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Minnie (Dillow) Wey Emenhiser


Minnie and William Wood Emenhiser

Minnie Elizabeth (Dillow) Wey Emenhiser was born on March 8 or 22, 1874 in or near Madison County, OH, the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Houser) Dillow

As a girl, sometime prior to 1881, Minnie and her parents and siblings migrated westward to Central Illinois. They settled in the town of Weldon near Clinton, DeWitt County. 

Minnie first married Otis Willard Way (Jan. 20, 1869-1931). He was a native of Rutland or Kane County, IL, the son of Virgil Gilman and Sarah Dorcas (Proctor) Way, who had relocated with to Gibson City in 1883.

They established a residence in Texas, in Beaumont, Jefferson County, the heart of oil refining country along the Gulf Coast.

Minnie and Otis produced at least four children, including Ruby Way, Lottie Way, Fern Way and a son whose name is not known.

The Ways eventually divorced.

Sometime between 1902 and 1907, in Texas, Minnie entered into matrimony with her second husband, William Wood Emenhiser (Sept. 12, 1859-1941), the son of Joseph and Nancy Adeline (Clark) Emenhiser.

He had been married twice before, and he brought 10 children to the union with our Minnie. He and his first spouse, Isobell McKeeman (1864-1888) were married Jan. 17, 1884. The first family resided in Allen County, IN, and their children's names were Nancy Delilah Dager and William W. Emenhiser.

Sixteen months after Isobell's death in February 1888, he married his second wife, Maryland native Susan "Susie" Lentz (1870-1967) on July 6, 1889. William and Susie had borne eight more children -- Harvey Emenhiser, Earl Emenhiser, Irene Crandall Thornburg McGann Runyon, Ruth Stella Gaddis Mitchell, Bertha Estella Richter, Alma Fisher, Joseph L. Emenhiser and Mearl Sylvester Emenhiser.


Little Ruby's eulogy

One of William and Susie's sons was born in Bluffton, IN, circa 1899.

Sadly, little daughter Ruby died at age 7 on Aug. 13, 1909. A local newspaper published this eulogy, written by Mrs. W.A. Parker::

With noiseless tread the death angel enters our homes and ofttimes takes from us our fairest flower, and so it was on the night of Aug. 13, 1909 when little Ruby way ... was taken from the loving care of a fond mother. [She] was sick only two days with congestion. But let the bleeding hearts be comforted, for the Savior said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of God." And King David said when his darling boy was taken from him, "He can not come back to me, but I can go to him" Your little angel has escaped the sorrows and disappointments of this world, dear parents; and let his thought console you, that she is now "safe in the arms of Jesus."

There are two sides to the story of how William's marriage to Susie collapsed. One side was that when he was transferred in his work from Indiana to Texas, he begged Susie to come with the children, but she refused. Her side, as reported in a host of newspapers, including the Indianapolis News and the Leavenworth (KS) Weekly Times was that William "ran away with another woman and took with him their family bible, in which was recorded the date of the birth of their eight children." She sought a divorce, but could not give the judge the accurate ages of the offspring. At least one of the younger children, Bertha Estella, was "farmed out" of the family after the divorce decree was handed down.

Susie married two more times. Her second spouse was David L. Brown ( ? - ? ). They divorced in December 1909 and took back her name "Emenhiser." But within a few days of the Brown divorce, she "entered the sea of matrimony again when she became the wife of William Field ( ? - ? ), a laborer of this city," reported the Muncie Evening Press. A follow-up article in the Fort Wayne News noted that "Sue Emenhiser, a former Bluffton woman, has been married five times in all, it is claimed." At the end of her life she used the Brown name.

Minnie and William Emenhiser went on to produce five sons of their own -- Floyd Elwood Emenhiser, Orville Owen Emenhiser, William "Watson" Emenhiser, Joseph Wesley Emenhiser and Delmer Lavon Emenhiser. Over the years in Texas, the family is thought to have lived in Beaumont, Kenedy and Yorktown.

Typical Texas oilfield of the era



Obituary, 1923

Tragically, their eldest son Floyd Elwood Emenhiser died in a housefire as a boy, perhaps with one of his Way half brothers. It is said he accidentally started the fire while trying to start a small fire while his father was away at work. The incident is suspected to have taken place in Beaumont. 

The Emenhisers relocated from Texas to a farm in Arkansas in about 1918, a year or two after their youngest son was born. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1920, they family dwelled in Jonesboro, Craighead County, AR. Their residence was along Route 6.

Minnie passed away on April 10, 1923, at the age of 47. The local newspaper reported the cause of her death as rheumatism. She was laid to rest in Pine Hill Cemetery in Jonesboro, following a funeral ceremony led by Rev. Leach. 

William outlived Minnie by 18 years, and married again in Jonesboro on Dec. 28, 1926 to Annie Pierce ( ? - ? ). Many said the marriage would not last, and in fact they were right. Annie apparently did not enjoy country living in Arkansas, and he disliked residing in town. 


Obituary, 1941

Widowed, William moved back to Indiana in about 1929 to live with his daughter, Nancy Delilah Dager, "one mile south of New Haven on the Green road," said a local newspaper.

Circa 1935, William was in St. Louis, presumably making a home with his son Orville. He was in Orville's household in Jonesboro when the United States Census was taken in 1940.

Burdened with coronary heart disease, he died back in the Dager residence in New Haven on Nov. 3, 1941, at the age of 81. The Muncie Evening Press printed an obituary, referring to him as a "former Muncie resident." At the time of William's death, he had a combined 37 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. William is buried at the Antioch Lutheran Cemetery at Hoagland, near Fort Wayne, Allen County. 

Confusing many family historians and genealogists, William used the same names for several of his children -- William and Joseph. The older Joseph, from the second marriage, who lived in Muncie, IN, was known as "Joe of Muncie" to differentiate him from his younger half-brother, "Joe of Lansing," who resided in Michigan.

Minnie's former husband Otis Way married again to Lulu Belle Dupree (1885-1960). The pair is believed to have produced six more offspring, born between 1906 and 1926 -- Virgil O. Way, Marshall Edwin Way, Clarence C. Way, Raymond Newell Way, Helen Louise Albertson and Lillian Susan Sweet. They lived in Council Grove, OK in 1920 and moved in 1921 to Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, CA. There, at the age of 62, he died on April 14, 1931. Interment of the remains was in Santa Cruz Memorial Park, with an obituary appearing in the Santa Cruz Evening News, a newspaper for which his son Virgil was circulation manager. Another obituary in the Gibson City Courier said that "Upon leaving this city he went to Louisiana, where he engaged in rice farming for a number of years, later moving to Tucson, Ariz., from where he moved to Santa Cruz, California, about eleven years ago. For ten years he had been employed there by the Portland Cement Co."

Susie's address in 1907 was 717 West Tenth Street in Bedford, IN. She wed again to David L. Brown ( ? -1953). His children from a previous marriage included Ervin Brown, Charles Broth, Kenneth Brown, Cecil Brown and Carrie Fetty. He was an employee of Glascock Brothers Manufacturing Company of Muncie. Sadly, he passed away at age 81 on Sept. 16, 1953. Susie lived for another 14 years.

At her birthday in September 1946, her children were together for the first time in 35 years and were pictured together in the Evening Press. They included Mearl Emenhiser, Alma Fisher, Joseph Emenhiser, Bertha Richter, Harvey Emenhiser, Ruth Mitchell and Irene Runyon.

She marked her 92nd birthday in 1961 with a carry-in dinner at her home on Plum Street in Eaton, IN. She died with the name "Brown" in 1967.


~ Son Orville Owen Emenhiser ~

Son Orville Owen Emenhiser (1908-1970) was born in 1908 in Kenedy, Karnes County, TX.

On Feb. 28, 1931, Orville wedded Jewel Brinkley (Nov. 7, 1912-1996), the daughter of Hubert and Monte (French) Brinkley of Jonesboro, AR.

They bore two sons, William Ralph Emenhiser and Carl Edward Emenhiser.


Busy day in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Main Street looking north


Circa 1935, the Emenhisers made a residence in St. Louis, but by 1940 moved back to Jewel's hometown of Jonesboro. The family are shown in Jonesboro in the 1940 federal census enumeration, with Orville working as a tractor operator for a park project, and his last name spelled "Eminhizer" by the census-taker. Orville's widowed father lived with the family during those years.

Orville and Jewel eventually divorced.


Obituary, 1970

In time, Orville married again to Eula Belle "Tootie" Callahan (July 2, 1925-2008).

The couple were the parents of three -- Don Emenhiser, Judy Emenhiser and Patty Lynn Emenhiser.

The Emenhisers resided in Eaton Township, near Charlotte, MI, with an address of 3501 Mills Highway. Orville earned a living as an electrician.

Orville passed away at home at the age of 62 on Aug. 31, 1970. An obituary was published in the Battle Creek (MI) Enquirer. Interment was in Center Eaton Cemetery.

Eula outlived her spouse by a remarkable 38 years. Her final years were spent in Kennett, Dunklin County, MO. As her health failed, she was admitted to St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, MO. She succumbed to death there on Jan. 11, 2008.

