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Austin 'Frederick' Van Horn


Austin "Frederick" Van Horn was born on May 14, 1864, somewhere "between Hoytville and Deshler" in Wood County, OH, the son of Eli and Mary Ann (Kimberlin) Van Horn. He may have been named for an uncle, Austin Coleman Van Horn, a veteran of the Civil War.

On March 10, 1889, at the age of 25, Fred entered into the bonds of holy matrimony with 21-year-old Amanda Emma "Amy" Sherman (1868-1939), the daughter of Simon and Rebecca Sherman, also residents of Wood County. 

The Van Horns became the parents of three daughters Rose A. Hartman, Maggie Case Ester Hindley and Lucretia S. "Lulu" Ewers.


Findlay's Main Street, looking southward from the county courthouse



Obituary, 1941

In about 1904, the Van Horns moved to Findlay, Hancock County, OH, where they resided for the remaining 35 years of their married lives. Said a newspaper article, Fred was "an employee of the City of Findlay department of streets." 

When the federal census was taken in 1920, the 54-year-old Frederick and 51-year-old Emma dwelled in Findlay, on North Blanchard Street. Frederick was employed as a section hand on the railroad. That year, 14-year-old granddaughter Bernadette Case lived under their roof. 

Emma suffered a stroke of paralysis in about 1937. Two years later, on Sept. 23, 1939, she passed away at home, at age 71. At the time, she had 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, said the Lima News. She was laid to rest in Maple Grove Cemetery in Lima.

In late March 1941, at the age of 76, Frederick endured a stroke, which left him badly paralyzed. Also plagued with senility, he died two weeks later, on April 10, 1941. 

At the time of death, a newspaper said, Frederick had 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.


~ Daughter Rosa "Rosie" (Van Horn) Hartman ~

Daughter Rosa "Rosie" Van Horn (1886-1970) was born in October 1886.

At the age of 15, on March 30, 1901, Rosie married Orlando "Peter" Hartman (1879-1962).

They had five known children -- Ervin Hartman, Jay Hartman, Mabel Grismore, Arthur Hartman and Cecil Hartman, and possibly a sixth, Ellie Mae Hartman.

They settled in Bluffton in Orange Township, Allen County, OH, where they are enumerated on the censuses of 1910, 1920 and 1930. Over the years, they were members of the Trinity United Methodist Church. 

Peter died on June 28, 1962, at the age of 82, at their residence in Orange Township.

Rosie survived him by eight years, and also outlived three sons. She passed away in Bluffton Community Hospital at the age of 82 in May 1970. They are buried together in Clymer Cemetery in Hancock County. The Findlay Republican Courier noted that she was survived by 13 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. [link]

Son Ervin Hartman (1901-1957) was born on Aug. 8, 1900 (or 1901) in Wood County. He was a farmer and lived in Hancock County. At the age of 23, on Feb. 4, 1925, he married 19-year-old Kathryn R. Buchanan ( ? -1956), of North Baltimore, Wood County, the daughter of Curtis and Ada (Copus) Buchanan. They had seven children -- Ruth Parlett, Esther Kaple, Eileen Hurlburt, Helen Skelly, Donna Finley, Curtis Hartman and Lynn Hartman. They were members of the Mount Cory Evangelical United Brethren Church. Ervin worked for Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton in Lima. Kathryn passed away in 1956. Tragedy rocked the family on Dec. 9, 1957, when Ervin was killed when "his auto collided with a truck-trailer," reported the Findlay (OH) Republican Courier. He was survived by 14 grandchildren. His remains were laid to rest in the Clymer Cemetery.

Son Arthur Hartman (1904- ? ) was born in about 1904. He resided in Detroit in 1951. 

Son Jay W. Hartman (1905-1951) was born on April 17, 1905 in Hancock County. He never married and was a longtime farmer in Orange Township near Bluffton. He died of bronchial pneumonia at the age of 46 on June 18, 1951, and was laid to rest in the Clymer Cemetery in Hancock County.

Daughter Mabel Hartman (1906-1995) was born on May 27, 1906. She wed Henry L. Grismore (1906-1979) on Sept. 25, 1925, when she was age 19. He was the son of John and Lena (Lehman) Grismore. They lived in Jenera, Hancock County, where they were farmers and hay dealers. They had three daughters -- Trave Fenstermaker, Dorothy VanDerVeer and Geneva Lauwers. Said the Findlay Courier, she "was a homemaker and also worked at the Triplett Corp., Bluffton. She was a member of the Riley Green Baptist Church, Bluffton, and its Ladies' Mission Group." Henry died on July 14, 1979, at the age of 73. Mabel survived him by 16 years. She passed away at the age of 89 on July 23, 1995. Among her surviving offspring were 18 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. They are buried at Clymer Cemetery.

Son Cecil Hartman (1911- ? ) was born in about 1911. He made his home circa 1951 in Bluffton.


~ Daughter Maggie "Madge" (Van Horn) Case Ester Hindley ~

Daughter Maggie O. "Madge" Van Horn (1889- ? ) was born on Aug. 8 or 14, 1889.

She was thrice married. 

