Nov 21

Saying Goodbye to Kate

Last week the Schumm family sadly said goodbye to one of their own.

Anna Katherine “Kate” (Schumm) Bischoff passed away on 12 November 2014 in Arizona, at the age of 97.

Kate was born near Rockford on 19 March 1917 to Philip Frederick Martin and Leona Barbara (Schumm) Schumm. She had three sisters–Marie, Emma and Velma. Emma, age 103, and Velma, 100, survive her. Kate was baptized, confirmed, and married at Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm.

Emma, Marie, Kate, and Velma Schumm.

Emma, Marie, Kate, and Velma Schumm.

Emma, Velma, Kate, & Marie Schumm.

Emma, Velma, Kate, & Marie Schumm.

Schumm cousins as well as neighbors:

Ruth, Velma, Kate, Betty, Amos Jr (Jack), and Helen in front.

Ruth, Velma, Kate, Betty, Amos Jr “Jack”, and Helen in front.

Kate married Arthur “Art” W. Bishoff on 25 August 1940 and they had four children–William, Katherine, Charles, and Steven.

Art and Kate resided in Arizona for over 50 years. They moved their family to Arizona in 1962 because of Art’s crippling arthritis, which the climate helped. Art passed away in 2004.

Kate’s funeral was this past Monday, the 17th, at Grace Lutheran Church in Glendale, Arizona.

Kate’s obituary tells of her life as a devoted wife and mother and devout Christian:

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/azcentral/obituary.aspx?n=anna-katherine-bischoff&pid=173177846

Kate, Velma, and cousin Betty Schumm.

Kate, Velma, and cousin Betty Schumm.

Kate, Velma, Philip, Marie, and Emma Schumm, 1962.

Kate, Velma, Philip, Marie, and Emma Schumm, 1962.

Thanks to Kate’s son Charles who generously shared the photos of his mother’s family with me. These photos are from Kate’s sister Velma’s collection.

Nov 18

Tombstone Tuesday–Catherina P. Emrich

Catherina Emrich, Kessler/Liberty Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

Catherina Emrich, Kessler/Liberty Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Catherina P. Emrich, located in row 8 of Kessler/Liberty Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Hier ruhet
Catherina P.
Tochter von
P. u. P.
Emrich
Gest. 18 Juli
1890
Alter
7 mo. U.
17 tag.

Here rests Catherina P, daughter of P. and P. Emrich, died 18 July 1890, aged 7 months and 17 days.

Catherina P. Emrich was the fourth of eight children born to Philip and Philimina (Fickert) Emrich, born 1 December 1889, as calculated from her tombstone. She was born south of Chattanooga, in Liberty Township.

There are only a few members of the Emrich family mentioned in Zion Chatt’s records, but Catherina was not one of them.

Catherine’s death is recorded in the Mercer County, Ohio, Probate Court Death Records. In this record her age is shown as 8 months and 18 days [1], which would make her date of birth 30 October 1889. She died in Liberty Township. Her cause of her death was not given.

Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

Catherina is buried next to her parents.

[1] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.orb : accessed 15 Nov 2014, Catherine P. Emerich, 18 Jul 1890; citing Death Records, Liberty Township, Mercer, Ohio, Vol. 1-2, unpaginated; from FHL microfilm 914954.

Nov 14

Tragedy in the Oil Fields

Like a few other young farm men from the Midwest, two of my great-uncles went out west to work in the oil fields in the early 1900s. There was an oil boom in the western states at that time and young men were seeking adventure and a way to make their fortune. Jobs were plentiful for young men willing to work in the oil fields.

Jacob Miller Jr and his older half brother Christian Miller were two of those men. Sadly, neither returned to the family farm in Mercer County. Chris died of typhoid fever in Wichita Falls, Texas, on 24 October 1911. Less than two years later Jacob Jr was killed by a falling oil derrick. Both are buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Chatt.

In 1900 both Chris and Jacob Jr lived and helped on the Miller farm in Black Creek Township. Chris was 19 and Jacob Jr was 14. [1]

Chris was the son of immigrant Jacob Miller and his second wife Margaretha Strabel, while Jacob Jr was the son of Jacob Miller and his third wife Christina Rueck.