Ex-wife Jewel resided for many years in Charlotte. She passed away at the age of 83 on May 5, 1996. Burial was in Center Eaton Cemetery, with Rev. Mark Booth preaching the funeral service. The Enquirer printed her obituary.

Son William Ralph Emenhiser (1933- ? ) was born on or about April 20, 1932 in Arkansas. He relocated to California and lived in the town of Norco. He is believed to have passed into eternity in Corona, Riverside County, CA on Sept. 30, 1997.

Son Carl Edward Emenhiser (1933-2007) was born on Oct. 3, 1933 in Jonesboro, AR. During the Korean War, he served in the U.S. Navy. After his military tour ended, he was employed as an electrician by the State of Michigan, for three decades, from about 1966 to 1996. Carl's first bride was Clara ( ? - ? ). The couple are believed to have borne these offspring -- James Emenhiser, William Emenhiser, Henry "Hank" Emenhiser and Carla Barnard. Their residence was in Charlotte, MI in 1970. Sadly, Clara died at a relatively young age..In 1984, he wedded a second time to Sandra (Gage) Michels ( ? - ? ). Having also been married previously, she brought these four sons into the second union -- David Michels, Kenneth Michels, James Michels and Mark Michels. Their marriage lasted for 23 years until death cleaved them apart. In his free time, Carl liked to fish and hunt. He spent his final years in Harrison, MI. He passed away there at age 74 on Nov. 8, 2007. Pastor Eric Pittman officiated at the funeral service.

  • Grandson James Emenhiser married Margie and lived in Bangor, MI.
  • Grandson William Emenhiser wedded Julie and established a home in Sunfield, MI.
  • Grandson Henry "Hank" Emenhiser was joined in matrimony with Cindy. They have dwelled in Charlotte, MI.
  • Granddaughter Carla Emenhiser married (?) Barnard. Circa 2007, they were in Charlotte, MI.

Son Donald Emenhiser established a residence in Kennett, MO.

Daughter Judy Emenhiser was in Kennett, MO in 1970.

Daughter Patty Lynn Emenhiser dwelled in 1970 in Kennett, MO.


~ Son William "Watson" Emenhiser ~

Watson (right), Orville (left) and Joseph.  
Courtesy Sandra Strickland
Son William "Watson" Emenhiser (1910-1992) was born on Dec. 3, 1910 in Texas.

As a boy, he migrated with his parents to Jonesboro, Craighead County, AR.

Watson joined the U.S. Navy in the late 1920s and was in service when the 1930 federal census was enumerated.

He was married twice. On July 12, 1941, he was joined in wedlock with Gladys M. Ender (Aug. 7, 1915-1978), daughter of William and Mary T. (Ward) Ender. Their wedding ceremony was held in St. Charles, MO.

The couple produced one child, Betty Jean Fish.

Watson worked as a truck driver. Over the years, the family dwelled in Hankamer, TX - Eureka, MO - and Monett and Theodosia, MO. They came to Theodosia in 1976 and were members of the Southern Baptist Church.

Sadly, as Gladys' health failed, she was admitted to Bull Shoals Community Hospital. There, she died at the age of 63 on Oct. 8, 1978. Interment of the remains was in Lutie Cemetery in Theodosia, Ozark County, MO, with the funeral services officiated by Rev. Ernest Brooks. An obituary was printed in the Springfield (MO) News Leader, naming her surviving siblings as Ralph Ender, Paul Ender and Bernice Dismuke.

Watson outlived her by 14 years and in 1983 resided in Ashdown, AR.

He married again in 1988 to Ardis Lavonne (Delong) Maxwell (May 10, 1923-1990), a native of Ovid, Clinton County, MI and the daughter of Erwin Frank and Pauline Lucile (Sheldon) DeLong. She had been married once before, and was the mother of six -- Nancy Robinson, Sandra Emenhiser, Carol Bowels, Pam Hartman, Sarah Maxwell and John Maxwell Jr.. During her working career, she had been employed for 16½ years with Oldsmobile.


Lansing, Michigan


The couple is believed to have dwelled in Lansing, MI in the South Washington Park Apartments. In September 1990, Ardis was featured in news stories about her life-threatening cancer and willingness to forego treatments. Said the Lansing State Journal, she "is one of a growing number of people who want to be left to die in peace, without doctors using high technology to artficially extend their lives." The article added that "For Emenhiser, it's a matter of individual rights. She doesn't think Dr. Jack Kevorkian -- who made national headlines in June when he helped Janet Adkins of California kill herself with his suicide machine -- did anything wrong."

Ardis succumbed to her illness on Nov. 5, 1990, at home, at the age of 67. Rev. John A. Toth, of the First Presbyterian Church of Dimondale, led the funeral service. An obituary was printed in the State Journal.

The widowed Watson relocated to be with his daughter in Slidell, Tammany Parish, LA. He passed away there at the age of 81 on March 28, 1992. The body was returned to Lansing where funeral services were held in the Parker Memorial Baptist Church, with a death notice appearing in the Lansing (MI) Journal.

Daughter Betty Jean Emenhiser married (?) Fish. They dwelled in Ferguson, MO in 1978 and in Slidell, Tammany Parish, LA in 1990.


~ Son Joseph Wesley Emenhiser ~

Son Joseph Wesley Emenhiser (1913-2002) -- "Joe of Lansing" -- was born on Sept. 1, 1913 in Kenedy, Karnes County, TX.

He migrated to Arkansas with his parents when he was a boy.

Joseph was employed as a saw mill laborer in Jonesboro, Craighead County, AR in 1930.

He was married twice. His first wife was Dosha Inez "Docie" Manning (1918-1987), daughter of Thomas M. and Alie Frances (Brinkley) Manning. They tied the knot on Dec. 11, 1932.

The couple bore two daughters, Naomi Jean Foster Spence and Carolyn Bernice Emenhiser. Grief blanketed the family when daughter Carolyn died in infancy in 1937.

After a divorce, he was joined in wedlock with his second bride, Vergie Markum (1919-2000). Their union endured for 57 years.

The three offspring born to Joseph and Vergie were Barbara Emenhiser, Pamela McGuire and Debra "Debi" Lawrence.

The Emenhisers migrated to Michigan. For many years, Joseph was employed as a manufacturing laborer by General Motors Corporation in Lansing, MI. They were members of Parker Memorial Baptist Church.

Sadly, Vergie passed away on Nov. 28, 2000 in Tampa, FL. Her remains are in eternal repose in Deepdale Memorial Park in Eaton County, MI.

Now widowed, Joseph relocated to Elkhart, IN, where his youngest daughter was residing.

Joseph died on Oct. 31, 2002 in Americare of Elkhart. His funeral service was held at the family church, led by Rev. D.L. Green. Burial was in Deepdale Memorial Gardens. An obituary in the Lansing State Journal said that he was survived by 14 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.

Former wife Dosha married again on Nov. 24, 1946 to Theodore Marion Hitt (1916-1969). She passed into eternity in Jonesboro at the age of 69 on April 4, 1987.

Daughter Naomi Jean Emenhiser (1934-2013) was born on March 31, 1934 in Otwell, AR. She was twice married. Her first husband was (?) Foster ( ? - ? ). The couple produced six children -- Freda Ishmael, Ronda Foster, James Foster, Garry Foster, Clay Foster and Glenn Foster. Her second spouse was Herbert Embree Spence Jr. (Dec. 13, 1929-1999). Herbert had been married previously and had two sons, Michael Spence and one other. He also had a foster daughter, Peggy Rowlett. Herbert had spent 16 years in Michigan where he had been employed by the State of Michigan. Now back in Jonesboro, Craighead County, AR, she and Herbert owned and operated Century 21 Diamond Realty as real estate brokers. They were charter members of Fairview Missionary Baptist Church, with Naomi spending many years as a Sunday School teacher. Active in the Order of Eastern Star, she was a member of the Nettleton and Jonesboro Olive chapters and at one time was a Nevada State Representative to the national OES organization. Herbert belonged to the Masons lodge, Shrine and Eastern Star. Sadly, Herbert passed away in Jonesboro at the age of 69 on Oct. 5, 1999. Naomi outlived him as a widow and began to attend the Apt Full Gospel Church. From 2005 to 2012, Naomi was in regular contact with the founder of this website and generously provided important content for this biography. Her last message to him was dated July 14, 2012, stating "I've been sick, in hospital and rehab most of the time for the past 13 months, just learning to use this new phone." She passed away on Nov. 21, 2013. Funeral services were led by Rev. Dale Davis and Rev. Stan Ballard. Interment of the remains was in Mount Pisgah Cemetery in Jonesboro, Craighead County, AR.

  • Granddaughter Freda Foster married David Ishmael. They lived in Jonesboro, AR.
  • Granddaughter Ronda Foster has dwelled in Jonesboro.
  • Grandson James Foster wedded Yvonne. They have made a home in Jonesboro.
  • Grandson Garry Foster was united in matrimony with Louise. They have resided in Jonesboro.
  • Grandson Clay Foster has lived in Jonesboro.
  • Grandson Glenn Foster was in Cherokee Village, AR in 2013.

