Jan 24

Nimrod Headington Journal, 1852

It was 1852. Gold was discovered in California a couple years before and young men were rushing to California to stake their claims, hoping to strike it big and make their fortunes.

This was also the dream of one of my ancestors, Nimrod Headington.  

Nimrod Headington (1827-1913)

Nimrod Headington was the son of Nicholas (1790-1856) and Ruth (Phillips) (1794-1865) Headington. Nimrod was born in Mt. Vernon, Knox County, Ohio, on 5 August 1827, and moved to Portland, Jay County, Indiana, by 1860. He served in the 34th Indiana Infantry during the Civil War as a Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, and Major. Nimrod died 7 January 1913 and is buried in Green Park Cemetery, Portland. Nimrod Headington is my fourth great-granduncle, the brother of my fourth great-grandfather, William Headington (1815-1879). [1]

Nimrod married Mary Ann McDonald (1829-1855) in Delaware County, Ohio, in 1849. [2] They had a son a year later. Despite the fact that he had just started a family, Nimrod took off for California in February of 1852, hoping to stake his claim on a profitable gold mine. As were so many others, he was hoping to strike it rich. In February of 1852 he traveled to New York, where he boarded a ship bound for San Francisco, sailing all the way around the tip of South America to get there. This was before the Panama Canal was constructed and was evidently a good way to get to California from the east coast.  

One of the best things about Nimrod’s journey is that he kept a journal of his travel by ship to California and of his time in the California gold fields, panning for gold.

Nimrod Headington Journal, 1852, recopied by him in 1905.

Last year a reader shared Nimrod’s journal with me. His late wife Karen (Liffring) was a great-great-granddaughter of Nimrod Headington and she had acquired the original handwritten journal from her father John Liffring. The journal has been in the Liffring family since 1905, when Nimrod made a hand-written a copy for his daughter Thetis O. Tate. Karen (Liffring), who was a book editor, died of cancer in 2010, at age 55. During the last two years of her life she transcribed Nimrod’s journal, which documents his travels between February of 1852 and spring of 1853. [3]

Nimrod Headington Journal, 1852, recopied by him in 1905.

Today begins a series of blog posts, the 1852 journal of Nimrod Headington. I hope you will find the journal as interesting as I do.

START OF THE TRIP

On the night of February 16th, 1852, we weighed anchor at New York and hoisted sail bound for San Francisco, California, with 330 passengers on board the clipper ship Race Hound. Commanded by Captain Copeland, the ship was a beautiful specimen of her kind: a three-mast clipper ship and copper bottom with a larger-sized hound in running position trimmed in gold on her bow. 

On February 17th, we were under full sail and headed southeast and ran 13 knots per hour. The sea was quite rough, which made many of the passengers sea sick—some of them moaning as if in great pain, others vomiting, while a few others were laughing at their distress. As for myself, I escaped being seasick but felt somewhat distressed to see so many in distress. You could hear all kinds of remarks—some praying, some wishing they had never started. One poor fellow said, “If I was at home with my mother, I would stay there!”

February 18th. The wind continued from the same direction and increasing every hour. The sea became very rough and the waves ran high, and occasionally a spray would dash over the side or bow of the ship, wetting those on deck all over. Then those that escaped would roar with laughter while those who got soaked would hunt for dry clothing.

The wind and the weather continued about the same until Saturday, February 19th, when we struck the trade winds. The wind changed and came from the west, and the sea ran down, and the passengers began to recover from their seasickness.

Sunday came, and it was a beautiful day. The sun shown so brightly on the deep blue water. No land in sight. It was warm and pleasant on deck, and everyone that was able to crawl was on deck. We had some notebooks, and we enjoyed the day in singing, making little speeches, and telling stories. There were quite a number of good singers and some musicians in our company, several violins, and some horns.

