December 30, 2014

Hiram 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
"You definitely do not descend from a colorless character, " one fellow Meek researcher commented, referring to my husband's great-great uncle, Hiram Meek of Mark Township, Defiance County, Ohio.  Born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, the son of James and Anna Meek, on August 6, 1827, Hiram was one of fourteen children.  The early years of his life were spent with his family in Columbiana County, Ohio.

When Hiram was about 22, he decided to try his luck in the gold fields of California.  One of his obituaries stated, 
"In 1849, he joined an overland party to California in search of gold.  He remained in the west 4 years, returning to Ohio by way of the Isthmus of Panama."
So he was one of the forty-niners, lured out West by the promise of quick wealth in the gold fields. Perhaps he went with David Cooper Meek, his brother.  Even though he was gone during the 1850 census, he was enumerated with his mother and siblings in Unity Township, Columbiana County.  The enumerators were directed to list "...the name of every person whose usual place of abode on the first day of June 1850, was in this family...including names of those temporarily absent on a visit, journey, or a voyage..."

Upon his return, he married Mary Usk Batchelor, an immigrant from England.  They married in Jennings County, Indiana on November 12, 1856.  Eventually, the family settled in Mark Township, Defiance County, Ohio, on a farm in Section 7 that would be 180 acres by 1890.  In the 1860 census, Mary and Hiram had two small children: O'ella, 2, and Seth, 1.  Hiram, 32, and Mary, (who was born at sea), 30, had real estate worth $2000 at that time and personal goods worth $200.

When the Civil War broke out, the young farmer enlisted as part of Company F, 111th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. His pension file held his own account of his troop's movements:

I enlisted in the U. S. Army August 13, 1862, and was mustered into the U. S. service as Second Lieut., Company F, 111th O.V.I. at Toledo, Ohio, September 5, 1862.  We left Toledo on the 7th and arrived at Covington, Ky. the 9th.  Left Covington about the 20th and arrived at Louisville about the 23rd.  Left Louisville about Oct. 1 and went to Shelbyville and from there to Frankfort.  From Frankfort to Crab Orchard by way of Lawrenceburg.  We arrived at Crab Orchard the next morning from the Perryville fight.  We left Crab Orchard for Bowling Green, Ky. and arrived there about the first of November '62.  Remained in Bowling Green doing post duty until near the last of June."

During his time at Bowling Green, Hiram was involved in the capture of three spies that were reported to the Army by some townspeople.  An injury that occurred at the time of this incident became the basis for an appeal for a greater pension later on in his career.  In a pension deposition, Hiram described the event at Bowling Green:

"In the fall of 1862, about the last of November while we were quartered at Fort Baker near Bowling Green, state of Kentucky, I contracted a severe cold and one evening I had taken a sweat and gone to bed expecting to get up in the morning feeling better.  But about midnight, a citizen came in and reported 3 spies located about 8 miles in the country.  The duty fell to me to try and capture them.  I got up all wet with sweat and dressed as warm as I can and made a detail of eight or nine men an went.  It was quite cold and frosty with a light snow on the ground.  I done the best I could to keep warm but was considerably chilled & came back with my prisoners and a worse cold than I had before which settled in my throat and lungs causing me to have a severe cough which I could not control.  I coughed so hard that it produced a hernia on which I claim a pension, at first it did not seem to amount to much although it was very painful..."

Hiram continued with his company, however, from Bowling Green, traveling eventually back to Cincinnati, Ohio, where his company patrolled the Ohio River to prevent Morgan of the Confederates from crossing.  About August 1, 1863, the company was moved to a camp near Lebanon, Kentucky, where they drilled and equipped themselves for a campaign through Tennessee. On August 20, Meek recounted that the group began their march over the mountains and across the Cumberland River, reaching Louden, Tennessee, about September 1, and remaining there until driven back by Longstreet in November.  Eventually, Hiram resigned his Second Lt. position and was discharged from the 111th on June 16, 1864, because of severe diarrhea, a condition shared by many of his company.

Hiram wrote, "It was in January (1864) after the siege of Knoxville, my health became so poor...I tendered my resignation and was sent home."  There he remained until March of 1865 "when I felt I had recovered my health sufficiently to stand another campaign."   So, leaving a wife and now four children behind, he was sent to Toledo to help in recruiting men for Col. Moses R. Brailey. There Meek's patriotism took over again and not satisfied with the recruiting position, he accepted a position as commander of Company D of the 195th O.V.I. as Captain.  He was with this group through Virginia, arriving at Alexandria in July 1865, where they did provost duty until mustered out of service in December 1865.  He was 38 years old and had seen a great deal of life...and death...already.

By the 1870 census, Hiram, 42, was back in Mark Township with his greatly expanded family, including wife, Mary, 39, and children: Oella, 12; Seth, 11; James P., 9; Kate, 6; Maud, 3; Carrie, 2; and Sarah A., 5 months.  The value of his real estate had grown to $4000 and his personal effects to $1650. In 1876, young James P. Meek would die on January 24th at the age of 14 years, 6 months and 28 days.

By the 1880 enumeration, one more son would be added - Ulysses Sidney Grant Meek - born when Hiram was about 52.  This son would be known by "Grant" - what a significant name bestowed on him by Hiram and Mary.  Mary's father, James, a widower and 76, lived with them in 1880, as well.

Hiram's name appeared often in the newspapers of the day as he was an active citizen, serving on county juries, working in the Agricultural Society, and on the township road committee.  In 1882, his father-in-law died, as noted in the Defiance Democrat on April 20, 1882:
"Mr. Bachelor, father of Wesley Bachelor, died at the residence of Hiram Meek, in Mark township, on Monday last, at an advanced age."

