Posts Tagged With: World War I

Honoring Our Family’s Veterans | Foutz & Johnson Gallery


Johnson Floyd Foutz Donn 1987

Great Uncle Floyd Johnson, left, and Uncle Donn Foutz at a family reunion in 1987. Floyd served in the Air Force in the Korean War.

Foutz & Johnson Veterans | Places of Rest & Remembrance #8

This post concludes our week-long look at our family’s veterans with a review of Foutz and Johnson relatives who served.

Earlier this week we visited the final resting places of:

* Third-Great Grandfather and Civil War soldier James Burkey, a relative on the Johnson side

* Great Uncle Bill Johnson, an airborne infantryman in World War II who participated in the rescue of more than 2,000 POWs from a Japanese prison

In our family’s history, military service on the Johnson side is extensive, including that of Great Uncle Floyd Johnson in Korea, great great uncles Norman, Adrian and Dwight Johnson, three sons of Clement Johnson’s who served in World War II and World War I, respectively; and several Palmers in Harrison County for whom I haven’t yet established a connection (but that connection is likely).

On the Foutz side, recognized here are Great Uncle Wayne Waddington and second-cousin, once-removed Larry Zeigler, who served in Vietnam.As

As we look forward to Thanksgiving, I know I am thankful for the gift of time and time with my family, and for those in our family who served.

Categories: Foutz, Johnson, Milestones | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honoring Our Family’s Veterans | Ley & Weible Gallery


Weible Bill TR1973

A 1973 Times-Reporter staff pic of Great Uncle Bill Weible. Following his service in World War II, Bill joined the Dover Daily Reporter in May 1948 and worked at the Times-Reporter for several decades, managing various advertising departments, among other duties.

Ley & Weible Family Veterans – Places of Rest & Remembrance #7

In the last week following Veteran’s Day, we’ve paid tribute in this space to our family’s veterans. Today and tomorrow, I’ll conclude this series with galleries of relatives who served — uncles, cousins, brothers; all family.

On the Ley & Weible side, our series has so far included:

* Great Uncle Robert Colt Weible, who served in the Naval Reserves in World War II and went on to become a Naval commander

* Great-Grandpa Robert Earl Ley Sr., who served in World War I

* Grandpa Robert Earl Ley Jr., a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during World War II

* Fifth Great-Grandfather Jacob Crites, a Ley ancestor on the Fisher side, which we’ll cover more in today’s gallery

* an earlier post detailed Revolutionary War drummer and Fifth Great-Grandfather Frederick Metzger, who was among those at Valley Forge. He’s a Weible ancestor.

Today we visit the final resting places of Great Uncle Bill Weible; Olin Abbuhl Jr. and Earl Fisher, cousins of Grandpa Robert Earl Ley Jr.; and Grandpa’s Ley’s uncle Olin Abbuhl Sr. To navigate the gallery, click on an individual image and use the arrows to scroll through the collection. When finished, hit the ESCAPE key to go back to this blog post.

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

Honoring Our Family’s Veterans | Robert Earl Ley, Sr.


Robert Earl Ley Sr. and Son

A very young Robert Earl Ley Jr. and his father, Robert Sr. My grandpa would sometimes accompany his father as they worked their bird dogs in the Ohio prairie country.

Places of Rest & Remembrance #5 | Robert Earl Ley, Sr.

An interesting genealogical artifact available for most males in my family of my great-grandparents’ generation is the draft card each able-bodied man was required to submit to for each of the world wars.

Since most of my great-grandparents were alive for both World War I and World War II, the information entered by the draft board provides a snapshot of these ancestors at two different points in their lives, some 25 years apart.

Great-Grandpa Robert Earl Ley is the only one, though, with any official acknowledgment of service in the Great War.

Robert Earl Ley was born Aug. 17, 1893, in Port Washington, Ohio, the third son of parents Charles Henry Ley and Minnie Eillene (Hammersley) Ley. Robert’s father had followed his own father, Augustus Ley, into the dry goods business of a fashion — rather than anchoring himself to a store the way Augustus set up shop on the canal in old Port Washington, Charles traveled the country, first in the employ of the J.B. Haynes Co. of Pittsburgh, and later the Pittsburg Dry Goods Co.

