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."

 Impressive!

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:

"DEATH OF MRS. CLARA MEEK
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:

"SHERMAN T. MEEK DIES ON WAY TO HOSPITAL.
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.
  

October 17, 2014

Hiram W. Meek, Emily's Adventurous Brother

Hiram Meek was about four years older than his little sister, Emily.  He was born to Samuel and Eliza (Fuller) Meek on March 23, 1867, their fourth son.  He was enumerated with his parents in both the 1870 and 1880 census in Hicksville Township, Defiance County, Ohio.  But it seemed that Hiram was an adventurous soul, and when he reached the age of about twenty-four, he ventured west to seek his fortune. 

One biography stated that Hiram moved first to Kansas and Colorado and then to the Willamette Valley in Oregon and on to Wallowa County in about 1891 where he settled around the town of Leap.  Whether anyone else traveled west with him is unknown, as is his method of travel, but there is no doubt that Hiram went as a homesteader where land was cheap and he acquired a nice farm there.  

His neighbor to the north was a land owner herself, Susan Jane Roberts.  Her parents and many siblings lived in the area, too.  On March 4, 1892, Susan, 25, and Hiram, just shy of 25, married in the town of Wallowa, Oregon.  Susan had had a son out of wedlock who lived with her parents - Everett Ray Roberts.  Hiram and Susan combined their land into one farm that later was described as about 200 acres.

Susan Roberts Meek and Hiram W. Meek and their sons, Samuel and Grover Cleveland Meek

By the 1900 census, Hiram and Susan were enumerated in the Lostine precinct of Wallowa County on the 25th of June.  They had been married eight years and they had two sons: Grover Cleveland Meek, born February 1893, and Samuel Meek, born February, 1895.  (No source yet discovered has listed a middle name for this Samuel Meek.)  

In 1910, Hiram's son, Grover had a terrible accident "when he ran his horse between two trees and caught his knee on one tree, causing severe pain in his legs and back.  He neglected to get immediate medical attention and continued on with his daily work.  After returning home for supper, he sat down at the dinner table and was never able to stand again, as both his legs became paralyzed.  He did, however, learn to live with his disability."  (www.findagrave.com)
In the Wallowa County Chieftain, dated July 7, 1910, a small article appeared naming Hiram Meek:
"Hiram Meek and son of near Wallowa transacted business in Enterprise Friday.  Mr. Meek paid this office a genial visit and helped talk over 'old times' in Ohio.  Mr. Meek has 200 acres of land near Wallowa where he has lived for 19 years."

http://seattletimes.com/html/outdoors/2003881041_nwwwallowa130.html

In the 1920 census for Leap, Oregon, H. W. Meek, 52, and Susie Meek, 51, were enumerated and it was noted that Grover C., 26, had no occupation.  Samuel, 24, worked on the home farm for wages.

According to his death certificate, Hiram became ill and began treatment with a physician in March 1923.  He died on July 18, 1924, at the age of 56, with the cause listed as nephritis on the death certificate.  His son, Samuel, was the informant on the certificate as his obituary stated that Susie was a patient in the hospital fighting her own illness.  
Hiram's obituary:
"Leap, Wallowa County, Oregon.
Hiram W. Meek, a resident of the Leap section since 1891, died at the Wallowa hospital last Friday, July 18, 1924.  He had been ill for a few months but his condition did not become serious until a week before he passed away.  Bladder cancer was the cause of death.
The funeral was held at the Wallowa Methodist Church, with two pastors assisting, Rev. G. H. Feese and Rev. W. F. Shields.  Burial was in the Wallowa Cemetery.  The Grange had charge of the services, this being the first funeral conducted by that society in the county.
Mr. Meek was born in Defiance county, Ohio, March 23, 1867, and moved to Kansas and later to Colorado when a young man.  He came on west a few years later and located on a farm six miles east of Wallowa, in Leap, which was his home to the last.  He was married March 4, 1892, to Susan Roberts.  His widow survives.  She has been ill for some weeks and is still at the Wallowa hospital, but has been improving of late and is on the road to recovery.  Two sons also survive, Grover C. and Samuel Meek, who live on the home place, and a stepson, Everett Roberts of Enterprise."

