Friday, November 27, 2015

Putting On the Ritz

Grace Callin Ritz's
family tree
Frederick William Ritz was born 28 March 1821 in the German state of Hesse. Twenty-five years later, on 31 December 1846, there is a record of his marriage to a Catherine Freeman in Huron county, Ohio. She was born 25 March 1826 in Bavaria, and her maiden name was more likely Freimuth, though the records can't agree on a spelling of the original German.

Twenty-five years is a big gap, but the story of these German immigrants is not completely unknowable. We know that after the Revolution, German immigration to America grew steadily; and after the War of 1812, life in Ohio was definitely safer for settlers and land could be had if one was industrious. We also know that life in the German states during that time was difficult. Economies were wracked by shifting borders, wars, and religious strife. America's First Amendment created a place where one no longer had to worry which side of the Schism the current leaders were on, where one could worship as one pleased, or not at all, without fear of being arrested or killed for it.

We don't know how many of those pressures affected the Ritz and Freimuth families, but whatever their motivation, they came. The records for William Ritz's family that are available on Ancestry aren't as complete as they are for many of the people I research. They must have arrived in Ohio by the mid-1840s, but William and his family don't appear in the Federal Census records where I would expect them to in 1850, 1860, or 1870. Instead, he shows up in alternate enumerations like the Non-Population Schedules or the Indexed County Land Owner Maps. They show a "Wm. Ritz" in Norwalk Township, Huron County, Ohio. Naturally, they spell his name with a bewildering variety: Reitz, Retz, and Ritts among the alternatives.

William and Catherine had a son right on schedule in September of 1847 (almost exactly nine months after their wedding!) and named him George William Ritz. They would also have at least three daughters, though with the gaps in the records, they might have had more children than that. Catherine died at the age of 64, and was buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Willard; William lived another 16 years, and died in George's home in 1906 after a two month illness. He was known as "Grandpa Ritz" in Willard.

George worked as a farmer in Huron county, as his father had before him; and like his father, he was married on 31 December. George married Mary Ann Resh (1849 – 1883) at the very end of 1871 and in 1873 they had their first child: a son they named William Henry. Over the next ten years, the couple had three more sons and two daughters. The last of these, a baby girl they named Amy Catherine, only lived a couple of weeks, and died in October 1882. Mary Ann followed in July 1883.

Widowed and with five children aged ten and under, George married Johanna Kleinknecht the following year; they had three more children together between 1885 and 1900.

The Callin sisters (from left):
Lydia, Lillian, Anna, Grace (in back)
William Henry grew up on the farm, and entered the family profession. He stayed on with his father until his twenty-eighth year, when he married Grace Mable Callin, the youngest daughter of William and Ellen (Channing) Callin in 1901.

Grace was born 5 January 1880 on the Callin farm in Richmond township, so it would stand to reason that she and her future husband might have seen each other around Willard, as both families attended churches in town. The Ritz family were members of the Trinity Lutheran Church, and the Callin family were likely members of the United Brethren Church.

William and Grace raised two daughters, who were born almost eight years apart.

William died in 1952, having retired from farming. His death certificate (witnessed by R.V. Conkle) attributed his death to "chronic myocarditis." Grace died 4 February 1978 and was buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Willard, next to her husband.

1. Gertrude Louisa Ritz (1905 – 1995) grew up on the family farm, and on 12 June 1922 she married Wade Monroe Smeltz (1901 – 1960). Wade was a plumber, employed at Hunter Hardware Store for 35 years. They lived on Park street in Willard, where they raised their only daughter.

Wade died of a heart attack at only 58; Gertrude survived him by 35 years, and survived their daughter, as well. Gertrude and Wade were buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Willard.

a. Marjorie J Smeltz (1923 – 1994) married Leland E. Stein (1923 – 1987) and they had 5 daughters and a son. Two of their daughters died in 2004 and 2005, at 52 and 45 years of age, respectively; their other children and grandchildren are still alive.

2. Vera Lucille Ritz (1913 – 1998) married Richard Vance Conkle (1911 – 1990) in about 1931. Vance was from DeKalb county, Indiana; the son of Frank P Conkle (1884 – 1964) and Goldie Kelham (1887 – 1971).

