June 24, 2011

The Youngest Brother - Benjamin F. Ordway

Updated July 5, 2011 with more information on Almeda. See below.

Great-Grandfather Lemuel’s little brother and Richard and Sarah Ordway's youngest son was Benjamin Franklin Ordway, born April 26, 1883. 

Strangely, Benjamin is called Franklin B. Ordway in this Henry County, Ohio marriage document, but in all other documents, he appears as Benjamin F. or Ben F.  His mother is named as Elizabeth Hill, and Sarah (as we usually know her) is a nickname for Elizabeth. 
The document states that the marriage date for Louisa Young and Ben was January 28, 1902.
At the age of 17 (1900) and single, Ben Ordway lived in Waterville with his sister, Mary, and her husband, William Smothers.  But by the 1910 census, he was married and lived in Toledo at 702 East Broadway in the rear apartment with his wife, Louisa (Young) and their children, Pearl K., 7,  Zelma I. , 5, and Almeda, 3.  Ben was working as a cement finisher.

Sometime between April 1910 when the census was taken and November 1916, Louisa and Benjamin were divorced.  When a wife named Anna appeared with Benjamin in the 1920 census, I began to explore what might have happened to Louisa.  At  first, I thought she had died, but further investigation found a marriage record for her on www.familysearch.org : 

Louisa Young Ordway, daughter of John and Cassie Ripley Young, born about 1891, married Teddie W. Reid in Lucas County, Ohio on November 29, 1916. 

Louise was 27, and it was noted that she was a divorced woman, previously known as Mrs. Benjamin Ordway.  Her occupation was landlady, while Teddie was a fireman, also divorced. 

I don’t know what happened to Teddie, but by 1921, she was married a third time, and again the image of the marriage certificate may be seen on www.familysearch.org.  

 Louise, age 33, a landlady residing at 1035 Michigan Street, Toledo, previously married with names Mrs. Benjamin Ordway and Mrs. Ted W. Reid, married Harry Wilson.  Harry lived at the same address, was also divorced and was a foreman.

Back to Benjamin… by the 1920 census, he had remarried and his wife’s name was Anna.  I have not been able to find a marriage record for them, so I don't know her maiden name, but she was previously married to someone with the last name of Arnold.  Benjamin and Anna lived at 2630 Elm Street in Toledo.  Benjamin, 38, worked as a laborer in a bottling factory, and Anna, 39, worked as a cigar maker in a factory.  Living with them was Benjamin’s youngest daughter, Almeda, 13, and Mary Arnold, 15, a step-daughter. 

What happened to the other two daughters of Louisa Young and Benjamin Ordway?  I did find marriage records for them, again on www.familysearch.org . 
In Michigan Marriages 1868 – 1925, Pearl Ordway, 19, a cigar packer from Lima, Ohio, was listed as marrying James Bowersock, 21, also of Lima and a dry cleaner.  They married on September 6, 1921 in Detroit, Michigan. 
I don't know what happened to James, but in The Lima News on July 18, 1950, I found a marriage license for Pearl Bowersock, 47, cigar worker, living at
615 1/2 S Main in Lima and Warren C. Looker, 52, highway superintendent.

Pearl’s sister, Zelma, married about four months later.  In Ohio County Marriages, 1790-1950, Zelma Ordway, 17, resident of 43 Nevada Street, Toledo, married Charles W. Wilson, 20, of the same address.  Charles was a candy salesman and the son of Clarence and Clara Wilson.  You remember that Louisa’s last husband was Harry Wilson? 
Not sure of the relationship among the Wilsons, but I’ll bet there is one.  Ben Ordway signed his consent for the marriage and the nuptials took place on January 11, 1922.

