May 18, 2011

Helping Craft Hope


One of my favorite online charity groups, CRAFT HOPE, is running two projects at once this month and part of next month.  The first is a bracelet project helping Orphan Outreach in its mission to brighten the lives of Russian orphans.  My granddaughter and I are going to work on this project after school is out.  It's a great one for the kids to help on because the bracelets can be made of any materials that are kid-safe.  Creativity can reign.  If you think you can help, check out the information and guidelines here.

I wish I could help on the next project, but I am booked the next few weeks and won't be able to finish the project by the deadline.  It's hard for us to imagine the devastation that the recent tornados have left in our country. If you have time to help make homemade security blankets for victims of the recent tornados in the South, please consider donating.  They are asking for all kinds of sizes and they can be of any design or color, quilted or tied.  Check out the story here.

Craft Hope is on Facebook, too!

May 16, 2011

Richard Johnson Ordway, Great-great Grandfather

I never knew the names of my great-great Ordway grandparents until I started to research the family.  Oh, how I wish I had a picture of them to display here, but in all my research, I have never found any. 
My great-grandfather, Henry Lemuel Ordway’s parents were Richard Johnson Ordway and Sarah Jane Hill Ordway.  Richard was born in Elk Township, Warren County, Pennsylvania, very close to the boundary with New York on 15 November 1839.  By 1850, his family had moved to Brighton, a town in Lorain County, Ohio. 
Finding the family in the 1850 census proved difficult, but after a page by page look at Lorain County, I discovered the ORDERWAY family.  Richard, 12, and his parents, Harrison and Philina, were there and five other siblings were named.  Malissa, who was 3 was the first born in Ohio, and brother Benjamin , 7, was born in Pennsylvania.  So, doing the math, the family moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio sometime between 1843 and 1847.  (More on his parents in another post.)

Richard and Sarah Jane Hill were married on 6 June 1858, according to the records of Henry County, Ohio.
Another challenge was finding Richard and Sarah in the 1860 census!  This time, after a tedious page by page search, they were found in Monroe Township, Henry County, Ohio.  The census taker had creatively spelled the name PRIDAWAY.  Richard, a farmer born in Penn., lived with his wife, Sarah, and their one year old daughter, Almina (Almedia.)  The family had no real estate and only $75 in personal goods value...in other words, they were dirt poor.  Sarah could not read or write.

In June 1863, Richard was chosen for the Civil War draft.  He was 25 years old and married, of course, still living in Monroe Township.  The Enrollment Act of 1863 which legalized the draft was a very controversial law.  Many men had already volunteered for the cause, but now when quotas from states weren’t filled, the draft would be used.  Richard was a Class I draftee, which included men between the ages of 20 and 35. When the draft was held, the men’s names were put into a wheel and then a blindfolded person or a blind person would draw a name, hand it to an official to read, and then a clerk would write the name and pertinent information in a book.   I can find no evidence that Richard was ever called up or volunteered to serve, as his brother did.  He may have paid the $300 commutation fee or he could have procured a substitute to serve for him...and maybe his brother, Thomas, was his substitute.  I have no record at this point to determine that.

Sorry this image is so small.  Richard's name is the third one from the top.

 Richard lived in Monroe Township, Henry County, Ohio until his dying day.  In 1870, he was 31 and farming with real estate valued at $800 and a personal goods value of $200. Sarah, who was 30, had three children by this time: Almedia, 11; Elizabeth, 9; and Mary, 4.
By 1880, the family had expanded to also include Abba (Abigail), 9; Bertie (Albert), 6; and Henry (Lemuel), 3.  Edward Murphy, 24, was staying at the residence, too, as a servant or farm laborer. 
We have to skip ahead to the 1900 census of June 22nd to find Richard, born November 1839, 60 years old and married for 44 years, now owning his farm.  His wife, Sarah, born March 1841, 58 years old, had borne nine children and eight were living.  Two sons were at home: Chester, born October 1880, was 19, and Benjamin J, born April 1883, was  17.  Little did they know that they would lose Chester later that year in a tragic way.  (Stay tuned.)

