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.

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