Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Catherine Kircher

It is my theory that Catherine Kircher was a daughter of Peter and Christina Wise. She was born in Ohio between 1825-1835. She was not listed in the household of Peter and Christina Wise in the 1850 Wayne County, Ohio census. She is not included in the published index of marriage records for Wayne County nor is she in the WPA marriage index for Miami or Wabash County, Indiana. Catherine died on 05 Feb 1884 in Miami County, Indiana. Too early for official death records that might include the names of her parents.

So, what makes me believe that Catherine is a daughter of Peter and Christina Wise? Four items:
  1. Catherine and William Kircher are family #399 in the 1860 census for Perry Township, Miami County, Indiana. Peter and Christina Wise are family #398 in the same township.
  2. She and her husband William are buried in the same row, next to and north of Peter and Christina Wise in Gilead Cemetery, Miami County, Indiana.
  3. Although Catherine's obituary is a very nice write-up, it provides virtually no family information aside from giving her husband's name. However, the obituary was authored by Effie Hoffman, daughter of Eliza Jane Wise Hoffman who is a confirmed daughter of Peter and Christina.
  4. Among the four claimants in the October 25, 1887 final report of the estate of Christina Wise is Luella Culbertson (Catherine's daughter) and William Kircher (Catherine's husband).
When was Catherine born?
Her date of birth based on her age at death and the date of death on her gravemarker calculates to 16 Dec 1825. But based upon census records she would have been born between 1829-1835. In the 1860 census she is 25 years old (born 1835), in 1870 she is 38 (born 1832), and in 1880 Catherine is 51 years old (born about 1829). An amazing woman indeed, Catherine apparently aged more than 10 years in each census period and 8 years in the four years between the 1880 census and her death in 1884. I've seen many a woman get younger with each census period but seldom one that grows older each census year! Catherine could be one of the three females aged 10-14 or the female aged 5-9 listed with Peter Wise in the 1840 census in Wayne County, Ohio.

Catherine's obituary was published in the Miami County Sentinel, Peru, Indiana on Thursday, February 14, 1884.

Gilead, Ind., Feb. 11, 1884. This community was called upon to pay its last tribute of respect, on last Thursday, to Catharine Kircher, wife of Wm. Kircher, near this place. Mrs. K. died with that dread disease, consumption. She had been ill a long time, and it was quite evident to herself and all her friends that the destroyer was making inroads upon her frail health that would soon result in death. All the medical skill that could be procured was used, but to no effect. The die was cast and fate seemed against her. She had hoped to get well, yet when she found that she must die, she seemed contented and ready to go.

She was a faithful member of the M. E. Church for 35 years and never faltered in the faith for an instant. Her whole aim through life seemed to be to live near to her God and do her whole duty to her family and neighbors. Her life was as pure as a life can be spent in this sinful world, for perfection belongs to Christ alone, and not to mortals. Her last moments were these of peace; having taken a final leave of her family she calmly composed herself and waited patiently for the moment when it should be said of her that she was no more. The time even seemed long to her, so desirous was she to go and be with Christ.

The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Carvey, of Macy. He delivered an excellent discourse in the M. E. Church at Gilead, after which the remains were deposited in the cemetery near Gilead. A large concourse of friends and neighbors attended on this solemn occasion. All felt as if another good woman had passed away, gone to that clime from whose bourne no traveler has as yet returned. The only wish is that her bright example may be emulated by many others. Effie Hoffman.

Catherine married William Kircher, probably before 1860 when their daughter Luella was born. William was born on 12 Jan 1828 and died on 15 Nov 1895 in Miami County, Indiana. He is not listed in the extensive obituary index at the Peru Library.

They had one daughter, Luella Kircher, born about 1860 in Indiana. Luella married Jonathan Ambrose Culbertson before 1880. John and Luella Culberson are listed in the 1880 census with William and Catherine Kircher. Jonathan was born on 22 Oct 1857, died on 23 Apr 1883 in Perry Township, Miami County, Indiana at age 25, and was buried in Gilead Cemetery in Perry Township, Miami County, Indiana

Jonathan's obituary was published in the Miami County Sentinel, Peru, Indiana on Thursday, April 26, 1883. It reads, in part, "Last Monday Jonathan Ambrose Culbertson, the son-in-law of William Kircher, of Perry township, rashly took his own life by shooting himself through the head. He had brooded over imaginary wrongs until he was undoubtedly afflicted with a partial alienation of mind. He had returned from the village, where he had been in company with his wife and gone to his room. When dinner was ready Mr. Kircher went up stairs to call the young man, and found him dead. A letter, written just before committing the rash act, and addressed to his wife is published below.

"Young Culbertson had married the only child of Mr. Kircher, who was as kind to his son-in-law as a father could be to a son. There was no cause for the suicide and the act can only be accounted for on the hypothesis that a derangement of his mental faculties existed at the time. Below we print the evidence given before the Coroner, and the official report of that officer. Evidence taken on the 24th day of April 1883, at the inquest on Jonathan A. Culbertson.

"Letter found in the room of deceased, April 23, 1883.
"Mrs. Louilla Culbertson: 'Here is a line left for you. I am tired of life; so will pass away. Fret not and mourn not for me for I am going where they mourn not and they weep not. Our life together, you know what it has been; some very happy times and others not so good. Perhaps if we had been alone things might have been different - But alas! It's too late. You can get along though better without me than with me, for God will take care of you and Willie. And so I say do not worry for me. For the God of the Universe will take care of you. It is true that it is hard to part from you for I love you dearly and harder still when I think of the news I leave with you. But maybe that they will use you better when I am gone than when I am here, God knows that I can stand this kind of living no longer. So darling I bid you a last farewell. May God bless you and baby.' Brose."

It continues with the testimony reports of William Kircher, Louilla Culbertson of several other people who arrived on the scene shortly after the event.

I have not found any additional information on Louella Culbertson/Culberson after October 1887 when she was mentioned in the final report of the estate of Christina Wise. I've ran various searches on the 1900 and later census indexes at ancestry.com for Louella and her son Willie, who was probably named William after her father.

The family was found in the following census records:
1860 Miami County, Indiana (Perry Township, family 399 page 194) Peter Wise is family 398.
Wm Kitcher, 32, farmer, Personal Estate valued at $400, born Ohio
Catherine, 25, born Ohio
Lewis, 1/12, male, born Indiana [most likely their daughter Luella]

1870 Miami County, Indiana (Perry Township, PO Gilead page 132)
Wm Kercher, 42, farmer, Real Estate valued at $4000, Personal Estate valued at $1200, born Ohio
Catharine, 38, keeping house, born Ohio
Lulla, 10, born Indiana

1880 Miami County, Indiana (Perry Township, page 12)
William Kircher, 53, farmer, born Ohio, parents born Pennsylvania
Catharine, 51, wife, keeping house, born Ohio, parents born Pennsylvania
John A. Culberson, 22, Son In Law, farmer, born Ohio, father born Ohio, mother born Pennsylvania
Luella Culberson, 20 daughter, assistant house keeper, born Indiana, parents born Ohio

Wise Family - Index to Posts

1 comment:

Lidian said...

What a sad story - good to have for the family archives though, it gives a little window into past lives.