Jun 19

Nimrod Headington Journal, 1852, part 19

Today’s blog post is the nineteenth in a series, the transcription of Nimrod Headington’s 1852 journal, Trip to California.

In his journal Nimrod Headington details his 1852 voyage from New York to San Francisco and his search for gold in California. [1] [2]

Nimrod, with several others from Knox County, Ohio, set sail from New York on 16 February 1852, traveling on the clipper ship Racehound. After 5 months at sea they docked at San Francisco on 18 July 1852.

In today’s blog post, Nimrod continues his search for gold in California in mid-January 1853. We learn that panning for gold was not easy. Nimrod was living day to day, barely making a go of it. The heavy snow in the mountains made the search for gold difficult. And he came in contact with some interesting characters. Would Nimrod ever find gold?    

The next day we went to work again with our spirits at a low ebb, but when we cleaned up our sluice, we had $17. Then the water began to come in on us so that we could not get to bedrock. There was where the principal part of the gold lay. Our tail race was not deep enough to drain the water down to bedrock. The snow was then 10 foot deep and packed down solid so that it was impossible for us to dig it any deeper until the snow went off. It was 14 foot from the surface of the ground to the bedrock, then 10 foot of snow on top of that made 24 foot underground.

The next morning we went to the claim again, but the water was backed up all over the claim, and we had to give it up for that day.

The next day we went to getting wood again, as we could not get employment and were determined to stay there if we could keep from starving. We were then pretty hard up. We were living on beans and potatoes, without any bread or meat, and they were getting very scarce.

Saturday, January 22nd, one of us succeeded in getting employment and the rest kept on getting up wood. It was a slow and hard job, as the snow was 10 foot deep, and the crust was not stiff enough to bear us up all the time. Sometimes we would go through with a heavy load of wood on our backs and go down to our armpits.

Sunday, January 23. Almost a year has now elapsed since I left my home and little family, and I am a poorer man than when I started. My money all gone, and I am in debt. And I have worked hard and went ragged, and now I am almost reduced to want for food for my body and clothing for my body. If ever I thought of the comforts of home and kind friends, it is this day. We spent most of the day in washing and drying our clothes.

January 24th. This morning about one hundred of the miners got together and formed a company to undertake to break a road to the Lexing House, a distance of twelve miles, in order to get the mule trains in with provisions, as it was impossible for them to get in unless there was a road broke for them. Charles Watkins, one of my partners, went to assist in breaking the road. John Huey and myself succeeded in getting work that day, for which we got five dollars each. Our employment was chopping wood, while the man that employed us hauled it on a hand sled.  

January 25th. The mail came in, and I made my way to the post office, thinking surely I would hear from home, as I had not had a letter for five months, but I was disappointed, and this made me feel pretty blue.

January 26th. This day Mr. McCafferty and I went to work shoveling snow off of a pile of dirt that we had thrown out before the snow fell. We were working close to a cabin occupied by a Mr. Cosgrove and his wife and a man by the name of Campbell, who was a notorious drunkard and had been on a spree for two weeks or more. All of a sudden, we heard the screams of a woman. On looking, I saw Mrs. Cosgrove with both hands up to her face and screaming as loud as she could. I dropped my shovel and ran to her to see what was the matter. When I reached the cabin, I found Mr. Campbell stretched out on the floor and the blood gushing from his throat. He had cut his throat. The razor was still in his hand. A doctor was soon on hand, but there was no help for the fellow. He had done a good job—cut off the jugular vein and the swallow more than half off.

January 29th. Last night there was ten head of beef cattle drove in—the first four-footed animals that had come into the diggings for more than two months. A serious accident happened about a mile from our claim. Today a man by the name of Philo Watkins was working under a large snowbank when all of a sudden the snow gave way and fell on him and killed him instantly.  

