Friday, September 25, 2015

Problematic: Between History and Gossip

When I first started trying to ask my grandmother for stories about the members of our family that I never knew, she became very uncomfortable. At first, I couldn't understand why, but she tried to explain to me that collecting stories about the family seemed like the sin of Gossip to her. I learned to back off and let her tell me what she was comfortable sharing, but it could be frustrating to see the way she held back from saying anything she thought was negative.

Personally, I'm not as interested in salacious details as I am in finding out what people were like and what they might have thought about the world around them. Unfortunately, most things that we might find interesting or adventurous - or simply "human" - tend to be very close to Gossip. When I find a story that seems tawdry, shocking, or potentially embarrassing, I think about grandma, and try to use her sensibilities as a guide between recording history as it happened and simply sharing a juicy story.

Today we have something of an update on someone who was included in the previous post, The Sons of the Shoemaker. In case you don't want to click back to re-read it, here is our relevant relative:
William Jefferson Callin was born in Tiro, Crawford county, 17 May 1885. His father's dry goods business was doing well, and the family had relocated to a larger city, where Martin served as postmaster. William would be four years old when his father was killed [in a collision with a train], and he was likely raised in his step-father's home. According to the CFH, he married Elizabeth Ziters in 1907, and they had two children: Joseph (b. 1909) and Virginia Alice (b. 1911).
This marriage would not last, though, and in 1916, Elizabeth remarried to a Carl D Lindsey, who appears to have adopted Joseph and Virginia, as they are listed in 1920 with his surname - not Callin. I can confirm that the Ohio birth index lists both children as being born with the name Callin, and both records show "Additional information" indicating that their mothers' maiden name was "Zeiters." I lost track of Joseph after that 1920 Census, though a Social Security Index for Joseph Lindsey matching his birth date indicates that he most likely died in 1983. Virginia married John H Davis around 1931, and they had two daughters.
As for William, he was married to another woman named Pleassia1, according to his World War I draft registration card, and the 1920 Census, but after that, he stayed single, and went from living with Pearl and Robert Todd (1930) to renting a room on South Broadway in Shelby (1940), to listing his address as the County Home in Richland county (WWII draft registration). He died in 1949.
As it happens, the first sentence of that second paragraph is a bit of an understatement - "This marriage would not last..." - and this excerpt from a 13 July 1910 story in the Mansfield News should make it clear what I mean:
"Elizabeth Callin, of Shelby, has filed an action in probate court against William Callin and Mrs. Harrison Carlisle, in which she asks that she be decreed reasonable alimony and an allowance for the support of her child, also that she be awarded the custody of the child.
"The parties were married Sept. 4, 1907, and have one son, Joseph.
"The petitioner says that her husband has been guilty of habitual drunkenness covering substantially the whole period of their married life; that during the times he was drinking he was neglectful of his duties toward her in that he remained out late at night and repeatedly ordered her to leave their home.
"She says that for some time he has caused her to live in the same house with his mother, Mrs. Harrison Carlisle, who has urged and increased the trouble between them...
"The plaintiff says that she is now living with her father and mother and by reason of her present physical condition is unable to maintain herself and child."

To be honest, I suspected from some of the clues we already had (the traumatic childhood event, the abrupt ending of a young marriage, prolonged bachelorhood, and apparent decline) that William had some problems, probably related to alcohol. This newspaper story seems to confirm that, but you will note that I didn't speculate about any of this until I had seen the clipping.

So, there are a couple of potentially scandalous details in this story; the first being Elizabeth's accusations of William's abusive behavior. Second, because of the timing of the events - July of 1910 - and Virginia's subsequent birth date of February 1911, I have to wonder if the "present physical condition" the plaintiff cites is not Elizabeth's second pregnancy. If it is, this would have complicated Elizabeth's suit for divorce; knowing what little I know about the laws surrounding marriage and divorce, a pregnancy could have been used to argue that William was evidently not "neglectful of his duties" - but now I am speculating and possibly reading too much into a newspaper article. Clearly, the court found for the plaintiff, and from what I can tell from the records, Elizabeth remarried to Carl Lindsey in 1916, and he adopted Joseph and Virginia. 