My great-great grandfather, Richard Johnson Ordway, died 6 June 1905.
His obituary:
“ORDWAY: - Richard Johnson Ordway was born in Pennsylvania, November 15th, 1839, and died at Malinta, O., June 6th, 1905, aged 65 years, 6 months and 21 days.
When but a child, he came with his parents to Lorain county, O., later they came to Henry county when the subject of this notice was about 19 years of age.
In Sept. 1858, he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Jane Hill of Monroe township.
The ceremonial words, which joined the young people for life were spoken by the bride’s father, a pioneer minister of the gospel.
Three sons and four daughters out of a family of nine children survive their father.
These, with their devoted mother, the wife of his youth, and his life long companion, together with twenty-six grand children, one great grand child, two brothers and one sister remain to mourn this great earthly loss to them.
but the sadness at his departure is not limited to the comparative few, for his was a grand and noble life.  To know him was to love and respect him, and hence sorrow is as dep and wide as his acquaintance are many.
Born and reared by Methodist parents, he was a faithful student of the doctrines of that denomination.  Later, under the preaching of G. W. Hill, late of Bowling Green, Ohio, he understood the way of the Lord more perfectly and at the age of 25 years, he obeyed the Gospel.  He became a member of the congregation of disciples worshipping at what was known as the Bigford school house.  Later he was one of the chief factors in organizing the Church of Christ of Malinta.  He was one of the elders of the church.  His christian life was consistent, beautiful and altogether Christ like. His brethern keenly feel their great loss, but they sorrow not as those who have hope only for this world, for it is written, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yes, Saith the Spirit that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them.”
The funeral services were conducted by Chas R. Oakly of Wauseon, were held at Malinta, Friday, June 9th, 1905.  Interment in Hoy Cemetery in Harrison township.”

Richard was buried with Chester, his son.

His will was probated in Henry County and provided for the following:
-          that “the sum of one hundred dollars be paid to the Church of Christ at Malinta, Ohio, to be loaned by the Elders thereof and the interest thereon to be used by the Church as the Church may deem proper as long as the Church at Malinta, Ohio remains one organization: in case the said Church ceases to be an organization then my will is that said one hundred dollars shall revert at once to my lawful heirs.”
-          that “my beloved wife, Sarah J. Ordway, (have) the absolute use and entire control of the residue of my estate…during her natural life.”
-          “It is my will further that upon the death of my said wife, Sarah J. Ordway, and after the funeral and other necessary expenses have been paid, my estate shall pass to and visit in my three sons and four daughters as hereinafter directed to wit:
Lot No. Forty Three in John Bensing’s First Addition to the Village of Malinta, Henry County, Ohio, to my son Benjamin F. Ordway: the residue of my estate to pass to and vest in my sons Elbert O. Ordway and Lemuel Ordway, provided that said Elbert O. Ordway and Lemuel Ordway shall pay to each of daughters the following sums of money, to wit –
To Mrs. Almeda Combs, Three Hundred dollars
To Mrs. Elizabeth Jackson, Three Hundred dollars
To Mrs. Mary Smothers, Three Hundred dollars
To Mrs. Hattie Abigail Berno, Three Hundred dollars
to be paid as follows:  One Hundred dollars to each of my said daughters one year from the death of my said wife, Sarah J. Ordway, and One Hundred dollars to each of said daughters each consecutive year thereafter until the entire sum of Three Hundred dollars shall be paid to each of them without interest.

I hereby appoint and constitute Elbert O. Ordway executor of this my last will and testament.”

The will was signed 19 December 1904.

He asked for no inventory or appraisal of his estate and none was in this packet.  I couldn’t find a will for Sarah in Henry County.  Maybe she thought her husband had pretty well indicated how things were going to happen, so she wouldn’t need anything else.  The obituary indicated that Sarah’s father was a minister – a good clue.  I have just started to research Sarah's family.  Her father may have been Michael Hill, but I can't say for sure yet.  HILL was a fairly common name in Henry County at the time.
Sarah is buried near her husband in Hoy Cemetery.