Daughter Barbara Emenhiser resided in Chicago.

Daughter Pamela Emenhiser wedded Gregory McGuire. The couple dwelled in Lansing, MI.

Daughter Debra "Debi" Emenhiser was joined in wedlock with Benjamin Lawrence. They put down roots in Elkhart, IN, where their residence was located on Northfield Drive in 2002.


~ Son Delmer Lavon Emenhiser ~

Delmer Emenhiser   
Courtesy Sandra Strickland
Son Delmer Lavon Emenhiser (1916-1984) was born in 1916 in Texas.

At the age of one or two, he moved to Arkansas with his parents, where they put down roots in Jonesboro, Craighead County.

On April 14, 1941, when he was about 25 years old, he married Nora Alice Helms (March 5, 1920-2002), a resident of Brookland, AR. The nuptials were held in Jonesboro.

The couple bore six children. Among the known names were James Edward Emenhiser, Donald Ray Emenhiser, Linda Dunn, Gary Emenhiser, Patricia Woodhams and Gloria DeLong.

They later lived in St. Louis, MO and in 1951 moved to the rural outskirts of Charlotte, MI. Delmer and Nora celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in April 1966 with a party held at Morrill Hall in Charlotte, and a news story in the Lansing State Journal.

Delmer died on July 29, 1984, in Charlotte.

Nora Alice survived him by 18 years and remained in Charlotte. Death swept her away on Jan. 3, 2002.

Son James Edward Emenhiser ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). As a young man, he joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 8th Infantry Division. Circa February 1964, he was stationed in Giessen, Germany. On July 6, 1964, in a wedding held at the Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church, he was joined in matrimony with Nancy Bond ( ? - ? ), daughter of Kenneth G. Bond. Reported the Lansing State Journal, "For her wedding, the bride chose a short brocade gown with three-quarter-length sleeves. A pearl and crystal crown held her veil. She carried a cascade of white carnations and red roses atop a white bible, a gift from her great-grandmother, Mrs. Harry Milbourne of Charlotte."

Son Donald Ray Emenhiser (1943-2019) was born on July 3, 1943 in Brooklyn, AR. In childhood, he relocated with his parents to Michigan. At the age of 19, after graduation from high school, he moved to Charlotte, MI. Over the years, he and his brother owned and operated a construction business, Emenhiser's Builders. Evidence suggests that he was twice married. He and his first wife bore four offspring -- Donald Emenhiser, Michele Snyder, Rebecca Dolman and Barbara Emenhiser. In 1989, when he was age 46, he wedded Anna Belle (Fraley) Baker ( ? - ? ). She had been married before and brought three children into the second union -- Kimberly Marple, James Baker and Shane Baker. When not working, Donald liked to play cards, travel, hunt and raise a vegetable garden. Sadness blanketed the family when Donald died at the age of 75 on Jan. 8, 2019. He was survived by 16 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. The family held a memorial service at the Charlotte Church of Christ.

  • Grandson Donald Emenhiser married Jaimie.
  • Granddaughter Michele Emenhiser wedded Scott Snyder.
  • Granddaughter Rebecca Emenhiser was joined in matrimony with Arnold Dolman.
  • Granddaughter Barbara Emenhiser was married to or a companion of Steven Cook.

Daughter Linda Emenhiser ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). On March 27, 1964, she was united in the bonds of wedlock with Jerry Mack Dunn (Feb. 4, 1939-2016), a native of Detroit and the son of John and Ila (Ponder) Dunn. Their wedding ceremony was held in Lansing at the First Christian Church. The couple produced three children -- Jerilyn Dunn, Christina Marie Dunn and William David Dunn. The Dunns dwelled in Charlotte, MI. For 21 years, Jerry was employed as a driver by the Capital Area Transportation Authority in Lansing, and became well known for dressing up as Santa Claus for his Christimas season routes. He then was transferred to the CATA position of dispatcher, where he spent the last seven years of his career. Sadly, at the age of 77, Jerry passed into eternity in Charlotte on July 24, 2016. His survivors included five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. A memorial service, preached by Rev. Dr. Rick Boyd, was held at the First Christian Church in Lansing.

  • Granddaughter Jerilyn Dunn has lived in Lansing, MI.
  • Granddaughter Christina Marie Dunn was in Lansing, MI in 2016.
  • Son William David Dunn relocated to Akron, OH.

Son Gary Emenhiser ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He was joined in matrimony with Sharon.

Daughter Patricia Emenhiser ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She wedded Lee Woodhams.

Daughter Gloria Emenhiser ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She married Ed DeLong.


~ Stepdaughter Nancy Delilah (Emenhiser) Dager ~

Stepdaughter Nancy Delilah Emenhiser (1884-1952) was born on Sept. 4, 1884.

She was wedded to William Ashley Dager (April 13, 1885-1976), son of Frederick and Carlista (Daniels) Dager Sr. and a native of Scott, Van Wert County, OH.

They moved in about 1936 to New Haven, Allen County, IN and remained there for the balance of their lives. William was a longtime farmer and owned an automobile garage.

The known children born to this union were Charles Parnell Dager, Onnetta Constance Carpino, Donald Dager, Gerald L. Dager and an unnamed infant daughter who died in 1915. Grief blanketed the family when son Donald died in 1918.

Nancy passed into eternity on April 12, 1952, at the age of 67. Burial was in Monroevilole Memorial Cemetery in Allen County.

William survived his wife by 24 years. He was swept away by the Angel of Death on March 15, 1976. Inscribed on their grave marker is this prayer: "Saviour of the world, have mercy upon us. May perpetual light shine upon them. Our help is in the name of the Lord. May the angels lead thee into paradise."

Son Charles Parnell Dager ( ? -2003) was born in (?). In 1946, he wedded Olive Louise Crone (1928-1991), a native of Van Wert, Van Wert County, OH. The couple moved cross-country, settling in Phoenix, Maricopa County, AZ. They may have divorced. Charles died on Jan. 22, 2003, with burial in Resthaven Park West Cemetery in Glendale, Maricopa County.

Daughter Onnetta Constance Dager (1910-1983) was born in 1910. She appears to have been married twice. She first wedded Thomas Harrison Lathrop (1902-1984). They produced two known children -- Betty Lou Lathrop and Barbara Joanne Abbott Laisure Sickles. Later, she married Frank Carpino (1918-1991). They attended St. John's Church in New Haven. Onnetta died at the age of 73, in New Haven, on Dec. 16, 1983. Frank lived for another eight years and succumbed to death in 1991.

  • Granddaughter Betty Lou Lathrop (1928-1936) was born in 1928.
  • Granddaughter Barbara Joanne Lathrop (1930-2002) was born on June 30, 1930. She was married three times. She was first united in the bonds of wedlock with (?) John Henry Abbott (1921-1995). Her second spouse was Donald Leo Laisure (1922-1997). The third husband was Wayne R. Sickles (1925-2001), a native of Jackson County, OH. Wayne was cut away by the Grim Reaper on Sept. 23, 2001. At the age of 72, Barbara died in Monroeville on July 10, 2002.

Son Gerald L. Dager (1919-1988) was born in 1919.


~ Stepson William W. Emenhiser ~

Stepson William W. Emenhiser ( ? - ? )


~ Stepdaughter Irene (Emenhiser) Crandall Runyon McGann Thornburg ~

Stepdaughter Irene Emenhiser (1890-1975) was born in Feb. 1890 in Indiana.

She was four-times-wed. Her first spouse was Lewis Crandall (1862- ? ).

One son was born to this union, in 1906, Clarence S. Crandall.

By 1911, she married Orpheus Austin "Barney" Runyon (1889-1967), son of Ed Runyon.

Two children born to the Runyons were Ruby Runyon and Ernest H. Runyon in the 1911-1913 timeframe.


Muncie, Indiana


The Runyons lived in Muncie, IN, at 519 East Willard Street and 1910 South Walnut Street and attended the Old Walnut Street Baptist church. The couple divorced, but later remarried. In between, he married Pearl L. ( ? - ? ) and they divorced in February 1932.

Another mate was Ed McGann ( ? - ? ).

Her fourth husband was Frank W. Thornburg (1890- ? ), son of Samuel Thornburg of Muncie, IN. The Muncie Star Press reported that their marriage had occurred on June 18, 1921 in the office of the county clerk. The Star Press referred to her as "Miss Irene Crandall" and said that "Mr. Thornburg is employed as a machinist at Ball Brothers' factory. They will reside at 607 East Eighth street."

Irene remarried her ex-husband Orpheus Runyon in a ceremony held on Christmas Eve 1934. The couple maintained a home in Muncie. But, almost 13 years later, they separated on Sept. 28, 1947. Irene filed for divorce, claiming "her husband denied all affection for her and refused to live with her," reported the Muncie Evening Press. Her petition was granted by Judge Paul A. Lennington of Superior Court in January 1948.

Bearing the name "Runyon," Irene lived in Muncie in 1946-1961. She and her siblings were re-united in September 1946 for the first time in 35 years when they came together to celebrate their mother's birthday. A group photo was printed in the Muncie Evening Press.

