KALEY: 1845 – 1938: During the past several months I’ve been reviewing histories of Vermilion’s old Congregational Church that eventually evolved into the UCC Congregational church in our community. There are two: one written by Lucy Morgan (1855-1932) in 1918, the other by Elizabeth “Betty” Trinter (1917-2008) in 1993. These histories parallel the development of our community from pioneer times to the start of the 21st century. They are, in short, very interesting documents, full of interesting stories of the yesteryear and equally interesting people whose lives they document.
One of the people mentioned in both histories – one that caught my interest was a fella named John Albert Kaley. He ministered to the congregation here from 1895 to 1903. Among those persons who had served this church Kaley stood out because at one time he had the distinction of having served the longest pastorate in its history – eight and a half years. It is a record that was eventually eclipsed by two others: Rev. Earl English (1927-1956) and Rev. Louis Bertoni (1962-1996). Nonetheless, Rev. Kaley’s tenure seemed remarkable when one considers that the average stay of a Parson during the church’s then 75-year history was less than three years. So who was this guy? What made him different?
Rev. Kaley was the third of eleven children born to Charles and Elizabeth Kaley in Lewisburg Pennsylvania March 31st 1845. On March 28, 1863, three days before his eighteenth birthday, he enlisted in the Signal Corps of the Union Army during the War of the Rebellion (aka. the American Civil War). Most of his service time was spent at Washington D.C., New Orleans and Memphis Tennessee. He later noted that during those years he successfully made his way through “Ray’s Arithmetic”, saying that it was “a feat performed by perhaps no other soldier during the war”. [NOTE: Ray’s Arithmetic was published in 1834, just three years before McGuffey published his First Reader. It sold for six cents, and dealt in the main with mental drill. The problems required that the student think rapidly and accurately.]
In later years he would tell folks that while taking a three-month Signal Corps training course at Georgetown near Washington he “almost” shook then President Lincoln’s hand. Accompanied by a friend he went sightseeing at the White House and came across Lincoln on the grounds telling a story to a crippled man in a wheelchair. Being mere Army Privates they kept to the background trying to muster the courage to introduce themselves to the “Great Emancipator”. To his eternal regret their nerves failed them – they were so awed by the great man’s presence.
While he admitted seeing little action during the war, “my business being to wave flags by day and torches by night,” he did have some personal memories of Generals Grant, Sherman, Burnside and other Civil War heroes, as well as some famed persons from a later generation – namely William McKinley and famed Ohio Senator Mark Hanna.
Following the war he attended and graduated from Wittenberg College in 1872 and from Yale Theological Seminary in 1875. On April 7, 1885 he married Miss Carrie Hoyt at Hastings Michigan. The couple had three children by the time they arrived in Vermilion in 1895. During his ministry he served parishes from Vermont to Ohio. During his ministries he’d travelled extensively in Europe and Asia. While in the Holy Land he traveled more than a thousand miles on foot. And though he retired from active church work in 1911 he hardly stopped working.
In an interview published in the Honolulu Advertiser twenty years later [Note: Kaley obviously kept travelling.] the feisty veteran of both corporeal and spiritual battles slapped a table with his hand proclaiming that when some “reach seventy or seventy-five they conclude that they must take things easy, sit down and twiddle their thumbs.” Their children tell them “Now you mustn’t do this or that, Dad! You know you’re not as young as you used to be. That’s all wrong. I never worked so hard in my life as I did last year and I believe I have as much promise of twenty-five more years of life as I have had at any stage in my career.”
And that he nearly did. Well into his ninth decade of life, while living in Elyria, he was at it from seven in the morning till ten at night working on inventions in his workshop or writing one of his several books. He was also extremely active in the local chapter of the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) veteran’s organization. Until one year before his death he still marched in the Elyria Memorial Day Parade. He recalled that once on a visit to Gettysburg an Indiana woman asked him to mount the marble platform that had replaced the one where Lincoln spoke on November 19, 1863 and recite the Gettysburg Address for her. He had by that time earned some recognition for having delivered the address several times on Cleveland radio broadcasts.
At 11:40 p.m. December 13, 1938 the Rev. John Albert Kaley took leave of this world and went on to his final ministry. He was 93. And just as War Secretary Edwin M. Stanton, upon the death of Lincoln, is thought to have said, “Now he belongs to the ages,” so too does Rev. Kaley. There are others, however, who believe the phrase was “…belongs to the Angels”. In the case of Reverend Kaley, as well as President Lincoln, perhaps it is both.
