TODAY: LIVING HISTORY AT THE PAUPERS CEMETERY

Sunday, 8/25/2019 16th Annual Living History Program Highlights the Wood County Home residents

                                                                               
The 16th annual Wood County Living History Day is Sunday, August 25 at 2:00 pm at the Paupers’ Cemetery on the Historical Museum grounds, Bowling Green, Ohio. Local residents portray citizens buried in the Wood County paupers cemetery.  2019 honorees were chosen to coincide with the “For Comfort & Convenience” exhibit at the Wood County Historical Center & Museum. 

This event is free and open to the public.


 
“A Joyful Noise” will provide music before the event. Parking is available at the Museum parking lot. The Wood County Sheriff’s Auxiliary will provide free rides from the parking lot to the cemetery where the program will be held.  Chairs are available, although those attending are encouraged to bring a lawn chair. 

In case of heavy rain, the program will be moved inside the Museum in to the meeting room.
 
2019 honorees are:
 
CATHERINE ANDELFINGER  (1815 – 1902) – She lived at the County Home for 30 years. Known as “Old Mother Come and Go”. She has the only tombstone in the Paupers’ Cemetery with a name on it. 
Portrayed by September Killy
 
GEORGE BICE (1844 – 1927) – Lived at the Infirmary for 3 years. He was listed as a widowed and left behind several children. Known for a wooden leg. 
Portrayed by Thomas Edge
 
FRANK BRANDEBERRY (1875 – 1953)
(Not buried in the Paupers’ Cemetery) 
Originally from Hancock County, Frank came to work as a laborer at the Wood County Infirmary where he met Lottie Farmer. Upon her father’s death in 1904, Frank and Lottie became the Superintendent and Matron of the Infirmary for 45 years. 
Portrayed by Keith Guion
 
CHARLIE CRUSA (1880 – 1955)
(Not buried in the Paupers’ Cemetery)  
Helped with digging graves in the Paupers’ Cemetery.
Non-speaking part. Portrayed by Daniel Hergert
 
SALLY LEGRON – Born in Pennsylvania, lived in Bloom Twp. before coming to the Infirmary. She was known for smoking a pipe.  
Portrayed by: Cassie Greenlee
 
AUTHER PALMER MOORE (1904 – 1927) Married to Laura Bella Short. Shot and killed during a suspected robbery. 
(Was never a resident of the Infirmary). 
Portrayed by Geoffrey Howes
 
FRANK RAKOVAN  (1881 – 1938) – Worked at the Edward Ford Glass plant in Rossford, OH. Came to the Infirmary in March 1933. 
Portrayed by Bob Midden
 
MARY ELIZABETH RHODES  (1848 – 1933) – Came to the Infirmary in 1883 and lived at the County Home for 50 years. She was known as “Bess”. 
Portrayed by Kelly Wolbert
 
UNKNOWN YOUNG MAN  (unknown – 1941) – Italian or Syrian man who was murdered near Cygnet and buried in the Paupers’ Cemetery. 
Portrayed by Bob Walters
 
Event details and past honorees can be found at woodcountyhistory.org
 
This event was made possible with a generous donations fromthe Bowling Green Kiwanis Club, Exchange Club of Bowling Green, Portage Center Arbor Gleaners 524, Delphos Granite Works, Montessori School of Bowling Green, Wood County Genealogical Society, Mike Sibbersen, Wood County Historical Society, This program was funded in part by a grant from the Frisch Family Fund of the Toledo Community Foundation. With additional support from: City of Bowling Green, Wood County Sheriff & Auxiliary, Way Public Library, DBD Sound Reinforcement, and the Living History Day committee.       

This event is FREE and open to the public.

Questions about the event can be made at marketing@woodcountyhistory.org or 419-352-0967

RIIS EXHIBIT TO LEAVE WOOD COUNTY MUSEUM

Last day for Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives exhibit will be August 11, 2019

Sunday, August 11, 2019 will be the last day to take a tour of the exhibit Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives. The exhibit features photographs by Riis, a pioneering newspaper reporter and social reformer in New York at the turn of the twentieth century.