January 30th. Sunday went around and settled up with those for whom we had worked during the week, and we had fifty-eight dollars between us on that day. Jesse Watkins, one of my partners, concluded to leave. So he packed up his blankets and started. Charles Watkins and John Huey, my other two partners, started to Poker Flats to get provisions—a distance of eight miles.

They returned just at dark, bringing 75 lbs. of flour, 20 lbs. of rice, and 6 lbs. of sugar. We then felt that we were good for another week. [3]

To be continued…

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

[1] Nimrod Headington at the age of 24, set sail from New York in February 1852, bound for San Francisco, California, to join the gold rush and to hopefully make his fortune. The Panama Canal had not been built at that time and he sailed around the tip of South America to reach the California coast.     Nimrod Headington kept a diary of his 1852 journey and in 1905 he made a hand-written copy for his daughter Thetis O. Tate. This hand-written copy was eventually passed down to Nimrod’s great-great-granddaughter, Karen (Liffring) Hill (1955-2010). Karen was a book editor and during the last two years of her life she transcribed Nimrod’s journal. Nimrod’s journal, Trip to California, documents his travels between February of 1852 and spring of 1853.

[2] Nimrod Headington (1827-1913) was the son of Nicholas (1790-1856) and Ruth (Phillips) (1794-1865) Headington. He was born in Mt. Vernon, Knox County, Ohio, on 5 August 1827 and married Mary Ann McDonald (1829-1855) in Delaware County, Ohio, in 1849. Nimrod moved to Portland, Jay County, Indiana, by 1860 and during the Civil War served in the 34th Indiana Infantry 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).

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

Jun 16

Tombstone Tuesday-Hugo A. & Ada A. (Wilson) Schumm

Hugo A. & Ada A. (Wilson) Schumm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Hugo A. and Ada A. (Wilson) Schumm, located in row 10 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

SCHUMM
Mother
Ada A.
1883-1933

Father
Hugo A.
1876-1932

At Rest

Anton “Hugo” Schumm was born 11 March 1876, the third child born to Friedrich Schumm Jr and his first wife Margaret (Ehrenmann). He was likely born on the family farm in Black Creek Township, Mercer County, Ohio. Hugo was baptized 19 March 1876, with Fred G. Schumm (II) and Anton Kramer serving as his sponsors.

The Friedrich Schumm family in 1880, residing on the family farm in Black Creek Township: Friedrich, 35; Margaret, 33; Catharine, 6; Hugo, 4; Leona, 2; and Henrietta, 10 months. [1]

Hugo’s mother Margaret (Ehrenmann) died 27 June 1885 and in 1888 his father married Maria/Mary Catharine Buchner.

The Friedrich Schumm Jr family in 1900: Friedrich, 56; Mary, 39; Hugo A, 24; Leona B, 22; Henrietta A, 20; Lawrence W, 15; Amos C, 8; Erna F, 5; Naomi M, 3. Hugo had 5 full siblings and 3 step-siblings living at this time. [2]

Hugo A. Schumm married Ada Wilson in Ross County 24 December 1905. [3]

Hugo’s bride “Ada” Alpha Wilson was born 12 July 1883 near Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio, according to Zion Schumm’s records. She was the daughter of Herman and Margaret (Remley) Wilson. [4]

Ada Wilson, living with her family in Ross County in 1900: Herman, 51; Margaret, 45; Florence, 25; Ada, 16; Bessie, 10; and Vernie, 8. Her father Herman Wilson was a farmer. [5]

Two years after Hugo and Ada’s marriage, Hugo’s father Friedrich Schumm Jr died on 24 December 1907.

Hugo and Ada settled on a farm in Willshire Township and had a son, Frederick, born 18 June 1909.

The Hugo Schumm household in 1910: Hugo, 34; Ada, 27; and Frederick, under one year. All were born in Ohio. Hugo’s occupation was farmer and this enumeration indicates that the couple had been married for 4 years and that Ada had only given birth to one child. [6]

The Hugo Schumm family in 1920: Hugo, 43; Ada, 36; and Frederick, 10. [7]

Hugo and Ada had a second child, Marcile Margery, born 30 January 1920, just 3 weeks after the census was taken. Their son Fredrick Schumm died 20 November 1924.

