The Leyes Family of Dayton, Ohio
The Jergens family essay provides information for the LEYES branch of our family. Unfortunately, the dates and some details don’t match up with what we’ve found in census, interment, vital, and sacramental records. But the names do reflect the history of the family fairly accurately.
Related families include these surnames: BAHLMANN; BEIGEL; CLAYTON; CRAIG; CUNNINGHAM; CUSTENBORDER; FRANCIS; GOUGH; HECHT; HILL; JERGENS; KIST; LANGENKAMP; SCHUTTE; SAEGER/SÄGER/SEAGER/SEEGER; SIEVERDING; SMITH; STICH; STOECKLEIN; STUCKENBURG; TOBIAS; and ZAVAKOS.
John Leyes was born circa 1825. Based on his age as given on his civil death record, John’s date of birth was on or around September 1, 1824. Lore from more than one branch of John’s American family gives his place of birth as Alsace. The 1880 US federal census recorded John’s birthplace as Rhine-Bavaria, an area in southern Germany also known as the Palatinate and Rheinland-Pfalz. Historically, Alsace is German in its language and culture; Rheinland-Pfalz and Alsace are right next to each other (and boundaries probably got moved since John left his homeland). So either designation could serve to describe where John was born. In the data we have found on John Leyes, including his civil and sacramental marriage and death records, there appears no other given name by which to identify him. He was one of the exceptions in an era when most German parents gave each of their offspring a spiritual first name (typically used at the time of baptism, marriage, and burial) and a secular middle name.
John’s wife Margaret, listed in most censuses as Margaretta, was born circa 1835 in Germany, probably in Hessen Darmstadt. Margaret and John married in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio, on December 8, 1853 (note the discrepancy between the date recorded by the city of Dayton and the date mentioned in the Jergens family essay.) The Jergens family essay asserts that Margaret’s maiden name was Seager. The death records of daughter Catherine (Leyes) Stich and son Henry Leyes list their mother’s maiden name as “Seeger” and “Segar,” respectively. These are almost certainly anglicized or phonetic versions of Margaret’s father’s surname as given on her death record: Saeger. [Update: Daughter Caroline (Leyes) Cullige’s death record gave her mother’s maiden name as Margaret Saeger.]
John and Margaret Leyes lived in Mad River Township, Montgomery County, Ohio, where they are listed in the U.S. federal census as early as 1860. At that time John worked as a day laborer. Census records tell us that John and Margaret Leyes had eight children. Five of them survived to adulthood (surname LEYES):
i. Joseph (1858-1934)
ii. Catherine Elizabeth (1861-1944)
iii. Caroline (1863-1927). Information about Caroline Leyes may be found in the Appendix.
iv. Phillip (1867-1933)
v. Henry J. (1870-1949)
According to his civil death record, John Leyes died at age 73 years, five months, and one day, on February 2, 1898, probably at home in Mad River Township. The cause of death was cerebral hemorrhage. The Dayton Evening News for February 3, 1898, mentioned that John's funeral would be held from his residence on Troy Pike; Holy Rosary Church would offer John's funeral Mass; and burial would be in Calvary Cemetery. John was buried on February 5th in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio in Section 1, Lot 71, Grave 1SW. Census records for 1900 and 1910 show Margaret living with her children. Records for Calvary Cemetery’s records indicate that she died on the 3rd of August in 1912 and was buried August 6th next to John in Section 1, Lot 71, Grave 2SW. Margaret’s civil death record notes her full given name as “Margaret Mary,” specifies Margaret’s date of death in 1912 as the 4th of August (not the 3rd), and that she died in Dayton, of a heart attack. The City of Dayton gave Margaret’s age at death as 76.
Joseph Leyes, the firstborn child of John and Margaret Leyes, was born August 8, 1858, most likely in Mad River Township, Montgomery County, Ohio. His occupation for many years, as described in directories for Dayton, Ohio (1888-92) and in census records, was that of “driver.”
On May 9, 1883, at Emmanuel Church in Dayton, Joseph married Mary A. Schutte. To see Joseph and Mary’s formal wedding photo, click here. Mary was born October 9, 1860. (We originally obtained Mary’s date of birth from her funeral card, which was preserved by her niece Bernadina [Leyes] Zavakos. Mary’s death record gives the same birth date and says that Mary was born in Dayton, Ohio.)
We know from census data that Mary was born in Ohio to German parents. And we wonder if she was the child of immigrants Joseph and Gesina Schutte, who appear in the 1860 census in Dayton with a number of children. Dayton death records indicate that “Maria G.” Schutte died in 1867, and Joseph in 1875. We can’t find Mary or her sister Anna in the 1870 census, though it looks like Joseph may have remarried; he appears in that census with a woman named Elizabeth. Either we have the wrong family or some of the younger children got farmed out to relatives, a fairly common practice back then. Our suspicions about Mary’s origins are supported by the fact that she is buried very near her sister Anna, whose married name was Woeste (also found spelled “Woste”). Between the Leyes burials and those of Jacob and Anna Woeste, is a grave listed for Bernard, Mary, and Herrman Schutte. Bernard Schutte’s age at death matches the age of the son by the same name who lived with Joseph and Gesina in 1860.
The young writers of the Jergens family essay were told that Mary’s maiden name was Kinzic. This error is understandable, given that 19-year-old “Mary Schuette” was working for and living with the family of Charles and Margaret Kinzig in 1880, not far from where Joseph Leyes lived in Mad River Township.
Joseph and Mary Leyes made their home at 137 W. Bruen Street in Dayton. They had seven children, six of whom survived to adulthood (surname LEYES):
i. Charles Andrew (1885-1954)
ii. Frank, whose death was listed in the Dayton (Ohio) Daily Journal on December 30, 1887, among the Board of Health reports of deaths for the week ending 29 December 1887. We are assuming Frank was the son of Joseph and Mary Leyes because he is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, in Section 13, Lot 302, Grave 4SE, the same section and lot where Joseph, Mary, and other members of this Leyes family are interred. Calvary Cemetery’s records offer no dates for Frank Leyes.
iii. Louis John (1889-1954)
iv. Clara A. (1892-1973)
v. Harry Philip (1894-1981)
vi. Albert Bernard (1897-1971)
vii. Anna E. “Annie”. This daughter, born November 19, 1899, died at the age of six on December 2, 1905. She was buried the next day in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, in Section 13, Lot 302, Grave 3SE. To see a photo of Annie Leyes, click here.
Joseph Leyes died at the age of 76 on October 22, 1934, probably in Dayton. He was buried October 25th in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 13, Lot 302, Grave 2SW. Mary A. (Schutte) Leyes died at age 85 on February 14, 1946. She was laid to rest in Grave 3SW, next to Joseph, in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, four days later.
Catherine Elizabeth Leyes, who appears in census records as “Katie,” was born January 18, 1861, in Dayton (Mad River Township), Montgomery County, Ohio. She was the eldest daughter of John and Margaret Leyes. On October 20, 1880, at Emmanuel Church in Dayton, nineteen-year-old Catherine married Andrew Joseph Stich. Andrew Stich was born May 9, 1857 (yes, 1857, despite the bad math on his death record) in Dayton, Ohio, of German parents. Andrew started out clerking in a grocery store and ended up working for himself as a grocer and baker. To see a photo of the Stich grocery store, click here.
Andrew and Catherine (Leyes) Stich had six children (surname STICH):
i. Marie Louise (1881-1908)
ii. Henry (1883-1934)
iii. Elizabeth C. (1887-1960)
iv. Joseph J. (1890-1960)
v. Lawrence A. (1894-1958)
vi. Carl J., born November 21, 1897, died of pneumonia at age 20 on October 18, 1918. Carl was buried in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, on October 21st in Section 1, Lot 71, Grave 1NW.
