February 26, 2011

The Delph Brothers - Otis William, aka "Pat"

The oldest son of Philip and Elizabeth Witzgall Delph was named Otis (Ottis) William, but was often referred to as "Pat."  Pat was born March 21, 1876 in Monroe Township, Henry County, Ohio and he stayed in Malinta for his whole life.  He married Elsie Hemsoth, who immigrated with her family to America in 1881 from Germany.

In the 1900 census, Otis was still at home with his parents, and Elsie was living with her parents, Christian and Katherine Hemsoth, in Toledo, along with six siblings.  Her father worked on the railroad, but she, at 17, and her two sisters Minnie, 21, and Alvina, 19 worked as brushmakers for four months each year...probably when not in school. 

By the 1910 census, Otis already owned the general store that he would run for most of his life, and he and Elsie were married.  He lived in Malinta with his wife and daughter, Elizabeth, 2.  Little Elizabeth's middle initial K. indicates that she may have been named after Otis's mother, Elizabeth, and Elsie's mother, Katherine.
Four more children were added to the family by the 1920 census, and in 1930, we found Otis W. at 54 with Elsie M., 47; Elizabeth K., 22, a public school teacher; Maxwell H., 19; Norma M., 17; Mary Ellen, 15; and Janette Fay, 12.  Otis owned his home, valued at $2500, and was still working at his store. 

Otis died first on December 15, 1960 at the age of 85.
"Otis W. Delph
From the Blade Correspondent
Malinta, O., Dec. 16 -
Otis W. Delph, 85, died at his home here yesterday.  Until his retirement in 1949, Mr. Delph had operated a general store here for 40 years.  He was a native of Henry County.  He had been a member of the Knights of Pythias lodge for 53 years and was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church.
Mr. Delph is survived by his wife, Elsie; son, Max, of Monmouth, Ill.; daughters, Mrs. Elizabeth Hamburger, East Canton, O.; Mrs. Norma Russell, Leipsic, O.; Mrs. Mary Sage, Findlay, O.; and Mrs. Jeanette Mahoney, Montpelier, O.; brothers, George, of Malinta, and Cecil of Portage, O.; sisters, Mrs. Julia Spangler, Bowling Green; Mrs. Bess Ordway, Malinta, and Mrs. Sue Robison, Portage; 15 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
Services will be in St. Paul's Church at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.  Burial will be in Hoy Cemetery.  The body will be in the Walker Mortuary from 2 p.m. tomorrow until 12:30 Sunday."

The obituary was mistaken as to the place of the funeral,which actually was held at Pat's own church, Trinity.

Elsie died almost fourteen years later on April 23, 1974. "Northwest Signal, April 26, 1974.

"Mrs Elsie Delph
Malinta - Mrs. Elsie Delph, 87, died Friday, April 23, at the Winebrenner Nursing Home, Findlay.  Born in Germany April 28, 1883, she was the daughter of Christian and Katherine Hemsoth.  Her husband, Otis Delph, preceded her in death in 1960.
Surviving are four daughters, Mrs. Elizabeth Hamburger, Mrs. Paul Russell, both of Leipsic; Mrs. Mary Sage, Findlay; Mrs. James Mahoney, Twinsburg; 1 son, Max, Shennandoah, Iowa; two brothers, Frank Hemsoth, Toledo, Paul Hemsoth, Deland, Florida; 15 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
She was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church of Malinta where services were held Monday afternoon at 2 p.m.  The Reverend E. A. Lehman officiated.  Interment followed in Hoy Cemetery.  Arrangements were made by the Peoples Funeral Home, Leipsic."

Hoy Cemetery, Henry County, OH

The oldest daughter of Otis and Elsie Delph, Elizabeth K. is also buried in Hoy Cemetery with her
husband, Rev. Herbert, who was a WW II veteran.

Comments on the topic of this blog are welcomed.  Note that comments are moderated so that your comment may not appear for several days.
Inappropriate comments will be deleted.

February 25, 2011

The Youngest Delph Sister - Henrietta B. aka Sue/Susie

From L to R: Bruce Robinson, Sue Delph Robinson, unknown, Emma Schulze Delph, unknown
at Aunt Sue's birthday party
Are they each striking a pose for the camera? 

