Aug 02

Tombstone Tuesday–Harley J. & Ella (Becher) Reef

Harley J. & Ella (Becher) Reef, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Harley J. & Ella (Becher) Reef, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Harley J. and Ella (Becher) Reef, located in row 9 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

REEF
Ella B.
1893-1967
Harley J.
1888-1960

Harley Jacob Reef was born 1 May 1888 in Jay County, Indiana, the son of Martin and Mahala (Cole) Reef.

In 1900 Harley lived with his family in Wabash, Jay County, Indiana. Their household in 1900: Martin Reef, 39, born in Ohio; Mahala, 38, Indiana; Harly J, 12; Eloise S, 2; and Adam A, 3 months. Harley’s parents had been married 17 years and three of their five children were living. [1]

In 1910 the Martin Reef family lived in Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana. Harley’s father farmed and Harley helped on the farm. Their household in 1910: Martin, 49; Mahala, 48; Jacob, 21; Eloise, 12; Adam E, 10; and Daniel S, 7. Martin and Mahala had been married 26 years and four of their six children were living. [2]

Harley Reef married Ella Becher at the Lutheran Church in Celina, Mercer County, Ohio, on 29 November 1913. They were married by Rev. Reitz. [3]

Sarah Ellen Jane “Ella” Becher was the daughter of Jacob and Mary (Kettering) Becher, born 28 March 1893 in Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The Bechers attended Zion Lutheran Church at Chatt.

In 1917 Harley Reef farmed and lived with his wife and one child in Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana. His World War I Draft Card indicates he was tall and slender with light brown eyes and black hair. [4]

The Harley Reef household in 1920, Jefferson Township: Harley, 31; Ella S, 26; Naomi R, 2; Imogene I, 9 months. Harley and their two daughters were born in Indiana and Ella was born in Ohio. Harley farmed and their house was mortgaged. They lived next door to Harley’s parents Martin and Mahala. [5]

Harley Reef was confirmed as an adult at Zion Chatt on 20 May 1923.

By 1930 Harley and Ella owned their home in Jefferson Township where Harley still farmed: Harley J, 41; Ella, 37; Naomi, 13; and Imogene, 11. [6]

Harley, Ella, and their two daughters lived in Jefferson Township in 1940, in the same home they lived in at least since 1935. Harley farmed, Ella did not work, and Naomi and Imogene both worked as seamstresses in an overall factory. The two daughters were not married. [7]

In 1942 Harley, age 53, and Ella lived at RR2 Berne. [8]

Harley Reef died of a coronary occlusion on 15 July 1960 at his farm home at RR 2, Berne, 5 miles east and 2 miles south of Berne. He was 72 years old. Yager Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements and he was buried on the 17th. His daughter Naomi/Mrs. Don DeArmond, Rockford, Ohio, was the informant for the information on his death certificate. His occupation was farmer and commissioner. He was survived by his wife. [9]

Ella (Becher) Reef died of a coronary thrombosis 15 January 1967 in the Adams County Hospital, Decatur, Indiana, at the age of 73. She resided at her home in Berne at the time of her death and was a retired housewife. Yager’s was in charge of the arrangements and she was buried on the 18th. Her daughter Mrs. Naomi DeArmond was the informant for the information on her death certificate. [10]

Harley and Ella (Becher) Reef had the following children:
Naomi R (1917-2003), married Don DeArmond
Imogene I (1919-1999), married Rev. Walter L Priebe

 

[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Jay, Indiana, ED 72, p2A, dwelling 27, family 29, Martin Reef; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2016); from FHL microfilm 1240380, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 380.

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 4, p.4B, family 76, Martin Reef; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2016); from FHL microfilm 1374351, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 338.

[3] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 27 Jul 2016), H.J. Reef & Ella Becher, 29 Nov 1913; from Mercer Marriages, Vol. 10, p.335; from FHL microfilm 914959.

[4] U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Adams, Indiana, Harley Jacob Reef; Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2016); WWI Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Washington DC, NARA M1509, roll 1439777.