At the age of 16, Madge wed her first husband, 26-year-old farmer William Case (1877- ? ), the son of Asher and Cordelia (Merrit) Case, on Christmas Eve 1903. At the time, both resided in Hoytsville, Wood County. She was 10 years younger than her husband, and her father had to appear in open court to give his consent to the union, which was solemnized by a justice of the peace.

Theybore one known daughter, Bernadette Case. 

Her second spouse was John Ester (1883- ? ), the son of Daniel and Hattie (Cammell) Ester, and a resident of Findlay, Hancock County. He was a teamster, and had been married once before. They were wed on July 24, 1909, by justice of the peace J.C. Bitler of Hancock County. The following year, when the census was taken, the couple lived in Findlay. 

They are believed to have produced a daughter, Helen Ester. (Born in 1917, she may have later taken the surname of her step-father, Hindley.) 

By 1920, the Esters had separated, and Madge supported herself by laboring as a cigar maker in a local factory. 

During the 1920s, Madge married her third husband, Harold W. Hindley (May 4, 1896-1966). He was six years younger than his bride and was divorced from his first wife. In 1920, prior to his marriage with Madge, Harold roomed in the household of William R. Adams in Findlay, Hancock County, working as a railroad conductor.

Madge and Harold resided in 1930 in the Port Lawrence section of Toledo, Lucas County, OH, on Ontario Street. That year, Harold's occupation was as a railroad switchman.

The couple remained in Toledo during the decade of the 1930s. The federal census of 1940 shows that Harold was now a railroad brakeman.

Sadly, Harold succumbed to death at the age of 70 on Nov. 21, 1966.

Madge was alive in 1970 and that year lived in Toledo, using the surname "Hindley." She passed away on Feb. 5, 1977. Burial was beside her spouse Harold in Findlay's Maple Grove Cemetery.

Daughter Bernadette Case (1906- ? ) was born in 1906.

Daughter Helen Ester Hindley (1917- ? ) was born in about 1917. 


~ Daughter Lucretia "Lulu" (Van Horn) Ewers ~

Daughter Lucretia S. "Lulu" Van Horn (1891-1941) was born on Nov. 5 (or Dec. 5), 1891. 

Lulu wed Ernest C. Ewers (1889- ? ) on July 5, 1908, when Lulu was age 17 and Ernest 19. He was the son of Clinton and Sarah (Blaine) Ewers, and was a cook, living in Findlay. Rev. F.H. McAfee, pastor of the First Church of God, officiated.

They together produced a family of eight known children -- Janneatte Ewers, Frankie Ewers, Albert Ewers, Ruth Ewers, Robert Ewers, Ernest Ewers Jr., Lula Mae Ewers, Marjorie Eweres, Erma Ewers and another who died in infancy prior to 1910.

When the federal census was taken in 1910, the Ewerses made their home at 328 George Street in Findlay, with Ernest working as a laborer in a local clay pottery. In 1911, they dwelled at 124 Jefferson, and in 1916, their home was at 212-216 North Blanchard Street.

In 1920, they lived at 120 Jefferson Street in Findlay. Ernest was employed as a waiter in a local restaurant. 

The specter of infant death rocked the family seven times over the span of 13 years. Their first baby died unnamed after a premature birth on Feb. 21, 1910. Then, on Dec. 23, 1911, son Frankie was born as a blue baby, only to die within the hour of "cynosis," while in a coma. On April 30, 1916, Lulu delivered a stillborn son, Albert Ewers. After a premature birth at the seventh month, Lulu delivered a stillborn baby girl, Ruth Ewers, on Feb. 8, 1918. Again, on April 21, 1920, Lulu delivered baby Robert Ewers prematurely at the sixth month, and he died that day.

Continuing the toll, son Austin Frederick Ewers, named after his maternal grandfather, died after a premature birth at 7 months, on Oct. 2, 1921. And on Aug. 4, 1923, Lulu gave birth prematurely once more, at six months, to a son, Ernest Ewers Jr., who died the same day. The tender remains of all seven angels are at eternal rest in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Findlay.

The federal census of 1940 shows the family in Findlay, with Ernest employed as a carpenter by the Works Progress Administration. The WPA was one of the ways President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the federal government tried to overcome unemployment and is widely considered one of the Roosevelt's largest and most ambitious undertakings of his "New Deal" to get the nation back on sound economic footing. Over the years, the WPA hired millions of out-of-work individuals to build public works projects, such as roads, bridges, retaining walls and buildings.

Living under the Ewers' roof in 1940 were daughters Lula Mae (age 15), Marjorie (13) and Erma (11).

By March 1941, at the death of Lulu's father, they lived in Findlay at 1414 Bank Street. Deeply depressed later that summer by her life's circumstances -- the death of her father, the deaths of so many babies, and perhaps other issues -- the 49-year-old Lulu was desperate to be relieved of her pain. She ingested 70 grams of Phenobarbital on May 16, and died four days later of the overdose. She was buried in Maple Grove Cemetery.

Daughter Janneatte Ewers (1910- ? ) was born in 1910.

Daughter Lula Mae Ewers (1925- ? ) was born in about 1925. As a teen she resided with her parents in Findlay, Hancock County.

Daughter Marjorie Ewers (1927- ? ) was born in about 1927.

Daughter Erma Ewers (1929- ? ) was born in about 1929.


Copyright 2003, 2006, 2012, 2021 Mark A. Miner