1887 Duckcreek Church Member List

Old church records are often difficult to find or are non-existent. The exceptions are Lutheran, Roman Catholic, and Quaker records. For example, for centuries Lutherans have recorded baptisms, marriages, deaths, confirmations, and sometimes even some additional information. Many other denominations did not keep those types of records and if they did the records often left with the pastor or the church record custodian and cannot be located today.

So it is a treat to have a few early records from Duckcreek Church, Blackcreek Township’s the first church.

Duckcreek Church was established in 1858 as a radical U.B. church but in 1878 they left the U.B. denomination and joined with the Methodists. The church is no longer standing but was located a couple miles north of Chatt on State Route 49, in Mercer County, Ohio.

Below is the Duckcreek Church Member List from 15 September 1887. The first column is STATE IN LIFE [married, single, widowed], then NAME and RESIDENCE.

M           A. M. Roebuck (Joint leader)                                                                             
S            Sylvester Tinkham (Joint leader)                                                         
M           Mary Roebuck; 1½ mi E of church                                                                                   
S            James C. Roebuck; 1½ mi E of church
S            Charles D. Roebuck; 1½ mi E of church
S            John Davis; 1¼ S of church
Wd        Ann Davis; 1¼ S of church
S            Sarah Davis; 1¼ S of church
M           Alex Counterman; Willshire
M           A.E. Counterman; Willshire
M           Dr. Girard Bailey; 1 mi south
M           Susan Bailey; 1 mi south
S            A. H. Bailey; 1 mi south
Wd        D. Tinkham; 2 mi SW—Ind.
M           Wm Tinkham; 2 mi SW—Ind.
M           Francis Tinkham; 2 mi SW—Ind.
M           Minerva Tinkham; 2 mi SW—Ind.
S            Libbie Tinkham; 2 mi SW—Ind.
S            Rebecca Tinkham; 2 mi SW—Ind.                                        
M           James Johnson; 2½ mi SW
M           Christena Johnson; 2½ mi. SW
S            Irene Johnson; 2½ mi. SW
M           Ann Kuntz; 2¼ NW
M           John Foreman; 1½ mi south
M           Susan Foreman; 1½ mi south
S            Lambert Foreman; 1½ mi south
S            Alice Foreman; 1½ mi south
M           Lucretia Stacy; 2 mi. west—Ind.; died 21 June 1888
M           Gotleib Marbaugh; ½ mi. NE
Wd        Geo W. Fisher; ½ mi. west
S            Virgil Fisher; ½ mi. west
M           Minerva Dudgeon; ½ mi. west
M           Adda Vining; 1 mi. north
M           Wm Erexson; 1 mi. south
M           Billy Ann Erexson; 1 mi. south
S            D. Morris Erexson; 1 mi. south
S            Wm A Erexson; 1 mi. south
M           Ella Smitley; 1½ mi. SE
S            Ida Smitley; 1½ mi. south
M           Margaret Parr; 2½ mi. SW—Ind.
M           Jacob Bevington; 2½ mi. NW
M           Rosanah Bevington; 2½ mi. NW
M           Samuel J.S. Douglas; 2 mi. NW
M           Alanzo Cross; 2 ½ mi. NE
M           Lucinda Cross; 2 ½ mi. NE
M           Sarah Frank; 3 mi. SW—Ind.
M           Moses Foreman ; ½ mi. N
M           Mary Foreman; ½ mi. N
M           Volera Sipes; 2½ mi. SW—Ind.
M           Rob. M. Vining; 1¼ mi. SE           
S            Lucretia Vining; 1¼ mi. SE
M           Rosanah Vining; 1¼ mi. SE
S            Jenni Vining; 1¼ mi. SE
S            Haskell Vining; 1¼ mi. SE
M           F. S. Bellis; 1¼ mi. SE
M           Sarah S. Bellis; 1¼ mi. SE
S            Dessie Bellis; 1¼ mi. SE
M           James W. Jones; 4 mi. SW—Ind.
M           Nancy Jones; 4 mi. SW—Ind.
M           Andrew Bertlett; 1¼ mi. NE
M           Sarah Bartlett; 1¼ mi. NE
S            Elnora Kuhn; 3 mi. South
S            Ida Kuhn; 3 mi. South
S            Mariah Kuhn; 3 mi. South
S            Catharine Kuhn; 3 mi. South
Wd        Sarah J. Kuhn; 3 mi. South
S            Emma Kuhn; 3 mi. South
M           Mariah Kuhn; 3 mi. South
S            Mary R. Curless; 3 mi. South
M           Eliza Detro; 3 mi. South
Wd        Martin L. Sipes; 2 mi. SW—Ind.
S            Sadia Oakely; ¾ mi. [?]  
S            Abigal Oakley; ¾ mi. [?]

I have a few more Duckcreek Church records to share next week.