Almeda married Robert Kucera, but I have not been able to find out much about her, except that she died in July 2001.  I sent for her obituary today, so maybe I can add more later about Benjamin’s youngest daughter.
Update on Almeda...from her obituary in the Toledo Blade, July 29, 2001:
"Almeda E. Kucera, 94 years, of Toledo and formerly of Friendship, WI, died Saturday, July 28, 2001, in Imperial Manor Nursing Home after a long illness.  Born January 26, 1907, in Henry, Ohio, she married Robert Kucera on July 20, 1946, in Milwaukee, WI.  He preceded her in death on July 29, 1997.  She was a secretary for the Cudahy Packing House in Milwaukee, WI for 20 years, retiring in 1959.  She enjoyed knitting and crocheting and trips to Las Vegas."
I am going to stop here because the obituary goes on to mention her family, some of whom are living.


By 1930, Ben F. Ordway, 48, and his wife, Anna E, were living in their own home, valued at $2500 on Chestnut Street in Toledo.  Ben was working as a bricklayer for a builder.  I believe Benjamin died on January 6, 1958 at the age of 74, but I am uncertain when Anna died or where they were buried. 

If anyone can add to this or has photos, please contact me!


June 20, 2011

Two New Books Published

Interested in the Civil War?  My interest grew tremendously as I worked on transcribing two journals of a Union soldier from Ohio that were discovered at our local library. 
Darius Baird was a native of Pulaski, Ohio, in Williams County and a member of the 38th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  He enlisted when he was 19 at Camp Trimble, Defiance, Ohio, on September 1, 1861.  He was assigned as a musician in Co. H of the 38th, and on December 11, 1862, he was promoted to full corporal and served as a color guard.  Corporal Baird was mortally wounded on September 1, 1864, in action at Jonesboro, Georgia.  He is buried in the Marietta National Cemetery, Marietta, Georgia.  His journals were returned to his mother in Pulaski by his brother, John, when he mustered out of service shortly after Darius's death.

Three of us worked on transcribing the journals which are full of vivid descriptions of camp life and battle, including names of other local soldiers.  I was lucky enough to visit Marietta and find Darius's grave...on Memorial Day last year.  Our society now has the book, The Civil War Journals of Darius Baird, A Northwest Ohio Soldier, for sale for just $10, which includes shipping. 

The second book that we have just published is a reprint of a 1904 Turnbull Wagon Pocket Catalog, used by salesmen for the company which was located in Defiance, Ohio. 
The forty page catalog lists all the various sizes of wagons offered by the company in 1904. It contains several full color plates of the wagons (as shown above), numerous illustrations throughout of running gears, brakes and other available add-on features.  Dimensions of the boxes are given, along with the size and widths of the wooden wheels and the prices of various parts.  The placement of pin striping on the wagons is clearly shown.  This is a great gift for Turnbull Wagon collectors, restorers and others interested in the Turnbull Wagon company.
The book is 4 1/2 x 7 1/2 - just right for the salesman's pocket!   We have this book for sale at $20 plus $1.50 for shipping.

Two very different and unusual books!  If you would like to have more information or to order, please email me at defiancegenealogy2002@yahoo.com  .

June 18, 2011

Lemuel Ordway's Brother, Bert

Lemuel’s brother, Albert Orvinn Ordway , known as Bert, was born May 23, 1874 in Monroe Township, Henry County, Ohio.  Bert was a farmer who married Vern Nettie Babcock 19/20 December 1896. 
In 1900, Bert and Nettie were renting a farm in Monroe Township with their two young sons, Johny, 3, born March 1897, and Perry, 1, born March 1899. 
Young Perry died on November 24, 1909 and is buried in Hoy Cemetery.
"Our darling one hath gone before, To greet us on the blissful shore"

By 1910, Bert, 33, and Nettie, 32, had six children, five living, and they were still renting a farm in Monroe Township.  John, 13, was a laborer on the home farm.  Chester, 9, Anna, 4. and twins Edward and Beatrice, 4 months, finished the family. 
The family moved to Turkeyfoot Street in Malinta by 1920, although Bert was still farming.  John, 22, was a laborer in the beet fields, while Chester, 18, also labored on the home farm.  Anna was 14, while the twins were 10.

