by Susan Catherine Ohmer
This supplement to the Ohmer Family Tree compiled in 1951 by Rose Ohmer Leach, daughter of Michael Ohmer, was written in 1970 – 71 by Susan Catherine Ohmer in response to a number of requests to know “what those people in the Family Tree did.”
Much of the information was obtained from a biographical sketch of Nicholas Ohmer in the Montgomery County (Ohio) Atlas of 1875.
The rest was compiled by Susan from family diaries, letters, and personal reminiscences. As Susan says on page 2, this chapter of family history is concerned mainly with the descendants of Nicholas Ohmer. For her it was a labor of love. She gives it to succeeding generations to carry on. She is now working on a collection of family stories and anecdotes which promises to go on– and on.
Michael engaged in the manufacturing of fine furniture, specializing in office furniture. Later with his sons he opened a retail furniture store. Articles of household furniture bearing his stamp have become collectors’ items. (For a detailed account of the prominent part he played in Dayton’s early history, see Michael Gibbons’ notes, and the Montgomery County Atlas of 1875.)
Michael’s son John Francis Ohmer founded the Ohmer Fare Register Company which made streetcar registers and later taxi meters and cash registers. The company passed out of the family, but Ohmer meters can still be seen in many taxis. Another son, Wilfred Ignatius (“Will”), manufactured recording and computing machines during World I.
Peter Ohmer opened an amusement park in Cincinnati along the Ohio River. Augustus was a kind and gentle man with an inventive turn of mind. One of his most successful inventions was a handy flour bin with a sifter attached underneath– to be hung on the wall.
The first Ohmer of whom we have any record was Nicholas Ohmer, a native of France, and a tailor by trade. He married Marie Ann Thuiller. Their two sons were François (“Francis”) and Jean Christophe (“Christopher”). The latter was killed by lightning in Germany. Francis was born August 19, 1796 in the village of Langet, six miles from Bispang, Department of Melch, France. He married Margarette Floquet, daughter of a French fruit grower and wine maker on May 2, 1822. With their five children, they emigrated to America from Lorraine, France, arriving in New York January 8, 1832. The children’s names were Nicholas, Mary, Michael, Margarette, and John Peter. Nicholas, the oldest, was born in Bispang, France April 18, 1823.
The family remained in New York until the Erie Canal thawed in the spring, then sailed for Buffalo, and by steamer to Sandusky. From there they went by wagon to Cincinnati where they remained several weeks. A probable reason for coming to this area is that they had acquaintances here.
Like his father, Francis was a tailor by trade. To get milk for· his children on the voyage from France he had made suits for the captain and crew of the sailing vessel. Unable to get work at his trade in Cincinnati, on the advice of acquaintances he went to Hamilton, walking the entire distance, as money was running out. His family remained in Cincinnati.
At Smithman’s Tavern he met persons with whom he had been acquainted in France. They advised him to go to Trenton, a few miles north of Hamilton, then called Bloomfield. Having arranged for a house he brought the family to Trenton and there he hung out his shingle for the first time in America as a tailor.
He soon had more work at good prices than he could perform, so pressed his wife and son Nicholas into service. The boy, however, showed little interest in the work. One day his father said “Nick, you have been working on the bench for nearly a year, and you are not learning as fast as you ought. I’ll give you my watch (a bull’s eye London watch) if you will make a pair of pants without further instructions.”
In about a week Nicholas was the only boy in town who sported a watch. Sometime afterwards hie father said. to him, “I’ll give you my shotgun (an old double-barrel he had brought from France) if you will make a vest and roundabout (a short coat much worn in those days) without being shown.” A few days afterwards he was banging away at flickers, red birds, and other game in an orchard where the depot now stands.
That was as far as Nicholas got in the tailoring business. Since he didn’t like that work, he was apprenticed to a confectioner where he learned a business in which he later became successful. After the family moved to Dayton in 1837, he and his father opened a confectionery shop on Second Street. Later his father operated the Madison House–subsequently renamed the Dayton Hotel — at Third and Madison Streets near the canal boat landing. Nicholas set up his own confectionery shop and was the first to introduce Daytonians to a new delicacy — the ice cream soda.
Nicholas was the oldest of nine children. Four were born in this country. They were Augustus, George, Joseph, and Rosella (“Rosa”). This supplement to the Ohmer Family Tree compiled by Rose Ohmer Leach, is concerned mainly with Nicholas Ohmer and his descendants.
