December 19, 2014

David Cooper Meek - Son of James and Anna (Cooper) Meek

The Children of James and Anna (Cooper) Meek
Samuel Meek (great-grandfather)
*David Cooper Meek (Samuel's twin)
Enoch Meek 1
John W.
Enoch 2

Great-grandfather, Samuel Meek, named after his grandfather, had a twin brother who was named David Cooper Meek.  Cooper was his mother's maiden name.  Most sources agree that the boys were born on January 1, 1824, in Unity Township, Columbiana County, Ohio.

A sketch about David's life appeared in the book, Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern Ohio (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1899), page 269-270. 

This worthy representative of the agricultural interests of Hicksville township, Defiance county, owns a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Section 12, which has been transformed by him into a highly-cultivated tract.  He is one of Ohio's native sons, having been born in Columbiana county, January 1, 1824.  His parents were James and Ann (Cooper) Meek, the former probably a native of Ohio, born in 1801, the latter of Pennsylvania, born in 1798.  Both died in Columbiana county, this State, the father in 1845, the mother in 1873 or 1874.

David C. Meek and his twin brother, Samuel Meek, of Hicksville township, were the eldest in a family of fourteen children, and were three years of age when the family removed from Columbiana county to Beaver county, Pennsylvania.  After seven years spent in that State, however, they returned to Columbiana county, where our subject grew to manhood, remaining upon the home farm until he had attained his twenty-second year.  Two years later, he went to California, where he successfully engaged in mining for four years, and soon after his return to Ohio, he purchased his present farm in Section 12, Hicksville township, Defiance county.  He did not remain long in the East, however, returning to California at the end of a year.  This time he spent twelve years on the Pacific slope, and met with fair success in his mining operations.  Since then he has made his home uninterruptedly upon his present farm, and to its development and improvement he has devoted his energies, erecting thereon good and substantial buildings.

In Hicksville, township, on June 22, 1871, Mr. Meek was married to Miss Nancy Jane Beltz, who was born in Crawford county, Ohio, December 15, 1852, and is the second in order of birth in a family of five children.  Her parents, William W. and Mary A. (Good) Beltz, were natives of Pennsylvania, whence in the early 'sixties' they came to Defiance county, Ohio, locating in Hicksville township, where they both died, the father in 1874 at the age of forty-seven years, the mother in 1894, when sixty-five years.  

To Mr. and Mrs. Meek have been born three children:  Eva A., who died at the age of six months; Clement O. (Orlando), born July 23, 1873; and David C., born December 22, 1884.  Of these, Clement was married August 31, 1897, to Lillie Barrows, and they have one child, Laura Beatrice Meek, born June 8, 1898.  Clement and his father are both Republican in politics.

Samuel Meek, the great-grandfather of our subject, was of Irish descent; his wife reached the patriarchal age of ninety-nine years.  Samuel Meek, son of the above, and grandfather of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania in 1765 and married Elizabeth Nichols.  Mrs. Meek's grandfather, Christopher Beltz, and his wife, Catherine (Beck), were both born in Pennsylvania; he died in about 1860, but she survived him several years."

With this sketch, census and newspaper records, we can create a timeline for David Cooper Meek.  He would have moved to Pennsylvania with his family about 1827 and then back to Columbiana County in 1834.  He remained at home with his parents until about 1846 when he left for Ohio and eventually, California, in 1848.  Those were the gold rush days, and it appeared that David (and possibly at least one other brother) were forty-niners, chasing gold in California.

David led a miner's life until 1852 when he returned home, perhaps buying or expanding his land ownership in Ohio, before heading back to California where he remained until 1863.  The sketch said he had some success as a miner, perhaps enough to help develop his farm ground in Defiance County where he settled upon his return.

He was 47 years old before he married Nancy Jane Beltz on June 22, 1871.  Nancy was about thirty years younger than David...quite an age difference!  In the 1880 census, David was reported as 56 and Nancy as 27.  On April 5, 1872, their first child was born - Eva - but she died on October 24, 1872, at six months old. Soon Nancy was pregnant with child #2 - Clement Orlando Meek - born July 23, 1873. He enjoyed his parents' doting for nine years until one more child was born. Their last child was named after his father, David C. Meek, born December 22, 1885 when his father was about 60 years old.

