John William Miner -- originally "Minard" -- was born in 1820 near New Rumley, Harrison County, OH, thought to have been the son of George and Susannah (Smith) Minard. Precious little is known of his life.
John is believed to have married Catherine Gillespie (1818-1895) on July 28, 1841, by the hand of justice of the peace Emanuel H. Custer. This marriage is recorded in the book, Historical Collections of Harrison County, in the State of Ohio, by Charles A. Hanna (New York, 1900).
The man who performed the Miners' wedding ceremony was none other than the father of Gen. George Armstrong Custer, who also lived in New Rumley at the time. In fact, the Custers and Miners were longtime friends, and the general's brother, Capt. Thomas Ward Custer, produced a child out of wedlock with one of John's first cousins, Rebecca Minerd.
John and Catherine resided at Scio, Harrison County, and had three known children -- Eliza Ann Miner, Sarah A. Ferrell and Wilson Miner.
When the federal census was taken in 1850, the Miners were next-door neighbors to John's brother and sister in law, Jacob and Mary Ann (Kimmel) Miner. John's occupation that year was listed as "farmer" and his brother Jacob's as "carpenter." The census-taker recorded that neighter John nor Catherine could read or write.
In December 1852, the Miners purchased a 37-acre farm in the county from David and Emma Kimmel. They paid $500 for the acreage. Two years later, in September 1854, they sold the tract to their longtime neighbor, Frederick Kimmel, realizing a $300 gain.
Evidence suggests that John died sometime between 1854 and 1860. The cause of his untimely demise is not yet known wife married again circa 1860.
After just a few months as a widow, Catherine was united in wedlock with widower Joseph Kimmel (1831-1901), the son of New Rumley justice of the peace Frederick Kimmel. Joseph was considerably younger than his bride. Joseph and his first wife, Iowa native Caroline Dively (1827-1895) were married in Van Buren County, IA, and she is reputed to have died in childbirth on Feb. 16, 1860, with burial in New Rumley.
Joseph and Catherine's wedding must have taken place between February and July 1860, when Catherine was age 42, and Joseph 29. Federal census records show the combined family together in nearby Scio in July 1860, with husband and wife mared as "married within the year." (Some sources give the marriage date as 1858.) The Miner and Kimmel families were close, and Catherine's brother-in-law Jacob Miner married Joseph's sister Mary Ann Kimmel.
Joseph brought five children to the marriage -- Mary C. Bell, William Kimmel, Hannah Margaret Kimmel, Martha A. Kimmel and James Kimmel.
When the U.S. Census again was taken in 1870, the Kimmels made their home in North Township, Harrison County, with their post office listed as "Tippecanoe." The census-taker misspelled their last name as "Kimble."
The census of 1880 shows the family in North Township, with children William, James and Martha Kimmel, and five year-old-grandson Leon Medley, in the household.
Catherine passed away on Sept. 29, 1885 at the age of 77 years and 25 days. She is buried at the Lutheran Church Cemetery in New Rumley.
Joseph survived his wife by 16 years. The 1900 census lists him at age 68 as head of his household. Unmarried son William Kimmel (age 46), married daughter Hannah Medley (44), and granddaughter Olive S. Medley also were in the residence. Daughter Hannah stated that she had been married for 25 years and was the mother of four children.
Joseph died on Dec. 2, 1901 at the age of 69 years, seven months and 10 days. He was interred with both of his wives.
~ Daughter Eliza Ann Miner ~
Daughter Eliza Ann Miner (1842- ? ) was born in about 1842. She grew up in New Rumley.
Her fate is lost to history for now.
~ Daughter Sarah Adaline (Miner) Ferrell ~
Daughter Sarah Adaline Miner (1846-1928) was born on March 3, 1846 in New Rumley.
At the age of 28, on May 7, 1874, Sarah was joined in holy wedlock with 26-year-old James M. "Catfish Jim" Ferrell (March 31, 1848-1928), one of 18 children of Thomas and Margaret (Mahon) Ferrell. The nuptials were performed in nearby Tuscarawas County.
The couple produced four children -- Mary Ann Harshey, Thomas W. Ferrell, Sarah Grove and Lula Ferrell.
James' colorful nickname likely was a result of his lifelong enjoyment of fishing and the outdoors. Born in Harrison County, he grew up in Jackson, Ashland County, but lost his father as a casualty of the Civil War. James attended school as a youth and knew how to read and write.
