Local History and Genealogy

Thursday, April 28, 2011

John Dygert Obituary


     John Dygert, who died in Scott township last Friday, in his 94th year was probably the oldest man living in the county at the time of his death.  He came with his father's family to Steuben county in 1838 and lived in the county continuously from that time, and for several years has carried off the honors at old settlers' meetings as the oldest living settler in the county.  He was county commissioner at the time the present county court house in Angola was built and took great interest in the progress of the work.   
John Dygert
     John, the son of Adam and Jane Dygert, was born in Montgomery County, New York  Feb. 27, 1826, and passed away at his late home in Scott Township, Sept 18. 1919, at the age of 93 years, 6 months and 23 days.
     He was one  of a family of ten children all of whom have preceded him in death.  At the age of twelve, with the family, he moved in a wagon to York Township, where he resided until he started to make a home for himself.   September, 1853, he united in marriage with Caroline Stotts of York Township.  To this union were born two children, Charles F., and Sarah Jane Gifford.  In 1875 after great suffering the wife and mother passed away leaving the father, to keep the house together until 1878, when the daughter was united in marriage to Jackson Nisonger.  Then he went to make his home with her until April 28, 1881, when he was re-married to Mary G. Grubb.  To this union was born three boys, Ora C., Carl G., and Levi F.  He has been a resident  of Scott Township for the past sixty years living until the end on the farm he purchased soon after his first marriage.
     Although without professed religion he was a Christian in the true sense of the word, always doing as he would be done by.  He has a large heart for the needy never turning anyone from his door.  As his life work has been finished he has received his eternal reward.  He was a kind and loving husband and father always thinking of the welfare of his family.
     He leaves to mourn Their loss a wife, five children, three daughters-in-law. one son-in-law, ten grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and a host of sorrowing friends.
     Although physically weak hew was mentally active until the end.  He was a patient sufferer always looking on the bright side of life,  When the end came he went peacefully to sleep and to his eternal resting place.  Funeral services were held at the late home conducted by Rev Humfreys and burial in the Dygert cemetery. 

Friday, April 8, 2011


Impressive Service Marked Unveiling of Memorial Last Friday Afternoon
Visitors Honored

Impressive and appropriate ceremonies marked the unveiling of the tablet dedicated to the pioneers of Steuben County by Pokagon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution last Friday afternoon.  The tablet is mounted on a large granite boulder located in the northwest corner of the courthouse yard, which had been brought from land entered by a member of the Powers family in 1837, now owned by Ed Gundrum.  The tablet if of bronze 11x 14 inches in size, and has a stippled background enclosed in a polished frame.  Heading the inscription is a beautifully embossed pioneer covered wagon drawn by a yoke of oxen, the inscription follows:
1836  -------- 1936
with the official emblem of the society .

A crowd numbering in the hundreds gathered to hear the ceremonies attending the unusual occasion.  A community band directed by Fred Richardson played some splendid numbers.  Mrs Edna Creel, descendant of the Powers family, regent of the local  Pokagon chapter presided at the dedicatory services and announced the "pledge of allegiance" to the flag, the recital of which was led by Kathleen Sutton , young daughter of Katherine McGrew Sutton, a descendant of Judge Thomas Gale, one of the founders of the city of Angola.  Mayor William F. Shearer gave a brief historical sketch setting  out the possession of the land from the Indians by the English and to the incoming American settlers and named some of the earlier families which came to the county; including the Langdons, Stayners, Gales, Gilmores, Powers, Farnhams, McClues, McConnells and others.  He called attention to the characteristics of courage and energy and urged that we consider their needs as an inspiration  to overcome difficulties of the present day. 

Mrs. William H. Schlosser, state chaplain of the D.A.R., spoke of the aims of the organization and urged that the same high patriotism which the ancestors of the members possessed should dominate their descendants,  Assisted by Mrs J.B. Crankshaw of Fort Wayne, some dedicatory sentences were recited, and the boulder was unveiled of its flag covering by Patricia, daughter of Mrs. Ralph  Lampman, a descendant of LaFayette Barron, a pioneer of Richland and Margaret Stayner, a descendant of the Stayner family, which perhaps traces a longer continued residence in the county than any other family.

William McConnell Baumann, of Fremont, Ohio, a decendent of Hon. G. W. McConnell, a pioneed citizen, accepted the fine expression of the organization on behalf of the descendants of the pioneers, and he pledged the younger generation to an effort to emulate their fortitude and courage.  Hon Maurice McClew, a grandson of Erasmus Farnham, who surveyed and platted the site of Fremont and of Angola, also expressed appreciation of the fine undertaking of teh society, and accepted the monument for the county.  Mr. McClew's address also recited some of the qualities of these citizens of a century ago.

Mrs. L. P. Romero sang one verse of  "The Star Spangled Banner" accompanied by the band and Dr. John Humfreys delivered a brief invocation and dedicatory prayer

"The Chapter desires to acknowledge assistance in the boulder project, for which it is truly grateful,"  stated the committee.  "The Steuben Republican have cooperated in a splendid manner, in giving publicity to this enterprise.  The State Park Band,under direction of Mr Richardson added materially to the dedication program.  The privilege of using flags of the American Legion, Pokagon State Park and the Masonic Temple was appreciated, for it gave an effective and beautiful background for the program platform.  The chapter wishes to thank all those who participated in the program, or who in any way aided in making possible this dedicatory ceremony."

Steuben Republican August 19, 1936