A brief history of our Wall family from the original German immigrant John Michael Wahl of Northampton County, Pennsylvania and his son Christian Wahl and their Wall descendants in Medina County, Ohio

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The Wall Family Origins in America

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The name Wall is found among many early German and English immigrants to America. The name in both languages is derived from persons who lived near a prominent wall, or near a creekbank or riverbank. The German spelling of the name was usually Wahl, but Wohl, Waal, Vaal and other variations can be found in eighteenth century records. Often the German name was altered when these families settled in areas with English speaking civil authorities who entered the anglicized version, Wall, in official records.

One of the earliest Wall families to come to the American colonies was Walter Wall and his children who were located in Gravesend, Long Island before 1700. Later descendants were located in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This family was originally from England. Before 1790 several with Wall names arrived in Philadelphia from Germany and they are found on ships' manifests and passenger lists. When the first U.S. census of Pennsylvaina was taken in 1790 there were Walls living in Philadelphia and the counties of Allegheny, Bedford, Chester, Dauphin, Montgomery and Northampton. By that time there

The immigrant father of our Wall family in the United States was John Michael Wahl who settled in Penn Township of Northampton County, Pennsylvania, and died there in September 1801. It appears that he commonly used his middle name, Michael. This was the usual practice among German and Dutch Lutheran and Reform churches. The first name was a "church" name from a Bible character and the middle considered a secular name used in every conversations and official documents.

We do not know exactly when Michael Wahl and his family came to Pennsylvania. His son, Christian, was born in Germany in 1779 and it is unlikely that they immigrated during the American Revolution, which did not end until 1783. There is a record of a John Michael Wahl, a Hessian mercenary soldier from the German State of Brunswick. The Hessian soldiers were mercanaries in the employ of the British during the American Revolution. This John Michael Wahl was discharged in Nova Scotia in 1783 at the age of 24 and his name appears on the list of deserters from Brunswick. Often when these German soldiers found a large German settlements in Pennsylvania or other areas many would desert the British and take up residence in the colonies among fellow Germans. However, the notion that Hessian mercenary John Michael Wahl was our ancestor has serious problems. The first is his age, and the years of birth of his sons - Phillip in 1775 and Christian in 1779 is the second. The soldier would have been eight years old at the time of Phillip's birth. The name John (Johann) Michael is common in 18th century Germany. Regardless, the history of the Hessian mercanaires in the American Revolution is interesting.

Early on, when the flames of revolution were starting sizzle in the colonies, King George went to his German cousin to recruit young Germans as mercenaries. The bulk of these came from the German States of Hesse and Brunswick, although there were many from other states as well. These mercanaries were known as the Hessians.

Hiring mercenaries was a common practice in eighteenth century Europe, but Americans saw it as an act of aggression against the colonies and it added more stress to the already tense relationship with England. The British king saw it as an economical way to reinforce the size and reduce the expense of a standing army when faced with the possibility of war. Many of the Germans recruits or their families were in trouble with German courts for bad debts or other misdemeanors. The incentive to enlist was a promise clemency, a powerful motive in a time when the prospect of a prison sentence for a bad debt was a frightening fate. The British recruiting effort was a success. The first contingent of Hessian soldiers landed in New York in June 1776. More than 8,000 would land in the colonies in the summer of 1776.

The John Michael Wahl of Nova Scotia was a member of the Hesse-Hanau Rangers or the Hesse-Hanau Artillery Company that fought mostly in up-state New York. In August 1777 in the battle of Bennington the American army captured 400 Germans from these units, most of them from Brunswick. The American victory at Saratoga raised the number of captured Germans to over 2,400. In the confusion of the battle many German soldiers deserted and fled to American communities with substantial German populations. The captured prisoners that did not escape were marched south from New York to prison camps in Virginia. More German soldiers deserted the prisoner columns when they passed near American German settlements.

Brunswick troops were sent to America as reinforcements until the end of the war. Between April 1778 and April 1782 when the last group arrived on American soil 1200 German soldiers joined the ranks of their countrymen. Of the more than ten thousand Germans soldiers that fought for the British, 5,723 were from Brunswick. Only 2,708 of the Brunswick soldiers returned to Germany in the autumn of 1783. The remaining 3,015 were listed as dead, missing, or discharged soldiers who did not return home to Germany. Some of them settled in Canada and many others in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The Americans also made use of German military expertise. Baron Frederick William Von Steuben, an ex-military officer in the army of Frederick the Great, came to America at the invitation of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. He spoke no English yet he wrote the first field manual for the American army and was the man most responsible for turning a rag-tag frontier militia into well trained soldiers at Valley Forge. He was given a field command and participated in the siege of Yorktown in 1781. After the war New York granted him land and he spent the remainder of his life in America.

All searches I have done on German records available through American online services have turned up nothing on our family in Germany. The earliest Pennsylvania record of our ancestor that I have found is a petition dated October 28, 1784. The names of Philip Wahl and Michael Wall appear on it, requesting that Peter Caler be appointed sheriff of Northampton County, Pennsylvania. This is the first clear reference to our ancestors in America. Phillip Wahl at least passed as an adult when he signed the petition. Soon after the Wahl family arrived in America, they settled in Penn Township of Northampton County, Pennsylvaian among a mostly German population.

I have learned since I first wrote this article that the old Lutheran and Dutch Reformed Churches had the tradition of giving their children a "church" name and a secular name at the time of their baptism.  Thus John Michael was a combination of the church name "John" and the regular given name "Michael." In day to day life John Michael would be known as and referred to as Michael.

The first U.S. census of 1790 lists a Wall family consisting of two adults and three male children under sixteen living in Penn Township. The given name of the head of the household is not listed, but it is probably John Michael and his family. On March 1, 1793 Michael Wahl is a warrantee of 50 acres of land in Northampton County. In 1800 Michael Wall and his wife are enumerated on the U.S. Census in Northampton County. Living near by is his son Philip Wall and wife. John Michael's son and our ancestor, Christian, does not appear on the 1800 census. Christian would have been twenty-one years of age and unmarried when this census was taken. It is likely that he was not living at home at the time.

There are other John and Michael Wahl's in the records of eighteenth century Pennsylvania. A John Wall arrived in Pennsylvania aboard the ship “Harmony” from Hamburg, Germany on July 25, 1796. No indication is given of an accompanying family. There is a Michael Wall on the militia roll dated May 13, 1783 for Capt. Pitter Gower’s Company, 1st Berks County Militia Battalion. The tax rolls of 1784 and 1785 of Alsace Township, Berks County lists Mich’l Wahl a “single freeman” [a land owner]. A Christina Wahl is also listed on these rolls. I believe that Christina and Michael were related to Martin Greg Wahl who arrived in Pennsylvania aboard the ship Ann Galley and took an oath of allegiance in Philadelphia on September 23, 1752. On January 14, 1779 an Elizabeth Wahl was born and soon after baptized by the Rev. John Waldschmidt. The minister's record lists her as the daughter of Martin and Christina Wahl.

In Northampton County there were at least two other Wall families.  William Wall is listed on the June 18, 1777 muster roll of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Company of Northampton county militia. The July 9, 1781 muster roll of Captain Adam Deal’s Company of Northampton militia also lists William Wahl.  The tax roll of Northampton County, Pennsylvania dated December 27, 1781 includes William Wall. On October 5, 1798 William Wall is included on the tax list for the town of Northampton in Northampton County. Yost (or Jost) Wall is listed on the December 1781 tax assessment list of Northampton in Heidelberg Township. The 1810 U.S. Census of Northampton County also lists Jost Wahl living in Lehigh Township. I have found no evidence that William and Jost Wahl were related to our family; however, people of the same surname who lived near each other in small communities were usually connected by blood to some degree.


In 1801 John Michael Wahl, apparently near death, made his will. It was filed in Northampton County on September 18, 1801.  Written in German, it provides the concrete link between him and our Ohio Wall family.  This will has a sad surprise in it.  It seems that by the time of his death Michael has had a serious falling out with his older son Philip. That is a tragic thing for any family of any era.  The translation of his will is as follows.

“I, John Michael Wahl, a resident of Penn Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, am in a weak and feeble condition of the body. I herewith make my last Will and Testament.  First, I decree that my beloved wife, Catharina Barbara, shall have her rightful possession and sustenance from my present farm.  Second, [my] personal goods shall be sold and that she shall get one half of the money received.  The other half of the money I give and bequeath to my youngest son, Christian.  After the decease of my wife, I decree [that] the farm shall be sold at public sale, and that from this growing amount of cash I decree to my son, Philip, 5 pounds of Pennsylvania currency and no more, because he deceived me instead of being a support to me in my old age, he grieved and caused me to suffer by means of unkind and cruel treatments.  The balance thereof shall be divided in equal shares among my natural children.”

There is another statement, besides the disinherited son, that stands out in this document.  It is the remark; "The balance thereof shall be divided in equal shares among my natural children."  Except for this will I have found almost no evidence of children other than Christian and Philip.  Was this statement just a legal technicality or were there children we know nothing about?  The 1790 census lists three children under the age of 16 in the household, two of which would have been Philip, age 15, and Christian, age 11.  Who was the third?  Ten years later the census shows only an adult male and female over the age of 45.  The only Walls in Northampton County on the 1800 census are Michael and Philip.  In 1810 Christian Wahl is the only Wahl or Wall listed in Northampton County.

The Wahl’s were part of the congregation of the Ben Salem Lutheran Church in East Penn Township.  I have attempted unsuccessfully to locate cemetery records of that church or its sister church in Lowhill Township.  If those cemeteries still exist I suspect John Michael is buried in one of them.  Both churches have survived in one form or another into modern times.

By the time of John Michael's death his two sons were grown and soon to start their own families.  Our Wall family had taken root in a new country. The spelling of our surname became consistently "Wall" rather than "Wahl" in public records during Christian's lifetime.  It's likely that family members spelled it both ways for many years after Christian's death.  His son and our ancestor Charles signed his will as "Carl Wahl" as late as the 1890's.  There is probably no one point in time when the "Wall" spelling became universal.

