Aug 11

Tombstone Tuesday–Eliza

Eliza, wife of Franklin Edo..., Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Eliza, wife of Franklin Edo…, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Eliza, located at the far end of row 1 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

ELIZA
Wife of
Franklin Edo [?]
Died
Aged
30 ys. 4 mo. 18 da.

Unfortunately, this stone is broken at a very important place, eradicating Eliza’s date of death. As if that isn’t enough, there is a chunk of stone missing, making the name of her husband only partially visible.

And the bad luck continues.

Some burials recorded in Zion’s records no longer have a corresponding tombstone in the cemetery. And there are a few tombstones in the cemetery for which there is no burial record. Eliza’s marker is one of the latter.

Comparing this tombstone to similar ones in the cemetery, it likely dates to between 1870 and 1885.

There is nothing in Zion Chatt’s records of an Eliza or an Elizabeth who was 30 years of age during that time period. There are few Franklins mentioned in Zion’s records but none of them seem work with this tombstone.

At Eliza’s young age, she may have died in childbirth.

Eliza, wife of Franklin, ages 30 years, 4 months, 18 days. Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Eliza, wife of Franklin, aged 30 years, 4 months, 18 days. Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Eliza is buried between Andrew E. Leistner and Carrie W. Friedell, which may or may not mean anything.

Eliza’s husband’s first name was Franklin. The last name, or perhaps his middle name, begins with the letters EDO. Very few surnames in Zion’s records begin with an “E.” EDO could be the first three letters of his middle name if his surname was very short.

Who was Eliza? If only there were a few more clues on the tombstone.

I have looked through some Mercer County probate death records on FamilySearch.org. I have searched there for a marriage between a Franklin and Eliza. I have found nothing conclusive. Not even a good guess. It is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

And, they could have lived in Indiana since Chatt is nearly on the state line.

Who were these people? Who were Eliza and Franklin?

We may never know.

Aug 07

The 1948 Tornado

A few weeks ago John Vining posed an interesting question, wondering if a tornado touched down about three miles south of Willshire, in Mercer County, on 19 March 1948, before moving northeastward into Van Wert County. This tornado was part of a storm system that went through Ohio City, Landeck, and Columbus Grove, killing three people and doing a lot of damage.

The 1948 tornado is best known for the damage it caused northeast of Willshire, in Van Wert and Putnam Counties, but did it touch down before entering Van Wert County?

John’s dad once told him that three tornadoes, occurring in 1920, 1948, and 1965, followed nearly parallel paths from southwest to northeast, all of them touching down a few miles south of Willshire.

The 1920 tornado struck about four miles south of Willshire, near Duck Creek Cemetery. The 1965 tornado touched down about two miles south of Willshire, just south of the curves on 49. But we have not heard much about the 1948 tornado.

Quonset-hut style barn on former farm of John McGough, built to replace barn destroyed by a tornado in 1948. (2015 photo by Karen)

Quonset hut style barn on former farm of John McGough, built to replace barn destroyed by a tornado in 1948. (2015 photo by Karen)

John’s dad also told him that the Quonset hut-type barn on the John McGough farm on McGough Road was built as a replacement for their barn that was destroyed by the 1948 tornado. There is also a similar barn to the northeast, just south of the Wabash/Winkler Road intersection. Were these two barns built as a result of damage from the 1948 tornado?

Quonset hut barn near intersection of Winkler & Wabash Roads, probably built about the same time as the McGough barn, possibly to replace a barn demolished by the 1948 tornado. (2015 photo by Karen)

Quonset hut barn near intersection of Wabash & Winkler Roads, probably built about the same time as the McGough barn, possibly to replace a barn demolished by the 1948 tornado. (2015 photo by Karen)

The 1948 tornado was very destructive in Ohio City, Landeck, and Columbus Grove, taking three lives, and John also wondered if the tornado touched down in Mercer County before entering Van Wert County. John noted that it is a straight line between the areas where the tornado touched down–from Columbus Grove to Landeck, to Ohio City, and finally southwest to the Quonset-style barns south of Willshire.

John found no reference on the Internet that the 1948 tornado touched down in Mercer County before moving into Van Wert County.

He wondered, did the 1948 tornado touch down south of Willshire, in Mercer County, before moving to the northeast?

Yes! It appears that John’s interesting theory and observations are correct.

According to the 25 March 1948 account of the storm in The Willshire Herald, a tornado did destroy the John McGough barn. There was also quite a bit of storm damage to other properties in the area. I do not know if the second barn was built as a result of damage from the same storm. I do not know who lived there at that time.

