Monday, June 29, 2015

Fraktur of Johann Gahn and wife Catherina Schmidt Gahn of Washington Twp. Sandusky County, Ohio

Above are scans of a hand painted fraktur, belonging to Beverly Wheatley of Tiffin, Ohio. The document was created as a family register in 1877, representing Johann Gahn who was born April 14, 1848. He married Catherina Schmidt November 19, 1874. Catherina was born September 25, 1858. In the second image, it reads "CONRAD GAHN! Glory to God in the highest and on earth peach to all mankind."Fraktur is both a style of lettering and a highly artistic and elaborate illuminated folk art created by Pennsylvania Germans..Most were created between 1740 and 1860.
Fraktur drawings were done entirely by hand in both ink and/or watercolors. Later, actual printed text became increasingly common. 

Most fraktur, like that created for Johann Gahn, are personal records, such as birth and baptismal certificates. They can provide genealogists with a resource for tracing family histories. 

According to the Free Library of Philadelphia,  which holds a large collection, fraktur were also used to express religious beliefs or to help schoolchildren with their studies. Fraktur artists often decorated these documents with drawings of flowers, birds, stars, and other figures. You can explore online the large variations in fraktur drawings and lettering by examining the Free Library of Philadelphia's digital collection. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fremont Ohio Native Louis C. Kaiser Lost His Life While Serving Aboard the WWII Submarine U.S.S. Tang

Fremont native Louis C. Kaiser who served as a motor machinist mate aboard the celebrated submarine Tang, lost his life while on the submarine's 5th patrol in the Formosa Straits. The Tang was sunk by her own defective torpedo. Thirteen men escaped from the forward torpedo room, and by the time the last made his exit, the heat from the fire was so intense that the paint on the bulkhead was scorching, melting, and running down. Only eight reached the surface, and of these but five were able to swim until rescued.

In all nine survivors were picked up by a Japanese destroyer escort. On board were victims of Tang's previous sinkings. They inflicted tortures on the men from the Tang. Captain Richard O'Kane received the worst of the clubbings and kickings. The nine suffered as prisoners of war until the end of WWII.  

In her five patrols, the Tang is credited with sinking 31 ships, totaling 227,800 tons and damaging two for 4,100 tons. This record is unequaled among American submarines. The loss of the Tang by her own torpedo, the last one fired on the most successful patrol ever made by a  U. S. submarine, was a stroke of singular misfortune. She is credited with having sunk 13 vessels for 107,324 tons of enemy shipping on this patrol, and her Commanding Officer Richard O'Kane was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Commander Richard O'Kane receiving the Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Colonel George Croghan Chapter Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution Researching at the Hayes Center

Members of the Colonel George Croghan Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution researching their ancestors in the Hayes Presidential Center Reading Room.
The chapter home, also known as The Minnie Louise Failing Museum, is the childhood home of Miss Julia M. Haynes. She was the organizing regent of the chapter. Through a bequest of Miss Minnie Louise Failing the chapter home was purchased in 1946.
The Colonel George Croghan Chapter Home/Minnie Louise Failing Museum is located in Fremont, Ohio. Meetings are held on the 4th Mondays of September -November and March -May.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Admiral Chester Nimitz Honored at Spiegel Grove

Before and after his presidency, Rutherford B. Hayes took great pride in the trees at his Spiegel Grove estate. Hayes began naming trees for distinguished visitors. The custom continued long after his death.
The photograph above features Admiral Chester and Mrs. Nimitz; Admiral Webb C. and Martha Baker Hayes; and then director of the Hayes Presidential Center Watt Marchman. 
Admiral and Mrs. Nimitz were the guests of Admiral and Mrs. Hayes at Spiegel Grove on September 21, 1950.

The occasion was Admiral Nimitz's dedicatory address at the celebration of the opening of the Toledo, Ohio Union Depot. Also included were Mr. Gus Metzman, President of the New York Central Railroad, and his wife. Behind Admiral Nimitz is the large oak tree named in his honor. It still stands 65 years later. You can see it just across the pathway from President Hayes' tomb.

Admiral Nimitz served as a fleet admiral of the United States Navy. He played a major role during WWII in the Pacific theater where he served as Commander in Chief U. S. Pacific Fleet (CinCPac) for U. S. Naval forces and as Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas (CinCPOA) for Allied air, land, and sea forces. He was the last surviving officer who served in the rank of fleet admiral. He died in 1966.

Monday, June 15, 2015

J. P. Moore Wagon Shop, Bidwell Avenue, Fremont, Ohio

J. P  Moore Wagon Shop, Bidwell Avenue, Fremont, Ohio

J. P. Moore (seated left holding hat) ; Charles Wensinger (with hammer on shoulder, 5th from left); George Millious (4th from right sitting); 1. Henry Hingst 2. _____ 3. Uncle Dora Moore 4. John McRauffins, woodworker 5. Charles Wensinger, blacksmith 6.Joe Hollinger, blacksmith 7. Chas. Massman (sp?) 8. Al Alford 9. Jim Rogers, blacksmith 10. Chas. Holcomb, painter 11. Jennie's Dad, Bert Moore

(The identification of the Moore employees is given as the names and information appear on the reverse of this photograph.)

According to the 1882 History of Sandusky County, Ohio, J. P. Moore was one of the most successful carriage and wagon manufacturers in Sandusky County. He began working as a blacksmith west of Fremont on the Maumee and Western Reserve Pike (U. S. Route 20). In 1851, he moved into Fremont where he set up operations that included a workshop, paint shop, and salesroom.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Marine Aviation Unit in Assault Echelon at Okinawa During WWII

The seven men pictured above were from the Northwest Ohio area and were among the first Marine Aviation men participating in the initial phases of the battle for the possession of Okinawa. Attached to a Marine Air unit, they were in the assault echelon which landed on the western coast of Okinawa, close on the heels of the infantry.  They moved inland where they set up operations on the site of the former Japanese bomber strip at Yontan Airport.

Front row (l to r): TSgt. Claude E. Snyder, 22; Pvt. Dunbar A Tietz, 25; Cpl. Arthur B. Hayes, 20

Back row (l to r): Second Lt. Edwin F. Ayers, 24; Ack. Peter Minich, 20; Donald E. Pflegharr, 21; TSgt. Carl E. Pruitt, 21

Arthur B. Hayes was the son of Admiral Webb C. Hayes II and Martha Baker Hayes and the great grandson of President Rutherford B. Hayes

This official Marine Corps photo was provided by the son of Peter Minich