I do not know exactly when the two brothers went out west. Or if they went separately or together. One account indicates Jacob Jr went out west with Christ Brier.

At one time the brothers were in Denver together, as shown on the postcard below.

Chris & Jacob Miller Jr, Denver Omnibus & Cab Co, unknown date.

Chris & Jacob Miller Jr, Denver Omnibus & Cab Co, unknown date.

They were both in California at one time or another, but I do not know if they were there at the same time. Chris is in the photo below, taken on a tour of the Cliff House in San Francisco.

Chris Miller, standing on the right in back. Pacific Sightseeing Co, San Francisco, unknown date.

Chris Miller, standing on the right in back. Pacific Sightseeing Co, San Francisco, unknown date.

In 1910 Jacob Jr was living in a boarding house run by Orr Whitehill in Kern, California. He gave his occupation as a tool dresser in the oil fields. [2] A tool dresser helped the driller, who was in charge of a two-man cable-tool drilling rig.

Oil workers flocked to the oil drilling areas. As a result, many oil-boom towns sprung up in the early twentieth century. Some towns survived while others were abandoned when the wells ran dry. Small cabins were hastily built to serve as living quarters for the oil men.

Chris Miller, in the oil fields out west, unknown date.

Chris Miller, in the oil fields out west, unknown date or place.

Jacob Miller Jr in the oil fields out west, unknown date.

Jacob Miller Jr in the oil fields out west, unknown date or place.

The above two photos may have been taken at the same oil-boom town. The cabins look similar and it looks like the same dog in both photos. I would not be surprised if Chris and Jacob Jr worked together in the oil fields at one time or another. Perhaps these photos were taken in California since the two brothers were both there at one time.

Oil workers. Chris Miller, back, second from end. Unknown date or place.

Oil workers. Chris Miller, back, second from end, unknown date or place.

Oil-field workers had a tough reputation. They were primarily single men working for contractors. “…They were the ones who came in, drilled the wells, hauled the supplies, laid the pipelines, and then moved on to the next boom. They lived in rooming houses or some sort of temporary structure…Many of these hands, fresh from their rural homes, had grown up with very little money, and their recreation had consisted of an occasional Saturday night in the local town. Oil-field jobs brought good wages and turned every night into a Saturday night on the town…and their reckless activities became the hallmark of the oil-field worker…” [3]

Jacob Jr died in an oil well accident on 10 April 1913, but local newspaper accounts conflict as to just where the incident occurred.

Young Man Killed in Oil Field
The body of Jacob Miller Jr, who was killed in the Oklahoma oil fields, was brought back to the home of his parents, who live south of town. The corpse came in over the Clover Leaf Sunday and was met by undertaker H. B. Cowan who removed the body to the parents’ home preparatory to the services which were held Monday afternoon.

The young man was about 25 years old, well known and respected here. The nature of the accident which caused his death has not been reported. The accident causing the young man’s death was that of a falling oil derrick which, though he was at some distance, struck him killing him instantly. [4]

Explosion of Shale Gas Brought Death to Young Man of this County who was Working in Oil Fields in California.
The body of Jacob Miller Jr, who was killed by falling timber following an explosion of shale gas, was brought to Willshire Sunday and removed to the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Miller near Chattanooga. Young Miller was drilling in the oil fields in California when he met his untimely death. He was a young man of twenty-eight years and has been in the west for three years.

Funeral services were held Monday morning at the Lutheran church at Chattanooga, followed by interment at that place. Accompanying the body of Mr. Miller was Christ Brier, who had gone west with the young man. [5]

That made me wonder where Jacob Miller Jr really did die. Until recently, when I found two other newspaper accounts that give the exact location.