The Willshire Herald, 25 March 1948, p.1.

The Willshire Herald, 25 March 1948, p.1.

Below is a transcription of the rather lengthy newspaper article from the front page of the 25 March 1948 Willshire Herald. There are several names I recognize in the article, some from the Chatt area.

Willshire Area Hard Hit By Friday’s Storm
Ohio City-Rockford Area Also Suffers
Here in Willshire it is difficult to realize that all about this community death and destruction rode the cyclonic storm of wind, rain, hail and lightning that drove through here shortly after 12:15 o’clock last Friday.

The storm came suddenly and in a rush. Some persons said they heard the roar of its approach 30 seconds before it struck. Mid-day became almost as dark as a moonless midnight. The wind came with a force that defied frustration.

Here in Willshire the visible effect was in the deluge of rain that came on as an iron curtain, and a majority of the towns-people feared a cyclone had struck. West, east, north and south of town more or less destruction was in evidence by the trees, buildings, telephone and power lines that were struck down.

At 12:15 Friday noon the electric clocks stopped. So did the refrigerator, cooling system, power and light current. That is the most it did to the immediate towns-people—without current for almost nine hours.

McGough Road, south of Willshire, in Mercer County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

McGough Road, south of Willshire, in Mercer County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

Nearby Area Hard-Hit
It was a different story in the country ‘round about, beginning only a mile or two out of town. One of the places hardest hit was the John McGough farm, where the barn and out-buildings were almost totally destroyed, the dwelling house unroofed, the interior being practically ruined for tenancy for the immediate present.

The McGough farm is located about three and one-half miles southeast of town.

The Homer Buchanan buildings were not neglected by the storm, and an end was torn off the machine shed portion of the John Kallenberger barn.

The barn on the old G.W. Fisher farm almost due south of town about three miles was just about wiped out, and the barn on the O.G. Dudgeon farm, formerly known as the John Musselman farm, was partly edged off its foundation, a 24×24 shed about wrecked, and doors ripped off the barn and shed.

At the Wm. Hamrick farm the barn was destroyed and two cattle and a hog killed. At the Winkler Bros. farms the barns were wrecked and the dwelling houses greatly damaged. The barn on the W.E. Spitler farm collapsed, the dwelling house damaged, and two head of cattle trapped and killed. This property is occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Fermin Wilson.

On south and east the barn on the Mel Stetler place was destroyed. Farther north the Kermit Stetler house and barn were badly damaged, as were the buildings on the Edgar Clouse farm a short distance north of Route 33.

The story of disaster locally could run on and on, as numerous minor mishaps occurred. Fortunate, indeed, that in our immediate sector no lives were lost, no one seriously injured.

Rockford and Ohio City Suffer
The story of destruction at Rockford and Ohio City and the area in between was one of unbelievable wreckage, with the Sharp canning factory buildings and equipment destroyed, entailing a loss of an estimated $200,000.

At Ohio City the Holland Mills sustained heavy damage and loss, the school building there had all the window glasses shattered, and throughout the town the damage was believed to have hit as least 80 percent of the properties. One claim is that the loss will approach the million-dollar mark.

Two Fatalities at Landeck
At Landeck, a community of two or three hundred persons, four miles south of Delphos, occurred the only tragedy recorded in this section of Ohio.

Two lads, assisting in decorating the altar of the Catholic church for Easter-tide services, were killed when the church building was rent in two and the falling walls of the steeple cut them down without chance of escape. They were Norbert Bonifas, 12, and Gerald Hill [sic] [1], 10, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Bonifas and Mr. And Mrs. Linus Kill, respectively, both families of R.D. 1, Venedocia.

The air field and buildings near Van Wert were completely demolished, and of the 20 private planes kept there 14 were damaged to a greater or less degree.

Many of the children in the Ohio City-Liberty school building were injured by glass, none of them seriously.  

Insurance Claims Filed
Managers of insurance companies operating in Van Wert and Mercer counties in the districts affected, say that upwards of 2,000 claims had been filed up to Saturday night. Expert insurance men estimate the loss in the two counties in the neighborhood of $3,000,000, and that work of restoring buildings not wholly demolished will carry on through the summer because of lack in materials and workmen.

Lumber yards and roofing concerns had all available material cleaned out by Saturday night, and have since been flooded with requests for building and repair material and didn’t know where to turn to secure more.

