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|by descendant Stanley J. Follis|
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Fort Wayne, Indiana FOLLIS Families
In 1858, twenty four year old Anthony KELKER first appears in the Fort Wayne City Directory. Son of Mary HOUSER and David KELKER, Anthony unloaded and helped drive the first railroad steam locomotive off a canal boat in Delphos, Van Wert County, Ohio and into Fort Wayne. Railroad Engineer Anthony set early railroad speed records, was a popular figure in early newspapers, and city councilman in 1894. Anthony met President McKinley May 29, 1901 in Fort Wayne on a train engineered by his brother Samuel, and helped organize the early parks department. President McKinley was assassinated in September 1901 and died on the 14th. I found a postcard of Anthony and his dog trixie on the Sholl Antiques rustic style collection web site.
In 1860 brother's George KELKER a fireman on the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad Company and Henry KELKER an engineer first appear in the city directory.
In 1861 brother John KELKER also a railroad engineer for the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad Company first appears in the city directory.
In 1869 their 70 year old father David KELKER first appears when he was running a boarding house. Brother Samuel KELKER is listed as a railroad engineer, living in Valparaiso, LaPorte County, Indiana.
January 6, 1872 Fort Wayne saw the first horse-drawn streetcars. September 19, 1872 seventy-one year old David KELKER died and was buried in Lindenwood Cemetery. An unknown F. KELKER a blacksmith at the Pittsburgh shops appeared in the 1872 city directory. Is probably Frederick KELKER who had a wife Elizabeth who died in 1901 Fort Wayne.
In 1873, Edward WRIGHT husband of Mary KELKER daughter of Mary HOUSER and David KELKER first appears in the city directory.
In 1880, a John C. TIMMONS was a laborer at Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad Company. It is unknown how or if he is related to my TIMMONS who show up a decade or so later.
1880's Chicago newspapers called Fort Wayne the most German city in the midwest since as many as 80% of the city population was German or German speaking. Some stores were even boycotted if someone in the store did not speak German. The Allen County Historical Society has a copy of an early Indiana law book written in German. By World War I German surnames, schools, churches and stores quickly changed to English sounding names as a result of the war with Germany
In 1882-1883, Mathias SCHNEIDER first appears along with brother-in-law Peter WILHELM. They arrived with mother Maria, brother John and sister Louise ROBERTS from Germany May 21, 1881 on the ship Zeeland from Antwerp, Belgium at the port of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. June 3, 1883 the First Night Baseball Game in America took place in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
March 7, 1883 Mary HOUSER KELKER died and was buried in Lindenwood Cemetery.
In 1885, David E. TIMMONS was a yardman for the Nickel Plate Railroad. He was a 24 year old brother of Matilda TIMMONS who married Thomas FOLLIS November 16, 1882 in Delphos, Ohio where Matilda was born July 10, 1866. Their mother was Anthony KELKER's sister Amanda KELKER who lived in Delphos, Ohio with her husband Lewis TIMMONS and their family.
In 1887, Andrew DEITSCHEL husband of Catherine WILHELM first appears in the city directory. They were married March 9, 1886 in Fort Wayne. Catherine was a first cousin of my yet to be born grandmother Elizabeth SCHNEIDER. Her father Peter WILHELM appears in the city directory as WILHELM and WILLIAMS, a dual listing he continues until he dies in 1906.
In 1889-1890, an unrelated John FOWLES an Englishman was a tailor. A few years later he moved out of town.
In 1890-1891, Maria SCHNEIDER widow of Olof (Oliver?) first appears. She was mother of Mathias SCHNEIDER and Mary WILHELM of Fort Wayne and John of Massillon, Ohio. They immigrated in 1881 to America so where has she been the past 10 years?
In 1893-1894, William W. TIMMONS brother of David E. TIMMONS and Matilda TIMMONS FOLLIS first appears as a butcher.
November 17, 1897 the cornerstone for the new courthouse was laid. Thomas Jefferson FOLLIS was a construction worker on the courthouse. The first automobile appeared on the unpaved streets of Fort Wayne.
March 11, 1898 a headline newspaper article refers to the FOLLIS family nearly poisoned by their evening meal which consisted of only two items cheese and jelly. It mentioned a family of five. The Matilda TIMMONS and Thomas FOLLIS family should have been a family of eight. No other FOLLIS family was known to live in northern Indiana.
In 1899, John SNYDER, wife Maggie and seventeen year old son Peter first appear in the city directory. A miner in Germany when they came to America and perhaps in Massillon, Ohio where a couple of their sons were miners in the 1900 Federal Census. In Fort Wayne he went to work for the Bass Foundry one of the largest foundries in the area.
In 1900, Thomas Jefferson FOLLLIS and wife Matilda TIMMONS lived on West Main Street across from the new courthouse which was dedicated September 23, 1902. Thomas worked on the courthouse and became foreman for the Grace Construction company one of the first to pave the dirt roads of Fort Wayne. Their pioneer families came from southeast Indiana and southwest Ohio starting early churches and cemeteries in the Dayton, Ohio area after coming from Virginia through Kentucky around 1800.
Poe, formerly Williamsport, was named for a 4th great-granduncle, William Essig who donated land for the cemetery where he is buried and a local church.
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