October 1, 2018

Theodore Christ Elling

Theodore Christ Elling was born on December 15, 1898 in Freedom Township. Known as "Ted," he was our grandfather Albert's third brother, ten years younger.

In the 1910 census, Ted was still at home on the farm with his parents. On September 12, 1918, at the age of nineteen, he registered for the WW I draft as Theodore Christ Elling. He filled out the application, describing himself of medium build with blue eyes and light brown hair. His occupation was farming for his father, Fred Elling. (I found no evidence that he ever was in the military.)

By the 1920 census, he was 21 years old...old enough to be hired out to work. He was living with George W. F. Rohrs, 42, and his wife Anna, 37, and their children Alvera, Harold, Mildred, Edna, Ida and Marie on Infirmary Road, Napoleon Township. Mr. Rohrs farmed a rented farm and Ted was described as a hired man.

On April 29, 1926, he married Martha Krauss who was 24 at the time. Ted was 27. You can really see the 1920's "flapper" influence in Martha's dress in the wedding photo. In the 1930 census, Ted and Martha lived in Swan Creek Township in Fulton County. He farmed and they had one son, Leon, who was 3 8/12.

At the time of their deaths, they were living in Delta. Leon died young in an auto accident, and I know they had a daughter, Unabelle, but I am unsure if there were other children. This is really the only great uncle that I can recall visiting, usually when my family took a ride to the dairy bar in Delta. Ted died in September 1975 and Martha in September 1982.

This post originally appeared on February 18, 2009 on a previous blog, Elling Family News.

September 22, 2018

Herman Henry Elling

Hermann Heinrich Wilhelm Elling, known as Harmon, was the fourth child of nine and the brother closest in age to our grandfather Albert. Harmon was born on October 17, 1891, in Freedom Township, Henry County, Ohio.
In the 1910 census, the census taker visited on April 15th and found Harmon living at home with his parents and helping out on the home farm.

On January 25, 1914, Harmon, at 22, married Helen S. Gerken who was 18. By the 1920 census, they were renting a home in Ridgeville Township, Henry County, Ohio. Harmon farmed and three children had been born - Lorence, Martin and Fredrick. (Census taker's spelling) 


  On June 5 in either 1917 or 1918, Herman registered for the WW I draft. He reported then that he had a wife and family and was farming. He gave his name as Herman and noted that he was of slender build with blue eyes and brown hair. Strangely, he wrote his birthdate as October 17, 1889 (the year his sister Kate was born) instead of 1891.

In the 1930 census for Monroe Township in Henry County, Herman, 38, and Helen, 34, were renting again and farming. Added to their family were Freddie, Eldor and Hildegarde.

At the age of 50 in 1942, Herman registered for the WW II draft, giving his address as Route 1, Napoleon. He said he was a self-employed farmer and gave his birthdate as October 17, 1891. He was a part of the "Old Man's Draft" and was really not expected to have to serve.

Helen died in 1991 and Herman in 1978. Together they had seven children: Lorenz, Martin, Fred, Eldor, Hildegarde, Leona and Richard.

NAPOLEON - Herman H. Elling, 86, Route 1, Napoleon, a retired farmer, died early Saturday in Heller Memorial Hospital, where he had been a patient one day.

He was born Oct. 17, 1891 in Freedom Twp., Henry County to Frederick and Marie (Rohrs) Elling and married Helen Gerken on January 25, 1914.  They were residents of Henry County all their married lives.  He was a member of St. John Lutheran Church, Freedom Twp., and was a former elder of the church. 

Surviving are his wife, Helen; five sons, Lorenz, Route 1, Swanton; Martin, Route 3, Napoleon; Freddie, Holgate; Eldor, Route 1, Liberty Center; and Richard, Ocala, Fla.; two daughters, Mrs. Derald (Hildegard) Sindel, Monroe, Mich, and Mrs. Arnold Ehlers, Route 2, Defiance; two brothers, Henry, Delphos, and Fred, Napoleon; a sister, Mrs. Minnie Miller, Defiance; 35 grandchildren and 54 great-grandchildren.