Heavy Rains Over Week End
An incessant fall of rain throughout Sunday and well into the night increased the discomfort of the people, the waters reaching flood stage in many quarters. Thousands of acres of lowland along the St. Marys River were inundated.

At Wren Sunday night the business section of the town was under water, which flooded the lower floors of several of the business buildings.

Red Cross field workers have been on the ground, ready to give financial assistance where needed, and are standing by to lend a hand when called upon to do so.

Tony Baker Home Near Chattanooga Hit
Among the property damage done in the storm last Friday was the almost total destruction of the Tony Baker farm house and all the smaller outbuildings, granary, implement shed garage, etc.—located three-fourths of a mile directly east from Zion Lutheran church at the south end of Chattanooga. The farm barn was only slightly damaged.

The dwelling was a two-story, nine-room structure. A wing of two rooms and a porch that will be enclosed will be the habitat of the Baker family during the building of a new family home.

Mrs. Donald Schumm of this town is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tony Baker. She states that while her father carried insurance on the property, the loss will be at least 50 per cent greater, if not more, than the amount of the insurance.

Storm Held ‘High Carnival’ Here
The north and east sections of Willshire township were hit pretty hard in Friday’s storm.

The large hog barn and corn crib on the Harold Hurless farm were destroyed and several windows in the dwelling house and barn were blown in.

The hogs were uninjured, but the hayloader was demolished and a wagon damaged quite a bit.

A large brooder house on the Milo Sheets farm, housing a sow and six pigs, was turned upside-down but the animals were not injured. An implement shed was blown down here, but because of the heavy construction the tractor in the shed was not damaged.

At the home of Charles Ault, a former Willshire school teacher, the garage was blown down and his car was badly damaged.

Power Company and Men Deserve Real Credit
The Dayton Power and Light Co. has certainly made every possible effort to make up for the inconveniences and discomforts because of their current lines being put out of commission by last Friday’s storm that almost ruined their lines throughout this section.

Four crews have been at work practically from the minute the storm struck, operating under the direction of Wade Hoffman. They worked from both ends of the line and had the operation of four radio crews to assist in tracing line trouble with the least possible delay.

Rockford and Willshire were restored to limited service early the same night, but other distributing lines were got under control over Sunday so that the service is now just about normal.

Except for some unlooked for and unusual interference the work of restoration of service would all have been accomplished many hours earlier, and the company and their workmen are to be congratulated on the good work that has been done. [2]

Thanks, John, for the asking about this interesting piece of local history.

[1] His name was Jerald Kill.

[2] The Willshire Herald, 25 March 1948, p.1.

Aug 04

Tombstone Tuesday–William H. Cordier

William H. Cordier, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

William H. Cordier, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of William H. Cordier, located in row 1 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

William H.
Son of
H.J. & L. B.
Cordier
Died
Sept 24, 1894
Aged 4 M. 28 D.
CORDIER

William was the son of Henry J. and Louisa Barbara (Deitsch) Cordier and was born 26 April 1894, as calculated from his tombstone.

William’s father Henry was a physician who practiced in Chatt, Rockford, and Celina at various times. William’s mother Louisa was born in Brehm, Ohio, and was the daughter of Jacob and Gertrude (Miller) Deitsch.

William’s infant brother and grandparents, Jacob and Gertrude Deitsch, are buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery. The rest of the family are buried elsewhere.

William had four sisters, Myrtle, Alberta, and twins Luella and Luetta, and an infant brother who died in 1888 at the age of one day.

The Cordier name is only mentioned twice in Zion Chatt’s records, and unfortunately neither the birth nor burial of this child was recorded. There appears to be no information about William in Mercer County’s probate birth or death records either.

Additional information about William Cordier’s parents is in last week’s Tombstone Tuesday, “Infant Son of H.J. and L.B. Cordier.”

Jul 31

More DNA Test Results

Yesterday I received some preliminary results from my latest DNA test. About a month ago I sent a saliva sample to 23andMe and the results are back already. The initial results are easy to understand and, as always, are interesting.

The test results from 23andMe gave me some new information as well as reiterating some of the information I learned from my Family Tree DNA test last year.dna

I already knew that my mitochondrial DNA (DNA from my maternal ancestry) was Haplogroup H. Haplogroup H is ancestry in Europe and the Near East that traces back to eastern Africa about 50,000 years ago. It is the most prevalent haplogroup in Europe today.

