Darlene E. Kelley
May 24, 1999
Historical Collections of Ohio
The Kelley Family Book compiled by Hermon Alfred Kelley 1897
And Then They Went West
by Darlene E. Kelley 1998
On July 27th, 1887, Kelley,s Island became an incorporated village
and its boundries established to be the same as the township. The
jurisdiction of its officers therefore extends from the International
boundary line on the North to about halfway to the mainland on the
South, to the West, it joins the County Line of Ottawa and the town line
of Put-in-Bay. The first election resulted in the honor of becoming the
first mayor of Kelley's Island being given to Dr. George C. Fann, one of
the Islands physicians. His sucessors ae given in Chronological order:
Uri L. Ward, Henry Elfers, Edward Ward, Charles Seeholzer, John
Coutcher, James Hamilton, Ed Ward. The latter was mayor in 1913.
Within the following years a new spirit was entered into the people of
Kelley's Island. New people arrived there, new developments and
improvements were taking place and much credit for this is due to the
Kel-Isle Civic Club. Rev. J.E. Maeder, said in a letter regarding this
organization: The present Civic Club is an outgrowth of a school
entertainment given in Kelley's Hall late in November or early December
1922. It was the sentiment of that gathering that something should be
done to bring the people of the Island closer together. A sort of
"Get-to-gether" idea championed especially by one of the school board
member, Mr. Ray Gorsuch. He induced the meeting to decide on having a
committee appointed, a committee of leading citizens representing
various interests; said committee consists of: Rev. Father
J.E.Maerder,pastor of St. Michael's Catholic Church; Rev Ernest Koehne,
Pastor of Zion Evangelical Church; Frank J. Reinheimer, Post Master;
Albert G. Shy, Superintendent of Public Schools, Mrs. Jno. Hughes and
Mrs. Stella Lange. The committee met for its first session December
8th, 1922, at the home of Mr. Shy and drew up the constitution of the
Civic Club in its present form. The Civic Club as such, had its first
meeting January 30th, 1923, and adopted the Constitution. The preamble
states that the purpose of the Club is to promote public spirit and
prosperity by fostering public improvemnts and legitimate enterprises
that enhance and enrich the Island. Elected officers and directors as
follows; Pres., Ray Gorsuch; vice pres.,Hon.Ed Ward; Sec., Rev.J.E.
Maerder; Treas., Rev E. Koehne. Board of Directors; F.J. Reimeimer,
Dr. Haas, Mrs. Ed Ward, Jno F. Bauman, Miss Catherine Duignan. Motto; "
Persist in Progress." Charter Members are as follows; Ray Gorsuch, Ed.
Ward, Jno J.Guerin, Rev. E.Koehne, Rev. J.E. Maerder, Frank J.
Reinheimer, Albert G.Shy, Stella Lange. Laura L. Hughes, Jno H. Bauman,
Henry Beatty Sr., Clarence H. Baumler, Mary B.Myers, Jennie A. Ward,
Chas. Seeholzer, W.A. Trieschmann, Peter Kekelik, Andrew Mazur, Geo. A
Becker, Roland E. Brown, Herbert Pringnitz, Ralph J. Dwelle, Bauman
Bros., Dr. W.T. Sullivan, Chas. Erne, Fred Schartz, W.F. Becker. Christ
Kurtz Jr., R. E. Martin. Wm Weller, Herbert Bickley, Dan W. McGettigan,
Jas. Selfe, Hugo Seeholzer, Roland Erne, Mariam Reinheimer, Allyn R.
Hobart, Chas. Stokes, Anna M. Reidy, C. A. Stribling, .F. A. Williams,
Phillip Rosswurm, F.F. Richards, G.W. Richards, S.F. Fritsch, and A.D.
Wiese. The objects at the time that they were working for is as
follows; Air Service for carrying the mails and for passenger service
during the winter months at least. A winter steamboat service. Landscape
gardening to beautify the Island. Electric lighting and power for the
Island. The Civic Club has made known the many attractions of the
Island and has published an interesing bulletin full of information for
the seeker for summer recreation place. This pamphlet was written by
Mr. Arnold Elfers. It was a source of some very interesting facts of
history. Perhaps no event in recent years is more significant than the
purchase on June 7th, 1923 for park purposes, the lot on the Northeast
corner of Division Street and its dedication on Memorial Day, May 30th,
1924, with the wonderfully impressive and beautiful ceremonies. The
property is historic. It is the site of the Home of Datus Kelley, the
Island founder. There he lived for many years. There it was also that
the famous Island House once stood.On its now consecrated soil, have
stood many a famous man and women from abroad who have visited the
island during the years past. Many a happy event has taken place there.