The family dwelled for many years in Dutchtown, Mill Township, near Uhrichsville, Tuscarawas County, and at one point in time, James' brother David M. Ferrell resided under their roof. They belonged to the Uhrichsville Methodist Church.
In adulthood, James earned a living for six years as a mule driver for boats in the Ohio Canal. For a decade, he was constable in Uhrichsville and then for 13 years, up to the end of his life, was proprietor of the Twin City Fish Market in or near Uhrichsville. He was a member of the United American Men and the Ku Klux Klan.
When the federal census enumeration was made in 1880, the Ferrells lived near Uhrichsville, with James' occupation listed as "Fishing + Trapping" and his 60-year-old mother residing in their home. The following year, they were in Trenton, Warwick Township, Tuscarawas County at the birth of their son. Census records for 1900 show the Ferrells back in Dutchtown, and James' mother continuing to be in the household.
Stricken with senility, anemia and jaundice, "probably malignancy of liver," wrote their physician, the 80-year-old James died on April 5, 1928 at home in Dutchtown. Rev. W.E. Tilton and Rev. T.J. Roby officiated at the funeral service. He rests for eternity in Union Cemetery in Uhrichsville.Obituaries in the Chronicle and the New Philadelphia Daily Times noted that his survivors included 15 grandchildren and a dozen great-grandchildren.
Sarah only lived for for four months after her husband's death. She contracted an acute and deadly case of dysentery, and four days later she passed away on Aug. 18, 1928 in Mill Township. (Some years later, a newspaper obituary of their adult daughter Lulu Ferrell mis-stated that the copule had "died within a month apart...")
Daughter Mary Ann Ferrell (1873-1946) was born on June 14, 1873 near Dutchtown, Tuscarawas County. (Some records show her birth on June 23, 1875.) She married George Harshey (1868-1956). Their children were Clinton Ray Harshey, Clyde L. Harshey, Elsie Pauline Courtright, Thomas Harshey, Sarah C. Harshey and Wilma Cole. Heartache blanketed the family when son Clinton, age 22, was felled during the national influenza oubreak and died on Oct. 17, 1918. She contracted cancer of the vulva which spread to her right lung. After two years of suffering, she died on Nov. 29, 1946 at the age of 73. He survived as a widower for a decade and joined her in death on April 14, 1956. They rest together in Union Cemetery in Uhrichsville.
Son Thomas Wilson Ferrell (1881-1968) was born on Dec. 18, 1881 in Trenton, Warwick Township, Tuscarawas County. As a young man, he was of medium height and build, with brown eyes and black hair. He also played baseball with the P.H.A.C. baseball team. Family and friends joked that his complexion was so dark that he could have been part Native American. He attended Allegheny College in Meadville, PA and studied theology. On July 28, 1909, when he was 27 years of age, Thomas was united in holy matrimony with 25-year-old Viola May Fisher (1884-1959), daughter of Henry W. and Sarah Ann (Johnson) Fisher of Uhrichsville. The ceremony took place in Uhrichsville, Tuscarawas County, with Rev. Charles Darsie officiating. For the nuptials, Viola wore a typical victorian style dress with stand-up collar, pin-tucked bodice with lace inlays and medallions, with the two-tier circular skirt finished with an over-pleated skirt.
The Ferrells produced eight known children -- Paul Harry Ferrell, Arthur Eugene Ferrell, Helen Mildred Rankin Shloser, Beatrice Marie Franks, Carl William Ferrell, Lulu Mae Pocock, Ruth Irene Miller Poland and Vera Gertrude Schwab. They attended First Methodist Church, where Viola was a Sunday School teacher. Thomas held numerous jobs over the years including working for Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. as an inspector (circa 1910); his father's Twin City Fish Market in Uhrichsville as a fisher and trapper (1920); the Robinson Clay Plant as a blacksmith; and blacksmithing jobs on the railroads (1930) and coal mines. When required to register for the military draft during World War I, he was a blacksmith for Scott Coal Co. in Midvale, Tuscarawas County. By the 1940s, he had obtained work with Robinson and Son Sewerpipe in Uhrichsville, related in some way to Universal Pipe Company in Cleveland. The Ferrells' postal addresses over the years include 512 Dawson in Mill Township in 1910 and 30 State Highway No. 8 in 1930. Sadly, Viola died in Uhrichsville on July 1, 1959. Thomas lived for another eight-plus years. He was admitted for treatment to Aultman Hospital in Canton, and there he died on Feb. 14, 1968. His remains were returned to Uhrichsville for interment.