23andMe reports that I am distantly related to actress Susan Sarandon on my mother’s side. Very distant, I’m sure. I doubt we are very closely related at all, but that we probably share Haplogroup H. Others in Haplogroup H include Marie Antoinette, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Prince Philip.

The 23andMe test also showed my Ancestry Composition–the percentage of my DNA from both sides of my family that shows the percentage of my DNA from 31 populations around the world. No surprises here. I am 99.6% European, with 87.4% being Northern European. The break-down is as follows:

36.2% French & German
14.3% British & Irish
4.5% Scandinavian
32.3% Broadly Northern European
.8% Iberian
.4% Sardinian
.2% Balkan
3.6% Broadly Southern European
7.3% Broadly European
.4% Sub-Saharan African/West African
.1% Middle Eastern & North African
.1% Unassigned

Northern Europe extends from Ireland, to Norway, to Finland, and to France. Southern Europe includes the Iberian, Italian, and Balkan Peninsulas, and the island of Sardinia.

I also learned a couple new and interesting things about my DNA from this test.

Listen up Brewster relatives. You will find this very interesting, too.

The story that Mary Ann Martin, wife of Jackson Brewster, was a beautiful Indian princess [well at least a Native American Indian] has been passed down through the family for as long as I can remember. It has been, and still is, a major question and debate among our Brewster line to this day. “Do Mary Ann’s high cheekbones look like those of a Native American Indian?” “Her skin and hair look dark. Was she a Native American?”

It is a great story but I always wondered how an Indian had a surname like Martin.

Now DNA tells the true story.

I have NO Native American Indian DNA. Zero. Zilch. Nein. Nyet. Nada. Nae. Scratch the Native American Indian ancestry story.

Jackson Brewster (1816-1890) & wife Mary Ann (Martin) (1822-1895.

Jackson Brewster (1816-1890) & wife Mary Ann (Martin) (1822-1895)

Another very interesting thing I learned is that my DNA is 2.8% Neanderthal. Cool! Actually this is not surprising since it is theorized that Homo sapiens interbred with Neanderthals tens of thousands of years ago in Europe. And I know that my ancient ancestors were in Europe thousands of years ago.

Neanderthals moved into Europe about 200,000 years ago and lived with the modern humans for thousands of years. Today nearly everyone outside of Africa has between 1-4% Neanderthal DNA in his genes.

I am in the 58th percentile of Neanderthal DNA among 23andME members, so I actually have a little more than average Neanderthal DNA. That could explain a lot…

These are only the preliminary DNA test results from my 23andMe DNA test. There is more information to come and I know it will be interesting.

Jul 28

Tombstone Tuesday–Infant Son of H.J. & L.B. Cordier

Infant Son of H.J. & L.B. Cordier, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Infant Son of H.J. & L.B. Cordier, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of the infant son of Henry J. and Louisa B. (Deitsch) Cordier, located in row 1 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

INFANT
Son of
H.J. & L.B.
CORDIER
Died
April 9
1888
Aged
1 day

There are a few tombstones in Zion’s cemetery for which there is no corresponding burial record and this is one of them. The Cordier surname is only mentioned twice in Zion Chatt’s records and unfortunately neither the birth nor the burial of this infant was recorded. [1] There is another Cordier infant buried next to this child and they are brothers, and there is no recorded information for either.

Their father, Henry Cordier, may have been the child of Christian and Barbara (Holzer) Cordier, [2] born in June of 1851, likely in Marion Township, Mercer County, Ohio.

In 1880 Henry Cordier, age 29, was a physician and surgeon in the Chatt area. He was a boarder in the Jacob Deitsch home, where he met his future wife Louisa, Jacob’s17 year-old daughter. [3]

Henry and Louisa married a year and a half later in Ann Arbor, Michigan united in marriage by a justice of the peace on 4 January 1882. He was age 30, a physician, and she was 18. They stated they were both from Liberty, Ohio, and that he was born in Marion, Ohio. [4]

Louisa Barbara Deitsch was born 25 January 1864 in Liberty Township, in the area once called Brehm, near St. Paul Lutheran Church, aka St. Paul Liberty. She was the daughter of Jacob and Gertrude (Müller) Deitsch and was baptized at Zion Chatt in 1864. The Jacob Deitsch family was listed in Zion’s Familienbuch, which also mentions that Jacob moved out of the parish in 1864. They must have come back to Zion Chatt at a later time because Louisa’s parents, Jacob and Gertrude, are buried in Zion’s cemetery. That may be the reason the two Cordier children are also buried there, buried in the same cemetery as their grandparents.