About eight o’clock that night, the wind changed to the northwest and blowed tremendous hard at ten o’clock. Our top mast and main [tegalant] mast was carried away by the storm. This left us in a very bad condition. The ship presented a horrible and pitiful-looking spectacle. Many of our passengers were considerably frightened, and I will not say that I felt at all easy over our situation. I made it a point to watch and converse with the sailors. They are so very harshly treated by the ship’s officers that they are glad to talk to anyone who will talk kindly to them, and when I could see that they were not frightened, it made me feel better, as I was not seasick any. I had good opportunities to talk with them when they were not busy.

This storm continued until Wednesday, the 25th, when it cleared up and was pleasant, but the sea waves ran high for several hours. The sailors all hands went to work, taking down the broken spars and ropes and preparing to erect new ones.

On the 26th, a Mrs. Bresler, the wife of a merchant of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, died. She was on her way to join her husband, who had gone to California a few months before. The funeral service was led by the ship’s captain, and she was buried the same day. There being no minister on board, it is the duty of the captain to officiate. He read the 15th chapter of Corinthians and a few of us gathered around the corpse as it lay on the plank, ready to be lowered into the sea and sang “Jesus, Lover of My Soul.” This was a sad sight for those who had never been to sea.

February 27th. The sea has run down. The day is pleasant and almost calm, which very moves in our favor—being dismasted. It gave the sailors a chance to erect new masts and spars.

February 28th. Two of the ship’s crew got to fighting, and the people on board crowded around. The fighters brought all on one side of the ship until they came very near capsizing us. The captain cried out to trim ship, and a rush was made for the other side, and soon the ship was all right.

To be continued…

I find it interesting that Nimrod mentions the names of people, some of whom died onboard the ship. It makes me wonder if there is any other record of their deaths, or perhaps their families never knew what happened to them.

I will post Nimrod’s journal in increments, but not necessarily every week.

[1] Tombstone Tuesday—Nimrod Headington, Karen’s Chatt, 13 Oct 2013.

[2] “Ohio County Marriages, 1789-2013,” Delaware, Vol. 2, no. 212, Nimrod Headington & Mary Ann McDonald, 22 Nov 1849; online database, FamilySearch.org  (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939K-BG9B-6Y?i=93&cc=1614804&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AX8XB-BF7 : viewed 16 Jan 2020).

[3] Nimrod Headington journal, transcription and photos courtesy of Ross Hill, 2019, used with permission.

Jan 21

Tombstone Tuesday–Walter L. & Paula H. (Buechner) Allmandinger

Walter L & Paula H (Buechner) Allmandinger, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Walter and Paula (Buechner) Allmandinger, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

ALLMANDINGER
Walter L.
1900-1969
Paula H.
1901-2004

Walter Leonhard Allmandinger was born in Mercer County, Ohio, on 22 February 1900, the son of William (1867-1919) and Barbara (Hoehamer) (1877-1929) Allmandinger. He was baptized 11 March 1900 at Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga, with his parents serving as sponsors. 

At that time the William Allmandinger family lived in Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, where they attended Zion Lutheran at Chatt. About 1904 the family moved to Willshire Township, Van Wert County, where they then attended Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm.

The William Allmandinger household in 1900, living in Mercer County: William C, 32; Barbara S, 22; Richard E, 1; Walter L, 3 months; and Henry Grepner, 29, boarder. The father William was a farmer. [1]

The William Allmandinger household in 1910, living in Van Wert County: William, 43; Barbara, 33; Richard, 11; Walter, 10; Marie, 9; Caroline, 8; Bertha, 6; Hugo, 4; Fredrick, 2; Lila, 3 months; and Leroy Lautzenheiser, 20, servant/farm work. [2] 

The father William Allmandinger died in 1919. His widow Barbara with their children in 1920: Barbara S, 42; Richard E, 21; Walter L, 19; Marie M, 18; Caroline K, 17; Bertha M, 16; Hugo J, 13; Fredrick N, 12; Lillie L, 9; Minnie l, 8; Martin W, 6; Aaron L, 2; and Anna B, 2. [3]

Walter Allmandinger married Paula Buechner at Zion Schumm on 2 June 1929. They were both were members of the congregation and were married by Rev. R.O Bienert. Aaron Buechner and Pauline Hofmann were their witnesses.