"Aunt Sue," as my mother called her, is the Delph sister I have found the least about so far.  Henrietta Delph was the last daughter born to Philip and Elizabeth Witzgall Delph on February 22, 1881.  She was born after my great-grandmother, Elizabeth, and they were a little over two years apart in age.  
Sue married Bruce E. Robinson on April 28, 1910.  Bruce grew up on Richfield Township, Henry County and was born at or near West Hope. The census reports that Bruce was born in December of 1886, making Bruce about four or five years younger than Sue.  The 1920 census has Sue at 37 years old and Bruce at 33, and by 1930 the gap has closed to only one year apart, with Sue at 44 and Bruce at 45.  I'm not sure why that is so.

Bruce and Sue lived their married life in Portage Township, Wood County, Ohio - in 1930 on Langmade Road.  Bruce registered for the World War I draft in June 1917 and they were living near Rudolph in Wood County at the time.  He described himself of medium height and build, with brown hair and blue eyes.  He also registered for the World War II draft when he was 56 years old.

 I have not found an obituary or burial information as yet for either Bruce or Sue, but I do know that Sue died on July 2, 1979, at a nursing home in Bowling Green.  She was 98 years old.
Like her sisters, Cora and Julia, Sue had no children.  Elizabeth was the only Delph sister with biological children.

February 24, 2011

The Delph Sisters - Secondly, Julia M.

The second child of Philip and Elizabeth Witzgall Delph was named Julia, known as “Julie.”  Julie was born on September 11, 1873, in Monroe Township, Henry County, Ohio.  Julie married Mandus Spangler on December 9, 1894, and they lived in Malinta their whole married life, on Turkeyfoot Street by 1930.  Julie gave birth to one child who did not survive; they had no biological children.

Mandus had quite a few different jobs in his  lifetime – day laborer, carpenter on houses, laborer in a silo factory and by 1930, he worked on bridge construction. Mandus died on February 5, 1941, at about 74.  Julia, however, lived on in Malinta until she had to go to a nursing home in her later years.  She died on April 27, 1967 at the age of 93.  “Aunt Julie” is one I can vaguely remember visiting in her small home in Malinta.

Obituary - Northwest Signal, April 28, 1967

"Mrs. Julia Spangler
Mrs. Julia Spangler, 93, of Malinta, died at 10:30 on Thursday at the Adams Manor Rest Home in Bowling Green where she had been a patient since February 1960.  Friends may call at the Wesche Funeral Home from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Saturday.  Funeral services conducted by the Rev. Milton E. Peters, pastor of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Malinta, will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday at the mortuary.  Interment will be made in Hoy Cemetery.
She is survived by one sister, Mrs. Sue Robinson of Portage, Ohio.
A life-long resident of Henry County, Mrs. Spangler was born on September 11, 1873, the daughter of Philip and Elizabeth, nee Witzgall, Delph.  She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Malinta.  Her husband, Mandus, preceded her in death." 

February 21, 2011

The Delph Sisters - Cora

Great-Grandmother Elizabeth “Lizzie” Delph Ordway, born in 1878,  had three sisters, two older and one younger. 

Cora Delph Babcock
Known as “Corrie,” Cora was the oldest child of Philip and Elizabeth Witzgall Delph, born November 17, 1871 in Monroe Township, Henry County, Ohio. 

Corrie first married Francis Spangler on December 27, 1891, when she was twenty years old.  The marriage ended in divorce, and she moved back in with her parents at some point.  When the census taker came around in 1900, Cora was reported as single at 28, with the Delph name. When she applied for a marriage license to marry Jacob Babcock on October 11, 1903, written in the marriage book was a notation that she was Cora Spangler, a divorced woman.  Undoubtedly, it was much more of a scandal in those days to be divorced.

Cora and Jacob had no biological children, although she gave birth to one child who did not survive.  She and her husband took in two boys as foster children or wards: Martin Gilligan (born about 1909) and Chester Fisher (born about 1910).  The boys show up with them in the 1920 census and Martin was still with them at the age of 25 in the 1930 census. 
Elizabeth Witzgall Delph and Martin Gilligan

Jacob Babcock was a farmer his whole life and in the early years, Cora described herself as a dressmaker.  Later she wrote as a Malinta correspondent for the Northwest-News.
Cora died first at the age of 63 on September 4, 1933, and Jacob followed a few years later in 1935.