But also like Augustus, and his immigrant grandparents Karl and Susanna Ley, Charles had a taste for political life. Not long after Robert was born, he moved the family to New Philadelphia, Ohio and won election as treasurer of Tuscarawas County, a role in which he served two terms.

His father’s successful career as merchant and civic leader afforded Robert Earl Ley the best education to be had in the early 20th century. He graduated from New Philadelphia High School, then studied at Western Reserve University, earning a dental degree in 1915.

Robert had just set up shop as dentist in neighboring Dover, Ohio, in 1916 when war broke out and he was called to serve.

Robert Earl Ley, Sr. – World War I Service

Great-Grandpa Ley’s obituary indicates he served in the war, and his grave in Evergreen Burial Park in New Philadelphia bears the star marker indicating service.

However, I have been unable to locate his name or his record of service in the Ohio soldiers index for World War I. So we cobble part of the story together through his draft record.

Robert Ley reported to the World War I draft board June 5, 1917. Like all the local draft records from that war, the writing is nearly illegible. But we can make out that he was single, with no dependents, employed as a doctor of dental surgery. There are none of the physical details noted that make later draft cards interesting to researchers. But there is a curious notation — barely legible:

* some remark referring to his career or training as a dentist, and that he would “make an efficient officer.”

We know not how or where Great-Grandpa Ley served during World War I. But we do know he returned home and soon made a life with New Philadelphia girl and local teacher Zula Lucrece Fisher, whom he married June 27, 1917. Son Robert Earl Jr. would follow in September 1918.

Zula was pregnant with the family’s second child, a daughter, when she and the baby tragically died of complications due to influenza and pneumonia in February 1920. Robert sent his son to live with Zula’s parents as he cobbled together a new life, marrying Florence Jones in the 1920s. She bore him a second son, Richard Earl, in 1927. Tragedy would again touch their lives, though, as Dickie suffered a strange ailment and died just weeks before his sixth birthday in 1933.

Robert, Florence and Robert Jr. pressed on, however. The younger Ley graduated from Dover High School in 1936 and through a long stretch of studies at Ohio Northern, then Baldwin Wallace and finally The Ohio State University earned his doctoral degree in dentistry, intending to follow his father into the practice. They were again interrupted by war.

In Robert Earl Ley Sr.’s 1942 draft record he is 48 years old, lives in Dover, works in Dover on the third floor of the Reeves Bank Building, and counts Florence Ley as a dependent. The card notes his height and weight — 5’11 and 185 pounds — his light complexion and dark brown hair. No mention of previous service is recorded, but the examiner does note the “scar over left eye.”

We know that Robert is not called to serve this time, and instead his son serves as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, working as a dentist aboard battleships.

After the war, the younger Ley would rejoin his father and they would practice dentistry side by side in a new office on the corner of Second and Walnut streets in Dover. Robert Sr. died in 1959 while at work; his widow, Florence, lived above the dental office her stepson kept until her own death in the summer of 1984.

Robert Ley headstone rear Evergreen Burial Park New Phila, Ohio

The Robert Earl Ley plot in Evergreen Burial Park in New Philadelphia, Ohio, is a serene tableau, with dual planters and a bench beneath the pines. Buried there are Great-Grandfather Robert, wife Florence, son Dickie and sister Irma Haines Murphy.

Ley Robert Evergreen WW1

The star indicating Robert Earl Ley Sr.’s service in World War I, 1917-1918.

Ley Robert Sr Evergreen New P 1893-1959

Headstone for Dr. Robert Earl Ley Sr. in Evergreen Burial Park, New Philadelphia, Ohio.

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

Jonathan Foutz Family | Rachel (Foutz) Coleman & Descendants


Doris (Foutz) Waddington 1920s

A young Doris Foutz, by the 1920s, was already old enough to have missed knowing 78% of her father's family. Including Rachel Foutz, an aunt whose name she learned in the 1970s, but whose fate remains a mystery today.

Whatever Happened to Rachel Foutz?

If there was one obstacle, more than any other, preventing my grandfather Don Foutz’s family in Dover, Ohio from connecting with their farming roots in Harrison County, not to mention their family’s origins in Germany, it would be this:

Within the first 20 years of the new (20th) century, all but my great-grandfather Vance, and his oldest sister, Lila, were dead.

