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Obituaries from Butler County, Ohio
Part VI

Table of Contents
Joseph W. SHAFOR Obituary
Henry C. REED Obituary
Lucinda SUTPHIN Obituary
Ruth Alice VAIL Obituary
Charles A. SEBALD Obituary
Henry P. LEIBEE Obituary
Lulu Gunckle FLENNER Obituary
William A. SINKEY Obituary
Mary ROOT Obituary
Hampton H. LONG Obituary
Earl LeRoy PRESSLER Obituary

  • Joseph W. Shafor Obituary, March 10, 1922, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey

    Was Vice President Of Oglesby & Barnitz Banking Company
    Is Survived by Brother and Two Daughters -- Born Near Amanda

    Middletown feels a great loss in the death of Joseph W. Shafor, vice president of the Oglesby and Barnitz bank and life-long resident here at the family resident 537 1/2 East Third Street this morning at 8:45 o'clock.
    Mr. Shafor was also secretary of the American Building Association and a member of the Board of Health.
    Mr. Shafor's sudden passing comes no more of a shock to his friends than to his bereaved family, which had been encouraged by improvement in his condition the past few days. Although in a weakened state, his recent attack of high blood pressure, with which he had been a sufferer for many years, did not keep him entirely bedfast, and he arose this morning at his customary hour and seemed apparently sustained by rest. Just a few minutes after leaving his room he collapsed in a chair.
    His two daughters, Lucille and Nellie, the latter who had been summoned from Washington, D.C., last Saturday by her father's illness, and his brother George H. Shafor, the last surviving member of the immediate family, were with him in his last moments.
    Mr. Shafor was born on the old Shafor homestead, east of Amanda, and if he had lived until the thirtieth of this month, would have celebrated his sixty-ninth anniversary. He was one of the sons of David and Elizabeth A. Shafor, deceased, who are still remembered by the pioneer residents of the city for their staunch belief in things that were upright and honorable. They instilled this trait in the minds of their sons whose constant endeavors in contributing their services unselfishly to every worthy object has proved them useful emissaries of the school of training in which they were reared.
    When the deceased was a boy his parents removed to Middletown and with the exception of a residence of about two years in Cincinnati, he had always made his home in this city.
    At an early age, he started to work in a grocery store here and later entered the employ of Harry Engel, who conducted a general store in Amanda. He continued to work for several years and later accepted a position as bookkeeper in the Adam Dickey flour mill, at Amanda, where he built up a wide friendship with farmers in that vicinity and rendered valuable service, which later brought him the appointment to the position of cashier of the Oglesby & Barnitz bank to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Charles Denny. Due to his keen insight and ability, he arose from that position to vice-president of the company in which capacity he served faithfully.
    In banking circles Mr. Safor's acquaintance was especially extensive but he made friends in in all endeavors of life as a man of integrity and influence. His friends in business included the leading financial men of the city and state but by everyone who knew him he was regarded not only as a sound financial expert but the kind of a man who had given to the city its reputation for solidity in business affairs. Perhaps one of the most generous and expressive tributes to him as a citizenis that he was "a friend of man."
    In industrial affairs, civic improvements, church activities and all lines of worth-while endeavor he had always been in front ranks but through his devotion to his daughters and his serene home life he perhaps maintained the most cordial esteem of the community. Mrs. Shafor, who was Miss Lizzie Anderson before her marriage to Mr. Shafor in 1879, passed away in 1892. To that union were born the two daughters to whom the deepest sympathy of the city is extended.

