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Category Archives: Genealogy and Family History Posts

Stubby’s Tale

In my last blog post I wrote of Charles Holloway’s service during World War I and his subsequent death as a result of poison gas while stationed in France. I’d be remiss if I neglected to share his brother Oscar’s story as well.

Oscar was a veterinary student at Ohio State University and a ROTC cadet when he registered for the draft on 5 June 1917. (1) Stub, or Stubby as he was known, joined the newly formed Veterinary Corps, whose purpose was to maintain the health and treat the large number of mules, horses and dogs used in France during World War I.  Falling under the umbrella of the United States Army Medical Department, the Veterinary Corps was formed in 1916.

“The American Expeditionary Force required large numbers of animals to accomplish a  variety of missions ranging from cavalry mounts, artillery transport to logistical supply and ambulance service. The rugged and muddy French terrain was better suited to animals than gas-powered engines.” (2)

Like his brother Charles, Oscar served in the Meuse-Argonne Defensive sector and was stationed there from 14 March 1918 to 8 May 1919. (3) Treating the innumerable wounds, broken bones, and illnesses of the over 165,000 mules and horses used must have been mentally and physically staggering.

us-army-veterinary-corp

World War I Veterinary Corps Recruiting Poster (top) and a soldier and horse in gas masks (below) via http://www.veterinarycorps.amedd. army.mil

working_horse-gas-mask

Oscar and Charles survived the war and after the Armistice was signed in November 1918, the brothers remained in France to take in the sights. For two small town boys from Ohio, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

postcard-from-osc-holloway-1919

1919 Postcard from Oscar to his parents in Piqua, Ohio. How’s everybody? Paris is nice but not compared to N.Y., Piqua, or Lockington (Lockport). Chas. and I are O.K.   Stub.

The boys returned home and Oscar wed Georgia Moore in Champaign, Ohio, on 10 June 1920.(4)  Oscar and Georgia settled in Piqua on the same street as Oscar’s parents (the 500 block of South Main Street in Piqua was known at the time as “Holloway Row” because the parents and their children all lived on the same street).

Oscar set up a veterinary clinic in town and after two years of marriage, he and Georgia welcomed a son, Oscar Eugene to the world. Oscar was highly-respected in Piqua and he eventually opened another clinic in Springcreek Township, about five miles east of Piqua.

On 6 May 1930, Oscar was driving on the Statler Pike east of Piqua when he collided with a car driven by Arthur McBeth. The collision forced Oscar to swerve, causing his car to overturn twice due to speed and momentum.(5) Oscar suffered a severe skull fracture which led to his death the following day. Oscar’s wife Georgia became a widow with a seven-year-old son overnight. To make matters worse, Oscar and Georgia had lost a child in January of that year. The death of Charles in 1922 and Oscar in 1930 were no doubt overwhelming for their parents, William and Nellie Craig Holloway.

Oscar was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Piqua, near his brother’s plot. Oscar’s eldest brother William became administrator of his estate and sued Mr. McBeth, the driver of the car that forced Oscar off the road. A jury later awarded $2,500 to William for damages; a small consolation for the loss of a father, husband, brother and son. (6)

oscar-i-holloway-2-1891-1930

Headstone of Oscar Irwin Holloway, Forest Hill Cemetery, Piqua, Ohio.

 

  1. Registration State: Ohio; Registration County: Franklin; Roll: 1832031; Draft Board: 4, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Record for Oscar Irwin Holloway.

    2.  http://veterinarycorps.amedd.army.mil/history/ww1/ww1.htm, retrieved 9 Sept 2016.

    3. Ancestry.com. Ohio Soldiers in WWI, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.Original data: The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-18. Columbus, OH, USA: The F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1926.

    4. Record for Oscar Holloway and Georgia Moore.  Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XDC4-56Z : 8 December 2014)

    5. Piqua Daily Call, 6 May 1930, page 10.

    6. Piqua Daily Call, 8 November 1930, page 43.

     

 

 

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Some Gave All.

Chas T Holloway and Gus Kleiber maybe in middle

Charles Holloway with friends ca 1920. Photo courtesy of author.

On 18 January 1918, 20-year-old Charles Thomas Holloway enlisted in the Marines.(1) The world was at war and terrifying new weapons of mass destruction were being utilized by both sides. One of those weapons was chemical warfare in the form of various toxic gasses. The French and Germans originally started with tear gas but later, the Germans developed chlorine, phosgene and mustard gas to rain down on Allied troops.