Vera and Vance had three children; their elder daughter is still living, but their younger daughter and son are not.

b. Janice Arlene Conkle (1935 – 2000) married in August 1951, but later divorced. She then married Robert Charles Remmy (1940-1996).

c. William Frank Conkle (1940 – 1998) graduated from Willard High School, Class of 1958 and attended Capital University for two years. He married before 1965, and his wife is still living as of this writing. They had two sons who are still living, and a daughter, Jennifer Leigh Steingass, who died in 2009 from malignant melanoma. Jennifer left behind a husband and two sons.

Bill served in the Army Reserves, and was employed as an offset artworker by R.R. Donnelley and Sons for 37 years. He retired in 1997 after a stroke, and died the following year at 58 years of age.

*       *       *

That brings us to the end (for now!) of William and Ellen Callin's descendants. It feels like a sad way to end, with so many of the people in this post dying so young, but it may help to point out that there are a dozen or so still living, and who knows how many of their grandchildren or great-grandchildren we may still find!

That's actually a large part of why I am putting all of these blog posts together here. I hope that one day we (and I say "we" because there is no way I'll have the time or energy to do it by myself) will be able to find and contact all of these family members, and show them what we know about our shared history.

My hope is that when I am done running down the list of descendants of James Callin that I will be able to include more of the living people who are hidden from view, and share their stories. Whenever I do hear from a cousin, however distant, they always bring their grandparents and parents to life in a way that I can't, just relying on records and newspapers.

But whatever may come, and however long it takes, I'm enjoying this process. So, on we press!

Next week, we'll begin with the Daughters of Great Uncle George!

Photos posted with permission of Ancestry user meganoneill10.

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Visit To the Clark Family

Lydia Callin Clark's
family tree
Charles Lincoln Clark (1866 – 1937) was the 5th son (and 6th child) of Alexander W Clark (1827 – 1889) and Almira A. Clark (1837 – 1913). While his parents bore the same surname, there is no indication that they were related.

Alexander Clark was born in Pennsylvania about 1827, the son of James and Mary Clark. With names as common as "James" and "Mary" (let alone the ubiquitous "Clark"), it's hard to say for certain which records we can rely on to tell us their story. According to their Find a Grave entries, James Clark was born in Pennsylvania in 1780, and Mary Loughbridge was also born in Pennsylvania in 1783.

Find a Grave information is provided by other researchers, so until I can confirm those birth dates and places with independent records, I don't know for certain that James isn't one of the many people named James Clark who came to Pennsylvania or New York from England and Ireland during that time. But for now, the fact that they were buried in the Mansfield (Ohio) Cemetery is the most concrete claim I can make.

We can estimate that James brought his family to Ohio some time during the 1830s, or at least between Alexander's 1827 birth and James's 1840 appearance in Madison Township, Richland county, on the 1840 Census. James died in 1846, so the 1850 Census has Mary listed in the Madison Township household of a younger James Clark (28 years old, presumably her son), with two girls: Jane (b. 1823) and Sarah (b. 1826); these are likely her daughters. Alexander appears in another household in Madison Township with Mary (b. 1825, I am guessing his sister) and a Peter Went (b. 1825 - no known relation). Since the 1850 Census does not tell us the relationships of any of these people to each other, it is very hard to say for certain whether these are Alexander's siblings.

Charles Lincoln Clark
c. 1889, student at OH Normal
But, we do have an Ohio marriage record from 1854 joining Alexander to Almira A. Clark. She was born in Ohio in 1837 to George and Elizabeth (Hager) Clark. George was born in Pennsylvania in 1791 and settled his family in Plymouth, Richland county, Ohio in the mid-1820s, some time between the birth of his sons: James P. in PA in 1823 and Edward in Ohio in 1828. Edward's biography1 suggests that George was a shoemaker as well as a farmer. George and Elizabeth survived to 1861 and 1867, respectively, so we have more information about their family from the 1850 and 1860 Census records.

None of this rules out the possibility that George Clark and James Clark might have been brothers, assuming the information we have indicating that they were both born in Pennsylvania is correct. If they were, that would make Alexander and Almira first cousins - but without any information about either George's or James's parents, that would be pure speculation.

From here, we are on more certain footing.