The Hugo Schumm household in 1930: Hugo, 54; Ada, 46; and Marcile, 10. [8]

Hugo Schumm died from typhoid fever at the Van Wert County Hospital on 23 September 1932. He was buried on the 26th. Hugo’s obituary:

Hugo A. Schumm, of near Schumm, died last night at the Van Wert County Hospital the result of a brief illness of typhoid fever and complications. Mr. Schumm was aged 56 years and had resided near Schumm for a number of years. He is survived by his widow and one daughter Marcile, at home, and the following brothers and sisters: Mrs. W.E. Buecher, Mrs. Henrietta Rehn and Mrs. Henry Dietrich, of Willshire, Mrs. Walter Schumm ad Mrs. Arnold Schumm, of Schumm, Mrs. Phillip Schumm and L. William and Arnold Schumm, of Rockford. The funeral service will be held Monday afternoon, at 2 o’clock, with interment in the Schumm cemetery. [9]

Widow Ada (Wilson) Schumm died from a heart condition and cancer on 2 July 1933 at her home near Schumm. She was buried on the 5th. Rev. Karl Hofmann, vacancy pastor, officiated at the funeral. Ada’s obituary:

Esteemed Resident of Van Wert County Passes Away at Home at Schumm After Long Illness.
Mrs. Ada Schumm, well know resident of Van Wert county, died Sunday evening at her home near Schumm. Mrs. Schumm, who was aged 50 years, had been in ill health for the past six years and her death was due to complications. She was a member of the Schumm Evangelical Lutheran Church. She is survived by one daughter, Miss Marcile Schumm, at home, one brother, Vernie Wilson, of Columbus, and two sisters Mrs. Florence Garrett and Mrs. Besse Wilkie, of Chillicothe. She was the widow of Hugo Schumm, who’s death occurred last September. The funeral services will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the home. Interment will be made in the Schumm cemetery. [10]

After the deaths of Hugo and Ada, their young daughter Marcile Schumm was raised by her aunt and uncle, Walter and Erna (Schumm). Hugo Schumm and Erna were half-siblings.

Hugo and Ada (Wilson) Schumm had the following children:
Frederick Herman (1909-1924), never married
Marcile Margery (1920-1988), married John F Buchner

[1] 1880 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, ED 179, p.333B, line 31, Fredone Schuman; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6742/ : viewed 15 Jun 2020).

[2] 1900 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, ED 74, p.2, dwelling & family 29, Frederick Schumm; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/ : viewed 17 May 2020).

[3] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” Ross County Marriages, Vol. 8, p.147, Hugo A. Schumm & Ada Wilson, 24 Dec 1905; database with images, FamilySearch.org (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-91QS-X7?i=113&cc=1614804&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AZZRW-222M : viewed 15 Jun 2020).

[4] Ohio, Births ad Christenings Index, 1774-1973, film no. 281656, database, Ancestry.com, Adie Alpha Wilson, 12 Jul 1883.   

[5] 1900 U.S. Census, Springfield, Ross, Ohio, Ed 100, p.7, dwelling, family, Harmon Willson; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/ : viewed 15 Jun 2020).

[6] 1910 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 114, p6B, dwelling 122, family 123, Hugo Schumm; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7884/ : viewed 15 Jun 2020).

[7] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 146, p.3B, dwelling 58, family 59, Hugo H Schumm; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6061/ : viewed 15 Jun 2020).

[8] 1930 U.S. Census, WIllshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 24, p.5B, dwelling 107, family 110, Hugo A Schumm; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6224/ : viewed 15 Jun 2020).

[9] Van Wert Daily Bulletin, Van Wert, Ohio, 24 Sep 1932, p.3, Deaths and Funerals, Hugo A. Schumm; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com, viewed 15 Jun 2020.