 

This Riis exhibit is a companion piece to the current main exhibit, For Comfort and Convenience. Visitors to the exhibit will experience immersive life-size photographs, as well as artifacts and personal documentation. This exhibit is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Library of Congress, and Edwin & Irma Wolf. The exhibit was adapted and toured for NEH on the Road by Mid-America Arts Alliance.


The museum will be open for self-guided tours Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM and weekends from 1 PM – 4 PM (closed on government holidays). Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children, with discounts for seniors, students, and military. 

All events detailed at woodcountyhistory.org or by following the Wood County Historical Museum on social media. The Museum is located at 13660 County Home Road in Bowling Green. 

 

Many Volunteers Needed

at the Wood County Historical Center & Museum…..

Volunteers are needed for a variety of upcoming events at the Wood County Historical Center & Museum:

  • July Tea & Talk Series – Thursday July 11 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM               
    Help serve tea and food during the program.                    Send your response to:  marketing@woodcountyhistory.org   
                                     
  • Wood County Fair – July 29-August 5
    Help with the Museum information table at the fair at our new location, the Fine Arts Building     (includes ticket to the fair)                                                                            Send your response to: museum@woodcountyhistory.org                                                       
  • Front Desk Greeter                                                                      Open shifts available, Monday-Friday 10 AM – 4 PM      Send your response to: museum@woodcountyhistory.org                                                          
  • Weekend Front Desk Greeter                                                      Open shifts available, Saturday’s & Sunday’s
    1 PM – 4 PM                                                         
    Send your response to: museum@woodcountyhistory.org                                                                  
  • Herb Garden
    (weeding and garden care of this beautiful space!)          Send your response to:  technician@woodcountyhistory.org                                                                                                             
Thanks!
— the Staff of the Wood County Historical Museum
& Society

“From Oil Boom To Gold Rush”

In the fall of 1897, George Pilcher was bitten by Gold Fever.  In December he departed from the North Baltimore, Ohio
train depot for the West Coast…

THE ADVENTURES OF GEORGE MONROE PILCHER:  FROM OIL BOOM TO GOLD RUSH

By Margaret Bobb and Larry Slaughterbeck

NEW BOOK NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE at North Baltimore Ohio Area Historical Society (NBOAHS)

In the fall of 1897, George Pilcher was bitten by Gold Fever.  In December he departed from the North Baltimore, Ohio train depot for the West Coast and eventually to search for gold in Alaska.

The Adventures of George Monroe Pilcher:  From Oil Boom to Gold Rush is the story of an adventurer, inventor, journalist, poet, artist, trader, trapper, miner, engineer, and steamboat captain, who although not a North Baltimore native lived, worked, married, and started a family in the community during the late 1800’s. 

Much of the book is a description of life during the Gold Rush in Pilcher’s own words. The work was compiled by NBOAHS Researchers Margaret Bobb and Larry Slaughterbeck.

COPIES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE HISTORICAL CENTER FOR $15.00.  Books can be mailed for an additional $6.00.

The book is now being sold at the N. Baltimore Historical Center during regular Center Hours [Tuesdays 9:00 am-Noon] or call 419-357-5821.

NB Pioneer Days Series IV:  A First-Person Account

“Times were pretty hard in those days and we were very thankful for the abundant game which was to be found all through Wood and surrounding counties, at that time one large dense forest.”

By Tom Boltz and North Baltimore Ohio Area Historical Society

In the late 1890s and early 1900s George W. Wilkinson, the editor of the North Baltimore Beacon, encouraged elderly local residents to write about their experiences in the settling of Henry Township and the founding of North Baltimore, Ohio.  He published their letters in a series of articles which he titled “Interesting Pioneer Sketches.”

