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Austin 'Frederick' Van Horn


Austin "Frederick" Van Horn was born on May 14, 1864, somewhere "between Hoytville and Deshler" in Wood County, OH, the son of Eli and Mary Ann (Kimberlin) Van Horn

He may have been named for an uncle, Austin Coleman Van Horn, a veteran of the Civil War.

Austin was twice-wed. At some point, by 1886, he married Rosie Baker ( ? - ? ). 

They bore a daughter, Rosa Hartman.

On March 10, 1889, at the age of 25, Fred entered into the bonds of holy matrimony with 21-year-old Amanda Emma "Amy" Sherman (1868-1939), the daughter of Simon and Rebecca Sherman, also residents of Wood County. 

The Van Horns became the parents of two daughters Maggie Case Ester Hindley and Lucretia S. "Lulu" Ewers.


Findlay's Main Street, looking southward from the county courthouse



Obituary, 1941

In about 1904, the Van Horns moved to Findlay, Hancock County, OH, where they resided for the remaining 35 years of their married lives. Said a newspaper article, Fred was "an employee of the City of Findlay department of streets." 

When the federal census was taken in 1920, the 54-year-old Frederick and 51-year-old Emma dwelled in Findlay, on North Blanchard Street. Frederick was employed as a section hand on the railroad. That year, 14-year-old granddaughter Bernadette Case lived under their roof. 

Emma suffered a stroke of paralysis in about 1937. Two years later, on Sept. 23, 1939, she passed away at home, at age 71. At the time, she had 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, said the Lima News. She was laid to rest in Maple Grove Cemetery in Lima.

In late March 1941, at the age of 76, Frederick endured a stroke, which left him badly paralyzed. Also plagued with senility, he died two weeks later, on April 10, 1941. 

At the time of death, a newspaper said, Frederick had 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.


~ Daughter Rosa Ann "Rosie" (Van Horn) Hartman ~

Daughter Rosa Ann "Rosie" Van Horn (1886-1970) was born on Oct. 16, 1886 in Wood County, OH.

At the age of 15, on March 30, 1901, Rosie married Orlando "Peter" Hartman (1879-1962).

They had five known children -- Ervin Hartman, Jay Hartman, Mabel Grismore, Arthur Hartman and Cecil Hartman, and possibly a sixth, Ellie Mae Hartman.

They settled in Bluffton in Orange Township, Allen County, OH, where they are enumerated on the censuses of 1910, 1920 and 1930. Over the years, they were members of the Trinity United Methodist Church. 

Peter died on June 28, 1962, at the age of 82, at their residence in Orange Township.

Rosie survived him by eight years, and also outlived three sons. After a long illness, she passed away in Bluffton Community Hospital at the age of 82 in May 1970. They are buried together in Clymer Cemetery in Hancock County. The Findlay Republican Courier noted that she was survived by 13 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. [link]