Andrew Stich died at age 60 on February 19, 1918. He was buried on the 22nd in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, in Section 1, Lot 71, Grave 3NW. Catherine E. (Leyes) Stich, who outlived three of her six children, survived her husband by twenty-six years. She died in Dayton on June 9, 1944 at age 83, and was laid to rest next to Andrew, in Grave 2NW, on the 13th of June.
For more information about the family of Andrew and Catherine E. (Leyes) Stich, please see the Appendix.
Phillip Leyes, son of John and Margaret Leyes, was born December 2, 1867, most likely in Mad River Township, Montgomery County, Ohio. On August 29, 1888, in Montgomery County, Ohio, Phillip married Mary Bernadine Bahlmann, born November 1, 1867 in Ohio, the daughter of German immigrants Gerhard Henry Bahlmann and his wife Maria Bernadina Stuckenburg.
Phillip and Mary (Bahlmann) Leyes had four children (surname LEYES):
i. Bernadina M. (1890-1979)
ii. Edith M. (1892-1974)
iii. John J. (1896-1942)
iv. Leo Andrew, born September 1, 1899. Never married. He died November 1, 1973 at the age of 74 and was buried November 5th in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 13, Lot 369, Grave 1SE.
In the census, Phillip’s occupation was noted as “drayman.” An 1889-90 city directory for Dayton, Ohio, listed Phillip’s occupation as “molder” and his address as 907 S. Steele Avenue in Dayton. At Dayton Metro Library’s now defunct web page for “The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Community Collection, Photographic Material,” we learned that Phillip made his living in other ways as well:
Otto was married to Bernadina [Phillip and Mary Leyes’s eldest child], a girl of German descent whose father was in the bowling business.
Phillip Leyes died at the age of 66 on October 31, 1933. He was buried November 3rd in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 13, Lot 369, Grave 3SE. Mary (Bahlmann) Leyes lived nearly twenty years beyond the death of her husband. She died at age 85, at her home at 97 Steele Ave., on Wednesday, June 10, 1953. Mary was laid to rest next to her husband Phillip, in Grave 2SE, on June 13th. Her obituary noted that she had 14 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
Henry J. Leyes, the youngest son of John and Margaret Leyes, was born May 23, 1870 in Mad River Township, Montgomery County, Ohio. On May 11, 1892, at Emmanuel Church in Dayton, Henry married Anna Margaret Hecht, born July 26, 1869 in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, the eldest child of Henry Hecht and Elizabeth Ziegler. Henry and Anna (Hecht) Leyes lived in Mad River Township, just north of the city limits of Dayton. Their home was situated on the Old Troy Pike (present-day Route 202) in the northeast corner of the intersection at Needmore Road. According to the 1900 census, their next-door neighbor was Margaret “Maggie” (Jergens) Kleinfelder, an aunt of Peter Jergens, Jr., who would marry daughter Cecilia Leyes.
Henry and Anna (Hecht) Leyes had seven children (surname LEYES):
i. Cecilia Margaret (1895-1958)
ii. Louise Elizabeth (1897-1963)
iii. Andrew Joseph (1899-1978)
iv. Dorothy M. (March 26, 1901 - February 4, 1977). “Dora” married WWI veteran Charles Leidig on September 12, 1924 (this date comes from the Jergens family essay and has not been verified). Charles Leidig was always known to his nieces and nephews as “Uncle Jim,” despite the fact that his full name was Charles Thomas Leidig. No children.
v. Catherine Clara (April 20, 1903 - April 5, 1930). Catherine entered the convent of the Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis, in Hartwell (Cincinnati), Ohio. She chose as her name in religion “Sister Flaviana,” a combination of the names of her maternal aunt, Sister Flavia (Gertrude Hecht, a nun in the same religious order), and of her mother, Anna. In 1927 Sister Flaviana was sent to work in Düsseldorf, Germany. Just a couple of weeks shy of her 27th birthday, she died there of pneumonia; her remains were interred in Düsseldorf. Catherine’s father was informed of her death by letter from the order’s motherhouse in Aachen, Germany. To see the Report of the Death of an American Citizen for Catherine Leyes (Sister Flaviana), and a photo of her, click here.
vi. Raymond Henry, born June 20, 1905. Around 1958, Raymond married Mamie Nichols, born Oct. 2, 1912, the youngest child of Dan and Emily (Robinson) Nichols. Ray and Mamie had no children. Ray died at age 64 on September 7, 1969. He was buried four days later in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, in Section 36, Lot 82, Grave 2NE. Mamie eventually returned to her hometown of Cookeville, Putnam county, TN. She died Dec. 27, 2005 at age 93. Mamie was buried in Sand Springs Memorial Gardens, in Monterey, Putnam county, TN.
vii. Herbert Francis Searls, born February 16, 1908. Herbert graduated from the University of Dayton’s preparatory high school in 1926, and completed two years of college study at the University of Dayton. Herbert worked as a tool maker for the Inland Manufacturing division of General Motors. On October 7, 1936, Herbert Leyes married Margaret Mary Smith at St. Stephen Church (now St. Julie Billiart parish) in Hamilton, OH. Margaret, the daughter of Herbert and Caroline (Braun) Smith, was born in Hamilton, Butler co., OH, on November 20, 1908. In her youth, Margaret took voice and piano lessons. One of her music teachers was Sister Julia Agatha, SSND – who happened to be Herbert’s first cousin (Elizabeth Stich). The family credits Sr. Julia Agatha with having provided the introductions between Herbert and Margaret. Herbert and Margaret Leyes had six children, all of whom are still living. Herbert died at the age of 69 on March 28, 1977, two weeks after suffering a heart attack. He was buried on the 1st of April in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 37, Lot 161, Grave 4NE. Margaret M. (Smith) Leyes died at age 81 on June 30, 1990. She was laid to rest next to Herbert on July 3rd in Grave 3NE. (To see a childhood photo of Herbert F. Leyes, click here).
Anna (Hecht) Leyes died at home at age 78 on April 26, 1948. She was buried on April 29th in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 14, Lot 114, Grave 2SE. Henry Leyes also died at home, at age 79, on the 17th of June 1949. He was buried next to Anna on June 20th in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 14, Lot 114, Grave 1SE. Anna and Henry are interred in the same lot where Martin and Margaret Hecht, Anna's immigrant grandparents, are buried.
Charles Andrew Leyes (Joseph2, John1) was born March 23, 1885 in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio. Around 1911, Charles married Mildred M. Kist, born September 5, 1888, the daughter of German immigrants Joseph and Barbara C. Kist. Charles and Mildred lived in Van Buren Township, Montgomery County, Ohio.
Charles and Mildred (Kist) Leyes had two children (surname LEYES):
i. Mary Louise (1914‐1984). Mary Louise Leyes was born August 31, 1914, probably in Van Buren Township. She married Martin Elwood Beigel (1909‐2002) on October 9, 1940. They had one child, who is still living.
ii. Charles Joseph (1918‐1986). Charles J. Leyes was born September 9, 1918, probably in Van Buren Township. On September 2, 1942, in Dayton, Charles wed Marianna Elizabeth Jones. Marianna was born in Dayton on December 24, 1919, the daughter of Alfred Charles Jones, Jr., and Mary (Rogge) Jones. During WWII, Charles J. was a pilot and a First Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps. On his 26th mission, Charles J. was shot down over France. He was held in a prison camp in Barth, Germany, for about ten months. When the Russians invaded, the camp was liberated.