Beatrice Ordway died on August 31, 1927, at about 17 years old.  I do not know the cause at present.

The family moved to Summit Street in Malinta before 1930.  John was still single at 33 and living at home, working as a machinist in a garage.  Edward, 20, was also at home and single, working as a laborer on bridge construction.  The other children were gone, but living with them was Clarence, 9, a grandson.  A birth record found on http://www.familysearch.org/ shows that Anna Ordway gave birth to a son, Clarence, on March 7, 1921. No father is listed on the record.  Anna would have been about 16.

Albert Ordway died a rather violent death.  From the January 23, 1942,  Deshler Flag newspaper, we find:

“MALINTA MAN SUCCUMBS TO FATAL POISON
Albert Ordway Mistakes Black Leaf 40 for Peruna

A tablespoon of Black Leaf 40, taken by mistake, was fatal to Albert O. Ordway, 66, Malinta, retired farmer,who died Friday.
Mr. Ordway had been in the habit of taking Peruna, and went to his medicine cabinet Friday morning to get a dose of it.  Previously, however, he had gone to a hatchery to get some Black Leaf 40 for use in his poultry house, and this had been given to him in a Peruna bottle with no other label on it.
The contents of the two bottles appeared identical when held to the light, Dr. B. D. Johnson, county coroner, said after investigating the death, which he certified as accidental.  When he had taken it, Mr. Ordway turned to his wife and asked, “what was in that bottle?”  When he discovered what he had taken, he attempted to disgorge it, but was unable to do so.  He died before a physician could aid him.
The Malinta man is survived by his wife, Nettie, two sons, John and Edward, both of Malinta; a daughter, Mrs. Anna Hill, of Napoleon; and five grandchildren.
Rev. Metzker of Custar officiated at funeral services, held Monday afternoon in the United Brethern church in Malinta.  Burial was in the church cemetery.”

Bert and Nettie Babcock Ordway had six children.  John (1897 – 1970, WW I veteran, did not marry), Perry (1899 – 1909), Chester (1901 – 1937, died in an automobile accident), Anna (1905 – 1997, married Harvey Hill in 1926), Edward (1909 – 1959, one of the twins, did not marry) and Beatrice (1909 – 1927, the other twin) who married Martin Bockelman in February 1927 and then died by September 1927. 


June 14, 2011

Book Review - Hidden Affections by Delia Parr

Another book review!  This time Bethany House has provided me with a copy of Hidden Affections by Delia Parr.  The opinions expressed, as always, are my own and not influenced by the publisher.

The setting is western Pennsylvania and the time is 1831 when the lovely Annabelle Tyler finds herself robbed and handcuffed to a fellow stagecoach passenger, the wealthy, handsome Harrison Graymoor.
As soon as they are found after spending the night, quite innocently, together, the sheriff forces them to be married to protect Annabelle’s honor.   The two decide they will keep the marriage a secret and get a quick annulment, since they don’t seem suited to each other at all, and in fact, Harrison has vowed never to marry.  That plan didn’t work out, and the sham marriage must continue for awhile
while they wait for divorce papers from Indiana, the state then for quickie divorces.

Much of the book rests on the premise of this time in history when divorce is shameful, especially for the woman.  Annabelle was previously married, although only for a week until her husband made off with her inheritance and then divorced her.  She tries to keep that a secret because “proper” society would not accept her as a divorced woman and Harrison himself has stated that divorced women are “beyond redemption.”   Her former husband, Eric Bradley, becomes a villain in the story.

One other theme of the book concerns Annabelle’s strong faith versus the lack of faith in Harrison’s life.  Having lost all of his family, some quite early in his life, he really feels that God has forsaken him totally.  He has known so much grief that he doesn’t really think God cares for him much at all.  Annabelle,  however, feels that “He’ll always give you the strength to embrace love and the courage and grace to face all the disappointments that life can hurl at you.” (122)  Can she convince Harrison of that truth?

