I find a LOT of cabinet cards from Ohio here in Houston. I have no idea why; this is the latest. These legible yet messy words are scribbled on the back “grandpa Adam Eby Grandma Alice Eby.” The photographers imprint … Continue reading
Category Archives: Ohio
Reconstructing a Life from a Class Photo: Mildred Hufford
This 1923 high school class photo is one of my favorites! The full photo can be seen in this post from 2013. Today’s star is Mildred Hufford. My search for Mildred started as it usually does with a class photo. … Continue reading
Norbert Hahn, the city nilk inspector?
Meet Norbert Hahn. Eighteen in this photo, he was the son of Elmer and Ruth Hahn, living in Hartland, Huron country, Ohio – a short distance from Wakeman. Norbert was the first child born to his parents on September 25, … Continue reading
Wesley E. Johnson, growing up in Preston, Minnesota
This is the 1931 high school class photo of Preston High School in Preston, Fillmore county, Minnesota. A previous post from Preston HS focused on the Rassmusen siblings from this class. Today, it’s Wesley E. Johnson. Thankfully his middle initial … Continue reading
Mikloda, the rarest name so far, and some burning barns…
UPDATE, Sept 2014: An email from a family member has shed more light on the Mikloda family,
“My great grandfather was Jacob Mikloda. Jacob was married to Susan Filko and had several children including my grandfather, John. John changed the spelling of the family name to McLoda, but I have never been told why. John died in 1958…I have heard the story before of Jacob becoming angry and burning his barns. I have also heard that his arrest caused him to be deported back to Czechoslovakia.”
From the least common name to one of the most common, Julia Mikloda (later Julia Green) was born in Pennsylvania on March 2, 1914. Her parents were Czechoslovakian immigrants in the early 1900s. Julia was the sixth of nine children born to Jacob Mikloda and Susan Filko. Most if not all of her siblings attended Wakeman High School as Julia did. This is her graduating picture in 1932.
The family moved from PA to OH around 1920 and farmed in the area for the rest of their lives. But all was not happy. In 1933, one year after this photo, the Sandusky Star Journal reported that on September 12th Susie Mikloda filed for divorce from husband Jacob. Mr. Mikloda was being held in the local jail for allegedly burning down two barns on the Mikloda farm. That same newspaper reported on December 7, 1933 that Mr. Mikloda was found guilty and the divorce granted.
That explains why Susie and 5 of her 9 children were living without Jacob in 1940. Two of her sons were farming and two daughters were maids. Julia was married by then to Lyle Green and was a new mother. The whole family seems to have stayed in or near Huron county, Ohio and most are buried in Camden Cemetery. Matriarch Susie died in 1950. Julia lived until 1997, outliving her husband by over 20 years.
I’ve not found anyone searching for this family – but when they start it will be easy going. Everything I found on the Mikloda name was about this family!
Altje Roley, The Noble
Weaving together someone’s life story from a few census records and death certificates constantly leaves me longing to know more. Miss Altje Roley is no exception. Her name gave me some issues as I misread her last name as Roby. Finding no one with a first name of Altje, I considered that it might be a nickname. But, upon further inspection, I decided the last name could be Roley – and then her life opened up.
Altje (a germanic name meaning noble kind) Roley was born on June 23rd, 1905 in Ohio. Her father Otto Roley and mother Vesta Pearl Roley were also native to Ohio. It was Otto’s grandparents who were from Germany, and the culture seems to have stuck for a few generations considering the name choices. Altje appeared to be Otto and Pearl’s only child. In 1910 the family lived in Hilliar, Knox, Ohio where Otto was a tailor. By 1920 they had moved to Liberty, Fairfield, Ohio where this high school graduation photo of Altje was taken at Liberty High School in 1923.
