Posts Tagged With: farming

Fat, Happy Farm Life for Gideon Pfouts

1800s Farmhouse Kitchen

This pic isn’t from the inside of the legendary Foutz homestead, but gives an idea of what an 1800s farmhouse kitchen looked like.

Gideon Pfouts: ‘Never Missed Meal at Home’

Uncovered an interesting morsel from the life of third-great-grandfather Gideon Pfouts in a second obituary.

It’s been a few years since a research trip to Puskarich Library in Cadiz. Thumbing through the microfilm records, I found a plain, practical tribute to what I imagine was a plain, practical man.

As youngest son of German immigrant and Ohio pioneer Michael, Gideon Pfouts lived his whole life on farms in Harrison County, especially the 80 acres he’d tended for some 70 years south of Bowerston.

When he died in February 1911, at 89, the nearby Cadiz Republican printed this dispatch, noting his status as “an aged and respected citizen.”

But combing through online records at, I found a nice alternative news item, from one county over. In the New Philadelphia Daily Times, we get a less formal look at great-great-great-Grandpa Gideon:


Bowerston, Feb. 20: — Gideon Fouts, aged 89, who died here last week of pneumonia never missed eating a meal at home during his entire life. He leaves four sons.

I’d like to think that meant many, many years of meals with family, likely after a long day of chores and tasks around the homestead.

The four sons mentioned as survivors, of course, were his youngest: John, David, Nathaniel and Nelson, at least two of whom continued to tend the farm, as indicated by Gideon’s will, which we haven’t yet detailed in this space but… will.

His oldest children, daughter Tabitha and my great-great-grandfather Jonathan, had passed away in 1874 and 1900, respectively.

Check out the original clipping from the Daily Times here.

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Dover, New Phila Foutzes Connected by Football, Genes

Foutz Don Earl

Don Foutz, left, and H. Earl Foutz reminisce in 1974 about the pass Don of Dover threw that Earl of Phila hauled in for an interception and 85-yard return for a touchdown that won the 1929 rivalry game.

Foutz-to-Foutz Pass a Familial Feat

In the yellowed newspaper clipping, Don Foutz wears a turtleneck and a smirk. He looks less formal than the man in the suit and tie standing next to him, a guy also named Foutz, but also less than thrilled to be reliving a shared moment on the football fields of their youth.

Maybe because the moment happened to be one of the few that didn’t go a teenage Don Foutz’s way, particularly against rival New Philadelphia.

Maybe, too, because aside from a fabled pass that went the wrong way for Dover’s Tornadoes (and the right for Phila’s Quakers), the two men appeared to share little else.

Well, a shared name, in Foutz. But as the article says, the two men “are not related.”

It’s what they thought that November day in 1929; it’s what they believed 45 Novembers later on the eve of another annual rivalry football game.

So I guess it’s OK that my first post here in seven months is so long in coming since it will undo more than 100 years of missed conceptions and forgotten connections. Because the article’s wrong. The Dover and New Phila Foutzes are related.

Don Foutz’s Errant Pass Gives Earl Foutz Glory

A series of Tornadoes Time Warp posts in 2010 thoroughly documented Don Foutz’s football glory days from 1929-31. Among his exploits against hated rival New Philadelphia:

  • Scoring on an early run and throwing a 4th-quarter TD pass in a 13-7 Dover victory in 1930
  • Piling up a school-record 220 rushing yards (it would stand for 64 years) and 2 TDs in a 27-6 Dover victory in 1931

Grandpa was a fixture in print that senior season, as Dover notched a best-ever 10-1 record and #5 state ranking, an opener for a stretch of football and basketball dominance under Coach Hermann Rearick and grandpa’s successor at halfback, Doc Kelker, that briefly made Dover Ohio’s city of champions.

But his legend faded quickly and he settled into the daily routine, raising three kids and working for a Ford dealership before following his father and two older brothers into the steel mill.

