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Mary (Houser) McMurray

Mary (Houser) McMurray  -- whose middle name may have been "Louise" -- was born on Oct. 16 or 17, 1838 in or near Rushville, Fairfield County, OH, the daughter of George and Barbara (Miner) Houser

Both she and her husband appear to have known how to read and write. 

Obituary, 1906
When Mary was just age five, her mother died of causes unknown. Within a month, her father remarried and later moved to Delaware, Coshocton and Franklin Counties, OH, and eventually to Scipio, IN. How Mary met her future husband in Madison County is unknown.

On the Fourth of either January or July 1854, the 16-year-old Mary entered into marriage with 33-year-old Alexander Blaine "Alex" McMurray Jr. (Aug. 3, 1820-1906), a native of Westmoreland County, PA, and the son of Alexander and Ellen McMurray. They were some 17 to 18 years apart in age.

Alexander as a six-year-old had moved to Ohio with his parents, first settling in Highland County for two years, and then in Ross County for two more years. In January 1830, when Alexander was 10, they moved to Madison County, where they settled for good.

Most of what we know about her and her husband is found in the 1883 book, The History of Madison County, Ohio, published by W.H. Beers & Co. Said the History, Alexander "here grew to manhood, fully acquainted with the early pioneers and the hardships and trials of those days."

Mary and Alexander together produced a brood of 10 children, of whom the identities of seven are known -- Alexander McMurray, Elizabeth McMurray, Mary "Louisa" Leslie, Abbie McMurray, George H. McMurray, Ella Carter, Robert A. McMurray Sr., George McMurray, Sarah "Sadie" Ailes and Florence West, born over a 24 year span between 1855 and 1879. 

Sadly, three of their brood died young, among them Elizabeth at age 22 months on July 8, 1859 -- Abbie at age 14 on Oct. 25, 1876 -- and Charles at age 2 on Nov. 11, 1876. Their remains were lowered under the sod of Deer Creek Township Cemetery..

Madison County is located directly west of the state capitol of Columbus, halfway to Springfield, OH. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1860, the family dwelled on a farm in Somerfield Township, Madison County. In addition to their two eldest children, 14-year-old James Turpin [spelling?] dwelled in their household that year.

The McMurrays relocated during the 1860s to a farm in Deer Creek Township, Madison County and were there at the time of the censuses of 1870 and 1880. Circa 1880-1883, their post office was in the nearby town of Lafayette. Mary's married sister Elizabeth Baker Dillow and her first and second husbands also resided in Lafayette, but later migrated to Illinois, Iowa and back to Illinois.

Alexander's entry in the History of Madison County

Book profiling Alexander
Alexander was profiled in a biographical entry in the History of Madison County:

...has made farming his occupation through life, and all in this township, but three years, from the fall of 1855 to the fall of 1858, during which he lived in Iowa. In September 1861, he bought and located on the place where he now lives and has since resided. This farm consists of fifty-two and a half acres, which he purchased of Mrs. Rogers. McMurray has served his Township as Trustee, and is one of the early settlers of this county.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, there were four adult children in the household, as well as Alexander's 77-year-old bachelor brother James McMurray. At that time, the couple had been married for 46 years. They marked their golden wedding anniversary in 1904.

Sadly, Alexander passed away on Feb. 8, 1906. Daughter and son-in-law Louisa and Cyrus Leslie traveled from their home in Springfield to attend the funeral.

In his last will and testament, written on Sept. 12, 1903, Alexander bequeathed to Mary the balance of his personal property and estate, including their farm of 52.5 acres where they had resided. If she was not living at the time, then the estate was to have been converted into cash and divided seven ways among their living children Alexander, Louisa, George, Robert, Sarah and Florence as well as the three children of his deceased daughter Ella. Son Robert was to serve as executor; son Alexander also was to inherit the "Wright note," apparently forgiving an IOU; and a monument was to be erected at their grave.

Mary died the following year, on Dec. 5, 1907. The Leslies again came to the funeral from Springfield, as noted in the Springfield newspaper gossip columns.

They sleep for all time under a large grey stone in Deer Creek Township Cemetery in Lafayette, OH. 

The McMurrays are mentioned in a booklet, Our Family Tree and Its Many Branches, McMurray Branch, published in November 1988 by Charles E. Parker. 

~ Son Alexander McMurray Jr.  ~

Son Alexander McMurray Jr. (1854-1924) was born on March 18, 1854.

In about 1876, at the age of about 22, he married Alice Ann Simmons (Nov. 1853-1923), the daughter of Addison and Mary E. (Bulen) Simmons of Columbus, OH. 

Four children were born to the couple -- Charles McMurray, William McMurray, Dora Crabbe and Grace McMurray.

Circa 1880-1900, the family dwelled on a farm in Pleasant Township on the western outskirts of Grove City, Franklin County, OH. The census-taker of 1880 spelled their surname "McMerry." In 1906, when named in the last will and testament of his father, his address was listed in court papers as Pennsylvania, OH. 

Alice suffered from gallstones, caused by stomach cancer and colon problems, and died at the age of 69 on June 19, 1923. 

As a widower, Alexander moved into the nearby city of Columbus, OH, and made his home at 180 South Harris Avenue. He bore the disease of diabetes, like his younger brothers. 

He died a little over a year after his wife, at the age of 69, on Nov. 13, 1924. His remains were laid to rest beside his wife in Mount Sterling, Madison County.

Son Charles I. McMurray (1879-1945) was born on Feb. 18, 1879 in Georgesville, Franklin County, OH. He followed his father's occupation of farming and in 1903 lived in the community of his birth. Charles was of medium height and build, with blue eyes and black hair. On Oct. 15, 1903, he was united in matrimony with 22-year-old Georgesville resident Caroline S. Bukey (Sept. 11 or 30, 1881-1968), daughter of Edward Morgan and Anna (Sked) Bukey. The wedding was held in Franklin County, by the hand of Rev. J.E. Walter of Harrisburg, OH. Three known offspring of this union were Elizabeth McMurray, Ruth McMurray, Paul Melvin McMurray and Josephine McMurray. When required to register for the military draft during World War I, he marked his occupation as farmer and post office address as Grove City in Pleasant Township, Franklin County. Census records for 1920 list the family in nearby Harrisburg, OH. They are known to have attended the Bulen family reunion on Aug. 26, 1920, held "at the pleasant rural home of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Bulen west of town," said the Richwood (OH) Gazette. They "spent a most enjoyable day together. All came with well filled baskets and at the noon hour an elaborate picnic dinner was enjoyed." Grief blanketed the family when daughter Josephine, born prematurely, died after only a few hours of life on Aug. 7, 1921. Her tender remains were interred in Mount Sterling Cemetery. Then in 1942, when again registering for the military draft, they remained on a farm in Pleasant Township. Sadly, stricken with liver cancer, Charles died at the age of 66 in their home on the London-Groveport Road on March 3, 1945. Caroline outlived him by 23 years. She died at the age of 86, in Columbus, on March 23, 1968. Burial was in Pleasant Cemetery in Mount Sterling.

  • Granddaughter Mary "Elizabeth" McMurray (1904-1973) was born on Aug. 27, 1904 in Franklin County. She resided in Grove City in young adulthood. On Nov. 27, 1923, at the age of 21, she married 21-year-old Lester N. Brown (Jan. 4, 1901-1945) of Lilly Chapel, OH and the son of John M. and Anna D. (Lawrence) Brown..The marriage was conducted by Rev. W.H. Harble. Five offspring were born to this union -- Donald Brown, Charles Brown, Ruth Eleanor Welch, Carolyn Wilson and Frances Pickering. The family lived at Lilly Chapel in the 1930s and often spent Sundays visiting at the home of Elizabeth's parents. Then in about 1941, they moved to a home at 8321 Harrisburg Pike in rural Pickaway County, OH. Lester earned a living as an attendant at the Institute for the Feeble-Minded, formed in 1898 as a farming community of the Columbus State School for "idiotic and imbecile youth." Sadly, Lester was burdened with heart disease and bronchial asthma. At the age of 42, he died on Sept. 20, 1945, bringing to a close their union of 22 years. Elizabeth supported herself as a widow through employment at her husband's workplace, now known as the Orient State Institute. She retired in about 1973 after working there for 30 years. In early 1973, with her health in decline, she was admitted to the Monterey Nursing Home in Grove City and was there for her final five months oflife. Sadly, at the age of 69, she died on Aug. 28, 1973. Her obituary was published in the Washington Court House Record-Herald. The headcount of her survivors was 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Burial was in Pleasant Cemetery.

    Great-grandson Donald Lowell Brown (1924-1999) was born on Oct. 19, 1924. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Donald later moved to Albuquerque, NM. He passed away on Dec. 20, 1999, at the age of 75. Burial was in Fort Bayard National Cemetery in New Mexico.

    Great-granddaughter Ruth Eleanor Brown (1926-2002) was born on Jan. 2, 1926. She lived in Harrisburg, OH in young womanhood. When she was 19 years of age, on Nov. 10, 1945, she married 22-year-old salesman Arthur Nathan Welch (Nov. 2, 1923-2000), a native of Toledo. News of their marriage license was printed in the Circleville (OH) Herald. Arthur had served as a gunner's mate in the U.S. Navy during World War II. One known daughter of the couple was Donna Sue Andrews. Circa 1968-1973, they dwelled in Columbus. Arthur died two days before Christmas 2000. Ruth surrendered to the spirit of death at the age of 76, in Columbus, on Nov. 10, 2002. Her remains sleep for the ages in Pleasant Cemetery in Mount Sterling. Their daughter Donna Sue is believed to have married Charles William Andrews Jr. in July 1968 but this needs to be confirmed.

    Great-granddaughter Carolyn Brown (1929-2007) was born on May 27, 1929 in Lilly Chapel, OH. She was thrice-wed. Her first spouse is believed to have been Everett Merrill Pierce (1924-1988). They bore three known children, Marjorie Ray, Everett "Bud" Pierce and John Pierce. Her second husband was Charles Kensler ( ? - ? ). She tied the knot a third time with railroader James Asbury Wilson (Oct. 1, 1935-1996). He brought three stepchildren into the union -- Michael Wilson, Becky Grubich and Douglas Wilson. The Wilsons were in Gahanna, OH in 1973 and stayed to the end. James died at the age of 60 on March 6, 1996. The remains were lowered in to the sacred soil of Pleasant Cemetery. Carolyn survived her husband by 11 years. She held a membership in the Glenwood United Methodist Church and the local lodge of the Women of the Moose. In her free time she liked to raise her dogs, shop and read. At the age of 77, she died in the intensive care unit of Ohio State University Medical Center on May 24, 2007. Pastor Robert Alexander presided at the funeral, with burial in Pleasant Cemetery. In an obituary in the Columbus Dispatch, the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the Children's Heart Foundation-Ohio Chapter or the Stephanie Spielman Breast Cancer Foundation. Her daughter Marjorie (1947-2020) wed Donald Ray, lived in Columbus and died on Aug. 24, 2020 -- son Everett entered into marriage with Lisa and moved to Myrtle Beach, SC -- and son John married Judy and put down roots in Waterville, OH. 

