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The Demler Family

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By act of the Ohio Legislature, Van Wert County, Ohio was erected on 12 February 1820. The same act attached the county to Darke County, and was subsequently detached in October 1837. The county is bounded on the north by Paulding, east by Allen, south by Auglaize and Mercer counties, and west by the State of Indiana. The county is divided into 12 townships.

Isaac Van Wart was one of three soldiers who captured Major John Andre, a British spy. In 1820, the state legislature named the county Van Wert in his honor. He resided near Tarrytown, NY, and at the time of his death in 1828 was 68 years of age. The change in spelling of his name is attributed to a clerical error. Putnam and Williams Counties were also named in honor of the other two soldiers.

A sea captain, James Wilson Riley, bought property in and was the first white man to move into Van Wert County in 1821. He moved his family onto a plot of land, and laid the remainder out for a town that became Willshire, the first county seat of Van Wert County. When the population of the town of Van Wert outgrew Willshire, in 1839 the county seat was moved to Van Wert. There are several versions of how records were moved from Willshire to Van Wert, one being that a county official carried them in his coat pocket.

The county sold 100 and forty lots to the town of Van Wert, "in order to fill out and make square in form the original surveyed and recorded plat of the town of Van Wert, and that the same be known as the County's addition to the town of Van Wert . . ." (Source: Commissioner's Journal, Van Wert County, Ohio, Volume A, pages 11-12.)

Charles Demler and Lizzie Cannon

Charles Demler was born in Germany according to Census records for John Demler. His wife, Lizzie Cannon was born in Ohio, also based on Census records for John Demler. No other information is available on them at this time.

Children of Charles Demler and Lizzie Cannon
Charley Demler
Circa 1856

Laura Demler
Circa 1860

John H. Demler
11 Mar 1864
Lucas County, Ohio Laura Van Over
Bertha Olive Saum
21 Jul 1933
Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio
Emma Demler
Circa 1865

Hinny Demler
Circa 1867

Leviah Demler
Circa 1868


Census 1870              06/14/1870
Charles DEMLER on the 1870 Census in Dublin, Mercer, Ohio. 
Head Age/Sex: 60/Male. 

Individuals linked to this event include: Charles /Demler/ (Head of Family); Lizzie /Cannon/ (household member); John /Demler/ (household member); Charley /Demler/ (household member); Laura /Demler/ (household member); Emma /Demler/ (household member); Hinny /Demler/ (household member); Leviah /Demler/ (household member).

John H. Demler and Bertha Olive Saum

John Demler was born in Lucas County, Ohio 11 March 1864. His parents are Charles Demler and Lizzie Cannon. John Demler married two times. First wife was Laura A. VanOver (Marriage late 1880's) and the second marriage was to Bertha Olive Saum 15 Mar 1904. Bertha Olive Saum was married to Amos Avery prior to John Demler.

John died in 1933. He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery. Grave site: Section 8, Row 5.

Known Children of John H. Demler and Laura A. VanOver and Bertha Olive Saum

Grace Demler
About 1900

Leo Demler (VanOver)
About 1888

Grover James Demler (VanOver)
28 Jul 1892

17 May 1918
Huntington, Indiana
John Lee Demler (VanOver)
9 Jan 1898
Ohio City, VanWert, Ohio

Orville (Orvilla) Avery (Saum & Avery)
About 1900
George William Eicks
Feb 1976
Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana
Blossom May Demler (Twin)
17 Aug 1902
Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio
19 Aug 1902
Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio
Emma May Demler (Twin)
17 Aug 1902
Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio
15 Sep 1902
Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio
Lulu Faye Demler
25 July 1905
Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio
True Burtus Riley 10 May 1985
Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana
John Harold. Demler, Jr.
25 July 1907
Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio
-- 21 Oct 1920
Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio
Charles Keith Demler
Circa 1912
Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio
Mrs. Martha Shaw Jul 1973
Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana
Wilford Paul Demler
25 May 1913
Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio
-- 18 Jan 1917
Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio
Dorothy Pauline Demler
16 Dec 1916
Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio
Henry Leo Kell 29 Jan 1970
Alma Evelyn Demler
1 Jan 1919
Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio
-- 1 Jan 1919
Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio

John's occupation: RR Section Foreman in Ohio City, Van Wert County, Ohio. 

EVENT TEXT: Found Dead Man Did Section Foreman John Demler of this Place.

The body of an unknown dead man was found in a creek about one-half mile west of Glenmore this Saturday afternoon near the Erie right-of-way, having apparently fallen or been pushed from a railroad bridge, although there were no marks on the body to indicate foul play. The only injury on the body was quite a gash over the right eye, the cause of which has not yet been explained. Coroner Sidle was summoned to the scene and made as thorough an investigation as could be made on the spot and ordered the body removed to Convoy, where a postmortem will be held to ascertain the cause of death.

Census 1910
John was listed as the head of a family on the 1910 Census Ohio City, Van Wert County, Ohio. 

Head Age/Sex: 45/Male.  Individuals linked to this event include: John /Demler/ (Head of Family); Bertha Olive /Saum/ (wife); Leo /Demler/ (son); Lulu Fay /Demler/ (daughter); John H. /Demler/{Junior} (son).