The following article was written by Harrison Downs (born 1834-died 1902).  It describes life in northern Hancock County and the early days of Wood County in the mid 1800’s .  This article is directly transcribed from the North Baltimore Beacon of October 25, 1901.

AN INTERESTING LETTER

Describing a Pioneer’s Many Adventures

Eleven Children in the Family and all Alive— “Downs Boys” With Their Dogs—Chased by a Catamount on The Way Home

HARRISON DOWNS

BY REPORTER

 My father moved his large family of eleven, six girls and five boys of which all are living today to the best of my knowledge, into the wilderness east of Vanburen in 1846. Henry Campbell was the only settler here at that time. This was the year that the heavy frost came so early which destroyed the fruit and wheat.

Father bought the land of Henry Copus who had entered it. There was a log cabin already built and we moved in it at once and were thus saved the trouble and hard labor of erecting a suitable shelter for the family. Times were pretty hard in those days and we were very thankful for the abundant game which was to be found all through Wood and surrounding counties, at that time one large dense forest.

Wild Turkeys

 

I well remember the time Mr. Roberts shot the deer which he mentioned in his letter. We had a great deal of fun at his expense, telling him the deer was blind and for that reason he was permitted to get so close to it before it became frightened.

Our nearest grist mill was at Tiffin where we would take our wheat and corn to be ground and stay there until it was done. We would always wait until two or three families needed flour and we would then go together and many were the good times enjoyed on these long and tiresome trips. There was an old water mill at Vanburen but it only ground once a month.

Log rollings were one of the special features; all that was necessary was to notify the farmers and they would come and a good time was always assured together with a big dinner and all other extras which could be furnished for a big day. The logs were rolled, dragged in to large piles by men and teams and then set on fire. In this manner we eventually got part of our farms cleared and in shape to raise grain and vegetables adding greatly to the welfare of the families.

I remember one season we put out some buckwheat and father had to watch the field to keep the wild turkeys from snatching it up. One day father and my older brother were gone, and I discovered the turkeys in the buckwheat patch. Running to the cabin I hurriedly asked mother for the shotgun and in the same breath was telling her what an awful large flock of it was. She refused to let me have it at first but was finally won over by earnest desire to defend father ‘s property in his absence, and handed me the gun. Stealing up to the field as quietly as possible, I was on the point of firing when they became frightened at something and rose in the air. Nevertheless, I fired anyhow and killed three.

My brother Edward purchased a pack of hounds and we then embarked to a great extent in the hunting business and were very successful, having killed forty-six foxes one winter. Owing to the great amount of hunting we did, and partially to the success we were fortunate enough to meet with, we were commonly referred to as the “Downs Boys”.

While speaking of game my mind recalls a little incident which happened to me when I was a boy.  In going home one evening from an errand on which father had sent me, I lingered along the road to play with some children. Being interested with the rest of the children I did not notice that the shadows of night had already began falling fast over the woods and when I at length started homeward it was quite dark.  In going along the path, (we only had paths in those days) I suddenly discovered that I was being chased by a catamount.  Having no weapon to defend myself with, I could simply run a few steps and then turn around and look at it and the cat would stop.  But as soon as I started ahead again it would immediately follow watching for a chance to spring upon me.  In this manner I finally reached home unharmed.

In planting corn, instead of having a planter, we would cover it with the hoe, carrying an axe along the cut into roots and underground stumps which made plowing an impossibility. All putting out and tending crops had to be done by hand.

In 1850 I went to work on the Continental railroad, which is now the Nickelplate, and helped build the track which lies between the Port Clinton and Perrysburg pikes. I then did my first work at my trade, that of carpenter, helping to build a house on the Franks farm near Vanburen, for which I received $6 per month and board. Having finished this job, I started with seven head of horses for St. Paul, Iowa for a man by the name of Goshner.