    Great-grandson Charles Brown ( ? - ? ) was united in matrmony with Pam. He lived in Grove City, OH in 1973-2007. Charles was named as a "special cousin" in the 2015 obituary of his cousin Kenneth W. McMurray.

    Great-granddaughter Frances Pauline Brown (1931-1994) was born on March 15, 1931 in Franklin Conty, OH. On Feb. 18, 1950, at the age of 18, she entered into marriage with World War II Army veteran Ralph Armour Pickering (1924-2000). One child was born in this family. Ralph made a living as a janitor. Their residence was in Derby, OH in the early 1970s. Frances filed for divorce in June 1971, citing "gross neglect and extreme cruelty," but the pair appears to have reconciled. Frances died on March 2, 1994 at the age of 62. Her remains were interred in Pleasant Cemetery in Mount Sterling. Ralph endured for another six years. The angel of death cleaved him away on Nov. 23, 2000.

  • Business district of London, Madison County

  • Granddaughter Ruth Alice McMurray (1906-1990) was born in 1906. Circa 1924, she married widower Francis Joseph "Frank" Landes (1898-1976), a native of Orient, Pickaway County, and the son of Thomas and Katie (Bettinger) Landes. He had been wed once before, in 1919 to Wanda Clark (1896-1920). Together, they produced at least two children, Melvin Lee Landes and Helen Louise Martin. In 1945, Ruth Alice and Frank made their dwelling-place in Lockbourne, OH. By 1973, they lived in London, OH. Frank passed away in 1976. Ruth Alice survived as a widow for another 14 years. She died in 1990. Their remains sleep in eternal repose in Pleasant Cemetery.

    Great-grandson Melvin Lee Landes (1929-2005) was born on Jan. 12, 1929. In 1948, he tied the marital knot with Norma Lorene Archer (Dec. 31, 1929-2010), daughter of Nathan G. and Ruth (Stewart) Archer of Elkins, WV. Their trio of offspring were Kathy Liston, Kandy Deemer and Phil Landes. They were longtime dairy farmers in Groveport, OH, and at one time both Melvin and Norma were employed by the Farm Service Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Landeses belonged to the Lockbourne United Methodist Church. Their final home was in Stoutsville, OH. Death spirited him away at the age of 76 on April 28, 2005. Following funeral rites led by Rev. Charles Moeller, burial was in Fernwood Cemetery in Lockbourne, Franklin County, with an obituary appearing in the Columbus Dispatch. Norma endured for five years and moved to Circleville. She passed into eternity on July 11, 2010. Rev. Moeller again was called to preside at the funeral service. As of 2005, daughter Kathy was married to Bruce Liston and dwelled in Circleville -- daughter Kandy was wed to Ralph Deemer and had put down roots in Amanda, OH -- and son, Phil was married to Nancy and resided in Groveport.

    Great-granddaughter Helen Louise Landes ( ? - ? ) entered into marriage with (?) Martin. She lived in Columbus in 2005. 

  • Grandson Paul Melvin McMurray (1920-1995) was born on June 9, 1920. He exchanged marital vows with Mary Elizabeth Rae (Jan. 12, 1919-2003), daughter of James B. Weaver and Gladys (McKinley) Rae and a native of Columbus. They lived in London, OH and were the parents of Kenneth W. McMurray. He passed away in London on March 11, 1995, at the age of 74. Mary Elizabeth relocated to New Vienna, Clinton County, OH, where her final residence was in Sharonview Nursing Home. There, she died at the age of 84 on April 19, 2003.

    Great-grandson Kenneth W. McMurray (1939-2015) was born on Oct. 12, 1939 in Franklin County, OH. In March 1965, when he was 25 years of age, he tied the marital knot with Barbara ( ? - ? ). Their union endured for nearly half a century. Together, they produced a family of children, among them Kelly Sparks and Saundra McMurray. The McMurrays were dairy farmers in the Mount Sterling area. Kenneth also earned income for 23 years with Stanley Electric in London. He served on the Madison Plains School Board and was a member of the National Farmers Organization. Sadly, he died at home at the age of 75 on Jan. 7, 2015. Rev. Gordon Ell presided over the funeral rites, with burial following in Bethel Cemetery. Their daughter Kelly married Roger Sparks and daughter Saundra was a companion of Craig Neff.   

Son William McMurray (1880-1952) was born on June 6, 1880 in Harrisburg, Franklin County, OH. He grew up assisting his father in farming chores. When he was 22 years of age, living in Columbus, he was joined in wedlock with Carrie Elizabeth Johnson (June 26/29, 1878-1937), daughter of Peter and Martha (Dennison) Johnson. Rev. N.W. Good presided over their nuptials. The pair of children produced by the couple were Louise Clark and Clyde McMurray. They lived in Grove City near Columbus. On the fateful day, while walking on the Lockbourne Harrisburg Road, she was struck by an automobile which fractured her skull, Carrie suffered a heart attack and succumbed to the spectre of death at the age of 64 on April 27, 1937. No newspaper accounts have been found of the tragedy. William lived for another 15 years. Sadly, at the age of 70, on May 4, 1952, he suffered a heart attack and died at home after a long illness. His obituary appeared in the Madison County Democrat. Burial took place next to his wife in Mount Sterling, OH.

  • Granddaughter Louise McMurray wed (?) Clark. She lived with her father in Grove City in 1952.
  • Grandson William "Clyde" McMurray (1904-1962) was born in 1904. He put down roots in Columbus. He wed Helen J. Cione (July 25, 1907-2001). They do not appear to have reproduced. When the federal census enumeration was made in1940, of Columbus, Clyde's occupation was as a clerk in a stone plant. Census records for 1950 show Clyde employed as office manager in the sales and traffic department of a limestone production company. He suffered a heart attack and died in Columbus at the age of 58 on Feb. 1, 1962. Helen outlived him by nearly four decades. Their remains are in eternal sleep in Pleasant Cemetery in Mount Sterling. At the age of 93, the angel of death clipped her away on Feb. 25, 2001. 

Madison County Courthouse, London, OH  
Daughter Dora McMurray (1884-1967) was born on March 15, 1884 in Madison County, OH. She became a teacher in young womanhood, living in Grove City near Columbus. On Oct. 4, 1906, in a wedding held in Franklin County, the 23-year-old Dora entered into marriage with 26-year-old farmer John "Clyde" Crabbe (March 31, 1881-1961), a resident of Big Plain, OH and the son of John Crabbe. Officiating was Rev. Leroy J. Hopper. A trio of known children of the pair were Ethel B. Thompson, Judge Charles William Crabbe and Robert Crabbe. The Crabbes lived for years on a farm at London, Madison County. Clyde and his family were active in politics and public affairs, with his brothers Charles serving as Attorney General of Ohio, Harvey as a prosecuting attorney in Madison County and G.W. as executive secretary of the Anti-Saloon League of America, based in Baltimore, MD. Reported the Springfield News-Sun, Clyde also "served as town marshal of London, deputy sheriff of Madison County and a guard at the London Correctional Institution." Clyde often was in the news in his working years. One of the highlights was his questioning of a suspect in the 1927 murder case of Constable Henry Beathard, who had been attacked in his sleep. Sadly, at the age of 81, Clyde passed away at home on June 18, 1961. Funeral services were led by Rev. R. Cochrun, with interment in Pleasant Cemetery in Mount Sterling, OH. An obituary was printed in the News-Sun. Dora survived as a widow for nearly three years. She was gathered away by the angel of death on May 24, 1967. They sleep for eternity in Pleasant Cemetery in Mount Sterling. 

  • Granddaughter Ethel B. Crabbe wed E.G. Thompson ( ? - ? ), son of John Thompson of Columbus, OH. The couple resided in Pittsburgh in 1950, Columbus in 1953, Buffalo, NY in 1953 and Pittsburgh again in 1961.
  • Grandson Charles William Crabbe ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). He received a degree from Ohio State University and then in January 1944 graduated from the Ohio Northern University College of Law. When he passed the Ohio bar examination in March 1944, the Springfield News-Sun said he was "the seventh member in his family to attain this record." In time he became a Madison County Probate Judge.
  • Grandson Robert Crabbe ( ? - ? ) dwelled in London, Madison County in 1961. 

Daughter Grace McMurray (1887- ? ) was born in Nov. 1887. Sadly, she only lived into her early teens. Grace passed away in 1902. Her youthful remains were laid into the sleep of the ages in Pleasant Cemetery in Mount Sterling and a stone erected at the grave. The cause of her untimely death is not yet known.

~ Daughter Mary "Louisa" (McMurray) Leslie ~

Daughter Mary "Louisa" McMurray (1859- ? ) was born on April 16, 1859 in London, Madison County.

At the age of 11, in 1870, and age 21 in 1880, she resided with her parents and siblings in Deer Creek Township, Madison County. The 1880 census-taker marked her occupation as "help at home."

She when named in her father's profile in the 1883 book History of Madison County

On Jan. 28, 1885, now 25 years of age, Louisa entered into marriage with Cyrus C. "C.C." Leslie (Aug. 1860- ? ), an immigrant from England who had come to America at the age of 3. The nuptials were performed by Rev. Jacob Martin. On the couple's marriage license, they requested that it not be announced publicly.

Springfield's fountain square 

The pair did not reproduce. 

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, the Leslies resided in Springfield, Clark County, OH, where Cyrus was employed as a teacher. Their address was 39 West Mulberry Street. They are known to have hosted her niece Ruth Carter in August 1905 and the wedding nuptials of her sister Florence to Foster West on Christmas Eve 1905. At the death of her father in 1906, they traveled to attend the funeral, and Louisa was named in his estate as an heir. Nieces Edna and Ruth Carter visited in June 1906.

Cyrus changed occupations during the decade of the 1900s and in 1910 was employed as a lawyer in the real estate field in Springfield. His travels took him to such places as Wapakoneta, OH and Detroit and Fremont, MI. A fruit farm he had purchased in Fremont was sold in 1908 to a group of friends with the names Clidence, Steele and Borger, and they all dubbed themselves the "Michigan Farmers." As of 1908, Cyrus renewed his teaching certificate, but he continued to work in real estate and in April 1913 was local agent for the "Michigan Exhibit," an overnight trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula shown by the Western Land Securities Company of St. Paul, MN. The exhibit featured an exhibition of farm produce, with guests receiving maps and folders describing acreage which they could buy.

