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Abraham Gaumer


New Hope Lutheran Cemetery, Adamsville

Abraham (or "Abram") Gaumer was born in about 1818 in Pennsylvania, the son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Sturtz) Gaumer Jr. His last name sometimes has been misspelled as "Gomer" by government officials.

At some point he migrated to Ohio with others of the Gaumer and Sturtz families, settling near Adamsville, Salem Township, Muskingum County.

He was united in holy matrimony with Susannah Bainter (1821-1874). 

Their children included Jacob Riley Gaumer, Malinda Sturtz, Henry Gaumer and Mary Delilah Gaumer.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1850, the Gaumers and their children made their home in Adams Township, with Abraham earning a living as a laborer.


Old mill in Adamsville, Ohio

The Gaumers moved sometime in the 1850s or '60s to a farm near Dresden, Monroe Township, Muskingum County.

At the age of 53, Susannah passed away in 1874. Her remains were lowered into repose in the New Hope Lutheran Church Cemetery in Adamsville.

Abraham lived for another 16 years as a widower. In 1879, he endured the heartache of the untimely death of 31-year-old son Henry.

Census records for 1880 show him sharing a home with his unmarried son and daughter, Jacob (age 37) and Mary Delilah (29) and granddaughters Carrie R. Sturtz and Susie E. Sturtz.

At the age of 72, Abraham died in 1890. He and his wife and children rest side by side for eternity in the family plot of graves at New Hope.


~ Son Jacob Riley Gaumer ~

Son Jacob Riley Gaumer (1843-1935) was born on May 6, 1843 in Salem Township.

He never married, and at age 27 in 1870 lived at home and helped his father as a farm hand in and around Dresden, Monroe Township, Muskingum County. He also learned the skill of stone masonry.

Circa 1880, census records show him residing with his widowed father, unmarried sister and two nieces in Monroe Township.


Typical farmstead in Otsego, Ohio


Later, Jacob kept his own farm in the Otsego community. He was a member of the New Hope Lutheran Church. He may be the same "Jacob Gaumer" who, at age 73, "slipped on the ice and fell against a stable door Tuesday," reported the Zanesville Times Recorder, "the door fell off its hinges, across his right leg, breaking the leg just above the knee. He escaped further injuries. The accident occurred on his farm in Monroe township, near Otsego."

Then in October 1931, at age 86 and still living near Otsego, he claimed that two gypsy women, accompanied by a male driver, visited his farm and stole his wallet continaing $68 while trying to peddle stomach medicine. Law enforcement officials took him to a gypsy camp near Coshocton, where he tried to identify the perpetrators. The Times Recorder noted that the camp included four men, six women and 13 children, traveling in a bug truck and two large automobiles.

Stricken with kidney inflammation, he retired from farming in March 1932 after 79 years in the occupation. He died at the age of 92 on Sept. 9, 1935 in Monroe, Muskingum County. His niece Rose Bradford of Otsego was the Ohio death certificate informant. Burial was in New Hope Cemetery.


Dennis' Civil War marker,
New Hope Cemetery

~ Daughter Malinda Catherine (Gaumer) Sturtz ~

Daughter Malinda Catherine Gaumer (1845-1936) was born on Dec. 5, 1845 in Adamsville, Monroe Township.

In August 1865, when she was 19 years of age, she was joined in marriage with 24-year-old Civil War veteran Dennis G. Sturtz (1841-1879), son of Peter and Margaret (Hutzell) Sturtz of Pennsylvania. Rev. A.N. Bartholomew officiated at the nuptials, which were held in Adamsville.

The couple produced two daughters -- Carrie Rosetta "Rose" Bradford and Susan Eldora "Dora" Sprague.

During the Civil War, on Aug. 23, 1862, Dennis joined the Union Army. He was assigned to the 78th Ohio Infantry, Company F, joining that unit in the autumn of 1862. In all, he spent three years, 11 months in the Army, receiving his discharge in May 1865. From the date of his discharge to his death just 14 years later, he suffered from "camp diarrhea" which was debilitating.

(He is not to be confused with a relative "Denison C. Sturtz" [1830-1864] who also was in the 78th Ohio Infantry during the war and died on Jan. 28, 1864 with burial in Memphis, TN. Sgt. Peter W. Sturtz, probably also a relative, belonged to the same regiment.)

Dennis is named on page 66 of the book History of the 78th Regiment O.V.V.I, authored by Thomas M. Stevenson (published in Zanesville by Hugh Dunne, 1865).


The Sturtzes' marriage certificate

In 1870, United States Census records show Dennis and Malinda living near Dresden, Monroe Township, Muskingum County. His occupation was listed as "laborer," and their four-year-old daughter Carrie was in the household.

Tragedy shook the family on Aug. 11, 1879 when he was killed in a steam boiler explosion near Otsego at the age of 38. Burial was in New Hope Lutheran Church Cemetery in Adamsville, with a standard issue military marker erected at the grave.

