Anthony Gaumer was born on Oct. 11, 1831 in Salem Township, Muskingum County, the son of Daniel and Hannah (Baughman) Gaumer Sr. He was a casualty of the Civil War.
On Oct. 12, 1852, the 21-year-old Anthony was joined in marriage with 18-year-old Catherine M. Titus (Jan. 21, 1834-1870), daughter of Samuel and Mary (Helm) Titus of near Adamsville, Muskingum County. Rev. A. Magee officiated at the ceremony.
The couple produced a family of five children -- Francis H. Gaumer, Henry W.D. Gaumer, Flora J. Helm, Mary Josephine Gaumer, Horace G. Gaumer and Lillie May Helm. Anthony kept a family Bible in which he recorded their names and birthdates.
Sadly, their firstborn son Francis died at age two months and was interred in New Hope Lutheran Church Cemetery in Adamsville.
Early in their marriage, circa 1855, they relocated to Paris, Edgar County, IL, where their son Henry was born.
The move must have been unsatisfying, because by 1857, they had relocated back to Muskingum County, where their daughter Flora was born.
In 1860, federal census records show that their home was in Williamsburg, Beaver Township, Noble County, OH, with Anthony earning a living as a farm hand.
Two months after the breakout of the Civil War, Anthony joined the Union Army at Camp Chase, OH on June 28, 1861. He was assigned to the 26th Ohio Infantry, Company F, part of Sheridan's Division. He rose to the rank of sergeant. Sadly, while on duty at Chattanooga, TN, he began to suffer from chronic diarrhea and was admitted to an army hospital. He died in Chattanooga on Jan. 24, 1863, at the age of 32. His remains were interred in what today is the Chattanooga National Cemetery.
In an interesting twist, the Chattanooga cemetery also is the final resting place for eight Union soldiers, led by James Andrews, who stole the rebel train The General, made famous in the 1956 Disney film The Great Locomotive Chase, starring Fess Parker. Their objective was to burn a series of railroad bridges between Chattanooga and Atlanta, but they only accomplished a portion of the mission, were captured and hanged as spies.
Now widowed, Catherine applied for and began receiving a military pension as compensation for her loss. [Widow App. #53.510 - Cert. #35.521].
On Oct. 26, 1865, at Zanesville, Catherine married again to 43-year-old New Jersey native George Valentine (1822- ? ) by the hand of R.H. Sedwick. Not long afterward, they moved to Brush Creek, Wayne County, IL.
Then in 1867, having surrendered her pension upon her remarriage, Catherine M. Valentine arranged for the children to begin receiving the pension payments [Minor App. #140.769 - Cert. #106.565], with her as their guardian. The monthly payment totaled $8.00 which apparently was to be divided equally for their care.
Sadly, evidence suggests that Catherine died on March 11, 1870, at the age of 36, with burial in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Orchardville, Wayne County.
The Brush Creek federal census record for 1870 shows George heading a household with his four Gaumer step-children, but without a wife present in the household.
Anthony is named in J. Hope Sutor's 1905 book Past and Present of the City of Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio -- simply stating that he "died in the army."
~ Son Henry W.D. Gaumer ~
Son Henry W.D. Gaumer (1855- ? ) was born on Nov. 15, 1855 in Paris, Edgar County, IL. Dr. H.W. Davis attended the mother at the birth. Judging from the combination of names and initials, Henry could well have been named for Dr. Davis.
Henry relocated back to Ohio as a young boy and thence came with his mother and stepfather to Brush Creek, Wayne County, IL in the later 1860s.
In 1870, at the age of 14, he labored with his stepfather as a farm hand. He has yet to be found in the 1880 census.
~ Daughter Florence J. "Flora" (Gaumer) Helm ~
Daughter Florence J. "Flora" Gaumer (1857- ? ) was born on May 18, 1857 in Adamsville, Muskingum County, OH. Dr. Leroy S. Lenhart assisted with the birth.
She migrated to Illinois with her mother and stepfather. She is shown as a 13-year-old schoolgirl of Brush Creek, Wayne County, IL in the 1870 federal census.
Evidence suggests that she was twice married.
Her first spouse is not yet identified. They produced a daughter Velva "Josephine" Meadows.
Her second nuptials were held in 1883, at the age of 26, she was united in wedlock with 19-year-old James "Elijah" Helms (Feb. 1, 1863-1931). He was the son of Uriah and Margaret (Stoops) Helm of Wayne County.
The couple bore three sons, all of whom died young.
The 1900 United States Census shows the family living on a farm in Hickory Hill, Wayne County, IL.
By 1910, they had relocated to Farrington, Jefferson County, IL. That year, Elijah earned a living as a farm laborer, and they rented their house. Residing in the household that year were Flora's daughter Josephine Meadows and her children Leona and William.
Sadly, Flora passed away sometime during the 1910s. Details will be added once learned.
Elijah joined the Baptist church denomination as a young man but later switched his membership to the Pentecostal Church. Said the Murphysboro (IL) Daily Independent, "Mr. Helms had been a resident of this place for many years and was a highly respected citizen. Although blind for a number of years he was always willing to lend a helping hand and be of service to those around him."
