun to see so many relatives all in one brief article!  In the 1920s, there was a school in Margaretta Township in the small unincorporated community of Bay Bridge. I've been told that it was built to accommodate the children of the employees of the Medusa Cement Co. which operated in Bay Bridge from 1893 to the early 1960s. Later, children from Bay Bridge attended school at the Venice School. The old Bay Bridge School was located approximatley where the numeral 6 is on the historical map below.

In the 1920s, there were at last two schools located in the western portion of Perkins Township of Erie County. Most of the students at that time walked to school. In the 1950s, a new Perkins High School was built. Now Perkins has four school buildings in the district.