[10] Van Wert Daily Bulletin, Van Wert, Ohio, 3 Jul 1933, p.3, Deaths and Funerals, Ada Schumm; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com, viewed 15 Jun 2020.

Jun 12

Nimrod Headington Journal, 1852, part 18

Today’s blog post is the eighteenth in a series, the transcription of Nimrod Headington’s 1852 journal, Trip to California.

In his journal Nimrod Headington details his 1852 voyage from New York to San Francisco and his search for gold in California. [1] [2]

Nimrod, with several others from Knox County, Ohio, set sail from New York on 16 February 1852, traveling on the clipper ship Racehound. After 5 months at sea they docked at San Francisco on 18 July 1852.

In today’s blog post, Nimrod continues his search for gold in California in December of 1852. Times were hard and lean for Nimrod and his companions as they panned for gold. Would they find gold and strike it rich?    

From December 24th to January 9th we were unable to work on account of the deep snow Think of men working when the snow was eleven foot deep. But on the 9th of January, we went to work in earnest, thinking that the weather had settled and that we were going to make something to buy grub with, as we were all about out of money. But we had only worked two days when it commenced to snow again, and we got three feet more snow on top of what we had, which made it almost impossible to get out at all; however, with great difficulty, we managed to get from our cabin to our claim and worked until noon. And we panned about $12.00 in gold dust, which was three dollars apiece for us.   

The next day we were compelled to go for provisions. We were entirely out of flour, and when we reached the store where we expected to get flour, the store was out. But we found some cornmeal and salt pork. We paid 40 cents a pound for meal, 60 for pork, and 35 cents for beans.

Sunday morning came, and we thought it was going to be fair. It had stopped snowing. But at 12 o’clock it commenced to rain. We began to get pretty discouraged. For the weather [being] so bad we could not work, and we were out of money and almost out of provisions again. And we had no hope of a mule train coming up with provisions. It was impossible for them to get through the deep snow. We began to think that hard times had caught us sure. The nearest port where provisions could be procured was 10 miles. So we had to either pack provisions 10 miles over the snow or abandon our claims. If we left our claims, we were in danger of losing them, for the law was that if a man was not working on his claim, it was forfeited and the next man that came along could jump in and go to work and hold the claim. We talked and planned all that rainy, lonesome day what we had better do.

Monday morning it was clear again, but at 10 it commenced raining again and rained all day and all night. The next day we were called upon to assist a man in getting some mules over to the Mountain Spring House. The rain had settled down to about 8 feet. We had a funny time with the mules. We got them over Slate Creek and got part of them up the mountain on the west side and then went back to try to get the rest of them up. And just as we got back to where we left the others, we looked up and here came the mules that we had worked so hard to get up the mountain coming back. The owner was so mad that he was going to shoot the lead mule, and I begged him not to do that. And he put up his revolver, and we went to work again. And we succeeded in getting them all up the mountain except one. He got down in the snow, and we could not get him up. The man gave us $20.00 for helping him. So we had a little money again to buy provisions.

The next day we worked for a Mr. Sackett of Cleveland, Ohio, who was cutting a ditch along the side of the mountain to bring the water into the diggings where our claims were. For this day’s work we received $6 apiece, adding $24 to our money for provisions. The cutting of this ditch was just what we wanted, for our claims were not worth much unless we could get water enough to run a sluice. The next day we had to get wood and provisions, for we were out of both. Two of us went to getting wood, and two to go for provisions. We calculated to buy some potatoes and pork, as flour or meal could not be had. Inquiring the price of potatoes, we were informed that they were worth 35 cents per pound, and pork was not to be had at any price. However, we returned to our cabin again to consult with the other boys what was best to do. The conclusion was that one should go to Chandlersville, a little town that was a short distance north of us, and this journey was put upon me. And I accordingly went and succeeded in getting us 50 lbs. of potatoes at 25 cents a pound, and I was to get some pork, but there was none. I found a few pounds of lard, which I bought at 50 cents a pound and then returned home with all that I was able to pack through the deep snow.