On the surface, the article tells us some facts, but there are a lot of ways these facts could be interpreted. The accusatory nature of an alimony suit may prejudice us to form a picture of William's mother that is quite uncharitable; or one could turn the story around and look at Elizabeth from Mrs. Carlisle's point of view to see an angry 20-year-old exaggerating her son's faults and trying to take away her grandchildren and as much money as she could. Perhaps if we heard from William, he might argue that he did not have any such problem, and who are we to judge? It would be understandable for the rest of the family to refrain from talking about this, especially if they maintained contact with both parties.

The problem for a family historian in this situation is twofold: How do you know which version of the story is "true"; and how do you record it in a way that won't offend or hurt any of the survivors?

In this story, all of the primary characters are long dead. William in 1949; Elizabeth in 1970; Joseph likely died in 1983; Virginia in 1993. I don't know if Joseph had a family of his own, or how they would feel about this description of their biological ancestor. Virginia had two daughters, both of whom have died; but I don't know whether they had families who might be trying to trace their ancestry. And really, unless they knew the individuals personally, I don't know many people who would be more scandalized than curious find out what kind of person a long-dead grandparent really was.

My personal feeling is that the truth is important. I don't think you can, or should, hide it because it usually comes out in some form, anyway. And having lied about it can make it take a "bad bounce" when it eventually does pop up - a lesson that 50+ years of television comedy has labored to teach us.

So, on the off chance that someone would be hurt by the airing of Gossip, I try to stick as closely to the facts as possible, leave room for the living to preserve their dignity and privacy, and avoid treating any of the parties involved as though they were in a reality show sideshow.

This family obviously had its problems. William's mother tried to look out for him after his father died, and his siblings clearly tried to help by letting him live with them when mother was gone. His young, angry bride seems justified - they married when she was 16, and the abuse she describes combined with the pressures of caring for two small children are problems we see people struggling with to this day. 

I don't think it is too biased of an opinion to say that I'm glad Elizabeth had the courage to get out of a bad situation and make her life - and her children's lives - better.

1 UPDATE: Just found this on this morning (19/8/2015):

Found on

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Sons of the Shoemaker

Thomas Jefferson Callin, who featured in the earlier post, Jeff the Shoemaker, and his wife Susan Egner Callin had five small children in their household at the end of the Civil War. They had also buried two young girls before that war - infant Alice in 1850 and 10-year-old Mary in 1861. After the war, in 1872, they had their last child, a daughter they named Minnie. So far, we've only really looked at the children of their daughter, Clara, in any great detail.

This week, we'll do a run down of the rest of their descendants. There are a number of them, but see if you don't notice a shocking fact by the end of this piece!

Martin L. Callin (1853 – 1889)  would have been the oldest son, and after Mary's death when he was eight years old, he was the oldest child in the family. As we saw in the earlier post, he died abruptly in a traffic accident in 1889. On 24 May 1890 the Perrysburg Journal reported that the Toledo and Ohio Central Railroad were handed a verdict rewarding Martin's family with $4,000 for his death.

His four children were still young, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth, soon remarried to Harry Carlisle, according to the Callin Family History (CFH). I have found little to corroborate the details provided by the CFH account, but there is a Find-a-Grave memorial for a Mary E. Carlisle (1854-1913) is linked to her son, who the site lists as "Genastion Callin". (It's supposed to be Gaston, but legion are the ways to misspell this poor man's name.)

1. Martin and Mary's eldest child was their only daughter, Pearl Blanche Callin, born 16 February 1877, in Weller township. She married Robert L. Todd on 5 November 1899, according to the CFH; and we learn from subsequent Census records that he was a high school teacher, then later a superintendent of schools, and eventually a justice of the peace. They lived in Deshler village, Bartlow township (1910), Bucyrus, Crawford county (1920), and the village of Put-in-Bay, Ottawa county (1930). They appear not to have had any children of their own.

