Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mary Angela Mescher (1869-1951) "52 Ancestors"

Well, now we are on week 9 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. I was really cutting this one close. I have been trying to have at least one post in the queue at all times but last week I was on a business trip and this week I had two Eagle Scout Courts of Honor, had to prepare for the final exam for my students and started my new job as supervisor for the Everglades South team for the US Fish & Wildlife Service. No wonder I am just now getting to my usual Friday blog post. But at least I am getting it done before my self imposed deadline and keeping my streak going for the 9th week.

St. Rose, Ohio today (Source: Google Maps)
This week I am writing about Mary Angela Mescher (1869-1951), my great grandmother. Mary was the second wife of Emil Garman (1858-1932) who I wrote about previously. Mary was born on 3 January 1869 in St. Rose, Marion Township, Mercer County, Ohio.  As you can see in the image to the right, St. Rose is a bustling town, home to a couple dozen people today. Imagine what it must have looked like 145 years ago when Mary was born. Her parents were Henry (1838-1871) and Maria Catherine Leugers Mesher (182-1890). Both of her parents were born in St. Rose and lived there their entire lives. Mary's grandfather, Frederick Mescher was given a land grant of 80 acres in St. Rose on 2 March 1837. Mary was one of six children from this marriage. Her siblings were Mary Catherine (1865-1865), Bernard Henry (1866-1866), George (1867-1868), Elizabeth (1871-1961), and Caroline (1872-1946). As you can see, three of her siblings died early on in their lives, making Mary the oldest of the three surviving children from this marriage. On 18 August 1871, when Mary was 2 years old, her father died. Her mother remarried on 1 February 1872 to John Gehle and had five more children by this marriage. Those children were Herman (1873-1970), Bernard George (1876-1953), Joseph Harman (1878-1967), Catherine (1880-1968), and John Herman (1882-1955).

On 25 April 1888, Mary Mescher (age 19) married Emil Garman (age 29), a German immigrant and local farmer. Emil had only been in the United States for six years before they were married. Mary and Emil had 15 children: Frances Theresa (1889-1949), Anna Mathilda (1890-1890), August Bernard (1892-1962), Rosa Carolina (1893-1972), Florentine (1894-1974), Edward Herman (1896-1962), Aloys Bernard (1898-1957), Marie (1899-1976), Josephina Rosa (1901-1984), Bertha Joanna Elizabeth (1903-1997), Ida Emma (1905-1987), Lawrence (1907-1975), Alvina (1910-1984), Marcella (1912-1999), and Velma Catherine (1915-2011).

In 1900 the family is living on a farm on Amsterdam Pike near Chickasaw, Marion Township, Auglaize County, Ohio, less than 3 miles northeast of St. Rose. During the 1910 census the family is living on a farm in German Township, Auglaize County, Ohio, about four miles east of St. Rose. In 1922 the family moved off the farm and into Maria Stein, a slightly larger town one mile to the east of St. Rose. Emil was about 62 years old and had been an active farmer his entire life. But by this time Emil was starting to suffer from his diabetes and had decided to retire from farming. The 1930 census lists the real estate valued at $1,000. Five of the children; Bertha, Lawrence, Alvina, Marcella, and Velma were still living at the home in 1930. After weeks of suffering, in January 1932 Emil went to St. Elizabeth's hospital in Dayton for treatment of gangrene in his right foot. The disease had progressed to a point that the doctors decided the only treatment would be to amputate his right leg. However, he was not able to survive such a drastic procedure and he died on 10 January 1932 following the surgery. Mary was left a widow with 14 children, the youngest being my grandmother Velma who was almost 17 years old. Mary was well taken care of by her adult children for the next twenty years. She eventually died on 19 June 1951 in Sidney, Ohio at the home of her daughter Florentine. At the time of her death she was survived by a sister, 12 children and a total of 154 descendants. She was buried in St. Johns cemetery in Maria Stein on 22 June 1951.

There is one thing interesting about the date of death for Mary Mescher Garman. She died on 19 June 1951, one day after the death of Rosa Bruns Meyer on 18 June 1951. Why is this interesting? Well, Mary's daughter, my grandmother, Velma married Ray Meyer, the son of Rosa Bruns Meyer. I didn't realize that two of my great grandmothers died within a day of each other until I was looking through the 22 June 1951 edition of the Minster Post and saw their obituaries. Rosa's funeral was on 21 June and Mary's funeral was 22 June.

