TSGS Cruiser Blog

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"Laval Block Building - Evansville, Indiana"

Laval Block Building
Dr. John Laval was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, on the 24th of May, 1826, and had therefore passed the seventy-third milestone on life's journey when he was called to his final rest on the 2nd of September, 1899. His father, who was forest master, died in the year 1841, after which the family removed to the city of Mainz. There he learned the druggist's trade and had gained an expert knowledge of the business when he sought the opportunities of the new world, coming to Evansville in 1849. The following year he opened a drug store on Main street and later removed to the location where the business is still conducted by his sons. For almost forty years he continued successfully in the trade in Evansville, remaining as proprietor of the establishment until 1889, when he retired. He also engaged in the practice of medicine for twenty years and had comprehensive knowledge concerning the use of medicinal properties as well as expert skill in compounding them. In 1870 he was elected treasurer of the People's Savings Bank, which position he filled for seven years. At different times he invested in real estate until he was the owner of considerable property, including two large business blocks which he erected — the well known Laval Block building and another on West Franklin street. He served as county commissioner in the '80s and for four years before his death filled the position of trustee in the Willard library. Mr. Laval was united in marriage to Miss Mary Krou, of Evansville, and they became the parents of eleven children, eight of whom are now living, namely : Mrs. George Brose ; Henry, who is engaged in the drug business ; William, a member of the medical profession ; Mrs. Tom Brose ; Mrs. Fred Geiger, Jr.; Mrs. Ed Nesbit; Otto, who is engaged in the real-estate business; and Ed. One son, Charles F. H., who reached mature years, is now deceased, and George and Emma have also passed away. { HISTORY OF THE CITY OF EVANSVILLE AND VANDERBURG COUNTY, INDIANA By FRANK M. GILBERT, Volume II [ILLUSTRATED] CHICAGO:THE PIONEER PUBUSHING COMPANY 1910 BIOGRAPHICAL, Page 116 - JOHN LAVAL [as edited by JGWest].}

Drawing Plat of Laval Block
Happy Valentine Day!

Selma [Rough] CountsMy Mother Selma Inez Rough (pronounced as in cow) Counts was born 1 November 1920 upstairs in the Laval Building. The building was named after Dr. Laval. My Mother's Father Eugene Clifton Rough had a business on the main floor called Home Art. This was a picture copying service. - Submitted by Don Counts (Photos provided by Don Counts... Laval Block Building photo taken by Don Counts.)

Eugene Rough

Friday, February 13, 2009


We conduct the TSGS monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month. The above photo was taken at the pre-meeting HELP Session led by Rena Goss on "Ohio Research." There was a nice crowd for her program. At the monthly meeting, Rena's husband Larry Goss gave his program on "Grandma's Photo Album" - a very informative and entertaining slide presentation. Thanks to Rena & Larry for two great programs. More photos of the meeting on our web site: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~intsgs/index.html Scroll down to 2009 TSGS Photo Album click on it... come back to the main page and check out some of the other photos.

Yesterday was the 200th. Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's Birthday. He was known as “Honest Abe” and he was not a very good looking person. He did not let his lack of good looks deter him; in fact, he often used that fact to his favor. During one of the Douglas/Lincoln debates, Douglas accused “Honest Abe” of being “two-faced” concerning some issues. Lincoln asked the crowd, “I leave it up to you, if I had two faces, would I be wearing this one? Which drew a loud roar of laughter and totally destroyed Douglas' point against Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln was special to me as I was growing up because we lived so close to Gentryville, IN where Lincoln spent his boyhood years.

Today is Friday the 13th. a day generally regarded as unlucky. I have always been kind of a “lucky” person and Friday the 13th. always seemed to enhance that good luck. To make my point, I have found three $20 bills on three Friday the 13 days. Other good things have happened for me on this day. I have always tried to maintain a positive outlook on all sorts of situations that seems to help make positive things happen in my life. Even when something bad happens, I tend to think how much worse it could have been had it been that I was not so lucky!

Tomorrow is Valentine Day or is it Valentine's Day. Forty years ago, I surprised Becky on Valentine Day with an engagement ring. It has been hard to beat that present. I am pleased to say that after 40 years, she is still my “sweetheart!”

Back to yesterday, the TSGS Cruiser Blog had a lot of visitors with 93 hits! Of those visits 62 were unique visits meaning that is counted as one hit in 24 hours per individual (actually computer); and, of those 59 were first time visitors to our blog! In the last 3 days we have had over 100 first time visitors!!! Hopefully many will find their way back to visit us again. Our regular web site reached an interesting number of visitors yesterday of 55,555 since we began that web site in 1996. Since Thanksgiving 2008 we have had over 3,500 visits to the web site.

