Category Archives: LaPorte County

John Selmer (Johann Gottlieb Zellmer)

John Selmer
birth: 21 Jun 1824 at Wiemislaff, Kr. Chodziesen, Posen, Prussia to Martin and Anna Rosine (Ribelski) Zellmer
death: 7 Apr 1904, Cass Twp, Pulaski Co., IN
burial: St. John Cemetery, Pulaski Co., IN

1st marriage: likely prior to 1843 and in Prussia
Wilhelmine Kuk
birth: date unknown to Joseph [?] / George [?] Ribelski and [–?–]
death: probably 1854 in the United States
burial: unknown

2nd marriage: unknown
Wilhelmine Kottke
birth: unknown
death: unknown
burial: unknown

Children of John Selmer and Wilhelmine Kuk:

  • Ernst Julius Zellmer, b. 25 Jun 1843, d. 1[?] Sep 1843
  • Caroline Emilie (or Emilie Carolina) Zellmer,  b. Aug 1844, d. 15 Sep 1864
  • Wilhelm August Zellmer (William Selmer), b. 1 Jan 1848, d. 23 Jan 1929, m. Amalie “Mollie” Wegner

Children of John Selmer and Wilhelmine Kottke:

  • Emilie Selmer, b. 2 Nov 1855, d. 28 Aug 1856
  • Augusta Selmer, b. 17 Jun 1857, d. 26 Jun 1936, m. (1) Christ Prien, (2) Gustav Kottka
  • Pauline Karoline Selmer, b. 7 Aug 1858, d. as infant
  • Albertine/Ernestine Selmer, b. 9 Feb 1860, d. 12 Aug 1828, m. Julius Steinke
  • Julius W. Selmer, b. 7 Nov 1861, d. 18 Mar 1938, m. Rosa Spenner
  • Amelia Emma, b. 16 Aug 1863, d. 16 Jan or Feb 1875
  • Anna Julia Bertha Selmer, b. 26 Mar 1864, d. 17 Dec 1943, m. William Wagner
  • Heinrich Gustav Selmer, b. 4 Apr 1867, d. 13 Jun 1933, m. Josephine Wolknitz
  • Ida Selmer, b. 1 mar 1869, d. 7 Mar 1950, m. William Spinn
  • Herman Carl Gottlieb Selmer, b. 4 Nov 1870, d. 18 Jul 1937, m. Pauline Louise Rosenbaum
  • Wilhelmine Emma, b. 16 Jan 1873, d. 12 jan 1879

John Selmer lived in:

  • Wiemislaff, Kr. Chodziesen (later Kr. Kolmar), Posen, Prussian, now Chodziez, Wielkopolskie, Poland
  • 1854 – 1856: the Michigan City area, LaPorte County, Indiana
  • 1856-1904: Cass Township, Pulaski County, Indiana

Submitted by:
Marsha L. Selmer


Chapman J. Kneisley

Chapman J. Kneisley
birth: 11 May 1822 in Virginia to Jacob and Barbara [unknown] Kneisley
death: 6 Jan 1882 at Walkerton, St. Joseph County, IN
burial: North Woodlawn Cemetery, Walkerton, St. Joseph Co., IN

marriage: December 1846 in VA
Elsbeth Fry
birth: 21 June 1826, VA
death: June 1891, Walkerton, St. Joseph Co., IN
burial: North Woodlawn Cemetery, Walkerton, St. Joseph Co., IN

Children of Chapman J. Kneisley and Elsbeth (Fry) Kneisley:

  • George William Kneisley- b. 1848, d. 1920, m. (1) Julia M. Orange, (2) 1910, Cora (Gould) Kneisley (his brother Jacob’s widow)
  • Jacob Fletcher Kneisley- b. 1855, d. 1897, m. Cora Gould
  • John L. Kneisley- b. 1856, d. 1921, m. Ruth Inman
  • Daniel E. Kneisley- b. 1861, d. 1921, m. Dora Nancy Wilson
  • Kenneth Chapman Kneisley- b. 1864, d. 1889, m. Mary Melissa Hileman

Chapman J. Kneisley lived in:

  • Prior to migrating to Indiana, the Kneisleys lived in Shenandoah County, Virginia
  • 1860- Chapman Kneisley and wife Elisabeth lived in Pleasant Twp., LaPorte County, Indiana
  • 1870- Johnson Twp
  • 1891- Elisabeth (Fry) Kneisley lived in Walterton, St. Joseph County, Indiana

Other Information:

Most of the Kneisley children migrated to Michigan City, LaPorte County and lived in and around LaPorte and St Joseph counties.