Charles was from Piqua, Ohio, a small town 30 miles north of Dayton. He was an all-star, all-American athlete and well-known throughout the community. He was born on the 4th of July in 1897.(2) Charles’s father, grandfather and uncles were all sheet-metal workers. These men were rugged and tough; 10-12 hour shifts inside a factory melting down iron at scorching temps was just a day’s work.

After enlisting, Charles was sent to Parris Island, South Carolina, where he trained vigorously for four months. On 1 September 1918 he left for France and was part of the American Expeditionary Forces in the Meuse-Argonne defensive sector.(3) What Charles experienced while entrenched on those front lines in the final months of the Great War we cannot comprehend. What we do know is that he was exposed to some form of chemical warfare and it would slowly destroy his lungs.(4)

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11 month, (11:00 on 11 November 1918) Germany signed an armistice thereby ending hostilities, but the Great War had forever changed the world culturally and geo-politically.

Charles returned stateside, became a reservist, and earned the rank of Corporal. He moved south to Cincinnati and became a bookkeeper for the Sharon Steel Hoop Company.

My grandfather (who was a cousin to Charles) liked to recount to us the story of the “vet who had to sleep in a tent in his front yard” because he’d been subjected to German gas during World War I. Charles found it easier to sleep in the fresh air outside.

The ravages of the gas on Charles’s lungs eventually led to tuberculosis and he died at a Cincinnati hospital ten days after his 25th birthday, on 14 July 1922.(5) Charles’s parents, siblings and large extended family were there to bury him on 15 July 1922, at Forest Hill Cemetery in Piqua. (6)

Semper Fi.

Charles T. Holloway 1897-1922

Headstone of Charles T. Holloway, Forest Hill Cemetery, Piqua, Ohio. Photo courtesy of author.

(1) A

(1) Ancestry.com. Ohio   Military Men, 1917-18 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-18. Columbus, OH, USA: The F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1926.
(2) “Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2011. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.
(3) Ancestry.com. Ohio Military Men, 1917-18 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-18. Columbus, OH, USA: The F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1926.
(4) Obituary for Charles T. Holloway, Piqua Daily Call and Piqua Press Dispatch, July 20, 1922.
(5) “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X84J-SR8 : 8 December 2014), Charles Thos Holloway, 14 Jul 1922; citing Columbia Twp., Hamilton Co., Ohio, reference fn 38590; FHL microfilm 1,992,027.
(6) Ibid.

ncestry.com. Ohio Military Men, 1917-18 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-18. Columbus, OH, USA: The F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1926.

(2) “Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2011. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.

(3) Ancestry.com. Ohio Military Men, 1917-18 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-18. Columbus, OH, USA: The F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1926.

(4) Obituary for Charles T. Holloway, Piqua Daily Call and Piqua Press Dispatch, July 20, 1922.

(5) “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X84J-SR8 : 8 December 2014), Charles Thos Holloway, 14 Jul 1922; citing Columbia Twp., Hamilton Co., Ohio, reference fn 38590; FHL microfilm 1,992,027.

(6) Ibid.

 

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Unexpected Discoveries

The beauty of genealogy is that one never knows what will pop up during research. The thrill of busting brick walls or finding an elusive ancestor has led me to break out into a happy dance or two at my desk. I’m not ashamed.

While working on my most recent labor of love one of those genealogical gems presented itself. The result was a jaw-dropping moment of awe and wonder for this gal (as well as for my client), when I found a 1769 advertisement stating William Hood had runaway from his “subscriber.”

The client for whom I was researching is descended from William Hood who died in Jennings County, Indiana, 8 April 1829.(1)  William was a free man of color, listed multiple times as a “mulatto.” (1786 Caswell County, North Carolina Census, as well as the 1800 Rockingham County, North Carolina Census).

Born in Charles City, Virginia, about 1750, William was “bound-out” (likely indentured) to local ship captain Henry Minson at the age of nine.(2) William had been on at least two sea voyages by the time he was sixteen; the age at which he decided the indentured life was not for him, and he ran away from Captain Minson. (3) William was picked up in Halifax County, North Carolina, two months later. Virginia law at the time stated boys were under their indentures until the age of thirty-one.(4) In 1765, that law was changed to the age of twenty-one, so it’s likely William was back in his indenture for another five years after his escape and subsequent capture. (5)Runaway slave advertisement for WM HOOD 1769

Later, William went south to Caswell County, North Carolina, and eventually Rockingham, North Carolina, where he started a family of his own and lived as a free man of color.