Looking at Christian's signature it is easy to understand way English writers may have misinterpreted the spelling of his name as Wall. At first his signature appears illegible, but he simply signed his name in German. As you can see in the example the upper case C and lower case h in the German "Ch" are very different from an English writer. The "t" is a bit distorted in Christian's signature. It is usually written in German like an English capital "A" and he did not make the middle cross stroke. He wrote his "a" more like an "o" with the down stroke separated from the body of the "a". When you look at the last name you can see it would be very easy to mistake the "hl" for a double "l".


Christian Wall was born in Germany on November 27, 1779 and lived nearly half his life in Pennsylvania.  He married there and all of his children were born there.  Shortly after his father’s death in 1801 Christian married Anna Catherine Bachman, daughter of Nicholas Bachman and Catherina Kindt.  The Bachman's were from that part of Northampton County that later became Lehigh County and were members of a large clan of Bachman's in Lowhill Township.  There is no record of the marriage of Christian and Catherine, but we can deduce the year to be about 1804 from the birth date of the oldest son, John.  The Bachman's were founding members of the Lowhill German Reform Church in Lowhill Township of Northampton (now Lehigh) County and it is likely that the couple met and married in this church. The earliest records of Christian and his family, other than his father's will, are the baptismal records of his eldest son John (February 1805) and his daughter Mary (December 1806) in the Lowhill church.  The first official record of him is the 1808 tax assessment list of East Penn township. This assessment was made shortly after Penn was split into East and West Penn townships.  That area is now part of Carbon County, Pennsylvania.  Also about this time Christian is listed on the membership roll of the Ben Salem Lutheran and German Reformed Church mentioned earlier. This church was still in existence as the Ben Salem United Church of Christ in Andreas, Pennsylvania when I did my original research in 1979. 

When the Third Census of U.S. was taken in 1810, Christian Wall and his family were still living in East Penn Township.  By that time there were four children in the household: John, Mary, Charles and Rebecca.  Sometime during the next ten years the family moved west of the Alleghenies, following the pattern migration of the time.  The next census shows they were living near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Union County.  That area is now Snyder County, Pennsylvania.  By the time the 1820 census was taken five more youngsters had been added to the family, Catherine, Isaac, Judith, Abigail and Peter.  The two youngest Wall children, Sarah and Daniel came along before Christian and Catherine once again packed up their family and belongings and departed Pennsylvania for the western frontier of Ohio.

The short trek from the settled counties of eastern Ohio to the frontier counties was arduous.  Peter Waltz, one of the first pioneers from Pennsylvania to come to Chippewa Township in Wayne County, Ohio described his trip years later.  His family, along with the Rasor and Everhard families was among the very first to settle in that part of Ohio.  The three families started from Mahoning County in eastern Ohio after purchasing their land from General Wadsworth in Canfield.  Mahoning County was an established area with a large population (by the standards of the time).  It is likely, though, that their journey actually began in Pennsylvania and Mahoning County was the jumping off place for the western frontier.  The route they took was along what is today Route 224.  The first day of the trip they traveled only six miles to Turkey Creek where they broke an axle on a wagon.  In those days a traveler was in real trouble if he could not hew a new axle or wagon tongue from a tree with an ax.  The next day they made it another five or six miles to west of Deerfield and camped along Yellow Creek.  They were able to travel approximately thirteen miles to Suffield before breaking another axle the following day.  A day later they came to Wolf Creek in Norton Township in Medina County and on west a short ways where they camped.  On the fifth day they cut a trail through the forest to where John Everhard soon built his cabin.  During the next week they continued the trail through the forest to Jacob Everhard's land.  Finally, they cut their way through to the site of the Waltz homestead.  The trip encompassed no more than fifty miles and took three weeks or more before they set foot on the land where they made their new home.  Along the way they had to cut new roads, repair broken wagons and fight off the bears that attacked their hogs. The Waltz land eventually was the location of the "Waltz" church on the Medina and Wayne county lines just south of Wadsworth.  The Waltz family donated the land for the church, giving it the name it had for several years.  This church later became known as the High Church and in modern times the Emanuel Church of Christ.  In 1875 Edward Brown, a minister in Wadsworth, published the "Wadsworth Memorial" a history of early Wadsworth and the four surrounding townships.  He wrote at a time when some of Wadsworth's earliest settlers were still living, and it contains their memories of the people and conditions in Wadsworth and Chippewa during the early years. Peter Waltz's account is among them. 

The Wall family made this trek a decade later so they may have made better time with fewer broken axles.  But, it was still no Sunday drive for them and others who came after the original pioneers had blazed the trail.  Also, Christian and Catherine probably started their journey from Pennsylvania in Jefferson County by way of Pittsburgh.  The Fords from whom Christian bought his land in Chippewa in 1824 lived in Jefferson County.  In 1824 Christian and Catherine had one young adult son and ten younger children ranging in ages from 16 to a few months.  Anyone who has made long trips with children can sympathize with them.  Wild animals and broken axles were pleasant diversions compared to entertaining ten children on a long, difficult trip.

Christian purchased from Stephen Ford and his wife Ruth approximately 110 acres in the Northwest Quarter, Section 15, Chippewa Township, Wayne County, Ohio on June 25, 1824.  The Fords had obtained it from the federal land office in Wooster probably as an investment when James Monroe was President.  When Christian purchased it from the Fords in 1824 he paid $250 for what was then essentially wilderness in the northwest quarter of section fifteen in Chippewa Township.  He sold it sixteen years later to James Metlin for $2300 dollars, a hefty sum in 1840 and not a bad return on his investment.  The site where Christian's farm lay is just south of Doylestown.  The 1897 atlas of Wayne County shows that the land had been broken up into two parcels.  N. Bittinger owned the northern most 30 acres and G. Whitman owned the southern 80 acres.  The "Wadsworth Memorial" states that Christian came to Chippewa in 1823.  He may have come to Wayne County ahead of his family to find suitable land for a farm.  I believe that the rest of the family, except maybe for the oldest sons, didn't move to Chippewa until after Christian purchased his land.  

Christian and his older sons must have labored long and hard after arriving in Ohio to clear the land, build a suitable house and get in the first crop.  It is unlikely that the previous owners had done any of this.  The Fords, like many original owners of lands in the Congress District of Ohio, purchased the land in 1818 from the government as an investment with no intention of moving there.  In 1824 the Walls were faced with the monumental task of taming a primeval forest broken only by Indian trails and animal tracks.  I grew up in this area when it was all farmland with a bit of woods here and there.  It is hard to imagine a time when it was trackless forest, but that was the condition for the first few decades of settlement in the townships around Wadsworth.

In Wayne County, especially Chippewa Township, most of the settlers were ethnic Germans while Medina County was being settled largely by New Englanders from the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.  The Pennsylvania Germans that did move to Medina County located for the most part south of Wadsworth.  They preferred this area of the county close to other ethnic Germans in Chippewa.  These Pennsylvania Germans of Chippewa and Wadsworth formed one community.  They established their own schools and churches and spoke mainly German for decades to come.

During the early years in Wadsworth the New England Yankees far outnumbered the Pennsylvania Germans whom the Yankees referred to as "Pennamites."  That label refers back the "Pennamite Wars" in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania during the early years of settlement there.  Connecticut and Pennsylvania both claimed the area of the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania on the basis of old royal grants.  Many citizens of Connecticut had the opinion that eastern Connecticut was becoming too crowded.  Many moved to the western lands after they obtained grants in the Wyoming Valley from the colonial Connecticut government.  Unfortunately, Pennsylvania did the same thing for its citizens, most of them ethnic Germans or Dutch.  The result was many overlapping claims that ensured a bloody feud between the two groups.  After the American Revolution, Connecticut relinquished its claim to parts of Pennsylvania in return for a large territory stretching from the western boundary of Pennsylvania to the western boundary of present day Lorain County in Ohio known as the Western Reserve of Connecticut.  The southern boundary lay along the same latitude as the southern boundary of Median County.  Unfortunately, the animosity between Pennamite and Yankee was not extinguished for many years to come.  Fortunately, in Ohio no blood was shed between the two groups.

Elinore Schapiro, in her work "Wadsworth Heritage," published in 1964 says, "For a few years at the beginning, considerable antagonism existed between these two groups in Wadsworth, inspired by the differences in their eastern backgrounds and by the smoldering memories of the Pennamite Wars.  At first so-called mixed marriages between members of these differing groups were violently condemned by both; but as the years passed, a gradual and peaceful assimilation took place.  This phenomenon marks the outstanding difference between Wadsworth and many other townships of the Western Reserve, whose populations, almost completely Yankee from the beginning, maintained the predominance of New England culture until a much later date, some even until the present day."

Many Catherine's Baughman relatives preceded her and her husband to Ohio and they may have been the motivation for Christian and Catherine to follow.  In Wayne and Medina counties the Bachman name seems to have changed uniformly to Baughman, probably for similar reasons that Wahl changed to Wall.  However, in Pennsylvania today, the descendants of Catherine's grandfather still spell the name as Bachman.  There is another interesting tradition about names that the Wall and Bachman family seemed to have followed.  It is my observation that sometimes more than one child in the family had the same first name but unique middle names.  The first name was used on formal occasions or in legal documents, and always with the middle name.  Often these individuals went by their middle names in their day to day lives.  Thus, in the Wall family John Michael Wahl was known as Michael Wahl.  Anna Catherine was Catherine; Maria Magdalena was Magdalena, and so forth.

The task of clearing the new land for farms in Wadsworth and surrounding townships was enormous.  Because the trees were large old growth forests the labor to cut them down and chop them up was immense.  Most of the big trees were girdled rather than cut down.  The bark of a tree was removed with an ax in a section (girdle) completely around it causing the tree to die.  There it stood until it rotted or fell down in a storm.  Peter Cherry, a boy when his family arrived in Wadsworth Township, wrote, "The usual way of clearing was to cut down the smaller fry, then girdle the larger trees, leaving them to rot down.  The moon shining on the bleached trunks of these trees has scared many a boy.  I know from experience."