Charles J. died March 16, 1986 in Kettering, Montgomery Co., Ohio, at the age of 67. He was buried March 19th in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio, in Section 1, Lot 268, Grave 2NE. Marianna (Jones) Leyes, died April 3, 2017, at the age of 97. She probably was laid to rest next to Charles.
Charles J. and Marianna (Jones) Leyes had one child (surname LEYES):
a. Charles Christopher was born July 23, 1946 (probably in Dayton, Ohio); he died at age 59 on February 16, 2006 in Prosperity, Newberry county, SC.
Charles Andrew Leyes died at age 69 in Van Buren Township on the 30th of November 1954. He was buried on December 3rd in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 1, Lot 268, Grave 1SE. Mildred M. (Kist) Leyes outlived her husband by nearly twenty years. She died at age 86 on October 31, 1974 and was laid to rest next to her husband, Charles A. Leyes, on November 4th in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 1, Lot 268, Grave 2SE.
Louis John Leyes (Joseph2, John1) was born September 8, 1889, in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio. He married Irene M. Stoecklein, born January 2, 1891, the daughter of John Stoecklein.
Louis and Irene (Stoecklein) Leyes had two children (surname LEYES):
i. Mary Jane (December 3, 1915 – October 9, 1972) married Robert Francis Cunningham (1909 - 1969). Mary Jane and Robert are buried together in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 13, Block X, Lot 273, spaces 1 and 2. To see photos of Mary Jane Leyes, click here.
ii. William John (March 5, 1930 – December 21, 2008) married Beatrice Elizabeth Wellman (1925 - 1994). Beatrice and Bill are buried together in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 13, Block X, Lot 273, spaces 3 and 4.
Louis J. Leyes died at the age of 65 on November 25, 1954. He was buried four days later in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 13, Block X, Lot 273, space 14. Irene M. (Stoecklein) Leyes died at age 76 on the 18th of April 1967. She was laid to rest next to her husband Louis on April 22nd in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 13, Block X, Lot 273, space 13. To see photos of Louis J. Leyes, click here.
Clara A. Leyes (Joseph2, John1) was born 12 Aug 1892, probably in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio. Around 1917 Clara married Louis William Langenkamp, born in St. Henry, Mercer County, Ohio, on June 12, 1890, the son of J. Henry Langenkamp and his wife Helena Wirtz. The 1930 census records this family living at 907 St. Nicholas Ave. in Dayton. Louis’ occupation was listed as salesman in a department store.
Clara and Louis Langenkamp had at least two children (surname LANGENKAMP):
i. Eugene Robert (1919-1999)
ii. Rosemarie (1921-1996)
Louis Langenkamp died at home in Dayton on August 8, 1943. He was buried four days later in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, in Section 5, Block X, Lot 353, Space 8. Clara A. (Leyes) Langenkamp survived her husband by thirty years. She died in Dayton at the age of 81 on October 25, 1973. Clara was laid to rest next to Louis in Section 5, Block X, Lot 353, Space 7.
Harry Philip Leyes (Joseph2, John1) was born September 27, 1894. Harry served with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during WWI between 1918-1919. On September 25, 1919, in Dayton (probably at Emmanuel church), Harry married Coletta Haas, born August 6, 1898, the daughter of German immigrants Anton Haas and his wife Magdalena Wocher. Harry and Coletta had one child (surname LEYES):
- Dorothy Virginia, born March 16, 1921, in Dayton, Ohio. On September 28, 1940, at St. Albert the Great church in Dayton, Dorothy married Raymond Wilbur Tobias, the son of Otto and Kathryn Tobias. Raymond W. Tobias was born in Dayton on March 9, 1916. Dorothy and Raymond had two children (surname TOBIAS), both of whom are living. Raymond died on January 21, 2012 in Green Valley, Arizona. Dorothy passed away on April 1, 2016 in Green Valley. Raymond and Dorothy (Leyes) Tobias are interred together at the cemetery for the Green Valley Mortuary in Sahuarita, AZ.
Harry died at age 86 on July 31, 1981, in Montgomery county, Ohio. He was buried on the 3rd of August in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, in Section 27, Lot 67, Grave 1SE. Coletta (Haas) Leyes died at age 86 on October 26, 1984 and was buried October 31st in Grave 2SE, next to Harry. Both Harry and Coletta were buried from St. Albert the Great Roman Catholic church in Dayton.
Albert Bernard Leyes (Joseph2, John1) was born August 9, 1897. On the 22nd of August 1930, in Dayton, Albert married Kathern Emma Custenborder, born October 22, 1908 in Dayton, Ohio, the daughter of George W. and Ida May (Duncan) Custenborder. Albert and Kathern had four children (surname LEYES):
- Clarence B. (1932-2005)
- Robert Eugene (1938-1992)
Albert B. Leyes died at age 74 on August 28, 1971 in Dayton. He was buried on the 1st of September in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, in Section 13, Lot 302, Grave 1SE. Kathern (Custenborder) Leyes died at age 89 on August 24, 1998, and was laid to rest three days later in Grave 2SE, next to Albert.
Lawrence Andrew Stich (Catherine2, John1) was born May 26, 1894, probably in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio. Around 1922, Lawrence married Pauline Louise Sieverding, born March 20, 1900, also in Dayton. The 1930 census shows this family living at 1219 Kiefer Street in Dayton, next door to Lawrence’s widowed mother Catherine (Leyes) Stich and brother Joseph at 1217 Kiefer Street. Lawrence Stich’s occupation was noted as truck driver for the “transfer” industry.
Lawrence and Pauline (Sieverding) Stich had five children (surname STICH):
- Henry Andrew (1923-1987)
- Catherine Elizabeth (18 April 1925 – 1 December 2005) married Mr. Gough.
- Margaret (1926-1999)
- Pauline (1934-1977)
Lawrence Stich died at the age of 64 on December 30, 1958. He was buried January 3, 1959 in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Grave 2SE of the Stich family plot, Section 1, Lot 71. Pauline L. (Sieverding) Stich outlived her husband by nearly twenty-five years, dying at age 83 on December 18, 1983. She was laid to rest next to Lawrence on December 22nd in Grave 1SE.
Bernadina Mary Leyes (Phillip2, John1) was born May 8, 1890, the eldest of Phillip and Mary (Bahlmann) Leyes’ four children. On June 2, 1907 at St. Mary’s church in Dayton, Ohio, Bernadina married Otto K. Zavakos, the son of Konstantinos and Maria (Drogaris) Zavakos. Otto was born in Petrina, Greece, on August 19, 1886.
Otto and Bernadina (Leyes) Zavakos had six children (surname ZAVAKOS):
- Constantinos J. “Connie” (1907-1977)
- Edith Helen (1909-1916)
- George A. (1911-1936)
- Philip J. (1912-1988)
- Louis J. (1914-1993)
- Mary (1916-1916)
Otto’s eldest son Connie applied for and received a passport in 1919 in order to “go to school in Greece.” Connie’s passport application tells us a number of things about his father: Otto had emigrated from Greece on or about February 22, 1898 (records previously available at ellisisland.org say he arrived in the U.S. on March 29, 1898). He now resided at 28 Tecumseh Street in Dayton; he had resided for 21 years “uninterruptedly” in the United States, in Chicago, Illinois, and Dayton, Ohio. The application notes that Otto Zavakos was naturalized as a U.S. citizen on May 5, 1919 in Dayton. In 1930 the family owned their home at 133 Wroe Ave. in Dayton, and had a radio. Otto’s occupation, as listed in that year’s census, was proprietor of a bowling alley.