Malinda lived as his widow for another 45 years. In February 1889, she applied for and began receiving a widow's pension in recognition of her husband's Civil War service. [Widow App. #389.865 - Cert. #346.598] Circa 1890, she received monthly checks in the amount of $10. Coming forward to provide affidavits of supporting testimony in her claim were neighbors A.E. Walker and Isaiah B. Case of Plainfield, Coshocton County and A.V.P. Hager, A.A. Bainter, James T. Case and Henry Whitcraft of Otsego.

Malinda is enumerated in the 1890 special census of Civil War veterans and their widows. Making her home in Otsego, she reported to the census-taker that her eyes and head were "affected" in health.

Dr. J.J. Bradford, a physician friend, wrote in 1891 that she was "in very poor health and in destitute circumstances having no support but such as her feeble hands can earn and contributions from others and there is no one legally bound to support her."

In 1900, she shared a home with her married daughter and son in law Dora and Wilmer Sprague in Monroe Township, Muskingum County.

She may have made her home in 1924 on Ohio Street in Zanesville. She stopped her active housekeeping in April 1924, but lived for another dozen years.


New Hope Lutheran Church Cemetery

The Zanesville Times Recorder noted that Malinda and her unmarried sister Mary Delilah "were well known in the Otsego community, where they had lived for many years, spending practically their entire lives in Monroe township. They were active members of the New Hope Lutheran Church."

Stricken with chronic kidney disease, Malinda died in the Spragues' residence at the age of 90 in Otsego, Monroe Township on April 25, 1936. Oddly, her sister Delilah also passed away the very same day. Burial was in New Hope Cemetery, with Rev. K.J. Bishop officiating at the double funeral service. Roberta Bradford of Otsego provided vital information for the death certificate. In an obituary, the Times Recorder noted that "Her husband, Dennis Sturtz, died a number of years ago."

Daughter Carrie Rosetta "Rose" Sturtz (1866-1953) was born on June 28, 1866 near Otsego, Muskingum County. As a girl of age 13 in 1880, having lost their father, she and her sister Susie lived with their widowed grandfather Abraham Sturtz in or around Dresden, Monroe Township, Muskingum County. On Aug. 21, 1905, she was united in wedlock with G. Frank Bradford ( ? -1944) and resided in Coshocton, Coshocton County, OH. Their daughters were Roberta Bradford and Bernetta Parks. Reported the Zanesville Times Recorder, they were farmers and members of the Otsego Methodist Church. Sadly, suffering in bad health for the final two years of life, Frank was felled by a stroke and died at the age of 82 on June 15, 1944. Funeral services led by Rev. John McGee and Rev. K.J. Bishop were held in the Otsego Methodist Church, with interment in New Hope Lutheran Church Cemetery in Adamsville. After Frank's death, Rose resided with unmarried daughter Roberta at 232 West Chestnut Street in Coshocton. At age 87, she was felled by a stroke and died on Dec. 6, 1953. Interment was in New Hope Cemetery, with Rev. F.M. Koepplin preaching the funeral service. Daughter Roberta signed the Ohio certificate of death.

  • Granddaughter Roberta Bradford ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She never married and lived at home in 1944. Her residence was in Otsego in 1990.
  • Granddaughter Bernetta P. Bradford (1910-1990) was born on April 5, 1910 near Otsego. On May 5, 1933, at the age of 23, she wedded 28-year-old Edward Parks (Feb. 16, 1905-1978), son of Charles and Nettie (Black) Parks. The couple produced a son, John E. Parks. Their residence in the mid-1940s was in Roscoe, OH and in 1953 in Otsego, where they spent a majority of their lives. Edward was employed for many years in Coshocton at American Art Works and in West Lafayette by Jones Metal Products. They were members of New Hope Lutheran Church, the Otsego Grange, Plainfield lodge of the Masons, Samaritan Chapter in Coshocton. Sadly, at the age of 73, Edward died at home near New Concord on Feb. 16, 1978 after what the Times Recorder called "a long illness." Burial was in New Hope Cemetery, with Rev. Oliver Beach leading the service. Bernetta survived for another dozen years. She lived at 12360 Parks Road in New Concord (Otsego) and spent her final time in New Concord Nursing Center. There, she succumbed at the age of 80 on Sept. 8, 1990. An obituary in the Times Recorder noted that her survivors included four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held in the family church, led by Rev. Diana Gugel.


Daughter Dora Sturtz (1872-1949) was born on Dec. 29, 1872 near Otsego, Muskingum County. As a girl of age 7 in 1880, with their father having died, she and her sister Carrie resided in the home of their widowed grandfather Abraham Sturtz in or around Dresden, Monroe Township, Muskingum County. In June 1894, at the age of 21, she wedded 29-year-old Wilmer Ashfield "Will" Sprague (April 8, 1865-1944), the son of Thomas J. and Philancy (Waters) Sprague of Muskingum County. They were the parents of two sons -- Charles "Maynard" Sprague and Thomas "Darrel" Sprague. The Spragues were members of New Hope Lutheran Church in Adamsville. They were longtime farmers in Monroe Township, Muskingum County, Coshocton, Coshocton County and after retirement in rural New Concord, Muskingum County. The family grieved when their 24-year-old son Darrel died in 1924 of gangrenous appendicitis. Suffering from organic heart disease for the last three years of his life, Wilmer died at the age of 79 on June 26, 1944. Dora joined him in death five years later on Aug. 14, 1949 in Coshocton, having been ill for nine months. Burial was beside her husband in Otsego Memorial Cemetery, following funeral services held at the family church by Rev. Charles Finley of Otsego and Dr. John Gardner of Adamsville. An obituary was published in the Zanesville Times Recorder.