For twenty or thirty years this was the condition in Wadsworth and Chippewa.  First a few openings were made in the forest and cabins built.  In a few years these gave way to larger fields and the beginnings of a village here and there.  There was a long period of hardship until the pioneer farmer produced a cash crop, before then living on subsistence farming from small gardens and wild game in the forest.  In that era the musket was as valuable as the plow.

Reverend Brown wrote, "The early settlers of Wadsworth were from the East, and had been accustomed to farm labor.  They were a hardy industrious class of people, and were very economical.  Their moral character was good and they were mostly religious.  But very few of them had money to pay for their land, and had to buy on credit.  Some of them had hard work to support their families till they could raise a crop on their own lands.  A very few had money to pay for improvements, after paying for their land, and this helped the poorer class, as it enabled them to get employment in helping to clear land."

The Wall family may have been accustomed to this condition.  They probably experienced it before when they first moved west of the Alleghenies from eastern Pennsylvania.  Surviving that experience possibly provided the courage needed to do it anew.  People from the more civilized East probably did it because they were ignorant of the hardships they would face.  We don't know for certain if Christian bought his land on credit or with cash.  The text of the deed from the Fords lead me to believe it was the latter perhaps with money left from his father's estate and from the sale of his Pennsylvania land.   Even so, the Walls faced many of the same hardships other settlers encountered.  Goods were rare and those that could be bought were extremely expensive.  Salt, a necessity of frontier life, had to be brought down from Cleveland over the most primitive roads.  Cloth and hard goods had to be trucked in from more settled areas of Ohio and even as far east as Philadelphia. 

Most of the goods from the east were carried in large Conestoga wagons, the same kind settlers used when traveling across the western plains in later generations.  These wagons were almost always painted blue.  The wagon box was about three feet deep and the wheels were double-tired to keep the wagon from sinking in mud.  They were covered with canvas stretched across arched poles.  A tar bucket, used to lubricate the wheels, hung from the rear axle.  The team pulling the wagon consisted of six or eight large draft horses.  The driver rode the animal nearest a wheel and controlled the team with a single rein and a large "blacksnake" whip.  The number of animals necessary for the team was calculated as one span (a pair) of horses for the wagon and the rest for the load, depending on the weight of the cargo.

Unlike a few other frontier areas in the early nineteenth century, Indian attacks in Medina and Wayne counties were never a reality for the Walls and the other pioneers, possibly because there were no permanent Indian villages there.  But, also because treaties were negotiated and signed between the government and the Ohio tribes in 1805 and 1806.  Early on the Indian hunters had little competition from the few white hunters in the vast forest.  By the time large game became scarce in northern Ohio the Indians had moved on to richer areas to the west in the United States and north in Canada.  The Indians probably considered the hunting area around Medina County to be next to worthless.  The Indians that the settlers did encounter were the Wyandotte and Ottawas.  A few Wyandotte camped around Chippewa Lake on occasion as late as the 1830's.  The white settlers who met them reported that they were polite and friendly.

There is evidence in Medina County of the pre-historic Indians commonly called the Mound Builders.  One of their mounds is located on lot 47 east of Sharon Center near the intersection of State Road 162 and County Road 44.  Not far from there was my grandfather's farm. Close by it along Spruce Run, and County Road 126 is an ancient construction atop a small cave in the side of the steep slope running down to the creek (or "crick" as I was brought up to say it).  I always knew it as Indian Cave and it is my guess that it also belongs to the pre-Columbian Mound Builders, perhaps used for ceremonial purposes.  It has a small wall of stone about 24 inches tall enclosing an area of a few square feet of level plane atop the cave entrance.  It is far too short to be a fortress of any use and the stones are laid too precise to be a natural formation.  The cave has a "keyhole" opening with a wider area at the top and a narrow jagged slit that goes to the floor.  As kids we could crawl through the larger opening and inside was a room big enough to stand in.  I was told that at one time the cave ran underneath the road along the edge of the hill.  This part collapsed when workers were blasting for the road in the early twentieth century, and today only the room at the entrance remains.  If there were ever any Indian relics in or around the cave they were long ago, before my time, collected or destroyed by the white folks who lived in the area.

Other evidence of Indians in Medina County was still plentiful when I was growing up in Sharon Township.  My grandfather and other farmers found many arrowheads and spear points in their plowed fields.  My Uncle Bud Shanafelt had a large collection of these that he displayed in his home near Fixlers Corner and River Styx.

While Indians were not a threat to the Walls and other early settlers, disease was.  The west part of Wadsworth was very swampy.  Surveyors named the area the "Infernal Regions" and the sluggish stream that ran through it the River Styx, the name it retains today.  The swamps and the River Styx were a great dread to travelers for many years.  Causeways, one more than 1300 feet long, made of logs crossed the swamps.  The settlers of the time, although they suspected the swamps as the cause, did not know they were the breeding grounds of the mosquitoes that spread malaria and yellow fever through the population.  In some cases entire families were swept away by the diseases.  The years of 1824 through 1826 were particularly bad along Wolf Creek and the marshes of the Tuscarawas.  As the land was cleared and the larger swamps drained when the Erie Canal was built these diseases all but disappeared.  Even so, I remember those infernal mosquitoes in the swamp along Wolf Creek near Sharon even when I was growing up.  They were a big deterrent to fishing that stream or exploring the surrounding woods.

The Walls were religious people, as were their neighbors.  The Pennsylvania German community built the first church, the Waltz Church, in Wadsworth Township in 1828.  Their log structure was erected on the site of the present day Emanuel United Church of Christ on the Wayne and Medina County Line near where Wayne, Medina and Summit counties meet.  For many years this church was also known as the High Church.  It predated the New Englanders' log Congregational Church located in the center of Wadsworth by two years.  Burials were made in the High Church cemetery even before the log building was constructed, some as early as 1817.  The cemetery is preserved today by the congregation of the Church of Christ.  Christian and both his wives, Catherine and Magdalena, are buried there as well as other Wall relatives.

In 1830 Christian bought land on Lot 38 in Sharon Township, only two years after the township was brought to market by the minor heirs of original Connecticut Land Company owners.  There is no evidence that he and his wives ever lived on the land.

Catherine died some time in 1837 and Christian remarried to Catherine's sister, Maria Magdalena (Baughman) Feller.  My Uncle Ira and Aunt Florence Wall located the headstones of Christian and Magdalena in the High Church cemetery and were disappointed that they could not find Catherine's.  Ironically, they did locate it and didn't realize it. They photographed some of the headstones that they found.  One snap shot was of a badly eroded stone lying flat on the ground next to Christian's headstone.  I examined this photo and used some computer software to enhance it.  I can make out the word Baughman (Catherine's maiden name) and her date of death, Dec. 15 or 16, the year 1837 and the number 57 (her age at death).  There is more inscribed on the stone, probably in German that is unreadable.  The letters and numbers on this stone are distinctly German.

Emanuel United Church of Christ - The site of the original "High Church"
This building no longer stands. A new church is next to the old cemetery
across the street.

Christian and Magdalena were married in Wadsworth at the High Church on October 15, 1837.  Catherine must have passed away only a few months earlier.  In April 1838 Christian and Magdalena signed and recorded a nuptial agreement.  It states that both had children from previous marriages and possessed personal and real property of their own at the time of their marriage.  At the death of one the other would not have claim to that property.  Both Christian's ont>and Magdalena's signatures appear on this document.

In 1838 Christian purchased 101 acres in Lot 39 of Sharon Township.  The following year he sold his land in Chippewa to James Metlin.  He moved to Wadsworth and he and Magdalena were living there when the 1850 census was taken.  I have found no record that he and Magdalena ever lived on the land in Sharon and Christian was one of several absentee landlords of Sharon farm land.  Christian died on October 24, 1853 in Wadsworth before reaching his 74th birthday and was buried in the High Church cemetery next to Catherine.  His son Charles bought the Sharon Township property from the other heirs of Christian shortly after the estate was settled. 

Christian died without a will.  Jonathan Everhard and Christian's oldest son John were appointed administrators of his estate.  The inventory of Christian's personal property is interesting in that it gives us a glimpse into his life.  Among the items sold at auction were one bay horse, a vinegar barrel, one bushel of potatoes, one iron pot, a bottle of bitters (no German would be caught dead without his bottle of bitters), a razor and "fixings," a powder horn (but no musket), and a snuff box.  The sale of these and a few other items brought in $242 for the estate.  Set aside for the widow Magdalena were:

1 spinning wheel
1 parlor stove
1 family Bible and family pictures [I'd give my eye teeth for those]
6 chairs
3 pounds of wool
1 lot of clothing
1 chest
12 spoons
1 cow
6 plates
6 cups and saucers
1 sugar dish
1 milk pot
1 tea pot

These items may have been Magdalena's at the time of her marriage to Christian.  They are listed as set aside for Magdalena without appraisal as part of the estate.  Items excluded from the estate specifically for her support were wheat, oats, corn, an ax, one wood saw, eleven crocks of milk, potatoes, coffee mill and two hogs.  The total value of these items was appraised at eighty dollars.

On December 6, 1853 Magdalena received $500 cash from the heirs of her husband's estate and signed a quit claim deed relinquishing any legal claim to the land in Sharon Township.  The prenuptial agreement they signed in 1838 may have precluded her from claiming the land, but the money and the quit claim deed were probably meant to remove any doubt about legal ownership.  The deed is recorded in the Medina County Court House in Medina.  This is an important document because it lists all of Christian's living heirs.  Magdalena spent the rest of her days in Wadsworth probably in the home she and Christian shared before his death. Magdalena died on March 28, 1865 in Wadsworth at the age of 77.  She is buried in the High Church cemetery next to Christian.

Five years before her death, when the 1860 census was taken, Magdalena, age 72, was living in Wadsworth with her daughter Typhrena Feller, whose age is listed as 38.  The younger woman would have been born about 1821 or 1822.  This was an important fact that I overlooked for years.  It is the piece of the puzzle that identifies Magdalena and her connection to the Wall family before she and Christian were married.  I've always had a peculiar hunch that the Magdalena Feller who married Christian Wall in 1837 was the (widowed) wife of Jacob Feller of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. The evidence is convincing that the wife of Jacob Feller was the sister of Catherine Bachman.

