Eva Fickeisen Noe (March 4, 1857) was my great grandmother. The picture to the left was taken around 1946. This is how I remember her. She lived with us until she died in 1951. My mother has showed me the birth record that notes "Eva Fickeisen, Tochter. Ehegatten: Abraham Fickeisen, Margretha Müller. Tauf-zeugen: Karl Reinheimer, Christine Bach (Glorifina)." The 1860 Census doesn't show her in the family home. This could have been a mistake, or possibly she was being cared for by someone else when the census was taken. The 1870 Census shows her in school and 13 years old. My mother has her confirmation certificate, dated April 14, 1872, Liberty Twp., P.F. Weigand, Pastor. She's still listed in the family home at age 23 in 1880.
My mother was looking over the Berg Church records with me and when we came to the entry of Jacob Biehl, she told me a fascinating story. The entry says "Jacob Biehl, son of Ludwig Biehl and Katharina Schultheiss, born February 22, 1857, Fearing Twp., died December 25, 1880, a few minutes after 8:00 pm, buried December 28, 1880, at 11 am., age 23 yr 10 mo 25 da. Peace and rest to him bought after a short but hard death." My mom said that great grandmother Eva was dating him, and that grandma had said "I loved him and he loved me, but his folks thought the Fickeisens were not high class enough." They had a little code they used to signal that they were to meet in their secret meeting place. On one date they had it began to rain. He caught pneumonia and became gravely ill. He called for grandma on his death bed, but they didn't call her. She found out that he was dead after it happened. She pined for a year, then realized that she had to go on.
According to my mom, Louis Noe (probably Ludwig) had a wagon, a cookstove, a bedstead, a table and two or three chairs. Later they bought a rocker. Father Andrew Noe bought grandma a nice sewing machine for $25 as a gift. At some time in the past, Arthur Moellendick had the chest, towels, pots and pans. The log cabin that they lived in in Wood County, WV had a ladder for stairs, no floor. Grandma told him to build the floor and add rooms. The log cabin was not even sealed. They had to chink up the logs before the winter. They papered one room with wallpaper, the other rooms with newspaper. They put in a grape arbor the next summer, got chickens, cow and horses. Mom says he was so mean she had to hitch the horses.
Ludwig Noe married Eve Fickeisen on Nov. 21, 1882. Their first children were twin girls. Nella Ella and Ella Nella Noe were born on Aug. 22, 1883 (Baptisms 1883 on the Hill Lowell) and baptized on Oct. 28, 1883. The witnesses were Luisa Fickeisen, Heinrich Noe, Margaretha wife of Jacob Becker, and Heinrich Biehl. Daniel Hirsch was Pastor. Earlier, when I was trying to find out when Ludwig and Eve were married, it looked as though the twins were born out of wedlock. I gently suggested this to my mother, and she told me this story: "People tried to say that Ella was born out of wedlock. But I just went and got the marriage certificate, which mom [my grandmother] had with her jewelry. I gave it to Aunt Ella, and she said 'That makes me feel good, Lorene.'" According to my mother, it was Carolina "Dammie" Noe Fickeisen who tried to spread this and other vicious rumors about Eve. When Dammie was on her death bed, she asked for Eve's forgiveness through Ella. Eve said she forgave her, but she didn't want anything to do with her "after the terrible things she did to me."
The other twin, Nella, died young at 4 of spinal meningitis. Then they had Clara Ida Noe, my grandmother, who was born June 20, 1890. They were farmers in Hopewell in Wood Co. real close to Clay Co. Life with Ludwig was not easy. He'd eat his breakfast and lunch and lie down on the floor. Supposedly, he fixed the stoves so the smoke would go down into the rooms. He would throw whatever he had at hand. She had a loom and would make her own clothes. He wouldn't give her money. She made butter early in the morning and wrapped it in grape leaves. She took it to the market Saturday morning and didn't tell him about the money. Ludwig died in 1904 of a heart attack or stroke.
When she came back from W.Va., She was 47. She took their earnings from the Hopewell farm and moved back to the 40 + 75 acres; got $1200 for whole thing. Grandmother was 14, Ella was 22. She and Uncle Charlie (Fickeisen) had assumed the ownership of the old homestead, the rest of the children signed wavers. Eva and Clara lived on the old home place until they came to town when Clara was 19 (1909) and got jobs. Clara worked at the Cigar factory. Eva worked for Pape's grocery store on Greene St. and was a combination housemade, nanny and store clerk.
Eva let Charlie pay the taxes on the homestead property after the oil royalty ran out. Charlie charged her for things he hadn't done. Charlie came along with a deal that Doc Johnson would buy the place for a retirement retreat. Eva deeded him the 75 acres. But she kept the 40 acres. Mom says Uncle Charlie was a crook. He told Eva that she still owed him and Maggie a couple of hundred. He put his and Maggie's name on the deed to the 40 acres. Eva couldn't read and finally when her granddaughter, Lorene, started to work for N.E. Kidd's law office, she figured out that Eva had signed this deed admitting the other owners.
The Washington County Recorder of Deeds Office records show that on June 25, 1934 such an event as described above did occur. Apparently, however, the property of Abraham Fickeisen was owned jointly by Eva Noe, Charles E. and Rosena Fickeisen, and all the hiers of Margaret Becker: J.K. Becker, widower, J.E. Becker, Elmer Becker, Oma Becker, and Wanda and Clifton Hill, husband and wife. It was sold for "$1 and other valuable considerations." Clara Sullivan witnessed for Eva Noe. Other witnesses were F. Scott Shiltz (for J.E. and J.K. Becker), Laura Becker, and Ernest E. Erb.
In 1925, the 40 acres went to joint ownership by Harmon Fickeisen, who was the son of Charlie Fickeisen, Wanda Hill, who was related through grandma's sister, Margaret Fickeisen Becker, and Eva Noe, my great grandmother. Charlie's son Harmon and Wanda, a granddaughter of Kate, never would pay the taxes. Lorene (my mother) paid the taxes for 20 years. Lorene and her husband, Fernand, decided to sell the property. She sold the coal rights for $12000, a strip 3 feet wide and 9 feet deep full length of 40 acres. She sold the whole property for $12000. This was split three ways with Harmon and Wanda ($8000) They never said thank you. She could have showed that she paid the taxes, but didn't. She said, "I'm not going to be greedy. There's been so much thieving and cheating since 1872, that I'm going to put an end to it right now." She felt that she had the sanction of the lord to do it. "The only one who came and thank me was Clifton Hill (Wanda's husband), and he was only an inlaw. He stepped back and said 'that was awful nice of you to do that for us, we needed the money.'" Lorene said "That's alright." Clifton said, "You know you could have just took the money." She said, "I know." Then he shook her hand.
Doc Johnson had bought the original 75 acres in 1934 and built a house on it. Jeff Smith, the son of my sister, Vicki Andris Smith, recently bought 10 acres of land which is less than a mile away from the original homestead, and lives there with his wife, Gee. About 1953, the 40 acres passed out of our immediate family.
To the right is this wonderful picture of several of my relatives. Back row: Henry (Heinrich) Biehl, my great grandmother, Eva Fickeisen Noe, her sister, Anna Fickeisen Biehl (wife of Henry), Jacob Fickeisen and his wife, Mary Noe Fickeisen. Front row: my maternal grandmother, Clara Noe, and her friends. Blanche Oliver Biehl married Anna's son, Irving.
Created by Jim Andris, March 19, 2000.