  • Henry C. Reed Obituary, September 7, 1924, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey

    Henry C. Reed, Civil War Veteran, Passes To Reward
    Henry C. Reed, 79 years old, a veteran of the Civil War, died Saturday morning at 8 o'clock at his home in West Elkton, Ohio.
    Mr. Reed was born, February 17, 1845 and served in the One Hundred and Sixty-senenth Regiment of Division G, during the Civil War. One of his comrades in this regiment was Doctor T. E. Reed, 69 South Main Street.
    Mr. Reed and his wife celebrated their golden anniversary, last March having spent 50 happy years together.
    Mr. Reed is survived by his wife, Mrs. Mary Reed, a sister of the late Mrs. D. B. Bundy; two daughters, Mrs. Elizabeth Duffield of Somerville and Mrs. Earl Wilson of Sevenmile, two sons, Robert Reed of Trenton and Bundy Reed of Somerville, also two brothers, Robert C. Reed and James O. Reed both of Excello.
    Mr. Reed's father, Tom Reed, carried the distinction of being the first male child born in Butler county.
    Funeral arrangements will be made later.

  • Lucinda Sutphin Obituary, May 22, 1922, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey


    The passing of Mrs. Lucinda Sutphin, 89 years of age, widow of John Sutphin, marks the departure of a woman of noble character and one of Middletown's pioneer residents. The close of her long and beautiful life came Sunday morning at 4:30 o'clock at the home of her son, C. W. Sutphin, 120 South Monroe Avenue.
    Mrs. Sutphin's well preserved health failed the past few weeks during which time she was confined to her bed, but the end was resigned and peaceful.
    She was born in Alleghany County, Pa., January 25, 1833, and at the age of two years was brought to what is now the vicinity of Amanda. With the exception of a few years, her entire life was spent in and around Middletown and her lasting influence in the community had been that of a good Christian woman.
    Since early in life, Mrs. Sutphin was a Methodist, and was one of the oldest members of the Broadway M. E. church at the time of her death. That church is deprived of one of its most consistent members in the death of Mrs. Sutphin.
    Surviving her are one daughter, Mrs. A. C. Diver and C. W. Sutphin, with whom she made her home. Funeral services will be held there Tuesday afternoon at three o'clock, Rev. C. W.Sullivan in charge and interment will be made in Woodside cemetery.

  • Ruth Alice Vail Obituary, July 10, 1930, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey

    Body of Mrs. Ruth Vail To Be Buried Here

    Mrs. Ruth Alice Vail, representative of Middletown's first family and widow of Hugh Porter Vail, son of Stephen Vail, founder of this city, died at the home of her son, Stanley Vail, in Salem, Oregon, Wednesday night. She was 80 years old.
    The message of her death, received here today, contained the information that the body will be brought to Middletown for burial. Arrangements for the funeral will be made later.
    Mrs. Vail, who was Ruth Alice Crane, of Red Lion before her marriage into the family that settled Middletown, went west 14 years ago to make her home with her son. She had been in ill health for several months.
    During the life of this pioneer occurred many of the events that made early history for Middletown. She saw it grow from a small hamlet into the properous city she left 14 years ago.
    Mrs. Vail was able to record early happenings in the life of the town with accuracy and during her residence here was considered one of the most reliable authorities on her husband's distinguished ancestors. She was the only direct link between the Father of Middletown and the present day.
    Surviving her are two sons Hugh Vail, 705 Fourteenth Avenue, this city, and Stanley Vail of Salem, Oregon.

  • Charles A. Sebald Obituary, September 19, 1924, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey

    City Suffers Loss Of Prominent Citizen in Charles Sebald's Death

    Charles A. Sebald, 55 years old, one of Middletown's most widely known citizens, died suddenly at his home, 2214 Linden Avenue this morning. As the news was flashed through the city, expressions of keen regret at his untimely passing were heard from many quarters, where he was known.
    Mr. Sebald had been in failing health for the past two years, suffering from asthma and a lung infection. In search of renewed health and vigor, he went to Albuquerque, New Mexico, last November, returning in April somewhat improved though not entirely well. However, his condition was not deemed serious in the past few weeks. Even last evening he entertained close friend who called at his home, manifesting his happiness in his associations in his old time manner.
    The end came almost without warning about ten o'clock, said to have been caused by a sudden attack of heart trouble.
    Mr. Sebald had long been connected with leading business interests of the city, being president of the William Sebald Realty company, where he had large holdings in business blocks and dwellings throughout the city and vice president of the William Sebald Brewing company. He was actively engaged in the interests of both companies and when his health permitted was faithful in the dispatch of his duties at the offices of these companies.
    Monuments to his business enterprise are the Sebald building at Central Avenue and Broadway and the Castell building at Central Avenue and the canal.
    As a lodge man, Mr. Sebald was a member of Middleton Lodge 257, B. P. O. E., Lafayette Lodge37, K. of P. and Middletown Lodge No. 501, L. O. O. M. He enjoyed the fraternal associations made possible by his lodge affiliations and was a moving spirit in the activities of all of them.
    Mr. Sebald early in life affiliated himself with St. Paul's Evangelical Church and was a faithful attendant during the years of his better health.
    He was a quiet unassuming, courteous gentleman, with affable disposition. He had a keen love of his home and children and was never happier than when among those he loved best.
    Surviving is the faithful widow, who administered to him patiently and kindly to him during the years of failing health, two daughters, Mrs. Clayton M. Bailey, 117 Monroe Street, and Miss Charma and one son Charles, Jr., the latter two residing at home together with little Jack Ferris, a grandson who has made his home with his grandparents since the death of his mother five years ago. The little fellow was one of Mr. Sebald's greatest prides.
    Also surviving are three brothers, George C., Ed and William (all of Middletown) and two sisters, Mrs. G. A. Wilmer, of Middletown and Mrs. Edward Reinart of Columbus.

  • Henry P. Leibee Obituary, December 3, 1924, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey


    On Tuesday morning just as the dawn was driving back the darkness of night, at his home, in Buffalo, New York, the Spirit of our kind friend, Henry P. Leibee, took its flight into the mysterious realms of the Great Beyond. A good man has fallen leaving behind him his devoted wife, his loving daughter, Gertrude, her husband, Mr. Wheeler and a grandchild. Mr. Leibee spent nearly all his life of 76 years in our city, where he was born in a brick home at the corner of Clark Street and Central Avenue where the Roosevelt school now stands (old city building). His father was Jacob Leibee and his mother Sarah Lefferson Leibee; a worthy son of two of the pioneer families of Middletown. Mr. Jacob Leibee was a clear, far-sighted public citizen; he with another neighbor or two bought the first fire engine for our city and in 1860 he built the Leibee block on Central Avenue and Main Street; he was one of the pioneer Dry-Goods men of this part of the Miami Valley, which business Mr. Henry P. Leibee took up, when it was surrendered by his father, Jacob; our friend Henry P. Leibee, became associated in the office of Robert Wilson, Daniel McCalley when they carried on the tobacco trade in our city; Mr. Daniel McCally having married his sister, Mary; our friend afterwards became associated with three gentlemen in the manufacture of twine and later on he was connected with Hill and Son in the manufacture of wood-pulp.
    The deceased married Miss Marion Morgan of Buffalo, and brought her to Middletown and built for their home the handsome house on South Main Street, where they lived with their daughter Gertrude until she married and moved to Buffalo. A few years ago Mr. Leibee sold his home to Mr. George Verity together with the large and beautiful body of land surrounding it, when he and his wife moved to Buffalo where he secured another home near his daughter, Gertrude.
    Mr. Leibee was a public spirited man and promoted every measure and movement looking toward the advancement of the city of his birth; a Republican in politics, a Presbyterian in his church relations; a devoted husband, a thoughtful and indulgent father, a faithful friend and a man of the highest integrity and by his personality winning a wide circle of friends in Middletown.
    Loving his home town he wished to be buried in Woodside cemetery on the family lot where lies his father and mother, here he will be buried on Thursday afternoon, December 6, 1924. The Big Four train arriving at Middletown about 10 o'clock a.m. will bring family and the casket where in sleeps our fellow-citizen. The friends of the deceased will meet at the home of E. L. McCally on South Main Street at 2:30 o'clock in the afternoon of Thursday, December 6, 1924, for the funeral services to be conducted by Rev. Dr. Simonson of the Presbyterian church.