The Leslies' address in 1917 was 20 South Fountain Avenue, and in March 1917 he advertised that he was selling a 40-acre farm, "one of the best in the county," and that he would accept property as partial payment. They made news in 1918 when legal action was taken against them to foreclose on their mortgage, apparently in debt of more than $2,300 to the Springfield Building and Loan Association and the Merchants and Mechanics Savings and Loan Association.

Cyrus was charged with the crime of embezzlement in February 1920, with a hearing held in police court. Then in July 1920, the county court ruled that he and W.E. Larcum were in default of a $640.60 IOU owed to Charles Schindler. 

After that time, Cyrus disappears from view. He was never again named in any Springfield newspaper articles, and no record of his death has been found in Ohio. His fate remains a mystery.

Louisa remained in Springfield for the balance of her life, and may have found herself in difficult financial straits. In April 1924, she advertised the upcoming sale of "extraordinary high grade household goods" at her 125 West Liberty Street home. The items she was offering started with a walnut Sterling upright piano, "positively first class." Others included a three-piece parlor suite, oak chairs, combination bookcase and writing desk, walnut office table, hall tree, velvet couch, eight rocking chairs, 14-foot dining room table "like new," three-piece walnut bedroom suite, a "dandy" large size Diamond Garland gas heater and more. She also planned to sell a host of rugs, eight-day clock, lace curtains, copper wash boiler, 50-lb. mattress, large Bible and "all kinds other books," fancy dishes and on and on. 

She spent her final years in Springfield's Ohio Masonic Home. Suffering from chronic kidney disease and diabetes, under the name "Mary Leslie," she died at the age of 70 on Jan. 6, 1929. Burial was in the Home Cemetery. Masonic officials who provided information for her death certificate gave her birthdate as Nov. 6, 1858 and could not furnish the names of her parents.

~ Son George H. McMurray  ~

Son George H. McMurray (1862-1945) was born on Nov. 17, 1862 or 1863 in Madison County, OH

In 1900, the bachelor George at age 36 lived with his parents near Lafayette in Deer Creek Township, Madison County, where he toiled as a farmer.   

On Feb. 19, 1903, when both were in their early 40s, he entered into marriage with Calistia "Calista" Sparrow (May 19 or June 29, 1861-1938), daughter of Abraham Thomas and Jane (Buyler/Bailor) Sparrow of Clark County. Rev. T.K. King officiated at the nuptials held in Franklin County. It was her first marriage, and at the time she dwelled in Columbus. Her first name at times has been misspelled "Cliopia."  

Railroad station in London, Ohio

The couple did not reproduce.

They lived near George's brother Robert in rural London, Madison County, and were farmers, as shown in the 1910 and 1920 censuses. 

Burdened at the age of 76 with chronic arthritis, hardening of the arteries and senility, Calistia was injured in a fall and passed away on Feb. 18, 1938.

At the age of 82, having endured heart disease, hardening of the arteries and diabetes, George died on Jan. 30, 1945, at Wilson Sanitarium in Franklin County, OH. His remains were returned home for burial in Deer Creek Township Cemetery in Lafayette. 

~ Daughter Ella F. (McMurray) Carter ~

Corwin Thomas Carter
Courtesy Carol W. Bichler
Daughter Ella F. McMurray (1868-1901) was born on July 17, 1868.

In 1883, at the age of 15, she was named in her father's profile in the book History of Madison County.  

On Feb. 28, 1889, when she was now 20 years of age, Ella was united in the rite of holy matrimony with 51-year-old Corwin Thomas Carter (Sept. 27, 1837- 1935), also known as "Thomas Corwin Carter," the son of George W. and Matilda (Kelley) Carter of Paint Township, Madison County, and grandson of William and Elizabeth (Shields) Carter of Virginia. Rev. John A. Ewalt officiated. On their marriage license, the couple asked that the news not be published.

Corwin believed his birthdate was Sept. 27, 1840, with his earlier date disclosed in a census record during his youth. He may have been named for Ohio Gov. Thomas Corwin.

The couple's known children were Robert Murray Carter, Edna Wilson and Ruth E. Berry, plus one who died young, prior to 1900.

Corwin had spent the first 11 years of his life at his birthplace. Then he and the family relocated to a farm near Midway, OH, where they remained for two years. Corwin's father subsequently purchased a 400-acre farm in the area, staying for a decade, on the property where Lucy Beach dwelled in the 1930s. "Selling that farm they lived in Lafayette in what is now the Red Brick Tavern for a year, and then moving to the Carter farm on the National pike," said a newspaper. Corwin "helped clear both farms out of the woods.""

Camp Dennison, where the 154th Ohio was organized 

Corwin Thomas Carter - Courtesy Carol (Wilson) Bichler
During the Civil War, on May 2, 1864, Corwin joined the Union Army and was placed within Company I of the 154th Ohio Infantry. The 154th Ohio was organized on May 8, 1864, at Camp Dennison, OH, with the men agreeing to serve terms of 100 days. It functioned as a unit of the Ohio National Guard.

The regiment performed guard and picket duty in West Virginia at New Creek and Moorefield, and then saw action at New Creek on Aug. 4, 1864. It was ordered to Camp Chase in Columbus, OH to guard prisoners and then disbanded back at Camp Dennison on Sept. 1, 1864. More about his military service will be included here once learned.

In the years leading up to marriage, in 1880, the 40-year-old bachelor Corwin made a home with his aged farmer-father and older brothers in Jefferson Township, Madison County.

He was active with the reunions of his old wartime regiment and in August 1885 attended their gathering. The day consisted of a march from the county courthouse to the grounds of the orphan's home, lunch and much visiting, according to an article in the Xenia Gazette News-Current.  

Some 25 years after the war's end, on Aug. 16, 1890, Corwin was awarded a soldier's pension [Invalid App. #902.267 - Certificate #803.361 - C #2568351]

The federal census enumeration of 1900 shows the family on a farm in Deer Creek Township.

Sadly, at the age of about 33, Ella passed away in 1901. Five years later, in 1906, at the death of her father, her three children were named as his heirs in his last will and testament.

Corwin outlived his bride by some three-plus decades. The United States Census of 1910 has the family in Jefferson Township , with the three children in the household ranging in age from 18 to 12. At that time, Corwin at age 63 had no occupation.

News story about Corwin - Courtesy Carol Bichler
In 1920, and again in 1930, he shared a residence with his married daughter Ruth and her family on Frey in Jefferson. Corwin and his sister Mrs. Conklin took a driving trip with his son-in-law Robert Wilson to see their birthplace one day in the late 1920s or early 1930s. Robert later wrote that "They related many incidents of their early childhood and the living conditions of those times."

In September 1934, at his 94th birthday, he was pictured in a newspaper story saying he had the "honor of being the oldest resident of West Jefferson," with his son-in-law Wilson writing some of the narrative. 

He was burdened in his last years with chronic heart disease and senility. He died at the age of 94 on June 1, 1935. Burial was in Deer Creek Township Cemetery. 

Son Robert Murray Carter (1892-1965) was born on March 20, 1892 in West Jefferson, Madison County, OH. He resided at the age of 14, in 1906, in West Jefferson, OH. In young manhood he moved to Columbus, OH and worked as a shoe salesman. He stood 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed 160 lbs. On Nov. 18, 1914, in Pickaway County, OH, he wed 21-year-old stenographer Mamie/Maymie Hattie Kight (Nov. 12, 1894-1988), daughter of John and Bertha (Martin) Kight of Pickaway County, OH. Officiating was Rev. C.B. Beckes of Circleville. Seven known offspring of this union were Mildred Frances Richardson, Louise Carter, Robert Junder Carter, Lorelan Carter, Robert Carter II, Gladys Harriett Carter and Errol E. Carter. He may have served in an Ohio military unit prior to 1917, and that year worked as a trackman with the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway Company. The family dwelled in West Jefferson, Madison County, with Robert employed in 1920 as a retail salesman in a grocery store. Sadly, their son Robert J. died of bronchial pneumonia at age 35 days on Dec. 30, 1918 and daughter Gladys from cerebral-spinal meningitis and influenza at the age of 2 on Oct. 31, 1926. During the later part of the 1920s, the Carters relocated to the state capitol city of Columbus, where in 1930 Robert was a restaurant proprietor and Maymie its cook. By 1940, the family nest in their Brehl Avenue home in Columbus was empty, and Robert earned a living as a laborer for the Clark Grave Vault Company. Two years later, on or about Feb. 6, 1942, their youngest son Errol was born. Robert was required to register for the military draft during World War II, and at the time they lived at 881 West Rich Street, Columbus. The 1950 federal census enumeration shows Robert, Mamie and Errol together with 22-year-old lodger Leslie J. Seigneur living under their roof. At that time, Robert continued his employment with the vault manufacturer, working as a helper and spot welder in the shop. He died in Columbus at the age of 73 on June 18, 1965. The remains were transported back to Lafayette, Madison County for burial. Maymie lived for another 23 years. The angel of death clipped her away in 1988. 

  • Granddaughter Mildred Frances Carter (1916-2001) was born on Jan. 12, 1916 in Madison County and grew up in West Jefferson and Columbus, OH. She was joined in wedlock with James "Guy" Richardson (Sept. 2, 1912-1976), a native of Sloan, IA and the son of farmhand George Oxley and Martha Isabel (Smith) Richardson. They resided at 234 Brehl Avenue in 1936. Circa 1940, when registering for the military draft, James disclosed their address as 253 North Wayne Avenue in Columbus and his employer as T.P. Dowdle of Chicago -- working as shown in the 1940 U.S. Census, as a laborer in sewer construction. James went on to serve as a U.S. Navy veteran in World War II, bearing the rank of motor machinist's mate. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1950, the couple was childless and living in Columbus, with James employed as a real estate agent. They spent many years in Upper Arlington near Columbus at the address of 4271 Woodhall Road. Sadly, he died in Riverside Methodist Hospital at the age of 64 on Dec. 7, 1976. Mildred survived her spouse by a quarter of a century and remained in Upper Arlington. At the age of 85, she died in a nursing home on Christmas Eve 2001. Burial was beside her husband in Deer Creek Township Cemetery. Inscribed on their grave marker is the scripture "God is my refuge and strength."
  • Granddaughter Louise Carter (1917- ? ) was born in about 1917. 
  • Grandson Lorelan Carter (1920- ? ) was born in about 1920.
  • Grandson Robert Carter II (1922- ? ) was born in about 1922 and carried the same first name as an elder, deceased brother. 
  • Grandson Errol Carter (1942- ? ) was born on Feb. 6, 1942. 

