Gem of a Find!

The quest for Edward and Elizabeth Overholtz continues but now I’m planning a research trip to Lima, Ohio! I believe Edward was there for a time. He and Elizabeth had their only known girl in Ohio – Annie L. Overholtz born in 1867. Their oldest son, John C. Overholtz, is buried there. A year and a half ago, in what would be the last trip with my Grandmother, I went to his grave site in Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima.  I found two women listed on his grave marker. Just today I was able to confirm Almeda Atmur Overholtz Gabriel is his wife. Together they had a daughter, Pearl Leonia Overholtz! As I’ve found out more about Pearl today I’ve been intrigued regarding what type of person she was.

John and Almeda married on 17 May 1882 in Lima, Allen County, Ohio. Pearl was born 16 Apr 1885. On 18 Oct 1888 John, her father, died from typhoid fever. On 9 Oct 1890, Almeda married William K. Gabriel. He must have helped to raise Pearl since she was only 5 when her dad died. This marriage gave Pearl a half-sister, Genevieve Gabriel. In the 1902, 1903 and 1906 Lima City Directories, Pearl is living with her mother and in two other places in town. In 1902 she was a telephone operator at the age of 17. In a newspaper article in the Lima Times Democrat dated 1 Apr 1903 it says Pearl is off to attend school at Dana School in Chicago. Then on 23 Dec 1904 the Lima Daily News reported she had returned home from Harris Hall in Chicago. In the 1903 and 1906 Lima City Directories it lists her as a clerk. Near the end of 1908 she experiences the death of her mother, Almeda. Almeda is on the same grave marker as John C. Overholtz. Her name is Almeda Gabriel on the marker. Almeda’s parents, Jesse Hamilton and Martha J. Osborn Atmur are also buried in Woodlawn in the next section. I wonder if Pearl was close to her sister, Genevieve, as it seems they are all that is left.

Pearl must have ventured back to Chicago at some point after this. She is listed in the 1910 Census at the Baptist Hospital as a nurse! She is still single. On 12 Mar 1911, the Lima Daily Times says Pearl has returned to Chicago after a visit with her Grandparents, Jesse and Martha Atmur. It would be just 5 short months later that her Grandfather, Jesse, would pass away. The will of her Grandfather, Jesse, lists Pearl as a next of kin living in Whitefish, Montana! I just about died! I live in Montana now! What are the odds? I wasn’t able to find her here yet but I’ll keep searching!

It’s so exciting to find a piece of history that helps to complete a picture of someone you would have possibly hung around were you living back then! Even though I didn’t find her Grandparents, Edward and Elizabeth, I found a whole other family I didn’t know about. That’s the fun of genealogy! I’ll consider that a successful weekend of research! Coming up on the 1 year anniversary of my Grandmother’s memorial service, I feel lost researching without her to talk to. It’s a strange feeling. There’s no middle of the night email to send anymore before I go to bed sharing with her what I found and asking for her help where I’m stuck. So, I’ll sign off this time with a thanks for the finds around Pearl! It was a gem of a find! Love and miss you always, Grandma!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.