William was a Revolutionary War veteran; he enlisted in the 4th North Carolina Regiment of the Continental Army prior to the Battle of Guilford (Guildford Courthouse, North Carolina, 15 Mar 1781) and served for a period of 18 months to two years.(6)

William and his sons eventually left North Carolina for a lengthy, dangerous trek through the untamed forests of the then western territories, to Jefferson County, Indiana, in about 1807 — nine years before Indiana achieved statehood. William Hood was a pioneer of that state and later removed himself and his family to Jennings County, Indiana, about 1819.

William applied for a Revolutionary War pension at the age of about sixty-six, citing his “reduced circumstances,” and that he “stands in need of the assistance of his country for support.” (7) William also suffered from rheumatism, making it difficult for him to farm his land.

On 8 April 1829, William Hood’s remarkable life came to an end. His wife Catherine had a difficult time collecting her survivor’s pension after his death, but at the age of 70, in 1855, she was finally awarded the money.

On 13 Feb 2013, the General Assembly of North Carolina issued a joint resolution to honor the slaves and free men of color who participated in the American Revolution. William Hood’s name was on this resolution.(8)

 

  1. Free African Americans of North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina Vol. 1, Paul Heinegg,  Genealogical Publishing Co., 2005, pg. 649, via Google Books.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. An Introduction to the 1995 Edition of June Guild’s Black Laws of Virginia by Joan W. Peters, via June Guild’s Black Laws of Virginia, 2005, via website http://www.balchfriends.org/glimpse/jpetersintrobklaws.htm, retrieved 11 Jan 2016. 
  5. Ibid.
  6. Southern Campaigns American Revolution Pension Statements and Rosters, Pension Application of William Hood, W25781, Catharine Hood, NC, Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris. Revised 1 July 2015. http://revwarapps.org/w25781.pdf, retrieved 11 Jan 2016.
  7. Ibid.
  8. General Assembly of North Carolina Session 2013, House Joint Resolution 113, Sponsors: Representatives Gill, Michaux, L. Hall, and Horn (Primary Sponsors), February 18, 2013, Joint Resolution honoring North Carolina’s African-American Revolutionary War Patriots and Supporting the Proposed National Liberty Memorial, http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bills/House/PDF/H113v1.pdf, retrieved 11 Jan 2016.
 

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John Schuler – Drowned in the Philippines

John SchulerMy grandmother’s uncle, John Schuler (above), enlisted in the United States Army at Lima, Ohio, on 15 July 1899, for a three-year term. The twenty-one-year-old private was assigned to Company G, 16th United States Infantry Headquarters in Manila, Philippines, on 20 September 1899. A world away from the small town of Sidney, Ohio, where John lived with his family.

Philippine sovereignty had been transferred from Spain to the United States by treaty in 1898. Filipinos revolted while under Spanish rule and later, did the same under American rule. Filipino troops controlled all the islands, with the exception of the city of Manila, which is where American ground troops were sent in August 1898.

Over the course of John’s service in Manila, the 16th regiment was involved in twenty-seven engagements, the majority of which were fought against Philippine rebels in the Cagayan Valley. American forces eventually defeated the Filipino rebels, but both sides suffered heavy losses.

Two months before his discharge, John was leading a herd of horses to the Angadanan River in Angadanan, in the Luzon province. Disaster struck as they were fording the river, and John drowned on 4 May 1902.

What exactly happened that fateful day is not listed in John’s service record. The records merely state that he was leading the horses to water and he drowned. A letter written to John’s mother and father informed them of his death, but it would be months before it reached them in Sidney, an ocean and thousands of miles away.

John was scheduled to return home in mid-July 1902. When Mary Schuler went to pick up John from the train station, she made a horrible discovery: John was not on the train and he was not coming home alive. The train on which John was to have arrived actually carried the letter that informed his mother of his death.

John’s body didn’t arrive back in the United States until August 1902. His family laid him to rest Graceland Cemetery in Sidney, on 16 August. Mary and Jacob Schuler had eight children, three of whom died young. John’s brother died at the age of ten, in 1900, and his sister, Martha died at the age of five, in 1885.

John’s service records reveal an inventory of his personal effects taken after his death. The list is a sad testament to all that was left of this young man after his passing.

An inventory of the personal effects of John Schuler, taken after his death.

An inventory of the personal effects of John Schuler, taken after his death.

 

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Striking Genealogical Gold!