Friends may call in the Wesche Funeral Home 2-4 and 7-9 today.  Services will be at 2:30 p.m.today, Tuesday, in St. John Lutheran Church, Rev. A. M. Bickel officiating, and burial will be in the church cemetery  Memorials are preferred to the St. John Lutheran Church building fund or the Filling Memorial Home of Mercy."

St. John Lutheran Church Cemetery
 Helen lived to be 94 years old, passing away in 1991.  Her obituary appeared also in the Defiance Crescent-News:

Helen S. Elling, 94, Freedom Township, Henry County, died at 5:15 a.m. Thursday in Northcrest Nursing Home.  

She was born Oct. 9, 1896, in Freedom Township, Henry County, the daughter of George and Emma (Meyer) Gerken.  On Jan. 25, 1914, she married Herman H. Elling, who died Aug. 5, 1978.  She was a member of St. John Lutheran Church and its Ladies Aid.

Surviving are five sons, Lorenz of Swanton, Martin and Freddie, both of the Napoleon area, Eldor, Route 1, Liberty Center, and Richard Wild Wood, Fla.; two daughters Hildegarde Sindel, of Toledo, and Mrs. Arnold (Leona) Ehlers, Route 2; 30 grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, 54 great-grandchildren, 21 great step-grandchildren, 19 great-great grandchildren, and a sister, Emma VonDeylen, Napoleon.
Also preceding her in death were two sisters, Mary and Rufina Gerken; a brother, Ernest; and three grandchildren.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. John Lutheran Church with Rev. Kenneth Schroeder officiating.  Burial will be in the church cemetery.  Visitation will be 2-9 p.m. today at the Wesche Funeral Home.

Preferred memorials are to the church's general fund, Filling Memorial Home of Mercy or the donor's choice."

This post originally appeared on a former blog, Elling Family News, on February 16, 2009.   

Minnie Elling Miller

Grandfather Albert's "baby" sister was Minnie, born on December 13, 1900, twelve years younger than he was.

The younger Minnie and the older Minnie

Minnie married Arthur Miller in November 24, 1921. Living in Defiance, she worked at some area nursing homes, while her husband worked in Defiance at Defiance Milk Products.

I wonder what the fox is all about in the lower left.

Minnie and Arthur Miller had four children: Melvin, Tillie, Harold and Murlan.

Arthur passed away first on March 14, 1972 in Defiance Hospital.  The Defiance Crescent-News ran his obituary on March 14, 1972, p. 10:


Arthur F. Miller, 75, 1220 Washington, died in Defiance Hospital at 6:50 a.m. today.  He had been admitted Monday afternoon.
Born in Henry Co., March 9, 1897, he was a son of William and Anna (Gerken) Miller.  He and Minnie Elling were married Nov. 24, 1921.

Surviving are the widow; a daughter, Mrs. Herman (Matilda) Schroeder, 842 Kentner; three sons, Melvin Miller, 22 Oscela; Harold Miller, 1887 Riverview, and Murlan Miller, 908 Wilhelm, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren.  Preceding him in death was a sister, Eleanor Kleinhen.

He lived in Defiance since 1931 and was an employee of Defiance Milk Products for 29 years, retiring 10 years ago.  

He served as a private in the U. S. Army from Sept. 4, 1918 to Jan. 10, 1919.
He was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church; the Men's Club; American Legion Post 454, Ridgeville, and Disabled American Veterans.

Friends may call in the Mast and Mock Funeral Home after 7 p.m. Wednesday until noon Friday and then in St. John's Lutheran Church for an hour prior to the 2 p.m. services.  The Rev. David R. Koenig will officiate and burial will be in Riverview Memory Gardens.  Memorials may be made to the Sunday Morning Broadcast or Morning Meditations."

Minnie lived on until the age of 92, passing away on June 28, 1993, the last of Albert's brothers and sisters.  (An obituary for her was not readily available.)
She was buried with Arthur in Riverview Memory Gardens.


September 5, 2018

Elling Family Reunion, 1996

The post originally appeared on the Elling Family News on January 11, 2009, as we were planning a big 2009 reunion.

