February 22, 2015

Eliza C. (Fuller) Meek's Estate - 1909-1911

When, great-great grandmother, Eliza C. (Fuller) Meek died on July 2, 1909, she left no will.  Of her seven children, five were living and named in the letters of administration as heirs, and son, David, was named as administrator. Two sons, William Oscar and Solomon predeceased their mother.  Also given were the addresses of the heirs, which was a good clue to further research.

From the estate papers,  quite a bit of information can be gleaned about her financial and personal life.  She still had a farm, or at least some interest in one, because somewhat less than half of the worth of the estate was due to the sale of oats, wheat, corn, hay and clover seed.  She also had money to loan - to her son, John Meek, $500 to finance his mortgage, and to E. E. Root and C.D. Hitt, $200, and to John Brown, $130.

Eliza must have been sickly at the end because a nurse was hired to care for her.  Mrs. Florence Conner was paid $8.50 for her services, and Mrs. Sherman Meek was also compensated $50 for care of the deceased during her last illness.

An interesting mystery to solve was indicated by one line in the debits of the estate.  A telegram was sent to Attica, Indiana concerning the death of Eliza.  Did she have a sibling or other relative who lived there?  Who was informed of Eliza's passing?

By 1911, the estate was settled with each heir receiving $200, with an additional $31.67 later and when a CD was cashed it, they also acquired another $18.91.  Not a huge amount, but a nice sum for 1911, considering her funeral cost much less than that.


February 12, 2015

Where Are You, John Meek, Son of James and Anna (Cooper) Meek?

The Children of James and Anna (Cooper) Meek

Samuel Meek (great-grandfather) 1824 - 1902
David Cooper Meek (Samuel's twin) 1824 - 1901
Enoch Meek #1 1825 - 1901
                     Hiram   1826/7 - 1909  (Elizabeth's twin)
Elizabeth  1826/7 -1907 
Seth     1827 - 1845
Sidnah  1830 - 1872
James  1833 - 1865
Ednah  1834 - 1910
*John  1836- ?
Beulah  1837 - 1912
Enoch #2   1840 - 1864
                                            Solomon  1842 - 1917

I have spent hours and hours and hours, trying to verify that I had located the John Meek, noted on the 1850 census of Columbiana County, Ohio with his widowed mother and all his siblings.  Twice, I thought I had him!  In each case, an obituary or other record dashed my hopes by listing different parents than James and Anna Meek.  

I'm going to write about at least one John Meek, as I have gathered so much research on him.  I thought, for sure, John W. Meek, who settled in Hicksville Township, Defiance County, Ohio, was my man.  The birth years matched, the birthplace matched, his daughter stayed with one of the above siblings and was listed as a cousin (but it meant cousin to the head of household), and he settled near all the other siblings. But his obituary listed different parents, so he was a cousin to the generation I was researching.  I can't find a death record or even a tombstone for him.   
F R U S T R A T E D ...

Here in the obituary that dashed my hopes...
Hicksville Tribune, Thursday, November 9, 1911

John Wesley Meek was born on a farm near East Palestine, Columbiana county, Ohio, October 24, 1836, and died at Hicksville, Ohio, November 4,1911, aged 75 years and 11 days.  He was of a family of seven children born to Samuel and Sydney Welch Meek, pioneer settlers of south-eastern Ohio, and spent his early years before the war in that part of the state, having learned the trade of blacksmithing in early manhood.
He was married to Elizabeth Mummert at Canton, Ohio, March 1, 1866, and this union was broken by her death which occurred September 2, 1890  

To them were born three daughters and one son, of whom the son, Phillip Clyde Meek and one daughter, Flora May Meek, still survive.  Shortly after their marriage in 1867, they removed to Defiance county, settling on a farm about two miles east of Hicksville, where they continued to live until the death of Mrs. Meek, except about two years in which they lived in Hicksville. 

After the death of Mrs. Meek, the deceased and his children moved to Hicksville, where they continued to live until his death.  He had no church affliation but his parents being devout Methodists, had him baptized in infancy.  He was a man of a very quiet and retiring disposition and possessed of a fine sense of honor and a high degree of integrity.  Mr. Meek belonged to that rapidly disappearing class of citizens and patriots known as the 'old soldiers,' whose deeds of self sacrifice and valor have endeared them to their countrymen, and whose merits and praises will be extolled in history and song so long as our united coutnry and its beloved institutions shall survive.