Tool Dresser Killer
Drumright, Okla., April 17—(Special.)—
An oil derrick toppled over upon Jacob Miller, a tool dresser, while he was working at a well about one mile north of here and he was instantly killed. [6]

Workman is Killed
Special to the News

Cushington, Ok., April 20—Jacob Miller Jr., aged 27, of Wellshire, Ohio, [sic] a tool dresser in the Cushing oil field, was accidentally killed when a big wheel used in pulling casing from the ground broke and caused the derrick to fall. It struck Miller. He had arrived from the California oil fields six days before. [7]

The members of Zion would see another oil accident almost 10 years later, when Edward Kuehm drowned in a tank of oil at Yale, Oklahoma, in 1922. He was walking across the tank deck when it gave away.

Yes, working in the oil fields was a very dangerous job.

So now I know. Jacob Miller Jr died near Drumright, Oklahoma, where he had just moved from California about six days before. How tragic.

And how sad for the family that buried two sons who died so far from home.

For more information about the oil boom in Drumright, Oklahoma, see Wikipedia, http://www.cityofdrumright.org/history.html

 

[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer County, Ohio, ED 74, p.10A, dwelling 206, family 206, Jacob Miller; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 November 2014); from FHL microfilm 1241303, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1303.

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Township 6, Kern, California, ED 30 p.16 B, family 239, line 77, Jacob Miller; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 November 2014); from FHL microfilm 1374091, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 78.

[3] Oil-Field Culture, The Oklahoma Historical Society, http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/O/OI003.html

[4] The Willshire Herald, 17 April 1913, p.1.

[5] The Daily Standard, 18 April 1913, p.7.

[6] Tulsa World, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Friday, April 18, 1913, Volume VIII, Issue 184, p.2; digital images by subscription, Genealogy Bank.com , (www.genealogybank.com/gbnk/newspapersdoc : accessed 15 October 2014).

[7] Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Monday, 21 April 1913, p.14; digital images by subscription, Genealogy Bank.com , (www.genealogybank.com/gbnk/newspapersdoc : accessed 15 October 2014).

Nov 11

Tombstone Tuesday– John Emerich

John Emerich, Kessler/Liberty Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

John Emerich, Kessler/Liberty Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of John Emerich, located in row 8 of Kessler/Liberty Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

EMERICH
John
Emerich
Died
July 10, 1910
Aged
22y, 5m, 1d

John Friedrich Emerich was born 9 February 1888 in Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio, the third child born to Philip and Philimina (Fickert) Emerich. There is no record of John’s baptism at Zion Chatt but he was confirmed there in 1903.

He was about eight years old when his father Philip died in 1896.

In 1900, at the age of twelve, he lived at home with his mother and five of his siblings on the family farm south of Chatt . [1]

In 1910 he worked as a farm laborer on the farm of Fred and Esther Kesler in Blackford County, Indiana, not far from Dunkirk. [2] A few months later he drowned near there.

John died 10 July 1910 near Dunkirk, Indiana. According to a local newspaper account:

Word was received here Sunday night of the drowning of John Emerick aged 22, who was drowned in a gravel pit at Dunkirk, while in swimming. He had been working at Dunkirk for some time. John Feigert and Fred Schott went to Dunkirk and brought the body home. Funeral was held from the Lutheran church at Two o’clock Tuesday afternoon, conducted by Rev. Haas. [3]

Zion Chatt’s death and burial records also indicate that John died by drowning on 10 July 1910 and that he was buried on the 12th. He was 21 years, 10 months, and 25 days old, according to the church record.

His age as inscribed on his tombstone differs from that on his church burial record. After calculating his date of birth from these records, he was born 9 February 1888 according to his tombstone and 15 August 1888 according to the church record. According to his church confirmation record and Mercer County, Ohio, birth records, John was born 9 February 1888. [4]

John was laid to rest next to his grandparents and three plots from his parents. A plot with no marker is between him and his sister Catharina.

Emerich family, row 8, Kessler Cemetery, right to left: Philip & Maretha; John, Catherina, Philip & Philipina. (2014 photo by Karen)

Emerich family, row 8, Kessler Cemetery, right to left: Philip & Maretha; John, Catherina, Philip & Philipina. (2014 photo by Karen)

 

[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio, ED 85, p.9B, dwelling 178, family 183, Ben Emerick; digital image by Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 November 2014); from FHL microfilm 1241304, from NARA microfilm T623 roll 1304.