Obituary - Napoleon Northwest-News, September 7, 1933, page 1

"Northwest-News Correspondent at Malinta Dies
Mrs. Cora Babcock, past 61 years of age, died sudenly at her home in Malinta early Monday morning from heart disease.  Mrs. Babcock had been in poor health during the summer but her death came as a shock to that community.  She was a devoted christian lady and has been a Northwest-News correspondent for several years past, having written her regular correspondence in last week's issue.  Mrs. Babcock will be missed by all who knew her.  She leaves to mourn her departure, a husband who is quite ill at this time, an aged mother, four brothers and three sisters.  Funeral services will be conducted at the residence today at 2 p.m."

Hoy Cemetery, Henry County, Ohio

From the Napoleon Northwest News, September 14, 1993:

"Those from out of town that attended the funeral of Mrs. Cora Babcock were: Mr and Mrs. Frank Temple of Vanlue; Jerry Semler, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Semler and daughter from Findlay, Mrs. Sarah Rule of Clyde and son, Carl Rule of Toledo; Chester Fisher, Jeane Chalker and Alice Brady of Chicago; Mr and Mrs. John Weaver, George Taylor and wife, Sam Weaver and wife, all of Bucyrus;Bruce Robison and wife of Portage; C. P. Delph and wife, Napoleon; Jasper Long and wife of Crestline; Leo Bruback of Deshler; Wm Poth and wife, Lorson Poth and family, Robert Sommers and wife and Aaron Babcock all of Lorain; Mrs. Nella Wells of Swanton; Mrs. Cleo Meinen and Harry Stevens and family of Holgate and George Stickley of Swanton; Charles Baker and wife of Woodburn, Ind."

We welcome comments on the topic of the blog or help furthering this research.  All comments are moderated, so it would be a few days before they would appear.

February 18, 2011

The Witzgall Family

Just as Philip Delph, my great-great grandfather, came west into Henry County, so did his future wife's family, the Witzgalls.  
 Elizabeth C. Witzgall, my great-great grandmother, was born in Manchester, Summit County, Ohio (just south of Akron) on May 4, 1849, to William Witzgall and Henrietta Smith.  She was their first child.

In the 1850 census, taken on November 13, 1850, Elizabeth was one year old, living with her father, William Witscold, 29, a weaver, and his wife, Henrietta, 27.  Both of Elizabeth’s parents were born in Germany.  Some time in 1853, William moved his family to Monroe Township, Henry County, Ohio, where he purchased land.

On June 25, 1860, the census taker found William and Henrietta Witzgall with a decidedly larger family.  William, now 39 years old, listed himself as a farmer with real estate valued at $1000 and personal property worth $310.  His wife, Henrietta, and oldest child, Elizabeth, 11, were joined by other family members – Caroline, 9; Sarah, 7; Harriett, 5; and little John, 2.

The year 1860 was an important year for William Witzgall; it was the year he was ordained as a minister for the Reformed Church (Lutheran.)  That was the first surprise found when I began my research on my great-great-grandmother.  She was a preacher’s daughter!  Although he called himself a farmer in every census and he was, William Witzgall also served some rural churches in Henry County as an ordained pastor. 
The Historic Manual of the Reformed Church in the U.S. (Joseph Henry Dubbs, Lancaster, PA, 1885, p. 418) lists William in the Necrology (pastors who have died):
“William Witzgall.  b. Voightland, Saxony, 1820.  d. Napoleon, O., June 22, 1870.  Lic., Tiffin Cl., 1859; ord. 1860.  Pastor of churches near Napoleon.”

Henry Harbaugh also honors Elizabeth’s father, my great-great-great-grandfather in his book Fathers of the German Reformed Church in Europe and America, Vol. 4, 1872:
“William Witzgall, 1820 – 1870. 
Mr Witzgall was a native of Voightland, Saxony.  He learned the trade of a weaver, and traveled much in Germany and other countries.  Some years ago he emigrated to this country and settled in the city of New York, where he worked at his trade, as also in several other places.  Finally he removed to Napoleon, Henry County, in the state of Ohio, where he purchased eighty acres of land and commenced farming.

