A short sketch of Reason Deforest Wall and Winifred Pearl Tyler Wall of Sharon Center in Sharon Township of Medina County, Ohio

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Reason Deforest Wall

Winifred (Tyler) and Reason Deforest Wall December 25, 1952

Reason Deforest Wall

Reason Deforest 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 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.

Reason Wall farm in 1974 - almost the same as when I was growing up. The barn was usually painted red. At the far right is the windmill that was in the front of the house. Just to the left of the house, between the cedar trees and the house is the old wood shed. The long, low building to the left of the trees was the chicken coop. To the left of the chicken coop is a little building that I do not remember. To the left of it is the corn crib (looks like it is attached to the barn, which it is not). Just to the left of the the electric pole is the machine and blacksmith shop. I don't remember who owned the field in the foreground.
The farm house in 1996. The barn and most of the farm buildings had been demolished by then and the house repainted from its original white

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.

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 Reason 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 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 was not a religious man and rarely attended services.  He was a man of the earth and his philosophy of life reflected that.

Children of Reason and Winifred Wall

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.

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.

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.  Hasel 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.

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 ever knew.

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. 

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.

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

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.

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.

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. 

VIVIAN ARLIE WALL, my father was born on November 11, 1921.  Click here for Vivian and his family.

Ronald N. Wall
Modified: 14 July 2017