  • Lulu Gunckle Flenner Obituary, March 15, 1936, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey


    Middletown today erased another name from the list of the city's pioneer and highly esteemed families as word came of the death, at 11 P.M. Friday of Mrs. Lulu Gunckle Flenner at her apartment in the Hotel Green at Pasadena, California. The body, relatives and friends have been informed, will be returned to Middletown for burial at Middletown Cemetery.
    Mrs. Flenner was a native of Middletown, born in 1867, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Gunckle. In her younger days she was not only a leader in social circles but was recognized as an outstanding musician and a great lover of art.
    Her father Charles F. Gunckle is remembered as a prominent business man and later banker, being one of the organizers of the former Merchants National Bank, which institution he served as president. In later years he organized the Gunckle Banking Company.
    Mrs. Flenner's mother, who before her marriage was Miss Ida Vail, was the daughter of Hugh Vail and a grandaughter of Stephen Vail, one of the earliest settlers of the Miami Valley who laid out the city of Middletown. Mrs. Flenner became acquainted with her husband, Edgar Flenner, who also claimed the distinction of being a member of a Butler County pioneer family, while he was employed as assistant cashier of the Merchants bank when her father was the president. They soon married, lived here a few years and then moved to Wheaton, Illinois, where Flenner had accepted a position with a large railroad company. He died suddenly a few years later and Mrs. Flenner moved to Chicago where she developed her love for art by becoming an interior designer and decorator.
    Foreseeing the possibilities of developing her talent along this line, farther west, she later removed to Pasedena, California. This was about 15 years ago. Her ability gained rapid recognition and her services were soon in steady demand. One of the outstanding monuments in Pasedena to her talents in interior decorating of the Doheny Building of 65 rooms, erected by the son of the once internationally known oil king by that name.
    Mr. Flenner's husband, who was a close friend, a chum in fact of B. F. Harwitz, Middletown attorney, was a member of the family after which Flenner's Corner, near the former Butler County Country Club -- now the property of Hamilton, Ohio Elks -- was named. He was recognized as a most outstanding young man. Prior to coming to Middletown, he served as a time as a deputy clerk at the Hamilton court house.
    With the exception of Miss Genevieve Gunckle, of 206 South Broad Street, a niece, Mrs. Flenner has no relatives in Middletown. Details other than that the body will be returned to Middletown for burial, have not been received by Miss Gunckle or friends here.

  • William A. Sinkey Obituary, July 3, 1935, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey

