Flashback: A Story of Two Families

Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 1)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 1)


[page 1]

[corresponds to front cover]


A Story of Two Families

by Dorothy Dillenbeck Burrer

as told to

Polly Whitney Brehm Horn
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 2)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 2)


[page 2]

[corresponds to inside front cover]

[image: Burrer coat of arms]

Community Library

Sunbury, Ohio
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 3)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 3)


[page 3]

[corresponds to front matter]

c.1-8-1997 rc 12-14-2004


A Story of Two Families

The Burrer Family

The Dillenbeck Family

by Dorothy Dillenbeck Burrer

as told to

Polly Whitney Brehm Horn





Community Library

Sunbury, OH


[Community Library imprint 106212]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 4)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 4)


[page 4]

[corresponds to page ii of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo:The Burrer Mill barn as it looks from the yard behind the Burrer home.]


Suppose there were no books!

No books to read in cozy nooks!

No books to feed the hungry mind

And teach the art of being kind.

To link today with yesterday:

No books to charm us for a while,

To bring a tear or lure a smile.

But here are books, praise God above!

If we have books and we have love

We can dispose of other things;

'Tis books, not crowns, that make men kings.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 5)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 5)


[page 5]

[corresponds to page iii of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]


"There's a quiet movement taking place right now that deserves to become

a permanent tradition in this country: the purposeful creation of personal histories

that preserve our lives as we grow older, making the details of our time on earth

available to our descendants forever.

Whether written, spoken into a tape recorder, or recounted to the lens of

a video camera, your stories will be eagerly awaited by the most appreciative

audience of all-your family. And far into the future, your family will read your

words or listen to your voice and be grateful you took the time to put this gift

toegether for them." Taken from the back cover of Bob Greene's To Our Children's


This book came very close to having never been written. Due to failing eye

sight, old age, and a belief that (according to my personal credo), I could not

write about myself. My long time friend, Polly Horn, who is very competent on the

mysterious computer, said she would put my answers to her questions on the

computer. So here you have many flashbacks to the life styles of two families,

genealogy and all.

It was great luck to be born with parents who loved each other, my brother

and me.

It was great luck to meet Carleton Burrer at a dance in New York and end

up in Sunbury, Ohio, where I have been part of a loving family, had a meaningful

career, and a full life.

Although this book was begun after Carleton's death, many parts of it are

taken directly from words he had written at different times in his life. Polly and I

fondly call him our ghost writer and we are happy to be getting many of his

writings together into one book.

Since we are each a mix of genes of all the ancestors before us,

perhaps each of you-my son, my grandchildren and their heirs will learn a little

more about yourself from reading these flashbacks.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 6)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 6)


[page 6]

[corresponds to page iv of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Table of Contents

I. The Burrers 1

A. The Ancestors 2

1. Christoph Friedrich Burrer II 2

2. John Jacob Burrer 2

a. The Old Mills 3

(1) F.B. Sprague 4

b. New Burrer Mill 5

B. Johan's Sons

1. John E. Burrer 6

2. Gottleib Jacob Burrer 6

3. Frank Burrer 8

C. Gottleib Jacob (Jakie) and Amy Ann Burrer 6

1. Electricity 11

2. Their Family 16

a. Sprague Gammill Burrer 9

b. Karl Ormand and Daisy Sperry Burrer 24

c. Paul ParkerBurrer 35

d. Rudolph Burrer 37

e. Gordon Jacob Burrer 39

D.Carleton Sperry Burrer 46

1. Sunbury Electric Shop 55

II. Dillenbecks 58

A. The Ancestors 59

1. Captain Andrew Dillenbeck and Oriskany 60

2. Rev. Lambert Swackhammer 66

B. Andrew Luther and Pearl Whitbeck Dillenbeck 75

C. Dorothy MacNaughton Dillenbeck Burrer 79

III. Carleton and Dillie Burrer 104

A. John Dillen Burrer 107

B. Community Library 110

c. Sunbury Electric Shop Burns 115

D.Farmers bank 118

E. Grandchildren 121

F. Retirement 129

IV. Appendix Index 155

A. Burrers in Germany 156

B. Gammill Family 160

C. Sperry Family 166

D. Van Wie Family 173

E. Pages from Burrer Bible 177

F. John E. Burrer Family from Esther Burrer 179

G. Nannie E. Burrer Family from Owen Warren 180

H. Paul Barker Family 181

I. Gordon Burrer Family from Don Burrer 182

J. Historical Data on Two Burrer Homes 186

The following articles were written by Carleton S. Burrer:

K. Origin of the Name of Sunbury 189

L. The Burrers from The People Book 198

M. Early Delaware County, Sunbury and Communnity 209

N. Sunbury and Galena Communities and how they

were in 1938 When Sunbury Lions Originated 222

O. Why I Enjoy Living in Sunbury, Delaware County, 235

V. Bibliography 239

VI. Index 240
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[page 7]

[corresponds to unnumbered page]


[three images]
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Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 8)


[page 8]

[corresponds to page 1 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[foldout: Carelton Burrer's Ancestors .1.]
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Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 9)


[page 9]

[corresponds to page 2 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Sunbury's Burrer family has been traced back to Hans Burrer born 1530 of

Cleebronn (spelled Kleebron in the old church records) in Germany. The name

passed through the sons as follows: Hans (1530) to Christoph (1590) to Christoph

(1628-1684) to Hans Jakob (1622-1715) to Johann Jakob (1701-1751) married to

Sabrina Cathrina Wehrer, to Christoph Friedrich (January 5, 1744-May 26, 1772).

Christoph Friedrich Burrer II

Christoph Friedrich who married Elizabetha Margaretha Fischer November

17, 1767 in Cleebronn, had at least 2 sons Gottlieb Johannes (1768-1827) and

Christoph Friedrich II (December 20, 1770-October 30, 1829).

Gottlieb married Susanna Barbara Eberlen October 30, 1792 in Botenheim,

Germany and they had 10 children: some were to stay in Germany while other

descendents immigrated to the America.

Christoph Friedrich II was born in Cleebron, Germany, December 20,

1770, and married Margaretha Walderich (born March 24, 1772) July 17, 1792

and became a farmer. To this union 9 children were born but only two of the

babies lived to be confirmed: Johanna Gottliebin (May 7, 1797) and Christoph

Friedrich III (April 24, 1802-April 4, 1884) who later settled in Elyria, Ohio. Their

mother died apparently in childbirth December 2, 1809.

Nine months later on September 30, 1810, Christoph II maried Maria Sara

Rosch (born July 18, 1788) in Hohenstein and they had eleven children. It

appears that only four babies lived to be confirmed: Friederike (1811-1832),

Johann Jacob (July 16, 1820-April 19, 1874), Johann Christian (October

14,1821-), and Johann Gottlieb (June 15, 1825-August 21, 1890). All three boys

married and immigrated to USA. It is Johann Jacob who brought his family to

Sunbury, Ohio.

Johan Jacob Burrer

Johann Jacob was born July 16, 1820, in Hohenstein, Germany, the 17th

child of Christoph II and the 8th child of Maria Sara. On February 6, 1844 he

married Barbara Catherine Bollinger of Hofen near Besigheim.

Barbara Catherine was the daughter of Gottleib Heinrich Bollinger,an

Alderman and Town Councilman in Hofen, and his wife, Christina Barbara Kontz,

Bollinger. Barbara Catherine told her children her grandfather Bollinger fought in

wars against Napoleon. At least four of her siblings also came to the USA.

Johann Jacob was a Burger (citizen) and Maurer Meister (master stone

mason) in Wurtenburg, Germany. He and Barbara Catherine had five children in

Germany: Louisa Catherine (7-23-1846), Gottleib Jacob (1-3-1848), Caroline

Catherine (2-5-1849), Catherine Christine (2-5-1851) and Fredericke (2-17-1852).

In July 1854, dropping the last 'n' in his name, Johan Jacob, his wife,

and five children left Germany in a sailing ship which arrived six weeks later in New

York. The family went by wagon to Medina County, Ohio, where his half-brother,

Christoph Friedrich, had already settled. They stayed with Johan Jacob's brother

for six months until a family fight resulted in Johan Jacob's moving his family to

Spring Street in Delaware,Ohio. Shortly after their arrival in Delaware, John

Edward was born (3-9-1855) having been carried by his mother during all the

rigors of the trip from Germany.

Apparently Johan Jacob's search for fine stone brought him to Sunbury
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 10)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 10)


[page 10]

[corresponds to page 3 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

where he purchased a log cabin on in-lot #19 (44 West Cherry Street) from

Andrew and Julia Heron on January 28, 1857 (Vol 59, page 224 Delaware County

Deed Records). The cabin was shingled on the outside and plastered on the

inside and became the family home until the death of Barbara Catherine in 1901.

In this home the last three children were born: Nannie E.(9/20/1857-2/4/1931),

Heinrich (1859), and Frank (1863). The home was last purchased by the Village

of Sunbury in 1995.

In August 1857, Johan Jacob purchased a plot of land along the Big

Walnut Creek from John Knox as a 'Stone Purchase' where he and his eldest son

later became partners with Henry Fleckner in the operation of the quarry. Johan

Jacob's oldest daughter, Louise Catherine, married Fleckner and they lived in the

house now standing at 10 Walnut Street at the east end of Cherry Street. (They

had two children: Charles R. (1867-1867) and Julia (1874-1881).

In 1867 Burrer bought an empty lot at 35 South Columbus Street just north

of the Myers Inn, then a hotel. On this lot he built a tavern, small store and

bakery. Under the building was a small sub-basement which was used for natural

refrigeration. People attending the periodic stock sales on the southwest corner

of the village square stopped here for refreshments and a light lunch. When the

building was torn down by Lawsons' in 1985, stone

from the building was given to Community Library, owner of the Myers' Inn. The stone was

transferred to the Big Walnut Area Historical Society with the building in 1994.

Business in the tavern, store, bakery must

have prospered for the family along with Johan

Jacob's work as a stone mason. He passed his

knowledge of the trade along to his eldest son,

Gottlieb Jacob.

Bailey Mill

To be true to history, one must leave our

story and discuss another mill. Carleton has written

the first mill in Sunbury was constructed southeast

of town on Granville Road just south of Big Walnut

Creek near the juncture with Rattlesnake Creek by

Nicholas Manville in 1810. The ownership of this mill passed to Major Strong in

1817, and then to Eleazor Gaylord in 1825 thus became known as the Gaylord

Mill. It never reported to mill white flour. Since this mill did not operate as long,

the Burrer Mill has the distinction of being the longest operating mill. Back to our story.

In 1871, Burrer and his son, Gottleib Jacob (then 23 years of age),

purchased from Henry and Sarah Boyd, the old 'Bailey'water-powered mill which

had been built in 1842 by Samuel Peck and T.P. Myers to operate as a sawmill.

Mr. Bailey bought the mill in 1848 and added machinery for making flour and

grinding 'grists'(small batches of grain) by means of stone 'Buhrs'. This mill was

located in the bottom land along Big Walnut Creek behind Fleckner's barn. The

creek had been diverted further up stream to flow into a pond and there was a

'right-of-way' included for a tail-race through John Knox's land to carry run-off

[photo: Gottleib Jacob Burrer]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 11)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 11)


[page 11]

[corresponds to page 4 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

from the water wheel to a point farther down stream. This mill property containing

a little over 26 acres of land (in addition to the right-of-way) was purchased for

$3500. Mr. Boyd had previously purchased the Van Sickle Mill, the first in Trenton

Township from his brother, Jacob Boyd, and had moved its machinery into the

'Bailey' Mill.

The Van Sickle Mill had been built in 1845 with a 'brush' dam across the

Big Walnut about one half mile northeast of Sunbury. The 'brush' dam was

replaced with planks. John Van Sickle sold the mill to E.M. Condit who

operated it from 1855 to 1862 and then sold it to Jacob Boyd. F.B. Sprague, a

Justice of the Peace who certified the Burrer-Boyd purchase agreement on June

16, 1871, had expertise in the milling business and bought in as a partner with the

Burrer father and son.

F.B. Sprague

This partner in the early mill was born in Delaware July 16, 1825 to Pardon

and Mary Meeker Sprague. Pardon was born in the east and migrated through

Zanesville and Granville in 1816. Mary was the daughter of Forest Meeker (born

in Pennsylvania) who came to Stratford, Ohio, in 1811. Pardon was Sheriff for two

terms before entering the State Legislature. He died in 1828 at 40 years of age.

F.B. moved his family which included C.P. to Sunbury in 1868. C.P.

worked with Kimball & Armstrong in their store, then with Wayman Perfect for a

year before studying telegraphy with his brother who kept the Railway Office in

Sunbury. On March 18, 1877, he married Ada M. Payne (daughter of N.H. Payne

of Sunbury) and August 1, 1877 he became Station Agent. Meanwhile F.B.

Sprague became Probate Judge in 1875 after being Justice of the Peace. He

soon lost interest in the milling business.

It was not long before it became obvious the creek flow was not strong

enough six months of the year to carry the business of the mill so land was

purchased at the northeast corner of North and

North Columbus Streets where a steam

powered mill would be built. The outlines of the old

mill race and some building foundations can still be

seen in the spring of the year before the underbrush

obscures the area.

Carleton Burrer has done much to

document the details

of the mill.

Johan Jacob

died on April 18, 1874,

at the age of 53 and

did not see the mill

moved from the creek

site. At the time of his

death two more

daughters were

married: Caroline

Catherine had married

[photo: Gottlieb Jacob Burrer]

[photo: Christine Burrer Rice]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 12)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 12)


[page 12]

[corresponds to page 5 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families ]

Daniel Miller of Delaware, and Catherine Christine married Charles H. Rice. His

son Heinrich died the month before his father at the age of 14. Johan Jacob was

also survived by his widow (now 54), Gottlieb Jacob (26), John E. (20), Nannie

(18), and Frank (12). Gottlieb Jacob administered his father's estate and

rearranged ownership of the properties to continue operation of the tavern (now

a bakery and a store) and the mill.

Mill Moved into Town

East of the site chosen for the new mill at the corner of North Vernon and

North Streets, Samuel Shiver Gammill was operating a saw mill and Hoop Factory

using steam power. Mr. Gammill, who was also an excellent builder, agreed to

build the new mill. Foundations were laid for a frame structure for the mill

and one of stone for the boiler and engine room. The new mill was to use the excess

end-products (slabs and saw-dust) to fire the new boiler. Accordingly, an

exceptionally large and tall smoke stack was erected to permit burning of this fuel

with safety in the quantities needed. Pictures of the old mill can be seen at 46 N.

Columbus Street.

[photo: Burrer Mill-from North Street. Man on left in big door
is Jakie Burrer. Second man from

right in same

door is Parker Burrer.]

In 1875 the machinery and equipment from the old mill were moved into

town and a steam engine was purchased in Mount Vernon to supply power. This

piece of equipment took advantage of the newest and the oldest forms of

transportation in the community. Due to the incompletion of the new railroad

trestle across Big Walnut, the engine came by railroad to the Big Walnut Creek

where it had to be unloaded at one of the quarries and brought across the creek

and into town by ox-drawn wagon to the new mill. On December 1, 1879, (Deed
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 13)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 13)


[page 13]

[corresponds to page 6 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families ]

Record 74, page 380), Jakie and his wife, Amy, conveyed to Louisa C. (Mrs.

Henry) Fleckner, the Boyd (Bailey) Mill property since it was no longer needed for

the mill.

In the new mill, grain was ground between rotating grooved stones or

'buhrs' driven by steam power. Buhrs cut from local stone were too soft to retain

sharpening. The best material for making these buhrs was then obtainable only

in France and had to be cut in segments to facilitate handling in shipment. In

1996, one of these made of cut and fitted granite, held together by a wide band

of thick steel was being preserved on the patio south of the Burrer residence at

46 N. Columbus Street. The mate of the stone was in the custody of R.F.Sherfy.

Gottlieb Jacob Burrer and

Amy Ann Gammill Marry

On May 26, 1875 Jakie and Amy Ann

Gammill (whose genealogy is included in the

appendix to this volume) married in her parents'

home. Amy was born in Porter Township in 1858

and spent her life in this community. Her father

Samuel Shriver Gammill built a house for them

across from the mill on the south side of North

Street designated as 46 North Columbus Street

which has remained in the Burrer family. At the

time the streets were not paved and there was an

open ditch between the mill and the house. When

the streets were paved a large tile covered with fill

ran through this ditch to Prairie Run.

The Sunbury Mill flourished in its new

location. Farmers from miles around brought their

grain by wagon or horseback and sometimes had to

wait hours for their "turn." In 1886 the stone buhrs

were replaced by steel roller mills. Soon thereafter

"White Loaf Flour" and other milling products were being manufactured and

shipped out of the area to various markets.

Jakie's Brothers and Sisters

After the death of their father and

Sprague's becoming judge, the Burrer

Brothers operated the mill-Jakie, John E.

and 12-year-old Frank. As Jakie began to

raise his own family, his brothers began to

pursue other interests.

John E. Burrer was more active in

the bakery and the store. In 1893 at the

age of 38, he married Margaret, daughter of

Remolus Hyatt. Like John she had grown

up in a log cabin located just west of 61,

north of the intersection of State Route 3

[photo: Jakie and Amy Burrer]

[photo: Jakie and Amy Burrer's Home

46 North columbus Street

Sunbury, Ohio][corresponds to page 7 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families ]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 14)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 14)


[page 14]

[corresponds to page 7 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families ]












Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 15)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 15)


[page 15]

[corresponds to page 8 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families ]

and 36 in Sunbury. It too has been sided and plastered so no one knew it was

a cabin. John E. and Margaret moved into rooms over the bakery and had three

children: Esther (5-28-1894), Arthur Merton (8-1-1896) and Frank (6-28-1898).

Parker Burrer often told the story of going to John's bakery and coming

home with 6 large loaves of bread for only twenty-five cents.

In 1899 this building and lot were sold to Mr. J. W. Barker who continued

to operate the business there until he sold it in 1906 to Mr. C.A. Root who came

from Pickaway County. Robert Gelston came to town and operated the business

from 1913 to 1919 and lived in the building.

In 1900 John E. purchased a flour and grist mill in Centerburg and moved

his family there. Two more children were born: George Hyatt (May 10-1902) and

Ralph Henry (10-12-1909).

Business was good for the family in Centerburg. John E. became a

councilman and prominent businessman. However the mill dust began to take its

toll on him so in 1910 he sold the mill to his brother, Jakie, and moved to

Delaware, Ohio, where he purchased a bakery on the north side of Winter Street

on the corner of the first alley west of Bun's Restaurant and Bakery. They bought

a home on West William Street. Unfortunately, the bakery in Delaware did not

prove to be profitable and John E. became an engineer in a mill in Prospect,

Ohio. His health again made him leave the mill profession, so he opened a

delicatessen in Delaware which also failed to succeed. He moved his family to

Westerville and set his youngest son, Ralph, up in the shoe business. At the age

of 77, he passed away on December 24, 1932, and is buried in Sunbury

Cemetery. His son, Ralph Henry, moved his shoe store to Delaware where it was

very successful. He raised a family of four children (another died at birth) and

passed away at age 66 in 1975.

John's eldest child, Esther, retired from a lifetime as a school librarian, lived

in Delaware. She told Carleton Burrer the family had a total of 75 cents to

get started when they moved to Centerburg so many years before.

Fredericka Burrer married Charles Crawford. They had no children.

Nannie E. Burrer married

Thomas R. Payne, son of

Harrison and Adaline (Goodrich)

Payne on June 21, 1879.

Thomas was a hardware

merchant in Sunbury. (See the

Appendix of this book for more

about this family.)

Frank Burrer never married but continued to live

with his mother and help with

the operations in the mill.

However, when his mother died

August 29, 1901, he moved to Westerville, built a mill there and

operated it until his death in December 27, 1942. The log-

cabin home in Sunbury was

[photo: Boys in the Burrer Living Room]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 16)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 16)


[page 16]

[corresponds to page 9 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families ]

deeded to A.D. Gammill on September 25. 1901.
(Deed Record Vol. 116, page 106.)

Jakie and Amy's Family

Five boys were born to Gottlieb Jacob and Amy Burrer:
Sprague Gammill

(3-7-1876), Karl Ormand (8-22-1879), Paul Parker (June 6, 1886),
Rudolph Odell

(2-15-1888) and Gordon Jacob Burrer (2-2-1894).
"At least no two were in diapers

at the same time." commented Dilly.

Sprague Gammill Burrer

Sprague, the first born was named after the

partner and then Probate Judge, F. B. Sprague.

He was killed while playing in the mill.

The following has been preserved in the

Townley-Ports Scrapbook in the historical files

at the Community Library.


Caught on a Revolving Shaft and Thrashed to Death.

Last Friday morning about 1 o'clock the

terrible news flashed from mouth to mouth that

Sprague Burrer, the 10 year old son of G.J.

Burrer had been killed by machinery in his

father's mill.

We immediately went to

the house and there in the

mangled form of that child

beheld the most horrible and

sickening sight it has ever

been out lot to witness.

It seems that he with his brother, still younger, and two
of S.S. Gammill's little boys

were playing in the basement of the mill; and had put a string
around the end of a shaft

to see it wind up. When trying to get the string off, the shaft
caught in his loose waist and

wound it up in such a manner as to bring the shaft under his left arm,
and there he

whirled at the rate from 150 to 200 revolutions per minute,
his feet striking four times

every revolution, first against a sill overhead, then an upright beam,
then the floor, and last

against the corner of a rack suspended from the ceiling,
breaking and tearing them off

almost piece by piece and throwing a circle of blood
and pieces of flesh on everything


His father and uncle, John Burrer, were in the mill
just above and hearing him striking

against the floor thought some of the machinery had broken
and both hurried down to

see what it was, and not until they saw him in that
horrible position did the awful truth

dawn upon their minds with almost a paralyzing shock.
The father rushed back to throw

the belt from the pulley, and the other to the engine to stop it,
then back again just as he

[photo: Sprague Burrer]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 17)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 17)


[page 17]

[corresponds to page 10 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

was going around the last time. He tried to pull him off the shaft
but could not until he

turned him back three or four times to unwind his clothing.
As he was being carried

across the road he put his arms around his uncle and spoke
for the first time sayin, "Oh,

Uncle John!" and from that time on till he died, about five hours
later he knew all that was

being done. Drs. WIlliams and Mosher were immediately summoned
and did everything

in their power to relieve his suffering. On examination they found
that both feet were torn

off at the ankles, and were just hanging by a little flesh,
the ribs on the left side were

crushed in and some of them broken in several pieces.

Stimulants were constantly given him but he did not rally
and continued to grow

weaker until about half past two o'clock when his spirit left the body
and returned to God

who gave it.

All the assistance that could be rendered by
sympathizing friends was kindly given the

bereaved parents. The funeral was held at half past two o'clock
at the M.E. Church

Sunday afternoon, Rev. Jas. Matlock officiating. The church was crowded
with the many

friends who had assembled to pay their last tribute of respect,
and almost as many

remained outside the church."

This incident must have truly scared Amy but she continued to
allow the

other boys to spend time in and around the mill throughout their
childhood and

teen years. Knowing the perils of childhood around such a mass of unprotected

drive belts, pulleys, sprockets, gears, clutches, engines fly-wheels,
rotating, shaking

and reciprocating machinery, it is indeed a miracle that all of the other boys were

not injured.

Community Activities

Early in their married life, G.J. and Amy became interested
in the Baptist

Church and took an active part in it. Their names appear in the
church records

for the building of a parsonage

(still used in 1996) and again in

the replacement of the old

church building with the new

brick structure in 1907. Indeed,

one young man from the

community received enough

encouragement from them to

continue his studies for the

ministry and became prominent

in the field. G.J. and Amy saw

to it that all their boys attended

Sunday School and Church


Although Amy wasn't a

great cook, her husband would

send the farmers waiting for

their grain to the house for a

bite. Amy probably fed them

pancakes from the mill's own

pancake flour.

Amy was known for

beans! When her life was too

[photo: Amy and Gordon Burrer]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 18)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 18)


[page 18]

[corresponds to page 11 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

busy to cook-such as washday-she cooked beans. When she was busy calling

on the new folks in town with her friend, Pearle Whitney, she cooked beans.

Like many people from her generation, Amy was very frugal. Her

philosophy was to waste nothing. Most people who burned coal had it delivered

to the house where it slid down a coal chute, through a basement window, into

the coal cellar. If Amy was out walking after the coal deliveries and saw coal lying

on the ground, she would pick it up, put it in her purse, and add it to her

household supply when she got home.

Louise Sheets used to come spend a week with her Aunt Amy each

summer. Since Amy only had boys, she treated Louise like royalty. Each visit

they went shopping and Louise got a store-bought dress, a real treat since her

mother made her clothes. Later Louise Sheetes owned her own clothing store,

The Litte Shoppe, facing the east side of Sunbury Square.

Jakie did not approve of Amy's two fun loving brothers, who managed to

get into trouble. One time one brother, who had a wooden leg, drove his buggy

into some wires after drinking and had to have his leg replaced.

Someone stole something from the other brother and he found out who did

it. He took matters into his own hands and went to the party's house where he

broke in and stole his things back. Unfortunately, he got caught and had to serve

a sentence. Jakie decided the uncles were a bad influence on his boys and

refused to allow them to be associated with his brothers-in-law.

[photo: Flouring Mill and Home of G.J. Burrer in 1909]

Electricity Comes to Sunbury

Carleton Burrer wrote the following account for Sunbury's Sesquicentennial book

of the coming of electricity to Sunbury.

Soon after 1900, electricity was becoming popular and useful in cities

and the Burrer boys (Karl, Parker, Rudolph and Gordon and their father

Jakie) recognized the advantages and convenience this new energy could

provide if made available in the village. Steam pressure built up in the

boilers to operate the mill during the day, could not be utilized and therefor

wasted after the mill shut down in the evening. Realizing that this power

was already available, they purchased and installed a belt driven 'Dynamo'
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 19)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 19)


[page 19]

[corresponds to page 12 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

to make electricity for use in the mill and to distribute throughout the

village. A few lights were strung around the engine room and in the mill.

Wires were run to the house and across the street to the Methodist Church

(then located across North Columbus Street from the mill) which was one

of the first customers. Then as fast as the boys could recruit

'knowledgeable' help, lines were extended to other nearby buildings and

houses. Wires were extended along the streets and across back lots as

more and more citizens determined that electricity was practical and 'here

to stay' and therefore they should have it.

"The Blakely-Williams Store at the corner of Vernon and Cherry Streets

was the first mercantile building to have the new lights. Mrs. Kimball, the

banker's wife, already having the finest gas light fixtures then available

had the electricity installed just to run her water pump. In the beginning and

for sometime thereafter, service was provided from dusk until midnight, and

if something went wrong, there would be no electricity at all."

Dilly told how Jakie determined when it was

time to turn off the electricity. Each night he would

take a page from an old Bible which was coming

unbound and head to the mill. When he finished

reading the page, Jakie would turn off the electricity

for the town.

One night, Joe Landon had a hot appendix

which needed to be removed. The electricity had

already been cut off for the night when the doctor

knocked on Jakie's door and asked to have it turned

on so he could operate. Jakie fired the mill and the

entire town was bathed in light while the doctor

operated on Joe on the Landon's kitchen table at 52

Otis Street. Joe gave Jakie the credit for saving his


"Soon the first street lights were installed,

one on each corner of the square and one at

the mill. These were of the carbon-arc type and

produce a very brilliant, although flickering light.

Gas street lights were previously used and Charlie Gaylord, who

lived just south of the Baptist Church, had the job to light them each

night. He had a long pole with a taper and a key on the end to

open the valve and ignite the gas. Turning them off required

another trip around the square for Charlie.

"It wasn't long before the need for longer hours of elecrtic

service and enlargement of the generating facilities became

necessary. The wood fueled boilers were no longer capable of

supplying the demand. To correct the situation, provide for future

increases and more flexible operation, the steam power was

abandoned and two stationery, internal combustion engines were

installed. They were natural-gas fueled and water-cooled. One was

a 2-cylinder with 25-horsepower and the other 3-cylinder with 35 hp.

Both were manufactured by Reeves and were joined together with

[photo: G.J. 'Jakie' Burrer]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 20)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 20)


[page 20]

[corresponds to page 13 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

a system of line-shafting, belts, and clutches so that either or both engines

could be used to drive the mill machinery and/or the generator as desired.

One of the first 'two-phased' generators to be used in this area was

secured and installed by the Erner & Hopkins Electric Company of

Columbus. The installation was supervised by M.A. (Milt) Pixley of Ohio

State football fame, this being his first such undertaking as an Electrical


[photo: Employees of the Mill outside the south door: Charles Draper, Marion Parks

Jesse Doane and K.O.Burrer]

"The engine room was enlarged and covered with a poured-concrete

and steel roof. Arches to support the roof were made from structural

members obtained from a steel bridge then being replaced along the

Croton Road (Hartford Road).

"Large pressure tanks were installed for the storage of compressed air,

necessary for use in starting the engines. A concrete 'pool' or open tank,

was constructed in the outside area at the rear of the buildings and the

necessary piping installed to circulate water for cooling the engines.

"This new system was very satisfactory for a few years until the electrical

'load' again called for more capacity. A 6-hp, 2-cylinder Westinghouse

engine and an additional belt-driven generator were installed and the

earlier equipment was retained for stand-by and peak load assistance....

"The final modernization of the electric plant at the mill was

accomplished with the installation of a still larger generator and exciter.

This was direct-connected to a 90hp Anderson Oil Engine and its output

fed into a new and larger switchboard. This engine was of a new and

improved type, utilizing the "Diesel' method of fuel injection and

combustion. No spark plugs or ignition system was needed, but to start

the engine one had to use a blow-torch to heat special firing pins red hot,

before applying the compressed air to 'turn it over.' If the plugs cooled too
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 21)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 21)


[page 21]

[corresponds to page 14 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

much before the air could be applied, the injected oil spray would fail to

ignite and the engine would not start. It would then be necessary to reheat

the plugs and start over again. Once started, however, the plugs would

stay hot and although the engine had only two cylinders, the flywheels

were very large and heavy thus enabling it to provide exceptionally smooth

and efficient power with no noticeable flickering of lights. With the old

system it was a common occurrence for the lights to dim down and

frequently go completely out. Whenever that happened one would hear

the expression - "Jakie's belt's slippin." It was rumored that 'certain small

boys' of the day, found ways to make a belt 'fly-off' at the most

inopportune times. This not only caused Jakie considerable consternation

and exasperation but was a great inconvenience to the citizenry to have to

sit in the dark during some community gathering while he or one of the

boys put the belt back on the pulleys and got things going again. The

patrons and operator of the early movie theatre would be especially

unhappy about it. One can imagine how unreliable electric clocks would

have been had they been available."

"Just prior to the early 1920's, demand for electrical energy began to

develop in the rural areas and small, individual light plants were becoming

popular. The names "Delco-Light" and Lalley-Light" appeared in the farm

journals and electrical 'trade' papers. Recognizing an opportunity to

expand in an allied business, the mill operators formed the Ohio Lalley

Light Co., and established sales offices on North Sandusky Street in

Delaware and on the North High Street viaduct in Columbus. Their

franchise encompassed the central Ohio area and installations were made

and services provided as far away as Marysville and Bellefountaine. The

'plants' and batteries were purchased in carload lots and business

flourished for a few years. ...

"Electrical equipment manufacturers developed 32 volt, direct-current

appliances and motors for use on these systems and such items as fans,

vacuum sweepers, toasters and irons as well as water pumps and washing

machines became available. Due to the fact that very heavy wires were

required to 'carry' the current for more than very short distances, it was

impractical to attempt to use more than just a few lights in outlying


"The small light plants and the batteries themselves were also incapable

of supplying current for very heavy loads, except for short periods of time.

The lady-of-the house, therefore had to be sure that on ironing day, too

much current would not be needed for other purposes and that the storage

batteries were in good condition and well charged.

"Westinghouse and Delco (and perhaps others) later produced instant-

start systems which generated 110 volts. Whenever a light was turned on

or a motor connected, the generator would start and keep running until

current was no longer needed. This seemed like a good idea but was

short lived because at about the time of the introduction of these systems,

power companies were beginning to offer contracts for service and to

extend their lines into the more thickly populated rural areas where
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 22)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 22)


[page 22]

[corresponds to page 15 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

farmsteads were close enough together to justify the cost of the

extensions. Connections to these lines could be purchased on the basis

of a construction cost of about $2400.00 per mile of line. This cost was

divided by the number of customers per mile. Of course, those most

anxious to get the service usually divided up the cost per mile and

authorized construction, by passing those along the way who could not or

would not share the cost. Contracts were usually drawn, however, so that

after a specified time, additional connections could be purchased at a

reduced rate and after an additional length of time, taps could be obtained

free. Even though initial contracts were expensive, the former light plant

owners were glad to subscribe because their existing wiring could be used

with, usually, no revision and inconvenience and cost of maintaining the

private system was forever eliminated.

"Expansion of these power companies quickly eliminated the market for

its products and services and The Ohio Lalley Light Co., was forced to

liquidate its stock of plants, parts and equipment.

"In 1925-6, the Suburban Power Company with headquarters in Utica,

Ohio, offered to purchase the generating equipment at the mill and the

distribution and metering facilities from the mill owners and made

arrangements to secure current for resale from the Columbus Railway

Power and Light Co., whose recently constructed transmission line crossed

the Granville Road near the Big Walnut Creek. Their line was then serving

Westerville, Centerburg and Croton. The generating equipment and two

of the engines at the mill, being no longer needed, were then dismantled

and sold for use in other areas, leaving only the two Reeves gas engines

to operate the mill. The Suburban Company then opened an operating

headquarters and an appliance store in the glazed tile business building,

later designated as 17 E. Granville Street (and torn down in 1982 for the

parking lot at the Municipal Building). Sales people, line construction

engineers, and construction men operating from there extended the

distribution system very rapidly and appliance sales were promoted."

"Carleton recalled the first electric ironer (a Thor) was purchased by

Phoebe (Mrs. Henry S.) Cook. She was then operating a rooming house

at her residence on the west side of the square and wanted to iron her

linen. In that same year, Rudolph Burrer purchased the first household

refrigerator, a Kelvinator with a wood-frame cabinet. The installation was

made for his mother at their home on North Columbus Street. At that time

it was considered advisable to install motor and compressor in the

basement to avoid the operating noise and improve efficiency. An

engineer came over from Utica to do the work. The refrigerant used was

sulphur dioxide and any gas leak which developed would evacuate the

household in short order."

Let's leave Carleton's account of Sunbury's electrical progress and see how

this impacted the family. With the Burrer family on the cutting edge of the new

technologies, they were able to bring a new way of life to the community.

Individual members of the family were looked upon to serve on various civic and

educational committees.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 23)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 23)


[page 23]

[corresponds to page 16 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Clifton, a community resort about a mile north of town on the Big Walnut Creek.

[photo: The Burrers at Camp Clifton July 1909

Mr. and Mrs G. J, Burrer, Mr. and Mrs. Parker Burrer,

Mr. and Mrs. K.O. Burrer, Rudolph Burrer, Gordon Burrer]

[photo: Swimming at

Camp Clifton's

Fern Bank

Mr. Cockrell


Mrs. Cockrell,

Dr. Gerhardt,

Mrs. Sedgwick,

Mrs, Marshall


Mrs. Amy Burrer]

[photo: Camp Picture on

July 30, 1911

K.O. is the second man

from the left in back.

Daisy is 4th seated lady

from left. Carleton is on

her lap.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 24)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 24)


[page 24]

[corresponds to page 17 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

As the young men grew into adults, the family flourished. Although the rigors

of a family owned and operated business left them little free time, the family did

actively take part in church activities and spent time each summer at camp.

Camp Clifton flourished from the turn of the century until the 1920's.

