Philip Delph, father to Elizabeth “Lizzie” Delph Ordway and my great-great grandfather, was born about 1845-46 in Ohio. His parents, Johann George Delp and Christiana Lautenslager, were immigrants to America from Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany who settled in Crawford County, Ohio. Philip was the fourth of five children.
In the 1850 census, Philip, aged 4, was living with his father, George Delp, 45; his mother, Christiana, 43; and older sisters, Elizabeth, 13; Margaret, 11; and Caroline, 5; and his younger brother, George, 2. Living with them was Charles Frank, age 15, probably a farm hand. They lived in Jackson Township, Crawford County. (The name Delph is sometimes spelled Delp or Delf in the old records.)
Sadly, both of Philip’s parents died at a rather young age, leaving the five children under the guardianship of Peter Ludwig, as appointed by the court. Guardianship records in Crawford County noted that Margaret Delp, about 14 years, Philip Delph, aged about 8 years, Caroline Delp, about 10 years, and George Delp, aged about 5 years had Mr. Ludwig watching out for their well-being. Elizabeth, the oldest sister, at about 16, must have been considered independent. To find out what happened to these children, we can look at the 1860 census.
The 1860 census revealed that the two sisters, Margaret, 20, and Caroline, 18, were living with their older sister, Elizabeth, now married to John Weaver, in Crestline, Jackson Township, Crawford County. Elizabeth had two small children at that time, George and Andrew. Philip was sent to live with the Philip Heckler family. At 15, he was with Philip Heckler and his wife, Catherine, also in Crestline. Catherine (Lautenslager) was the sister of Philip’s mother, Christiana, making the Hecklers an aunt and uncle to Philip.
Where was little George sent? That is still a mystery in 1860, but by 1870 George was found living with his appointed guardian, Peter Ludwig (spelled Ludwick in the 1870 census) and his family in Mansfield in neighboring Richland County.
The Hecklers, Philip's new family, were a prosperous family, both in Crawford County and later on, in Henry County. The History of Northwest Ohio (Nevin O. Winter, ed., Lewis Publishing, 1917, pp. 1751-2):
“Philip Heckler Sr. was born in Germany about 1800. He married there Catherine Lautenslager and it was not longer after their marriage that they set sail for the New World. About a year after the family arrived in Vernon Township of Crawford County, a son was born to Philip Heckler and wife. This birth occurred November 11, 1834, and thus was ushered into the world of activity and experience Philip Heckler Jr., who for many years has been one of the prominent farmers of Monroe Township in Henry County…In 1861 (Philip Jr) came with his father to Henry County. Here Philip Heckler Sr. bought 120 acres of wild land in Sections 10 and 15 Monroe Township. On this farm about 1880 Philip Heckler Sr. passed away, having lived a strong and resourceful life in America…
The story goes on to say that the junior Philip built a splendid home and acquired 560 more acres of “high class land” and became among the very well-to-do people of the county.
Philip Delph “was born in Crawford County and his wife in Summit County, Ohio and both are now about seventy years of age. The paternal grandparents came from Wurtemberg, Germany and the maternal grandparents were also German people. The Delphs on coming to America located in Crawford County, Ohio, while the Witzteells (Witzgalls) were settlers in Summit County.
Philip Delph was still a child when his parents died. He was then taken into the home of Philip Heckler, and for a number of years bore the Heckler name. Philip Heckler died a number of years ago when quite an old man. When sixteen years of age, Philip Delph was brought to Monroe Township, in Henry County by the Heckler family, and from that time on has steered his own independent course in the world. He began working by the day, afterwards by the month, and when between twenty-four and twenty-five years of age was able to make his first purchase of land. This was a tract of forty acres of completely wild land, and after his marriage he started out to make a living there. He had a small house, and for a number of years most of his time was consumed in clearing up the land and in erecting buildings and other equipment required for his business. He still lives on the old homestead. He was married to Miss Witzcell at her home in Monroe Township. Both Philip and Mrs. Delph are active members of the Lutheran Church and in politics he is a democrat. Philip Delph as two widowed sisters, Mrs. Margaret Weaver of Crestline, Ohio, and Mrs. Callie Porter of Portland, Oregon.
The children of Philip Delph and wife are:
Cora, who married Jacob Babcock ofMonroe Township and they have two foster children, Martin and Chester.
Julia married M.M. Spangler of Malinta.
Otto (Ottis) W. is the next in age.
Elizabeth married Lem Ordway and lives in Malinta, their children being Fay,
Philip, Frederick K. and Marie.
Henrietta is the wife of Bruce Robinson, a farmer in Rudolph, in Wood County, Ohio.
George R. is partner in the store with his brother Otis, married Emma Schultz, and they have two children, Carl and James.
Clarence P. is a farmer in Henry County and married Ella Bailey, who by a former marriage has a son, Morris Bailey.
Cecil B. lives at home and clerks in the store of his brothers during the summer and is a member of the class of 1918 in Wittenberg College."
To be continued…