Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Isham Bell Browder, 1827-1862

According to  the book Church at the Crossroads : A History of First United Methodist Church Dallas, Isham Bell Browder was the son of  Mrs. Lucy Jane Monroe Browder, a niece of President Monroe. Lucy and her sons Isham and Edward moved from Missouri to Texas in 1845. Both Isham and Edward  Browder fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Sadly, Isham died of illness in 1862. He is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Dallas, Texas. Thank you to my nephew T. Renwand for taking this picture while on vacation!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Augustus and Mary Ann Cooke

Augustus Cooke was a native of Connecticut. A teacher by profession, he came to what is now Erie County in the late 1820s. He died about 1840.  His second wife was Mary Ann Eddy, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roswell Eddy, pioneer settlers of what is now Erie County, Ohio. Mary Ann had come to this area with her parents from Connecticut in 1817. By 1860, Mary Ann Cooke was a widow, and she was residing with her son Charles E. Cooke in Sandusky. In the 1860s, Charles Eddy Cooke and George A. Cooke were operating a dry goods store at the northwest corner of Water Street and Columbus Avenue. Later the brothers purchase the large building at the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Market. This building became known as the Cooke Block, and it has been an important piece of commercial property in downtown Sandusky for decades. Mary Ann (Eddy) Cooke died in May of 1888.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

George and Katharina Scherz, Natives of Germany

According to the 1900 U.S. Census, Katie and George Scherz were both born in Germany ,and they came to the United States in 1882. At that time, Mr. and Mrs. George Scherz were residing in Townsend Township, Sandusky County, Ohio, with their fourteen year old son, also named George. Mr. Scherz was aged 60, and stated his occupation as "farmer." Mrs. Scherz was age 57 in 1900. On July 7, 1912, George Scherz died at the age of 72. His funeral was held at the Bay Shore Church, with Rev. Theo. Stellhorn officiating. He was buried in Venice Cemetery, in Erie County. Mrs. Katharina/Katherine/Katie Scherz died on August 18, 1921. Her obituary in the August 19, 1921 issue of the Sandusky Register, stated that she had been a pioneer resident of Townsend Township.  Mrs. Scherz was buried beside her husband George in the Venice Cemetery. Mrs. Scherz was survived by two sons, Martin and Fred, ten grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

The beautiful monument honoring the memory of Mr. and Mrs. George Scherz is inscribed in German.


Katharina                                                   George Scherz
  Kaltschmidt                                               Geboren in Deutschland
Seine Ehefrau                                                1840-1912
Geboren in Deutschland

In English the inscription reads:


Katharina                                                   George Scherz
  Kaltschmidt                                              Born in Germany
His Wife                                                        1840-1912
Born in Germany

Monday, May 22, 2017

Great Great Grandpa Steen Earned a Life Scholarship to the Buckeye Business College

Recently I came across a document in the Schools Collection of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. It seems that Charles F. Steen, my great great grandfather, was awarded a life scholarship to to the Buckeye and Great Western Business College in 1869.

Upon payment of $45.00 tuition, Charles F. Steen could have all the privileges of the college for the rest of his life. The document was given to him by H.O. Stafford, Secretary, and A.C. VanTine, President of the College. Grandpa Steen pledged his honor to pursue his studies with diligence and to conduct himself on all occasions "as becomes a gentleman." Such a fun item to read! I have no idea how many years Grandpa Steen attended this college, but I convinced that in all the pictures I have seen of him, he did indeed conduct himself as a gentleman!

Note: The Buckeye Business College had several name changes throughout its existence in Sandusky, from about 1865 to the 1940s.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Thomas Hinde, Son of William and Eleanor

Thomas Hinde was born on October 29, 1841 to William and Eleanor Hinde. He died in Wheeling, West Virginia on May 19, 1897. According to his death record, Thomas Hinde was a railroad contractor. After his death, funeral services for Thomas Hinde were held at the Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Sandusky, Ohio, and burial was at the St. Joseph Cemetery.