Daughter Edna M. Carter (1895-1963) was born on Feb. 10, 1895 in Brown Township, Madison County. She grew up in rural London, OH and as a young woman was in West Jefferson. At the age of 19, on Dec. 20, 1914, she married 21-year-old farmer Robert Alex Wilson (1893-1970), also of West Jefferson and the son of Henry and Kate (Farrar) Wilson. Rev. P.W. Drumm officiated. The four known children of the pair were Richard C. Wilson, Robert Wilson, Walter Corwin Wilson and Kate Bidwell. Circa 1942-1955, the Wilsons resided in West Jefferson, OH. The couple was in the news in the 1950s when successfully suing the Jefferson Local School District to clear up confusion over the legal title of their property. Edna succumbed to the spectre of death in 1963. Burial was in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in West Jefferson. Robert survived for seven years and passed away in 1970. On the face of their grave marker, their parents' names are inscribed as a reference.

  • Grandson Richard Carter Wilson (1915-1992) was born on Oct. 3, 1915 in West Jefferson, Madison County, OH. He grew up in a farming household. When he was 22 years of age, on July 9, 1938, he entered into wedlock with 22-year-old typist Olga Minerva Krieger (May 10, 1916-2002), a resident of Plain City, Madison County and the daughter of William and Flora (Walz) Krieger. Lutheran minister Rev. John O. Lang presided. The five offspring that they bore together were Gary Wilson, Mildred Bidwell, Margaret Burchwell, Sarah Marquis and Shirley Cooper. The Wilsons resided in Pike County, OH, where they farmed, and he was employed as a correctional officer by the state. Their address in the early 1990s was 240 Jasper Road. They attended Piketon-Jasper United Methodist Church and the Richmond Dale Church. Richard passed away in Pike County Hospital Medical Center on Sept. 22, 1992, with burial in Mound Cemetery in Piketon. Rev. Robert Rider officiated the services. An obituary was published in the Chillicothe Gazette. Olga spent the next 10 years as a widow and resided in Ashville, Pickaway County. She attended Brookside Churches of Christ in Christian Union. Toward the end she was admitted to the Chillicothe Nursing and Rehabilitation. Death enveloped her there at the age of 86 on Dec. 3, 2002. Rev. John Cooper led the funeral rites.

    Great-grandson Gary Wilson ( ? -? ) was born on (?). He worked in young manhood for Lennox Air Conditioning and Furnace Company When he was 19 years of age, on July 3, 1965, he entered into marriage with 18-year-old Rebecca S. "Becky" Welshimer ( ? - ? ), daughter of Carl D. and Virginia K. (Sullivan) Welshimer of Chillicothe. Their ceremony was conducted by Rev. James K. Boor in the Crouse Chapel Church. Three children of this couple were Lori Ann Dunham, Lisa Jo Wilson and Brian Scott Wilson. They dwelled in Kingston, OH in 1970-1992 and by 2002 were in Chillicothe. Gary was employed in 1990 as a cost analyst with Ross Laboratories in Columbus, while Becky worked as a secretary at Zane Trace Local School. In July 1990, Gary and Becky marked their silver wedding anniversary with a dinner at One Nation in Columbus and a reception in the Kingston United Methodist Church, and a related article appearing in the Chillicothe Gazette.Daughter Lori Ann, a graduate of Zane Trace High School and Pickaway-Ross Vocational Center, wed Scott Dunham of the U.S. Navy on June 11, 1988 and moved to Japan before settling in Columbus. Daughter Lisa studied at Ohio University-Chillicothe in 1990.  Son Brian (1972- ? ) is a 1990 alumnus of Zane Trace High School, served for four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, studied at ITT Technical College and in 2002 was employed in the RF Performance and Engineering Department of Horizon PCS.

    Great-granddaughter Mildred Ann Wilson (1939-2022) was born on Aug. 13, 1939 in West Jefferson, Madison County. She was a 1957 graduate of Huntington High School. She also was an alumna of the Grant School of Nursing and for decades earned a living as a registered nurse. Mildred wed Nick L. Bidwell ( ? - ? ). They endured the highs and lows of a remarkable 59 years together. They put down roots in Ashville, OH and later moved to Grove City, OH. Two children borne of this union were Craig Bidwell and Holly Hollman. She was considered a "compassionate care giver" and "a skilled seamstress, baker, home chef, and gardener," said an obituary. "No Christmas was complete without her delicious spritz tree cookies. She was as comfortable swinging a golf club on the course as playing games with her grandchildren or creating art through painting or drawing." The pair enjoyed traveling including to Canada and Florida, where they spent their winters for years Sadly, at the age of 83, Mildred passed away on Oct. 16, 2022. A graveside service was held at Reber Hill Cemetery, led by the hand of Rev. Eddie Powers. Their son Craig married Mary, and their daughter Holly wed Jason Hollman.

    Great-granddaughter Margaret Wilson married Orban Burchwell. Their home in 1992-2002 was in Orient, Pickaway County, OH. Over the years, they were active in the Pickaway County Grange and Scioto Township Grange. In 1970, Orban was appointed as chairman of the Junior Grange Committee of the Ohio State Grange at its 98th annual convention held in Akron.

    Great-granddaughter Sarah Elizabeth Wilson ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). She worked as a clerk-typist in Ashville in the mid-1960s. Circa 1967, at the age of about 20, she was joined in wedlock with 22-year-old Buckeye Lake lineman Thomas "Alan" Marquis Sr. (Dec. 28, 1944-2006), a native of Detroit and the son of Billy and Wanda (Steppe) Marquis. News of their marriage license appeared in the Circleville Herald. They were the parents of eight -- Thomas Alan Marquis II, Rachel Kline, Stephen Marquis, Leah Marquis, David Marquis, Deborah Dye, Victoria "Vickie" Hornsby and Benjamin Marquis. Sadly, their son Thomas II died young. Alan was employed for 19 years  as a maintenance electrician by Ranco in Delaware, OH, while Sarah was a clerical specialist with the Delaware County Department of Human Services. The couple eventually divorced. Sarah's dwelling-place was in Delaware, OH in the early 1990s. On May 27, 1994, in nuptials held at the Georgetown Village Senior Center, she married again to Patrick Murray "Pat" Gast ( ? - ? ), son of Murray Samuel and Mabel (Moyer) Gast and stepson of Mary Gast. Presiding was Rev. S. Douglas Johnson of the Worldwide Church of God. Bride and groom were pictured in a wedding announcement in the Delaware Gazette. At the time of marriage, Patrick earned a living as a laborer with PPG Industries. The newlyweds first lived on Fern Drive in Delaware and in 2002-2006, the pair lived in Prospect, OH. Former husband Alan died in Marysville at the age of 61 on May 30, 2006, with an obituary appearing in the Marysville Journal-Tribune. Their son Benjamin is known to have joined the U.S. Army in 2001.

    Great-granddaughter Shirley Wilson ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). On June 11, 1967, she was united in matrimony with Rev. John E. Cooper (Nov. 16, 1947-2010), son of George W. and Phyllis I. (McFadden) Cooper of Ross County, OH. Together, they produced a son and two daughters -- John E. Cooper II, Kimberly S. Davis and Jennifer R. Fisher. John was a graduate of Circleville Bible College, magna cum laude. For many years, the family was in Chillicothe. He was employed by DuPont and later was pastor of the Brookside Church of Christ in Christian Union. He held a membership in the Chillicothe Noon Rotary Club, and "volunteered at the Ross Correctional Institute, the Southern Ohio Adult Parole Authority and served with the Blue Bird Parish Circuit Riders," said the Chilicothe Gazette. Shirley was a musical vocalist and in 1994 performed "The Power of Love" at her sister Sarah's wedding. Sadly, at the age of 63, John died on Dec. 15, 2010 in Adena Regional Medical Center. His funeral service was conducted in his church by Rev. David Dean and Rev. Dr. Dale Wheeler, with interment in Pennisten Cemetery. Son John wed Tonya and has lived in Waverly, OH -- daughter Kimberly married Jay Davis and dwells in Bainbridge, OH -- and daughter Jennifer wed Larry Fisher and put down roots in Chillicothe.

  • Grandson Robert Alex Wilson Jr. (1925-2014) was born on Sept. 26, 1925 in West Jefferson. He was an alumnus of West Jefferson High School. Robert served in the U.S. Merchant Marine and U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, with deployment to France and Italy. On New Year's Day 1949, in Columbus, he married Adeline "Addie" Long (Feb. 27, 1924-2017), a native of Columbus and the daughter of Jonathan and Carrie Lucile Long Sr. Their union endured the ups and downs of an extraordinary 65 years. Addie was a 1942 graduate of Central High School, Columbus. A trio of children of the couple were Carol Bichler, Judy Lowry and Robert L. Wilson. With Addie moving to Robert's home community of West Jefferson, they spent their lives as farmers and belonged to the West Jefferson United Methodist Church, with Addie active in a number of ministries and committees, among them the Monday moring prayer group. Said an obituary, when time allowed, he "enjoyed swimming, fishing, square dancing, hiking, camping, and winter vacationing in Florida..." Addie liked to walk, swim, ride her bicycle and visit with friends. Robert surrendered to the angel of death at home at the age of 88 on Sept. 22, 2014. The headcount of his survivors included seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Jointly leading his funeral service, in the family church, were Pastora Patricia Oesterle and Jerry Poff. Burial was in Pleasant Hill Cemetery. Addie outlived her spouse by two-and-a-half years and stayed put in West Jefferson. The angel of death cleaved her away at the age of 92 on Feb. 22, 2017.

    Great-granddaughter Carol Wilson married Andy Bichler. They lived in West Jefferson in 2014.

    Great-granddaughter Judy Wilson wed (?) Lowry. She was in Atlanta, GA in 2014.

    Great-grandson Robert L. Wilson tied the knot with Ramona and has dwelled in West Jefferson.

  • Grandson Walter Corwin Wilson (1920-1994) was born on April 13, 1920 in West Jefferson, OH. He earned a living in young manhood as a farmer. His first marriage ended in divorce. On Dec. 5, 1948, in Union County, OH, the 28-year-old Walter wed his second bride, 25-year-old Ruth Cunningham (Sept. 1, 1923- ? ) of Plain City, OH. She was the daughter of John W. and Minnie (Arnold) Cunningham and at the time of marriage worked as a beautician. John S. Vance officiated. Four children borne by the couple were Jeanette Diane Calaski, Teresa A. Wright, Thomas C. Wilson and James Wilson. They moved to Ostrander, Delaware County, OH. Grief blanketed the family when son Thomas died in 1967. Walter died on Dec. 3, 1994 at the age of 74. Burial was in Forest Grove Cemetery in Plain City, Madison County. Ruth remained in Ostrander. Sadly, she endured the untimely death of her daughter Teresa in 2006.