May 13, 2011

Memories of Great-Grandpa Lem Ordway

**I had this blog up for a couple of days and then BOOM! Blogger lost it, apparently.  So I'm reposting this from our guest writer, Jim Delph, nephew of Lem and Lizzie Delph Ordway.  Thanks, Jim!

Growing up on the farm:
Two major construction projects on the farm were important during my growing up years.  First was the installation of a bathroom.  Second was the building of a silo.  There were others, but these two were very important because both were done by the Malinta Silo Company.  That meant a daily shuttle to Grandma Delph's house was available.

To complete the bathroom, built around 1944 or 1945, a cistern was needed.  Dad decided to build one large enough to supply water for the fire department if the house or barn caught fire.  A 12 foot tall Malinta silo was installed in the ground.  I was 8 or 9 and the excitement of the workers using dynamite was wonderful.  I know Phil Ordway worked for the Malinta Company when the feed/ hay silo was built, but I am not sure he was part of the cistern project.
However, I could ride with the workers and stay at Grandmother Delph's house with her and Aunt Julie.  What fun it was to then visit Malinta.  A short walk down a lane would take me to Aunt Bess and Uncle Lem's home.  Bess reminded me of Aunt Sue, who lived next door to me, and I just adored her.  I would visit with George Jr.  He was a little older, but he still put up with me.  We always ended up at the Delph Brothers Store, owned by uncles George Delph Sr. and Pat Delph.

One day Uncle Lem Ordway invited me to go to the Volunteer Firemen's Convention that was going to be held in Napoleon.  All I had to do was get my mom's permission, which she gave.  However, Julie felt I was too young, and shouldn't see the drunks that might be there.  That only added to my excitement because I had never seen a "drunk."
When the day to go arrived, I walked to the Ordway's home and Uncle Lem had his Model A Ford out and ready to go.  We waited a few minutes for two adult men to show up.  I am not sure if they were Lem's sons or just friends.  However, Uncle Lem instructed them to sit in the back, and I was to sit in the front.  Uncle Bruce Robinson, Aunt Sue's husband, had a Model A Ford also , but I am sure it never was driven as fast as we were moving that day.  I loved every second of that trip.  Uncle Lem always had his pipe going.  This day he had his window down for fresh air, and it was cool in the car.  I was told to open a small door by my feet.  This put heat from the engine into the car, a feature that was not on Uncle Bruce's Ford.  We were moving at what I felt was a breakneck speed.  Without slowing down at all, Lem asked me to hold the wheel as he lit his pipe. I have never felt more important than I did at that moment.
We made it to Napoleon to watch the fire trucks, bands, floats and everything else that made the day so special.  The only disappointment was I did not see one "drunk."  It was a wonderful day that I remember as if it were yesterday.


I hope to tell more stories about the time our silo was built.  My first cousin, Phil Ordway, worked on that, and I grew to like him very much.

We look forward to more stories, Jim!

May 6, 2011

Delph/ Delp Family in Germany

For those interested in following the Delph family back into Germany, this German website compiled from the information in the kirchenbuch (church book) of Klein Bieberau (Modautel) will provide some good info.
Find:
Delp,Johann Georg, who died in Crawford, Ohio, in the alphabetical list and  clicking on the name will take you to his family - mother, father and sibs. 
The line is traced quite far back through the church records.

May 4, 2011

Ketchikan Daily News and the Devoes

Soon after posting the story of Elias W. and Henrietta (Hattie) Devoe on this blog, Scott Bowlen of the Ketchikan Daily News contacted me with a request to use the story in his column, "Community Cache."  Of course, Scott!  He surprised me further by having some extra research done by the expert, Erika Brown, of the Ketchikan Museum.  So, with their kind permission, I'm posting part of the column here and I'm inserting a photo found in the museum, as well as a current Google Earth photo of the location today, neither of which appeared in the original article.
Fun stuff!