In 1885, Hiram lost his beloved wife, Mary Usk Batchelor Meek.  She and later, he, were buried at Forest Home Cemetery in Hicksville, Ohio.  This bit of information about Mary was found on
"Mary Usk Batchelor was the daughter of James and Sarah Cogswell Batchelor. Her middle name stems from the custom of naming any baby born during a voyage to be named after the ship. She was born aboard the USK on the Atlantic Ocean on 1 Oct 1831."

The above article goes on to mention Fred as one of the sons of Hiram and Mary, but I have not come across him in the censuses or birth records.  Hiram's obituary mentioned that he had three sons -James P., Seth, and Grant- and five daughters - O'Ella (Ella), Catherine (Kate), Mary Alice (Carrie), Maud and Sarah Anna.  So Fred remains a mystery.

By the 1900 census, an elderly Hiram lived with his daughter, Maud, and her husband, Thomas D. Hood.  The couple had two young children, John H. and Ella, ages 3 and 2.  With Hiram, listed as a boarder, was Ella Meek, single, 40, a boarder, as well. Was Ella misnamed in the census?  His daughter, Ella, was married and in Nebraska. Could this have been Kate instead?  A mystery.

On October 14, 1909, Hiram Meek passed away at the age of 82 years 2 months and 8 days.  An adventurous, patriotic man came to his rest.

 Another obituary in the Hicksville Tribune, on October 21, 1909

"On Thursday evening at an early hour, Hiram Meek, a pioneer resident of this neighborhood and prominent citizen passed into the great beyond after a lingering illness...
In his young manhood he took to wife Mary Batchelor, and to them were born 8 children, 3 sons and 5 daughters.  Of these one son and the mother preceded him in death, the wife and mother about 27 years ago.  Those surviving are Seth Meek, Anna Meek, Kate Meek, Mrs. Pyle, Mrs. T. D. Hood, Mrs. Carrie Hunton.  
When the Civil War broke out, deceased organized Co. F of the 111th O.V.I. and went out as second Lieutenant in that company.  He afterwards was made a captain and served near Washington until the war closed, leaving the service a brevet Major.
He was a forty-niner, crossing the plains in the search of gold and coming home by way of the Ithmus of Panama.  In addition to the survivors of his immediate family, he leaves a brother, Saml. Meek and two sisters, Mrs. Edna Cannon and Mrs. John Sensabacher.  Funeral services were held Monday afternoon from the Disciple Church.  Interment in Forest Home."


December 19, 2014

David Cooper 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  1826/7 -1907
Seth     1827 - 1845
Sidnah  1830 - 1872
James  1833 - 1865
Ednah  1834 - 1910
John W. 1836 - ?
Beulah  1837 - 1912
Enoch #2   1840 - 1864
Solomon  1842 - 1917

Great-grandfather, Samuel Meek, named after his grandfather, had a twin brother who was named David Cooper Meek.  Cooper was his mother's maiden name.  Most sources agree that the boys were born on January 1, 1824, in Unity Township, Columbiana County, Ohio.

A sketch about David's life appeared in the book, Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern Ohio (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1899), page 269-270. 

This worthy representative of the agricultural interests of Hicksville township, Defiance county, owns a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Section 12, which has been transformed by him into a highly-cultivated tract.  He is one of Ohio's native sons, having been born in Columbiana county, January 1, 1824.  His parents were James and Ann (Cooper) Meek, the former probably a native of Ohio, born in 1801, the latter of Pennsylvania, born in 1798.  Both died in Columbiana county, this State, the father in 1845, the mother in 1873 or 1874.

David C. Meek and his twin brother, Samuel Meek, of Hicksville township, were the eldest in a family of fourteen children, and were three years of age when the family removed from Columbiana county to Beaver county, Pennsylvania.  After seven years spent in that State, however, they returned to Columbiana county, where our subject grew to manhood, remaining upon the home farm until he had attained his twenty-second year.  Two years later, he went to California, where he successfully engaged in mining for four years, and soon after his return to Ohio, he purchased his present farm in Section 12, Hicksville township, Defiance county.  He did not remain long in the East, however, returning to California at the end of a year.  This time he spent twelve years on the Pacific slope, and met with fair success in his mining operations.  Since then he has made his home uninterruptedly upon his present farm, and to its development and improvement he has devoted his energies, erecting thereon good and substantial buildings.

In Hicksville, township, on June 22, 1871, Mr. Meek was married to Miss Nancy Jane Beltz, who was born in Crawford county, Ohio, December 15, 1852, and is the second in order of birth in a family of five children.  Her parents, William W. and Mary A. (Good) Beltz, were natives of Pennsylvania, whence in the early 'sixties' they came to Defiance county, Ohio, locating in Hicksville township, where they both died, the father in 1874 at the age of forty-seven years, the mother in 1894, when sixty-five years.  

To Mr. and Mrs. Meek have been born three children:  Eva A., who died at the age of six months; Clement O. (Orlando), born July 23, 1873; and David C., born December 22, 1884.  Of these, Clement was married August 31, 1897, to Lillie Barrows, and they have one child, Laura Beatrice Meek, born June 8, 1898.  Clement and his father are both Republican in politics.

Samuel Meek, the great-grandfather of our subject, was of Irish descent; his wife reached the patriarchal age of ninety-nine years.  Samuel Meek, son of the above, and grandfather of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania in 1765 and married Elizabeth Nichols.  Mrs. Meek's grandfather, Christopher Beltz, and his wife, Catherine (Beck), were both born in Pennsylvania; he died in about 1860, but she survived him several years."