Ref: Elyria Chronicle Telegram 12/14/1938; The Vermilion News, 1932; Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 11/09/17.
Vol. XIII, No.24. - VERMILION,OHIO THURSDAY, November 18, 1909
According to reports for Vermilion will receive $1000 for harbor improvements this year, Pt. Clinton, $1000; Huron, $3000; Lorain, $5000; Fairport, $245,000; Sandusky $10,000; Ashtabula, $5000, Conneaut, $5000; Cleveland, $194,000; Toledo, $45,000. The total allowance for river and harbor improvements is $36,000.000.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE
Correspondence and advertisers will take note that THE NEWS will be late issued on Wednesday instead of Thursday, next week on account of Thanksgiving. All items, intended for publication should be handed in at least one day earlier.
PARSONS – COOPER
MARRIED – Wednesday, Nov. 10, 1909, at Chicago Ill., Mr. Alva Parsons, formerly of Vermilion and Miss Mae Cooper of Chicago. The young people will make their home in that city. Mr. Parsons is the son of John Parsons of this place and has the best wishes of a host of friends.
May Build A Church
A report has been circulated about town that the Church of Christ has purchased the house and lots on the East corner of Ohio and Division streets of J.J. Fay. Upon inquiry it was found that the rumor is only partly true. Negotiations have been made for the purchase of the property but the deal has t as of yet not been closed but will be, in all probability, shortly. The property is an ideal one for a church and parsonage. The church is reported in prosperous condition and recently an indefinite call was given Mr. Murray the present pastor, at an increase in salary.
Claudie Irene Hauff, who has been living with her grandparents Martha and William Mason, in Vermilion Tp., since the death of her mother, was given into custody of her father, William Hauff, in the courtroom of common pleas Thursday. Hauff had made application for a writ of habeas corpus. The parties were brought together by Judge Reed and an amicable settlement of the differences existing soon was arranged. Mr. Hauff was married some time ago and is now in a position to give the little girl a good home. The child is about two years old.
The Lake Shore Electric has filed a motion in the Court of Common Pleas, to require Alonzo DeMaris plaintiff in a personal injury damage suit, to make his petition more definite. The company wants to know among other things just how badly DeMaris was injured. DeMaris was the motorman on one of two cars that came together just west of Vermilion several months ago.
Will Sweeney Ill
The following from Norwalk will be of interest here. As a result of a blood clot on his brain, W. B. Sweeney, a traveling salesman from Continental was taken very ill Monday evening at Hotel Langstaff. He was unable to move any part of his body. Tuesday morning he was able to go home.
Mr. Sweeney formerly lived at Vermilion. Inquiry from relatives today elicited the information that he is still ill from the effects of it. He suffered a similar attack some two years ago. Mr. Friday visited him at Norwalk and remained with him until the arrival of his wife from Continental. He suffered two more spells while on the train going home.
ACCEPTS THE CALL
Rev. A. G. Lohmann has accepted the call to Crestline, Ohio, and will begin his duties there 1 December. Many of Mr. Lohmann's congregation will be sorry to lose him as their pastor but will wish him success in his new field of in of labor.
It is reported that a call may be extended to Rev. Pretzer who was pastor of this church for 12 years and consequently well known and highly respected by the townspeople as well as by his own members. Should the call be extended and accepted Rev. Pretzer and his estimable family will receive a royal welcome we are sure.
Chas. S Baldridge, 27, Pittsburgh, Pa, and Alice A. Parsons, 21, Vermilion.
Having sold a ton, will and hairy, I wish anyone having bills against said boat will bring them to me at once. – C. Bachmann
Vern Peabody and his men have been working on the Wakefield residency at Vermillion the past week.
BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. Walter Huessner, Sunday, November 14, son.
Lewis Clark and son are making preparations for a new store building at Brownhelm station
The hunting season opened here with number of accidents none of which will prove fatal.
About 300 rabbits fell victim to Amherst hunters Monday and Tuesday.
Bert Edwards was struck by a stray shot in the neck and hand. William Slumsky received a load of shot in his leg, Martin Schroeder received a slight wound, Henry Shieverstein had a finger badly torn, besides several other minor accidents.
The youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas nearly lost his life Sunday by taking the dose of iodine by mistake. The doctor was hurried to the house and after several hours of unconsciousness, was finally revived.
[NOTE: The boy – not the doc.]
Clyde Heussner is able to be out again.
Earl Leinbach has purchased him a new horse.
Mrs. Frank Krapp has gathered about 40 bushels of walnuts.
The price of turnips has doubled in this vicinity during the past week in the still advancing. The last report was three small ones for five cents.
Mrs. Sebolt solicits lawns to rake – anybody bringing their lawn to her can get it raked and the leaves burned very reasonably for cash.
[NOTE: What an odd and amusing item.]
Repairs on the Congregational church will be begun very soon. The steeple is to be remodeled, the chimney built and a furnace installed. The outside of the building will be painted and the interior renovated.
Albert and C. Kishman are having a good catch of whitefish at their fishing plant.
After being closed for two weeks on account of measles, our school opened again Monday.
Plans are being drawn for the new Sailors Home to be erected on the land donated by A. R. Rumsey. As soon as completed work will commence on the erection of some of the buildings.
[NOTE: This is a very interesting note. More about it appears below. I don’t know if this ever really materialized – but I’ll look for more about it.]
A. R. Rumsey has had Bertillion system of weighing and measuring installed at the park.
The Curfew Ordinance
[NOTE: Bertillon system: A system for identifying persons based on bodily measurements, photographs, and notation of data (such as markings, color, and thumb line impressions)]
There is an ordinance of the village of Vermilion known as the curfew ordinance. The enforcement of this law has, during the past year or two been a dead letter and this brought about partly because there has was no bill or whistle which could be used to sound the hour. The firemen objected to the use of the fire bell thinking it should not be used for any other purpose than calling the firemen. Of late there is but a tendency for boys and girls of 14 years and under to run the streets at night and some depredations have been reported, whether committed by them or not, they are blamed for it. There is a certain cliché of little folks who seem to think that no better fun than ringing doorbells and doing other things to annoy. There is legitimate fun enough without acquiring the habit of disregarding the rights of others.
Believing it to the best interest of the community, that this curfew ordinance be again enforced, at a recent meeting of the Sorosis the subject was discussed and finally a committee appointed to call upon the Mayor and ask for the enforcement of the ordinance.
Next to the enforcement of the ordinance and what will be required as an aid, is some signal. What bell is there to be rung or what whistle to be blown? Who will furnish one?
One thing is certain it would be a good thing to keep children off the streets evenings unless they are with some older person.
[NOTE: Another interesting piece of the yesteryear. Were this the only problem our community faces today we’d be very happy.]
THE SAILORS HOME
Plans Under Consideration
Plans are now being prepared for the construction of the buildings for the Sailors at Rumsey Park. The home will be constructed of the cottage plan and will be an institution of considerable magnitude. Already a large sum of money has been provided. We hope to be able to give a full description of the proposed home in the near future.
Thursday – partly cloudy tonight.
Friday – fair, slightly warmer.
Capt. Gegenheimer is home from the lakes for a few days.
Union Thanksgiving service will be held Thanksgiving evening at the German M. E. Church.
Turkeys are scarce, supply limited, place your order at Krapp’s market at once.
Ms. Alice Kane who is been very well for the past week is slowly improving.
Mr. and Mrs. George Otto, who built a fine home at Ceylon Jct. a few years ago are now enjoying gas lights, a well having been sunk on their place recently. They expect to have enough for cooking and heating also.
On Wednesday night the first real snow of the season.
F. W. Wakefield and family are moving it into their beautiful new home.
[NOTE: Another very interesting blip. Put it in your Vermilion trivia book.]
The Maud-Elton will serve a Thanksgiving dinner from 12 to 1:30 for fifty cents a plate. All those intending to have dinner will please phone the hotel by Wednesday a.m.
Here And There
Two lynchings took place in the main streets of Cairo Illinois on the evening of November 12. A Negro, confessed slayer of in Annie Pelley was taken from the Sheriff and Deputy and hanged and his body burned. And Henry Salzner, waiting trial for the murder of his wife was taken from the jail and hung. It is said that 6000 men and women had a hand in the affair. The city was placed under military law Friday.
Hunting season is opened and rabbits are being caught. Hunters are here from Oberlin, Lorain, and Elyria. Mill Hollow is noted for a fine hunting place.