    Funeral Services for President of Loan Company to Be Friday

    William A. Sinkey, 91, retired farmer, and president of the Middletown Collateral Loan Company succumbed to the infirmaries of age Tuesday night at 9:30 o'clock at his home, 2 Yankee Road.
    Death closed the life of this Butler County nonegenarian and highly respected citizen of Middletown for the last three decades, whose vigorous condition until 10 weeks ago was considered remarkable by his family and friends.
    With the enthusiasm of one many years younger than he, Mr. Sinkey enjoyed life to the fullest and took an active interest in personal and community affairs. Ten weeks ago he became confined to his room but it was only recently that he would consent to remain in bed.
    Refusing to be slowed by his advanced age and several obstacles thrown in his path, Mr. Sinkey courageously surmounted difficulties and lived a long, full life. His first sorrow was the death of his wife nine years ago, soon after the couple celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary.
    Since that time he had been in the care of his only daughter, Mrs. Frank Forbes, who made her home at the Sinkey homestead for years. Two years ago after he suffered a broken arm , he accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Forbes on a trip south and last year enjoyed the World's Fair in Chicago with them.
    Mr. Sinkey was born at North Excello, a son of Daniel and Mary VanSickle Sinkey. He was descended paternally from an old family that figured prominently in the early history of Pennsylvania. He grew up in the manner of the majority of country bays and his early experiences were identified with the rugged duties of farm life. It was this early training that eventually made him one of the prominent short-horn cattle owners in Butler County.
    He raised the short-horn species and the finest breed of hogs, shipping them on an extensive scale and exhibiting them at county and state fairs. It was common for him to capture premiums for his cattle and to him much of the credit of improving livestock in Lemon Township is due.
    On coming to Middletown in 1902, he intended to retire leisurely and enjoy the fruits of his life's work, but Mr. Sinkey was much too prominent to fall out of public eye. In 1913 he was elected president of the Middletown Collateral Loan Company, which office he held at the time of death.
    He was always interested in affairs of county and township, served as real estate appraiser and was assistant appraiser of Lemon Township at different times.
    A loyal Democrat, that party always received his earnest support. He took his duties at the polls earnestly and was always an early voter.
    The late Mrs. Sinkey was Miss Mary Shafer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John R. Shafer. On the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Sinkey, the young couple moved to the Shafor farm from which the elder Shafer had retired and it was there that Mr. Sinkey made his success as a farmer and cattle breeder.
    His church affliliations was with the First Baptist congregation which he served as trustee for many years. When the Baptist Mission of Amanda was getting its start, he became its superintendent and remained interested in its progress.
    Surviving Mr. Sinkey are the one daughter, Mrs. Frank Forbes, two grandchildren, Mrs. Russell Lefferson and Marc S. Vail, three great grandchildren and one sister, Mrs. Jennie Ockenden, of Springfield, Ohio.
    Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon at three o'clock at the late residence. The Rev. Franklin A. Stiles will officiate. Burial will take place in Woodside cemetery.

  • Mary Root Obituary, May 30, 1938, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey

    Elderly Woman Succumbs At Home Of Daughter, Mrs. A. C. Rempe

    Death claimed the head of one of Middletown's best know families in the passing early Sunday morning of Mrs. Mary Root, 80. Mrs. Root, one of whose sons brought fame to Middletown as "Charlie" Root, noted baseball player, succumbed at 7:05 A.M. at the home of her daughter, Mrs. A. C. Rempe, of 1029 Kunz Avenue. Mrs. Root had been in failing health for a year following a stroke while visiting her son, Charles, in Chicago.
    A member of the pioneer Becker family of this district, Mrs. Root was born near Germantown. However, most of her life was spent in Middletown. She was the widow of Jacob Root, a well known contractor.
    A member of the United Brethren Church, Mrs. Root was active in its interests when health permitted. Her only other interest was her home and family. Besides the daughter, Mrs. Root is survived by the following children: Landis Root, Mrs. Chalmers Brewer, George Root, Jacob Root, Mrs. Clyde Combs, all of Middletown; Mrs. Joseph Vandette, of Clayton, N.Y., Mrs. Frank Comstock, of Miamisburg, 29 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.
    Charles Root was notified Saturday of the gravity of his mother's condition at Pittsburg and he came here immediately, arriving at 2:30 A.M. Sunday.
    Funeral services will be held at 2:30 P.M. at the United Brethren Church. Burial will be made in Middletown Cemetery, beside the body of her husband.