Census 1920              01/21/1920
John was listed as the head of a family on the 1920 Census Van Wert County, Ohio. 

Head Age/Sex: 54/Male. Individuals linked to this event include: John /Demler/ (Head of Family); Bertha Olice /Saum/ (wife); Orville /Avery/ (daughter); Lulu Fay /Demler/ (daughter); John Lee /Demler/ (son); Charles Keith /Demler/ (son).

EVENT TEXT: Shows father born Germany, mother born Ohio. 1920 Census.

Census 1930             04/07/1930
Census listed John as head of household in Delhos Township, Allen County, Ohio, 7 Apr 1930. 

Individuals linked to this event include: Dorothy Pauline /Demler/ (resident); John /Demler/ (Head of Household); Bertha Olive /Saum/ (resident).

EVENT TEXT: Father born Germany. Mother born Ohio.

Grover James Demler

Grover James Demler was born in Ohio City, Van Wert County, Ohio 28 Jul 1892. He is the son of John Demler and Laura A. Van Over. His name has also appeared as James Grover Demler.

James Grover Demler died in Huntington, Indiana 17 May 1918 at the age of 24.

Grover Demler, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Demler, died at the hospital at Huntington, Indiana, Tuesday morning. Mr. Demler had been suffering for some time with heart trouble and dropsy and had been bed-fast here at his home for some time. Monday he was removed to the hospital at Huntington, Indiana where death came.

Mr. Demler formerly had worked here at the Erie office as a night clerk for several years, after which a year or so ago he went on the road as a brakeman. Mr. Demler was liked very much by his fellow workmen and will be missed, as Grover was a hustler and always took an interest at what ever he undertook. He leaves to mourn his departure brothers and sisters, father and mother and a host of relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be held at the Lutheran Church to-day (Friday) at 2:00 p.m. Interment in Woodlawn Cemetery.

James Grover Demler is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery. Section 8, Row 5.

James Grover Demler, son of John and Laura A. Demler was born in Ohio City, Ohio July 28th 1893 died in Huntington County, Indiana Hospital May 15, 1918 at 3:30 a.m. aged 24 years, 9 months, 17 days.

Grover was a young man of good principles and was highly esteemed by all who knew him, of a gentle and kind disposition which won him many friends. He united with the Lutheran Church and had been an attendant of the Sunday School from childhood. Never robust in health he was stricken with his last illness about four weeks ago. He made a brave fight for life. He bore his sufferings with much patience and showed appreciation for anything that was done for him expressing special appreciation for the flowers sent to him by the Sunday School class of which he was a member, and others. He was a graduate of the Ohio City High School of the class of 1911. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias Lodge, Masonic Fraternity and Brotherhood of Rail Road Trainmen.

Funeral services were held in the Lutheran Church Friday at 2 p.m. conducted by the pastor H.C. Stuckenberg.

He will be missed for his seat will be empty.

Census 1910             
Grover was listed on the 1910 Census in Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio. 

EVENT TEXT: Grover Demler
  Age: 18 State: OH
  Color: W Enumeration District: 0095
  Birth Place: Ohio Visit: 0017
  County:  Van Wert, Ohio City
  Relation:  LO
  Other Residents: Relation Name Color Age Birth Place
Head of Household Elzie Custer 
 Graduation-High School     1911
 He graduated from high school Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio, 1911. School: Ohio City High School. 

Membership               12/31/1917
Grover was a Brotherhood of Rail Road Trainmen member Ohio, Before 1918. 

Membership               12/31/1917
Grover was a Knights of Pythias member Ohio, Before 1918.  His Memorium from the Knights of Pythias follows.

Grover was a Pythias Lodge member Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio, 31 May 1918. 

Organization: Pythias Lodge. 


Whereas: -- It has pleased an All Wise Providence to remove from our midst our beloved Brother and citizen G.D. Demler: --

Therefore be it resolved by Monitor Lodge No. 582, Knights of Pythias, Ohio City, that we bow our heads in submission to Him. Who doeth all things well and strive to exemplify in our daily lives the spirit of Fraternity as exemplified by him of whom we have been bereft;

And be it further resolved: That we extend to his family and friends our sincerest sympathy in this their hour of sad bereavement and that the charter of our lodge be draped in mourning for a period of thirty days and that these resolutions be spread on the minutes of our lodge and a copy be given the bereaved family and published in the local paper.

J.H. Pennell
H.H. Dunlap
H.H. Bowe

Membership               12/31/1917
Grover was a Masonic Fraternity member Ohio, Before 1918. 

Lulu Faye Demler and True Burtus Riley

Lulu Faye Demler is the daughter of John Demler and Bertha Olive Saum. She married True Burtus Riley on 4 April 1926.  Lulu Faye Demler Pedigree.

1920 Census
Name: Lula F Demler
Age: 14 years 
Estimated birth year: abt 1906 
Birthplace: Ohio 
Race: White 
Home in 1920: Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio
Sex: Female 
Marital status: Single 
Relation to Head of House: Daughter 
Able to read: Yes 
Able to Write: Yes 
Mother's Birth Place: Ohio 
Father's Birth Place: Ohio 
Image: 112 
Image Source: Year: 1920; Census Place: Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio; Roll: T625_1446; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 126; Image: 112.

