Tuesday, November 16, 2010

That Grave in a Far Off Land

In a previous post, I talked about my Great Uncle, Pvt. George H. Britton who was killed in France three weeks before the Armistice in 1918.

There is a memorial marker for George Britton in the Leonardson Cemetery, Jefferson Twp., Hillsdale Co., Michigan, but Uncle George Britton's buriel was actually in France. Until very recently I did not know where in France he was buried.

A year or so ago I sent off to the National Archives for a copy of his military records. I was disappointed to find out that a great number of WW I military records had been destroyed in a fire, so there was no record of Uncle George.

Late last Saturday night I found out Ancestry.Com had a special going where the public at large could do searches on military records in the Ancestry.Com databases. It was a limited time offer set to expire on Sunday, Nov.14. That left me little time, so I dove in and did a search on Uncle George Britton.


I found a listing of where he was buried in France:

George H. Britton
Private, U.S. Army
38th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Division
Entered the Service from: Michigan
Died: October 21, 1918
Buried at: Plot G Row 35 Grave 22
Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery
Romagne, France

I also found a listing for Uncle George from the Soldiers of the Great War Volume 2 "Soldiers of the Great War Michigan" (WW I Casualty Listings), as well as a copy of the draft registration for George's brother, Cleo Elihue Britton.

That was pretty neat, but it is not the end of the story.

Last night I did a Goggle search on "American Military Cemeteries in France", and came across the The American Battle Monuments Commission. I did a search on their World War I database and found the listing for Pvt. George H. Britton. I realized it was this database from which the Ancestry.Com search had pulled from.

But there was more.

I checked out the "Services Available" at the ABMC page, and found out it is possible to get photographs of Uncle George's headstone in France. I sent off an e-mail to them, and today received a reply. In about 6 weeks, I should be getting those photos.

But there is one more thing before I close.

I went to Goggle Map and zeroed in on Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France. I then turned on the satellite view and found the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery

Honestly, I was in tears thinking about it. Grandma's little brother will not be forgotten.

Someday I want to go to France, and go to the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery. I want to go to Uncle George's grave, put flowers on it, and let the world know he is not forgotten.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Newcomer - Tedrow Family

It has been my intent for some time to write a post about the Newcomer - Tedrow connection, with a special reference to the Newcomer - Tedrow - Oates line.

Mary I. Newcomer was born on July 6, 1886, the youngest child of George D. Newcomer and his second wife Malinda (Mikesell) Newcomer. She married Clair Tedrow, and I have record of three sons:

Robert Wave Tedrow (Nov 26, 1909 - May 28, 1996)
Roy Earl Tedrow (Oct. 6, 1911 - Jan. 4, 1940)
George Monroe Tedrow

My father's dad was Mary's brother, Guy Vernon Newcomer. I have memory as a young lad of our going to visit one of dad's Tedrow cousins on their farm near Delta, Ohio.

Robert Wave Tedrow married Julia Elisabeth Willeman. They had five children:

Paul Eugene Tedrow
Dorothy Jane Tedrow
Mary Ann Tedrow
John Robert Tedrow (1940 - 1969)
Thomas Clair Tedrow

Roy Earl Tedrow married Eunice Johnson. They had two sons:

James Earl Tedrow
Richard Clair Tedrow

George Monroe Tedrow married Helen Garber. They had four children:

David Tedrow
Michael Tedrow
Jerry Lee Tedrow
Carol Tedrow

The above gives a basic outline of the Tedrow families connected to my Newcomer line. I now want to look at the Tedrow - Oates part of the family, as I have a particular connection with the Oates family.

Dorethy Jane Tedrow, daughter of Robert and Julia (Willeman) Tedrow, married Raymond Oates. They had a farm just north of Hartley Rd. on US-127 (Meridian Rd.) near Waldron, Michigan.

A big part of Raymond's farm business was selling hay to horse farms in the south; North Carolina sticks in my mind as one of the places he shipped hay to. He would go to local farmers in the area and cut a deal to buy the hay out of their field. He did the cutting and the baling, then would load the hay on semi trailers to be hauled to the buyers down south.

In 1967, the summer after I had graduated from high school, Raymond had bought some hay out of one of my father's fields. As it was, I needed a summer job to fill in until I went off to college in the fall, and Raymond needed an extra hand. So it was I spent the summer working in the hay fields, loading wagons, off loading into semi trailers, or stacking bales in the barn hay loft. By the end of the summer I was in the best physical shape of my adult life.