In 1821 Jacob and Magdalena Feller baptized a daughter, Typhrena, in the Lowhill church in Pennsylvania.  Typhrena Feller was born on August 29, 1821.  This is such an unusual name that I should have made the connection years ago; however, it wasn't until 2010 when I was reviewing the Pennsylvania church records that the light upstairs came on.  One of the problems was that when I copied the name from the 1860 census I thought that I had not deciphered it correctly.  Since I was so unsure of the name I tried to mimic the handwriting of the census taker.  Without knowing it I copied the name exactly as it is spelled on the original baptismal record.  The modern compiler of the old church records copied the name incorrectly, but a German linguist later the original handwritten records and corrected misspellings of the names in the translation.  Typhrena's name was one of those he corrected, first from Prusena to Brefena and then to Typhrena.  As I was reexamining the manuscript, her name leaped off the page at me.  I have no doubt that Magdalena and Typhrena were mother and daughter as listed on the old baptismal record.


JOHN WALL, the eldest son was born on December 24, 1804 in Penn Township, Northampton County (now Carbon County). He was christened Johannes and baptized on February 17, 1805 in the Lowhill German Reformed (Lutheran) Church. He was twenty years old when his father purchased the land in Wayne County. He married Mary "Polly" Baughman about 1828 probably in Wadsworth, although that is not certain since I've not located a marriage record for them. Polly was the daughter of Paul and Anna Barbara Bachman from Northampton County, Pennsylvania and John's second or third cousin. She was also the sister of Joel Baughman who married John's younger sister Abigail. Polly was born on September 24, 1804 and was baptized in the Lowhill Reformed Church in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. She was christened Maria Magdalena Bachman. Polly died some time between when the 1870 and 1880 censuses were taken. John remarried to Catherine, maiden name unknown, before 1880. John was a prosperous farmer in Wadsworth Township and somewhat the head of the Wall clan after the death of Christian. He was responsible for obtaining the quit claim deed from his stepmother Magdalena and was the administrator of his father's estate along with his brother-in-law Jonathan Everhard. In 1874 he was a member of the committee that put together the reunion of pioneers for the sixtieth anniversary celebration of the founding of Wadsworth.

  1. Paul Wall born August 6, 1830, married first Kitty A. (maiden name unknown) probably about 1853. Kitty died on September 1, 1854 and is buried in the pioneer cemetery of the Emanuel United Church of Christ (the High Church) where Paul's grandfather Christian is buried. I suspect that Kitty died as a result of the birth of her first child and the child, Alice Wall, survived. Paul next married Isabella Ruthaker in Chippewa Township on December 24, 1857. Paul and Isabel are listed on the 1860 census in Wadsworth Township. In the household is Alice, age five. Also in the household is a John Wall, age 48 listed as a border and farm hand. The identity of this John Wall is a mystery. I have been unable to locate Paul and his family after 1860; however, an 1897 atlas of Wayne County lists Paul Wall with 105 acres in the Northeast Quarter of Section 4, Chippewa Township.
  2. Daniel B. Wall born November 3, 1835, married Abigail Geiger probably about 1863. He appears on the 1860 census still in the home of his mother and father. He and his family are listed in all of the census returns for Wadsworth between 1860 and 1900. The children identified from the census returns were: Russel S., born in August 1864; Mary M., born in March 1866; twins Carrie and Anna, born in March 1870; John J. Wall, born in 1874. Daniel died on April 15, 1908 at the age of sixty-two. Abigail died in 1922. Both are buried in the Wadsworth cemetery as is their daughter Carrie Rohn Stevenson (1870-1960). I have a picture of Russel Wall taken at a family reunion in 1946. He is a distinguished looking gentleman and very tall.

MARY WALL was christened Maria Magdalena when she was baptized in the Lowhill Reformed German church in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. She was born on November 22, 1806. She married Jonathan Everhard in Wooster, Ohio on August 15, 1826 when she was nineteen years old. Apparently she bore no children and she probably died in 1829 in Chippewa. I have not found a record of her death or place of burial but very likely it is in the Emanuel Church of Christ cemetery. Her husband remarried to Mary's sister Catherine.

CATHERINE WALL was born in Northampton County, Pennsylvania in 1811. She married Jonathan Everhard on June 11, 1829 in Baughman Township, Wayne County, Ohio. She was about eighteen years old in 1829 when she married Jonathan Everhard. The Reverend Henry Weygandt, the pastor of the High Church, performed the ceremony. Jonathan and Catherine were among the earliest pioneers to purchase land and move to Sharon. They bought land on lot 68 on August 31, 1831 and apparently spent the rest of their lives on their farm in the southeastern part of the township. In 1853 Jonathan was one of the administrators of father-in-law Christian Wall's estate. Jonathan and Catherine are listed on the 1840, 1850 and 1870 censuses of Sharon Township. From those census returns we identified the following children:

  1. Mary Everhard, born 1830
  2. Sarah Everhard, born 1833
  3. Sophia Everhard, born 1835
  4. Isaac Everhard, born 1837
  5. Elizabeth Everhard, born 1840
  6. Daniel W. Everhard, born 1842
  7. Fietta (spelling questionable) Everhard, born 1849
  8. Edwin Everhard, born 1851

  9. There is a large gap in years between Daniel and Fietta so it is possible there were one or two Everhard children who died for whom we have no record.

REBECCA WALL was born on January 21, 1810 and baptized in the Ben Salem Union Church on March 11, 1810. She married Curtis Brouse on February 1, 1830 in Baughman Township also by Rev. Weygandt. Rebecca was twenty years old at the time of her wedding. There is a bit of a mystery about Rebecca's name. She was christened "Rebecca" shortly after her birth in Pennsylvania and she is listed as Rebecca on the marriage record in Wayne County. Rebecca appears with her husband and family on the 1850 census in Lorain County, Ohio. Also, the Compendium of American Genealogy gives her name as Rebecca. However, on the quit claim deed from her stepmother her name is given as Margaret Brouse. And, the sketch on the Wall family in the "Wadsworth Memorial" gives her name as Margaret. Was she named Rebecca Margaret or Margaret Rebecca? I suppose we will never know. Curtis and Rebecca removed to Indiana some time after 1850 and one of their grandchildren, Ulysses Chester Brouse son of Curtis, Jr. became mayor of Kendalville, Indiana and a member of the Indiana State Board of Agriculture in 1917. The Brouse children we know of were:

  1. Mary Brouse, born about 1833
  2. David Brouse, born about 1836
  3. Peter Brouse, born about 1838
  4. Curtis, born in 1840 in the Civil War he was a member of the 30th Indiana Volunteers.
  5. Henry Brouse, born about 1845
  6. Jeremiah Brouse, born about 1847

SARAH WALL was born probably in Pennsylvania, probably in Union County, in 1820. She married Abraham Keller on November 17, 1838 by a justice of the peace in Chippewa Township. Abraham was born in Hagerstown, Maryland in 1812. Sarah was about seventeen years of age and her new husband was twenty-six. In 1831 the Kellers purchased land on lot 68 in Sharon Township next to brother-in-law Jonathan Everhard. They were also among the first pioneers in Sharon. The 1850 and 1870 censuses of Sharon Township lists the Keller family. Abraham gave the census taker his occupation as "carpenter" on the 1850 census and "carpenter and farmer" on the 1870. Abraham Keller died on January 23, 1884 in Sharon. Sarah died in Sharon on February 13, 1900. Sarah and Abraham Keller are buried in the Sharon Cemetery a mile south of the Center. The Keller children we know of from those two census returns are:

  1. John Keller, born about 1839
  2. Barbara Keller, born about 1840
  3. Catherine Keller, born about 1841
  4. Christian Keller, born about 1843
  5. Solomon Keller, born about 1847
  6. Mary Ellen Keller, born about 1848
  7. Fanny [Frances?] Keller, born about 1849
  8. Ann Keller, born about 1850
  9. Charles Keller, born about 1856.

ABIGAIL WALL was born in 1817 possibly in Union County, Pennsylvania. On November 7, 1839 she married Joel Bachman (Baughman) in Baughman Township, Wayne County, Ohio. Abigail and her husband were twenty-two years of age. Joel was Abigail's second cousin. They appear on the 1840 census in Chippewa Township in Wayne County. Abigail died in Wayne County on October 29, 1840 at the age of 23. I have not located Joel or any children on censuses after 1840. The 1853 quit claim deed from Christian's widow lists his living heirs. All of the children except Mary, Judith and Abigail are named on the document. Instead, Catherine Bower, Eli Hartman and Barbara Baughman appear on the deed. We know for certain that Eli was Christian's grandson and the son of Judith Wall Hartman who died shortly after Eli's birth. Barbara Baughman must have been Christian's granddaughter and the daughter of Abigail and Joel. The identity of Catherine Bower is a mystery but her name on the deed would indicate she was also a granddaughter. I thought perhaps she was also the daughter of Joel and Abigail but if she was she and Barbara had to have been twins. Also, I can't account for the name "Bower." Catherine is the square peg I can't fit into any round hole.

PETER WALL was probably born in Pennsylvania in Penn Township of Union County, in February 1819. He married Sybella Everhard on June 17, 1841 in Baughman Township. The Reverend Weygandt performed the ceremony. Sybella was probably closely related to Jonathan Everhard, the husband of Catherine Wall. Peter was twenty-two and Sybella was nineteen. Peter and family appear on the census returns of 1850, 1860 and 1870. During those years he was living in Spenser Township where he probably spent all of his adult life. In 1900 he was living in the home of his son, Reuben. Peter and Sybella's children were:

  1. Reuben S. Wall born in December 1842. Reuben served in the Civil War in Company B, 42nd Ohio Volunteers. He married Mary A. Hartman on July 3, 1865 and had two children, son William J. Wall born in November 1870 and daughter Jessie Wall born in July 1884. It is likely there were other children we know nothing about.
  2. Jacob James Wall born in May 1849. His wife's name was Matilda and they had three children that we know of: Edith A. Wall born in July 1877; Lillian G. Wall born in November 1888; Harrison B. Wall born in May 1891.
  3. Harrison E. Wall born in October 1853 and married Harriet Lance.