BK. 4, PAGE 113, #27
b. 1905 July 25 Ohio City, Van Wert County, Ohio
parents: John Demler/Bertha Saums
residence: Ohio City, O.
reported by: not stated

Fort Wayne News Sentinel, Allen Co, IN, Friday, May 10, 1985, p. 3B, col. 4

    Lulu Fay Riley, 79, died Thursday in Lutheran Hospital.
    A native of Ohio City, Ohio, she worked in the Lutheran Hospital medical records department for 10 years and worked for a local doctor for six years. She was a member of Calvary Presbyterian Church.
    Surviving are a daughter, Carole J. Streeter of Fort Wayne; two sons, Clifford K. of Fort Wayne and R. Donavan of Minneapolis; and six grandchildren.
    Services are 11:30 a.m. Saturday, and calling is from 7 to 9 p.m. today in D.O. McComb & Sons Lakeside Park Funeral Home, 1140 Lake Ave. Burial will be in Greenlawn Memorial Park.
    Preferred memorials are gifts to the Calvary Presbyterian Church Foundation.

John Harold Demler

John Harold Demler was born in Toledo, Ohio 25 Jul 1907. He is the son of John Demler and Bertha Olive Saum. He was baptized on 12 Apr 1912 in the Lutheran Church. John Harold Demler died a tragic death at the age of 13. His body was interred 24 Oct 1920 Ohio City, Van Wert, Ohio, Woodlawn.  Grave site: Section 8, Row 5. 

Death                    10/21/1920

John Harold, son of John and Bertha Demler, was born on Hamilton Street, Toledo, Ohio. July 25th 1907, and died October 21st, 1920, aged 13 years, 2 months, 26 days.

He was a sturdy and industrious lad with a smile for all. He was a pupil in the 6th grade of the public school of Ohio City. He was also a member of the Boys Class of the Lutheran Sunday School. He was baptized April 12, 1912. When the sad accident occurred, his mangled body was found in the railroad ditch, his hands clasped and was heard to say: "Our Father who art in heaven." Who shall say that the Lord who said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me," did not send his angels to bear his soul to glory. There is another hand beckoning dear ones to the better land, another sweet voice calling to come to that place where we may meet again and be safe from all danger and where no accident can claim its victim. Harold was conscious in his last moments and recognized his friends who hovered over him as the spirit took its flight. He is gone from us but will never be forgotten.

Funeral services were conducted by Rev. H.C. Stuckenberg in the Lutheran Church. The members of the Sabbath School class of which he was a member served as pall bearers.

"The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof."


Harold Demler Dies After Losing Legs Under C. N. Freight

Harold Demler, 12, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Demler, of Ohio City, was fatally injured Thursday night when a southbound train on the Cincinnati Northern cut off both of the lad's legs. The accident happened at 8 o'clock and he died at 12.

The boy was on an errand for his mother and thinking he would make time when the freight train stopped him from crossing the tracks he started to climb over the cars. When on top of the car the train started and knocked him off. He fell under the wheels and his right leg was cut off above the knee and the left leg through the hip. Doctors E. J. Rueter and J. R. Wiggers were summoned at once but the lad's injuries were so severe that his life could not be saved.

The train which the boy tried to climb over was going on the siding to make way for the north-bound passenger train.

John Demler, the boy's father, is a section foreman on the Erie at Ohio City. Two other children of the Demler's have died within the past three years. Besides the father and mother the lad killed Thursday is survived by two brothers and three sisters.


22 October 1920

Horrifying to the gaze the mangled torso of Harold Demler, the 12 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. John Demler, was picked up in the C.N. yards Thursday evening.

The young lad was the victim of an accident in which the limb was severed from the body at the hip and the right leg cut off just above the knee by the wheels of the southbound freight train.

He was conscious when discovered by brakemen who went out to close a switch. The injured lad had crawled to a ditch by the side of the track, the blood and crushed flesh marking the trail. According to the story told the brakeman who questioned him, the lad had climbed to the top of a box car and fell off, alighting under the moving wheels.

Assistance was summoned and he was taken to the office of Dr. J.R. Wiggers, where surgical aid was ministered by Dr. Wiggers and Dr. J.W. Reuter. The lad remained conscious up until he received the anesthetic. He realized the seriousness of the injury and uttered a prayer while being removed from the scene of his mishap to the operating table. It was the inherent Christian impulse, being reared in a Christian home.

As spectators viewed the crushed and distorted form of the once handsome boy, the protruding intestines, the throbbing arteries, the exposed blood vessels and lacerated abdomen, they marveled at the anatomical skill that is practiced to prolong life. The surgeons were pitting their knowledge against the disintegrating influence of death. The boy lived until 12:00 o'clock last night when the young life so full of promise gave up its struggle for existence. It was to be so.

The family is grief stricken and many who now remember the happy traits of the young lad, whose smile was a bright incentive to others are bowed with mournful thoughts. No arrangements had been made for the funeral at the time of going to press.

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