She also was named in a Evening Press article about her mother's 92nd birthday. Circa 1955, she dwelled at Canary Cottage at 1910 South Walnut Street. She is known to have flown to West Palm Beach in January 1955 to join her husband (?) and son.

Ex-husband Orpheus died in 1967.

Irene relocated for good in 1969 to West Palm Beach. She passed away at the age of 85 on March 11, 1975. An obituary was printed in the Muncie Star Press. Funeral services were preached by Rev. Earl Vaughn, with burial of the remains in Beech Grove Cemetery.

Son Clarence S. Crandall (1906-1982) was born in 1906. Circa 1929, he was joined in matrimony with Katherine Ellis (1908- ? ). Clarence is known to have been in West Palm Beach, FL in 1975.

Daughter Ruby Runyon (1911- ? ) was born in 1911.

Son Ernest H. Runyon (1913- ? ) was born in 1913.


~ Stepdaughter Ruth Stella (Emenhiser) Gaddis Mitchell ~

Stepdaughter Ruth Stella Emenhiser (1892-1972) was born in Sept. 1892 in Decatur, IN, where she appears to have grown up.

She appears to have borne children with at least two different men.

Her first companion, circa 1906-1907, when she was age 15 or 16, was Tobias "Tobe" Gaddis (1872-1919). He also went by the alias of "Thomas Jaddis."

The couple's one known son was James A. Gaddis.

Though not married at the time, the pair dwelled in Shagtown, about 10 miles southwest of Bloomington, IN. Ruth later told a reporter with the Bedford (IN) Weekly Mail that "Whatever Tobe may have been, he provided me with a home, clothes and food when others were unwilling or unable to do it."

Tobias found himself at odds with both the law and local citizenry in the early 1900s. He was arrested in 1901 for passing counterfeit cash, and again in 1907 was thought to have stolen meat from a local store. In retribution, he feared being "white-capped" -- a type of vigilante whipping by ordinary citizens to enforce what they believed to be appropriate community standards not being addressed through official channels. On the night of Sept. 24, 1907, said the Bedford Daily Mail, "a band of masked men called at [his home] and demanded an entrance," using a fence rail to break down the door for the purpose of a beating:

Gaddis went to the door with a shot gun, and one of the men said, "Damn you, you are the fellow we want." Without a word Gaddis fired the gun into their midst, slammed the door, and went to bed. The next morning passersby found the dead body of Jesse Robinson, aged 35, an employe of the quarry near Ketcham's mill, lying a short distance from Gaddis' house. The man's face was half covered by a blue handkerchief that had been used as a mask. Gaddis was brought to the county jail, but later the coroner decided the case to be one of justifiable homicide on the ground of an attempt to whitecap.

The 16-year-old Ruth fled to her mother's residence. Fannie White and Tobias' nephew Oscar Knight, who were at the residence that night, returned to their home in Muncie. When interviewed by the Weekly Mail, it was written that "With tears streaming down her face and her voice so choked with sobs that she almost lacked the power of speech," Ruth recounted what had happened the night of the shooting. "Her tears were not caused by the death of Jesse Robinson,... but by the present fate of Gaddis, who, overwhelmed by the fact that he had killed a man, went insane in the Monroe county jail and was ordered to the Central Hospital for the insane at Indianapolis."

The mother pressed charges against Tobias in city court, alleging that he had assaulted her, stole her property and kidnapped the girl. Ruth told a reporter "that she was not abducted, but went with him of her own free will." Tobias was interviewed in the asylum by Dr. Coleman and Dr. Batman, who disclosed that the prisoner "will recover his mind in probably a couple of years," said the Weekly Mail.

After nine days of resistance and violence in jail, Tobias regained his reason by Oct. 16 as reported widely. But was arrested for theft of fruit later in 1907 and, at trial, admitted that he had twice before been imprisoned, once for "cutting a constable" in Kentucky and the other for having possession of a stolen wristwatch in Michigan City, IN. He was sentenced to a 60-day prison term, but on Dec. 4, 1907 escaped from Sheriff Ratliff and bought a railroad ticket to Muncie. Opined the Indianapolis News, "It is not likely he will ever be arrested again, and thus ends one of the most sensational tragedies in the history of Monroe county." But in fact he was taken back into custody.

As whitecapping punishments continued occasionally in Indiana over the next few years, Tobias' name and story were published in local newspapers. Circa 1916, Tobias was employed as a car repairer for the Erie Railroad. He was injured at work one day when the handle of a jack he was operating struck his left side, throwing him against a railcar causing cuts of the face and bruises of the chest.

The Gaddises apparently became legally married at some point. But they divorced, with Ruth filing her complaint in Delaware County in the April Term 1917.

Tobias later was convicted in June 1918 of thefts from "Big Four" freight train cars and marriage "under suspicious circumstances three times," said the Muncie Evening Press:

Examination of Gaddis by the court elicited the fact that he was once married to a 13-year-old girl in Arkansas whom he called Floy Miller, and that he had been forced by a mob to marry her. Asked as to what became of her and her child he did not seem to know. He next married, he said, a girl named Fanny White, and went with her and their child to St. Louis. The court asked what had become of the wife and the child, and the defendant told a rambling story that was not believed. Pressed by the court to say whether he obtained a divorce, he said she had but could not tell anything about it other than that he read it in a newspaper. He was sharply interrogated on this point, and his answers showed tht he did not really know whether the divorce was obtained, but went ahead when he came back here and married a Ruth Ensmler. The court also questioned him about a mob's attacking him because he had obtained $500 illegally at Bloomington and had shot a "whitecapper," but could not get any satisfaction. He acknowledged that he had served time for taking a watch....

He was sentenced to the Indiana State Penitentiary in Michigan City for a term of one to 14 years. Less than a year later, at the age of 47, he died on Oct. 2, 1919. His body was shipped to the home of his sister Victoria Knight in Muncie for a funeral service. Burial followed in Union Cemetery near Eaton, IN, with a funeral notice appearing in the Star Press.

A few months after her divorce, in June 1917, Ruth wedded 23-year-old Wilfred J. Mitchell (Sept. 26, 1893-1958). He was a native of Jiliet, IL and the son of Frederick Mitchell. Their marriage license was announced in the Muncie Star Press. At the time, he was employed as an inspector in Muncie.

They were the parents of two -- Winifred Borland and Ruth Borland. It appears that Wilfred also adopted his wife's son from the first marriage, James.

Circa 1941, at the death of Ruth's father, the couple dwelled in Kenosha, WI. Wilfred earned a living for 28 years as a gas works operator for Wisconsin Gas and Electric Company. Ruth was an original member of the First Presbyterian Church and belonged to the Ladies Auxiliary of the Employees of Wisconsin Gas and Electric. She also owned and operated the Goody Shop. Their address in the late 1950s was 6731 31st Avenue, Kenosha.

Ruth and her siblings were re-united in September 1946 for the first time in 35 years when they came together to celebrate their mother's birthday. A group photo was printed in the Muncie Evening Press.

On the fateful day of July 12, 1958, while at home in Kenosha, Wilfred collapsed and died at the age of 64. The county coroner ruled the cause of death as a heart attack.


Ruth's home in the late 1960s and '70s

In 1969, Ruth moved back to Muncie to be near her son. Her address in the early 1970s was 116 East 13th Street, while his was 120 East 13th Street.

She died in Ball Memorial Hospital on Dec. 3, 1972, at the age of 81. An obituary in the Muncie Star Press noted that her survivors included 17 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Rev. John Simpson officiated at her funeral, with burial following in Green Ridge Cemetery in Kenosha.

Son James A. Gaddis (1909- ? ) was born in 1909. He lived in Muncie in 1972 at 120 East 13th Street. Evidence suggests that he took on the "Mitchell" surname.

Daughter Winifred Mitchell ( ? - ? ) was a graduate of Kenosha High School and in young womanhood worked for her mother in the Goody Shop. During World War II, he served in China with the U.S. Marine Corps. After the war's end, he returned to Kenosha and worked at the Nash-Kelvinator plant and Gottfredsen-Nicoll jewelry store. On Sept. 25, 1947, in Waukegan, WI, she married Edward C. Borland ( ? - ? ), son of O.C. Borland of 6123 35th Avenue in Kenosha. Their wedding was announced in the Kenosha News. The couple moved to Elgin, where Edward was studying at a watchmakers' school. They were in Kenosha in 1958-1972.

Daughter Ruth Viola Mitchell (1933-1993) was born on Feb. 1, 1933 in Kenosha, WI. She wedded Clifford H. Borland ( ? - ? ), son of O.C. Borland of 6123 35th Avenue in Kenosha. They established a home in Franksville, WI and together bore a family of seven -- Wilfred J. Borland, Cynthia M. Scott, Renee C. Tatum, Mary L. Pickard, Marjorie A. Norval, Jacquelyn R. Liendo and Laura J. Chapman. Clifford earned a living as a machinist with the Simmons Company. By 1955, the couple had divorced, and Clifford wed again to Carmela M. Vite ( ? - ? ). In 1958, Ruth dwelled in Racine. She eventually married again to Floyd Magnus and made a home at 7920 7-Mile Road, Racine. Later, by 1993, she migrated to Texas and settled in Waco. Ruth died at home at the age of 60 on June 12, 1993. An obituary was published in the Racine (WI) Journal Times. Her survivors included a dozen grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The remains were laid to rest in Chapel Hill Memorial Park in Waco.