Son Ervin Hartman (1901-1957) was born on Aug. 8, 1900 (or 1901) in Wood County. He was a farmer and lived in Hancock County. At the age of 23, on Feb. 4, 1925, he married 19-year-old Kathryn R. Buchanan ( ? -1956), of North Baltimore, Wood County, the daughter of Curtis and Ada (Copus) Buchanan. They had seven children -- Ruth Parlett, Esther Kaple, Eileen Hurlburt Breidenbach, Helen Skelly, Donna Finley, Curtis Hartman and Lynn Hartman. They were members of the Mount Cory Evangelical United Brethren Church. Ervin worked for Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton in Lima. Kathryn became seriously ill in early January and, five weeks later, passed away on Feb. 16, 1956. Rev. Earl Leist led the funeral, held at Mt. Cory Evangelical United Brethren Church. Her obituary was published in the Lima News. Tragedy rocked the family on Dec. 9, 1957, when Ervin was killed when his vehicle collided with a truck-trailer. Reported the News, he was driving southwest on Route 25, six miles south of Findlay, when his car rear-ended a semi-trailer truck carrying sulphuric acid. He was killed instantly. The News added that "The car was edged under the rear of the truck, and a wrecker crew worked a half hour before separating the vehicles." He was survived by 14 grandchildren. His remains were laid to rest in the Clymer Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Ruth Hartman wed (?) Parlette. She dwelled in Lima, OH in 1957 and was still living in 2020.
  • Granddaughter Esther Hartman ( ? - ? ) was united in the bonds of wedlock with (?) Kaple. Her residence in 1956 was in Miami, FL and in 1957 was in Lima, OH.
  • Granddaughter Eileen Marie Hartman (1927-2020) was born on Oct. 23, 1927 in Bluffton, OH. She was a graduate of Mt. Cory High School. Circa 1947, she earned a living through her work at the Woolworth Store in Lima, OH. On Sept. 14, 1947, she was joined in matrimony with World War II veteran George Hurlburt ( ? - ? ), son of Dewey and Della Hurlburt. The news was announced in the Lima (OH) News, which said that Eileen "was attractive in a street-length dress of poudre blue, with white accessories and had a corsage of orchid gladioli. She carried a white Bible." Prior to marriage, George had served for 37 months in the U.S. Armed Forces. Then, upon his discharge, he accepted employment at Superior Coach Corporation. The Hurlburts' two children are believed to have been Larry Dean Hurlburt and Sherree Lynn Reser. Circa 1957, she made a home in Mt. Cory, OH. Then on May 31, 1969, she married a second time to Harold Ray Breidenbach ( ? - ? ). The second union endured for half a century. They lived in Findlay and were members of the New Hope United Methodist Church of Rawson, OH. Eileen was the owner and operator of her own business in Rawson, Eileen's Beauty Salon. In her free time she liked to bake, bowl and craft jewelry, and had a special talent for yodeling. She also was known for sending anniversary, birthday or holiday greeting cards. Toward the end, she went to reside in Bridge Hospice Care Center. There, she passed into the arms of the angels at age 92 on Jan. 7, 2020.

    Great-grandson Larry Dean Hurlburt was decesed by 2020.

    Great-granddaughter Sherree Lynn Hurlburt wed William "Bill" Reser.  

  • Granddaughter Helen Hartman married (?) Skelly. She is known to have been in Columbus, OH in 1957. She was deceased by 2020.
  • Granddaughter Donna Hartman entered into marriage with (?) Finley. She dwelled in the mid-1950s in Marion, OH. She was deceased by 2020.
  • Grandson Curtis Hartman served in the U.S. Navy in 1957 and was stationed at Pearl Harbor. He was deceased by 2020.
  • Grandson Lynn Hartman resided in Mt. Cory, OH. He was deceased by 2020.

Son Arthur Hartman (1904- ? ) was born in about 1904. He resided in Detroit in 1951. 

Son Jay W. Hartman (1905-1951) was born on April 17, 1905 in Hancock County. He never married and was a longtime farmer in Orange Township near Bluffton. He died of bronchial pneumonia at the age of 46 on June 18, 1951, and was laid to rest in the Clymer Cemetery in Hancock County.

Daughter Mabel Hartman (1906-1995) was born on May 27, 1906. She wed Henry L. Grismore (1906-1979) on Sept. 25, 1925, when she was age 19. He was the son of John and Lena (Lehman) Grismore. They lived in Jenera, Hancock County, where they were farmers and hay dealers. They had three daughters -- Treva Fenstermaker, Dorothy VanDerVeer and Geneva Lauwers. Said the Findlay Courier, she "was a homemaker and also worked at the Triplett Corp., Bluffton. She was a member of the Riley Green Baptist Church, Bluffton, and its Ladies' Mission Group." Henry died on July 14, 1979, at the age of 73. Mabel survived him by 16 years. She passed away at the age of 89 on July 23, 1995. Among her surviving offspring were 18 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. They are buried at Clymer Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Treva L. Grismore (1926-2014) was born on March 26, 1926 in Putnam County, OH. She was a 1944 graduate of Rawson High School. On her 20th birthday, March 26, 1946, she was united in matrimony with Norman M. Fenstermaker (July 22, 1923-2009), son of John and Grace (Smith) Fenstermaker. The United Methodist Church of Acadia, OH hosted the wedding. Their marital union endured for an extraordinary 63 years. The pair became the parents of seven -- Norma Lybarger, Merle Ray Fenstermaker, Ronald Fenstermaker, Paul Fenstermaker, Keith Fenstermaker, Karen Walton and Alice Fenstermaker. Norman was a 1941 alumnus of Arcadia High School. He was U.S. Army veteran of World War II, receiving both the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service in the European Theatre. After returning home, he was employed from Excello of Fostoria and Findlay until retirement. They belonged to the First Baptist Church of Findlay, where she volunteered her time in hospitality and nursery ministries. In her free time, Treva liked to garden, sew and travel, while Norman enjoyed camping, fishing and woodworking. Sadly, Norman died at the age of 86 on Dec. 19, 2009. Interment was in Knollcrest Cemetery. Treva outlived her spouse by almost five years. She passed away at the age of 88, as a resident of Heritage Manor, on Aug. 9, 2014. An obituary reported that her survivors included 17 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held at the family church, jointly led by Pastor Michael Maskell and Pastor Aaron Kaukonen.