ISAAC D. WALL was born on April 13, 1813. He was baptized in the Zilgels Lutheran and Reformed Church in Weisenberg Township, Lehigh Co., Pennsylvania.35 He married Susannah Brouse about 1838 probably in Sharon Township. Susannah was probably closely related to the large Brouse family of Chippewa, perhaps a sister of Curtis Brouse who married Isaac's sister Rebecca. She was born on October 10, 1812 in Ohio.36 Isaac purchased land on lot 66 in Sharon in 1833. He later purchased land in lots 21 and 22, probably about 1838. Isaac and Susannah lived in a log cabin on this lot, then built a frame house which was still standing in 1981 when "Early Sharon Township" was published. Jacob Derr, who became the mayor of Wadsworth occupied the house when the great cyclone of 1890 struck Sharon. Isaac died on September 11, 1870 and is buried in the Wadsworth cemetery. Susannah died on May 10, 1912. Their children were:

  1. Sarah A. Wall born about 1839, married Uriah Wearstler; Sarah died in 1928. Sarah and Uriah apparently inherited the Isaac Wall farm or purchased it from the other heirs.
  2. Lavina Wall, born about 1842, married William Rhodes.
  3. David Wall, born about 1848; married Nettie Briggs in October 1869.
  4. Ella Wall, born about 1856, married Tom Duley

JULIA WALL, christened Judith was born in late 1814 or early 1815. She was baptized in the Zilgels Lutheran and Reformed Church in Weisenberg Township of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.38 She married Joshua Hartman probably in Wadsworth or Sharon in 1834. Joshua was the son of Peter Hartman and Catharine Zollner and was born in Northampton County, Pennsylvania on January 9, 1813.39 The Walls and Hartmans were acquainted in Northampton County. Christian and Catherine Wall were the sponsors for the baptism of Joshua's sister Catherine in the Ben Salem Church in Northampton County in 1807.40 Julia died on May 1, 1835 at the age of twenty after the birth of one son, Eli Hartman born on October 31, 1834. Joshua married twice more and had sixteen children. He was a successful farmer in Sharon and died sometime after the cyclone of 1890.

DANIEL WALL, the youngest of the Christian Wall children was born on November 3, 1823 in Union County, Pennsylvania. He was still a baby when his parents brought him to Ohio. Daniel married Lydia Fry in 1843 in Wadsworth. Lydia died on November 17, 1853 after the birth of three children. Daniel remarried to Sarah whose last name was probably Neff. They had at least six children I've identified from census records. Daniel worked as a peddler and farmer and lived most of his life in Wadsworth. He was still living in 1900. Daniel and Lydia's children were:

  1. Catherine Wall, born in 1844.
  2. Isaac Wall, born in 1846.
  3. Abigail Wall, born in 1848.
Daniel and Sarah's children were:
  1. Emma Wall, born March 1855, married Henry Geiger.
  2. Alice Wall, born in 1857.
  3. Ameda Wall, born in 1859.
  4. Amanda Wall, born in 1862.
  5. Charles Wall, date of birth unknown.
  6. Carl Wall, date of birth unknown.


Our ancestor Charles Wall was born in Northampton County, Pennsylvania on September 13, 1808. He was christened "Carl" (the German form of Charles) when he was baptized in the Ben Salem Church on October 9, 1808. He was about sixteen years old when his family left Pennsylvania for Wayne County, Ohio. On December 17, 1829, Charles married Sophia Frederick in Baughman Township of Wayne County. The Reverend G. Henry Weygandt, pastor of the "Waltz" or "High" Church performed the ceremony. Both Charles and Sophia were about twenty-one years of age. Sophia was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Shank) Frederick, neighbors to the Walls. Charles Wall is closely connected to the early history of Sharon Township. Sophia died on August 23, 1886 at the age of 78. Charles died on January 10, 1893 in the flu epidemic of that winter. He was 83 years of age. He is buried in the Sharon Cemetery next to Sophia and their three young children, Charles, jr., William and Margaret. Charles made a will on May 4, 1886 shortly before the death of Sophia. After Sophia died, Charles remarried Harriet Luke, a widow with four children of her own. His son Christian F. Wall presented the document in probate court immediately after his death. The application to admit the will to probate lists the living heirs of Charles as:

Harriet Wall, his widow
John his son living in Sharon
C. F. Wall, son living in Sharon [Christian]
Saloma Waltz, his daughter living in Sharon
Thomas Wall, son living in Grangerburg
Reason Wall of Sharon
Franklin Wall of Akron in Summit County
William N. Wall, grandson living in Akron [son of Reason] Lusetta Rasor, grand daughter living in Golden Corners, Wayne County

Grandchildren are named as heirs on probate documents only when specifically mentioned in the will or when their parent is deceased. William and Lusetta had to have been the adult children of Jonas who died in 1887. In his will Charles is very specific about how the debts of his children to him should be repaid to the estate. Any money left unpaid was to be deducted from the amount that heir received when the estate was settled. The will appoints his sons Christian and Reason as administrators of the estate. Christian died the same year as his father and before the estate was settled. The other heirs then asked the court to increase the bond of Reason Wall due to the amount of money he was handling. Christian F. Wall

Charles and Sophia had ten children. All except the oldest were born in Sharon.

  1. Jonas Wall
  2. John Wall
  3. Christian F. Wall of Sharon is buried in the cemetery of the Emanuel Church of Christ, the same cemetery where his grandparents are buried.
  4. Saloma Wall
  5. Thomas Wall
  6. Reason Wall (our ancestor)
  7. Charles Wall who died a month after his birth
  8. William Wall who died when he was three years old
  9. Margaret Wall who died before reaching her first birthday
  10. Franklin Wall.


Reason was the sixth child born to Charles Wall and Sophis Frederick on May 19, 1840 in Sharon Township. At the age of twenty-one he married seventeen year old ABIGAIL KUDER, daughter of JACOB KUDER and MARY M. KIME of Sharon. Abby was born on January 4, 1844 probably in Sharon. The Reverend Hamilton married the couple in Wadsworth on December 12, 1861. Between 1861 and 1870 Reason and Abby lived in Montville Township just west of Sharon and in Granger Township north of Sharon. In April 1872 Reason and Abby purchased approximately 94 acres in section 32 and 33 of Sharon Township from James H. Stoop. They were living there when the cyclone of 1890 hit their farm. Sometime later they purchased a farm just east of Sharon Center and lived there until their deaths. This property passed to the Stauffer family. The original farm passed down to their son and my grandfather, Reason Deforest Wall. It is located on Hatch Road, once known as Wall Road, just north of the intersection of Hatch and Burdett roads. This is the farm I knew as I was growing up in Sharon. Reason and Abby had five children:

  1. Charles Jacob Wall was born in Sharon or Montville Township on February 9, 1863. He was married twice, first to Flora A. Houglan probably in the mid 1880's. Flora was born on June 13, 1863 and died on May 12, 1913. Charles then married Belle Daniels, about whom I have no other information. Charles died on October 31, 1944 probably in Sharon and apparently left no descendants.

  2. William Lorenzo Wall was born on January 31, 1865 in Montville Township of Medina County.He married Ida C. Hazon probably about 1890. Ida was born on August 4, 1863. The couple moved to Copley Township in Summit County where William raised hogs. Ida and William had two daughters, Martha and Luella. Ida died in Copley on June 16, 1917 at the age of 53. William retired from farming in 1940 and lived the rest of his life with his daughter Luella who never married. In 1956 on the occasion of his ninety-first birthday he was interviewed by the Akron Beacon Journal. He claimed to have never "smoked, drank or chewed." He also recalled the days of horse drawn streetcars in Akron and the Main Street canal. It is possible that the Henry Wall mentioned in the story of the cyclone that struck Sharon township and Copley in 1890 was in fact William and the name was reported incorrectly

  3. Albert Allen Wall was born in August 12, 1868 in Granger Township. He married Mary Wagoner on April 20, 1890 in Wadsworth. Mary was born on May 20, 1871 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Albert and Mary had three children, Kleber, Natina and George. Albert and Mary lived and farmed in Sharon from about 1895 until their deaths. In April 1940 the Akron Beacon Journal published a notice of their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Albert died sometime between 1940 and 1957. Mary died on November 3, 1957 in Sharon. They are buried in the Copley Cemetery, Copley, Summit County.

  4. Mary Sophia Wall was born on May 20, 1871 in Sharon. She married Charles Stauffer of Sharon probably about 1880. Mary died on November 2, 1957 in Wadsworth. Mary and Charles had three children: (1) Roy O. Stauffer who married Mae Worth. Roy was living in Ottawa, Illinois in 1978 and died there probably around 1990. (2) ELNO R. STAUFFER was born in 1882 in Sharon. Elno married Jessie D. Daniels and had a son, Blake E. Stauffer. Elno owned and operated with Blake the Stauffer's Country Store located on the southwest corner of Sharon Center town center. He served for six years on the Republican Central Committee and in 1938 ran for County Commissioner, losing by a few votes. He ran again in 1940 and won handily and served in that capacity for eight years. He was Director and President of the Medina County Agricultural Society and served as Medina County Fair Board President from 1960 through 1968. He spent six years in the 1920's as the Sharon Postmaster and the Sharon Post Office was located in his store as I was growing up in Sharon Center. Elno passed away at the age of 85 on March 6, 1978 at the Crestview Nursing Home in Medina after a lengthy illness; (3) Florence S. Stauffer was born on October 9, 1894 in Sharon. She married Howard Caskey and had three sons, Myron, Boyd and Clark. Florence died on January 30, 1993 at the age of 98. She is buried in the Copley cemetery.