It was also in that summer I got to meet their children; Betty, Barbara, Ron, Bonnie, Beth, and Brenda. They were pretty young then, and I suspect they don't remember who I was. For myself, though I knew we were remotly connected somehow, at the time I didn't make the connection that "Mrs. Oates" was my 2nd cousin, and all these little kids were also part of "my family".

I went on to college and the rest of my life. Those "little kids" grew up, and recently I connected with Betty via Facebook. That summer job working for Raymond Oates was my first "real" job outside of our farm. It marked a turning point in my life as I transitioned from my high school teen years to adulthood.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Newcomer - Ost Connection

Donald A. Ost

February 7, 1928 - June 17, 2010

Donald A. Ost, 82, of Pittsford, Michigan passed away Thursday, June 17, 2010, at Hillsdale County Medical Care Facility. He was born February 7, 1928, in Adrian, Michigan the son of Martin A. and Clare (Newcomer) Ost. He married Esther Baker in Manchester, Michigan on September 22, 1948, and she survives.

Don retired from the maintenance department of Hillsdale College in 1988, after 10 years of service and he previously owned and operated Don's Garage in Pittsford for over 30 years. He graduated from Addison High School Class of 1945, served in the U.S. Navy during WWII and enjoyed woodworking.

Surviving Don besides his wife, Esther is one daughter, Kay (Tom) Sharp of Pittsford; one son, David Ost of Pioneer, Ohio; four grandchildren, Michelle (Bruce) Sharp of Hillsdale, Jennifer (Louie) Lamoth of Mosherville, Jason Sharp of Pittsford and Brian and (Danielle) Sharp of Ransom; four great great grandchildren Kimberly, Wyatt, Carter and Ellie. He was preceded in death by his parents, one sister, Bonnie Valandra and one brother, Melvin Ost.

Graveside services for Don will be Monday, June 21, 2010, at 10:30 a.m. at Rome Center Cemetery with Dr. Rev. Samuel Wickard officiating. Visitation will be Saturday from 6-8 p.m. at Eagle Funeral Home in Hudson.

Those planning an expression of sympathy may make memorial contributions to Pittsford Jefferson Fire Department.


After my Great-grandfather George Debolt Newcomer returned from his service in the Union Army after the Civil War, he married Clara Poorman on Dec. 28, 1869. George and Clara had one son, Frank Melvin Newcomer (1870 -1923). Clara (Poorman) Newcomer died in May 1875 when Frank was 4 years old.

George Newcomer remarried in Dec. 1875 to Malinda Mikesell. The offspring of that second marriage was two daughters, Ethel and Mary, and one son, my Grandfather Guy Vernon Newcomer.

Frank Melvin Newcomer married Myrtle Kessler. Our family records indicate Frank and Myrtle had two daughters, Eva and Louise. It was "Louise" who married an Ost and had three childrem, Yvonne, Donald, and Melvin.

Then tonight I came across Donald's obituary as copied above. In the above obituary Doanld's mother's name is "Clare (Newcomer) Ost". At that point I went to the Social Security Death Index Search at Rootsweb.com and did a search on "Clare Ost", and got no results.

I tried another search for "Claire Ost" and got a bingo:

"Claire L. Ost" Birth: May 7, 1907. Death: Oct. 6, 1995. Last residence: Ottawa Lake, Monroe County, Michigan.

I have a dollar bill that says the middle initial "L" is for Louise.

But an educated hunch, no matter how probable, is not proof. What I need is objective documentation that this Claire Ost is indeed Frank Newcomer's daughter. That documentation will have to wait until I come up with the $ 27.00 to send off to the Social Security Administration for a copy of Claire Ost's application for a Social Security number.

This is a situation that illustrates some of the pitfalls of genealogical research. I have a name, but it may prove out that name was a middle name. The name given in an obituary is different then the name I have and is spelled slightly different from the name found in the SSA Death Index.

The other issue is where my data says Donald's sister is Yvonne, the obituary calls her Bonnie. We have another discrepancy that calls for investigation.

Check, double check, and recheck, and even then there is an outside chance you get it wrong, and future genealogists will pick up on your work and perpetuate your mistake.