Thomas Hinde was the brother of James J. Hinde, who was one of the founders of the Hinde and Dauch Paper Company in Sandusky, Ohio.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mr. and Mrs. Francis Raymond

According to her tombstone, Mrs. F.A.Raymond was born in Devonshire, England on January 19, 1816. She died on May 21, 1885. An obituary which appeared in the May 22, 1885 issue of the Sandusky Register read:

The death of Mrs Raymond, wife of Francis Raymond, is announced. Mrs Raymond had been an invalid for the past five years, and her death at an early hour Thursday morning was not entirely unexpected. She suffered a great deal for the past year, but her death was quiet, as her life had ever been, she passing away without a struggle. Mrs Raymond came to this city with her family in 1848, was a consistent member of the M. E. Church, and her life was that of a Christian lady, ambitions almost to the end. Her funeral will take place from the M E Church Sunday afternoon at 8 o'clock.

Francis Raymond died on July 1, 1907. His obituary appeared in the July 2, 1907 issue of the Sandusky Register. It read:

Francis Raymond, one of Sandusky's oldest residents, died at his home, 511 Jackson Street, at 2 o'clock Monday afternoon at the age of 88 years, 7 months and 19 days.Mr. Raymond was a pioneer, having lived here for over 75 years. He was born in Putnam County, New York, November 12, 1818, and came to Sandusky in 1832. Here he established himself in the grocery business and remained in it for many years. During the civil war he conducted the Raymond Hotel at the corner of Water and Wayne Streets, now known as the Scott building. Later he entered the hack business and was in it for a number of years. A few years ago he was a collector for W. A. Graham. Less than a year ago he suffered a slight stroke of paralysis at the Graham store and it was thought at that time that he would not recover. He became strong and vigorous again, however, and was able to go out on the streets. His death was caused by old age.

Mr Raymond leaves one daughter, Miss Maria and one son William F Raymond. The funeral will be held from the residence Thursday at two p.m., Rev. DuBois officiating. Interment will be made in Oakland cemetery.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Raymond were laid to rest in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mrs. Urania Polley, A Leading Sandusky Dressmaker

Mrs. Urania Davis Polley was born in 1827, and she died in May of 1905. Below is a transcription of her obituary from the May 13, 1905 issue of the Sandusky Register, which provides us with a brief look into her life.

Mrs. Urania D. Polley died Friday morning at the home of her sister-in-law Mrs. John R. Davis, with whom she had lived for the past three years. Mrs. Polley was well known to our older citizens, having been for many years one of the leading dressmakers here. She was born on Long Island, June 28, 1827, moved with her parents to Oswego County, N.Y., and in 1851 married Roswell F. Polley and came to to this city, her husband dying eight years later. She was a faithful member of the Congregational church during the more than 50 years that she resided here. A sister and two brothers survive her: Mrs. Maria D. Brown of Seneca County, and Ira T. and Josh B. Davis of this city. The funeral services will be held at Mrs. John R. Davis, 208 Washington Street, Monday afternoon at 3 o'clock.

Mrs. Urania Polley was laid to rest in Oakland Cemetery, beside her dear husband, who passed away on 1859.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Noah's Ark on the Sanborn Map at Cedar Point

Above is a portion of page 66 from the 1905 Sanborn Map for Sandusky, Ohio. Actually this set of maps was originally created in 1905, and then updates were made to it through 1950. Pictured is the Noah's Ark attraction at Cedar Point. This was a walk-through attraction that featured Noah fishing off the boat. Inside the boat were several animals, whose tails moved. My great grandparents, Roy and Ada Parker worked as concessionaires at Cedar Point, for the Concourse Amusement Company. This was one of the several attractions that they ran, with two other individuals from 1924 to the early 1950s.