In 1895, little Davey Meek found himself in a predicament with a gun, one so serious that another boy, Howard Henry Barrows, lost his life. 
 It is not know if this Harold Barrows was relation to Lillie Barrows, wife of Clement Meek.

In the 1900 census of Hicksville Township, David Cooper Meek was head of the household at age 76, married for 29 years and still farming, owning his farm free and clear.  Nancy was 46 (born December 1853) and had three children, of which only one was living.  Clement O. Meek died on August 31, 1899, leaving a widow, Lillie H. (Barrows) and a child, Laura Beatrice, 2, who were living with David and Nancy in 1900.  Lillie was only 20 years old and a widow.  Completing the family was their youngest son, David C., 14, working as a farm laborer, probably his father's right hand man.

Clement, although in poor health for awhile, died quite suddenly.

 It was just one year later that David Cooper Meek died, leaving his wife and a 15 year old son to make their way.  He died on August 10, 1901 of some kind of paralysis at the age of 77.  His will was entered into probate on September 3, 1901, and it left Nancy the right to all his property and goods for the rest of her natural life, after which David C. Meek, was to inherit.  Fifty dollars was left to  each of the children of Clement Meek when they became 18,  He stated that he had already given a part of his estate to Clement previously.  The will had been written on December 23, 1899, so David was not aware of the number of living children Clement would have.
Six Corners Cemetery, Hicksville Township, Defiance County, OH

Nancy Beltz Meek lived on until May 29, 1947.  David C. married Mable Gertrude Tustison from Hicksville and they had two sons, Wendell and Maurice.  David died the year after his mother, on April 6, 1948.

December 12, 2014

James and Anna Cooper Meek - Great-Great Grandparents

The parents of Samuel Meek, great-grandfather, were James Meek and Anna Cooper Meek of Columbiana County, Ohio and Beaver Twp., Pennsylvania.  Some researchers place James' birth in Wooster, Ohio on May 10, 1801 and Anna's birth anywhere from 1798 to 1802 in New Jersey or New York.  
James married Anna Cooper about 1823-1824 and settled in near East Palestine, Unity Township, Columbiana County, Ohio.

James and Anna and family did, however, move back across the state line into Beaver County, Pennsylvania for a time, and some of their children were born there.
  Great-grandfather, Samuel's, obituary, stated that he was one of fourteen children born to James and Anna.  I have identified thirteen of them:
Samuel and David Cooper Meek, twins, born 1824
Enoch #1, born c 1825
Elizabeth and Hiram,twins, born 1826
Seth, born c. 1827
Sidnah, born c. 1830
James, born c. 1833
Ednah, born 1834
John W., born c. 1836
Buelah, born c. 1837
Enoch #2, born c. 1840
Solomon, born 1842

Sadly, James Meek died quite young on December 5, 1845, at the age of 44 years, 6 months and 29 days, and to add to the tragedy, their son, Seth, died that same year at about age 18.  Enoch #1 had also died in childhood at about the age of 12, so Anna was left with seven sons and four daughters to raise on her own.  James was buried in the Boatman Cemetery in Unity Township.
James and Anna Meek, Boatman Cemetery, Unity Township, Columbiana County, Ohio
An estate packet was located for James Meek containing no will which is not surprising due to his relatively young age.  Perhaps his death came quickly, too.  Ann was appointed administrator, along with Robert Filson. First, three appraisers were appointed for the estate: Thomas King, Israel Early, and Moses Mendenhall.  An accounting was made of his assets and debts and it was decided that the widow and children would be allowed to keep certain personal possessions outside of what was appraised: 

"The deceased having left a widow and minor children, we set off to them the following property without appraisement - 2 spinning wheels, 1 ten plate stove, 1 family Bible, all the school books belonging to the family, one table, six chairs, six knives and forks, six plates, six teacups and saucers, one sugar dish, one milkpot, one teapot, twelve spoons, the clothes and wearing apparel of widow, one cow, twelve sheep, 4 beads (beds), beadsteads (bedsteads) and beading (bedding), pots, kettles, and all cooking utensils of the deceased, being necessary for the family, clothing of the family and the clothing of the deceased..."