Consisting of cabins, community kitchen with cooks, a dining room, and of course

a swimming hole, the camp made a perfect get-away from summer heat for those

who could afford the luxury. When it was no longer an exclusive resort, it

continued to be used for civic events such as Sunday School picnics, and a cook-

out spot for hikers. The Burrer family made good use of these facilities as shown

in these photographs.

Mr. and Mrs. G. J.


Celebrate Fiftieth



On May the twenty sixth eighteen

hundred and seventy five a group of

friends assembled at the home of Mr.

and Mrs. S. Gammill to witness the

wedding of their daughter Amy Ann

Gammill and Gottleib Burrer and on

Tuesday evening may twenty-five, five

of the original wedding party with sixty

relatives and friends were entertained

by the bride and groom of fifty years

ago, at their home in Columbus street

in honor of their Golden Wedding


Mrs. Burrer was born in Porter

Townshp in 1858 and has spent her life

in the community. Mr. Burrer was born

in Wittenberg, Germany in August 1848

and came to this country with his

parents, when five years old. Located

at Sunbury in 1872, he entered the

milling business and has been a very

successful miller, giving all his personal

attention to this work, retiring only a

few years ago.

Their sons, K. O. Burrer and P.

P. Burrer continuing in the business so

well established by their father. R. O.

Burrer, assistant cashier of Farmer's

Bank of Sunbury, Gordon J, Burrer of

Huntington, W. Va., of two grandsons,

Carleton Sperry Burrer and Gerald

Jacob Burrer, one grand daughter,

Barbara Burrer, are the members of the

immediate family.

Mr. and Mrs. Burrer and their

entire family are members of the

Sunbury Baptist Church and the

Masonic organizations of the city.

Yellow candles and draperies

decorated the dining room, the same

color scheme being carried out in the

refreshments, most appropriate for the

Golden anniversary.

Mr. and Mrs. D. H. Davis sang two

numbers that were greatly appreciated.

Several beautiful and useful

remembrances were presented the host

and hostess, which will bring back

memories of a happy occasion for many

years to come.

Mr. and Mrs. J. Rowe, Mrs. A. R.

Sheets and Mrs. Aloia Barber, who

were present at the wedding fifty years

ago, and the following guests registered

in a yellow guest book. Dr. and Mrs.

H. J. Powell of Bowling Green,

Marshall Smith, Mr. Harold Smith,

Mrs. L. R. Smith. Mrs. Wendell Miller,

Mr, and Mrs. Charles Druggan, Mr.

and Mrs. James Cockrell, and Mr. and

Mrs. William Moore of Columbus, Mr.

and Mrs. Arch Gammill, Westerville,

Mr. and Mrs. P. W. Gage, Mr. and Mrs.

H. H. Snider, Delaware, Mr. and Mrs.

P. P. Burrer, Gerald Burrer and

Barbara Burrer, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde

Gammill of Centerburg, Mr. and Mrs.

H. s. Cook, Mr. and Mrs. O. A.

Kimball, Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Williams,

Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Wheaton, Miss

Myrtle Mosher, Mr. and Mrs. K. O.

Burrer, Mrs. Anna Blakeley, Mr. and

Mrs. D. H Davis, Dr. and Mrs. J. H.

Gerhardt, Miss Louise Sheets, George

sheets, Mrs. Louise Sedgwick, Mr. and

Mrs. I. T. sperry, Mrs. A. Barber, Mr.

and Mrs. W. T. Kuhlman, Mrs. Etta

Davidson, Mrs. Adelaide Lott, Mr.

John Gammill of Centerburg, Mrs.

Hazel Davidson, Mrs. Ersel Farris, and

Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Whitney.

Amy and Gottlieb Jacob celebrated fifty years of marriage on the 26th of May,

1925. He was to die before the next anniversary.

Jakie Burrer Dies

In 1926, Jakie was attacked with influenza which was followed by sleeping

sickness which resulted in a peaceful sleep from which there was not awakening.

Jakie's obituary in The Sunbury News of February 18, 1926, says "he was a

man who attended strictly to his own business thus building a large

acquaintanceship, and a wide circle of friends." He is "leaving the business which

daily manufactured a product which shall stand as a monument to the life of a
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 25)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 25)


[page 25]

[corresponds to page 18 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

man who built for Sunbury and community."

Aside from his business and the church, G.J. always found time to lend

assistance to the welfare of the town. He served as village councilman, was

elected to the Board of Education several times, and took an active role on all

proposed movements to make the town a better place for its inhabitants.

At his death, G. J. was one of the oldest members of Sparrow Lodge No. 400

F. & A. M., a member of the Masonic Veterans Association, and Charter member

of Columbis Chapter No. 33, O.E.S. He was director and vice-president of the

Farmers Bank of Sunbury at the time of his death. He left a void in the family

which had relied on him for guidance and looked up to him as a role model.

Grandson Carleton never forgot the suit Jakie bought for him.

Electric Story Continues

Before we look at each of the sons, let's continue on with Carleton's electric


"Rudolph and Gordon and left the mill by the time their father died

leaving the business in the hands of Karl and Parker."

Many older residents told Carleton of the humming of the machinery

and the chugging of the gas engines exhausted into the tall smokestack.

They recalled the operations continuing, night and day, for weeks on end,

during World War I when flour and other food products were urgently

needed for the war effort."

Early in world War I, during

the Belgian Relief Program

under the direction of Herbert

Hoover, much White Loaf Flour

was sent by G. J. Burrer &

Sons to Europe in sturdy linen


The story goes that in Belgium

many were jobless, including the

embroidery workers who had no

orders and no material on which to

work. The Gugenheim warehouse in

Charleroi was full of embroidery

thread. Alice Aron Gugenmeim (1872-

1955) conceived the idea of using the

flour sacks. There was no bleach

available to remove the printing so the

needle-factory workers, school-girls,

and even ladies of high social rank

covered it with exquisite stitchery.

These sacks were then used to cover

lampshades, waste baskets, tea-

cozies, make school smocks, pillow

covers, et., The items were sold in a

shop on a prominent street in Brussels

[photo: Flour Sack with Embroidery]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 26)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 26)


[page 26]

[corresponds to page 19 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]


[image: Sunbury Mills






Since 1872 Bleached




Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 27)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 27)


[page 27]

[corresponds to page 20 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

and yielded tens of thousands of gold-standard francs to the Belgium Relief.

Carleton tells that, "In appreciation, some of the Belgium women and

children embroidered, and therefore colorfully decorated five hundred

of these bags from various manufacturers and sent them to Mr. Hoover.

A number of them, including one of the most colorful ones from the old

mill in Sunbury, are on permanent display at the Hoover Institution on

War, Revolution and Peace (The Hoover Peace Tower), Stanford

University, Palo Alto, California. Some of the sacks are also at the

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch, Iowa. Later Charlotte

Burrer in Cincinnatti made a replica for the Burrer family of the flour

sack which is now in the Community Library archives. Thus a small

town industry took part in an important world humanitarian undertaking.

[image: A needle used to sew the flour sacks at the mill. It is shown actual size.]

"During the depression,

1929 through the early 1930's,

a local Farmers' Co-Operative

organization was formed and

the Condit (which burned in

January 1996), and Sunbury

Elevators were constructed and

operated by them. After a

short time it was determined

that the interests of the

community could best be

served by combining the

various facilities operating in

the area. A stock company,

The G.J. Burrer Mill & Elevator

Co., was formed.

"In addition to the two new

elevators, the Sunbury and

Centerburg mills and the property in Mt. Liberty were acquired and

operated Farmers' Co-Operative. Headquarters were set up in office space

newly prepared at the Sunbury elevator and the mill office closed except

as needed for a branch operation.

"As the years passed the market for locally produced flour and allied

milling products rapidly diminished. As communications and transportation

[photo: The Sunbury Elevator on South Vernon

Street. Company known as G.J. Burrer Mill

& Elevator Co. Photo circa. 1940]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 28)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 28)


[page 28]

[corresponds to page 21 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

improved the large midwestern mills began to advertise their products and

quickly took the place of the small producers. Farmers no longer brought

their grists to be ground or traded for flour and meal, but shipped their

grain to Chicago, Toledo and other large midwestern markets for cash and

then purchased specialized cooking and baking needs at the stores.

Commercially baked bread and biscuits, for which White Loaf and Tip-Top

Flour became locally famous as ingredients, disappeared from the scene.

"Electric motors replaced natural-gas engines. These motors could be

started and stopped more conveniently and required practically no

maintenance. A motor driven commercial feed grinder was installed,

together with mixing machinery and equipment and an addition built on the

mill to house it. Formulas were developed, mixing ingredients procured

and a line of commercially prepared feeds was manufactures and sold

under the trade name of 'Burco.' Small mixing and automatic packaging

was installed and a new product called Red-A-Mix Pancake flour marketed

in the areas. This was a good idea and the product gained considerable

acceptance until the larger processors entered the field.

"The milling machinery was kept in tack although seldom used except

for procession of small specialized orders. The building area which had

been used for storage of milling products was now holding commercial

feeds, and the heavy-walled bins which had stored wheat, oats, rye, and

barley for milling purposes were being used to collect and store grain for

shipment to market.

[photo: Burrer Mill Barn on North Street]

"In about 1944,

Karl Burrer, President

of the Corporation

and Manager of the

operations of various

properties, was

injured in an accident

at the elevator in

Sunbury. In

consideration of the

possibility that he

might not be able to

continue with active

participation in the

business, the

stockholders decided

to dispose of the

assets and in 1945 transferred ownership of the properties to the then recently

organized Delaware County Farm Bureau. In the dissolution of the corporation,

Parker Burrer retained the facility in Centerburg. Milling of flour was, of course,

discontinued there as in Sunbury, many years ago.

"The new owners, unable to foresee any future need for the mill

property, offered it for sale. The machinery and engines were dismantled

and disposed of, the old stone walled and concrete-roofed engine room
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 29)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 29)


[page 29]

[corresponds to page 22 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

was torn down and

the tall, brick

smokestack felled

and demolished.

The heavy timbered

frame building and

storage bins were

razed and the

property passed into

other hands. In 1966

fragments of the

walls of the 'pool'

and the frame

building at the rear of

46 North Columbus

Street were all that

remained of the old


[photo: The Barn in 1991]

This frame building (known as the Burrer barn) once housed the horses and

wagons used for transportation and later converted into garage space for the

chain-driven, solid-tired Republic truck. The top floor of this building was

subsequently used as a loft for storing hay for the horses and later provided

storage for commercial feeds. In 1917 the Republic was exchanged for a 4-

cylinder, flat-bed Packard truck, also with solid tires but without the chain-drive to

the rear wheels. It was purchased with a cowl and dash only, and a special

weathertight cab with sliding doors was manufactured for it and installed in


[photo: Burrer Mill 2 1/2 ton, 4 cylinder Packard Truck with solid

rubber wheels and sliding cab doors was made in

Columbus, Ohio. Mill workers are Karl Burrer,

Charles Draper, Jesse Doane, and Marion Parks.]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 30)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 30)


[page 30]

[corresponds to page 23 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]


Gordon Jacob Burrer

Rudolph Odell Burrer

Paul Parker Burrer

Karl Ormand Burrer]

[photo: Amy Gammil Burrer surrounded by her sons:

Parker, Gordon, Karl, Rudolph]

[photo: Karl Burrer

with Horse "Bashful"

Rudy Burrer at the car

in front of Jakie's Barn

July 1909.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 31)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 31)


[page 31]

[corresponds to page 24 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Karl Ormand Burrer]

Karl Ormand Burrer

Karl, the oldest of the surviving boys,

attained the highest degree of formal

education. Following graduation from

Sunbury High School, he went to Denison

University in Granville, Ohio.

During one of his winter vacations

home from college, his brothers, Parker and

Rudy, were looking for fun at their brother's

expense and they convinced Karl to sit on a

sled at the top of the hill behind the house.

The boys had greased the runners under the

sled so when they pushed it, the sled went

so fast it could not be controlled thus the

sled and Karl went through the back of a

shed at the foot of the hill.

While he was still in college, he took a

year off to help with installation and initial

wiring for the first electricity in Sunbury. He

then returned to Granville to complete his

education. He and other students undertook,

and completed a project of wiring a new science building and laboratory then

being constructed at the university. In the early 1960's one of Sunbury's local

contractors, doing some remodeling at Denison, removed a partition and found

a copy of The Sunbury News lodged in the partition. It had been sent to Karl by

his father while Karl was a student and apparently it was accidently left behind

during the construction of the building.

Karl graduated from Denison University Class

of 1902-3 and taught there for a period.

Soon after 1900, the family installed a

'Dynamo' to make electricity for use in the mill and

to distribute throughout the village. Karl was

persuaded to remain home and supervise the

operations. Thus the beginning of the end of his

teaching career. Karl had dated a doctor's

daughter from Galena for many years and everyone

thought they would marry. The girl's mother let it be

known her daughter had a bad back and would be

unable to scrub clothes over a washboard. Amy

heard this and proceeded to stop the romance. She

wanted her sons to marry healthy women, preferably

with money.

At the Sunbury Baptist Church, Karl met

Daisy Sperry who accompanied her family to church

each Sunday in a horse and buggy. Daisy was the

only daughter of Isaac T. and Sophronia (Cummins)

[photo: K.O. Burrer]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 32)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 32)


[page 32]

[corresponds to page 25 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Physic and Chemistry Lab at Denision University in Granville Ohio, early 1900's.

The Instructor, Professor K.O. Burrer, is the second from the left.]

[photo: Professors and students wiring the Science Building at Denison University for

electricity. Professors Chamberlain and K.O. Burrer are at the far right.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 33)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 33)


[page 33]

[corresponds to page 26 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Sperry who operated a farm

south of Berkshire, near Rome

Corners. Isaac was the son of

Albert and Matilda Vernon

Sperry, and grandson of Jacob

and Mary Wilson Sperry, a well-

to-do- farmer in Utica. Jacob

and Mary gave each of their

children a home and $40,000.

The couple were returning from

Mt. Vernon where they went to

buy a large print Bible when

their buggy was struck by a

train. Mary died instantly and

Jacob a couple of weeks later.

More on this family is in the


[photo: Daisy Sperry teaching piano to Bertha Church

who became Mrs. Leroy Gill]

Albert Sperry was also thrifty and provided well for his family. He bought

each of his four sons a 100 acre farm. Isaac sold his farm and moved to Rome

Corners, south of Berkshire Later he purchased a second farm on the same

road. Times were good and he bought a third farm north of Berkshire Corners.

[photo: Old Berkshire M. E. Church and School

Daisy Sperry attended.]

Daisy had

gone to Rome

School, Sunbury

High School, the

Ohio Wesleyan

University in

Delaware. She

also had post

graduate work in

music at Denison.

She met Amy's



Karl and

Daisy married

December 30,

1908, in her parents home, a large brick house just north of the Corners in

Berkshire. The couple lived there with her parents. On November 9, 1909, their

son, Carleton Sperry Burrer, was born.

When he could be spared from the family business, Karl moved his family

to the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he completed a Masters Degree

in Electrical Engineering and did some part-time teaching.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 34)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 34)


[page 34]

[corresponds to page 27 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Beautiful Home Wedding.

Miss Daisy Sperry Becomes The

Bride of Mr. Karl O. Burrer.

On the thirtieth of December, as the

old year 1908 was beginning to wane,

one of the prettiest weddings of the

holiday season was solemnized when

the only daughter of Mr and Mrs Isaac

T. Sperry became the wife of Mr Karl

O. Burrer, a promising young instructor

in Wisconsin State University.

The large and spacious home of the

bride was artistically decorated green

and white being the predominating

color. An improvised alter was ar-

ranged in the front parlor where, from

a group of potted plants arose a prettily

constructed arch made of cedar from

which was suspended a white wedding

ball. Promplty at 2:30 o'clock, when

the guests numbering about seventy

were assembled, Miss Lucile Campbell

of Mt Vernon, a cousin of the bride,

play Mendelssohn's wedding march,

accompanied on the cornet by Prof Ed.

Wing, also a cousin of the bride, Then

Miss Edith Bell of Mt Vernon sang

very sweetly and impressively the

hymn, "Oh, Love Divine" As the

strains of the wedding march were re-

resumed, the Bridal party descended

the stairs, advanced through the long

hall, and entered the parlor through

the rear door. First in order came the

ushers, Mr. Harold Bell of Mt. Vernon

and Mr. Albert Lindsay of Barb [illegible]

Then came Miss Nora Wing of Mt Ver-

non, the maid of honor, followed by

Miss Mary Palmerton of Granville, the

bride's maid. The bride then appeared

on the arm of her father, and was

at the alter by the room; accompanied

by his best man, Mr. Randolph [illegible]

brother of the groom. T [illegible]

was performed by Rev. G [illegible]

Granville O, a former college [illegible]

the [illegible] and pastor for a [illegible]

of both bride and groom, at the Baptist

Church of Sunbury, having officiated at

the baptismal service of the groom.

[photo: Karl Ormand and Daisy Sperry Burrer

Wedding, December 30, 1908]

The bride was beautifully gowned in

white embroidered net over cream satin,

with lace trimmings and carried a

cluster of bride's roses. Miss Nora

Wing wore white net over white silk,

and carried a boquet of white carna-

tions. Miss Mary Palmerton wore white

silk, and carried a shower of maiden

hair fern.

Immediately after the ceremony a

wedding luncheon was served. The

back parlor and adjoining room across

the large ball were transformed into a

large dining hall; the tables were

graced with carnations, narcissus and

ferns. At two large tables were seated

the bridal party numbering ten and

immediate members of the bride and

groom's family together with the of-

ficiating clergy and his wife.

The bride is a graduate of Ohio Wes-

leyan University class of '02 and was

also a student in music at Denison Uni-

versity for a short time. Since her

graduation, she has been a successful

teacher of music in this vicinity and

was highly esteemed by all who knew

her The groom, the eldsest son of G

J. Burrer, proprietor of Sunbury flour

ing mill, is a graduate of Denison Uni-

versity, Granville, O., of the class of

'02; was prominent in college circles,

being an instructor in the college after

his graduation for three years and a

member of the Phi Gamma Delta fra-

ternity. In 1908 he went to Madison

Wisconsin, and has since been a stu

dent of Electrical Engineering in the

State University, and is at present em

ployed as instructor in that department.

Mr and Mrs Burrer left Wednesday

evening for a short wedding trip

through parts of interest in Michigan

and on Jan. 5th Prof. Burrer will re-

sume his duties in the University in

Madison. After Feb 20th, Mr and

Mrs Burrer will be at home to their

friends at 228 Longdon St., Madison,

Wis. and the best wishes of all for a

bright and happy future will be with

them in their future home.

The out of town guests were as fol-

lows:_H. E. Bell, Edith C. Bell, Mrs

Annie Bell, Mr and Mrs Will Wing,

Miss Nora and Mr Ed. Wing. Mr. Ed.

Campbell, Mr and Mrs Hugh Campbell,

Miss Lucile Campbell from Mt Vernon;

Mr. and Mrs B. P. Benton, Mr and Mrs

D. D. Crawford of Delaware; Mr and

Mrs E Smith, Mrs Elvira Smith, Mr

and Mrs M. Cummings, Mr and Mrs M

Smith, Mr and Mrs C. Druggan of Co

lumbus; Mr and Mrs Watterman of

Chicago; Mr and Mrs G. R. Dye and

Miss Mary Palmerton of Granville; Mr

and Mrs Geo Smith, Mr and Mrs E H.

Lindsey of Mansfield; Mr Albert Lind-

[illegible] Mr [illegible] R Sperry,

Mrs Ella Wornstaff of Ashley; Mrs

Martha Ball of Newark
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 35)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 35)


[page 35]

[corresponds to page 28 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]


Following is the list of presents received at

the Sperry-Burrer wedding at Berkshire, an

account of which appeared in our issue of


Mr. and Mrs. G.J. Burrer, Sunbury, O.-

1 set of silver forks, 1 set of silver knives, 1 set

of sterling silver spoons, Rogers Bros. make.

Mr. and Mrs. Hults and daughter, Sunbury

- 1 set of sterling silver tea spoons.

Wm. Wing and wife, Nora, Ed., Mt.

Vernon, O.- set of sterling silver spoons.

Mr. and Mrs. Chesley Wornstaff, Ashley,

O.- set of sterling silver teaspons.

Mr. and Mrs. Al Sheets and daughter

Louise, Delaware - set of bouillon spoons.

Mr. and Mrs. S.S. Gamil, Sunbury- set of

silver Table spoons.

Mr. and Mrs. Parker Burrer, Sunbury -

silver sugar shell.

Mrs. Sarah Pettibone, Columbus - sterling

silver tea spoons.

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Finch - silver meat


Clement L. Waldron - silver meat fork.

Mr. and Mrs. Elmore Lindsey and J. V.

Sperry and Albert Lindsey of Mansfield, O.-

silver vegetable dish.

Mrs. O. K. Armstrong, Sunbury - pair

silver napkin rings.

Mr. and Mrs. E.R. Sperry, Ashley - silver

celery dish.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Sperry, Ashley - cut

glass deep dish.

Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Smith, Columbus - cut

glass deep dish.

Mr. and Mrs. Ed Campbell, Mt. Vernon,

O.- cut glass sugar and creamer.

Mr. and Mrs. I. T. Sperry, father and

mother of the bride - set of silver knives and

forks, Roger Bros.

Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Campbell and Lucille,

Mt. Vernon - cut glass water pitcher.

Mrs. Edwin Bell and family, Mt. Vernon -

cut glass tumblers.

Mrs. Alvira Thrall Smith, Columbus - cut

glass vase.

Mrs. Geo. Smith, Mansfield - cut glass

syrup dish.

Miss Marie Roof, Sunbury - cut glass olive


Mr. and Mrs. Watterman, Chicago, Ill. -

set etched glasses.

Mr. and Mrs. Sumner Druggan, Columbus

- doz. etched glasses.

Mr. and Mrs. Burton Benton, Delaware -

gold embossed jelly stand.

Mr. and Mrs. Marsh Smith, Columbus -

gold embossed candelabrum.

Mr. Chas. L. Herrick, Chicago, Ill. - silver

paper knife.

Mr. W.E. Forsythe, Madison, Wis. - set of

elk horn carving knives.

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Fleckner, Sunbury -

china hand-painted tea pot, sugar and


Aunt Christian Crawford, Delaware -

china hand-painted and embossed salad bowl.

Dr. and Mrs. Gerhardt, Sunbury - hand-

painted china vase.

Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Gamel, Pauline - linen

drawn work center piece.

Mr. and Mrs. Sam'l Barr, Canton, O. -

Battenburg dresser scarf.

Mr. and Mrs. M.D. Cummings, Columbus

- 1 embroidered linen lunch cloth.

Aunt Fred and Uncle Charley Rice,

Westerville - drawn linen lunch cloth.

Mrs. Watson Sperry Campbell,

Philadelphia -pair linen towels.

Mattie Hall, Newark - book, white

binding. title What Is Worth While.

Mr. and Mrs. E. R.Smith, Columbus -

hand-painted picture.

Mr. and Mrs. Alonzo Knox, Sunbury -


Mr. and Mrs. S. R. Walker, Sunbury - pair

of hand-painted salts.

Rev. and Mrs. G. R. Dye, Granville -

ornament from Bethlehem.

Miss Mary Palmerton, Granville - hand-

painted panel picture

Prof. Chamberlain, Vassar College,

Chicago, picture Happy Valley Road by.

Frank V. Cummings, Columbus - Five


Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Rineheardt, Seattle,

Wash. - Pearl Handled silver butter knife.

Father and mother of the bride - one

hundred dollars.

Mr. Ernest Gamel. Sunbury - hand

painted olive dishes, rose and gold decorated.

Rev. and Mrs. W. N. Ferris, Howel, Mich.

- Photos.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 36)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 36)


[page 36]

[corresponds to page 29 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Burrers Lived in the Langdon House]

[photo: The Parlor]

Karl Burrers

in Madison,


[photo: Bedroom]

[photo: Karl and Daisy]

[photo: Carleton Sat Still 8 Seconds for this Picture!]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 37)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 37)


[page 37]

[corresponds to page 30 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Carleton Sperry Burrer with his Stuffed Dogs

January 7th, 1912 in Madison Wisconsin]

Following graduation, Karl moved on to a Professorship at Vassar

College in Poughkeepsie, New york. Throughout these years, Karl returned to

Sunbury during his summer vacations to help at the mill. Daisy loved the social

life and prestige of being a professor's wife and the family flourished in Wisconsin

and New York.

Daisy's mother, Sophronia, died in 1916 after being thrown from a horse

and her father married Margaret Walker Gelvin. Like his father and grandfather,

Isaac and his new wife were also thrifty. (A family story tells that once Mr. Sperry

sent Mrs. Sperry to the grocery store for a penny's worth of pepper.) Farming

became too much for the couple and they bought the house at 47 North Morning

Street in Sunbury.

After a short period at Vassar, affairs at home dictated the advisability of

returning to Sunbury permanently. As the

family Electrical Engineer, Karl had the

knowledge necessary for the expansion

into the electric service business.

They purchased a home at 153

North Columbus Street known as the

Bailey Mead property. (In later years

Carleton's classmate and friend Hoyt

Whitney raised his family in this same


Daisy taught piano lessons, one of

her pupils being the daughter of the late

Senator Frank B. Willis. She was a

member and officer of the Progress Club,

and in the Columbia Chapter, O. E. S., in


Dilly remembers her mother-in-law

[photo: 153 N. Columbus Street in Sunbury

Built by Brooks and Emsorler in 1909.

Purchased Isaac Sperry in Nov. 1909.

K.O. Burrers moved into it in 1910.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 38)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 38)


[page 38]

[corresponds to page 31 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Daisy and her Studebaker]

using Reader's Digest to help

plan the programs for her club.

Daisy spent much of her

lifetime in the work of the

Baptist Church and its

statewide associations. She

was Vice President of the Ohio

Baptist Missionary Society. In

1955 she was presented a gold

watch for serving as organist of

the church for 53 years. She

said she began playing the old

pump organ in the church.

When it quit she played the piano. She began playing

the organ again when the church purchased an electric

organ. Her son, Carleton, Miss Lillie Kempton and Mrs.

George Stout rotated the duties of church organist

following Daisy's retirement.

Unfortunately, Daisy was never really happy with

life in a small town and longed for the social life of a

college campus. Their marriage ended in divorce in the

late 1920's.

Daisy helped her son Carleton with the electrical

contracting and merchandising business in Sunbury

from its inception in 1932.

[photo: Daisy Burrer in Morning St. Home]

Upon retiring from farming, Daisy's father and

stepmother bought the Andrews house on Lot #1 on

the southwest corner of North and Morning Streets

known as 47 North Morning Street. After her step-

mother died, Daisy and

Carleton moved in with

her father so she could take of him. She

continued to provide care for her widowed father

until his death at the age of 90.

When her son was serving his country during

WWII, Daisy continued to run the electrical business

with the faithful help of Walter Gross, Harry Snow,

Leta Barnhard, and Lily Kempton. Monday was her

usual day to shop for the appliances her customers


[photo: Daisy Sperry Burrer]

In 1955, Daisy married J. J. VanHorn, a

former classmate at Ohio Wesleyan, and moved to

Cleveland, Ohio, where she passed away February

6, 1958, and was buried in Sunbury Cemetery. At
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 39)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 39)


[page 39]

[corresponds to page 32 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Daisy (Sperry Burrer) and Jesse Van Horn

Following Their Wedding at Mar-Jon's in Berkshire,

October15, 1955

the time of her marriage she

put a $1000 in the Sunbury

Savings and Loan to bury her

when the time came. However

this caused a ruckus after her

husband discovered she had

no social security after the

years she had worked in the

Sunbury Electric Shop.

Daisy is buried in the

Sunbury Memorial park.

[photo: Sunbury Baptist Church, 1850-1907

Sunbury Waterworks Tank Behind House]

[photo: New Baptist Church Which the Burrers Attended]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 40)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 40)


[page 40]

[corresponds to page 33 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Proud Father K. O. Burrer and Carleton Burrer

At Their Summer Address]

Karl's many

activities in the mill and

its evolution and

extensions in electrical

generation and

distribution in the village,

include the formation

and operation of The

Lalley-Burrer Electric

Offices in Delaware and

Columbus for the

distribution of Farm

Lighting systems and

their installations, the

development and

marketing of Burco

Feeds of various types,

and the formulation and

distribution of 'Red-a-

Mix' pancake flour.

Karl was very

active in civic and social

affairs in the community.

He served 12 years on

the local board of

education during the

consolidation of schools

into Big Walnut, and

then served on the

Delaware County Board.

[photo: K.O. Burrer in 1929 as

Past Master of Masons.]

[photo: K.O. Burrer Working in the Elevator

Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 41)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 41)


[page 41]

[corresponds to page 34 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

He served on the Community Library Board of Trustees.

He was a charter member of the Sunbury Lions Club and as its president

worked hard to develop the sunbury Playground. He was a proficient athlete in

high school and college and continued his interest by promotion of such activities

locally. His name appears on a tablet in the Deeds Field House at Denision [sic Denison]

University, recognizing his support toward its erection.

Karl was a member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, a fifty year member and

Past Master of Sparrow Lodge No. 400, F. & A. M. in Sunbury, a member and

past officer in the Council and Chapter Masonic bodies in Westerville, Ohio.

In later life Karl married Mary Schwin, of Waukarusa, Indiana. Mary was a

large woman who was self-conscious of her appearance. Her father was a sheriff

in Texas. Her Aunt Mary owned a newspaper so Mary had learned to use a

linotype. Mary was a simple, kind gentle Gran-Mary to grandson, John Burrer.

Never fully recovering from the accident in the Elevator, Karl died in White

Cross Hospital in Columbus, December 5, 1957 and was buried in Sunbury

Cemetery. Mary was also buried there when she died in 1962.

[photo: K.O. and Mary Burrer in Their Yard

at 80 Letts Avenue, Sunbury, Ohio.]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 42)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 42)


[page 42]

[corresponds to page 35 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Paul Parker Burrer

Paul Parker was the second surviving son of Gottlieb and Amy Ann. He

grew up in the mill and remembered his first job there paid 25 cents a day.

Parker graduated from sunbury School. After a very short time at Denison

University, he worked in the mill.

On October 7, 1908, he marrried Sarah Minerva Hess and to them were

born a son, Gerald Jacob, on January 23, 1910, and a daughter, Barbara, on April

18, 1918.

Sarah Minerva was a strong willed woman who tended to get things done

her way. She was in her glory doing cooking demonstrations at the fairs and was

very competent.

Working with his father and brothers in G. J. Burrer & Sons mill, Parker

became known as a qualified "Master Miller" and implemented his skills as a

natural mechanic with a proficient knowledge of electricity, and by constant

exposure to the vagaries of steam and internal combustion engines. To keep the

Light Plant and the Mill running on schedule, and faced with the constant

breakdowns experienced with the early autos and trucks, mechanical ability was

essential to survival.

In addition to producing and processing flour, feed, and allied grain

products, Parker helped wire the family home and the mill for lighting and power

in days when little was known about it. He installed electricity in public buildings

and houses, old and new, as requested. He installed poles along the streets and

backyards where necessary, together with the associated overhead primary and

secondary wiring, transformers and metering equipment. Street lights were

installed (carbon-arc type) at important intersections and at the mill. Water pumps

and systems were installed and household appliances furnished as they became


[photo: Parker Burrer Playing the Organ in

Carleton Burrer's Home in 1971]

Parker sold, installed and kept running

many of the early "Lalley" (32 volt D.C.) farm

lighting plants and systems in the years

before rural electric lines were extended into

the country.

In addition, Parker found time to teach

Sunday School in the Baptist Church, sing in

his deep baritone voice in the church choir,

play the piano for services, and was very

active in church affairs.

He played an E-Flat Horn in the Knox

Band throughout the county as well as the

Shrine Bank in Columbus. Parker also

enjoyed taking part in group performances

and even played the organ.

At the turn of the century, Parker and

his brother, Rudolph, purchased the lines,

water tank near the Baptist Church, and

equipment of the original Sunbury Waterworks, then practically 'defunct' for the

sum of $1.00 and managed to keep it working for a time. However, before long

time spent looking for leaks and digging them up to fix them made the operation
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 43)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 43)


[page 43]

[corresponds to page 36 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

more and more unprofitable. One Sunday morning during church services the

water tank fell down with a loud crash and that put them out of business.

Following the war in 1918, Parker took over the operation of the mill in

Centerburg to make "Light Sponge" and "Tip Top Flour' and the operation of the

Mt. Liberty business, commuting back and forth by auto or train. In a retirement

article in the Centerburg paper (June 7, 1973), Parker reminisced about traveling

by train. In those days people met the trains just to have something to do so

there was often a crowd at the station when the train was due. During one of his

commuting trips to Sunbury, Parker and a traveling partner decided to ride the

cowcatcher from the Condit stop to Sunbury. "It was a wild ride for the two daring

young men clinging to the swaying front of the engine. And to top it off when

they arrived at the depot in Sunbury there was the usual crowd gathered to 'meet

the train' and the cowcatcher passengers received a warm hilarious welcome.

Parker didn't say what the conductor or engineer of the train had to say about the


Finally in 1923, he moved his family to Centerburg.

In 1937, after taking their daughter to college, Parker and Minerva were in

an automobile accident. While trying to protect the dog on her lap, Minerva was

thrown into the windshield and died shortly after in the hospital. Parker was also

badly injured and had to spend time in the hospital.

Five years later, in 1942, Parker married Mrs. Minnie McLeod of Columbus.

She was a very fun loving woman who brought happiness to Parker.

Dan Clancy, a writer for the Columbus Dispatch, wrote a feature about

Parker and his recollections of the mill. He recalled in 1903 wheat brought $1 a

bushel and corn 50 cents. But he says, "In the Depression, wheat went down to

36 cents and corn to 10 cents. I can

remember when I didn't even want corn at 10

cents a bushel."

[photo: Paul Parker Burrer


Master Mason Photo]

A workaholic, Parker noted, "When I'm

awake, my mind is working." Stories around

Centerburg tell of Burrer phoning people at 2

or 3 a.m. to ask business questions while he

was working on his books.

In 1965, Parker noted the demise of

mills across the state. In 1927 there were

1376 mills in Ohio, 260 in 1939 and only 20

in 1965.

At the age of 80 in 1966, Parker sold

his mill to Harold C. "Butch" Cordle and semi-

retired, continued to operate the fertilizer

sales portion of the business until his health

necessitated almost complete curtailment of

business activities around 1975.

For more than fifty years, he was an

active member and a Past Master of

Sunbury's Sparrow Lodge No. 400, F. & A.

M. In 1973 he received his 65th service

award. In 1976 he was honored as the
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 44)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 44)


[page 44]

[corresponds to page 37 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

oldest living Past Master. He was also a member of Clinton Commandry, Knights

Templer and a charter member of Centerburg Lions.

Distinguished as the longest living Burrer, Parker died in Martin Memorial

Hospital in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, September 1, 1976 at the age of 90. He left his

wife, his children, Gerald Jacob of Monroe Michigan, and Barbara of Romulus,

Michigan, three grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Gerald Jacob, cast in the Burrer mold, loves mechanical challenges. He

bought an old car and

totally rebuilt it to mint

condition. He built his

own home on Lake Erie

using pegs instead of


[photo: Paul Parker Burrer and the Burrer Women

Louise Griffiths Burrer (Mrs. R.O.),

Minnie McLeod Burrer (Mrs. P.P.) and

Charlotte Pagels Burrer (Mrs. G.J.)

Barbara, who has

made her living as a very

successful accountant,

also has a flair for

mechanical things. Her

very practical view of

things has allowed her to

design and oversee the

building of her home.

See the Appendix

for Parker's family line.