Under the name N and G Ohmer, Nicholas and his brother George took over the management of the restaurants in the depots of the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad at Columbus, Xenia, Indianapolis, Muncie, Terre Haute, East· St. Louis, and Lafayette, Indiana. Later George secured the concession for dining cars on the same railroad. He operated the first dining cars west of the Alleghenies.
At the age of 34 years Nicholas’s health began to fail. His doctor told him it was either the country or the graveyard. He concluded to try the country. He knew little about farming but had a natural taste for growing fruits and flowers. So, in 1857 he purchased from Peter Lowe 34 acres, 20 more from Klopfer, and 50 more from Samuel Edgar, a total of 104 acres of land southeast of Dayton, now called Ohmer Park. In the early days he called it Floral Hill and began to study what was to him a new profession– that of growing fruit. It became his principal work.
Nicholas pitched in at the start, bound to in, and win he did. The first and second years he planted 2,000 pear trees, 1,000 cherry, 1,500 peach and 1,000 apple trees as a starter, besides acres of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. There was also a maple grove and a pasture. People wondered what he would do with all the fruit he expected to raise. Time proved that he had made no mistake, as he was always able to sell all of it, at a good profit. From the second year his net· profit was from $1500 to $7000. He always kept an accurate account of products, receipts, and expenses. Locally he sold to the Kiefaber Produce Company, and also shipped fruit to all parts of Ohio. It was impossible to make longer shipments since refrigerated cars were unknown then. It was also before the day of blights and insect pests, and spraying was unnecessary.
In 1847, Nicholas had married Susanna Spratt, a gentle, sweet-tempered girl of Greene County, who made a very fine wife and mother. For a time they-lived in a house on West Third Street which they had built. Then in 1864 they built a 12-room Brick house on Floral Hill; where Nicholas lived the life of a country squire. He worked hard on the farm, but when he drove into town, he rode in a carriage drawn by two spirited horses, two spotted Dalmatians running under the rear of the equipage. Succeeding generations gave the stately house loving care. In 1964 Nicholas’s granddaughters, Susan, Alice, and Ruth Ohmer, celebrated its 100th birthday with a reunion of members of the Ohmer clan. Later the Montgomery County Historical Society included it among “landmarks worthy of preservation.”
The family were members of St. Joseph Church, and later attended the new Sacred Heart Church in Dayton. Nicholas was president of the School Association of that school. Though having little formal education, be read and studied constantly and was one of the strongest supporters of public schools in the County. He was Vice President of the Calvary Cemetery Association, a Director of the Merchants National Bank ( now the First National Bank), President of the Montgomery County Farmers Club, Vice President of the Southern Fair Association, President of the Montgomery County Horticultural Society in which office he served until his death in 1903, being elected to it 45 times, and Vice President of the Ohio State Horticultural Society. In the last-named office he traveled widely in the United States, lecturing on horticulture and studying fruit-growing methods elsewhere. He developed a new strawberry, bearing his name. Ohio State University honored him as a pioneer horticulturist by hanging his picture in its department of Agriculture. In politics he was Whig. He was active in civic affairs and was esteemed as a man of substance and sterling character.
With the household work done by a cook, a maid, a nursegirl, and a seamstress, Susanna Ohmer was free to devote herself to rearing a fine family of 13 children. They were Francis Bernard(“Frank”), Edward James, Laura, Emma, Mary, Charles Thomas, Eugene, Anna, Harry Sebastian, Margaret, Albert, Lillian Rosalia, and Louis.
Eugene died at the age of 4. Albert at 15, of a goiter. Margaret at 23 died of brain fever. The rest of the children married. Names of whom they married will be found in the Family Tree, which Rose Ohmer Leach compiled. Mention will only be made here of the five surviving brothers, and their occupations.
Frank became Mayor of New Castle, VA. Edward ran away and enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War. He was underage, however, and his father brought him home. Later he and Harry operated hotels in several States. Louis was a Pullman conductor on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. Charles engaged in wheat farming in Northwest Minnesota three miles from the village of Argyle.
Nicholas and Susanna were visiting in Washington, D.C. in 1876 when Susanna died of a stroke at the age or 48. At that time Francis was 29, Charles 19 and the youngest, Louis, only 7. A few years later Nicholas married Jennie Hassler. There were no children of that union. He died in 1903; Jennie in 1905.
Charles helped his father on the fruit farm for a few years, then, after a trip through the West, went to Minnesota where his brothers Edward and Harry were farming. The latter two soon left, as neither they nor their wives liked the cold winters. Charles bought the farm of 752 acres and later added 640 more. Then he went back to Dayton and on January 25, 1882 married Emma Althoff, a beautiful young woman of 24. He was 25. They had known each other since their school days at St. Joseph’s. Their wedding trip was back to the farm. It was January and the ground was covered with snow. It was a different life from the one the bride was used to. but she adapted herself to it. They stayed 23 years.