In the year 1859, being constrained by love to his Divine Master, he made application for admission to the Christian ministry, and through the kind interposition of the Rev. C. Bank, he was examined and licensed by the Tiffin Classis, at its meeting in the Second Reformed Church, Tiffin, Ohio.  In the following year, 1860, he was ordained to the office and work of the holy ministry by the same Classis.  He served two small congregations, and for a time three, in the vicinity of his home.   His sphere of usefulness was very limited, yet may he have accomplished much good by a faithful employment, of this single talent entrusted to his care.

We know not what the Lord has in store for us, or what way He employs us so as to accomplish most good through our feeble instrumentality.  Fidelity in the things entrusted to us, is what the Lord requires; and whether we are set over much or little, if faithful, we shall receive the blessed reward.

So, too, in the case of this humble servant of God.  Preaching in his own simple way to a few small congregations, and maintaining his family by means of his labors on the farm, he did really discharge the duties of a faithful servant in the house of God. 
His sphere of activity in the Master’s cause was a humble one; still, by his quiet and unobtrusive piety, his earnest and devoted spirit, and by his lively faith in his Redeemer, his influence for good was felt, not only in his own family and in his congregations, but also as far as his acquaintance extended.  No one could be in his prescence any length of time without feeling that he was indeed a child of God. 

Long will his memory be gratefully cherished by all who knew him.  Mr. Witzgall died, in the bosom of his family, at Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, after six days’ severe suffering from pneumonia, June 22d, 1870, in the 50th year of his age.  His funeral took place on the 24th of June, on which occasion a sermon was preached by the Rev. H. Wegert.”

The census taker came to the Witzgall door next on June 27, 1870, five days after William had passed away and three days after his burial.  Yet, William, as was customary as he lived within that year, was listed in the census with his family: William 49; Henrietta, 46; Elizabeth, 21; Caroline, 19; Sarah, 17; Henrietta, 15; John, 12; William, 9; and Armela (Amelia, Emma on other sources), 6. 
Suddenly Henrietta Witzgall was left to support seven children on her own.  Four of the children were in school and there were no older sons at that time to help with the farm. 
Just a little over six months past her father’s death, my great-great grandmother Elizabeth married Philip Delph on January 30, 1871.  Maybe Philip helped the Witzgall family on their farm, while also trying to clear land for himself.  I never did find Philip Delph on the 1870 census, so it is a question as to where exactly in Henry County he was living and if he was enumerated at all.

By 1880, Henrietta Witzgall, 56, had five children left at home.  Sarah, now 27, was earning money as a seamstress.  Hattie (Harriet/Henrietta), at 25, was keeping house, while the two brothers John, 22, and William, 19, were now old enough to declare their occupations as farmers.  The youngest daughter, called Emma on this census, was 16 and a scholar.  Caroline, the second oldest daughter, had married Elias Shaffer in 1879 and by this time, Elizabeth and Philip already had four children.

Elizabeth Witzgall Delph, my great-great grandmother, lived until just a few months before I was born, so I just missed “meeting” her.  She died on September 3, 1947, at 98 years, 3 months and 29 days, twenty-eight years after her husband, Philip’s death. 

Her mother, Henrietta Smith Witzgall, died on November 26, 1896, at 73 years, 2 months and 1 day, twenty years after her husband, William’s, death. 
                                                Henrietta Schmidt Witzgall, great-great-great grandmother.

Elizabeth’s parents, were buried in the St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery in Flatrock Township on Road K.  I am assuming that may have been one church where Rev. William Witzgall served during 1860-1870.  In Row 9 lies “William Witzgall, 16 Feb 1821 – 22 June 1870” and in the tradition of the time, when folks were buried as they passed on and not in family groups, Henrietta lies in Row 3.  The stone reads “Henrietta Witzgall  25 Sept 1823 – 26 Nov 1896.”  In the same cemetery is their son, William F. and L. Nette Witzgall (yet to be linked in the family tree.) 