[5] 1920 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 4, p.9A, dwelling 178, family 192, Harley G Reef; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2016); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 420.

[6] 1930 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 4, p.3B, dwelling 58,  Harry J Reef; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2016); from FHL microfilm 2340309, from NARA microfilm T626, roll 574.

[7] 1940 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 1-4, p.4B, line 76, Harley Reff; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2016); from NARA microfilm T627, roll 1024.

[8] U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942,  Fourth Registration for Indiana, NAI no.623285, Harley Jacob Reef; Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2016); Records of the Selective Service System, Record Group No. 147.

[9] Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, #022906, Harley J Reef, 15 Jul 1960; database on-line, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2016);  Indiana State Board of Health, Death Certificates, 1900-2011, microfilm from Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.

[10] Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, #000005, Ella Reef, 15 Jan 1967; database on-line, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jul 2016);  Indiana State Board of Health, Death Certificates, 1900-2011, microfilm from Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Jul 29

The Milligan Painting

A couple days ago a Facebook friend shared a story about an upcoming movie, The Crowded Room. In the movie Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Billy Milligan, who was diagnosed with 24 different personalities.

Billy Milligan was born William Stanley Milligan on 14 February 1955 in Miami Beach, Florida. His mother was from Ohio and they returned to Ohio when he was a boy.

Milligan was charged with kidnapping, robbing, and raping three women near The Ohio State University campus in October 1977. He was diagnosed with 24 personalities and, because of his multiple personality disorder, was acquitted by reason of insanity. His acquittal is believed to be the first of its kind in America.

Milligan spent ten years in Ohio mental hospitals before he was released in 1988.

Milligan was incarcerated at the Lima State Hospital for the Criminally Insane for a few years. My dad worked there during the time Billy was there and mentioned him a few times.

Milligan was a talented artist and my dad asked him to paint a still-life on canvas. It is a large piece that measures 26 x 32 inches with the frame. The painting hung in my parents’ dining room for several years, but my mom was never really fond of the painting because the background is so dark. She gave the painting to me several years ago.

Billy Milligan painting, 1980. (2016 photo by Karen)

Billy Milligan painting, 1980. (2016 photo by Karen)

His signature “Billy” and the date, 80. [1980]

Billy Milligan signature w/1980 date. (2016 photo by Karen)

Billy Milligan signature w/1980 date. (2016 photo by Karen)

Milligan was also incarcerated at the Athens State Hospital, aka The Ridges, in Athens, Ohio, near Ohio University. Ohio University professor Daniel Keyes wrote a book about Milligan in 1981, The Minds of Billy Milligan.

The Ridges, Athens, Ohio. (2009 photo by Karen)

The Ridges, Athens, Ohio. (2009 photo by Karen)

The Ridges, Athens, Ohio. (2009 photo by Karen)

The Ridges, Athens, Ohio. (2009 photo by Karen)

Our son Jeff got his master’s degree from Ohio University and Joe and I used to walk through the grounds at The Ridges when we visited him. The grounds are currently owned by the university and people walk there for exercise now.

Grounds at The Ridges, Athens, Ohio. (2009 photo by Karen)

Grounds at The Ridges, Athens, Ohio. (2009 photo by Karen)

Cemetery at The Ridges, Athens, Ohio. (2009 photo by Karen)

Cemetery at The Ridges, Athens, Ohio. (2009 photo by Karen)

The Ridges, Athens, Ohio. (2009 photo by Karen)

The Ridges, Athens, Ohio. (2009 photo by Karen)

Milligan was released in 1988 and was discharged from the Ohio mental health system and the Ohio courts. After that he moved to California.

Billy Milligan died of cancer on 12 December 2014 in Columbus, Ohio.

The movie starring DiCaprio is supposed to be released sometime in 2017.

 

Sources:

The Columbus Dispatch, “Billy Milligan/1955-2014: Man with the Famous Insanity Plea Dies;” 17 December 2014; (www.dispatch.com : accessed 27 July 2016).

