Tag Archives: Mt. Vernon

Another Blow To Young Paul Kaser

Two final blows came to the young Paul Kaser as he made the abrupt transition from carefree youth to independent adult.

Irene Kaser and Paul Kaser

Irene Kaser and Paul Kaser late 1920s

September 1926,If you have read the two previous stories about a letter and a life-shifting death in the family, you know that at 17, Paul left Millersburg Ohio to start college in Washington D.C.

October-November 1926. But shortly after school started, he was called home because his mother died. His father decreed that he could not go back to school.

April 1927. Therefore at 18 he was home, when his younger brother, Milton Kaser, got pneumonia and ultimately died. Not only was this a blow because he loved his younger brother, but now he had to live alone with his father. But that was not to last long.

Marriage License-Cliff Kaser

Cliff Kaser’s 2nd Marriage. To Mildred Dailey

December 1927.  Cliff Kaser, Paul’s father, married Mildred Jameson Dailey in Millersburg and they set off on a trip to Florida. I did not know her name until I found this marriage license.

The way my father told it, the woman his father married just wanted to go to Florida, so she married Cliff on the promise that he would take her there. Within a week, Cliff was back in Millersburg–without Mildred.

I have not dug deeply enough to find a divorce record, but their is a mystery hiding in this story.  I know from the records that Mildred continued to call herself Mildred Daily on census reports, and all official papers.  And when Clifford Kaser died, the death record listed Mame Kaser as his wife, and he shares a burial plot with his first wife, also. They both apparently wanted to forget that day in December 1927 when they were officially married.

That is the problem with family stories. You only hear one side.  And the essence of a story is that there must be a conflict between a “bad guy” and a “good guy.”  Now, maybe my Dad’s recollection is true and Mildred just wanted to get out of town. Maybe unemotional and strictly religious Cliff didn’t turn out to be the man of her dreams and she bailed.  But maybe Cliff deserted Mildred down there in Florida in a fit of pique.

Maybe they were just two lonely widowers looking for company when they married.  Cliff’s wife had died a few months earlier and Mildred’s husband had died at the end of 1925.  Find a grave says that the cause of his death was “alcoholism.”  If that is true, it could lead to all kinds of twists to the story.  But I don’t know.

All I have to go on are my father’s admittedly biased report, and some official documents.

At any rate–his father’s marriage and the brief trip to Florida disrupted my father’s life once more. At 19 he was thrown on his own, expected to find a way to make a living.

End of 1929-January 1930. Toward the end of 1929, back in Millersburg, and once again working on building duct work for furnaces, Clifford Kaser began to feel bad.  He had a hernia and went to the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Mt. Vernon Ohio for treatment and surgery.  His death certificate graphically describes the cause and contributing factors in his death. Too graphically, for me to add here.  As my father said, he died of complications from an operation that today would be totally routine.  (Ironically, my father also died of complications of an operation).

Death Certificate - Cliff Kaser

Cliff Kaser Death Certificate

January 13, 1930. Paul Kaser officially becomes an orphan when his father dies. Paul is now approaching his 22nd birthday.  For more about his rootless life during the early years of the Great Depression see “Paul Kaser: No Permanent Residence.

52 Ancestors #4 Giles Allen Butts, The “Premature”

Giles Allen Butts 1864-1934

Giles was one of those babies referred to as “premature”, except that in his case, he was eight months premature, which is stretching the term pretty far, I would say.  Henry Allen Butts and Ann Marie (Anna Mariah) were married on August 23, 1864.  Giles was born on September 15, 1964.  Both those dates are well documented.

Regardless of the fact that Ann Marie was obviously pregnant when they were married, this was no shotgun wedding.  His letters show that Henry Allen felt deep concern and love for his new wife and for his infant son.

I do not intend to write about all of Henry Allen’s children–my great uncles and aunts, but since he mentions “Allen” in his letters home, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce his first child, Giles Allen. And as I was researching Giles, I found out that I have accidentally fulfilled the challenge of #52 Ancestors to write about “closest to my birthday” by finding someone who was born ON my birthday.*

Although Henry calls him Allen in the letters,  that name did not stick. His relatives called him by the adorable name ‘Uncle Golly’ and he filled in the census forms as Giles Butts or Giles A. Butts.