Addendum February 16, 2011

Esther Lou Ost
March 15, 1931 - February 6, 2011

Esther L. Ost, 79, of Pittsford, Michigan passed away Sunday, February 6, 2011, at Hillsdale County Medical Care Facility. She was born March 15, 1931, in Somerset Center, Michigan the daughter of Floyd and Josephine (Spencer) Baker. She married Donald A. Ost in Manchester, Michigan on September 22, 1948, and he preceded her in death on June 17, 2010.

Esther retired as an auditor from Hillsdale College in 1988, after 25 years of service

Surviving Esther is one daughter, Kay (Tom) Sharp of Pittsford; one son, David Ost of Pioneer, Ohio; four grandchildren, Michelle (Bruce) Sharp of Hillsdale, Jennifer (Louie) LaMoth of Mosherville, Jason (Kimberly) Sharp of Nelsonville, Ohio and Brian Sharp of Ransom; four great great grandchildren Kimberly, Wyatt, Carter and Ellie; one sister, Harriet (Donald) Dear of Sarasota, Florida. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband and two brothers, Leo and Larry Baker.

Graveside services for Esther will be Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. at North Rome Cemetery with Dr. Rev. Samuel Wickard officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at Eagle Funeral Home in Hudson.

Those planning an expression of sympathy may make memorial contributions to Alzheimer's Association.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Martha (Lee) Gray & her Daughter Sadie

This picture is a scan of one of a series of tintypes that are in my father's possession. The families pictured in the tintypes are of the Gray and Lee families. In the majority of them we can only conjecture who the people in the picture are. This one we are pretty sure of.

The little girl is my Grandmother Sarah (Sadie) Elizabeth Gray with her mother Martha (Lee) Gray. This picture would have to have been taken relatively shortly before Martha passed away Feb, 12, 1886 at the early age of 26. Sadie was only 4 1/2 when her mother died. Sadie's older brother had died in infancy in 1880.

Seven months latter in Sept. of 1886, Sadie's father Francis (Frank) Gray remarried to Mary Herriman. Frank and Mary had seven children, giving Sadie 5 brothers and two sisters.

(The Lee/Gray Tintypes can be seen on my Rootsweb site.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Lee - Borton - Clark - Ladd Connection

My paternal Great-grandmother, Martha Jane Lee was born in 1860, and married Francis (Frank) Gray on Feb. 4,1875. Her only surviving child was my Grandmother, Sarah (Sadie) Elizabeth (Gray) Newcomer. Martha had just turned 26 years old when she died on Feb. 12, 1886. Little Sadie Gray was only 4 1/2 years old when her mother died. Her father remarried, and she was raised by her step-mother.

Martha (Lee) Gray had an older sister Mary Ann Lee (1844 - 1923) who waa married to Silas Borton. Mary and Silas had a daughter, Ella May Borton (1870 - 1943), who married Edwin Elmer Clark.

It was through Edwin and Ella's daughter Ida Jane Clark (1897 - ????) the connection was made to the Ladd family. Ida Clark married Ernest Efflin Ladd.

Ernest and Ida's son, Ernest Lavoy Ladd married Elizabeth Wiederkher. This is the Ladd family that lives near Waldron, Michigan on the Meridian Rd. (US-127). If I have this figured out correctly, Ernest Lavoy Ladd is my third cousin.

I know Ernest and Elizabeth's sons, Stephen and Mark, through our time together at the Waldron High School. I had been told we had some "shirt-tail" cousin relationship, and it was a desire to pin down that relationship that led to this posting. If you are keeping score, I and my siblings are related to Stephan and Mark as 3rd cousins, once removed.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

She had a "Baby" Brother

Joy Anne Newcomer

December 28, 1943 - June 2, 2010

Joy Newcomer, 66, of Waldron passed away Wednesday, June 2, 2010, at home. She was born on December 28, 1943, in Hudson the daughter of Rex & Mildred (Bavin) Newcomer.

Joy lived most of her life in the Waldron area where she was a graduate of the Waldron High School. Joy earned a teaching degree at Eastern Michigan University. She retired from the Lakeville Community School (near Flint) in 1997, after thirty years of service.

Survivors include her parents, Rex & Mildred Newcomer of Waldron; a sister, Carol (Mike) Newcomer-Cox of Morenci; two brothers, John (Carol) Newcomer of Chantilly, Virginia, and Bill (Nancy) Newcomer of Ada; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be on Monday, June 7, 2010, at 11:00 AM at the Waldron First Church of Christ with minister Don Crain officiating. Burial will follow at the Waldron Cemetery. There will be a visitation on Sunday from 4 until 8 PM at the church.