It is now the playground and a resting place where one may in summer sit
under the shade of the great trees and while cooled by the breeze gaze
across miles of blue water to the mainland. Marblehead, Cedar Point,
Lakeside and Sandusky, in the distance and watch the boats as they sail
by up and down the lake. It has been the custom for many years for those
Islanders that have moved away, to return to the Island to join those
that have remained Islanders in honoring their dear departed ones on
Memorial Day. The Ceremonies have always been unusually impressive but
none more than those of May 30, 1924. When hundreds of men and women
and children gathered at Estes school house and marched to the sacred
spot where lay their dead. After a song entitled, "We're going down the
valley one by one" beautifully rendered by the Island Choral Union,
floral tributes were placed on the soldier's graves, followed by the
Gettysburg address admirally delivered by Richard Bauman, one of the
Island school boys. The Rev. Ernest Koehne then offered prayer. The
song, " Sleep Thy Last Sleep" by the Choral Union was very effectivelly
sung and concluded the execises at the cemetery. The company then
wended its way back to the south shore of the Island and gathered on the
grounds about to be dedicated for the park. "My Country 'Tis Of Thee"
was sung by all and then followed the most impressive and beautiful
dedication ceremony conducted by Rev Father Maerder. Mr. Ray Gorsuch
then made the presentation speech and Mayor Ed Ward on behalf of the
Village accepted the gift. After singing the " Star Spangled Banner"
the Rev. Koehne made an eloquent Memorial Day address. This event was
an epoch in the Island's History and marks the beginning of new
developments in material and social progress in the Island. In the
past, flowers were strewn upon the waters of the lake by school
children, who marched from the cemetery to the steamboat dock and honed
the navel heros by this beautiful tribute. On this occasion 1924, the
flowers were cast from the deck of the steamer " Chippewa " which had
earlier in the day, taken a party of islanders to Pelee Island. On her
return, the Chippewa was stopped by her captain at the international
boundary line. A beautiful ceremony took place there, and flowers were
thrown on the broad bosem of Lake Erie and left floating on the waters.
Eventually to sink and perhaps to find the resting place of some one who
had found his grave in the quiet depths beneath. An interesting
anecdote was related by Mrs. Titus Hamilton, a nece of Mrs. Emeline
Kelley Huntington who began the practice of Memorial Day observance long
before it was observed by the Islanders. Mrs. Huntington prepared a
wreath which she hung upon her arm and with flowers in her hand,she
started from her home and marched down to Divison Street past many a
curious observer at the store on the corner,and then marched with her
head proudly held erect. tothe cemetery. Her only compaion on the first
occasion, was her neice Freddie Kelley, now Mrs. Titus Huntington, Mrs.
Huntington marched up Division Street to the cemetary where she
decorated the soldier's graves, and then marched through the cemetery
singing the once popular tune known as " John Brown's Body." A year or
two later, she was joined by Mr. George P. Bristol in observing the day.
In subsequent years a few others joined them. When Mr. Bristol became
President of the Board Of Education, He suceeded in enlisting the school
children and the teachers in the ceremony. Since that time, the Day has
become one of the great days of the year. Besides the Civil War Veterans
buried there, There are also those who served in the Spanish War and in
the World War. Two Island boys sleep in France but they are not
forgotten. Their names are always mentioned in the services and wreaths
are hung on the crosses that have been set in the cemetery to
commemorate their deaths. They are; Charles Fedderson and Max
Schnitker. Below are the names of the official roster of Company K of
the 100 day service members of the volunteer infantry of Kelleys Island.
