Sep 21

Book about 1872 Murder Near Chatt

Most everyone who grew up in the Chatt area has heard about the murder of 13-year-old Mary Secaur in June 1872 and of the lynching of the two men who were jailed for her murder, Absalom Kimmel and Alexander McLeod.

Mary Arabelle Secaur was murdered on her way home from church one Sunday, murdered east of Chatt on Tama Road, nearly across the road from where the Farmer’s Picnic is held. Kimmel and McLeod were accused of murdering Mary and were being held in the Mercer County jail when a mob overcame the sheriff, took the prisoners from the jail, and hung two them.

I have read a little about this incident but have never really delved into it.

This past Monday Joe and I attended the program at the Shane’s Crossing Historical Society, to hear the speaker David Kimmel, an English professor at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, who is also a descendant of one of the Secaur murder suspects. He spoke about the book he recently wrote and published, Outrage in Ohio: A Rural Murder, Lynching, and Mystery, which was released just a few weeks ago.

Outrage in Ohio, by David Kimmel, 2018.

A good number of people from the Chatt and Rockford area were also there Monday night to hear Kimmel, some of them Secaur descendants, some of them Kimmel descendants.

David Kimmel, author of Outrage in Ohio. (2018)

Monday evening Kimmel told about the families involved, discussed the murder and the lynching, and told why and how he used some of his own narrative in the book. Afterward, several members of the audience shared their thoughts and theories about the event. It was good program and Kimmel is an interesting speaker.

I purchased a copy of Kimmel’s book Monday evening and started reading it right away. It looks to be very interesting and informative.

Outrage in Ohio is an extensively-researched account of this murder and the events afterward. It appears that he has performed a “reasonably exhaustive search,” as we call it in genealogy research. He has searched through numerous sources in many places, talked to relatives and other individuals, and visited the area several times. There is a long list of end-notes at the back of the book that show his sources of information.

He has tried to learn and tell about the people living near the Secaurs and Kimmels as well. Something we call the FAN Club Principle in genealogy—researching someone’s Friends, Associates, and Neighbors. You can learn a lot by researching these other people.

David Kimmel puts all this information together in his book, with a bit of historical fiction writing, giving you an idea of what the people may have been doing and thinking and feeling at the time.

This may be the only recently-compiled account of this incident. The facts and details are all in one book.

I know that Kimmel was looking for anything related to this incident and the people involved. A couple years ago he contacted me and asked to look through the 1842 Liberty Township Estray Book. He was looking for any information about the families involved and their neighbors. He told me about the book he was writing and I had been looking forward to its publication and reading it ever since.

Out of curiosity I looked up their death records and see that Mercer County Probate Deaths record the deaths of Mary A. Secaur, Absolem Kimmel, and Alex McLeod all on the same page, one after another: [1]

Columns: Number/Name/Date of Death/Married, Single, Widowed/Age/Place of Death/Place of BirthColumns: Occupation/Father/Mother/White, Colored/Cause of Death/Residence/By Whom Reported

After 146 years, parts and details of the story will likely always remain a mystery. Although there are several theories about what really happened and who was guilty, there are just some things we will never really know for sure. And I think this mystery is one of them.

Karen with author David Kimmel (2018) (David is just a little taller than me!)

 

[1] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch
(https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZR-K811?i=64&cc=2128172 : viewed 20 Sep 2018), Mary A. Secaur, 23 Jun 1872; Liberty Township, Mercer Co., Vol. 1:42; FHL microfilm 914954.

Sep 18

Tombstone Tuesday–David Kreiselmeyer

David Kreiselmeyer, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of David Kreiselmeyer, located in row 1 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

David
Sohn von
C. & S. Kreiselmeyer
geb. den. 3 October 1851
gest. den. 16 April 1865

David, son of C. & S. Kreiselmeyer, born 3 October 1851, died 16 April 1865.

David Kreiselmeyer was born on 3 October 1851, likely in Crawford County, Ohio, the son of Christoph and Susanna (Schwab) Kreiselmeyer. His baptism is not mentioned in Zion Schumm’s records because he was likely baptized before the family moved to Van Wert County.

David’s father was born in Germany and his mother was born in Ohio and they were married in Crawford County, Ohio, on 7 October 1847. [1]

The Kreiselmeyer family moved to Van Wert County, Ohio, sometime between 1850 and 1859. In 1860 they lived very close to my great-grandfather Louis Schumm, who was young boy at that time.

The Christoph Kreiselmeyer family, as enumerated in 1860 in Van Wert County: Christopher, 38; Susan, 28, Mary C, 11; David, 9; John, 6; and Hannah, 1. [2]

According to Zion Schumm’s records, David Kreiselmeyer died on Easter Sunday, 16 April 1865, at the age of 13 years, 6 months, and 13 days. He was buried on the 18th. His church death record also indicates that he was born on 3 October 1851. His death was not recorded in Van Wert probate because Ohio did not begin recording deaths until 1867.