In April 1857 I returned from the west and in May I was married to Sarah Heminger, my, present wife. We went to housekeeping on my father’s farm on the Arcadia road. In 1860 we moved onto the Lloyd Weizel farm and during that winter helped W. H.  Roberts get out logs for his cabin. In ‘61’ the army worm infested this region and stripped the trees of their leaves, the woods being alive with them.

I entered the army the 11th day of August 1862, accompanied by my brother Edward. We camped a week and were then pushed on to Lexington and from the Covington. Here I was detailed by Gen. Wallace to a gunboat and was in the battle of Perryville soon after. I wanted a fight but got plenty of it here and if the war would end I was ready to come home.

While in the army my wife and three children had resided in a cabin built for her and the children by her father and mine. Returning from the army I bought land where my farm now is and erecting a cabin in the woods moved my family into it. Leaving my boys to clear off part of the land I started to work at my trade. I also helped put the B. & O. through where North Baltimore now stands, getting the timber for the ties in the woods through which we were passing.

The children went to school in the Pete’s school house which was situated where the city hall now stands. The Indians were about exterminated by this time but there was one tribe which camped each spring on my farm and trapped muskrats and made sugar.

But now, instead of trails we have pikes, instead of going with oxen and a horse-back, we have rubber tired buggies and before many years it will be nothing but auto and locomobiles and trolley cars.

NEW EXHIBIT AT THE WOOD CO. MUSEUM

Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives…..

The Wood County Historical Museum will be opening a new traveling exhibit , Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives, on June 16, 2019. Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives features photographs by Riis, a pioneering newspaper reporter and social reformer in New York at the turn of the twentieth century.

This Riis exhibit is a companion piece to the current exhibit, For Comfort and Convenience. Visitors to the exhibit will experience immersive life-size photographs, as well as artifacts and personal documentation. This exhibit is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Library of Congress, and Edwin & Irma Wolf. The exhibit was adapted and toured for NEH on the Road by Mid-America Arts Alliance.

Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives will be on display from June 16 – August 11, 2019. A grand opening celebration & open house for the exhibit will take place on Wednesday, June 26 from 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM.

The museum will be open for self-guided tours Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM and weekends from 1 PM – 4 PM (closed on government holidays). Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children, with discounts for seniors, students, and military. Historical Society members receive free admission as well as a gift shop discount. The museum offers free admission to all visitors on the first Friday of each month, courtesy of the Bowling Green Convention & Visitors Bureau. The museum is handicap accessible and group tours are welcome. 

All events detailed at woodcountyhistory.org or by following the Wood County Historical Museum on social media. The museum is located at 13660 County Home Road in Bowling Green.

Historical Help Needed by 4-H

Looking for band info from 1933…..Wood County 4-H program celebrating 100 years……Many NB area participants

1933   4-H Band has strong NB connections, by Sue Miklovic

The 4-H staff at the OSU Extension office of Wood County recently asked me if I could help them locate any photos they could borrow and copy for the timeline they are creating for the 100th anniversary of 4-H in Wood County.

They shared an article they had regarding the forming of a Wood County 4-H Band in 1933. The band director was Mr. Todd Simon of North Baltimore. Consequently, several of the band members were also from NB.

Here is the article they shared:

Several names in this clipping from the original article contains many people that are probably familiar with many of you, that have long-time ties to the area.

If anyone has any band pictures, group or individuals, related to this topic, that you would be willing to share for the purpose of making a copy, please contact, Sue Miklovic by leaving a comment here, emailing to editor@theNBXpress.com, or phoning at 419-581-9629 to leave  message.

The Wood County 4-H program is celebrating their 100th anniversary in Wood County, Ohio throughout the entire year or 2019.

NB Pioneer Days Series IV: LETTER FROM A HANCOCK COUNTY LADY PIONEER

WOW – Lived in Wagon – Raised Grain with a Three-Week-Old Baby in a Fence Corner!