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Waldron First Church of Christ or to the Waldron District Library.years old,

Arrangements were through the Eagle Funeral Home-Charles Fink Chapel in Morenci.


On one of the bookshelves in our parent's house are three pictures together in a tri-fold picture frame. The picture on the right is a young boy about 2 1/2 years old. The center frame holds a picture of a young girl about 4 years old. There are two people in the frame on the left; a young girl about 6 years old is holding a bottle in her right hand for the baby laying on the pillow. Her left elbow rests on the pillow as she rests her head in the upheld hand. Her hair is long, hanging down below her shoulders.

The young girl holding the bottle for her baby brother is my sister Joy. The story is that at a very early age I worked hard at putting the grump in "grumpy". The only way they could get my picture taken was to have Joy give me the bottle. She was the oldest of the four of us and I was the youngest. The girl in the center picture was my other sister Carol, and the picture on the right was of my brother John.

This was during our early years when we lived on the Newcomer farmstead on Tuttle Rd. near Waldron, Michigan scarcely a few miles north of Ohio state line.

It was at this house where the alleged hammer incident took place. Joy and Carol had been playing on the enclosed porch. There was a little fuss about something or another, and all of a sudden a hammer was flying through the air and into the kitchen door window, breaking said window. That alleged incident aside, the two sisters remained friends.

The years went by. We now lived around the corner, down the road on the Hartley Rd. farm. Joy, being the oldest, was the first to get her drivers license. Dad didn't have to drive us kids to all the various things we needed to go to. Somewhere in those years, both Joy and Carol had been involved in 4-H. Joy had played clarinet in the band until she had to have braces. She then was in the percussion section.

I was now in Junior High. We had a study hall, and there were some Senior girls in that study hall. Joy was one of them. She was graduating from high school. At the Commencement program, she walked across the stage and received her diploma. There was an open house reception at our house afterwards.

Another four and a half years, and I sat with mom and dad at the commencement program at Eastern Michigan University. We watched Joy again cross a stage as she received her college diploma.

Joy never married. I remember her having one date with some brainy intellectual guy, but nothing came of it.

She loved her nieces and nephews who came along over the years, but her main legacy lives on in the children that passed through her 2nd grade classroom during her 30 some years of teaching. I find myself wondering how many of them went on to be doctors, teachers, engineers, lawyers, etc. She was at the same. school long enough to have some students who were children of previous students.

Eventually she retired and moved back to the Waldron area. She became involved in her church, helping out with the food pantry and Bible studies. She and a few of her friends would get together and they learned how to play Bridge. Her friend Sue mentioned to me about how Joy would trump her ace, keeping a straight face, then with a chuckle and grin playing the trump card.

Over the past year her health deteriorated. It became clear this was going to be it. She began to put her affairs in order. She told us she had made her peace with God, and was ready.

When we heard she had become bedridden, we changed our plans for the Memorial Day weekend, and went down home a week early. We visited with her knowing it was probably the last time we would see her alive in this world. We said our goodbye.

A week and a half latter while at work, I got the call...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

One November Day

(Though I've published this elswhere, it fits well with the memoiers intent of this site.)

As I remember it, that autumn had been relatively mild. By mid-November most of the corn fields had already been picked. The leaves on the trees had dropped some weeks before. It was a time in that interlude when the high school football season, for better or for worse, was history, but the basketball season was yet to start.

For those of us in our relatively quiet rural Southern Michigan community, it was a time of routine leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. Our community was somewhat off the beaten path; a good hour away from any big cities, and not on any major highways. There was a certain degree of isolation. TV, radio and the newspapers were the vehicles that brought the outside world into our midst. There were the vacations that would occasionally take us outside our normal boundaries. Also from time to time there might be a day trip to Toledo or Jackson, or maybe even Fort Wayne, but for most of us growing up in that rural area, the rest of the world was "out there".

That Friday started off like any other normal Friday. I got up early and went out to do what farm chores needed to be done. Sometime or other in the course of the usual morning ritual, I had breakfast, and got ready for school. Then it was off to school. The morning classes went by, and the lunch hour came. So far it had been a pretty ordinary normal day, one among the many others at that time of our lives.