Tombstone Tuesday-Spanish-American War Marker, Charles S. Hatch

Continuing with grave markers with a military connection, here is a local marker of a Spanish-American War veteran. This may be the only Spanish-American War marker I have seen. It was a short conflict and not many served in it.

The Spanish-American War, 21 April 1898-10 December 1898, was fought in the Philippines and Cuba and was primarily a naval war. The conflict ended Spanish colonial rule in the Americas and the United States acquired territories in the western Pacific and Latin America.

This bronze military marker, located in Willshire Cemetery, marks the grave of Charles S. Hatch. Charles served as a Private in the 1st Regiment Maryland. He enlisted 5 July 1898 and was discharged 28 February 1899. [1]

Spanish-American War marker, Charles S Hatch, Willshire Cemetery. (2019 photo by Karen)

The Spanish-American War flag staff by Charles’ marker.

Spanish-American War flag staff, Charles S Hatch, Willshire Cemetery. (2019 photo by Karen)

Charles Stephen Hatch was born in Plymouth, Ohio, 27 May 1878, the son of James and Mary (Ferguson) Hatch. Charles died at his residence in Willshire on 8 October 1949, at the age of 71. He lived in Fort Wayne before moving to Willshire in about 1939 and was a retired salesman. [2] Other sources indicate that he was a butcher/meat cutter most of his life. Charles was married twice. He married Minnie Wilder in 1901 and they had several children. Minnie died in 1927and Charles married Lennie King in 1928.

Spanish-American War marker, Charles S Hatch, Willshire Cemetery. (2019 photo by Karen)

[1] Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1941, Records of the Offices of the Quartermaster General, National Archives, Washington DC, NAID A1, 2110-C, Record Group No. 92, Charles S Hatch; Ancestry.com.

[2] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” Van Wert Co, Willshire Twp, Charles S Hatch, 8 Oct 1949;  database with images, FamilySearch.org (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZY-TJLS?i=754&cc=2128172&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AF6CF-529  : viewed 13 Jun 2021).


Duckcreek Church, Mercer County, Ohio

The first religious society in Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio, was a Methodist Episcopal class at the Duckcreek school house. The class was formed by Rev. Joshua Smith in about 1856 and among its first members were A.M. Counterman & wife, Alonzo Cross & wife, George Clark & wife, and William Harper & wife.

Services were conducted in the Duckcreek schoolhouse until it became too small for the congregation. The schoolhouse was located a couple miles north of Chatt, on the west side of route 49, a little south of the cemetery. About 1868 a frame church was built across the road and about a quarter mile north of the school and was the first church in the township. Land for the church was purchased from Josiah H. Wilmore in 1873 for $12.50. A cemetery had already been started at the location, on a hill above Duckcreek Ditch. The oldest stone in the cemetery is that of Johnathan Emery, son of John and Sarah Emery, who died 18 August 1841.

Duckcreek Church, Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio, undated photo.

In 1859 Duckcreek Church/Duckcreek Society was in the Celina Circuit and conference members were George Clark, J. Koons, D. Foreman, A.M. Counterman, S. Hopkins, D. Tinkham, A. Foreman, J. Garwood, John Detterer, W. Foreman, I. Foreman, C. Counterman, M.A. Clark, N.A. Counterman, and M.S. Tinkham.

In 1867 Duckcreek Church was on the Shanesville Circuit and officers were Elmer Hill, collector, Porter Davis, George Clark, James Nelson, M.H. Porter, John Frank, D. Clark, Christiania Johnson, Mary Clark, and Alex Counterman.

In 1869 Duckcreek was put on the Willshire circuit. Members reporting to conference were C.Y. Hill, collector, Christiania Johnson, Mary Clark, G. Clark, J. Johnson, P. Counterman, Priscilla Wood, John Frank, L. Tinkham, R. Coppersmith, and S. Hollinger.

In 1878, because of much dissatisfaction, Duckcreek left the radical United Brethren circuit and joined the Shanesville Circuit of Methodist churches. This circuit was made up of Shanesville, Fountain Chapel, Mercer and Coss, and Willshire and Duckcreek as a Willshire Circuit.

Church officers in 1879 were John Davis, Moses Foreman, D. Smith, M. Detro, H. Mille, William Beall, J. Wechter, Reed Hopkins, Baldwin Clark, and Alex Counterman. Alex and Ann Elizabeth (Bolenbaugh) Counterman were among the list of older members.

In 1882 Pastor M.M. Figley reported that smallpox that spring was very detrimental to the work.

According to the 1891 conference notes Duckcreek Church was out of debt.

In 1903 church officers were G. Marbaugh, William Tinkham, J. Davis, A. Bailey, S. Tinkham, trustees; William Tinkham and Eva Morrison, stewards; and Emanuel Stetler, class leader.