  • Grandson Wilfred J. Borland
  • Granddaughter Cynthia M. Borland wed (?) Scott.
  • Granddaughter Renee C. Borland married (?) Tatum.
  • Granddaughter Mary L. Borland was joined in wedlock with (?) Pickard.
  • Granddaughter Marjorie A. Borland ( ? - ? ) - On Sept. 10, 1977, she was united in matrimony with Larry Gene Norval Sr. ( ? - ? ), son of Robert Huges. The couple's engagement was printed in the Racine Journal Times. At the time, he was serving as a lance corporal in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Norvals made a home in the early 1980s at 1509 51st Street, Raymond, WI. Two known offspring of this couple were Christina Norval and Larry G. Norval Jr.. Sadly, son Larry, born in Kanliua, HI, passed away on Dec. 11, 1981 in St. Mary's Medical Center, Racine.
  • Granddaughter Jacquelyn R. Borland entered into marriage with (?) Liendo.
  • Granddaughter Laura J. Borland married (?) Chapman.


~ Stepson Harvey Emenhiser ~

Stepson Harvey Emenhiser (1893-1981) -- perhaps also known as "Harry" -- was born in January 1893 in Indiana.

He does not appear to have married or reproduced.

Harvey earned a living over the years as a self-employed contractor. He first set up shop in Dayton, OH and then in the 1940s or early 1950s migrated to Muncie, IN.

Harvey and his siblings were re-united in September 1946 for the first time in 35 years when they came together to celebrate their mother's birthday. A group photo was printed in the Muncie Evening Press. At that time, he was living at 2500 South Gharkey Street in Muncie.

His address in the early 1980s was 418 South Franklin Street.

At the age of 87, Harvey died at home on June 25, 1981. Rev. Ed Pease officiated at the funeral, followed by burial in Beech Grove Cemetery. An obituary in the Muncie Star Press named his surviving full-and-half sisters and brothers.


~ Stepson Earl Emenhiser ~

Stepson Earl Emenhiser (1896-1993) was born in January 1896 in Muncie, IN.

His entire life was spent in Muncie.

Sadly, he passed away in 1993.


Bertha Richter
Courtesy Nate Farrar
~ Stepdaughter Bertha Estella (Emenhiser) Richter ~

Stepdaughter Bertha Estella Emenhiser (1898-1986) was born in 1898 in Indiana.

Bertha was young when her parents' marriage ended. The year of her birth is said to have been fudged to "1900" allowing her to appear to be younger so that she could be "farmed out" to another family where she was raised from girlhood.

Circa 1918, when she was 20 years of age, she was joined in holy wedlock with Robert Lincoln Richter Sr. (1889-1968).

A brood of 10 children was born to the couple -- Robert Lincoln Richter Jr., Dorothy Elizabeth "Dot" Baumer, Virgil George "Bud" Richter, Viola Estella Lundell, Virginia Cinderella Farrar, Lewise Richter, Norma Hazel Strother, Berneice Jane "Spikey" Moore, Betty Ann Bush and Levina "Barney" Baldwin Yeager.

Sadly, their child Lewise is thought to have died young.

The family was in Indiana in 1919-1921, Ohio in 1923 and then in 1925 and thereafter in Michigan. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1930, the family dwelled in Aurelius Township, Ingham County, MI, where Robert's occupation was listed as "gardener."

Richter sisters, L-R: Dorothy, Viola, Virginia,
Norma, Berneice, Betty Ann, Levina

Courtesy Sandra Strickland
The Richters migrated in time to Grand River near Lansing.
There, in 1938, they launched and ran their own business, Richter's Gardens, located at 4801 Cedar Street in South Lansing. Initially Robert sold vegetables and fruits from a stand. The little firm advertised its myriad products in the Lansing State Journal as "From nursery stock to complete landscaping & design, Richter's is a complete 'Garden of Knowledge' and complete information center on how best to grow a lawn, garden, plant a tree or shrub, or decorate your home. You'll find, as people from all parts of Michigan have found, that Richter's has everything to make your home and garden more beautiful and enjoyable for years to come."

Officials with the Michigan State University Extension Service were impressed with the firm's wide range of products. The Lansing State Journal once reported that "It offered customers options not easily found. It stocked organic insecticides as alternatives to chemical ones and sold the uncommon Noble Firm and Grand Fir Christmas tree varieties in the winter. It was also the first store in Michigan to carry thistle seed." Cedar Street itself was transformed over the years from a country road to a congested commercial strip.

They also maintained a booth in the old Lansing City Market.

Bertha and her siblings were re-united in September 1946 for the first time in 35 years when they came together to celebrate their mother's birthday. A group photo was printed in the Muncie Evening Press.

Robert turned the business over to his son Robert Jr. in 1955.

Grief blanketed the family when Robert passed away in 1968.

Bertha lived for another 18 years as a widow, continuing to dwell in Lansing. She died on May 31, 1986, at the age of 86. Rev. Dr. James C. Dotson, of Miller Road Bible Church, led the funeral. Interment of the remains was in Evergreen Cemetery. The State Journal published an obituary which counted her survivors as 30 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren.


Robert and Joyce Richter
Son Robert Lincoln Richter Jr. (1918-2005) was born on Oct. 31, 1918 in Muncie. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps. Robert married Joyce Elaine Dixon (Dec. 23, 1924-1999), a lifelong resident of Lansing. They were the parents of Robert Lincoln Richter III, Jean Krzak, Linda Mae Nutt and David Richter. For years, Robert worked in the family business Richter's Gardens and in 1955 became sole owner. He expanded with a new building in 1963, measuring 100 feet by 60 feet. He added a craft department in 1968. Joyce assisted in the Gardens with creative arts and crafts and became certified as a Priscilla Hauser educator. She also was active with the Greater Lansing Business Women's Association and taught oil painting at Lansing Community College. Robert served in 1966 as president of the Michigan Association of Nurserymen and co-founded the local Arbor Day celebration. He was a frequent speaker and lecturer for civic and fraternal groups. He also was a "toast master" and the pair were charter members of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. In his free time he liked to fish and haul produce. They dwelled at the site of the business at 4801 South Cedar in Lansing. When he reached the age of 65, Robert transferred ownership to his sons Robert III and David. Sadness cascaded over the family when Joyce surrendered to death on May 22, 1999. Pastor Michael C. Bater led the funeral service. Robert lived for another five-plus years. At age 86, on Jan. 9, 2005, he died in Lansing. He was pictured in an obituary in the Lansing State Journal. The headcount of his survivors was a baker's dozen grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Pastor Michael C. Bater led the funeral service in the family church.

  • Grandson Robert Lincoln "Bob" Richter III ( ? - ? ) was a graduate of Michigan State University, whee he obtained a certificate in nursing and landscaping. He is known to have worked for his father at Richter's Gardens for years and to have held a membership in the Michigan Association of Nurserymen. He has been twice-wed. Circa 1969, he first was joined in the bonds of marriage with Sharon Jean Maran. Later, by 1999, he married Glenna Sue. In 1983, he and his brother David jointly received ownership of Richter's Gardens, and together operated it for the next 17 years. They are known to have resided in Dimondale, MI in 2005. Sadly, after 62 years in business, Richter's was forced to close in August 2000 when it could no longer compete with large national and discount home-improvement stores.
  • Granddaughter Jean Richter ( ? - ? ) wed Ronald Krzak ( ? - ? ). Their home circa 1999-2005 was in DeWitt.
  • Granddaughter Linda Mae Richter ( ? - ? ) - On Nov. 20, 1971, she was joined in marriage with James Nutt ( ? - ? ), son of Wilferd Nutt. Their nuptials were held at Zion Lutheran Church, with Linda Mae pictured in a wedding announcement in the Lansing State Journal. They first lived in Lansing and later relocated to Lake Havasu, AZ.
  • Grandson David Richter ( ? - ? ) was united in wedlock with Cindy ( ? - ? ). They settled in Dimondale, MI. David worked for Richter's Gardens, focusing on landscape and design, and in 1983, he and his brother Robert were named co-owners and together operated it for the next 17 years.