The Sanborn Map shows that Noah's Ark was burlap covered. It had two electric motors and an air compressor, and there was a generator that ran the power. Adjacent to Noah's Ark was Hilarity Hall, and there was a concession stand very close to Noah's Ark. Here is a picture of my mom and aunt in front of Noah's Ark in the 1940s.

Below is a larger view of a portion of page 66 from the Sanborn Map.

You can learn a lot about the past structures in a given city by looking at old Sanborn Maps. To access them online, go to the Ohio Web Library. Select Genealogy, and then choose Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. Enter the city's name in the search box, and explore these interesting historical maps! (*Note: in the process, you may be required to enter your library card number to access this resource.) To learn more about Sanborn Maps, see this page at the website of the Library of Congress.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Miss Doris Grahl, Longtime Educator at Margaretta Local Schools

Miss Doris Grahl, seen above in a photocopy from an undated Margaretta News article, was my elementary principal at Venice School, which in the late 1950s was part of the Margaretta Local School district. To me, Miss Grahl always seemed like such a grand lady, and she was always professional, and she dressed very well. Somehow even both my parents knew Miss Grahl. Dad, who dropped out of school to join the U.S. Navy during World War Two, also held Miss Grahl is high regard. He enjoyed working as an officer of the Venice School P.T.A., where several of his children attended elementary school. Doris Grahl was born in 1912, to William and Anna (Klafter) Grahl. The family resided in Venice, Ohio, then in Margaretta Townhip of Erie County, Ohio. Miss Grahl graduated from Margaretta High School. She earned a bachelor's degree at Capital University, and her Master's degree from Bowling Green State University. As a Junior in High School, Doris Grahl was in the first group elected to the Margaretta Chapter of the National Honor Society.

Miss Grahl taught elementary school classes for several years, and later she was the Principal of both Venice and Bogart Elementary Schools. Miss Doris Grahl passed away on May 7, 2002, at the age of 89. She was survived by two brothers and a sister, and she had been predeceased by her parents, a brother, and four sisters. Funeral services for Miss Grahl were held at Trinity Lutheran Church, on Bardshar Road, very close to her home. Miss Doris Grahl was buried at Restlawn Cemetery, now known as Meadow Green Memorial Park Cemetery. An obituary for Doris Grahl appeared in the Sandusky Register of May 9, 2002.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Thomas Larkins, Who Died in a Railroad Accident in 1875

Thomas Larkins was born in County Tipperary, Ireland to Daniel and Joanna (sometimes listed as Judith) Skehan. His baptism was recorded in the parish of Killenaule, County Tipperary. By 1848, Thomas Larkins was living in Erie County, Erie. That year he was married to Anna Ryan, with FatherMachebeuf officiating at the service at Holy Angels.

Thomas and Anna Larkins had a large family, as seen in the 1870 U.S. Census. Sadly, Thomas Larkins was killed in a railroad accident on June 4, 1875. An article which appeared in the June 11, 1875 issue of the Sandusky Register stated that broken stay-bolts in the boiler were the cause of the tragic accident. A brief article about the death of Thomas Larkins appeared in an Annual Report of the Commissioner of Railroads and Telegraphs. Another man, Joseph Lees, Jr.,  was killed in the same accident.

The Thomas Larkins who died in this tragic accident was the older brother of my ancestor, Patrick Larkins. Both men married Irish young ladies with the surname of Ryan. How said for the many children of Thomas Larkins to lose their hard working father. Thomas Larkins was laid to rest at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, but so far a specific location has not been determined.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Miss Maria Hendry

Maria Hendry was the daughter of Judge Alonzo W. Hendry and his wife, the former Jane Penfield. She was born in Sandusky, Ohio on July 11, 1849. This was the same month in which the dreadful cholera epidemic struck Sandusky, but luckily Maria and her parents survived the epidemic. For many years, Maria worked in the office of the Erie County Recorder's Office, at the courthouse. On May 2, 1917, Miss Maria Hendry died suddenly in Penfield, Ohio. Her remains were returned to Sandusky for burial at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery, where she was buried in the family lot.