Occasionally, the Dover Daily Reporter would catch up with the old Crimson Flash, as in a 1961 article about son Donn’s rushing exploits for Dover. The 1974 article, however, focused on a rare miscue — a year before Don Foutz played the hero against New Philadelphia, he sealed Dover’s fate with an interception to opposing player Earl Foutz. Read all about it by clicking the thumbnails below.

Don Foutz 1929 interceptionEarl Foutz intercepts Don Foutz

In addition to sharing details of the 1929 contest as a preview to the rivalry’s 70th installment, the article states: “that game marked the first time Don and Earl — who are not related — ever met.” While I don’t dispute the truth of the football covered in the article, I thought I’d dig a little more deeply into the genealogy.

Sharing a Common Great-Great Grandfather

Earl and his brother, Dick Foutz, were well-known around Dover and Phila, and to my family, as the operators of Foutz Appliances on Tuscarawas Avenue in New Philadelphia. I even remember as a kid asking about the cross-town Foutzes, but being told we weren’t related.

As it turns out, grandpa Don was third cousin to Earl and his brothers Dick and Lloyd. The connection goes back to where our Foutz — originally, Pfouts — ancestors started in Ohio, a couple dozen miles east near Bowerston.

According to well-documented research, Michael Pfouts — Don’s and Earl’s second great-grandfather — emigrated from the lower Neckar River region of Wuertemberg, Germany in 1787. He first settled in Washington County, Maryland, where he probably farmed with other German immigrants. He married a woman named Catharine in Maryland in 1799, and over the next 26 years they had 8 children — about half in Maryland and, beginning with Jacob in 1811, the rest in Harrison County, Ohio.

The early Pfoutses owned several parcels of land throughout Monroe and North townships, on which they farmed for the better part of 150 years. Gideon Pfouts, my third-great-grandfather (grandpa Don’s great-grandfather), farmed 80 acres along what is now Grundy Ridge and Mill Hill roads south of Bowerston. John, a brother more than a decade Gideon’s senior, farmed an area in the southeast corner of Monroe Township with siblings Jonathan and Elizabeth Pfouts. Although his homesteading siblings would never marry, John wed relatively late in life, marrying Irish immigrant Margaret Sprowls in 1850, when he was 43 and she was 27.

John and Margaret Pfouts are Earl’s great-grandparents. They’d have four children. Their second, born July 3, 1854 on the farm, was named Andrew J. Pfouts. That’s Earl’s grandpa. I dipped into the spreadsheet I started keeping in 2010 to track all the many (related) Foutzes (Pfoutses) from census to census in 19th century Harrison County. There, in 1860, was five-year-old Andrew in the home of John and Margaret Pfouts.

Earl and brother Richard would take over the store their father, James Howard Foutz, began on Tuscarawas Avenue in New Phila in 1920. (A talented brother, Lloyd, would perform as a musician around the country before dying young in 1961.) The connection between our families is confirmed by J. Howard Foutz’s 1901 marriage certificate to Effie Leggett of Carroll County. The certificate names Andrew J. Foutz and Mary Ayers of Harrison County as Howard’s parents. A 20-year-old James H. Fouts appears in their household in the 1900 census, the only one between his 1880 birth and 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940 censuses documenting his married life with Effie and the kids in New Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, Gideon would marry Delilah Jones in 1843. Together, they’d raise six children. Their oldest, Jonathan Foutz, would marry Rebecca Caldwell and have seven children of their own. Their very youngest, born in 1887 in Bowerston, was Vance Cleveland Foutz, my grandpa Don Foutz’s dad.

The final resting places of our Foutz cousins mirror our own clan’s trek from the farms of Harrison to the city life of Tuscarawas county. John and Margaret Pfouts are buried with Michael and the rest of the original Pfoutses in Conotton Cemetery, while Andrew and Mary Pfouts are buried in Grandview Cemetery near Scio.

James Howard Foutz is buried, with Effie and infant daughter Mary, in East Avenue Cemetery, New Philadelphia. Son H. Earl and wife Isabel Marie Foutz are buried at Maple Grove Cemetery in Dover.