Charles and Emma were blessed with six children: Earl Nicholas, Susanna (Susie) Catherine (after both grandmothers), Carrie Althoff, Alice Editha, Ruth Mary, and Paul Pius. The first few years the family went back to Dayton for the winter. On the first trip Earl was born. On the second, Susie arrived. The rest were born in Argyle, Carrie, Alice and Paul on the farm, Ruth in town. The first few years the family lived on the farm. When the children were old enough to go to school, they moved to town during the school year.
In the Spring they would move out to the farm to get the spring plowing and wheat planting started. Two men were always left on the farm during the winter to look after the cattle and hogs, as well as the chickens, ducks, dogs, and cats. As years went by the farming operation increased. They had 23 horses, seven cows, about 100 chickens, many white ducks and five dogs. Two were hunting dogs named Bruce and Riley, a stag hound called Snag, a Russian wolfhound named Clipper, and a shepherd dog, Rover.
Earl was very fond of animals, especially dogs and horses. He had a riding pony named Lucy that he really loved. It was hard for him to part with her when the family left Minnesota.
Now a little history about Earl. He was born in Dayton, Ohio Nov. 17, 1882 in a large red brick house on Warren Street where his Grandpa and Grandma Althoff lived. The house is still standing but has passed out of the family’s hands. As a boy he had high grades in school. Everybody liked him. He was obedient to his parents and teachers, and with his sisters built castles in a large pile of sand. He was courteous and was the first boy in Argyle to raise his hat when meeting a lady acquaintance. Soon other boys followed his example. He was a devout Catholic and served Mass on Sundays. He grew up to be a fine young man, always willing to help others. He liked to hunt prairie chickens, which made very tasty eating. He loved to play ball and was good at other sports as well.
When he finished school in Argyle he was sent to St. Boniface College (taught by the Jesuits) near Winnipeg, Canada. Why there? Because it was the nearest Catholic college to Argyle. He took a business course, along with other studies including French. Earl was very homesick for a while. It was the first time he had been away from home, and nearly everybody on the playgrounds spoke French. At first, he knew nothing of that language. Finally, that changed, and he grew to like school. He took a four-year course in three years and graduated with highest honors. The Governor General of Canada presented the awards, and remarked to the other graduates: “Don’t you feel ashamed to have a boy from the States carry off all the honors?”
Earl learned to play hockey in Canada, became a star player, and introduced the game to the boys in Argyle. When they played teams from other towns his father refereed.
After graduation Earl was made foreman of his father’s “Riverdale Farm.” They raised barley, wheat, flax, oats, and corn — the last named for feed. Middle River flowed through the farm– which was fine for the ducks.
Seven men worked on the farm during the summer; two in the winter, and a large crew during harvest time. Earl was one of the two to stay on the farm in the winter after he was made foreman.
Some evenings when the weather was good and there was lots of snow, Earl would hitch two horses to a bobsled, drive into town, and take us and a few friends for a ride. We would cover up with robes to keep warm. The group enjoyed it very much. After the ride he would go back to the farm. When we went to dances, he would inquire if any of the girls among our friends were without escorts, and if so, even if he had his own girlfriend, he would take the others along to the dance. ‘that was just Earl’s way– always kind and considerate.
In 1905 Father sold the farm and moved the family to Dayton. His father Nicholas had died two years before. His second wife, whom we called Aunt Jennie, died the year we moved to Dayton. Father wanted the house to stay in the family, and as Grandpa Nicholas had planted his fruit farm, we came to Dayton so Father could develop the suburb called Ohmer Park.
But Earl didn’t like living in a city. Soon after the family came to Dayton, he took a trip out West and spent some time hunting in Colorado. Then he came back and went to work for the Apple Electric Company. He didn’t like that either. As he said, he went to work while it was dark and came home when it was dark. People worked longer hours in those days. So, after a while he gave it up and went out West again– to a cattle ranch in Oregon where he became expert in breaking broncos and using the lasso.
A year or so later he went to work on the Pat Burns Ranch in Canada. While there Earl contracted typhoid fever and was in a hospital in Canada for some time. Arter recovering his health he returned to Dayton and found employment as a receiving and shipping clerk with the American Tobacco Company operated by William Stroop, who became very fond of Earl. Mr. Stroop remarked that he wished his son would be as fine a young man as Earl. He was a natural mechanic. On one occasion when a demonstration of a machine was to be held at the Stroop farm, the demonstrator became ill. Ear! was asked to substitute. After a few minutes of inspection, he successfully gave the demonstration.