This year for Christmas, I decided to write my mom’s family history for her. Most of her lineage is German and her immigrant ancestors settled in the Queen City— that great bastion of German heritage better known as Cincinnati, Ohio, in the predominantly German community known as “Over-the-Rhine.” Over-the-Rhine was once a vibrant, bustling, booming success story. German immigrants arrived in Cincinnati in droves starting about the 1840s, and worked hard to develop a thriving community of churches, schools, newspapers, banks and breweries. Unfortunately, like many once great communities, Over-the-Rhine fell victim to the conflagration of poverty, crime and interstate development, which began about 1950. Over-the-Rhine became a depressing case study in urban decline.

The community, overlooked for so long, is experiencing a long-awaited re-awakening. The inherent value of the Italianate architecture is recognized as one of the best “intact urban historic districts” in the country. If only the walls could talk!

While researching my mom’s Herold line, I came across an old city directory listing that indicated they were living at 57 Hamer Street, in Over-the-Rhine, in the early 1850s. A quick Google search brought me to this internet gem: http://tailorshopotr.com/apartments/history/. Imagine my surprise when I realized that there was an entire section of the website written about my mom’s second great-grandparents — the Herolds! That, my friends, is striking genealogical gold!

Originally 53 Hamer Street, Cincinnati, Ohio, the address has been altered to 1667 Hamer Street and is currently under massive renovations.

Originally 53 Hamer Street, Cincinnati, Ohio, the address is presently 1667 Hamer Street, and is undergoing massive renovations. My 3rd great-grandparents and their children lived here for decades. (Photo courtesy of Google Map Images)

The Tailor Shop is the current location of the original 57 Hamer Street (the address is presently 1667 Hamer Street, but it’s the same building). The vast majority of the tenants (including several Herold ancestors) who lived in this building were tailors and seamstresses, hence the name, Tailor Shop. Some enterprising preservationists are now rehabbing the structure to its former glory and developing three, one-bedroom apartments. Breweries are back in the neighborhood, as are locally owned stores and restaurants.

John (the man who runs the Tailor Shop website and who is chronicling the renovations) and I chatted about getting together and sharing information on the first family of 57 Hamer Street, the Herolds (whom records indicate were not just tenants, but might have actually been the building owners). Luckily for me, John was going to be in my neck of the woods, and we were able to meet and share notes on the Herold family. John provided me with some fascinating information on the building and the hard work being done to renovate it. For me, it was another instance of genealogy making the world a smaller place and connections being made where none previously existed. I can’t wait to see 1667 Hamer Street when renovations are complete! I know my Herold ancestors are quite pleased their once neglected property is finally getting some much-needed TLC and attention.

For more information on the Tailor Shop, you can visit their website (see link above), or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TailorShopOTR.

Aerial view of 1667 Hamer Street. (Photo courtesy of Tailor Shop OTR Facebook page, with permission from the owner)

Elevated view of 1667 Hamer Street. She’s lookin’ good! (Photo courtesy of Tailor Shop OTR Facebook page, with permission from the owner)

 

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Happy Labor Day, Brought to You in Part by the Amalgamated Assocation of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers

My 2nd great grandfather, Jeremiah Holloway, middle of bottom row, his eldest son, William to his left and my great grandfather, Percival middle row, far left.

1887 Covington, KY Sheet Metal Crew: My 2nd great-grandfather, middle of bottom row, his eldest son, William to his left, and my great-grandfather, Percival (who is just a boy) middle row, far left.

Labor Day has always represented the mournful end of summer fun, the imminent arrival of fall and a day off. Why we have a national holiday dedicated to organized labor never really mattered to me until recently. A few months ago, I discovered an obituary for my second great-grandfather Jeremiah Holloway, who was a highly skilled sheet iron roller. Jeremiah’s reputation preceded him and he was asked to be the chief roller at the Piqua Rolling Mill in Piqua, Ohio. According to his obituary, Jeremiah was one of the pioneer members of the Amalgamated Association, the preeminent trade union in the United States iron and steel industry between its founding in 1876 and 1937.

Amalgamated was an organization for highly skilled iron workers (puddlers, heaters, rollers, roughers and nailers). Unskilled labor was not allowed membership into the organization. Chief among Amalgamated’s concerns was preserving the wage scale of its highly trained core members and negotiating standard wages with employers each year. Wages in iron mills were paid by the piece, giving the union ultimate control over output and production. Because workers were paid by the piece, Amalgamated opposed the eight-hour workday as it decreased their compensation.

Jeremiah Holloway bottom row, middle. Percival Holloway, my great-grandfather next to him on right.