February 13, 2011

More on Philip Delph's Life

Bruce Robinson (Philip's son-in-law,husband to Henrietta/Sue), Philip Delph,  Henrietta "Sue" Robinson (Philip's dtr.), Philip's granddaughters-Fay Ordway Gunter with her sister Marie Ordway Baker in front of her.  The three boys (Philip's grandsons) piled up are from bottom to top: Phil Ordway, Fred Ordway and Carl Delph.
When Philip Delph was taken in by his aunt and uncle, Philip and Catherine Lautenslager Heckler around 1853 or before, after the death of both of his parents, the Hecklers already had a son named Philip.  (They had also named a previous son Philip, but he died in infancy.) They called this second son "Peter" although really he was Philip Heckler, Jr.  The history says that Philip Delph also took on the Heckler name for awhile, probably until the real Philip Heckler needed to go by his legal name or it became too confusing for all concerned!  The Philip Heckler Sr. family already had nine children, so what was one more little boy?

It always helps me to create a timeline for my ancestor to make sure things are logical and to get a sense of the history of that person.  Luckily, quite a bit of documentation exists for the events in Philip Delph's life.

1832 - The Delphs, Hecklers and Lautenslagers emigrated from Germany to America.  (More on that later.)

June 17, 1845/1846 - Philip Delph was born to Johann Georg Delp and Christiana Lautenslager.  I have never found an actual birth record.  The censuses indicated he was born in Ohio.

May 4, 1849 - Elizabeth Witzgall was born.  (Future wife of Philip)

1850 - The census for that year indicated that Philip at age 4 was living with his parents and four siblings (Elizabeth, Margaret, Caroline, George) in Jackson Township, Crawford County, Ohio. The census taker visited the family on August 8, 1850,

August 29, 1850 -Philip's mother, Christiana, died at 42 years, 2 months. 

October 20, 1851 - Philip's father, Johann Georg died at 45 years, 10 months, 8 days.

September 1853 - Guardianship papers were filed for the children.  No doubt they were already placed in the homes of the family, but this move appointed Peter Ludwig as guardian to watch over their affairs. Philip was 8 years old.

1860 - Philip, at 15, was living with his aunt and uncle, Philip and Catherine Heckler Sr. in Crawford County.

1861 - Philip Heckler Sr. purchased land and moved to Henry County, bringing Philip Delph to Monroe Township. The Civil War was beginning.

1869 - 1870 - Philip Delph bought land to clear and farm in Monroe Township, Henry County, OH.  I was unable to locate Philip in the 1870 census, even though it only seemed logical that he would be working on his land in Monroe Township.

January 30, 1871 - Philip Delph married Elizabeth Witzgall, daughter of William and Henrietta (Smith) Witzgall. 

November 17, 1871 - Their first child, a daughter was born.  They named her Cora, but she was known as "Corrie."

September 11, 1873 - It's a second daughter who was named Julia or Juliana, but known as "Julie."

March 21, 1876 - It's a son!  Otis William, known as "Pat"

November 18, 1878 - My great-grandmother was born - Elizabeth Margaret Caroline, named after her three aunts, Philip's sisters.

June 4, 1880 - The census taker visited the Delph farm and made his notes: Philip Delp, a farmer, 34 years old and living with wife Elizibeth, 31, who was keeping house with children: Cora, 8; Julia, 6; Ottas, 4 and Elizibeth, 1 and George, 30, Philip's brother.

February 1881 - Another daughter, Henrietta was born, known as "Sue."

April 2, 1883 - Son George Roland was born. 

September 6, 1885 - Son Clarence Philip was born.

1888 - Orville D. Delph was born.  Sadly, Orville died in 1900 at the age of 11 or 12.  He is buried with his parents in Hoy Cemetery.

July 12, 1894 - Cecil Benjamin Delph was born, the final child for Elizabeth and Philip.  Elizabeth was 45 years old.

April 22, 1919 -  Philip Delph died at the age of 73 years, 10 months and 5 days. His death certificate indicated he died of organic heart disease. The math shows his birthdate to be June 17, 1845, but 1846 was put on the tombstone. Elizabeth, his wife, also did not know the names of Philip's parents to report.
Did they never discuss his history?  Maybe not.  He was very young when he lost his parents.

September 3, 1947 - Elizabeth C. Witzgall Delph died, having lived to the age of 98 years, 3 months and 29 days and having given birth to at least 9 children. Her birthplace on the death certificate was listed as Manchester, Ohio. Cause of death? Cerebral apoplexy (stroke). 