We learned more about the Zavakos family by reading a history of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church of Dayton at Dayton Metro Library’s web pages for their Greek Orthodox Community Collection. Otto and his brothers were very successful, acquiring and running a variety of businesses. A listing of Annunciation Church business entrepreneurs (at a link no longer available) includes mention of a confectionery store run by “Leyes & Z Bros.” – Phillip Leyes (Bernadina’s father), Otto Zavakos, and Otto’s brother George – at 230 South Main Street in Dayton.
Bernadina and Otto outlived three of their children. On May 8, 1916, they lost an infant daughter, Mary, to pneumonia. Little more than six weeks later, on the 21st of June, their daughter Helen, age seven, passed away. Helen had been born with a hole in her heart, a “blue baby,&ardquo; a condition which likely contributed to her death from tubercular meningitis. On January 30, 1936, son George died in a car accident. An item on page 16 of The Lima (Ohio) News for the following day reported this tragedy:
TWO KILLED, TWO HURT IN CRASH
Dayton, Jan. 31 – (AP) – Two persons were killed and two seriously injured last night when a westbound Pennsylvania passenger train struck the automobile in which they were riding, at a crossing in the eastern part of the city. The dead are George Zavakos, 25, and Sarah Elizabeth Hampton, 19. The injured, confined to a hospital, are Fred Tullis, 27, and Dorothy Hecht, 33.
George Zavakos and Dorothy Hecht were both deaf; we’re told that the other people in the car were deaf also, and that Sarah Elizabeth Hampton was George’s girlfriend.
Otto Zavakos died in 1957, but not before he and Bernadina celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in June of that year. The newspaper item mentioning the Zavakos anniversary gave their address as 133 Wroe Ave., the same place they were living in 1930. Bernadina continued to live there until late 1962. According to her great-granddaughter Laura, “Her youngest son Louis lived with her for as long as I can remember.” Bernadina (Leyes) Zavakos survived her husband by more than twenty years, and her eldest son by two years; she lived long enough to enjoy great-grandchildren.
In December 1962, Bernadina moved to 3968 Barberry Boulevard in Beavercreek, Ohio. Six months to a year before she passed away, Bernadina resided in a nursing home in Greene County, Ohio, not far from Dayton. She died there at age 89 on November 13, 1979. Otto and Bernadina’s great-granddaughter Laura tells us that “Otto, Bernadina, George, Mary, Helen and Louis are all buried in a row” in Calvary Cemetery, in Dayton. They are interred in Section 27, Lot 50, Graves 1-5.
Edith Margaret Leyes (Phillip2, John1) was born November 28, 1892, in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio. On November 28, 1911, Edith married Jerome Jesse Francis, a carpenter, born March 13, 1887, in Russia, Loramie Township, Shelby county, Ohio. Jerome was the son of Peter G. and Mary (Lachey) Francis.
Jerome and Edith (Leyes) Francis had two children – twins, born July 2, 1919 (surname FRANCIS):
i. Jerome Raymond (1919‐2012)
ii. Rita Bernadine (1919‐1987)
Jerome Francis, Sr., died at age 68 on the 17th of March 1955. Four days later he was interred in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, in Section 8, Lot 223, Grave 3. Edith M. (Leyes) Francis died at age 81 on January 18, 1974; she was buried next to her husband three days later in Section 8, Lot 223, Grave 2.
John J. Leyes (Phillip2, John1) was born July 19, 1895, in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio. On December 3, 1914, in Hamilton County (likely Cincinnati), Ohio, John married Edith May Craig, born in 1897 in Dayton, the daughter of Perry Craig and Emma Shoup. In 1920 this family lived next door to John’s parents in Dayton; John worked as a teamster. By 1930, the census recorded John’s family as living on Harshman Road in Mad River Township, north of Dayton. John’s occupation was listed as a truck driver for a freight company.
John and Edith had twelve children, including three daughters who died quite young (surname LEYES):
- Evelyn Margaret (1915-1994)
- Marcella, born March 6, 1917, died Oct. 17, 1918 from pneumonia. She was buried in Section 13, Lot 369, Grave 1SC, in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton.
- Dorothy (circa 1919-?)
- John William (1921-1998)
- Ruth Ellen, born July 22, 1923, died Nov. 7, 1929 from an acute intestinal obstruction. Ruth was buried four days later in Section 13, Lot 369, Grave 12SC, in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton.
- Robert J. (1924-2001)
- Helen Rosella. This child, born Nov. 5, 1926, lived for about twenty minutes. She was buried that same day along with Catherine Anna Leyes, the infant daughter of Andrew and Irma (Hill) Leyes, in the same grave with Marcella.
- Philip C. (1928-2011)
- Joseph (circa 1931-1980)
- Edith E. (circa 1933- )
- Mary Jean (1935-2010)
- James (circa 1939- )
John J. Leyes died at age 47 on December 27, 1942, probably at home in Waynesville, Warren county, Ohio. He was buried on the last day of 1942 in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 13, Lot 369, Grave 3SW. A grandchild, the daughter of Robert J. Leyes, tells us that John’s wife Edith remarried, “to a man named Frosty.” Edith’s second husband was Forrest J. Tibbals who, according to his obituary at findagrave.com, lived on Frost Street in Harveysburg, Warren County, Ohio:
Forrest J. Tibbals, 70, of Frost Street, Harveysburg, [Warren County, Ohio] died suddenly Monday, May 13  at his residence.
He retired from National Cash Register Company in Dayton in 1965, following 18 years of service. His wife Edith preceded him in death in 1964.
Survivors include four stepdaughters, Mrs. Evelyn Reedy and Mrs. Mary Jean Weaver, both of Harveysburg, Mrs. Dorothy Hall of Dayton and Mrs. Edith Williams of Cincinnati; five stepsons, John and Robert Leyes, both of Dayton, Philip Leyes of Clarksville, Joseph Leyes of Blanchester and James Leyes of Waynesville; one half brother, William Tibbals of Clarksville; two nieces, Mrs. Dorothy Huffman of Sabina and Mrs. Margaret Swearingen of Clarksville; one great niece and two great nephews; 28 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.
Edith died in 1964 and was buried with her second husband Forrest J. Tibbals in Section K, Lot 249 of Miami Cemetery in Waynesville, Warren County, Ohio. Edith M. (Craig) (Leyes) Tibbals shares a gravestone with Forrest.
Cecilia Margaret Leyes (Henry2, John1) was born March 18, 1895 in Mad River Township, Montgomery Co., Ohio, the eldest child of Henry Leyes and Anna Margaret Hecht. (To see photos of Cecilia Leyes, click here).
On May 10, 1917, at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, in Dayton, Ohio, Cecilia married Peter Joseph Jergens, Jr., born November 23, 1893 in Mad River Township, the son of Peter J. Jergens, Sr. and Magdalena Abele. Cecilia and Peter lived on the Old Troy Pike in Mad River Township, next door to Peter’s brother Harry Jergens. Peter Jergens worked as a truck gardener.
