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Russell Leach
Hazel Kirk Thatcher
John M. Thatcher
John Thatcher

 

 

 

21. John Thatcher (Married Levina Mettler (Alvina Mettler) (Levina Medler) (#22) on 5 February 1844). (Source of purple is The Association of the Descendants of Henry Mershon.)

Born: 9 February 1819 of Unknown Father (#41) & Unknown Mother (#42) in New Jersey. New Jersey [Note: His birthplace is confirmed by census data.]

Died: 6 March 1886. He is buried at Morris United Methodist Church Cemetery, Pickaway County. (GPS: 39° 33.858 ' N; 82° 53.501 ' W). [Note: A photograph of his tombstone is shown at the bottom of this web page.]

 

[His siblings are not known, but there is a reference to his having at least two brothers. Information about these brothers is included below under "Miscellaneous."]

Miscellaneous: Thatcher means “people who make thatched roofs for houses.”

According to Mike Thatcher, a great-great grandson of John, and a great grandson of Alonso (John M. Thatcher (#11)'s brother) in his letters to Russell Leach (#3) on July 29, 1985 and January 9, 1986, John came from England with two brothers. [Note: John's coming from England has not been confirmed. Census records show he was born in New Jersey.] They owned a dairy and/or a piano manufacturing company. They broke up the business and one brother went to Canada. The other went South and became prominent in the textile business. John followed his sweetheart Alvina Mettler (Levina Medler) from New Jersey to Ohio when her father moved there. He worked for his father-in-law, Francis Mettler Jr., as a farm hand.

Also according to Mike Thatcher, John and his wife had 14-15 children, he lived in a large log cabin at a town called Thatcher’s Post Office. They operated a blacksmith shop, saloon, and a grocery and post office. The town is located four miles east of Circleville on the crossroads of Route 56 and the Circleville-Tarleton Road.

Below Left: The location of Thatcher's Post Office is thought to be near the intersection of Tarlton Rd and State Route 56. Beside the large tree in the middle of this photograph is an old brick building and water pump. This was possibly the location of John's building. The photograph was taken 25 September 2005. There are two old homes nearby, but the town no longer exists. Below Right: These signs mark the intersection shown at left. The photograph of the road signs was taken 6 September 2005. [Note: Farther down this page is a "goggle" map showing an aerial view of this area.]

According to Russell Leach (#3)'s research, John and Levina's 14 children included: William P. (Wilbur), Mary Ellen, Francis Orlando (Doc), Hannah Loretta (Lo), Elijah A. (Lij), Harriett Lozetta (Hat), John M.(#11), Alonza Carlton, Margaret Samantha (Mag), Albert Maywood, Rosemma Almeda (Rose), Arey Alice, Amanda (Mandy), and Samuel. [Note: Samuel was the last born according to Leach's research. Born in 1869, he died before the 1870 census. Levina would have been ~46 and John ~50 when he was born. Another source:(Ancestry.com (Rick Ratliff family tree) says there was a 15th child, Herbert. Herbert died the day he was born 29 August 1885. John would have been ~ 66 years old and Levina would have been ~ 60 when she gave birth to Herbert].

The 1850 Census for Laurel Township, Hocking County, Ohio shows that John is a shoemaker and he lives next door to his father-in-law, Francis Mettler. His wife, Alvina (#22) is 24, son William is 4, daughter Mary is 3, son Francis is 2, daughter Hannah is 5 months. A person named _______ Miller is 12. [It is unknown who _____ Miller was.]

The 1860 census for Benton Township, Hocking County, Ohio (Post Office: South Bloomingville) shows John's father-in-law (Francis Medler- age 63)) is the head of his household. Living with Francis are John's mother-in-law (Hannah Medler-age 56) and three of Francis and Hannah's children. On the same census page, with just one family listed between them, is John's family, including, his wife and 10 children. John is 40; Alvina is 35. Their oldest child, William is 14 years old and their youngest (Albert) is just 2 months old.