After marrying, Alexander and Almira relocated to Huron county, and they lived in Richmond Township for a number of years. Between 1856 and 1872, they had at least 7 sons and 1 daughter, including the aforementioned Charles Lincoln Clark, who was born in 1866. Alexander registered for the Civil War draft in 1863, but does not appear to have been enlisted. Charles went to school at Oberlin then Ohio Northern and taught school for a while.

Lydia Minerva Callin
about 1885

On 8 August 1889, Charles married Lydia Minerva Callin, the third daughter of William Callin and Ellen Channing. Lydia was born 8 February 1869 in Richmond Township. Sadly, Charles's father, Alexander, died just a few weeks before their wedding, on 21 July 1889. Almira came to live with Charles and Lydia in their home in New Haven, and she was listed in their house in the 1900 and 1910 Census counts.

Charles settled his family on a "very nice farm" as his daughter Mildred would later relate to her nieces and nephews. Charles supported the family with farming, mostly, and they raised specialized cattle. He also served as a postal clerk and worked for a time as a carpenter.

He and Lydia had six children - one on each odd-numbered year from 1891 to 1899, plus a tiny bonus (Mildred) in 1906. They were a well read family; family activities involved reading the bible out loud together. The table was always set with nice linen and dinners were formal, and of course they didn't drink.

1. Boyd Harold Clark (1891 – 1979) married Lelah C Reed (1892 – 1969) about 1912, and took up farming in Huron county.

After their daughters were raised and out on their own, probably around 1958, Boyd and Lelah retired from farming and moved down to Lakeland, Polk county, Florida. Boyd ran "Clark's Awning Service" there in 1959 and 60.

When Lelah died in 1969, and Boyd ten years later, they were brought back to New Haven, Ohio, and buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery.

a. Irene L Clark (1913-2006) married Harry Dickinson (1911-1971) in the late 1930s. She was working as a waitress in 1940, and Harry as a service manager in an auto repair shop. They were living in Harry's hometown of Lorain, Ohio. After Harry died, Irene moved to Mount Vernon, where she died at 92 years of age.

b. Kathryn Florine Clark (1914 – 2002) married Willard O. Baxter (1914 – 2006) in the late 1930s. Willard was a farmer and lifelong resident of Willard, Ohio.

They had a daughter who is still living, and two sons: David Eugene Baxter (1938 – 1994) and Frederic Alan "Fred" Baxter (1942 – 2004). According to Willard's obituary, he was survived by "15 grandchildren, many great grandchildren"; it went on to say that he was preceded in death by "two grandchildren, Greg Baxter and Christine Baxter; two great grandchildren, Tyler Bores and Chase Baxter." Fred's obituary only claimed 3 children and 3 step-children for him, so there are still many Baxter descendants among David's and his sister's children still out there to find, someday!

c. Trinna Louise Clark (1919 – 2003) married Robert Dale Vogel (1919 – 1990) some time in the early 1940s. We know their families knew each other socially from a 1936 newspaper item about a summer boat ride featuring a number of Trinna's aunts and uncles, as well as the Vogels (and son). In the 1980s the couple relocated from their long time home in New Haven to Newark, in Licking county, where Robert died in 1990.
Raymon and Evelyn (Clark)
Wheeler, 1914

2. Evelyn M Clark (1893 – 1940) married Raymon Allen Wheeler (1894 – 1979) on 17 May 1919, ten days after his honorable discharge from the Army. He served in the American Expeditionary Forces as a Musician 3rd Class after enlisting in August 1918. Raymon worked as a car salesman, and Evelyn kept house. In 1930 the family was living with Raymon's mother, Mary; they were still living at her house on Pearl street in 1940, when Evelyn died at only 47 years of age.

a. Mary Louise Wheeler (1922 – 2005) was a rarity among the other World War II veterans in the family, earning a commission in the U.S. Army. Her headstone identifies her as a 2nd Lieutenant. After the war, she married James Myron Jump (1923 – 1989) on 15 April 1946. James also served in the U.S. Army Air Corps.