  5. Reason Deforest Wall, my grandfather.

Abigail died on April 7, 1910. Her obituary appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal.
"A devoted husband, five children, fifteen grandchildren, one brother and many relatives and friends remain to mourn her death. Death came to her Thursday morning, April 7, after a week of intense suffering at the age of 66 years, 3 months and 2 days. In her disposition as friend, neighbor, mother and wife, her life gives evidence of a rare genuineness. As a friend, she was faithful and sympathetic, though quiet by nature, nevertheless her influence was effective. As a neighbor, she was interested in her community and always ready to sacrifice her comfort."
Less than a year later Reason died, on March 24, 1911. Both he and Abby are buried in the Copley cemetery on State Route 162 not far from their old farm. A few months before his death Reason made his last will and testament. It is a hand written document dated December 31, 1910 and filed in the Medina County Courthouse. Paraphrased, it states in part:
It is my will that the farm owned by me and containing about ninety four acres of land situated in Sharon township, Medina County, Ohio, shall be deeded by my executors to my son R. D. Wall upon my son R. D. Wall paying to my executors the sum of four thousand dollars. It is my will that my other farm on which I now reside shall be deeded by my Executors to my daughter Mary Sophia Stauffer upon my daughter paying my executors the sum of three thousand dollars. I hereby give to my son R. D. Wall my cook stove and my wolf robe. I give to my son William Wall my lap robe. I give to my son Charles Wall my two horse blankets. I give my son Albert Wall my bath robe which was a present to me from Jimmie Hollinger. I direct my executors to sell my three watches at auction to the highest bidder, but no person shall be allowed to bid except my four sons.
My uncle Ira Wall once remarked he remembered his Dad saying he was promised a gold watch that was passed down to his mother from his grandfather, Jacob Kuder. After the death of Reason, he was unable to bid on the watch because he was the executor of the estate. The watches went to his three brothers, Charles, William and Albert.


Reason D. WALL, my grandfather, was the youngest child of Reason and Abigail, born on his parents' farm in Sharon on November 25, 1875.  He married Winifred Pearl Tyler in Wadsworth on Christmas day, December 25, 1895.  Reason was twenty and Winnie was nineteen years of age.  She was the daughter of Rush Sebastian Tyler and Laura T. Stannard of Wadsworth.

As a young man Reason taught school in Sharon, Granger and Valley City drawing a salary of thirty dollars a month.  In about 1905 he gave up teaching and took up farming.  When his father passed away he came in possession of the 94-acre family farm on Hatch Road in Sharon Township (County Road 126).  Grandfather actively engaged in farming until about 1960.  His son Herbert helped with most of the hard work on the farm for several years until his death in 1960 from liver cancer. For more than fifty years Reason was a volunteer crop reporter for the Ohio Crop Reporting Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  In the 1930's he served as a Medina County Committeeman for the old Agricultural Adjustment Administration under Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Party affiliation was not a prerequisite for this post but he was an ardent Democrat and took an active interest in Democratic politics.  My first exposure to politics came at his house watching the Democratic National Convention on his new television in 1952 and listening to him and my Uncle Del Bridgman, a republican, argue.

After Uncle Herbert died from cancer in 1960 my grandfather retired from farming.  He paid me the greatest compliment he could in 1961 when he asked me if I thought with his brains and my brawn (which I had little of) we could keep the farm going.  I knew that was unrealistic but I was greatly flattered.

The farm was located on one of the highest hills in the township about a mile west of the Medina and Summit county line and commanded a panoramic view of the southeastern part of the township. The original house on the farm burned down in 1927 and a new one was built the next year.  I remember the "new" house from the 1950's as a large white frame building surrounded by windbreak of large cedar trees and shrubbery on three sides.  In the front yard were a large elm and maple tree and a windmill with trumpet vine growing up it.  Near the house were orchards of cherries, pears, peaches and apples.  There were several beehives in the field east of the house.  Behind the house by the kitchen Grandma had a small goldfish pond made from an old bathtub.  Out by the road was a garage and just across the road a large oak tree.  When the Hatch road was put through east of the farm Grandpa prevented the workmen from cutting down the oak tree.  It still lives (in 1998) and the last time I saw it the trunk was a good twelve to fifteen feet in circumference.  The house still stands on Hatch road, now paved, and for some reason the house looks much smaller now than it did forty years ago.

A short distance to the west was the large red bank barn (a barn with a ramp of dirt up to the upper level on one side).  A driveway made a loop around the garden just west of the house and by the barn with a chicken coop and corncrib near by.  Just to the rear of the house was a woodshed with a belfry; the bell was once used to call the men in from the fields at dinnertime.  Behind the woodshed was the outdoor john, not used much when I was growing up.  Just south of the barn and along the dirt road was a small blacksmith and machine shop.  West of the barn surrounding the barnyard (an area used to corral the livestock near the barn) was an ell-shaped building containing old farm equipment and feed.  I remember seeing a couple old buggies in those buildings when I was young.  In the lower level of the barn were the stanchions for the cows and stables enough for two or three large horses.  For awhile when I was growing up Grandpa had two large draft horses and a few milk cows.  Also, on the lower level were some small pens for pigs or other small livestock.  On each end of the barn was a chute, the one on the north for hay from the loft above and the other on the south for fodder. The upper level of the barn contained the tractors, wagons, plows, combine and other equipment.  The hayloft was on the north end of the barn.

The lane from the barn to the back of the farm ran a short ways along Hatch road before turning north and was lined with black walnut trees.  Grandpa had about twenty-five or thirty acres planted in corn, wheat, oats, hay and potatoes.  As kids we were very fond of running through the cornfield when the corn was taller than we were.  I also remember Grandpa saying that the corn should be knee high by the forth of July (or the crop would be small).  The rest of the land was orchard, pasture and, for kids, the best little woods in the country. Spruce Run, a small creek, had its source in a spring just north of the farm and trickled through the woods to the Bramley farm next to Grandpa's.  On the Bramley property were ledges and a waterfalls we called Devil's Hole and a small cave to explore.  As kids we had a small paradise to romp in and didn't know it.  But it wasn't all fun and games. 

Grandpa believed in work.  One of my earliest memories was a time when Art and I were probably about seven and eight years old.  Grandpa had us steering the tractor pulling a wagon while he and my Uncle Herbert were digging potatoes.  The north end of the field had a long slope to it and the tractor started to roll out of control.  We were too small to reach the brake pedal and steer at the same time.  Uncle Herbert ran to the front of the tractor and pulled the brake on by hand.  That afternoon my grandmother put her foot down and told my grandfather that he was not to put us on a tractor again until we were much bigger.  We also had the job of shoveling grain from the front of the grain bins to the back when it was dumped from the wagons.  I didn't mind this with wheat, but oats have tiny hairs that make you itch like the devil.  I hated the oats.  Other chores we had on the farm were feeding the livestock, shucking and grinding corn and gathering the eggs.  Grandpa showed us how to use the separator to separate the milk from the cream.  He tried to teach me how to milk a cow, but I never learned the art well enough to amount to anything.

The R. D. Wall farm in 1974. This is much the way it looked when I was growing up in Wadsworth and Sharon in the late 1940's and 1950's. From right to left in the picture is the old windmill that no longer pumped water; the house; the woodshed back of and between the house and the cedar trees; the chicken coop is the long building; the small building used as a dog house when we were little; the corn crib next to the barn; the dirt bank barn common in Medina County in that era; between the telephone poles is the old blacksmith shop that was Grandpa's workshop, it still had the bellows and anvil from the days when farmers did their own blacksmithing; the building behind the tree is part of the old buildings surrounding the barnyard where the remainders of buggies and old farm equipment came to their final resting places. Except for the house and the woodshed (converted to a garage) these buildings, including the barn, were all gone by 1996. The large oak beams that spanned the barn from front to back were sold to Menonites who used them in the construction of a Amish restaurant near Rittman in Wayne County.

Grandma was struck with a crippling illness in the early 1950's that kept her confined to a wheelchair and bed.  She died in the farmhouse on June 4, 1958.  Two years later Grandpa retired from farming.  After Herbert died in 1960 there was no one young and strong enough to take over the work.  He bought a small house in Wadsworth and lived there for a few years.  He died in the Wadsworth hospital on April 14, 1965 at the age of 89.  Reason and Winifred are buried in the Wall plot in the front row of Sharon Cemetery just south of Sharon Center.  Reason Deforest Wall maintained membership in the Lutheran Church in Sharon Center, the church of his parents and grandparents, but he was not a religious man and I never knew him to attended services.  He was a man of the earth and his philosophy of life reflected that. Reason Deforest Wall and Winifred Pearl Tyler had eleven children.

  1. LAURA LAVONE WALL was born on August 9, 1896 and was the eldest of the children of Reason and Winnie.  She married Howard Ebert of Sharon about 1920.  Laura died of cancer on April 23, 1928 and left no descendants.

  2. HAROLD MELVILLE WALL was born on May 1, 1898.  He married Dorothy Seiford and they had one child that was still born.  Harold and Dorothy were divorced and on December 24, 1936 he married Eva Marie Kuder, in Vicksburg, Michigan.  Marie was the daughter of Hiram M. Kuder and Bessie Lee Ward.  Hiram was the son of Hiram and Delina Mason Kuder.  Hiram, Sr. was the brother of Abigail Kuder wife of Reason Wall, Sr.  Marie was born on May 2, 1905 in Kalamazoo, Michigan and was previously married to Clyde K. Leonard.  She had one son, Clyde K. "Bud" Leonard.  Harold and Marie had two daughters, Carol and Margo.  Harold and Marie lived in Kalamazoo most of their lives. For a short time they lived on the Wall family farm in Sharon but moved back to Michigan in the 1940's.  They were charter members of the Lake Center Bible Church in Portage, Michigan.  In the 1960's they helped establish the Berean Baptist Church in Portage.  Harold passed away on August 28, 1988 in Portage at the age of 90.  Marie died on May 4, 1999 in Kalamazoo, Michigan shortly after reaching her ninety-forth birthday. They are buried at the Mount Ever-Rest Cemetery in Portage.