There is a very dangerous place where people have to cross the river these dark nights and high water. There had ought to be lanterns placed at each side of the water to light the way for the passersby.
Miss Rose Sprunk is busy clerking at Charles Sprunk’s store.
Mr. Merritt is entertaining several hunters at present.
There must be a lot of shooting around the L. J. Washburn place as about 11 owners make it their headquarters.
The many friends of Mrs. E.J. Aubill will be grieved to hear that she is at present feeling quite miserable suffering considerable pain.
Accidents Of A Day
The following accidents were reported as a result of the first day of hunting season:
At Wooster, Jerry Vitaro had returned from the day shooting and set his gun down in the kitchen at his home. A three-year-old son got a hold of the weapon and discharged it. The load struck his mother in the breast causing her death in a few minutes.
Robert Bowman of Cleveland while near Creston, shot a chicken and stuffed her into a pocket of his coat before the hen was dead. The chicken in its struggles caused the revolver in the pocket to go off. The bullet struck Bowman in the hip, breaking the bone.
Will Brown, 17, got excited when he saw a rabbit jump up and started to run after it. About the same time, his father L.C. Brown shot at the rabbit, the larger part of the shot catching the boy in the face in breast. His injuries are not serious.
Carelessness of hunters nearly proved fatal to James Walker at Findlay when a bullet took off a small portion of his ear. The identity of the shooter is unknown. He was husking corn in the field.
HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY
THE EIGHTH INFANTRY.
…Byron Wheeler, George Fuller, E. B. Fuller, Robert Latham, D. D. Bogart, J. Hinckley, Obed Caswell, Isaac P. Grover, George Quick, W. K. D. Townsend, Isaac DePuy, George J. Osborne, Lane Lockwood, Edward Hadley, Henry Conner, William H. Harris, Charles Clark, Burton Eigler, William Brown, Andrew D. McKisson, N. H. Chamberlin, James P. Harris, John Bartlett, Lester V. McKisson, Sexton Duley, Jefferson Dailey, John Dailey, N. H. Hammond, Horace R. Wood, Valentine Walter, Lyman Smith, Byron W. Hoford, O. E. Bacon, Harper Bill, William Wolverton, John House, Judson Willard, Peter Epp, Frederick Zorn, Benevil Slagal, John Donnelly, Sanford Harper, D.F. German, P.M. Cannon, W.W. Miller, R.W. Foster, G.V. Smith, F.B. Colven, C.B. Rone, Francis Pearson, Walter Caswell, William L. Banks.
Roster Field and Staff — Three Years Service.
Herman G. De Puy, colonel; resigned November 9, 1861.
Samuel S. Carroll, colonel; in command of brigade since May 4, 1862; wounded at Spottsylvania, May 12, 1864; mustered out with regiment July 13, 1865.
Charles A. Park, lieutenant colonel; promoted to lieutenant colonel from first lieutenant, company H, July 8, 1861; resigned November 4, 1862.
Franklin Sawyer, lieutenant-colonel; promoted from captain company D to major, July 8, 1861; to lieutenant colonel, November 25, 1861; wounded at battle of Gettysburg July 1, 1863; brevetted brigadier-general; mustered out with regiment July 13, 1864.
Albert H. Winslow, major; promoted from captain, company A, November 25, 1861; mustered out with regiment July 13, 1864.
Roster Company E.
James E. Gregg, captain; served in 1863-4 as division inspector; mustered out with company July 13, 1864.
Wells W. Miller, first lieutenant; promoted to captain and assigned to company H March u , 1862.
Alfred T. Craig, first lieutenant; promoted from second lieutenant to first lieutenant March 11, 1862; to captain and assigned to company F March 4, 1863.
James K. O'Reiley, first lieutenant; transferred from company B June i, 1863; mustered out with company June 13, 1864.
James D. Wetherell, second lieutenant; appointed first sergeant from private August 28, 1861; promoted to second lieutenant March 11, 1862; first lieutenant October 17, 1862, and assigned to company A February 23, 1863.
Lester V. McKesson, second lieutenant; appointed sergeant from corporal August 28, 1862; promoted to second lieutenant March 4, 1863; mustered out with company July 13, 1864.
HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY OHIO – With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. – Edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich – Syracuse, N.Y. - D. Mason & Co., Publishes – 1889.
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