Sunday came, and the day was very pleasant. And I spent [it] in a variety of ways: part of the time singing, and part reading, and part of the time writing in this journal and thinking of home and my little family and the year past. How soon it had slipped away. But when the thought came to the morning I left my home, it seemed like it had been 10 years. And I could not think of staying that much longer in this land of starvation, for it really seemed that starvation was staring us in the face. When it got so that there was no provisions to be bought at any price and there was but very few that had a store of provisions laid in. And those that had would not sell a pound of anything.

On the 16th of January, we commenced to work again on our claim. Worked hard all day in the water and got $16. The next morning we went to work again in good hope to make more, but when we came to clean up, we were disappointed, for we only had $8.00. This was only $2 apiece, and that would barely board us. As provision was so scarce and high, we were bound to come on an allowance. We had to make our loaves of bread of cornmeal a little smaller and then divide it equally between us. The balance of our living consisted chiefly of beans, which we had to cook without any meat or anything else to season them with, as meat had got to 40 cents per pound. I began to think this pretty hard times when we had to work all day from daylight until dark in mud and water and then go hungry. However, we were a jolly set of fellows, and as serious as it looked, we did not get discouraged. And [we] resolved to stand by one another through thick and thin as long as we could, with the hope that luck would come our way by and by. [3]

To be continued…

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

[1] Nimrod Headington at the age of 24, set sail from New York in February 1852, bound for San Francisco, California, to join the gold rush and to hopefully make his fortune. The Panama Canal had not been built at that time and he sailed around the tip of South America to reach the California coast.     Nimrod Headington kept a diary of his 1852 journey and in 1905 he made a hand-written copy for his daughter Thetis O. Tate. This hand-written copy was eventually passed down to Nimrod’s great-great-granddaughter, Karen (Liffring) Hill (1955-2010). Karen was a book editor and during the last two years of her life she transcribed Nimrod’s journal. Nimrod’s journal, Trip to California, documents his travels between February of 1852 and spring of 1853.

[2] Nimrod Headington (1827-1913) was the son of Nicholas (1790-1856) and Ruth (Phillips) (1794-1865) Headington. He was born in Mt. Vernon, Knox County, Ohio, on 5 August 1827 and married Mary Ann McDonald (1829-1855) in Delaware County, Ohio, in 1849. Nimrod moved to Portland, Jay County, Indiana, by 1860 and during the Civil War served in the 34th Indiana Infantry 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).

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

Jun 09

Tombstone Tuesday-Walter E. & Erna T. (Schumm) Schumm

Walter T. & Erna T. Schumm, Zion Lutheran Ceetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Walter E. and Erna T. (Schumm) Schumm, located in row 6 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

SCHUMM
Walter E.
1888-1967
Erna T.
1894-1971

Walter Emanuel Schumm was born 16 November 1888, the fourth child born to George Henry and Anna (Roehm) Schumm. He was baptized at the church on 25 November 1888, with Martin Schumm and Henry Roehm serving as his sponsors.

Walter Schumm, with his family in 1900: Henry G Schumm, 45; Annie M, 43; Amelia, 19; Annie W, 17; Walter E, 11; Esther, 6; and Maria, 79. [1]

Walter‘s family in 1910: HG Schumm, 55; Minnie, 47; George Limecooly, 16, step-son; Margaret Limecooly, 12, step-daughter; Walter Schumm, 21, son; and Esther, 16, daughter. [2]

Walter Schumm married Erna Schumm on 25 May 1918 at the home of the bride’s mother, married by Rev. George J. Meyer. H.G. Schumm and Naomi Schumm were witnessed to the marriage. It is interesting to note that their siblings had married just 10 days before, when Erna’s brother Amos C. Schumm married Walter’s sister Esther Schumm. Amos and Esther Schumm were featured in last week’s Tombstone Tuesday.