Paula Henriette Buechner was born 15 January 1901, the daughter of William (1865-1955) and Katherine (Schumm) (1874-1958) Buechner. She was baptized 27 January 1901 at Zion Schumm. Henriette, Hilda, and Lydia Schumm served as her sponsors.

The William Buechner household in 1910: William, 45; Katharine, 36; Aaron, 11; Paula, 9; Alma, 2; and Ida Stamm, 25, servant. William and Katherine had been married 14 years. Katherine had given birth to 4 children, 3 of whom were living. William’s occupation was farmer. [4]

The William Buechner household in 1920: William, 54; Katherine, 45; Aaron, 20; Paula, 19; and Alma, 12. [5]

By 1930, both of Walter Allmandingers’s parents had died and the some of the younger Allmandinger children went to live with their older, married siblings. Walter and Paula took in two of Walter’s siblings and his brother Richard Allmandinger and wife Frieda (Schumm) took in two other siblings. Walter and Paula lived next door to Richard and Frieda. The Walter Allmandinger household in 1930: Walter, 30; Paula, 29; Aaron Allmandinger, 12; and Anna Allmandinger, 13. Walter’s occupation was farmer. [6]

Walter and Paula had a son, Edgar, born in 1931.

The Walter Allmandinger family in 1940: Walter, 40; Paula, 39; and Edgar, 8. [7]

Walter Allmandinger died at home on 2 October 1969. His obituary:

Walter L. Allmandinger
Willshire—Walter L. Allmandinger, 69, of Rt. 1, Willshire, died at 3:30 a.m. today at his residence. Death was attributed to a heart condition.

 Mr. Allmandinger, who was engaged in farming prior to his retirement, was born Feb. 27, 1900, he was the son of William C. and Barbara S. (Hoehamer) Allmandinger. He was a native of Blackcreek Township, Mercer County.

 Survivors include his widow, the former Paula Buechner, whom he married June 2, 1929; a son, Edgar W. of Anaheim, Calif.; four sisters, Mrs. Walter (Anna) Kammeyer of Fort Wayne, Mrs. Derwood (Minnie) Drydale of Chicago, Mrs. William (Maria) Beard of Rt. 2, Convoy and Mrs. Gilbert (Lillie) Malmberg of Evanston, Ill.; three brothers, Richard of Rt. 1, Willshire and Frederick and Martin, both of Glenmore and three granddaughters.

 Two brothers and two sisters preceded him in death.

 Services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm with the Rev. Robert Schuler officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

 Friends may call at the Zwick Funeral Home, Decatur, after 7 p.m. Friday until 11:30 a.m. Sunday and at the church from 12:30 p.m. Sunday until the time of services. [8]

Paula (Buechner) Allmandinger died at the Lutheran Home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on 13 September 2004, at the age of 103. She was buried on the 18th. [9]

[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, ED 74, p.10A, dwelling 200, family 200, William C. Almandinger; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/ : viewed 9 June 2013).

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 114, p.4B, dwelling 79, family 80, line Wm. Allmandinger; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7884/ : viewed 9 June 2013).

[3] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, PD 146, p.3A, dwelling 52, family, 53, Barbara S Allmindinger; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6061/ : viewed 10 Jan 2020).

[4] 1910 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 114, p.6A, dwelling 114, family 115, William Buechner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7884/ : viewed 13 Jan 2020).

[5] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 146, p.2A, dwelling & family 34, William A Buchner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6061/ : viewed 13 Jan 2020).

[6] 1930 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 24, p.2A, dwelling 37, family 38, Walter Almandinger; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6224/ : viewed 13 Jan 2020).

[7] 1940 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 81-28, p.5B, household 99, Walter Almandinger; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com  (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/2442/ : viewed 13 Jan 2020).

[8] Walter Allmandinger obituary, Van Wert Times Bulletin, 2 Oct 1969, p.2; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com, viewed 13 Jan 2020.

[9] Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, Year 2004, Roll 13, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Paula H. Allmandinger, 13 Sep 2004; database on-line, Ancestry.com, viewed 13 Jan 2020. 