Sometime around 1 PM or so, I and my fellow high school Freshmen classmates were in our Science class. For some reason our regular teacher was out for the day. Mrs. Welling was filling in as the substitute teacher. Mrs. Welling and her husband were retired teachers. Sometime in her life Mrs. Welling had received a certain amount of musical training. She directed one of the local church choirs, and occasionally sang special numbers. She was a petite slender lady which contributed to the nickname of "Mrs. Canary Legs" which we students sometimes callously called her, but not ever to her face or in the hearing of other adults. In truth she was a pretty nice lady. In all the times she substituted for the teacher in any of my classes, I never remember her saying any unkind words to any student, or ever in any way speaking sharply or roughly to any class at large.

I do not remember what the exact time was. It most probably was around 1:45 PM our local EST. I have no memory of what we were specifically doing in class at that time. Mrs. Welling may have been speaking to some aspect of Science, or we may have been doing some in class study time. We heard the school PA system come on. The PA system was always used for announcements of some kind or another related to school activities. In my mind, that was the expectation at that time. However, what we heard was something much different then anything we had ever heard on that PA system before. We realized the voice we were hearing was not that of the high school Principle, or the Superintendent, or any of the teachers. It was a voice on a radio. I don't remember the exact words, but to the best of my recollection they were:

"......We repeat. President John F. Kennedy has been shot while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas.... At approximately 12:30 PM local time, the President of the United States was shot...."

We sat there as the radio broadcast continued over the PA system. It took several minutes to process the meaning of the words we were hearing. Assassinations are things that only happen in history, such as in the Lincoln assassination. They are not suppose to happen in our United States of America of 1963. How could this be? What was going on? Even then there was a certain detachment from what we were hearing, as though listening to some kind of fictional account.

But it was not fiction. It was real. It was actually happening! Any thought of continuing with the Science class was totally erased from everyone's mind. We just sat there listening. It was about 20 minutes after we first heard the news of the shooting when the voice on the radio announced a news update bulletin had just come in.

"President John F. Kennedy died at approximately 1 p.m. Central Standard Time today here in Dallas. He died of a gunshot wound in the brain."

We were stunned. Mrs. Welling had tears in her eyes. In the wisdom and perspective of her older years, she much more fully comprehended the meaning, importance, and impact of what we were hearing. She had already in her lifetime witnessed December 7, 1941 when the shocking news came through that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. In contrast, we as students in our youthful inexperience and naivete could hardly comprehend the tragic historic moment we were listening to over that PA system.

At some point the buzzer rang to signal the end of the class session. We left the classroom as in a daze. Any conversations in the hallway were subdued. We were struggling to comprehend what we had heard, what it all meant, and what was going to happen.

My last class of the day was Phys. Ed. We went to the gym, but no one bothered getting ready for gym class. We just sat there on the bleachers or wandered around the gym aimlessly, talking quietly among ourselves. At one point one of my classmates, in a demonstration of youthful folly, made a smart-aleck remark about cancelling school because the President was shot. The Phys. Ed. teacher angrily and curtly told him to just shut up.

Finally the school day ended. We headed home. My mother was a teacher at the school, so she had heard the news in the same way we had. My dad had also heard the news. The normal afternoon TV shows we liked to watch were cancelled. All the TV and radio stations were focused on the assassination. We started hearing the name Lee Harvey Oswald mentioned. He was now in the custody of the Dallas Police Department. President Kennedy's body was being flown back to Washington, DC aboard Air Force 1. Lynden Johnson had taken the oath of office, and was now President of the United States.

Saturday morning dawned. We did our usual farm chores, but I don't remember doing much else that day. The news came that President Kennedy's funeral would be on Monday, and there would be no school that day. Lee Harvey Oswald was still in the custody of the Dallas Police Department. The only thing else I remember about that Saturday was that it was sunny with mostly clear skies.

In looking back at that time, it's the routine details of your life you don't remember. Sunday morning came. I had probably gone to church that morning, but have no memory of it. I would have got back home a little before Noon, our local EST. What I do remember was watching the TV coverage of the assassination, funeral preparations, the public viewing of the closed casket in the rotunda of the Capital building, and all the rest.

