Tag Archives: community band

52 Ancestors: #23 David Kaser, Hard Worker and Tuba Player

David Kaser (1853-1923)

An almost ordinary life, it seems. He never left his home town. David Kaser worked at whatever he could to support his family and for recreation played a tuba.

What a delight to find these hard working farm people taking time off for music!  David was one of the older siblings of my grandfather, Cliff Kaser, who played the trombone. If you click through to the story, you’ll see more about the band that the Kaser boys played in in the late 19th century.

David was born in January 1853 in Bloomfield (later Clark), Ohio to Joseph Kaser II and Catharine Sampsel Kaser.  When he was twenty-eight years old he was still living at home with his parents and was working as a carpenter.  He had married Mary E., about 8 years younger than he was, in June, 1880 and they were still living with his parents. She would have been six months pregnant at the time.

As a side note: Mary Ellen’s sister Edna married a cousin of David’s named Edward F. Kaser. (Not to be confused with the Edward Kaser with the unfortunate story that I told recently). And I have a nephew named David Kaser who lives in California.

By 1900 David and Mary Ellen had their own home and six children (one more came later). David was employed as a salesman.  In 1900, his 19 year old, Walker Clifford and 11 year old, Ira, were working as day laborers. but the 14-year-old, Homer and 8-year-old William were at school.

  • Walker Clifford Kaser, b. Sept. 1880
  • Bessie B. Kaser (Lowe) b. Jan. 1883
  • Homer Kaser, b. Feb. 1886
  • Ira Kaser, b. October 1888
  • William L. Kaser, B. Oct. 1891
  • Sylvia Olive Kaser, b. August 1894
  • Harry D.Kaser, B. 1900

By 1910, David had changed occupations once again, now working in Tinware in his own tin shop. (The same occupation that my grandfather Clifford Kaser pursued.) Adult sons Homer 24, a carpenter; Ira, 21, a house painter; and William, 18, a laborer doing odd jobs were still at home as was Sylvia and Harry.

By 1920, when David was 67 and Mary 61, the children had all moved out, and David was working as a farm laborer.

He died in 1923 and was buried, like so many of the family at Oak Hill Cemetery in MIllersburg, Ohio.

I found Mary E., widow of David living in Akron with her son Homer, now working as a carpenter and his wife Bertha in 1931. Mary lived until 1947.

How I Am Related

  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Paul Kaser, the son of
  • Clifford Kaser, who is the brother of
  • David Kaser

 Research Notes

The “Kaser Genealogy” (aka Green Book or G. B.) referred to is The Kaser History: A History of Dates and Other Interesting Facts (1994) edited by Deborah D. Morgan and others. Out of print. I obtained information from a cousin who owns a copy of the book.

Census records from 1860 (German Twp, Holmes Co, Oho); 1880 (Village of Bloomfield (Clark), Coshocton Co, Ohio; 1900 (Clark, Coshocton Co. Ohio); 1910, Clark Twp, Coshocton Co., Ohio;1920 (Clark, Coshocton Co., Ohio)  *

1931 Akron City Directory *

*These records accessed at Ancestry.com.

Find A Grave website for some death records and burial places.

Newspaper clipping in the author’s possession, (unknown paper,unknown date). “Clark Residents Have Happy Memories of Old Band…Bessie Kaser Remembers Polishing Dad’s Tuba” , by Cliff Bushnell.

The Old Battered Trombone and the Community Band

“If music be the food of love, play on.” Twelfth Night, Shakespeare.

Although we usually talk about food that reminds me of family, this time it is music. The community band, to be exact.

Here’s how my week went so far.

Clifford Kaser

Clifford W. Kaser, probably about 1928 or 1929.

  • Found an old newspaper article telling about a 19th and early 20th century band in Clark, Ohio that had several Kaser members, including Clifford Kaser.
  • Ran across a postcard picture of my Grandfather Anderson playing in a similar band in Killbuck, Ohio. My mother, Harriette Kaser remembered how proud she was as a little girl seeing her daddy marching through town with his shiny horn.  

The church in the picture is the Killbuck Church of Christ. My great-grandfather Dr. William Stout helped raise funds to build the building and the family  continued to worship, be married in and buried from that church for generations. It still stands at the foot of School House Hill–also the home of the cemetery. Unfortunately, the steeple was damaged in a windstorm and never replaced, so the church now lacks the grace of its earlier design.

Killbuck Community Band

Killbuck band at Killbuck Christian Church Circa 1910. Grandfather Guy Anderson played French Horn. Possible front far right.

  • Remembered the old battered trombone in the cupboard that was Clifford Kaser’s and got it out.

Community band Trombone ed

  • Spent an another couple hours polishing the old silver.

Community band Kaser trombone

Community Band inscription

Clifford Kaser Trombone inscription, American Perfection The Richards Co. Cleveland Ohio
  • Marveled at the dents and the way the silver plate is worn off to the brass underneath in those places that were handled.
  • Got curious about the inscription. Turned to Google. There goes another hour or two.  Nothing definitive on the Richards Co., although one listing says Richards Co. 1882-1922, with no other information. That would be about the right dates. I’ve written to one of the experts I ran into on the Internet, and will let you know what I learn.

It was common for villages and towns to have a community band around the turn of the 19th-20th century, and the tiny communities of Clark and Killbuck where my ancestors lived were no exception.  Many towns had bandstands. To my knowledge, Killbuck never had a bandstand for its band, but the newspaper article I found had a vintage photo of the Clark Bandstand which stood until 1938 according to the caption.

Clark Community Band Stand

Photo of Clark Band Stand. Given to newspaper by Mrs. Sanford Lowe of Clark.

According to the newspaper article, the community band was known as the Bloomfield Band, even after the community was renamed to Clark. One remaining band members says they practiced every Tuesday and “we played at reunions, picnics, homecomings and fairs.” The band members, in their “smart gold-braided uniforms” were even asked to play in other communities, but never charged. They played in Coshocton, the nearest big town and marched with eight other bands in the Labor Day parade.

Florenz Schiebe who was in the Bloomfield community band, the band provided the instruments as well as the uniforms. They traveled from town to town on a painted wagon and would play as they passed through a smaller community. They even took the train to big “gigs” like playing at Myers Lake in Canton and Silver Lake resort near Akron.  After the Bloomfield Band broke up, Scheibe played in the Killbuck band  after 1912 or so.

As to Kasers in the community band–much of this article was based on an interview with Bessie Kaser Lowe, daughter of Dave Kaser who was a brother of my paternal grandfather, Clifford Kaser.  Dave Kaser played tuba, Cliff Kaser played trombone [the one pictured above] Homer Kaser and possibly Ira Kaser ( sons of Dave and brothers to Bessie) also played trombone. Ed Kaser (Clifford’s younger brother) played 1st cornet. Austin Kaser( a cousin of Dave) played tenor horn or trombone. In this article, Bessie says that Cliff was the town barber.  That means he played in the band sometime between the 1893, when he was married and 1914 when he had a tin shop in Killbuck.

The article further says that Homer and Austin left to work at the rubber tire company in Akron.  A second band started that lasted until 1920, and Harry Kaser [Another son of Dave] played in that one.

Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of Clifford Kaser playing his trombone, but somehow thinking of him riding through the Ohio countryside in the community band gaily painted wagon pulled by draft horses while blasting away on a trombone, gives me a whole new picture of him. Would a villain play a trombone?