With this sketch, census and newspaper records, we can create a timeline for David Cooper Meek.  He would have moved to Pennsylvania with his family about 1827 and then back to Columbiana County in 1834.  He remained at home with his parents until about 1846 when he left for Ohio and eventually, California, in 1848.  Those were the gold rush days, and it appeared that David (and possibly at least one other brother) were forty-niners, chasing gold in California.

David led a miner's life until 1852 when he returned home, perhaps buying or expanding his land ownership in Ohio, before heading back to California where he remained until 1863.  The sketch said he had some success as a miner, perhaps enough to help develop his farm ground in Defiance County where he settled upon his return.

He was 47 years old before he married Nancy Jane Beltz on June 22, 1871.  Nancy was about thirty years younger than David...quite an age difference!  In the 1880 census, David was reported as 56 and Nancy as 27.  On April 5, 1872, their first child was born - Eva - but she died on October 24, 1872, at six months old. Soon Nancy was pregnant with child #2 - Clement Orlando Meek - born July 23, 1873. He enjoyed his parents' doting for nine years until one more child was born. Their last child was named after his father, David C. Meek, born December 22, 1885 when his father was about 60 years old.

In 1895, little Davey Meek found himself in a predicament with a gun, one so serious that another boy, Howard Henry Barrows, lost his life. 
 It is not know if this Harold Barrows was relation to Lillie Barrows, wife of Clement Meek.

In the 1900 census of Hicksville Township, David Cooper Meek was head of the household at age 76, married for 29 years and still farming, owning his farm free and clear.  Nancy was 46 (born December 1853) and had three children, of which only one was living.  Clement O. Meek died on August 31, 1899, leaving a widow, Lillie H. (Barrows) and a child, Laura Beatrice, 2, who were living with David and Nancy in 1900.  Lillie was only 20 years old and a widow.  Completing the family was their youngest son, David C., 14, working as a farm laborer, probably his father's right hand man.

Clement, although in poor health for awhile, died quite suddenly.

 It was just one year later that David Cooper Meek died, leaving his wife and a 15 year old son to make their way.  He died on August 10, 1901 of some kind of paralysis at the age of 77.  His will was entered into probate on September 3, 1901, and it left Nancy the right to all his property and goods for the rest of her natural life, after which David C. Meek, was to inherit.  Fifty dollars was left to  each of the children of Clement Meek when they became 18,  He stated that he had already given a part of his estate to Clement previously.  The will had been written on December 23, 1899, so David was not aware of the number of living children Clement would have.
Six Corners Cemetery, Hicksville Township, Defiance County, OH

Nancy Beltz Meek lived on until May 29, 1947.  David C. married Mable Gertrude Tustison from Hicksville and they had two sons, Wendell and Maurice.  David died the year after his mother, on April 6, 1948.

December 12, 2014

James and Anna Cooper Meek - Great-Great Grandparents

The parents of Samuel Meek, great-grandfather, were James Meek and Anna Cooper Meek of Columbiana County, Ohio and Beaver Twp., Pennsylvania.  Some researchers place James' birth in Wooster, Ohio on May 10, 1801 and Anna's birth anywhere from 1798 to 1802 in New Jersey or New York.  
James married Anna Cooper about 1823-1824 and settled in near East Palestine, Unity Township, Columbiana County, Ohio.

James and Anna and family did, however, move back across the state line into Beaver County, Pennsylvania for a time, and some of their children were born there.
  Great-grandfather, Samuel's, obituary, stated that he was one of fourteen children born to James and Anna.  I have identified thirteen of them:
Samuel and David Cooper Meek, twins, born 1824
Enoch #1, born c 1825
Elizabeth and Hiram,twins, born 1826
Seth, born c. 1827
Sidnah, born c. 1830
James, born c. 1833
Ednah, born 1834
John W., born c. 1836
Buelah, born c. 1837
Enoch #2, born c. 1840
Solomon, born 1842

Sadly, James Meek died quite young on December 5, 1845, at the age of 44 years, 6 months and 29 days, and to add to the tragedy, their son, Seth, died that same year at about age 18.  Enoch #1 had also died in childhood at about the age of 12, so Anna was left with seven sons and four daughters to raise on her own.  James was buried in the Boatman Cemetery in Unity Township.
James and Anna Meek, Boatman Cemetery, Unity Township, Columbiana County, Ohio
An estate packet was located for James Meek containing no will which is not surprising due to his relatively young age.  Perhaps his death came quickly, too.  Ann was appointed administrator, along with Robert Filson. First, three appraisers were appointed for the estate: Thomas King, Israel Early, and Moses Mendenhall.  An accounting was made of his assets and debts and it was decided that the widow and children would be allowed to keep certain personal possessions outside of what was appraised: 

"The deceased having left a widow and minor children, we set off to them the following property without appraisement - 2 spinning wheels, 1 ten plate stove, 1 family Bible, all the school books belonging to the family, one table, six chairs, six knives and forks, six plates, six teacups and saucers, one sugar dish, one milkpot, one teapot, twelve spoons, the clothes and wearing apparel of widow, one cow, twelve sheep, 4 beads (beds), beadsteads (bedsteads) and beading (bedding), pots, kettles, and all cooking utensils of the deceased, being necessary for the family, clothing of the family and the clothing of the deceased..."