  3. HASEL MAE WALL was born in Sharon Township on October 5, 1900.  She married Elbert Edgell on May 23, 1932.  Elbert was born on April 11, 1896 in West Virginia.  Hazel and Elbert lived for many years on a small farm in southern Ohio near Longbottom in Meigs County.  As kids Arthur and I spent some summers on their place there.  Their house was a small one-story frame house with no indoor plumbing.  It sat on the side of a hill and below it was a dirt road that separated the house and the barn.  A short distance below the barn was a small stream that was always nearly ice cold.  There was a small pond on the place and we used to take a leaky rowboat out on it.  The Ohio River flowed not far from the farm and there was a large forest between their place and the river.  Once, Art and I got lost in the forest and Art climbed the tallest tree we could locate to find our way out.  Elbert was known as a teller of tall tales.  I always enjoyed my time around them because they seemed always cheerful and easy going.  Elbert died on November 23, 1972 and Hasel returned to Wadsworth to live for awhile with her sister Clara.  Hasel suffered from cerebral palsy. Near the end of her life she reached a state where she needed constant care.  She was placed in a home for the aged in Medina County and died there in about 1975.  Hasel and Elbert had no children.

  4. HERBERT SPENCER WALL was born on July 11, 1903 in Sharon.  He married RUTH NAOMI HACKETT on May 15, 1928.  Herbert and Ruth lived in Sherman, Ohio near Barberton in Summit County until about 1953 when they moved back to the family farm to help my grandfather run it and care for my grandmother.  Herbert and Ruth had five children: Leonard; Maynard; Charlotte; Winifred; and Paulette.  Herbert died of liver cancer on January 20, 1960 at the age of 56 and Ruth returned to their home in Sherman. Later in life she lived with her daughter and son-in-law, Paulette (Jean) and Rev. Clifford Smith. Ruth died in Columbus, Ohio on July 27, 2005.  I remember Uncle Herbert as a hard-working, by appearances a serious man but underneath lay a sense of humor.  Aunt Ruth was one of the kindest women I have known.

  5. CLARA MARIE WALL, my foster mother was born on April 20, 1905 in Sharon.  When she was nineteen years old she married Platt Coolman in Wadsworth on November 7, 1924.  Platt was a carpenter and the couple lived in Wadsworth at 187 Gordon Avenue until his sudden death of a heart attack on October 11, 1949.  Clara never had any children but in 1947 she took to raise my brother and me, the young sons of her youngest brother, Vivian who was killed the year before in an auto and train accident.  She raised Art and I as if we were her own and we always called her "Mom".  After Platt's death we moved to our grandfather's farm and lived there for over a year.  He had remodeled the upstairs of the farmhouse into an apartment with its own kitchen and bathrooms. Clara worked at the Ohio Match Company to support us during this time and met Delsworth Worthy Bridgman of Sharon there.  Clara and Del were married on January 5, 1951 and we moved to his house in Sharon Center.  Del died on November 12, 1967 in a hospital in Akron, Ohio and for several years Clara maintained the home in Sharon Center.  In about 1973 she sold that house and moved to Wadsworth where she lived for three years with her sister Hasel.  In 1976 she moved to Apache Junction, Arizona to be near Arthur who had opened a business there.  She purchased a home in Apache Junction and lived there until about 1984 when she sold her house and moved into an apartment attached to Arthur's house in Mesa, Arizona.  In about 1990 she was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer.  Even so, she maintained an active life style until the last couple of years of her life.  She died on September 2, 1997 at the age of 92.  When she died there were six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren who knew her as Grandma.  She died in her home with her family at her side.  She is buried next to Platt in the Acme Lutheran Cemetery west of Wadsworth, Ohio.  She was a devout Christian and belonged to the Nazarene Church for many years.

  6. RALPH ALAN WALL was born on May 26, 1907 in Sharon and married Esther Fitch.  Ralph enlisted in the Army Air Corps about a month after Pearl harbor, serving from January 15, 1942 until September 15, 1945.  He was stationed in Tucson, Arizona for some of that time as an aircraft ground crew working on B-17 bombers.  After the war Ralph and Esther settled in Topeka, Kansas where he worked at various agricultural businesses.  He managed a poultry breeding farm and hatchery from 1947 through 1955.  From that time until 1969, when he retired, he worked as a feed and seed salesman and assistant manager of a feed business.  Esther worked as an auditor for the State of Kansas Income Tax Division for twenty-seven years until she retired in 1973.  After their retirement Ralph and Esther kept busy with volunteer work for their church.  They traveled extensively and visited forty states, Canada and Nova Scotia.  We visited them in Kansas at least twice while Art and I were growing up.  I learned what chiggers were at his farm in Kansas.  Esther passed away in April 1999 in Topeka.  Ralph died on July 5, 2001 in Topeka. They had no children.

  7. NECIA IRENE WALL was born on June 4, 1909 in Sharon.  She married George Faust Arnold on December 18, 1930 in Medina or Summit County.  George was born on March 20, 1901 in Summit County, Ohio.  George and Necia moved to Washington State after World War II where they lived Yakima in Selah, Washington.  They experienced the direct effects of the Mt. Saint Helens eruption in 1980 when the noonday sky turned dark as night and Yakima and surrounding areas were covered with several inches of volcanic dust.  George and Necia had seven children: George who died as an infant the day after his birth; Victor Eldo; Donna Mae; Alletia Irene; Marvin Lee; and Loretta Beele Arnold.  George died on March 13, 1988 in Selah, Washington.  Necia passed away on November 9, 1995 at the Edgewood Nursing Home in Montesano, Washington at the age of 86.  When she died Necia had twenty grandchildren and twenty-nine great grandchildren.

  8. JESSIE RHEA WALL was born on March 25, 1911 in Sharon Center and died in Wadsworth on May 13, 2012 at 101 years of age. She married twice, first to Kenneth Mullet and second to Willie Powers.  Kenneth was born on June 2, 1906 and is now deceased.  Jessie and Kenneth were married on November 9, 1928 and had six children: Betty Lou, Elsie Mae, Alice Jean, Lois Ann, Stephen Deforest and Clara Jane Mullet.  Jessie married Willie Powers on March 27, 1953 in Wadsworth.  Willie died in Wadsworth on November 11, 1989 and Jessie died on May 13, Wadsworth at the age of 101.

  9. IRA DEFOREST WALL was born on August 16, 1914.  He graduated from Sharon Center High School in June 1933.  In December 1942 he enlisted in the Army and served in World War II as a radio operator with Army Engineer Combat Battalion 246, Company C.   He received combat stars for campaigns in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe.  Among his decorations are the WWII Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge, European African Middle Eastern Campaign, American Campaign Medal, and five Bronze Stars.  He was discharged on November 30, 1945 and returned home to Ohio.  On July 7, 1948 he married Florence Matty Smedley in Madisonburg, Ohio.  Ira was an employee of the Ohio Injector Company of Wadsworth for forty-two years.  After his retirement from the Injector Company Ira and Florence opened an antiques business in their home in Smithville where they lived for many years.  In later years they moved to Wooster.  Ira and Florence are responsible for much of the documentation of Christian Wall and family in Wayne and Medina Counties.  Their help in this research was invaluable.  Ira died at the age of 83 on January 23, 1996 in Wooster after a long battle with colon cancer.  He is buried in the Sherwood Memorial Gardens in Wooster.  Ira and Florence had three children, James D., Linda J. and Susan D. Wall.

  10. GRACE WINIFRED WALL was born in Sharon on August 30, 1918. She married Herman Francis "Bud" Shanafelt on June 22, 1940 in Wadsworth.  Bud was born on March 2, 1914 and died in his sleep at the age of 84 on June 29, 1998.  Grace and Bud lived on Fixler Road near River Styx for many years.  Aunt Grace still lives (2017) there in the house that was their home for many decades. Bud was an employee of Permold and retired from there.  He was also a woodcarver and belonged to the Wadsworth Woodcarvers club.  Uncle Bud was also an avid collector of native American artifacts found on his farm and the areas surrounding his home. Grace retired from Dress Brothers in Wadsworth and is a member of the Alcyone Rebekah Lodge.  Grace and Bud had five children: Peggy, Vivian, Shirley, Dennis and Laurel.

  11. VIVIAN ARLIE WALL, my father was born on November 11, 1921.


My dad was the youngest child of Reason and Winnie Wall and was born in Sharon on November 11, 1921. He grew up on my grandfather Reason Deforest Wall's farm and graduated from Sharon High School in June 1939. He attended Stuart Business College in Akron for eight months in 1940 and 1941 studying accounting and bookkeeping. On June 22, 1941 he married my mother Clara Luvenia Corbett of Copley Township in Summit County. In 1941 and 1942 Dad worked for the Firestone Steel Products Company in Akron as a turret lathe operator until he was drafted into the Army on September 10, 1942. He completed basic training at Fort Hayes, Columbus, Ohio and advanced training at Mineral Wells, Texas. He was then transferred to Massachusetts to await shipment to the European Theater of Operations. He departed the United States in April 1943 for Libya, North Africa and saw action there, Morocco and in Sicily and Italy before World War II ended.

During the war he was an intelligence scout and ambulance and light truck driver. In November 1945 he returned to the U.S. and was discharged at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, Pennsylvania during the general demobilization. His medals included the Good Conduct Medal, Europe, Africa, Middle East Service ribbons with one Bronze Star. Early on the morning of March 31, 1946 Vivian was killed in an auto accident. He was twenty-four years of age. The following article appeared in a newspaper shortly after his death.