So, one wonders if Susie was even able to attend her husband's funeral.  She did live about six more years, passing away in 1930. Her death certificate, with information again provided by Samuel, indicated that cervical cancer was the cause of death.  She was 61 years old.  
Susie's obituary:
"Leap, Wallowa, Oregon.
Mrs. Hiram W. Meek passed away at the family home in Leap last Thursday, March 13, 1930.
Death was caused by cancer from which she had suffered for a year.  She had been a resident of the county since 1884, living most of the time in Leap.  Funeral services were held Friday afternoon at the Methodist church in Wallowa, conducted by the pastor, Rev. C. E. Calone, and burial was in the Wallowa cemetery.  
She was born in Union county, July 29, 1868, and came to Wallowa county when 16 years old.  She was married to Hiram W. Meek at Enterprise, March 4, 1892, and in 1900, they settled on a homestead which has remained the family home.
Mr. Meek passed away July 18, 1924, and since then Mrs. Meek has lived with two sons, Samuel and Grover Meek, on the home place.
She was survived by another son, also, Everett R. Roberts of Enterprise, and by the following brothers and sisters:  Mrs. Eva Parker of LaGrande, Mrs. Lillie Hall of LaGrande, Mrs. Dora Baker of Seattle, Wash., Frank Roberts and John A. Roberts of Harrah, Wash. All of these except Mrs. Baker and John Roberts were present at the funeral."

Samuel and Grover Cleveland Meek - photo from www.findagrave.com
 According to the submission made on the above link, Samuel had a friend named Azra Grove. Azra was listed in the 1940 census as a "dairy man."  Born in Colorado, Azra was in Arizona in 1935 and in Sacramento, California in 1940.  Apparently, the couple moved quite frequently.  After Azra's death in 1952, the account stated, "Lucy moved back to California.  Samuel decided he would call Lucy and propose to her over the telephone and she accepted.  Samuel traveled to California where he married Lucy on July 25, 1959, in Sacramento."  The couple returned to the Meek homestead and farmed it until their elderly years when they moved into Wallowa.  Samuel was 64 at the time of the marriage.
Grover, on the other hand, made an occupation for himself in the tax and insurance business and eventually made a home for himself in the back of his office.  Both sons were buried with their parents in the Wallowa cemetery.





 So many questions remain.  Did Hiram stay in contact with his family back in Ohio?  Were their letters back and forth?  Did they ever visit?  All will remain unanswered, I'm afraid.



October 14, 2014

Solomon and William Oscar Meek - Emily's Brothers

Solomon, the second son of Samuel and Eliza (Fuller) Meek lived a short life, dying at the age of 20.  Born on January 5, 1861, near Hicksville, Ohio, Solomon spent his brief life on the farm with his parents and siblings, working as a farm laborer. He never married.  He died on November 20, 1881, the cause of death currently unknown.  
Solomon was buried at the Six Corners Cemetery north of Hicksville near his parents and several other siblings.
Photo courtesy of www.findagrave.com 



 Typhoid fever took the life of Samuel and Eliza's third son, William Oscar Meek.  Born on July 23, 1863, William also spent his life on the home farm and never married.  He died on August 27, 1897 at the age of 34.
His obituary appeared in a Hicksville, Ohio paper:

"OBITUARY
Died at his home near Hicksville, Friday, Aug. 27, 1897, William O., son of Samuel and Eliza Meek.  Aged 34 years, 1 month and 4 days.  He was ill but a short time with typhoid fever and his unexpected death was a sad bereavement to his many friends and relatives.  He had always lived in this vicinity and was known and respected by all as a man of intelligence and truthfullness, and in the midst of his labors was always calm and serene.  Funeral from the Fairview U. B. church by Rev. Thomas after which the remains were interred in the cemetery near by.  He leaves a father, a mother, four brothers, one sister and a host of friends to mourn this departure.  J. C. Wilderson had charge of the remains."