Few men had a more honorable army record than deceased.  He enlisted in Co A., 19 O. V. I., April 24, 1861, for three months service and received his discharge August 27 of same year.  He re-enlisted in Co. D. of the same regiment September 10, 1861, for three years or until the close of the war, and received his discharge December 31, 1863.  The following day, January 1, 1864, he re-enlisted in the same company as a veteran volunteer and served until the close of the war, receiving his discharge at San Antonio, Texas, October 24, 1865, having had a military service of four years and 6 months.

The company and regiment of which Mr. Meek was a member participated in 28 battles, some of which were the most sanguiinary engagements of the entire war, and included the battles of Rich Mountain, Shiloh, Perrysville, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Kenesaw Mountain, Franklin and Nashville.  At the Battle of Chickamauga, the impact of the heavy artillery firing was so severe that his hearing was effected, and this interfered with his intercourse amount his fellows in later life.

The greatest comfort of the declining years of the deceased was in his association with his old comrades in arms, and in recounting with them and living over the experiences, hardships and incidents of army life, and in the ministrations of the G. A. R. of which he was an active member, and at one time, Commander. 

His was a simple, quiet and unostentatious life, but it is to he and such as he that a thankful and devoted country abscribe the salvation and upon whose brows is placed the laurels of victory.

Funeral services were conducted from the Lutheran Church Monday afternoon, under the auspices of the G. A. R., Rev. Albert officiated.  Interment in Forest Home."

To follow him in the records:

1860 - John W. Meek, Unity Township, Columbiana County, 23 years old, a blacksmith living with Amos and Sidney Keeler, farmer and twin girls, Louisa and Alvina.  I think now that Sidney Keeler might have been his mother.

Marriage record found on familysearch.org for John W. Meek and Elizabeth Memert, Stark County, Ohio, 01 March 1866

1870 - Hicksville Twp, Defiance County, Ohio - John W. Meek, 33, blacksmith, and his wife, Elizabeth, 28, keeping house with Flora M., age 2.

1877 - Birth record in Defiance County for Maud G. Meek, born 14 June 1877, to John W. Meek and Elizabeth Munnert.

1880 - Birth record in Defiance County for Philip Clyde Meek, born 24 Jan 1880, to John W. Meek and Elizabeth Mumnert

1880 - Hicksville Twp, Defiance County, Ohio - John W. Meek, 43, Farmer, and Elisibeth, his wife, 39 and children, Flora May, 12; Otta O., 8, both daughters and Phillip C., 4 months old.  Maud must have died by this time.

Death Record - Defiance County, Elizabeth Meek, born c. 1842, Stark County, Ohio, died 24 September 1890, Hicksville Twp, age 48 years, 9 months, 10 days, of typhoid fever.
Also in 1890, John appeared on the Veterans Census of Defiance County, although it only showed part of his service as compared to the obituary.

In 1896, Flora had a baby out of wedlock and there was a huge scandal.  
Fort Wayne Weekly Journal, 26 November 1896
 Birth Record, Defiance County, OH - Male Bly, Parents - Flora M. Meek and Charles Bly, born 27 December 1896, Tiffin Twp, Defiance County, Ohio.  I believe that Flora was in the Defiance County Home at that time and she is enumerated there later, in 1920.  In 1900, she was living with John and  Beulah Sensenbaugh, according to the census, and is listed as a cousin, possibly of Beulah, but I could not find her in 1910.  Otta also disappeared from all records.

1900 Census - Hicksville - John Meeks, head, born October 1836, 63, widowed, landlord, owns his home. Living with him was only Clyde (Philip Clyde), his son, born May 1879, 21, single.  In 1900, Clyde P. Meek was also enumerated at the Ohio Institution for the Blind, Columbus, Ohio, age 20, single, a pupil, born Jan. 1880, which is the date that matches the 1880 census.  Possibly John reported incorrectly to the enumerator in 1900. 

1910 Census - Maple Street, Hicksville, OH - John Meeks,widowed, 78, has his own income, and Clyde, 30, single, owns a retail confectionary.

In 1911, John W. Meek died.