NB Pioneer Days Series IV:  A First-Person Account

By Tom Boltz and North Baltimore Ohio Area Historical Society

In the late 1890s and early 1900s, George W. Wilkinson, the editor of the North Baltimore Beacon, encouraged elderly local residents to write about their experiences in the settling of Henry Township and the founding of North Baltimore, Ohio.  He published their letters in a series of articles which he titled “Interesting Pioneer Sketches.”

The following article was written by Mrs. George Baker [Margaret (Weaks) Baker] (born 1822–died 1913).  Margaret Baker, who was six months pregnant with her first child, and her husband came to this area in 1841 many years before Henry Township came into existence.  Together they raised seven sons and five daughters. This article describes the life of a pioneer woman. This article is directly transcribed from the North Baltimore Beacon of November 15, 1901.

A LETTER FROM A HANCOCK COUNTY LADY PIONEER

Lived in Wagon—Raised Grain with a Three-Week-Old Baby in a Fence Corner—

My Battle Alone

Mrs. George Baker

We came to this part of the country in 1841 from Fairfield County in our wagons and settled, on the ridge, west of Van Buren.  I don’t know that what I can give you will be of much interest, but I will try and recall as much as possible that I think will be of interest to the BEACON readers.  My husband, who I married in Fairfield County, had lived here about a year in his youth, but upon the death of his father, his mother moved back to her old home.When we came here there was no land cleared to any great extent although several settlers were already here and were toiling away in their endeavor to clear enough soil to raise some provisions for both family and stock.  Arriving at our destination my husband and I lived in our wagon while we cut down and hewed the trees into lengths which we required to build our cabin. After the cabin was completed we put in a puncheon floor and made some puncheon furniture such as chairs, tables, cupboards, and a bed stead.  My eldest daughter [Hannah], Mrs. Wilse Decker, was born the following September we having settled here in June.

The cabin when completed was like all the settler’s cabins to a great extent but I will give it a brief description together with the furniture and the manner in which we made a bedstead.  A clapboard floor which divided the lower apartment and the loft separated the children’s bed room from ours. The loft was reached by a ladder in one corner of the cabin. Another corner was occupied by my puncheon bureau, another by my bedstead which my father had given me while in the other was the bedstead we made by boring a hole in each side of the cabin and putting in poles with a post to act as one corner and the two sides and the three other corners.  From this outside pole to the wall bed cords were stretched and thus a bedstead made.

Our nearest grist mill was east of Tiffin and Tiffin and Perrysburg were our nearest markets.  My husband left on Tuesday with a grist for the mill and didn’t return until the next week. Upon arriving there he found so many ahead of him that it would be impossible for him to get his grist before the next week and he decided to wait rather than make two trips.

We experienced some very hard times in those days because of the lack of markets and places to buy our supplies and also the high prices which we were compelled to pay.  In the winter time and also at nights I would spin flax and wool and in this manner clothed my family. During the day I worked in the field with my husband or if we had our crop out we would go into the wilderness and clear some more land.  Help was very scarce, and the settler’s wives were compelled to give considerable aid to their husbands. I would take my children into the field and spread a blanket down in the fence corner and set them on it and leave them to amuse themselves while I followed the cradler—we always hired a man to cut our grain with a cradle and he was called the “cradler”—with a rake and raked the grain in bunches which my husband and I would follow and bind I remember of following through the fields all day long with a baby only three weeks old.

The game was plenty and wild turkeys would often come right up to our cabin and fight our turkeys.  Mr. Baker would often go out in the morning and kill a couple deer before breakfast. He killed a large amount of game but never wasted any time in hunting to any great extent although he was quite a hunter.  If he would see a flock of wild turkeys or some deer while laboring in the fields he would come to the house and get the gun and kill them after which he would return to his work. In this way he kept us supplied with game and still advanced his farming also.