Philip Delph was a farmer all his life.  His love for his family is evident in the photos that have survived.  My mother once told me that he insisted on speaking German in the family and was pretty stubborn about it.  How precious his family must have been to him after growing up without his biological parents and away from his brother and sisters. 

Hoy Cemetery near Malinta, Ohio

I welcome comments on this blog topic or help in furthering the research.  All blog comments are moderated, so it may be a few days before it is actually posted.  Inappropriate or unrelated comments will be deleted.

February 9, 2011

Great-Great Grandfather, Philip Delph

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…

February 3, 2011

Elizabeth Delph Ordway - My Great-Grandmother

Lemuel and Lizzie Ordway

Known most often as “Lizzie” or “Bess,” my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Margaret Caroline Delph was born 18 November 1878.  Lizzie was the fourth child of Phillip and Elizabeth (Witzgall) Delph.  My mother told me that her grandma always said that her father Phillip had named her after all his sisters, and he did, indeed, have three sisters named Elizabeth, Margaret and Caroline.

In the 1880 Federal Census, Monroe Township, Henry County, Ohio, Lizzie, age 1, was living with her parents, Phillip, 34, and Elizabeth, 31.  Her siblings listed at that time were Cora, 8; Julia, 6; Ottas, 4 and with them lived George Delp, 30, Phillip’s younger brother.

My great-grandma Ordway is not seen much in any record books.  Occasionally, her name appeared in the newspaper as she was active in some women’s church groups and I did find a large group photo taken in 1913 showing her at a Sunday School picnic.  After her marriage to Lemuel in 1898, she became a homemaker and mother to four children and that was her life. 

Up until her death in the 1960’s, she lived in a home with no running water, no indoor bathroom, no phone, and I don't think they ever did get electricity.  She kept a garden in her back yard and grapevines.  She cooked and baked using a large green and silver cast iron stove fueled by coal, as I remember.  She pumped her water from a well in the back yard.  When you wanted a drink at her house, you got it using a tin dipper from a pail of water that sat in the kitchen. 

Behind the house at a distance sat a little outhouse.  Grandma had its walls decorated with pictures from old calendars and catalogs. It was a very, very cold place in the winter time!  And dark.  And…fragrant.

Her kitchen had no kitchen cupboards along the walls, but just one sideboard cupboard to hold foods.  The big stove and a wooden table and chairs finished off the kitchen furnishings.  I can remember that Grandpa Lem loved Ritz crackers and would have them in the cupboard as a treat for the kids.

My great-grandparents’ living room was a room of mysteries for children.  I was always fascinated by the sofa covered in real horse hair.  In one corner stood an upright player piano with many rolls of old-fashioned songs that could be played.  Oh, how we would annoy our parents when we pumped those piano pedals and got the music going loud and fast!  The last treasure I especially remember in that room was a stereoptic viewer or stereoscope and a pile of double imaged photos.  One would place a photo in the metal holder on the viewer and then look through the lenses and the photo would blend into one, 3-D picture. 

Another favorite place to be at my great-grandmother’s was on her front porch where there was a wonderful, wooden porch swing.  It was a screened-in porch, a cool place in the summer.  I remember the giant size Christmas cactus on a stand and the bookcase with Betty Boop, Mutt and Jeff, Felix the Cat, and the old style Mickey Mouse big little books.

It was a simple life for Lemuel and Lizzie Ordway in their little house in Malinta, Ohio.  After Lem died in 1959, Grandma Ordway continued to live in the house until dementia threatened her safety.  She was in the nursing home for awhile and died on 7 July 1965.  She is buried beside her husband in Hoy Cemetery.

February 2, 2011

Henry Lemuel Ordway, My Great-Grandfather

Lem Ordway and his horse

Always known as “Lem,” my maternal great-grandfather was born on 4 March 1877 to Richard and Sarah Hill Ordway.   In the 1880 census, Henry Ordiway, age 3,  lived with his parents, Richard, 41, and Sarah, 40, in Monroe Township, Henry County, Ohio.  His siblings were listed as Almeda, 20; Lizzie, 18; Mary, 15; Abba, 9; Bertie, 6. With the family lived Edward Murphy, a servant, whose work was listed as Laborer.  With no older sons, the best guess is that Edward helped out on the farm.