Later, Anna also claimed two stands of bees, one wagon, a grindstone and crank, a logchain, a goat, 22 sheep, and one 8 day wooden clock for herself.  No mention is ever made of the land, so one would assume that it was passed on to the heirs. An auction was had for some of the remaining items.  I thought it interesting that the family had dishes and utensils for six when the family contained at least twelve or more.

 In the 1850 census of Unity Township, Columbiana County, Ohio, taken on September 18, Ann Meek was 49 years old (born NY) and with her were Samuel, 26; David, 26; Hiram, 22; Elizabeth, 22; Sidnah, 19; James, 17; Ednah, 16; Buelah, 13; John 14; Enoch #2, 10, and Solomon, 8. 

 By 1860, some of the boys had gone out west to try their hand at mining or they had moved on to marry and settle in Defiance County, Ohio.  Anna, 61, (now born New Jersey), had only Elizabeth, 30; Ednah, 26; Bulah, 21; Enoch, 21; and Soloman, 18, at home.  Very soon, three of the boys would enlist in the Union Army and see battle; some would not make it home again. 

By 1870, the census enumerator found Annie Meek, 71, in the same place, keeping house with property valued at $5600 and personal goods worth $1020.  Elizabeth, 40, and Solomon, a farm laborer, completed the household.  Elizabeth and Solomon would stay on with their mother until her death.

Anna Cooper Meek died in 1873, and all the living children eventually ended up in Defiance County, Ohio, living near Hicksville...together again.  Anna was buried next to James in Boatman Cemetery, having outlived him by almost 28 years.

December 4, 2014

Samuel and Eliza (Fuller) Meek, Great-Grandparents

Samuel and Eliza (Fuller) Meek were early settlers in Defiance County, coming from Columbiana County, Ohio. They have been designated into First Families of Defiance County, Ohio, having been in the county since about 1853.

 Samuel and his twin, David Cooper Meek, were born either December 31, 1823 or January 1, 1824, (depending on the source) in Columbiana County to James and Anna (Cooper) Meek. They were the first of the couple's fourteen children.  James Monroe was president and the Erie Canal from the Hudson River to Lake Erie had just opened.  Ohio was the frontier.  
Ten years later, Eliza Fuller was born on November 20, 1834, to Samuel H. Fuller and wife, Emily Camp. Eliza was born in either Morrow or Marion County, depending on the source, but the likelihood is that there were border changes between the counties.  They do share a common border.
The Fuller family came to Dekalb County, Indiana, parts of which are only a few miles from the area where Samuel Meek settled in Hicksville Township, Defiance County, in 1853.  Sam and Eliza were married in Dekalb County on May 12, 1855.

They first appear together in the 1860 census together with sons, James, 3, and David, 1.  Samuel had a brother who died in the Civil War named James and, of course, his twin brother was named David -those are possible explanations for the naming.  Farming in Hicksville township, Defiance County, Samuel had land worth $1600 and personal goods worth $200.

During the Civil War period, Samuel lost two brothers to the war, one who died in battle and one who died in Andersonville prison.  The third brother who served, Hiram, was highly decorated and returned home to also settle in Defiance County near his brother, Samuel.

Some time before the 1870 census, the first born son, James, died.  Their family in 1870, consisted of four sons: David, William Oscar, Hiram and Sherman.  Their only daughter, Emily Anna was born in 1871, and the last son, John Emerson Meek, in 1874.  (One son, Solomon, was deceased.)

In 1881, a land transfer was found where Samuel bought 80 acres from A. P. Edgerton, the premier developer of the area around Hicksville. I believe he sold the 58 acres he owned in Section 14 and bought the 80 acres in Section 13, as shown by a comparison between the plat maps of 1866 and 1890.  So he was doing well as a farmer. His sons and daughter married, and settled nearby.

In the 1900 census, it was revealed that Samuel could neither read nor write, but Eliza could and that was probably how he managed.  

Samuel Meek died on August 23, 1902 at the age of 78.  His obituary was found in a compilation of obituaries of Northwestern Ohio pioneers:

 Samuel Meek was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, Jan. 1, 1824, and departed this life Aug. 23, 1902, aged 78 years, 7 months and 23 days.  He and his twin brother, David Meek, who departed this life August 10, 1901, were the oldest of a family of 14 children, five of whom are still living.  He settled in this county in 1853, and May 17, 1855, was married to Eliza C. Fuller of Dekalb county, Ind.  To this union was born one daughter and seven sons.  
He joined the church of the United Brethern in Christ in 1870 and remained a faithful honored member until his death.  He was a man of the strictest integrity, and held in high esteem in the community where he lived.  His wife, daughter and four sons survive him.
Funeral services occurred from the U. B. church at Six Corners, Monday conducted by elder J. W. Lilly, assisted by Rev. M. R. Ballinger."

He was buried at Six Corners Cemetery, Hicksville Township, Defiance County, OH.  Eliza died on July 2, 1909 and was buried beside her husband.

The obituary for Eliza C. Fuller (Meek) was found in a collection of old obituaries, mostly from the Hicksville, Ohio,newspapers.  From Pioneers of Northwest Ohio, this undated article:
Eliza C. Fuller was born in Morrow County, Ohio, November 20, 1834.  In early life, with her parents, she removed to Dekalb county, Ind., where she was converted to the christian life and joined the M.E. church.  She was married to Samuel Meek, May 17, 1855, and with her husband, located on their farm one mile south of Six Corners, shortly after which she transferred her membership to the Six Corners U. B. church, where her membership was continued until her death, being a member of the church approximately thirty years.  This marriage was blessed with 8 children, 7 sons and 1 daughter.  Three sons and her husband preceded her in death, her husband dying about seven years ago, since when her home has been among her children.  For several years, she has been afflicted with paralysis and for the past six weeks, she has been almost entirely helpless.  For years she took pleasure in reading her Bible and hymn book.  She said she wanted all to meet her in heaven.  She passed away in death July 2, 1909, at the age of 74 years, 7 months, 12 days, leaving four sons, one daughter, two sisters, one brother, with other relatives and friends to mourn and follow. Funeral service was conduced from Six Corners church Sunday afternoon, Rev. J. F. Miller officiating." 

