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Clayton Musser


Clayton Musser

Clayton Musser was born in October 1863 in or near Prairie Depot, now known as Wayne, Wood County, OH, the son of Dennis and Caroline (Miner) Musser

At the age of 17, in 1880, he lived with his parents and was employed as a laborer.

In about 1891, when he would have been 27 or 28 years of age, Clayton married 20-year-old Ellen Almeda "Meady" Bressler (May 7, 1871-1956), the daughter of Phillip Bressler. She was eight years younger than her spouse and had been born in a log cabin .

The Mussers produced at least two daughters, Florence Eckert and Sylvia M. Chaney. 

The federal censuses of 1900 and 1910 show the Mussers as farmers, making their home in Bloom Township, Wood County. During the decade between 1910 and 1920, the family relocated to a farm in Perry Township, Wood County.

Living under their roof in 1920, when the U.S. Census was enumerated, were married daughter Sylvia and her husband John K. Chaney.


Wood County Daily Sentinel Tribune, 1927

At the age of 65, in the fall of 1927, Clayton was stricken with a fatal case of tuberculosis. He died on Oct. 16, 1927, at the age of 65 years, 11 months. His passing was briefly noted more than a month later, in the Nov. 22, 1927 edition of the Wood County Daily Sentinel Tribune

The widowed Meady did not marry for the remaining three decades of her life. She went to live with her daughter and son in law, the Chaneys. She made a living as a practical nurse, working for clients in private homes.

After some 29 years of making her home with the Chaneys, Meady passed away on Aug. 30, 1956, at the age of 85. Burial was in West Millgrove Cemetery.


4-generations showing Dennis, his mother, daughter Florence Eckert and her young son


~ Daughter Florence P. (Musser) Eckert ~


Florence Eckert

Gold Star Mother

Daughter Florence P. Musser (1892-1977) was born in 1892 and grew up in Bloom Township, Wood County, OH.

In 1911, when she would have been about 19 years old, Florence was joined in wedlock with Benjamin F. Eckert (1893- ? ).

They resided in Portage, Wood County in 1920 and produced two sons -- Howard Clayton Eckert and Robert William Eckert.

By 1930, the family had relocated to Fremont, Sandusky County, OH, where Benjamin obtained work as a building carpenter. Their home in 1930 was on Pennsylvania Avenue.

During the grip of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the family returned to Portage. There, Benjamin found a job as manager of a grain elevator.

The Daily Sentinel once said that Florence was a homemaker and "was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.... She was a member of the Christ United Methodist Church and the Portage Rebekah Lodge."

Tragically, during World War II, son Robert served in the U.S. Army and was reported missing in Germany, only to be confirmed among the dead. See his biography below for more details.

Benjamin died in 1958, with burial in Portage Cemetery.

Florence survived him by nearly two decades. She passed away in 1977.

Son Howard Clayton Eckert (1912-1985) was born on Oct. 27, 1912 in Portage Township, Wood County, OH. At the age of 17, living at home in Fremont, Sandusky County, he was employed by the county as a laborer. When he was about 25 years of age, four days after Christmas 1937, he was united in matrimony with 24-year-old teacher Margaret Kathryn Newlove (March 31, 1913- ? ), daughter of Joseph and Rose (Wegschreider) Newlove of Denver near North Baltimore, OH. The nuptials were officiated by Rev. F. Curtain of Our Lady Church of New Baltimore. The couple produced one son, William Eckert. At the time of marriage, Howard earned a living as a farmer. They made their home in Portage, Wood County, and Margaret taught elementary school for 35 years in Portage Township/Elmwood District and South Main Street School in Bowling Green. She also was a member of the Portage American Legion Auxiliary post for 54 years, the Portage Township Ladies Aid Society and Wood County Hospital Guild. Howard passed into eternity in 1985. Margaret outlived him by more than three decades. Her final years were spent at Alterra Sterling House in Bowling Green. She joined Howard in death at the age of 93 on Oct. 11, 2006. Burial was in Portage Cemetery, following a funeral mass held at St. Aloysius Catholic Church of Bowling Green.