Pearl died at age 74 in 1951 in Lakeside, also in Ottawa county, and while her obituary indicates that her husband (then 78) survived her, I have been unable to find any further records about him.

2. Benjamin Franklin Callin - more commonly referred to as "Ben Frank" or simply Ben - was born 8 October 1878 in Weller township. He enlisted in the Ohio National Guard in 1899. By 1904 he was living in Toledo, and working as a travel agent for L.S. Baumgardner & Co. The CFH says he married Virginia Daisy White in June 1905. Their daughter, Virginia Lee Callin (1911-1999) married Hamer C Knepper (1910-1990) about 1935, and they had a son and a daughter. Ben and Daisy lived at 2228 Rosewood Ave. in Toledo at least until 1942, and probably until his death in 1951. Daisy followed in 1966, having spent the end of her days in the Long Term Care Facilities in Hamilton, Ohio.

3. William Jefferson Callin was born in Tiro, Crawford county, 17 May 1885. His father's dry goods business was doing well, and the family had relocated to a larger city, where Martin served as postmaster. William would be four years old when his father was killed, and he was likely raised in his step-father's home. According to the CFH, he married Elizabeth Ziters in 1907, and they had two children: Joseph (b. 1909) and Virginia Alice (b. 1911).

This marriage would not last, though, and in 1916, Elizabeth remarried to a Carl D Lindsey, who appears to have adopted Joseph and Virginia, as they are listed in 1920 with his surname - not Callin. I can confirm that the Ohio birth index lists both children as being born with the name Callin, and both records show "Additional information" indicating that their mothers' maiden name was "Zeiters." I lost track of Joseph after that 1920 Census, though a Social Security Index for Joseph Lindsey matching his birth date indicates that he most likely died in 1983. Virginia married John H Davis around 1931, and they had two daughters.

As for William, he was married to another woman named Pleassia, according to his World War I draft registration card, and the 1920 Census, but after that, he stayed single, and went from living with Pearl and Robert Todd (1930) to renting a room on South Broadway in Shelby (1940), to listing his address as the County Home in Richland county (WWII draft registration). He died in 1949.

4. And finally, Gaston N Callin was born 15 May 1888 in Dallas Township, Crawford county. Despite the radically different renderings of his name in some otherwise reputable records - he is "Gharton" on his World War I registration card and "Genastian" in the Ohio Births and Christenings database - I tend to think the CFH is right, though, and prefer "Gaston". Though his WWI registration says that he was married at the time, I have not been able to find any other record that would indicate who his wife was or how long they were married.

Gaston died at his home in Plattsburg, New York on a Tuesday night in November 1925. His body was returned to Ohio and taken to the home of his brother, William, then living at 79 West Smiley Ave. His obituary says nothing about a wife or children.

Clara A Callin (1856 – 1924) was Martin's next-eldest sibling, and the past several posts detailed her descendants, starting with Clara and Her Soldier.

Frederick A. Callin (1858 – 1920) was born and raised in Olivesburg, and in 1884 he married Priscilla Creveling (1864–1954). They lived in Mansfield, where Fred was a driver and laborer. When Priscilla died at 90 years of age, she had outlived all three of her children.

1. Reid Adrian Callin (1887–1935) was a lifelong bachelor, and lived in his parents' home at 32 Henry St. He worked as a chauffeur, and later on as an auto mechanic.

2. Russell Bernard Callin (1894–1950) married Dorothy Ladonna Yohn (1905–?) and they had one daughter, Betty June Callin (1926–2005). Betty married twice, first to Frank G Meininger (1910–1977) whom she married in 1945, when she was 19 years old, and divorced in 1967. According to their divorce records, they had one minor child after 17 years of marriage. Betty also married Pearley Lester Satterfield (1922–1978) in 1969 and moved to Pearisburg, Virginia, but also divorced him in 1975 and moved back to Mansfield.