Billy Milligan, Wikipedia; (https://en.wikipedia.org : accessed 27 Jul 2016).

Jul 26

Tombstone Tuesday–La Von Becher

La Von Becher, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

La Von Becher, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of La Von Eugene Becher, located in row 9 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Our Son
La Von
1913-1932
At Rest
BECHER

La Von Eugene was born 14 December 1913 in Adams County, Indiana, the son of John H. and Rosa C. (Bollenbacher) Becher. He was baptized at Zion on 18 June 1914 by Rev. Brobst, with his parents as his sponsors. He was confirmed at Zion by Rev. Albrecht on Palm Sunday, 10 April 1927.

La Von was enumerated in only two censuses. In 1920, at the age of six, he lived with his parents in Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana. [1] In 1930 his family lived in Laotto, Noble County, Indiana. [2]

La Von died two years later, on 27 August 1932, at the Adams County Hospital in Decatur, Indiana. He was 18 years, 8 months, and 6 days old. According to Zion Chatt’s records he died of bowel strangulation. According to his death certificate he died of a ruptured appendix with tuberculosis of the bowels as a contributory factor. La Von was survived by his parents and his brother Vernon. His father John Becher, of Willshire, was the informant for information on La Von’s death certificate. [3] La Von was buried on 29 August.

The funeral of Lavon Becker, 18-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. John Becker, of three miles East of Willshire, was held this afternoon at the family home. The body was taken to Chattanooga, Mercer County, for burial. His death occurred in a hospital at Decatur, where he was operated upon for relief of conditions resulting from a ruptured appendix. He was born in Adams County, Indiana. [4]

I noticed that La Von’s surname is spelled Becher on his tombstone but written as Becker on both his death certificate and newspaper funeral notice.

 

[1] 1920 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 4, p.9A, dwelling 180, family 194, John H Beches; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 Jul 2016); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 420.

[2] 1930 U.S. Census, Swan, Noble, Indiana, ED 20, p.3A, dwelling & family 63, John H Becher; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 Jul 2016); FHL microfilm 2340355, from NARA microfilm T626, roll 620.

[3] Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, #23118, Von E. Becker, 27 Aug 1932; database on-line, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 Jul 2016);  Indiana State Board of Health, Death Certificates, 1900-2011, microfilm from Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.

[4] Van Wet Daily Bulletin, Van Wert, Ohio, 29 Aug 1932, p.3; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 Jul 2016).

 

Jul 22

The Pickle Jar

What a crock!

2 gallon pickle crock.

2 gallon Schumm crock used for pickles.

For decades crocks like this were used by our ancestors for preserving, fermenting, pickling, and storing food. Their use started to decline in about 1913 with the advent of home refrigerators, although they were still used for several more decades. Today stoneware crocks are popular to collect and have a simple rustic beautify of their own.

I love, love, love these old crocks, in all sizes and shapes. Some crocks are quite large and heavy and some have a painted decoration.

So, needless to say, I was thrilled when Joe found this wonderful old salt glazed crock a few weeks ago. It is a 2 gallon crock and is 11.5 inches tall. It is in very good condition and it was my grandma Schumm’s crock. Actually, it might have even been used her mother, Elizabeth “Lizzie” (Schinnerer) Scaer.

To make it even more special, this crock has a lid.

Pickle Jar with lid (1)

That is special because most crocks that have survived do not have a lid. This lid looks like it is homemade. Like someone shaped it out of a piece of slate. But the best thing about this lid is that someone wrote on the lid with ink. Their shaky handwriting is a little difficult to see but you can still read the words:

“Lid for 2 gal jar for pickles.”.

"Lid for 2 gal jar for pickles"

“Lid for 2 gal jar for pickles”

This was the crock my grandmother and/or great-grandmother made and stored their pickles in! How special is that! Having grandma’s pickle jar.

My mom also made pickles and she had some pickle recipes in her recipe box. Among my mom’s recipes were these two old dill pickle recipes.

“Mom’s Dill Pickles”
Wash pickles, put grape leaves in bottom of jar, put pickles and dill in till full.