3. Ethel May Clark (1895 – 1972) was remembered by her granddaughter as being tall, thin, and refined. People in town would remark to the younger members of the family, as a trolley driver did to Ethel's daughter in one story,  "those Clark girls were the town beauties." Ethel's great sorrow was she didn't go to college like her sisters and brothers (she was ill and missed 11th grade). But then she married Robert Volka Smith (1894 – 1978) on 24 January 1917.

Bob was a Methodist, and in contrast to the Presbyterian Clark family, that made him more "earthy." He is remembered as the most enigmatic member of the family; a magnificent tinker, outdoors man, the closest thing to a person who could be called "his own man" today. He was beloved by all of his grandchildren, told them old stories and when they visited Ohio, they recalled visiting farms of "really old people" ... one of whom had a father who fought in the Civil War.

Bob owned an electrical shop downtown, which he ran for more than 20 years. He called it the 'blueroom', and he kept his civil war relics there, such as a McClellan saddle, and cavalry boots. He kept hounds and pigeons in that shack and single-handedly stopped the development of the downtown by refusing to sell his "blueroom" shack to developers. (Ethel never went in, of course... it was dirty!)

Together, they raised three daughters:

a. Betty Jeanette Smith (1917 – 1999) was a 1936 graduate New Haven High School and graduate of Kent State University. She married Richard Allen Helman (1918 – 2003) after his enlistment ended with World War II. They had two daughters in the 1950s, and as of Betty's death in 1999, they had six grandchildren.

b. Ruth Josephine Smith (1921 – 2009) married Albert John "Bugs" Reed (1921-1978), and they had five children together: three sons and two daughters, all still living. Later, she married Addison Hawley (1922-2010) and lived with him in Prescott, Arizona, until her death in 2009.

c. Roberta Ann Smith (1922 – 2008) was a 1944 graduate of Miami University, graduating with highest honors. She went on to receive a teaching degree in English and a Masters Degree in Gerontology from University of Southern California. She became a high school English teacher who developed, implemented and directed the program for older adults in the LA Unified School system.

Roberta married Richard William O'Neill (1922 – 1999) on 23 February 1946. Dick served with the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific in World War II, and worked for the National Cash Register Company for 35 years. He and Roberta lived in Los Angeles for 20 of those years, raising their son and four daughters, all of whom are still living either in California or Ohio.

4, Charles Raymond Clark (1897 – 1966) married Florence B Wilson (1898 – 1936) between 1920 and 1924. Florence was an art teacher in the public schools, and a member of the Board of Education. Sadly, Florence died at the early age of 38 years a week after an operation. When Raymond remarried, before 1940, he wed a girl named Marion who was eighteen years his junior (b. 1916).

a. Ruth Elaine Clark (1924 – 2011) married in 1941, and her husband survives her today, as do their son and four daughters. Her married name was King, and she died in Plant City, Hillsborough county, Florida. Three of her daughters still reside there. When she died, she left behind "11 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren."

b. Lyla Lou Clark (1926 – 2009) married Roy Edward Duffy (1924 – 2003) in Willard, Ohio, on 5 July 1946. They had one son who died in infancy: Thomas Michael Duffy (1950). Their three surviving sons were all born before 1960.

5. Edith M Clark (1899 – 1972) was a teacher who moved out to the Los Angeles area in the early 1930s. She taught for many years, and served as head of the Los Angeles City College. In the 1950s she moved to Palm Springs, near her sister, Mildred, where she died in 1972.

6. Mildred Jeannette Clark (1906 – 1994) was, like her elder sister, a lifelong professional educator, serving as school principal in Ohio district schools by the 1960s. She married Charles B. Crouch (1903 – 1971) who served as superintendent of the Hamilton county schools in Cincinnati for 14 years, until 1962, when he accepted a job with a west coast university. They seem not to have had children of their own, and Charles died in Palm Springs, California in 1971. Mildred died in Prescott, Arizona in 1994.

All six of Charles and Lydia's children grew up with their grandmother in the home. Almira lived until 1913, not long after Charles moved the family into Willard, and she was buried in Maple Grove cemetery in New Haven with Alexander.

Lydia kept a diary and she remained very close to the other Callin girls and her relatives. They had regular reunions, and even kept a log book of who came and from where. She deeply mourned the loss of her sister Anna, who died in 1908; the log book reportedly stops after 1910.