Later, Anna also claimed two stands of bees, one wagon, a grindstone and crank, a logchain, a goat, 22 sheep, and one 8 day wooden clock for herself.  No mention is ever made of the land, so one would assume that it was passed on to the heirs. An auction was had for some of the remaining items.  I thought it interesting that the family had dishes and utensils for six when the family contained at least twelve or more.

 In the 1850 census of Unity Township, Columbiana County, Ohio, taken on September 18, Ann Meek was 49 years old (born NY) and with her were Samuel, 26; David, 26; Hiram, 22; Elizabeth, 22; Sidnah, 19; James, 17; Ednah, 16; Buelah, 13; John 14; Enoch #2, 10, and Solomon, 8. 

 By 1860, some of the boys had gone out west to try their hand at mining or they had moved on to marry and settle in Defiance County, Ohio.  Anna, 61, (now born New Jersey), had only Elizabeth, 30; Ednah, 26; Bulah, 21; Enoch, 21; and Soloman, 18, at home.  Very soon, three of the boys would enlist in the Union Army and see battle; some would not make it home again. 

By 1870, the census enumerator found Annie Meek, 71, in the same place, keeping house with property valued at $5600 and personal goods worth $1020.  Elizabeth, 40, and Solomon, a farm laborer, completed the household.  Elizabeth and Solomon would stay on with their mother until her death.

Anna Cooper Meek died in 1873, and all the living children eventually ended up in Defiance County, Ohio, living near Hicksville...together again.  Anna was buried next to James in Boatman Cemetery, having outlived him by almost 28 years.

December 4, 2014

Samuel and Eliza (Fuller) Meek, Great-Grandparents

Samuel and Eliza (Fuller) Meek were early settlers in Defiance County, coming from Columbiana County, Ohio. They have been designated into First Families of Defiance County, Ohio, having been in the county since about 1853.

 Samuel and his twin, David Cooper Meek, were born either December 31, 1823 or January 1, 1824, (depending on the source) in Columbiana County to James and Anna (Cooper) Meek. They were the first of the couple's fourteen children.  James Monroe was president and the Erie Canal from the Hudson River to Lake Erie had just opened.  Ohio was the frontier.  
Ten years later, Eliza Fuller was born on November 20, 1834, to Samuel H. Fuller and wife, Emily Camp. Eliza was born in either Morrow or Marion County, depending on the source, but the likelihood is that there were border changes between the counties.  They do share a common border.
The Fuller family came to Dekalb County, Indiana, parts of which are only a few miles from the area where Samuel Meek settled in Hicksville Township, Defiance County, in 1853.  Sam and Eliza were married in Dekalb County on May 12, 1855.

They first appear together in the 1860 census together with sons, James, 3, and David, 1.  Samuel had a brother who died in the Civil War named James and, of course, his twin brother was named David -those are possible explanations for the naming.  Farming in Hicksville township, Defiance County, Samuel had land worth $1600 and personal goods worth $200.

During the Civil War period, Samuel lost two brothers to the war, one who died in battle and one who died in Andersonville prison.  The third brother who served, Hiram, was highly decorated and returned home to also settle in Defiance County near his brother, Samuel.

Some time before the 1870 census, the first born son, James, died.  Their family in 1870, consisted of four sons: David, William Oscar, Hiram and Sherman.  Their only daughter, Emily Anna was born in 1871, and the last son, John Emerson Meek, in 1874.  (One son, Solomon, was deceased.)

In 1881, a land transfer was found where Samuel bought 80 acres from A. P. Edgerton, the premier developer of the area around Hicksville. I believe he sold the 58 acres he owned in Section 14 and bought the 80 acres in Section 13, as shown by a comparison between the plat maps of 1866 and 1890.  So he was doing well as a farmer. His sons and daughter married, and settled nearby.

In the 1900 census, it was revealed that Samuel could neither read nor write, but Eliza could and that was probably how he managed.  