I was unable to find Altje in the 1930 census, but in 1940 a very confusing census listed her as a male head of household named Altje Larrence – although it should have been Torrence. Otto and Pearl were living with her though their last name was misinterpreted as Raley. She had 3 children who were mistakenly listed with the last name Raley as well. I was able to piece together that between 1923 and 1930 probably, Altje married John Henry Torrence. John Henry died of basal meningitis in Canton, Ohio in 1936. Altje was likely pregnant with their youngest child at the time. It makes sense then that she would choose to live with her parents again for help. In 1940 while she/he is listed as head of household, Altje didn’t have an occupation. Her father Otto however owned a restaurant in Basil, Ohio.
At some point Altje remarried. She is buried in Old Basil Cemetery with Elza Weaver, who preceded her in death by 9 days. Otto and Pearl and John Henry are also buried in this same cemetery. An interesting life that I wish I knew more about. Good luck Altje!
Lonely Lola Miller
While I hope the title is incorrect, the evidence doesn’t look good. Lola was born on January 5, 1905 to Jesse A. Miller and Jennie Hizey in Liberty, Ohio. Jennie is also known as Hannah in later census records. She was the second and last child born to the Millers. Older sister Doris was 5 years Lola’s senior.
Following the census path showed Jesse, Hannah, Doris and Lolo G. in Liberty in 1910 and 1920. Jesse was a farmer and both Lola’s parents were also born in Ohio. In 1930 Jesse, Hannah, and 30 year-old Doris still lived in Liberty, but Lola wasn’t with them. She may have married and moved, but no marriage record was found. There was a Lola Miller (aged 25) living in Liberty who worked as a servant for the Seever household. It’s hard to know if this is the same person.
Jesse, Hannah and Doris are all still living together in 1940 as well. Still in Liberty. I’m not sure where Lola is by then. Both of Lola’s parents died in the early 1950’s and are buried in Union Evangelical Cemetery in Fairfield county, Ohio according to Find A Grave.
Hopefully Lola married and lived a long and happy life. Her sister Doris doesn’t seem to have married, but no death record found in her name either.
Bespectacled Floyd Blum
Meet Floyd, as promised, the husband of Dorothy Cowan from the previous post. They were in the same class at Liberty Union High School in Baltimore, Fairfield county, Ohio. Whether or not they were high school sweethearts is unknown. Dorothy, we know, had 3 years of college before she married.
Like Dorothy, Floyd was born in Ohio. According to Find A Grave his birthday was April 14, 1906 and he lived until September of 1981. Unlike Dorothy, not all that time was spent in Ohio. The son of Charles Blum(e) and Nellie Strayer, both of Ohio, Floyd moved with his family to Michigan sometime before 1915. We know this because Floyd and his younger sister Relva (who is daughter is named after apparently) were both born in Ohio, but younger brother Paul was born in Michigan in 1915. Charles was working as a motor builder in Detroit during the 1920 census. Before that, in 1910, he had been an oil well drilling supervisor in Lancaster, OH. Clearly the family was back in Ohio by 1923 for this photo.
We know a bit about Floyd and Dorothy in 1930, they were married with one child, Relva. The directory of Newark, Ohio listed Floyd and Dorothy in 1927, 1929, 1931, and 1934. I believe it was 1935 when Dorothy was once again living with her family and the couple had divorced.
I was unable to find Floyd in the 1940 census, but we do know that in 1943 he joined the WWII effort from Philadelphia, PA. And, according to the SSDI, Floyd died in Parksburg, Chester county, PA. Whether he ever remarried is unknown. But he hadn’t by 1943 as he’s listed as “divorced with dependents” on the WWII draft registration card. Floyd is buried in Grandview Cemetery in Fairfield, the same cemetery where his mother is buried.
Dorothy Cowan, a survivor
This is an absolutely wonderful class photo from 1923 – the seniors of Liberty Union High School in Baltimore, Ohio (near Lancaster in Fairfield county.) I’ve started with the lovely Dorothy Cowan. I don’t think the written name next to her photo is her signature though, as all the names are written in the same script.