    Great-granddaughter Norma Fenstermaker was united in wedlock with (?) Lybarger. Two known sons born to the couple were Philip Lybarger and James Lybarger. Norma lived in Bowling Green in 2009.

    Great-grandson Merle Ray Fenstermaker (1948-2016) was born on April 20, 1948 in Bluffton, Allen County, OH. He was a graduate of Cory Rawson High School and then studied at Cedarville College. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. On July 1, 1972, he wed Lois M. Perry ( ? - ? ). They stayed together for 43 years. Two children borne by the pair were Nathan P. Fenstermaker and Sarah J. Fenstermaker. Merle was employed for 33 years by the U.S. Postal Service and then for a decade in the Findlay City Schools. Their home for decades was in Findlay. The family held a membership in First Baptist Church, where he was an assistant word of life leader. They also were affiliated were the Calvary Baptist Church, with Merle teaching Sunday School for pre-schoolers, and Findlay Evangelical Free Church.  Death enveloped Merle in Findlay's Blanchard Valley Hospital at the age of 68 on May 23, 2016. Pastor Dewey officiated the funeral service at Findlay Evangelical.  

    Great-grandson Ronald Fenstermaker married Patricia. They have dwelled in New Carlisle, OH.

    Great-grandson Paul Fenstermaker put down roots in Findlay, OH.

    Great-grandson Keith Fenstermaker entered into marriage with Karen. The pair were in Findlay in 2009.

    Great-granddaughter Karen Fenstermaker was joined in matrimony with Michael Walton. Their residence in 2009 was in Jenera, OH. 

    Great-granddaughter Alice Fenstermaker migrated to Virginia and settled in Springfield, VA.

  • Granddaughter Dorothy I. Grismore (1928-2001) was born on April 18, 1928. On April 18, 1948 -- her 20th birthday -- she wed Robert J. Van Der Veer (April 26, 1923-2011), a native of Paynesville, OH and the son of Jay and Lydia Van Der Veer. Five children in this family were Steven Van Der Veer, David Van Der Veer, Michael Van Der Veery, James Van Der Veer and Donna Jean Girdler. During World War II, Robert served in the U.S. Army. He was a longtime farmer and at one time worked for GW Sugar Company in Findlay. The family belonged to Riley Creek Baptist Church. At the age of 73, Dorothy passed away on Dec. 10, 2001. Interment of the remains was in Hasson Cemetery, Jenera, Hancock County. Robert lived for the next decade as a widower. He died in Bluffton (OH) Hospital at the age of 88 on May 8, 2011.

    Great-grandson Steven J. Van Der Veer (1958-1992) was born on Jan. 11, 1958. He surrendered to the angel of death at age 34 on Jan. 20, 1992. He sleeps for all of eternity in Hasson Cemetery in Jenera.

    Great-grandson David Van Der Veer lived in Findlay in 2011.

    Great-grandson Michael Van Der Veer married Rose. They established a home in Sebring, FL.

    Great-grandson James Van Der Veer wed Michelle. Circa 2011, they were in Jenera, OH.

    Great-granddaughter Donna Jean Van Der Veer entered into marriage with (?) Girdler. Her residence in 2011 was in Forest, OH.