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Jackson Township, Blackford County, Indiana, ED 5, p.4A, dwelling 69, family 69, Fred Kesler; digital image by subscription Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 November 2014); from FHL microfilm 1374353, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 340.

[3] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 14 July 1910, p.5.

[4] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” index and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 9 November 2014), John Frederick Emerich, 9 February 1888, citing Liberty, Mercer Co., OH births; from FHL microfilm 2367095.

Nov 07

I Voted in Honor of a Veteran

One week separates two important events this year—Election Day and Veterans Day. Although Election Day has passed there is a program here in Ohio that is still worth mentioning.

Ohio’s Secretary of State Jon Husted has created a program linking the two events, where we can honor our veterans while encouraging people to vote at the same time. A program where you can honor a veteran with your vote–Vote in Honor of a Veteran.

A great idea because veterans have fought for and are prepared to fight for our freedoms, one of which is our right to vote.

Vote in Honor of a Veteran is sponsored by the Office of the Ohio Secretary of State. The program was created to “recognize the service of our brave veterans and provide encouragement to our citizens to vote…”

As they describe it on their website, http://www.sos.state.oh.us/omv/VIHOV.aspx :

“Anyone who has a family member, friend or neighbor in the armed services understands the unwavering dedication and patriotism of these men and women. Through the Vote in Honor of a Veteran initiative, you can demonstrate the pride you feel for an individual veteran and, at the same time, encourage others to exercise one of our most sacred rights we have when you go to the polls on Election Day. [1]

The program is free. To pay tribute to a veteran you just provide some information about his/her military service and a brief testimonial about the veteran. If you wish you can submit a photo of the veteran. The veteran’s tribute and photo may be displayed on the website in the list of Honored Veterans.

To participate you can apply on their website [1]; or print out a card from their website, complete it and mail it to them; or call 877-sos-ohio .

After they receive the above information you will receive a nice Vote in Honor of a Veteran lapel pin. On the card that came with the pin:

Thank you for supporting the brave men and women of our armed forces. This pin is a tribute to our veterans who serve to protect the freedom and democracy we enjoy as American citizens. This pin also symbolizes the importance of voting as one of our most sacred rights, a right we enjoy as a direct result of the commitment, dedication and sacrifice made by the members of our armed forces. When you wear this pin, you not only honor the courageous work of our veterans, but you encourage others to vote on Election Day.

Vote in Honor of a Veteran, from Ohio Secretary of State.

Vote in Honor of a Veteran pin from Ohio Secretary of State.

I honored my dad on their website and you can see the tribute by going to the website [link above], click on the Read Testimonials link, and type Miller in the Find a Veteran search field.

I wore my Vote in Honor of a Veteran pin when I voted last Tuesday and then wore it at work, where several people asked about it. Although this year’s mid-term elections are over you can still pay tribute to a veteran in this program and wear the pin on the next Election Day.

This coming Tuesday is Veterans Day. Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day, named to commemorate of the end of World War I. Fighting between the Allied nations and Germany was ceased on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. That date is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.” Armistice Day was originally observed with parades, speeches, and a brief suspension of businesses beginning at 11:00 a.m.

It was made a legal holiday in 1938. The day was to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and was primarily to honor veterans of World War I. After World War II and the Korean War the word “Veterans” replaced the word “Armistice” and the holiday has been known as Veterans Day ever since. On 1 June 1954, Veterans Day became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Herb Miller, U.S. Army veteran, WWII.

Herb Miller, U.S. Army veteran, WWII.

There are several veterans in my close family. My dad, his two brothers Laverne and Kenny, and my cousin Ron Weitz are my closest veteran relatives. Joe’s brother Greg was also veteran.

A list of some of the veterans in my family is on Karen’s Chatt’s home page, in the MILITARY drop-down.

This coming Tuesday, on Veterans Day, I will remember my dad’s service to our country and the fact that that he never missed an opportunity to vote in an election.

[1] Vote in Honor of a Veteran, Jon Husted, Ohio Secretary of State, http://www.sos.state.oh.us/omv/VIHOV.aspx .

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