Baumer family homestead, 1973. Courtesy Sandra Strickland

Duane Baumer, Marines, San Diego, 1943
Courtesy Sandra Strickland

Dorothy Baumer
Daughter Dorothy Elizabeth "Dot" Richter (1920-1990) was born on July 31, 1920 in Muncie. She grew to womanhood in Lansing, MI and was a 1938 graduate of Lansing Central High School, where she played girls softball. She made a living working for her parents' Ric
hter's Gardens business and also as a telephone operator. She used her earnings of that era to help pay for her younger sisters' college educations. On Aug. 14, 1943, she married Duane Dorr Baumer (1920-1986) in a ceremony held in LaJolla, CA. He was the son of Jesse "Dorr" and Bethel Rose (Heath) Baumer of Lansing. Together, they produced a brood of daughters -- Judy MacLeod, Joan Cooper, Barbara Lambdin, Bethel "Sue" Addison and Sandra "Sandye" Strickland. During his years at Everett High School, where he graduated in 1938, he starred in baseball, basketball and football. After graduation, he worked for the forge plant of General Motors Corporation. Then during World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on June 28, 1942 at Camp Mathews in San Diego, CA. He was assigned to the 3rd Marines. Duane specialized in rifle instruction. He is said to have gone absent from official leave in order to marry Dorothy. From there, he was deployed to the South Pacific Theatre. Duane was wounded by a Japanese snipeer following the battle of Guam on Aug. 28, 1944, with his left leg becoming paralyzed. He received both the Purple Heart and expert rifleman recognition. He sent home the Purple Heart medal, and when she received it, Dorothy was featured in a local newspaper article. With Duane away, she assisted on the homefront during the war as a Red Cross volunteer in a local hospital.

For decades afterward, the Baumers resided on a small farm near Harrison, MI, where they settled in 1945, and for the Michigan Department of Conservation. Over time Dorothy was employed by Clare County ASCS. Then on Labor Day 1965, she and Duane opened Devil's Knob, a nine-hole golf course along Rodgers Road which he designed and they operated for the next two decades. The name stemmed from what's been called "the torturous eight hole," and it was a business he could run despite his disability. Duane initially charged a dollar for an entire day of play. She was active in the 4-H organization, Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans. They belonged to the First Congregational Church. Stricken with chronic lung disease, Duane spent the end of his life in West Palm Beach. There, at tthe local hospital, surrendered to death at the age of 65 on St. Patrick's Day 1986. His remains were cremated and placed at rest in Cedar Crest Cemetery. Sadly, for her last nine years, Dorothy endured multiple myeloma, an illness where white blood cells turn cancerous. She passed into eternity at the age of 70, in Midland, MI, on Sept. 25, 1990. Funeral services were jointly led by Rev. Kaufman, Pastor Brian Johnson and her brother-in-law Rev. Dr. Robert "Bobby" Bush. Her remains also sleep for all time in Cedar Crest Cemetery in Hamilton Township, Clare County, MI. 

  • Granddaughter Judy Baumer married James MacLeod and by 1986 established a home in Coral Springs, FL. She received her master's degree in education and was a longtime school teacher. He was employed by IBM. They are the parents of a son. Circa 2021, they were in Kalamo, WA.
  • Granddaughter Joan "Jo" Baumer obtained her master's degree in education and taught third grade for a number of years. She wed Alan Cooper ( ? - ? ). They have lived in Harrison, MI. Alan was a veteran of the Vietnam War and wounded when a vehicle in which he was riding struck a land mine. Today he is considered 100 percent disabled. Together they operate the Devil's Knob Golf Course, passed down from Joan's parents, and live next to the pond on hole No. 9. They rebuilt the old clubhouse dating to the 1880s and torn down in 1990.
  • Granddaughter Barbara Baumer was trained as a nurse. She was joined in wedlock with Harold "Hal" Lambdin ( ? - ? ). Together they bore twin daughters and a son. He also worked in the medical field as an anesthetist, first for the U.S. Air Force and then the public sector. They relocated to Cedarville, OH and thence to Fayetteville, NC. The pair eventually moved back to Harrison and purchased a home along the family-owned Devil's Knob Golf Course.
  • Granddaughter Bethel "Sue" Baumer was united in matrimony with Emerson Addison. They put down roots in Northville and Livonia, MI. They are the parents of three sons.
  • Granddaughter Sandra "Sandye" Baumer entered into marriage in Fayetteville, NC on Nov. 9, 1989 with Ralph Strickland ( ? -living). The couple's two daughters are Dorothy Elizabeth "Dot" Strickland and Sarah Jane Furey. Ralph served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne, and sang in its chorus. Sandra spent her 25-year-plus career in vocational rehabilitation counseling for schools and the public and private sector. She graciously has shared valuable content for this biography. Daughter Dot received her master's degree in youth and camp ministry from Columbia International University and resides in Drake, CO, while Sarah holds a master's degree in English as a second language, and with her husband Bryan Furey have resided in China since 2016.

    Great-granddaughter  Dorothy Elizabeth "Dot" Strickland was employed as Director of Children's Activities at Highlands Camp. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she joined a well known cleaning business in Estes Park, CO, overseeing three communities of  homes, cottages and mansions, training staff and promoting the business online. In her free time, Dorothy leads a group of single adults through her church family, known as "The Porch."

    Great-granddaughter Sarah Jane Strickland received her college degree in English. While working at Camp Sandy Cove in Virginia, she was invited to teach English as a second language at a private school in Qindgdao, China. She accepted the offer and made the move. While in her fifth year of teaching in Qindgdao, she met nuclear engineering contractor Bryan Furey through their church family. The pair has married and remains in China as of 2022. Bryan is a 2008 graduate of the University of Rhode Island and obtained a second bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010. He joined Westinghouse Electric Corporation in 2011 as a simulator test engineer in nuclear power plant operations, first working in the company's headquarters in Cranberry Woods north of Pittsburgh  Today he is a resident site manager at Westinghouse's Sanmen Nuclear Power plant in Zhejiang, China.

Son Virgil George "Bud" Richter (1922-1994) was born on Sept. 27, 1922 in Toledo, OH. He is believed to have served in the U.S. Armed Forces in World War II. Later, he put down roots in Lansing and earned a living as a vendor with the Lansing City Market. Circa 1961 or 1962, Virgil was united in the bonds of wedlock with Violet ( ? - ? ). Their marriage endured for 32 years. They were the parents of Sheila Iles and Thomas Richter. Virgil belonged to the Morley S. Oates post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Capitol City Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans. Suffering from cancer, he passed into the arms of the angels at age 71 on June 16, 1994. His obituary in the Lansing State Journal included his photograph. Following a funeral service led by Pastor Cecil M. Sanders of Holt Baptist Church, the remains were laid to rest in Deepdale Memorial Park.

  • Granddaughter Sheila Richter married (?) Iles. She established a home in Tulsa, OK and was there in 1994.
  • Grandson Thomas Richter resided in Humble, TX in the mid-1990s.
James Gorda Lundell

Violet Lundell
Daughter Viola Estella Richter (1925-2013) was born on Feb. 1, 1925 in Lansing. She was a graduate of Henry Ford Community College, where she received her nursing degree. At the age of 23, on Aug. 14, 1948, she entered into marriage with James Gorda Lundell
(July 19, 1921-2004) in simple nuptials held in Detroit. He was the son of Gunnar and Helen (Nyquist) Lundell and a native of East Orange, NJ who had grown up in Muskegon, MI. Four children born to this union were Timothy Robert Lundell, Paul James Lundell, Mark Lundell and Esther Hitchcock. In childhood, James often played on the Lake Michigan sand dunes, fished, explored lakes and streams and picked blueberries. Then at age 17, just before World War II, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and went on to serve for more than five years, including during the war. Having learned the skills as an aircraft mechanic, he was deployed to the South Pacific Theatre, with postings in the Philippines and Australia. After the war, he returned to Michigan and started working for General Motors as an apprentice. Viola and James met in 1947, at a bus stop, when he was en route to a Bible meeting at Metropolitan Methodist Church.

The pair first lived in an apartment in Detroit North-West side, and in 1963 elocated to Southfield, MI. They became members of Highland Park Baptist Church of Southfield. James kept a tool shop at home, working on airplanes, tractors and trains. Then in 1981, he also secured his airplane pilot's license. Viola earned her master's degree from the University of Michigan and spent her career as a school nurse with the Dearborn Public Schools. She also was a Sunday School teacher and leader of Bible studies. Said an obituary, "She attended her children's and grandchildren's activities, sport events, and performances. She worked as a camp nurse for each of her children's summer camp experiences. She had an interest in music and encouraged her children and grandchildren to follow their musical interests." With a love for travel, Viola and James visited many countries around the globe as members of the Nomads Club, among them Africa and China. The family pulled up stakes again in 1981 and moved to their final residence in Saline, MI, where they joined Grace Bible Church of Ann Arbor. He retired from GM in 1983. In his retirement years, he was especially active in church as a teacher of pre-schoolers, ventriloquist and singing. The couple marked their golden wedding anniversary in 1998. Separate celebrations were held in Ann Arbor and in Muskegon to accommodate their large family. Sadly, James died on Nov. 30, 2004 as a patient in St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. The funeral was conducted by the hand of Rev. Jack Glupker. Viola lived for another nine years in Chelsea, MI. The angel of death swept her away at age 87 on Jan. 6, 2013. Rev. Cathy Rafferty officiated the funeral service, with burial in Ann Arbor's Bethlehem Cemetery.

