George S. Keller 1827-1901

George S. Keller

George S. Keller was born in Aargau, Switzerland on 9 Nov. 1827. He came to the Shelby Settlement (Bethlehem) in May of 1854 via the port of New Orleans on the ship Henry Pratt. It is thought he had friends or family in Ohio, because he traveled directly to the area from the port of entry.

He married Catharine Kurtzman in 1856 at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church.

George declared his intent to become an American citizen on 3 Jun 1858. The 1860 census listed his occupation as a shoemaker, but by the 1870 census, he was listed as a farmer. Family members have passed down an interesting note – George had a blue eye and a brown eye.

George farmed 80 acres and built a home from lumber cut fron the land in the late 1800s which is still standing on 3437 Hinesville Rd. in Sharon Township.

Catharine Kurtzman

Catharine Kurtzman was born on 5 Jan 1819 and came to America from France when she was just four years old. She was the secretary of Sacred Heart Church when George met her. A stained glass window in the church is dedicated to Catharine Kurtzman, although it is not known whether the window was purchased as a donation or given in appreciation for her work at the church.

George died 25 Feb 1901 at the age of 73 and Catharine died 22 May 1904 at the age of 85. Both are buried in the Sacred Heart Cemetery, Bethlehem. George’s headstone reads George F. Keller.

George and Catharine raised three children – Mary, Martin, and Peter Paul.

Mary Keller and Martin Keller married spouses who were first cousins. Mary married Fredolin Buchholz and Martin married Catharine Buchholz Landers, a widow with two girls. Mary and Fredolin had one son, Joseph. Mary died from complications from diabetes when she was 22.

Martin Keller married Catharine Buchholz Landers in 1901. A widow, Catharine had two daughters, Elizabeth and Sophia, from her marriage to John Landers. Mary Catharine Regina, Emma, George and Paul Peter were all born to this couple.

The family lived with George S. Keller until Martin built a home about 1912 at what is now 3846 Brannon Road from timber cut from the property. At one point, there were three Catharine Kellers living in the Hinesville home; mother Catharine Kurtzman Keller, daughter-in-law Catharine Buchholz Keller and granddaughter Catharine Regina Keller. Both Keller homesteads are still in excellent condition and well-cared for.

Martin and Catharine Keller also farmed an 80-acre homestead and evidently were successful in the venture. An inventory and appraisement listing at Catharine’s death listed 125 chickens, 29 hogs, and 10 cows, along with crops of corn, hay, wheat, oats, and soybeans.

Peter Keller went blind from complications of diabetes at the age of 26. He was engaged at the time, but never married. He lived the rest of his life with his brother, Martin. He still lived a very productive life, despite the lack of vision. Niece Catharine Regina Keller Yetzer told stories about Uncle Pete milking cows and building a shed after he became blind. He loved his nieces and nephews and built them a playhouse, complete with a window and door. At Christmastime, they got gifts to go in the playhouse. Catharine and her sisters, Mary and Emma, spent many hours playing there, she said.

Submitted by John and Doris Yetzer and Christina Yetzer Drain.

Jacob Fletcher

Jacob Fletcher was born in Bedford County, PA. ca. 1809. His parents, Baltzer & Mary Means/Fletcher moved to PA from the Frederick Co., MD area. They were listed as living in Cumberland Valley Twp., Bedford County, PA, during the census years 1830-1850.

Jacob first married Elizabeth Robison, daughter of Thomas & Sarah Conrad/Robison. This marriage was of very short duration and there are no known children.

Jacob then married Hannah McFerren, daughter of William & Barbara (Weirich,Weyrich,Wirick) /McFerren, in about 1832, in Bedford County, PA. Barbara is a daughter of Valentine & Catherine Ann unknown / Weirich, Weyrich,Wirick.

Laverne Ingram Piatt notes: Any woman descending through Hannah McFerren Fletcher would be eligible to join the DAR on an existing line due to the descendency from Valentine Weirich,Weyrich,Wirick, who is in the DAR patriot index.