Earl outgained Dover by a crucial 85 yards in that 1929 contest; he outlived my grandfather by 13 years. I wonder what they’d chat about, today, if they’d lived to see the roots of their family history reconnected.

foutz andrew grave grandview harrison oh

Foutz James Howard grave 1941

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

Newest Apple on the Foutz Family Tree

Caleb Oliver Foutz, born May 30, 2013.

Caleb Oliver Foutz, born May 30, 2013.

Welcome, Caleb Oliver Foutz

Been a fun-filled, dazed week of reacquainting myself with diaper changes and burp cloths and midnight feedings, but what a ride. And a chance to catch up on some overdue postings here.

We’ll start with news that’s barely a week old. Welcome the latest Foutz: Caleb Oliver, born to Colt and Katie on May 30, 2013 in Sioux Falls, SD.

He joined the world at 4:02 p.m. (incidentally, same time as his biggest brother, Jonah Robert Foutz, did back on Sept. 6, 2006) and weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces, measuring 21 inches long.

Little Caleb shares a birthday with his great-great grandfather Robert Ohio Weible (born May 30, 1892 in Dover, Ohio) and third great grandmother Elizabeth (Duerr) Zeigler (mother to Laura (Zeigler)Foutz, born May 30, 1845 in Schlaitdorf, Esslingen, Wuertemberg, Germany).

Caleb’s name comes from the Old Testament, continuing a tradition we established with older brothers Jonah and Benjamin. Caleb and Joshua were the only two of the ancient Israelites who set out from Egypt to reach the Promised Land. The name means devoted to God and ranked #32 for boys’ names in 2012.

His middle name honors Katie’s great-grandfather Oliver Albert Knutson, her dad’s grandpa, who lived and farmed in Northwood, Iowa from 1884 to 1975. Sometime when we can get back to Northwood, I’ll try and scan the old picture of Oliver Knutson’s baseball team, which hangs in the Worth Brewing Company restaurant in downtown Northwood.

This middle name tradition carried on from our naming Jonah Robert to honor several ancestors (grandpa Robert Earl Ley Jr., great-grandpas Robert Earl Ley Sr. and Robert Ohio Weible; third great-grandfather Robert Caldwell (father to Rebecca Jane (Caldwell) Foutz) also shares the name), and Benjamin Peter to honor Katie’s mother’s Peterson side, which descends from Sweden and Per Persson through Grandma Mabel Marie (Peterson) Knutson.

Weible Robert Ohio desk c. 1940

An undated photo showing Great-Grandfather Robert Ohio Weible working at a desk. Probably taken in the late 1930s or early 1940s when he was purchasing agent for the State of Ohio.

Katie's great-grandfather Oliver Knutson as a young man.

Katie’s great-grandfather Oliver Knutson as a young man.

Categories: Foutz, Johnson, Knutson, Ley, Milestones, Weible | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Aunt Jennie Fisher’s Witchy Encounter

Fisher Walters Family Early 1900s

The sons and daughters of Sarah Ann (Walters) Fisher gather for a portrait with their mother in the early 1900s. Front: Sarah M, John William, Sarah Ann (Walters), Mary Jane “Jennie”, Henry. Back: Emma, Ellsworth, Della, Barclay, Lily, George, Clara Alice, James.

Hauntings in Stone Creek | Mary Jane Fisher

Today’s dispatch comes courtesy of the alert eyes of connection — and relative somewhere back through all those Leys and Weibles — Judy Schrock, who last month spotted an article in my old hometown paper about an alleged haunting nearly a century and a half ago.

At the heart of this tale of witches: a 9-year-old third-great aunt, Mary Jane Fisher, sister to my great-great-grandfather John William Fisher.

Born Feb. 22, 1861, “Jennie,” as she was called, was the third child and oldest daughter of my great-great-great-grandparents, George and Sarah (Walters) Fisher. (A daughter, Barbara, born in 1860, died in infancy.)