3. Madeline L Callin (1896–1942) married Howard George Clark (1888–1923) in February 1919. (I referred to this family briefly a few months ago in a post called Those Darned Clarks.) Howard worked in the tire factory in Mansfield, and had enlisted as a corporal in the 325 Fire & Guard Co. of the Ohio Guard (as near as I could tell from the application for a military headstone).

Howard and Madeline had a son, Donald Clark (1920), who died as an infant. Their daughter, Margaret Naomi Clark (1923–2014) married Harold A. Teeter (1919–1951), and they had two daughters, still living. Their second son, Jack Clark (1924–2000), married Ruby Thelma McKinley (1919–2007), and they had a daughter and two sons who are still living.

Howard died awfully young, at 35; and Madeline at only 46. I don't have any information beyond the obituary for Madeline, which says she died "after an illness of two weeks."

George L Callin (1860 – 1917) married Catherine Bell Imhoff (1868–1941), and like his brother, Fred, worked as a driver in Mansfield. In 1900 he was a milk dealer, and in 1910, his occupation was listed as "teamster". George and Katie had five children, whom they raised at 26 Pleasant Avenue, just a mile and a half north of his brother's family on Henry street. After George died, Katie remarried to Harry Gettleman, and he moved in with the family on Pleasant Avenue.

1. Perry G. Callin (1888–1899) - while there are records establishing Perry's birth that confirm this information from the CFH, I have not found any records of the boy's death outside of that book - but he is not listed in the 1900 Census with the rest of the children.

2. Named for his grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Callin (1890–?) also seemed to prefer to use his middle name, going by "Jeffry" or "Jefferson". He remained single and living at home at least until after his mother's death in 1941, when her obituary mentions him as one of her survivors. After that, there are no more records to determine his fate; even his Social Security Application fails to include his death date. I can only assume that if he were still alive, Al Roker would have made sure we knew about it!

3. Trell Thornton Callin (1892–1935) was born and raised in Mansfield, and was employed at the Empire Sheet and Tin Plate company. He married Myrtle Wiegand (1890 – 1936), probably in 1915 - but I have not been able to confirm that date. Trell died in 1935 "after an illness of several months", and Myrtle followed in 1936 "after a lingering illness." His obituary did not mention any children, but Myrtle's listed a daughter, "Mrs. William Vaughn." More information will be needed to determine her identity.

4. The records for Leo Homer Callin (1893–1958) tell a confusing and tragic tale. He started out as another Callin working as a driver in Mansfield. In September of 1910, his horse became unmanageable, and Leo was thrown from his wagon into the street. After that, his occupation was listed as grocery clerk - not driver.

A few years later, in 1915, his engagement to Mildred M. Apgar was announced. In 1917, his draft card claims an exemption so he can support his wife and one child, and Mildred and Evelyn (1915-2002) appear with him in the 1920 Census in Mansfield. But, in 1925, there is a marriage record for Leo and a Mildred Hartman.

Judging from the City Directories database records I have found, it would appear that Mildred (Apger) Callin ran the Callin Beauty Shop at 11 E. 4th St, and lived there with Evelyn after parting from Leo. Mildred M. re-married someone named Smith around 1931, and Evelyn married Charles Swanger (or Swander) in 1936.

Leo divorced the second Mildred in 1937, after she apparently left him and moved to New York City. Leo's situation deteriorated after that. He was admitted to the hospital in 1939, and in 1940 the Census listed him in the "paupers infirmary" in Richland county. He died in 1958 in the Central Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Columbus.

5. Ruth A Callin (1896–1987) stayed with her parents at 26 Pleasant Ave. until her mother's death in 1941. She worked as a candymaker during the 1920s, and married Virgil Rufus Ward (1895 – 1958) sometime in the 1940s.