Samuel Meek died on August 23, 1902 at the age of 78.  His obituary was found in a compilation of obituaries of Northwestern Ohio pioneers:

 Samuel Meek was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, Jan. 1, 1824, and departed this life Aug. 23, 1902, aged 78 years, 7 months and 23 days.  He and his twin brother, David Meek, who departed this life August 10, 1901, were the oldest of a family of 14 children, five of whom are still living.  He settled in this county in 1853, and May 17, 1855, was married to Eliza C. Fuller of Dekalb county, Ind.  To this union was born one daughter and seven sons.  
He joined the church of the United Brethern in Christ in 1870 and remained a faithful honored member until his death.  He was a man of the strictest integrity, and held in high esteem in the community where he lived.  His wife, daughter and four sons survive him.
Funeral services occurred from the U. B. church at Six Corners, Monday conducted by elder J. W. Lilly, assisted by Rev. M. R. Ballinger."

He was buried at Six Corners Cemetery, Hicksville Township, Defiance County, OH.  Eliza died on July 2, 1909 and was buried beside her husband.

The obituary for Eliza C. Fuller (Meek) was found in a collection of old obituaries, mostly from the Hicksville, Ohio,newspapers.  From Pioneers of Northwest Ohio, this undated article:
Eliza C. Fuller was born in Morrow County, Ohio, November 20, 1834.  In early life, with her parents, she removed to Dekalb county, Ind., where she was converted to the christian life and joined the M.E. church.  She was married to Samuel Meek, May 17, 1855, and with her husband, located on their farm one mile south of Six Corners, shortly after which she transferred her membership to the Six Corners U. B. church, where her membership was continued until her death, being a member of the church approximately thirty years.  This marriage was blessed with 8 children, 7 sons and 1 daughter.  Three sons and her husband preceded her in death, her husband dying about seven years ago, since when her home has been among her children.  For several years, she has been afflicted with paralysis and for the past six weeks, she has been almost entirely helpless.  For years she took pleasure in reading her Bible and hymn book.  She said she wanted all to meet her in heaven.  She passed away in death July 2, 1909, at the age of 74 years, 7 months, 12 days, leaving four sons, one daughter, two sisters, one brother, with other relatives and friends to mourn and follow. Funeral service was conduced from Six Corners church Sunday afternoon, Rev. J. F. Miller officiating." 

It is possible that one of the sons continued farming the home place, but by 1913, it was time for the estate to be settled.  At this point, I have not checked out the sale of the farm, but I did find a sale bill for the Samuel Meek farm goods.  Published in The Tribune, Hicksville, Ohio, on Thursday, January 30, 1913:

Samuel Meek auction

December 3, 2014

The Children at Six Corners School, Hicksville Township

Awhile back, I wrote of the scrapbook of Emily Anna Meek, the grandmother of my husband, who collected and saved Lion Coffee cards, pictures she liked, her Rewards of Merit from school and other miscellaneous items.  Emily attended the one room Six Corners School in Hicksville Township, Defiance County, Ohio, located at the intersections of Buckskin Road, Cicero Road, and State Route 2 which created six corners.

In fact, Emily was both a student and later, a teacher, at the Six Corners School.  As a student, she collected remembrance cards from her contemporaries and pasted them into her scrapbook.  From these, we can determine who lived in her neighborhood and most likely attended that school.

Female students with cards included:
Clarie B. Kleckner
Lizzie Dickerhoof
Edna Grier
Amanda F. Forlow
Ellena B. Grier
Olive Geahant
Cora Ames
Della Hilbert
Sarah A. Gilbert
Rosie Thornburg
Cora B. Forlow
Eunice Jordan
Libbie L. Johnson
Carrie B. Jordan
Nora Doster
Minnie A. Forlow
Cecelia R. Hilbert

Male students with cards included:
Joseph Beltz
Louie Place
Milo Callender
Hiram Meek
William O. Meek
David Meek
Charles W. Ginter
Josh W. Balser
Rolla Callender
Willie Lipman
Charley Ginter
Frank Callender
Aaron Dickerhoof
Geo. W. Place
James. M. Place
Samuel A. Thompson
John Meek
George W. Batchelor
Sherman T. Meek

 I'm not sure on the gender of these:
Clarie B. Kleckner
C. A. Forlow
R. Hoffman
M. Sensenbacher
C. F. Elliott
C. Sensenbacher

November 9, 2014

Young Meek Patriots

On this upcoming Veterans' Day, it seems appropriate to share this family story of an incident that happened in the midst of World War I.
The boys of Sherman T. Meek (brother to grandmother, Emily Meek) decided to show their patriotism.

