Schlink Family

The Schlink family of New Riegel, Ohio

Husband: Francis Henry "Frank" Schlink
Birth: 14 Jan 1856 in New Haven, Milan Twp., Allen Co., Ind.
Death: 15 Sep 1943 in Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Burial: unknown date, Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio
Occupation: Medical doctor
Father: George Peter Schlink (1812-1865)
Mother: Mary Anna Rose (1822-1865)

Marriage: 18 May 1881 in Delphos, Allen Co., Ohio

Wife: Agnes Anna Ostendorf
Birth: 28 Jul 1856 in Delphos, Ohio
Death: 27 May 1938 in Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Burial: 31 May 1938 in Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio
Occupation: Accomplished musician
Father: Joseph Ostendorf (1823-1905)
Mother: Mary Elizabeth "Maria" Wrocklage (1819-1887)

Daughter: Josephine Elizabeth Schlink
Birth: 21 Apr 1882 in Delphos, Ohio
Death: 21 Feb 1960 in Cleveland, Ohio
Burial: 24 Feb 1960 in Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio
Occupation: Piano teacher and organist
Spouse: Alfred J. Myers
Marriage: unknown date, Toledo, Ohio

Son: Elmer John Schlink
Birth: 4 Nov 1883 in Delphos, Ohio
Death: 27 Aug 1895 in New Riegel, Seneca County, Ohio
Burial: 29 Aug 1895 in St. Boniface Cemetery, New Riegel, Ohio

Son Albert George Schlink
Birth: 3 Oct 1885 in Delphos, Ohio
Death: 27 Nov 1978 in Tiffin, Seneca Co., Ohio
Burial: 1 Dec 1978 in Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio
Occupation: Medical doctor in practice with his brother Henry
Spouse: Olive H. Metz

Daughter: Rose Therese Schlink
Birth: 30 Jun 1888 in Delphos, Ohio
Death: 13 Apr 1967 in University Heights, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio
Burial: Unknown date, in Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio
Occupation: Church organist and choir director
Spouse: Arthur Thomas "Archie" O'Connor
Marriage: 1923 in St. Philomena's Church, Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio

Son: Henry Aloysius Schlink
Birth: 29 May 1891in Delphos, Ohio
Death: 1 Feb 1973 in Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Burial: 5 Feb 1973 in Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio
Occupation: Medical doctor
Spouse: Mary J. MacDougall


Dr. Francis Schlink was the son of George Peter Schlink, born 1812 in Bavaria, and Mary Anna (Rose) Schlink, born in Alsace-Lorraine, France/Germany. His parents were married in Fort Wayne, Ind., and eventually settled near there along the Maumee River. They were the parents of nine children, of which Francis was number eight.

George died Feb. 11, 1865, and Mary Anna died March 25, 1865, which left Francis an orphan at age 9. Until he was 14, Francis lived with neighbors and attended school in New Haven, Ind. At age 16, he entered Notre Dame College in Indiana, where he graduated in 1877. He studied at the University of Michigan and then graduated in 1880 from Miami Medical College in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In spring 1880, Dr. Schlink started medical practice in Delphos, Ohio, where he served on the local board of health. While there, he married Agnes Ostendorf on May 18, 1881. Agnes was born July 28, 1856 in Delphos, the daughter of prominent local residents Joseph Ostendorf and Maria Elizabeth (Wrocklage) Bredeick Ostendorf. Both Joseph and Maria's first spouses had died, and Agnes has older half-siblings from her mother's first marriage.

In spring 1894, Dr. Schlink moved his family to New Riegel. There, he became one of the leaders in the Seneca County medical profession and his skill as a surgeon was favorably compared to specialists in much larger cities. He was considered to be of "the old school" of physicians and surgeons, and early in his New Riegel practice made his rounds on horseback. By 1912, he had an automobile.

Agnes Schlink was known as a well-educated woman with musical talent.

New Riegel is in a part of Seneca County that used to be an Indian reservation for the Seneca and Wyandot tribes. German Catholics began to move in during the 1840s, and the village population in 1891 was about 500 people. Social life in the 1890s included theater productions at the opera house, concerts by the town band, and euchre card games.

Social status in Seneca County depended a lot on what church you attended and who else went there. The Schlink and Ostendorf familes were both German Catholics, and Dr. Francis and Agnes Schlink were members of St. Boniface Catholic Church in New Riegel. Other than the Latin part of Mass, German was spoken at that parish until 1920, when preaching began to alternate between German and English. Rose's First Communion catechism book is written in German.

Tragedy struck the Schlink family on Aug. 27, 1895. Elmer Schlink and his friend Jacob Altweis were playing in Ullman & Mark's cider and feed mill, after having already been told to leave the premises. The boys were throwing a large belt against the running shaft equipment, and somehow the belt got tangled. Both boys were caught by the revolving belt, and Elmer was killed instantly. Jacob was seriously injured.

After the accident, Dr. Schlink was called to the scene. According to the account in St. Boniface Church history book, "When he saw that his own son was dead, Dr. Schlink did not panic, nor did he allow his grief to render him helpless. Instead, he attended to the medical needs of young Altweis, perhaps saving his life, as his own son lay dead nearby.

But the Schlink family also had many accomplishments to be proud of. A postcard collection from 1905 to 1914 era shows their travels through Northwest Ohio; to Ann Arbor, Mich.; and some out-of-state visits. They traveled mostly by train. Josephine became a piano teacher, and Rose was a church musician. Albert and Henry became doctors and held practice in Cleveland.

The family spoke mostly English. But they did still speak German on occasion, and Francis and Agnes were called "Opa" and "Oma" by their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Dr. Francis retired in 1926. He and Agnes Schlink eventually moved to Cleveland, where they died and are buried in Calvary Cemetery.

Basic biographies: 1885 History of Allen County, Ohio; Biographical History of Seneca County, Ohio, 1902; History of the Ostendorf Family (unknown author); and History of the Schlink Family by Dr. Schlink. Residence, family: 1900 census records in Seneca Co., Ohio. Marriage: Allen County, Ohio, court records and International Genealogical Index. Descriptions of New Riegel: History of Seneca County, Ohio, by A.J. Baughman, 1911; and Illustrated Historical and Business Review of Seneca County, Ohio, for the year 1891-92. Details of Elmer's death: "Wooden Chalices, Golden Priests, Golden Hearts: A history of St. Boniface Parish, New Riegel, Ohio" and articles in the Tiffin newspapers about the accident. Obituaries: Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio. Various details: Lee O'Connor Vannice and Paula Wethington Rose genealogy research.

Contributed by: Paula Wethington Rose