Ketchikan Daily News
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
"Community Cache" by Scott Bowlen, Daily News Staff Writer

"Dianne Kline of Ohio was researching part of her family history recently when she noticed some information about Henrietta Witzgall Devoe.  Henrietta was the sister of Kline's great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Witzgall Delph.
According to Kline's research,Henrietta had married a Port Townsend, Wash., mason contractor by the name of Elias Devoe during the 1890's. 
In 1899, Elias and Henrietta came to Ketchikan to manage a hotel.  The next year's federal census showed the couple still residing in Ketchikan in 1900, wrote Kline in her blog, 'At the Riverbend.'
'This census also told me that they had two girls living with them who worked as waitresses, probably at the hotel: Anna Alajok, single and from Minerva, Minn., and Henrietta Pahikkala of Eureka, Calif.,' wrote Kline.  'Both girls originally came from Finland.'
The next census, in 1910, indicated that the Devoes had returned to Washington state and were residing in Seattle.
Mrs Devoe died in 1942 at the age of 87.
Her Ketchikan connection was of interest to Kline, who wondered which hotel had been managed by the Devoes.
Was that hotel still standing?
After learning of Kline's interest in a bit of Ketchikan history, the Daily News contacted the Tongass Historical Museum. 
Museum Registrar Erika Brown hit the research trail and found evidence of the Devoes' presence in Ketchikan.
An April 9, 1900, advertisement in the Helm Bay and Ketchikan Miner newspaper told readers that 'When you are hungry, visit Devoe's Domestic Kitchen, Front Street.'
Other advertisements followed.
The Feb. 9, 1901 edition of the Mining Journal had an ad for the Hotel Devoe at the corner of Front and Dock streets.
It was the 'Nearest Hotel to Wharf; Best accomodations in town for Mining Men; New Clean beds, comfortable rooms, and first-class tablek,' the advertisement read.
A 1902 photograph shows the hotel on the upland corner of Front and Dock streets, where the Tongass Trading Co. store now stands.

The sign outside says, 'Devoe's Furnished Rooms, 50 cents."
It's clear that the wooden building that housed the hotel was torn down at some point.  The current building there is a much larger structure.
But apparently, back in the early 1900's, the Devoes were active in civic life, too.
According to Brown's research, Mr. Devoe signed the 1900 petition to incorporate the town of Ketchikan, and served on the Board of Election that finalized the community's incorporation that year.  He also became the second assistant chief of the newly organized fire company.
Mrs. Devoe, meanwhile, was among those thanked by church trustees for helping to 'make the Christmas eve social such a pleasant and profitable affair,' according to the Mining Journal in January 1901.  'The amount of the offering was $22.'
The couple departed Ketchikan in the fall of 1902, when the Mining Journal of Oct. 2 described the Devoe's departure from Ketchikan aboard the Humboldt.  'Everybody was on the wharf to say good-bye - but they'll return again, as they all do, for the reason that they'll not be able to find a better place in which to abide than Ketchikan,' the Mining Journal wrote.
The Tongass Historical Museum's research, some of which originally had been compiled by Pat Roppell, was sent along to Kline.
'What a find!' she responded, adding her gratitude for the fine museum staff. 
There was another family connection to Alaska for Kline.
In her original blog post, Kline was curious whether Henrietta Devoe knew a Caroline Delph.
Caroline Delph was a sister of Kline's great-great grandfather, Philip Delph. 
In 1889, Caroline Delph was a teacher at the Sitka Industrial and Training School, the forerunner of the Sheldon Jackson College.
In 1890, she met and married Orville Porter, who then was the U.S. deputy marshall of Alaska, according to Kline's research.  The Porters moved to Oregon that year."

Thanks so much to Scott and Erika and the Ketchikan Daily News for helping me with my research and for printing this article!

May 3, 2011

Dinosaur Attacks Army Fort With Cowboys and a Tire Change


What's going on at our house today as the imagination takes flight...
The Imaginator


Soldiers at the fort (and one cowboy) defend against the two Indians and one mean dinosaur who are on the attack.

One Indian stealthily moves in on the fort, using a bright silver pick-up truck to help hide himself.
In the meantime, the soldiers' tricked-out, big wheel truck needs a tire change.

Luckily, reinforcements are coming! 
I may or may not let you know how this all ends.