Rudolph Odell Burrer

Like his brothers, Rudolph worked in the mill

through graduation from Sunbury High School then

went to Denison. He had beautiful red curls and

was popular with the girls. However, in class he sat

back and did not recite but still got the best grade

on his exam. The Professor said he could not have

an 'A' because he had not participated in class

discussions. When he went home at Christmas,

Rudy refused to return to college. His parents were

very upset and went to see the Professor. Rudy was

given a second test which he also passed with flying

colors but he still refused to go back to school.

Since his parents had already paid the non-

refundable tuition, they sent Parker to use the

remaining funds. Parker took music lessons on the

E-Flat horn, piano and voice lessons for his deep

baritone voice. After using the remaining Denison

funds, he went to London for business school.

[photo: Tintype of Rudy Burrer on the

left in the big hat.]

Rudolph became assistant cashier in the

Farmer's Bank in Sunbury where his father was Vice-President when he died in

1926. Rudy worked his way up to the President of the same Bank. He was very
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 45)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 45)


[page 45]

[corresponds to page 38 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

conservative and never loaned more than the bank assets so the bank survived

when many others failed during the Depression. He always gave customers

conservative uses for their money so none would lose their savings.

Many people hired Rudy to build buildings for them because he knew what

needed to be done.

On October 31, 1915, Rudy married Helen Campbell Dryer of Delaware who

opened a millinery shop in Sunbury. The marriage was short lived when she

passed away the following January 15 with pneumonia. Rudy wasn't interested

in girls after that.

Rudy served in the army for a period during WWI and then returned to the

Farmer's Bank.

[photo: Rudy and Louise Griffiths Burrer

May 4, 1932]

One day, Louise Sheets told Rudy she

would find him a wife if he found her a husband. Louise held up her part of the

agreement and introduced him to a friend.

So seventeen years after the death of his

wife, Rudy married Martha Louise Griffiths,

daughter of Mr. and Mrs. P. J.

Griffiths of Delaware. Rudy never did find a

husband for Louise Sheets.

As a young girl, Louise Burrer had a

beautiful operatic voice and went to New

York to be in musical comedies. Although

she loved the music, the city life in New York

was not for her and she returned to Delaware

and became deputy clerk in the Delaware

County Probate Court where her beautiful

penmanship still shows on the records. The

Sunbury News article telling of their wedding

noted until just a few months before their

wedding, Rudy was a woman hater. Louise

changed his mind.

[photo: R. O. Burrer

Master Mason 1912-13]

Louise fit right in with the community. She

joined in the art classes taught by Mr. Fraley even

though she wasn't very artistic. She had a sweet

personality which endeared her to her peers.

For twenty years, Rudy was Treasurer of the

village of Sunbury, and member of the Board of

Public Affairs. He was very involved during the

difficult time the village was installing the waterworks


He was member of the Masonic Order for

over 50 years and a member of the Knights Templar

of the Order. Rudy was a life-long member of the

First Baptist Church. He served as President of

Sunbury Manufacturing Company during its period

of operation in this community.

Following the death of his mother in 1932, he
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 46)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 46)


[page 46]

[corresponds to page 39 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

purchased the family

home at 46 North

Columbus Street and

resided there the rest of

his life. One day he

went to see his nephew

Carleton and asked,

"Since you are the only

Burrer in Sunbury, would

you live in the house if I

leave it to you?"

Carleton agreed.

[photo: Rudolph Odell Burrer in front of The Farmers Bank, 1960]

In 1965, Rudy

retired from the Farmer's

Bank as President and

Chairman of the board of

Directors with sixty years

of service to the bank.

In later years

Rudy suffered with

emphysema and could

not maneuver the stairs

so a lift was constructed

and positioned in the

front room of the house.

He died July 17, 1965, in

Riverside Hospital in


Louise continued

to live in the homestead

as long as she was able then went to live with her

sister in Franklin County. She died May 15, 1982.

Rudy and both wives are buried in the Sunbury


[photo: G.J. Burrer, Master Mason]

Gordon Jacob Burrer

Gordon also graduated from Sunbury High

School. The one time his family went to California

to visit their cousins, the Bollingers, Gordon was up

town watching a fire and got very cold resulting in

pneumonia. The family got the word when they

arrived at the Bollingers and had to turn right around

and return to Sunbury.

Like Karl, he graduated from Denison

University. He entered the Infantry during WWI as a

commissioned officer and obtained the position of

Captain by the end of his enlistment.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 47)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 47)


[page 47]

[corresponds to page 40 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Jakie Burrer, second from left, and Amy, far right,

visiting the Bollingers in California.]

Gordon became

associated with the Travelers

Insurance Company in its Fire

Division. At his retirement he

was a manager of its Dayton

and Cincinnati offices.

October 3, 1929, Gordon

married the beautiful, poised

Charlotte Grace Pagels of

Cincinnati. Charlotte's family

came from Germany and

owned several buildings,

including a tall warehouse. The

Pagels family lived over their

business and saw to it that

Charlotte had all the education

and charm of a lady. To

Gordon and Charlotte three

children were born - Charlotte Amy, and the twins, Fred Pagels and Gordon

Jacob (the third in the family

so he was called Don). Don

inherited the Burrer

mechanical aptitude and, as

a child, made his own

television. While he was in

school he rowed in the

Regatta on the Thames

River. "When we were in

Boston, his wife, Nancy

toured us around and it was

wonderful," recalled Dilly.

All three

children have

grown into

beautiful, well-



[photo: Gordon Passing Mechanical Skills on to His Son, Don]

[photo: Charlotte Burrer, age 92]

[photo: Don's '28 Ford Deluxe]

G. J.

served as the

Director and a

stockholder in the Farmers Bank of Sunbury and

was active in its operation and in the planning of its new building.

He died suddenly at his home in Cincinnati on July 4, 1960. Charlotte lived

to be 96.

Don has updated information on his siblings in the Appendix of this book.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 48)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 48)


[page 48]

[corresponds to page 41 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Mrs. Davidson and Her Daughter, Hazel, Louise Burrer,
Mary Burrer, Dorothy Dillenbeck,

Parker Burrer, Karl Burrer, and Rudolph Burrer in the
Living Room of 80 Letts Avenue]

Dilly's Recollections of the Burrer Men

Not being raised in a mechanical family, Dilly remembers being intimidated

by the talk of the Burrer men. She recalled the first time she sat at a family

gathering and heard the boys all talking. They were all mechanical and loved to

figure out how to make things work. As a result they all spoke a language

unfamiliar to her. "To contribute to the conversation, I would try to figure out what

they were talking about but I never could," noted Dilly.

"They were an amazing family. The genes were mixed so well that no two

men were exactly the same. While they all understood the basics of the trade,

some excelled in bookkeeping, some in electricity, and some in mechanics. Each

thought his field the most important and often did not understand why his brothers

did not feel the same way. While they would disagree among themselves, they

were always a loyal family, willing to help each other for the good of the family.

"The distinguished Roman nose dominated the faces of many of the Burrers

and carried through generations of the Burrer family. Note the pictures of Rudy,

Carleton and Gottlieb Jacob, pointed out Dilly. "However, their personalities were

all so different. Karl and Gordon were the closest."

"They were a wonderful bunch of men and I am glad I had the pleasure of

knowing them. After my background in a Lutheran minister's family, they brought

a totally new exciting dimension to my life."
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 49)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 49)


[page 49]

[corresponds to page 42 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Burrer Market on Haupstrasse near Center of

Heidelberg, Germany]

[photo: Burrer Barn near Elyria]

Tracing Roots

Carleton and Dilly have

spent many hours trailing the

paths of their ancestors.

Sometimes they found kin and

other times they were left with

more questions. Sometimes

driving through the countryside

they would spot a barn roof or

perhaps a store with the Burrer

name displayed and that would

lead to more questions.

Trekking through cemeteries,

became a part of their trips.

Occasionally trips weren't

too fruitful, such as the trip to

Sperryville, Virginia. It was a

disappointment to discover no

Sperrys in the phone book so

Dilly took Carleton's picture at

the post office as the only

Sperry in Sperryville.

Along the way many

new-found friends and distant

relatives filled in gaps. Corwin

Burrer was very helpful on the

Elyria-Medina branch of the family.

This branch is from Johann

Jacob's half brother, Christoph

Friedrich III who originally settled


Kermit Burrer has traced the

Texas branch and has been in

communication with the relatives

still in Germany. There Wilhelm

Burrer and Richard Burrer have

been working on the Burrer family


Through the years Carleton

and Dilly recorded their findings

and granddaughter, Sherry Burrer,

recorded them on a large family

[photo: Carleton Sperry Burrer in Sperryville, Virginia

September 22, 1965]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 50)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 50)


[page 50]

[corresponds to page 43 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Corwin and Earl Burrer of Elyria, Ohio, in 1983]

tree which hangs in their


Parts of the family

were written up and

printed in The People

Book, a local community

Bicentennial project

which was indexed by

Carleton and Dilly. Later

Dilly paid to have the

book published after

Carleton's death.

For this account,

we have tried to put all

of their research

together. Copies of the

old German documents

are in the Appendix.

[photo: Dilly Burrer at Christian S. Burrer's

(1844-1920) Marker in Elyria, Ohio
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 51)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 51)


[page 51]

[corresponds to page 44 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

American Burrers Go

to Germany to

Celebrate Heritage

On September 5, 1995,

the village of Botenheim, in

Germany, celebated its 1200

year. The Burrer family which

still lives there organized a

family reunion. Three of C.F.

Burrer's boys, who immigrated

to America, had descendents

attending the festivities and

meeting 150 Burrers from

around the world.

[photo: Kermit and Elsie Burrer of Texas riding

horses in Botenheim's 1200 Year Parade]


[photo: Tom and Louise Burrer]

[photo: Nancy Burrer, Dick and Charmy Voss]

Kermit and

Elsie are from the

line of Johann

Gottlieb who went

to Texas.

Tom and

Louise descend

from Christoph

Friedrich Burrer

of Elyia, Ohio.

Don, Nancy,

Charmy and Dick

are from Johan

Jakob (as are the

Sunbury Burrers).
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 52)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 52)


[page 52]

[corresponds to page 45 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Botenheim, Germany]

[image: map]

The German Burrers

The arrow goes to Botenheim as shown in the aerial taken in

1993. Cleebron is the next village south, Hofenstein and

Besigheim are all in the immediate area, north of Stuttgart,

south of Heidelberg. -Photos from Don and Nancy Burrer

[photo: Wilhelm Burrer]

[photo: Richard Burrer]

[photo: Parade before Richard Burrer's House]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 53)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 53)


[page 53]

[corresponds to unnumbered page]




[photo: three male members of family]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 54)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 54)


[page 54]

[corresponds to page 47 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Carleton Burrer, 4 years, 26 days]

On November 9, 1909, Carleton

was born to Karl and Daisy (Sperry)

Burrer. Carleton was very much like

his father. He was a good mechanic

but also very intelligent and treasured

books. He loved Sunbury and as a

good historian he and his wife traced

the origin of the name of Sunbury

across the country then across the

ocean. It is enclosed in the Appendix

of this book.

His family moved to Wisconsin

when he was a toddler. Then while he

was still small, the family moved into a

house at 153 North Columbus Street

and Carleton attended Sunbury School

for the first five grades. He told Joan

Fuller he remembered clearly accepting

Jesus during one of the special meetings

in the Baptist Church when he was six or

seven years old.

[photo: Carleton, 4, with "Krib", the family's

first car which had wooden wheels,

at 153 North columbus Street, 1913]

[photo: "Carleton trying hard to

smile while his picture was

taken on the porch at

Berkshire. I was real proud

of that little gray coat and

hat trimmed in blue velvet I

had just finished for him,"

wrote Daisy. 1914]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 55)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 55)


[page 55]

[corresponds to page 48 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Glimpses into Carleton's Childhood

[photo: Carleton in two-wheel cart]

[photo: Karl, Daisy, Carleton, 6 months]

[photo: Daisy and Carleton at the Hudson River

Railroad Bridge in February 1912.

The neighbor is pulling Carleton.]

[photo: "Carleton enjoyed riding in his carriage so much,

we would go down town early in the morning,

dressed as he is here, with our market basket tied

on behind. He has on his fur outfit, pair of black

shoes with white tassels on front and white

buttons," wrote Daisy in his scrapbook.]

[photo: Karl, Daisy, and Carleton

20 months, at Camp Clifton]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 56)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 56)


[page 56]

[corresponds to page 49 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Brick home north of

Berkshire Corners with

12" thick walls, 12'

ceilings on the first floor

and 9' ceilings on the

second floor. Heat was

supplied by a pipeless

furnace. Lalley light plant

(32 volt DC) installed in

early 1920's. Photo 1910.]

[photo: Carleton on

pony, Karl,

Maurice in

cart, sister


Van Horn

next to


Mrs. Van

Horn in Car

with Isaac


1916 or 17.]

Life in Berkshire Corners

The family moved

back to Berkshire and

Carleton went to a one

room school for grades

6-8. He frequently rode

his pony, walked, or

drove his pony cart the 3

plus miles to school as

was a common practice


After Carleton's

eighth grade, the family

moved into town to 47

North Morning Street

which was to become

Carleton's home until


[photo: Carleton and son of

Harry and Grace Finch]

[photo: Carleton and pet rabbit

which died of pneumonia]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 57)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 57)


[page 57]

[corresponds to page 50 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[image: Report of Carleton Burrer 1917-1918]

[image: Sunbury Public Schools 1889-1890

Record of Carl Burrer]

[photo: Carleton

and his father

shared much more

than letters in a

name. Note how

similar the grades

were on these

report cards.


also enjoyed sleds

as did his father

Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 58)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 58)


[page 58]

[corresponds to page 51 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Like his

father and

uncles before

him, Carleton

played in and

around the mill

and the Burrer


This note was

found on the

back of the

privy doors in

later years

when Carleton

was an adult.

Note the men

who worked in

the mill also

signed the

back of this old

mill statement.



his Sunbury

High School

years, Carleton

took pleasure

in his friends

and in his

church. Many

of his


became his life-

long friends.


graduated from

sunbury High

School in 1927.

With only 5

boys (including

Hi Morris and

Hoyt Whitney) in his class, Carleton played football, basketball and baseball. He

served as Captain of the first Sunbury football team. Sports were expected of all

the boys, but Carleton never really enjoyed them. Years later he couldn't

understand how his wife could listen to a Reds' baseball

[image: On Back of Door

of Burrer Privy.

John Edwards

Truck Drver



14 years old

Sunbury, Ohio

Box 352


[illegible] 1925

15 yrs


must be small to

write his name on

this s-h wall


S-H Cleavers Union

J.P. Doane started

to work for G.J. Burrer

on Sept 15-1921



P. Doane

[illegible] cross

Truck Division

Sunbury Ohio

APR 20, 1919

Has Just S-T]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 59)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 59)


[page 59]

[corresponds to back of page 51]






Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 60)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 60)


[page 60]

[corresponds to page 52 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Sunbury High School 1927

Top Row: Eleanore Huston, Princ., G.E. McFarland, Supt.

2nd Row: Carleton Burrer, Pres., Berniece Brookens, Tres.,
Evelyn Patrick, Sec., Freda Linnabary,
V.P., Henry Beaver

3rd Row: Emma Fox, Fac., Nellie Gunnette, Gerald Knoderer,
William Lee, Olive Mathews,

H. R. Fisher, Fac.

4th Row: Mae Miller, Kerfoot Morris, Ruth McCluer, Hoyt Whitney,
Frances Stelzer.

game on the radio and hang on every play.

As Daisy became more and more disenchanted with her life, the family's home

life deteriorated whle Carleton was growing up. Throughout his adolescent years,

Carleton stayed away from the home turmoil whenever he could. His parents

misunderstood his behavior and thought he was into mischief. He turned to a friend,

Frank Stelzer, who helped many confused youths in the community.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 61)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 61)


[page 61]

[corresponds to page 53 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Mrs. Davison, Hazel Davidson, Daisy Burrer,

Carleton Burrer, K.O. Burrer]

Once Carleton and some

friends wanted a car for a date

but his father refused so

Carleton turned to the

Superintendent of the Sunday

School. He let the boys borrow

his car but later claimed they

stole a lap-rug from it. Much

later a 'friend' admitted to the

mischief but not before Carleton

was humiliated.

By the time he

graduated, his parents were

dissolving their marriage and

Carleton was floundering trying

to decide where his allegiance

should lie. He went to see an

old family friend, Fawn Druggan, and she wisely told him to not take sides but

accept each as individuals. This advice was sound and Carleton became a

neutral force in family matters.

After high school, his first job was setting poles for the Central Utilities

Company when they installed the power line from Cheshire to Sunbury. Little did

he know at that time how much this experience would help in his future.

When he should have been sent to college, his parents were so caught up

in their own bitterness, they did not consider his needs. Karl wanted him to go

to military school and receive some discipline. Daisy knew that was wrong and

so they settled on technical school.

Westinghouse was looking for bright young men with scientific and

mechanical minds. A teacher told Carleton about the school, he applied and was

accepted. He moved to Pittsburgh for his training. There he worked in

Westinghouse in the day and attended classes in the evening for about a year.

The classes were free and they received enough pay to be able to afford the

apartment if they pooled their funds.

A group of five boys lived together in an apartment, did their own cooking

and went to school. While Carleton was in the trade school, he met and roomed

with Seward Arnold. They both knew they wanted an education and were a cut

above some of their other roommates. One time Daisy went to see her son and

called to let him know she was there but a female answered the phone.

Apparently she had been living with one of Carleton's roommates but she scooted

before Daisy got to the house. No one ever told Dilly who the woman was visiting

but she knew it wasn't Carleton. Another time a policeman came to see one of

the fellows who hid in a closet. The others did not want to get into trouble so

they dragged the man out to talk with the policemen. Carleton and Seward got

more education than they had bargained for.

Meets Dilly

At this time Dilly was attending Elmira College in New York. Her little sister
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 62)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 62)


[page 62]

[corresponds to page 54 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Carleton and Dilly During Prom

Weekend at Elmira College]

at college had a friend who was interested in

taking Dilly to the prom. She was all dressed

in a prom dress of tulle over taffeta and felt

very special as she went to the dance.

Unfortunatley the date was not a winner. In

addition to the flask in his pocket, he couldn't

dance, made an improper advance and lastly

got her to the dorm 15 minutes late which

caused Dilly to be grounded for two solid


Dilly wanted nothing more to do with

that young man so she now was facing the

senior prom without a date. Her friend

Margie, who was engaged to one of

Carleton's roommates, knew of some guys in

Pittsburgh who were interested in going to

the prom. Dilly said, "Count me in," but faced

it with reservations. All the girls had spent

time learning to dance and she was afraid

she would be disappointed, again. However,

this time the two short people, Dilly and

Carleton, were paired off. "Carleton danced

like a dream," remembers Dilly. "We hit it off

right away."

There was some sort of a problem and

Westinghouse closed the program. Carleton

and Seward bought a sporty convertible automobile with a rumble seat and went

to Toledo where they heard there were jobs. Their funds were very limited so they

lived at the YMCA. Carleton found a job selling appliances on commission.

Unfortunately, it was the Depression, money was tight, and not many bought

appliances. Seward couldn't find a job.

Carleton made

enough money to pay

the room for both of

them and by so doing

paid off Seward's half of

the car and became the

sole owner of it.

As a natural

leader, Carleton became

president of the YMCA

while in Toledo.


Carleton and Dilly's

relationship blossomed

through the mails.

Although they both

[photo: Mr. Saunders, Seward Arnold and Carleton with THE CAR

in which they took a trip to the east coast. May 1929]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 63)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 63)


[page 63]

[corresponds to page 55 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

dated other people, Carleton drove to New York whenever he could - one time

taking only 12 hours for the trip. Another time Dilly came to Ohio to visit Carleton.

He drove her to Cleveland and put her on an overnight boat to Buffalo. "I didn't

get much sleep but the idea was good," noted Dilly.

Sunbury Electric Shop

Business was very slow in Toledo so Carleton decided to return to

Sunbury. There in the height of the Depression, Carleton, as the electrician, and

Wayne "Slim" Crawford opened an electric store in the basement of the old post

office building (Blue Door Antiques in 1996) on East Cherry Street. "If we sold a

box of fuses or some light bulbs, we figured we'd had a pretty good day in those

times," Carleton told The Sunbury News editor, John Whitney, when the latter

wrote the Burrer's retirement story in 1975.

Carleton gave Dilly an engagement ring for Christmas in 1934. At the time

she was teaching school and working for the WPA as a librarian in Stratford, NY.,

a small mountain town in the lower Adirondacks.

In 1933 or 34, Carleton bought Crawford's share of the business and then

in 1937, moved it to the east side of the square (where Glenn Evans Insurance

Agency is located in 1996.) Sunbury Electric Shop collected payments for electric

bills due to Columbus and Southern Ohio Electric. The shop handled electrical

appliances and Carleton did electrical contracting.

Following in the footsteps of his father and uncles, in 1938, Carleton,

wearing a new tuxedo his father purchased for the occasion, was installed as the

Master of Sparrow Lodge No 400 F.& A.M. in Sunbury. The next year Carleton

was the youngest Past Master of the lodges in Ohio.

In 1939 Sunbury Electric Shop moved next door to Blakely-Williams in a

large frame building at the southeast corner of Vernon and Cherry Streets.

Military Service in World War II

[photo: Carleton April 5, 1943]

The war

began and the

papers were all

asking for

anyone with a

knowledge of



enlisted as a

Corporal and

was sent to

Lexington for

training in the




[photo: Cpl Carleton burrer of the Army

Signal Corps is stationed at Gover-

nor's Island, N. Y.

awaiting orders.

Carleton has been

studying and in-

structing in radio

at an Army

school in Lexing-

ton, Ky. He re-

ceived his lieu-

tenant commiss-

ion two weeks

ago and stopped

off here enroute to New York. Lt.

Burrer owns the Sunbury Electric

Shop which is being operated by

his mother since his enlistment.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 64)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 64)


[page 64]

[corresponds to page 56 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[image: Government Request For Transportation


Following his

training he was sent to

England in 1942 for nine

months. while he was

there he was notified that

his unit, Army Specialists

Corps, had been

dissolved and he was no

longer in the military.

The men in his unit

made a coffin and buried

the A.S.C. In 1943,

Carleton returned home.

About a month

later he was again

notified that Uncle Sam

needed his services.

This time Carleton went as a civilian in charge of the Signal Corps to hang

telephone lines in Hawaii.

[photo: End of the Army Specialists Corps.]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 65)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 65)


[page 65]

[corresponds to page 57 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Civilian Carleton in Hawaii, 1943-44]

[photo: Carleton, top, on pole stringing lines in Hawaii.]

While he was

gone his mother, Daisy

Sperry Burrer, Walter M.

Gross, Leta (Speer)

Barnhard, Harry W.

Snow and Lily Kempton

continued on with the


During his war years, he continued to

correspond with Dilly. In

the meantime, she had

graduated from

Columbia with a Masters

in Library Science and

become the Assistant

Librarian at Capital

University in Columbus

in 1941.

[photo: Interior of sunbury Electric Shop in the Blakely-Williams

building during a WW II christmas. Note no appliance

available. Walt Gross, Daisy Burrer and Minneta Hoover

Ritchie are running the business.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 66)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 66)


[page 66]

[corresponds to unnumbered page of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]




[photo: 3 photos]

Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 67)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 67)


[page 67]

[correspnds to page 58 of

[foldout: Dilly Burrer's Ancestor's]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 68)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 68)


[page 68]

[corresponds to page 59 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Dorothy Dillenbech

2 years, 9 months]

Dorothy MacNaughton Dillenbeck was

born January 6, 1907, to Andrew Luther and

Stella Pearl (Whitbeck) Dillenbeck while he

was studying in Hartwick Theological

Seminary in Hartwick Seminary, New York.

Dorothy was not given a middle name at the

time of her birth because Dorothy Dillenbeck

was a long enough name for a little girl.

Wishing for a middle name, all through her

youth she made up her own. Finally when

she was going away to school she decided

she needed a middle name and her father

helped her settle on MacNaughton, her great-

grandfather's surname. "A MacClain girl had

married a MacNaughton man which was

better than a MacNaughton girl marrying a

MacClain man!" - so the family saying goes.

All through school she was called

Dorothy, her father was Dil and her brother

was Dil. One day the three of them were

sitting on the porch and someone went by

and called "Hi, Dilly." "We weren't sure who they were talking to but the name

stuck and I became Dilly with a 'y although many spell it with 'ie.'" With the new

nickname she fit in when her friend whose name was Fitch was always called


The Dillenbach family has been traced to Switzerland where two forms of

the name are in common usage - Dallenbach and Tallenbach. Indeed the two

names are so often interchanged the telephone directory in Bern, Switzerland, (in

1969) showed cross references between the two spellings. The family legend

says the family is descended from Wilhelm Tell (Tallen) whose family lived by the

brooks (bach) thus Tallenbach. Those who remained on the hillside or mountain

(bergs) slopes are called Tallenbergs. Time flattened the sound of the T to D thus

Dallenbach. Quite probably William Tell was a relative.

Although the family is found in Switzerland, both the name and the family

are German noted Andrew Dillenbeck and Karl Dallenbeck who co-edited the

family genealogy, The Dallenbachs in America.

Jorg Martin Dillenbach

Jorg Martin (Martin as he was known) was born about 1690 to Nicholas

and Anna Barbara Dallenbach of Lauperswil, a small Swiss village in the Alps a

few miles northeast of Bern. In 1710, Martin, his wife Sarah Catherine

(Baumann?), and his widowed mother were among the second migration of

Palatines from the Rhine Valley to New York. Historians have decided Sarah

probably died giving birth to Anna Margretha August 1, 1712, and the baby died

soon after. Six months later Martin married Anna Elizabeth (Castlemann) and they

lived in Neu Castle across the Hudson from Germantown, N.Y.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 69)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 69)


[page 69]

[corresponds to page 60 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Martin served under Col. Nicholson in 1711 in Queen Anne's War thus

becoming the first in the family to bear arms on American soil.

It is unknown when Martin moved to the Mohawk Valley but most of his

children were born there and he is probably buried on the old homestead which

is still in the family in 1996.

He founded Stone Arabia Church in a log cabin in 1728 on land secured

from the government known as the Stone Arabia Patent. Since its founding, the

church has never been closed although fire destroyed the log structure and it was

rebuilt. Dilly and her father have always maintained membership in this church.

Ten children were born to this union: Johannes (1714), Henrich (1716),

Christian (1718), Anna Maria (1720), Wilhelm (1722), Elisabeth (1725), Martinus

(1729), John Dietrich (1731), John Baltasar (1733), and John David (1735).

Henrich Dillenbach

Our family follows through Henrich (1716-1795) who married Anna

Margretha (Wagner) March 19, 1735. Anna was born April 15, 1712 to John Peter

and Maria Margretha (Loucks) Wagner in New Paltz. To this union nine children

were born: Anna Margretha (12-22-1735), Andrew (12-29-1736), Anna Maria (12-7-

1738), Elizabeth (4-4-1740). Henrich (3-29-1741), Catherine (12-26-1743),

Johannes (1-13-1747), Magdalena (10-5-1749), and Barbara Elizabeth (6-22-1752).

All were members of the Lutheran church but it is not known if they are buried in

the old church cemetery or at the homestead.

Andrew A. Dillenbach

Andrew (12-29-1736 to 8-6-1977) married Catharina Finck on November 27,

1764. Catharina was the daughter of Andreas and Margaret Finck and had grown

up with Andrew. They had 6 children: Anna Margretha (3-26-1766), Catherine (3-

3-1768), Maria (4-11-1770), Andrew A. (4-26-1775) and Magdalena (4-24-1778).

His last daughter was born months after her father's death.

When Sir William Johnson called for troops to march on Ft. William Henry,

March 20, 1757, twenty-one year old Andrew was in Capt. Soffrines Deychert's

Company. The Company disbanded nine days later. Again on July 24, 1763,

when the alarm went out that German Flatts was in danger of attack, Andrew


In 1768, Andrew signed a petition to Sir William to compel him to issue a

new deed when the Lutheran congregation of Stone Arabia had lost its deed to

their property.

Andrew was active in events leading up to the American Revolution. He

served as a Lieutenant in the Palatine Militia. Then in 1776, he and Capt. John

Zielley and others, were made a Committee of Vigilance to procure arms and

equipment for the Militia. In 1777, he marched on Oriskany as Lieutenant in Capt.

Severines Cook's Company, Col. Klock's New York Regiment under General


On August 4, 1777, General Nicholas Herkimer gathered together 800

militiamen at Ft. Dayton (now Herkimer, N.Y.) for the relief of Ft. Schuyler (Rome,

N.Y.) which was besieged by British under Col. Berry St. Leger and Indians led
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 70)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 70)


[page 70]

[corresponds to page 61 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

by Joseph Brant a Mohawk Indian. On the 6th, General Herkimer's troops were

ambushed by the British under Sir John Johnson and Indians under Brant in a

ravine 2 miles west of Oriskany, a village in Oneida County, N.Y. The rear portion

of Herkimer's troops escaped the trap, but were pursued by the Indians, and

many of them were overtaken and killed. Between the remainder, the British and

the Indians, there was a desperate hand-to-hand conflict, interrupted by a violent

thunderstorm, with no quarter shown by either side.

Soldiers were dropping right and left, so Lieutenant Dillenbach was made

Captain on the battlefield.

Captain Andrew Dillenbach, knowing how Indians treated prisoners, told

George Walter (to whom we are indebted for his eye witness account of the

following events) he would not be taken alive. "Three of Johnson's Greens set

upon him. One of his assailants seized the Captain's gun, but he suddenly

wrenched it from him and felled him with the musket butt. He shot the second

dead, and thrust the bayonet through a third. But in the moment of triumph a ball

laid him low." He was shot through the head and died instantly. A tradition in the

family says that the gun that killed the Captain was fired by a Tory neighbor living

on the farm adjoining the Old Homestead and one with whom Captain Andrew

had grown up and into whose family his oldest daughter was to marry. Following

the Captain's previous instructions to his comrades, his silver buckles were

removed from his shoes and knees and put with his pocketbook to later be taken

to his wife. There was no time to bury the victims, so the Captain's body was put

in a field of tall wheat to hide it from the Indians and prevent scalping.

Hearing the firing near Ft. Schuyler, the British finally withdrew but not

before 200 Americans had been killed and as many more taken prisoners. The

British losses were equally as heavy. General Herkimer, though his leg had been

taken by a shot at the beginning of the action, continued to direct the fighting on

the American side. Herkimer died August 16 as a result of the clumsy amputation

of his leg. The battle was not decisive but it did prevent St. Leger's troops from

joining up with General Burgoyne. Story of the Battle is taken from Encyclopedia


Since the dead were never buried, it is said that for months after the battle,

travelers detoured the field to avoid the stench of decaying flesh.

Members of the family know the exact spot where Andrew was killed. In

1877, one hundred years after his death, Dilly's grandfather, Luther, and others

visited the spot and found a sign nailed to a tree which read "Here Captain

Andrew Dillenbeck was killed." In 1930, Dilly's father and brother also visited the

battlefield. A tall obelisk monument marks the place today.

Catharina was left pregnant and with five chilren, the oldest only eleven.

In 1780, she married Capt. John Zielley, a friend, neighbor and co-militiaman of

Andrew's, and guardians were appointed for the children. To this union more

children were born and family tradition says they received preference over captain

Andrew's children.

Andrew A. Dillenbach II

Andrew A.(4-26-1775 to 12-20-1868) was only 2 when his father, Captain

Andrew, died at the Battle of Oriskany and only 5 when Johnson's raid burned the
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 71)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 71)


[page 71]

[corresponds to page 62 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

churches and buildings in Stone Arabia in 1780.

However, the vivid sight of the burning buildings and

crops became a lasting memory for him.

It is possible Andrew was raised by

grandparents after his mother remarried when he

was five years old. Documents show his

grandfather Finck saved his Dillenbach inheritance

for him after a guardian was appointed for Captain

Andrew's children. So at 17, Andrew took charge of

the family farm.

Andrew A.

married Margaret

Woolever (Wohleben)

March 11, 1777.

Margaret's family had

come to America with

the first Martin

Dallenbach. She was

born May 1777 in German Flatts or Manheim.

Andrew and Margaret had six children:

Magdalena (7-14-1798), Andrew A. (9-18-1800).

Eva, Engel (6-22-1804 who died an infant), John A.

(5-25-1807) and Catharine (6-22-1812)

In 1807 Andrew purchased a 16 year old

Negro slave named Sam from the Pastor Philip

Grotz because the pastor was afraid he would be

forced to beat the boy if he kept him. Sam was "an

imp of mischief" who had tried the pastor. It is not

known if Andrew had other slaves.

He served as Orderly Sergeant under Capt. John I. Cook (his uncle) in the

War of 1812 and spent 3 months stationed at Sacketts Harbor. Margaret died

February 21, 1863, and Andrew December 20, 1868. They are the first interred in

the family plot at the Old Homestead.

Andrew A. Dillenbach III

Andrew A. was born on the Old Homestead September 18, 1800. Named

after his father and grandfather, it was intended that he would one day inherit the

homestead. Unfortunately difficulties arose after his marriage when he and his

wife attempted to live at home, so his father purchased a farm for him about 2

miles east where he and his wife lived, died and are buried.

This Andrew was known as "Little Andrew" because he was small in stature.

He married Margaret (Neahr) and they had eight children: Eliza (1824 to 1904

who never married), Margaret (1828-1912), Julianna, Charles A. (1834-1903),

David (1837-1908), Luther (7-4-1843 to 6-19-1894), and Hannah (1847-1933).

Margaret died December 14, 1874, and Andrew died January 6, 1881.

[photo: Andrew A. Dillenbeck,

Dilly's Great-Great


[photo: Margaret (Woolever)

Dillenbeck, Dilly's

Great-Great Grandmother]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 72)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 72)


[page 72]

[corresponds to page 63 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Andrew A. and Margaret

(Neahr) Dillenbeck

Dilly's Great


[2 photos: Luther and Helen

(Van Wie)


Dilly's Grandparents


are from


Luther Dillenbeck

Luther was born July 4 1843, in Stone Arabia. His family lived in a huge

house on one side of the Erie Canal and Van Wies lived in a hugh house on

the other side of the canal. Both families were very prosperous.

As a young man, Luther began to drink beer which caused some mixed

feelings in the family. Then to make matters worse be [sic he] married his third cousin,

Helen (Van Wie) January 13, 1870, and they stayed with the Dillenbecks for a

short time. Helen was the daughter of John and Helen (Wormuth) Van Wie. John

was the son of Daniel and Anna (Dillenbach) Van Wie. Anna was the daughter of

Johannes and Maria (Sprecher) Dillenbach. Johannes was Captain Andrew's

Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 73)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 73)


[page 73]

[corresponds to page 64 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Soon Luther and Helen were on

their own farm raising hops just a mile

east of his sister Julianna and his

brother Charles. They had four

children: John L. (1871-1872), Andrew

L. (1878-1963), Marie (1882), and

John W. (1887). Farming is always a

gamble and when it is mixed with

excessive drinking the odds begin to

stack against the farmer. Luther

began to put everything into hops and

after a few bad seasons, he lost all the

money which was to pay the


[photo: Dilly's Great-Grandfather John D. Van Wie

Helen Dillenbeck's Father]

[photo: Helen Van Wie Dillenbeck]

Due to the drinking Luther's health failed

so they sold the farm and moved to a little house

near Stone Arabia schoolhouse.

While Luther was drinking he was the life

of the party but he could also be nasty and in

one of the nasty times he kicked the family dog

which resulted in its death.

When Luther wouldn't return

home, his son Andrew was sent

after him although Andrew was

only a small boy.

Luther died June 19,

1894, when Andrew was only 9

years old. This period in

Andrew's life was to have a

lasting impression on him. He

became a teetotaller for life.

[photo: Helen Van Wie Dillenbeck

Dilly's Grandmother]

The Dillenbeck and Van

Wie families would not help

widow Helen so she began

cleaning houses and hired out
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 74)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 74)


[page 74]

[corresponds to page 65 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Andrew L. Dillenbeck

11 months]

to help in kitchens when the harvesters needed to

be fed. Thus she provided for her family. She and

the children moved to St. Johnsville where she

died January 22, 1917.