Garman Family - Emil & Mary Mescher Garman seated in middle of second row (about 1930).

Friday, February 21, 2014

Frederick Huber (1864-1946) "52 Ancestors"

Week 8 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge and I am still writing. Not bad if I do say so myself, and I do. This week has been pretty busy with a lot of public activities including judging the Regional Science Fair and talking to a middle school for their Career Day. It is fun to work with the kids and help them learn more about the world around them. Using the theme of learning, I decided to write about Frederick Huber (1864-1946) for this week's blog. Frederick was a dedicated teacher, farmer and State Legislator. He was also my great-grand uncle.

Frederick Huber
Frederick Huber was born 10 October 1864 in Baden, Germany. His parents were Maxmillian and Pauline Derbelt Huber. According to census records, the Huber family immigrated to the United States in 1869-1870 and Frederick was naturalized in 1875. I have not yet found the 1870 or 1880 census record for the family so I am not exactly sure of the location where the family lived after immigrating. The Manual of Legislative Practice in the General Assembly (1920) states that Frederick was educated in the public schools of Cassella, Ohio and attended Ada University, which became Ohio Northern University, and the Normal School and Business Institute at Valparaiso, which later became Valparaiso University.

Frederick married Elizabeth Mescher (1871-1961) on 17 May 1893 in St. Rose, Mercer County, Ohio. Elizabeth Mescher was the daughter of my great-great grandparents, Johan Heinrick Mescher (1838-1871) and Maria Catherine Leugers (1842-1890). Elizabeth had previously been  married to Clemens Herman Garmann (1864-1891) who was the son of my great-great grandparents Johann Clemens Van Lay (1824-1900) and Anna Maria Theresia Garmann (1830-1886). Elizabeth had one child, a daughter, by her first marriage. Her daughter was Cecilia Garman (1890-1890), who died at the age of 4 months.

In 1900, Fred (age 35), his wife Elizabeth (age 28) , their children Rosie (age 6), Joseph (age 2) and Mary (age 7 months) are living near Celina in Montezuma, Mercer County, Ohio. Fred is listed as a farmer in this census. Additionally, there is a boarder in the home, Ben Gehle (age 23), who is employed as a laborer on the farm.

In 1910 Fred is listed as a teacher in a public school. During this time he also served for several years as the clerk on the local board of education. His family consisted of himself (age 46), his wife Elizabeth (age 37), and their children Rosina (age 16), Joseph (age 12), Maria (age 10), Gregor (age 8), Frederick (age 6), Herbert (age 4), Oliva (age 3) and Charles (age 1 year 6 months). The census states that Elizabeth had 10 children, 2 of which died. The deaths would have been her daughter Cecilia (1890-1890) and a son Henry (1896-1898).

Frederick was elected as the representative of Mercer County to the Ohio House of Representatives during the 82nd and 83rd General Assemblies. He was a member of the Democratic Party and served on several committees, including: Codes, Courts, and Procedures; Common Schools; Public Parks and Works; State and Economic Betterment; and Agriculture. After leaving government service Frederick returned to farming at his home in Franklin Township in Mercer County, Ohio.

In 1920 Fred is farming. His family consists of himself (age 55), his wife Elizabeth (age 48), and their children Joseph (age 22), Mary (age 20), Gregor (age 18), Frederick (age 16), Urban (age 14), Oliva (age 12), Charles (age 11) and Paulina (age 8). Joseph is listed as a farm laborer. Urban, Oliva, Charles and Paulina are attending school.

In 1930 Fred is still farming. His family consisted of himself (age 65), his wife Elizabeth (age 59), and their children Fred (age 26), Urban (age 24) and Pauline (age 19). Fred and Urban are listed as farm laborers but Urban is listed as unemployed for the last 4 months. By 1935, Fred and Elizabeth, were living with their son Joseph and his family. In 1940 Joseph's family consisted of himself (age 42), his wife Anna Burbrink (age 43), their children Mary (age 15), Agnes (age 13), Esther (age 11), and his parents Fred (age 75) and Elizabeth (age 69), both listed as retired.