It is possible that one of the sons continued farming the home place, but by 1913, it was time for the estate to be settled.  At this point, I have not checked out the sale of the farm, but I did find a sale bill for the Samuel Meek farm goods.  Published in The Tribune, Hicksville, Ohio, on Thursday, January 30, 1913:

Samuel Meek auction

December 3, 2014

The Children at Six Corners School, Hicksville Township

Awhile back, I wrote of the scrapbook of Emily Anna Meek, the grandmother of my husband, who collected and saved Lion Coffee cards, pictures she liked, her Rewards of Merit from school and other miscellaneous items.  Emily attended the one room Six Corners School in Hicksville Township, Defiance County, Ohio, located at the intersections of Buckskin Road, Cicero Road, and State Route 2 which created six corners.

In fact, Emily was both a student and later, a teacher, at the Six Corners School.  As a student, she collected remembrance cards from her contemporaries and pasted them into her scrapbook.  From these, we can determine who lived in her neighborhood and most likely attended that school.

Female students with cards included:
Clarie B. Kleckner
Lizzie Dickerhoof
Edna Grier
Amanda F. Forlow
Ellena B. Grier
Olive Geahant
Cora Ames
Della Hilbert
Sarah A. Gilbert
Rosie Thornburg
Cora B. Forlow
Eunice Jordan
Libbie L. Johnson
Carrie B. Jordan
Nora Doster
Minnie A. Forlow
Cecelia R. Hilbert

Male students with cards included:
Joseph Beltz
Louie Place
Milo Callender
Hiram Meek
William O. Meek
David Meek
Charles W. Ginter
Josh W. Balser
Rolla Callender
Willie Lipman
Charley Ginter
Frank Callender
Aaron Dickerhoof
Geo. W. Place
James. M. Place
Samuel A. Thompson
John Meek
George W. Batchelor
Sherman T. Meek

 I'm not sure on the gender of these:
Clarie B. Kleckner
C. A. Forlow
R. Hoffman
M. Sensenbacher
C. F. Elliott
C. Sensenbacher

November 9, 2014

Young Meek Patriots

On this upcoming Veterans' Day, it seems appropriate to share this family story of an incident that happened in the midst of World War I.
The boys of Sherman T. Meek (brother to grandmother, Emily Meek) decided to show their patriotism.

According to The Tribune newspaper, Hicksville, Ohio, of June 7, 1917:

"Kenneth, Horace, and John Meek, lads of Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Meek, of Newville township, near Grange Corners, determined to not be behind on patriotism and have put up a pole and keep Old Glory bravely flying from its peak.  They are small lads, yet they brought a pole from the woods and erected it.  It is 41 feet from the ground to the top."


October 30, 2014

John Emerson Meek - The Youngest Son of Samuel and Eliza Meek

Not the best photo, but the only one I have of John Meek
Emily Meek's younger brother was John Emerson Meek, born December 28, 1874, in Hicksville Township, Defiance County, Ohio.  John appeared with his family in the 1880 census, but his whereabouts in 1900 is but a guess.

In the 1900 Federal Census of Holt County, Liberty Township, Missouri, a John Meek was boarding with the Arthur Markt family and working as a farm laborer.  The birthdate given for this John Meek was August, 1874, instead of December, but that could be explained because the informant to the enumerator might not have been John, himself.  John Meek was 25 and single, and he also reported that he was born in Ohio, as were both of his parents, which fits our John E. Meek.  

In 1903, John E. Meek married Pearl May Huston and they settled in Newville Township, Dekalb County, Indiana.  By the 1910 census, Pearl and John had had five children together, but only three had survived: Ruth Esther (born December 8, 1904), Olive Angeline (born July 8, 1907), and Violetta (born March 15, 1909).  John was farming on a farm he was buying.

The World War I draft registration for John completed on September 12, 1918, at the age of 43, indicated his address was Rural Route 3, Bryan, Ohio.  His self-description was of a tall man with a medium build and blue eyes and brown hair. 

Sometime between 1910 and 1918, the John E. Meek family moved to Williams County, Ohio where a farm was purchased in Superior Township.  There they were enumerated in the 1920 census: John E., a farmer, 45; Pearl, a housewife, 37, and the three girls: Ruth, 15, Olive, 12, and Violetta, 10.

By 1930, John and Pearl had moved to a house on South Main Street in Bryan.  John, at 55, earned a living by doing odd jobs. Violetta, 21, was still at home and single, working as a public school teacher.  One newspaper article stated that Violetta Meek was going to teach at the Grange Hall School in Williams County.  

John had completely retired by 1940, at the age of 65, and the couple lived in their home in Bryan, valued at $1050.  He died in April, 1949.
 Pearl continued to be in touch with the family of Emily Meek, attending Thanksgiving dinner, for example, until her death in 1971.
Pearl Huston Meek

Pearl Meek in 1961
 Olive Meek died in her youth on November 26, 1930 in Wood County at about 22 years old.