Erna Theresa Schumm was born 9 November 1894, the third child born to Frederick (Jr) and Mary (Buchner) Schumm. She was baptized at home on 18 November 1894, with Henry Buchner and Mrs. Maria Neubrecht serving as her sponsors. Her mother Mary (Buchner) was the second wife of Frederick Jr and Erna had six living step-siblings when she was born. Erna‘s older full sister Justina Louise Schumm died in infancy.

Erna Schumm, with her family in 1900: Friedrich Schumm, 56; Mary, 39; Hugo A, 24; Leona B, 22; Henrietta A, 20; Lawrence W, 15; Amos C, 8; Erna T, 5; and Naomi M, 3. The family lived on a farm in Black Creek Township, Mercer County, Ohio. [3]

Erna‘s father Frederick Schumm Jr died 24 December 1907.

In 1910 Erna lived with her widowed mother Mary (Buchner) Schumm and her siblings: Mary Schumm, 49; William, 25; Amos, 18; Erna, 15; and Naomi, 12. [4]

Two years after their 1918 marriage, Walter and Erna Schumm in 1920: Walter E, 31, and Erna T, 25, living in Willshire Township, where Walter farmed. They lived very close, probably next door to Walter’s father Henry George Schumm and his second wife Mina (Kroemer). [5]

In 1940, three of Walter and Erna Schumm’s nieces lived with them: Walter, 51; Erna, 45; Marcile, 20; Hilda, 12; and Virginia, 13. All were Schumms. [6] According to the census, Marcile, Hilda, and Virginia Schumm were nieces, but that was not actually true for all three girls.

The specifics: Marcile Schumm (1920-1988) was the daughter of Hugo & Ada (Wilson) Schumm. Walter and Marcile were second cousins once removed; Marcile was Erna’s niece. Hilda Schumm (1928-1993), was the daughter of Amos and Esther (Schumm) Schumm. Both Walter and Erna had the same relationship to Hilda: second cousins once removed and Hilda was niece to both. Virginia Schumm (1926-1983) was the daughter of Charles and Amelia (Germann) Schumm. Walter and Virginia were first and second cousins once removed; Erna and Virginia were second cousins once removed. So, Marcile and Hilda were nieces and Virginia was a relative, but not a niece. And remember, years ago relationships were often stated differently than as we understand them today.  

Walter Schumm died 13 March 1967 in Van Wert County. Walter’s obituary:

Walter E. Schumm
Walter E. Schumm, 78, a retired farmer of Rt. 1, Willshire, died at 10:25 p.m. Monday at the Van Rue Geriatric Center. He had been in failing health for two years and seriously ill one year.

Born Nov. 16, 1888, in Willshire Township, he was the son of Henry G. and Anna (Roehm) Schumm. He was a lifetime resident of the Willshire area. His widow, Erna T., whom he married May 25, 1918, survives.

Mrs. Schumm served as secretary of the Zion Lutheran Church in Willshire Township for a number of years. He was a member of the church and the Lutheran Laymen’s League.

Survivors include a niece, Mrs. Marcile (Schumm) Buechner of Sacramento, Calif., who was raised by the Schumms, and a sister, Mrs. Amos (Esther) Schumm of Rockford. Three sisters preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Cowan and Son Funeral Home and at 2 p.m. Friday at the Zion Lutheran Church. The Rev. Elmer W. Braun will officiate. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Friends may call at the funeral home from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday afternoon and evening. Friends may call at the church from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. [7]

Erna (Schumm) Schumm died 25 August 1971 in Van Wert County. Erna’s obituary:

Erna T. Schumm
Willshire-Services for Mrs. Erna T. Schumm, 76, of Rt. 1, will be 2 p.m. Saturday in Zion Lutheran Church, near here, Rev. Robert D. Schuler officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Mrs. Schumm died 1:29 p.m. Wednesday in Van Wert County Hospital, following a long illness.

