Tuesday, August 11, 2009

1918 Obituaries at Sandusky Library

In the genealogy section of the Reference Services Area of the Sandusky Library, is found a title in a single volume which contains obituaries that appeared in the Sandusky Register and the Sandusky Star Journal newspapers during 1918. Not only was the United States at war in 1918, but also the influenza epidemic was claiming thousands of lives. Mrs. Katharyn Wunderly, longtime area genealogist, took the time to photocopy Sandusky obituaries from 1918. An index appears at the front of the book, creating a very user friendly resource.

The obituary of Lowell C. Hein, the namesake of Sandusky’s VFW Post 2529, appears on page 125. At the time of his death, it was believed that Mr. Hein was the first Sandusky resident to lose his life in the Great War. In fact, it was later discovered that Corporal Elmer A. Reese had been killed a month earlier, in June, but his death was not reported until September. His obituary appears on page 147. An article from the October 5, 1918 Sandusky Register, appearing on page 155 in the 1918 Obituaries book, stated that 134 deaths from pneumonia and Spanish influenza had been reported at Ohio’s Camp Sherman. Throughout 1918, other deaths were caused by suicide, car accidents, other illnesses, and even murder. Several articles about a heart-wrenching incident in which a blizzard claimed the lives of two young men from Marblehead, are found on pages 3 and 4 of the 1918 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK.
M. B. Caroll was reportedly the oldest resident of Erie County, according to the article reprinted on page 86.
Visit the Sandusky Library to view several sources of Obituaries. A multi-volume set of Obituary Notebooks covers obituaries from February 5, 1921 through August 6, 1952. The newspaper clippings were compiled by Mrs. Carl J. Sartor, and given to the Sandusky Library by her daughter, Bernice Sartor Hug. A necrology file which gives the citations to obituaries appearing in the Sandusky Register from 1977 to 1992 is found in the Archives Research Center. See the Reference Services Staff for more information.

The Ohio Obituary Index, hosted on the website of the R. B. Hayes Presidential Center, indexes over one million obituaries, with thousands of Sandusky residents’ names included.

Four computers in the Archives Research Center are reserved for the use of genealogists and local historians. If you only know the date of a person’s death, you can search through the microfilmed copies of local newspapers in the Archives Research Center.

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