[photo: Dillenbeck Home

Where Andrew Luther Grew Up]

[Photo: Pearl Whitbeck]

Andrew Luther Dillenbeck

Andrew was born in Palatine,

N.Y. November 11, 1878. He attended

High school at Canajoharie and

Hartwick Seminary and taught school

for four years. He worked his way

through college working in the dorms

and leading tours on the battlefields of

Gettysburg and became a scholar

about the war. He graduated from

Gettysburg College in 1905. In June

7, 1905, he married Stella Pearl

Whitbeck of Hartwick Seminary.

Pearl's Swackhammer and Whitbeck


Pearl was born December 16, 1877, to Charles and Catherine Margaret

(Swackhammer) Whitbeck.

The Swackhammers came from Scotland about 1776. Samuel

Schwackhammer, born 1700 in Germany, came in 1731 to the American

wilderness, married three times and fathered 25 children, 73 grandchildren, and
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 75)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 75)


[page 75]

[corresponds to page 66 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

25 great grandchildren (according to his funeral notice in the old- church book).

He leased a tract of 600 acres. Samuel died February 3, 1782. His will dated

February 1, 1780, and probated March 8 (Trenton Lib. 23, fol. 247) names his wife

Elizabeth, son-in-law Daniel Samis (maybe Lamis), brother in-law Fred Miller, and

thirteen children. It was witnessed by Joseph Snider, Charles Hildebrand, and

Sarah Clymer. The fourth listed child was Stephen Swackhammer who married

Jane Bowman, the daughter of Lambert Bowman. Their children were Rev.

Lambert Swackhammer, Susan who married a Dewey, David, Eliza, and one


Dilly has a quilt made by her family from Jane Bowman Swackhammer's

dresses after her death in 1853.

[photo: Jennet MacHaughton


Dilly's Great-Grandmother]

Rev. Lambert Swackhammer and Jennet

MacNaughton Swackhammer married June 14, 1828

in Clay, N.Y.

Rev. Swackhammer (b.1805-d. 11-2-1857)

served many Lutheran churches across the

countryside from the middle of New York state to

New Jersey where he actually started to build a

church in Middle Valley which he never finished but

the ruins remain. (Articles about his church are on

the following pages.) Between services he taught in

schools along his circuit, perhaps

supervising lesson plans for the young

teachers. He became an abolitionist

which was not popular. More black

than white people attended his

services. One of his sermons has

been saved at Rutgers University.

[photo: Four Generations

Dilly's Aunt Alice (Whitbeck) Barringer,

Great-Grandmother Jennet (MacNaughton)

Swackhammer holding Alice's son Harry,

and Catharine Margaret (Swackhammer)


Catherine Margaret

Swackhammer was born January 11,

1838 in Manheim, New York. She

became the wife of Charles Edward

Whitbeck and mother of Stella Pearl

Whitbeck. She, too, taught school.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 76)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 76)


[page 76]

[corresponds to page 67 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[foldout: Rev. Swackhammer's

Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 77)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 77)


[page 77]

[corresponds to page 68 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[foldout: Rev. Swackhammer's

Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 78)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 78)


[page 78]

[corresponds to page 69 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Rev. Swackhammer continued to travel a set route and would stay in each

community for services, baptisms, weddings, etc. On one of his travels among

his parishes, he got the chills and developed TB from which he died at the age

of 51. At that time he was making his home with the family of his daughter,

Catherine Margaret Swackhammer Whitbeck.

[photo: Charles E. Whitbeck]

[photo: Catherine Margaret

Swackhammer Whitbeck

Both Photos are Tintypes]

A descendent of

Dutch forbearers who

settled in Albany County,

N.Y., Pearl's father, Charles

Edward Whitbeck, came

from a family of weavers.

A woven coverlet handed

down through the family

is in the Burrer Room at

Community Library.

[photo: Charles E. Whitbeck

Dilly's Grandfather]

A letter (copied on

the following page) was

written to Johnathan

Whitbeck by his father

giving the son business

advice. The letter was

folded, addressed on the back and delivered to

Johnathan who must have cherished it for it to be in

Dilly's possession today.

Charles Whitbeck was a house painter in the

summer but the job was seasonal. His wife Catherine

was the laundress for

table linens at Hartwick

Seminary. This was a never ending task and

the irons were always

ready for anyone to

take a turn.

[photo: Donald McKenzie, Alice May

Whitbeck and Pearl Whitbeck]

Pearl was one

of seven children; two ministers, two teachers, a

firefighter and a farmer. Her first two brothers,

Lambert and Clarence ate Queen Anne's Lace

and died very young. Her older sister Alice, who

was like a mother to her younger sister Pearl,

became a teacher. George became a minister

and the father of three but due to a family fallout

they were not well known by Dilly. Harry was a

farmer with a wonderful sense of humor and a

favorite of Dilly's. "Harry's wife was missing a

front upper tooth which showed whenever she
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 79)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 79)


[page 79]

[corresponds to unnumbered page of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

This pale blue paper was

folded so the part at the right was

on the outside. There is no

stamp but it is addressed as

though it were mailed so perhaps

it was hand delivered.

[image: Jonathan Whitbeck]

[image:Johnathan Whitbeck I leave a few lines for

you if you think best you may help Wm

[illegible] get in corn and [illegible] his or the hay

[illegible] is in the Barn if he will pay you

for your trouble, you can ask him if

he wants you to help him and make

your own bargain but I want you to

be particular and Keep the account of

the number of Bails of Hay and See

by what [illegible] they are shiped and

Say Nothing to any one but Mrs. W [illegible]

dont let any one know you are Keeping

the account of Hay and weight you

May Have all he will pay you only I

want you to take good care of the

family, if I have time I will tell Mrs

Richards to let you have a pair of

Boots as you may order a pair made

for you]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 80)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 80)


[page 80]

[corresponds to page 71 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photos: Lambert and Clarence Whitbeck,
Who Died as Small Boys

After Eating Queen Anne's Lace in 1878]

opened her mouth. Since

she was always talking or

laughing, the hole was very

visible," remembers Dilly.

Edward was a firefighter.

At last, Pearl joined the


Aunt Alice managed

to keep all the brothers

and sisters in touch

through the years.

Charles died August

31, 1912, and Catherine

Margaret on January 6, 1926.

[photo: The Charles Whitbeck Homestead in Hartwick Seminary

Uncle George Whitbeck has the big ears on the left,
Grandma Jennet (MacNaughton)

Swackhammer, Pearl Whitbeck is small girl, and Aunt Alice
(Whitbeck) Barringer.

The house was built as a tavern and post office in 1790.
About 1854, it was owned and

enlarged by Rev. Levi Stemberg, the principal of Hartwick Seminary.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 81)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 81)


[page 81]

[corresponds to page 72 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: The whitbeck Homestead in Hartwick Seminary, New York

Following extensive remodeling in 1927-28

by Rev. Russell and Mrs. Alice (Whitbeck) Barringer.

[photo: Ivona Whitbeck

Showing talent as a singer

and dancer which

she later became.]

[photo: At Uncle John's

Levina ?, Martha Dillenbeck, Albert Dillenbeck,

Marie Dillenbeck, Pearl Whitbeck,

Uncle John Dillenbeck, man unknown in front]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 82)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 82)


[page 82]

[corresponds to page 73 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Charles Edward Whitbeck Family

Back Row: Donald McKenzie, Dilly's Uncle Harry Nelson Whitbeck,

Grandpa Charles Whitbeck, Aunt Alice (Whitbeck) Barringer,

Grandma Catherine Margaret (Swackhammer) Whitbeck.

Seated: Uncle Russell Barringer, Great Grandma (MacNaughton) Swackhammer,

Stella Pearl Whitbeck, Uncle George Grant Whitbeck

On the Floor: Uncle Ed Whitbeck

[photo: Catherine Margaret

Whitbeck age 75,

January 11, 1913

Dilly's Grandmother,]

[photo: Charles Edward

Whitbeck, age 80,

March 1, 1911

Dilly's Grandfather,]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 83)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 83)


[page 83]

[corresponds to page 74 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Paul Whitbeck, 4 years old]

[photo: Rev. George Grant Whitbeck Family in 1907

G. Paul, Earl C. George, and Myrthl Fatima Whitbeck]

[photo: Earl Whitbeck]

[photo: Paul Whitbeck]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 84)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 84)


[page 84]

[corresponds to page 75 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Fort Hunter School Where Pearl taught]

[photo: Mrs. Russell Barringer

Alice May Whitbeck. 1891]

Stella Pearl Whitbeck

Pearl graduated from Hartwick Seminary in

1895 and taught school for thirteen years. From the

age of eighteen, Pearl suffered with bronchial

asthma. To get to her school the short way, she had

to walk straight up a hill which brought on asthma

attacks, If she walked the long way around the hill,

the slope was more gradual and she would feel


[photo: Pearl Whitbeck]

[photo: Clarence Whitbeck]

Pearl had

mastered the

English language

and always knew

the right word for

each occasion.

She drilled it into

her children and

students, "Use the

right word in the

right place."

Andrew also loved

words but if he

didn't if he

couldn't think of

the right word, he

would make one

up. "Guess that is why I've always enjoyed making

up words," chuckled Dilly.

[photo: Pearl Whitbeck]

Pearl also loved to paint. she took lessons

for which her sister Alice paid and developed a

knack for it. several of her paintings are hanging in

Dilly's home.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 85)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 85)


[page 85]

[corresponds to page 76 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[4 images: Samples

of the many

Cards and


Pearl Had

Printed for

Her Pupils]


Hartwick Sem'y

Public School,

District No. 1,

Hartwick Twp.,

Otsego Co., A. D.





Names of Pupils

Hattie Root Greta Whitbeck

Jennie Estes

Mabel Mercer Mabel smith

Elva Smith

Zoe Wikoff Lottie Smith

Vera Acker

Elsa Weeks Luella Petrie

Myrtle Van Court

Claude Whitbeck Paul Weeks

Clarence Whitbeck

George Mercer Willie Mercer

Rufus Wikoff

Carter Burnett Ora Murdock

George Beatty

Dorr Augur Harry Murphy

Lewis Mercer

Clyde Hayne Floyd Smith

Truman Smith


Mabel I. Beckley

Lilith Record

Blanche Record

Marion A. Augur

Carrie Salisbury

Alice Salisbury

Grace C. Lattin

May S. Fogarty

Anna S. Fogarty

Luena Blanchard

Florence Cook

Maude Cook

Amos Cook

Merton Beckley

Howard Record

W. Bassett Koch

Harry C. Sergent


School District No. 12

Hinman Hollow

Otsego County, N. Y.



S. Pearl Whitbeck,


John Cross Trustee
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 86)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 86)


[page 86]

[corresponds to page 77 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Andrew always said Pearl was

'a born teacher' and never had any

discipline problems because she had

a way of making the children want to

learn all she could teach them. Years

later when Dilly applied for a job at

Canajoharie the superintendent said to

hire her if she was Pearl Whitbeck's


[photo: Teacher Pearl at Her Desk]

[photo: Andrew L, Dillenbach in His Dorm at

Hartwick Theological Seminary]

Pearl encouraged Andrew to

complete his theological studies because

if he wanted to be a minister she wanted

him to be a good one and not the

popular stand-up minister found in many

of the churches.

Hartwick Theological Seminary

was an excellent theological seminary

and Pearl was teaching when they

married. So he received training and

preparation for the ministry and was ordained at West Sand Lake June 19, 1907.

[photo: Favorite Pastime was the Parlor Band

Andrew is in the back left, Pearl front right.]

[photo: Andrew Dillenbeck sitting at the

Teacher's Desk used by Pearl]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 87)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 87)


[page 87]

[corresponds to unnumbered page of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]




[illegible] 7, 1905


The union of two young lives in

holy wedlock, and the consequent

bringing together of two families

hitherto unrelated and unknown to

each other, is an event to stir any

neighborhood to unusual activity.

Several years ago Mr. Andrew L.

Dillenbeck of St. Johnsville came

hither to pursue in the Seminary

a course of studies leading to the

ministry of the Lutheran Church.

While in school he was attracted to

one of Hartwick's fair maidens,

Miss Stella Pearl Whitbeck, then a

teacher in the public school, and

earlier a graduate of the Seminary.

. . . . . . . . Here we have a blank

into which our readers can fill the

"old, old story."

Mr. Dillenbeck entered Gettys-

burg College in 1902, and this year is

graduated therefrom with dis-

tinguished, honors, including a prize

of $30.00. Miss Whitbeck for two

years has been a teacher in the High

School at Fort Hunter.


On the 7th of June, '05, in the

Seminary Church, these joined their

earthly fortunes in holy marriage,

saying their vows to Rev. Alfred

Hiller, D. D., pastor of the Lutheran

Church. At 8 p. m. Prof. C. S.

Derrick, presiding at the Organ,

played the wedding march, and the

bridal party approached a bower of

beauty in white and green. Rev.

Geo. G. Whitbeck of Valatio gave

his sister in marriage unto the

husband of her choice.

The immediate party fronting the

officiating clergyman were, the bride

and groom, accompanied by Stanley

Haverly as best man, and Greta

May Whitbeck, a niece, as maid of

honor. Flanking these were the

ushers, Mr. Hinkle, College class-

mate, Dallas Dillenbeck, Elton Dil-

lenbeck, cousins, and John Dillenbeck,

brother, and bride's maids, Misses

Flora and Elsie Murdock.

The rain which had been pouring

during the afternoon considerately

ceased to allow the guests, who nearly

filled the church, to go to the

ceremony, and to return to the resi-

dence of Mr. and Mrs. Charles E.

Whitbeck, the bride's parents. Being

"only a man" we shall not attempt

to describe the bride's trosseau, nor

to describe the bride's trosseau, nor

the gowns of the various sweet and

pretty attendants. Suffice it to

say they were all in keeping with

the occasion. To our thinking the

refined and intellectual bearing was

superior to any amount of "clothes"

which might be enumerated.

So, also, when we attempt to describe

the brilliancy of the reception which

immediately followed the ceremony

our pen threatens to revolt. The

home of Mr. and Mrs. Whitbeck, in-

cluding the apartments of Mr. and

Mrs. Harry N. Whitbeck, just thronged

with merry guests, while white

robe maidens flitted here, there and

yon, dispensing refreshments, many

or most of which were the product of

the bride's own deft hand.

Shall we enumerate the gifts? No,

that would be about impossible, and

surely might subject some one to a

feeling of envy. We desire, however,

to note those of the guests who

journeyed hither from other com-

munities, omitting those who dwell

within our gates.

Mrs. Dillenbeck, mother, Marie

Dillenbeck, sister, and John Dillen-

beck, brother of the groom, St.

Johnsville; Mrs. Kate Dillenbeck,

Miss Nan Dillenbeck, Elton Dillen-

beck and Dallas Dillenbeck and two

lady friends, Canajoharie; Mrs. E.

L. Tucker, Syracuse; Rev. and Mrs.

Geo. G. Whitbeck, Valatie; Mrs.

Rev. r. Barringer, Orleans 4 corners;

Mrs. Ed. Whitbeck, Schenectady;

Miss Edna Traver. West Camp; Mrs.

James Dolan, Rensselaer; Mr. and

Mrs. John McCullough, Albany; Mrs.

Burgess and Myrtle Burgess, Richfield

springs; Mrs. Wm. Hatch, O.

Columbia; Mr. and Mrs. Wm

Blencoe, Davenport; Mrs. Clark

Coventry, Norton Hill; Mr. and

Mrs. E. J. Bailey, Cooperstown;

Mrs. Carlton Fields, Toddsville;

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bauder, Stone

Arabia; Mr. and Mrs. Albert Dillen-

beck, and Miss Bertha VanWie, Mc-

Kinley; Arthur Morse, Esp., and

Mrs. Morse, New Berlin.

At a late hour Mr. and Mrs. Dillen-

beck left for Milford, and thence, Thurs-

day morning, they started for Gettys-

burg, Pa., accompanied by Miss Bertha

VanWie and Miss Flora Murdock. Af-

ter Mr. Dillenbeck's graduation at

Gettysburg, this week, the party will

proceed to Washington, D. C., and

other points of interest.--[Hartwick

Seminary Correspondent.
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Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 88)


[page 88]

[corresponds to page 79 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Both Andrew and

Pearl enjoyed music and

the company of many

friends throughout these

early years. Without

television, cars, and easy

access to all the

entertainments of today,

they found it easy to entertain themselves.

Groups of faculty and

students from the

college would get

together for charades,

skits or evenings

devoted to music. Their

scrapbook made during

this period is full of

pictures of friends

getting together in the parlor many in full costumes for the characters they were


[photo: Pearl and Andrew Dillenbeck in the Parlor of Their Home]

Dilly's Youth

Dilly was born across the road from the Whitbeck homestead located on

the creek side of the Susquehanna River, in Hartwick Seminary. Later she and

her husband would be found tracing the origin of Sunbury, Ohio, along the same

river in Pennsylvania.

According to her babybook, her mother recorded that Dilly didn't talk until

her brother Marsden did and when she once started she never stopped. Once

Dilly was asked what God said to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. She

replied. "Get out of this joint."

There was never a void of topics for discussion. Andrew always took The

New York Times when it was available. Often, the family would discuss items

from the paper at the dinner table. Of course he never bought The Times on

Sunday but rather made arrangements for the paper to be held until Monday

when it would be purchased and both papers read.

One of the many topics discussed at the table, was Mary Baker Eddy and

her movement away from doctors. When a neighbor got TB and wouldn't have

a doctor, Pearl took it upon herself to call a doctor. The woman refused to talk

with him and soon died.

Pearl never cooked on Sundays. She spent all day Saturday cooking and

then she would scrub the kitchen floor. "She never let me scrub the floor because

she disliked doing it so much and she never would ask anyone to do something

she didn't like doing," commented Dilly.

As a girl, Dilly remembers wearing layers of clothing and still being cold.

She wore black knit stockings, high buttoned shoes, long johns with a back door,

2 pair of bloomers (one brown serge and the other light brown serge, sweaters,
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 89)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 89)


[page 89]

[corresponds to page 80 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Pearl and Andrew

Walking. Note Pearl's

Small Waist Under Her

Winter Coat]

scarves and mittens. When she was older and

complained about having to wear so many layers, Pearl

told her of the time a friend was walking by the horse

stall near the church at Hartwick Seminary and a man

pulled her into a stall and attempted to rape her. As he

pulled off each layer of her clothes she would scream

and it took him so long to get through all the layers she

was able to get away. Perhaps all the layers weren't so


Inside whenever it was possible, Dilly got near a

stove to keep warm. There was one in the middle of

the living room and a large cook stove in the kitchen.

Of course the upstairs was unheated.

Going to Grandmother Whitbeck's was always an

adventure. Dilly remembers the goose down comforter

or feather tick which was so soft and warm on her

grandmother's bed. Although she begged to sleep

there it was usually not to be. Dilly slept in a flannel

nightgown under heavy comforters to keep warm. In

her bedroom was a pitcher of cold water to be poured

into a basin to wash her hands and face. Then the water was dumped into the

slop jar and covered. Next she brushed her teeth with more water from the

pitcher and dumped the used water into the slop jar. If needed, and in the winter

it was better than the outhouse, one used the chamber pot and dumped it in the

slop pot. "Guess who got to dump the slop pot?" asked Dilly with a twinkle in her

eye. Her mother did it since it was another undesirable task.

Perhaps the slop pot experience was to set the stage for later travels. Dilly

remembers the worst outhouse she ever saw was in Lebanon but when nature

calls one has to go filth and all. It beat France where people in the country just

straddled a ditch. Once while traveling in England, Carleton hurried into a stall

and then noticed a ladies' legs under the partition and realized he was in the

wrong restroom. Another time they left a motel in New York Finger Lakes before

bedtime when they saw bugs crawling across the top of the toilet. Hurray for

modern plumbing!

Dilly remembers the Aladdin gas lights with the fragile white mantels which

burned so much brighter than kerosene and wick lanterns. One had to be so

careful while cleaning them.

The iceman came by on a wagon pulled by horse. He would check the

sign in the window which told how much ice was wanted, then he chipped off that

size chunk, lifted it with ice-tongs and carried it into the house and put it in the

icebox. Of course all the kids ran to get the large chips that fell in the road and

put them in their mouths.

Occassionally, Dilly got spanked with the back of a hairbrush by her father

but not often. She, in turn, spanked her son, John with a wooden serving dish.

One time she broke the handle on it while spanking him and he shouted,

"Mommy, see what you did?" The handle was glued back on and the family still

uses the dish.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 90)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 90)


[page 90]

[corresponds to page 81 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Ghent, New York

From 1907 to 1908 the family lived in

Ghent where her father was a pastor.

Marsden Van Wie was born in Ghent. Dilly

was too young to remember anything about

this town. She does recall the family later

telling her about sitting in her rocker in the

chancel singing about 'My Dolly' in the

Christmas program.

During her childhood, Dilly's family

moved at least every 6 years because her

father thought that was long enough for a

minister to be in one spot. After six years,

he might loose the spontaneity and the

parishioners would not get as much from his


[photo: Dorothy, 2 1/2 Years Old, and Marsden

Van Wie Dillenbeck, 10 Months]

Central Bridge, New York

From 1908 to 1914, the family lived in

the little village of Central Bridge. Dilly was

small and sickly so the family did not send

her to school as she would have had to

cross the mainline of the New York Central

Railroad to walk to school. Marsden would be going in two years and it was

decided she could wait and go with him. Meanwhile since her mother was a

teacher, she used this time to give her children a wonderful head start on their

education by playing games devised to have them ready to learn to read, etc.

She would cut the numbers off a calendar and use them for the children to learn

to count and do simple math.

[photo: Visiting the Barringers in Minden, New York

Marsden on Andrew's lap,

Uncle Russell Barringer Driving the Buggy,

Aunt Alice Barringer, Dorothy and Pearl]

Holding Dilly back also met

there would be a financial crunch

when both were in College at the

same time so French Bonds were

purchased and put away for the

college education.

One day Dilly and a friend

were walking down the sidewalk

toward the parsonage when Mr.

Carmichael pulled his automobile

up next to them and ask if they

would like a ride. "Every time we

heard the chug of an automobile,

we ran to see it," remembered

Dilly. She had never been in a car

before and was thrilled with the

long slow ride up and down the
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 91)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 91)


[page 91]

[corresponds to page 82 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

hills of the town but as they returned to the parsonage both of her parents were

waiting in front of the house and she got a strong lesson - "You don't go riding

in automobiles!" To this day she isn't sure whether they were most upset because

she went without asking, went with Mr. Carmichael, or rode in an automobile.

While they were in Central Bridge, Dilly remembers her two grandmothers

coming to visit and making comforters for them. They cut the squares of scrap

fabric left from clothes, pieced them into a pattern, backed them over a lining, and

finally tied lots of knots to hold the layers of fabric together. "How we loved our

comforters! My grandchildren got to use the same comforters!"

Ministers' families usually lived in parsonages provided by the church.

Unfortunately they are not usually kept in good repair, so each move Pearl had

to learn to cook on a stove which may or may not heat to the proper

temperature. However in Central Bridge, the church built them a new parsonage

with a new stove. Dilly and Marsden put their hand prints in the concrete of the

poured sidewalk to leave a lasting memento of their life there. Fifty years later

when she went back to look, the sidewalk had been replace - the prints were

gone. So much for immortality.

While at Central Bridge, Dilly visited her first flour mill. Years later this event

gave her something to talk about on her blind date with Carleton.

Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania

From 1914 to 1917, the family moved to Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania, a coal

mining city located 50 miles east of Sunbury, Pennsylvania, and the Susquehanna

River. This coal was soft so all the streams and rivers were black. Nothing grew

or was green so it was depressing. Pearl hated it and Dorothy was glad when

they left although she has special memories of the coal town built on rolling hills.

Front porches on the houses were built up high to allow for the slope

of the land. Miners returning home would take off their shoes and sit on their

porches. If a child looked carefully at eye level, he or she could see white feet

below the black legs of the people sitting on the porches and that sight always

brought giggles.

Being a minister's family, they were often invited to Sunday dinner in a

parishioner's house. The dinner was usually fried chicken. One Sunday the

family was invited to Sam Clemens' house for dinner. His wife invited them to sit

in the parlor while she hurried back and forth from the kitchen. On one trip

through the kitchen door she let the door open far enough that Dilly and Marsden

saw Sam taking a bath in the kitchen. Imagine what fun two children had with the

memory of that sight!

Dilly and Marsden started school in Mt. Carmel. They were kept in the

same classroom, much to Dilly's disgust. Neither child had any trouble with

schoolwork since their mother had prepared them so well. From the time they

were very little, they had the twenty volume set of Book Of Knowledge in their

house which she and Marsden devoured. Many years later, Dilly's son John loved

a newer version of the same set of books.

In school they read books for grades and Dilly always read every word,

cover-to-cover but Marsden discovered he could read the first and last chapter

and prepare a report on just those and get the same grade. Father admitted it
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 92)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 92)


[page 92]

[corresponds to page 83 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

wasn't right but didn't know what he could do about it.

Dilly remembers having the family picture taken and her mother wearing a

new dress she had made, "It was light blue with bright orange trim and I couldn't

stand the clashing colors" commented Dilly. Already she was beginning to take

after her father while her brother resembled his mother.

[photo: The Dillenbecks in 1914 in Mt. Carmel]

The houses in Mt. Carmel were built so close together, there was barely

room to get a wheelbarrow between them. One night the family was awakened

by the neighbor banging on the wall and they looked outside to see the

neighor's house on fire just beyond Dilly's room. Mother called to wake up the

children and told them to get dressed. Marsden was so much asleep he never

really woke up to get dressed and ended up with his legs in the armholes, etc.

This frustrated and annoyed Dilly who called for help and dragged him to their

parent's room. Mother took over dressing Marsden and told Dilly to go get her

clothes and bring them back. Terrified Dilly had to leave the safety of her

mother's room and walk towards the fire blazing outside her room, get her

clothes and return to her mother's room. When she got back to her mother's

room, Dilly discovered she had dropped a black stocking and therefore had to

return to her room and brave the fire again to retrieve it. When she was dressed

and they got her brother dressed, her father carried her brother and her mother

collected their 'valuables' in a comforter and the family went to safety across the

street. The fire department was able to put out the chimney fire without damage
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 93)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 93)


[page 93]

[corresponds to page 84 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

to the parsonage but the stress of the scare caused eight year old Dilly's hair to

fall out.

Being minister's children, Dilly and Marsden were always expected to do

the right thing. This is a very difficult standard for children. One day some boys

began poking at Marsden because they knew he would not fight back. Naturally,

Marsden came out on the short end of the fight and went home the worse for

wear. His father took him aside and told him that although fighting was not right,

he would have to stick up for himself.

The mountains in Mt. Carmel, inspired Andrew, who loved hiking. He

convinced two of his parishioners to join him on a hike across the height of

Pennsylvania. This love of mountain hiking left an impression on Dilly.

Hollis, New York

From 1917 to 1921, the family lived in Hollis in the Borough of Queens in

New York City. Dilly went to School #35 where many famous people, such as Art

Buckwald, have been educated. It was a big brick school which housed grades

one through eight. It was education at its best. To Dilly's delight, the school

officials allowed her to skip the fourth grade which put her in different classes than


Her parents were both active in the war effort. Andrew was in charge of a

warehouse which stored the food, blankets, clothing and other items collected by

the Lutheran churches across the United States for the Belgium War Relief. He

organized them and got items shipped to Belgium. Pearl worked in the

warehouse office and helped Andrew. This necessitated hiring someone to cook

and look after Dilly and Marsden so a cousin was employed to take care of them

Her cooking was awful! Her cookies tasted so bad that the children devised

many ways to hide them until they were away from the

table and could get rid of them.

Dilly always wished she had inherited the family

ability to speak in front of a group. Her father was a

wonderful speaker. When her brother graduated from

Hamilton he got all the prizes for public speaking. Dilly

gets tongue tied and can not think in front of a group.

Once in the fourth grade she was asked to do math

mentally but when she stood up in front of the class, she

drew a blank. When she sat down, the answers came

easily. Later she was to be in a Thanksgiving play and

had learned all her lines, but when she tried to say them

she couldn't so she was removed from the cast.

[photo: Dilly and Violet Van

Houten in 1919 at Far

Rockaway Beach in

Their Swimming Suits]

Home economics was an important part of the

school curriculum. Dilly began to sew in the sixth grade.

Her first big project was a slip with shoulder straps which

she made entirely by hand. Her mother realized Dilly had

a knack for the art of sewing. For years she had made

crude doll clothes making up the patterns as she went.

Now she applied her new skills and began to make very
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 94)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 94)


[page 94]

[corresponds to page 85 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

fashionable doll clothes. Her father hired a carpenter to make a dresser to

house all the doll clothes.

In the eight grade, Dilly made her first dress entirely by hand. Because of

her short stature, store bought clothes always needed altering from a 14 to an 8.

Often the sleeves had to be removed and the shoulder decreased. Always the

cuffs were too big. Sometimes mother had dressmaker come in and alter

clothes for Dilly. Now she could do some of this for herself. She even designed

some of her own clothes. To this day she still enjoys hemming by hand. Cooking

was also part of the home economics course but Dilly doesn't remember much

about it.

Later Dilly hemmed a skirt above her knees which really upset Pearl. As

usually happened in the family, Andrew was brought in to mediate between the

two. He decided Dilly should lower the skirt half between the two disputed

lengths. Since she had plenty of hem, she was able to do so.

Aunt Alice, Pearl's sister', taught Dilly to crochet and knit. Once Dilly knit

a coat but she never liked it after she got it finished.

[photo: Dilly and Marsden with Uncle John

Dillenbeck, a Soldier at Camp Slocam]

In 1918, a flu epidemic swept

through the Army Camp on Long

Island and through Hollis. Uncle John

who was stationed at the Army Camp,

Pearl, Dilly, Marsden and even the

cousin, Martha, who was hired to cook

came down with the flu. This left

Andrew to take care of all of them.

Not only was he not a good cook,

Andrew was all thumbs in the kitchen

and this made Pearl nervous. One

day she couldn't stand it any longer

and got out of bed to help prepare

food. At the same time she got up a

wagon full of caskets went by the

house on its way to the Army Camp

and Andrew ordered her back to bed

or she would be the next one in a

casket. "I don't remember what he fed

us but we knew not to complain,"

remembered Dilly.

The family finally got its first

phonograph, a Pathe, which was not

the most expensive but a very good player. Of course one had to use Pathe

records on it. The family enjoyed the Red Seal records which were operas and

good music.

Dilly was in the eighth grade on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918. She

remembers the headlines on the paper kept getting bigger and bigger as the war

progressed. On Armistice Day the entire student body was marched outside and

stood in lines near the cannon on the front lawn while they sang the Star

Spangled Banner and other patriotic songs. It was a moving experience.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 95)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 95)


[page 95]

[corresponds to page 86 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

In the eighth grade Dilly had

a crush on Lowell Crosby whose

initials were L C. So Dilly adopted

the middle name of Elsie.

Also that year, the school

saw fit for Marsden to skip the

seventh grade so he and Dilly were

back in the same classroom.

Being in a minister's family

is like always living in a fishbowl.

Someone is continually watching,

waiting for you to do something

inappropriate. On Sundays we

were allowed to read the Bible but

nothing else. If we played Finch,

we had to pull the shades

"One member of our parish

was Mr. Few. He had a daughter

my age and a son who was

Marsden's age. We used to chant,

'Mr. Few has two Few children!"

recalled Dilly. Well, one day Mr.

Few was talking about another member of the community not keeping the

Sabbath and then he said to my father, "If I ever see you playing croquet on

Sunday, I'll quit the church." Father didn't like that one bit.

Pearl had been brought up in Hartwick Seminary and was used to this

stringent code. The only card game she played was Finch. However she enjoyed

parlor charades and music.

While living in Hollis, Dilly was asked to wash the silverware after a church

dinner. When she entered, the women were talking about her mother because

they did not like a stand she had made on an issue. Dilly remembers that the

comments hurt when she knew they were talking about her mother. She grew up

thinking congregations as a whole are a pain in the neck to the minister's children.

Another time the family had gotten a new dark mahogany chair with a

beautiful green plush seat. This chair was by far their nicest. One day a family

came to call and brought their daughter who was rather backward. The girl sat

on the beautiful chair. All children were suppose to sit quietly while the grownups

visited. The girl did a good deal of squirming but remained in the chair. When

the family left, Pearl was horrified to discover the girl had wet the chair. She

scrubbed to remove the stain and smell and of course that ruined the plush seat.

They continued to use the seat and Dilly had to continue to treat the girl like

everyone else even though she knew the girl should have asked to go out.

In Hollis, Dilly developed her love of the theater. Both of her parents loved

the theater, her mother operas and her father musicals. In the town of Jamaica

two miles away they had 6 acts of vaudeville. However father loved to hike and

insisted they hike the two miles to the theater. He always gave in after the play

and they took the trolley home.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 96)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 96)


[page 96]

[corresponds to page 87 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Once a year the family traveled into New York for the extravaganza at the

Hippodrome. It was all very exciting but they never made an opera at the New

York Metropolitan Opera.

In Hollis, Dilly's mother worked in the public library while the librarian was

on vacation and allowed Dilly to join her and even put away the fairy tales thus

planting the seed for a future career.

"While they were building a new parsonage in Hollis, we moved into

another house. Across the street was a girl who worked in a bookstore and she

would sneak me books," recalled Dilly. Then many of the books came in sets like

the Red Cross girls, the Fielding books, etc. Dilly read everything she could get

her hands on. when her mother found out what was happening, she put a

damper on the fun by explaining to Dilly the girl was spending part of her small

earnings on books for Dilly and that was not right.

[photo: Girl Scout Dilly by the Rose

of Sharon Bush in Hollis]

Dilly found a Girl Scout Handbook in the

library and wanted to earn those beautiful merit

badges. She asked her mother to help start a troop

but her mother was too busy with church activities.

Pearl went to the school and found a teacher to take

the troop. Although they moved so often, Dilly was

never able to earn all the badges she wanted to but

she did enjoy all her scouting, especially the camps.

It worked out that the entire family was to be in

camps at the same time - Dilly in Girls Scout camp,

her parents in a church camp and Marsden in Boy

Scouts of America Camp - all on the Hudson River.

Dilly loved every bit of her camp but 12 year old

Marsden had a rough time. He developed a boil on

his backside and when he realized the doctor was

going to lance it, he shouted "Get away from me

you bums! You're not going to touch me." When the week was over, Dilly got

permission to stay another week. Although Dilly never got homesick in camp, she

did manage to get a plantar wart on her foot which was very painful and became

a woman for the first time - both memorable experiences not related to scouting.

When they moved to Lockport there was no Girl Scout Troop. Later in

Johnstown, she was again in scouting and did community service by cataloging

a junior high library. She was a Girl Scout Leader with 2 assistants and 36 girls.

That summer she went to Camp Edith Macy on the Husdon River for training.

The trainers were all marvelous speakers which added to a memorable


Although the tents were up when they arrived in camp, they had to take

them down at the end. When unrolling the side of the tent to put it away, the girls

discovered a nest of mice. Dilly remembered feeling something run across

her face during the night but thought it was a dream. The entire experience was

wonderful but she would never recommend 36 girls in a troop. She spent two

summers as a camp counselor for 8 year olds. She never did learn to swim.

Marsden and her father could go to the YMCA but there was no where for girls to
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 97)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 97)


[page 97]

[corresponds to page 88 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

swim. However, after graduation, Dilly went to a

YWCA Conference in the Adirondacks. One night,

she and Betty, another girl attending there, went by

the pond and decided to go skinny dipping and

cool off. "Imagine me doing that," remembered


The entire family loved the Hollis parish.