  • Grandson William Eckert


Robert's grave, Arlington National Cemetery

Son Robert William Eckert (1915-1944) was born on March 7, 1914 in Wood County, OH. He graduated from Ross High School in 1932, where he starred in football. On June 8, 1935, when he was 20 years of age, he married 20-year-old factory worker Jennie Frances Goodwin (Jan. 15, 1915-2011), daughter of John and Elizabeth Jane "Jennie" (Bissell) Goodwin and a native of Mercer County, OH. Robert's uncle Rev. John K. Chaney officiated at the ceremony held at Bloomdale, OH. The couple produced a daughter, Izetta Nitschke. The young family dwelled in Bowling Green, Wood County, where Robert and Jennie both graduated from Bowling Green State University and where he accepted a position as a salesman. They were members of Trinity United Methodist Church of Fremont. During World War II, Robert joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to Company A, 47th Infantry, 9th Division. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant and was sent overseas. Tragically, he was killed in action in Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), Germany on Nov. 21, 1944. A short death notice was published in the Sandusky Register. His remains were not brought home until late October 1947, more than two years after the war ended. They were transported on the Joseph V. Connolly, "the first shipload of soldier dead from the European battleground, arriving two weeks ago," reported the Fremont News-Messenger on Nov. 14, 1947. Burial was in Arlington National Cemetery, with a memorial stone erected in Portage Cemetery. At the time of the return of his body stateside, Jennie resided at 226 North Summit Street in Bowling Green. She was an educator and taught for three decades in the Fremont School system. Jennie married again to Ruel E. Clouser ( ? -1963). In the second marriage, Jennie bore a son, Ruel Clouser Jr. Sadly, Ruel Sr. passed away on Nov. 30, 1963, just eight days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Jennie also endured the untimely death of her daughter in 2010. Jennie passed away at the age of 96 on May 17, 2011 in Fremont. In fulfillment of her wishes, her remains were donated to the Case Western Reserve anatomical program.

  • Granddaughter Izetta Louise "Zet" Eckert (1943-2010) was born on July 22, 1943 in Bowling Green. She was not quite 18 months of age when her father was killed during World War II. She studied at the University of Chicago and Art Institute of Chicago. She went on to an early career as an engineering auditor for 3M Company in St. Paul, then as a graphic artist. From 1969 to 1971, she was in charge of raw material orders for Paramount Ceramics in Fairmont, MN. On Aug. 29, 1964, she was united in wedlock with Gene Arthur Nitschke ( ? -living). They were the parents of Daniel R. Nitschke and Nicholas R. Nitschke. Izetta made a name for herself as an artist, with her watercolors exhibited at a juried art show at South Dakota State University in 1986. The Nitschkes made a home in Brookings, SD. In the community, she volunteered as publicity chair for the Hospital Auxiliary Holiday Tour Homes, Brookings (1984) and was vice president of its executive board starting in 1986. In 1984, she donated time to the Volunteer Hospital Blood Bank in Brookings and in 1985-1986 was a member of the board of directors of the Brookings Parent-Teachers Association. She was a member of American Legion Auxiliary Independent, Arnold Air Society, Reserve Officers Training Corps Angel Flight, Memorial Art Center Guild and Reading Reform Foundation. She also designed the cover of the Bowling Green State University's University Resource Material in 1983. Her ceramics were displayed at Chicago's National History Museum in 1963. Sadly, after having back surgery at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Izetta died on Jan. 16, 2010. An obituary was published in the Fremont News Messenger.


~ Daughter Sylvia (Musser) Chaney ~

Daughter Sylvia Musser (1900- ? ) was born in 1900.

At the age of 20, in about 1921, she married 24-year-old Rev. John K. Chaney (1897- ? ).

They produced two daughters, E. Lorraine Chaney and Dorothy M. Chaney.

John was a longtime farmer and also was a clergyman.

In about 1928, the Chaneys took Sylvia's widowed mother into their home, where she remained for the rest of her life.

The federal census of 1940 shows the family living as farmers in Perry Township, Wood County, OH.

Circa 1956, Sylvia lived in Tiffin, OH.

Daughter E. Lorraine Chaney (1922- ? ) was born in 1922.

Daughter Dorothy M. Chaney (1924- ? ) was born in 1924.


Copyright © 2008, 2018 Mark A. Miner
Obituary courtesy of the Wood County Chapter, Ohio Genealogical Society