  • Hampton H. Long Obituary, January 26, 1935, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey

    Funeral Services To Be Held From Residence Monday Afternoon

    Death shortened the ever-narrowing list of Civil War Veterans of Middletown Friday night when Hampton H. Long, 92, expired at his home, 2217 Superior Avenue, as a result of injuries received last Tuesday when he fell down a flight of outside cellar steps.
    Since the accident, the aged veteran had lain in a coma and died Friday night at 11 o'clock without regaiing consciousness.
    No broken bones were suffered, death resulting from shock.
    Realizing that death was imminent, his family gathered for the end, his son John G. Long of Rankin, Texas, arriving only hours before his death. Mrs. Fannie Stephenson, of Chillicothe, and Mrs. Letha Wilson, of Seven Mile, also were present at his bedside.
    Although the Longs lived to celebrate their sixty-sixth wedding anniversary, their romance extended much farther than that time. They had been boy and girl sweethearts and their marriage October 14, 1868 was the culmination of a romance that dated back as far as both could remember.
    The couple was married on the old Snively farm in Wayne Township. Before her marriage Mrs. Long was Marie Snively and her husband was her neighbor, whose farm adjoined that of the Snivelys. Living a life of contentment and supreme happiness, they were given the glorious privilege of long wedlock.
    Mr. Long was one of only three living Civil War veterans in Middletown, his generally good condition giving his family and friends reason to believe he would live for some time. It was thought until a few days ago when he suffered injuries in the fall that he would live to see the century mark.
    Mr. Long was a member of Wetzel-Compton Post No.96, G.A.R. at Hamilton, at one time having served as its commander. At all reunions of Vicksburg Circle, G.A.R. of Middletown, he and Mrs. Long were unique figures. They were the last surviving couple of the Civil War and held a place of distinction for that reason. War times were in the distant past to Mr. Long, so much alive was he to the trend of the times and current happenings.
    He was interested in community, national and world progress and viewed with passive enthusiasm the transitions that were ever taking place around him. A constant reader, he kept informed on world events and scarcely a day passed that he was not downtown attending to some affair of his own on his home.
    Mr. Long was affiliated with all the Masonic bodies. He was one of the best known Masons in Butler County, having served as past commander of Hamilton Commandary, 41, Knights Templar.
    Six years ago he was presented with a silver loving cup by members of Jefferson Lodge No. 90, Fraternal Order of Masons, for having completed his sixty-second year in the organization.
    In the affairs of the Butler county Shrine his name was one of five mentioned, and the lodge derived benefit from his long experience in lodge work. Mr. Long was the first member of the first class Syrian Temple, Noble Mystic Shrine.
    Since coming to Middletown from Hamilton 10 years ago, the Longs had taken an active interest in this city which in turn regarded them as one of its most highly-respected venerable couples. Their life was not entirely centered in the immediately environs of their home and intimate friends. They had traveled extensively, their tours taking them to European countries, the West Indies and nearly every prominent point on the American continent.
    In addition to the widow, two daughters and one son, three grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren survive.
    Funeral services will be held Monday afternoon at two o'clock at the late residence. Dr. O. M. Gordon, pastor of the First Prebyterian Church, will officiate. Mr. Long was a life-long Presbyterian. Burial will be in Miltonville Cemetery.

  • Earl LeRoy Pressler Obituary, February 20, 1950, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey

    Earl Pressler, Former Eagle Official Here, Dies Sunday

    Earl LeRoy Pressler, 39, of 230 South Fifth St., Alhambra, Calif., secretary of the local Fraternal Order of Eagles lodge for 10 years, died at Pasedena Hospital, Pasedena,Calif., Sunday at 1 a.m. In ill health for a year, he suffered a heart attack Saturday and was taken to the hospital.
    Mr. Pressler moved to California from here four years ago. He was a field director of the Fraternal Order of Eagles for two years and had been secretary of the local Eagles Lodge, retiring in 1943. He also was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
    Before moving to California, he was employed by the Armco Steel Corporation in the personnel department for 17 years.
    Survivors include the widow Genevieve; two sons, Earl David and Frank; a daughter, Trudy; four sisters, Mrs. Edwin Zickgraf, Mrs. Wade Egelston, Mrs. George Hall, Mrs. Victor McGuire, all of Middletown; three brothers, Russell, Carlton, and Charles all of this city.
    Funeral arrangements at the McCoy-Leffler Funeral Home are incomplete.

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