Chapman’s brother Jacob Kneisley’s will (Shenandoah Co., VA Will Book W, p. 124-5) names their parents as Jacob and Barbara and says that Chapman’s brothers-in-law were James Ruddell and Henry Gochenour, both from Virginia.

Elsbeth’s will (LaPorte Co., IN Will Book D, p. 428-430) names her children and grandson Ralph Chapman Kneisley. Witnessing her will were L. C. Kneisley and B. M. Supinger of Virginia.

Submitted by:
Ralph Kneisley


Argus Luster Ormsby

Argus Luster Ormsby
birth: 18 Feb 1894 in Wells Co., IN to Alonzo Eugene Ormsby and Mary Elizabeth Archbold
death: 24 Nov 1967, at Fort Wayne, Allen Co., IN
burial: Prospect Cemetery, Ossian, Wells Co., IN

marriage: 15 Jan 1920, Fort Wayne, Allen Co., IN
Leona Sophia Gallets
birth: 29 Nov 1898, at Alleghany Co., NY to Marcus H Gallets and Phoebe Mary Green
death: 29 Oct 1968, Fort Wayne, Allen Co., IN
burial: Catholic Cemetery, Fort Wayne, Allen Co., IN

marriage: 21 Apr 1924 in Michigan City, LaPorte Co., IN
Hattie Mary Buerkley
birth: 9 Jan 1897, Payne, Paulding Co., OH to Joseph and Mary E (Matthews) Buerkley
death: 5 Mar 1940, Richmond, Wayne Co., IN
burial: Prairie Grove Cemetery, Fort Wayne, Allen Co., IN

marriage: common law marriage
Edna Chloe Mann
birth: 8 Dec 1914, Darke Co., OH to William Harvey and Sarah Catherine (Wise) Mann
death: 20 May 2003, Fort Wayne, Allen Co., IN
burial: Prospect Cemetery, Ossian, Wells Co., IN

Children of  Argus Luster Ormsby and Leona Sophia Gallets:

  • Mary Carol Ormsby, b. 1918, d. 2013, m. (1) Kenneth Merriman Smith, (2) Donald Charles Fechner

Children of  Argus Luster Ormsby and Hattie Mary Buerkley:

  • Waneta Rae Ormsby, b. 4 Aug 1924, d. Living, m. (1) John Pershing McConnehey, (2) Samuel Forrester Cummick
  • Infant Son Ormsby, b. 4 Jun 1928, d. 4 Jun1928

Children of  Argus Luster Ormsby and Edna Chloe Mann:

  • Catherine Elizabeth Ormsby, b. 17 Dec 1935, Darke Co., OH, d. Living, m (1) Philip Jerome Wilson, (2) Francis William Merritt , (3) Ivan Harold Hurless, (4) Kenneth Alan Williams
  • Judith Elaine Ormsby, b 10 Jan 1941, Fort Wayne, Allen Co. IN, d. Living, m. Robert Erwin Richter
  •  Nancy Lou Ormsby. b. 24 Jun 1942, Fort Wayne, Allen Co., IN, d. Living, m. Keith Allan Henninger

 Argus Luster Ormsby lived in:

  • Ossian Wells County, Indiana
  • Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana

Submitted by:
Judith E Ormsby Richter

Frederick William Denkewalter

Frederick William Denkewalter
birth: 22 January 1842 in Germany
death: 28 Jun 1914 at Spencer, Owen Co., IN
burial: Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Marion Co., IN

marriage (1): date unknown
Elizabeth Hoyer

marriage (2): 21 Feb 1878, Marion Co., IN
Mary/Mariah Koller

Children of Frederick William Denkewalter and Elizabeth Hoyer:

Children of Frederick William Denkewalter and Mary/Mariah Koller:

  • Walter Edward Denkewalter
  • Otto Edward Denkewalter
  • Mary Denkewalter
  • Oscar Denkewalter