The family called 104 acres of farmland just outside of New Philadelphia in Stone Creek home. George’s father, Henry Fisher, first settled in the area about 1818, according to The History of Tuscarawas County, published in 1884. Through proceeds from day labor, Henry slowly built his savings and eventually acquired 166 acres.

The Fishers were well-connected — and intermarried — with several prominent early farming families south of New Philadelphia, including the Crites (Elizabeth Crites, daughter of Revolutionary War soldier, Jacob, was Henry’s bride) and Walters clans. George married Sarah Ann Walters, whose parents, Abraham and Mary Walters, maintained their nearly-200-acre homestead just south of their own.

In addition to helping raise a large family of 13 children, George served the community as school director. So when in March 1870 The Ohio Democrat reported the first inklings of their daughter Jennie’s encounters with “strange persons and things that other persons who are present do not see,” the rumors were not dismissed out of hand. “Reliable men from the neighborhood say the story is not without foundation,” the paper noted.

Bewitching Mystery for Jennie & Fisher Family

Jon Baker of the New Philadelphia, Ohio Times-Reporter recounted the Democrat dispatches of March 18 and April 1, 1870 in an article published Feb. 18, 2013, some 143 years later. Baker quoted the first report (which, unfortunately, was missing from the database):

We have strange rumors from Stone Creek. … Windows are broken, when apparently no one is there to break them. A person riding a white horse (Death on a pale horse) has been seen. Sometimes a dog, invisible to vulgar eyes, is seen by this fortunate little seer.

… Some pious people say the little girl is ‘bewitched,’ others that the house is ‘haunted,’ and some more silly still, assert that spirits have ‘a finger  in the pie.’  Of course, the latter explanation finds but few believers.

The mystery got further treatment in the Ohio Democrat of April 1, 1870Baker recounts the tale of Jennie being slapped by an unseen hand while dining at her grandparents’ house, and of joining her grandpa Abraham Walters in chasing a witch nearly 300 yards (50 or 60 rods in the original — thanks, Google, for confirming Baker’s handy calculation) across their farmland.

Her grandfather, Mr. Abraham Walters, heard the sound of the blow on the little girl’s face and saw her motion, but could see no one else.  It was a palpable and decided slap in the face given with considerable force, sufficient to throw the little girl from her seat.

…  During the chase (of the witch), (Abraham Walters) saw a mark on a fence that looked like someone had crossed it.  When they got back to the house, the ‘witch’ was standing near the bake oven.  Mr. Walters did not see anything, but the little girl insists that she saw a woman.

The Democrat concluded its report by inviting clergy of the area to assemble on the grounds and investigate the claims, with an eye toward ridding the grounds of the troubled spirits, possibly through the effort of prayer or by channeling the spirit into a peaceful resting place, “such as a hearth stone.”

According to Baker, the Democrat never followed up on the story.

Marries a Walters, Moves to Van Wert

What became of Aunt Jennie Fisher, in the years after her childhood encounters?

The record remains silent on any ghostly activity. But the Democrat reported her marriage Dec.13, 1883 to William H. Walters. No word on whether this Walters was a relation to her mother’s family. But the article notes William came from Van Wert, Ohio, where the couple makes their home for the next six decades.

Oddly, the same census records that confirms their residency in Van Wert also shows a Mary J. and William Walters living there together, with an infant son, as early as 1880, some three years before the Democrat reported their union. But then, the 1900 census seems to peg their marriage year as 1877 (the document reports 23 years of marriage, which would mean they wed as teenagers), while the 1910 census corrects the record to 26 years, or very likely the late 1883 date reported in the Democrat.

The couple live out their days in Van Wert, raising five children (six, if that early census is to be believed). William passes away first, in 1836, while Jennie (Fisher) Walters lives to the ripe age of 83. She dies Jan. 6, 1944 and is buried with her husband in Van Wert.