Sent in by former TSGS President, Margery W Shaw - In the February 2009 issue of USI magazine, look on page 7 to read the description of the collection of photographs and then go online at www.in.gov/memories There are many from Evansville, Indiana.

Sent in by Chris Myers - The Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library has some high resolution photos and a couple of early City Directories up at this site: http://evpl.org/research/digitalcollections/

- by John G. West, TSGS President

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tombstone Thursday - Various Markers

Posted here today is a variety of markers that are unusual or different that I hope visitors will submit that they find from time to time.

Terry Diana Heuer

Oak Hill Cemetery, Evansville, IN

Photo taken & submitted by JGWest

"Sarah Jane Wife of Nathnael Walden Born Sept. 11, 1828 departed this life Mar. 24, 1850 in the 22 year of her Age" Hedges Cemetery - located at the end of Covington Court in the southwest part of Springston-Canterbury Subdivision south of Vann Road, between Bell Road and Hwy 262, Newburgh, Warrick County, Indiana. In 1996, the Boy Scouts erected a plaque listing all known burials in this very old cemetery. The cemetery is well maintained.
Photo taken & submitted by Brenda Jerome

Woodmen of the World Cemetery Markers.

Don Counts' Great Grandpa has a Woodmen Marker in Rose Hill Cemetery, Newburgh, IN

Photo taken & submitted by Don Counts

Grave Markers http://www.woodmen.org/inside.cfm?sub2_menu_id=6&sub_menu_id=3&main_menu_id=1&page_id=9
Woodmen History http://www.woodmen.org/inside.cfm?sub_menu_id=3&main_menu_id=1&page_id=126

"Your Spirit will Dance in our Hearts Forever"

Oak Hill Cemetery, Evansville, IN

Amira Ann [Akrabawi] Giesecke
Born in Beirut, Lebanon 15 Jan 1974
Died in Chicago, Illinois 26 Feb 1999

Photo taken & submitted by JGWest

Travis John Moore [NOTE: the "R" in "Travis" is reversed - JGW]
Oak Hill Cemetery, Evansville, IN

Photo taken & submitted by JGWest

[Tombstone Thursday is dedicated in memory of Donald G. West 1952-2000]

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

From the FIRST MATE's

"The New Look of
Evansville's Mesker Park Zoo"
[click on images to enlarge]

New Zoo Entrance on Mesker Park Drive With the addition of the new Amazonia Exhibit, the zoo has created an all new entrance with a cafeteria & gift shop. The new entrance is on Mesker Park Drive across from the site of the old Amusement Park that was the home of the World's third largest Merry-go-Round.

Rainforest Grill Cafeteria J.G. West is standing in front of the new cafeteria, the Rainforest Grill. Good Food!

Becky by Waterfall inside of Amazonia Exhibit

Becky West is on the top deck that overlooks the waterfall inside the Amazonia Exhibit. This is just a "teaser" photo... you need to go in person to see just how advanced Evansville's Zoo has become!

Monkey Ship with Kiddie Bumper Boats

For those of you that have not been to Mesker Park Zoo for a number of years, you no doubt remember the old Monkey Ship. It was learned that the monkeys could not maintain good health on the ship, so they were moved to a more suitable environment. Unfortunately, the ship was abandoned and fell to disrepair and serious decay. BUT... it has now been restored for use for kiddie bumper boat rides.

The Restored Monkey Ship
Evansville is very lucky to have a zoo! It is not big and there are some animals we all would like to see that are not there; however, what is there is a real treat to see for young and old alike. - Photos taken by John & Becky West

Don Counts just made a comment to this article with a link to an article about the Evansville Mesker Park Zoo and its history: http://www.evansville.net/user/boneyard/hight01.htm with an old post card of the Monkey Ship with monkeys on it!

Just for fun... how many photos show an image of Becky West in the five photos above? Post in a comment, how many photos and which one(s). Number photos one through five from top to bottom. Do not get me in trouble by counting the monkey figurehead at the bow of the Monkey Ship!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

“Local History in Far Away Cemeteries”

[Reminder: TSGS will meet tonight at Willard Library. HELP Session at 6:30 PM “Ohio Research” conducted by Rena Goss. Regular TSGS Monthly Meeting at 7:30 PM Grandma's Photo Album” will be the program as presented by Larry Goss.]