Frederick William Denkewalter lived In:

  • 1876- He was reported to be a practicing physician in LaPorte County, Indiana
  • 1880- Marion County, Indiana
  • 1889- Granted license to practice medicine in Owen County, Indiana
  • 1914- Died at Spencer, Owen County, Indiana

Frederick William Denkewalter also lived In:

  • Born in Germany (variously noted as Baden Baden and Prussia)
  • Michigan (daughter Olga was born there in 1872)
  • Illinois (son Alfred was born there in 1874)
  • Chicago, Illinois (graduated Rush Medical College there, also in 1874)

Other Information:

Very little is known about Frederick William Denkewalter‘s first marriage.

After his death, the grounds of Denkewalter’s Owen County sanitarium were sold to the state and became McCormick’s Creek State Park, the first state park in Indiana.

In the earlist records, he is identified as Walter Denke or F. Walter Denke.

Submitter is not related to this Hoosier ancestor.

Submitted by:
Randi Richardson


Alfred F. “Fred” Denkewalter

Alfred F. “Fred” Denkewalter
birth: 5 Jul 1874 in Illinois (likely Cook County) to Frederick William and Elizabeth (Hoyer) Denkewalter
death: 11 May 1964 at Columbus, Franklin Co., OH
burial: Greenlawn Cemetery, Columbus, Franklin Co., OH

marriage: 24 Oct 1895, Owen Co., IN
Cora C. Ritter
birth: 3 Jul 1875 in Indiana to William T. and Eliza [–?–] Ritter
death: 3 Nov 1960 at Columbus, Franklin Co., OH
burial: Greenlawn Cemetery, Columbus, Franklin Co., OH

Children of Alfred F. “Fred” Denkewalter and Cora C. Ritter:

  • Frederick William Denkewalter, b. 7 Dec 1896, d. 26 Jul 1949, m. Mary. E. Schauweker
  • Ritter C. Denkwalter, b. 28 Sep 1899, d. 5 May 1982, m. Helen Mitchell Van Kirk

Alfred F. “Fred” Denkewalter Lived In:

  • Born in Illinois
  • As an adult, migrated to Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio
  • Possibly lived in LaPorte County, Indiana
  • Marion County, Indiana
  • Owen County, Indiana (late 1880s – mid 1890s)

Other Information: Alfred F. “Fred” Denkewalter’s occupation was sales manager at a fertilizer company.

Submitter is not related to this Hoosier ancestor.

Submitted by:
Randi Richardson

Edward G. Steenbergen

Edward G. Steenbergen
born: 19 Jan 1923, Lancaster, Kentucky to Marcus H. Steenbergen & Lilly M. Croucher
died: 1 Apr 2001
burial: Ft. Logan National Cemetery, Denver, Colorado

married 8 Mar 1941
Lois M. Sisk
born: 3 Feb 1922 to Warren O. Sisk & Bessie Blanch Ransbottom
died: 16 Jun 1993
burial: Ft. Logan National Cemetary, Denver, Colorado

Children of Edward G. Steenbergen and Lois M. Sisk:

  • Carole A. Steenbergen
  • Edward G. Steenbergen Jr.
  • Dennis A. Steenbergen
  • Laurinda K. Steenbergen
  • Rodney W. Steenbergen

Ed Steenbergen served in the US Naval Reserve from 1943 to 1945. He served in the Western Pacific aboard the USS LCS (L) 49.  Ed survived the sinking of his ship by Japanese suicide boats.  He received the Combat Action Ribbon, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation medal and the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon.  Ed was a master carpenter for most of his life and worked at the Studebacker Corp. in South Bend after the War.

Ed lived in the following locations in Indiana: Delong (1933), Plymouth (1941), Rochester (1945), Hudson Lake (1951), South Bend (1960). He also lived in Lancaster, Kentucky;  Dayton, Ohio; Bellfower, California; Artisia, California; Anahiem, California; LaPuente, California; Rowland Heights, California; Mesa, Arizona; Littleton, Colorado, Alba, Texas and Aurora, Colorado.