Ruth E. Meek did not marry, and she lived in the Sandusky area. The Sandusky Register named her in an article in March 1958, stating that she belonged to the Sandusky Yacht Club and served on a committee for one of their events.  She worked in the secretarial field, and died on December 2, 1985, at Providence Hospital in Sandusky at the age of 78

Violetta Meek married Charles W. Hutchison, who died at 49, in February 1958.  She remarried in 1961, Keith Ingle, but they divorced in 1969.  Violetta died on August 28, 1997 and is buried in Williams County, Ohio.

Now, we'll move back a generation to the parents of David, Solomon, William Oscar, Hiram, Sherman T., Emily A. and John E. Meek - Samuel Meek and Eliza Fuller Meek.

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.

October 17, 2014

Hiram W. Meek, Emily's Adventurous Brother

Hiram Meek was about four years older than his little sister, Emily.  He was born to Samuel and Eliza (Fuller) Meek on March 23, 1867, their fourth son.  He was enumerated with his parents in both the 1870 and 1880 census in Hicksville Township, Defiance County, Ohio.  But it seemed that Hiram was an adventurous soul, and when he reached the age of about twenty-four, he ventured west to seek his fortune. 

One biography stated that Hiram moved first to Kansas and Colorado and then to the Willamette Valley in Oregon and on to Wallowa County in about 1891 where he settled around the town of Leap.  Whether anyone else traveled west with him is unknown, as is his method of travel, but there is no doubt that Hiram went as a homesteader where land was cheap and he acquired a nice farm there.  

His neighbor to the north was a land owner herself, Susan Jane Roberts.  Her parents and many siblings lived in the area, too.  On March 4, 1892, Susan, 25, and Hiram, just shy of 25, married in the town of Wallowa, Oregon.  Susan had had a son out of wedlock who lived with her parents - Everett Ray Roberts.  Hiram and Susan combined their land into one farm that later was described as about 200 acres.

Susan Roberts Meek and Hiram W. Meek and their sons, Samuel and Grover Cleveland Meek

By the 1900 census, Hiram and Susan were enumerated in the Lostine precinct of Wallowa County on the 25th of June.  They had been married eight years and they had two sons: Grover Cleveland Meek, born February 1893, and Samuel Meek, born February, 1895.  (No source yet discovered has listed a middle name for this Samuel Meek.)  

In 1910, Hiram's son, Grover had a terrible accident "when he ran his horse between two trees and caught his knee on one tree, causing severe pain in his legs and back.  He neglected to get immediate medical attention and continued on with his daily work.  After returning home for supper, he sat down at the dinner table and was never able to stand again, as both his legs became paralyzed.  He did, however, learn to live with his disability."  (
In the Wallowa County Chieftain, dated July 7, 1910, a small article appeared naming Hiram Meek:
"Hiram Meek and son of near Wallowa transacted business in Enterprise Friday.  Mr. Meek paid this office a genial visit and helped talk over 'old times' in Ohio.  Mr. Meek has 200 acres of land near Wallowa where he has lived for 19 years."

In the 1920 census for Leap, Oregon, H. W. Meek, 52, and Susie Meek, 51, were enumerated and it was noted that Grover C., 26, had no occupation.  Samuel, 24, worked on the home farm for wages.

According to his death certificate, Hiram became ill and began treatment with a physician in March 1923.  He died on July 18, 1924, at the age of 56, with the cause listed as nephritis on the death certificate.  His son, Samuel, was the informant on the certificate as his obituary stated that Susie was a patient in the hospital fighting her own illness.  
Hiram's obituary:
"Leap, Wallowa County, Oregon.
Hiram W. Meek, a resident of the Leap section since 1891, died at the Wallowa hospital last Friday, July 18, 1924.  He had been ill for a few months but his condition did not become serious until a week before he passed away.  Bladder cancer was the cause of death.
The funeral was held at the Wallowa Methodist Church, with two pastors assisting, Rev. G. H. Feese and Rev. W. F. Shields.  Burial was in the Wallowa Cemetery.  The Grange had charge of the services, this being the first funeral conducted by that society in the county.
Mr. Meek was born in Defiance county, Ohio, March 23, 1867, and moved to Kansas and later to Colorado when a young man.  He came on west a few years later and located on a farm six miles east of Wallowa, in Leap, which was his home to the last.  He was married March 4, 1892, to Susan Roberts.  His widow survives.  She has been ill for some weeks and is still at the Wallowa hospital, but has been improving of late and is on the road to recovery.  Two sons also survive, Grover C. and Samuel Meek, who live on the home place, and a stepson, Everett Roberts of Enterprise."

So, one wonders if Susie was even able to attend her husband's funeral.  She did live about six more years, passing away in 1930. Her death certificate, with information again provided by Samuel, indicated that cervical cancer was the cause of death.  She was 61 years old.  
Susie's obituary:
"Leap, Wallowa, Oregon.
Mrs. Hiram W. Meek passed away at the family home in Leap last Thursday, March 13, 1930.
Death was caused by cancer from which she had suffered for a year.  She had been a resident of the county since 1884, living most of the time in Leap.  Funeral services were held Friday afternoon at the Methodist church in Wallowa, conducted by the pastor, Rev. C. E. Calone, and burial was in the Wallowa cemetery.  
She was born in Union county, July 29, 1868, and came to Wallowa county when 16 years old.  She was married to Hiram W. Meek at Enterprise, March 4, 1892, and in 1900, they settled on a homestead which has remained the family home.
Mr. Meek passed away July 18, 1924, and since then Mrs. Meek has lived with two sons, Samuel and Grover Meek, on the home place.
She was survived by another son, also, Everett R. Roberts of Enterprise, and by the following brothers and sisters:  Mrs. Eva Parker of LaGrande, Mrs. Lillie Hall of LaGrande, Mrs. Dora Baker of Seattle, Wash., Frank Roberts and John A. Roberts of Harrah, Wash. All of these except Mrs. Baker and John Roberts were present at the funeral."