But his heart was in the West, so when his brother-in-law, Karl Sifferman, sold his fish market in Dayton, the two young men decided to go West to see what openings there were in that line along the coast. While in Seattle they heard about the shrimp industry that was developing in Southeast Alaska. A trip north convinced them Petersburg was the place to start. They returned to Seattle to have a trawler built. Earl remained there to oversee it while Karl went back to Dayton to get his wife, Carrie Ohmer Sifferman, and their three children: Karl Irwin, Jr., Emma Catherine, and Earl William. They settled in Seattle where Karl was to have charge of the selling and distributing of the shrimp, crabs, and clams which would soon be shipped down. Earl waited for the boat to be finished, then he and a pilot took it up to Petersburg where the fishing and canning were to take place. The Alaskan Glacier Seafood Company which the two partners founded proved a successful business.
In Alaska Earl found an environment to his liking. He became one of the Territory’s most prominent citizens, and in 1952 was named Man of the Year by an Alaskan newspaper. He saw the importance of conserving Alaska’s natural resources, and for many years served as Chairman- of the Alaska Fish and Game Commission under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior. He was also President of the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, and for a time, Mayor. He entertained many distinguished guests who came to see Alaska. He was a friend of rich and poor alike and treated the Indians fairly. As a mark of their appreciation they made him a Chief of the Eagle Clan of the Klingket Tribe. Earl’s activities and colorful personality made him a part. of the history of Alaska. A professor from the State University included in a history which he was writing, filmed letters of Earl’s which were on file in Washington, D.C.
Earl married Loyla Henriette von Osten in 1918 in Petersburg. They had four children– Robert Charles, David Paul, Patricia Henriette, and James Lewis. Earl died of a heart attack October 25, 1955 and was buried in Petersburg.
Of the four children Robert (Bob), the eldest, became superintendent for a construction firm in Juneau, Alaska. He married Betty Vaschull. Four children were born to them– Earl Robert, Pamela Ann, Lance David, and Arthur Gary. Bob died of a heart attack in 1963. His son Earl Robert married Susan Abbott. They lived in Ketchikan. Earl worked on a tug out of that port. He had a son– Gregory. Bob’s daughter, Pamela married Dick Crueger, a barge loading supervisor at Coos Bay, Oregon. They adopted a daughter, Rachelle Marie. In 1970 a daughter, Kristel Rae Lene, was born to them.
David became General Superintendent of the Alaskan Glacier Seafood Company and captain of the trawler Charles W after the death of his father.
Judy is secretary to the Lieutenant Governor of Alaska at this writing and plans to attend college. The other children are still in school.
James (Jim) Lewis married Jacqueline Leslie Hemnes. They had two daughters, Christi Lynne and Jody Patrice. Christi married Richard Howard Taylor in 1968. They live in Dallas where Richard is an art student at Dallas University. Christi works in an office.
Jim is Representative of the National Foundation for the State of Oregon, and lives in Portland. He majored in public relations at college.
Patricia (Patti) married Arvid Norheim. Their children are Susan Henriette, Sally Jo, and Kraig Jorgen. Patti was employed as office manager at the Alaska Communications Systems (AOS) in Petersburg, also as private secretary to Leonard Hopkins who travels through Alaska selling many exclusive lines of merchandise. In 1971 she and Gloria Ohmer purchased a variety store in Petersburg which they operate.
Patti’s daughter Susan entered Western Washington State College in Bellingham preparatory to taking a nursing course. Sally and Kraig are still in school. Arvid Norheim died in 1971.
Loyla’s second marriage was to Eiler Wikan, a fisherman. Betty’s second marriage was to Lou Ferrions, a contractor. Betty was employed in the office of the Foss Alaska Line.
(This supplement to Susie’s brief reference to herself was slipped in by her sister Ruth, who volunteered to type Susie’s notes): Susie lived quietly at home, doing household tasks and looking after the comfort and welfare of the family, with complete forgetfulness of self. Her life was one of work and prayer. By word and example, she was an inspiration to others. She carried on a huge correspondence with relatives and friends and possessed a spiritual quality that made many people turn to her for prayers, comfort, and advice. Her brother Paul called her “St. Susie”, and said she held “an umbrella of prayer over the whole family.”