Submitted by:
Dennis A. Steenbergen

Lorinda Ellen Bunting

Lorinda Ellen Bunting
b. 5 May 1858, Liberty, Union County, Indiana, to William Gilbert and Louisa Maria (Fosdick) Bunting
d. 30 March 1951, San Jose, California

m/1. 1839, Union County, Indiana
Gillett Banks Webb
b. 2 April 1856, Blooming Grove, Franklin County, Indiana, to Benjamin Franklin and Margaret (Hayward) Webb
d. 14 March 1911, Ashtabula, Ohio

Elias Taylor
b. 10 September 1846
d. 13 January 1935

Children with Gillett Banks Webb:
• Clyde Earle (b. 1883) married Creola Clinger
• Forrest A. (1886-1888)
• Fern Webb (1888-1983) married Frank Pace
• Orris Knight (1892-1936) married Elsie Webb

Lorinda’s great uncle, Aaron Stanton, pioneered in LaPorte County, Indiana, in the early 1800’s. She
moved from Warren, Huntington County, Indiana, to Ashtabula, Ohio, in 1910, but returned to Warren in 1911 after the death of her husband, Gillett. She later moved to San Joseph, Calfornia, in 1929.

Lorinda was a homemaker who also worked as a practical nurse. Her spouse was a blacksmith for 20 years in Warren, Indiana. Her second spouse was the widower of her sister Jeanett and a Jehovah’s Witness pioneer member since its inception as the Russelites.

Submitted by:
Jack Rinear Webb
Mountain View CA

John McElroy, II

John McElroy, II
b. to Robert and Matilda (Trout) McElroy
d. 6 April 1887, Kankakee County, Illinois

m. 11 February 1840, Jefferson County, Indiana
Margaret Crozier
b. to James and Mary (Woods) Crozier
d. November 1871, Kankakee County, Illinois

Children with Margaret Crozier:
• Sarah (1849-1920) married Ben Roberts
• George McKee (1852-1939) married Lydia Cooper
• Julia E. (b. 1854) married James Smiley
• James (1857-1948) married Melissa Ann Hoyt Cooper
• Mary Frances “Mace” (1858-1939) married John Blackstone Cooper
• John, Jr. (1861-1938) married Cora Jane Cooper
• Edwin McLellan (1864-1938) (twin) married (1) Belle Sullinder, (2) Magda T. Kopstad
• Elvina “Allie” (b. 1864) (twin) married Harry Watkins
• Wilbur (1868-1899) (twin)
• Willis (1868-1929) (twin) married Katie Mann

John came Indiana in 1830 as a boy. He moved to LaPorte County about 1854 and to Kankakee County, Illinois, in 1860. He was a farmer, a stock breeder, and a member of the Presbyterian Church.

Submitted by:
Tammy Wilson
Newton NC

Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor
b. 19 November 1848, New Durham Township, LaPorte County, Indiana, to William C. and Phebe (Clark) Taylor
d. 14 December 1924, Washington, D.C.

m. 26 October 1876, Kankakee Township, LaPorte County, Indiana
Kezia Preston
b. 1 February 1855, Kankakee Township, LaPorte County, Indiana, to Calita T. and Cynthia (Terwilliger) Preston
d. 27 February 1936, Washington, D.C.

Children with Kezia Preston:
• Mable C. (b. 1881) married Monroe L. Friedheim

Zachary farmed in New Durham Township, LaPorte County, Indiana, until 1899 when he moved to the town of LaPorte and went into the well driving business. Mable was a school teacher, but secured a job with the War Risk Bureau in Washington, D.C., in 1918. In the spring of 1920, her parents moved to Washington, D.C., to be with her.

Submitted by:
Barbara Taylor Szabo
Osceola IN

Frances Miller

Frances Miller
b. 24 December 1830, Pomfret, Chautauqua County, New York, to Marcus and Lucy (Bills) Miller
d. 25 March 1917, Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas

m. 7 September 1858, Laporte, LaPorte County, Indiana
Marshall McIntyre
b. 21 March 1820, Girard, Erie County, Pennsylvania
d. 3 September 1899, Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas

Children with Marshall McIntyre:
• Edwin
• Sarah Ellen
• Marcellus
• Oscar

Frances came to Indiana from Fredonia, Chautauqua County, New York, two years before she married. She lived in Laporte until 1865, when she moved further west.

Submitted by:
Fern Eddy Schultz
LaPorte IN