Roberta Smith, their granddaughter, recalled visiting Charles and Lydia quite often while growing up. She described them as very proper and formal; children simply did not misbehave there. According to one family anecdote passed down to Roberta, the daughters (of Charles and Lydia) were never allowed to go near the barn as animal 'activities' were not for their other words, animal husbandry.

One day  in 1937, Charles was struck by a car while checking his mailbox, and later died of his injuries. Lydia recorded her sadness in her diary, describing the loss of ''her Charlie" as "another sad day in the many sad days of my life." Lydia died a few years later on 7 January 1943 in Willard.

Found on

1 Edward Clark biographical sketch, pg. 455, History of Monona County, Iowa (1890) (Google Books)

Photos posted with permission of Ancestry user meganoneill10.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Walter and Anna Callin Williams

Anna Callin Williams's
family tree
Walter A. Williams (1860 – 1949) was the son of Joshua Williams (1811 – 1898) and Hannah Sowder (1832 – 1884).

Joshua was a farmer who was born in Licking county, Ohio, and married his first wife in 1838. Her name was Susanna, and we can be reasonably certain that she died between the 1850 Census and Joshua's second marriage to Hannah in 1852. Susanna and Joshua had at least five children between 1838 and 1848 (4 sons and 1 daughter); and Walter was one of six sons that Hannah and Joshua had between 1852 and 1872. There is some disagreement between the 1860 and 1870 Census records about the birth dates of three more daughters, who could have been born to either Susanna or Hannah. (If you go by the 1870 birth dates, they are all born after 1852, so they would be Hannah's daughters. I think that is the more likely case.)

Joshua was 49 years old when Walter was born in 1860, and 50 when the Civil War broke out the following year. Joshua's eldest son, William A. Williams, served in Co. G of the 24th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (one of more than 150 Ohioans of that name who served) and his second eldest, Hulbert, served in Co. M of the 1st Regiment, Ohio Heavy Artillery. The third brother, John, was likely one of the three John Williams who enlisted from Huron county (my guess would be the one who enlisted in New Haven, where the family lived in 1870); and Charles, the youngest of Susanna's sons, may have enlisted later in the war, being just barely old enough.

Walter grew up in this large family, with brothers who were soldiers in the War that shaped his entire childhood. He was a farmer in a time when rapid advances in science and technology were happening - from innovations in machinery to vaccines to telephones and photography. In his 20s, the Ohio oil boom was in full swing after the discovery of oil fields in nearby Wood county, which meant he was coming of age in a very exciting economic time.

Miss Anna Callin
about 1885

And in this time and place, on 17 November 1887, he married Anna Callin (1865 – 1908). (As of the date of this post, we are 4 days from their 128th wedding anniversary!) Anna was the second of the four Callin sisters; her parents, of course, were William and Ellen (Channing) Callin from our earlier posts.

Walter and Anna were married for 19 years, and raised four children of their own before Anna's death in 1908. While the older children were almost adults by then, the youngest, Eva, was only 7. Walter re-married, probably the following year, to his second wife, Clara, and moved his two younger children and his new wife to Kansas City, Missouri.

1. Mabel M Williams (1889 – 1964) was born in New Haven, and when her mother died, she was 19 years old. At some point she married the mysterious Mr. Weinbroer, who left her widowed by 1920. She lived in the Akron area working as a bookkeeper or in other clerical positions, and died two days before Christmas in 1964 at the age of 75.

2. Clare Corvin Williams (1891 – 1915) was 17 when his mother died. When his father moved to Missouri, he stayed with his uncle Burtes and aunt Minnie (Walter's youngest brother and his wife). According to the 1910 Census, Clare was a clerk for the railroad.

On 24 October 1915 at age 24 Clare took his own life, and was buried in New Haven.

3. Howard W Williams (1894 – 1941) was born in Willard (the former Chicago Junction), and at 16 found himself living in Kansas City with his father, sister, and step-mother. By the time Howard registered for the World War I draft in 1917, he was married to Hazel Soll and living in Chicago Junction (I imagine he listed it that way because he worked for the railroad). They already had their son, Robert. When Robert was 14, in 1930, the family lived in Cleveland, and his parents also had a daughter. That daughter is still living today - normally that means I have more information that I'm not sharing in order to protect her privacy, but beyond her name and approximate birth year, I really don't know any more about her.