 

Jan 17

1909 Letter to Jesse Pickering

It is interesting to read old letters and documents that give us an idea of what our ancestors did and what impacted their lives years ago.

Recently a reader scanned an old letter family letter that involves some folks from the area a little north of Chatt.

The letter is from Rockford attorney E.E. Jackson, to Jess Pickering, RR Willshire, warning of a potential claim against Jesse, filed by Henry McGough, for the disfigurement of a horse.

1909 letter from attorney EE Jackson to Jess Pickering.

In 1910 Jesse Pickering, farmer, age 27, and his wife Dorothy (Young), lived on State Line Road in Blackcreek Township. He actually lived just around the corner from the Miller farm on Sipe Road. I remember my dad and grandpa Miller mentioning his name. Henry McGough, age 69, and his wife Jane (Slater) lived a couple miles northeast, on “Addy Pike,” according to the 1910 census, which was likely what we know today as Rockford West Road.

1909 letter from attorney EE Jackson to Jess Pickering.

Attorney Ethelmer Ellsworth Jackson, age 40, had a law office in Rockford and practiced there for over 40 years.

EE Jackson’s signature on 1909 letter to Jesse Pickering.

The letter is interesting to read. Note that Jackson used a comma at the end of each sentence instead of a period. I wonder if he had a secretary back then.

E.E. Jackson
Attorney-at-Law
Rockford, Ohio, Feby-4th? 09

Mr. Jesse Pickering, Willshire, Ohio.

Sir. Henry McGough has left a claim with me against you for the disfiguration of a horse, that you bought of him and then in a few days returned to him and sid [sic] the horse was not as it was represented, although you had saw the horse tried and said you were satisfied with him and did no care to seem [sic] him hitched or further winded, Now he says you took the horse and paid for him and shaved his foretop and trimmed his main and cropped his tail and then in a day or two brought him back and demanded you [sic] money back which he paid, now it is you [sic] duty to put the horse in the same condition he was at the time you took him from McGough or else pay the damage you did to him, McGough gave you back the whole amount of your money, and you have suffered no loss, while he has suffered the loss of this disfiguration of this horse, Now you have damaged the horse and are entitled to pauy [sic] the damages, McGough sold the horse for $200.00. and the day you returned him or the next a horsebuyer made him an offer of $165.00. for the horse on account of the disfiguration that you did, this leaves you damageing [sic] this horse to the amount of $35.00. and this I demand as damages; and I will say that McGough as I understand him intends to test this matter if it is not settled, so if you want to save yourself trouble and expense pleas [sic] come in to this office and attend to this matter; and if I do not see, or hear from you by the 10th of this Month, I shall take it for granted you do not intend to settle this damage and Suit will be instituted.

Respt,
E.E. Jackson

Horses were valuable in those days, so this was probably a big deal. I am surprised that Henry McGough took the horse back and gave Jesse Pickering a total refund. And attorney Jackson asked that Jesse put the horse back in the same condition he was at the time of the purchase. That would a little difficult to do!

Perhaps Jesse was trying his hand at horse grooming. I don’t know much about horses and I don’t know if it was common to trim or groom a horse as described. Would his mane and foretop have grown back? Was it a work horse or a show horse? If the horse could still perform its job, did it really matter how it looked? I thought they looked at a horse’s teeth more than the mane. Goes to show you what I know.

It would be interesting to know how everything was resolved and if a lawsuit was ever filed.

As is so often the case, perhaps there was a little more to this story…

Thanks to Jake Myers for sharing this letter. It is truly an interesting bit of family history.

Jan 14

Tombstone Tuesday–Richard & Loretta (Aumann) Allmandinger

Richard & Loretta (Aumann) Allmandinger, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Richard and Loretta (Aumann) Allmandinger, located in row 2 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

ALLMANDINGER
Richard
1898-1982
Loretta
1908-1993

Richard Edward Allmandinger was born 3 October 1898 in Mercer County, Ohio, the son of William (1867-1919) and Barbara (Hoehamer) (1877-1929) Allmandinger. Richard was baptized at Zion Chatt on 23 October 1898, with his parents serving has his sponsors.