While it is important to keep up with local cemeteries, there are unexpected finds out of state that can really help local genealogy searches. Pastor George Bachmann [1837-1906?] was pastor at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Evansville from 1875-1895. He had served a church in Cincinnati Ohio before he came here, and returned to Ohio, where he served a church in Cleveland. I came across a site for a cemetery in Cincinnati [http://www.springgrove.org/] which showed me an area that contained information about his first wife, her parents and grandparents, his first two children who died in infancy, his two daughters by his first wife who grew up in Evansville, their children and grandchildren who lived in many places but chose to be buried in Cincinnati. The most recent burial listed for this family was 1997. The cemetery was opened in 1845, and some of the burials for this family were actually transfers from other cemeteries or holding areas. These transfers could take place many years later. Graves sold for the burial of infants were quite small.

By checking the number assigned to each individual I could find the information that the cemetery had on file. This included the relationship of the deceased to the owner of the plot - i.e. "great grandson in law to owner". But even this wonderful site makes mistakes in transcription. I checked into a Rev. Dutch, buried in 1892. His information sheet listed him as Pastor Fred Dulitz, whom I recognized as the pastor who had worked in Posey County in 1848, and in Vanderburgh County in the 1860s. Now I have to find out what his connection was to this family. [Names listed include these with Evansville connection: Bachmann, Duebel, Zaring, Monninger, Saupert, Scheufler, Burkhardt, Dulitz, and Erkenbrecher.]
- Submitted by Karin Marie Kirsch, a former TSGS President & Current TSGS Board Director

Monday, February 9, 2009

"My Revolutionary War Ancestor"

Don Counts submitted this about his Revolutionary War ancestor.

Reference: Volume 1 "A Roster of Revolutionary Ancestors of the Indiana Daughters of the American Revolution in Commemoration of the United States of America Bicentennial" July 4, 1976 Mrs. Thomas Martin Egan, State Regent 1973-1976 Vice President General, NSDAR 1976-1979.

CAMPBELL, WILLIAM b abt. 1759, near Charlotte, N. Carolina, d 27 April 1842, Warrick County IN, m 14 March 1785, Elizabeth Bogan, b abt 1766, d aft 29 Nov. 1842, Warrick County IN. SERVICE: Private; Enlisted 1775 York Co., Carolina under Capt. Peter Clinton, Capt. How, Col. Neal, Polk, Bratton and Roberts, Gen. Williamson. Served in all 18 months. CHILDREN: James, b 14 Dec. 1786; Jennet, 27 Jan. 1788, m William Webb; Thomas, b 14 Jan. 1790, m Polly Biship; Rachel, b 16 Feb 1792; Lettice, b 11 Feb. 1796, m William Hargrave; Cynthia, b 13 Feb. 1798, Polly Ann, b 25 May 1801; Elizabeth, b 20 May 1803; Samuel, b 4 May 1806. DESCENDANT: BARCLAY, Ethel (Mrs. Gus) No. 498714

[Don is a member of the Ohio Valley Chapter of the Indiana Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) - Immediate Past Prsident and currently serving as the state society SAR Chaplain. He is also a past President of TSGS. - JGWest]

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Brief Genealogical Notes

The second Tuesday of the month is the meeting night for the Tri-State Genealogical Society. This month's meeting is: 10 Feb 2009 at 7:30 PM at Willard Library with Guest Speaker Larry Goss, retired Professor from University of Southern Indiana and serves on the TSGS Board of Directors. He will give his presentation on “Grandma's Photo Album.” At the 6:30 PM HELP Session, Rena Goss will present some information on Ohio Research in the Bayard Room. Come and visit with us. Everyone is welcome... you do not need to be a member to attend our meetings or HELP Sessions.

Don Counts sent this link for us: VA Nationwide Gravesite Locator http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/j2ee/servlet/NGL_v1

Virginia L. Aldridge, a former TSGS President, has done a very significant job of posting the images of Volume 25 of the Vanderburgh Co., Indiana marriage applications beginning on 18 April 1905 which has the parents' names and more. She has the images of the volume's index and pages 1 thru 206. This site is worth looking at even if you do not have anyone marrying in Vanderburgh County in 1905! A lot of hard work & time went into this project. Here is the link: http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~thetiethatbindsour/van_mar/vol_25_index.htm

TSGS is becoming known around the world through our regular web site:
[http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~intsgs/index.html] Since 14 Dec 2008 (less than 2 months) we have had over 670 unique visits by people all over the United States and, now, from 21 countries outside of the USA with six Continents represented. Six countries have recorded visits more than once according to our ClustrMaps Counter. Ireland has visited 11 times! We got a visit from one of the seven or so states that had not visited the last update I gave... welcome aboard, Wyoming! We still have not had visits from Mississippi, Maine, West Virginia, Hawaii, New Hampshire, North Dakota. If you know someone from any of these states ask them to come visit our TSGS regular web site and then check out this TSGS Cruiser Blog!