Peter and Cecilia (Leyes) Jergens had nine children (surname JERGENS):
i. Rita Marie (27 February 1918 – 6 July 2009). Rita Marie Jergens was married to Cletus A. Schmidt for 67 years; he predeceased her in 2008. They have four children, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Rita died in Hemet, California, at the age of 91. She and her husband are interred together at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, CA.
ii. Margaret Mary Cecilia was born June 5, 1919, in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio. Margaret was married to Elmer Ellsworth Watson, Jr. (known as “Doc”) for 68 years. They raised their family in South Windsor, Connecticut, where they resided for 55 years. Margaret died in Port Charlotte, Florida, on July 24, 2012, at age 93. Doc Watson died in Rotonda West, Florida, on July 27, 2016, at age 101. They were laid to rest together in Center Cemetery, South Windsor, Connecticut, on May 27, 2017, with military honors for Doc for his service in the US Army during WWII. They were survived by six children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
iii. Mary Ann Cecilia was born July 6, 1920, in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio. She was married to Earl R. Guntle for 38 years; he predeceased her in 1980. They had eight children, eighteen grandchildren, and twenty-five great-grandchildren. Mary Ann died in Dayton, OH, on February 14, 2015, at the age of 94. She and her husband are interred together at Hill Grove Cemetery in Miamisburg, OH.
iv. Joseph. This child was stillborn on November 10, 1922 and buried the next day in Section 14, Lot 83, Grave 12NE, Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.
v. Eugene Joseph. Eugene Jergens was known from childhood as “Bud.” He was born August 16, 1924, in Mad River Township, Montgomery Co., Ohio. During WWII, Bud served in the US Navy. He was married for sixty years. When Bud died February 23, 2005, in Dayton, Ohio, at the age of 80, he was survived by his wife, seven children, thirteen grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandson. Eugene J. “Bud” Jergens was buried with military honors in Dayton National Cemetery on February 28, 2005.
vi. Living Jergens (1926-)
vii. Living Jergens (1929-)
viii. Jerome Joseph was born April 6, 1931 in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. Jerome died on March 27, 2013, at the age of 81, in Dayton. He was survived by his wife of 59 years, nine children, thirteen grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
ix. Charlotte Mary Madonna, known as “Madonna.” She was born September 8, 1934 in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio. On October 6, 1956, when Madonna was 22, she married John S. Goncey, born in Dayton on December 2, 1925. John Goncey died on September 3, 2009, in California; Madonna (Jergens) Goncey died on March 23, 2010, in La Mesa, California. They were survived by their daughter, son-in-law, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
In 1958, when Peter and Cecilia Jergens were visiting their daughters who lived in southern California, Cecilia became seriously ill and was hospitalized in San Diego. She died in the hospital on May 7, 1958, at age 63, just days before her 41st wedding anniversary. She is buried in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 4470 Hilltop Drive, San Diego, San Diego County, CA, in the section named “Our Lady of Guadalupe,” Plot #1306, Grave #6.
Peter Jergens, Jr., married a second time, on November 28, 1959, to Hildegard Emma (Schmit) Helterline, born June 1, 1898 in Maine Prairie Township, Stearns County, Minnesota, the daughter of Michael and Mary (Blissenbach) Schmit, and the widow of George Andrew Helterline [Halterlein] of Plains, Montana. Hilda lived in southern California and worked as a housekeeper in a parish rectory. Peter met Hilda after Cecilia’s death, when he was again visiting his daughters in California. Peter and Hilda Jergens lived in Miamisburg, Ohio.
Hilda (Schmit) (Helterline) Jergens died in Ohio on August 27, 1979 at age 81. Hilda’s children from her previous marriage had her remains brought back to Plains, Sanders County, Montana, for burial in Plains Cemetery. Peter, aged 85, died weeks later, in Miamisburg, Montgomery County, Ohio, on October 14, 1979. He was buried on October 18th in Miamisburg Catholic Cemetery, Miamisburg, Ohio.
Louise Elizabeth “Lula” Leyes (Henry2, John1) was born May 11, 1897 in Mad River Township, Montgomery Co., Ohio.
The Jergens family essay asserts that Lula “married Louis Clayton on March 7, 1919, and had three children.” We’ve found the names of Lula’s three children but have yet to find evidence for the marriage to Mr. Clayton, who is described in family lore as a “road crew worker.”
- Margaret Louise Clayton (1920-1997)
It’s possible Lula Leyes did marry the father of her firstborn; but the evidence suggests that Margaret was born out of wedlock.
Margaret Louise Clayton was born February 12, 1920 in Springfield, Clark County, Ohio. That is where the census taker found Lula on January 13, 1920, scarcely a month before her baby’s birth. Lula was enumerated as “Louise Clayton,” and was listed as a boarder at the residence where she lived.
Margaret Louise’s 1997 obituary, found online at the Preble County, Ohio, Obituary Collection, gives her father’s name as Joseph Clayton. A search of census and other records for Ohio provided a possible candidate: Joseph Leo Clayton, born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1894 and residing there in 1920. Joseph Clayton’s occupation was that of bookkeeper for the telephone company. The occupation listed for Joseph’s father, James D. Clayton, was that of “road roller” foreman, a job description that matches pretty closely what the family lore preserved. We don’t know if this Joseph Clayton is Margaret Louise’s father. The census record tells us that this Joseph Clayton was a single man living with his family of origin in 1920. The familysearch website has an index record of Joseph Clayton’s marriage in 1927 to Lucy A. Scanlon; and the 1930 census shows Joseph and Lucy Clayton living in Springfield with a four-month-old daughter.
Family lore goes on to say that Lula “remarried.” Lula’s new husband was Homer Herbert De Vena, born February 7, 1890 in Greenfield, Highland county, Ohio, the son of William and Myrtle (Kidd) De Vena. (This surname varies in its letter spacing and capitalization: De Vena, DeVena, and Devena.) Homer De Vena, per the 1930 census, was a toolmaker. Lula likely married Homer in the late 1920’s, because by April 1930 she had a 20-month-old daughter.
Lula and Homer had two children together:
ii. Virginia Catherine De Vena (circa 1928 - ?)
iii. Edward De Vena (circa 1930 - ?) He was mentioned in Margaret Louise’s obituary as her half-brother.
Homer had been married twice by the time he met Lula. On May 5, 1908, he married Laverna Clark, the 18-year-old daughter of George and Lucy (Day) Clark. We don’t know what happened to Laverna. Homer next married, on November 12, 1910, 17-year-old Edna McKenna, the daughter of James and Maggie (McHugh) McKenna. We have no information about what became of Edna, but she and Homer apparently had a couple of children together – daughter Marjorie and son Kenneth.
The 1930 census shows Margaret Louise living in Lula and Homer’s household on Seventh Avenue in Harrison Township, Montgomery county, Ohio. Margaret Louise’s surname isn’t specified as Clayton in this listing; she appears as one of the De Vena family. Margaret Jergens recalled that Margaret Louise Clayton actually grew up in the house of her maternal grandparents, Henry and Anna (Hecht) Leyes: “She was right there all the time.” Ms. Jergens agreed with the opinion that Anna Leyes apparently raised her granddaughter (she did not recall Aunt Lula living there at the same time). In 1941 Margaret Louise celebrated her 21st birthday. That same year, on July 3rd, Kenneth De Vena enlisted in the US Army at Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Around that time, Lula, Homer, and their youngest children moved to Houston, Texas.
Margaret Louise Clayton remained in Ohio. Another Jergens relative has told us that Margaret worked very hard, caring for her Leyes grandparents as they aged. Anna died in April 1948, her husband Henry little more than a year later. We wonder if Margaret waited to marry until she was no longer caregiver for the people who raised her. Eventually Margaret wed Flem J. Hopkins and raised a family with him. Flem Hopkins, born August 1, 1920, died on December 4, 1994. He was buried in Preble Memory Gardens, West Alexandria, Preble County, Ohio. Margaret L. (Clayton) Hopkins died on January 10, 1997 at age 76. She was laid to rest with her husband Flem.
Lula and Homer both were residents of Houston, Texas, at the time of their deaths. Homer’s death record tells us he was 54 years old and working as a machinist in the “Oil Field Supplies” business when he was electrocuted by a short-circuiting electric tool. He died at King Oil Tools, which was probably where he was employed, on August 30, 1944, in the middle of the afternoon. Homer H. De Vena was buried on September 1st in Westcott Cemetery in Houston.