Delbert Dean Callin (1863 – 1934) married Mary E Coleman (1872 – 1962) in 1892, and they had three children in the following decade. In 1910, they lived in Shelby village, where Dell worked as a blacksmith. The couple separated, probably around 1915 or so; in 1919, the Ashland city directory shows Dell rooming at 200 W Walnut, while Mary and the children are each listed at 419 Arthur. Around 1920, the siblings had relocated to Akron, Ohio, where the brothers worked as clerks for the Day Drug Co and Ruby worked as a stenographer for the Akron City Club. By 1924, Mary had moved with the children to Akron.

Dell died of unknown causes in Ashland in 1934, having worked as a laborer, doing odd jobs to support himself. Mary lived out her days in Akron, and died at home in March 1962.

1. Ruby M Callin (1892 – 1984) remained single and likely remained with her mother, Mary, died in 1962. She began working as a bookkeeper for the electric company in Shelby in 1910, and seems to have supported herself with clerical work most of her life. In 1955, the Salem News of Salem, Ohio, listed her as executive housekeeper on the staff of the city hospital; but at some point she seems to have followed her brother to New Mexico, where she died in 1984 at the age of 91.

2. Martin Sylvester Callin (1894 – 1976) enlisted (or was drafted) in the Army in May 1918, and was honorably discharged in January 1919 as a Private. In June 1928, Martin married Irene Vandepolder (1904 – 1931) the widow of Douglas Mills Cranmer (1905 – 1925), and took in her son, Douglas J Cranmer (1924 – 2001). Martin and Irene had a daughter, Vivian Ruth Callin (1926 – 2009), who married at least twice and had children - but I don't have enough information about her husbands or children to guarantee the privacy of anyone still living.

Irene died when Vivian and Douglas were still very small (5 and 7 years old, respectively), and it seems Martin moved to Akron; in 1940, he and Vivian were living in the same household as Mary and Ruby. There is very little to say whether he married again, but like his sister, he died in New Mexico.
Paul Callin is listed among the dead on page two

3. Paul Olin Callin (1902 – 1930) grew up in Ashland, and was there at least until 1921, when he was listed in the city directory, working as a druggist clerk. He then moved to Akron, but during the latter half of the 1920s, his life took a mysterious turn.

He seems to have married, as the 1930 Census reports his marital status as "divorced" - but by then, he is also listed as an inmate in the state penitentiary. It is not clear whether he was married for long or whether there were any children from the marriage.

I have not been able to discover why he was in prison, but a mere few days after that census was taken in April 1930, Paul was killed in a terrible fire at the penitentiary that claimed a total of 317 people.

Minnie A. Callin (1872 – 1954) married Wilson C Urich
(1860 – 1962) in 1890. (The CFH lists only his surname, and misspells it as "Ulrich.") Wilson was a farmer, and retired from farming in 1937; he made the newspapers in 1960 for Centennial, and died at the age of 102.

1. Vera B Urich (1890 – 1971) married Edwin Pollock (1883 – 1952) in February 1911, and they remained in Richland county throughout their lives. Edwin was a delivery driver and drayman. They had no children of their own.

2. Christina Agnes Urich (1903 – 1998) was a flower girl at her sister's wedding, and grew up to marry Lester Dale Reynolds (1900 - 1988), who served 24 years as a teacher and administrator in the Richland County School System and the Shelby Public Schools. He later became affiliated with the First National Bank of Shelby from which he retired as cashier in Dec. of 1965 after 23 yrs.of service.  Christina was a teacher in the Richland County School System and also the Shelby Public Schools. Later she became affiliated with the former Shelby Mutual Insurance Co. from which she retired in 1965. She died of a heart attack at the age of 94.

The couple had two daughters, one of whom is still living. The eldest, JoAnn Reynolds (1924-2001), married Laurence Leroy Faulkner (1924 – 2002), and they had a son and a daughter.

So, did you notice the Very Shocking Fact? For all of the people descended from Jeff and Susan Callin, 23 people in two generations, there is not one remaining descendant with the surname Callin! To me, this emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the women in the family.