The William Allmandinger family lived in Black Creek Township, Mercer County, and attended Zion Lutheran Church at Chatt until they moved to Willshire Township, Van Wert County, in about 1904. After their move to Van Wert County they attended Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm. William and Barbara had a family of twelve children and some of them were baptized at Zion Chatt and the others were baptized at Zion Schumm.

The William Allmandinger household in 1900, living in Mercer County: William C, 32; Barbara S, 22; Richard E, 1; Walter L, 3 months; and Henry Grepner, 29, boarder. The father William was a farmer. [1]

The William Allmandinger household in 1910, living in Van Wert County: William, 43; Barbara, 33; Richard, 11; Walter, 10; Marie, 9; Caroline, 8; Bertha, 6; Hugo, 4; Fredrick, 2; Lila, 3 months ; and Leroy Lautzenheiser, 20, servant/farm work. [2]  

The father William died in 1919. His widow Barbara with their children in 1920: Barbara S, 42; Richard E, 21; Walter L, 19; Marie M, 18; Caroline K, 17; Bertha M, 16; Hugo J, 13; Fredrick N, 12; Lillie L, 9; Minnie l, 8; Martin W, 6; Aaron L, 2; and Anna B, 2. [3]

Son Richard Allmandinger married Frieda Schumm at Zion Schumm on 15 January 1924. Frieda (1893-1945) was the daughter of Louis J. (1851-1938) and Sarah (Breuninger) (1861-1921) Schumm. Frieda was my great aunt, the sister of my grandfather Cornelius Schumm.

After their marriage, Richard and Frieda Allmandinger lived east of Willshire and they had one son, Louis, born in September 1925.

The Richard Allmandinger household in 1930, with two of Richard’s brothers living with them: Richard, 31; Frieda, 36; Louis, 4; Friedrich, 23; and Martin, 17. Richard farmed. [4]

The Richard Allmandinger household in 1940: Richard, 41; Frieda, 46; Louis, 14; and Arthur Germann, 21, servant. [5]

Richard’s wife Frieda (Schumm) Allmandinger died 16 April 1945 and is buried next to Richard and his second wife.

Widower Richard Allmandinger married Loretta Aumann on 21 October 1946 in Adams County, Indiana. [6]

Loretta Aumann was born 2 October 1908 in Adams County, Indiana, the daughter of Henry John and Mathalda S. (Scheumann) Aumann. The Henry Aumann family in 1910: Henry, 29; Mathilda, 27; and Loretta, 1. Her father Henry was a farmer. [7] And the Henry Aumann family in 1920: Henry JF, 38; Mathilda M, 36; Loretta MS, and Norbert WC, 9. [8]

Loretta lived at home with her parents for the next 2 decades and in 1940 worked for an electrical manufacturing company. City directories indicate that she worked at GE in Fort Wayne. The Henry Aumann household in 1940: Henry J, 58; Mathilda, 56; Loretta, 37; and Elinor, 15. [9]

Richard Allmandinger died of renal failure and complications from a vascular disease at Van Wert Manor on 26 November 1982, at the age of 84. He was buried on 30 November. His occupation was given as farmer. [10]

Loretta (Aumann) Allmandinger remained in Willshire area, on State Route 81, after Richard’s death. She died from a subdural hematoma and pneumonia at Parkview Memorial Hospital, Fort Wayne, on 4 June 1993. She was buried on 9 June. [11]

Richard and Loretta did not have any children of their own.

[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, ED 74, p.10A, dwelling 200, family 200, William C. Almandinger; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/ : viewed 9 June 2013).

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 114, p.4B, dwelling 79, family 80, line Wm. Allmandinger; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7884/ : viewed 9 June 2013).

[3] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, PD 146, p.3A, dwelling 52, family, 53, Barbara S Allmindinger; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6061/ : viewed 10 Jan 2020).

[4] 1930 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 24, p.2B, dwelling 38, family 39, Richard Almandinger; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6224/ : viewed 6 Jan 2020).