Samuel and Grover Cleveland Meek - photo from
 According to the submission made on the above link, Samuel had a friend named Azra Grove. Azra was listed in the 1940 census as a "dairy man."  Born in Colorado, Azra was in Arizona in 1935 and in Sacramento, California in 1940.  Apparently, the couple moved quite frequently.  After Azra's death in 1952, the account stated, "Lucy moved back to California.  Samuel decided he would call Lucy and propose to her over the telephone and she accepted.  Samuel traveled to California where he married Lucy on July 25, 1959, in Sacramento."  The couple returned to the Meek homestead and farmed it until their elderly years when they moved into Wallowa.  Samuel was 64 at the time of the marriage.
Grover, on the other hand, made an occupation for himself in the tax and insurance business and eventually made a home for himself in the back of his office.  Both sons were buried with their parents in the Wallowa cemetery.

 So many questions remain.  Did Hiram stay in contact with his family back in Ohio?  Were their letters back and forth?  Did they ever visit?  All will remain unanswered, I'm afraid.

October 14, 2014

Solomon and William Oscar Meek - Emily's Brothers

Solomon, the second son of Samuel and Eliza (Fuller) Meek lived a short life, dying at the age of 20.  Born on January 5, 1861, near Hicksville, Ohio, Solomon spent his brief life on the farm with his parents and siblings, working as a farm laborer. He never married.  He died on November 20, 1881, the cause of death currently unknown.  
Solomon was buried at the Six Corners Cemetery north of Hicksville near his parents and several other siblings.
Photo courtesy of 

 Typhoid fever took the life of Samuel and Eliza's third son, William Oscar Meek.  Born on July 23, 1863, William also spent his life on the home farm and never married.  He died on August 27, 1897 at the age of 34.
His obituary appeared in a Hicksville, Ohio paper:

Died at his home near Hicksville, Friday, Aug. 27, 1897, William O., son of Samuel and Eliza Meek.  Aged 34 years, 1 month and 4 days.  He was ill but a short time with typhoid fever and his unexpected death was a sad bereavement to his many friends and relatives.  He had always lived in this vicinity and was known and respected by all as a man of intelligence and truthfullness, and in the midst of his labors was always calm and serene.  Funeral from the Fairview U. B. church by Rev. Thomas after which the remains were interred in the cemetery near by.  He leaves a father, a mother, four brothers, one sister and a host of friends to mourn this departure.  J. C. Wilderson had charge of the remains."

Photo courtesy of
  We can only imagine how their only sister, Emily, mourned the loss of these two older brothers.  She would have been about ten years old when she lost her brother, Solomon, and sixteen when William died.

October 8, 2014

David Meek - Emily's Oldest Brother

The first son of Samuel and Eliza (Fuller) Meek, David was no doubt named after his father's twin brother of the same name.  Born on November 5, 1858, near Hicksville, David was enumerated in the census with his parents in 1860, 1870, and, at age 21, in 1880.

His obituary stated that he taught school for awhile, but eventually went back to his farming roots.  In the 1900 Federal Census, David was a boarder in the home of Isiah and Emma Miller with their two small children, Melvin and Milo. At 41, David was single and working as a farm laborer in Carryall Township, Paulding County, Ohio.

At some point, David purchased a cottage on Lake George in Fremont, Indiana.  I could not locate him in the 1910 census, but in 1920, he was boarding still in Carryall Township, Paulding County, Ohio, but now with Clyde and Gladys Strubing and their little son, Darrel.  David's was listed as having no occupation at the age of 61.

On the back of photo: "Uncle Dave's cottage on Lake George"


Again, I could not locate David in the 1930 census. David Meek never married and he lived his last days with his family.  In 1940, at the age of 82, he resided with Horace and Elsie Meek and Horace's brother, Clarence ("Sammy") on a farm north of Hicksville in Newville Township, DeKalb County, Indiana.  Horace and Clarence were the sons of David's younger brother, Sherman.

On May 13, 1941, David Meek died in the hospital in Hicksville, Ohio.  His obituary appeared in the Hicksville News-Tribune on May 15th:

Was Born Near Six Corners and Was Lifelong Resident of This Neighborhood

David Meek, aged 82, passed away Tuesday morning at The Community Hospital where he had been taken May 9th after having suffered a paralytic stroke the day before at the home of his nephew, Horace Meek, about five miles north of Hicksville on the Spencerville road.

He was born November 5th, 1858, in Hicksville township,near Six Corners, a son of Samuel and Eliza Fuller Meek, pioneer residents of that neighborhood.  He grew to manhood and spent the greater part of his life in this community.

As a young man he taught school a short time, and followed farming until about twenty-five years ago when he retired and has since made his home at Lake George, near Fremont, Indiana, during the summer months.

Surviving him are a sister, Mrs. Emily Kline of Newville township; a brother, John Meek of Bryan; also several nieces and nephews. The remains are at the Perkins & Reeb funeral home, where funeral services will be held at 2:30 Thursday, Rev. J. H. Townsend of Frontier, Mich. assisted by Rev. Paul D. Chiles, officiating.  Burial at Six Corners cemetery."

