Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Edwin Allen Rodeheffer (1923-1945) - "52 Ancestors"

52d Bomb Sq, 29th Bomb Gp, WWII
I decided to add one more story today. This one is in remembrance of the veterans who have fought and died to keep our country free.

The picture to the left is of the 52nd Bomber Squadron, Group 29, US Army Air Force during WW II. The man standing in the center of the photo is 2nd Lt. Edwin Allen Rodeheffer, Jr., my wife's second cousin 2 times removed. Edwin was born on 7 April 1922, the son of Rev. Edwin Allen Rodeheffer and Edna M Knierem. His father was a methodist preacher. Edwin had three siblings, Twila, Calvin and James. Since he was the son of a preacher he moved fairly frequently. He was born in Monroe, Ohio. In 1935 he was living in Toledo, Ohio and in 1940 he was living in Paulding, Ohio.

Edwin attended college and in 1942, after three years of school, he enlisted in the military to serve his country during WW II. Edwin was assigned to the 52nd Bomber Squadron and served in the Pacific theater. He served as a 2nd Lieutenant and Navigator on a B-29 bomber. On the evening of 19 June 1945, his plane, along with 122 other B-29s took off from Guam air field on a mission to bomb the city of Shizuoka, Japan. It was a clear night and visibility was perfect for their flight. This was to be a nighttime incendiary raid. As the 123 B-29s approached the city and began dropping their bombs, the city below began to glow with fires and the heat caused turbulence in the air along with blocking visibility due to the amount of smoke. During the confusion, Edwin's plane (#44-69881) collided with another B-29 (#42-65373). Both planes went down near the city and all 23 airmen were killed in the crash. The remaining 121 B-29s returned to their base after a successful mission.

A resident of the town, Fukumatsu Ito, found the wreckage of the bombers and buried the US airmen and built two monuments at the location. One of the monuments was a memorial to the more than 2,000 residents of the city that were killed that night. The other was a monument to the 23 airmen that lost their lives. Since 1972, there has been an annual memorial service at the site to remember the victims of this event. In 2008, the ceremony was attended by members of the Bomber Squadron who placed a headstone with the names of the fallen airmen at the site.

In 1949 the airmen were repatriated to the US and buried in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.

Elizabeth Bruns (1860-1916) - "52 Ancestors"

Hello again. Somewhere along the line I missed another week of writing. This is week 46 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. The last week has been interesting. I have started trying to find the right person to write about several times. Saturday morning I started working on the Brucken family again only to end up in the Koverman family. So I took a break and went on an airboat ride with the family. It was a beautiful day, sunny and in the 70s. When I got back home I tried again. This time I ended up in the Hilgefort family. I found a young man who died in an accident in August Wise's sawmill. The newspaper article was pretty graphic:

While Henry Hilgefort was in the act of mending a fly wheel belt in a saw mill near Berlin, 6 miles south of here, he was caught in some way and hurled with tremendous force around the machinery, mangling him in such a way as to produce instant death. He was picked up in pieces, and could not be recognized.

Joseph Farno and Elizabeth Bruns Farno
On Sunday, I tried to focus my research again and started in my Bruns and Hilgefort line but ended up in the Mescher and Dahlinghaus lines. I did get a lot of research done and found several new families to add to my research but I just couldn't find the right person to write about. I blame it on my ADD. For some reason I kept coming back to the Bruns line as I was doing my research and then I found this wonderful photograph of Elizabeth Bruns and her husband Joseph Farno. So I decided to work on her story. She is my 1st cousin 3 times removed.

Elizabeth Bruns was the daughter of Johann Heinrich Frederich "Frederick" Bruns (1835-1907) and Anna Mary Buschman (1838-1868). She was born 16 November 1860 near Ft. Loramie, Shelby County, Ohio. She was the second of five children born to this marriage. Her siblings were Joseph (~1859-?), Herman (1863-1867), John (1865-1938) and Bernard (1867-1941). Herman died on 14 July 1867, four months after Bernard was born. Her mother died a little more than a year later at the age of 30, on 9 November 1868, one week before Elizabeth's eighth birthday.