Andrew was a minister in a home mission church.

While he was there they paid for the church so

they could burn the mortgage. Pearl played the

pump organ for which Dorothy and Marsden

provided the air by moving the bellows. "I

considered this a serious charge and paid attention

to what I was doing. My brother would sneak the

funnies in and read them so sometimes when

Mother tried to play there was not any air."

However, all was forgiven and they were sorry to

see us leave. The church gave Pearl a platinum

broach with an amethyst, Dilly a lavaliere with an

amethyst, Marsden a tie tack with an amethyst, and

Andrew a beautiful Hamilton watch.

[image: Saturday, June 16, 1934

Counsellors Are

Signed For Girl

Scout Camp Trip

Several Who Are to Help

Direct Month's Camping

Jaunt, Opening July 7,

Are Secured by Camp

Committee for 1934.

With the marked increase in the

number of Camp Kowaunkami reg-

istrations for the 1934 summer sea-

son, the indications are that a

large camp will again be featured

by the Fulton County Girl Scouts

Inc., The applications show that a

large percentage of old campers

are returning and an unusual influx

of new ones.

The camp will have a four week

period as last year with Jennie

Mudgett and Jeanne, her assistant,

back as cook and assistant and

Dorothy Dillenbeck and Barbara

Nash, both members of the 1934

staff returning for their second sea-

son in the Iroquois and Chippewa

units, respectively.

Miss Dillenbeck Returns

During the past year, Miss Dil-

lenbeck, of Johnstown, has been

employed at the Stratford District

School and has conducted a special

class there in outdoor cooking.

This practical demonstration of the

technique of a camp counsellors

training course which she took at

the National Camp Edith Macy last

year will be of value to all the 10-

12 year old campers who will be in

the Iroquois Unit with her and her

two assistants this year. "Dilly" as

she is known to all campers, will

be welcomed back by her large cir-

cle of camping friends.]


While Lockport turned out to be Andrew's

favorite parish, it didn't start out that way.

Ministers cannot always choose when they will be

changing parishes. Although they try to make

summer changes to help the children in school, it

is not always possible. Because the family moved

the last months before school was out, Dilly and

Marsden had to repeat the eighth grade in

Lockport. Not only was this a degrading

experience for the children, it did not sit well with

their mother or father.

The principal of the school was from military

school and was very strict. He walked as though

he had a rod in his back. Dilly was unhappy because they put her back but she

loved the orchestra

. One of the men in the church wanted orchestra music for church service.

So he started an orchestra and provided instruments if the children would learn

to play them. Dilly, who had gone to a music conservatory to learn the piano,

selected the cello. Now the cello is a big instrument and Dilly was a small girl.

Her brother laughed at her trying to play it and was very surprised when she did

learn to make music with the cello. He chose the violin and so for a long time

they squeaked together. Dilly continued to play the cello throughout high school.

Her friend, Ollie Smith, also played the cello. His father was Dilly's piano

teacher at the conservatory. One Christmas Ollie asked Dilly if he could carry her
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 98)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 98)


[page 98]

[corresponds to page 89 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

cello home. She said yes. When they got to her house, he presented Dilly with

a gift and said "I think you should give me a kiss." Dilly replied, "I couldn't do

that!" and the young man left. So much for the future of that affair! Dilly returned

to carrying her own cello home.

Mr. Haviland, the orchestra conductor, was a wonderful musician and

expected top performance from all members of the orchestra. "We did a lot of

starting and stopping until we got it right," remembers Dilly. However, it paid off

because when the orchestra went to a contest, they ranked first - a thrill which

carrried over into their adult lives.

In addition to the orchestra, Dilly played in the pit orchestra for school

operettas and sang in the girls chorus.

Dilly didn't really enjoy high school as such. She was always bested by

Marsden in the grade department. Her cello was the highlight of those years.

Marsden was selected editor and chief of the

yearbook and Dilly helped him.

Dilly and her father were both blonds while her mother and brother were

both brunettes. Her mother took care of Dilly's hair and was very upset when she

had it cut her sophomore year in high school. At the time Dilly, age 15, was

working in a real estate office as a filing clerk. She was filing in the drawers when

the boss walked in behind her and exclaimed, "Girl, what have you done?" "Then

I realized I had really done something awful," remembers Dilly.

All the time Dilly was in school her parents selected sturdy shoes

purchased two sizes larger than needed so she would wear them for two years.

By the second year the shoes were worn as well as not fashionable. Dilly

remembers hating the shoes so much, she would sneak her pumps into a bag

and carry them to school and change so she felt more fashionable. Of course her

mother eventually caught her and it was back to the sturdy shoes. She was also

becoming clothes conscious.

Dilly doesn't remember dating in high school. We would go to a basketball

game and sit near each other but we always found our own way there and home.

The cars just had room for six people so any more than that and someone always

had to sit on someone's lap. Since Dilly was small, she was usually elected to be

on someone's lap.

One handsome fellow is [sic in] her class had a beautiful voice and went to

Hollywood to play in B movies. At the same time a beautiful girl in her class,

named Ryan, was a pianist and also went to Hollywood to be in movies.

Everyone thought the two would marry. However, the girl returned and married

the president of Dilly's class who was a banker.

The high school was very large and they gave lessons in everything. The

conservatory often put on extra teachers to handle additional subjects. When the

school put on a musical, everyone in town came.

Dilly loved taking piano lessons but she wasn't a natural like her brother.

Marsden was very good at ear training and melody writing but Dilly struggled with

them. She really wanted to take the course but only got a 62 or 63 in the course.

Of course, Marsden who sang beautifully and played the violin very well, passed


One of life's character building events happened in English IV, when Dilly
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 99)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 99)


[page 99]

[corresponds to page 90 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

again faced being tongue tied in front of the class. Her mother told her to stop

thinking everyone is looking at her and just talk to the class. One day after Dilly

stumbled through her presentation, a little bow-legged boy who had a crush on

Dilly since 8th grade got up and said how good her presentation was. While his

thought was nice, it didn't make her feel any better.

Andrew did not like Monday because that was always washday and he had

to get the water for Pearl who washed her clothes in large glavanized tubs which

sat on a bench- like structure with a wringer in the middle. Pearl was very modern

and had given up boiling her clothes, but Dilly remembers seeing her aunt boil all

her clothes. While in Lockport, Andrew bought Pearl one of the first washers, a

General Electric, with a big barrel tub which went around. A hose connected to

the water at the kitchen sink. Now Andrew was free to do other things on


Dilly remembers their Regina floor cleaner. Using it required two people:

one in the front to direct the hose and pull the unit, and the second in back to

operate the bellows to create the vacuum to suck up the dirt into the canister in

the middle. Dilly remembers calling, "M-o-m. Marsden isn't pumping." To which

her mother always replied that if she was doing a good job on her end she would

be too busy to notice what Marsden was doing. Of course, a book was always

waiting and Dilly wanted to get the chores done as quickly as possible.

Each spring the carpets were rolled up and put on a line so the dirt could

be beaten out of them. Naturally the task had children written all over it. Old

newspapers, from under the rugs, were thrown away and replaced with new ones

before the carpets were replaced. The good thing about the task was that it was

only done once a year.

In 1924-26, cars were few and far between but one of the women in her

father's parish had convinced the church members that their minister really

needed a car to attend to all the parishioners and they raised the money for the

most inexpensive car of the time, Chevrolet. The car was open with Isinglass

panels to put on in case of rain. The family thought it was great.

Mabel Gooding was in Dilly's high school class. She was a good friend of

both Marsden and Dilly. One day the church group was going on an outing and

the transportation assignments had been made. Mable wanted to go in Dilly's car

but she was not on that list. However she told everyone she was and caused a

big scene. Pearl caught her in the lie and told Marsden and Dilly they were to

have no further contact with Mable. They both liked her and felt their mother's

punishment was a little strict but they also knew there was no way around it.

Pearl had been brought up in the Hartwick Seminary and was totally

indoctrinated with the belief that anyone who lied, drank any form of alcohol or

smoked even cigarettes would surely go to hell. Once again, these ideas were

also impressed upon her children but moderated a little by their father's beliefs.

At this time in Dilly's life she experienced the only event in her life she

would not do over again. It has always been an embarrassment to her that she

could have done something so terrible which impacted not only on her but on her

entire family. The memory brings forth terrible emotions to this day.

Dilly's father subscribed to The Saturday Evening Post and Cosmopolitan,

which Dilly loved to read. She thought the glamorous life described in the articles
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 100)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 100)


[page 100]

[corresponds to page 91 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

and by F. Scott Fitzgerald must be wonderful. She wondered what it would be

like to wear long gloves and sip champagne.

When Dilly was a senior she took Physics and was paired with a 23 year

old boy, Scott Wiles, who was returning to school. He asked her to a dance and

she agreed to go. They double dated with another couple. Instead of going

directly to the dance, Scott was of age and took them to a speakeasy. Having

him get them in was very exciting. Dilly knew she shouldn't be there but she had

to see what it was like. They each ordered a drink so Dilly had a Tom Collins.

After their drink they went on to the dance. Dilly told her neighbor where they had

been and enjoyed the dance. After the dance when Scott suggested going back

for another drink, Dilly agreed. After another Tom Collins, Scott took her home.

Dilly went to bed enjoying the glamorous feeling.

The next day her father wanted to talk with her and she knew he had found

out about her evening. Indeed the neighbor girl told her parents who told Dilly's

father. He was upset and kept her out of school for a week and then the school

expelled all of them. At the end of the week, Andrew asked Dilly to walk with him.

He walked her the length of Main Street and back again so all the people could

see she was forgiven. Dilly looks at that humiliating walk as one more of the

many character building experiences of her youth. Of course she got no

sympathy from her brother, Marsden.

But unfortunately, that was not the last Dilly was to hear of the experience.

When she tried to enter Elmira College, her application had to go to the principal

for his recommendation. Because of her expulsion, he refused to give her a good

recommendation so she could not get in college. "I remember Father pacing the

floor and not saying very flattering things about the principal," commented Dilly.

Then her father was so upset he took the train to the college to discuss the matter

with the college president. The president overruled the decision and Dilly was


Elmira College

The first social event on the

campus was a formal reception given

by the college president. Dilly

dreaded going since he knew of her

past. When she approached him in

the receiving line, the president gave

her a big smile and she smiled back

as he said, "I hope you enjoy being at

Elmira." He never brought up the


[photo: "Where It All Began," says Carleton.

Dilly's Dorm Window Where She First Saw

Carleton Coming Up the Walk]

When Dilly was taking her

physical for college they knew she

was anemic. The doctor

recommended liver shots which she

took regularly and all signs of the

anemia disappeared.

Dilly had her first friend die
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 101)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 101)


[page 101]

[corresponds to page 92 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

while she was in college. One of her high school friends got tuberculous and was

isolated at home. When she went to see her, Dilly's father insisted she go no

further into the house than the porch. Not only did her friend die, but the girl's

mother and sister got the same disease and it also took their lives. Years later

Dilly, Laura Whitney and Pauline Livingston provided ice cream to the TB patients

in the Nightingale Cottage in Columbus.

In college she lived in a dorm with 2 classmates her first year, another 2 her

second year. Her third year Irene Miller asked to live with her. She had the only

phonograph player. Her senior year she wanted to live with her friend Fitchie, but

Irene asked her so she stayed with Irene. Dorm life was very educational! Her

best college friends were Fitchie and Gert. They were together so much they

became known as The Three Musketeers: Fitchie was known as Aramis, Gert as

Porthos, and Dilly as Athos. "All my college friends are still alive but Fitchie,"

noted Dilly.

For physical education, Dilly took three years of interpretative dancing and

a year of gym. During her senior year she was in charge of taking a group of

girls, who didn't participate in gym, hiking.

[photo: Carleton S. Burrer in 1929 at

Westinghouse in Pittsburgh]

Math was never Dilly's long suit. She worked

and worked at it. Once her roommate who was

planning to be a math teacher, took Dilly aside and

said she would teach her math or she shouldn't be

a math teacher. They worked and worked on it.

When Dilly took a test with five questions, the last

was calculus and she knew she needed to spend all

her time on the other four questions and be sure

they were right before tackling the last one. She

passed but with a very low score because of the last


While she was in Elmira in 1926, the girls

would ride the trolley downtown for 7 cents to see the

movies. The ride took her past the beautiful

Victorian Mansion which was the home of Mark

Twain's wife, Olivia Langton. Twain knew Langton's

brother who introduced the two. It was a match and

Twain married Olivia.

Dilly had another member of the Langton

family, Ida, as her English teacher for the Romantic

Poets - Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. Ida was to be another character

building experience for Dilly. She stood tall and straight (must have worn a stiff

corset to hold such a pose) and was obviously over qualified for this teaching

position. In addition to being the niece of Mark Twain's wife, she had a Ph. D.

from Yale and had written on many subjects including Milton. When someone

was reciting, the teacher stared out the window as though bored. If Dilly had liked

poetry more it might have been easier but while she enjoyed Keats, she found

Wordsworth impenetrable, Bryan exciting, and Shelley too philosophical. When

the final grades were posted, Dilly had to repeat the class and unfortunately she

had the same teacher. The second time she got through the course.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 102)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 102)


[page 102]

[corresponds to page 93 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Fifty years later when Dilly returned to the Elmira campus, she and Carleton

retraced the trolley trip downtown and the mansion was gone. In its place was

a parking lot. Such a disappointment!

[photo: Carleton and Dilly

Senior PromWeekend]

Dilly remembers her first movies were

silent films, with a piano player providing music.

The theaters were usually a dirty hole in the

ground type but the life on the screen made it all

wonderful. The Saturday afternoon movies were

often serials such as "The Perils of Pauline" with

Pearl White, so one had to go each week to keep

up with the story. Of course, all the girls had

heavy crushes on the movie stars and collected

pictures of them. One of her favorites was John

Gilbert. When she later met Carleton she though [sic thought]

he looked like Gilbert. "It Happened One Night"

with Clarke [sic Clark] Gable and Claudette Colbert was a

favorite movie. Some other films and stars

Dilly remembers seeing are Adolph Menjou in

"Blonde or Brunette," Ronald Colman and Vilma

Banky in "A Night of Love," Great Garbo and

Antonio Moreno in "The Temptress," Lillian Gish

in "Scarlet Letter," and of course, John Gilbert

and Greto [sic Greta] Garbo in "Flesh and the Devil."

Her love of the theater was further

nourished by the repertory group which put on

plays in Elmira. Dilly remembers going to see

the group put on a different play each week with

the same cast of characters. The hero one week

might be the villain the next week which often

caused frustration among the girls.

[photo: Andrew L. Dillenbeck in 1933

at Canajoharie]

Dilly found some interesting notes in her

diary of her 1926-27 year at Elmira which contain

the following prices: Haircut - .50, Riding lesson -

$1.00, Eskimo Pie - 5 cents, Trolley fare - 7 cents, 1/2 pint of

ice cream - 15 cents, Danish pastry 10 cents, Middy - $1.60,

and a Babe Ruth 5 cents. Dinner at Browns was 30 cents

or 40 cents, dinner at Creighton's was 55 cents or one

could have pancakes for 20 cents. Schoonovers had

Sundaes for 20 cents

Of course, the big highlight of Dilly's

college days was the blind date with Carleton for

the Senior Prom. Without that event this book

would not be written.

Andrew Honored

In 1927 Andrew's Alma Mater honored
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 103)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 103)


[page 103]

[corresponds to page 94 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

him with the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. He was one of the founders

of Hartwick College and president of the last named board five years. He was

statistical secretary of the United Lutheran Synod in New York for four years and

president of the Council of Churches in Lockport and Johnstown. He taught the

course in Religious Education two years in the Theological Seminary at Hartwick.

He was the first president of the Dillenbeck Family Association in America and

spent twenty years compiling data for his genealogy book.

[photo: Andrew and Alice Dillenbeck


In 1951, Pearl Dillenbeck died following a very

long illness. Andrew married a widow who became

Gramma Alice to John Burrer. Alice only had an

eighth grade formal educataion but she had the

sweetest personality. She sought out rough stuff

and sold it to antique dealers.

Shortly before his death, Andrew returned to the

pulpit of the Stone Arabia Church where he had

started his ministry. He died in 1963.


Dilly's brother Marsden graduated from

Hamilton College in New York in 1930 with a major

in speech. While he was in college he was

president of Tau Kappa Epsilon and sang in the choir. He was a student in the

C.M.T.C. training camp in Plattsburg one summer.

Marsden had a jazz band which he directed. He also played the violin and

sang with the band. Sometimes he would even wear his tux to school because

he wouldn't have time to change. Well, he spent too much time with the band

and his fraternity and didn't study so he failed his English exam his senior year

and could not graduate. They gave him the test a second time and he passed.

After graduation he taught English for four years in Hartwick Academy and

taught Public Speaking in Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa, during a summer

session. He completed his Masters at University State of New York in Albany and

became principal of the school in Ephratah.

[photo: Winifred and Marsden Dillenbeck, Dilly Burrer]

He married Winifred Purdy

who worked for the principal of

Rye High School and taught

commercial studies. They both

loved to travel and enjoyed life.

While teaching in Rye, the

wealthy parents of many of the

children would approach Marsden

and tell him their son or daughter

needed to pass his class to go on

to the better schools. Marsden's

method of teaching was to

challenge each student thus they

found themselves working and

enjoying Marsden's classes so
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 104)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 104)


[page 104]

[corresponds to page 95 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

much they passed on their own.

Always a good story teller, it did not surprise the family when Marsden

became a reader for Scribner publishing company. While there Marsden wrote

reader's guides for some of the classics, including Graham's children's classic,

Wind in the Willows and Galsworthy's, Man of Property.

Marsden began drinking which brought back horrible memories for his

father. Andrew feared Marsden would follow in his grandfather Luther's footsteps

but Marsden was a clever alcoholic who still was able to be a good teacher and

carry on a normal life.

Unfortunately there were no children born to Marsden and therefore it was

the end of Captain Andrew Dillenbeck's line.

Dilly's Graduate Work

The women in Dilly's family tended to be teachers. In addition to her

mother, Aunt Alice (her mother's sister) was also a very strict teacher. "I've always

thought Aunt Alice looked like a owl around her eyes. She was very disciplined

and always wore a long black skirt, black hose and little black slippers which

snapped at the side." Rev. Lambert Swackhammer and his daughter Catherine

Margaret (Dilly's grandmother) were also teachers. Of course her mother thought

she should consider the field but it was not for Dilly.

By the time she graduated from high school, Dilly knew she wanted to be

a librarian and have access to all those books. Throughout her youth, her mother

had tried to protect her from the fantasy world presented in books and carefully

watched everything Dilly read. One time she was reading Zane Grey's Betty Zane,

and her mother saw the book. Pearl saw the girl on the cover and decided it was

a love story so she made Dilly take the book back to the library. She did but later

she would return, find the book and stand in the aisle and read it. She finished

the book but her mother never knew it.

The books she loves, she reads over and over. Some of the favorites were

Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, The Last Days of Pompeii, Ben Hur, and Jane

Austin's novels. Her favorite period in history was the Roman Empire so naturally

she likes anything about that period.

Following graduation from Elmira in 1930, with a degree in pre-library, Dilly

went to Columbia University and worked her way through Library Science

graduate school. A Masonic Scholarship helped with tuition but she needed other

funds for room, board, books, etc. Her father knew the President of Wagner

College and he gave Dilly a job in the Wagner College Library on Staten Island.

She worked on Wednesday afternoons, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and

Friday nights and all day Saturdays. The job included a room and board in a

house with other teachers and college employees, and a small amount of

spending money.

While in the library she began her love affair with Time magazine which

she has faithfully read ever since. Now while her eyesight is failing, she listens to

Time being read over a special radio in her home but still gets the print copies

which she scans with the aid of a magnifying glass.

The trek to Columbia University each day began at 8 a.m. with a walk

across campus to catch a bus to the Staten Island ferry. The 30 minute ferry ride
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 105)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 105)


[page 105]

[corresponds to page 96 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

took her to Manhattan where she caught the subway to Columbia for a total of

one and half hour trip to school. This meant she spent three hours a day just

traveling to and from school.

To pass the time on the subway, Dilly would study people's faces and try

to figure out what they did, where they were going, etc. She wove some

complicated fantasies about her fellow travelers but never asked any to confirm

her ideas.

Using the library at Columbia became a challenge. Instead of using

the Dewey system to catalog, this library used Library of Congress cataloging so Dilly

had to learn a new system.

The boarding house was a new experience for Dilly who had lived a

sheltered life. "One day, I remember one of the men who lived in the house was

from Singapore and I was asking him questions about his background while

standing in my doorway. He took the questions as a personal interest in him and

the next thing I knew he had closed the door to my room, turned off the light and

was starting to make improper advances. I quickly opened the door and led him

out when the 6'3" coach, who roomed across the hall, heard my raised voice and

offered to help if I had any more trouble."

"The boys were studying to be ministers and I knew I did not ever want to

be a minister's wife so I didn't do any serious dating. Besides, I had already met

Carleton and knew he was the man for me," remembers Dilly.

By the second year at Columbia, Dilly moved into an apartment on 18th

Street. The art librarian was divorced and sublet rooms for $6 per week so Dilly

took one. Her room was very small with only room for a desk, a chair and a cot

and of course the shared bathroom down the hall. The window looked out on the

inner court because those rooms were cheaper. To give herself more space, Dilly

left the door open and her friends would come to her room to hang out.

Her job at Columbia was in the foreign periodicals department. The library

closed at 9 p.m.. One night after closing Dilly was on her way home and it was

raining so she stopped, took off her glasses and put them in her case. Then she

stopped at the corner grocery to get a bottle of milk. Coming out of the store was

a man in a Chesterfield coat with a black velvet collar and a Fedora hat. He

nodded to Dilly and said, "They'll be out in a minute." She was so surprised to

see anyone dressed like this that she was really taken back when a second man

came out of the backroom dressed just like the first in a Chesterfield coat with a

black velvet collar and a Fedora hat. He, too, said, "They'll be out in a minute."

Dilly went on into the store and soon discovered the store had been robbed and

the only help she could give the police was the description of the men's hats and

coats. Perhaps if she had not taken off her glasses she would have noticed

something else!

Her apartment was on the second floor of a three story building. One night

Dilly rang the bell but the elevator never came. After several attempts she walked

the stairs. Later she discovered there were robbers in the building, and they had

the elevator operator tied up.

Since Dilly was earning her own way through graduate school, she had little

money for clothes but since she wasn't dating she didn't need many and the ones

she had made were fine.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 106)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 106)


[page 106]

[corresponds to page 97 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

After two years, she got her Masters of Library Science from Columbia

University in 1932 after writing her thesis on the editions of the Bible.


Following graduation, she went home to Johnstown and clerked in a

department store as she had done on several vacations from school. This was

a rough time because she now had two degrees but following the Depression,

jobs were very scarce. She spent three months cataloging and helping the

librarian at Johnstown Junior High. Her friend Fritchie, who was a [an] excellent

teacher, taught there.

[photo: Dilly at Cooperstown Station with Second

Chevrolet on September 30, 1925]

Dilly also had a job passing

out Franklin D. Roosevelt's slogans

which people were supposed to put

in their windows. Many let her

know they were not going to do it.

During this time, Dilly

volunteered to play the piano for the

Vacation Bible School in her father's

church, worked with Girl Scouts and

made a rock garden for her mother.

Rock gardens were the trend in

flower gardens, Dilly's consisted of

three round flower beds with all the

special effects.

Dilly's father decided to teach

Dilly to drive. While she was

learning she flooded the car and

stopped it right in front of the

trolley, much to her father's

embarrassment. That ended her

driving lessons.

Dilly Goes to Stratford

Finally in 1934 she found a job. She worked through Franklin D.

Roosevelt's W.P.A. as the school librarian in Stratford, a mountain town in the

lower Adirondacks. All grades and high school came to the same school to get

an ED-U-CA-SION. "Imagine me teaching ballroom dancing and arithmetic to

farmers!" Square dancing was popular recreation in the area but they were eager

to learn ballroom dancing so Dilly played the piano while they danced. Outdoor

cooking was also an offered subject.

"If you have read Jesse Stuart's books about mountain folks, you have an

idea of what I faced," remembers Dilly. Many of the folks were squatters on

someone else's property so they didn't welcome strangers to their door. Often

if you did go to a home, you were greeted with a gun. One day a girl came to

fetch the nurse because her mother had been unable to have a bowel movement

for more than a week and was in agony. The nurse had tried before to call on the
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 107)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 107)


[page 107]

[corresponds to page 98 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

people in that house and been greeted by a gun so she was hesitant. However,

when she got to the house the woman was in such agony, the family quickly

admitted her. Later she was again forbidden to enter.

The town nurse owned the house where Dilly rented a room. It was the

only one in town with indoor toilet. The people in the boarding house consisted

of teachers and the nurse.

All of this was over shadowed by the thrill of visiting Sunbury and receiving

an engagement ring at Christmas. Thus she and Carleton began their long



At long last in 1934, Dilly got a bonafide job as the school librarian in

Canajoharie high school making $1475 for the year. As we mentioned before,

Burt Alter was so impressed with her mother's teaching skills, he offered Dilly a

job without seeing her. In fact he never did see her.

For the first 3 or 4 weeks, Dilly commuted to Canajoharie but then she

moved in with her favorite cousin who happened to be an excellent cook. Four

or five months later the director of the Girl Scouts and the physical education

director of the high school asked Dilly to move in with them. So Dilly bought a

studio couch which opened into a bed and they became a threesome. They

were about the same age, had the same interests and therefore had a barrel of


Toward the end of the school year, Dilly mentioned marriage to Carleton

since she had been wearing his ring almost two years. Since she thought they

would be marrying, she did not renew her contract. One weekend, Carleton and

his father, K.O., paid Dilly a visit and K.O. explained to her that Carleton's

grandfather had put his foot down and would not hear of Carleton marrying.

Carleton just sat quietly and listened. "It was like a knife in my heart," whispered


So now she had no job and no prospects for a future. She had a working

relationship with the Wittenberg librarian where

there was an opening for a job but some one

else who was related got the position. Hartwick

College, which her father had help start, was

also looking for someone. A Lutheran college

in Iowa was interested in a head librarian but

Dilly didn't feel she was ready for that responsibility.

Capital University

With her Master in Library Science

degree, Dilly wrote to all the Lutheran Colleges

looking for a position in 1932. She recieved a

lovely letter from Miss Dorothea Conrad at

Capital saying Dilly's qualifications looked good

so she should stop in whenever she was in the

area. In 1935, she still hadn't found the right

[image: 1935.

Assistant Librarian

Named at Capital U.

Miss Dorothy M. Dillenbeck of

Johnstown, N. Y., was named as-

sistant librarian at the Capital

university library, it was an-

nounced this week by Capital of-

ficials. Miss Dillenbeck will assist

Miss Dorothea - M. Conrad, head


She is a graduate of Elmira col-

lege and was later graduated from

Columbia university with a bach-

elor of science degree in library

science. She served as librarian at

Wagner Memorial Luther college

before coming to Capital.]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 108)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 108)


[page 108]

[corresponds to page 99 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

job and her brother, Marsden, who had a new DeSoto, offered to drive her to

Columbus. Along the way, he braked suddenly and Dilly's head hit the

windshield so she arrived at her interview with a bump on her head. Miss Conrad

and Dilly hit it off right away. "I took us downtown to a well known restaurant and

she took us to the Bexley Tea Room," remembers Dilly.

In August, Miss Conrad called and asked her to come to Capital University

as the assistant librarian. It was ideal! The school was Lutheran, away from

home and closer to Sunbury than she had been.

"Miss Conrad was as tall as I am small," chuckled Dilly who compensated

by always wearing high heels until she broke her hip shortly after Carleton died.

Instead of a small office, she had a desk in a large workroom with windows

all the way around. "I felt so lucky."

Miss Conrad had a basement full of books which needed to be catalogued

and assigned them to Dilly. Unfortunately they were written in German and Dilly

had not studied that language. In high school she had taken Latin and Spanish.

At Elmira she studied more Spanish and French. However Dilly's job at Capital

including cataloging the archival books all written in German.

She rented a one bedroom apartment with kitchen and living room for $20

per month, sent for her studio couch and made a bed of turquoise tiles supporting


Several months after she was in Columbus, Dilly called Carleton and asked

him to meet her at Broad'El, a restaurant in Bexley. After he sat down she very

quietly pushed the box containing her engagement ring towards him and told him

she was sorry she hadn't sent it to him sooner. He pushed it back and then

explained the rest of the story. Carleton's grandfather, Mr. Sperry, was widowed

so Carleton and his mother, Daisy, had been living with him at 47 Morning Street

and caring for him. The little money Carleton made was basically supporting the

household. Mr. Sperry thought that was too many mouths to feed and put his

foot down forbidding Carleton to bring a bride into the house. "They never

considered I was working and could be a contributing member of the household,"

recalls Dilly. He went on to explain to me that he had his father tell me because

he couldn't. I was hurt but Carleton was also devastated and embarrassed by the

whole matter. He asked me to keep the ring and we began dating again and

never discussed it again.

Occasionally, the couple would double date with Carleton's high school

friend, Hoyt Whitney, and Laura Crawford. Hoyt was the brother of Polly Horn's

father, Bill Whitney. Seward Arnold from Westinghouse days, and his wife Dottie

joined them and all became good friends for life.

The first year at Capital, Dilly made $1000 per year with the rank of

instructor. The second year she made $1200. Eventually in 1944, she became

an assistant professor and made $2600.

Dilly's roommate, Mary Jane Gorman, was dating Armin Henry Meyer who

graduated from Capital in 1935. He taught mathematics and was dean of men at

Capital. Although he was seven years younger then Dilly, they became good

friends. She often was their fourth for Bridge. When Mary Jane and Armin

married and he had a job in Cairo, he asked Dilly to be the librarian at the

Embassy in Cairo. That was too far from Carleton. Although Armin's marriage
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 109)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 109)


[page 109]

[corresponds to page 100 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Armin Henry Meyer]

ended in divorce, he and Dilly continued to

keep in touch. Since it was very difficult to

get business suits in other countries, Dilly

would pick them out and have them sent to

him. She watched his career grow with the

State Department from Military Attache of

American Legation in Cairo in 1946 to United

States Ambassador to Lebanon, Japan, and

Iran from 1965-69. He later became a

professor at Georgetown University's School

of Foreigh service.

When Armin returned to Capital to give

a speech, he visited the Burrer home. He

had written the memories of his life as an

ambassador and a copy of the book,

Assignment Tokyo, is in the Community

Library Burrer Family Memorial Room.

[photo: Lt. Gen. Robert Eichelberger with

Armin Meyer in the Brown Suit Dilly Chose]

Dilly, the Mountain Climber

Always wanting to be a part of

her father's hiking and mountain

climbing trips, Dilly convinced her

father she really wanted to climb Mt.

Marcy for summer vacation in 1936.

It is the highest peak in the

Adirondacks, and Dilly wanted to say

she had climbed it. The following

item appeared in the local paper:

Local Party Planning

To climb Mt. Marcy

Two local clergymen, the Rev. Edward L. Swartout, Jr., of

the Reformed church, the Rev. Andrew L. Dillenbeck, D.D., of St.

Mark's Lutheran, Mrs. Swartout and Dr. Dillenbeck's daughter,

Dorothy, are planning a climb of Mt. Marcy next Monday.

The quartet will start the ascent at the western approach

from Tahawus and expect to cover ten miles going up and thirteen

miles descending. They plan to spend Monday night at the top

of the mountain, making the return trip Tuesday.

One of the interesting features awaiting them at the top,

5,344 feet above sea level is a view of Lake Pear, the highest lake

in New York state, Avalanche Pass and Lake Colden, all

picturesque sights.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 110)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 110)


[page 110]

[corresponds to page 101 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Rev. Edward L. Swartout, Jr., and his wife were young and in excellent

physical shape because they spent much time hiking and in other sports.

Normally one trains before undertaking such an event but Dilly just knew

she could do it with no problem - after all she had been a Girl Scout.

Although to get to Mt. Marcy, they had to climb several small mountains,

the trip up went fine. The scenery was beautiful. The top was all Dilly knew it

would be and the feeling of accomplishment was invigorating. Unfortunately, on

the return trip, Dilly's legs were cramping badly. When she finally reached the

bottom, she had to go to bed and stay there for a week. Her brother could never

understand how she convinced her father to let her go when he was experienced

and should have realized she was not up to it. Althugh the pain and exhaustion

were not pleasant, Dilly says climbing the mountain was one of her personal

accomplishments. "Once you've climbed a mountain, you're never the same.

Everyone should have the experience." Years later she and Carleton climbed a

smaller Mt. Snowie near Johnstown in one day. G.J. and the Director of the Girl

Scout camp were with them. It was an easy climb and Carleton and Dilly came

down arm in arm.

Columbus had everything Dilly loved. She joined two music clubs and

enjoyed the Bexley players. Columbus had good restaurants, ball teams, and

public transportation which was very important since Dilly had not learned to drive.

While at Capital, Dilly and her friends went to the Hartman Theater in

Columbus. The seats sold out quickly so they would take turns standing in line.

They could only afford tickets in the peanut gallery but the productions were not

to be missed. Usually the Broadway stars toured with the shows that played at

the Hartman. Dilly kept all the show programs and playbills and years later she

had all her collection from the Hartman and those from

Broadway bound.

[photo: Billy Arnold, 1 1/2, and Dilly

in Cincinnati]

One of Dilly's special memories of her

time at Capital is getting to attend the American

Library Association Convention in Cincinnati.

Although she had to pay her own way, it was a

thrill to be in on the biggest gathering of

librarians as they discussed the role of librarians.

The trip was a double hit because Dilly was able

to visit her friend Dottie Arnold, who was now the

mother of Dilly's godson, Billy.

Through the years Dilly and the Arnolds

have remained very close. Dilly's father

baptized Billy in the Arnold's living room. She

watched Billy grow to Bill, go to college at

Florida State University where a circus trained.

Being very strong, Bill learned acrobatics and

became the base for pyramids because he could

lift the girls. After four years in the Air Force, Bill

became a pilot with Delta Air Lines and still flies

to London. He married a flight attendant and

they have two girls now in college.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 111)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 111)


[page 111]

[corresponds to page 102 of Flashback: A STory of Two Families]

[image: Dilly's Ration Books]

The world was at war but Dllly [sic Dilly] was luckier than many people. Being a

minister's daughter she was used to doing without the frills. Times were rough

for everyone so others were also doing without luxuries. Dilly needed ration

books like everyone else. However, she didn't need to worry about gasoline since

she didn't drive. "I fared better than most because I didn't drink coffee, drive or

use liquor," remembers Dilly. Of course her friends did use them so Dilly was

glad to be able to give her ration stamps to others. One friend would call and

remind her it was time for a visit and to bring her ration books. "I remember going

to the store for nylon hose and taking a number which I turned in. When my

number came up, the store would notify me and I would go in to pick up my
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 112)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 112)


[page 112]

[corresponds to page 103 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

stockings," Dilly commented. She remembers a ration on meat and
tires and

people standing in line to make their purchases.

Her biggest concern during the war was for the
safety of
Carleton and her

friends serving in the military. Since she and Carleton had been

for years, this was not a change for her. Now she was visiting
England and

Hawaii through Carleton's letters.

Dilly Looks at Dilly

As all people are the sum total of their genes and their

environment, Dilly sees herself in the following manner.

I am a Democrat and love to follow politics.

I love Masterpiece Theater and rarely miss an episode.

I am a C-Span and C-Span 2 junkie.

I have no ego.

I consider myself professional.

I believe the best profession is Librarian.

I am non-confrontational.

I will always stand up for a friend.

I am aware of my weaknesses.

I am definitely outspoken.

I am easy to get along with.

I have no temper.

I am not courageous.

When I believe in a cause, I stand up and fight for it.