  • Grandson Timothy Robert Lundell (1952-2010) was born on Feb. 16, 1952 in Detroit. When he was 20 years of age, on July 28, 1972, he married Jean ( ? - ? ). Their union survived for 38 years. Two children born to the couple were Gregory Mundell and Melinda Mundell. Their early time together involved Timothy's pursuit of a bachelor of science from General Motors Institute, later renamed Kettering University, which he completed in 1974. He went on to secure his master's of business administration degree in 1980 from the University of Michigan. He was employed in the fields of motor vehicles and technology, and with an entreprenurial bent, then went on to launch two of his own companies, of which DataLab was engaged in chemical and mechanical analysis services. Then in 1985, he and the children moved to Pleasanton, CA. He liked to bow hunt, fly fish, ski and work with wood in his free time. Sadly, Timothy was diagnosed with cancer of the tonsils in late 2007 or early 2008. He endured his illness for more than two-and-a-half years until death carried him away into eternity, at the age of 58, on July 24, 2010. His obituary was published in the Independent News, and his memorial service was held in Valley Community Church in Pleasanton.

Great-grandson Gregory Mundell ( ? - ? ) wed Anjanette ( ? - ? ).

Great-granddaughter Melinda Mundell ( ? - ? )

  • Grandson Paul James Lundell ( ? - ? ) was united in matrimony with Ilene ( ? - ? ) and settled in Okemos, MI.
  • Grandson Mark Lundell ( ? - ? ) migrated to Chicago. He wed Paula ( ? - ? ).
  • Granddaughter Esther Lundell ( ? - ? ) wed Derek Hitchcock ( ? - ? ). The couple was in Jackson, MI in 2013.

  • Bride Virginia Farrar and her attendants. Courtesy Sandra Strickland


Virginia and Rev. Thomas Farrar
Daughter Virginia Cinderella Richter (1926- ? ) was born in about 1916. She studied at Bob Jones University, receiving her bachelor of science degree in secondary education. On Aug. 10, 1951, she married fellow student Rev. Thomas Edwin Farrar Jr. (Jan. 19, 1928-2007), son of Rev. Thomas E. Farrar and Martha Lavera (Eason) Sr
. of Indianola, MS and Lepanto, AR. The South Baptist Church served as the site of the wedding. The Lansing State Journal reported that the bride was "costumed in a white satin gown" and "chose as a headpiece a veil of Swiss illusion net secured by a coronet of pearl orange blossoms. A satin redingote over her gown extended into a chapel-length train. She carried a white orchid surrounded by a heart shaped bouquet of roses atop a Bible." The couple produced a family of five -- Edwin Farrar, Mark Farrar, Wesley Farrar, Cynthia Copolo and Nathan Farrar. At the time of marriage, Thomas also was a student at Bob Jones and had served as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy from February 1946 to December 1947. He went on to a career as pastor of several Southern Baptist churches in Arkansas and then in 1968 moved to Bluefield, WV, just across the state line from Rocky Gap, VA. There, he pastored Southern Baptist congregations in Bland, Giles and Tazewell Counties as well as Laurel Fork Baptist Church. He also was a professor of history and religion at Bluefield College. Thomas held a membership in the U.S. Parliamentarians organization and was executive director of the Bland County Mission Center, a provider of dental services, a food pantry and clothing, and small household construction projects to members of the community. After he retired, he traveled to Colombia, Costa Rica and Ecuador as well as New Mexico with Southern Baptist missionary teams. The couple's home in 1994-2007 was in Rocky Gap. Sadly, at the age of 79, Thomas died at home on Oct. 22, 2007. An obituary in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph said that he was survived by 10 grandchildren. His funereal seervice was held at the Laurel Fork church, led by Rev. Joe Schroeder, Rev. Roger Roller and Rev. Dale and Gilda Riddle. Burial was in Morning Star Gardens in Bland, VA.

  • Grandson Dr. Edwin Lee Farrar received his medical degree in dentistry in 1988. He wed Donna ( ? - ? ). They established their home in Mansfield, OH, where he has practiced in oral and maxillofacial surgery for years. He retired in 2017, selling his building to Dr. Christopher Beale.
  • Grandson Mark Farrar married Benita ( ? -  ? ). The couple put down roots in Rocky Gap, VA.
  • Grandson Wesley Farrar was joined in wedlock with Meloney ( ? - ? ). The pair migrated to South Holden Beach, NC.
  • Granddaughter Cynthia Copolo was united in matrimony with Thomas Copolo. They have dwelled in Durham, NC.
  • Grandson Nathan Farrar entered into marriage with Nancy. Circa 2007, they resided in Seneca, SC.


Levina "Barney"  and Gordon Yeager
Daughter Levina "Barney" Richter (1927- ? ) was born in about 1927. She grew up working with her father in Richter's Gardens and selling produce at the Lansing City Market. She first was united in wedlock with Maurice Baldwin ( ? - ? ). They together bore four children -- Debbie Porter, John Baldwin, Sherry Wolf and James "Jim" Baldwin. After Maurice's death, she wed again to Gordon Dennis Yeager ( ? -2019)
. He was a U.S. Navy veteran and served during World War II. The Yeagers lived in Lansing, MI for many years. Gordon was employed from General Motors Corporation and eventually retired from the company. The couple was active for years in the City Market, selling their own stock of fruits and vegetables, which they had purchased from local farmers. They affectionately were nicknamed the "Tomato Lady" and "Tomato Man." Said the Lansing State Journal, "Customers waited with anticipation in the spring when the Yeagers returned from vacation. They would fill their cargo van with 50 boxes of vine-ripened tomatoes on their way back from Florida." In the early years, the market was located at the corner of Grand Avenue and Shiawassee Street, and later moved to Cedar Street. When they retired from the market, at the end of the 2002 season, the pair was pictured in the State Journal. Gordon passed away into the arms of the heavenly angels in late January, 2019. A brief obituary was printed in the State Journal, which referred to him by the familiar "tomato man."

  • Debbie Porter
    Courtesy Sandra Strickland
    Granddaughter Debbie Baldwin (1954-2011) was born on Feb. 1, 1954 in Lansing. She grew up helping her mother sell produce and flowers at the Lansing City Market. She then obtained a degree from Michigan State University. At the age of 24, on May 4, 1978, she was united in the bonds of matrimony with Dennis P. Porter ( ? - ? ). Two daughters born to this union were Latasha Little and Beth Porter. Debbie was a longtime teacher at LaPorte High School. In her free time she liked to spend time at Lake Michigan and enjoy animals. The pair lived in Granter, MI in the early 2010s. Sadly, she died at age 57 on March 23, 2011. An obituary in the Lansing State Journal said that "When she decided to do something, she excelled at it and never gave up when confronted with an obstacle... One of her favorite hobbies was growing things, and was a great gardener, as well as an amazing artist/decorator and cook... She always knew how to make everyone feel loved and cared for and always had an energetic positive outlook on life." Her memorial service was held at Holt (MI) Baptist Church.
  • Grandson John Baldwin relocated to Houston, TX.
  • Granddaughter Sherry Baldwin married (?) Wolf . Her home in 2011 was in Fairbanks, AK.
  • Grandson James "Jim" Baldwin put down roots in Manistee, MI.

Norma Strother
Daughter Norma Hazel Richter (1929-200
1) was born on Jan. 10, 1929 in Aurelius Township near Lansing. In young womanhood she attended Lansing Community College and the Moody Bible Institute. When she was 28 years of age, on Feb. 27, 1957, Norma wed Arden Raymond Strother (1933-2010), son of Glenn C. and Calla Belle (Atterholt) Strother of Highland Park, MI. Their nuptials were held in the Holt (MI) Baptist Church. Norma was pictured in a wedding announcement published in the Lansing State Journal. At the time of their marriage, Arden was studying at the Electronic Institute in Detroit. Together they bore one son, Michael Strother. Arden was a U.S. Navy veteran, serving as a radar man and petty officer. During the Korean War era, he was stationed aboard a small aircraft carrier, USS Palau. He was employed for many years with Chrysler Corporation and helped to invent technologies which received patents. The couple divorced when their son was young. Arden appears to have married again, living in the Sterling Heights community near Grand Rapids. Norma made her permanent home in Holt, Ingham County, MI, with an address in 1983 of 2221 Auburn Avenue. Sadly, at age 72, Norma succumbed to the spectre of death on June 26 2001. She was pictured in her State Journal obituary. Her remains were placed into the sleep of ages in Evergreen Cemetery, Lansing, following funeral services led by Rev. Cecil Sanders. Former husband Arden later authored a book, The Nocturne Bistro. He passed away on April 5, 2010, with his cremains interred in the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, MI.

  • Grandson Michael Strother lived in Okemos, MI circa 1983. He married Monic. They dwelled in Ann Arbor, MI in 2001 and were the parents of Ansgar Strother, Alexandria Strother and Ashton Strother.

Berneice Moore
Daughter Berneice Jane "Spikey" Richter (1930- ? ) was born in 1930. She wed Douglas Raymond "Ray" Mo
ore (Feb. 6, 1930-2012), a native of Ingham County and the son of James Robert and Jessie (Conyers) Moore. They remained together for an extraordinary 62 years until cleaved apart by death. Three known children of the couple were James Ray Moore, Pamela Sue Moore and Martha Ann "Marty" Moore. Ray was a graduate of Everett High School, where he played basketball as a forward. He went on to serve in the U.S. Navy in young manhood.