Carrie was born June 19, 1885 in Argyle, Minnesota. She and Lee Peck were the first graduates of the Argyle High School. She was an excellent student and while still in high school substituted for a teacher who was ill. After moving to Dayton in 1905 she married Karl Irvin Sifferman on October 4, 1909. Karl worked in his father’s fish market in Dayton and succeeded his father as its owner. In 1916 he and Carrie’s brother Earl Ohmer formed a partnership and founded the Alaskan Glacier Sea Food Company with headquarters in Seattle and Petersburg. Karl moved his family to Seattle where he was in charge of distributing the firm’s products. Carrie and Karl had seven sons and four daughters: Karl Irvin Jr., Emma Catherine, Earl William, Raymond Francis, Ruth Mary, Thomas Charles, Edna May, Stanley Joseph, Carrie Teresa, John Stephen, and Paul Ohmer. Karl Sr. died in 1930 before Paul was born. Carrie assumed the heavy responsibility of raising her large family. Daily Mass and Holy Communion gave her the strength and courage to carry on. Her business interests were looked after by her brother Earl. All her children grew up and married. Her seven sons all graduated from Seattle Prep (Jesuit) with a record of unbroken attendance for 25 years.
Karl Jr. took his father’s place. He is General Manager of the Alaskan Glacier Sea Food Company, and owner of the West Transfer Company in Seattle. He is an authority on rhododendron culture. In 1934 he married Dorothy Iris Parks. They had four children: Dorothy Iris Karlene, Frances Jean, Susan Carol, and Karl Irvin III (Nick). The three daughters married. Karlene is a receptionist in a hospital in Seattle. On June 27, 1953 she married Joseph James Lacher, Purser on a Pan American airliner. Five children were born to them: Carol Jean, Jolene Sue, Stephen Joseph, Jill Marie, and Joseph James, Jr. Frances Jean married Richard Freitas in 1956. He is employed at the West Transfer Company. Their six children are Douglas Richard, James Joseph, Nancy Ann, Paul William, Mary Ann, and John Charles.
Susan married Scollin Daniel Cash on June 18, 1960. Scollin (Chic) is with the FBI stationed at this writing in Tucson, Arizona. They have three children: Cathleen Sue, Christopher David, and Shawn Daniel. Karl (Nick) is working in the office of the Bell Telephone Company, Seattle.
Emma Sifferman married Harry Mulcahy in 1932. Their two children were Diane Marie, born January 15, 1933 and Michael Joseph, February 9, 1947. Diane teaches school. In 1954 she married Edward Murray. They had one child, Katherine Diane, born October 26, 1955. In a second marriage Diane became the wife of Fred Dick, employed in the office of the Puget Sound Power and Light Company. Michael graduated from the University of Washington, majoring in marketing. He married Susan Kay McClellan, a Pan American stewardess, December 27, 1968. He is with the Reserves, and he and Susi have been managing a ski school at Alpental and attending the University of Washington. For a time, Mike was a teacher of skiing and swimming.
Harry Mulcahy died October 4, 1948 in a shipyard accident. In 1951 Emma married Harold Tollefson. Harold is in the purchasing and sales department of the Fisheries Supply Company in Seattle. Emma, who has been employed at the same place for many years, does invoicing, filing, stenographic work, accounting, switchboard, and phoning. Their son, Karl Brynjulf was born January 10, 1952. He attends the University of Washington and is majoring in accounting.
Earl Sifferman is Vice President of the Kodiak Fisheries Company in Seattle. During the summer he goes to Port Baily, Alaska as superintendent of their salmon cannery there. Earl married Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Williams in 1938.
They have a cottage on Mason Lake near Seattle where they, their family, relatives and friends enjoy week-end vacations. Earl and Betty have a daughter and five sons. Kathleen Mary teaches school. She has traveled extensively—to Europe and elsewhere. Stephen Karl, a Sergeant in the US Army, suffered a knee injury in Vietnam. He is temporarily working as a mechanic at a filling station in Seattle where his brother, Earl Jr. is also employed.
James Philip attends Seattle University. An accomplished pianist, he won a scholarship at the Banff School of Fine Arts in Canada. Charles William is a senior at West Seattle High School; Edward Joseph a sophomore at O’Dea High.
Raymond Sifferman went to Hoonah, Alaska in 1937 where he worked for the Alaskan Glacier Seafood Company, canning crab meat. After graduating from high school, he married Pearl Hudnutt in 1940. They had one child, Raymond
Francis Jr. After a few years in Alaska Raymond returned to Seattle where he was an expert in precision tool: making with the Tool and Die Casting Company. Pearl died and in 1957 he married Lillian Tippery, a widow with two children. They had three children: Jeffrey Paul, and twins, Michael John and Carolyn Jean.