    Great-granddaughter Jeanette Diane Wilson (1954-2014) was born on Feb. 4, 1954 in Marysville, OH. She was a 1973 graduate of Buckeye Valley High School. She attended Central Texas College before graduating from Ohio High Point Business School. She married (?) Calaski ( ? - ? ). Their brood of daughters included Kate Calaski and Crystal Tolbert. In the early 2010s, Jeanette made her residence in Marysville. She attended Ostrander Presbyterian Church. The Columbus Dispatch said that she liked to work in her garden and solve word-finder puzzles. She died at home unexpectedly at the age of 60 on July 24, 2014. Burial was in Forest Grove Cemetery in Plain City.

    Great-granddaughter Teresa Arlene Wilson (1953-2006) was born on Jan. 10, 1953 in Marysville, OH. She wed (?) Wright ( ? - ? ). The pair produced two sons -- Thomas Eugene Wright and Robert Corwin Wright. She had interests in the Friends of North Lewisburg Library Committee and attended Middletown Church of God. In the mid-2000s, her home was in North Lewisburg, OH. With her health in decline, Teresa was admitted to the Grant Medical Center in Columbus. She passed away there at the age of 53 on July 2, 2006. Interment was in the family plot at Forest Grove Cemetery in Plain City. An obituary appeared in the Marysville Journal-Tribune.

    Great-grandson James W. Wilson was joined in wedlock with Barbara. They dwelled in 2006-2014 in Westerville, OH.

  • Granddaughter Kate F. Wilson (1917-2007) was born in 1917. She entered into marriage with Ernest C. Bidwell (Nov. 25, 1909-1981), son of Clarence and Etta Florence (Stoner) Bidwell. Together, they bore two sons -- Dale E. Bidwell and Don W. Bidwell. They first lived in Georgesville, OH and in the 1950s moved to Orient in Scioto Township, Pickaway County, OH. The Bidwells belonged to the Orient United Methodist Church. In 1961, he appears to have been elected to a seat on the Scioto Township board of trustees. At that time, he was active on the county committee of the Farmers Home Administration. They were involved with the Scioto Grange, with Kate serving as home economics chairman in 1963 and pianist. As of 1974, Ernest served as deputy of the Pickaway County unit of the Fairfield Grange. Their names frequently were in print in the Circleville Herald for their community activities. Sadly, Ernest died in August 1981. Kate outlived him by more than a quarter of a century. Toward the end of her life, she went to reside in Franklin Woods. She died there at age 90 on Dec. 3, 2007. Pastor Ruth Pribe presided at the services. Burial was in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, West Jefferson, and an obituary was published in the Columbus Dispatch.

    Great-grandson Dale E. Bidwell (1938- ? ) was born in about 1938. He was active in his youth in the Scioto Township Grange and Buffalo Chapter of the Future Farmers of America. At the age of 15, in 1953, Dale received top honors in a statewide soil conservation essay competition sponsored by the Farm Bureau, Grange and Soil Conservation Service, and was featured in a related story in the Circleville Herald.

    Great-grandson Don W. Bidwell ( ? - ? ) was an alumnus of Grove City High School and in 1961 enrolled in an accounting program of the Columbus Business University. He tied the marital cord with Julia.

Daughter Ruth Edith Carter (1897-1963) was born on Dec. 10, 1897. She spent her early years in rural London, OH. At the age of 19, in about 1916, she tied the marital knot with 21-year-old Kentucky native James Moore Berry (March 19, 1896-1975). Three known children of this family were Ellis Carter Berry, Martha Jean Caynor and Ella Mae Kincaid. They dwelled in Jefferson, Madison County, and in 1930 Ruth's elderly, widowed father resided under their roof. In 1930, United States Census records show that James earned a living as a retail salesman in a bakery. By 1940, still in Jefferson, James had turned to farming as his occupation, assisted by son Ellis. The Berrys' marriage ended in divorce during the 1940s, and Ruth moved into the home of heer son Ellis in Plain City, Madison County. The angel of death cleaved Ruth away in London on Jan. 19, 1963. She sleeps for all time in the sacred soil of Deer Creek Township Cemetery. Former husband James outlived her  by a dozen years. At the age of 79, he died in Washington Court House, OH on Aug. 8, 1975.

Ellis Berry participated in the Battle of the Bulge, World War II 
  • Grandson Ellis Carter Berry (1919-2001) was born on March 16, 1919 in West Jefferson, OH. He grew up assisting his father on the family farm in Jefferson. On Aug. 9, 1940, he married Lulua "Marie" Bugg (Nov. 5, 1918-1994), daughter of George and Maria "Louise" (Bigelow) Bugg of Plain City, OH. He joined the U.S. Army during World War II and attained the rank of staff sergeant with Company B of the 345th Regiment, 87th Infantry Division. Ellis is known to have tken part in the Battle of the Bulge. Together, the pair produced a foursome of children -- Ruth Ellen Cook, Phyllis Johnson, James Ellis Berry and Jack L. Berry. They made a dwelling-place in Plain City. Circa 1950, Ellis earned a living as a jack-of-all-trades with a retail hardware store as a clerk, repairman and delivery-maker. He then was employed from 1953 to 1983 as a stationery engineer with Ohio State University and eventually retired from the institution. He also is believed to have been a member of the local rural fire department in the 1950s. Marie served on the local board of elections and was a member of the Plain City Historical Society and Buckeye Ramblers. As time allowed, he liked to camp and fish. In August 1990, Ellis and Marie marked their golden wedding anniversary with an open house at the Bickham Center in Plain City, and were pictured in a related story in the Marysville Journal-Tribune. Sadly, at the age of 76, Marie died while in Bartow, FL on Dec. 7, 1994. She was survived by six grandchildren. Interment was in Forest Grove Cemetery, with Rev. Jim Browne leading the services. Ellis endured for another seven years. While in his winter home at Fort Meade, FL, he passed away without warning on Christmas Day 2001. The body was transported back to Ohio for funeral rites presided by Rev. Don Hilkerbaumer and burial at Forest Grove. His obituary appeared in the Journal-Tribune.

    Great-granddaughter Ruth Ellen Berry (1941-2003) was born on June 6, 1941 in Plain City. She married Richard E. Cook ( ? - ? ). The Cooks lived in Columbus in 1994 and later in Plain City. Two offspring born of their union were Rica Cain and Richard E. Cook III. Said the Marysville Journal-Tribune, Ruth Ellen "wire air conditioner control panels for Leibert Corporation of Columbus for more than 25 years." While a patient at Doctor's Hospital West, she died suddenly at the age of 61 on Jan. 30, 2003. Funeral rites were officiated by Rev. Floyd Loy, with burial following in Big Darby Cemetery.  

    Great-granddaughter Phyllis Berry (1944- ? ) was born in about 1944. She wed W. "Eugene" Johnson. They dwelled in Columbus in 1973. In 1990-1994 they lived in Jacksonville, FL and in 2001-2003 made a residence in Waukee, IA.

    Great-grandson James Ellis Berry (1946- ? ) was born in about 1946. He was an alumnus of Jonathan Alder High School and went on to join the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He served as a boilerman aboard the USS Stickell in Northern European waters in 1967 and as a boiler technician aboard the USS New Jersey, a vessel which in early 1968 was in the process of re-activation. On March 16, 1968, in nuptials held at St. Mark's Lutheran Church of Delaware, OH, he exchanged marital vows with Barbara Jean Schnees ( ? - ? ), daughter of Leroy O. Schnees of Delaware. Rev. K.L. DeWalt presided. In announcing the marriage, the Delaware Gazette said that the bride "chose a street length dress of white venise lace, fashioned in the cage silhouette featuring a sating wedding ring collar, long kabuki sleeves and tiny Dior bows in the back. A matching headpiece held the shoulder length bouffant illusion veil. She carried a white Bible topped with a cumbidium orchid and stephanotis." Barbara was a graduate of Hayes High School and at the time of marriage worked at the Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, OH. By the fall of that year, James was back on the New Jersey and deployed to the Gulf of Tonkin. They made a home in 1990 in Plain City.

    Great-grandson Jack L. Berry (1948- ? ) was born in about 1948. He was joined in wedlock with Della Louise Keaton ( ? - ? ). He was in Columbus in 1973, London, OH in 1990 and 2001-2003, and Big Plains in 1994. 

  • Granddaughter Martha Jean Berry (1928-1999) was born on Jan. 25, 1928. At the age of 19, on Dec. 18, 1947, she was united in matrimony with World War II veteran Okey Hayward Caynor (March 4, 1926-2011), a native of Buckhannon, WV and the son of John and Tretha Caynor. He had served with the U.S. Navy during the war, with a posting aboard the USS Crescent City. Together, they bore a family of three -- James Okey Caynor, Susan Maggard and John Caynor. They made their home in West Jefferson (in 1951) and later in London, OH. Okey earned a living as a truck driver, mainly for F.J. Egner & Sons and also for Coastal and Matlack Tanklines. He was injured in a July 1957 accident near Xenia, OH "when his truck overturned and pinned him beneath the cab on U.S. Route 42, north of the Greene-Warren county line," reported the Dayton Journal Herald. "The Exnia state patrol post said Caynor was driving his empty semi-trailer tank truck ... during a hard rain and lost control of the truck on a curve. The truck went off the left side of the road, hit a guard rail, spun around, slid down the road backwards, went over the guard rail, down an embankment and overturned on its right side." He was treated for cuts and bruises at a local hospital and released. Okey again made news in the Chillicothe Gazette in June 1979 when reporting that his truck had been shot by BBs on Bridge Street in town. Eight years latr, he was pictured in the Bloomsburg (PA) Press Enterprise in July 1987 when, at a rest area along Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania, he discovered that combustible paint thinner was slowly leaking from his tanker vehicle, and the eastbound lanes of I-80 were closed for two hours. He held a membeership in the Teamsters Local No. 413 and the Hilliard lodge of the Moose as well as the West Jefferson lodge of the American Legion. Martha Jean was active in the 1950s with the Deercreek Home Demonstration Club. Sadly, she died on Nov. 17, 1999. Okey remained in West Jefferson for the balance of his life. At the age of 85, residing in the Madison House of London, he passed away on April 7, 2011. Rev. Patricia Oesterle led the funeral rites. His obituary appeared in the Columbus Dispatch. They repose at each other's side in Somerford Cemetery in Madison County.

    Great-grandson James Okey Caynor (1948-2021) was born on Nov. 2, 1948 in Columbus. He was a graduate of West High School and then joined the U.S. Navy, receiving a deployment to Vietnam during the war. He lived in Columbus in 1969 and earned a living as a mechanic. At the age of 21, he wed 22-year-old secretary Peggy Joy Glenn of Sunbury, OH, with the news of their marriage license published in the Delaware (OH) Gazette. Their union held fast over a remarkable 52 years. Their one son was Andrew Caynor. Said an obituary, "He went on to attend Muskingum Technical College earning a degree in mechanical engineering. James later changed direction and was employed by the USPS for 20 years. During his service at USPS, James also obtained his Captain's license and would take charter boats out on Lake Erie every weekend." The pair lived in Centerburg, OH and enjoyed traveling. James also liked to fish, garden, hunt and work with wood. He died in his sleep at home at the age of 73 on Dec. 6, 2021. Their son wed Regina and bore two children, Dakota Caynor and Cheyenne Caynor.