Heat:
2 gallons of water
1 cup of salt
1 quart of vinegar
You can also add 4 tablespoons of alum.

Use 5 gallon jar.

Grandma evidently used a larger crock for that recipe.

The next recipe is:

“Dill Pickles in a Crock”
Make a layer of grape leaves, dill, and pickles. Repeat.

Put a plate and a stone or weight on top to hold it down.

Make a brine of:
½ cup canning salt (coarse)
1 cup cider vinegar
½ gallon rain water

Bring to a boil. Cool slightly and add 2 tablespoons of alum and pour on over top of pickles.

In a couple days a white scum will come on top. Skim the scum off.

Pickles are good to eat in 3 days.

When they are sour enough take out pickles and brine and put in covered container and refrigerate. Keeps for months. (note: These are a little saltier than Mom’s.)

I love that they specified using rain water! Plus this recipe mentions using both a crock and a refrigerator—the pickles were made in the crock and stored in the refrigerator.

Nearly every summer my mom made delicious Lime Pickles, aka Sweet Pickles, but I don’t ever remember her using a crock. Instead she canned them in quart jars. They were crunchy and were very good on hamburgers. Here is her Lime Pickle recipe:

“Lime ‘Sweet’ Pickles”
Dissolve 3 cups of lime in 2 gallons of water. Slice 7 pounds of cucumbers 1/8” thick. (Use long cucumbers, 1½” diameter or smaller; the seeds will fall out of larger cucumbers.) Put sliced cucumbers in the lime water and soak for 24 hours.

Wash off every hour for 4 consecutive hours, placing cucumbers in clear water and changing the water every hour. During the last hour mix and bring to a boil:

4½ pounds granulated sugar
3 pints vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons celery seed
6 sticks cinnamon
¼ teaspoon alum
Green cake coloring

Pour boiling mixture over the cucumbers and let stand 12 hours. Simmer cucumbers and liquid for 2-2 ½ hours and can them hot.

She made some good pickles. I wish I had some today.

Jul 19

Tombstone Tuesday–John H. & Rosa C. (Bollenbacher) Becher

John H & Rosa C Becher, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

John H & Rosa C Becher, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of John H. and Rosa C. (Bollenbacher) Becher, located in row 10 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

BECHER
Rosa C.
1886-1962
John H.
1883-1950

John Henry Becher was born in Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio, on 7 October 1883, the first child born to Jacob and Mary (Kettering) Becher. Both of his parents were also born in Mercer County. John was baptized at Zion Chatt on 4 November 1883 with Johann Becher and Friederika Mamber as his sponsors. He was confirmed at Zion Chatt 6 June 1897 by Rev. August Affeld.

The first census John Becher was enumerated in was the 1900 census. The Bechers lived in Blackcreek Township and his father Jacob was a farmer.  The Jacob Becher household, as shown in 1900: Jacob, 41; Mary, 40; John H, 16; Minnie C, 14; Jacob E, 12; Ida M, 10; Ida C, 10; Sarah E, 7; James W, 4; Raymond C, 1. [1]

John Becher was still living with his parents in 1910. They resided in Blackcreek Township and John worked as a carpenter. [2]

A year later, in October or November of 1911, John Becher married Rosa Bollenbacher. [3] [4]

Rosa Bollenbacher was born in Adams County, Indiana, the daughter of Jacob and Maggie (Hoffman) Bollenbacher. Her father was born in Germany and her mother was born in Mercer County, Ohio. John and Rosa’s marriage license indicates Rosa was born 11 October 1886, [3] while their son’s death certificate indicates she was born 12 October 1887. [5]

In September 1918, when John registered for the draft, he and Rosa lived in Geneva, where John farmed. He was 35 years old and was described as being tall and slender with brown eyes and black hair. [6]

In 1920 John and Rosa lived in Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana: John H, 36, farmer; Rosa C, 33; Lavan E, 6; Vernon C, 11 months. Some of their closest neighbors were Harley and Ella Reef and Ray Duff. [7]