This group also shows several examples of people who lived and died in a variety of circumstances without having children at all. While documenting that sort of thing is one of the main goals of a family history, I think it is worth pointing out that not everyone decides to have children - and that there is nothing wrong with that. Whether their stories were tragic and their end sudden, or whether they had happy, quiet fulfilling lives, everyone deserves to be remembered and celebrated for what they were.

It's even more important that we remember them, though, since they didn't leave anyone else behind to do it for us.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Last of the Mohns

Welcome to the last of three posts rounding up the descendants of Clara Callin and Jacob Mohn. If you're just joining us, here's the background:

Arthur Jefferson Mohn was born 1 February 1880, in Olivesburg, the third born child of Clara and Jacob. He and his family are listed in the 1880 Census in Weller township. His father was working as a butcher, and the household (#176) is not far from his grandparents, Leonard Mohn, a miller, & Nancy (household #183 on the same census page).

Twenty years later, in the 1900 Census, Arthur and all of his younger siblings are still listed at home in the household in Vernon township, Crawford county. Arthur is a farm laborer, while Fred at Susie are at school. Not only are they all still on the farm in the 1910 Census - a different farm, in Cass township, Richland county - but the Mohn family is listed near surnames like Keller, Baker, Lautermilch, and Fackler - all names you might recognize from the last three posts.

In 1913, age 33, Arthur married Orpha Lybarger. They had a son on Christmas Eve, 1915, and named him Reno Juston Mohn; Reno would be the oldest of three children. According to Arthur's WWI draft registration card, in 1918 their address was RFD 3, Shelby, and he still worked on a farm. By 1920, though they still lived in  Shelby, Arthur was working as a laborer in the steel mill. They lived on Earl St. in 1920, then moved to 79 South Gamble by 1929, where Arthur would live to the end of his life on 12 October 1944. After he died, Orpha remarried a Lloyd Umsted, and she lived until 1970.

1. Reno Juston married Florence Cramer around 1940, and they had a son (who is still living, with a son and daughter of his own) at about the time Reno enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served from 7 August 1942 to 20 September 1945. According to his obituary:
After returning from World War II, he worked for the Shelby Sales Book Company. In 1949, he worked for Allied Mills Corp. makers of Wayne Feeds as a salesman. In 1951, he moved his family to Mount Vernon. He worked for Edwards Sheet Metal Company as a salesman and then took over as General Manager. After leaving Edwards Sheet Metal, he along with partners Carl (Pete) Moore, Jim Metcalf, and George Burger formed Buckeye Culvert Company. He retired in 1978 as President of the company.
Florence died in 1994, after 54 years of marriage; Reno died in 20 March 2006 in Mount Vernon.

2. Reno's sister, Twila Lureen Mohn, was born 6 June 1921 in Shelby. She married Howard Clarence "Dutch" Kratzer (1909 – 2008) in 1945, and they had one son (also still living). Twila died 18 November 1999 in Colorado Springs, El Paso, Colorado.

3. Their younger brother Jeffray Arthur Mohn was born 15 June 1929 in Shelby. He married in July 1951, and he and his wife (still living) had a daughter and two sons (all still living). Jeff died 10 April 1994 in Willard, Ohio.

Fred Harrison Mohn, fifth child of Clara and Jacob, was born 12 September 1888 in Olivesburg. He married Frances W Pittenger some time around 1915. She was born 24 August 1896 in Blooming Grove. Their only son, Arthur Wilson Mohn was born 11 July 1915.

The couple divorced around 1935, and Frances remarried to Charles Crum; they had a daughter. Fred moved in with the Traugers, his sister's family, living in Plymouth, and was living with them in 1940. Fred died 21 March 1943 in Blooming Grove, Richland county.

Wilson married M. Helen Strohminger (1915-2011) some time before 1940. In 1945, they appeared in St. Petersburg, Florida, listed in the state census as being "in service", before returning to live in Columbus, Ohio, where Wilson worked as a salesman. It isn't clear whether Wilson was enlisted or not. That seems likely, but I have yet to find military records for him.