Dorothy, I presumed, was born about 1905 given she would have been 18 in 1923. I found a Dorothy Cowan living in Liberty, Fairfield county, OH in 1910, 1920, 1935, and 1940. She was the only surviving child of Charles G. Cowan and Emma Olive Sager born on May 7, 1905 in Ohio. It appears that Emma had several children die, but at what age is unknown. She was 34 when Dorothy was born. On the 1910 census the number of children born is difficult to read, it could be 3 or 5. Dorothy is the only one who made it to adulthood. That must have been tough on everyone.
In 1910, four year old Dorothy lived with her parents and maternal grandmother (Rebecka Fultz Sager.) By 1920, the three lived on their own; Mr. Cowan was a farmer. But Dorothy’s paternal grandparents, Amos and Lucinda Cowan, lived only a few houses (or farms) away. Three years after this lovely high school photo was taken, Dorothy married Floyd R. Blum* at the age of 21, and after 3 years of college. And in 1930 they had an almost 2 year old daughter Relva J. Blum and were living in Lancaster.
However, something goes amiss. By 1935 Dorothy had moved back in with her parents, little Relva with her. In 1940 she was an elementary school teacher still living in Liberty with mom and dad. Dorothy listed her self as a widow. But Floyd wasn’t dead. As a matter of fact he became a WWII vet and lived until 1981.
Her Ohio death certificate indicates that Dorothy Mae Cowan Blum died on July 5, 1994 in Richland and that she was divorced. It seems silly to indicate a marital status of divorced when she was married for less than 10 years of her whole life! Dorothy is buried at Union Evangelical Cemetery in Baltimore, OH.
It would be easy to characterize her life as sad. But the truth is that these bare facts tell us very little about how Dorothy weathered what may have been rocky times. She very well could have been the happiest woman on earth. And I hope she was!
*A follow-up post will cover Floyd. He’s also in the 1923 class photo with Dorothy!
Gerald Rogers and a scattered family story
Another partial name from the 1932 class of Wakeman High School near Lorain, Ohio. On the back of the photo, all we have of the name is *RALD ROGERS. Initially I thought the D was an O. But I could find absolutely no one with the name *RALO ROGERS. Then it dawned on me that it was indeed a D!
So Gerald Rogers came to life (again). There is one definitely Gerald Rogers that is bound to be our man. In the 1930 Wakeman, Huron County, Ohio census, Gerald is a 16 year old born in Ohio to parents also from Ohio. However, he’s living as a lodger (not working) with Gage and Gertrude Garner. Because he’s not living with his parents or anyone identified as family it makes comparing our Gerald with other Gerald’s harder.
In 1940, there is another Gerald Rogers still in Huron County. He’s 26 now, a farm hand on the Sweeting farm, married to Eleanor Rogers (21). Hard to know if it’s the same George but there is more than a little likelihood that it is.
Another Gerald Rogers in Ohio that comes up is Gerald Ernest Rogers, lets call him GED. GED was born 11/18/1913 in Lima, Ohio. His parents were Robert Rogers and Edith Ryerson. GED died in California on 2/27/1989. In 1920 in Kenmore, Summit Co., Ohio GED lived with his dad, step-mom, 4 siblings and grandparents (John & Ida Rogers) on his grandfather’s farm.
In my opinion, GED is our Gerald Rogers. By 1925, GED’s dad has married for the 3rd time. In 1930 older brother Howard is a lodger elsewhere, grandparents John & Ida are living with a sister of GED’s, dad Robert (now a widower again – this guy was trouble!) and another sibling Hazel are living in Cincinnati. In other words, the family is spread out all over the place. It would not be surprising that Gerald was living as a lodger. What would be surprising is if the Garner’s (with whom he was living) were not somehow related or at least close friends of the family. Maybe actual family can fill us in!
I’m sure hoping we can find your descendants Gerald!