PFC Rex, Lillian’s son by her first marriage, served in Vietnam. He is now out of the service and is attending computer school. The twins are in high school. Jeff is in Uncle Sam’s service.
Ray Jr. married Marlene Ann Marcyes in 1960. Their children are Donna Rae Ann, Kimberly Ann, and Kenneth Patrick. Ray works for an intercity trucking company. Raymond Sr. died December 13, 1968 of Asian flu.
Ruth Sifferman married Jack Radford Kearny February 14, 1941. He is a property manager and land developer. They had six children: Stephen Joseph, Christopher John, Mary Ohmer, John Radford Jr., Mark Thomas, and Matthew Charles. Steve was Sp/5 in the Army Intelligence Reserves and joined the Air Force in 1967. He married Kathleen Ann Christenson March 19, 1966. Their children are Patricia Marie and Laura Arm. Steve is now with the Safeco Insurance Company.
Chris served in the artillery Sp/4 and was in Germany three years. He is now with the Xerox Company. He married Helen Marie Davidson September 4, 1965. They have two children: Paul Christopher and Michael Charles.
Mary married Joseph Garfield MacNeill January 16, 1965. They have two children, Gregory Joseph and Bradly Garfield. Joe is with the Harrison Construction Company, at present working in Miami, Florida. John Radford Kearny has been with the State Farm Insurance Company since leaving the army. For a time, he was a cadet at West Point. Mark joined the army in 1969. He is a Sp/5 in Army Transportation. He served in Vietnam and is now in Germany. Matthew is a junior in high school.
Tom Sifferman is head of the Sales Department of the Chain Gear Company and travels through western Canada and Alaska. He married Martha Elizabeth (Bette) Loggins in 1942. They have seven sons and four daughters, the same as his mother had, which pleased them very much. The children are Christine Marie, Thomas Raymond, David Joseph, John Karl, Mary Elizabeth, Sheila Marie, Philip Edward, Richard Francis, James Lawrence, Gregory Alan and Theresa Marie.
Christine was named beauty queen of Capitol Hill during a Seattle pageant. After returning from a trip to Europe she married Joseph Allen Hauser in 1967. Their children are Joseph Allen Jr., and twins, Kimberly Denise and Kevin David. Joseph is a teacher at the University of Bellevue, Washington. Christine teaches part time.
Thomas married Barbara Ann Petschl in 1966. They have a son, Scott Thomas. David entered the Order of Franciscan Friars of the Atonement (Graymoor Friars); He is studying for the priesthood in their seminary in Washington D.C. John served in the Navy in the Pacific in 1967. At present he is employed at the Boeing Company.
Mary Elizabeth (Marilee) married Timothy D. Briffett August 16, 1969. He is a salesman for Procter and Gamble, on the West Coast. Sheila graduated from high school and is working in California. Philip, Richard, James, Gregory, and Theresa are still in school.
Edna Sifferman married George G. Lemeshko in 1941. They adopted three children– Jeanne Marie, George Stephen, and Michael Peter. George Sr. is Assistant Manager and Member of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Car and Foundry Company, Seattle. Jeanne married Arthur Allen Pennebaker October 8, 1966. She died in 1967.
George Jr. joined the Coast Guard and served at Attu, Alaska and at Governors Island, New York. He is now attending Western Washington State College at Bellingham, Washington. Michael is still in school.
Stanley married Mary Kathleen Sheehan, a nurse, November 20, 1948. Of their five children Mary, the oldest, lived just long enough to be baptized. The others are Joseph Andrew, Robert Matthew, Margaret Ann (Peggy), and Mark Stephen. Joseph and Robert are in college; Peggy and Mark in high school. Joe plans to become a doctor. Stanley served in the marines. He is a Professional Personnel Interviewer in the Aero Space Division of the Boeing Company. At present they are working on the applications of men for the moonshots. Stanley majored in meteorology and for a time was employed in that field.
Carrie Sifferman married Frank J. Johnson June 16, 1944 at Beaufort, North Carolina near the marine base where Frank was stationed. Frank served in World War II in the USMC Air Force. They live in San Diego where Frank is Program Manager, Fleet Air Control and Surveillance Facility, Naval Air Station, North Island, and Assistant Program Manager, Command and Control Division, Naval Electronics Systems Command, Southwest Division. He is sent by the Navy to service equipment at US bases in all parts of the world. For a time, the family lived in Anchorage, Alaska, while Frank was inspecting and servicing stations along the White Alice Radar line. Carrie for some years was Registrar and General Secretary at St. Augustine High School, San Diego.
