The Other Abraham Fickeisen Children
Catherine (1850), Margaretha (1851), Carolina (1853) and Adam (1854)
These first four children of Abraham and Margaret Fickeisen form a natural grouping, because according to the 1860 U.S. Census, they were all born in New York state, while the other eight children were born elsewhere.
As my mother told it, Catherine (Kate) (1850-1936) married Charles Miller and settled at Lubeck, W.Va. "Aunt" Kate had likely left home by age 20, since the 1870 Census doesn't show her in the household. "They had two boys, Andy and another boy. Andy had no kids, never married. The second boy married, had a small farm, had boy and girl, but wasn't well."
However, the picture tells us a lot. I recognize my grandmother's writing on the picture, and she has written in the names of the children. Mother said that the tallest boy is Adam, and the shortest boy is Andy. My mother wasn't sure about the standing woman. My grandmother had written her name on the picture: Carrie Miller Wiley.
The following obituary appeared in the Marietta Times in 1936. "Mrs. Katherine Miller, 86 years old, wife of Charles Miller, died Saturday evening at her home in Lubeck. Surviving in addition to the husband are three children, Mrs. Carrie Wylie, of Columbus, O. Andrew Miller of Lubeck, and Adam, at home; two grandchildren, Farrow Wylie, of Columbus, and Nina Fay Miller of Lubeck; three sisters, Mrs. Eva Noe of Marietta, O., Mrs. Anna Biehl, Stanleyville, O., and Mrs. Caroline Schefler, of Galion, O., and three brothers, J. Fickeisen, Dan Fickeisen and Charlie Fickeisen, of Ohio. Funeral services will take place Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Carney funeral home, Eighth and Ann streets."
We learn from Margaret Fickeisen Becker's obituary that she was born in Syracuse, NY on March 16, 1851 and came with her parents to Washington County, Ohio when she was still a child. Margaret became a member of the German Lutheran Church at Sitka at age 14. She was still living with her parents when she was 19, listed in the 1870 Census as "housekeeper." She married Jacob K. Becker on January 14, 1875. The obituary states "for the past fifty years the couple has made their home on the farm where she died."
According to my mom, "Aunt Mag" was her mother Margaretha's favorite daughter. She was kicked in the head by a cow on their farm in her adult years. By the time my mother knew her, her mind had been affected, and the damage progressed as she got older.
According to Jacob K. Becker's obituary, he was born on November 15, 1848 to Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Becker. "Mr. Becker had worked in the old Cow Run oil field in his earlier life and had spent his entire life in that neighborhood. He retired from his farming activities in later years. He was a life long member of the Sitka Lutheran Church." The obituary gives the marriage date as January 8 rather than January 14. Five great-grandchildren were alive at the time of his death in 1936.
The "old home place" stood on Rt. 26, just past Sitka. Mother and I visited the cemetery at the Sitka Lutheran German Church in 1997 and my mother helped identify the tombstones. Jacob K. Becker's tombstone dates are 1849-1936. Margaret's dates on the tombstone are 1851-1925. Many other Beckers are buried in this cemetery.
Margaretha and Jacob had two boys, John Edward and Jacob Daniel, who married sisters. My mom thought they married two sisters who were Schreivers. but my grandmother clipped Mathilda E.'s obituary, which says that she was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Reuber and had several siblings (and indeed doesn't mention any children).
Carrie (1853) My search for the truth about Carolina Fickeisen has stretched out into a true genealogical journey. After many years, I have finally discovered a little bit about what happened to Carolina Fickeisen. My mother had a few stories about her, from which I inferred that she and my great grandmother, Eva Fickeisen Noe, didn't get along at all. For example, one story was that Carrie told a lie that Eva had stolen her necklace. Later on the necklace was found down in the chimney. Interestingly enough, she is not shown in the 1870 Census, so she may have left home as early as age 17. This was not much to go on.
For years, I've known about the picture to the left, marked "Carrie Fickeisen" in my grandmother's handwriting. Since the woman doesn't look at all like Carrie Noe Fickeisen (the next picture below), who married Adam Fickeisen, she must be the third Abraham Fickeisen child.
However, earlier in 2003, an old scrapbook that my grandmother, Clara Noe Sullivan had put together was found, and it included many obituaries. In three of these obituaries, mention is made of Mrs. Caroline (Carrie) Scheffler, of Galion, Ohio as one of the surviving sisters at the time of death of the Abraham and Margaret Fickeisen children or their spouses.
On Nov. 18, 2003, I drove up to Galion, Ohio. With the help of Debra Jeffers, Outreach and Genealogy Coordinator at the Galion Public Library, I was able to find Carrie's obituary, her funeral notice, and finally, her unmarked grave. However, as happens so often in genealogical research, solving one mystery throws up more puzzles.
I believe that her obituarly in the Galion Inquirer, June 30, 1942 almost certainly establishes that a Carrie Scheffler, age 90 at the time, is none other than the Caroline Fickeisen, third daughter of Abraham and Margaret Fickeisen. According to her obituary, "Two brothers, and two sisters also survive, Jacob Fickeisen, Daniel Fickeisen, Mrs. Eva Noah [my great grandmother] and Mrs. Anna Biehl, all of Marietta." This has to be Carrie Fickeisen, the lost sister.