David is buried next to his brother Daniel Gottfried Kreiselmeyer.

Several other children who were born to Christoph and Susanna Kreiselmeyer are mentioned in Zion Schumm’s records, but there may have been more children born to this couple:

Hanna Magdalena Kreiselmeier, born 24 March 1859, baptized 27 March 1859.
Georg Friedrich Kreiselmeier, born 19 May 1863, baptized 24 May 1863. [Married Marguerite Buechner]
Anna Rosine Caroline Kreiselmeyer, born 16 April 1866, baptized 22 April 1866. [Married Henry Gunsett]
Wilhelm Heinrich Kreiselmeyer, born 12 July 1869, baptized 12 August 1869.
Daniel G., born 24 March 1875, baptized the same day, died 26 March 1875.

The mother Susanna died in 1894 and the father Christoph died in 1900. Both are buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm.

 

[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” FamilySearch.org (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939K-BJ3K-HQ?i=46&cc=1614804 : viewed 17 Sep 2018), George Christopher Kreiselmeyer and Susanna Schwab, 7 Oct 1847; Crawford County Marriages, Vol. 3:46.

[2] 1860 U.S. Census, Willshire Twp, Van Wert Co, Oh, p.150 [penned], dwelling 1072, family 1066, Christopher Railselmeyers [Kreiselmeyer]; Ancestry.com (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7667&path= : viewed 17 Sep 2018).

Sep 14

Zion Chatt’s Quartet

Here is a photo of a very handsome group, known years ago as Zion’s Quartet.

Zion Chatt’s Quartet, Howard Caffee, Stubby Bollenbacher, Rev. Carl Yahl, Paul McGough, and Pauline (McGough) DeArmond. (c1931-1942)

In the photo, left to right are Howard Caffee, Stubby Bollenbacher, Rev. Carl Yahl, Paul McGough, and Paul’s twin sister Pauline (McGough) DeArmond. Pauline was the pianist for the quartet. Rev. Yahl was Zion Chatt’s minister from 1931-1942, so the photo was taken some time during those years.

I never heard the quartet because they were before my time, but Pauline was also Zion’s organist for many years and I remember when she played for services every Sunday. Pauline married Dale DeArmond and their daughter Mary Jane was a very accomplished pianist.

Twins Paul and Pauline McGough.

Rev. Yahl could also play the organ and played a number on Zion’s Page pipe organ when it was dedicated back in the 1930s. People say that Howard Caffee had a nice voice and played at least one musical instrument. I have heard of Stubby Bollenbacher, which was more than likely his nickname, but I do not know his given name. I am sure someone does and can fill in that information.

In addition to the nice photo of the group I notice several other things in the background.

The old wooden doors and the stained glass above doors are no longer there. They have been replaced by glass doors and matching window, but I remember these wooden doors that were painted white.

In front of the overgrown shrubs is an old well pump. Later, when I was a child, the pump was replaced with a drinking fountain.

What I nice photo! I wish there was a recording of Zion’s Quartet so I could hear them sing today.

Sep 11

Tombstone Tuesday–Daniel G. Kreiselmeyer

Daniel G. Kreiselmeyer, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2018 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Daniel G. Kreiselmeyer, located in row 1 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Daniel G.
Sohn von
C. & S.
Kreiselmeyer
geb. den. 24 Marz.
1875
gest. den. 26 Marz.
1875

Daniel G., son of C. & S. Kreiselmeyer, born 24 March 1875, died 26 March 1875.

According to Zion Schumm’s records, Gottfried Daniel Kreiselmeyer was born 24 March 1875 to Christoph and Susanna (Schwab) Kreiselmeyer. Gottfried Daniel was baptized on the same day, with Gottfried Brenner and [illegible] Kreiselmeyer serving as his sponsors.

Gottfried Daniel died 2 days later, on 26 March 1875 and was buried on the 27th. His death is record in the Van Wert County Deaths, with his given name as Godfried and their residence as Willshire, [1] although they lived in rural Willshire.

Gottfried Daniel’s father was born in Germany and his mother was born in Ohio. They were married in Crawford County, Ohio in 1847 and moved to Van Wert County, Ohio, between 1850 and 1859.

Several other children born to Christoph and Susanna Kreiselmeyer are mentioned in Zion Schumm’s records:

Hanna Magdalena Kreiselmeier, born 24 March 1859, baptized 27 March 1859.
Georg Friedrich Kreiselmeier, born 19 May 1863, baptized 24 May 1863. [Married Marguerite Buechner]
Anna Rosine Caroline Kreiselmeyer, born 16 April 1866, baptized 22 April 1866. [Married Henry Gunsett]
Wilhelm Heinrich Kreiselmeyer, born 12 July 1869, baptized 12 August 1869.
David Kreiselmeyer, born 3 October 1851, died Easter, 16 April 1865.