    Great-granddaughter Susan Mae Caynor (1951-2018) was born on July 23, 1951 in Grant Hospital, Columbus, weighing 6 lbs., 13 oz. News of her birth was published in the Madison County Democrat. She was a 1969 graduate of West High School. As a baritone horn player, she studied music education at Ohio State University. On Oct. 9, 1971, when she was 20 years of age, she married fellow OSU student Mark Wayne Maggard ( ? - ? ). Two children of this marriage were Michael Maggard and Kristina Murphy. The Maggards moved to their permanent home in West Jefferson, OH in 1987. Over the years, she was employed as a computer operator by City National Bank, an insurance billing clerk by Blue Cross, a billing clerk att Jefferson Medical Center and an office clerk for Adept Products. For two decades, she was employed as director of The Good Samaritan Food Pantry Inc. of West Jefferson. Among her accomplishments was providing clients with a complete Thanksgiving dinner that they could prepare at home. In 2018, the year before her death, the Food Pantry served nearly 5,900 people and more than 48,000 meals. She also was an advisor to the Silver Bullets 4-H Club. Said an obituary, Susan also was "a teacher of bible school and Sunday school while also being a past Board member of the Hurt Battelle Memorial Library. She had been the Grand Marshall of the Ox Roast parade and past volunteer of the year at Frey Elementary as well as being a member of the West High School Alumni Band." When named the grand marshall, she and her grandchildren were pictured in a story in the Columbus Messenger. As time allowed she liked to camp and took pleasure in observing barges go by in the Ohio River. In recognition of her many roles, she was named by the American Red Cross as a hometown hero in 2010 and by Northwood Elementary School as volunteer of the year. Sadly, she died unexpectedly on Aug. 4, 2018. Her funeral was held at West Jefferson United Methodist Church, with burial following in Pleasant Hill Cemetery. In her memory, the Food Pantry named its Thanksgiving meal giveaway as "The Susan Maggard Thanksgiving Dinner Project."

    Great-grandson John Caynor ( ? - ? ) was married to Georgina Whipple. Later, he has been a companion of Marilyn Fullwood ( ? - ? ). They have dwelled in Columbus.

  • Granddaughter Ella Mae Berry (1920-2007) was born on July 8, 1920 in West Jefferson, OH. On Sept. 11, 1941, when both were age 21, she and Roy Lynn Kincaid (July 15, 1920-1992) slipped away to Wellsburg, WV to be married. Rev. William J. Frayer, of the Assembly of God, led the ceremony. Roy was a native of Greenview, IL and the son of Andrew Thompson and Flora Jeanette (Smith) Kincaid. At the time of marriage, he had been employed by Frasier Brace of Weldon Springs, MO and dwelled in Pontiac, MI. They became the parents of Rhona Hall and Rhoda Koshinski. Roy stood 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed 160 lbs. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and attained the rank of sergeant. Later, they settled in Chatham, IL. Roy was employed for 27 years by the Illinois State Police, where he supervised the radio lab. They belonged to the Auburn Christian Church. Sadly, Roy died at the age of 72 on Sept. 25, 1992 as a patient in Memorial Medical Center of Springfield. Presiding over the funeral services was Rev. David Sowers. His remains are at rest in Chatham Memorial Cemetery in Sangamon County, IL. The Springfield State Journal-Register carried an obituary. The widowed Ella Mae made her residence in 2001 in Chatham. She passed away at the age of 84 on Feb. 6, 2007.

    Great-granddaughter Rhona Kincaid married Michael Hall ( ? - ? ), son of Paul A. and June (Bickel) Hall. Their home in 1992-2012 was in Chatham, IL. The pair is believed to be automobile enthusiasts and members of the Prairie Capital Corvair Association.

    Great-granddaughter Rhoda Lynn Kincaid ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). She was a 1974 alumna of Glenwood High School in Chatham, IL and in young womanhood was employed at the State Bank of Auburn. On Aug. 16, 1975, she wed Kevin Dale Koshinski ( ? - ? ), son of Arthur P. Koshinski of Springfield. The wedding nuptials were conducted at the Auburn Christian Church. In announcing the marriage, the Decatur Daily Review said she "wore a gown of white organza with a full flounce at the hemline, accented at the bodice and sleeves with Venise lace. It featured a square neckline and bishop sleeves." Kevin was a graduate of MacArthur High School and at time of their marriage worked in Springfield for Fiat Allis Construction Machinery Inc. They put down roots in Springfield, IL.

~ Son Robert A. McMurray Sr.  ~

Son Robert A. McMurray Sr. (1870-1947) was born on Feb. 4, 1870 in or near Lafayette in Deer Creek Township, Madison County.

He did not marry until later in life. As of 1910, when he was age 30, he resided under his parents' roof in Deer Creek and helped them farm.

In 1910, when the federal census was taken, he lived near his brother George, but in his own household, where he employed two men as hired help on the farm. 

On June 6, 1911, he married Flora "Flo" Adams (April 18, 1885-1966), a native of South Solon, OH and the daughter of George C. and Eldora (Thomas) Adams. Flo was some 16 years younger than her husband.

The McMurrays together bore three children, Sara Goodyear, Robert A. McMurray Jr. and George LeGrand McMurray. 

They resided near London in Deer Creek Township, Madison County, where they spent their years together as farmers. They held a membership in the Lafayette Methodist Church and the Madison County Farm Bureau, and she belonged to the London Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Robert Sr. suffered from diabetes and died from its effects at the age of 77 on Oct. 8, 1947. He was laid to rest at Lafayette Cemetery. 

The widowed Flora maintained a home in 1952 along Lucas Pike near the village of Fettrows at the intersection of Route 40 and Route 42. Her final residence was along North Main Street in London. 

She was ill for the last two years of her life. At the end, at the age of 81, she was admitted to Madison County Hospital, and passed away therein on Dec. 19, 1966. An obituary was published in the Springfield (OH) News-Sun, which said she "had spent most of her life in the Lafayette and London areas." Her funeral service jointly was conducted in the family church by Rev. Robert Weed and Rev. F. George.

The family is briefly outlined in a section about Flo in the book Our Kinsmen: A Record of the Ancestry and Descendants of Griffith Thomas, by Grace Harper Wingert (Springfield, Sept. 1938). 

Daughter Sara J. McMurray (1912-1992) was born on July 11, 1912. In about 1925, she received a third prize award in the Ohio National Safety Essay contest, sponsored by the Highway Board of Education of Washington, DC. She was a 1930 graduate of London High School and in young adulthood lived at 517 Oxford Avenue in Dayton. "For ten years," said the Madison Press, "she was employed as a school teacher in the Lafayette and Monroe schools and served as principal at the Lafayette school for three years. She was later employed for 28 years in Civil Service with the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base." At the age of 30, in about 1942, she married 28-year-old Wayne Dewitt Goodyear (Jan. 9, 1914-1980), son of Auburn Goodyear. News of their marriage license appeared in the Dayton Herald. The couple did not reproduce. They lived at 18 Richmond Avenue in London  in 1952 and remained at that address for good. Sara was employed in 1952-1960 in job maintenance and as a production specialist in industrial engineering at Wright-Patterson. The nature of her work involved occasional travel to other military air material sites, among them Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City and Warner-Robins Air Base in Macon, GA. Circa 1942 Wayne was general superintendent for the London and Cedarville plants of Ohio Tubular which assembled products for the Army and Navy during World War II. Wayne also farmed on the side. They were members of the First United Methodist Church of London and the London Country Club. On Feb. 3, 1960, Sara was quoted in the Dayton Daily News answering the question, "Can a woman combine marriage with a job that requires travel?" Sara was active with the Country Corner Garden Club. Their residence in 1953 received an award from the club for outdoor Christmas decor, with the "entire front of the house ... decorated with a silver cross as the center motif, greens and colorful ornamentation completing the detail," reported the Madison County Democrat. "Subdued blue floodlights in the front of the yard lighted the house." The Goodyears are known to have take vacations over the years to Colorado Springs (1952) and Endicott, NY. Sara eventually retired with the grade of GS12. At the age of 66, Wayne was stricken and rushed to Madison County Hospital on Sept. 29, 1980 where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The Springfield News-Sun published an obituary. Rev. Fletcher Shoup officiated the funeral service, with burial in Lafayette Cemetery. Sara outlived him by nearly a dozen years. With her health in decline, she was admitted to reside in the Arbors of London Nursing Home. The angel of death cleaved her away on April 18, 1992. Interment was in Deer Creek Township Cemetery, with an obituary appearing in the News-Sun.

Son Robert Auburn McMurray Jr. (1917-2002) was born on April 13, 1917. He first entered into marriage with Ruth Westra (1927-1965), daughter of Louis and Minnie (Pepeling) Westra of Paterson, NJ. One known son was Robert McMurray. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army Air Forces and was deployed to fly bombers in the Middle East. For his wartime performance, in January 1943, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The family was posted to Clark Field Manila in the Philippines in 1950. They were devastated in August 1950, when Ruth contracted polio and became paralyzed from the neck down. She was flown 11,000 miles to San Francisco and thence to Mitchell Field at Long Island and from there to her hometown of Paterson. In recounting the harrowing flight home, the Paterson (NJ) Evening News and the Madison County Democrat both said:

Four times in 16 days as Army medical men and nurses changed her form one iron lung to another she fought desperately for breath. Each time nurses bathed her was a period of pain, as polio-tortured muscles and nurves reacted under the slightest pressure. Standing by her though these 16 days of terror was her husband. And with them through it all aware only of the unusual bustle and excitement and oblivious to the drama in which he played a part, was their 18-month-old son.. Captain McMurray went almost without sleep since the flight home began in Manila Deptember 13. Frequently as the ambulance plane reached high altitude he kept his wife alive by giving her artificial respiration. Several times crew members fed her oxygen...While at the Air Base in San Francisco, awaiting the journey to Texas, Hollywood film stars, Donald O'Connor, Vivian Leigh and Keenan Wynn came to the hospital and entertained Ruth in her private room... The trip over the Rockies was the worst link in the 11,000 mile trip, according to Captain McMurray. The plane had to rise to 17,000 feet and even with the pressurized cabin, Ruth was unable to  breathe. It was here that Captain McMurray gave his wife artificial respiration for several hours without rest while crew members administered oxygen.