These men were a volunteer company and fortunately returned to the
island at the end of their service.: William S.Webb, 40, Capt; George P
Bristol, 25, Ist Lieutenent; Henry Lange,34, 2nd Lieutenent; Erasus
Huntington, 25,Sergeant; Michael Hughes,26, Sergeant; Hamilton Hays, 29,
Sergeant; Jacob Voyt 1st, 33, Sergeant; James Titus. 32, Sergeant;
Martin K.Holbrook, 29, Corporal; Charles Sternberger,27, Corporal; Homer
H. Woodford,25,Corporal; Henry Ohlmacher,36,Corporal;Bernard McGettigan,
Jr.,29,Corporal;Lester Carpenter,18,Corporal; Jacob Beatty,19,Corporal,
died 9/7/64 at Kelleys Island; William D. Kelley, 36, Corporal; Abraham
Gitsky,17, Musician; George L. Gore,15, Musician; Joseph Voyt ll,34,
Fifer. The following were privates; Matthew Andrews,40; George C.
Babcock,30; William L. Becker,21; Fredrick Berthalf,28;Andrew
Biddle,27;George Boakerman,26;Samul Bauman,28; George Bailey, never
reported to company; Dave Morris for Hugh Catanaugh; Daniel W.
Chapin,24; Martin L. Chapin,27; John E Cahb,32; Jerry Dean,32; Oscar
Dean,36; Jared T. Dwelle,20; Alonzo W. Dwelle,18;Andew J. Eldred,30,
died 7/12/64 at Point of Rocks Hospital; James Estes,19; Jacob
Everett,28; Frederick Gherkins,30; Ernest Griener,34; John Hammond,33;
Frederick Hamp, 43; Titus Hamilton,19; Samuel Hay 18; Chauncy
M.Hubbard,43; Daniel K. Huntington,19; Rudolf Yucker,34; Stephen
Kappas,34; Charles Kelley,35; Franklin Kelley,33; Francis M.Kelley,19;
Jared H. Kellogg,36; Harmon Koster,33; Ransom Ledyard,19; Morris
Lincoln,23; James McGettigan,29; Martin Lonergan,19; Edward
McGettigan,19; John McLane,40; John W. Martin,21; Conrad Marquard,17;
Joseph Meier,24;William B. Miley.19; Charles S. Mitchell,25;Moses R.
Nason,34;Russell F. Paschal,36; Casper Peel,42; Edward W. Robinson,42;
Adam Schardt,34;James H.Taylor,18; Otis Titus,38;George R.
Wait,19;George W. Warren,19; Uri L.Ward,19; Chrisian Waters,28; James
Watkins,44, never reported to company.; Charles B. Wells,37,Dicharged
/disability/Surg certificate; David White,46; John E. Wing.26; William
H. Wood,27; Henry Worden,18; Oliver D. Worden,44.
Spanish War Veterans of Kelley's Island.
William C. Upp; Edwin L. Upp; Thomas Keating; Willam Blatt;
Andrew Boker and Frederick Hess.
World War Veterans of Kelley's Island
Officers; Ensign Alfred Moysey; Lieutenant Frank Nowak; Lieutenant
Jerome Ditchy; Lieutenant Clair Ditchy.
Non-Commissioned Officers; Willam Becker, Robert Hamilton,Stuart
Ward, Charles Himmelein, Jesse F. Lang, Elko Sennish, William Moross.
Honor Roll; Max A.Schnittker, Killed in action, buried in France.
Carl F. Fedderson, Killed at the Meuse, Buried in France.
Privates; Joe Andrysco, John S. Bauman, Clarence Baumler, Leslie K.
Beatty, Carl H. Brennan, Clyde C. Brown, David Brown, Sherman Brown,
Douglas Carpenter, Kelley Carpenter, Henry Cycoly, Jay Ditchy, John
Foley, Frank Hamilton, Howard Hamilton,John Himmelein. Peter Hlyoock,
Eastland Kelley, Carl J. Lange, Millard Lange, Robert Moysey, William T.
Moross, Patrick H. Murphy, Joseph Nowak, Charles Quinn, Harry F. Ranft,
John C.Ranft, John C. Reidy, Karl Schlumbohm, Charles F.Schnittker,
Alfred Schoewe, Hugo Seeholzer, John Sennish
Carl W. Shardt, Orval J. Smith, Peter Walland. It will be interesting
to know that of the above list, Mr. Jay Ditchy was attached to General
Pershing's Headquarters as an interpreter, owing to his knowledge of
languages. His bother, Lieutenant Clair Ditchy, was detailed to teach
English to the French officers. Both of these men were highly educated
linguists. Most of the Island boys saw active service overseas and two
lost their lives at the front. Others were wounded or gassed.