According to The Tribune newspaper, Hicksville, Ohio, of June 7, 1917:

"Kenneth, Horace, and John Meek, lads of Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Meek, of Newville township, near Grange Corners, determined to not be behind on patriotism and have put up a pole and keep Old Glory bravely flying from its peak.  They are small lads, yet they brought a pole from the woods and erected it.  It is 41 feet from the ground to the top."


October 30, 2014

John Emerson Meek - The Youngest Son of Samuel and Eliza Meek

Not the best photo, but the only one I have of John Meek
Emily Meek's younger brother was John Emerson Meek, born December 28, 1874, in Hicksville Township, Defiance County, Ohio.  John appeared with his family in the 1880 census, but his whereabouts in 1900 is but a guess.

In the 1900 Federal Census of Holt County, Liberty Township, Missouri, a John Meek was boarding with the Arthur Markt family and working as a farm laborer.  The birthdate given for this John Meek was August, 1874, instead of December, but that could be explained because the informant to the enumerator might not have been John, himself.  John Meek was 25 and single, and he also reported that he was born in Ohio, as were both of his parents, which fits our John E. Meek.  

In 1903, John E. Meek married Pearl May Huston and they settled in Newville Township, Dekalb County, Indiana.  By the 1910 census, Pearl and John had had five children together, but only three had survived: Ruth Esther (born December 8, 1904), Olive Angeline (born July 8, 1907), and Violetta (born March 15, 1909).  John was farming on a farm he was buying.

The World War I draft registration for John completed on September 12, 1918, at the age of 43, indicated his address was Rural Route 3, Bryan, Ohio.  His self-description was of a tall man with a medium build and blue eyes and brown hair. 

Sometime between 1910 and 1918, the John E. Meek family moved to Williams County, Ohio where a farm was purchased in Superior Township.  There they were enumerated in the 1920 census: John E., a farmer, 45; Pearl, a housewife, 37, and the three girls: Ruth, 15, Olive, 12, and Violetta, 10.

By 1930, John and Pearl had moved to a house on South Main Street in Bryan.  John, at 55, earned a living by doing odd jobs. Violetta, 21, was still at home and single, working as a public school teacher.  One newspaper article stated that Violetta Meek was going to teach at the Grange Hall School in Williams County.  

John had completely retired by 1940, at the age of 65, and the couple lived in their home in Bryan, valued at $1050.  He died in April, 1949.
 Pearl continued to be in touch with the family of Emily Meek, attending Thanksgiving dinner, for example, until her death in 1971.
Pearl Huston Meek

Pearl Meek in 1961
 Olive Meek died in her youth on November 26, 1930 in Wood County at about 22 years old.

Ruth E. Meek did not marry, and she lived in the Sandusky area. The Sandusky Register named her in an article in March 1958, stating that she belonged to the Sandusky Yacht Club and served on a committee for one of their events.  She worked in the secretarial field, and died on December 2, 1985, at Providence Hospital in Sandusky at the age of 78

Violetta Meek married Charles W. Hutchison, who died at 49, in February 1958.  She remarried in 1961, Keith Ingle, but they divorced in 1969.  Violetta died on August 28, 1997 and is buried in Williams County, Ohio.

Now, we'll move back a generation to the parents of David, Solomon, William Oscar, Hiram, Sherman T., Emily A. and John E. Meek - Samuel Meek and Eliza Fuller Meek.

October 25, 2014

Sherman T. Meek - The Fifth Son

Samuel and Eliza (Fuller) Meek welcomed their fifth son, Sherman T. on the Fourth of July, 1869.  Perhaps he was named after the famed Union general, William Tecumseh Sherman, although I'm not sure what the T stands for in Sherman T. Meek's name.  Since the Civil War was fresh in everyone's memory in 1869, I'm sure the naming after a war hero is a possibility.
Sherman was a farmer all his life, first in Ohio and then in Indiana.  In about 1898, he married Clara A. Reed and they settled in the Hicksville, Ohio area where their first two children were born:  Grace in 1900 and Samuel Kenneth (or Kenneth Samuel) on January 16, 1902.