By 1852, Jacob and Hannah were raising a family of at least 9 children, 8 sons and 1 daughter:

David Fletcher b: April 28, 1833 in Bedford Co., Penn.
William Fletcher b: December 25, 1834 in Bedford Co., Penn.
Charles Baltzer Fletcher b: October 30, 1836 in Bedford Co., Penn.
Rebecca Fletcher b: March 11, 1839 in Bedford Co., Penn.
John Fletcher b: May 13, 1841 in Bedford Co., Penn.
Samuel Fletcher b: July 19, 1843 in Bedford Co., Penn.
Henry Fletcher b: June 15, 1845 in Bedford Co., Penn.
Franklin Fletcher b: Abt. 1847 in Bedford Co., Penn.
Hiram Fletcher b: Abt. 1851 in Bedford Co., Penn.

In about 1853-54, they sold their property in PA and moved to Sharon Twp., Richland County, Ohio. Jacob and family are listed as living in Sharon Twp., Richland County, Ohio in the 1860-1880 census years. During the period of 1856 to the start of the Civil War, Jacob and the younger sons were area farmers.
David was listed in the 1860 census as a carpenter and living at home on the family farm.

The start of the Civil War changed this family dramatically.  Sons: David, John, Samuel, William, and Henry, all enlisted in the Union cause.

David enlisted in Co. I., 15th Regt., Ohio Vol. Inf.
John joined Co. B., 121st Regt., Ohio Vol. Inf.
Samuel enlisted as a pvt. in Co. D., 15th Regt., Ohio Vol. Inf.
William joined Co. H., 64th Regt., Ohio Vol. Inf.
Henry served as a pvt. in 84th Ohio Vol. Inf. for 3 months, then
reenlisted in Co. I. 15th Ohio Vol. Inf and served until the end of the war.

A 6th son enlisted on the confederate side. (Not yet determined, but probably Charles Baltzer)

William got sick at Chattanooga, Tenn, was discharged to return home, where he died after only two days.

Samuel enlisted, April 17, 1861 in Shelby, just slightly before his 18th birthday. His first enlistment lasted 3 months, and he was discharged at Camp Chase, Ohio after spending his 3 months primarily in W.VA. and Maryland. He reenlisted and was sent to Camp Dennison, Ohio. During the following years, Samuel saw action in the battles at: Shiloh, Chattanooga, Liberty Gap, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, Peachtree Creek, and the siege of Atlanta. Samuel was discharged at Chattanooga, Tenn,
Sept. 17, 1864, after 3 yrs., 4 mos., and 21 days of active service.

Henry enlisted as a pvt. in the 84th Regt. Ohio Vols., and served 3 months. He returned home for about a year and then reenlisted in Co. I., 15th Ohio Vol. Inf. He was in the battles of: Chattanoga, Mission Ridge, and Nashvile. He was discharged at the end of the war, at San Antonio, Texas.
After their service, four sons returned to Sharon Twp. to start their families.

David Fletcher married Nancy Hawk (born about 1845) on October 01, 1868.

On November 22, 1866, Samuel Fletcher married Catherine E. Laser
(born May 05, 1843) daughter of Samuel & Catherine Henry/Laser.

Henry Fletcher married Elizabeth S. Hershiser (born June 02, 1846) on
September 03, 1868.

Charles Baltzer Fletcher appears to have been married c. 1862. He married Margaret ?
and their first child Louisa was born December, 1862. Their other child Katherine “Katie”
was born c. 1868. Both children were born in Ohio. In 1870 Charles Fletcher and family
were living in St. Louis, Mo. and Charles was 2nd mate on a steam boat.

Submitted by Tom Clabaugh

David Crall

David Crall was born in Dauphin County, PA in Nov. 25, 1821. David was a son of
Henry (born abt 1779) and Elizabeth Henshaw / Crall. David was the youngest of
six children:

Simon
John
Elizabeth
Susannah
Henry II
David

David worked on the family farm until he was about 22 years of age. In 1844,
David and his oldest brother Simon, came to Ohio on horseback and purchased
about 230 acres of land in Sharon Township, Section 19. He returned to PA and
stayed for about a year before returning in 1845, to “improve” his land. On
April 12, 1846, in Richland County, David married Mariah “Mary” Stentz
(or Stein) born March, 1825. David and Mary had nine children:

Elizabeth
John
Sophronia
William Rhinehart
Susan
Mary Sophia
Emily Alice
Henry Nelson
Anna Eliza

David and Mary also owned land in Section 24, Sharon Twp. Their land was a large
part of that which became the center of Junction City (and later Vernon Junction), founded in 1872.

Submitted by Iris Crall.