  • Granddaughter Geneva M. Grismore (1929-2007) was born on May 15, 1929 in Hancock County. She was joined in the bonds of holy wedlock on July 1, 1950 with Alfons Henry "Al" Lauwers (Dec. 30, 1924-1978), son of Alfons L. and Ruth Ellen (Kruse) Lauwers. The couple became the parents of seven -- Walter R. Lauwers, Larry D. Lauwers, Mark A. Lauwers, Thomas L. Sauwers, Kenneth E. Lauwers, Deborah K. Morrison and Kathy A. Lauwers. Alfons earned a living as a custodian at Adams School. The Lauwers' address in 1978 was 851 Summit Street, Findlay. Grief cascaded over the family when Alfons was stricken by a heart attack and died on Feb. 5, 1978, bringing to a close their marriage of 28 years. His obituary appeared in the Findlay Courier. Geneva supported herself through her work with the Harris Corporation, retiring in January 1995. She liked to raise flowers and read and was a member of the Findlay Free Evangelical Congregational Church. She died at age 78 in Blanchard Valley Hospital on Nov. 14, 2007. Pastor Brad Kittle and Pastor Richard Krcal together led the funeral service. The remains were lowered into the sacred soil of Knollcrest Gardens, Findlay.

    Great-grandson Walter R. Lauwers married Cynthia. They have lived in Findlay.

    Great-grandson Larry D. Lauwers moved to Largo, FL. He was deceased by 2016.

    Great-grandson Mark A. Lauwers wed Brenda. They too settled in Findlay.

    Great-grandson Thomas Lee Sauwers (1961-2015) was born on April 4, 1961 in Findlay. He first was joined in matrimony with Sandra ( ? - ? ). They relocated to Chillicothe, OH and are believed to have reproduced. Later, on Oct. 17, 2015, he married Ruth Peoples ( ? - ? ). Thomas was said to have "had a great sense of humor and could always brighten up a room." He was diagnosed with cancer and, after a lengthy illness, slipped away at age 55 on July 4, 2016.  He rests in eternal repose in Greenlawn Cemetery.

    Great-grandson Kenneth E. Lauwers has resided in Findlay.

    Great-granddaughter Deborah K. Lauwers entered into marriage with John L. Morrison. They dwelled in Findlay in 2007.  

    Great-granddaughter Kathy A. Lauwers established a home in Toledo, OH

Son Cecil Hartman (1911- ? ) was born in about 1911. He made his home circa 1951-1957 in Bluffton, OH.


~ Daughter Maggie "Madge" (Van Horn) Case Ester Hindley ~

Daughter Maggie O. "Madge" Van Horn (1889-1977) was born on Aug. 8 or 14, 1889.

She was thrice married. 

At the age of 16, Madge wed her first husband, 26-year-old farmer William Case (1877- ? ), the son of Asher and Cordelia (Merrit) Case, on Christmas Eve 1903. At the time, both resided in Hoytsville, Wood County. She was 10 years younger than her husband, and her father had to appear in open court to give his consent to the union, which was solemnized by a justice of the peace.

They bore one known daughter, Bernadette Case. 

Her second spouse was John Ester (1883- ? ), the son of Daniel and Hattie (Cammell) Ester, and a resident of Findlay, Hancock County. He was a teamster, and had been married once before. They were wed on July 24, 1909, by justice of the peace J.C. Bitler of Hancock County. The following year, when the census was taken, the couple lived in Findlay. 

They are believed to have produced a daughter, Helen Ester. (Born in 1917, she may have later taken the surname of her step-father, Hindley.) 

By 1920, the Esters had separated, and Madge supported herself by laboring as a cigar maker in a local factory. 

During the 1920s, Madge married her third husband, Harold W. Hindley (May 4, 1896-1966). He was six years younger than his bride and was divorced from his first wife. In 1920, prior to his marriage with Madge, Harold roomed in the household of William R. Adams in Findlay, Hancock County, working as a railroad conductor.

Madge and Harold resided in 1930 in the Port Lawrence section of Toledo, Lucas County, OH, on Ontario Street. That year, Harold's occupation was as a railroad switchman.