About 1903, the family moved to a farm on the Spencerville Road just west of Hicksville, Ohio into Newville Township, Dekalb County, Indiana.  Four more children joined the family there: Horace in 1909, John C. in 1910, Luella in 1916 and Clarence ("Sam") in 1920.  Sherman farmed and raised livestock, especially swine.  He served as a trustee for Newville Township for a time in the 1920s.

In 1921, when little Clarence was just a babe, Sherman and Clara lost their oldest daughter, Grace, at about the age of 21.  Her cause of death is unknown at this time, as is her burial place.  The Hicksville Tribune reported her death on Thursday, April 7, 1921:
"Grace Meek, the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Meek, died Saturday morning at the family home on the Spencerville road. Funeral services were held Monday."

By the 1930 Federal Census, when Sherman was 60 and Clara, 51, two minor children were still at home - Luella, 13, and Clarence, 10.  Clara was ill and died that same year.  
The Hicksville News-Tribune carried the obituary on June 5, 1930 on page 1:

Mrs. Clara Meek, wife of Sherman Meek, died at 11:55 p.m. Friday, at her home in Newville township, four miles west of Hicksville on the Spencerville road.
She had been ill for several months from a complication of diseases.
Funeral services were held Monday at the North Scipio Methodist church, and burial was made in the Six Corners cemetery.
Deceased is survived by the husband; sons, Kenneth, Forrest*, John C. and Clarence, all of the neighborhood; and a daughter, Miss Luella Meek, at home."
 *Error - Forrest should be Horace.

On April 17, 1935, the oldest son of Sherman and Clara died.  Samuel Kenneth Meek, known as Kenneth, passed away in Auburn, Indiana.  He was buried in Scipio Cemetery, Allen County, Indiana.  He left a wife and one son, Richard David Meek. 
Scipio Cemetery, Allen County, Indiana

Horace married Elsie Engleter in 1933 and Luella married Paul Hensley in 1935.  Horace and his wife apparently moved into the homestead to help care for Clarence and his father.  On July 27, 1937, Sherman T. Meek died after a bout of influenza. 
The obituary appeared in the News-Tribune on July 29, 1937 on page 1:

Splendid Citizen Taken Suddenly from Flu and Uremic Trouble. 

Sherman T. Meek, aged 68, died Tuesday evening about 7:30, in an ambulance while being taken to hospital at Defiance, for emergency treatment.
Mr. Meek was taken ill Monday afternoon with intestinal flu, which resulted in some uremic trouble.
By Tuesday afternoon his condition had grown so critical that it was decided necessary to take him to hospital, as he was delirious and was suffering with convulsions.
In consequence a physician and nurse, also the son, Horace Meek, accompanied him in the ambulance.  He grew steadily worse and breathed his last just before reaching the hospital.
Mr. Meek was born near Six Corners and lived in that neighborhood for thirty-four years, then moved to Newville township, Ind., where he resided for the rest of his days.  He was a splendid citizen in all senses of the word, and served as township trustee for eight years, which demonstrates in what high esteem he was held by his fellow citizens.  Mrs. Meek passed away seven years ago.
Surviving are three sons, Horace and Clarence at the home, John at Marshall, Mich.; and daughter Mrs. Luella Hensley of Newville township; two grandchildren; brothers, John Meek of Bryan and David Meek of Lake George, Ind.; and sister, Mrs. Emily Kline of Newville township.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 Friday afternoon at the North Scipio M. E. church, with burial in Six Corners cemetery.  Perkins & Reeb funeral directors in charge."

Six Corners Cemetery, Defiance County, Ohio
Of the remaining children of Sherman and Clara Meek, Clarence ("Sammy" or "Sam") Meek died in 1978 in Ohio, John C. Meek died in 1980 in Michigan, Luella Meek Hensley died in 1984 in Indiana, and Horace Meek lived until the age of 90, passing away in Ohio in 2000.