Louise “Lula” (Leyes) De Vena was 66 years old when she died in Houston on Christmas Day in 1963. Her death record indicates that she had lived in that city for 22 years. Lula was laid to rest in Rosewood Memorial Park Cemetery in Houston.
Andrew Joseph Leyes (Henry2, John1) was born April 19, 1899 in Mad River Township, Montgomery Co., Ohio. Andrew married Irma L. Hill, born July 24, 1904 in Ohio, the daughter of John and Bird (Sheets) Hill. The 1930 census records Andrew’s family living at 305 Troy Street in Dayton, Ohio. Andrew worked as a carpenter for National Cash Register in Dayton.
Andrew and Irma (Hill) Leyes had ten children (surname LEYES):
- William Joseph, died at three months of age on December 30, 1925.
- Raymond Francis, lived for seven days, dying on October 29, 1926.
- Catherine Anna, lived for fourteen days, dying on November 4, 1926.
- Martha L., born June 24, 1928; died Jan. 7, 2013, at age 84. She married Joseph Zakar (b. Nov. 26, 1925; d. Sept. 13, 1990), the son of Stanley and Eva Zakar. Martha’s obituary mentioned four daughters and a son, eight grandchildren and twenty great-grandchildren who survive her. (To see a lovely photo of Martha, click here.)
- Robert Louis, died at seventeen months of age on February 11, 1931.
- Andrew Joseph, Jr., born October 14, 1930, died November 17, 1997.
- Living Leyes (1931-)
- Elizabeth “Betty,” born in 1936, married Frederick Ishmael. They died in an airplane crash on March 15, 1973, in Woodstock, Georgia.
- Living Leyes (1941-)
- Living Leyes (1943-)
Andrew and Irma Leyes lost four of their offspring. Their first three children died in early infancy; another, Bobby, was a toddler when he died. The Dayton Daily Journal for January 2, 1926, ran an obituary for little William Leyes that identified him as the “infant son of Andrew Leyes.” Family lore says that two of the lost children were twins, a boy and a girl – Raymond F. Leyes and Catherine A. Leyes, both born around October 22, 1926.
Little Catherine Leyes shared her burial with Helen Leyes, who was likely the (stillborn?) daughter of John J. and Edith Leyes. On November 5, 1925, both girls were interred in Section 13, Lot 369, Grave 1SC, in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, the same plot where John J. Leyes and his parents, Phillip and Mary (Bahlmann) Leyes, are buried.
The three Leyes boys were laid to rest in a different section of Calvary Cemetery. William Joseph Leyes, who died in 1925, was buried in Section 10, Lot 24, Tier 3, K. Raymond Francis Leyes was buried the day after he died, in 1926, with William. Bobby Leyes was buried, three days after his death in 1931, near his brothers in Section 10, Lot 37, Tier 2, K.
Andrew J. Leyes died at the age of 78 on February 26, 1978. He was buried on March 2nd in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 37, Lot 113, Grave 4NE. Irma L. (Hill) Leyes died at age 77 on November 10, 1981. She was laid to rest next to her husband Andrew four days later in Grave 3NE.
John and Margaret Leyes
There are significant age discrepancies in the various census listings for John and Margaret Leyes, making it difficult to determine their birth data.
Considering John’s age as given in the 1860, 1870, and 1880 censuses, we estimate his year of birth to be about 1828. Calvary Cemetery recorded John’s age, when he died in early February 1898, as 73, and noted that John’s grave marker gives his date of birth as 1826. Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Dayton noted John’s age at death as “73 y 6 m,” which points to late July – early August 1824 as John’s birth date. (Our Lady of the Rosary’s record for “Johann Leyes” also mentions that he was born in Bavaria and died a “sudden” death due to “heart failure.”) The Jergens family essay says that John was born July 26, 1839. That particular year agrees with none of the available documentation. The month of July, however, is consistent with what the church’s record suggests. We have settled on a “circa” date of 1825 as John’s birth year.
The information given in John’s civil death record, in terms of his age at death, agrees most closely with his church burial record. According to the City of Dayton, Ohio, “John Leys” was 73 years, five months and one day old when he died on February 2, 1898 of a cerebral hemorrhage (this cause of death differs from the church record). If this data is correct, John’s age at death corresponds to a birth date of September 1, 1824. So our “circa date” of 1825 as John’s birth year remains a pretty good estimate.
Estimates of Margaret Leyes’s year of birth range from 1832 to 1835-36, depending on which sources are considered. The 1900 census lists Margaret Leyes’s month and year of birth as October 1832. The various censuses list her ages thus: 1860 (25 y.o.); 1870 (33 y.o.); 1880 (45 y.o.); 1900 (67 y.o.); and 1910 (75 y.o.). Calvary Cemetery recorded Margaret’s age at death, in August 1912, as 75. Overall, it looks to us like Margaret was about 10 years younger than her husband.
Margaret’s 1912 civil death record lists her age at death as 76 but lists her date of birth as simply “1836,” without any details of month and day. The informant for the death record was not a relative, but an undertaker, Leo F. Walter. It’s possible Mr. Walter knew Margaret personally, given that his own father, Michael, was a German immigrant. Michael Walter’s funeral in 1920 took place at Emmanuel Church in Dayton, a Roman Catholic parish that served the German community from the time of its inception. Perhaps this is how Leo Walter knew Margaret’s father’s name, which he wrote on her death record as “Const. Saeger.” We can guess, however, that he used simple arithmetic to determine Margaret’s year of birth: 1912 – 76 = 1836.
If Margaret was born in the month of October, as suggested by the 1900 census, she died (in August) before celebrating her birthday in 1912. Given the pattern of the available data, Margaret Leyes probably was 76 years old when she died. Therefore we have settled on a “circa” date of 1835 as Margaret’s birth year.
In the 1850 census, 15-year-old Margaret Sager, born in Germany, was listed as living in the household of 77-year-old Henry Bouser and his 74-year-old wife Mary in Harrison Township, Montgomery Co., Ohio. Greencastle Cemetery, a non-Catholic cemetery where Margaret’s Lutheran parents supposedly are buried, lies within the boundaries of Harrison Township. Considering that her parents died when she was young, Margaret (Seager) Leyes might indeed be the same person as the Margaret Sager who lived with the Bousers in 1850.
The 1900 and 1910 censuses offer us a few fascinating details about Margaret: She immigrated to the United States in 1839. While her native language was German, she could speak English. The 1910 census states, however, that Margaret could not read or write.
The Jergens family essay provides a wildly erroneous birth year of 1880 for Caroline, and an incorrect date for her death:
“Carolina, born August 6, 1880, married three times, first to Louis Stick [sic], second to Charles Kramer, and third to Carl Coates, died on September 13, 1929.”
In fact, Caroline shows up at age 7 in the 1870 census and at age 17 in the 1880 census. Caroline’s own death record – which, luckily for us, listed both of her parents – provides her date of birth as well as death, and gave us the name of her last husband. We have the record of Caroline’s marriage to her first husband. And we found the name of her second husband embedded in her mother’s 1912 obituary. With information from a broader range of census records, we have a better picture of the trajectory of Caroline’s life.
Caroline Leyes was born September 30, 1863, the third surviving child of immigrants John and Margaret Leyes.
On September 6, 1882, Caroline “Callie” Leyes wed Louis Stich at Emmanuel Church in Dayton, Ohio. Louis, born in November 1859, was the younger brother of Andrew Stich, the man that Caroline’s older sister Catherine wed (see the next section of this Appendix, below).