WPA records indicate that the last Duckcreek pastor was Rev. B.W. George. These records describe the church as a small wooden frame building of English design, with a tower bell, stained glass windows, but no inscriptions. The WPA records indicate that there were 16 members when the church was completed and dedicated and that no church records could be found.

Late in the evening of 28 March 1920, just after dark, the church was completely blown apart by a cyclone while a meeting was being held. It had been a clear sunny day with a stiff wind but there was no indication of a coming storm. For some reason not many people were in attendance at that evening’s service and no one was seriously injured. The cyclone completely destroyed the church building and church bell came straight down and was taken and installed in the Mount Hope Church, Adams County, Indiana, four miles to the west. The storm also knocked over and broke some cemetery stones.

That storm, accompanied by lightning, hail, and a great deal of rain, crossed portions of northwest and southeast Mercer County and swept across several states. Mercer County had no storm-related deaths but all surrounding counties had fatalities, that totaled at least 25 victims.  

Duckcreek Church was never rebuilt and many of its members joined the Chattanooga Methodist Church after their church was destroyed.

A few Duckcreek Church records did survive. Next week I will post some of those records.

History of Van Wert and Mercer Counties, Ohio, Sutton, 1882, p.418.

U.S. Work Projects Administration [WPA], Ohio Historical Records Survey, Duckcreek Church, Mercer County, Ohio; Hayes Presidential Library, Fremont, Ohio.

Information from Florence Gause, April 2005.

“Swept by Tornado,” The Rockford Press, Rockford, Ohio, 2 April 1920, p.1.

Tombstone Tuesday-WWI Military Inscriptions

During this time between our two patriotic holidays, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, I will feature military tombstone inscriptions on Tombstone Tuesday.

This image of a WWI soldier is on at least two tombstones at Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City. Both are on monuments for young men who died in battle or from battle injuries.

“For Democracy” WWI Inscription, Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio, City, Van Wert County, Ohio.

Sergt. Lawrence E. Beach, HDQR’s Co. 145th Inf, 37 Div., A.E.F. died of battle injuries 13 December 1918, age 19 years:

Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City, Ohio.

Pvt. John Yocum, Co B 335 Infantry, Private Meuse-Argonne, American Expeditionary Forces, killed in Action 4 Nov 1918. [1]

Pvt. John Yocum, Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City, Ohio.

Also inscribed on Pvt. John Yocum’s tombstone:

We heard humanity’s clear call,
And knew the voice divine,
He gave his life, he gave his all,
In deadly battle line.

From Greenlawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta, Ohio, Frank Rostorfer, Co. I, 146 Inf, 37 Div, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest, 28 September 1918:

Greenlawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta, Ohio.

A WWI flag staff:

WWI flag staff.

[1] FindaGrave.com, Memorial no. 91997340, Pvt John Yocum, Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City, Ohio. [Memorial services were held at Mendon Sunday for John Yocum, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Yocum, killed in action in France, November 5. He left for Camp Taylor, May 25, with a contingent of Van Wert boys. He was 25 years old. A brother, Gus, is also in France.]

Drury GAR Post 372, Neptune, Ohio

This past Tuesday I showed some examples of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) insignia inscribed on local tombstones.

GAR symbol, Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City, Van Wert County, Ohio.

The GAR, founded in 1866, was an organization comprised of Union Civil War Veterans. The organization permanently dissolved when the last member died in 1956. Many of the post records did not survive and those that did were given to various archives.

Below is an undated photo of the members of Neptune’s GAR Drury Post No. 372. One of the members is Corporal Simon Peter Young (1840-1912), who served in Company H, 69th Regiment OVI from 1862-1865. Simon Peter Young is seated (on a chair), the 5th man from the left.  

Drury Post No. 372, Neptune, Ohio, undated photo by Brown, Mendon, Oh. Simon Peter Young, seated, 5th from left.

Simon Peter Young was married to Elnora “Ellen” (Bush) (1846-1913). They are laid to rest in Elm Grove Cemetery, St. Marys, Ohio.

Simon Peter Young & wife Elnora (Bush) Young, c1900.

I prepared a Society of Civil War Families of Ohio lineage application for the family several years ago and they shared these photos with me.

Mercer county had at least four GAR posts at one time, possibly six–the Harold/Harrod McDaniel Post No. 180, Fort Recovery; the McKendree-Murlin Post No. 319, Mendon; the Drury Post No. 372, Neptune; and the Dolph Graves Post No. 429, Shanes Crossing (Rockford). [1] [2] Stevens indicates that Celina had two posts, the DJ Roop Post No. 61 and the Celina Post No. 710. [2] 

[1] Ohio GAR Records Project (http://www.suvcw.org/garrecords/garposts/oh.htm), Posts by Location (https://www.ohiosuv.com/GARProject/GARPOST_by_Location.pdf).

[2] Ohio GAR Posts, compiled by Larry Stevens, (http://ohiocivilwar.com/gar.html).