For the most part, the book was entertaining, but there were times one had to really stretch the imagination to believe the coincidences and turns taken in the story line.  I did grow to like the main characters, as well as the housekeeper, Irene,  and Harrison’s cousin Philip, who have a major role in this romance.  For me…just an average tale.

June 13, 2011

Memorial Events for Our Son, Jason

 It really was an emotional weekend, filled with friends and family and strangers, gathered together to remember Jason as we approach the anniversary of his death in July. 
How can we ever thank all of you enough? 

On Thursday evening, June 9th, the folks in the Wapakoneta School District honored Jason by dedicating the new courtyard of the high school in his name.  The shining, black stone in the courtyard was breath-taking and much more than we had envisioned. 

On Saturday, the first Jason Kline 1.5 mile Alumni Run was held at his alma mater, Fairview High School.  Lots of family, friends, and classmates turned out...in the rain. 

We are all humbled and grateful.   
It hasn't been an easy year, but as we search for our peace, it matters so much that we have so many praying and supporting us.
From all of us, thank you again and again.

Jennie celebrates finishing the 5k with Matthew and Luke

Gracelyn and Taylor teamed up on the alumni run.

June 5, 2011

Book Review - A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf

Time to catch up on the book reviews.  It's hot outside, so what better time to curl up with a good book in the afternoon as the thermometer rises?  For those of you who devour historical fiction, I think you will really enjoy this novel based on the Biblical story of Esther.

What happens when a beautiful Jewish girl named Esther is chosen to be queen to the Persian, King Ahaseurus?  Based loosely on the Book of Esther from the Bible, Joan Wolf creates an intriguing story of jealousy, fear, love and betrayal. 

When her Uncle Mordecai has a fearful dream about the annihilation of the Jews and sees Esther in the dream as the savior of her people, he convinces her to join other women who are being interviewed by the King as he searches for his next queen.  The king already has a large harem and has just put away a previous wife for disobedience, so it is no wonder that Esther balks at the idea of becoming queen or that she could have any part in saving her people.  And, Mordecai insists that Esther not reveal she is Jewish on her mother’s side because that would be unacceptable to a Persian king. 

When Esther is chosen as the reluctant queen, she finds  King Ahaseurus a most compassionate, loving husband to her, but she also finds that he has enemies in his court – some who have too much power and one who especially hates the Jews – Haman, the Edomite.  Esther’s interventions and the king’s own wisdom help to keep the kingdom strong, but all along Esther must struggle with the lie she is living.  Her husband thinks she is Babylonian, not Jewish.  Will he turn her away if he finds out?  How can she forsake her religious beliefs?  Will God hear her cries when she feels she is betraying Him?  Can she really save her people from a decree that has gone out to have all Jews killed?

Although Wolf acknowledges that she has taken liberties with the Biblical story for the purposes of character and pacing of the novel, it all adds to the book’s interest.  Esther’s struggles seem real to the reader, and the conflicts within the kingdom give us insight into the times.  I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would definitely recommend for readers interested in historical romance.

June 3, 2011

Chester, Chester, and Chester Ordway

My great-grandfather, Lemuel Ordway, had eight siblings – four sisters and four brothers.  Two of Lem’s brothers, younger by three years, were twins : Chester and Sylvester.  Born October 1, 1880, both of the brothers had short lives.  Sylvester died before he was two of “brain fever.”  Brain fever would probably have been meningitis or encephalitis, in modern terms.  Sylvester is buried in Hoy Cemetery. 

Chester survived into young adulthood, but died in a most mysterious way.