The 1900 census for Dayton shows Lewis J. Stich, age 40, enumerated as living in the Dayton household of Andrew and Catherine (Leyes) Stich. His relationship to Andrew was described as partner; both Stich men were grocers. But Louis was not listed with a wife. When Louis died of consumption in 1901, his obituary said he was “unmarried.” He was buried in the Stich family plot (Section 1, Lot 71) in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton.
An item in the Dayton Herald newspaper for November 10, 1887, tells us what became of this marriage:
Louis Stich filed for divorce from his wife Caroline “Carrie” Stich on the grounds of adultery.
We don’t know when and where Caroline wed her next husband, Charles H. Kremer (this is the spelling of his surname as given in the formal records we found). Charles and Caroline were recorded in the 1900 census for Cincinnati, where they were listed as having been married for 18 years, a number which corresponds to the year Caroline wed Louis Stich.
Perhaps the more telling detail from this census comes from two questions asked of women: “Mother of how many children” and “Number of these children living.” For Caroline, the answer was zero. Perhaps the reason Caroline wasn’t faithful to her first husband was because she wanted children, and none arrived. But there were no children with Charles, either. The 1910 census captures essentially the same data as the previous one.
Caroline might not have been ostracized by her family because of her marital history. Items in the Dayton newspapers’ social notices mention that Caroline’s mother, Margaret Leyes, made trips to Cincinnati to visit family, sometimes bringing a grandchild along. We’d like to think that Margaret was spending time with her daughter.
Charles Kremer died in Cincinnati on November 30, 1911, at age 53. His death record notes that Charles was born in Dayton; his parents were Henry and Sophia Kremer.
Probably around 1917, Caroline married again, but not to a man named Carl Coates as the Jergens family essay says. Her new, younger husband was Fred Herman Cullige, a baker, born May 29, 1874 in Antwerp, Belgium. Fred’s World War I draft registration, dated September 12, 1918, lists “Carie Cullige” of 903 Steele Avenue as his nearest relative, while the 1916 Dayton city directory shows Fred “rooming” elsewhere in Dayton.
The 1920 census recorded Fred’s year of immigration as 1897, his native language as Flemish. Caroline’s given name is recorded erroneously as Catherine. They lived at 903 Steele Avenue in Dayton. Listed on the same census page are the households of Phillip Leyes (Caroline’s brother) and John Leyes (Phillip’s son; Caroline’s nephew).
Caroline (Leyes) (Stich) (Kremer) Cullige was 63 years old when she died at home on February 14, 1927, of endocarditis made worse by influenza. She was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton on February 17, 1927, in Section 6, Block 2‐F, Lot 9, Space 1. Her final resting place is next to an empty grave, possibly purchased by Fred for himself. But Caroline is the only Cullige in Calvary Cemetery.
Fred remarried not long after Caroline’s death; he and his new wife Gusella were enumerated in Dayton in the 1930 census. Fred Cullige died July 2, 1948 in San Joaquin, California. Gusella departed this life on July 25, 1952, and was buried under her second husband’s name – Pyper – in David’s Cemetery, Kettering, OH. (Gusella’s maiden name was Kuntz; her first husband’s surname was Wentz. We don’t know what happened to him, but second husband John Pyper, whom Gusella wed in 1908, expired in 1917. He, too, is buried in David’s Cemetery.)
Andrew Stich and his brother Louis (Lewis)
Andrew and Louis Stich were the sons of Aloysius Stich, born circa 1814 in Germany. In June 1870, the “Stick” family was enumerated in the 8th ward of Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio. “Lewis Stick,” a 56-year-old teamster, was listed as the head of this household. Twelve-year-old Andrew was listed as “at home,” while 11-year-old Lewis was “attending school.” No female resided with this family; apparently the elder Lewis was a widower. We have not found this Stich family in any census prior to 1870.
Calvary Cemetery in Dayton recorded the death of Aloysius Stich, age 63, on June 4, 1877, and his burial two days later in Section 10, Lot 7, Tier 4, A. There are only ten Stich burials in Calvary Cemetery, eight of which are in the family plot of Andrew and Catherine (Leyes) Stich, and one of which is an infant boy who died in 1917. Aloysius Stich appears to be the same man who was enumerated in 1870 as the elder Lewis Stick. The anglicization of his given name from “Al-loo-ISH-us” to “LOO-is” strikes us as both clever and useful.
This family produced three religious vocations, which
are were mentioned in an on-line “History of Our Lady of the Rosary Church – 1888 to 1939.”
Eldest son Henry, born November 8, 1883, was a Roman Catholic priest, ordained on June 20, 1913:
“Rev. Henry Stich, deceased, was director at St. Joseph Mission for the poor, Dayton.”
Henry Stich’s World War I draft registration form (dated September 12, 1918) gives us his exact date of birth, as well as the fact that he was serving as chaplain at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Dayton at the time. Henry listed his mother, Mrs. Catherine Stich, as his nearest relative. In the 1930 census Henry Stich is listed as the chaplain of St. Joseph Mission. He died July 28, 1934 at age 50 and was buried in Grave 3SE of his family’s plot, Section 1, Lot 71, on August 1st. Henry’s funeral card, preserved in an album by his cousin Bernadina, mentions his date of ordination.
Daughters Louise and Elizabeth both entered the convent. The “History of Our Lady of the Rosary Church” mentions two women surnamed Stich as Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur:
“... Sister Louis Joseph (Stich), deceased; Sister Julia Agatha (Stich)...”
Louise Stich, born August 10, 1881, became Sister Louis Joseph. Her religious name may have been a tribute to her uncle Louis J. Stich, who died in November 1901. Louise entered religious life at age 20, joining the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. She died at the age of 27 on November 15, 1908, in Dayton, at the convent associated with Notre Dame Academy (now Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School) where she was a teacher.
Louise was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery in Section 3, Lot 24, Grave 4 – that part of the cemetery where the Sisters of Notre Dame were interred. Her name appears in Calvary Cemetery’s records as Sister Louise Joseph (not Louis), which is also how it appears in her newspaper obituary.
Elizabeth Stich, born July 1887, shows up in the 1930 census listed by her baptismal name, not her religious name (Sr. Julia Agatha). She appears on line 2 (right after Mother Superior) of a page dedicated entirely to the Sisters of Notre Dame at 325 Homewood Avenue in Dayton. In this census, Elizabeth’s occupation was noted as high school teacher. Apparently she taught in the lower grades as well. Margaret Jergens, one of the authors of the Jergens family essay, remembers Sr. Agatha circa 1926:
“When I was in the first and second grade classroom [at Our Lady of the Rosary school] our teacher was Sister Theodore. Whenever and for whatever reason Sister T couldn't be there, our substitute teacher would be Sister Agatha (Stich). My mother told me that she was our cousin. I don't remember how many times she substituted, but all of us liked her very much.”
Elizabeth Stich died at age 73 on January 31, 1960. She was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Section 3, Lot 40, Grave 9.
To see photos of Louise and Elizabeth Stich, click here.
We know very little about son Joseph, born April 23, 1890. The 1920 census listed him as married, and the 1930 census recorded him as a widower (“age at first marriage: 27”), though both censuses enumerate him, with no wife or children in evidence, living in his widowed mother’s household. Calvary Cemetery’s records of Stich burials do not include any name which might be construed as Joseph’s spouse.
In 1920 Joseph Stich’s occupation was noted as grocery clerk; in 1930 his occupation was “none.” Joseph died at age 70 on the 13th of August 1960. He was buried three days later in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, on October 21st in Section 1, Lot 71, Grave 3NE.