By 1930 the John Becher family had moved to Laotto, Noble County, Indiana, where they lived in a rented farm home. John farmed and they owned a radio. [8]

John Becher applied for the draft again in 1942, this time the World War II draft. At that time John and Rosa lived at RR1, Rockford, where John, age 58, was a self-employed farmer. [9]

Henry and Rosa moved a couple times again by 1940. The 1940 census enumeration indicates that all three family members had lived in rural Van Wert County in 1935. In 1940 they rented a home in Root Township, Adams County, Indiana, where John still farmed. Their oldest son LaVon had died in 1932 but their younger son Vernon was unmarried and living with them in 1940. Vernon had completed two years of college and his occupation is indexed as instructor in an “underwear college.”  [10] Hmmm. That would be an unusual college. I think it was probably read and indexed incorrectly and was likely some sort of industrial college.

John H. Becher died 21 February 1950 of paralysis, at the age of 66 years, 4 months, and 14 days. Zion Chatt’s records indicate that he was “a patient sufferer for four years.” He was buried on the 23rd with Rev. Waldo Byers in charge of the service. John was survived by his wife Rosa, their son Vernon, grandsons, John, Henry, Charles David; brothers Edward, James, Raymond, and sisters Mrs. Minnie B. Wilson and Mrs. Ella Reef. John’s death certificate indicates he died in rural Blackcreek Twp, 5 miles west of Rockford. It gives his cause of death as terminal hypostatic pneumonia, which he had for 36 hours. That was due to a cerebral hemorrhage he had a year ago, which was due to hypertension and arteriosclerosis. His occupation was a farmer. Yager Funeral Home in Berne was in charge of arrangements. [11]

Rosa died 3 June 1962 in Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia, likely living with her son Vernon there at the time of her death. [12] According to Zion Chatt’s records she died of heart failure and arthritis at the age of 75 years. She was survived by her son Vernon Becher. Rosa was buried on the 6th.

John H. and Rosa C. (Bollenbacher) Becher had two sons:
LaVon Eugene (1913-1932)
Vernon Chester (1919-2000), married ?

 

[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, ED 74, p.7B, dwelling & family 153, Jacob Becher; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Jul 2016); from FHL microfilm 1241303, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1303.

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, ED 107, p.1A, visited & family 6, Jacat Becker; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Jul 2016); from FHL microfilm 1375227, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 1214.

[3] “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 16 Jul 2016), John H Becher and Rosa Bollenbacher; from Adams, Indiana county clerk office; from FHL microfilm 2321467.

[4] Only the marriage license is on FamilySearch.org, and without a return no marriage date is available.

[5] Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, Von E Becher; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 Jul 2016); from Indiana State Board of Health, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.

[6] U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Adams, Indiana, John Henry Becher; Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 Jul 2016); from U.S. Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, NARA microfilm M1509, roll 1439777.

[7] 1920 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 4, p.9A, dwelling 180, family 194, John H Beches; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 Jul 2016); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 420.

[8] 1930 U.S. Census, Swan, Noble, Indiana, ED 20, p.3A, dwelling & family 63, John H Becher; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 Jul 2016); FHL microfilm 2340355, from NARA microfilm T626, roll 620.

[9] Draft Registration Cards for Fourth Registration for Ohio, 4/27/1942, NAI #623234, Records of the Selective Service System, Record Group 147; John Henry Becher, Mercer, Ohio, serial no. 137; Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 Jul 2016).

[10] 1940 U.S. Census, Root, Adams, Indiana, ED 1-16, p.9B, line 66, John H Becher; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 Jul 2016); from NARA microfilm T627, roll 1024.

[11] “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 16 Jul 20165), John Henry Becher, 21 Feb 1850; State File no. 10959; from FHL microfilm 2372554.

[12] Georgia Death Index, 1919-1998, Georgia Department of Health, Division of Vital Records 1998, Rosa B Becher, 3 Jun 1962; Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 Jul 2016).

 

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