Jeanne Ley, 1965 Buckeye Girls’ Stater


Ley Jeanne Girls' Stater Daily Reporter 29 Mar 1965

Aunt Jeanne Ley is featured in this March 1965 profile on her selection for Buckeye Girls’ State conference.

Girls’ State Trip for Junior Jeanne Ley

Quickie post from the Ley side today, racking up more accolades for the Ley sisters of the 1960s.

From 49 years ago this month….

Prior to being featured (with Uncle Bob Foutz) among the top Dover High seniors of 1966, aunt Jeanne was honored with a selection to the Buckeye Girls’ State conference the previous summer, according to this Dover Daily Reporter profile.

But then, academic honors weren’t new for the Ley sisters. Witness older sister Sally’s 1965 newspaper feature, which, going by straight chronology, would actually be published the month after Aunt Jeanne’s girls’ state mention spotlighted here.

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100th Anniversary of Don Foutz’s Birth


Donald Dale Foutz

Donald Dale Foutz, March 4, 1914 to November 14, 1980

Donald Dale Foutz: 100th Birthday Slideshow

There was a time, not so many years ago, when I had no photographs to remember my Grandpa Don Foutz.

He died of lung cancer in 1980, when I was just 4. But I had glimmerings of memories, growing up.

A weekend staying with grandpa and Grandma Erma Foutz at their house at 115 Cross St. in Dover: waking up, I wandered from my dad’s old bedroom at the end of the hall to the bathroom next to their bedroom. Grandpa stood at the sink, then leaned over and helped me “wipe the sleep from (my) eyes.” It was the first time I’d heard the expression.

Their house was the province of puzzles — an old TV Cowboy one — and dominoes, the calico cats my grandma or one of her sisters made at the time, the big ugly wolf stuffed animal that was once my dad’s. And grandpa’s big sausage pillow. I remember him stretching out on the couch, propped up on it, his salt and pepper hair in the same crazy corkscrews mine resemble, most days.

I remember picnics in the backyard of our place at 1028 Dover Ave., and grilling out off the back porch of their place. It was always novel for Grandma and Grandpa Ley to join us in a cross-family, crosstown breaking of bread. The benefits of having moved back to our hometown.

Christmases, there and at our place. Mom’s sausage souffle and the tingling bells on our stockings. Grandpa’s voice calling out as he and grandma burst in — never a need for a knock — calling for my brother, “Danny. Hey, Danny!”

We visited him in Maryland near the end of his life, a trip I remember more for the wild horses on the beach at Assateague Island, and the novel elevator buttons and smell of the big NIH hospital where Grandpa was taken for experimental treatment of oat cell carcinoma.

I don’t remember his death, or funeral that November. But Dad and Mom have said he called Dan and me bedside and whispered the locations where grandma secreted her Christmas cookies. A good story.

My window on Don Foutz’s life was a brushstroke of sun, a mere sliver. Six percent of a life still far too short.

Through my family history research, I’ve been able to appreciate the full measure of his years. Discover what his family life was like, growing up. Detail his high school football exploits. Trace his work at Potschner Ford and in the Greer Steel Mill. Relive, through photographs, family gatherings.

Today, I’m blessed with countless photographs of my grandpa. A shot from his wedding day shares space atop our mantel with those of our parents and other grandparents. The picture heading this post sits next to a similarly y0uthful portrait of my grandma on a cozy bookshelf in our living room. There are photos of grandpa among other relatives in the collage by our dining table — family, gathering with my family. And downstairs, cool yellowed photos from his football scrapbook, dramatically framed and lending a bit of gravitas to the usual Technicolor nonsense blaring from the TV and surround sound speakers, most nights, all weekend.

Today would have been Don Foutz’s 100th birthday. I thought it a fitting tribute to share some of the photos I’ve collected in my research. And remember a lifetime, each in our own way.

Don Foutz: 66 Years in Photographs

(Scroll to view the gallery below, or click on any photo for a closeup slideshow.)

Categories: Foutz, Milestones | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Josephine Wible, Well-Traveled Teacher


Weible Josephine dhs yearbook 1931

Josephine Wible, daughter of Edwin Frederick and Minnie Mae (Ley) Wible, about 1931, as a popular Dover High School teacher.

Josephine Wible, a Cousin Twice Over

Headlines in the Dover Daily Reporter 60 years ago this August announced, “Josephine Wible Feted.” The occasion? Marriage, at age 48, that September 1954, for one of Dover’s most-beloved and ambitious, teachers.