Walters Woodland Union Cemetery Van Wert Ohio

Categories: Ley, quickie post | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Honoring Our Family’s Veterans | Joseph Burkey

Burkey Joseph Civil War 1

not Third-Great-Grandfather Joseph Burkey served in the 126th Regiment, Company B, of the Ohio Valley Infantry during the Civil War. He is buried in New Cumberland Cemetery near Atwood Lake, Ohio.

Places of Rest & Remembrance #4 | Joseph Burkey

Like the life and times of Fifth-Great-Grandfather — and Revolutionary War vet — Jacob Crites, the details of the childhood, married life and final days of Joseph Burkey are mostly elusive.

But we’re pretty clear on his war record and the activities of his company during the Civil War.

Joseph Burkey is Colt’s Third-Great-Grandfather, related on the Johnson side. He’s the father of Anna Burkey, who would marry Clement Johnson. The line continues thus:

Joseph Burkey/Amanda Stevenson – Anna Burkey Johnson – Charles Johnson – Erma Johnson Foutz – Fred Foutz – Colt

Joseph was born May 18, 1840, probably near Guernsey, Ohio, where the Johnson clan called home. In the 1850 census there is a Joseph Burkey Sr. there in Oxford, born in 1805, with a wife named Jane and a bustling household, of which an 8-year-old Joseph Jr. is part. The dates almost line up — in the vein of census inaccuracies and subsequent leeway.

Joseph is next found in a Guernsey County census in 1860, in the home of James and Emeline Scott, listed as a laborer. Joseph and Jane Burkey appear as neighbors on the same census page, a couple households higher up.

In between is the great Civil War. And in 1880, we again catch up to Joseph Burkey in Guernsey County, this time farming and married to a Mary J. Burkey, born about 1830 and 10 years his senior, with a household of five young children, including Sarah E. A., age 13. A 75-year-old Joseph Burkey senior is also among the family.

What makes the three records hold at least loosely together are the birthplaces of Joseph Burkey’s father in Pennsylvania and mother in New Jersey, the consistent ages of the particulars, the birth year of Mary J., which is consistent with Amanda Stevenson’s in family lore, and the 1867 birth year of Great-Great-Grandmother Anna Burkey Johnson.

As to the rest, and the latter details of Joseph’s life, it’s a bit murky. We don’t know when Amanda died. An 1890 census that was largely destroyed by fire keeps us from catching up with Joseph again until shortly before his death in 1900. By then he is living in Warren Township, Tuscarawas County, and remarried to Clara (Kerr) about 5 years. She is 47 and childless; he is 60. He works as a farm laborer and owns the house he’s living in. Again — this record matches up with birth year and with parents born in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, respectively.

We also match the couple to Joseph’s pension record, which lists Clara as dependent. There is the curious notation next to invalid status, in March 1885, and records Clara’s widowhood in December 1901, a full year after Joseph’s death. But who knows with bureaucracy and paperwork?

Joseph is buried in New Cumberland Cemetery, near Atwood Lake, Ohio. Clara is there, too, — her stone bears a death date of June 26, 1911. The grave of Amanda Stevenson is nowhere to be found.

Joseph Burkey – Civil War Service

What we do know is that Joseph Burkey enlisted as a private in Company B of the 126th Infantry on May 17, 1864 at age 23. He was drafted, according to Army records.

He was mustered out at the same rank on June 19, 1865 in Baltimore, Maryland.

The record of his Ohio regiment is set forth below. Joseph would have seen action the year’s worth of battles throughout Virginia, just after Spotsylvania Court House.

