October 25, 2014

Sherman T. Meek - The Fifth Son

Samuel and Eliza (Fuller) Meek welcomed their fifth son, Sherman T. on the Fourth of July, 1869.  Perhaps he was named after the famed Union general, William Tecumseh Sherman, although I'm not sure what the T stands for in Sherman T. Meek's name.  Since the Civil War was fresh in everyone's memory in 1869, I'm sure the naming after a war hero is a possibility.
Sherman was a farmer all his life, first in Ohio and then in Indiana.  In about 1898, he married Clara A. Reed and they settled in the Hicksville, Ohio area where their first two children were born:  Grace in 1900 and Samuel Kenneth (or Kenneth Samuel) on January 16, 1902.

About 1903, the family moved to a farm on the Spencerville Road just west of Hicksville, Ohio into Newville Township, Dekalb County, Indiana.  Four more children joined the family there: Horace in 1909, John C. in 1910, Luella in 1916 and Clarence ("Sam") in 1920.  Sherman farmed and raised livestock, especially swine.  He served as a trustee for Newville Township for a time in the 1920s.

In 1921, when little Clarence was just a babe, Sherman and Clara lost their oldest daughter, Grace, at about the age of 21.  Her cause of death is unknown at this time, as is her burial place.  The Hicksville Tribune reported her death on Thursday, April 7, 1921:
"Grace Meek, the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Meek, died Saturday morning at the family home on the Spencerville road. Funeral services were held Monday."

By the 1930 Federal Census, when Sherman was 60 and Clara, 51, two minor children were still at home - Luella, 13, and Clarence, 10.  Clara was ill and died that same year.  
The Hicksville News-Tribune carried the obituary on June 5, 1930 on page 1:

Mrs. Clara Meek, wife of Sherman Meek, died at 11:55 p.m. Friday, at her home in Newville township, four miles west of Hicksville on the Spencerville road.
She had been ill for several months from a complication of diseases.
Funeral services were held Monday at the North Scipio Methodist church, and burial was made in the Six Corners cemetery.
Deceased is survived by the husband; sons, Kenneth, Forrest*, John C. and Clarence, all of the neighborhood; and a daughter, Miss Luella Meek, at home."
 *Error - Forrest should be Horace.

On April 17, 1935, the oldest son of Sherman and Clara died.  Samuel Kenneth Meek, known as Kenneth, passed away in Auburn, Indiana.  He was buried in Scipio Cemetery, Allen County, Indiana.  He left a wife and one son, Richard David Meek. 
Scipio Cemetery, Allen County, Indiana

Horace married Elsie Engleter in 1933 and Luella married Paul Hensley in 1935.  Horace and his wife apparently moved into the homestead to help care for Clarence and his father.  On July 27, 1937, Sherman T. Meek died after a bout of influenza. 
The obituary appeared in the News-Tribune on July 29, 1937 on page 1:

Splendid Citizen Taken Suddenly from Flu and Uremic Trouble. 

Sherman T. Meek, aged 68, died Tuesday evening about 7:30, in an ambulance while being taken to hospital at Defiance, for emergency treatment.
Mr. Meek was taken ill Monday afternoon with intestinal flu, which resulted in some uremic trouble.
By Tuesday afternoon his condition had grown so critical that it was decided necessary to take him to hospital, as he was delirious and was suffering with convulsions.
In consequence a physician and nurse, also the son, Horace Meek, accompanied him in the ambulance.  He grew steadily worse and breathed his last just before reaching the hospital.
Mr. Meek was born near Six Corners and lived in that neighborhood for thirty-four years, then moved to Newville township, Ind., where he resided for the rest of his days.  He was a splendid citizen in all senses of the word, and served as township trustee for eight years, which demonstrates in what high esteem he was held by his fellow citizens.  Mrs. Meek passed away seven years ago.
Surviving are three sons, Horace and Clarence at the home, John at Marshall, Mich.; and daughter Mrs. Luella Hensley of Newville township; two grandchildren; brothers, John Meek of Bryan and David Meek of Lake George, Ind.; and sister, Mrs. Emily Kline of Newville township.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 Friday afternoon at the North Scipio M. E. church, with burial in Six Corners cemetery.  Perkins & Reeb funeral directors in charge."

Six Corners Cemetery, Defiance County, Ohio
Of the remaining children of Sherman and Clara Meek, Clarence ("Sammy" or "Sam") Meek died in 1978 in Ohio, John C. Meek died in 1980 in Michigan, Luella Meek Hensley died in 1984 in Indiana, and Horace Meek lived until the age of 90, passing away in Ohio in 2000.

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