She was born Nov. 9, 1894, in Mercer County, the daughter of Frederick and Mary Buechner Schumm. She married Walter E. Schumm, who died March 13, 1967.

Also surviving are a brother, Amos of Rt. 1, Rockford; and a sister, Mrs. Naomi Schumm of Rt. 1, Willshire. Two brothers and two sisters are deceased.

Friends may call at Cowan and Son Funeral Home, Van Wert, after 1 p.m. Friday and at the church after 12:30 p.m. Saturday. [8]   

Walter and Erna (Schumm) Schumm had no children but they raised Marcile Schumm after the death of both her parents in the early 1930s. Marcile was Erna’s niece, the daughter of Erna’s half brother Anton “Hugo“ Schumm.

[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 97, p.10, dwelling193, family 206, Henry G Schumm; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/ : viewed 31 May 2020).

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 114, p.6A, dwelling 110, family 111, HG Schumm; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7884/ : viewed 31 May 2020).

[3] 1900 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, ED 74, p.2, dwelling & family 29, Frederick Schumm; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/ : viewed 17 May 2020).

[4] 1910 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, ED 107, p.2A, dwelling & family 26, Marry Schwinn; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7884/ : viewed 17 May 2020).

[5] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 146, p.3A, dwelling & family 50, Walter E Schumm; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6061/ : viewed 8 Jun 2020).

[6] 1940 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 81-28, p. 4B, house no 27, visited 86, Walter Schumm; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/2442/ : viewed 8 Jun 2020).

[7] Van Wert Time Bulletin, Van Wert, Ohio, 14 Mar 1967, p.2, Walter E. Schumm obituary; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com, viewed 8 Jun 2020.

[8] The Lima News, Lima, Ohio, 26 Aug 1971, p.4, Erna T. Schumm obituary; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com, viewed 8 Jun 2020.

Jun 05

Nimrod Headington Journal, 1852, part 17

Today’s blog post is the seventeenth in a series, the transcription of Nimrod Headington’s 1852 journal, Trip to California.

In his journal Nimrod Headington details his 1852 voyage from New York to San Francisco and his search for gold in California. [1] [2]

Nimrod, with several others from Knox County, Ohio, set sail from New York on 16 February 1852, traveling on the clipper ship Racehound. After 5 months at sea they docked at San Francisco on 18 July 1852.

In today’s blog post, Nimrod continues his search for gold in California in the late summer through Christmas, 1852.

I was to relate a circumstance that happened at Frenchman’s Bar while I was there. It happened on Thursday night while I was at church. A man came to the cabin of Mr. Ross. He was a gambler and commenced to gamble, as all of those houses that kept boarders had a gambling table. His cash soon gave out. He had a large buckskin sack that he said was full of gold dust. He showed the sack to Mr. Ross and told him that he did not want to break in on it and asked him to loan him ten dollars, which he did, supposing he would shortly pay him back. The gambler was soon fleeced out of that ten dollars. He got up and set around from a while and then slipped off and came over to the house of Mr. Higgins, where I was boarding, and commenced playing again. He soon lost, and the buckskin sack was again exhibited, and he borrowed money again. This time the lender had the sack opened and found nothing in it but black sand. And a row was kicked up immediately, and Mr. Ross was informed of the contents of the sack. He came up immediately and took the gambler by the throat and demanded his money. The fellow said he had not a cent of money in the world. They took him out stripped of all clothing but his pants and tied him to a tree and gave him twelve lashes and then gave him one hour to leave.

When they were fixing to whip the gambler, there was a man named Brown in [favor of] having the fellow whipped, and the gambler drew from a scabbard that hung by his side a large butcher knife, intending to stab Brown, but Mr. Ross was standing right behind him and caught his arm. In drawing the knife, he struck a small boy in the shoulder, inflicting a severe wound. When they had the gambler tied to the tree and had given him 12 lashes, the little boy said, “Now give him 12 lashes for me.” They untied the fellow and let him go. And with the blood running down into his boots, he was soon out of sight. 