Carrie and Frank have three children: Mary Teresa, Julie Ann, and Paul Gregory. Mary married Steven Michael Smith May 7, 1966 while he was a Sea bee in the Navy. He is now a carpenter and is attending college. Their two children are Carrie Teresa and Julie Esther. Julie was active in “Up With People!” She traveled with one group and helped raise money for this patriotic organization. Later she entered college and in 1968 married John Frederick Hernly, a sergeant in the US Air Force. They lived in Germany while John was stationed there.
Paul is attending the University at night and working as an apprentice electrician during the day as a start for the basics of electronics which he plans to major in at college.
John Sifferman married Eileen O’Hara in 1948. They have four children of their own, and adopted a little girl, Karen Marie. Their own children are Katherine Ann, Gerald Anthony, Andrew Michael, and Daniel Joseph. Since leaving the service John has been with United States Steel, in the sales-service department. He is living in Pittsburgh. Katherine is married and is living in Concord, California. Jerry works in the mailing room at US Steel in Pittsburgh and attends college.
Paul Sifferman also served in the Armed Forces. He is Senior Representative in Distribution with the Shell Oil Company now stationed. in Conroe, Texas. In 1954 he married Louise Elizabeth Quinn. They adopted two boys, Mark Frederic and Gregory Paul. Then twin boys, Paul and Karl were born. To their sorrow, Paul lived only a few minutes, Karl a few days. A year later in 1967 Diane Marie was born to gladden their hearts.
As the years have flown by, we have noted with satisfaction that an impressive number of honors, trophies, and scholarships have been won by our nieces, nephews, and grand nieces and nephews. They have been a credit to the family, and we are proud of them.
Alice Ohmer was born in Argyle, Minnesota November 27, 1887. She graduated with honors from the high school there, and won a scholarship to a college in Minnesota, but did not use it as our family was about to leave Argyle and move to Dayton. In Dayton she was asked to teach a fourth grade of boys at Holy Angels School. After one year there she entered Normal School. Upon graduating she began teaching at Emerson public school while attending evening classes at the University of Dayton, and graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Education. She continued teaching at Emerson for 40 years, working most of the time with slow learners. The Principal chose her for this work from among 35 members of the faculty because of her special qualifications including her patience. When she retired the faculty gave her a dinner and entertainment. No one before or since has been honored in that way at Emerson. The Junior Chamber of Commerce named her Teacher of the Month, another honor no other teacher in her school had received. She and Ruth took a summer course at the University of Chicago. Before and since retiring Alice and Ruth have taken trips to Alaska, through the Panama Canal, Mexico, Europe and the Near East. On this trip they made the Way of the Cross on Good Friday in Jerusalem, walking in the same path Our Lord took on His way to Calvary, and on Easter Sunday they attended Mass and received Holy Communion in Our Lord’s tomb. Alice is an excellent cook and loves gardening. Two high school boys of the neighborhood helped her in this task.
Ruth Ohmer was born October 20, 1892 in Argyle, Minnesota. She attended St. Rose of Lima School taught by the Sisters of St Joseph. On coming to Dayton, she enrolled at Notre Dame Academy, taught by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Her aunt, Sister Editha, had been a member of this Order. Ruth graduated from there with 100 per cent for her senior year. When our sister Carrie Sifferman and family moved to Seattle, Ruth went with them and remained a year. Upon her return she became Society Editor of the Dayton Herald and Journal. She resigned after seven years and graduated from MiamiJacobs Business College. She then became news editor of the George A. Pflaum publication, the Young Catholic Messenger, a post which she held 34 years. During this time, she took a summer course at the Catholic University, Washington, D.C. as well as courses in international affairs and world economic history at the University of Dayton. For her 25th anniversary the Pflaum Company gave her a trip to Europe and while there she attended the canonization of Maria Goretti in Rome. When Ruth retired as editor the Company gave a luncheon for her to which Susan and Alice were invited. Several priests and the publisher, George Pflaum gave talks. She was presented with the Medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice from Pope John XXIII for Catholic journalism in the juvenile field. Ruth also received from the Pflaum Company a silver bowl “in appreciation for 34 years of loyal and devoted service.” She is now editor of the St. Anthony Briefs, a four-page weekly bulletin giving the news of the parish. She belongs to a number of clubs and was president of the Poetry Reading Circle.
