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

Mikloda, the rarest name so far, and some burning barns…

Julia Mikloda, 1932 class of Wakeman HS in Huron County, OH

Julia Mikloda, 1932 class of Wakeman HS in Huron County, OH

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┬áleaves 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.

Miss Ruby

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

Lola Miller, 1923 Liberty Union High School, Liberty, Ohio

Lola Miller, 1923 Liberty Union High School, Liberty, Ohio

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.