Photo courtesy of www.findagrave.com
  We can only imagine how their only sister, Emily, mourned the loss of these two older brothers.  She would have been about ten years old when she lost her brother, Solomon, and sixteen when William died.

October 8, 2014

David Meek - Emily's Oldest Brother

The first son of Samuel and Eliza (Fuller) Meek, David was no doubt named after his father's twin brother of the same name.  Born on November 5, 1858, near Hicksville, David was enumerated in the census with his parents in 1860, 1870, and, at age 21, in 1880.

His obituary stated that he taught school for awhile, but eventually went back to his farming roots.  In the 1900 Federal Census, David was a boarder in the home of Isiah and Emma Miller with their two small children, Melvin and Milo. At 41, David was single and working as a farm laborer in Carryall Township, Paulding County, Ohio.

At some point, David purchased a cottage on Lake George in Fremont, Indiana.  I could not locate him in the 1910 census, but in 1920, he was boarding still in Carryall Township, Paulding County, Ohio, but now with Clyde and Gladys Strubing and their little son, Darrel.  David's was listed as having no occupation at the age of 61.

On the back of photo: "Uncle Dave's cottage on Lake George"

 Again, I could not locate David in the 1930 census. David Meek never married and he lived his last days with his family.  In 1940, at the age of 82, he resided with Horace and Elsie Meek and Horace's brother, Clarence ("Sammy") on a farm north of Hicksville in Newville Township, DeKalb County, Indiana.  Horace and Clarence were the sons of David's younger brother, Sherman.

On May 13, 1941, David Meek died in the hospital in Hicksville, Ohio.  His obituary appeared in the Hicksville News-Tribune on May 15th:

"PARALYTIC STROKE IS FATAL TO DAVID MEEK
Was Born Near Six Corners and Was Lifelong Resident of This Neighborhood

David Meek, aged 82, passed away Tuesday morning at The Community Hospital where he had been taken May 9th after having suffered a paralytic stroke the day before at the home of his nephew, Horace Meek, about five miles north of Hicksville on the Spencerville road.

He was born November 5th, 1858, in Hicksville township,near Six Corners, a son of Samuel and Eliza Fuller Meek, pioneer residents of that neighborhood.  He grew to manhood and spent the greater part of his life in this community.

As a young man he taught school a short time, and followed farming until about twenty-five years ago when he retired and has since made his home at Lake George, near Fremont, Indiana, during the summer months.

Surviving him are a sister, Mrs. Emily Kline of Newville township; a brother, John Meek of Bryan; also several nieces and nephews. The remains are at the Perkins & Reeb funeral home, where funeral services will be held at 2:30 Thursday, Rev. J. H. Townsend of Frontier, Mich. assisted by Rev. Paul D. Chiles, officiating.  Burial at Six Corners cemetery."

(Mmmmm...Why Rev. Townsend of Michigan?  Relation?  Neighbor?) 

September 26, 2014

Emily Anna Meek Kline

Emily Anna Meek was the only daughter of Samuel and Eliza (Fuller) Meek.  Born on October 25, 1871, she joined a family of five brothers - David, Solomon, William Oscar, Hiram and Sherman T.  She was the youngest child until the sixth and final sibling, another brother - John - was born in 1874.  Perhaps her middle name came from her paternal grandmother, Anna Cooper Meek.

Emily's father, Samuel was a farmer on a farm in Section 17, Hicksville Township, Defiance County, Ohio.  Emily attended the Six Corners School, and several newspapers of the time named her as a champion of the spelling bees.  Her scrapbook, featured in this post, also included a number of Rewards of Merit.  Rewards of Merit were popular in the latter part of the 19th century and were awarded by teachers to students who showed outstanding academics, conduct and/ or attendance.