Giles’ Family Tragedies

Giles was a farmer, like his father. At the age of 23, he married Eva (‘Aunt Abby’) McArter and they lived on a farm near Danville, Ohio.  Some very bad luck plagued Giles concerning his family.  He and Eva had five children between 1888 and 1897, and lost two of them between 1912 and 1928.

In 1912, their 19-year-old son, Raymond Cletus Butts, who was born on my birthday, March 4 (but 44 years before me), died of tuberculosis of the bone.

Elizabeth, the youngest daughter,  married John, the brother of her sister Mary Agatha‘s husband Julius Blubaugh. Elizabeth and John married two years after Mary Agatha and Julius.

In 1928, Elizabeth Rebecca (Butts) Blubaugh died in an automobile accident on her way to St. Luke’s Catholic Church.  She had been married there and most of the family members (including Henry Allen Butts) are buried in the churchyard.

It was  the first snow of the season, on November 25, a Sunday, and the Newark Advocate reported that Elizabeth Blubaugh, of Mt. Vernon died instantly.  Her husband John and two children in the car survived.

Tragedy struck the Blubaugh/Butts family once more when the daughter of Giles’ oldest daughter Rosalie Butts Rick died in an automobile accident in 1955, but Giles did not live to experience that tragedy.

Giles Takes in Motherless Children

According to the somewhat confusing and sometimes erroneous family history of Henry Allen Butts’ family written by Rev. Homer Blubaugh:

After raising their family, Golly and Abby take Ruth Blubaugh, 2-year-old older sister of Otto Blubaugh and his twin, Owen, to raise for 3 years after their mother’s death in 1912.  Otto’s eldest sisters had their hands full raising the motherless infant twins.

When would that have been? If it was after raising their family, you would think it would need to be after 1917 when their youngest daughter, Elizabeth, was married. However he says 1912.  And, remember, their son Raymond (born on my birthday) died in 1912. That may have made them eager for distraction, but on the other hand, it seems strange they would take in young children while they were still mourning his death, or–since he died late in the year, even more strange if he was dying of TB for them to take in children.

Blubaugh lists the children of the ill-fated Elizabeth and her husband John as Catherine, John, Otto J., Carl and Teresa Ann.  Since there is no Ruth, even though there is an Otto, It seems unlikely that this is the family Giles and his wife took in for three years. There were many ties between the Butts and Blubaughs families–neighbors in Knox County.   I have to conclude the mother who died was neither of the two daughters of Giles, but rather another Blubaugh who passed away when the twins were born.Whe wording “Ruth Blubaugh, 2-year-old older sister” means that they were infants and Ruth was two years old.

But I’m not sure, and cannot find confirmation, so once again I’m hoping some cousins will show up and bail me out of this puzzle, just as I hope with George, Henry’s twin.

Giles Allen, my great uncle–older brother to my grandmother Mary Isadore Butts Kaser— died in 1934, at the age of 69, and his wife survived until 1945. They are buried in St. Luke’s Catholic Church graveyard in Danville, Ohio.

*The suggested theme of the week at  52 Ancestors is not a requirement for the weekly story-telling about ancestors, and I generally do not follow the prompts, since I have an agenda of my own. This week’s prompt was “nearest to my birthday.” Since I discovered that Giles Butts son, Raymond, was born on my birthday, I decided to see what other relatives might be close to that date. In fact another relative on my father’s side of the tree, Leroy R. Kaser (1st Cousin 1 X removed) was born on March 4, 1891.  All these are pretty distant relatives, but Jediah Higgens, March 5, 1657, my 7th great grandfather, was close to my birthday.

How We Are Related

  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Paul Kaser, who is the son of
  • Mary Isadore Butts Kaser, who is the daughter of
  • Henry Allen Butts, who is also the father of
  • Giles Allen Butts.

Notes on Research

 

  •  Transcripts of a Butts Family Bible provided to me by Jane Butts Kilgore in 2003, owned at the time by James E. Butts. Other carefully researched information on the Butts family was also sent to me by Jane Butts Kilgore.
  • “A History of the Henry Allen Butts Family” by Rev. Homer Blubaugh, Saint Mary Church, Lancaster, Ohio.  This is a combination of documented and anecdotal information about the Butts family from Ohio. Some was gathered at family reunions. Some is downright wrong, but some is quite interesting. My copy was sent by Butts descendent Helen Findon in 2003. The document says Revised May 11, ’92 – Rev. Homer Blubaugh. Copies in the authors’ possession.
  • Newark Advocate, November 28, 1928, page 3, “Auto Crashes in Ohio Claim LIves of Ten.”
  • Birth, Death and Marriage dates generally from the Blubaugh history, but most confirmed by records found at Ancestry.com

 

The Carpenter’s Apron: Great Grandfather Joseph Kaser

[This article pertains to Joseph Kaser, ancestor of my father, Paul Kaser (1909-1996). And the aprons hold nails instead of protecting from batter spatter.]