Their family had been large. To great-great grandparents Jonathan Foutz and Rebecca (Caldwell) Foutz were born, on the old Foutz homestead south of Bowerston, 7 kids: Sherman, Lila, Rachel, Ida, John, Charles and Vance.

John, at just 21, was first — and youngest — to go, in 1899.

Father Jonathan followed in 1900, at 55. (His father Gideon lived to age 89; his mother, Delilah, to nearly 80).

In 1915, oldest son Sherman died in April, at 47. His mother, Rebecca, followed in March, at 65. (Her own mother died 3 years later, at 91.)

Ida died in 1917, at age 44.

Charles died the next year, in 1918, at just 32.

And that left just Vance, barely 30 and a father to four already — Roy, Carl, Don and Doris — and Lila, a sister almost 20 years his senior with a family that was mostly grown.

Small wonder, then, that as my grandpa Don and grandma Erma began comparing notes on family history with their siblings and in-laws in the 1970s, their memories were clouded with vague recollections of numerous cousins and the odd aunt or uncle visiting, but few firm names or dates or places in which to root their ancestry.

This was particularly true as Erma and her sisters-in-law, Louise (Moore) Foutz and Doris (Foutz) Waddington, struggled to uncover any evidence of “Pop Foutz’s” (as Vance was called) sisters. In their first accounting, Lila was the sole female listed. Later, Rachel and Ida were both added, but as this excerpt from a letter Doris wrote my parents in 1981 indicates, the few fragments they had gathered together were already starting to scatter:

I don’t know any more about my dad’s family than Don. Dad was the youngest of his family. His parents, at least his father, died when he was very young. I never knew my grandparents on Dad’s side. Only had a Grandma Zeigler. Never had a grandpa. I recall, as a little girl, going to a funeral of Dad’s sister. He had 3 brothers – John, Sherman, Charles – and 2 sisters, Delilah and Rachel, that I recall.

The funeral great Aunt Doris writes about is undoubtedly Lila’s, in 1936, when she was 19. Doris may have also attended the funeral of her Aunt Ida (whom she doesn’t mention), in Carrollton, but would understandably not have remembered — she was barely 6 months old in November 1917.

And yet she mentions her Aunt Rachel. Is this due to the visits of “several red-headed cousins from Canton” that Louise recalls in a late 1970s letter to Don and Erma? Or some personal interaction, even, with Rachel’s husband, William Coleman, who is noted well in their genealogy notes from the 1970s, though Rachel’s birth — and death — are unremarked upon, uncomfirmed.

They remain a mystery still. (And a reason why she’s not listed among the macabre hit parade above.) But here’s what I’ve uncovered so far.

Rachel (Foutz) Coleman | 1871 – ???

My great-great aunt Rachel L. Foutz was born third of Jonathan and Rachel Foutz’s children, on June 3, 1871.  (Almost 105 years to the day before me.)

Her older sister, Lila, was named for their paternal grandmother. Rachel was probably named after their maternal grandmother — Rebecca’s mom, Rachel Cramblett.

She appeared on just one federal census before her marriage. At 9, in 1880, she was normal among Foutz kids of this generation to be attending school and learning to read and write.

She was married barely 10 years later, during a busy couple summers for Jonathan’s daughters. Twenty-year-old Lila and 16-year-old Ida had been first to wed, in 1889. Both marriages were followed, some 4 and 7 months later, respectively, by childbirth. In July 1891, Rachel married William H. Coleman, a man 24 years her senior. By 1900, they would be living in Pennsylvania, with the census-taker recording Rachel’s name, curiously, as Bridget.

William had been married before, as several records more or less definitively illustrate. Though the 1890 census, partially destroyed by fire, can yield no further clues in this case. When the 1900 census finds William and his Ohio bride, they are living in Allegheny, Pa., where William is learning the trade of a stationary engineer in the factories near Pittsburgh. Among the household are three young children with Rachel — Karl, 6; Blanche, 3; and newborn Frank — as well as two older stepchildren to Rachel: Bert, 18, and Charles, 15. The census records their marriage as 9 years old at that time, and theirs, as well as their parents’ births in Ohio, and their children’s births in Pennsylvania.