Those children were mentioned in Zion Schumm’s records, but they may have had more children.

The mother Susanna died in 1894 and the father Christoph died in 1900. Both are buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm.

And of course there is a connection between the Kreiselmeyers and the Schumms. Georg Friedrich Kreiselmeier, son of Christoph and Susanna, married Marguerite Buechner at Zion Schumm in 1885.

 

[1] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch.org (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-672G-MV?i=201&cc=2128172 : viewed 10 Sep 2018), Godfored Kreiselmeyer, 26 Mar 1875; FHL microfilm 1015858.

Sep 07

Dear Mom & All–WWII Letters from Herb (part 26)

I continue with the transcriptions of the letters my dad, Herbert Miller, wrote home while serving his country during WWII. The war was over by the time he wrote these letters and he was serving in the Occupation Force in Germany until he had enough time and points to be honorably discharged from the U.S. Army. [1]

During this time he was stationed at an Army post office in Weinhiem, Germany, a job he seemed to like very much. I remember him mentioning that he worked at an Army post office in Germany while in the service.

These letters were written to his sister Em and her husband Norval “Jack.”

12 November 1945
Weinheim, Germany

Dear Em & Jack,
Received your packages and two letters from youins today. I’m still cracking nuts and eating them.

This makes my fifth letter tonight and I’m almost ready to hit the hay.

I’m going to take a bath and shave and then go to bed as soon as I finish writing.

You ought to see the leather bands I have for my wrist watches.

There isn’t much news over here, only rumors going around and I hate to print or write all the different things I hear.

You know they cut us on rations. About every third week they ship them, or at least for enlisted men. Officers can always buy them.

You can’t get cigarette lighters, watches, pipes, popular brands of cigarettes, good fountain pens or any things overseas. All I heard back in the states is that all that stuff is going overseas ad I never see any of it.

Guess I’d better close for now.

Love,
Herbie

24 November 1945
Weinheim, Germany

Dear Em & Jack,
It’s Saturday evening and I’m going to try and write quite a few letters tonight.

I saw the show this afternoon so I’ll be staying at home tonight. I saw “Tarzan and the Amazons.” It was pretty good.

I’ve received three or four packages since I’ve written you last including the small one which had a tag on it saying “Don’t open until Christmas.” That is pretty hard to do.

Have you seen Dale Caffee yet?

How is the farming coming along? I sure wish I could get home for good. I don’t know what I’ll do after I get out but I can decide that after I’m out.

Can’t think of any more to write so I’d better close.

Love,
Herbie

Herbert M. Miller

A few weeks later he was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. I remember him saying he was at Heidelberg for a time. By this time dad had a new nephew, Em and Jack’s son.

19 December 1945
Heidelberg, Germany

Dear Em, Jack, & son,
It’s high time I wrote you and let you know that I’m O.K. and still in the Army.

How’s the Boy coming along? You said he’s got a double chin? A little chubby one, eh? I sure hope everything is coming O.K. Norval sure has a right to be proud. I would be, too.

This makes my third letter tonight and its getting along about 11 o’clock. Almost time for me to hit the hay.

I wrote to Don Hoblet again about two weeks ago. Every other one that I wrote to him came back. I’m going to write to him again tomorrow night so that he has my new address.

Must close for now. Good night and lots of luck.

Love,
Herbie

By the time he wrote the next letter he had been in Europe for a year. What a difference a year makes! The year before he was getting to ready to enter combat in the Battle of the Bulge. Now the war was over. Although the next letter was written on 26 December, the inside postmark is stamped 4 February.

26 December 1945
Heidelberg, Germany

Dear Em, Jack, & son,
It’s Wednesday night and everything is calm and peaceful again. I’m on C.O. [?] at the C.P. here in Heidelberg.

I’m sending two bottles of perfume in a box by registered mail. It’s from Paris. I’m also sending mom two. The same perfume imported to the States would cost about $15-25 a bottle. Keep one bottle for yourself and save the other till I come home. I hated to send so much to one person so I divided it up and sent half to you and half to mom.

Everything is coming along pretty good. Finance [?] at the C.P. isn’t so bad, only the officers and there are lots of them.

It sure was a quiet Christmas. I spent Christmas back at Co. L. Had turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie, ice cream, cookies, candy bar, cigar, gravy and corn.

There is a Christmas tree about 25 feet tall outside the building and they really have it decorated up.

I can’t think of much more to write so will close.

Love,
Herbie

P.S. Please send a package.

To be continued…

 

[1] My dad, Herbert Miller, trained as a replacement troop during the fall of 1944, arrived in Europe in December of that same year, and was assigned to Company L, 333rd Regiment, 84th Infantry Division. The 84th was known as the Railsplitters. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium and later in parts of Luxembourg, Germany, and France.

Older posts «