A little girl was lost in the woods and they searched three days while she was compelled to spend three nights in the darkness.  I well remember how they built great fires around through the woods hoping to keep the wild animals from her. Her little dog was with her when she wandered into the thicket and stayed with her until it met its death in the clutches of the most ravenous of the animals which inhabited this country in the early days, the timber wolf.  She slept at nights by these large fires until she was finally found.

In 1869 or about that year we were just getting in better circumstances and the dawn of success just breaking upon him, to reward him for his hard labor and sacrifices, he [her husband George] was suddenly called to that great beyond.  In apparently good health he went to Hammansburg to plaster a house for a Mr. Rantz and was found dead in bed the next morning. The death of my husband was a most cruel blow leaving me with eight children and the farm to take care of. The outlook was not very pleasant for me, but I resolved that with the help of my children I would finish the task which my husband had worked so hard to forward this far.  I will not take the time and space to tell of the hardships and struggles through which I passed until my boys were large enough to take charge, but let it be suffice to say that they were many and of a most severe kind.

The country around us was becoming more thickly settled by this time and the life of the settler was made more pleasant with the advance of civilization.  We finally decided to further improve our now good-sized farm with a new house and which house still stands and is in use. We had up to this time lived in the cabin erected by my husband and myself on our first arrival.

After this, times became better and my children having complete charge of the farm, I decided to move to town.  In 1890 accompanied by my youngest child and a boy of my daughter’s I moved to North Baltimore. If I had stayed on the farm until June I would have spent fifty years there. I am now eighty years old and my memory I find can recall a great many incident that happened that I had almost entirely forgotten.

WOOD COUNTY MUSEUM TO BE FEATURED ON WBGU-TV

One of Ohio’s First Humanitarian Movements….


The Wood County Historical Museum will be featured on the latest episode of WBGU-TV’s program, The Journal. The air dates will be: Thursday, March 7 at 8:00 PM, Friday March 8 at 12:00 PM, Sunday, March 10 at 10:30 AM and 3:30 PM. The episode is also available online at wbgu.org and will go out to The Ohio Channel to PBS stations in Akron, Athens, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Kent, Toledo and Youngstown. 

Museum Director Kelli Kling, Curator Holly Hartlerode, and exhibit photographer Jeffrey Hall speak about the Museum’s newest exhibit, For Comfort & Convenience: Public Charity in Ohio by Way of the Poor Farm. The exhibit depicts Ohio’s earliest form of public charity, the poor farm, representing all of Ohio’s 88 counties. Historical documentation from many counties are featured, along with 120 modern-day photographs of each county taken by Jeffrey Hall over the last two years. This exhibit was made possible by the Ohio Arts Council and the Ohio Humanities Council.

The Journal covers a wide range of important topics such as legislative, education, health and economic issues affecting our region. Steve Kendall, the voice of WBGU-TV, serves as The Journal’s dedicated host.

The museum will be open for self-guided tours Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM and weekends from 1 PM – 4 PM (closed on government holidays). Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children, with discounts for seniors, students, and military. Historical Society members receive free admission as well as a gift shop discount. The museum offers free admission to all visitors on the first Friday of each month, courtesy of the Bowling Green Convention & Visitors Bureau. The museum is handicap accessible and group tours are welcome. 

In conjunction with the Poor Farm theme, a monument in the Wood County paupers’ cemetery will be dedicated on Saturday, April 6 from 2:00 PM-4:00 PM. The cemetery is located on the Wood County Historical Center’s grounds. 

All events detailed at woodcountyhistory.org or by following the Wood County Historical Museum on social media. The museum is located at 13660 County Home Road in Bowling Green. 

Ribbon Cutting Planned

GRAND OPENING EVENT PLANNED AT WOOD COUNTY MUSEUM

New Exhibit Opening:” For Comfort & Convenience: Public Charity in Ohio by Way of the Poor Farm”

A grand opening celebration for the new exhibit, For Comfort & Convenience: Public Charity in Ohio by Way of the Poor Farm, will take place on Friday, February 22 with a ribbon cutting at 4:45 PM followed by a public reception and self-guided tours from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Exhibit photographer Jeffrey Hall will share remarks at 6:00 PM about his 5,000 mile journey to Ohio’s poor farm sites. This event is free and open to the public.