Dies in Hospital After Sunday Crash - Third Fatality of Year. CRESTON - Vivian Wall, 23, of Sharon Center, war veteran, died at the Lodi hospital about 11 a.m., Sunday from injuries received about 4 a.m., that day when his automobile was struck by a light engine at the main Street crossing here
It was the second serious accident at the crossing in three days, two other youths being seriously injured Friday night.
In Sunday's accident Wall was traveling north and apparently alone in his car when he was struck by the engine without a train. The engine was traveling west.
Dr. B. M. Foster of Creston gave the youth first aid and sent him to the hospital in the Murray ambulance. It was found that the youth had a fractured skull and other injuries. He had been discharged from the army in November. His car was badly damaged and there was no information available here today as to where he had been but it was presumed from the direction of his travel that he was en route home.
Wall is survived by his father and mother, Mr. And Mrs. R. D. Wall, of Sharon Center; his wife; two young sons, aged four and two years; and nine brothers and sisters.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Hilliard Funeral Home in Wadsworth with Rev. A. G. Lansberry, of Sharon Center, officiating. Burial will be made in the Sharon Center cemetery.
The youths injured at the crossing in a similar accident Friday night were Harold Totten of Creston R. D., and Dale Young of Coshocton. The former is reported as improved at the Lodi hospital but Young is reported as remaining in a serious condition.
The death of the Sharon Center youth is the third from motor vehicle traffic in Wayne County this year and the first since February

My father and mother were separated and in the process of a divorce when he was killed. Custody of my younger brother Arthur and me passed to our grandparents Reason and Winnie Wall. Our Aunt Clara Wall Coolman assumed custody in about 1948. Our mother lived for many years in Arkansas and moved to Show Low, Arizona in 1990. She, like Dad was killed in an auto accident in Wagon Wheel, near Show Low, Arizona on November 26, 1990. Her car was broadsided by an Apache Indian Reservation vehicle. It appears the accident occurred in poor visibility with rain and sleet and she was hit when she attempted a U-turn in the path of the on-coming truck. The accident occurred only a few hundred yards of the emergency medical center, but she was trapped in the car for more than an hour. Like Dad, she died in the hospital from a massive skull fracture and other internal injuries. According to her wishes her body was cremated. Some of her ashes were buried in three locations she loved during her life, on her property in Show Low, on the property of sister Elinor Stockton in Winslow, Arkansas and at her request the rest were put into the Pacific Ocean off a pier in San Diego. My brother and I were the only children of Vivian and Clara Corbett Wall

  1. Ronald Nevin Wall, born on May 6, 1942; married Carolyn Sue Whitsett.
  2. Arthur Arlie Wall, born on October 12, 1943; married Florence Denise Greer.


I am the oldest son, born in Wadsworth, Medina County, Ohio. Soon after our father's death, grandfather Reason Wall, applied for legal custody of my brother and me. Dad was filing for a divorce before his death and because our Mom was serving time in a Florida prison, the judge granted the petition. In 1948 our aunt, Dad's sister Clara and and her husband Platt Coolman took us to live with them. Aunt Clara and Uncle Platt were unable to have children. Platt died suddenly of a heart attack on the night of October 11, 1949. After Platt's death Aunt Clara moved us back to Grandpa's farm and we lived there for over a year. Clara met Delsworth Worthy Bridgman of Sharon Center while both were working and the Ohio Blue Tip Match factory. They were married in 1951. We moved to Sharon Center, which was near to Grandfather Wall's farm.

In 1959 because of difficulties at home I left Ohio with my mother and youngest brother, Loy Michael White, to Van Buren, Arkansas to live with my maternal grandparents, Arthur and Osa Corbett. I graduated from Van Buren High School in 1960. The following autumn I began classes at Draughon's Business College in Oklahoma City studying drafting and technical illustrating. The following summer I returned to Ohio and in September 1961 I joined the Air Force. I returned home to Van Buren, Arkansas on leave before I was shipped out to Japan and met my future wife, CAROLYN SUE WHITSETT of Fort Smith. We were engaged shortly before I left for my first overseas duty station at the 6986th Radio Squandron Mobile, Wakkanai Air Station, Japan. Sue and I were married on December 6, 1963 in Fort Smith, Arkansas shortly after I returned home after fifteen months in Japan.

During my twenty years in the Air Force I was a radio intercept analyst, cryptanalyst and communications security analyst. Nearing the end of my career, I enrolled in NSA Cryptologic School for computer programming and spent my last three years as a programming supervisor. I was stationed at Goodfellow AFB, Texas; Wakkanai, Japan; Kelly AFB, Texas; Khorat RAFB, Thailand; Brooks AFB, Texas; Brindisi, Italy; Heraklion, Crete (Greece), and the National Security Agency at Fort George G. Meade near Washington, D.C. My family accompanied me overseas only to Brindisi, Italy. I retired from the Air Force in September 1981.

After my retirement from the Air Force I went to work in Phoenix, Arizona for the state as a computer programmer. After two and half years working for the state, I went to work for The Prudential (Insurance) Company and IBM. I was "out sourced" from Prudential to IBM, but IBM transferred my seniority with Prudential enabling me to retire in 1999 from IBM with fifteen years of service. For seven years I worked part time with Walmart in the electronics section. At the age of 66 I retired from the working class. Sue and I lived in Fort Smith, Arkansas for five years before buying property near Florence, Arizona where we lived for ten years. In October 2013 we moved to Fairmont, West Virginia to be near our daughter and her family. In the summer of 2016, after our daughter and family followed their dream to North Carolina we moved once again, to Muldrow, Oklahoma and in the spring of 2017 to Fort Smith, Arkansas, where we now live.


Brother Art was born in Wadsworth, Ohio. He graduated from Highland High School in Granger, Ohio then attended DeVry Technical School in Chicago studying electronics. He moved for a short time to Van Buren, Arkansas and worked as an electronics repairman in Fort Smith until he returned to Ohio. In 1964 he and a friend made a tour of the United States and Mexico. After returning to Ohio he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and received basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center near Chicago. While stationed in Ireland at a navy communications site he met Florence Denise Greer of Londonderry, Northern Ireland. They were married in Londonderry. Art and Denise spent subsequent tours with the navy in Rota, Spain, Keflavik, Iceland and Norfolk, Virginia. While in Ireland and Spain Art participated in several cross-country automobile races and usually finished in the prize money.

After Arthur was discharged from the Navy he and the family moved to Apache Junction, Arizona. For several years he owned and operated a TV sales and service business in Apache Junction. Under his management the single store and shop soon evolved into three stores including a Radio Shack. After a series of break-ins at his stores, he sold the business and took a job in Phoenix, Arizona as an electronics engineer with an aviation electronics firm. He also conducted a sideline business in the manufacture and assembly of electronics components and had several contractors working for him. Art and Denise have four children:

  1. Stephanie Mary Wall, married twice, (1) Lewis Burnham, and (2) James Weigold. Stephanie had two children by Lewis, Phillip and Chelsea.
  2. Jennifer Denise Wall, married Tracy Mazeik in Laguna Beach, California; Jennifer and Tracy have two children, Trevor and Kira. Jennifer attended the University of Arizona in Tucson where she earned a degree in biology. She moved to the Los Angeles area and worked for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and then Saddleback Hospital in Los Angeles.
  3. Jeffery Arthur Wall, Jeff and Heather are twins. Jeff graduated from the University of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff; he married ______.
  4. Heather Marie Wall, also graduated from the University of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff; Heather married Cody Young and they have two children, Conner and Claire.


BRUCE EDWARD WALL was born at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He completed high school in Mesa, Arizona and attended Al Collins School of Design in Tempe, Arizona and also a course in personal computers with a business college in Phoenix. He married LAURA MARIE CROWE in Mesa and they had two children, Michael and Ashley. they were divorced. Second, Bruce married NANCY ANN JOHNSON in Phoenix, Arizona. Bruce and Nancy had two children, Jessica and Dana. Bruce and Nancy divorced. Bruce and Denise Weihe were married in Mesa. They have a daughter, Nichole. He was married for the forth time in Mesa to Terri Lou Davis. Bruce is an excellent musician and since he was a teenager has played guitar with various bands in the Phoenix area. He worked for several years in the retail battery business and has managed stores for two different companies that specialize in batteries. Bruce built a web site dedicated to the Southern Rock and the Lynard Skynard band. In 2005 Bruce and his family moved to Carthage, near Nashville, Tennessee to be closer to the music scene. Bruce is personally acquainted with members of the Lynard Synard band and members of several other southern rock bands. He was a personal friend of George McCorkle, the founder of the Marshal Tucker Band. For several years Bruce held an outdoor event called JAMAQUE in his specious back yard, where many Southern Rock recording stars came for an annual jam session. Children of Bruce Wall are:

  1. Michael Wade Wall, has one young son, Stone Jackson Wall.
  2. Ashley Lillian Sue Wall, married Roger Nanhoo and has one daughter, Arya Nanhoo.
  3. Jessica Sue Wall, married Marine Kris Schmidt currently serving on active duty in the far east.
  4. Dana Louise Wall, engaged to Daryn Vinton and has one child, Joyce LeAnn Vinton.
  5. Nichole Adrianna Wall, currently unmarried.

TONYA MICHELLE WALL was born at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas She completed high school in Mesa, Arizona. She married first Darren Earl Wills. They were divorced. She then married Joseph Anthony Madia in Mesa. Tonya was an apartment rental manager in Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert, Arizona. She also worked for State Farm and Liberty Mutual as an insurance agent. In about 1994 she was approached by a talent agency to perform as a model in various locations in the Phoenix area. She won a first place prize as a beauty contestant. She had small roles in Tom Cruise's movie "Jerry McGuire" filmed largely in Tempe, Arizona, and a Luke Perry movie "Lethal Invasion" filmed entirely in Mesa and shown on ABC TV. A few months later she had a small part in a Martin and Charlie Sheen movie. After she began acting in theater, the leading entertainment critic in Phoenix gave her an excellent review for her staring role as Bella in "Lost in Yonkers" at the Desert Stages Theater in Scottsdale, Arizona. Tonya met her husband Joey through their work at Desert Stages. In 1998 Joey and Tonya collaborated on writing and producing the "Think It Through Review" for the State of Arizona dealing with teenage pregnancy. It played in theaters and schools throughout the state of Arizona and West Virginia. Tonya and Joey ran a theatrical school for kids. Joey is a book editor for a New York publishing firm, and a published author, playwrite, director and actor. He is a native of New Jersey and was born in Rota, Spain while his father was stationed with the U.S. Navy at Rota. The family currently lives in Beaufort, North Carolina and are deeply involved in theater, local history presentations and other activities. Tonya recently wrote the book, Living The Intuitive Life soon to be published by Visionary Living Publishing. Tonya has three children, now all adults:

  1. Daniel Ryan Wills, unmarried.
  2. Jeremy Nevin Madia, unmarried.
  3. Jolie Anne Madia, unmarried.












Ronald N. Wall
Modified: 03 March 2018