Three different newspapers described the incident. 
First the Democrat Northwest,  November 1, 1900 –
“BLED TO DEATH
From Bursting a Blood Vessel While Scuffling
A sad accident occurred in Malinta on Monday, by which a young man lost his life.  Early in the morning two young men, Chester Ordway, the 21 year old son of Richard Ordway, and Ollie Taylor got into a friendly tussle, and while scuffling, Ordway was thrown to the ground, Taylor falling on him.  In the fall, Ordway sustained a rupture of a blood vessel in the lungs and bled to death in a few minutes after the accident.  No blame attaches to Taylor, as it was purely accidental, but the sad event cast a gloom over the entire community.  We understand the unfortunate young man was subject to hemorrhages, as on several occasions before his life was despaired of from hemorrhages.
The funeral services were held in the Church of Christ, of which he was a member, yesterday morning at 10 o’clock, Rev. Cline, the pastor, conducting them.”

The Henry County Signal, Thursday, November 1, 1900, reported:
“Chester Ordway died Monday at Malinta from hemorrhage, aged about 20 years.  He had been wrestling with a companion and burst a blood vessel and died almost immediately after being taken to his home.  The funeral was held Wednesday from the Disciple church conducted by Rev. Cline.  The funeral was one of the most largely attended of any held in that vicinity.”

Finally,  the Deshler Flag, November 2, 1900, gave a short notice:
“Killed at Malinta
Two Boys Engaged in a Scuffle – Ruptured a Blood Vessel
Chester Ordway, aged about 17, of Malinta, while scuffling with a young man named Taylor, Monday forenoon, ruptured a blood vessel and bled to death in a few moments.”

Taken all together, I think we all can visualize what happened on October 29, 1900.  The truth is that Chester was 20 years old, but the mystery of the hemorrhaging that seemed to be a factor in his life before this, to the point that he might have been close to death previously is interesting.  I’m sure Lem, at 23, was devastated at this loss of his closest younger brother.  Chester was buried with his father, Richard, in Hoy Cemetery.


Lemuel’s older brother, Albert or “Bert”  named a son after his deceased brother, Chester.  This Chester Ordway was born January 29, 1901, about three months after the mortal incident described above.  Unfortunately, Bert’s son, Chester, died tragically in an automobile accident on August 29, 1937.  His wife, Cora, died in the same accident, leaving four young children parentless.


The third Chester Ordway was the first son of the Chester Ordway who died in the automobile accident in 1937.  Named after his father and born in 1922, this last Chester lived to age 69, married and had a family of four children, one, Melvin, who sacrificed his life in battle in World War II.


I don’t know if the name, Chester, was carried on after that- maybe you do?
Would love to have a picture of all of these Chesters! 




June 2, 2011

Kudos to Hyatt Regency, Denver, at the Colorado Convention Center!

Just returned from ten days in Colorado...an eventful vacation...and now I'm down and out, i.e. sick, sick, sick, but I promise I'll get back blogging as soon as I can.

We took the Amtrak train to Denver, just for the adventure of it all ... a long trip from Ohio.  I'll post some pictures soon and tell more, but I wanted to give credit to the fabulous Hyatt Regency, Denver, where we spent our last four or five days in Colorado. 
The night before we were to board our train for the almost 30 hour ride home, I developed a case of severe vertigo.  I mean, things were spinning and I was sick to my stomach, unable to stand up without help.  Early in the morning, the Hyatt 24/7 nurse consult helped us and determined we might want to call 911, which the hotel did for us.  Within minutes, the kind John D'Angelo, Assistant Rooms Executive, came right to our room with two security men who brought emergency med supplies and waited with us until the rescue squad arrived.  Mr. D'Angelo provided us a taxi ride home from the hospital and an extension of our stay gratis. 
The next day when the E.R. doctor had nixed a train ride home for me, Kayla (and Denise and Jessica) were all helpful in getting us a flight booked for Denver to Detroit (2 hrs. 12 min.) and again providing us a taxi ride to the airport.  I can't say enough about the spectacular service and caring of this Hyatt Regency staff.

Not only is it a fabulous hotel, with four food venues onsite and gorgeous, modern rooms, but it is also within a block of the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall and within walking distance of many city sites.  If you are going to be in the Denver area, this is a shameless advertisement for the Hyatt! 
 Check them out here.