Paul Pius Ohmer was born April 7, 1898 in Argyle, Minnesota. He attended school there, then finished grade and high ·school and college in Dayton. He graduated with honors in chemical engineering at the University of Dayton. He was in the ROTC.at the University in World War I and was about to be called to active duty when the war ended. After graduating he was employed in the chemical laboratory of the Proctor and Gamble Company in Cincinnati where he brought glycerin up to a higher standard of purity than had been believed possible. Paul liked dealing with men, so was made supervisor of the North End of the P and G plant– a position he held until his death in 1958. In the meantime, during the Second World War P and G was asked to take over a Government plant making ammunition in Milan, Tennessee. Mr. Earl Pruden, an official of the Company, agreed if he could have Paul with him. So the two with their families moved to Milan. Putting the plant on an efficient basis proved a hard task. Paul’s health broke under the heavy strain and he was taken to a New Orleans clinic for a serious operation. He recovered and resumed his work, but his health was never fully restored. In 1925 Paul had married Mary Cecelia McTernan. Three children were born to them: Paul Pius Jr., Charles Thomas II, and Mary Frances.
Paul and Charles were born in Cincinnati and attended grade school there. Paul graduated from high school in Milan, Tennessee, then joined the Navy during World War II. He was in very secret communications work in the Hawaiian Islands. After his honorcable discharge he came to Dayton to attend the University of Dayton, taking mechanical engineering. Before he graduated, he had signed up with United States Steel and he has been with that company ever since. He advanced rapidly to General Supervisor Process Engineering at the Chicago plant, a position which requires him to travel a great deal. In 1957 Paul married Anne Margaret (Peg) Karmett. They have one son, Paul III who is now in school.
Charles attended grade school in both Cincinnati and Milan. He graduated from Chaminade High School in Dayton and from the University of Cincinnati. He served in the Army in Korea and while there was transferred to the Air Force and promoted to First Lieutenant. Afterwards, in the National Guard, he was promoted to Major. After leaving the service he was employed as Union Relations Contract Administrator with the General Electric Company in Cincinnati. In 1954 he married Roberta Margaret Rector (Bobbe). They have one daughter, Susanna Catherine, and six sons: Charles Thomas III, David Paul, John Steven, Michael Gregory, Mark Robert, and Richard James. All except Richard were born in Cincinnati. He was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Charles was transferred in 1968 by GE. In 1970 he was transferred back to the Cincinnati plant. While in Albuquerque Susan won the City spelling championship and was runner-up in the State competition.
Mary Frances (Bunny) was born in Milan, Tennessee August 11, 1943. The family moved back to Cincinnati where she graduated from Regina High School-and Our Lady of Cincinnati College (now Edgecliff). While still in school she used to go to an orphanage on Saturdays to help take care of the children. After graduating she taught school. With her Aunt Susie Ohmer she took a trip to the West Coast, stopping at San Diego and Seattle to become acquainted with numerous cousins she had never met. The trip was cut short when she received a phone call that her mother had broken her hip. Mary married James John Molloy August 26, 1967. They live in Louisville where Jim is a mechanic with Naval Ordnance. He is a graduate of the University of Louisville. They have a daughter, Mary Kathleen (Kelly), born July 27, 1968. Bunny is teaching half days in their parish school in Louisville.
To conclude this part of the family tree, there is an unusual incident that occurred in 1958. Paul Ohmer and a friend, Joseph Schaefer, went through high school and college together. Both were in the same class. Both were excellent students. First one would be ahead in class; then the other. Paul became ill with scarlet fever. Later Joe contracted the same disease. The entire school was watching those two boys. They graduated from the University of Dayton, Paul just a fraction of a percent ahead of Joe. Paul’s name was read first as diplomas were handed out; then Joe, equally good, received his. Paul went to Cincinnati with Procter and Gamble, Joe to a firm in the East.
In April 1958 both died. Both were brought to Dayton for burial, in the same cemetery at the same time. As Paul’s procession was entering the cemetery, Joe’s was leaving. The priest who said the prayers for Joe walked across to Paul’s grave to say the prayers. This strange series of coincidences will never be forgotten by the two families.
By request I shall give a brief description of the Nicholas Ohmer home in Dayton, Ohio– in which my sisters and I live. Its grounds cover 1¾ acres. It was built in 1864 during the Civil War– of red brick with natural stone trim and green shutters. But with passing years it was painted and is now ivory with white trim. It has six chimneys, six porches and a latticed summer kitchen, 25 windows, nine outside doors. Inside are 12 rooms, a bath and a half, three halls, seven marble fireplaces, a front and back stairway. The basement has five rooms. There are two gas furnaces. Ceilings downstairs are 11½ feet high; 12 feet upstairs. The house is much as it was in Grandfather Nicholas’s day. To date seven generations of the family have stayed here. There are some interesting antiques– and a great many memories. Today, as in our father’s and grandfather’s time, the old house extends a welcome to all members of the family — of all generations.