Clyde was blind, and in 1908, received a stipend from the county Blind Commission, one of seven in the county to get this.  He received $100 a year, but he was quite an entrepeneur, according to the papers of the times.  Known in Hicksville as the "blind boy," even when mature, he was often chosen to pick the winning tickets in raffles and lotteries, as then there could be no question of any cheating.  He ran a "peanut emporium," a cigar store, a shooting gallery in Butler, Indiana, a restaurant, and a bowling alley, first in Hicksville, then in Sherwood.

Clyde registered for the draft on September 12, 1918, at the age of 38, giving his birthday as January 24, 1880, and his address as 126 North Main, Bryan, OH.  His occupation was a self-employed owner of a pool room and bowling alley.  He described himself as of medium height,stout build with light brown hair and blind.  Someone noted, "Eyes gone."

The newspapers noted that he sold his Hicksville businesses in 1914 and 1915, and moved to Bryan. In 1920, he was enumerated in the Pulaski, Williams County, OH census.  Clyde Meek, head, 39, single, owned a bowling alley and lived with Pete Psars, partner, 28, single, immigrated 1907, alien from Turkey, spoke Greek, occupation, shoe shiner, working for wages.

This is where the trail ended...this is where I learned that I had the wrong man...
In genealogy, one travels many roads sometimes that do not follow a straight line.
So this is a cold case right now!


February 9, 2015

Bickering Bank Woes With Some Meeks

The players in this tale of money and banking are
Hiram Meek and his son-in-law, Thomas Hood (husband
to his daughter, Maud), his two unmarried daughters,
Anna and Kate, and his sister, Edna Meek Cannon.  
The newspaper article which tells the tale appeared in
The Tribune, Hicksville, Ohio, August 8, 1907.  

Another Legal Action Follows Bank Closing.

Action was commenced last week at Defiance, by Leonard Dorsey and James Ames, against Hiram and Anna Meek. The complaint alleges the fraudulent sale to them of certain stocks or shares of the First National bank, while in the full knowledge that the institution was insolvent.

The outcome of this, with the previous suit mentioned in our last issue, will be watched with much curiosity by our citizens.  Suits by other parties of a similar kind may also be expected.

In the matter of the T. D. Hood sale of stock, Mr. Hood having been assistant cashier, a compromise has been reached that affects a settlement of the civil features of the case.  Mr. Lechner, the injured party, has been secured for the restitution of his purchase money, $1000. This, however, leaves him shy of about $300 that he paid as a premium on the stock.The wisdom of Mr. Hood returning here from California and making some kind of a settlement will readily be seen in considering the following:

On June first Mr. Lechner was approached to purchase the ten Hood shares in question.  At the time, Mr. Lechner paid down $100 to hold option on the stock, agreeing to have the remainder of the funds in a few days.  The stock was then in the name of Mr. Hood, and legally should have there remained until the option was carried out.  Three days after that, namely June 3, Hood transferred the title to his sister-in-law, Miss Anna Meek.  When the purchaser came forward to complete the conditions, it was she that then signed the stock to him..  This, of course, placed a supposed innocent second party between the transactions, but of course was not legal, as Hood held the stock in his name and received the first money.  

At the same time, to still more completely hedge, Mr. Hood transferred 39 shares out of forty he held in the Hart, Hood & Widney Incorporation, to his brother, leaving but one share of $100 remaining.

Simultaneously, Mr. Meek transferred his bank stock to Anna Meek, a daughter, and his real estate to Miss Kate Meek. Miss Anna Meek then transferred this stock to Messrs. Leonard and Allen Dorsey, and Mr. James Ames, laying foundation for the above cited suits at law.

Ascertaining that Miss Meek still has $2700 on deposit here, attachment papers were secured and Sheriff Kopp was here and served the same last Friday, attaching the same in the hands of the First National.  Other complications are expected as a result of the various sales and transfers of the stock, and hotly contested suits are sure to result.

To still add to the general mix-up, Mrs. Cannon, a widowed aunt of Mr. Hood, has taken judgement against him for $317.40, borrowed funds.  It is also understood that she will attack the validity of the transfer by Mr. Hood of the stocks to his brother. 

To counter, or choke her off, Mr. Hood is reportedly by his confidents as threatening to force her on to the tax duplicate with certain monies she has had in the bank for some time.  In the meantime, the bank has resumed with a clear slate and is once more one of our solid and worthy institutions."