Rewind a half-century. Josephine, born 1905, was eldest of Edwin Frederick Wible and Minnie Mae (Ley) Wible’s four children.

Edwin, remember, was a son of David Wible, and grandson of Frederick Weible, which made him nephew to my great-great grandfather, Franklin Eli Weible.

Minnie Mae Ley was the only daughter of Augustus Ley and Harriet (Powell) Ley, brother to my great-great grandfather Charles Henry Ley.

Edwin and Minnie’s marriage, in December 1904, was the first union of the Weible and Ley families. My grandparents, Sue Weible, granddaughter of Franklin Eli, and Robert Earl Ley Jr., grandson of Charles Henry Ley, would marry nearly 40 years later.

But back to Josephine. Of her childhood, W.D. Shirk, in his history of the Powell families, writes of a 1917 visit to her parents’ household, “theirs is truly a model family….

“They are … the proud parents of four as bright children as can be found in the Buckeye state; Josephine Elizabeth, b. Sept. 26, 1905; James Frederick, b. Sept. 30, 1908; (Ruth) Eleanor, b. July 21, 1910, and David Augustus, b. Apr. 4, 1916.”

After graduating from Dover High School in 1923, Josephine attended Ohio Wesleyan University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1927. She then spent 13 years racking up classes and specialized training in theater, radio and dramatic production, studying at the University of Pittsburgh, University of Wisconsin and the University of Iowa, which granted her a master’s degree in 1940.

Throughout her studies, Josephine taught. She held a teaching fellowship in the summer theater at Westford, Mass.; taught high school in Dover and Delaware, Ohio and in Rochelle, Illinois; and taught at the post-secondary level at Stevens College (Missouri), Salem College (North Carolina) and Centenary Junior College (Hackettstown, N.J.).

Returning home to Dover was an early stop on her teaching itinerary. Throughout the 1930s, she led the drama and speech groups at Dover High School, and appeared to warm the hearts of everyone, as evidenced in the 1931 yearbook dedication below. The signature, on my grandpa Don Foutz’s junior yearbook, is hers.

Weible Josephine dhs ybook full dedication 1931

Beloved Teacher Summers in Dover

Later editions of the Dover Daily Reporter are only a partial guide to Josephine’s many achievements and their impact on the life of her community. Josephine is featured regularly in “Echoes of Yesteryear”….

The paper always seemed proud of the town’s prodigal daughter for returning to Dover every summer, no matter where her teaching career took her.

It was during a visit home in August 1954 that Josephine was treated to her bridal shower. She likely met John Milliken of Stockton, New Jersey, while teaching at Centenary College. Their marriage — his second, her first — was performed by the Rev. Richard Michel at the Moravian Church.

After marrying, Josephine and John moved to Acton, Mass., where she continued her teaching career and active involvement in the community.

By the time of her death, in May 1974, the Millikens called Los Gatos, Calif., just south of Santa Clara, home. Josephine died one day after my great-grandmother, Beatrice Ethel Weible — her first cousin once removed. John would follow her in death in 1982.

Interestingly, Josephine Wible Milliken chose to be buried at home, near the Weible family plot in Maple Grove Cemetery. John is buried in New Jersey.

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Tusc. Dentists Honor Dr. Ley in Death | February 1959


Ley RE Sr Jr Dentists 1950s

Robert Earl Ley Jr. (right) returned home from Navy service in World War II to rejoin his father, Robert Earl Ley Sr. (left) in their dental practice in Dover, Ohio.

Dental Society Mourns R.E. Ley Sr.

The death of my great-grandfather, Robert Earl Ley Sr., caught his family and colleagues by surprise. None more so than my grandfather, his son and dental partner, Robert Earl Ley Jr.

The father and son were working alongside each other, as usual, the morning of Saturday, Feb. 7, 1959, when, according to family legend, great-grandpa Ley complained about a strange feeling in his hands while washing up.

He collapsed, and died of a heart attack shortly after 11 a.m. He was 65 years old.

Oddly, Robert Ley Sr. was the second Ley to die while at work. His grandfather, Augustus Ley, died of a stroke while working in his Port Washington, Ohio, dry goods store. He was just 61.

And R.E. Ley Sr.’s father, Charles Henry Ley, former county treasurer, had also died of a heart attack 34 years earlier, at just 59 years old, while gardening at his home. Great-great grandfather Charles had been warned by doctors to retire and commit himself to less strenuous activity.