I feel women are definitely equal to men and really

resented a Capital professor once saying women would not equal men.

After all can a man birth a child?

I talk too much.

Would You Do It Over Again?

If I were to live it all over again, I would choose

to do the same things with one exception, I would

be nicer to my mother. I was closer to my father and

Marsden was closer our mother throughout our lives.

While I loved my mother and respected her, we were

not always close.

Being a minister's wife, everyone dumped on Mother.

While the ministered was hired to do his job, it was

assumed his wife was also going to do all the

many other tasks associated with the church-teaching,

singing, playing the organ, preparing church means, etc.

Later, to help with our education, Mother went back

to school to renew her teaching certificate even though

she wasn't well. When I was away at school I did write

her a long letter saying how much I appreciated what she

had done for me.

The rest of my life has been very full - the ups and downs.

Of course, I would do it all over again.

Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 113)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 113)


[page 113]

[corresponds to page unnumbered page of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Dorothy MacNaughton Dillenbeck


Carleton Sperry Burrer

December 30, 1945

[2 photos]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 114)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 114)


[page 114]

[corresponds to page 105 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]


Carleton returned from the war just before Thanksgiving in 1945, and they

were married December 30, 1945, in Mansfield by a friend from Capital. Dilly, who

was always close to her minister father, was just recovering from six weeks of

bronchitis which had left her weak and with a heart murmur. "I knew if my father

performed the wedding service we would both be too emotional and probably

break down and cry," Dilly explained. Seward and his wife, Dottie, and Daisy

Sperry stood up for them. Tthe event was the anniversary of Karl and Daisy's

wedding but this fact was not known to Dilly at the time.

[photo: Daisy Sperry and her Dog in the Backyard on North Morning Street]


was no money

for a wedding

trip so the


returned to

Sunbury and

took up

residence with

Daisy in the

house they

were to call

home on North

Morning Street

until 1979.


continued to

work at Capital

and stayed in Columbus during the week. Some of this time she lived in a dorm

but for a while she stayed with the Arnolds. In all this time she was only alone for

three weeks one summer. On the

weekends, Carleton would pick her

up and she would come to

Sunbury and take care of the


[photo: 47 North Morning Street, Sunbury]

Although she missed

Carleton during the week, she

walked a lot, feeling very safe in

her neighborhood, and had many

friends among the faculty and the

faculty wives. When the time came

for Dilly to leave Columbus, the

faculty women and wives gave a

shower for her.

In October, Daisy and

Carleton went to Columbus and

helped move Dilly, who was seven

months pregnant, to Sunbury.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 115)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 115)


[page 115]

[corresponds to page 106 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

47 North Morning Street

[photo: Grandfather Clock in the Dining Room]

[photo: Living Room]

[photo: Carol Burrer is Watering Flowers]

[photo: Grandaughter Carol Burrer in Living Room]

[photo: Living Room]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 116)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 116)


[page 116]

[corresponds to page 107 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

John Dillen burrer

Two months later, their son,

John Dillen, was born December 14,

1946, just sixteen days before their

first anniversary.

[photo: John Dillen Burrer]

One hundred pound Dilly had

gained thirty pounds during her

pregnancy, so she was really ready for

the big event when the time came. On

the way to the hospital, she, Carleton,

and Daisy chose the name for a son.

They chose John after the Burrer

forefathers and Daisy suggested shortening Dilly's maiden name Dillenbeck to

Dillen. "We all like it. We never even discussed a girl's name," recalled Dilly.

After 30 hours in labor, John was born at 6 A.M. in

White Cross Hospital. "I remember thinking he had a

pinhead but it was love at first sight."

John made a big impact on the family which had not

had little ones for a long time.

John's Grandpa Karl

Burrer, who rarely had time

for his own son, had

recently retired and now

found time to come to the

house and feed baby John.

Perhaps he realized how

much of his own family life

he had missed.

[photo: Dilly and John

Age 5 months]

With Carleton's

knowledge of electronics,

the family had the first

television in town. It had a small 4" screen and the

picture was so "snowy" they had to pull the drapes

to see it. Carleton had put an antenna on the back

porch which he hand-turned to the direction of the


[photo: Marsden Dillenbeck, Dilly

Burrer, and John Burrer,

2 1/2 Years Old]

[photo: Three Generations:

Daisy Sperry

Carleton Sperry Burrer

Dorothy Dillenback Burrer

Andrew Luther Dillenbeck

John Dillen Burrer]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 117)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 117)


[page 117]

[corresponds to page 108 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: June 1948]

[photo: 2 years Old]

[photo: Kinky Clark and John Burrer]

[photo: Val Roberts, Elaine Sherbourne,

John Burrer, August 1951]

Later Carleton took the insides out of an old mahogany phonograph, put

a player inside and attached the little walnut TV for Dilly. The two woods bothered

her so she let it go in an auction, something she later regretted.

When John was young, he thought it would be nice if his mother would

drive and take his friends to events. Dilly signed up and received a driver's

license when it was required but year's later she let it expire. So she took a

driver's test and got everything right on the written test. However, she had three
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 118)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 118)


[page 118]

[corresponds to page 109 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: At Crocker's Cottage

On Caroga Lake

June 1955

Aunt Marie Crocker

Dilly Burrer

John Burrer]

chances to maneuver the car into a parallel parking spot. On the first attempt she

hit the pole in front, on the second the back one, and on the third she hit the

curb. Even though the policeman was nice and suggested she practice some

more and retake the test, she decided she would rather not drive. "I really haven't

missed it," she commented.

[photo: Little League All-Star Team, 1958

Back row: Keith Wampler, John Burrer, Bill Rowland, Terry Buell, Rick

Day, Bob Hartsook

Front Row: Ronnie Rowland, Pete Ross, Darrel Wilson, Billy Owen, Steve

Ruthig, Terry Williamson]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 119)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 119)


[page 119]

[corresponds to page 110 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: "The Sign of Our Bread and Butter"]

[photo: Sunbury Electric Shop Truck]

Following the war, Carleton's business continued to grow as more

appliances were developed and the public was eager to buy them. Of course

this ment more to be repaired and more wiring.

In 1952, Maud Horlocker, the librarian for Community Library went to

Carleton and ask his permission to see if Dilly would be interested in being the

librarian in Sunbury. "That was before women's lib, I guess," laughed Dilly.

Community Library

Mrs. Horlocker had taken a cut in pay from $2400 as a teacher to $1200

as a part time librarian. Mrs. Anderson

also worked with her and left at the

same time. So Dilly took the part-time

job in Sunbury at $1.50 per hour. For

the next 20 of her 22 years with the

library she would work for $2.00 per

hour or less. "I knew the library board

couldn't afford to pay me any more.

But I didn't mind and I've enjoyed

every minute of my work here.

Librarians have never been highly paid

but the position carries a prestige

which implements the salary. Besides

I had a six year old son at home and

Carleton had a successful career

already going so we were able to

handle it," Dilly told the sunbury News.

What a change from the past 11 years

of work in a college library to come to

work in a small town library.

Conveniently the library was located in a former meat market on East

Cherry Street, in the same block in which the Burrer's lived so she didn't need to

worry about transportation. She prepared her meals in the morning and put them

in the oven to bake while she was at work.

[photo: Dilly Balanced Home and Career]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 120)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 120)


[page 120]

[corresponds to page 111 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Community Library was on Cherry Street,

second building from the left. Polly Whitney,

library page, is riding in the July 4th Parade]

Polly's Story

Since Mrs. Burrer will never talk

about her first day on the job, I feel I must

tell my version of that day. Remember I

was only in the 7th grade.

My sister, in the 3rd grade,

and I, in the 4th grade, needed a

community service project for Girl

Scouts and through our neighbor,

Felice Patton, we volunteered to

tie magazines at the library. At

the end of the project Peg was

bored and quit but I continued to

volunteer after school on Tuesday

and Thursday and also Saturday


Not only did I tie magazines,

I shellacked covers of books

following Mrs. Anderson's writng

numbers on the spine with white India ink. It was my assignment to
shelve the books.

Having never heard of Dewey, I arranged the books in order by color,
size and shape.

The result was no one else could find the books so requests were
left by patrons and I

retrieved the books when I got to the library.
I loved Mrs. Horlocker and Mrs, Anderson

and would have done anything for them.

I had started seventh grade when Mrs. Burrer was hired. Her first day I rushed in to

see how impressed she was going to be with our wonderful library. Her first question to

me was "What does this BH mean on this spine?"

I replied, "Boys' Horse Story and it goes on this wall." Then I noticed the look on her

face and quickly added, "The Girls' Horse Stories are over there:
and pointed to the

opposite wall. That little woman let out a big, "W H A T ?" After
I repeated my explanation

she walked to the next shelf of Boys' Mysteries, turned and went back to the desk with

instructions for me to bring all the horse books to her. Thee next thing I knew she was

using a letter opener to scratch off Mrs. Anderson's carefully written labels and relabeled

the books.

Needless to say I was very upset and went home fuming.
I told my mother I had to

quit and could not work for Mrs. Burrer. My mother, in her wisdom,
let me rage on until

I had vent my anger then said it was okay to quit but I needed to give one month's notice.

I immediately wrote my letter of resignation effective in one month and
gave it to Mrs.

Burrer who made no comment. (I'll always wonder if the two had discussed the issue.)

By the end of the month, books were no longer shelved by color, size, or reader's sex.

The patrons could find their own books. Needless to say, I forgot about the resignation

and stayed with Mrs. Burrer through graduation. By the end of the eighth grade, I became

the first page at 10 cents an hour."

In addition to the page, others such as Mary Kay McCool, Lillian Howard,
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 121)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 121)


[page 121]

[corresponds to unnumbered page of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Esther McCormick, Rachel Stockwell and Peggy Livingston helped in the library.

When more shelves were needed for the library, O.W. Whitney bought

shelving for the back room at the meat market. The children's books were

housed on these shelves.

Community Library soon outgrew the old meat market building on Cherry

Street and moved in 1954 into the newly renovated main room of the first floor of

the historic Town Hall located in the center of the village green. The books were

packed in boxes put into a utility wagon pulled behind D.C. Hoover's car. Several

children, including John Burrer, brought their little wagons and pulled those full

of books to the new library. The books were unloaded in the new library and the

movers returned the empty boxes to the old library to be refilled. In this manner

the entire library was moved in a day.

[foldout: Tuesday, August 10, 1954 edition of the Columbus Dispatch



Much of the furnishings and

equipment of Community Library

in its new home in the Sunbury

town hall were gifts from residents

of this community.

More than 200 attended the open

house recenely [sic recently] and librarians from

other villages and cities were high

with their praise of the new home

and the work that is being done by

the library board and librarians of

Community Library.

Besides members of the library

board helping with the open house

were Mrs. James Tarpy, Miss Louise

Sheets, Mrs. Carl Dawson, Mrs.

Marion Owen, Mrs. Craig Hicks,

John Burrer, Brenda Hoover, Polly

Whitney and Mrs. Carleton Burrer,


Gifts for New Library Home

Those presenting gifts for the

new home are given in the follow-

ing: Flooring by Mrs. and Mrs.

Russell W. Miller. Drapes by the

Sunbury YWCA and were made

and hung by Mrs. John Gallogly,

Mrs. O. W. Whitney, Jr., Miss Louise

Sheets, Mrs. Betty Edgerton and

Mrs. R. W. Miller. Outside door

light by the Sunbury Electric Shop.

Outdoor signs by Mr. and Mrs.

Clyde Hottle. Bookmarke by The

Sunbury News. Main Trucking Co.,

Virgil Edwards and Townley-Main

Food Locker for their gifts.

Virginius Howard furnished music

for the open house on the Slack

Funeral Home organ.

Many gifts of flowers were re-

ceived for the open house. These

were from J.R. Neilson, Mr. K. O.

Burrer, Mrs. J. R. VanDivort, Mrs.

Robert Hoover, Sunbury Electric

Shop, whitney Insurance Agency,

Breece Florists, Mrs. Vere William-

son, Mrs. V. R. Howard and Mrs.

Betty Edgerton.

The library board wishes to thank

everyone for their gifts and help

that has made Community Library

one of the finest in the country.

The board lists the following who

help to move and who furnished

free labor to remodel the town hall

for the library:

Mrs. Grace Miller, David Whitney,

Jim Whitney, John Burrer, Bobby

Townley, Hannah Whitney, Kathy

Blume, Judy Owen, Brenda Hoover,

Monna Guidotti, Paul Miller, Jerry

Swickard, Dick Garee, C.S. Burrer,

D. C. Hoover, Peg Whitney, Penny

Whitney, Mr. and Mrs. V.R. How-

ard, Frank Stelzer, Eugene Sparks.

Gary Hensley, Billy Haller, Donald

Bryant, Lynn Walter, Lew Walter,

Peter White, Paul Henry, Mr. and

Mrs. W.H. Patton, Mrs. Maude Hor-

locker, Mrs. Clyde Hottle, J. R.

Neilson, Jerry Perry, Miss Esther

Green, Craig Hicks, Mrs. R. w.

Miller, Lynn Roberts, Matthew

Miller, Mrs. John Gallogly, Polly

Whitney, Mrs. Carl Dawson and

Mrs. Marion Owen.

[photo: NEW HOME -These people had

a big part in the new home of Cim-

munity Library and are looking

over the refreshment table for the

open house. Left to right are Mayor

Glenard Buell of Sunbury, Mrs.

Grace R. Miller, member of one of

the first library boards; V.R. How-

ard, president of the library board

and Mrs. Carleton Burrer, librarian.

-columbus Dispatch Photo]



Sunbury council and Community

Library board met Tuesday even-

ing and made plans for the library

to be moved into the two east

rooms of the first floor of the town


Plans are under way to convert

the present jail room and former

fire engine house into the library.

A small work laboratory and rest

rooms will be installed in the pre-

sent location of the jail. A new

colonial entrance is planned for the

north side of the building. A spec-

ial enclosed reading room for child-

ren is planned.

Community Library was started

ten years ago this June by the Sun-

bury Y. W. C. A. whose members

donated their time and work to run

it for the first year in the former

Kempton building located on the

side of the present Sunbury News

building. The present library

building on East Cherry Street has

been in use nearly nine years and

the books added totaling more

than 8,000 volumes, have necessi-

tated the move to larger quarters.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 122)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 122)


[page 122]

[corresponds to page 113 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Again the library grew rapidly and it became apparent more help was

needed. Two board members, Bea Hottle and Mary Ellen Miller, were attending

a Methodist Church Circle and noticed Evelyn Dawson and Virginia Owen and

recruited them to work in the library. Later Ann Brown joined the force as more

open hours were added.

Six years after the move into the Town Hall, space again became tight. The

village added the east stairs to the second floor and the library became a two

story library. After the Farmer's Bank was built, books surrounded the council


One day Mrs. Bond, the principal from Galena, visited the library and in a

very loud voice exclaimed it was a waste of time for her students to use this library

because after they located a book in the card catalog, they couldn't find it on the

shelves because the books were not properly labeled. Dilly assured her they

simply didn't have the funds to purchase a much needed labeler for Betty Brehm

to use.

Francis Ruthig and Dilly had known for some time that the county budget

commission was not allocating all the collected funds to libraries. Although they

did issue funds when the need was shown, it was suspected more funds were

actually collected.

[photo: Community Library 1954-1994]

Board member, Mr.

Spangler, went to the

courthouse and discovered

there were indeed other

funds. He reported back to

Dilly but so did Judge O W

Whitney, Jr., who let Dilly

know Mr. Spangler's

investigation was not

appreciated in the

courthouse. Not to be

intimidated by the

Republicans, Mrs. Ruthig

and Dilly (both Democrats)

went to the next Budget

hearing armed with the law,

a good budget and the need

for more funds to purchase

much needed equipment

such as the labeler. It took

three years for all the funds

to go to libraries.

Being housed in the center of the square posed a political threat to the

library shortly after the Sesquicentennial (1966) when the village was considering

cutting up the square for more public parking. While using the phone in the

window, Dilly noticed the stakes on the grass and called Bill Whitney at The

Sunbury News to inquire the reason. He forwarded her on to the mayor and she

was horrified to realize the square was about to cease to exist. Some people
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 123)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 123)


[page 123]

[corresponds to page 114 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

including Rachel Stockwell circulated a questionnaire inquiring as to the public's

opinion regarding the square. Others researched the plot map in the court house

and learned the square was protected by the founders. Word went around that

Dilly was heading up the opposition.

When it came time to go to council, Dilly was terrified. While the parking

was vetoed, the atmosphere was not pleasant. Rachel walked Dilly home

afterward. Dilly earned a new reputation, 'If you want to do anything around here,

you have to get Dilly Burrer's OK on it.'

"I learned the end does not always justify the means. I was a public

employee bucking the local government and it was resented. After that I kept a

low profile and kept my strong opinions to myself," noted Dilly.

Later the Progress Club met at O.W. Whitney's house and he, who had

been for the parking, was shocked when he heard these women were furious at

the idea. One member said she stole up to the square in the moonlight and

removed the stakes.

"I always enjoyed working with the members of the Board of Trustees.

Many of these were farmers who once a month met to help oversee the operation

of the library," commented Dilly. They were always there for her and stood by her

in difficult times.

Dilly served on the Federal Jury in Columbus for a three month session,

traveling back and forth with Mac McDonald. During a break in the jury

procedings, she had a cigarette and a Sunbury minister's wife saw her. Later

when Dilly had to question the woman's daughter who was a library page, the

lady said Dilly was unfit to guide young people because she smoked. She had

begun smoking as soon as she had left home as a girl. In fact she remembers her

first cigarette was at the Beakman Tower of the YWCA building in New York City.

It was considered the thing to do and most of her friends smoked. Carleton didn't

approve of women smoking but he never said anything when Dilly enjoyed her

after-dinner cigarette while he enjoyed his pipe. Anyway the Board did not fire

Dilly over the incident.

Years later, her last cigarette also left an impression. The family was on

vacation and Dilly became ill and was admitted to the hospital. When she asked

her roommate if she minded if Dilly smoked, the roommate said she did mind so

Dilly didn't smoke and never did again.

There was never enough money to run the library properly. Dilly's biggest

disappointment was to not have $72 to buy a chained volume of art prints which

she knew the commmunity would have enjoyed. Circulation continually grew but

never as fast as Dilly would have liked.

Each year she carefully prepared her annual report for the community

which was published in The Sunbury News. It not only contained the financial

state of the library but a list of all the memorials received throughout the year.

This was the beginning of the memorial program which is still so popular today.

When Dilly retired in 1975, the library used the entire first two floors of the

building. To replace her the board hired Rachel Edwards as a full time library

director and Polly Whitney Brehm (Horn) as the assistant director to serve as a

part-time children's librarian.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 124)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 124)


[page 124]

[corresponds to page 115 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Inside Sunbury Electric Shop

Carleton S. Burrer, Daisy S. Burrer, Bud Harris, and Walt Gross]

[photo: Sunbury Electric Shop Burns March 17, 1956]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 125)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 125)


[page 125]

[corresponds to page 116 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Carleton Burrer and Jack Crothers

Of Columbus and Southern Ohio Electric

In the Sunbury Electric Shop]

Fire Causes

Carleton to Change


Around noon in

March 1956, following

an explosion of gas in

pipes left from

gaslights, fire swept

through the Blakely

Williams Building and

the Sunbury Electric

Shop. Harry Snow

who did radio repairs, table work and odd

jobs, grabbed the

accounts ledger on

his way out of the

building but got to the

door to find the fire

had sucked it so

tightly shut it took all

of his strength to

force it open. Carleton was coming

from Columbus and

heard the sirens so he rushed to the fire station to assume his role of radio

operator for the volunteer fire dpeartment and learned it was his business burning.

A collection of tools of the trade and other memorabilia made over 25 years were

lost in the fire which burned all day, too hot for the small fire department to

control. The brick firewall constructed after the last burning of businesses on the

east side of the square held and the fire department was able to confine the fire

to only the one building.

The door on a free standing safe had been left ajar so the clerk could use

the ledgers throughout the business day so all in it were lost including Carleton's

Army discharge papers. The company was left with the accounts ledger and only

$12,000 insurance but none of them sustained any serious injuries. In a short

time they were back doing repairs and electrical contracting from a rented

building but the loss was hard to overcome.

In 1958, the business closed (see sale ad on next page) when

Carleton decided not to rebuild but rather follow his uncle into the banking

business. His faithful employees easily found employment. Harry Snow and Leta

Barnhard worked for Suburban Power Co., successor to the Mill Generating

System at 19 E. Granville Street (a block building torn down to make way for the

Municipal Building parking lot in 1982). Leta went on to work in the County

Engineer's office for several years before she retired. Walt Gross bought the

Marathon Station at the southwest corner of Cherry and Columbus Street where

he stayed until retirement.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 126)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 126)


[page 126]

[corresponds to unnumbered page of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

NEWS - June 5, 1958

Public Announcement . . .

Sunbury Electric is announcing its Sale to Close

Out its Stock of Electrical Merchandise and


Since our fire in March 1956 we have attempted to hold

our organization together and operate in temporary locations

until a suitable building could be purchased or erected.

Unfortunately certain circumstances developed which

prevented our obtaining the Blakely - Williams corner and

thereby put an end to our plans to rebuild at that location.

Several attempts have been made during the past two

years to purchase existing locations around the square but

without success.

Now, since all possibilities appear to be exhausted and

since it is not economically possible to operate indefinitely

on a "Temporary Basis", we have made this painful decision

to discontinue.

Mr. Walter Gross will continue in the service business

and all warranty repairs on new merchandise will be taken

care of as in the past.

Mr. Harry Snow will continue with electrical wiring

and construction.

Both of these former employees intend to cooperate with

each other and my own activities will be such that, at least

for the present, assistance can be provided them during the

transition. I will also be in a position to provide continuing

service on television and other electronic equipment, which

we have sold, so that none of our customers will be neglected

because of this change.

At this time I wish to express my sincere gratitude to

all those who have gone out of their way to be of assistance

to us since the fire:--

To The Whitney Insurance Agency for their usual prompt

and fair claim service and for the temporary use of their

office space and facilities.

To The Ohio Central Telephone Corporation who were

kind enough to offer us the use of their new building until

such time as they could begin installing equipment.

To Mr. Jack Shipman, the International Harvester dealer,

who offered the use of his show room on Rainbow Avenue.

But most particularly t0 Russell and Mary Cring and The

Four-County Company for permitting us to "share" their

business space with them during the past two years.

We also want to thank the many people and organiza-

tions with whom we have been privileged to do business

during the past 26 years and for the faithful assistance of

our employees during these years.

The opportunity to serve you has been most appreciated

and because of having had these long and friendly relations,

this decision to "Close Shop" has been a most difficult one

to make.

My family joins me in expressing heartfelt thanks to all

of you who were so kind and helpful during the recent pass-

ing of my mother and father. One doesn't realize how

thoughtful and what a help good friends can be until such

circumstances arise.

Details of our Closing Out Sale will be found in the [illegible]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 127)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 127)


[page 127]

[corresponds to page 118 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

In 1956, Carleton was

elected to the Board of

Directors for the locally owned

Farmer's Bank, following in his

uncle's footsteps. When he

made the decision not to

rebuild the sunbury Electric

Shop, he became an assistant

cashier under the supervision of

his Uncle Rudy.

[photo: Farmers Bank - March 1974]

In 1960 the old Farmer's

Bank was razed and the

present building constructed

using the same vault as was in

the other bank. "We moved out

of the old building in the spring,

and set up offices in the town hall,

until that fall when the new building

was ready. The north door was

added to the Town Hall and a vault

installed to make the building

useful as a bank. That year

Carleton was promoted to Cashier.

[photo: Bank Employees in 1966: Carleton Burrer,

Pauline Ide, Judy Perry, Annamay Haycock,

Darlen Kean, Paul Spires]

Shortly before Rudy's death

in 1965, the Farmers Bank merged

with the First National Bank, a

Beneficial Affiliate, in Delaware, and

Carleton became a vice president,

a member of the First National

board of directors, and manager of

the Sunbury office. When Carleton

resigned in 1974, it was the first

time for no Burrer to be involved in

Sunbury's banking business in

over 70 years.

[photo: Interior of Bank in 1966: George Main, Paul

Spires, Darlene Kean, Pauline Ide, Judy Perry]

Dilly enjoyed painting

classes with Bill Fraley of the Big

Walnut Art Department. "Bill would

say do it and we all would except

Louise Burrer who just couldn't,"

remembers Dilly. It take courage

to put paint on a canvas!
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 128)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 128)


[page 128]

[corresponds to page 119 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

As a Brownie Scout leader she also took ceramics classes on the top

floor at Ohio Wesleyan University.

She belonged to a Bridge group consisting of Margaret Morris, Annette

Roberts and Felice Patton, which met every other week. Marian Whitney was a

substitute for the group.

John Grows Up

In the meantime John matured into a very caring person. Like his father

he tends to listen before injecting his ideas. Like his Grandmother and

Grandfather Dillenbeck, he studies and plans carefully before making a move.

He had his father's love of old cars and developed his own love of


After graduating from Big Walnut High School in 1964, he went to Ohio

Wesleyan University, where he became a Beta, and then into the Air Force. He

[photo: BANQUET TO HONOR TEAM -- Coach Myron Burt and

and his Big Walnut High Eagles basketball team will be

honored at a banquet this Saturday evening sponsored by

the Athletic Boosters.

Coach Curt Tong of Otterbein

College will be the guest speaker

and will be accompanied by Mrs.

Tong and Craig Gifford, Public Re-

lations director of Otterbein, and

his wife.

Dinner will be served at 6:45 and

tickets are being sold at the school

and by players at $1.50.

Pictured left around to right on

the first row are Paul Elfrink, Keith

Wampler, Jon Zwayer, Denny

Groseclose, Terry Buell, Bill Stover,

John Burrer, Bob Hartsook and

Wayne Bryant, manager.

Standing in the rear, left to right,

are Coach Myron Burt, Sam Bates

and Bill Rowland, co-captains, and

Ron Moore, assistant varsity and

reserve coach.]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 129)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 129)


[page 129]

[corresponds to page 120 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

was stationed at Thule, Greenland,

for 12 months where he waited table

in his spare time. He then spent 3

years at Lockbourne. During this

time he continued his education

through correspondence courses

from University of Maryland and

Ohio University. In 1973 he

graduated from Ohio State University

with a degree in Business

Administration and a major in

transportation and a variety of

courses in the humanities.

[photo: John Dillen Burrer]

After the service he was living

in an apartment in Columbus and

met Beverly Messer and her one year

old son, Tony. John adopted Tony

and Sherry joined the family.

Carleton and Dilly were instant

grandparents. Later daughter, Carol

was born. The grandchildren

became the highlight of Carleton and

Dilly's lives.

[photo: John's Pride and Joy]

Like his forefathers, John also became a

Mason and was present when they presented a

special award

to his father.

He served as

Little League

Coach for

three years in



had to work

hard to support

his rapidly

growing family.

He had a job in Alabama trying to motivate

slow moving southerners transporting

furniture made there. It didn't work out.

[photo: Proud Grandfather Carleton with

Sherry and Carol Burrer]

Meanwhile he and Beverly decided

to end their marriage and John returned

north with the three children. They moved

upstairs over Dilly and Carleton and John

found employment in Columbus.

Now with the children grown and

Carleton gone, John looks after his mother.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 130)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 130)


[page 130]

[corresponds to page 121 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Tony Burrer's School Pictures

[7 photos]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 131)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 131)


[page 131]

[corresponds to page 122 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Roger Anthony Burrer


[photo: Sixth Grade Prom

Jenny Fuller and Tony]

[photo: Tony's Baptism Sunbury Baptist

Church August 1982 Past Meneely]

[photo: Feeding Pigeons in the Battery, New York City

on December 1982]

Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 132)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 132)


[page 132]

[corresponds to page 123 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Tony Burrer's TONY BURRER Phone

Acting Resume SAG.AFTRA Height: 5'10"

Weight: 170

Hair: Brown

Eyes: Blue


The Flintstones

Lambada-SetTheNightOnFire(CLAY)CoStar - Acting Cannon Films

I Love Ferrari (Tarzan) -lead, Acting - Shot in Hong Kong Good Time Publications

Tte Bodyguard Wamer Brothers

Five Heartbeats Robert Townsend

Fear No Evil Robert De Niro

Barton Fink John Goodman

SaLsa Cannon Films

Elvira - Mistress of The Dark NBC Productions


1996 Grammy Awards with Salt & Pepa

1991 MTV Awards - Prince MTV

1992 MTV Awards - En Vogue MTV

Arsenio Hall - Gladys Knight Fox TV

Grudge Match Pilot

Home Show ABC

Moonlighting ABC

Mickey's 60th Birthday NBC

Dirty Dancing CBS

61st Annual Academy Awards ABC

Star Search 91 NBC

The Byron Allen Show - Baffy Ladier NBC

Hull Street High CBS

Soul Train - Gladys Knight KTLA

A League of Their Own ABC


Duran Duran / Too Much Information Nitrate Films

Cher/Tum [sic Turn] Back Time Cream Cheese Productions

Brenda Russell/Gravity Libman Moore Producfions

Desiree Coleman/Romance Limelight Productions

Paul Lzkakis/My House Peter Nydrle Productions

Chayanne/Simon Sez Propaganda Films

Jasm- ine Guy/Another Like My Lover Petor Nydrle Productions



Aida Opera Columbus

The Nutcracker Suite Ballet Metropolitan

A Chorus Line Worthington Theater

Firebird Dance Theatre if Harlem

Lifeleap Wilshire Ebell Theater

Harlem Suite Pantages Theater


Available upon request


Head Sport, Unum Insurance, Levi Strauss, Disney/MGM Studios,
Ocean Pacific, Converse, Reebok, Hobie, Lamaur

Hair Products, Isuzu, Pum, Pepsi, Bolters, Surf Fetish, Nintendo, Sunrider


Fort Hayes School of Performing Arts in Columbus, Ohio - 2 year graduate

Ballet Metropolitan of Columbus, Ohio - 2 years

Joe Tremaine's - Scholarship Student

Commercial Workshop - Stuart K. Robinson

Wharton School of Ballet - Rhonda Burke Scholarship Student

Voice - Ron Anderson


Rollerskating, ice skating, weightlifting, aerobics, swimming, lifegarding,
soccer, track, hurdling,

stiltwalking, tree climbing, hiking, choreography, rollerblading.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 133)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 133)


[page 133]

[corresponds to page 124 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Sherry Burrer's School Pictures

[9 photos]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 134)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 134)


[page 134]

[corresponds to page 125 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Sherry A. Burrer

[photo: 1980]

[photo: Sherry's Baptism in

First Baptist Church

Pastor Meneely

August 1982]

[photo: Sherry Dressed for Scout

Outing at Slate Run in 1981

Wearing Sunbonnet,

Grandmother Dilly's Skirt,

Great-Grandmother's Apron]

[3 photos]

[photo: Sherry, third from left, Receiving

Silver Scout Award, May 29, 1983.

Others are Judy Graham, Jenny

Fuller, Steph Brehm, Kim Krinn]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 135)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 135)


[page 135]

[corresponds to page 126 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Carol Burrer's School Pictures

[9 photos]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 136)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 136)


[page 136]

[corresponds to page 127 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Carol M. Burrer

[photo: Carol's Big Walnut Graduation, 1992

Grandpa and Grandma Deere]

[photo: Steph Scheel and Carol at Sea World]

[photo: 1980]

[2 photos]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 137)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 137)


[page 137]

[corresponds to page 128 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

One of the many friends

Carleton brought to their marriage,

was Fawn Ramsey Druggan. She was

the daughter of Nelson and Annabelle

(Gammill) Ramsey and grew up in the

brick house on the northeast corner of

Morning and Cherry Streets in

Sunbury. Her father rented the house

and grazed his horses in the field

which later became the Sunbury

Playground across Cherry Street from

the house.

Fawn married Charles Druggan,

a well known lawyer from Columbus

and moved there but stayed in touch

with her Sunbury friends.

[photo: 1969 Christmas with the Burrers

Dilly Burrer, Louise Sheets,

Fawn's Friend Tilly, Fawn Druggan]

[photo: Painting in Fawn's Apartment of Her Riding]

Carleton, Dilly and John often

dined with Fawn either in her home in

Columbus, or in their home in


Through Carleton's suggestion,

Fawn set up a trust fund for the new

entrance to Sunbury Memorial Park

and toward the continual upkeep of

the Sedgwick and New Addition to the

park. The unused remainder of the

income goes to the Columbus

Foundation. Upon her death, the oil

painting of Fawn on a horse was given

to the Burrers who in turn gave it to

the village for the new municipal

building when it was built in 1982.

[photo: Entrance to Sunbury Memorial Park]

During this time, Carleton

began one of his many historical

endeavors. He began to record

various individuals who had spent a

good many years of their lives in this

community. Armed with his tape

recorder, microphone, and his

personal knowledge of the town

history, Carleton often accompanied

by his wife, would go to the people's

homes and set up the recorder.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 138)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 138)


[page 138]

[corresponds to page 129 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

The format for the tapes

is always the same. He has the

interviewee imagine himself on

a particular corner of the town

square and they take an

imaginary walk around the

square. The party tells what he

remembers in each place as he

travels the community. Of

course, many side stories make

these tapes invaluable. Copies

of all the tapes were given to

the Commuity [sic Community] Library where is

it hoped they will be transcribed

and made available to the


[photo: Retirement Photo from The Sunbury News]


Although they were no longer bringing

in paychecks after their retirement in 1975,

both Carleton and Dilly continued to be active.

Retirement gave them the extra time they

needed to continue research on local history.

[photo: House Before Addition]

[photo: House After the Addition]

[photo: The Carleton and Dilly Burrer Addition]

In 1979, they completed

renovation on the Burrer family home

at 46 North Columbus Street, just two

blocks from the house which had

been their home since their marriage.

The new addition to the house allowed

them total access on the first floor.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 139)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 139)


[page 139]

[corresponds to page 130 of Flasback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Burrer Homestead in August 1979] [photo]

[photo] [photo: Back View of House, Patio, and Yard

in 1991]

Renovations to the

Burrer Home

Blended the

Old Home and

Funrishings with

the New Lifestyle

of the Retirees

[photo] [photo: Carol Burrer Enjoying Christmas in the Burrer Homestead]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 140)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 140)


[page 140]

[corresponds to page 131 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

They registered

the house as a Historic

Ohio Homestead for

being in the same family

over 100 years and the

Burrers received a

plaque for the house.

"We actually built

ourselves a complete

home in this addition

with everything built in

for convenience. I did

discover we were too

clever when I was in a

wheelchair and couldn't

get through some of the

small passages," noted

Dilly. However living in the original Burrer house

had been like living in a


[photo: Two Special Features

Stained Glass Window

On the Stair Landing]

[photo: Etched Glass Window]

The Burrers first

community service

project upon retirement was a joint effort.

For some time the wrought iron cemetery

fence along North Columbus Street had been

in need of repair. Carleton had the tools and

the know how to repair and straighten the

fence. Dilly had time to assist so they were

able to make the repairs and paint the fence

in May of 1975.

[photo: Carleton's Wagon Full of Tools and


[photo: Dilly Burrer Painting the Fence

Carleton Burrer Repaired]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 141)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 141)


[page 141]

[corresponds to page 132 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]


There was never an opportunity to take long vacations together when

Carleton was running his own business. So following retirement, the Burrers took

up traveling. Carleton loved to plan trips down to the last detail. In addition to

booking flights, he also rented vehicles, booked rooms and arranged for any side

trips using his phone in Sunbury. He relied on guide books and

recommendations of others to select the best place to stay. One time the hotel

was so drafty, Carleton used his socks to block the drafts around the windows.

Another time we saw bugs crawling across the back of the toilet and that was

enough to send us scurrying for another room. Even though things did not

always work as planned, the couple still enjoyed the trips and couldn't wait to go


[photo: Carleton

and Dilly


A Late


in Hawaii

For their 30th anniversary in 1975, Carleton took Dilly to Hawaii where he

had been in the service. "There an oriental gentleman offered to take our picture

which resulted in my favorite photograph of the two of us," remembered Dilly.