Hmmm...I wonder how comfortable a family reunion might have been that year?

February 2, 2015

Solomon Meek - Son of James and Anna (Cooper) Meek

The Children of James and Anna (Cooper) Meek

Samuel Meek (great-grandfather) 1824 - 1902
*David Cooper Meek (Samuel's twin) 1824 - 1901
Enoch Meek #1 1825 - 1901
                     Hiram   1826/7 - 1909  (Elizabeth's twin)
Elizabeth  1826/7 -1907 
Seth     1827 - 1845
Sidnah  1830 - 1872
James  1833 - 1865
Ednah  1834 - 1910
John  1836 - ?
Beulah  1837 - 1912
Enoch #2   1840 - 1864
*Solomon  1842 - 1917

Solomon Meek was born on September 24, 1842 in Columbiana County, Ohio, to James and Anna Meek.  He lived with his mother until her death and he never married.  After that, he and his sister, Elizabeth, came to Defiance County, Ohio, to join the other siblings who had already moved here.  He was the last survivor among his brothers and sisters, passing away on February 28, 1917.

Was Driving Rig to Farm on Defiance Avenue When Last Call Came

Citizens were greatly shocked Wednesday morning to learn that Sol Meek had died suddenly while on his way to his farm.
The death occurred about nine o'clock, and when the rig was about at the former Adam Good farm on the Defiance Avenue.
He was driving at the time, James Sensenbacher being with him in the buggy.  He practically made no struggle, death coming to him in the flash of an eye.
Mr. Sensenbacher at once turned about and took the remains to the Sensenbacher home on West Edgerton street where funeral arrangments are now being made.
Deceased was a splendid citizen and possessed a host of friends.  He was seventy-five years old last September and had always lived single, possessing no family."

(James was his nephew, son of Solomon's sister, Beulah.)

 Solomon's obituary best tells his life story.  Published in the Hicksville Tribune on March 8, 1917:

Solomon Meek was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, September 24, 1842, and departed this life at Hicksville, Ohio, February 28, 1917, aged 74 years, 5 months, 4 days.  
His father was James Meek and his mother, prior to her marriage, was Ann Cooper.  He was the youngest of a family of 14 children, all of whom are now dead.
When but three years old, he lost his father by death.  He came of a sturdy, rugged, big-brawned, law-abiding, self respecting people who walked in the ways of righteousness and feared no man.  When but 12 years of age in the family of his widowed mother, he assumed the arduous duties that belonged to a good father and loving husband of a pioneer farm home of three score years age.  He and his mother resided together on a farm in Columbiana County until her death in 1876.  
He and his mother reared three children of a deceased sister.*
Although he never married in the performance of service which he so well rendered to his mother and his sister's children, he fulfilled duties performed by husband and father.
Four of his brothers were in the Federal army during the Civil war, two of whom died while in such service.  Upon his mother's death, he came to Hicksville township and purchased an 80 acre tract of land which was heavily timbered.  This farm he cleared, tiled, fenced and improved, converting it into a productive farm.  This farm he owned at the time of his death. It was while on the way to this farm that he died.
He was a kind, frank, sincere man, open, manly and honorable in all his dealings in life.  His devotion to his mother and the motherless children of his deceased sister was a worthy example of family love to those in the community where he lived.  In the conversion of his farm from thick wood into a well-improved farm, he rendered the world an excellent service.
He was preeminently a modest and God-fearing man.  The world is better by his having lived.  The lesson we inherit from his life in this community was his industry, frugality, poise, silence, performance of duty and kindness of heart.  Many nephews and nieces and friends mourn the departure.
Funeral services were held Saturday, Rev. C. A. Moore delivering the funeral address.  The remains were placed in a vault at Forest Home Cemetery, burial to be in the spring.

We take this means in a small way (to) express our gratitude to our friends and neighbors for their kindly sympathy and help in our sad bereavement.  Also to the quartet for their sweet songs and Brother Moore for the comforting words.
Nephews and Nieces of Solomon Meek."