  • Grandson Charles "Maynard" Sprague (1895-1956) was born on Nov. 23, 1895 in Otsego, Muskingum County. When he was 21 years of age and unmarried, he lived with his parents and worked on his father's farm. He was tall and of medium build, with light blue eyes and light brown hair. He joined the U.S. Armed Forces during World War I and, as a member of the 83rd Division, was sent to Luxembourg. After the armistice ending the war, he wrote a letter on Nov. 27, 1918, addressed to his cousin Opal Werts, which was published in the Coshocton Tribune. He reported that he and his regiment were on a famous "march to the Rhine" and compared it in some respects to the Civil War's "Sherman's March to the Sea," Alexander the Great's "March across the Pyranees" and Napoleon's "march thru France." He also related in the letter that he had been at work building roads and bridges and that the "Germans kept up a steady fire all night but we pulled one over on them by moving up the river a hundred yards and putting a corduroy bridge across a swamp to the bridge... Shells dropped all around us but none came near enough to do anything but throw mud on us but that was enough." On Aug. 20, 1919, he married Vera Abbott ( ? -1989), daughter of John S. and Bernice (Ridgway) Abbott of Otsego. They produced a daughter, Beatrice Sprague. He was named first assistant to the Muskingum County Engineer George W. Evans in July 1929, with news printed in the Zanesville Times Recorder. They dwelled in Zanesville, where he was employed as an engineer with the Muskigum County Watershed Conservancy. Then in 1941, they moved to Newark, Licking County, OH, where he joined the Ohio Department of Highways (ODOH. Their address in Newark was 115 North 21st Street. The Spragues were members of the First Methodist Church of Newark. Maynard also belonged to the Masons lodge in ADamsville, he Cyrene Commandery of Zanesville, the Alladin Shrine and the Newark Eastern Star. In October 1949, he attended the national convention of the American Association of State Highway Officers and was among 16 ODOH engineers to receive an award for 25 years of service. Later he was named construction engineer for Division 5 of ODOH. He was named in the Times Recorder obituary of his aunt Rose Bradford in December 1953. At the age of 60, Maynard was stricken with a heart attack and died at home on Jan. 25, 1956. An obituary in the Times Recorder said that burial was in the Otsego Methodist Church cemetery. In 1956, daughter Beatrice was unmarried and resided in Akron, OH. Vera survived her husband by more than three decades and maintained their longtime home on 21st Street. Toward the end, she was admitted to the Heloen Purcell Retirement Home in Zanesville. She succumbed at the age of 93 on Feb. 20, 1989. Rev. Carl R. Robinson officiated at her burial, assisted by Rev. Rick Burkhart. Daughter Beatrice wedded William Fisk ( ? - ? ) and made their home with their two children in New Concord, OH in 1989.
  • Grandson Thomas "Darrel" Sprague (1900-1924) was born on July 15, 1900 in Otsego. He became a teacher and was assigned to a school assignment in Athens, Athens County, OH. Tragically, he was stricken with appendicitis which became gangrenous, and he was admitted to Sheltering Arms Hospital in Athens. Sadly, he could not rally, and he died on July 30, 1924 at the age of 24. His remains were brought back to Otsego to repose for eternity.


~ Son Henry Gaumer ~

Son Henry Gaumer (1848-1879) was born in 1848.

The 1879 U.S. Census lists him as unmarried at age 21 and working locally as a farm hand near Dresden, Monroe Township, Muskingum County.

He lived to the age of about 31 and died in 1879. The cause of his untimely passing is unknown.

He rests together with his parents and siblings in the New Hope Lutheran Church Cemetery.


~ Daughter Mary "Delilah" Gaumer ~

Daughter Mary "Delilah" Gaumer (1851-1936) was born on Feb. 5, 1851 in Otsego, Muskingum County.

As a girl she and her parents and siblings relocated to a farm near Dresden, Monroe Township, Muskingum County.

She never married and spent her entire life as a housekeeper in the area. The Zanesville Times Recorder once said she and her sister Malinda were "well known in the Otsego community, where they had lived fo rmany years, spending practically their entire lives in Monroe Township. They were active members of the New Hope Lutheran Church."

Having been debilitated by chronic kidney disease, she went to live with her niece and husband, Rose and Frank Bradford. There, she died at the age of 85 on April 25, 1936 -- the very same day as her older sister Malinda Sturtz. After a double funeral, officiated by Rev. K.J. Bishop, both were entombed in New Hope Cemetery. Her sister Rose Bradford signed the death certificate.


Copyright 2000, 2011, 2015, 2016-2018 Mark A. Miner