By 1960, the couple had moved to Sacramento, where Wilson was a supervisor for Aerojet and Helen was a bookkeeper for the local YMCA until his death, 25 January 1962. Wilson and Helen had no children of their own, and by the end of her life, Helen was living back in Mansfield.

When all is said and done, this seems like a short list with minimal detail - but there are a few things I would point out that I find rather stunning. First, look at the amount of time we just breezed through in a few short paragraphs. Marriages of more than 50 years; lives of nearly 100. Whole childhoods skipped over between census records..Careers sketched out in a few sentences; whole people reduced to a few words and some parenthetical numbers.

It's easy to look at a short post about a couple of families like this and form a simple impression that misses the family between the facts. And for all the richness of life going on between the lines, it's equally amazing how fragile the family tree can be. For all of the names I just listed - for that matter, all of the names in the last four posts combined - only two living men are left to carry on the name of Jacob Mohn.

Think about that for a minute. There may well be other people with the Mohn surname, and the two sons of Jeff Mohn may have had sons of their own by now. But if not, then after only three generations, that name is gone.

And it's even worse from the point of view of someone named Callin; how many of the people in the last three posts would have even known that was their grandmother's maiden name? Their great-grandmother's? Do you know your great-grandmother's maiden name?

That's a huge part of why I do this. It's a way of preserving our memories, and tying myself to history. It's also a way of making sure that even if Clara's great-great grandchildren never take an interest in who she was, that won't be lost completely. And if you're still reading at this point, I have to believe that you think that's important, too.

I hope so.

Updates: I made some minor clarifying edits, and bolded the names of those children in the generation after Arthur and Fred. (TC - 9/27)

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Trauger and Backensto Clans

If you're just joining the party, I'm spending time each week moving down the Callin family tree. Just to orient yourself, the tree starts with:

Last week we did a rundown of the descendants of Clara and Jacob Mohn's eldest child, Jessie Alverda Hess. I gave a lot of disclaimers about what I'm doing with these posts about more modern cousins last week, so follow that link if you are concerned about the privacy of living descendants (whom I leave out) or any mistakes I make with the facts below (which I want to correct). And if you can help fill in blanks, all the better!

Strictly speaking, the next Mohn child born was Arthur Jefferson (1880), but Mabel was the next to marry, wedding Edwin Henry Trauger in 1902, so I thought it would be fair to cover their descendants next.

The Callin Family History (or "CFH" for short) misspells their surname as "Tranger," and it took me a while (several years, actually) to figure out the mistake. But when we see the couple in the 1910 Census with their first two (of four) children, Clara M (1903) and Henry Mohn Trauger (1908), the transcriber lists Ed's surname as "Franger,"so I'm inclined to be understanding about mistakes - as long as we get to the right answer, eventually!

According to his 1965 obituary, Ed was a descendant of early Ohio settlers. The son of Henry and Melinda Trauger, who arrived in the 1840s from Pennsylvania. He and Mabel lived on a farm on Parcel Road, Plymouth Township, which originally belonged to his uncle, Tobias Trauger, one of the first Richland County settlers.

1. Clara M Trauger was born 13 September 1903 in Plymouth. She married Floyd Earl Steele around 1922, and between 1923 and 1941 they had eight children - 3 sons and 5 daughters. Margaret Steele (1923-1984) married Robert A Kessler (1922-2008), and they had two children. Arlene Lucille Steele (1926-2007) married Floyd "Flip" Harrer (1914-1982), and they had three daughters. Jesse Kay Steele (1935-2012) and Wilbur Lee Steele (1936-1993) left spouses and children still with us, as well as the remaining four siblings. Floyd Steele died in 1966, and Clara in 1972.