Often called "Emma", Emily Meek received Rewards of Merit that were signed, but not dated, from the following instructors: Rosa Hilbert, Andy Zuber, Etta Sensenbacher, Tildie Bercaw, Samuel Dalrymple, M. M. Hattery, Ella Butler, and M. R. Evritt.  If she went to school just eight years, as was common then, she would have received one every year.  Family lore is that Emily then taught in the Six Corners School for some years.
From teacher's souvenir booklet

In the 1900 census, she was with her elderly parents at home.  But, when she was 30 years old, she married Daniel F. Kline, a newcomer to the area from Hocking County, Ohio.  Daniel was also 30.  The marriage license, dated January 16, 1902, noted that she was a teacher and Daniel was a farmer with his residence in Hocking County.  The couple were married on January 19, 1902 by Rev. Geo. W. Lilly.  Emily's father, Samuel, died the following August at the age of 78.



Emily and Daniel eventually moved to a farm just across the Ohio - Indiana line in Newville Township, Dekalb County, Indiana.  There they welcomed their first son, Boyd, on June 21, 1903.  



Other children soon followed: Hazel in 1904; Ethel in 1906; Gladys in 1908; twins Marian and Mildred in 1909; Maurice in 1912; and Woodrow in 1914. On May 17, 1909, when the twins were born, Marian did not survive the day or could have been stillborn.  Just a few months later, in July 1909, Emily's mother, Eliza, also died at the age of 75.  

The children attended school a mile or so down the road from their farm, at the Newville Center, one room school.  Life was the hard farming life of the Depression days where it was pretty hard scrabble most of the time.
First Row, third girl from left is Mildred Kline and last girl on right is Gladys Kline.  Back Row, fourth girl from left is Ethel Kline  and second girl from right is Hazel Kline.

In 1919, the oldest son, Boyd, died, and in February 1926, daughter Ethel succumbed to tuberculosis. By the 1930 census, some of the children had married and moved out, leaving Gladys, 21; Mildred F. (called "Mid"), 19; Maurice F., 17; and Woodrow (called "Woody", 15, at home.  Dan and Emily were both 58 at that time and living on the same farm, struggling financially and in their marriage.

On June 30, 1932, Daniel moved back to Hocking County, Ohio, and Emily filed for divorce after thirty years of marriage.  Daniel left the farm to Emily and the children and it is unknown how much contact he had with the family after that. The livestock was sold except for a milk cow and a few chickens and the money split.  Emily wanted $5000 in alimony, but she was awarded $1700 and court costs.  It was not a friendly split.

In the 1940 census, Emily, 68, reported herself as a widow, perhaps a more socially acceptable term than divorced.  But, truly, Daniel Kline was very much alive in Ohio.  Emily was listed as head of the family and with her were only her two surviving sons, Maurice, 27, and Woodrow, 25, both still single.  Maurice noted that he worked on the farm 60 hours a week, and Woodrow had a job as a section hand on the railroad half the year, making $480 in that time.  I would expect that he helped on the farm the rest of the year. 
Emily Meek lived out her life on the farm until she died on May 6, 1942 at the age of 70.
She was buried near her old home grounds at the Six Corners Cemetery.

The Hicksville Tribune, Hicksville, Ohio, carried her obituary on May 7, 1942:

"DEATH COMES AFTER THREE WEEKS ILLNESS
Mrs. Emily Kline Is Taken Unexpectedly at Her Home in Newville Township.

Mrs. Emily Kline, aged 70, died Wednesday morning at her home in Newville township, four miles west of Hicksville.
She had been ill about three weeks, her death being unexpected and somewhat sudden.  Complications and heart trouble are stated to be the cause of the death.
Mrs. Kline was born Oct. 28, 1871, in Hicksville township,near Six Corners, and was a daughter of Samuel and Eliza Fuller Meek.
She grew to womanhood in the local neighborhood, and January 19, 1902, was united in marriage with Daniel Kline of Hocking county.
She had lived in the present home for thirty-five years.
Surviving relatives are three daughters, Mrs. Gladys Impton, near the home; Mrs. Hazel Bennett of Edon, O.; and Mrs. Mildred Cook of Paulding; two sons, Maurice Kline of St. Joe, Ind. and Woodrow Kline at the home; three grandchildren; a brother, John Meek of Bryan.
the body was taken to the Perkins and Reeb funeral home. Complete funeral arrangements had not been completed, as to place and time, but burial will be made in Six Corners Cemetery."