Grandma and grandpa knew each other from church, where they both were actively involved and each played instruments. On their first date, they went frog catching; they apparently enjoyed eating frog legs at least in their younger years. I remember grandma making little smokies, and her special little hamburgers and of course ice cream sundaes for breakfast. Grandma always grew and collected blackberries, and I remember helping her gather them. There was nothing as good as her freshly canned pears. She was a quiet woman, who never really knew what to say to others but enjoyed being around family. Most of all, I shall remember all she taught me about God and how to be a decent human being.
Great-granddaughter Janice Marie Wolfe (1953-2010) was born on Feb. 24, 1953 in Dennison. She received a bachelor's degree in physical therapy, with honors, in 1975 from Ohio State University. Said a newspaper: "As a physical therapist she served Tuscarawas County and the surrounding area for over 35 years. She owned her practice, Integrated Health Solutions, formerly located at Monroe Mall in New Philadelphia, for over 25 years and also taught therapy courses. As a member of the Four Winds Society, Janice traveled through Peru to study with the Incas. She was also a member of the American Association of University Women and the American Physical Therapy Association." Janice married John Adams Wolfe (1950-2015), a native of Pittsburgh and the son of Gilbert "Hank" and Jean (Adams) Wolfe. The couple produced two daughters, Amanda Wolfe and Audrey Wolfe. In 1972, John obtained a bachelor's degree in history with a minor in psychology from Kent State University in 1972. He "worked with individuals with developmental disabilities throughout his 37-year career," said the Times-Reporter. "He was a teacher, principal, and administrator for Starlight School and the Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities for 31 of those 37 years." The couple later divorced. Janice married again to (?) Alexander. In May 2008, Janice was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and suffered for nearly two years. She died at home at the age of 56 on Feb. 7, 2010. Their daughter Amanda, a senior editor with the Ladies Home Journal in New York, authored a story for the magazine in 2010 about her mother's battle with the illness, entitled "21 Months with My Mom." Former husband John Wolfe died on May 24, 2015.
Daughter Sarah Margaret Ferrell (1877-1939) -- sometimes known as "Flora" -- was born on Nov. 9, 1877 (or 1878) in Guernsey County, OH. She was wedded to Clarence "Edward" Grove (Nov. 3, 1877-1949), the son of Henry Grove of Strasburg, OH. Edward was a professional photographer, operating his own studio in Uhrichsville, and was a member of the Knights of Pythias lodge. An example of his work is seen here, of a boy named William on his first day of school, and sent to Mrs. Karl Bratschi of Alliance, OH, postmarked Sept. 30, 1918 on the back. The couple dwelled in Dutchtown, Mill Township, Tuscarawas County and were members of the Methodist Church. The Groves produced three daughters -- Hazel Ellwood, Flora Belle Fowler and Lulu Marie Grove. The family endured heartbreak with the death of three-year-old daughter Lula from acute meningitis on Oct. 31, 1909. Later, they lived in Big Bend, OH. After contracting cancer of the left breast, Sarah endured the illness for three years and passed away at the age of 61 on Aug. 13, 1939. Burial was in Union Cemetery, following a funeral sermon by Rev. J. Lloyd McQueen. An obituary was printed in the New Philadelphia Daily Times. Edward outlived his wife by 10 years. Burdened with senile psychosis, he was admitted to Massillon State Hospital in Stark County, where he remained for the 22 months of his life. He suffered a stroke and succumbed on Aug. 30, 1949 at the age of 72. Rev. L.L. Kollar officiated at the funeral and burial in Union Cemetery. An obituary in the Daily Times said that his survivors included five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Daughter Lulu Ferrell (1883-1940) was born on Sept. 2, 1883 in Uhrichsville. She never married but spent her adult life devoted to her work as a nurse. Lulu obtained her education at Cincinnati Missionary Training School, graduating in 1910. She received further studies at the Christian Hospital Training School for Nurses in Cincinnati, matriculating on May 12, 1914. Her first employer was King's Daughters Hospital in Ashland, KY. After some years, she was hired at Union Hospital in Dover. She made her residence in Dutchtown, three miles north of Uhrichsville, and was a member of the Uhrichsville Methodist Church and the Tuscarawas County Nurses Association. Circa 1926, she was employed at Union Hospital and owned her own automobile. She was hired in 1929 as an industrial nurse at the Reeves Steel and Manufacturing Company plant in Dover. Lulu was involved in a vehicular accident in April 1938 when a motorcyclist for Dennison crashed into the rear of her vehicle. She apparently was unhurt, but, reported the New Philadelphia Daily Times, he "suffered extensive lacerations and bruises about the head and body." Having contracted a deadly case of pneumonia, she died at the age of 57 on Aug. 2, 1940. Funeral services were held in her home, led by Rev. J.F. Stewart. Burial was in Union Cemetery. Following her demise, her brother was named administrator of the estate, and he arranged for an auction to be held to dispose of her personal property. A story in the Daily Times said that the items included furniture, furnishings, clothing, bed clothing, linens, an automobile, a pig and other property. Abner Murphy served as auctioneer at the sale.