Elizabeth's father, Frederick Bruns remarried about two years later to Maria Engel Speller (1843-1914), a German immigrant. They had three more children, Henry (1871-1959), Herman (~1874-??), and Frederic William (1880-1937).

Elizabeth grew up on the family farm near Ft. Loramie and married Peter Brucken on 25 October 1881 in St. Michael's Church in Ft. Loramie. This marriage did not last very long since Peter died about seven months later on 15 May 1882. Elizabeth then married Joseph Farno (Varno) (1858-1920). Joseph was the son of Bernard Farno and Catherine Cemont, both immigrants from Germany. Joseph grew up on his family's farm in Cranberry Prairie, Mercer County, Ohio and decided to make farming his career also. In 1900, he and Elizabeth, along with their seven children, Frederick John, William Henry, Julius John, Ferdinand Louis, Mary Sophia, Rosa Clara and Antonio Henry were living on a rented farm in Butler Township, Mercer County, Ohio.  Two of the children, Frederick and William, were working on the farm while most of the other children, except Antonio who was too young, were attending school. By 1910, the family had moved to another rented farm. This one was located in Granville Township, Mercer County, Ohio. Two of their children, Rose and Anthony, were living at the home. The next year was a busy one for the family. Their son, Louis Ferdinand, married Mayme Ahrns on 8 February 1911. Their daughter, Rose Clara, married Bernard John Schwieterman three months later on 10 May 1911. John Julius married Frances Louise Quinter on 6 September 1911.

About 1913, Joseph and Elizabeth moved to Minster and lived on N. Frankfort Street.  Elizabeth died on 19 April 1916, at the age of 55. After her death, Joseph moved to Frenchtown, Darke County, Ohio where he died on 22 July 1920.

Exactly two years after Elizabeth died, her son Louis Ferdinand died on 19 April 1918. Louis had been married to Mayme Ahrns for seven years and they had three children, Anna Maria (age 5), Bernard (age 2), and William Louis (2 weeks old). They were living in Deshler, Ohio at the time and Louis was working for the Wells Fargo Express Company traveling between Pittsburgh and Chicago transporting packages. On Friday the 19th of April at 3:20 a.m. he was carrying packages to the B&O RR car to prepare for the early morning departure from Defiance, Ohio. As he approached the train, it moved and he fell. His legs were instantly severed by the rail wheels. He died at the Defiance hospital five hours later.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lawrence Ferdinand Lochtefeld (1891-1968) - "52 Ancestors"

Hi everyone. Did you miss me? I had to take the last couple weeks off from my blog. I was at training up in West Virginia for a week and then my parents came by for a few days visit. So, now I am trying to get back to writing. Welcome to week 44 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.

The fall is a time when we notice the leaves changing color (unless you live in Florida, like me) and we get ready for several big holidays. We just had our Fall Festival and Chili Cookoff at church yesterday. I was inspired to try my hand at chili this time. I have never made chili before so this was an opportunity to try a recipe I picked up at the store. My wife likes to joke that I don't know how to follow recipes. I use them as guidelines and often change them. So to make it more challenging, I decided to change the recipe to a vegan dish. The end result - I won the competition. I guess enough people liked my recipe to beat out the other ten or so entries.

Another thing with the fall is the time change. So what do you do with that extra hour? I decided to take advantage of the extra hour to research a family in my tree. I ended up choosing Lawrence Ferdinand Lochtefeld. As I researched him I realized that this was going to be an interesting family to research but that it would probably be a short story. He was a farmer who experienced many tragedies during his life. Lawrence was my 1st cousin 3 times removed on my father's side and 3rd cousin 3 times removed on my mother's side.