2. Henry Mohn Trauger was born 17 February 1908 in Plymouth. Hank married in the early 1930s and he and his wife, Mable, had three daughters, who are still living. They appear in the 1940 Census in Norwalk, Huron county, Ohio, but there is (confusingly enough) a March 1956 marriage record in Orange county, Florida in Hank's name - Henry Mohn Trauger, to eliminate most doubt that it's him - and not much else until his death in Winter Garden in 1974. His widow, Mable, died in 1990 in Orlando.

3. Their younger sister, Margaret Eldene Trauger, was born 3 July 1913, and married Paul Bowman in the 1930s. They had four children, but divorced before 1940. She was later married to a Joseph Armstrong, and in 1974 married Clifford Hunter King, who died in 1994. Eldene died at the age of 99 in Galion, Ohio, 1 November 2012.

4. Baby brother Mac Arden Trauger was born 26 July 1917, and enlisted in the Army in 1941. The Sandusky Register announced the Christmas 1942 visit of Corporal Mac Trauger to his parents before shipping out from Fort Sam Houston that year, and like his brother, he lived out his days in Florida. He was married and had at least one daughter, and he died 15 January 2006 in Orlando.

Ed and Mabel Trauger relocated at some point to Shelby. Mabel died in 1951 in Plymouth, and Ed in 1965 from what his obituary described as a lengthy illness.

Mabel's younger sister, Susan A. Mohn, was born 2 September 1891 - a couple of years after her brother Fred Jacob, but Susie married before either of her brothers, so she's up next!

Susie married Gloyd W. Backensto - an unusual name you might recall from an earlier post - in September 1911, just a few months after the 5 April birth of their son, Lloyd Jacque (or Jack, depending on the record). Now, while I don't want to make a big deal about the order of those events - I am not judging anyone, nor am I intentionally spreading gossip - I will point out that the only source I have for their marriage date is the CFH. If that is wrong, and you happen to have a record, I will happily update this. In any event, Gloyd and Susie had 7 children - 3 boys, 4 girls - and lived their long lives together in Richland county. Susie died in 1970, and Gloyd in 1972.

1. Lloyd Jacque married Ruth A Arnold (nee Baker; 1903-1940) and he died in October 1969 of a heart attack, leaving behind a second wife and at least a daughter (whose name I don't know). His tombstone spells his full name "Layde Jacque".

2. The Backensto family had their second son in May 1912, and named him for Susie's brother and father: Fred Jacob Backensto. He married Pearl May Dillon (1915-2009), and they had three children in the 1940s; two daughters and a son, Gary "Butch" Backensto (1946-2013). Fred and Pearl divorced in 1974, and he died in 1980.

3. Margaret Vione was born 12 November 1913, and I gather from a few subtle clues that she went by her middle name. She married Maurice Baker (1911-2001) in January 1930. Maurice was the younger brother of Jacque's first wife, Ruth. Maurice and Vione had nine children together between 1930 and the late 1950s, 4 boys & 5 girls; all of whom are still with us, to my knowledge. Vione's 2005 obituary says she had "35 grandchildren; 47 great grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren."

4. James Robert Backensto, born 13 June 1915, married Lola Reddick (or Riddick; 1914-1996) in 1939. They had three sons, one of whom died as an infant in 1939. James enlisted in the Navy in World War II. He and Lola divorced in 1969, and he died in 1983.

5. Clara Jane Backensto (1917-2006) married Maurice Donald Kissel (1904-1977) in 1934. He was no relation to Maurice Baker, but my personality requires me to remark about that sort of coincidence. They had four children, one of whom was a baby daughter named Judy Marie who only lived for two days in 1942. After Maurice died in 1977, Clara married John Jacob Snyder (1911-2005) in 1982.

6. Virginia Mae Backensto (1919-2015) was married in 1937 to Merle Melvin "Biff" Barnd (1908-2010), and they had three children who are still with us.

7. And the youngest child of Susie and Gloyd is also still with us, so that's about all I can say at this point. Except maybe to wish her long life, and happiness, along with all of the descendants of the Trauger and Backensto clans. I can say that!

Next time, we'll round out the rest of the Mohn children - and then we'll go back to some Callin folk.