In Paterson, she underwent treatment in the local general hospital. Once her condition was stabilized, she was brought to Columbus and via an airplane fitted with a special iron lung fueled by gasoline. For a period, she resided nearly full time to Children's Hospital. During that period, Robert was transferred to Lockbourne Field to serve as deputy commander of the 801st Operations Squadron. Further tragedy was avoided in 1952 when their young son accidentally shot a gun which injured his spine. Ruth made news in November 1952 when Robert brought her to Lafayette to vote, and was carried to the polls on a stretcher, saying to the Democrat that "a person's right to vote is the most valuable right in the world." The Democrat added that: 

The McMurrays are building a brand new house in London and will move into it this month. The house is especially designed for Mrs. McMurray's comfort having oversized doors and many other features necessary for her to be moved about. She will even have a rocking bed which will make breathing easier. London and the whole community as well as their many friends wish the McMurrays the very best for the future. A "Valiant Lady" is surely in our midst.

Then again during the Korean War, he served with the U.S. Air Force. Their postwar home was on Lafayette Road in Madison County. The couple divorced in January 1954. Ruth and their son moved to Haledon, NJ where her mother was living. She became a patient at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York and a new home built for her by her parents at 64 Bernard Avenue. A number of community groups stepped forward with donations and assistance. In about 1957, the Lost Chords of New Jersey "adopted" her about the same time that a fund was established in her name to pay for a new iron lung, initially led by Rev. Paul Achterman of the Paterson First Reformed Church and succeeded by Thomas Pirone. The Lost Chords helped to coordinate moving her about and providing comfort items. In 1958, she "urged through the newspapers that the March of Dimes campaign be supported," said the Paterson News. "Most of her time was still spent in an iron lung, however, and the Haledon Emergency Ambulance Corps assisted by providing emergency power whenever there was a power failure, it also transported her when she had to be moved." In all, she had lived for 15 years with her extreme debility, with her days coming to an end at Van Dyke Nursing Home in Ridgewood, NJ. She died at the age of 38 on Jan. 22, 1965. In an obituary in the Passaic Herald-News, Robert was named as her husband. Rev. Herrmann Braunlin, of the Hawthorne Gospel Church, presided at the services. Burial was in her parents' plot in Laurel Grove Memorial Park in Totowa, Passaic County, NJ.

Robert's second bride was Mary Leona Hoge (May 30, 1919-1991). In company with his sister Sara Goodyear, they attended the McMurray/McMurry family reunion, held at Lake Pike on July 20, 1986. A Greenfield (OH) Daily Times article about the event said that a "display table of memorabilia, including books, pictures, clippings and family records going back to 1801, was prepared by Margaret McMurry Mercer, Jim McMurry and Isabel Cropper. A centerpiece of yarrow, statice and greenery in a drift wood arrangement was designed by Margaret. Family genealogical were compiled and distributed by Jim and Margaret." Eventually he retired with the rank of major "after 21 years of service," said the Madison Press. Mary passed away on Oct. 17, 1991. Robert survived for another nearly 11 years and dwelled in Marysville. He passed into the arms of the angels on Sept. 29, 2002. He and Mary sleep for the ages in Deer Creek Township Cemetery.

  • Grandson Robert Auburn McMurray (1949- ? ) was born in about 1949, possibly in Manila, the Philippines. He was only about a year old when his mother became paralized from polio. Robert grew up in Lockbourne near Columbus. At the age of two, on April 26, 1952, he accidentally fired a .22 caliber target pistol with a bullet injuring his spine. Said the Madison County Democrat, "The accident occurred when the child obtained the gun from the glove compartment of his father's car while Major McMurray was visiting at the home of John Dillion, 87 South Madison Rd., London. The men ... had been target-shooting and placed the gun in the car and the boy obtained it while they were away from the car. The child was given first aid at a local physician's office and taken to the hospital by ambulance." He was taken to Children's Hospital in Columbus, with doctors saying he would eventually recover. As of 1965, at the death of his mother, he was living in London, OH. 

Son George LeGrand McMurray (1922-2009) was born on May 25, 1922 in London, Madison County. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. George was a lifelong farmer in the county of his birth. On Aug. 11, 1956, when he was age 34, he was joined in wedlock with Wilda M. (Huber) Borgeman (April 4, 1916-2013), a native of Huntsville, OH and the daughter of Frank and Chloe (Hanks) Huber. The wedding was held in the parsonage of Lafayette Methodist Church, by the hand of Rev. William Turner, and announced in the Madison County Democrat. She was six years older than her husband. Their union held fast over a remarkable 53 years. The pair's only daughter was Cindy Davis. At the time of marriage, the McMurrays dwelled in Columbus. They eventually relocated back to London. George attended the Church of the Nazarene in London, was a co-founder of the Central Townships Fire Department, and belonged to the Chandler lodge of the Masons, Madison County Farm Bureau and H.V. Christopher post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. With his health in decline, he was admitted to Madison County Hospital, where he died at the age of 87 on Oct. 31, 2009. Presiding over the funeral rites was Pastor Russ Fairbanks. The remains were placed into honored rest in Deer Creek Township Cemetery in Lafayette. Wilda survived as a widow for nearly four years and at the end was living in Sisters on Main. Death swept her away at the age of 97 on June 27, 2013. Rev. Greg Wolfe led her services.

  • Granddaughter Cindy McMurray wed Robert Davis. They put down roots in London and are the parents of Kendra Davis and Dana Davis. 

    Great-granddaughter Kendra Davis made her home in Columbus in 2013. 

    Great-granddaughter Dana Davis dwelled in 2013 in London, OH. 

~ Daughter Sarah Hortense "Sadie" (McMurray) Ailes ~

Daughter Sarah Hortense "Sadie" McMurray (1876-1959) -- also nicknamed "Sallie" -- was born on March 22, 1876 or 1877 near Lafayette in Deer Creek Township, Madison County.

She pursued a career as an educator and received her higher education at Ohio Northern University. As of 1900, at the age of 23, she was engaged as school teacher in the county and shared a dwelling-place with her parents in Deer Creek. 

She was joined in wedlock with Melville Darwin "Melvin" Ailes (April 17, 1883-1967), a native of Shelby County, OH, and the son of John Forsythe and Rebecca Lovina (Drumm) Ailes. She was perhaps seven years older than her husband.

Springfield's memorial to pioneer mothers of covered wagon days, symbolic of Sadie Ailes' grandmother Elizabeth (Sechman) Miner among many others  

Their trio of children were John Forsythe Ailes, Robert Eugene Ailes and Dorothy Ercilla Mae Pete.

At her father's death in 1906, she was named as an heir to his estate and resided in Springfield, OH. Circa August 1907, Sadie made news in the gossip columns of the Jackson Center (OH) News when paying a visit to her in-laws in Montra, OH.

Melville also was an alumnus of Ohio Northern, where he obtained bachelor's and law degrees. He was admitted to practice law in Ohio in 1904. He and a business partner founded a secretarial business school in Cincinnati and eventually, after selling his portion to the partner, went to the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. He then formed a family medical practice in Garrettsville, OH. During World War I, he served as a captain in the U.S.Army Medical Corps. He furthered himself even more when obtaining a master's degree in public health from Harvard College and devoted the balance of his career to that field.

Their marriage eventually dissolved in divorce. Sadie never remarried. Melville wed again in 1922 to Marie J. Frasik (1880-1961)

Sadie lived with her sons at 835 Olive Avenue Northeast in Warren in 1930. Burdened with diabetes and bowel problems, she died in Warren at the age of 83 on Aug. 28, 1959. Burial was under a large red granite stone in Crown Hill Burial Park in Vienne, Trumbull County.

Former husband Melville  passed away in Sidney, Shelby County at age 84 on June 2, 1967. An obituary in the Akron newspaper called him "the tall physician-lawyer who guarded Akron's health climate for 27 years.... He was one of the few public health officials in the history of Ohio to hold both medical and law degrees. During his last two years in office Akron had the lowest death rate from all causes among Ohio cities with populations of more than 100,000."

Son John Forsythe Ailes (1905-1997) was born on Oct. 17, 1905 in Springfield, Clark County, OH. He is known to have served in the U.S. Army, serving in the South Pacific Theatre, with deployments to Hawaii and the Philippines. In Aug. 1943, in nuptials led by a Methodist clergyman in Indianapolis, John was united in matrimony with Faytha Jo Johnson (Jan. 20, 1917-2000). One child of this union was Aloha Louise Ailes. Faytha Jo grew up in Oklahoma and was an alumna of Oklahoma State University, while John attended the University of Youngstown, in Ohio. His career was spent with Republic Steel Corporation's metallurgical department, while Faytha Jo taught first grade for the Warren Township (OH) Schools for 26 years. They resided in California in 1959, and in 1975 settled for good in Rohnert Park. John retired  from Republic Steel in 1967 as a claims representative. At their golden wedding anniversary in 1993, organized by their daughter, they enjoyed a buffet dinner for friends and family at Rohnert Park Community Center and pictured in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. John died at the age of 92, in Rohnert Park, Sonoma County, CA on Nov. 1, 1997. Burial was in Santa Rosa Memorial Park. Faytha lived for another two-plus years. She surrendered to the spirit of death in San Francisco on Jan. 22, 2000.

  • Granddaughter Aloha Louise Ailes (1944-2009) was born on Nov. 25, 1944 in Ohio. She does not appear to have married. She made a career in the cruise industry, employed over the years with the Peninsular & Oriental, Prudential, Delta and Royal Viking Lines. Her final position was with the Stanford Court Hotel, from which she retired in January 1991. She spent the balance of her years in San Francisco. She liked to read, cook, travel, socialize with friends and root for the San Francisco Giants baseball team. Sadly, on Oct. 26, 2009, she passed away in St. Mary's Hospital. Her ashes were scattered at sea, with an obituary appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Warren, Ohio's Park Street, looking north  

Son Robert Eugene Ailes (1907-1983) was born on July 15, 1907 in Springfield, Clark County, OH. He spent most of his life in Warren, Trumbull County, OH. Robert stood 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighed 170 lbs., with blue eyes and brown hair. He was twice-married. His first bride, circa June 1936, was Donna Marie Cunningham (1916-2000)). They together bore a trio of children -- Dr. Robert James Ailes, Roger Eugene Ailes and Donna Jeanne Ailes. Robert earned a living for four decades with the Packard Electric Division of General Motors Corporation. He also was active with the Masons lodge in Warren, serving as master and chaplain, and belonged to the Shrine and Alibaba Grotto. Their address in 1940, when Robert was required to register for the military draft, was 1178 Bingham Avenue, Warren. The couple divorced in Warren on April 26, 1960 after 24 years. Robert married a second time on Sept. 22, 1962 to widow and co-worker Leota "Mae" (Stalnaker) Gilliland (1915-2005), daughter of Thomas and Lulu (Jones) Stalnaker of Vienna, OH. Mae spent 25 years with Packard Electric, retiring in 1969 as an inspector. She belonged to the Bazetta Christian Church, Order of Eastern Star and Ali Baba Cauldron. Burdened with Alzheimer's Disease, Robert was admitted to a long-term care facility in Warren and carried away by death at the age of 76 on Aug. 20, 1983. The remains repose for eternity in Crown Hill Burial Park. Mae lived for another dozen years, living at 250 Cortview Drive. She died in Warren's St. Joseph Health Center at the age of 89 on Jan. 27, 2005. Former wife Donna wed her second spouse, Joseph Donald Urban (1914-2000), spending the rest of her life in San Francisco, Seattle and Palm Beach, FL. She succumbed to the spectre of death in Palm Beach Gardens on June 22, 2000.