They traced the name of Sunbury back through Pennsylvania and back to

England. "do you have any idea of how much fun that project was for us?" asked

Dilly. Everywhere they went, the Burrers found people willing to open their

archives and assist in the research. They joined a historic society in England and

continued to correspond with their new found friends. In the USA they visited

many of the Sunburys found on the map. In each town they sought the historians

and told of their plight. Finally Carleton wrote the "Origin of the Name of Sunbury"

and sent copies to all who had helped. He used a manual typewriter and rarely
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 142)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 142)


[page 142]

[corresponds to page 133 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

made a typing or spelling error. A

copy is in the Appendix of this book.

[image: Sunbury & Shepperton Local History Society card]

The research brought many

unexpected pleasures. In addition

to the new friends, the Burrers

enjoyed all the historic sights as

they traveled. "The cathedrals

were so magnificent," commented

Dilly. "I'll never forget the beautiful

sound of the bells across the countryside."

[photo: Dilly and Carleton Burrer on St. James Street

in London Where They Ran into Mr. and Mrs. Hylen Souders]

[photo: Carleton and Dilly Burrer in front of Pyramid of

Cheops (448") and Chephren (447") which date from

2700 B.C. at Giza, Egypt, outside Cairo]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 143)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 143)


[page 143]

[corresponds to page 134 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull, Scotland]

Trace Dilly's Roots

In 1977 Dilly and Carleton

went to Scotland to see where the

MacNaughton and MacClean [sic Maclean] clans

had lived and found a six-story

castle which had belonged to the

Macleans, Duart Castle on the Isle

of Mull. Unfortunately, after a very

long boat ride out to the Isle, the

castle was closed to the public

because it was Sunday.

[photo: Dilly on the South Side of Duart Castle, 1977]

Carleton's ability to get

behind the scenes allowed them to

Visit with Sir Charles Maclean. He approached

the man tending the garden and explained

they were Americans and his wife was a

descendent of the Macleans and desired to

see the castle. It turned out he was

addressing Sir Charles Maclean, the former

chief scout who served as housekeeper to

the Queen until December 1984. His

appointment was only for his life but it gave

him many unusual tasks such as planning the

wedding for Prince charles and Princess

Diana and overseeing the Duke of Windsor's

funeral. "We spent a wonderful afternoon with

him and got far more than a public tour of the

castle," remembers Dilly. Years later this news

item was in the local paper when Maclean

stepped down.

Royal Appointment: Queen Elizabeth

is getting a new man to run the royal

household and be master of its greatest

ceremonies - the suitably blue-blooded

13th Earl of Airlie. He's been

appointed Lord Chamberlain to

succeed Lord Maclean, 68, who is a

former chief scout. Lord Maclean, on

the job for 13 years, masterminded

every major royal event from the

funeral of the Duke of Windsor to the

wedding of Prince Charles and Princess

Diane [sic Diana]. Lord Airlie, 58, is the older

brother of Angus Ogilvy, who married

Princess Alexandra of Kent, the

queen's cousin, in 1963. He will take

up his new job in December,

Buckingham Palace announced.

from The Delaware Gazette,

June 20, 1984.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 144)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 144)


[page 144]

[corresponds to page 135 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: "Dunderave Castle Private"

The Burrers were amazed to

discover the MacNaughton side of the

family also had a very large, six-story

home, Dunderave Castle. It is now

owned by a woman who only opens it

once a year for select people who pay a

large fee which is used to continue the

upkeep of the building. The trees and

shrubs were so grown up the castle

couldn't really be seen well from the

road. Dilly was ready to leave but

Carleton always had special instincts to

get into places where others couldn't.

Following a dog bark, Carleton led Dilly

down a back road and were able to get a good view of the castle.

[photo: Dunderave Castle on the Northeast Shore

of Lock Fyne in 1977]

Bible Land Tour

In 1979 they joined a tour

called the Christian Study Mission

to the Bible Lands on which they

retraced the footsteps of Paul. The

group was prepped and told not to

use any of the local water for

washing, drinking or even brushing

teeth. Bottled water was furnished

for these uses. They were warned

not to eat lettuce or other foods

which might be washed in the


From New York they went to

Rome where Dilly got Montezuma's

revenge because she ate a

beautiful plum washed in their

water and missed the Sistine

Chapel. When Carleton returned

from the tour he found Dilly better and returned with her to see Michelangelo's

ceiling. Of course they bought slides but following the renovation of the art, the

slides are dark and not nearly as brilliant as the chapel is today.

Following Rome they went to Cairo where scrawny cats ate on the same

tables as the people. They floated down the Nile on a barge and curious Dilly

could see something under the robe of their guide. When the wind caught his

robe and blew it up she saw the dirtiest underwear imaginable and was glad she

hadn't asked.

Next stop was Amman Jordan, then on to Nazareth, Galilee, Jerusalem, the

Garden of Gethsemane, Mt. of Olives, Bethlehem, Athens, Corinth, and back to

New York.

For Dilly the two side trips to Masada and Petra were highlights of the trip.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 145)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 145)


[page 145]

[corresponds to page 136 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Carleton and Dilly in front of the Acropolis in Rome in 1979]

Masada is a village

located on top of a

mountain in Lebanon.

One rides a cablecar up

the mountain to hear the

story of Masada. The

Romans had the

villagers of Masada

cornered and cut off

from all supplies. When

their water was gone the

villagers killed each

other and the last

committed suicide

before the Romans

could conquer them.

[photo: Small Boy on Left Took Dilly's Horse]

On another side

trip to Petra, the Burrers

rode horses over stone

roads into the ancient city

built into rose sandstone

by the Essene Cult before

Christ. The beautiful site

was worth the discomfort

of riding the old horses.

When they got to Petra,

young boys were waiting

to care for their horses.

Dilly almost fell off her's.

When it was time to

remount, everyone else

was on a horse and they

couldn't find Dilly's. The

young boy with her's was

still having a good ride.

When he returned, Dilly

had to figure a way to get on the tall horse by herself since everyone else was

already on horses.

The tour under the leadership of Dr. Donald Nash was very educational and

good for two hours of college credit through Kentucky Christian College for those

wishing it.

Luther Heritage and the


The following year, Carleton and Dilly took a tour to Martin Luther's

Heritage and Oberammergau. They flew into Frankfurt then to Hanover. From
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 146)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 146)


[page 146]

[corresponds to page 137 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Hanover they rode a bus into

Berlin and then into East Berlin.

"Crossing the Iron Curtain was like

going from plenty

to very little," remembers Dilly. One

couldn't forget you were in enemy

territory or shake the feeling of

apprenhension which began when

the passports were taken in East

Berlin. The roads were not taken

care of. The hotels were

ramshackle with poor service.

Everyone did his job but he didn't

care how it was done.

[photo: In Wittenberg They Had a Wonderful Guide Who

Even Managed to Make Dilly (5 Foot inches)

Feel Tall]

The group went on to

Wittenberg and to the church

where Luther nailed his 95 thesis

to the door. They traveled on to

Eisleben where Luther was born in

1483 and died in 1546.

[photo: Luther's Library Has Sliding Ladder to Reach

Books in the Arches]

They visited St. Thomas

Church in Leipzig where Johann

Sebastian Bach used to play and

then his home in Eisenach. While

in the area, they visited the

Wartburg Castle where Luther

stayed in 1521-22 and translated

the New Testament. While the

group was traveling on to

Nuremberg, Carleton shared his

understanding of Luther from his

study and many readings about

him. This fascinated the travelers

and amazed the tour guides.

Next stop was Salzburg

where Dilly thought she would hear

Mozart but no it was not to be.

However, the scenery was beautiful

just like the "Sound of Music"

movie. The snow covered Bavarian Alps were so gorgeous Dilly remembers she

couldn't take her eyes off them.

From Salzburg, they went to Oberammergau for the Passion Play which is

put on every 10 years. Dilly had devoured the Life Magazine feature about the

play and found the actual event a little disappointing. Still it was a great thrill to

be there and witness it.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 147)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 147)


[page 147]

[corresponds to page 138 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Casts of Luther's Face and Hands]

[photo: Berlin Wall]

The group went on to Munich where the Olympic athletes were killed. They

toured the city on a trolley, saw the Glockenspiel (delightful mechanical clock) and

the once royal brewery. Heidelberg was the next stop then on to Worms where

Luther had defended his Protestant faith. This leg of the tour also included a

cruise down the Rhine River before flying back to Frankfurt and home.

Later, when he needed eye surgery, Carleton asked the doctor to put it off

until he took his wife to Scotland. His vision was so poor he couldn't read the

signs and traveling by car through the countryside was very scary. Once a truck

side-swiped their car and tore off the rear view mirror. Another time they were

wedged so tightly between two cars it took another person to assist in moving the

cars to avoid scraping the paint. As always, Carleton had studied so much about

each area, he made the local history come alive.

They took three trips to England and one to Scotland before they hung up

their traveling boots.

[photo: Amy Burrer and Carleton Discussing Current

Mechanical Trends May 34, 1987]

Dilly's Carleton

Rachel Edwards referred

to Carleton as a 'new

renaissance man' and that is

the way Dilly sees him. He

always stayed current with the

times but held on to tradition

and history. He was always

interested in the latest

developments in any fields of

mechanics, electricty, etc., so

the young people found him

Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 148)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 148)


[page 148]

[corresponds to page 139 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Lions New Officers, Outstanding Member

Pictured above are the newly-

installed officers of the Sunbury

Lions Club, top photo, and Lion

of the Year Chalres [sic Charles] Clark, lower

photo accepting his honor from

Carleton S. Burrer.

In the top photo, seated left

to right, are Dan Shaw, presi-

dent; Warren Hammond, first

vice president; and George Kel-

ler, 2nd vice president. Stand-

ing, left to right, are Charles

Clark and Don Newland, Lion

Tamers; Glenn Evans and Roy

Merchant, tail twisters; Chuck

Dial, assistant treasurer; Roger

Davidson, secretary; Harold

Ault, senior director; and Larry

Barnes, treasurer.

The Lion of the Year award

was renamed this year to the

Carleton S. Burrer Lion of the

Year Award, and is given to the

member who has shown excep-

tional service to the club and

community during the past year.

Carleton, after whom the honor

is now named, is the only ac-

tive charter member of the lo-

cal club, receiving his 40-year

pin at this year's banquet.]

Like his forefathers,

Carleton was very

community minded. He

was the oldest active

charter member and the

only life member of the

Sunbury Lions Club. He

even played his banjo in

the annual Lions minstrel

Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 149)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 149)


[page 149]

[corresponds to unnumbered page of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Many areas of local history

would be lost had Carleton not

taken time to record them. After

retirement he continued with his

series of audio-cassettes recorded

with senior citizens around the

community. He helped write the

history of the Sunbury Baptist

Church and the Sunbury Lions

Club after spending many hours

on the microfilm reader in the

Community Library.

Local newspaper reporters

relied on his knowledge of history

as well as his ability to accurately

recall his observations of events

in the community throughout his


He served as his church

organist for many years, was on

the Board of Public Affairs, a

precinct chairman from Sunbury

for the Board of Elections, and a

charter member of the Big Walnut

Conservation Club.

[image: 6 PACER DG Monday, December 30, 1985

Burrer recalls events in Sunbury


Gazette Reporter

Historian Carlton Burrer is a lifetime

resident of the Sunbury area whose in-

terests go beyond remembrances of his

lifetime. He is much more interested in

how things were when his father, grand-

father and great-grandfather were filling

their days. His family has lived in this area

since 1855.

Burrer was born in Berkshire in 1909 to

Karl and Daisy Burrer, but soon moved to

Sunbury where he has lived ever since.

About as far back as Burrer can

remember is 1916 when the mud streets

were paved in brick.

Soon after, the invention of carbon arc

lights replaced the old gas lamps to light

up the community in the evenings.

"There was continuous pipe rail, a hit-

ching rail," says Burrer, "all the way

around the square," where folks could tie

their horses.

"Everyone came to town in their car-

riages, wagons or on their horses" where

there were two livery stables situated.

As the horse and buggy era was drawing

to an end, not only were automobile arriv-

ing but also a new "movie house."

Burrer says the movie house was

situated in what is now Fling Hardware

and the Knights of Pythias Hall. The

building was constructed around 1900 as an

Opera House. When silent movies came, a

carbon-arc motion picture projector was

installed in the second story of the building

and local women took turns playing mood

music to accompany the films.

Burrer remembers in the early 20s,

when several folks decided they wanted

water in their homes. Each person would

lay water lines, some out of metal, some

wooden, in front of their home and connect

it with their neighbors.

A water tower was erected behind the

First Baptist Church on Cherry Street, and

a pump was installed at a prosperous well,

behind what is now Shaw Pharmacy,

[photo: Carlton Burrer]

which pumped the water to the tower.

The water system became more trouble

than it was worth, so the "Burrer boys,"

Carlton's father and his brothers, bought

the system for $1 to take over.

Burrer's wife, Dorothy, says that many

years later the aging water tower came

crashing down during a church service

and the parishoners instantly knew what

had happened.

A large part of his life was in the elec-

trical business and Burrer tells of how

things were different then. He began the

business in 1932 in a basement located on

the town's square.

"Most people didn't have money then,

but they did want to get things done." so in

return for electrical work, Burrer and his

partner, Slim Crawford, many times

received eggs, chickens or garden


Burrer's electrical abilities were passed

to him from his fther [sic father] who had an electrical

engineering degree from Denison Univer-

sity. Being the pioneers of electronics in

the area, they were usually the first to own

the newest inventions. The first radio to be

used in Sunbury was built by Karl Burrer.

Carlton's wife remembers their first

television around 1948.

"We had to pull all the shades because

the snow was so bad"" says Mrs. Burrer.

Large fires are something everyone

remembers and in 1926 almost the entire

east side of the square, with the exception

of one building, burned to the ground. That

one building, known as the Blakely and

Williams building, was on the corner and

was saved because a fire wall had been

built between it and the others.

Twelve [crossed out] Thirty [written above] years later, in 1938 [crossed out]
1956 [written above], that same

building which housed both Burrer's elec-

trical business and the Satterfield grocery

market burned down.

While he was away in Columbus one day,

a gas pipe that lead to an old gas light fix-

ture, broke and the fire began.

Despite the efforts of the Sunbury,

Delaware and Westerville fire depart-

ments, who drained all the water supply

trying to extinguish the flames, the

building was totally destroyed.]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 150)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 150)


[page 150]

[corresponds to unnumbered page of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[image: WANTED



Bank Robbery

$500.00 REWARD]

Both Burrers were

active during

Sunbury's 1966


Celebration when this

Wanted Poster was

printed for Carleton.

Dilly helped collect

the historical data.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 151)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 151)


[page 151]

[corresponds to page 142 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Carleton and

Dilly Driving


in Their

1937 Chrysler

for the

July 4th


[photo: H.D. 'Herb' Kempton

R.F 'Doc' Wilson

Carleton Burrer

Honored as

50 Year Members of

Sunbury Lions Club]

[photo: Dilly and Carleton burrer,

Oatfield and Goldie Whitney

July 4th, 1976 Parade]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 152)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 152)


[page 152]

[corresponds to page 143 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[image: "Heritage Hall"

At Sunbury Elementary School, July 12 thru 17

NAME ....................PH. ..........

ADDRESS ...............................

DESCRIPTION ...........................

-Family Mementos & Antiques - Photographs-

Places of community interest, family groups, business

picnics, school class pictures, early settlers in area, old

homes. For more display information call Burrers 965-

2616 or Bergandines 965-2286.


Send entry blanks to: Mr. & Mrs. C.S. Burrer

47 N. Morning St.,

Sunbury, Ohio 43074]

He helped construct

the Sunbury Playground,

and the Masonic Lodge


When community

leaders were looking for

investors to build the Big

Walnut Swimming Pool

Carleton was there. Like

most of the people who

invested in the pool, he

knew it was not a money

making adventure but it

was something the town

needed and private monies

were the way to bring it

about. For many years the

pool was the main source

of recreation for the

communities youth. When

it was sold in 1971, the investors got

their money back but very little interest

on it.

[photo: Carleton with The Farmer's Bank Display

In the Heritage Museum- 1976]

In 1976, they organized the

community museum, "Heritage Hall," and

saw to the displaying and security of the

items on display.

[photo: Dilly making cornhusk dolls for the 1976

Arts and Crafts Fair sponsored by the


When someone was needed to

make cornhusk dolls for the Colonial

Arts and Crafts Fair sponsored by

Community Library, Dilly learned to

make the dolls. She dressed in her

grandmother's clothes and exhibited the

art on the square for the show. Her

dolls were such a hit people wanted her

to custom make them but Dilly said it

was fun to do one but not mass produce

them so she declined. Two dolls, one

her original design of a child and a

hoop, are on display in her home.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 153)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 153)


[page 153]

[corresponds to page 144 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Quilting Bee at Dilly's

Wilma Ward, Mary McDonald, Dilly

and Verna Bergandine Making Sherry

Burrer's Quilt - August 1977]

The Bicentenniql also started a rebirth

of the art of quilting. Dilly who has several

quilts which were made by members of her

family decided to make quilts for her


Music played an important role in

Carleton's life. In addition to the skills in

piano which he learned from his mother, he

had perfect pitch. One time Dilly's cousin, an

organist, was visiting in their home prior to

his concert on Ohio Wesleyan University's

new pipe organ. He sent Carleton to the

other room while he played notes on the

piano and was amazed when Carleton

correctly identified each note played. As a

young man, Carleton had done some singing

on the radio. He was often called on to sing

for funerals or play the piano. He enjoyed being in the Lions Club minstrels,

community choruses and other community pageants.

[photo: Carleton Plowing Town Walks]

One community service Carleton

performed faithfully was the cleaning of snow

from the village sidewalks. Many of the

sidewalks were quarried stone slabs which

had become uneven with the passing of time

and neglect. This made cleaning the snow a

very difficult job. Commercial blades on

tractors would hit the raised stones and cause

a problem for the driver, the tractor and the

walk. Carleton the inventor designed a

homemade plow from two extra wooden

leaves from a table. These were attached to

a bar which had a rope attached to it.

Carleton held the rope and when he came to

the high edged in the walk, he raised the plow

by pulling the rope. The wooden blades

moved the snow but saved the stones if they

should hit. Carleton made quite a sight when

he went out to plow in his wool air force suit

from a surplus store over long underwear,

with extra gloves, scarf and hat. He plowed all the walks around the square and

around the surrounding blocks. In more recent years the old walks were either

straightened or replaced and Carleton's services were not needed but he still

plowed his neighborhood.

Dilly didn't sit back and let the world go by. She found time to lead a Girl

Scout Troop, take painting lessons from Bill Fraley, and ceramic classes at Ohio

Wesleyan. And she always enjoyed a good card game.

The plight of endangered species was a constant worry to Carleton. He
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 154)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 154)


[page 154]

[corresponds to page 145 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Nature Lover Carleton Burrer

Wading in Utah's Great Salt Lake]

watched all the nature programs on television

and read all he could on the animals lives. He

also managed to fit nature into their trips

whenever possible.

There are so many ways for someone to

help make this a better world that there is no

reason for someone to be bored. "While we

were living our life, it didn't seem as though we

did any more than anyone else," commented

Dilly when she reviewed this section of her

manuscript. "I think everyone does a lot more

than they realize in a lifetime."

Carleton even served as commissioner for

the Big Walnut Girls Softball Association in 1978

which is interesting because Dilly is the true ball


[photo: Carleton and Dilly Shared the Love of the Theater.

Here They Are Ready to Go to the

50th Anniversary of the Ohio Theater]


On April 1st, 1996, when

I arrived at Dilly's house for our

weekly trip down memory lane

she was aghast at the collapse

of umpire John McSherry who

was calling the first Cincinnati

Red's baseball game of the

season. McSherry, only 51

years of age, had recently had

a physical and appeared to be

fine but a heart attack took his

life quickly before all the fans

gathered to celebrate the

opening of the season. Like

the fans at the park, Dilly was

concerned for McSherry and

disappointed that the game was


When Dilly was about 12

years old, her father was taking

the boys from his Sunday

School Class on their annual

trip to Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.

Dilly begged to be allowed to

go. Finally he agreed and the

seed for a love of her life was
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 155)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 155)


[page 155]

[corresponds to page 146 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

planted. "I kept the early programs so I could relive the excitement of the

ball park. I also went to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. I saw Babe Ruth, Lou

Gehrig and many of the other famous players.

When I first came to Columbus, I followed the Columbus Redlegs. Mr. and

Mrs. Conrad, the parents of my boss at Capital, got a ticket for me so all I had to

do was take a trolley across town to the ballpark where I met Mr, and Mrs.

Conrad and enjoyed the games. Later when I worked at Community Library, I

was lucky my hours allowed me to be flexible and I was always home for the

World Series. Carleton never understood how I could listen to every play and be

as engrossed asthough I were at the ball park. He would grab his crossword

puzzles and work those while I cheered the home runs and double plays."

Carleton enjoyed words so he loved crossword puzzles almost as much as Dilly

loved baseball.

Carleton's Life Ends

After 43 years of marriage, Carleton died

suddenly in his sleep January 13, 1989. He was

survived by his wife, their son John and three

beloved grandchildren - Tony, Sherry, and Carol.

Since then Carol gave birth to Great-Grandson Jay

Jay Taylor.

Determined to be as independent as ever,

Dilly was walking to the dentist's office across town

and up a steep hill when she fell and broke a hip.

The injury has continued to vex her through the

years. Fortunately, John has been there to help her

when needed.

[photo: Carleton Burrer, 64

March, 1974]

[photo: Great-Grandson

Jay Jay Taylor]

Dilly has

continued to draw

strength through her

family and her Lutheran background as she

continues her life. Grandson Tony called one day

for some tender words while suffering with the flu in

New York. The granddaughters are good to give

her a call for advice or just to chat. And of course,

she continues on with her research into the family

history and keeps up with all the research being

done by others.

Following in Carleton's footsteps, she

continues to keep abreast of the affairs of the

village and offers her support whenever she can.

It was a great thrill to be able to cut the

ribbon on the new Community Library in 1994 after

waiting all these years for a real library with a

building of its own. Carleton and Dilly funded the
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 156)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 156)


[page 156]

[corresponds to page 147 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Ben Hart and Dilly Burrer Cutting the Ribbon for the Opening of the New Building

For the Community Library on July 3, 1994]

local history and genealogy room in the new library which will help assure the

continuation of their lifelong interests. Dilly helped in the choice of decorations

for the room.

[image: Trinity Lutheran Church in Stone Arabia, New York

Founded 1729]

Dilly's life began

in a Lutheran family

with her father as a

minister in a church

founded by her

ancestors. Although

Dilly attended church

locally, she has

continued to support

the little Trinity Lutheran

Church in Stone Arabia,

New York. "There has

always been a fondness for this

church in my heart.

The fact that the

congregation has never
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 157)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 157)


[page 157]

[corresponds to page 148 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

given up even when war destroyed their building, has always been an inspiration,"

tells Dilly. The church bulletin carries the following history of the church.


Trinity Lutheran Church was founded by the early Palatines. These people

seeking liberty and freedom of worship fled Germany around 1700, and were

welcomed in London by Queen Anne. History states that by 1709 several

thousand Palatines had reached England and were being cared for by that

government. Again, as history so often repeats itself, was this group of innocent,

persecuted people not wanting to be a burden to the Land that had befriended

them, it was decided to send them to America. With the English government

acting as sponsors, several ships set sail in the winter of 1709-1710, arriving in

June and July at Nuttens Island (now Governors Island) N.Y. Many died during

the trip and because of much sickness the remainder were detained there until

Ocotber. Those who were in good health left this island, at this time, to find work

at the tar camps along the Hudson River. The tar and pitch made here could not

be used by the British. So, still after their many hardships, these "Poor Palatines'

found themselves ill-clad, living in huts with little food to eat. All promises of a

better life had not or could not be kept. In the spring of 1712 several families

journeyed to the Schoharie Valley to settle on land promised by the Indians. The

same story plagued them to this valley. Clear titles to this land were unobtainable

and much controversy arose over the ownership of these acres. The trek began

again, to find a land of their own. On October 19, 1723 Governor Bumet issued

the Stone Arabia Patent to twenty-eight of these men, and soon after they brought

their families from Schoharie and settled this area. Filially [sic Finally] they were home!

First came their homes and barns, and then a place to worship together. In 1729,

William Coppernoll sold fifty acres of land to these early settlers upon which they

were to build a church. We find these names among the early trustees and

founders-Martines Dillenbeck, John Keiser, Harris Empie, John Schuls, Nicholas

Stemfell and William Nellis. It is my thought that these people certainly

worshiped somewhere in the six years interim, but any earlier date than June 2,

172!) cannot be claimed.

A log church was erected by the combined efforts of the Lutherans and Reforms,

these early settlers being of both denominations. They worshped here about four

years, but with more land being cleared and more families coming to the valley,

a larger church was desired. A better church was started about 250 feet from the

log edifice, but after the foundation had been laid, a dispute arose as to the

naming of the congregation. An agreement could not be reached and the

Lutherans withdrew across the creek and continued to worship in the log church.

This log church was burned in Sir John Johnson's raid on Stone Arabia on

October 19, 1780. Stone Arabia was laid to the torch in this battle, one of the last

of the Revolutionary War. For twelve years this congregation worshiped in homes

or other buildings and "at the Fall" (Palatine Church, daughter of Trinity Lutheran

Church). In 1792, a new wooden church was erected under the guidance of

Pastor Phillip Grotz. This is the church we worship in today.

It is almost as if these pioneers, after all their sacrifices and hardships had found

their promised land and built a monument to God. It is not unusual on a Sunday

morning today to see descendants (9th and 10th generation) of these early

settlers attending this very same church.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 158)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 158)


[page 158]

[corresponds to page 149 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

So they came and helped to build a new country, surely with the foresight, as with

each generation, that their children would preserve what they had fought and died

for. Certainly some of this determination has been instilled in their descendants,

for after 250 years we still have a very active congregation, with regular services,

special services, Sunday school, two choirs, and three organizations.

It can truly be said that Trinity is the Mother of Lutheranism in the Mohawk Valley.

It is also easy to see why the church means so much to Dilly and her

family. It looks like the line of ministers ended with her father.

Dilly calls herself a C-Span junkie and indeed she keeps abreast of the

news by watching television and listening to the newspaper read over a special

radio. She listens to books-on-tape from the library and enjoys an occasional


Her neighbors and friends are good to stop for a visit and they help keep

her up on community activities not reported in the local newspaper. The

telephone keeps her in contact with family and friends. She keeps up on the

genealogical research being done on the various families in her chart and helps

see that the information is correct.


Traditions are being passed on to the three granchildren who are now all

living in Columbus, Ohio. After six years in theater, Tony is studying

communications. Sherry has been employed by BankOne for the past year.

Carol is studying to be a legal secretary.

As a Christian family, the Burrers celebrate the traditional holidays which

generally include family dinners. They also had big dinners for Burrer family

birthdays, often with 18 or 19 people but these became fewer as the older

generation died.

After John was grown, the holidays also included Fawn Druggan and any

others in the community

who might not have family

with which to dine.

[photo: After Christmas Dinner in 1988 in the Burrer Home

Dilly, Sherry, Hazel Davidson, Carol, Tony and John]

Hazel Davidson had

worked for the Burrer Mill so

long she had become a

member of the family and

always had a place in these


As long as she was

able Dilly would prepare a

feast for all. She likes good

food well prepared and

plesantly served. "It was

always fun but I remember

going to Fawn's in the

1960's when she would
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 159)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 159)


[page 159]

[corresponds to page 150 in Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

have three kitchen helpers to serve us and elegant meal," recalled Dilly who

enjoys doing it on a smaller scale by herself.

The family has always enjoyed dining in good restaurants. The Jai-Lai in

Columbus was Carleton's favorite while Dilly likes Fifty Five At Crosswoods.

Traditional decorations are a part of the Burrer holidays such as the latch-

hooked Christmas stockings made years ago by Tony and Sherry which are

fondly hung in the family room,

Traditionally the family looks at Dilly as a collector. How does one become

a collector? Dilly hasn't any idea but a collector she has become. "Years ago

when I bought clothes, I always bought a handkerchief and gloves to match.

Through the years I have collected quite a few. Someone noticed I had a

miniature pitcher and gave me another. Through the years these have become

traditional gifts and I now have 123. Picture postcards have always fascinated me

so I have collected those along with the playbills from the theater performances

I attended. I never set out to be a collector," warns Dilly knowing Polly also tends

to keep things. Dilly's bookmark collection is easy to understand and it has been

on display in the library and at community celebrations. While she does not know

how she got started, she admits they have brought her a great deal of pleasure

through the years.

[photo: Tony and Sherry Burrer's Latch-Hooked Stockings

Hang Below a Shelf with Two of Dilly's Cornhusk Dolls]

Passing on the family tradition

passed from Dilly's father

and Aunt Alice Barringer to

Dilly. She in turn is passing

the knowledge on to her

grandchildren. Her family

room is decorated with the

plaids of the MacNaughtons

and MacCleans [sic Macleans] as well as a

family tree lettered by

Sherry showing the

ancestors of both sides of

the family.

While it was difficult

to start this book, Dilly sees

it as another way to carry on

the family tradition. She

hopes the stories will help

her descendants understand

their background and then

someday they will be

interested in continuing her

research and will enjoy the

search and the people they

will meet along the way as

much as she and Carleton

have through the years.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 160)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 160)


[page 160]

[corresponds to page 151 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Favorite Snapshots of some of Dilly's Men

[photo: Marsden Dillenbeck at Public School #35

in Hollis, New York]

[photo: Carleton in 1941 Packard (110)

6 cylinder 4 door sedan]


[photo: Billy Arnold]

pphoto: John Burrer and cousin Billy Burrer]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 161)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 161)


[page 161]

[corresponds to page 152 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Dilly, Carol Burrer]

[photo: Carol, Dilly and Sherry Burrer

Mother's Day 1995]

[photo: John and Sherry Burrer]

[photo: John's 50th Birthday Party

December 1996]

[photo: Sherry Burrer

John Burrer

Jay D. Taylor]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 162)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 162)


[page 162]

[corresponds to page 153 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Jay D. Taylor

Christmas 1997

[4 photos]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 163)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 163)


[page 163]

[corresponds to page 154 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Four Generations

Dilly Burrer, Son John Burrer, Granddaughter

Carol Burrer, and Great-Grandson JayJay Taylor]

Dilly Looks at the Good Old Days?

I'm glad I don't have to wear silk stockings with the seam up the back of

the leg (I had to continuously feel to be sure the seam was straight).

I don't ever want to use an outdoor privy or go without plumbing.

I don't miss boiling clothes.

I don't miss ironing clothes, let alone starching and then ironing them.

I don't miss cooking on a coal stove. The oven was never even and the

cake would tend to be lopsided.

I don't miss oil-cloth even though it saved the table top.

I don't miss the dirty coal smoke on everything, especially venetian blinds.

I don't miss the dirt on the trains from the coal soot.

I don't miss polio.

I don't miss segregation.

I don't miss gangsters.

I don't miss the Dust Bowl.

I don't miss the Great Depression.

I don't miss blood poisoning because there were no 'wonder' drugs.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 164)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 164)


[page 164]

[corresponds to page 155 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]


Cleebron, Germany ............................................... 156

The Following Pages were copied from the German Records in

Cleebron, Germany, and sent to the United States. Because they have

been copied several times, the quality is not the best but the information

from which we took the Burrer family is here.

Gammill Family .................................................. 160

Sperry Family ................................................... 166

Van Wie Family .................................................. 173

Burrer Bible Birth, Death and Marriage Records .................. 177

John E. Burrer Family ........................................... 179

Taken from charts prepared by Esther Burrer

Nannie Burrer Family ............................................ 180

Taken from chart prepared by Warren Owen

Paul Parker Burrer Family ....................................... 181

Gordon Burrer Family ............................................ 182

Prepared by Don Burrer

Historical Data on Burrer Homes

46 N. Columbus Street - House ........................... 186

46 N. Columbus Street - Barn ............................ 187

47 N. Morning Street .................................... 188

Carleton Burrer's Manuscripts:

Origin of the Name Sunbury .............................. 189

Burrer Family for The People Book ....................... 198

Early Delaware County:

Sunbury and Community ........................... 209

Sunbury and Galena Communities- 1938 .................... 222

Items from Sunbury News in 1938 ......................... 228

Why I Enjoy Living in Sunbury ........................... 235

Bibliography .................................................... 239

Index ........................................................... 240
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 165)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 165)


[page 165]

[corresponds to page 156 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[image: Burrer genealogy]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 166)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 166)


[page 166]

[corresponds to back of page 156]

[image: Burrer genealogy]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 167)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 167)


[page 167]

[corresponds to page 157 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[image: Burrer genealogy]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 168)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 168)


[page 168]

[corresponds to page 158 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[image: Burrer genealogy]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 169)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 169)


[page 169]

[corresponds to back of page 158 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[image: Burrer genealogy]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 170)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 170)


[page 170]

[corresponds to page 159 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[image: Burrer genealogy]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 171)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 171)


[page 171]

[corresponds to back of page 159 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[image: Burrer genealogy]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 172)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 172)


[page 172]

[corresponds to page 160 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[foldout: Amy Gammill's Ancestors]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 173)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 173)


[page 173]

[corresponds to page 161 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Amy Ann Gammill's Ancestors

The Gammil family has been traced directly to Scotland but historians feel

the original Gemmills came there with the Norman Conquest and are therefore

Danish "Gammel", Old Norse "Gammal", or perhaps Anglo-Saxon "Gemal, or

Gamol". In all those languages the name means old or ancient.

Gamal, son of Orm, had large possessions in 1065 in Scotland. Within a

century the name was spelled Gamel probably the founder of Gamelsby. Official

records are scanty but by 1570 a system of Registers was in place and tracing the

name became easier. In that year there were 23 different properties around Raith

in Central Ayrshire parishes held by Gemmills. Fenwick, which is believed to be

Anglo-Saxon, had more Gemmills than any other district in 1570.

William Gemmill

We do know William Gemmill, progenitor of the York County Gemmills, was

the second son of John and Anna Ann (Barnett) Gammill who were tenant farmers

of Thorniehill, Kilmaaurs, Ayreshire, Scotland. Their first son, John, was born out

of wedlock, February 25, 1720, and the family was forced to leave Kilmaurs and

journey to Irvine to escape reproof. There William was born January 16, 1722.

Several years later the family returned to Kilmaurs and continued to raise their

family of six children: Marion (5-21-1727), Janet (12-7-1729), David (August 17-

1732) and Hugh (6-22-1735).

It is not known for sure if John and William came to America together nor

do we know if William and Jeanette Hepburn married in Scotland or America.

However, we do know William Gemmill with his wife Jeanette (Jennette) settled

in Shrewsbury Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania circa 1745 on land

warranted as Gammels Chance consisting of about 1000 acres (see map on next

page). His brother John, a clock and watchmaker, first shows in public

documents in 1750.

William was a farmer, merchant, land speculator and a staunch

Presbyterian. He served as Supervisor of Highways in Shrewsbury Township

(1756, 1760), Overseer of the Poor (1765), Assessor of the township (1769, 1770,

1772, 1774), Assistant Assessor (1781), and York County Commissioner (1768).

William also helped separate Hopewell Township from Shrewsbury Township,

helped erect the county jail, and was instrumental in purchasing land for the Court


William and Jeanette raised seven children: John (1745-1798), David

(1750-1795), Ann (1752-1829), Margaret (died young), William (died young),

James 1762-1799), and Robert (1762-1846). They followed Scottish tradition of

naming the first son in the family after the paternal grandfather, second after the

maternal grandfather, the third after the father, later ones for their uncles.