© 2019 Elaine Schenot
The Jergens family essay, “The Ancestors of the Present Jergens Family,” was written in 1936-37 by Margaret and Maryann Jergens of Dayton, Ohio, with contributions from numerous relatives alive in 1936. Family lore and personal recollections regarding Louise “Lula” Leyes, Margaret Louise Clayton, Raymond H. Leyes and Herbert F. Leyes were provided by Margaret Jergens.
John Leyes’s civil death record was obtained in October 2009 from the Montgomery County Records Center, 117 South Main Street, 6th floor; P.O. Box 972, Dayton, OH 45422-0972.
Marriage and spouse information regarding Albert Bernard Leyes and Charles A. Leyes were obtained from Connie Coy Rice (who posted her family tree at RootsWeb’s now largely defunct WorldConnect Project) and used with her permission. Thank you, Connie!
Information regarding the family and descendants of Andrew Joseph Stich and Catherine Elizabeth Leyes were obtained from the family tree posted by Russell Metzger at RootsWeb’s now largely defunct WorldConnect Project, and used with his permission. Many thanks, Russ!
Interment lists were obtained from The Calvary Cemetery Association, Calvary & Dixie Avenues, Dayton, OH 45409 (937) 293-1221; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Numerous Ohio marriage and death records were obtained from the Family Search website.
Ancestry.com databases: Dayton, Ohio, Directories, 1888-92; Ohio Deaths, 1908-1944 and 1958-2002; World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918; the Social Security Death Index (SSDI); and U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925. Archival newspaper items were located at Ancestry.com’s Historical Newspaper Collection.
The death listing for Frank J. Leyes was obtained from a microfilm copy of the Dayton Daily Journal Board of Health reports for Friday, December 30, 1887, page 3, column 2;
An obituary for Mary Bernadine (Bahlmann) Leyes was obtained from a microfilm copy of the (Dayton) Journal Herald newspaper, Friday, June 12, 1953, page 22, column 2;
both of these items provided by the Dayton Metro Library, Magazines and Special Collection Division, 215 E. Third St., Dayton, OH 45402-2103; email: email@example.com.
Obituary information regarding William J. Leyes, son of Andrew and Irma Leyes, was obtained via the Dayton Obituary Index, an online searchable database that used to be available via the Dayton (Ohio) Metro Library. An obituary item for Jerome Francis (Edith Leyes’s husband) also was found in this database.
Information regarding the death date of Helen Zavakos was obtained from the Ohio Death Record Index searchable database, available online at The Ohio History Connection website.
Background information and photos for the Zavakos branch of the Leyes family were generously provided by Laura Zavakos Wood, great-granddaughter of Bernadina (Leyes) Zavakos. Thank you so much, Laura!
The maiden name of Harry P. Leyes’s wife, Coletta, was discovered in the newspaper death notice for her stepmother, Ida Haas, as listed in the July 6, 1931 edition of The Lima (Ohio) News. The names of Coletta’s parents were confirmed through a search of US federal census records for Dayton, Montgomery county, Ohio.
Much information about the family of Andrew J. Leyes and his wife Irma Hill was provided by their great-grandson Ron Cantrell. Thank you, Ron!
Information about Edith, wife of John J. Leyes, and their family was provided by one of their granddaughters. Thanks, Gerri!
Information about the family of Herbert F. Leyes was provided by one of his children in a telephone conversation on May 19, 2013. Thank you, “C”!
1850 US federal census, Harrison Township, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication M432, roll #714, page 276 – household of Henry Bouser (Margaret Sager, age 15, residing).
1860 US federal census, Mad River Township, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication M653, roll #1014, page 216 – household of John Leyes.
1870 US federal census, Mad River Township, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication M593, roll # 1248, page 640 – household of John Leyes.
1870 US federal census, Dayton (8th ward), Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication M593, roll #1249, page 367 – household of Lewis Steck (Stich).
1880 US federal census, ED #170, Mad River Township, Montgomery county, OH; NARA micropublication T9, roll #1052, page 640 – household of John Leyes.
1900 US federal census, ED #43, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T623, roll #1306, page 3A – household of Andrew and Catherine (Leyes) Stich.
1900 US federal census, ED #63, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T623, roll #1307, page 5A – household of Joseph Leyes.
1900 US federal census, ED #75, Dayton (8th ward), Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T623, roll #1307, page 6B – household of Phillip Leyes.
1900 US federal census, ED #92, Mad River Township, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T623, roll #1308, page 7B – household of Henry Leyes.
1910 US federal census, Dayton (3rd ward), Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T624, roll #1216, part 2, page 86A – household of Andrew and Catherine (Leyes) Stich.
1910 US federal census, Dayton (7th ward), Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T624, roll #1216, part 2, page 202B – household of Joseph Leyes.
1910 US federal census, Dayton (7th ward), Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T624, roll #1216, part 2, page 276B – household of Otto and Bernadina (Leyes) Zavakos.
1910 US federal census, Dayton (8th ward), Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T624, roll #1217, part 2, page 142A – household of Phillip Leyes.
1910 US federal census, Mad River Township, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T624, roll #1218, part 2, page 64A – household of Henry Leyes.
1920 US federal census, ED #81, Springfield, Clark County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T625, roll 1353, page 5A – Louise (Leyes) Clayton.
1920 US federal census, ED #102, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T625, roll 1421, page 12A – household of Catherine (Leyes) Stich.
1920 US federal census, ED #153, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T625, roll 1421, page 4A – household of Otto and Bernadina (Leyes) Zavakos.
1920 US federal census, ED #155, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T625, roll 1421, page 6B – household of Harry Leyes.
1920 US federal census, ED #157, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T625, roll 1421, page 3A – household of Joseph Leyes.
1920 US federal census, ED #188, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T625, roll 1422, page 9A – households of John J. Leyes and Phillip Leyes.
1920 US federal census, ED #188, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T625, roll 1422, page 9B – household of Jerome J. & Edith M. (Leyes) Francis.
1920 US federal census, ED #225, Mad River Township, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T625, roll 1423, page 7A – household of Henry Leyes.
1920 US federal census, ED #237, Van Buren, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T625, roll 1423, page 3A – household of Charles A. Leyes.
1930 US federal census, ED #29, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T626, roll 1852, page 142 – household of Otto and Bernadina (Leyes) Zavakos.
1930 US federal census, ED #33, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T626, roll 1852, page 224 – Convent of the Sisters of Notre Dame (Elizabeth C. Stich).
1930 US federal census, ED #20, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T626, roll 1853, page 172 – households of Lawrence Stich; Catherine (Leyes) Stich; and Andrew Leyes.
1930 US federal census, ED #78, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T626, roll 1853, page 23 – household of Joseph Leyes.
1930 US federal census, ED #105, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T626, roll #1855, page 148 – household of Louis and Clara (Leyes) Langenkamp.
1930 US federal census, ED #108, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T626, roll #1855, page 189 – household of Phillip Leyes.
1930 US federal census, ED #118, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T626, roll #1854, page 7A – household of Jerome J. & Edith M. (Leyes) Francis.
1930 US federal census, ED #157, Mad River Township, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T626, roll #1857, page 22B – household of Henry Leyes.
1930 US federal census, ED #157, Mad River Township, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T626, roll #1857, pages 18B-19A – household of John Leyes.
1930 US federal census, ED #176, Van Buren Township, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T626, roll #1857, page 64 – household of Louis J. Leyes.
1930 US federal census, ED #200, Van Buren Township, Montgomery County, Ohio; NARA micropublication T626, roll #1857, page 87B – household of Charles A. Leyes.
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