Lemuel married Elizabeth Delph on 2 January 1898 in Milton Center, Ohio, just over the Henry-Wood County Line in Wood County.  Milton Center was discussed in the book, Ohio Ghost Towns, No. 12, Wood County, published in 1990.  The town was described then as a semi-ghost town; however, in the 1890’s, there were many shops there, a hotel and even an opera house.  The young couple may have started housekeeping on a farm west of Malinta, maybe with his parents. 

By the 1900 census, Lemuel, age 22, and his wife of two years, Elizabeth, 21, had two children: Fay, born in March 1898, age 2,  and Richard F., born November 1899, age 6 months.  (I wonder what was going on in those days when Lem and Lizzie married in January 1898 and had a child in March 1898.  I would love to know the whole story.)  Lemuel was renting and farming at that time.

In the 1910 census, the family had moved into Malinta Village.  Lemuel, age 38, and Lizzie, 32, had been married twelve years and she had borne four children, all of whom survived: Fae, 12; Filuck, 10; Fredrich, 8; and Maree, 5.  Our enumerator had a bit of trouble with spelling, but the spelling of Philip’s name provides questions later on, too, as you shall see.

The Ordway and Delph families were mentioned frequently in the little town news columns that appeared in the Northwest News, Napoleon.  For example, these excerpts are from the March 13, 1913 paper under Malinta News:
“Jacob Babcock, Lem Ordway, and Cecil Delph drove to Swanton Thursday and returned Friday.”
“Mrs. Lem Ordway entertained the ladies of the Helping Hand Thursday afternoon with 5 members and five guests present.  The work was laid aside and the hostess assisted by Mrs. Geo. Delph, served luncheon, consisting of coffee, sandwiches, pickles, whipped cream and cake, which were enjoyed by all.”

The 1916 Henry County Farmers Directory lists
Ordway, Lemuel (Elizabeth), 4 ch, farmer, O, 13 ½ ac, 2 H & L & store bldg, Malinta, Ind tel.” 
Now that entry leads to lots of questions.  Does H stand for Houses and L for Land and what store building?  A search of land records is in order, I think, and will be put on the to-do list.  My mother told me that my grandparents owned the land where their home was and farmed some land behind the ball diamond and school in Malinta, so that would account for the acreage mentioned.  That wasn’t much land to support a family of six.  What other house did they own?  Was it the house I lived in as a young child which was right around the corner from them?   My mother also told me that Grandpa Lem built the house they lived in and it was moved from a farm west of Malinta into the village.  The house has since been demolished.

On September 12, 1919, Henry Lemuel Ordway registered at the third and last draft registration for World War I for men between 18 and 45.  His registration states that he is 41 and self-employed as a farmer.  Much of it is unreadable, but he does report that he has black hair and black eyes!

By 1920, the census indicated that Fay had moved away from home and was staying with her Grandmother Delph on Henry Street.  My great-great grandmother, Elizabeth C. Delph, at 70 and widowed, owned her home and with her lived her grand-daughter, Fay E., who at 21, was single and not working, and a boarder, D. Bernice Lyons, 21, single and a school teacher at the grade school.
Nearby, Lemuel, 42, and Lizzie, 41, lived with sons Philrich, 19 and Frederick, 17, and daughter, Marie, 15, on Delph Street.  I am guessing this street has been renamed a few times as in the 1930 census, it has a name beginning with G, but it’s unreadable.  Currently, I think it is Frease Street…only a guess not yet checked out.  Note Phil’s name…is it a combo of Philip and Richard? 

The last census that we have access to at this point is in 1930 where Lemual, 53, and Lizzie, 51, lived with their youngest daughter, Marie J., an assistant cashier at the bank.

In 1959, I believe that Lemuel had a stroke.  He was placed in the Ward Nursing Home in Weston, Wood County, and after a few weeks,  he died there at the age of 82 on 11 December 1959.   I was in junior high and I have no memory of going to the funeral, but I’m sure my mom would have been there.  She often said that she spent more time at her grandparents’ home than she did at home. 

I have not been able to find an obituary for Lemuel as yet.  He is buried at Hoy Cemetery, Henry County, Ohio.