The couple remained in Toledo during the decade of the 1930s. The federal census of 1940 shows that Harold was now a railroad brakeman.

Sadly, Harold succumbed to death at the age of 70 on Nov. 21, 1966.

Madge was alive in 1970 and that year lived in Toledo, using the surname "Hindley." 

She passed away on Feb. 5, 1977. Burial was beside her spouse Harold in Findlay's Maple Grove Cemetery.

Daughter Bernadette Case (1906- ? ) was born in 1906.

Daughter Helen Ester Hindley (1917- ? ) was born in about 1917. 

Nothing more about this family is known.


~ Daughter Lucretia "Lulu" (Van Horn) Ewers ~

Daughter Lucretia S. "Lulu" Van Horn (1891-1941) was born on Nov. 5 (or Dec. 5), 1891 in Hoytville, Wood County. 

Lulu wed Ernest C. Ewers (1889- ? ) on July 5, 1908, when Lulu was age 17 and Ernest 19. He was the son of Clinton and Sarah (Blaine) Ewers, and was a cook, living in Findlay. Rev. F.H. McAfee, pastor of the First Church of God, officiated.

They together produced a family of eight known children -- Janneatte Ewers, Frankie Ewers, Albert Ewers, Ruth Ewers, Robert Ewers, Ernest Ewers Jr., Lula Mae Ewers, Marjorie Eweres, Erma Ewers and another who died in infancy prior to 1910.

When the federal census was taken in 1910, the Ewerses made their home at 328 George Street in Findlay, with Ernest working as a laborer in a local clay pottery. In 1911, they dwelled at 124 Jefferson, and in 1916 at 212-216 North Blanchard Street.

In 1920, they lived at 120 Jefferson Street in Findlay. Ernest was employed as a waiter in a local restaurant. 

The specter of infant death rocked the family seven times over the span of 13 years. Their first baby died unnamed after a premature birth on Feb. 21, 1910. Then, on Dec. 23, 1911, son Frankie was born as a blue baby, only to die within the hour of "cynosis," while in a coma. On April 30, 1916, Lulu delivered a stillborn son, Albert Ewers. After a premature birth at the seventh month, Lulu delivered a stillborn baby girl, Ruth Ewers, on Feb. 8, 1918. Again, on April 21, 1920, Lulu delivered baby son Robert Ewers prematurely at the sixth month, and he died that day.

Continuing the toll, son Austin Frederick Ewers, named after his maternal grandfather, died after a premature birth at 7 months, on Oct. 2, 1921. And on Aug. 4, 1923, Lulu gave birth prematurely once more, at six months, to a son, Ernest Ewers Jr., who died the same day. The tender remains of all seven angels are at eternal rest in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Findlay.

The federal census of 1940 shows the family in Findlay, with Ernest employed as a carpenter by the Works Progress Administration. The WPA was one of the ways President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the federal government tried to overcome unemployment and is widely considered one of the Roosevelt's largest and most ambitious undertakings of his "New Deal" to get the nation back on sound economic footing. Over the years, the WPA hired millions of out-of-work individuals to build public works projects, such as roads, bridges, retaining walls and buildings.

Living under the Ewers' roof in 1940 were daughters Lula Mae (age 15), Marjorie (13) and Erma (11).

By March 1941, at the death of Lulu's father, they lived in Findlay at 1414 Bank Street. Deeply depressed later that summer by her life's circumstances -- the death of her father, the loss of so many babies, and/or perhaps other issues -- the 49-year-old Lulu was desperate to be relieved of her pain. She ingested 70 grams of Phenobarbital on May 16, and died four days later of the overdose. She was buried in Maple Grove Cemetery. Her sister Rosa Hartman is known to have attended the funeral.

Daughter Janneatte Ewers (1910- ? ) was born in 1910.

Daughter Lula Mae Ewers (1925- ? ) was born in about 1925. As a teen she resided with her parents in Findlay, Hancock County.

Daughter Marjorie Ewers (1927- ? ) was born in about 1927.

Daughter Erma Ewers (1929- ? ) was born in about 1929.

Nothing more about this family is known. 


Copyright 2003, 2006, 2012, 2021-2022 Mark A. Miner