  • Grandson Dr. Robert James Ailes (1937-2023) was born five days before Christmas 1937 in Warren. He was the father of Christine Pribanic, Catherine Ailes and Susan Manley. On June 7, 1986, he was joined in wedlock with Patricia Anne (Foltz) Maruskin (1943- ? ). She brought two stepchildren to the union -- Kevin Maruskin and Kristen Maruskin. Robert received his bachelor's degree in chemistry and biology in 1960 from Oberlin College. He then earned his doctorate in 1964 from Case Western Reserve University. During the Vietnam War, he served with the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1968 as medical director, bearing the rank of lieutenant. His term in the military also included the role of the Hawaiian Islands' nuclear, biological and chemical warfare defense officer. After becoming a civilian, he was a family practice physician and was employed as medical director for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida and vice president and chief medical officer for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey. As well, he consulted in health care cost and quality management for clients before establishing his own firm at four sites in Utah and Colorado. Said an obituary, "He had an amazing sense of humor and kept his family laughing. In medical practice, he was a respected physician and a brilliant diagnostician. His patients valued his ability to treat them with respect and communicate with them on a relatable level." Their final years were spent in Tampa, FL and Frederick, MD. Interested in genealogy, Robert managed a number of pages on Find-a-Grave. As a resident of Frederick's Kline Hospice House, he passed away at the age of 85 on June 28, 2023. Burial was in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Frederick. He was survived by 15 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

    Great-granddaughter Christine Ailes married Sean Pribanic.

    Great-granddaughter Catherine Ailes ( ? - ? )

    Great-granddaughter Susan Ailes entered into marriage with Todd Manley.

    Step-great-grandson Kevin Maruskin ( ? - ? ) wed Andrea.

    Step-great-granddaughter Kristen Maruskin ( ? - ? ) has been a companion of Mike Byrnes.

    Roger Ailes biographies and New York Times Magazine (2001)

  • Roger Ailes  - courtesy FOX
    Grandson Roger Eugene Ailes (1940-2017) was born on May 15, 1940 in Warren, Trumbull County, OH. He became an influential and pioneering American television executive and political media consultant perhaps best known as chairman of Fox News during an era when political discourse on TV has never been at a higher pitch. During his career, he advised Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Donald J. Trump on strategies to best leverage their television personas. Roger was born with hemophilia, a blood disorder which prevents clotting and thus increases the likelihood of bruising and bleeding. This led to frequent hospital visits in his childhood. Roger was an alumnus of Warren G. Harding High School and majored in radio and television at Ohio University, graduating in 1962. As a student, he was station manager for WOUB-AM Radio. His parents divorced during his college years. His first employment was in Cleveland and then Philadelphia. He became executive producer of a local talk and variety program, The Mike Douglas Show, and then helped it become nationally syndicated, winning Emmy Awards in 1967 and 1968.

    When presidential candidate Nixon went on the Douglas show in 1967, he made the comment that TV was a "gimmick." Roger told him that he was seriously wrong and could not win without changing the attitude. Impressed, Nixon hired him to advise on his TV strategy for the campaign. This role later was described in Joe McGinniss' 1968 book, The Selling of the President. Roger went on to work in 1975 for Television News Inc., and in 1984 was on Reagan's re-election team. He and controversial strategist Lee Atwater received credit for Bush's election. In 1989, he advised in the New York City mayoral election campaign of Rudolph Guiliani. His last political campaign was in 1991 when former Pennsylvania Gov. Richard Thornburgh lost in a race for a U.S. Senate seat. In 1988, Roger and Jon Kraushar co-authored the book You Are the Message: Secrets of the Master Communicators and then in 1989 issued You Are the Message: Getting What You Want by Being Who You Are. The founder of this website received a copy of the book from a prominent public relations firm in the late 1990s.

    Fascinated by the prospects of cable news, in 1993 Roger was named president of CNBC and helped create the "America's Talking" channel which evolved into MSNBC. News Corporation founder Rupert Murdoch hired Roger in 1996 to run Fox News and in 2005 tapped him to chair Fox Television Stations Group. Roger resigned from Fox News in 2016 after allegations of sexual harassment by several women on-air personalities. He remained on good terms with Murdoch and 21st Century Fox for the rest of his life. He is known to have advised Trump's 2016 presidential campaign with heavy emphasis on preparing for televised debates. His third wife, whom he wed on Valentine's Day 1998, was Elizabeth "Beth" Tilson (1960-living). Elizabeth had a TV background and owned the Putnam County (NY) News & Recorder and The Putnam County Courier. Together they bore one son, Zachary Ailes. The family resided in Garrison, NY not far from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. They also had homes in Cresskill, NJ and Palm Beach, FL. Roger was the subject of several biographies -- Zev Chafets' Roger Ailes: Off Camera (2013) and Gabriel Sherman's The Loudest Voice in the Room (2014). He appeared in Adam McKay's 2018 film Vice. He has been portrayed by actor Russell Crowe in Showtime's The Loudest Voice and by John Lithgow in the film Bombshell. He died on May 18, 2017, eight days after injuring his head in a fall at their Palm Beach residence.

    Great-grandson Zachary "Zac" Ailes (2000-living) was born in about 2000.

  • Granddaughter Donna Jeanne "D.J." Ailes (1943-2015) was born on March 3, 1943 in Warren, OH. By 1960, she relocated to California. She married George C. Bourekas ( ? - ? ). They became the parents of an only son, Philip Anthony Bourekas. Their marriage terminated in divorce, and Donna Jeanne took back her maiden name. She dwelled in California in 2005. The angel of death cleaved her away two days before Christmas in 2015 in San Marcos, San Diego County. Her ashes were buried near her mother's remains in Crown Hill Burial Park in Vienna, OH.

    Great-grandson Philip Anthony Bourekas (1963- ? ) was born in 1963. 

Daughter Dorothy Ercilla Mae Ailes (1914-2000) was born on Aug. 18, 1914. She wed Arthur Raymond Pete (April 11, 1925-1995), son of Alfred and Evelyn (Handscomb) Pete of Bangor, ME. He was 11 years younger than his bride. They made a longtime home in Rootstown, and their only child was Terry Horvath. Arthur was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II. He spent his working career with Ford Motor Company in Walton Hills near Cleveland. After retirement in 1978, the couple relocated to Maine, settling in Plymouth. He served a term as commander of the local post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and held a membership in the American Legion. He also liked to fish, hunt and be out-of-doors. Sadly, at the age of 70, Arthur died in a hospital in Waterville, ME on Oct. 20, 1995. His obituary was published in the Bangor Daily News and Waterville (ME) Morning Sentinel. Rev. Charles Talmadge led the funeral rites, with burial in the local Sawyer Cemetery. Dorothy survived for another five years. She passed away in Bangor on Feb. 28, 2000. A brief notice of her passing appeared in the Daily News

  • Granddaughter Terry Pete entered into marriage with Lee Horvath. They made a home in Plymouth, ME in 1995. Their three offspring were Matthew Veatch, David Horvath and Steven Horvath.

~ Daughter Florence "Flora" (McMurray) West ~

Daughter Florence "Flora" McMurray (1879-1970) was born on June 26, 1879 or 1880 near Lafayette in Deer Creek Township, Madison County.

She was a student at school at the age of 20 in 1900 and may have been pursuing college education at that time. She became a teacher and was assigned to schools in Madison and Clark Counties. As a young woman, she made a home in 1905 in Springfield, OH.

On Christmas Eve 1905, at the age of 25 or 26, she entered into the rite of matrimony with farmer Foster D. West (Feb. 12, 1881-1966), a resident of Catawba, Clark County, OH and the son of Frank and Etta (Baumgardner) McMurray. The wedding ceremony was held in the Springfield home of Florence's married sister, Mary "Louisa" Leslie, by the hand of Rev. John L. Dalbey. In announcing the marriage, the Springfield News-Sun said that the "bride wore a pretty costume of white India silk" and that Foster "is a successful farmer and his bride is a teacher in the public schools."

The only child of this union was Herbert N. West. 

With Florence having moved to Clark County in about 1907, they spent their entire married lives therein.

Circa 1906-1907, the Wests lived in Mechanicsburg and in the spring of 1908 moved to the Grand McClintock farm near Catawba. By 1932, they had relocated to Springfield. For three decades, Foster was employed by the Elliott Company, retiring in about 1947. They belonged to the Central United Methodist Church.

Their final residence together was with their son at 5775 Selma Pike. On Christmas Eve 1965, they marked their 60th wedding anniversary.

Sadly, Foster died in Ethan Allen Nursing Home at the age of 85 on May 1, 1966. His obituary was published in the Springfield News-Sun. His pastor Rev. Robert Scully presided at the funeral, with interment following in Ferncliff Cemetery.

Florence spent her widowed years in their Selma Pike residence. Having become a patient in Community Hospital, death enveloped her at the age of 89 on April 17, 1970. The News-Sun printed her obituary. Rev. Harold Boyer, of the First Church of God, officiated the services.

Son Herbert Nelson West (1906-1980) was on Oct. 15, 1906 in Clark County. His entire life was lived in the county, with his dwelling-place in Springfield. He does not appear to have married or reproduced. Herbert was a teacher in early manhood. Later he owned Herb West Real Estate Company and worked as a broker, estate appraiser and auctioneer. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army. He was active on a local Republican Precinct Committee and held memberships in the Hillside Avenue Church of God, Knights of Pythias and Ohio Retired Teacher's Association. His last address was 2722 Lexington Avenue. He died in Community Hospital at the age of 73 on June 21, 1980. His pastor, Rev. George Reed, led the funeral rites. Burial was in Ferncliff Cemetery. The Springfield News-Sun ran an obituary, saying that his survivors included "several cousins" and that he "was the last of his immediate family."

Copyright 2004, 2007, 2008, 2022, 2023 Mark A. Miner