Friday, July 22, 2016

My Great Big Ohio Cemetery Adventure

While visiting my sister, Karyle, who lives in Beavercreek, Ohio, I wanted to take her to the Strait Cemetery near Ansonia, Darke, Ohio and show her where our 3rd great grandparents, Richard Fletcher and Rachel (Jennings) Strait are buried. Clinking on their names will take you to their Find A Grave Memorials.

It was quite an adventure!  But long story short, as a result of that trip we ended up tombstone trolling in five cemeteries that day, and I completely photographed one of them.  We started out by mistake (bad coordinates) at Wesley Chapel Cemetery (Franklin Township), Anna, Shelby, Ohio (I photographed the entire cemetery before we left).  All the markers in this cemetery had been placed on a concrete slab as you can see in this photo.

Then we moved on to the Strait cemetery which was difficult to find because it was between two corn patches and we almost missed it. 

On our way back to my sister’s house we came across the Old Teegarden Cemetery in Darke Co., Ohio and stopped (because we have relatives buried there) and took some photos to fulfill some Find A Grave requests. 

From there we came upon Greenville Union Cemetery, Greenville, Darke, Ohio.  As we had relatives buried there I turned into the cemetery so we could look around.  There were some fascinating tombstones in this huge cemetery and I took photos of some of them.  While we were walking around, my sister found some Strait’s so I had to photograph them as well. 

We left there and continued on toward Beavercreek when we came across the Abbottsville Cemetery, Abbottsville, Darke, Ohio.  I told my sister that we had relatives buried there so we pulled into the parking lot.  While we were sitting there, I decided to see how many photo requests had been made for this cemetery and it turned out that there were 85 of them.  We drove around and found a few of them.  Also, because my BFF’s maiden name is Albright we photographed all the Albright’s (and there were a bunch) we could find as we drove around, just in case they turn out to be related to her.  

We also found this very interesting marker, belonging to Clayton E. Moore, Sr. (1952-2005).  

As it was turning out to be a long day, we stopped looking and decided to come back another day.  

The Friday before I headed home, my sister and her oldest daughter, Wendi, and I went back to Abbottsville.  I had hoped to find someone in the cemetery office to help us with burial locations for the rest of the 85 photo requests.  Really didn't want to have to walk that entire cemetery, it is huge.  We didn’t see any cars (other than a pickup truck in the cemetery) at the office but I pulled in just in case, but didn’t see any lights on.  As we were leaving I saw the pickup truck pull up in front of the building, park and the driver got out and entered the building.  I turned around and pulled back into the parking lot and the gentleman came out of the door to the office and asked if I needed help.  I showed him the list I had and told him I was looking for burial locations.  He said to come on in and he proceeded to look all the names up for me and marked their locations on a map of the cemetery.   The cemetery was founded in 1878 and it turns out that some of the photo requests were for folks who died before 1878 so not sure where they are really buried.  One of them it turns out is actually buried in the Old Abbottsville Cemetery.

As we hadn’t had lunch yet, we decided to head into Greenville to grab a bite to eat.  As we left the cemetery I noticed a small cemetery just down the road from Abbottsville Cemetery.  We turned down the road leading to it and found out it was the Old Abbottsville Cemetery.  All the markers had been bunched together on four concrete slabs as you can see in this photo.  Well, of course I had to photograph the entire cemetery!

After we left Old Abbottsville and continued on toward Greenville, Wendi spotted another cemetery but we couldn’t quite figure out how to get into it.  So, we continued on to McDonald’s to have some lunch.  When we headed back to Abbottsville, my niece spotted the entrance but I missed it so I had to go down the road aways to turn around.  Turns out that it was the Darke County Home Cemetery.  Once we got into the cemetery and I walked to the three rows of markers in the back of the cemetery, I saw that they all only had numbers on them.  There actually were only a few of the markers in the cemetery that had names on them.  There was also a recent burial which turns out to be that of Norma (Sheets) Ryan who had died on 29 Jun 2016.  Some of the numbered markers had veteran’s markers in front of them and guess what!!! I found a Strait relative buried there!!! My third cousin 3 times removed, Ephraim Boze (son of David Lindsey and Letitia (Strait) Boze) is also buried there but his marker #143 is gone. 

That's my sister, Karyle, in the background.

Once we finished with Darke County Home Cemetery we headed on back to the Abbottsville Cemetery to try and find the markers on my Find A Grave photo request list.  We spent several hours there (and got sunburnt) but weren’t able to find some of the markers so we decided to call it a day. 

I will be going back to visit my sister again later this year and plan to photograph all of the Old Teegarden Cemetery and as much of Abbottsville Cemetery as I possibly can.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

My Civilian Career: The Tiller and Toiler Newspaper

This photo was posted on Facebook today and that prompted me to write this blog post.

I started working at The Tiller and Toiler in Jun of 1972, shortly after graduating from high school.  I worked there until September of 1979.  At that time, we were located in the new Tiller and Toiler building, at 113-115 West Fifth street, just down the hill from where I lived.

My first official job title there was as a perforator operator.  I worked with Bill Beck, Loretha Huxman and my uncle, Otis Roberts.  My primary job was to punch computer tapes for news copy, which I then took to Bill who ran it through his machine to produce the copy and then my uncle proofread the copy.  I also did page layout, worked in the darkroom with Paul Zook, helped my uncle proofread copy and also helped get the newspaper out.  Pete Daniels was the pressman with Bill Beck assisting him.  Uncle Otis, Loretta and I helped by inserting the advertising inserts into the newspapers as they came off the press, counting them and wrapping them with twine to go to the newspaper carriers.

Me at the perforator machine.
Me doing page layout.

Some of the other positions I held while working at the newspaper was as assistant advertising manager, circulation manager and assistance office manager.  I also wrote several newspaper articles that were published in the paper.  I will share some of these in future blog posts.

When I started at The Tiller and Toiler, Jack Zygmond was the editor and publisher.  His wife, Leslie, was a photographer at the paper.  Also working there were Mrs. Larry LeSage, page make-up and office assistant; Mrs. Jerry Stapleton, circulation; Mrs. Neal McChristy, society reporter; Don W. Foster, advertising manager; Mrs. Virginia Johnson, office manager; Orin Dodez, advertising and photography; Loretha Huxman, perforator operator; William O. Beck, mechanical superintendent; Paul W. Zook, manager of commercial printing; Hilton Gordon, job printing; Otis Roberts, proofs and mail and Vernon "Pete" Daniels, newspaper pressman.  Some of the other's I worked with over the years were Marie Chamberlain, Juanita Skelton and Bob Sallee.  I'm sure that I have forgotten some of the folks I worked with and apologize for not including them here.

The Tiller and Toiler crew in March of 1973.
Don Foster
Loretha Huxman and Bill Beck
Mrs. Jerry Stapleton
Orin Dodez
Pete Daniels and Otis Roberts
Virginia Johnson
Bill Beck and Otis Roberts working the press run.
One of my fondest memories was being able to work with my Uncle Otis.
My uncle, Otis Roberts, wrapping twine around the newspapers.
Another fond memory I have is that Hilton Gordon always brought soup for his lunch and just before lunch he would open up his thermos and let his soup cool.  He would allow me to dip crackers in his soup while it was cooling.  He always had some delicious soup and I always looked forward to him opening up his thermos!!
Hilton Gordon
One of the projects I was instrumental in working on was the publication of the "Panorama of Progress", which was published as a supplement to the newspaper in 1972.
Me and Mrs. Jerry Stapleton looking through the newly published "Panorama of Progress."
Here I am between stacks of the Panorama of Progress.