February 1, 2015

James, Enoch and Seth Meek - Sons of James and Anna (Cooper) Meek

The Children of James and Anna (Cooper) Meek

Samuel Meek (great-grandfather) 1824 - 1902
David Cooper Meek (Samuel's twin) 1824 - 1901
Enoch Meek #1 1825 - 1901
                     Hiram   1826/7 - 1909  (Elizabeth's twin)
Elizabeth  1826/7 -1907 
*Seth     1827 - 1845
Sidnah  1830 - 1872
*James  1833 - 1865
Ednah  1834 - 1910
John  1836 - ?
Beulah  1837 - 1912
*Enoch #2   1840 - 1864
Solomon  1842 - 1917

James and Anna Meek knew well how it felt to lose a child.  Around 1825, they had a son named Enoch, and he died around 1837 at the age of 13.  They buried this son in the Boatman Cemetery, East Palestine Township, Columbiana County, Ohio.
Through the years, other sons would join Enoch there, including young Seth, who was only 19 at his death in 1845.
Enoch Meek #1

Seth Meek
 Years after the first Enoch's death, another son was born to James and Anna and, as was somewhat typical of the times, they named this son Enoch, as well.   Born about 1840, this Enoch Meek would enlist as a Union soldier, along with two of his brothers. 
 In Enoch's records that were obtained from the National Archives, we learn that Enoch enlisted in Company D, 100th Ohio Infantry at Toledo and was mustered in on September 1, 1862, for three years or the duration of the war.  Of great interest was the personal description provided of a 22 year old male, 5' 11 3/4", of fair complexion with blue eyes and dark hair, and "by occupation, a farmer."

Enoch mustered in as a Private, but was eventually promoted to Corporal on April 20, 1864, serving under First Lieutenant A. R. Tate in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia.  In 1864, his group was ordered to assault the enemy at 6 a.m. on August 5th near Utoy Creek, Georgia on the way to Atlanta.  They captured 140 Confederate prisoners.  During that night, they worked at felling trees along the creek and in the morning, the Union advanced again, using the timber for some protection.  However, the fallen trees also created barriers for troop movement as many logs were intertwined as they fell.  The men struggled there, while the Confederates kept up their fire.  Eventually, the Confederates turned back, but by that time, Enoch was a casualty of the battle.  He was killed in action on August 6, 1864.  

The History of Columbiana County, Ohio, in an extensive sketch of Captain Robert Taggart, stated: "Enoch Meek, a favorite pupil of Captain Taggart, was killed in the charge of the brigade at Utoy Creek in the vicinity of Utoy, Georgia."  Enoch was probably buried at the scene of the battle, as it was noted in the cemetery records of Boatman Cemetery that Enoch's body was not there, but a monument stands to him.

 Just a year later, the Meek family would again know loss.  Enoch's brother, James, enlisted on August 11, 1862 and also probably mustered in in September.  
He served in Company C of the 104th Ohio, enlisting also for three years or the war.  James was wounded in the engagement at Town Creek, North Carolina on February 20, 1865 and died of his wounds on March 17, 1865 in Baltimore, Maryland, probably in a military hospital there.

Town Creek, near the Cape Fear River, in North Carolina, was near Fort Anderson.  The Union marched toward Fort Anderson in February, 1865, with a detachment of the 104th Ohio skirmishing on the road leading to the fort.  The Confederates evacuated the fort during the night, but made  stand with fortifications and three pieces of artillery to command the approach to the bridge.  The Union managed to cross two brigades over on a flat boat about a mile from the bridge and they flanked the enemy.  Sixty one soldiers were wounded, and James Meek was one of them.  Wounded on February 20, 1865, he died of his wounds on March 16, 1865, in Baltimore, Maryland, probably at a hospital there.  

James is buried near his parents and grandparents, and Enoch's marker in Boatman Cemetery, East Palestine, Columbiana County.  James was 32 years old.

**I mistakenly sent for and received the pension record of a different James Meek of Columbiana County.  This soldier died in Andersonville and his file was quite extensive as father and later, his stepmother, tried to collect his pension.  The problem was that this James Meek had William Meek as a father, rather than James.  Sometime I will post this story as it is a good one.