In 1900 the Cordier family resided on West Pearl Street in Rockford, Ohio. Henry was a physician and they had the following children: Myrtle C, 14; Luella E, 10; Luetta L, 10; and Alberta B, 7. Note that they had twin daughters. This enumeration indicates that Louisa had given birth to five children, but only four were living.  [5] However, another son is also buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery.

By 1910 Henry and Louisa had moved to Celina, where Henry was still a practicing physician. They lived at 121 Market Street with their four daughters, Myrtle, Luella, Luetta, and Alberta. In this record Louisa indicated that she had given birth to six children, with four still living. Henry indicated that his father was born in Germany and his mother in Switzerland. [6]

Henry returned to Liberty Township by 1920, where he was still a doctor, but his wife and daughters were not living with him. [7] They were in Louisiana.

Wife Louisa and their three daughters were living in Tangipahoa, Louisiana. Louisa, Alberta, and Luella were living with Luetta (Cordier) Thompson and her daughter Barbara. [8] Luetta had married Orland Thompson in 1916. [9]  

By 1928 Henry and Louise were back together and were living in Denver, Colorado. [10]

Henry and Louisa were living with their daughter Alberta in Denver in 1930. Alberta was age 37, unmarried, and employed as a secretary at a public school. Henry was 78 years old and Louisa was 66. Henry was not working and had likely retired by this time. [11]

Henry Cordier died in 1933 and is buried at Wheat Ridge Cemetery, Jefferson County, Colorado. [12]

Henry’s widow Louisa likely remained with their daughter Alberta in Denver until she died in 1945. Louisa is also buried at Wheat Ridge Cemetery. [13]

 

 

[1] On 28 March1880 Heinrich J. Cordier, along with Magdalena Kessler, were witnesses to the baptism of Gustov Heinrich Wuethner, son of Gustav and Friederike Wuethner. The other Cordier mentioned was Katherina Cordier, who was confirmed at Zion Chatt in 1873.

[2] Frank/Nitta/Hammond/Schmidt Ancestry Tree, submitted by veefrank, listing for Henry J Cordier; Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2015).

[3] 1880 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 188 p.471B, dwelling & family 9, line 2, Henry J Cordier, in the home of Jacob Deitsch; digital image by subscription at Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2015); from FHL microfilm 1255048, from NARA microfilm T9, roll 1048.

[4] Michigan Marriage Records, 1867-1952, Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, 1882 Monroe-1883 Benzie, p.308 Henry J Cordier and Louisa Deitsch, 4 Jan 1882; database and images on-line at Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 July 2015).

[5] 1900 U.S. Census, Dublin, Mercer, Ohio, ED 78, p.3A, dwelling 58, family 59, Henry J Cordier; digital image by subscription at Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2015); from FHL microfilm 1241303, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1303.

[6] 1910 U.S. Census, Celina Ward 2, Mercer, Ohio, ED 117, p.12B, dwelling 118, family 123, Henry J Cordier; digital image by subscription at Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2015); from FHL microfilm 1375227, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 1214.

[7] 1920 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 140, p.3A, dwelling 47, family 47, Henry J. Cordier; digital image by subscription at Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2015); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 1418.

[8] 1920, Hammond, Tangipahoa, Louisiana, ED 128, p.19A, dwelling 346, line 43, Louisa Cordier; digital image by subscription at Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2015); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 631.

[9] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 27 Jul 2015), Henry J. Cordier in entry for Orland Thompson and Louetta Cordier, 15 Jul 1916; citing Mercer County, Ohio, Marriages, Vol. 11 p.46; from FHL microfilm 2366954.

[10] U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989, 1928 Denver, Colorado City Directory, p.846, Henry J & spouse Louise B Cordier; database and images on-line at Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 July 2015).

[11] 1930 U.S. Census, Denver, Denver, Colorado, ED 67, p.16B, dwelling 336, family 343, Henry J Cordier; digital image by subscription at Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2015); from FHL microfilm 1339970, from NARA microfilm T626, roll 2356.

[12] Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : accessed 27 Jul 2015), Henry J Cordier & Louisa B Cordier memorials, #43516013 & 104623665.

[13] 1940 U.S. Census, Denver, Denver, Colorado, ED 16-220B, p.1A, line 29, visit 14, Louisa B. Cordier; digital image by subscription at Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2015); from NARA microfilm T627, roll 490.

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