(Mmmmm...Why Rev. Townsend of Michigan?  Relation?  Neighbor?) 

September 26, 2014

Emily Anna Meek Kline -

Emily Anna Meek was the only daughter of Samuel and Eliza (Fuller) Meek.  Born on October 25, 1871, she joined a family of five brothers - David, Solomon, William Oscar, Hiram and Sherman T.  She was the youngest child until the sixth and final sibling, another brother - John - was born in 1874. It would seem that Emily was named after both her grandmothers: Emily for her maternal grandmother Emily Camp Fuller and Anna for Anna Cooper Meek, her paternal grandmother.

Emily's father, Samuel was a farmer on a farm in Hicksville Township, Defiance County, Ohio.  Emily attended the Six Corners School, and several newspapers of the time named her as a champion of the spelling bees.  Her scrapbook, featured in this post, also included a number of Rewards of Merit.  Rewards of Merit were popular in the latter part of the 19th century and were awarded by teachers to students who showed outstanding academics, conduct and/ or attendance.

Often called "Emma", Emily Meek received Rewards of Merit that were signed, but not dated, from the following instructors: Rosa Hilbert, Andy Zuber, Etta Sensenbacher, Tildie Bercaw, Samuel Dalrymple, M. M. Hattery, Ella Butler, and M. R. Evritt.  If she went to school just eight years, as was common then, she would have received one every year.  Family lore is that Emily then taught in the Six Corners School for some years, but a recent source also recorded that she once taught at the Crary School in Milford Township.
From teacher's souvenir booklet

In the 1900 census, she was with her elderly parents at home.  But, when she was 30 years old, she married Daniel F. Kline, a newcomer to the area from Hocking County, Ohio.  Daniel was also 30.  The marriage license, dated January 16, 1902, noted that she was a teacher and Daniel was a farmer with his residence in Hocking County.  The couple were married on January 19, 1902, by Rev. Geo. W. Lilly.  Emily's father, Samuel, died the following August at the age of 78.

Emily and Daniel eventually moved to a farm just across the Ohio - Indiana line in Newville Township, Dekalb County, Indiana.  There they welcomed their first son, Boyd, on June 21, 1903.  

Other children soon followed: Hazel in 1904; Ethel in 1906; Gladys in 1908; twins Marian and Mildred in 1909; Maurice in 1912; and Woodrow in 1914. On May 17, 1909, when the twins were born, Marian did not survive the day or could have been stillborn.  Just a few months later, in July 1909, Emily's mother, Eliza, also died at the age of 75.  

The children attended school a mile or so down the road from their farm, at the Newville Center, one room school.  Life was the hard farming life of the Depression days where it was pretty hard scrabble most of the time.

First Row, third girl from left is Mildred Kline and last girl on right is Gladys Kline.  Back Row, fourth girl from left is Ethel Kline  and second girl from right is Hazel Kline.

In 1919, the oldest son, Boyd, died, and in February 1926, daughter Ethel succumbed to tuberculosis. By the 1930 census, some of the children had married and moved out, leaving Gladys, 21; Mildred F. (called "Mid"), 19; Maurice F., 17; and Woodrow (called "Woody",) 15, at home.  Dan and Emily were both 58 at that time and living on the same farm, struggling financially and in their marriage.

On June 30, 1932, Daniel moved back to Hocking County, Ohio, and Emily filed for divorce after thirty years of marriage.  Daniel left the farm to Emily and the children and it is unknown how much contact he had with the family after that. The livestock was sold except for a milk cow and a few chickens and the money split.  Emily wanted $5000 in alimony, but she was awarded $1700 and court costs.  It was not a friendly split.

In the 1940 census, Emily, 68, reported herself as a widow, perhaps a more socially acceptable term than divorced.  But, truly, Daniel Kline was very much alive in Hocking County, Ohio.  Emily was listed as head of the family and with her were only her two surviving sons, Maurice, 27, and Woodrow, 25, both still single.  Maurice noted that he worked on the farm 60 hours a week, and Woodrow had a job as a section hand on the railroad half the year, making $480 in that time.  I would expect that he helped on the farm the rest of the year. 
Emily Meek lived out her life on the farm until she died on May 6, 1942, at the age of 70.

 She was buried near her old home grounds at the Six Corners Cemetery.

The Hicksville Tribune, Hicksville, Ohio, carried her obituary on May 7, 1942:

Mrs. Emily Kline Is Taken Unexpectedly at Her Home in Newville Township.

Mrs. Emily Kline, aged 70, died Wednesday morning at her home in Newville township, four miles west of Hicksville.
She had been ill about three weeks, her death being unexpected and somewhat sudden.  Complications and heart trouble are stated to be the cause of the death.
Mrs. Kline was born Oct. 28, 1871, in Hicksville township,near Six Corners, and was a daughter of Samuel and Eliza Fuller Meek.
She grew to womanhood in the local neighborhood, and January 19, 1902, was united in marriage with Daniel Kline of Hocking county.
She had lived in the present home for thirty-five years.
Surviving relatives are three daughters, Mrs. Gladys Impton, near the home; Mrs. Hazel Bennett of Edon, O.; and Mrs. Mildred Cook of Paulding; two sons, Maurice Kline of St. Joe, Ind. and Woodrow Kline at the home; three grandchildren; a brother, John Meek of Bryan.
the body was taken to the Perkins and Reeb funeral home. Complete funeral arrangements had not been completed, as to place and time, but burial will be made in Six Corners Cemetery."