Beulah Meek Sensabaugh - Daughter of James and Anna (Cooper) Meek

The Children of James and Anna (Cooper) Meek

Samuel Meek (great-grandfather) 1824 - 1902
David Cooper Meek (Samuel's twin) 1824 - 1901
Enoch Meek #1 1825 - 1901
                     Hiram   1826/7 - 1909  (Elizabeth's twin)
Elizabeth  1826/7 -1907 
Seth     1827 - 1845
Sidnah  1830 - 1872
James  1833 - 1865
Ednah  1834 - 1910
John  1836 - ?
*Beulah  1837 - 1912
Enoch #2   1840 - 1864
Solomon  1842 - 1917

Beulah (Bulah, Buelah) Meek was the youngest daughter in the James and Anna Meek family.  Born on December 13, 1837 in Unity Township, Columbiana County, Ohio. Beulah lived there much of her young life.  She married John Sensenbacher (Sensenbaugh), the son of German immigrants, and born in Germany himself.  John was  older than Beulah, as he was born on August 17, 1829 (tombstone) or August 1831 (census).  

By 1870, the couple had already moved to Hicksville Township, Defiance County, Ohio, and they were living next to Beulah's brother, Samuel Meek.  John was 39 and farming, while Beulah was 30, keeping house, with children, James, 8, and Annie (Etta), 5.  They owned real estate worth $3000 and their personal goods were estimated at $455.

John and Beulah were still in Hicksville Township in 1880, farming.  James, now 18, was working on the farm, along with another farmhand, Albert Rusman, 14.  Etta was 15.  In 1886, John set off on a trip to the West, perhaps scouting a possible move or visiting relatives. 

 Young Etta was pursuing her career as a teacher by May, 1887, as this notice was given in the Hicksville Tribune.

The 1900 census introduced all kinds of questions!  First of all, John was enumerated as James, not John.  John's birthday was reported as August 1831, and it was said that the couple had been married 35 years, making their marriage year 1865.  However, their son, James, 37, had a birthdate listed as February, 1863, prior then to the marriage. So, I really need a marriage record to clear this up, as well as some birth records.  With them was Mary, daughter, 34, born March 1866, which was probably a daughter-in-law, Mary Emlin Coulter, James' wife.  (By this time Etta had married, lived elsewhere and had a child.)  Beulah had had four children, but only two were living.  Living with the Sensenbacher family was Beulah's brother, John's, daughter, Flora W. Meek, a cousin, 32, and single, born October 1867.  In this census, John was a farmer and James was a day laborer, and they were living on Tight Street in Hicksville.

According to that same 1900 census, Etta had married John H. Diebel  and they resided in West Unity, Williams County, Ohio where he was serving as school principal. (They married July 5, 1888.)   The couple had one child, Lyndall Johnetta, born in March, 1895. 

On May 24, 1909, John Sensenbach died in Hicksville at 79 years old.  He had been sick for awhile, as was reported in newspapers back to December 1908.
 Just three years later, Beulah became ill and passed away on April 23, 1912.
By that time, Etta and John Diebel had settled in Columbus, Ohio.
 After much searching, I have not been able to locate an obituary for Beulah, she and John were both buried at the Forest Home Cemetery in Hicksville, Ohio, row 8, section 2 in the old section, and with them, their beloved son and wife.
"Sensenbacher, John J.  1829 - 1909  Father
Sensenbacher, Beulah M. 1837 - 1912  Mother
Sensenbacher, Emlin  1860 - 1925
Sensenbacher, James  1861- 1925

This story was posted by Steven Coulter at www.findagrave.com:
"Beulah's widowed older sister, Elizabeth Goodin, lived with her and her husband, John Sensenbacher in Hicksville, Ohio.  When Elizabeth died in 1907, she was cremated, and Beulah kept the urn of ashes on a ledge beside he stairway to the second floor of her home.
Beulah died in 1912, and her daughter, Etta, slipped the urn of Elizabeth's ashes beneath the pillow in Beulah's coffin; so the two sisters are buried together, although the gravestone names only Beulah."

It's interesting, too, that Ednah, who died three years after Elizabeth, also chose cremation.

Beulah's daughter was also buried in Forest Home Cemetery, along with her family. In Row 18, Section 1 of the old section, the tombstones are found.

Coulter, William Andrew   1882 - 1971
Coulter, Lyndal Diebel   1895 - 1989
     Large Diebel family monument
Diebel, John H.  1862 - 1957
Diebel, Etta S.  1865 - 1936 

As far as I can determine, James and Mary Emlin Sensenbacher had no children.