The Auglaize County Historical Society

September - October 2003 Edition


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Letter from the President

It has been a busy couple of months for the Board. We have a lot of people to thank.

The Auglaize County Fair was a great success. For those of you not attending, the Society had a show of quilts from around the county. All the Historical Societies from within the county had quilts, coverlets and other related quilt items on display in the Gary Log House. Each Society took a day and hosted the Log House and the Traveling Museum. Both were well-received by the fair-goers.

The traveling Museum was filled with maps and informational materials about the formation of the county, townships and centenniel farms, homes and businesses. Our sincere thanks to all of you who hosted a day from Cridersville, New Bremen, New Knoxville, Minster and Uniopolis and of course our own ACH Society. What an opportunity for us to work together to promote the history of Auglaize County.

The Mooney Museum Siding: We had to let the original contractor go and hired a new one, and the work is now moving along smoothly. It really is taking shape.

Katy Gilbert's book on the W.W.II Veterans did not make the July deadline, however it is moving along at a good pace and should be ready for press by fall. We are all anxious to get our hands on it and we should keep in mind that this would make a great Christmas present.

The Board is excitedly working on our own web site. You will soon be able to reach us at You'll be reading more about this in the months to come.

Kathy and Joan LightWe need to inform you that we have accepted, with deep regrets, the resignation of two of our valued trustees, Anna Mae Saum and Mike Kuck. Anna Mae will continue to serve as our membership chairperson but wished to be relieved as trustee. We appreciate so much her work and she has been a great membership head. Mike will continue to support us when he can, but his work calls him and we do understand that. However they will be extremely missed as they were truly great assets to the board. Sincere "thank" for all that you've done and best wishes to you both. I hope that as you see them about you will convey to them your appreciation for the work that they have done, always keeping the best interests of the Society in the fore front.

Thanks to Irene Kepler for a great job heading up the Dudley Nichols Bicentenniel Marker dedication. Irene was instrumental in working with Kathy and Joan Light to have the Oscar on display at the Wapakoneta Museum. Dudley Nichols received the Oscar for his screen writing of the 1935 classic, "The Informer."

Thanks to Kathy and Joan Light and also Jo Derryberry, from the Auglaize County Library, for all the Dudley Nichols artifacts that completed our special display. Thanks to Kris Ewald, Wapakoneta's Nichols historian, for speaking at the dedication. We had nuverous first time people through the Wapakoneta Museum after the dedication and the Sundays thereafter. It was a great event, in our year's long series of events, celebrating the Ohio Bicentenniel.

A big thanks to our Auglaize County Commissioners for providing the Centenniel Bell for the Nichols Marker Dedication at the Wapakoneta Museum.

Wapakoneta MuseumRemember the September 4th at 7 p.m. Membership Meeting at Midwest Electric meeting room.

Bill Huber will be our guest speaker on how "Knowing history will help unlock genealogical mysteries." If you have not heard Bill speak, you are in for a real treat. Plan now to attend and bring some friends with you.

See you in September,

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I am looking for information on the Eli and Mary C. (Allen) Powell Family. One of his children was Moses J. Powell, born in St. Marys, we believe on January 3, 1876. He married Etta Ann Butler on November 10, 1896 in Marion, IN. Lived in Van Buren, IN, raised four girls and one son there, then moved to Bridgeport, IL in 1912. He lived there until his death on June 2, 1955. I would appreciate any information on his parents or other relatives that once lived in Auglaize County. (Mildred Boyette, 53 Fox Valley Dr., Orange Park, FL 32073)

Jim Kelley is hunting information on his Great-Grandfather Patrick Kelley. We believe that he was born around 1815 and died in the 1860s. He married Susan Axe Hirsch and she died in the 1870s. They both were of the Catholic Faith. Holy Rosary Church has no information on them. Would like more information, so we can place a marker in the cemetery. Write N. Heing, 4914 Tocoma Ave., Ft. Wayne, IN 46807, or email George Neargarder in St. Marys.

I received a letter from Gladys Hiles, 1407 Fern Ave., Imperial, CA 91932. Her father was Jacob Baker who lived in the Deep Cut area. She had a botany textbook from her father that his daughter had and the first page in the book is stamped "Mary C. Baker, Hoophole Academy, St. Marys, Ohio May 5th, 1857. Superintendent Jonathan Fairbanks." [editor's note: in researching this he was superintendent in 1856-1858.] Do you know the location of this school? I have been unable to find this information. Can any of our members help to locate this school? If you can help email George Neargarder.

She also writes that her grandfather Windy Bill Cochran founded Windy Point on Grand Lake St. Marys. He got the name because he talked a lot.

Railroad CrewCan you identify anyone in this photo?

This is a railroad section crew in the St. Marys area.

If you can help, email George Neargarder.

Photo courtesy of Shirley Jenkins. Her father was Jake Young a former Memorial High School teacher. This photo was in his collection.


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Meet our Speaker

William HuberMeet our Speaker Attorney William "Bill" Huber at our next membership meeting on Thursday Sept. 4th at Midwest Electric Meeting Room at 7 p.m. His topic will be: "Knowing history will help unlock genealogical mysteries."

Bill is a lifelong resident of Auglaize County, and has been practicing law for 35 years.

He is a member of the Auglaize County Historical Society, Ohio Genealogical Society, the local genealogical societies of Allen, Auglaize, Champaign, Fairfield and Shelby Counties.

He is a member of the First Families of Ohio, Civil War Society of Ohio, Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War and the Society of the War of 1812.