~ Son Wilson Miner ~
Son Wilson Miner (1849- ? ) was born in about 1849 in New Rumley. At the age of 10, in 1860, he lived at home with his mother and step-father in New Rumley.
He may or may not be the same "Wilson Minor" born in 1850 in Ohio, who, in 1870, was a farmhand living with the family of Isaac and Elizabeth Drury in Garden Plain, Whiteside County, IL.
Nothing more is known.
~ Catherine's Stepdaughter Mary E. (Kimmel) Bell ~
Stepdaughter Mary E. Kimmel (1851-1919) was born on July 2, 1851 in Iowa and returned to Ohio as a child.
She was wedded to John "Frier" Bell (1841-1917). The couple produced two known children -- John W. Bell and Alice M. Ostrander.
John died on Nov. 7, 1917, with burial in the New Rumley Methodist Church Cemetery. Details are not yet known.
Mary only outlived him by two years and made her residence in North Ridge West in Ashtabula, Ashtabula County, OH. She suffered with heart disease and, after contracting pneumonia, passed into eternity on Christmas Day 1919, at the age of 68. [Find-a-Grave]
Son John W. Bell (1874-1963) was born in 1874. He married a step-cousin, Nellie J. Kyle (1883-1957), who was nine years younger, and the daughter of Thomas Allen and Sarah Margaret (Minard) Kyle. Their only known son was Thomas E. Bell. They made their home in Ashtabula, Ashtabula County, OH in 1919. Nellie was taken by death in 1957. John died on Aug. 12, 1963. They rest side by side in the New Rumley Methodist Church Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]
Daughter Alice M. Bell (1878-1932) was born on Oct. 22, 1878 near Scio. She married Edgar B. Ostrander (1873-1938), a native of Glenwood, NY and the son of Cornelius and Alice Ostrander. They produced three known offspring -- Agnes E. Moore, Shirley B. Ostrander and Paul E. Ostrander. the Ostranders resided for many years in Scio. Stricken with inucrable cancer, Alice died on June 11, 1932, at the age of 53, with burial in New Rumley Methodist Church Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave] Edgar only lived as a widower for six years. Tragedy struck when he was struck by a moving vehicle along a public road in Dover, Tuscarawas County, causing a skull fracutre, compound fracture of his tibia, fibula and humerus bones, and badly cutting and bruising his body. He was rushed to the Union Hospital where he only suffered for a day and passed into eternity on Sept. 30, 1938, at the age of 65. Daughter Shirley, living in Scio, signed the official Ohio ceretificate of death.
~ Catherine's Stepson William Kimmel ~
Stepson William Kimmel (1854-1936) was born on March 1, 1854 in Appanoose County, IA. He returned to Harrison County, OH as a child.
He was a lifelong farmer and never married.
In 1931, retired, he moved in with his sister Margaret Medley at 1209 Kenmore Boulevard in Akron, OH. He died of "exhaustion" at the age of 82 on July 23, 1936. His remains were transported back to New Rumley for burial. His sister Margaret Medley, with whom he had been residing in Akron, signed the Ohio death certificate.
