Rachel (Jeffers) Pfouts | 1841-1906
This blog series explores the lives of Foutz ancestors as revealed in their obituaries. Much of this information was gathered during a March 2011 research trip to Tuscarawas and Harrison counties in Ohio.
Now that we’ve taken our exploration back through great-great-great grandparents Gideon and Delilah Pfouts, let’s turn to Foutz in-laws of that generation.
A post last summer explored the blood and marriage connection between Gideon’s son, Nathaniel (who would inherit the ancestral farm) and Nathaniel’s first cousin’s daughter, Eliza.
Eliza’s father, Joseph, was the son of Michael Pfouts Jr., Gideon’s oldest brother. Because of the 22-year age difference between Gideon and Michael, Elizah was born just five years after her father’s cousin. And in a community as small as Bowerston, grew up very close to her eventual husband.
By the marriage of a Fouts to a Foutz (both of the family Pfouts, actually), Nathan’s cousin became his father-in-law. Gideon’s great-niece became his daughter-in-law. And Nathan’s grandfather and Eliza’s great-grandfather were the same person — family patriarch Michael. Though he was some 30 years in his eternal rest by then.
Which is all a very round-about way of getting to the death of Eliza’s mother, Rachel (Jeffers) Pfouts. But hers is a family that married into the Foutzes not once, not twice, but three times.
Once, Twice, Three Times a Pfouts
Rachel’s husband, Joseph, was also five years older. They were married in Bowerston, June 21, 1860 when she was barely 19 years old.
But their marriage came 13 years after Joseph’s older brother, Michael Pfouts III, married Rachel’s older sister, Mary Jane. Michael III, born 1827, was the son of Michael Jr., born 1800, and grandson of Michael (my great-great-great-great grandfather), born 1768 in Germany. Mary Jane was born in 1828 in Harrison County, Ohio.
Their family moved from the county sometime in the 1870s, probably after Michael Jr. died. They take mother-in-law Mary (Heaston) Pfouts with them and settle in Tontagany, Ohio, in Wood County, just south of Maumee and Toledo. There the family remains, and ancestors dwell to this day — the original Pfouts spelling is preserved in their line.
But back, once again, to Rachel. Joseph, a laborer, dies in 1895, at a young 59. She outlives him by more than a decade, passing away at age 65.
Read all about it in this clipping preserved in a binder at the Puskarich library in Cadiz, probably from the Cadiz Republican:
Mrs. Rachel Pfouts
Rachel, widow of Joseph Pfouts, daughter of John and Jane Jeffers, died Wednesday, Sept. 19, 1906, at her home in Bowerston. Her age was 65 years.
Five sons and three daughters were born to Mr. and Mrs. Pfouts, of whom four sons and the three daughters survive to mourn the loss of an affectionate mother.
Jacob, Oliver, Andrew and Eliza, wife of Nathaniel Pfouts, of Bowerston; Anna, wife of Nelson Evans, and David of Massillon; and Martha, wife of George Stoll, of Scio.
The funeral services were held at the Bowerston United Brethren Church Friday forenoon, conducted by Rev. H.H. Davis, of New Philadelphia, after which the remains were taken to the Conotton cemetery and there laid to rest.
So what else was going on in September 1906? The day before Rachel’s death, a typhon and tsunami kill an estimated 10,000 in Hong Kong. Earlier that summer, the first Victrola phonograph was manufactured, and the RMS Lusitania, the world’s largest ship, was launched. That December, the German navy would commission its first submarine. The sinking of the Lusitania nine years later would, of course, lead to U.S. entry in the first World War.