Then the network broke away to the coverage in Dallas, Texas where the Dallas police were about to transfer Lee Harvey Oswald from the police headquarters to the county jail. There on the black and white screen in front of me, I saw police officers escorting a man into the basement of the police headquarters. Then another man stepped quickly forward and shots rang out. It was 11:21 am local CST, Sunday, November 24, 1963. As he was about to be taken to the Dallas County Jail, Lee Harvey Oswald was fatally shot before live television cameras in the basement of the Dallas Police Headquarters by Jack Ruby. I was watching the whole thing on TV. I along with millions of other Americans saw it happen right before our eyes. It was surreal, as if in a dream.

Ruby was immediately taken into custody. What was going on? This stuff happens in fictional movies and TV shows, but this was real life. Two murders in two days! I don't remember watching any more TV that day. I may have, but that scene from the basement of the Dallas Police Headquarters remains etched forever in my memory.

Monday November 25, was President John F. Kennedy's funeral. In our part of Michigan, it was another sunny day with mostly clear skies. I may have watched bits and pieces of the funeral on TV, but I remember very little. A few years in the future, in 1969, my college roommate and I would visit Washington, DC. While there, we would cross the Potomac River to the Arlington National Cemetery and visit the grave site where the eternal flame was burning. But that is another story for another time.

After the President's funeral, at some point school resumed. The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays came and went. A new year began. We would go on with our lives, but for each of us who lived through that tragic historical time, our lives would never ever be the same after that one tragic fatal November day in 1963.

(Written by J. William Newcomer. Copyright © April 2010. All rights reserved.)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Remembering Mickey Mantle's Big Hit

(This is being reposted from one of my other blogs. I think it is a story that fits well with the intent of "The Neukomment Files".)

Late August 1961, it was the summer between 6th and 7th grade, and my last summer of Little League Baseball. That day all us Little League ball players from our small rural Southern Michigan town packed into the school bus and were off to Tiger Stadium in Detroit to watch our favorite Detroit Tigers take on those NY Yankees.

That small rural town was several hours from Detroit, and as such, it was a rare treat for any of us to see a Major league baseball game first hand. We listened to the Tiger games over the radio with George Kell and Ernie Harwell calling the games. Those were the years when Al Kaline, Rocky Colavito, Norm Cash, Jake Wood, and Jim Bunning, among others were our heros.

That summer of 1961 was also the time when Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were chasing Babe Ruth's home run record.

When we got to the stadium we were seated out in the center field section of the stands. The Yankees were out warming up, and there he was right in front of us; Mickey Mantle! And over in right field was Roger Maris! The two guys who all season long had been hitting all those home runs!

We started yelling "Hey Mickey!"... He turned and waved. He caught a ball, (it must have come from Yogi Berra in left?). We called out to him to throw the ball up to us. He made a motion like he was going to do just that but that ball returned to his glove and Mickey returned to his warmup. We were in awe. What a guy!

The game started. In the course of the game both Mantle and Maris hit home runs. I don't rememeber what inning it was when Mickey was at bat and hit that 2nd (as I rememeber) home run. I can still hear in my mind the crack of his bat hitting that pitch. We heard that crack all the way out in the center field stands. We watched the ball rise as it headed out towards right field. It keep going up and up and up. It was over the outfield fence and still going up. It cleared the stands and even then was still going up.

Was it going to hit the wall? No!!!

It cleared the wall and was out of the stadium! Mickey Mantle had just hit a home run out of Tiger Stadium, and from our center field seats we had the perfect view of it all the way up and out!

As I recall, the Yankees won the game and afterwards we climbed into the school bus and headed back to our small rural Michigan community. The memory of Mickey interacting with us during the warmups; the memory of that "out of the stadium" home run remain in my memory to this day. We had seen someone who was to us, one of baseball's larger then life heros. And even though most of us remained loyal Tiger fans, Mickey Mantle had a special place in our hearts and memories.

I am well aware that in latter years, after his retirement from baseball, Mantle had some struggles and failures in his personal life. For myself, those things do not take away from who he was as a major league baseball player, nor from what his presence met for the game. For us who as youngsters saw him play the game, Mickey Mantle was and remains a great baseball player and hero.


Official Mickey Mantle Website

(Up to 1961, the Detroit stadium had been known as Brigg's Stadium. 1961 was the first year it went by the new name of Tiger Stadium.)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Guy Vernon Newcomer (1879 - 1940)


Guy Vernon Newcomer was born August 17, 1879 near Wauseon, Ohio, the son of George D. and Melinda Newcomer.

