Stepleton-Miller Ancestor Update

This is for all my online Stepleton and Miller relatives. This afternoon I paid a visit to the cemetery at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, on Hume Road, just north of Cridersville, Ohio. I took as many photographs of tombestones as I could find with the surnames Stepleton (or Stebleton) and Miller. In studying our family history and the history of Allen County, I had discovered that David Stepleton had moved his family here in 1833 from Fairfield County. His family was among the first families of Allen County. He bought and lived on the land that the Lutheran Church stands on today in Shawnee Township. The first church service was actually held in David’s barn. Several pioneers bought land around him and eventually the intersection of Hume Road and Shawnee Road (aka Reichelderfer Rd.) became known as the settlement at Stebletons. This is significant to our family because David was the brother of our 3X great grandfather, Jacob. Their father’s name was John (our 4X great grandfather). John and Jacob both stayed in Fairfield County, where they lived and died. John had moved his family there from Berks County, Pennsylvania in the early 1800′s.

Back to David… Although he is not our direct relative, he paved the way for other family members to follow him to Allen County. These families included his nephew & our great grandfather, Reuben Stepleton (and several other nephews) in the early 1840′s. The most surprising thing I have experienced while working on our family history is becoming emotionally attached to each person. You get to know them very well through records and stories. Today I found David’s tombstone, along with his grandson (another David Stepleton) who is in the biography section of The History of Allen County. Most of his family members are listed in the article and many of them are buried in this cemetery.

I will be loading the biography and the tombstones into ancestry.com so others can have access. It was an emotional day, but I was excited to find the resting place for so many relatives. It’s unbelievable that St. Matthew’s cemetery is only about 10 miles from my home! I will have even more exciting news to share with you soon about a previously unknown relative! You will not believe what I have found!

Safety Warning For Walkers & Runners (And For Those Who Pass Them)

Felt the need to put this out there since some of you will see me hobbling around the HOOT convention in August. I took up running about a year ago and participate in several 5K races in my area of Ohio. I train along several backroads near our cabin in rural Auglaize County. Last Monday evening, two men on motorcycles ran me off the road. I got out of their way safely and ran along the edge of the road until they passed me. As I got back on the road, my left foot stepped half on the stone edge and half on the blacktop (which was about 1 1/2″ higher than the stone). My foot rolled over the edge and I took a pretty bad fall. My left knee and right hand both came down in the stones first. Then my right knee hit the blacktop. I had such terrific forward motion that my right hand folded under my body, allowing the pavement to scrape the outside of my right arm. Then my shoulder came down on the blacktop as the right side of my face slid through the stones. I finally came to a stop with the right side of my head hitting the blacktop behind me… like an exclamation mark! I laid there for just a minute to catch my breath and then tried to get up. I didn’t know what part of me hurt the worst, but found out pretty quickly I couldn’t stand on that left foot. I then realized that I was a mile from home without a cell phone and the nearest neighbor was 1/4 mile away! I couldn’t just sit there and wait an hour for my husband to come looking for me. So, I started to hop on one foot. By this time I was sweaty, and crying, and had blood running from my hand, head and both knees. Two vehicles went by without even slowing down. I just kept praying that my neighbor was home. Thirty minutes went by as I hopped my way from the road onto the neighbor’s porch. Thank God they were there and drove me home. I ended up in the emergency room at St. Ritas Hospital in Lima, where everything was stablized. Through various doctor’s appointments, I’ve found out that I have a sprained right wrist and possible fracture in the hand and a broken tibia on my left ankle (and sprains in various muscles etc). I only have to wear a moon boot and hand brace for six weeks. In time, they will heal, along with all the bruises and road rash. I feel extremely lucky to be alive! Please watch for people on the roads. Be patient and give them plenty of room. Stop if you see someone hurt. You can at least make a phone call for them. Runners, Walkers, & Bikers: Please wear reflective clothing or bright colors and bring your cell phone. Be aware of what is on the road with you. Don’t do this activity too early or too late in the day. Learn from my story and save yourself a lot of pain!

Chewy Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

I’m always looking for quick and easy recipes that taste like you spent a lot of time on them. This is one of those recipes! You’ll love how simple it is. It’s my husband’s favorite cookie. Enjoy!

Chewy Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Makes 3 dozen, 3″ cookies.

Mix together:
1 Chocolate cake mix of your choice
1/4 C. packed brown sugar

Add the following ingredients and stir until it forms a thick batter
2 Eggs
1/2 C. Melted butter or margarine (melt in microwave)

Fold-in the following ingredients:
1 C. Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C. Chopped walnuts or pecans

Drop by teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake at 375 degrees: 10 minutes for chewy cookies or leave in a few minutes longer for crispy cookies. Cool and store in air-tight container.

Date Pudding – Great Holiday Recipe!

Date Pudding is Craig’s favorite recipe from his late Grandma Alma Henkener. I’ve been making it for my family for more than 30 years. Grandma’s family came from Germany, so we are reasonably sure of it’s origin. Date Pudding is a very different type of dessert. It really has nothing to do with the making of pudding! It is more like crusty nut bread, broken into pieces, and gently folding whipped cream into it. That’s pretty close! Hope you enjoy! Continue reading