Now for the new puzzles. The obituary makes two statements that do not fit. First, it states that she "was born in Connecticut, New York, August 10, 1851, daughter of Jacob and Sarah Fickeisen [italics mine.]" The date is right, but the given names of the parents are not. Furthermore, the obituary states that "she lived in Galion until about three and a half years ago." Well, there's no point in doing a lot of speculating here. But my hunch is that these were actually fabrications that grew out of an alienated family situation. We will need to continue this discussion when we get to a younger brother, Abraham Fickeisen, who very likely migrated from Washington County to Galion to follow his sister, Carrie.
As far as her life in Galion, the obituary tells us quite a bit. "She was united in marriage … January 19, 1882 to Adam Scheffler who preceded her in death December 16, 1932. She is survived by two sons, A. L. Scheffler, at home, and H. L. Scheffler of this city. There are four grandchildren and two great grandchildren." Another son and daughter preceded her in death.
The funeral notice [July 3 in the Galion Inquirer] is also full of interesting information. Four of the pallbearers were her two sons, Howard and A. L., and probably two grandsons, Edward and Robert. Another pallbearer was Elmer Biehl, whom I know is the son of her sister, Anna Fickeisen Biehl. The last pallbearer, Harold Boyce, is unknown to me. I also recognize two of the out of town attendees, Elmer Biehl's wife (Marie, who was German) and Mrs. Cleora Zweisler, of Toledo. This last person, Cleora, will become very important when we turn to unravelling the mystery of what happened to Carrie's younger brother, Abraham.
Upon hearing this information, my mother remembered that when she was a child of seven or eight, one day a well-dressed woman and man drove up to the very modest dwelling where mom was living in a fine horse-drawn carriage. The woman identified herself as sister, Carrie, and asked to see Eva. Mother ran upstairs to relay the message to grandma Eva, who replied "Tell her I don't want to see her." And they turned around and drove away. Later my mom remarked that perhaps Eva didn't want her sister to see the stark poverty in which they were living.
I found Carrie's unmarked grave in the Gallion, Ohio, Fairview Cemetary, section 9, lot 220. In the picture, it is marked by the very small stone on the left, which has only the number "220" on it. Her husband's grave is three spaces to the right and marked by a headstone. The dates on Adam Scheffler's stone are 1857-1932. I stood there with my head bowed, and tried to think of an appropriate prayer. Finally I said to her, "Well, Carrie, I found you in an unmarked grave after 60 years. I pray that you are at peace, and that now all is forgiven."
Adam (September 9, 1854) My mother didn't know much of Adam. The 1880 Census shows him still at the family homestead at age 26, listed as "laborer". However, an examination of the Berg Church records revealed an astonishing amount of information about him. He was born on September 9, 1854 in Syracuse, NY. After careful consideration and discussion with my mother, I am sure that Adam married a Carolina Noe, born September 13, 1863 in Fearing Twp. They married on December 28, 1882 in Fearing Twp. Moreover, this Carolina Noe was the sister of Louis (Ludwig) Noe, who married Adam's sister Eva, my great grandmother. The Berg Church Marriages 1874-1888 records that Abraham Fickeisen and Andreas Noe, fathers of the groom and bride, witnessed this marriage. Daniel Hirsh was the presiding pastor.
However, there were lots of stories about Adam's wife, "Dammie" Noe. Supposedly she got this name because her child called her this. Mom tells the story that one time Grandma Noe (Eva) made herself a nice dress out of some red material. Supposedly, Dammie made a dress out of the same material for a woman of loose character in their church, and this made Eva mad. Also, supposedly when Dammie was on her deathbed, she asked for forgivness for the things she had done to Eva. Eva is said to have said, "I forgive her, but I don't want to see her."
I also discovered that Adam and Carolina had a daughter, Ida Maria Fickeisen, born on my mother's birthday, October 5, 1883. She was baptized the day after Christmas in 1883. The witnesses were Adam's brother, John, and sister, Louisa, and, we might presume, Carolina's brother Heinrich Noe and sister Elisabetha Noe. Adam was a farmer. Mother says that Eva never spoke of him, and that he must have died early.
According to Carrie Fickeisen's obituary, which appeared in the Marietta Times in 1941, the daughter, Ida, married Philip Moellendick. Carrie had been a resident of Wood County "for nearly 60 years." That date would be a year or two before the birth of the daughter. She died at the daughter's home at Washington Bottom, WV. The obituary also indicates that at the time of her death there were three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She is buried in the Lubeck cemetery.
In October of 2003, I had occasion to visit Arthur Moellendick on the family farm near Lancaster, Ohio. Arthur is one of the last surviving members of his generation. At age 89, he is one year younger than his first cousin, my mother, Lorene Sullivan Andris. Ida Fickeisen Moellendick was the daughter of Carrie Noe Fickeisen. (For decades the family was confused about the fact that this Carrie Fickeisen by marriage is different from the Carrie Fickeisen by birth who is described immediately above Adam's information.)
It is Arthur's opinion that Carrie did not go to live with her daughter at Lubeck, WV, until after Adam's death. Currently the details of Adam's death are shrouded, and are the subject of further research. In an email from Eleanor Scott, 4th Fickeisen cousin, I was informed that Adam was buried in the Lubeck, West Virginia Cemetery along with wife Carolina Noe Fickeisen, and that the headstone dates are 1854-1909.
Extensively Revised by Jim Andris, October 8 and November 25, 2003.
Revised September 17, 2006.