Daughters were named in the same manner, paternal grandmother, maternal

grandmother, mother, then aunts.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 174)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 174)


[page 174]

[corresponds to page 162 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[image: map]


A Genealogy of the Townships

of York County

York County was erected from Lancaster by Act of August 19, 1749.

[illegible] Township was the Lancaster County township from which most York

townships were formed.

The Suequehanna River has never been a part of York County. It lies in

Lancaster County.

Adams County was erected from York on January 22, 1800.

The town of York was laid out for John, Thomas, and Richard Penn by

Thomas Cookson in 1741.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 175)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 175)


[page 175]

[corresponds to page 163 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

William died February 16, 1789 and Jeanette the next month, March 14,

1789. Both are buried in Downies Graveyard, Chanceford Township in York

County, Pennsylvania. They were moved to Round Hill Cemetery in 1915.

John Gemmill

John, William's eldest son, had thirteen children by two wives. He served

in the American Revolution as a private in the Sixth Battalion in Captain George

Long's Company under command of John Travis.

John married Agnes Wallace (1748-1785), daughter of James and Agnes

Wallace. To this marriage eight children were born: Margaret (1770-1850) who

married John Collins, William (1771-1849), James (1773-1816), Jenette (1777-

1829), John Jr. (1778-1862), twins David (1781-1840) and Ann (1781-?) then

Agnes (1784 and died before 1815). Shortly after the birth of Agnes, her mother


After two years later in 1787 John married Elizabeth Collins (born about

1767 and died after 1813), who was the daughter of William and Grace Collins of

York County, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth and John had five children: Elizabeth (1789-

1884), Robert (1791-1813), Jean (1792 or 3 -1793), Mary Jean (1794-) who

married Thomas Wallace, and Sarah Gemmill (1795-).

James Gemmill

James was born in Hopewell Township, York County, Pennsylvania in

1773. With Mary Twigg, he had a natural daughter, Jemima Gemmill, born on

April 1 1794.

On October 10, 1794, he married Elizabeth "Betsy" McPherson (1776-) the

daughter of Frederick and Isabella (Collins) McPherson. To this marriage eight

children were born: Lydia Grace (1795-) who married John Clark, Jr., Frederick

Gemmill (1796-1853), Nancy (1797-) who may have married John Clark, Jr. after

Lydia's death, Robert (1799-) who married Agnes "Nancy" Wilson, Isabella Gemmill

(1802-) who married Matthew Adams, Elizabeth (1804-) who married Samuel

Richardson, Mary Ann (1806-), and James McPherson (1814-1886) who married

Anne Clark,

On June 19, 1816, James drowned in the Susquehanna River and was

buried in York County, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth and some of the children moved

to Ohio after James' death and changed the spelling of the name to Gammill.

She later moved on to Jefferson County, Iowa, with Elizabeth and James and their

families, where she died and is buried.

Frederick Gemmill

October 10, 1822, Frederick married Elizabeth Adams (April 12, 1799-May

21, 1881), daughter of William and Rebekah (Douglas) Adams in York, York

County, Pennsylvania.

They had ten children: William (1822-1852) who married Sarah, Anna

McPherson (1824-1880) who married Thomas Baker, James Wallace (1826-1913)

who married Mary Landon and fathered Annabelle (mother of Fawn Ramsey

Druggan), David Duglass (1828-1890) who married Margaret Stith, Robert Martin
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 176)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 176)


[page 176]

[corresponds to page 164 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

(1831-1920) who married Lucinda Ellen Galpin, Frederick Washington Gammell

(1834-1915 who married Mary Galpin, Samuel Shriver "Shrive" (March 18, 1835

to July 12, 1909), John Thompson (1883-1838), Elizabeth Jane (1840-1842),

Elizabeth Mary "Becky" (1842-1842).

Frederick died December 1853 in Stockton, San Joaquin County, California.

Elizabeth is buried in Sunbury, Ohio.

Samuel Shriver "Shrive" Gammill

"Shrive" was born March 18, 1835 in Lisbon,

Center Township, Columbiana County, Ohio. On

September 18, 1856 he married Mary Elizabeth

Johnson (11-12-1840 to 2-21-1895) who was the

daughter of John S. and Elizabeth (Powell) Johnson

of Fairfield County, Ohio. To this union six children

were born: Amy Anna, Charles A. (1859-1864), J.

Ernest (1866-), Juliette "Etta" (1867-1928) who

married Alfred Sheets, Colonel Ellsworth "C E"

(1865-1919) who married Etta Bailey, and Mamie

(1881-1968) who married Harvey Diehl.

[photo: Samuel Shriver Gammill]

"Shrive" enlisted in the Civil War August 6,

1861 and served in the 96th OVI-Company G from

Delaware, Ohio. From January 1 to March 1863,

after Chickasaw Bayou, "Shrive" was ill in the hospital. He fought at Vicksburg

and Jackson then was given a thirty day furlough July 30, 1863. On September

15, 1863 he returned to his company and fought in Grand Coteau, Mansfield, Fort

Gaines, Fort Morgan, Spanish Fort and Mobile. He was mustered out with his


In addition to being the proprietor of a saw mill and hoop factory located

on the northwest corner of North and North Vernon Streets, "Shrive" also built

homes. He built the house at 46 North Columbus for his daughter and G.J.

Burrer as well as the bank barn behind the house. The houses at 60 and 74

North Vernon as well as those at 126 and 136 South Columbus Street were

products of "Shrive"'s workmanship. All the houses have a basic 'square frame'

construction and are designed with a certain dignity which was his mark. Many

other houses and farms were purchased by him, renovated and then sold.

It was "Shrive"'s character to rise early and put in long days. In addition to

being a hard worker, he was considered a good influential citizen.

On February 21, 1895, Mary died. Six years later he married Mrs.

Jospehine Harrison. "Shrive" died July 12, 1909, and is buried in Sunbury

Memorial Park with his wife, Mary, and son, Charles.

Amy Ann Gammill

Amy married Gottlieb Jacob Burrer and became the mother, grandmother,

and great-grandmother of the Burrer men who are subjects of this history. She

found pleasure in her family and flowers.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 177)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 177)


[page 177]

[corresponds to page 165 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: The Gammill Family

First Row: Ellis Gammill, Margaret Barton Darling, Mabel

Gammill Howard, Lena Barber Walker

Second Row: Tom Landon, Jake Burrer, Jim Williamson,

Andrew Barber, John Barton, George Walker

Third Row: Amy Landon, Amy Burrer, Mary Jane Williamson,

Elma Gammill, Alvia Barber, Gertrude Barton]

[photo: The Large Lilac in the Burrer yard]

[photo: Amy's Yellow Rose Bush]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 178)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 178)


[page 178]

[corresponds to unnumbered page of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Ancestors of Daisy Estella Sperry
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 179)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 179)


[page 179]

[corresponds to page 167 of Flashback: A Story of Two Lives]

Daisy Sperry's Ancestors

The following Sperry family history was taken from Sperry Family, compiled by

Daisy Sperry Burrer, Edith Bell Stickney, Eugene Ball and Isabelle Forry.

Thomas Sperry was believed to be of Hugenot stock and therefore

originally from France. It is believed he fled France during the St. Bartholomew's

massacre and settled in Germany. From there he came to America where his will

was probated in Hardy County, Virginia, on April 25, 1765.

Thomas was married to Sarah and they had 12 children: John, Jacob,

Thomas, Sarah, Mary, Magdalene, and Peter are the known names. Several

years prior to the Revolutionary War, Gen Daniel Morgan organized his famous

band of Riflemen and took an active part in the Indian wars. In his company were

a large number of German Virginians from Winchester and its vicinity namely

Johann Schultz, Jacob Sperry, Peter and Simon Lauck, Frederick Kurtz, Karl

Grimm, George Heisler and Adam Kurz. Six of these men formed the "Dutch

Mess" because they always messed together during the entire war. None met

with disaster during all their severe campaigns but they did gain special distinction

for bravery and loyalty to Morgan. Throughout the Revolutionary war they acted

as Aides-de-Camp, never accepted officer's commissions. When the war was

over, they each received valuable tracts of land near Winchester as rewards for


Peter, Jacob's brother and Thomas's son, first married Mary Hannock who

was born in Germany in 1766 and died November 24, 1836. They had four sons

and eight daughters - Isaac, John, Jacob born 1789, Benjamin (or Abraham),

Betsy Sperry Thompson, Sally

Sperry Claypool, Rebecca

Sperry Cory, ? Sperry Cramer

and ? Sperry Wornstaff. Peter

then married Lidia Wilkin born

1766 and died July 22, 1860.

Isaac lived in Frankfort,

Ohio, and was buried in the old

Baptist grave yard there.

Jacob Sperry was born

in Hardy County, Va., April 24,

1789, and married Mary Wilson

born December 2, 1791 to

James and Harriet Jamison

Wilson. They had seven

children: Maria Sperry Forry (3-

16-1814 to 6-3-1863), Albert

Sperry (12-13-1815 to 8-21-

1893), Peter Sperry (1-2-1818

to 12-21-1895), Isaac Newton

Sperry (10-6-1819 to 5-1-1898),

[photo: Jacob and Mary (Wilson) Sperry]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 180)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 180)


[page 180]

[corresponds to page 168 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

John Milton Sperry (3-3-1821 to 10-12-1901), Eliza Sperry Campbell (1-17-1823 to

1-12-1916), and Angleine sperry Rees (11-24-1824 to 6-24-1857).

Jacob moved his family from a farm to Utica, Ohio. Their neighbor, Mary

Boyd Reynolds described them as a most estimable couple. "Frugal in their

manner of living, by their economical management and diligence they became

thrifty and prosperous, so that in declining years they retired from active duties

and enjoyed the fruit of their labors. They were truly a comfortable couple.

They shared the home tasks, Mr. Sperry tended the garden in season and

did the milking and churning. Mrs, Sperry was a notable housekeeper, her home

spotless and her table spread with the good things of culinary art. They visited

their sons and daughters and their friends. Above all they took time for the

cultivation of their higher nature, and the Bible was not a closed book in their

house. Sabbath morning the gentle old white horse was hitched to the phaeton

and they drove to Owl Creek Church to service." The men sat on one side of the

church and the women on the other. Mary was a tiny woman who wore a lace

cap, over that a plain black bonnet with black ties; lace mitts, a silk shawl with

a fringe border and carried a satchel for "the grandchildren's cookies after Sunday


When discussing marriage proposals was whether it was better to answer

sic or] whether delay made the game more interesting, Grandma Sperry

said with a laugh "When Grandpap asked me, I said yes so quickly that he was

most of a mind to back out."

One night Mrs. Reynolds uncle offered to escort Mrs. Sperry home as it

was dusk. She replied "I have never accepted the escort of any gentleman since

I married Grandpap, and I shall go alone." They loved and trusted each other


On July 14, 1873, their final ride was to go to Mt. Vernon for a Bible with

large print so they might more easily read it. They were struck by a freight train

near son Albert's home. Mary was killed instantly as she had wished and Jacob

lingered for several weeks, dying August 2,

1873. He had said earlier he did not wish to

die suddenly because he wanted time to

think about the change coming to him.

Aside from giving each child a home,

the couple left $40,000 to their children.

On September 3, 1839, their oldest

son, Albert Sperry, married Matilda Vernon

(who was born 6-13-1820) and they had 8

children: Eliza Sperry Crane (3-28-1841 to 9-

8-1861), John Wesley Sperry (2-13-1843 to

1845), Jacob Vernon Sperry (6-3-1846 to 10-

25-1918), Isaac Thompson Sperry (11-20-

1848 to 11-9-1925), Albert J. Sperry (9-10-

1851 to ), George Mitchell Sperry (6-13-1854

to 1856) Martha Matilda Evelyne Sperry (6-9-

1856 to ?) and Ida May Sperry 8-8-1860 to ?).

Albert and Matilda began their married

[photo: Isaac Sperry and Aunt Ida Sperry]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 181)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 181)


[page 181]

[corresponds to page 169 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

life on a 100 acre farm of timber. A big log cabin was built of the timber, brush

burned and the ashes sold for 6 cents a bushel. Later a frame house and barn

replaced the log cabin. Sperry sold the farm to Benjamin Tullos and bought

another 207 acre farm from George Crawford in 1852 about a half mile south of

Newark road. The place was named Evergreen Farm for the large number of

evergreens in the yard. Sperry prospered and rasied eight children. To each he

gave a 100 acre tract of land or the equivalent in money at the marriage. He was

known for lending money to those in need and often canceled the note when the

person was unable to pay. After the death of his wife, he applied his study of the

scriptures to the writing of a book which he had published called "Our Hope."

Albert was a firm believer in education and sent each of his children to Granville

college as long as they wanted to go.

[photo: Isaac Sperry]

Isaac Thompson Sperry married Sophronia

Cummings, daughter of George F. and Rachel

Cummings on October 8, 1873. Sophronia was

born in Pickaway County, June 1851 and died

March 25, 1916. Isaac and Sophronia had two

children - George F. Sperry (1-4-1877 - died an

infant) and Daisy Estelle Sperry (9-4-1879 to 2-6-

1958). Following his wife's death, Isaac married

Margaret Walker Gelvin on November 24, 1921.

[photo: Sophronia Cummings Sperry]

[photo: Home and Barn in Pickaway County, Ohio,

Where Daisy Was Born.]

Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 182)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 182)


[page 182]

[corresponds to page 170 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Sophronia's brother,

George Cummings

and family

at the home place

in Harlem Township.]

[photo: William Cummings, His Wife and Daughters]

[image: Lincoln-Lee Legion
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 183)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 183)


[page 183]

[corresponds to page 171 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: The Home of Isaac

and Sophronia

(Cummings) Sperry

south of Berkshire


This 100 acre farm

was owned by

Pearly Stockwell in



[photo: Mrs. Isaac Sperry

at the Brick Home

North of

Berkshire Corners]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 184)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 184)


[page 184]

[corresponds to page 172 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Daisy Sperry and Amy Burrer]

[photo: Harry Handshaw of Aspen, Colorado and Maggie (Gelvin)

Sperry in the Parlor at North Morning Street

[photo: View from living room to stairway In the Isaac Sperry home in

Berkshire where Carleton was born. Note Denison pennant,

diploma, and chairs which are still in Dilly's home.]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 185)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 185)


[page 185]

[corresponds to page 173 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[foldout: Helen Van Wie's Ancestors]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 186)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 186)


[page 186]

[corresponds to unnumbered page of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Dec 1950 Knickerbocker News?

The Van Wie Mansion, Built in 1679, Stands

As Sturdy Monument to Area's Colonial Days

(This is the last of a series of

articles on historic homes in the

Albany area.)


The Van Wie mansion, built in

1679 by Hendrick Gerritse Van

Wie in what is now known as

Van Wies Point, is one of the

oldest buildings still standing in

Albany County.

The house has seen many

changes since its early fort Or-

ange days, but the original

beams, holdings, doors and ma-

sonry still are in service. It is

a sturdily built house, as were

most Colonial homes, and was

constructed with an eye toward

solid comfort.

Van Wie arrived in Fort Or-

ange from Holland in 1664, about

the same time as the English

were changing the settlement's

name to Albany. He purchased

the property from the Van

Rensselaers and with the aid of

his family and cheap farm labor

built the mansion.

One-Foot Beams

The south wing of the house

was the original structure. the

one-foot-thick beams in this

section provide an interesting

contrast to the less sturdy con-

struction of the later additions.

The basement walls are more

than three feet thick and have

needed only slight repairs since

they were built.

The kitchen and back doors

contain a maltese cross in their

paneling-to scare off evil spirits.

The glass in the windows appears

old, but, according to the owners,

is not the original.

Most of the early furnishings in

the mansion have been removed

to the home of Mrs. Mildred Van

Wie Wheeler, about a quarter of

a mile north in Van Wies Point.

These include a small trunk used

by the Van wies to store valu-

able papers and dated "Troy-

1828," brass candlesticks and

jewel boxes.

Served as Terminal

The mansion was sold out of

the Van wie family in the mid-

dle of the 19th Century by Peter

P. Van Wie. Its present occu-

pants are Dr. R.S. Cunningham

and Mrs. Cunningham.

The Van Wie property once

served as a terminal for Hudson

River raffic in the Albany area.

The dock owned by Peter G. and

Henry Van Wie was leased in

1835 to the Hudson Steamboat

Company. Today only the dock

posts still stand and a sign in-

stalled by the State Department

of Education tells the story of

this trading port.

Marker Removed

Under the terms of the dock

ease, the Van wies were obli-

gated to keep the lower river

road open for stagecoach traffic.

Because of the shallow condi-

tions then existing in the Hudson

between Van Wies Point and the

Albany businss district it was

impossible to sail boats any

further than this dock. Freight

and passengers were met at the

Van Wie dock and shuttled by

coach to their destinations.

Another State Education mark-

er stands in front of the mansion,

briefly recounting its history. An

additional marker once stood on

Route 144 containing the same

legend, but was removed after

numerous complaints by occu-

pants of neighboring homes.

According to the complaints,

many motorists were drawn off

the main highway by the sign to

have a look at the old home. The

tourists littered the surrounding

lawns with trash and were re-

ported to have broken into neigh-

boring homes while the occupants

were away.

Despite cries from local his-

torians, who believed they were

being snubbed, the sign on

Route 144 was removed.

Noted for Size

The Van Wies were noted for

their size and strength, with sev-

eral of the men pushing seven

feet and most of the women more

than six feet.

The legend persists that one of

the Van Wies traveled to New

York City to see a much publi-

cized giant on display. Van Wie

returned home a dissappointed

man, having discovered that he was

several inches taller than the

giant and out weighed him by many pounds.

The Cunninghams report that

while spading the ground for a

garden and terrace they have un-

covered many Indian relics. Van

wies Point is reportedly part of a

once thickly settled Indian vilage.

[photo: This colonial home, built in 1679 by Hendrick

Gerritse Van Wie in what is now known as Van

wies Point, is one of the oldest buildings in

Albany County. The south wing was the original

building and much of the framework and masonry

of the original is still in good repair. The house

is occupied by Dr. R.S. Cunningham and Mrs.


[photo: One of the original beams in the Van Wie mansion is shown above.

The ax is of a type similar to those used to cut beams during the

Colonial period. It was given to the Cunninghams by Frank

Welch, one of the oldest residents of Van Wie Point.]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 187)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 187)


[page 187]

[corresponds to page 174 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Helen Van Wie's Family

According to the Innes Getty Collection in the New York Genealogical and

Biographical Society, Hendrick Gerritse Van Wie, the son of Gerrit Van Wie,

sailed from Holland to America aboard "de Endracht" April 17, 1664 (from Dutch

settlers Society Yearbook: Albany). Although his name is not listed as a

passenger, the receipt for his passage signed by the skipper Jan Bergen is in the

Renssalaerswyck Manuscript papers in the New York State Library at Albany.

Hendrick settled at Fort Orange later to be named Albany and found employment

on several farms He was paid to thatch the barn roofs of Peter Meess on June

1670 and again on april 1673. He married Eytje Ariese and to this marriage 8

children were born: Gerrit (1676 to 1746),

Jannetje, Geesje, Ariaantje, Alida, Jan (1686-),

Catrina and Henrick of Hendrik Gerritsz

Verwey (1689-1715). Apparently the priest

knew the proper Netherlands name which is

written as Henfrik Gerriysz Verwey. On

October 13, 1679, he was charged 50

guilders a year for 4 years rent from May 1,

1675 to 1679 for a farm called Dominics

Hock which he then bought from the Van

Rensselaers. This became known as Van

Wie Point located five miles south of Albany

on the west bank of the Hudson. With the

help of his family and cheap farm labor he

built the Van Wie mansion. A news article

which ran in the Knickerbacker News in

December 1950 is included in this section.

Since the Hudson River was not always deep

enough for large ships, the Van Wies had to

maintain a dock where the passengers and

cargo could be taken across land and make

connection with public transportation.

[photo: Van Wie Point

Hendrick Gerritse Van Wie

Dutch Colonist in Fort

Orange, 1664 Built House

Here in 1679

Located 5 miles south of Albany on

the west side of the Hudson - 1958]

After Hendrick Gerritse Van Wie's

death, his widow married Andries Jacobse

Gardinier, the son of Jacob Janse and Josyna Gardinier. Eytje had three more

children: Andries, Jacob, and Arien. The latter married Elizabeth Van Slyke and

their daughter, Johanna Gardinier, was to become the wife of Hendrick H. Van

Wie about 1748. Andries received a large land grant early in Kinderhook.

Jenrick of Henderik Gerritse married Hilletje Becker. Hilletje was the

daughter of Johannes and Anna Van der Zee. Johannes was the son of Jan

Jurianse Becker (who lived about 1635 to 1697) and Maria Adriaens who married

about 1660. Jan came from Holland in 1655 as admiral for the Dutch West Indies

Company. In 1656 he was living in Ft. Casimir on the Delaware River. In 1660 he

was indicted for selling brandy to the Indians and sentenced to 500 guilders. The

same year he petitioned to teach school in Manhattan and did teach there. In

1663 he lived in Greenbush, across the River Beverwyck (Albany). In 1669, Gov.

Lovelace appointed him Notary Public. In 1670 he got a license to teach school
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 189)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 189)


[page 189]

[corresponds to page 176 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

To Francis Nicoll, Abraham Run and David Burhans, executors: all

my messuage, lands or tenements situate in Renssalaerswyck on west

side of Hudson in Twn. of Bethlehem as well as residue of personal

property, goods and chattels, which shall be sold to the best advantage

and the money applied to the purchase of three large white "marvil"

gravestones with graving in proper order at the

heads of father, my wife and my own.

To children of elder brother Andrew, one

third of my legacies; one third part to brother

John H.: one third part to my youngest sister

Elizabeth Bronk, the wife of Peter Bronk.

To my two brother Andrew and John H.,

all my wearing apparel.

Executors to be: Francis Nicoll, Abraham

Han and David Burhans.


Wit.: John H. Burhans

Arie Van Wie

Caleb Smith

Jehoishem B. Staats

Note he freed his slaves and provided for his

children and nephews, particularly those who shared his


[photo: Tintype of Maria (Wormuth) Van

Wie holding Andrew Dillenbeck

Dilly's Great-Grandmother

Holding Dilly's Father]

Daniel and Anne had John D. Van Wie, who

in turn married Maria Wormuth. John and Maria

were the parents of Helen Van Wie who married her

third cousin Luther Dillenbeck. The latter became

the parents of Andrew Luther Dillenbeck, and then

the grandparents of Dorothy MacNaughton

Dillenback [Dillenbeck] Burrer.

[photo: Helen Van Wie


[photo: Luther Dillenbeck]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 190)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 190)


[page 190]

[corresponds to page 177 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[image: Birth, Death and Marriage Records

from the Burrer Family Bible]


Gottleib Jacob Burrer 1848 in Wittenburg [illegible]


Amy Ann Gammill born August 15,-1867 [illegible]

Delaware County Ohio

Sprague Gammill Burrer Born March 7 - 1876

Karl Ormand Burrer Born Aug 22-1870 in

Sunbury O.

Paul Parker Burrer Born June 6-1886 in Sunbury

Rudolph Odell Burrer Born February 18 1888

Gordon Jacob Burrer Born February 2-1894 Sunbury

Carleton Sperry Burrer Born November 9, 1909 Sunbury


Sprague Gammill Burrer Killed in mill

Aug 6-1886 Sunbury O.

Hellen Dryer Wife of Rudolph Burrer Died

Jan 15-1916 at Sunbury O.

Gottlieb Jacob Burrer February 12th, 1926

at Sunbury, O.

Amy Ann Gammill Burrer July 6th 1932

Karl Ormond Burrer Dec. 5th 1957 (7)

In White Cross Hospital

Gordon Jacob Burrer July 4, 1960

at Cincinnati, Ohio

Rudolph Odell Burrer July 17 1965

Riverside Hospital - Columbus, Ohio.

Carleton Sperry Burrer - Jan 14, 1989

Charlotte Pagles Burrer July 2, 1991

at Cincinnati, Ohio
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 191)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 191)


[page 191]

[corresponds to unnumbered page of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[image: Marriages]

Samuel G. Gammill & Mary E. Johnson were Married

Sept 18th 1856

Gottleib Jacob Burrer and Amy Ann Gammill were

Married May 26-1875

Paul Parker Burrer & Sarah Minerva Hess were

Married Oct 7-1908

Karl Ormand and Dasy Esther Sperry were Married

Dec 23-1908

Rudolph Odell Burrer and Hellen Cambpell Dryer

were Married oct 31-1915

Gordon Jacob Burrer and Charlotte Grace Pagels

were Married Oct. 3, 1929 at Cincinnati, Ohio

Rudolph Odell Burrer and Martha Louise Griffiths

were married June 11, 1932

Karl Ormand Burrer and Mary Schwin

Paul Parker Burrer and Minnie

Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 192)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 192)


[page 192]

[corresponds to page 179 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[foldout: John E. Burrer's Descendants]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 193)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 193)


[page 193]

[corresponds to page 180 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[foldout: Nannie E. Burrer's Descendants]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 194)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 194)


[page 194]

[corresponds to unnumbered page of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[foldout: Descendants of Paul Parker Burrer]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 195)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 195)


[page 195]

[corresponds to page 182 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[foldout: Gordon J. Burrer's Descendants]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 196)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 196)


[page 196]

[corresponds to page 183 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]


The following was written for this book by Don Burrer.

Gordon J. Burrer had a

daughter Charmy (1931), and twin

boys, Don (Gordon Jr.), and Fred

(1932). They raised their family on

Pleasant Ridge, a suburb of Cincinnati.

All three children graduated from

Walnut Hills High School, a college

preparatory public school in


[photo: Don, Charmy, Fred]

Charmy marries Richard Voss in 1953

after graduating from Denison

University. They built their family home in Wyoming, OH, a suburb of Cincinnati

where they raised three boys, Rick, Andy, and Tim. Rick is an attorney with an

MBA. He is academically oriented with college degrees from Vanderbuilt [sic Vanderbilt]

University of Cincinnati, and Xavier. Andy is a mechanical engineer graduate from

Georgia Tech. Tim is a business graduate from Ohio University. All three boys

are married. Rick and Andy each have two children.

Richard worked for Masonite Company through

most of his business career before starting his own

machine tool sales company. He has always had a

strong interest interest in and a knack for, woodworking. He

has beautifully refinished many old family pieces of

furniture. He is a WWII veteran and during the war

served in the Navy aboard a salvage ship in the

Pacific. He is a gifted communicator and a most

entertaining story teller.

After her family was grown Charmy became quite

active in community service work with a special

talent for managing financial affairs. She served a

term as Treasurer for both the Cincinnati Junior

League and the Cincinnati Wonab's Club where she

was also a Board member. For many years she

also served on the Sharonwoods Village Board and

played a major role in the creation of their historical 19th century village.

Like many of the early Sunbury Burrers, Don had an interest in mechanical things

and as a consequence of these interests was graduated as an Electrical Engineer

from MIT. He married Nancy Farrell from Cincinnati in 1957 while he was serving

his two year ROTC commitment as a Communications Officer in the USAF at

Westover AFB in MA. After his AF discharge Don worked for AVCO in Cincinnati
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 197)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 197)


[page 197]

[corresponds to page 184 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

as a design engineer on infrared threat warning systems and infrared

semiconductor sensors. While living in their Wyoming, OH, home they adopted

a son, Jeffrey. Shortly after adopting Jeffery, they had a daughter Amy. In 1963

Don earned a Masters of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the

University of Cincinnati.

In 1964 they moved to Owego, NY where Don continued his infrared system and

component design work at IBM's Federal Systems Division. In 1966 Don

accepted an opportunity with the Honeywell Radiation Center in Boston, MA, to

lead the product development work on HgCdTe, a recenlty discovered and

promising new infrared detector material. They settled in Wayland, MA, a suburb

west of Boston. There they adopted their second son, Philip (Flip). All three

children graduated from Wayland High School.

Jeffery always had a strong interest in automobiles and through dealerships his

career has centered around the automotive parts business. Amy was a good

student and graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania as an

Electrical Engineer. Upon her graduation she accepted a job with Bell Labs and

they sent her to the University of Michigan for one year where she received a

Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering. She has developed her professional

area of expertise around the design and design verification off both hardware and

software associated with high speed digital network switches. Flip did his

undergraduate work in pre-med at Tufts University and completed his formal

medical schooling at the Chicago Medical school. Dr. Burrer's field is Family


[photo: Don Burrer Family

Don, Jeffery, Philip, Amy, and Nancy]

In 1975 Don left Honeywell with two

other engineers, founding inframetrics.

They developed a product line of

commercial infrared imagining

radiometers. Using a patented

technique to achieve TV compatibility

their products were the first that

could make radiometric recordings via

standard VCRs. The company grew

rapidly and in 1984 the founders sold

the company.

Don has authored numerous technical

papers and has been granted several

patents. He was Chairman/Editor of the 1984 Thermosense Vi-Conference

sponsored by SPIE - the International Society for Optial Engineers and in 1989

he was honored by MIT with 98 other alumni who founded companies in

Massachusetts which had "made a significant contribution to the economy of the

state and nation". Don also has had a continuing interest in general aviation. He

owns a Lack Buccaneer amphibian aircraft and holds a commercial single engine,

land sea instrument rating.
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 198)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 198)


[page 198]

[corresponds to page 185 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Nancy was involved in many school and

community projects while her children were

growing up in Wayland. When the children were

grown she worked for many years as a volunteer

with local Hospice organizations. She enjoys

Bridge and is an active participant in several

groups. She is also involved in community

activities and golf at their cottage on Lake

Winnipesaukee in NH.

[photo: Don and Fred Burrer]

Fred graduated from Denison University as a

business major. After graduation he joined the

navy, went to officers training school, and served

abroad ship as a Supply Officer. He was

stationed in Galveston, TX. After his discharge

he returned to Cincinnati, began work with

Standard Publishing Company, and in 1958

married Ann Gray from Glendale, OH. They had two boys and a girl, Reed, Dan

and Karen. In 1967 he was transferred to Kalamazoo, MI to become the President

of Doubleday Brothers & Co., now a division of Standex. He was active in the

local business community and served on the Board of Old Kent Bank and Nazarth [sic Nazareth]

College. He remained as Doubleday President until his retirement in 1988.

The three children from Kalamazoo High School. Reed married after one year of

college and has moved to South Bend, IN, with his wife Mary and two children.

He has made a career in residential real estate. Dan is a business graduate from

Michigan State University and has found a

rewarding career working with billing

software in the field if [sic of] interactive cable

television. Karen is in Kalamazoo and is

beginning a career in the field of hospital


In 1978 Fred and Ann were divorced. Ann

continues to live in Kalamazoo and died in

early 1996. In 1979 Fred married Pat Moss,

who helped raise his three children in

Kalamazoo. Fred adopted two of Pat's

children, Paula and Maggie.

Upon retirement Fred and Pat moved to

Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. They are both

avid golfers and enjoy excursions in their 38

foot cruiser on the nearby Tennessee River.

They have established a very active social

life within the Fairfield Glade community.

[photo: Capt. Gordon J. Burrer, WWII, and

nephew Gerald J. Burrer]

[Note: Pages 186-238 of Flashback: A story of Two Families
contain copies of Carleton Burrer's writings and are included
as appendices in Flashback: The Story of Two Families. The
orginal manuscripts of these writings are part of Community Library's
local history collection and appear elsewhere in Big Walnut Memory
in their original formats. These writings include Mr. Burrer's
contributions to The Ohio Historic Inventory, The Origin of the
Name of Sunbury and its Application to the Village of Sunbury,
Delaware Co., Ohio, The Burrer Family, Early Delaware
County-Sunbury and Community, The Sunbury and Galena
Communities and how they were in 1938 when Sunbury Lions
Club Originated, and Why I Enjoy Living in Sunbury,
Delaware County, Ohio]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 199)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 199)


[page 199]

[corresponds to page 239 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]


"Battle of Oriskany" from Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.:

Chicago, Illinois. Page 904.

The Compendium of American Genealogy: The Standard Genealogical Encyclopedia

of the First Families of America. Volume VII, pages 562, and 889.

The Dallenbachs in America, 1710-1935. edited by Andrew L. Dillenbeck, D.D. and

Karl M. Dallenbach, Ph.D. 1935. Fort Orange Press: Albany, New York.

reprinted 1969

Burrer, Carleton Sperry. "An Historical Sketch of 'Jakie' Burrer, The Old Mill, and

Electricity in the Community" from Sunbury's Part in Ohio History. by Esther

McCormick. George C. Lindsey, Jr.: Sunbury, Ohio. 1966.

Burrer, Carleton Sperry. "The Burrer Family" from The People Book. compiled by Ruth

Domigan Truxall and Esther McCormick. Dorothy D. Burrer: Sunbury, Ohio.


Burrer, Dorothy. "Samuel Shriver Gammill" from The People Book. complied by Ruth

Domigan Truxall and Esther McCormick. Dorothy D. Burrer: Sunbury, Ohio.


Chambers, T.F. The Early Germans of New Jersey, Their History, churches, and

Genealogists. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co. Swackhamer, pages


McNie, Alan, Clan Maclean. Cascade Publishing Company, Jedburgh, Scotland: 1983.

From Then Till Now, 1867-1967. Sparrow Lodge No. 400. The Sunbury News:

Sunbury, Ohio. 1967.

Gemmill, Ted L. The Origin of the Name Gemmill and the Genealogical Progenitors

of Scotland and York County, PA. Red Lion: York County, Pennsylvania. 1995.

Hopkins, A.S. The Trails to March. Conservation Department State of New York,

Albany. 1927.

sperry Family. Compiled by Daisy Sperry Burrer, Edith Bell Stickney, Eugene Ball

and Isabelle Forry

The Palatines of New York State. The Palatine Society of the United Evangelical

Lutheran Church of New York and New England, Inc. Baronet Litho Co., Inc.:

Johnstown, New York. 1953.

[Note: pages 240-265 comprise the index to Flashback: A Story of Two Families]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 200)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 200)


[page 200]

[corresponds to page 266 of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

[photo: Dilly Burrer writing at the bedroom window on Columbus Street]

For months flashbacks of two families have been in my mind as Polly

and I have tried to capture the highlights for you. If I said too much, I didn't

mean to offend. If I've left it unsaid, I'm sorry. As Robert Frost said in his

poem, "Reluctance"

Out through the field and the woods

And over the walls I have wended;

I have climbed the hills of view

And looked at the world and descended,

I have come by the highway home,

And lo, it is ended.

[photo: Polly Whitney Brehm Horn

at the computer in her office

at Community Library]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 201)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 201)


[page 201]

[corresponds to inside back cover of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]
Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 202)


Flashback: A Story of Two Families (p. 202)


[page 202]

[corresponds to back cover of Flashback: A Story of Two Families]

Dublin Core


Flashback: A Story of Two Families


Burrer, Dorothy Dillenbeck--1907-2001
Gemmell family-- Genealogy
Ohio--Delaware County--Sunbury--History
Payne family-- Genealogy
Perry family--Genealogy
Dorothy Dillenbeck--Personal narratives
Sperry family--Genealogy


This book recounts the history of the Carleton S. Burrer and Dorothy Dillenbeck Burrer families as told to Polly Whitney Brehm Horn by Dillie Burrer, widow of Carleton Burrer. The book includes genealogical and biographical information for members of both the Burrer and Dillenbeck families in text and gray-scale images. Mr. and Mrs. Burrer were well known in the Sunbury community during their lifetimes. They were deeply involved in the organization of community events and celebrations of Sunbury's history.


Author Dorothy Dillenbeck


Community Library, Sunbury, Ohio 1996




Editor: Polly Horn








Still Image





Author Dorothy Dillenbeck, “Flashback: A Story of Two Families,” Delaware County Memory, accessed May 23, 2024, http://www.delawarecountymemory.org/items/show/9.

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