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June 29 Rededication and Memorial

The Rededication and Memorial Service Sponsored by the Historical Society was well attended and a great success at the Olive Branch Church and Cemetery on June 29, 2003.

Civil War and War of 1812 Reenactors took part in the ceremony along with members of the New Knoxvill American Legion.

A Widow's Walk was conducted, after the names of each of the 22 veterans buried in the cemetery were read, a relative or person would place a long-stemmed rose on their grave and say a short prayer.

After the even a concert was enjoyed in the church by the singing of Civil War songs, by the Conker's Trio.

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Calling All Civil War Buffs - Sign Up Now!

William "Bill" Huber is interested in forming a camp of The Sons Of Union Civil War Veterans in Auglaize and Allen Counties. He only needs five men to start a new camp whose great-uncle or grandfather served in the Civil War 1861-65.

The Sons of Veterans of the United States of America was formed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on November 12, 1881. This organization grew rapidly and in 1883 was recognized by the GAR as the sole organization of Sons of Union Veterans.

By resolution of the 1883 National Encampment, the G.A.R. ordered all posts to disband all other organizations and break all ties with any organization of sons except the Sons of Veterans of the Civil War.

The original Sons of Veterans U.S.A. Camps were military in nature. In 1904, they elected to become a civilian patriotic education society. In 1925 the name was changed to Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) to further identify their heritage.

Prior to disbanding and before the death of its last member, the G.A.R. officially designated the SUVCW as legal heir to and representative of the G.A.R. On August 20, 1954 the SUVCW was officially incorporated by Act of Congress by the passage of Public Law 605 during the 83rd Congress.

Membership in the SUVCW is open to all male descendants, whether through lineaal or collateral line and not less than 14 years of age who:

  1. are a blood relative of a soldier, sailor, marine, or member of the Revenue Cutter Service who was regularly mustered and served honorably in, was honorably discharged from or died in service of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Revenue Cutter Service of the United States of America or in such state regiments calle to active servie and was subject to orders of United States general officers, between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865.
  2. have never been convicted of any infamous or heinous crime, and
  3. have, or whose ancestor through whom membership is claimed has, never voluntarily borne arms against the government of the United States.

Males who do not have the ancestry to qualify for hereditary membership, but can demonstrate a genuine interest in the Civil War, who are fourteen years of age or older and who can subscribe to the purpose and objects of the SUVCW may become Associates.

Camps may provide for Juniors provided that it is not prohibited by their respective Departments. Juniors shall be males at least eight but less than fourteen years of age who meet the qualifications for membership. They can become members at age fourteen.

For further details contact: Jeff Eversman, Jr. Vice Commander, Dept. of Ohio SUVCW, James B. McPherson Camp #66 Northwest Ohio; or William Huber, 137 East Spring Street, St. Marys, Ohio 45885.

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Historical Photos - Paving Highway 33A from St. Marys to Wapak

Highway 33A from St. Marys to Wapakoneta being paved with concrete. The road has been improved over the years from mud, to plank, to gravel, to brick in 1918. These photos are estimated to have been taken in 1927.

33A work

The Wheel Barrow crew.

Many men were employed to do this hard work.

33A work


Preparing the surface.

33A workThe concrete was mixed and poured on the job site.

These photos courtesy of Carol Crosley Long, Phoenix, Arizona. Page designed by George Neargarder.

Help Preserve History! We would love to copy your old photos and return them back to you. For information, email Karen Dietz or George Neargarder.

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Applications Now Available For Farms, Homes Or Businesses That Are In Same Family For 100 Years Or More

If you or your friends have missed out on Auglaize County Historical Society's Spring recognition of farms, homes or businesses that remained in the same families for 100 years or more they will be recognized again this fall. This is for those applications that were received too late for the spring award and plus any new applications. New Applications must be received by September 30, 2003. Certificates will be presented for 100 years or more and Special Certificates will be presented for farms, homes or businesses that have remained in the same families 150 years or more.

To receive applications, call Chairperson Barbara Harrod at 419-738-9606, or write to her at 515 South Wagner, Wapakoneta, Ohio 45895.

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"Military Memoirs of W.W.II" Book, by Katy Gilbert
Will Be Available for Christmas 2003

"Military Memoirs of W.W.II" book by Katy Gilbert will contain stories from Auglaize County Veterans of World War II. She has interviewed veterans from almost all the townships in the county. Auglaize County Historical Society is responsible for management of the project.

Other county museums that are participating in the project are Minster, New Bremen, New Knoxville, Uniopolis and Cridersville. The book will be 8-1/2" by 11 inches, soft cover, glue-bound with 128 pages. This book will retail for only $10.00.

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Renew or Join The Auglaize County Historical Society

Museums in St. Marys, Shinbone, Wapakoneta

  • Single Life Member $250.00
  • Family Member $25.00
  • Adult Member $15.00
  • Student Member $5.00
  • 62 or older Sr. Adult Member $12.00
  • 62 or older Sr. Family Member $20.00

Make check payable to:   Auglaize County Historical Society
Mail to:   Anna Mae Saum, 131 Bayshore Court, St. Marys, Ohio 45885

"Help Preserve The History of Auglaize County"

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Come & Hear Attorney William Huber

...Speaking on "Knowing History Will Help Unlock Genealogical Mysteries."

7:00 p.m. Thursday, September 4, 2000, Midwest Electric Meeting Room, corner of CR 33A and Townline-Kossuth Road.

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Membership Meeting
at Midwest Electric

7:00 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2003 at Midwest Electric.

Come and bring a friend!

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