The exhibit depicts Ohio’s earliest form of public charity, the poor farm, by representing all of Ohio’s 88 counties. Historical documentation shared from many counties can be seen within diorama-style exhibits, along with 120 modern-day photographs of each county taken by local photographer Jeffrey Hall over the last two years.


This exhibit was made possible by the Ohio Arts Council and the Ohio Humanities Council.

The museum will be open for self-guided tours Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM and weekends from 1 PM – 4 PM (closed on government holidays). Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children, with discounts for seniors, students, and military. Historical Society members receive free admission as well as a gift shop discount. The museum offers free admission to all visitors on the first Friday of each month, courtesy of the Bowling Green Convention & Visitors Bureau. The museum is handicap accessible and group tours are welcome.  

All events detailed at woodcountyhistory.org or by following the Wood County Historical Museum on social media. The museum is located at 13660 County Home Road in Bowling Green. 

NB Pioneer Days Series IV:  A First-Person Account

Interesting Pioneer Sketches of the Lack of Religious Services in Pioneer Days

NB Pioneer Days Series IV:  A First-Person Account

By Tom Boltz and North Baltimore Ohio Area Historical Society

In the late 1890s and early 1900s, George W. Wilkinson, the editor of the North Baltimore Beacon, encouraged elderly local residents to write about their experiences in the settling of Henry Township and the founding of North Baltimore, Ohio.  He published their letters in a series of articles which he titled “Interesting Pioneer Sketches.”

The following article was written by William Evilsizer (born 1816–died 1905).  It describes the religious life of pioneer families. This article is directly transcribed from the North Baltimore Beacon of October 18, 1901.

Interesting Pioneer Sketches of the Lack of Religious Services in Pioneer Days

William Evilsizer

Editor Beacon:  The pioneer or first settlers of this part of the state had their privations not only of temporal conveniences but the spiritual welfare was poorly provided for as far as human agencies are concerned.  The churches were scarce and far removed from each other. Those who came from other settlements where preaching was weekly and commodious places of worship provided for their comfort, realized for the first time that it was no small matter to be deprived of the means of grace.  There was but one house of worship in Vanburen in 1850 and a small frame church on the farm of Jacob Dirk.

I was about to leave the county because of society and the mud and water.  I went to Vanburen and bought 10 bushels of corn and paid $7 for it. It took me from noon to dark to get home on account of the mud.  I was determined to leave the country, but my horse died.

(Photo not original to this story – Ed.)

There was preaching at Levi Tarr’s place two or three times in the summer by the Church of God’s minister.  In the fall of 1849 a preacher came and wanted a preaching place. I was living in a double log house and, taking out my furniture, I gave him the use of one end of the house.  He commenced holding a protracted effort in December and all the people in the neighborhood attended. The people came carrying lanterns and hickory bark torches and it being good sleighing about all the time of the meetings, many came from a distance.  There were some very unruly ones. John Lewis had to stand by the window with a revolver in his hand watching his team. This meeting continued six weeks and after a few nights’ preaching the people began to come forward and seek religion, many tried to see who could spit the most tobacco juice when they began to come forward to the mourner’s bench and the preacher had to tell them that folks didn’t want to go to heaven through a flood of tobacco juice.  There were plenty of dogs in the congregation. When the preacher would speak in a loud tone one cur persisted in stepping before him and barking. Charles Grant took him by the fore-leg and carried him out over the people’s heads. We could say with Jacob “Surely God is in this place.” Our meeting resulted in the conversion of thirty-seven and a class of thirty-six was organized.

I spent the winter season largely in hunting and killed a good many deer and turkeys.  There were no roads in the county except the Otsego pike and the road from Findlay to Perrysburg.