Can you believe our last reunion was August 10, 1996? It was at the American Legion in Napoleon, site of our upcoming 2009 get-together. From this photo and from attending, I KNOW that everyone had a great time, so I hope you are saving the date - SATURDAY, AUGUST 8 - to come join us this year.

Also let's take a moment to remember those in this photo who are no longer with us. In loving memory of Hildegarde, Judy and Keith - all sadly missed.

And now we must add Uncle Alfred, Uncle Ron, Aunt Alma, Brooks and Jason to that memorial list.

Click on the photo for a larger version.


Albert Elling's family

First Row: L to R - Emma, Mary, Fritz, Albert
Second Row: Minnie, Ted, Harmon, Kate, Henry, Anna, Freddie

Elling Brothers - L to R: Albert, Freddie and Ted

Albert Louis Johann Elling (1888 - 1969) was the first son and second child of the nine children of Heinrich Friedrich ("Fritz") Elling and his wife Maria ("Mary") Rohrs. Albert was born in Freedom Township, as were most of his brothers and sisters.

His eldest sister, Emma Catharine Marie Anna ("Emma") was born just two years before him on June 6, 1886. She eventually married John Scheele in 1906 and died in Napoleon in 1967.
His sister, Catharina Dorothe Anna Emma ("Kate") was born just a year after him on August 25, 1889. She married Henry Buenger and lived near Hamler.

Finally a brother, Hermann Heinrich Wilhelm ("Harmon") arrived in 1891. He was married to Helen Gerken and he died in 1978.
Another brother, Heinrich Carl ("Henry") was born in 1893. He married Ida Huner and died in 1980.

A sister Anna came along in 1895. She married Ed Koppenhofer and she died in 1974.
Brother Theodore ("Ted") was born in 1898. He married Martha Krauss and lived in Delta, dying in 1975.

I was able in interview his sister Minnie once and she gave great information for family research, along with a few photos. Minna E. was born in 1900 and died in 1993. She was married to Arthur Miller and lived in Defiance.
The youngest brother was Frederick H. ("Freddie") who married Nora Prigge and died in 1987.

This post originally appeared on the Elling Family News blog 
on January 6, 2009.

Ida and Minnie

In this photo, the woman on the right was identified as Ida (Huner) Elling, wife of Henry. The other woman is unidentified, but in comparing her face with the photo of the Elling family, I am almost sure this is Minnie Elling, Grandpa Albert's youngest sister.

Ida and Minnie were very close in age. Ida was born on April 14, 1901, and Minnie on Dec. 13, 1900. Maybe these girls were friends. Maybe that's how Henry met Ida. Maybe?

Compare photos for yourself. Do you agree this is Minnie Elling?

This post appeared originally on January 2,2009, on the Elling Family News blog.

September 4, 2018

Fred H. Elling, aka "Freddie"

Albert Elling's youngest brother was Fred H. Elling, born August 12, 1903. 

 I couldn't find Freddie in the 1920 census, as he was not residing at home at that time. My best guess is that he was, at 17, a hired hand on a farm somewhere. I found his future wife, Nora Prigge, in the 1920 census. She was 13 and living with her 45 year old widowed mother and her siblings Dellia, Caroline, William and Fredie on a farm.

Freddie and Nora Prigge married on February 10, 1929. In the 1930 census, they lived with their children, Hildegarde and Marvin.  Freddie was engaged in farming.

The 1940 census revealed much about Freddie and Nora, including the fact that Freddie, like most farm boys of the time, finished 6th grade, while Nora finished 7th grade.  They lived in Harrison Township in Henry County and farmed there.  After 1953, they resided in Napoleon, Ohio.

Their children were Hildegarde, Marvin, Walter and Marie. Marie has done a great deal of research on the Elling family and has generously shared some photos and information with me. Thanks again, Marie!

Freddie died on Aug. 24, 1987, and was buried at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Napoleon.

Defiance Crescent-News, August 25, 1987
 Nora died on January 11, 1993, at the age of 86 years, 11 months and 9 days, and was buried with Freddie at Forest Hill Cemetery.