In 1940 Hazel and the two children are listed in Shelby, with Hazel as the married head of the household; but it is not clear where Howard is at this time. Howard died in 1941, in Los Angeles, California, and was buried in New Haven cemetery, Ohio.

There is a Howard Williams listed in California in the 1940 Census, and his birthplace is listed as Ohio; but he is a prisoner in the Lincoln Heights jail, and his marital status is "single". The 1940 Census also lists where a person was in 1935, and this Howard was in this jail then, too. I would like to find more concrete evidence before suggesting that this is our Howard, though the facts do seem to fit.

a. Robert H Williams (1916 – 1991) grew up in Shelby, and married Betty Louise Nothacker (1918 – 2005). They had two children, one son and one daughter who are still living; in 2005, they had four grandchildren. Robert and Louise ran the L & K Motel in Willard for many years, according to her obituary.

4. Eva Williams (1901 – 1988) moved back to New Haven some time after 1910 with her father and step-mother, which is where they were in 1920. By 1922, she had married Charles Boone Tillery (1893 – 1985). Charles worked as a brakeman on the railroad. He was from Kentucky, but in 1917, when he registered for the WWI draft, he was living in Toledo.

Charles and Eva had four children, and lived out their lives in Hamilton, Butler county, Ohio, where they died in 1985 and 1988, respectively.

a. Kathryn Jean Tillery (1922 – 1987), who preferred to be called "Jean", married William Marvin Pettit and they lived in Fairfield, Butler county. They had at least one daughter who is still living.

b. Charles B Tillery, Jr. (1923 – 1983) enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943, and served out the duration of World War II. He married Janette A Gabriel (1926 – 2010) around 1950, and they had one son (still living), two grand-daughters, and as of 2010, two great-granddaughters.

c. John Walter Tillery (1924 – 2009) enlisted in the Army Air Corps on January 6, 1943. He was a Tail Gunner on a B-24 bomber and discharged in April of 1946 with a rank of Buck Sergeant. He married Millie Lou Wolfe (1924-1999) on 13 October 1945, and they had four children - two sons and two daughters.

d. Dana Lee Tillery (1927 – 2011) married Arthur William Pfirrman, Jr. (1926 – 2011) in the 1950s. They had two sons, and by 2011, two grand-children.

Walter Williams survived until 1949, outliving both of his sons, but seeing all of his grand-children grow to adulthood. Clara lived another 20 years, dying in 1969 at the age of 85. She buried Walter with Anna in the Maple Grove Cemetery in New Haven, near where she herself was later buried.

And so the Williams and Tillery families continue on - I wonder how many of them know they can claim James Callin in their family tree?

Photos posted with permission of Ancestry user meganoneill10.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Richard Richards's Many Richards

Lillian Florence Callin's tree
Richard Richards was one of several brothers, born in Wales. He married there and reared three sons and one daughter. He came to the United States at the close of the Revolutionary War, and settled the family not far from Utica, New York. One son, David, died while crossing the ocean and was buried at sea.

Of Richard's remaining two sons, one was also named Richard. He married Nancy Newton and raised a family of fourteen children in Newport, Herkimer county, New York. They named their fifth child Richard upon his birth on 18 December 1819. At the age of eighteen he went to Joliet, Illinois, where he engaged in farming for almost two years before returning to New York. Then, in October 1839, he purchased ninety-nine acres of uncleared Ohio woodland, which he cleared and cultivated; later this acreage comprised almost the entire village of Chicago Junction.

On 22 February 1842 Richard married Mariah Felton (1820-1874), daughter of James and Eunice Felton, who came from Wayne county, New York. (Richard's father, the second Richard Richards, died later that year, December 1842, in Ohio.)

Richard and Mariah had three children who either died in infancy or immediately after birth, then in 1850, a daughter they named Avis. They had a son, John H. (b. 1853), who married Emma Fry, but he died on 9 July 1875 not long after they were wed. His younger brother, Charles (b. 1855), married the newly widowed Mrs Emma Richards. Frank (b. 1858) and Aaron (1860) were the youngest of the group.