Search for Gold Continues

Now I will return to the Sierra diggings. I came here on the 20th of September, 1852, on Sunday and stayed at the Sierra House at Chandlersville. He charged me one dollar for meals and nothing for lodging. This morning I started out prospecting, but I was sick for the first time since I left home. I layed down by a large red cedar log and layed there all day. Has it [not] been for some medicine my partners had given me, I would have had the [cholera]. The next day I felt some better but not able to work. But the next day I felt strong enough to work, and I went to digging holes in the ground to find gold. I kept this up for 5 days without any success. So I gave up prospecting and went and hired to work for 3 dollars a day to an Englishman. I worked 7 days and then quit. And then in company with 3 other men from [Ceeder Country Soway] by the name of McAfferty, Hardacher, and Moffit, we took a contract digging a ditch 125 feet long, 6 feet wide at the top and 4 feet at the bottom. It took us 26 days to do the work. We got six hundred dollars in cash and the dirt that we threw out of the ditch, which proved to be fairly good paying dirt.

After we completed this job, I jumped a claim that a man had forfeited by not keeping notices on it or working it. I went to work on it, and while I was sinking the first hole, this man came along and ordered me off. But I paid no heed to him. He went away, and I never saw him afterwards. After working this claim for a short time, I found a chance to buy a share in a claim with three other men: a Mr. Henry from Iowa and two men named Watkins from Kentucky. They had four claims of one hundred feet each and a small cabin, for which I paid $85.00. And then we held equal shared in the claims.

We had on hand 80 dollars’ worth of provisions at that time, which was only about enough to last us 2 weeks, as provisions were very high. At that time, $80.00 would not buy much more than one man could carry at one load. Flour was selling for 40 cents per pound, cornmeal at 28 cent, pork 59 cents, sugar 25 cents, molasses for $3.00 per gallon. Boarding by the week at boarding houses $14.00 to $16.00, in advance wages $6.00 per day.

We commenced to work this claim in the first day of December, 1852, and we worked 6 days without finding anything—the gold being so fine, we could not save it. On the seventh day the snow began to fall and continued for five days and nights without any letup, rendering the roads all impassable and covered up our cabins entirely. That caused a great many of the miners to leave this port and flee to the valley, especially those of them that had no claims and were about out of money. On account of the great depth of the snow, provisions were bound to be higher. On the 24th we were obliged to buy some provisions for ourselves. We had to pay 50 cents a pound for flour, 60 cents for pork, 40 cents for cornmeal. The next day, Christmas, we bought some dried peaches, for which we paid 60 cents a pound. And then we made duff for dinner, which we relished, but just how clean it was I will not tell you. The snow fell all day, and I felt very lonesome. Often thought of home and friends and the comforts with which they were surrounded on all sides in that land of peace and plenty. [3]

To be continued…

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

[1] Nimrod Headington at the age of 24, set sail from New York in February 1852, bound for San Francisco, California, to join the gold rush and to hopefully make his fortune. The Panama Canal had not been built at that time and he sailed around the tip of South America to reach the California coast.     Nimrod Headington kept a diary of his 1852 journey and in 1905 he made a hand-written copy for his daughter Thetis O. Tate. This hand-written copy was eventually passed down to Nimrod’s great-great-granddaughter, Karen (Liffring) Hill (1955-2010). Karen was a book editor and during the last two years of her life she transcribed Nimrod’s journal. Nimrod’s journal, Trip to California, documents his travels between February of 1852 and spring of 1853.

[2] Nimrod Headington (1827-1913) was the son of Nicholas (1790-1856) and Ruth (Phillips) (1794-1865) Headington. He was born in Mt. Vernon, Knox County, Ohio, on 5 August 1827 and married Mary Ann McDonald (1829-1855) in Delaware County, Ohio, in 1849. Nimrod moved to Portland, Jay County, Indiana, by 1860 and during the Civil War served in the 34th Indiana Infantry 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).

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

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