When the federeal census enumeration again was made in 1920, the widowed Elijah and stepdaughter and her children were together on a farm in Oakley Township, Macon County, IL.
Moving again, during the 1920s, Elijah relocated to Alto Pass, Union County, IL. He lived under the roof of his married granddaughter Leona Brewer and her husband Joseph in 1930.
Elijah's final years were spent in Alto Pass, and he succumbed to death there on Dec. 19, 1931, at the age of 68. Said the Daily Independent, "He will be sadly missed in the community where he has lived so long." Survivors also included a brother, step-brother, half brother and step-sister.
Daughter Velva "Josephine" Helm (?) (1880- ? ) was born in Oct. 1880 in Illinois. In about 1904, she married Walter Meadows ( ? - ? ). The couple were the parents of Leona D. Meadows, William "Jesse" Meadows, Lora Bryant and Lulu Meadows. Josephine gave birth to their daughter Lora in Decatur, Macon County, IL in April 1910 but within a few months had taken the children back in her parents' farm home in Farrington, Jefferson County, IL. After her mother's death during the 1910s, Josephine and the children remained under the roof of the stepfather. When the census-taker made his lists in 1920, he spelled the family name "Meador."
~ Daughter Mary Josephine Gaumer ~
Daughter Mary Josephine Gaumer (1858- ? ) was born on Sept. 26, 1858 in Williamsburg, Beaver Township, Noble County, OH. At the birth, Dr. James M. Joseph was in attendance.
She and her mother and stepfather migrated to Illinois and is counted as a schoolgirl in the 1870 census of Brush Creek, Wayne County, IL.
~ Daughter Lillie May (Gaumer) Helm ~
Daughter Lillie May Gaumer (1861-1915) was born on June 1, 1861, possibly in Guernsey County, OH.
As a young girl, she relocated from Ohio to Illinois with her mother and stepfather. Circa 1870, her mother having died, she dwelled with her siblings and stepfather on a farm in Brush Creek, Wayne County, IL.
In about 1886, when she was age 27, Lillie was joined in marriage with Sherman W. "Sherm" Helm (Feb. 7, 1864-1946), also spelled "Helms," a native of Wayne County.
The five known children born to this union were Gertrude C. Helm, Maggie E. Becker, Charles E. Helm, William E. Helm and Violet Helm.
When the United States Census enumeration was made in 1900, the couple dwelled on a farm in Hickory Hill, Wayne County.
By 1910, they had migrated to Farrington, Jefferson County, IL.
She died in Illinois in 1915. Her remains were lowered into repose in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Orchardville, Wayne County. [Find-a-Grave]
Sherman survived her by more than three decades. After a year of grieving, the 50-year-old was united in matrimony on Nov. 16, 1916 to 46-year-old Josephine Brewer, also of Orchardville. The news was printed in the Decatur (IL) Herald, which noted that "The bridegroom is a farmer and he and his bride have each been married before."
Josephine brought two children to the union, Charles Brewer and George Brewer.
The 1920 federal census shows a combined family residing on a farm in Argenta, Friends Creek Township near Decatur, Macon County, IL. They remained in Argenta throughout the 1920s and into 1930. Circa 1930, they raised a teenage niece, Katharine McDaniel.
Sherman was a member of the Decatur Eagles and the Needmore Baptist Church in Decatur.
While a patient in the Macon County Hospital, at the age of 82, Sherman was carried away by the Angel of Death in 1946. Funeral services were held in the Needmore church, and interment was in Pleasant Hill Cemetery. An obituary in the Centralia Evening Sentinel noted that he was a "Decatur farmer who had many friends and relatives here." It also named his married daughters as Mrs. Avery Strunks of Zeigler, IL and Mrs. Gene Wisenberger of Peoria. But who was whom?
Daughter Gertrude C. Helm (1888- ? ) was born in Feb. 1888. Did she marry (?) Garrison and produce a son, Roy Garrison, born in 1907?
Daughter Maggie E. Helm (1889- ? ) was born in June 1889. Circa 1909, she was united in marriage with (?) Becker ( ? - ? ). When the census was taken in 1910, Maggie resided with her parents but was marked as "married" and having one child.
Son Charles E. Helm (1891- ? ) was born in Sept. 1891.
Son William E. Helm (1893- ? ) was born in March 1893. At the age of 27, in 1920, he was single and lived with his father and stepmother in Argenta, Friends Creek Township, Macon County, IL, providing labor on the family farm. He made a home in Centralia, IL circa 1946.
Daughter Violet Helm ( ? - ? )
Stepson George Brewer (1900- ? ) was born in 1900. He grew up as a farm laborer.
Stepson Charles Brewer (1903- ? ) was born in 1903. He grew to manhood as a farm worker. He learned the trade of barbering and in 1946 cut hair in Salem, IL.
~ More ~
We are grateful for records provided by Gilbert R. Gaumer, Paul K. Gaumer, Mary L. Shirer and the National Archives in the preparation of this biography.