An obituary in the Akron Beacon Journal noted that Rev. John Pringle of the Methodist Church offiicated at the funeral service.
~ Catherine's Stepdaughter Hannah "Margaret" (Kimmel) Medley ~
Stepdaughter Hannah "Margaret" Kimmel (1856- ? ) was born on Jan. 19, 1856 near Keokuk, Iowa. She grew up in New Rumley.
In about 1875, when she would have been age 19, Hannah was married to Elias F. Medley (March 9, 1857-1933) of New Philadelphia, OH. He was the son of Elisha and Mary (Oliphant) Medley.
The couple produced four children, among them Alonzo Medley, William E. Medley, Olive Logan Brown and Mrs. George Limbeck.
Census records for 1880 show the family living in Dennison, Tuscarawas County, OH, where Elias earned a living as a laborer.
In 1900, Hannah lived with her widowed father in Harrison County and disclosed to the federal census-taker that she had been married for 25 years.
The Medleys made their home in the early 1930s in Akron, Summit County, OH, at the address of 1209 Kenmore Boulevard.
Suffering from pernicious anemia, Elias died at the age of 76 on June 3, 1933. Burial was in Mount Peace Cemetery in Hartville, Stark County.
Margaret survived as a widow for eight years and remained in her home in Akron. Having endured hardening of the arteries, arthritis and heart disease, she was swept away in death from bronchial pneumonia at the age of 85 on April 16, 1941. Her daughter "Mrs. Brown," living in Margaret's home in Akron, signed the death certificate. An obituary in the Akron Beacon Journal said that Rev. F.G. Reece and Rev. John Pringle led the funeral service with burial at Mount Peace.
Son Alonzo Medley ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). On May 20, 1905, he was joined in holy matrimony with Josephine DeCovey in Akron. The ceremony was held at the residence of Dr. T.F. Mahar. Their first address as newlyweds was 190 Wheeler Street in Akron. He was employed by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, in its factory operations, and in June 1937 was recognized for his years of service. Circa May 1934, as a member of the Odd Fellows in Akron, Alonzo received the lodge's decoration of chivalry.
Son William E. "Will" Medley (1879- ? ) was born in about 1879, possibly in Dennison, Tuscarawas County, OH. He made his residence in Uhrichsville, OH in 1954.
Daughter (?) Medley married George Limbeck ( ? - ? ). They initially resided in Akron and had one son, Merle Limbeck. During World War II years, they made their home in Miami. Son Merle served as a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and was wounded in action in the Marshall Islands. The Akron Beacon Journal reported that he "narrowly escaped death when struck by shrapnel in the knee and shoulder while piloting the amphibious tank about two miles off shore at the Marshall Islands."
Daughter Olive S. Medley (1880- ? ) was born in January 1880 in Ohio. She married Harry R. Brown ( ? - ? ). They had one son, Donald W. Brown. In 1944-1954, their home was at 1209 Kenmore Boulevard. Olive died at the age of 73 on Nov. 28, 1954. An obituary in the Akron Beacon Journal said that funeral services were led by Rev. Edwin P. Eberly with interment in Rose Hill Burial Park.
~ Catherine's Stepdaughter Martha A. Kimmel ~
Daughter Martha A. Kimmel (1858- ? ) was born in about 1858 in Iowa. Nothing more about her is known.
~ Catherine's Stepson James Kimmel ~
Stepson James Kimmel (1860- ? ) was born on February 10, 1860 in Ohio or Iowa. His mother died just six days after the birth, and James would have grown up knowing Catherine as his step-mother.
James was twice married. His first spouse was Mary Ellen Isenogle (1860-1924), daughter of William and Lydia (Yingling) Isenogle of Tuscawaras County, OH. They made their home near Scio.
Sadly, Mary was felled by a cerebral hemorrhage and died at the age of 64 on March 16, 1924.
James wedded for a second time to Eva Carlisle (1876-1964).
James passed away on Oct. 28, 1942. Burial was with his first wife in the New Rumley Methodist Church Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]
Eva survived for more than two decades. She succumbed in 1964. She rests beside James in New Rumley.
Circa 1936, when named in the Akron Beacon Journal obituary of his brother William, and then again in 1941 in the obituary of his sister Margaret Medley, James made his home in Scio.
Copyright © 2007-2008, 2016, 2019 Mark A. Miner