Regimental History
(Three Years)

One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Infantry. – Col., Benjamin F.
Smith; Lieut.-Cols., William H. Harlan, Aaron W. Ebright, Tho-
mas W. McKinnie; Majs., George W. Voorhes, William G. Williams.
This regiment was organized at Camp Steubenville from Sept. 4
to Oct. 11, 1862, to serve for three years and was sent to
Parkersburg, W. Va., a few days later. It remained in the
western part of Virginia during the succeeding winter and
spring, and in June was engaged in a brisk skirmish at Martins-
burg, in which Co. I was captured entire by the enemy. At
Bristoe Station in October the regiment and its corps took part
in a fight with a portion of Lee’s army, and for many days
thereafter were engaged in skirmishing with the enemy up to
Centerville. After spending the winter at Brandy Station, the
regiment in April, 1864, went to Rixeyville, where it remained
until the opening of the grand campaign under Gen. Grant, in
his march on Richmond. It took part in every engagement of the
campaign, from the crossing of the Rapidan to the crossing of
the James. The loss of the regiment at Spottsylvania was 16
killed and 54 wounded, and in front of Cold Harbor it was in
the assault of Ricketts’ division, 6th corps, on the enemy’s
works, carrying and holding them under a heavy fire. After
crossing to the south side of the James the regiment partici-
pated in all the marches, skirmishes, etc., of the 6th corps,
up to July 2, when it went into entrenchments at the Williams
house, 5 miles south of Petersburg. Four days later it em-
barked for Baltimore, and there took cars for Monocacy Junction
where it played an important part in the severe battle of Mono-
cacy, in which it lost heavily. It marched in pursuit of Gen.
Early’s army and participated in engagements at Snicker’s gap,
Charlestown and Smithfield. It was in the battle known as the
Opequan, losing a large number in killed and wounded. In the
action at Fisher’s hill the regiment performed a conspicuous
part, losing 4 men killed and 17 wounded. Then it was engaged
in a number of marches and counter-marches, arriving at Cedar
creek just in time to take part in the memorable battle of that
name. In December it rejoined the Army of the Potomac and
spent the winter in the trenches around Petersburg. In a
charge on the enemy’s picket lines on March 25, 1865, the regi-
ment behaved with great gallantry, being the first to enter the
entrenchments. At 3 a. m., April 2, it went into position in
the front line of battle and participated in the charge which
was to dissipate the last hope of the Confederate States. The
regiment was mustered out on June 25, 1865. It lost during its
term of service 9 officers and 111 men killed; 10 officers and
379 men wounded; aggregate, 509.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 2

Battles Fought
Fought on 9 Oct 1862.
Fought on 14 Jun 1863 at Martinsburg, WV.
Fought on 15 Jun 1863 at Williamsport, MD.
Fought on 15 Jun 1863 at Martinsburg, WV.
Fought on 14 Oct 1863 at Bristoe Station, VA.
Fought on 27 Nov 1863 at Mine Run, VA.
Fought on 6 May 1864 at Wilderness, VA.
Fought on 7 May 1864 at Wilderness, VA.
Fought on 9 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
Fought on 10 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
Fought on 12 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
Fought on 13 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
Fought on 18 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
Fought on 21 May 1864 at North Anna River, VA.
Fought on 30 May 1864 at Hanoverton, VA.
Fought on 1 Jun 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA.
Fought on 2 Jun 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA.
Fought on 4 Jun 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA.
Fought on 6 Jun 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA.
Fought on 19 Jun 1864 at Bermuda Hundred, VA.
Fought on 22 Jun 1864 at Weldon Railroad, VA.
Fought on 22 Jun 1864 at Petersburg, VA.
Fought on 9 Jul 1864 at Monocacy, MD.
Fought on 21 Jul 1864 at Snicker’s Gap, VA.
Fought on 9 Aug 1864 at City Point, VA.
Fought on 28 Aug 1864.
Fought on 19 Sep 1864 at Opequan, VA.
Fought on 21 Sep 1864 at Flint Hill, VA.
Fought on 22 Sep 1864 at Flint Hill, VA.
Fought on 22 Sep 1864 at Fisher’s Hill, VA.
Fought on 19 Oct 1864 at Cedar Creek, VA.
Fought on 12 Nov 1864 at Middletown, VA.
Fought on 25 Mar 1865 at Petersburg, VA.
Fought on 2 Apr 1865 at Petersburg, VA.

Burkey Joseph Civil War CLOSE

A star marks Joseph Burkey’s grave, for service in the Civil War.

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

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