Ray Moore
Upon their marriage, the couple resided in Lower Michigan. By 1986, they had moved to Linden, NJ, with Ray employed as an engineer and superintendent for General Motors. He spent three decades with GM until retirement. They later relocated to North Palm Beach, FL. He once held the post of deputy sheriff for Meridan Township. He had a special enjoyment for deer hunting in Waucedah Township, and the couple moved there in 2002, to the community of Iron Mountain. Ray also liked to bowl and play pool, and his favorite song was "God Bless America." He held a membership in the Uren-Cooper-Johnson post of the American Legion in Iron Mountain, MI, the National Rifle Association, and a Florida yacht club. Ray passed away on July 16, 2012, at the age of 82.

  • Grandson James Ray Moore wed Merly ( ? - ? ). Their home in 2012 was in Michigan. He is deceased.
  • Granddaughter Pamela Sue Moore has resided in North Carolina.
  • Granddaughter Martha Ann "Marty" Moore was in Holland, MI in 2012.

Daughter Dr. Betty Ann Richter ( ? - ? ) was joined in matrimony with Rev. Dr. Bobby Randall Bush ( ? - ? ), son of Hurley and Grace Bush. They became the parents of Kenny Randall Bush and Jennifer Ann Fetters. The Bushes' residence in 1977 was in Jacks Creek, TN and in 1986-2008 in Henderson, TN. Bobby is believed to have been a professor at Freed-Hardeman College, a private institution affiliated with the Churches of Christ, and in 1986 to have received the Distinguished Faculty Award.

  • Grandson Kenny Randall Bush ( ? - ? ) was a 1976 graduate of Freed-Hardeman College, receiving his bachelor of science in business administration. He then obtained his law degree in 1979 from the University of Mississippi. Kenny was youth chairman in 1978 for the re-election campaign of Senator Howard Baker. He accepted the position of assistant legal counsel at Pepperdine University in 1979, with involvement also in public relations and fundraising. He also was tapped in 1980 to be general manager of Malibu Mesa Community Services District in California. Then in March 1981, he was named vice president of administration and development for Magnolia Bible College. In returning to Mississippi, Kenny has made his home in Starkville and Philadelphia, MS. On July 11, 1981, he married Lori Ivey ( ? - ? ). Together they bore a daughter, Katherine Ivey Bush. The pair eventually divorced. He has been elected to the Mississippi Board of Education and was served a term in 2002 as chair. In October 2003, he received a Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of State Boards of Education "in recognition of outstanding serevice to public education," reported the Jackson (TN) Sun. One of the top issues he has dealt with is students' scores in standardized testing as rated by Terra Nova tests in language, mathematics and reading. Another was paring back school extracurricular activities in an effort to cut budgets.
  • Granddaughter Jennifer Ann Bush ( ? - ? ) resided in young adulthood in Jacks Creek, TN. She was a 1974 alumna of Starkville Academy in Mississippi where she was active as a cheerleader, homecoming court and student council, and was named "Miss Starkville Academy." She went on to study at Freed-Hardeman College, received a bachelor's degree in social work, and receiving the honor of "Teenager of the Week" from the Memphis Commercial Appeal. On Aug. 28, 1977, she wed Robert Lee Fetters ( ? - ? ), a Chattanooga resident and the son of Charles William and Lela Marie (Moulton) Fetters of Dixon, IL. Their wedding was held at Estes Church of Christ in Henderson, with Jennifer's brother officiating. Robert had received his high school diploma in 1973 from Georgia Christian High School and also attended Freed-Hardeman, earning a bachelor of science in Bible Studies. He then moved to Chattanooga, becoming an associate pastor at Hixson Church of Christ. News of their wedding was printed in the Jackson (TN) Sun.


~ Stepdaughter Alma (Emenhiser) Fisher ~

Stepdaughter Alma Emenhiser ( ? - ? ) was born in (?).

She was united in matrimony with (?) Fisher.

They relocated to the West Coast and in 1941-1981 lived in Saugus, CA and in 1983 in Cuyama, CA.

Alma and her siblings were re-united in September 1946 for the first time in 35 years when they came together to celebrate their mother's birthday. A group photo was printed in the Muncie Evening Press.

Nothing more about her has been found.


~ Stepson Joseph L. "Joe" Emenhiser ~

Stepson Joseph L. "Joe" Emenhiser (1899-1983) was born in 1899 in Bluffton, IN.

In boyhood, at the age of nine, he moved with his parents to Muncie, IN.

He served in the U.S. Army during World War I. He was assigned to a heavy artillery and was deployed in Europe for 18 months.

Joseph's first bride was Alice (1905- ? ), a native of Arkansas.

Together, the Emenhisers produced four children -- Mary Jane Holt, Lorena Mae Hyde, Marvin L. Emenhiser and Alfred Emenhiser -- born between 1925 and 1933.

At the start of his working career, Joseph was employed for more than two decades at Chevrolet-Muncie. Then in 1952, he left to launch his own business, Sanitary Septic Tank Company. He owned and operated Sanitary Septic with his sons until 1964, when he retired.

He also was a charter member of the Delaware post of the American Legion and belonged to the Disabled American Veterans and the World War I Veterans of Muncie.

On Sept. 11, 1943, he was joined in the bonds of wedlock with Vergie Maxine Markum ( ? -2000).

Joseph and his siblings were re-united in September 1946 for the first time in 35 years when they came together to celebrate their mother's birthday. A group photo was printed in the Muncie Evening Press.

Joseph is known to have been in Muncie in 1975-1983, at the address of 1719 West 17th Street.

He passed away at the age of 83 in February 1983. An obituary in the Muncie Evening Press -- in which he was pictured -- reported that his survivors included 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. His remains were lowered to eternal sleep in Tomlinson Cemetery.

Daughter Mary Jane Emenhiser (1925- ? ) was born in 1925. She was joined in matrimony with (?) Holt. In 1983, the Holts made a home in Muncie.

Daughter Lorena Mae Emenhiser (1927- ? ) was born in 1927. She wed (?) Hyde. The couple settled in Muncie.

Son Marvin L. Emenhiser (1931- ? ) was born in 1931. He worked with his father in the family business, Sanitary Septic Tank Company, of Muncie.

Son Alfred Emenhiser (1933- ? ) was born in 1933. He was deceased by 1983.


~ Stepson Mearl Sylvester Emenhiser ~

Mearl's obituary
Courtesy Sandra Strickland
Stepson Mearl Sylvester Emenhiser (1905-1993) was born on July 31, 1905 in Bluffton, Wells County, IN.

He moved to Muncie as a boy with his parents and remained for the balance of his long life. In school, he completed the fourth grade.

In about 1923, when he would have been 18 years of age, he married Opal L. Oard (Dec. 3, 1904-1975), a native of Straughn, IN, who had grown up in Muncie. Their union endured for 51 years.

The couple bore at least one child -- Wilfred Mearl Emenhiser -- and perhaps two others -- Norma J. Irvin and Nila R. Kite.

The family belonged to the Center Chapel United Methodist Church. In about 1944, they relocated to the community of Royerton on the outskirts of Muncie. Opal worked for a period of time at Ball Corporation. She also was a member of the Center Chapel United Methodist Church Homemakers,, the Esther Shrine and Warner Gear Sympathy Club.

For 38 years, Mearl was employed as a machinist by Warner Gear in Muncie, later known as the Transmission Systems unit of Borg-Warner Automotive. He also earned a living by farming. In his free time, he belonged to the Delaware lodge of the Masons, and Commandery Knights Templar Drill Team, Muncie York Rite and Warner Gear Sympathy Club.

Mearl and his siblings were re-united in September 1946 for the first time in 35 years when they came together to celebrate their mother's birthday. A group photo was printed in the Muncie Evening Press.

Sadly, Opal died in 1975.

Mearl lived for another 18 years as a widower. His address was 1214 West Royerton Road in Royerton.   .

Afflicted with coronary disease, he succumbed to death at the age of 88 on Nov. 19, 1993. His remains were placed into eternal repose in the Gardens of Memory near Muncie. An obituary in the Muncie Evening Press named his 10 grandchildren and said he was survived by 15 great-grandchildren.

Son Wilfred Mearl Emenhiser (1925- ? ) was born in 1925. He entered into wedlock with Rosalie Ann Krull (1927-1977). As a widower, Wilfred dwelled in Beaumont, TX in 1993.

Supposed daughter Norma J. Emenhiser wedded (?) Irvin. Her home was in St. Clair, MI.

Supposed daughter Nila R. Emenhiser was joined in marriage with (?) Kite, son of Claude and Velma Mae (Speer) Kite and stepson of Elsie "Gip" Eubank. She resided in in 1993-1997 in Cockeysville, MD, at the address of 10310 Greenside Drive.


Copyright © 2005-2008, 2019-2021 Mark A. Miner

Minerd.com extends its gratitude to Sandra (Baumer) Strickland and the late Naomi Jean (Emenhiser) Spence for sharing content for this biography.