Piqua, Ohio, Sheet Roller Crew circa 1890: Jeremiah Holloway bottom row, middle. Percival Holloway, my great-grandfather next to him on right.

As Bessemer steel production increased, less skilled labor was needed (steel was easier to produce than iron) and Amalgamated numbers dwindled. Beginning in the late 1880s, the organization suffered several setbacks that had a devastating result on the union. The group lost strikes at mills in Pennsylvania and other neighboring states where it lost footholds, and in 1892 most steel makers banned the Amalgamated Association permanently from its facilities.

In 1897, the flood of tin plate workers (who mostly manufactured roof shingles and cans), forced Amalgamated to accept non-iron workers to help make themselves a viable organization once again. Amalgamated then became the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin workers.

A 1909 lockout forced Amalgamated out of US Steel manufacturing plants. Over the course of the next 20 to 30 years, the skilled labor organization operated in just a few plants in the Midwest.

Membership shrunk from a high of 31,500 in 1920 to 4,700 in 1933. Eventually, Amalgamated, the once powerful labor union, became a non-factor in labor negotiations and it gave up control to the Committee of Industrial Organizations’ Steel Workers Organizing Committee, which went on to have more success with its collective bargaining methods.

Prior to learning about my second great-grandfather, Labor Day meant virtually nothing to me but a day off. Knowing what I know now about the struggles and hardships of the early unions in this country, it gives me a great sense of respect for the birth of the labor movement.The early 1900s were an extremely turbulent time in the iron and steel industries and changes needed to be made. Here’s to the brave individuals who helped make those changes happen.

 

-Source: Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working Class History, Volume 1, Eric Arnesen, Taylor & Francis, 2007, page 53.

 

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The Year Without a Summer

I freely admit I hate winter. I’m one of those people who want snow on Christmas and want it gone by December 26. I need sunlight, natural vitamin D in its radiant sunshiny glory. It’s St. Patrick’s Day and 20 degrees outside—quite unusual for this time of year. Normally a high of 50 degrees can be expected here in mid-March. I find myself literally growling at our local meteorologists every time they open their mouths to tell me how cold/snowy/miserable it’s going to be outside. I try to embrace the good in each season. At least I did until this winter. I’m over sledding, I no longer find snow pretty and I’m tired of hunching over, looking like Quasimodo in order to brace myself against -15 wind chills and wind gusts strong enough to send me backwards.

I have often wondered, while frantically trying to keep my fingers and toes from going numb with cold, if warm weather will ever return, pondering if we will have a summer this year. While doing research for a family history project, I discovered it’s entirely possible to have a year without a summer.

Mount Tambora, Indonesia Jialiang Gao (peace-on-earth.org)

Mount Tambora, Indonesia
Jialiang Gao (peace-on-earth.org)

Almost 200 years ago, 1815 to be exact, Mount Tambora, in Indonesia, along the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire,” heaved its contents over 26 miles into the atmosphere. The enormous ash cloud spread around the globe and covered the sun, forcing temperatures to drop over five degrees (Fahrenheit) over the course of the year. This natural disaster resulted in 1816 being known as the “year without a summer.”

Mentions of the odd weather appeared in newspapers such as the Boston Independent Chronicle on June 17, 1816, and informed readers yet another hard frost had ruined crops in New Jersey. The sun seemed to have permanently retreated behind dark, angry clouds, resulting in cold, dreary, stormy days. A persistent dry fog encompassed the northeastern United States. Rivers in Pennsylvania were frozen well into June. Snow fell in New York and Maine in June of that year. A disruption of the monsoon season in India led to a horrific cholera outbreak, typhus ravaged southeast Europe that year, livestock died of starvation. Families in Wales traveled as refugees, begging for food. Food prices rose drastically in Germany (and other parts of Europe) and led to demonstrations, which in turn caused rioting, arson and looting. It was the worst famine of the 19th century.  Historians believe the colder than normal temps led to westward expansion in the United States as farmers searched for warmer climes and means to feed their families.

So, as I sit here and pout about how cold, dreary and miserable it is, I am reminded once again how fortunate I am to have been born in this time. Our ancestors were tough, tougher than we can ever imagine.

Here’s hoping warmer weather arrives soon.

Information for this post was obtained from the following sources:

-Oppenheimer, Clive (2003). “Climatic, environmental and human consequences of the largest known historic eruption: Tambora volcano (Indonesia) 1815”. Progress in Physical Geography 27 (2)

-Peterson, Doug LAS News (Spring 2010) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign p. 11.

 

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