Lawrence Ferdinand Lochtefeld was born on 2 April 1891, in St. Rose, Mercer County, Ohio. His parents were John Bernard Lochtefeld (1862-1932) and Catherine Hoying (1864-1948). Lawrence had at least 11 brothers and sisters and was the fourth born child. Several of his siblings joined the Catholic clergy, including his sister, Sis. Mary Emma Lochtefeld (1894-1928) and brother, Rev. Melchior Joseph Lochtefeld (1905-1984). Two of Lawrence's siblings died at birth. They were Catherine, born/died 10 March 1886, and Joseph, born/died 10 February 1899.

Lawrence married Maria Agnes Hausfeld prior to 1917. At the time he registered for the WW I draft on 5 June 1917, he listed her as his wife and he listed his occupation as a self employed farmer living in Chickasaw, Mercer County, Ohio. Maria Agnes Hausfeld was the daughter of Frederick Clemens Hausfeld and Mary Elizabeth Boeke. She was born two months after Lawrence, on 15 June 1891 in St. Johns, Mercer County, Ohio and she preferred to be called Agnes.

Lawrence and Agnes had their first child, Julitta, on 27 October 1918. Julitta had some serious problems and was institutionalized at the Institute for Feeble-Minded Youth in Columbus, Ohio. She only lived to the age of 8 and died at the Institute due to bronchopneumonia with a contributory illness of Furunculosis or chronic boils. Their second child was Omer. He was born on 8 December 1921 and died at the age of 78, on 8 August 2000. Their third child, Cletus, was born on 31 August 1925. Cletus' birth was very difficult on Agnes and she died from eclampsia on the day Cletus was born. This probably contributed to Cletus' poor health and mental handicap. He too was institutionalized at the Institute for Feeble-Minded Youth but he went to a location outside Columbus in Orient, Pickaway County, Ohio. Cletus died at the Institute on Christmas Day, 1933, at the age of 8. The cause of his death was Pellagra. This disease is caused by the lack of vitamin B3 or niacin usually due to the body's inability to produce tryptophan, an essential amino acid. The symptoms can be severe sensitivity to sun, peeling or scaling of the skin, and aggressive behavior.

On 22 February 1927, Lawrence married Elizabeth Luebke. Elizabeth was the daughter of Frederick Luebke (1846-1929) and Elizabeth Kohr (1854-1950), both of whom were immigrants from Germany. Elizabeth was born on 9 October 1891. Lawrence and Elizabeth had three children. Their first child was Gregor who was born 7 December 1927. Their second child was Mary Ann, born about 1929, and their third was Hugo who was born on 29 September 1931.

Lawrence lived on his farm near Chickasaw, Mercer County, Ohio for his entire life. Sometime during his life he must have had an accident because his WW II draft registration points out a scar on his nose and forehead. I do not know the cause of this scar but I can take a guess of a few ways that it could have happened on the farm. In addition to farming, Lawrence served on the Chickasaw School Board for several years.

His son Omer, left the farm but remained near the family farm in Chickasaw. He became a rubber worker. He married Marietta Rindler on 3 July 1948. Lawrence's brother, the Rev. Melchior Lochtefeld performed their marriage ceremony. His son Gregor, was a veteran of the US Army during the Korean War and worked at New Idea where he built farm machinery but continued to live on the family farm. Gregor died on 14 December 2002. On 24 May 1950, Mary Ann married Paul Edgar Kremer and left the farm. Lawrence's youngest son Hugo also remained on the farm until his death and never married.

Lawrence's health began to decline after he turned 70. He had been experiencing heart problems for at least four years prior to his death on 16 January 1968. He had been in Joint Township Hospital in St. Marys for ten days before his death. He was 76 years old. His death was hard on the family but his son Hugo took it the hardest and became despondent. Hugo was found a day later hanging from the rafters of the barn of an apparent suicide. Hugo and his father were buried in the cemetery at the Precious Blood Church on the same day. The funeral was officiated by Rev. Melchior Lochtefeld, Lawrence's brother.