The 1870 census for Scioto Township, Ross County, Ohio lists John (age 50) as a farmer. Living with him is his wife Alvina (#22) (age 45). Their daughters Harriett (age 17) and Margaret Thatcher (age 12) are helping their mother. Sons Elijah (age 19), John (#11) (age 16), Olonzo (age 14), and Albert (age 9) are working on the farm. The younger children Rosemey (age 8), Amanda (age 5), and Samuel (age 6 months) are at home.

The 1880 census for Washington Township, Pickaway County, Ohio lists John (age 61) as a farmer. Living with him is his wife Alvina (#22) (age 56), a housekeeper. Sons Elijah (age 28), Alonzo (age 24), and Albert (age 20) are living with him and are helping him farm. Daughter Rosa (age 18) is helping with housekeeping, and daughter Amanda (age 14) is at school.

According to History of Pickaway County, Ohio and Representative Citizens Edited & Compiled by Hon. Aaron R. Van Cleaf, Circleville, Ohio, Chicago, Ill. 1906. p. 163 “Thatcher is a town of about 35 population, located on the pike from Circleville to Adelphi, on the north line of the township. Edward Barr has a general store here and Thatcher & Valentine, a blacksmith shop. J. S. Valentino is also in business here as a buyer and shipper of poultry. The post office at Thatcher was discontinued three years ago. The Thatcher with a blacksmith shop in 1906 was likely one of Johns sons... either John M. Thatcher (#11) or Francis Orlando Thatcher. [Note: In recent years, an article written by Darlene F. Weaver for the Circleville Herald titled "Weaver ran store, good wagon in Thatcher", never mentions any Thatcher as ever having been postmaster of the town. The article states that Minni Tipton Barr, wife of John "Edward" Barr, was the post mistress for the tiny village of Thatcher. As shown below,a Marietta Daily Leader newspaper article dated December 23, 1897 stated that Edward Barr had been appointed new Ohio Postmaster for Thatcher. This webmaster wonders who was postmaster before Barr.]

To see maps indicating where John Levina lived from from the time when they were young until 1880, click here.

John died on 6 March 1886 and is buried in the cemetery next to the Morris E.U.B. Church near the former town of Thatcher, Ohio in Washington Township, Pickaway County, Ohio. The yellow thumbtack on this map shows the exact location of John's tombstone in the church cemetery. The location of the former town of Thatcher, Tarlton Road, and Route 56 are also shown on the map.

The Chillicothe Daily News, March, 1886 described John's death: “Died-At his home in Pickaway County, March 6, 1886, John Thatcher, in his 68th year of his age. His suffering was long and severe, but he bore it with patience. He bore the cross that he might wear the crown. He was buried at Morris Chapel near Circleville to await the coming of Christ. He was a kind husband and affectionate father, he leaves a wife and twelve children to mourn their loss.”

Below: John’s and Levina’s tombstone (full view and close-up) at Morris Chapel United Methodist Church. The stone shows considerable weathering and is difficult to read; but, after the stone was cleaned and blue chalk was applied on 25 September 2005, most of it could be read and is transcribed next to the photographs.

JOHN THATCHER
BORN

FEB. 9, 1819
DIED
MAR. 6, 1886
AGED
67 yrs, 27ds



ALVINA THATCHER
BORN
DEC. 18, 1824
DIED
MAY 17, 1899
74 yrs. 4 ms 29 ds

 

 

 

As can be seen in the first photograph above, the tombstone is shaped like a tree with the top cut off. This type of monument is called a “treestone” and it represents a chopped off family tree or perhaps that life has been cut off. (This type of tombstone was popular during the Victorian Age and could be purchased through a Sear's catalogue). In this monument, the severed tree is resting on a base that looks like stacked rocks. There are fern leaves carved into the base of the tree. Fern at the stone’s base illustrates humility and sincerity.

Lifetime Events Summary for John Thatcher:

Event
Date
John's age
Birth
9 February 1819
0
Migrated from NJ to OH
~ 1840
~21
Marriage to Alvina Mettler
5 February 1844
25
Children's births
1845 - 1869
26 - 66
1854
35
Civil War
1861-1865
42 - 46
Death
6 March 1886
67

 

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