In 1901 he was married to Miss Sadie Gray of Fayette, O. To this union were born five children. The first ten years they made their home near Wauseon. In December 1910 they moved to the present home near Waldron, Mich.

He was an active member in the Masonic lodge and for four years was worshipful master of Leonard lodge No. 266, F. & A. M. At the time of his death he was a member of the school board of the White district.

After an illness of several months, he passed away Tuesday, May 7, 1940, age 60 years.

Survivng him are his widow, five children, Mrs. Clare Merrifield, Montpelier, Ohio; Mrs. Nathan McCully of Midland, Mich.; Mrs. Lawerence Ruffer of Waldron and Rex and June at home; two sisters, Mrs. E. C. Lee of Waldron and Mrs. Clare Tedrow of Delta, O., and nine grand children and many friends.



Words fail to convey our appreciation of the many beautiful things done for us by our friends in this our last sorrow.

Mrs. Guy Newcomer and family.

This obituary of my Grandfather was transcribed from a copy my sister Carol sent me. There is no indication on that copy of which newspaper the obituary was originally published in. The Card of Thanks did appear under the obituary. Grandpa's mother was Melinda (Mikesell) Newcomer. It is through Melinda that our line of Newcomer is connected to the Mikesell and Bayes families.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Family of Orendo Wilber Britton & Angelia Elizabeth Sloan

Orendo Wilber Britton was born October 20, 1852 at Mt. Tabor, Rutland Co., Vermont. His parents were Lucius and Phebe (Hart) Britton. He was the youngest in the family, having four older brothers, and one older sister. One brother had died in Vermont, and his only sister, Louisa, died in Michigan in 1857 at the age of 16. Wilber was only a few years old when the family left Vermont and moved to Hillsdale County, Michigan, settling on a farm in Ransom Township.

Angelia Elizabeth Sloan, daughter of James (II) and Amerilla (Holden) Sloan, was born March 14, 1857, in Hillsdale Co., Michigan. Her father's family roots go back to the early New England Sloan and Beal families.

O. Wilber Britton and Angelia Sloan were married on December 1, 1875, in Hillsdale Co., Michigan. Wilber farmed and also operated the grist mill that was south of the town of Pittsford on Pittsford Rd. in Hillsdale County.

Britton Mill, Pittsford, Michigan

A total of thirteen children would be born to this marriage. Not all survived to adulthood.

  • Oma L. Britton: 15 Nov 1876 - 31 Aug 1953
  • Glenn Abner Britton: 1 Oct 1878 - 23 Jun 1907
  • Leda Vera Britton: 12 Jun 1880 - 11 Nov 1957
  • Orlie Ellis Britton: 19 Jan 1883 - 26 Apr 1948
  • Ora Nellice Britton: 19 Jan 1883 - 1 Jan 1929
  • Harley Wilber Britton: 21 Feb 1887 - 26 Oct 1907
  • Nina June Britton: 12 Jun 1888 - 9 Aug 1980
  • Dollie Lucy Britton (*1): 15 Aug 1889 - 24 Jul 1974
  • Geneva Britton: 11 Dec 1890 - 21 Sep 1891
  • George H. Britton(*2): 11 Dec 1890 - 21 Oct 1918
  • Ivah Leota Britton: 15 Oct 1893 - 12 Jul 1979
  • Cleo Elihue Britton: 30 Aug 1895 - 26 Jan 1972
  • Ephraim Britton: 1897 - 1897

Orendo Wiber Britton died on June 11, 1917. Six years latter Angelia (Sloan) Britton died Aug 1, 1923. Both were buried in the Leonardson Cemetery just south of Pittsford in Hillsdale Co., Michigan.

(*1) Dolly (Britton) Bavin was my grandmother.

(*2) George Britton was killed in France in the Argonne Forest during WW-I, exactly three weeks before the Armistice of Nov. 11, 1918 brought the war to an end. He was buried in France. A memorial marker was erected in the family plot at the Leonardson Cemetery, Jefferson Twp., Hillsdale Co., Michigan.


"Britton Family Records"; Un-published records and notes collected, verified and compiled by Carol M. Newcomer.

I have personally verified the facts mentioned in this post relating to the Lenordson Cemetery in Hillsdale County, Michigan.