Probably William lived in or near Youngstown in 1870 and 1880, in the household of his widowed mother, Mary. The 1860 census records a William Coleman living in Perry County with his grandfather Ross, which matches the maiden name of William’s mother on his death certificate. The 1850 census places a child of William’s age again in Jefferson County near Youngstown in the household of Richard and Mary Coleman (although his death certificate records his father’s name as Bartholomew.)

Rachel and William next appear, together, in the birth record of Bessie Coleman, born Jan. 31, 1906 in what is now the hometown of Rachel’s mother, Rebecca, and youngest brother, Vance. Whether intentional, or not, Rachel has chosen for her youngest child the name of a niece, Bessie Moreland, born to her sister Ida and Thomas Moreland in 1890. Three years later, Bessie would marry a Harry Baxter Coleman, confusing genealogists a century later, but probably everyone back then took it in stride.

Where the official record finds — or doesn’t find — Rachel next is more of a leap.

Rachel descendant’s – the long unraveling

By 1910, Rachel’s youngest sibling, my great-grandfather Vance, is head of a bustling household at 22.

At 113 W. 2nd St. in Dover live Vance; his wife of two years, Laura; their infant son, Roy; his 60-year-old mother, Rebecca; his sister Ida’s oldest son, Lloyd; and the family of his 62-year-old (older than his mother) brother-in-law William Coleman — Frank, 10, and Karl, 16.

Vance and Lloyd are both laborers for the same Dover company — the name is illegible. William is employed, somewhere, as a stationary engineer, and even son Karl works as a clerk. Frank goes to school.

But where is Rachel? And, for that matter, where are their two daughters, Blanche and Bessie?

In short: don’t know. It is possible that Rachel died shortly after her youngest child was born. Or died in childbirth. Or is with them, wherever they are, and that she died later. But she never appears on another census. And there is no record in Ohio of her death — at least not found through the usual searches.

The next time a member of Rachel’s family turns up, it is when Karl greets death. During a visit — according to the 1915 newspaper clipping found in my grandma Foutz’s papers — to his Uncle Vance that March, Karl is stricken with tuberculosis and dies two months past his 21st birthday. He is buried in Longview Cemetery in Bowerston, near where his Uncle Sherman is buried barely a month later.

Karl’s brother Frank turns up as a lodger in a Dover house in 1920, and later appears in a Canton house in 1930 — perhaps one of those Canton cousins who visit Vance from time to time. He never marries, according to these records.

Frank next appears on the 1922 record of his father’s admission to the U.S. National Home for Disabled Soldiers in Los Angeles, Calif. It’s a long way from Canton, Ohio to LA, but all the names and dates in this record line up. His children are recorded as Mrs. Blanche (J.T. Escott) Coleman, of Kent, Ohio, and Karl Coleman, c/o the Canton YMCA. William apparently served from January through July, 1865 in the 36th Ohio Infantry. And checked into the Home with a variety of ailments, including myocarditis, bronchitis and fractured ribs.

But William was discharged for the final time in February 1928. He dies seven months later in the care of his daughter, on Aug. 24, 1928, at 81. His death certificate reports his burial in Kent, Ohio.

And what of Blanche? She outlives them all. And remains in Kent, Ohio the rest of her life. She marries Joseph T. Escott, a World War I veteran from Michigan. Escott, listed as an accountant for the railroad in the 1930 census, may have founded Escott & Co. Certified Public Accountants, which, as of 2005, was still operating in Kent. They belonged to Trinity Lutheran Church in Kent, according to these church records. Blanche worked as a registered nurse.

I don’t know whether they had any kids — the 1930 census doesn’t show any. But Blanche lives to be 97 years old. She dies Aug. 29, 1994. She lived a long, and probably fascinating life. But the stories she knew were lost to my family, because her own mother was lost to us years before.

Conotton Cemetery, Bowerston, Ohio

Conotton Cemetery is the burial place of Jonathan and Rachel Foutz and Gideon and Delilah Foutz. Was Jonathan's daughter (and Gideon's granddaughter) Rachel also buried here? And where are the Foutz plots located?

Categories: Foutz, newsletter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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