Joseph Kaser (b. c.1827-d.?), my paternal great grandfather, was a carpenter. And that is about all I know.

I inherited this little chest, which my father said was a “handkerchief chest” and I love all of it.  The wood, I think–because I’m not an expert–is walnut. A common wood in Pennsylvania and Ohio where Joseph lived.  It does have some small nails, so is not all put together with mortise and tendon joints like an earlier chest that I have from the other side of the family. But it has beautiful turned legs, and some lovely joinery. The chest has held up pretty well, considering that it must be somewhere between 120 and 160 years old.

I like the compartments in the drawer to hold odds and ends, and the large space under the lid for handkerchiefs. I put the Kleenex™ box there for a size comparison, but it turns out to be an ironic reference. People DID once use a lot of cotton and linen handkerchiefs!

Although I have tons of information about my mother’s ancestors–particularly following a maternal line back through the ages– my knowledge of the Kaser line stops in Bloomfield (now Clark), Coschocton County, Ohio with Joseph Kaser, born around 1827.

So why don’t I know more? Because I have only done on-line research and that only gets you so far. And also because I once counted up the variant spellings of Kaser and came up with a dozen before I gave up.  And then there is the first name, Joseph, (with so far, no indication of a middle name) which is about as common as it gets.  There are Joseph Kasers galore in Ohio and Pennsylvania around the early 1800’s. Not even counting all the Kayers and Kaisers and Casers, etc.

My father knew that his grandfather lived in Coshocton County when my paternal grandfather, Clifford Kaser was born. And father knew that his grandmother’s name was Catharine Sampsel. What I have been able to track down is that Joseph married Catharine Samsel (which also is spelled Sampsel) in March 1847, and the 1880 census tells us that Joseph was born in 1827 and Catharine was born in 1825.

According to that same census report, he and his parents were all born in Pennsylvania, so Joseph’s family may well have been in the United States during or before the Revolutionary War, but when and from where and how and why did they come to the United States?

Because their children are listed in the 1880 census, we can see that the Kasers lived in Ohio at least from 1852, because their oldest son, David was 28 in 1880 and was born in Ohio, as were all the other children. David is married in 1880, and still listed as living at the residence of his parents.  The complete list of Kasers in 1880 folllows.

  • Joseph Kaser, 53, carpenter Born in Pennsylvania
  • Catharine Kaser, 50 *However according to her gravestone she would have been 51 at the time of the census. Born in Ohio
  • David Kaser, 28, carpenter
  • Ellen Kaser, 18, housework [David’s Wife]
  • Johnathon Kaser, 20, day laborer
  • Anna Kaser, 17
  • Clifford Kaser, 13 (my paternal grandfather)
  • Edward Kaser, 10

Not only have I not been able to find out who Joseph Kaser’s parents were or when their family came to the United States, or what country they came from, I am searching for information on a rare Kaser relative that I actually met. She was “Aunt Jennie” whom I visited with my father in the 1940’s and 50’s in Mt. Vernon Ohio. How is she related to these people?

[NOTE: A little more searching and I discovered that Aunt Jennie was actually related to my father’s MOTHER rather than his FATHER–so she was not a Kaser. More to come.]

But I have many more avenues to travel down before giving up.  I can track every one of the siblings of Clifford Kaser to seek more information. I can post on bulletin boards on genealogy sites. I can follow leads in an old newspaper article I found in my father’s files about a band in Clark, Ohio that ties to another keepsake–a battered old trombone.

The family seems to be full of people who are handy with their hands–from carpentry to tin- smithing to playing the trombone.  My father enjoyed making things, but the things he built for me, I left behind as Ken and I moved from house to house. He had built bookcases in our Columbus, Ohio house and when we moved to Arizona, he built bookcases for us, and repaired anything that needed fixing in the five houses we lived in before he died.

Meanwhile, if you know anyone named Kaser, ask them if they know about Joseph the carpenter who lived in Bloomfield/Clark, Ohio. And let me know.