Frederick Huber died at his home on 27 September 1946 after a lengthy illness. He was 81 years old and had been married 53 years. His cause of death was listed as arteriosclerosis. He was buried in St. Aloysius Cemetery in Carthagena, Mercer County, Ohio on 1 October 1946.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Frederick Henry Lexow (1875-1931) - "52 Ancestors"

Sometimes when your life changes you start to think of things differently. I am in the process of moving for a new job as supervisor of the Everglades Restoration South team. I've been looking at houses and wondering about neighborhoods. Because of the move, this is the last semester that I will be teaching my class on cultural ecology. I have had a great time teaching students about how our history and culture effect the way that we view the environment that we live in. As part of the class we take weekly field trips to various areas around the city. Recently, we were taking a 2.5 mile hike through the historic district, talking about how the neighborhood developed after the 1901 fire and looking at a park that was designed by Henry Klutho in 1929-1930. The land for this park has historical significance to the city that many residents never think about. After the field trip on the way home I was listening to NPR and they were talking about neighborhoods that have disappeared with history. One of the speakers made the following comment "Someone forgot to tell the story." This hit me pretty strongly. Who are our storytellers today? Who is keeping the story alive? We as family history researchers are among those that are responsible for continuing the story of our history. That is one of the reasons that I originally titled my blog as "Our AnceStories" - to emphasize the stories that everyone has, no matter how short their lives were. I feel the responsibility and obligation to bring back the lost stories and perpetuate them into the future. I hope many of you also feel this responsibility and do your part to keep the history alive.

And now on to week 7 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Week 7, OMG! See I can be consistent, sometimes, maybe, if I don't have any other distractions. SQUIRREL! By the way, if you have been reading my blog since the beginning of the year you will remember that I made two resolutions. Well, I guess I am batting 0.500, since I stopped the other resolution after less than two weeks.

Now on to my story. This week I decided to stick with my wife's family for another story. This story is about Frederick Henry Lexow (1875-1931), her great-grandfather. Frederick was born on 7 September 1875 in Indianapolis, Indiana. His parents were J. Charles Lexow (1842-~1910) and Whilhelmina "Minnie" Dettof (1853-??). Both of his parents immigrated from Germany. Charles' immigration record indicates that he arrived in the United States on 2 July 1872 aboard the ship Silesia. He departed from Hamburg and arrived at Castle Garden. Charles and Wilhelmina married in Indianapolis on 8 September 1874, almost exactly one year before Frederick was born. Frederick had two brothers, Charles John (1877-1958) and William J (1884-??).

197 Orange Street, Indianapolis, Indiana (today)
The 1880 census has Charlie (age 35), Minnie (age 25), Frederick (age 4), and Charley Jr (age 2). Frederick's father is listed as being unemployed for two months. Charlie and Minnie are both listed as being born in Prussia, while the two boys are listed as being born in Indiana. They were living at 197 Orange Street, Indianapolis, Indiana. Today, this neighborhood is an industrial area. The story of this neighborhood has been lost to those who drive through it today.

270 Olive Street, Indianapolis, Indiana (today)
In the 1888 Indianapolis, Indiana City Directory the family is living at 270 Olive. It looks like this home has been demolished and is now a vacant lot. Frederick's father was employed as a truckman for the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis & Chicago Railway. By 1895, Frederick's brother Charles is also employed as a truckman. Frederick was listed as a machine hand but soon changed jobs and became a bottler between 1896-1897. In 1897 Frederick enlisted in the US Army, Company C, 1st Det Regiment and was stationed at Sullivan's Island, South Carolina. While he was there he met Mary A. Truesdell, daughter of Stephen P. Truesdell and Katherine Churchill. Frederick married Mary A. Truesdell (1881-1950) on 14 February 1898, at No. 5 College Street, Charleston, South Carolina.

In the 1900 census, Frederick and Mary were living at Sullivan's Island. Frederick had achieved the rank of Sergeant after serving for two years. Frederick is listed as being a veteran of the Spanish American War. He was discharged from the Army on 25 August 1900, but that didn't end his military career. After being discharged he and Mary moved back to Indianapolis to live with his family at 1513 Barth Avenue. His father was a flagman for the railroad by this time. His brother Charles was a stove monitor and William was listed as a helper as his employment. Frederick was employed as a clerk at 128 South Illinois. In 1904 Frederick is listed as living at 1606 Shelby, in Indianapolis but is back living at 1513 Barth Avenue in 1905. During this time he is also active in the Indiana National Guard, 2nd Regiment Infantry, 1st Battalion. He had reached the rank of 1st Lieutenant by 1906. In 1907 he is employed at Van Camp Hardware and Iron Company as a foreman.