On the day following R. E. Ley Sr.’s death, his son and fellow Tuscarawas County dentists gathered and issued a proclamation in his honor.

From the Feb. 10, 1959, edition of the Dover Daily Reporter, 65 years ago this month:

A Resolution

Unanimously adopted by the Tuscarawas Dental Society in special meeting assembled, Feb. 8, 1959.

WHEREAS, on Feb. 7th, 1959, God in His wisdom suddenly claimed to his eternal rest our colleague and friend, Dr. Robert Earl Ley Sr., and

WHEREAS, during the more than 40 years of his professional practice among us he was a most valued member of the Tuscarawas County Dental Society, having served as its President as well as in many other capacities, and

WHEREAS, in these services he gave so willingly of his time and talents toward the good of our profession and our Society, and

WHEREAS, through military service and a natural active interest in his fellow man, he took his place and did his part that his neighborhood, his community, our state and nation might be a better place in which to live, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED, we do mourn our loss; we bring to his widow and to his son, Dr. Robert E. Ley Jr., who is our esteemed colleague and was his father’s associate, our sincere sympathies in their even greater loss; and finally, direct this resolution be made a part of the records of this Society, a copy thereof be delivered to his bereaved widow, Mrs. Florence A. Ley, and this resolution be printed in the daily press.

THE TUSCARAWAS COUNTY DENTAL SOCIETY

Following his father’s death, my grandpa Robert Earl Ley Jr. would continue to practice dentistry in their office at 2nd and Walnut Streets for another 32 years. His stepmother, great-grandpa Ley’s widow, Florence (Jones) Ley, would reside in the apartment above the office until her death in 1984.

Breaking the cycle of three generations of Ley men dying before their mid-60s, grandpa Robert Earl Ley Jr. would live to age 89, equaling the lifespan of his great-great grandfather and first Ley in America, Karl Ley.

Ley RE Sr Dental Ofc 1942

Great-grandfather Robert Earl Ley Sr. in his dental office about 1942. In 1940, he still kept his Dover home on Iron Avenue, south of the Tuscarawas River, while maintaining his dental office downtown.

Categories: Ley, Milestones | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wrap-up: Sherman Foutz Family Questions Answered


Sherman S. Foutz

Second Great-Uncle Sherman S. Foutz

Sherman Foutz Family: Latest Blogs Recap

It’s been a revealing two weeks as we took a closer look at the lives of great-great uncle Sherman Foutz and his descendants.

We’ve answered a few long-standing questions, and uncovered aspects we didn’t even know to wonder about.

Here, a quick recap of the revelations revealed in the latest newsletter series, mainly through new research on newspapers.com, verified and deepened with ancestry.com digging.

  1. We revealed the job opportunities that brought Sherman, wife Lizzie, and children Oscar and Grace from Reading to Harrisburg, Pa.
  2. We uncovered the death announcement that preceded Sherman Foutz’s 1915 obituary, our first inkling that Oscar Foutz outlived his father — and spent time in faraway Arizona.
  3. A 1969 newspaper feature on daughter Grace (Foutz) Chaney, a year before she died, chronicled her teaching career and revealed new details about how she met husband Fred, and that Oscar may have lived until 1945, 30 years after father Sherman’s death.
  4. The circumstances of Grace and Fred’s meeting, as well as her fishy habit of lying about her birth year to the point of it being erroneously carved in her gravestone, led to additional research, and new evidence about why she remained childless: she and Fred may have been related — first cousins once removed.
  5. We traced what we could of Lizzie Foutz’s long and apparently lonely life without Sherman, to the point where she vanishes in the 1940 census some five years before her death. She is not found in the homes of her surviving children or grandchildren.
  6. We followed Oscar Foutz’s wayward path further than ever before, discovering his athletic pursuits and continued service in the National Guard, noting his divorce from wife Florence in 1917, and her remarriage, new motherhood and possible residence in the Pennsylvania State Lunatic Hospital, as well as her 1938 death and Oscar’s possible surviving past his mother’s death in 1945, when he may have resided in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  7. Finally, we learned more about the fates of Oscar and Florence’s sons, Ralph and Sherman, as they made the local papers in Harrisburg, Reading and Hagerstown, Maryland for a series of youthful indiscretions that ran the gamut from petty theft to armed stickups to robbing the homes of their grandparents and aunt — and serving time for it.
Categories: Foutz, newsletter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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