[5] 1940 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 81-28, p.4A, line 32, Rich Almadinger; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/2442/ : viewed 6 Jan 2020).

[6] Adams County, Indiana, Marriages, Vol. V:369, Richard E Allmandinger & Loretta Aumann, 21 Oct 1946; “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” Family Search.org (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6315-8W?i=384&cc=1410397&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AXXJ1-51M : viewed 6 Jan 2020).

[7] 1910 U.S. Census, Root, Adams, Indiana, ED 9, p.12A, dwelling 228, family 231, Henry Aumann; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7884/ : viewed 10 Jan 2020).

[8] 1920 U.S. Census, Root, Adams, Indiana, ED 10, p.6A, dwelling 59, family 60, Henry JF Aumann; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6061/ : viewed 10 Jan 2020).

[9] 1940 U.S. Census, Root, Adams, Indiana, ED 1-16, p.7B, household 123, Henry J Aumann; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/2442/ : viewed 10 Jan 2020).

[10] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” Pleasant Twp, Van Wert County, Richard C Allmandinger, 26 Nov 1982; database with images, FamilySearch.org (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-64V6-SV?i=2232&cc=2128172&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AF6VT-WJG : viewed 10 Jan 2020).

[11] Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Death Certificates, 1993, Roll 9, Loretta Allmandinger 4 Jun 1993; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com.  

Jan 10

The Passing of Darrel “Pete” Brewster

Sadly, earlier this week I read about the passing of Darrel “Pete” Brewster, professional football legend and one of my distant cousins.

Darrel Pete Brewster, July 2014.

Darrel Burton Brewster, later nicknamed Pete, was born in 1930 in Adams County, Indiana, and grew up in Portland, Indiana, where he excelled in basketball and football. After high school he attended Purdue University, where he again excelled in football. After graduating from Purdue he was drafted into the NFL and played professional football for the Browns and Steelers. He later coached for the Vikings and Chiefs and received his Super Bowl ring in 1970, while coaching for the Chiefs. He played and worked with some big names in football back then, including Paul Brown, Buddy Parker, and Hank Stram. And unlike football players today, he played on offense, defense, and special teams because the teams needed players.

Pete Brewster football card, signed by “Pete” on 16 July 2014. (2014 photo by Karen)

I met Pete once a few years ago and wrote a blog post about the meeting. [1] We had lunch with him in Portland and it was interesting to hear him talk about his football days. He also talked about his late wife Vivian (Hummel) and his family. His wife Vivian had passed away 2012 and I could tell he missed her very much.  

Pete was a very nice, Christian man, who also loved music and had a great sense of humor. He was what you would call a gentleman. He was a humble man with an interesting career.   

I talked to him a couple times on the phone after that lunch. We were going to meet up with him at the Portland Engine Show sometime, but we never did. He would sometimes attend the Brewster reunion but I usually had a conflict with the Schumm reunion, which is held on the same day.

Pete told me that he didn’t know much about his Brewster family history but he was interested in learning about the family. That was one thing that I could help him with that day at lunch and I gave him some family group sheets and photos. That was the least I could do since he let me try on his Super Bowl ring. 

Pete was my first cousin twice removed, meaning that he was my grandma Gertrude (Brewster) Miller’s first cousin. Their fathers were half-brothers, sons of Daniel Brewster, but the half-brothers had different mothers. I descend from Daniel and Sara (Fetters) and Pete descended from Daniel and Mary Loverda (Bebout).  

Pete died near his home in Peculiar, Missouri, on 3 January 2020. There will be a Celebration of Life service there on 11 January. You can read his full obituary at https://www.atkinsonfuneralhome.com/obituary/darrel-pete-brewster

Pete was the last surviving sibling of the five children of Frederick Emerson and Nellie Emma (Bricker) Brewster. 

With Pete’s passing we lost a special man and a piece of football history.

Rest in peace, Darrel “Pete” Brewster.

[1]Lunch with Darrel ‘Pete’ Brewster,“ Karen’s Chatt, 18 Jul 2014 and “Pete Brewster-Professional Football Player,” Karen’s Chatt, 12 Oct 2012.

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