1545 Barth Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana (today)
In 1910, Frederick (age 34), his wife Mary A. (age 28), and children Alita W. (age 8) and Herbert J. (age 4) are living at 1545 Barth Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana. This neighborhood looks much the same today as it did back then except that Interstate 65 now runs right through the back yard. The house was built in 1905. There were five people in addition to Frederick and his immediate family, living in this house. They included his father Charles Sr. (age 68), his brother Charles H. Jr. (age 32), his sister-in-law Estell Truesdell (age 17), and two boarders Martin Hardin (age 50) and daughter Mabel Hardin (age 9). Frederick's occupation is listed as hardware salesman. In 1913 Frederick and Joseph Truesdell, brother of Mary, are listed as patent holders for an excavating apparatus with patent number #1,066,683.

Frederick served in World War I as a Captain in the Infantry Reserve Corps, C1 US Artillery, M1 Georgia Infantry Battalion D, and 6 Co Infantry Provisional Training Regiment. In 1920 he is listed as a Captain in the Officers' Reserve Corps stationed at Mayport, Jacksonville, Florida. They remained in Jacksonville until their deaths. The family consisted of Frederick (age 47), Mary (age 38), Alita (age 17), Herbert (age 14), Estelle Truesdell - Mary's sister - (age 26), Charles Lexow (age 37) and his wife Lena (age 26). They were living at 2232 Fisher Street in Jacksonville, Florida. Fisher Street and the neighborhood no longer exist. Frederick and his brother were employed at Dixie Wholesale Company, and Alita was working in the Eve Larsen real estate office. In 1923 the family moved to 2000 Hill Street and Frederick started working at the municipal docks and terminals sometime between 1923-1924. He continued working at the docks until his death in 1931. Estelle Truesdell continued living with the family at least through 1933.

The family moved around quite a bit during the late 1920s and early 1930s. In 1928 they were living at 1639 E 8th. In 1929 they were living at 1830 East Beaver. In 1930 they were living at 901 Parker Street and 1806 East Duval. Herbert, Frederick's son, became a fireman at Fire Staton #1 in 1927. I don't know why they moved so often in the final years of Frederick's life.

Lt. Col. Frederick H. Lexow
Frederick died on 7 August 1931. His funeral was held at the Seashole Funeral Parlor at 1806 East Church Street on 10 August 1931 with Rev. A. C. Shuler of Calvary Baptist Church officiating. The pallbearers were all former officers who had served under Frederick. They included First Lieut. J. E. Fant, Second Lieutenants F. H. Sharp, Conrad Mangles, J. E. Dahl, L. W. Raulerson and W. A. Miller with the honorary pallbearers from the local Reserve Association being Lieut.-Col. Lynwood Evans, Col. Chester H. Wilson, Lieut.-Col. R. R. Milam, Lieut.-Col. Robert L. Seither, Capt. S. A. Marshall, Lieut. W. M. Bishop and Lieut. Hunter Lynde. The 124th Infantry supplied the firing squad for his funeral service. Frederick was buried in the family lot in West Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Stephen Piggott Truesdell (1841-1919) "52 Ancestors"

Ok, this is week 6 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge and I am already having problems thinking of new stories. I spent the week looking for information on a person to no avail. So I am falling back on an old name that I had researched several years ago. I asked my wife who I should write about this week and she said Katherine Churchill (1846-??) from South Carolina. I know almost nothing about Katherine but I do have a lot of information about her husband. So this week I will be writing about Stephen Piggott Truesdell (1841-1919), my wife's great-great grandfather.

Stephen Truesdell was the son of David B. F. Truesdell. David was born in New York but moved to Charleston, South Carolina prior to 1821 and was the single largest landowner on Sullivan's Island. David owned a plantation and interestingly enough, in 1837 while he was excavating some land on Sullivan's Island to build his house, he uncovered a Revolutionary War breastwork. The breastwork was believed to have been occupied by Colonel Thompson with 300 riflemen in his regiment, Colonel Clark with 200 regulars of the North Carolina line, Colonel Horry with 200 South Carolina militia, and was armed with an eighteen pounder and field pieces. The breastwork was instrumental in opposing the passage of General Clinton from Long Island while they were engaged with the fleet of Sir Peter Parker. After finding this breastwork, David Truesdell was able to collect approximately 50,000 bricks.