May 2, 2011

Henrietta Witzgall Devoe, Another Alaska Visitor

I was going to move on to the Ordway family, but then…tonight...late...I found this.

in researching more the Witzgall siblings of my great-great-grandmother Elizabeth Witzgall Delph, I found another interesting story to be told.  GG Grandma Delph’s sister, Henrietta or Hattie (named after her mother, I’m sure) also ended up in Alaska for a time.
Henrietta was the fourth child of Rev. William Witzgall and his wife, Henrietta Smith.  Born in March of 1855, Hattie showed up dutifully in the 1860 census at 5 years old, in the 1870 census at 15 years old and in the 1880 census at 25, keeping house and still living with her parents. 

The lack of an 1890 federal census is again a loss when one tries to follow Hattie’s life.  But by the census of 1900, Hattie was married and living in Ketchikan, Alaska.


The 1900 census for the Alaskan Territory was a little different than the census used for the United States in that it asked for some additional information.  Elias W. Devore and Henrietta Devore came to Alaska in July 1899 from their home residence in Port Townsend Washington.  He was 61 years old and she was 45.  (From a later census, we can calculate that they were married in about 1893.)  His occupation at home was mason contractor, but his occupation in Alaska was hotel keeper.  This census also told me that they had two girls living with them who worked as waitresses, probably at the hotel: Anna Alajok, single and from Minerva, Minnesota, and Henrietta Pahikkala of Eureka, California.  Both girls originally came from Finland. 
Ketchikan was just incorporated as a city in 1900.  A rich quartz strike and news of gold, of course, brought people to the area.

Just tonight I found some of the back story that might help to explain this move to Alaska.  Elias Devoe was at one time a partner in a contracting firm in Port Townsend that did most of the masonry work in the area during its affluent times.  Since the local brick was soft, the brick was generally stuccoed.  Then the red stucco would be painted with ridges to represent mortar lines between the “bricks.”  This home, shown below, was built for Elias Devoe and was used to advertise his brick company.  Built in the Queen Anne style, it could show off the brick work to potential customers.  According to the history, Elias Devoe and his first wife Carrie came to Port Townsend in 1883.  They were a prominent couple in the town – he with his business in brick masonry and a spot on the city council.  However, times turned rough, and Carrie died in 1890 of gout. The next year, 1891, Elias went into foreclosure. 

So, with financial hard times, it seemed reasonable that Elias might take a job opportunity in Alaska.  We don’t know how long they were in Ketchikan, except that by the 1910 census, Hattie and Elias had moved back to Seattle, Washington and taken up residence at 421 Killbourne Street.  Listed as Deboe, Elias at 70 was a merchant, wife Henrietta M. at 55 was at home.  They had been married for 17 years and had no children.  With them lived William Witzall, brother to Henrietta, 49, single and a merchant; Earl L. Rule, nephew, 20, single, with no employment (brother to Dr. Frank Rule in the previous post); Henry J. McCleary, nephew, 24, and working as a switchman (no idea how he connects – born in Illinois), and Samuel Branowich, boarder, 40, married for 8 years, born in Bohemia and a motorman.     

Elias and Hattie Witzgall Devore home at 421 N 36th, Seattle, WA
Elias then died sometime before the 1920 census was taken, as Hattie was listed as widowed in that census.  Living at 421 Seary Avenue (perhaps Killbourne St had been renamed), Hattie was 64 and with her lived her brother, William, 59 and single, working as a grocery storekeeper and three men boarders, two in school and one working.

In 1930, still in Seattle, now at 421 North 36th Street (another street name change?), Hattie at 75 was without brother William, but she still had two boarders: Freddie Seffer, 27, a German immigrant who came to America in 1924, and worked as a meat cutter, and Edward Nuron, 65, a Swedish man, who worked as a welder on the street railway.

Hattie M. Witzgall Devoe died on October 26, 1942 at the age of 87, according to the Washington Death Index. 

Questions remain, of course!
How did Hattie meet Elias Devoe?  Did she come to Washington first and why?
Why did William, her brother, come to live with her?
William did not die until 1945.  Where did he go to live and why did he leave his sister?
What hotel did they run in Ketchikan and is it still standing?
Did Henrietta Witzgall know Caroline Delph, the missionary teacher, who was also in Alaska about this time?

If you can answer any of these questions or have a photo of Elias or Hattie, please contact me!