Mariah Richards died 4 May 1874 of apoplexy. The Richards had been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Richmond township, and Mr Richards remained a member there until June 1878, when for convenience, he withdrew by letter and united with the United Brethren Church at Chicago Junction, which you will recall had been built largely on his acreage.

The Callin sisters (from left):
Lydia, Lillian, Anna, Grace (in back)
Aaron Newton Richards was born 25 August 1860, and he probably knew the Callin and Channing families well1. Joseph and Charlotte Channing were members of the United Brethren Church, and their farm was just southwest of Chicago Junction, not far from the farm of their daughter, Ellen Callin. And the eldest of Ellen's four daughters, Lillian Florence Callin, married Aaron on 17 November 1880.
Growing up, Lillian's parents seem to have called her by her second name - Florence. At least, that is how her name appears in the 1870 and 1880 Census records. But she seems to have preferred to be called Lillian, on her marriage record and after. And so, Florence married her farmer, Aaron, and became Lillian F. Richards.

They had six children over the following two decades, five of whom would survive to adulthood:

1. Edith Richards (1883 – 1951) married Edwin Hayes Ferris (1880 – 1959) in December 1908, and they lived for a while in Columbus before relocating to Cleveland around 1917, where they lived out their days. Edwin was in publishing, and served as the president of his company in 1930.

a. Marian Virginia Ferris (1908 – 1972) married John Pennington Knight (1905 – 1979) in 1936, and they lived in Springfield, Ohio, through the 1960s before relocating to North Carolina, where Marian died in 1972. John died in Naples, Florida, seven years later.

b. Richard Erwin Ferris (1910 – 1976) married Jean Bradley (1914 – 1976) in the 1940s; she had been married to Kenneth R English in the 1930s, but they divorced in 1940. Richard was still single when he enlisted in the Army on 2 October 1942, and likely married Jean after the war. They died in Ft. Myers, Florida, just a couple of weeks apart in May 1976.

2. Royden Richards (1885) died at one month.

3. Willard R Richards (1889 – 1952) was not intentionally name for the town where he was born. At the time of his birth, it was known as "Chicago", and was only renamed "Willard" in 1917. He grew up in New Haven, and married Lizzie Trimmer (1890 – 1988) on 17 November 1909, and lived with her parents for a short time. Willard worked in a grain elevator for the 1910s, then began working as a contractor building roads in the 1930s and 1940s.

a. Charles Aaron Richards (1910 – 1968) married Edna Mae Williams (1910 – 2001) on 17 May 1936, and they had five daughters, all of whom are still living. Charles and Edna divorced, and he remarried to Eloise, about whom I have found very little information.

4. Fay Richards (1892 – 1965) married Erven Hezakiah Harrigar (1893 – 1991). They had no children of their own, but they took in and raised Erven's niece. The couple spent the 1930s and 1940s in Garret, Indiana, and retired to Florida.

5. Grace C. Richards (1896 – 1970) married Charles K Conklin (1888 – 1944) on 24 January 1917, and they had one daughter. They lived in Fostoria, where Charles worked as a purchasing agent for the National Carbon Co. until he died in 1944.

a. Kathryn Jean Conklin (1919 – 2006) married Clarence LaVerne "Jakie" Jacob (1917 – 2002) on 13 July 1940 at St. Wendelin's Rectory in Fostoria, Ohio. They had three children who are still living: one son and two daughters, and eight grandchildren. Jean was a business teacher in the Fostoria City School System for more than 20 years; Jakie was U.S. Navy WWII veteran, and a city auditor for Fostoria, retired in 1986.

6. Virgil Aaron Richards (1899 – 1948) enlisted to be a soldier in World War I, serving from October to December of 1918, when he was honorably discharged. He married Marie Kathryn Miller (1897 – 1979) on 8 February 1921, and they had five children: three sons and two daughters, three of whom are still living. Virgil worked as a general contractor, and later as a superintendent.

Aaron and Lillian remained in New Haven, and saw all of their children married and on their own before Aaron's death 4 November 1923 at the age of 63. Lillian stayed in the house on Laurel Street another 13 years before she followed him in 1936.

1 - See the previous post, The Girl From England

Photos posted with permission of Ancestry user meganoneill10.