Advertisement for New York Oyster House
Charleston, SC (1823)
According to advertisements in the Charleston City Gazette, David Truesdell had started his own restaurant, known as the New York Oyster House at 32 Queen Street in Charleston by 1821. David applied for and received, a retail Spirituous Liquors license in 1823. By the 1840s David had started to farm oysters in the waters surrounding Sullivan's Island. In 1842, he submitted a petition asking for a grant to marsh land on Sullivan's Island but he was opposed by the town of Moultrieville which claimed ownership of those lands. In 1844, he was granted a plat for 400 acres of marsh lands on Bourons and Scotts Creeks. The town of Moutrieville continued to petition that the plat given to David Truesdell be revoked for many years. Finally on 28 April 1999 (yes, it was 1999) the town won it's battle when the General Assembly of South Carolina repealed the plat. In 1845, there is another plat for 645 acres of marsh lands on Scotts Creek granted to Stephen Piggott Truesdell. This is a little confusing since our Stephen would have only been 4 years old at the time. We haven't found another Stephen P. Truesdell in the area so I am not sure if it is for the same person or not. The oysters that the Truesdell family harvested were headed to one of the two restaurants the family owned. These restaurants were the New York Oyster House in Charleston and another in Columbia, South Carolina.

Now that I have set the stage for the family, we return back to the subject of this post, Stephen P. Truesdell. Stephen was born on 24 December 1841. We know of the following siblings; Jane Elizabeth, Francis W, and David B Truesdell. The 1850 census only lists D. Truesdell, age 60 as a tavern keeper. No children are included in this household. We do know that the tavern was associated with his oyster business. Additionally, the 1850 slave schedule lists twelve slaves owned by D. Truesdell. So, where are the children? I don't yet know.

In the 1860 census, Stephen (age 20) and his brother David (age 25) are living together in Christ Church, Charleston, South Carolina and are employed as oystermen. During the Civil War, Stephen enlisted in Company M, 1st (Gregg's) South Carolina Volunteers on 22 April 1861. He then joined the 1st Regiment, Company I, South Carolina Infantry (McCreary's 1st Provisional Army) on 20 July 1861. On 17 January 1862 he transferred to the Navy where he served as a Landsman, an inexperienced sailor, on the Confederate ironclad, CSS Virginia. On 18 March 1865, Stephen Truesdell's name is included on a report of Confederate refugees and deserters from the Gunboat Charleston, being captured and taking an oath of allegiance.

After the war, Stephen returned to South Carolina and married Mary Churchill (1848-??). They had the following children: George David (1866-1932), John F (1868-1902), Wyatt Akin (1870-1936), Stephen Wyatt (1875-??) and Joseph A (1877-1948). The 1880 census lists the family as living in Moultrieville and consisting of Stephen (age 39), Mary (age 32), George (age 13), John (age 11), Wyatt (age 10), Stephen (age 4), Joseph (age 2) and Catherine Churchill (age 15) sister-in-law. Stephen's occupation is listed as Marshall. Mary died sometime after the 1880 census and Stephen then married her sister Katherine Churchill (1846-??). Stephen and Katherine had the following children: Mary A (1881-1950), Jessie Edith (1883-??) and Estelle (~1894-??). Stephen's daughter, Mary Truesdell (Truesdale) was my wife's great grandmother. She married Frederick Henry Lexow (1875-1931) at No. 5 College Street, Charleston, South Carolina on 14 February 1898. Frederick Lexow and Joseph Truesdell worked together and are listed as the patent holders for patent #1,066,683, issued on 8 July 1913 for an excavating apparatus.

In 1900 Stephen is listed as being a fisherman and two of his sons, George and John are listed as being employed as carpenters. His wife is listed as being a housekeeper. Stephen died at the age of 78 years on 17 October 1919 at 1:30 pm at Sullivan's Island, Charleston County, South Carolina. His occupation was listed as fisherman. The cause of death is listed as senility. The funeral was held at his residence at 20 1/2 Sullivan's Island and was attended by a large number of family and friends from the island and Charleston. He was buried at 3:30 pm in the old burial grounds on Sullivan's Island on 18 October 1919. Members of his family have been working hard to encourage the upkeep of the cemetery where he is buried.