THE FAMILY ALBUM: Hartsville & The Wright Brothers

My Barmes ancestors immigrated from Bavaria, Germany to Hope, Indiana in 1834, and established themselves as carpenters and home builders.  Much of their work can be seen today throughout Hope, today, as you drive along and see steep Bavarian-esque gables and the beautiful carving inside the Hope Moravian Church.

Their main farm still remains and is easily identified by the numerous steep gables.  Margaret Damm Barmes and her daughters went into the Bavarian forests and collected all types of seeds to build their own Bavarian fairy forest on their property. Today, school children, when taken on their Hope History Tour, venture through the several acres of trees from my family’s native land.

They were also well-known farmers and their produce and dairy products were shared with the students of nearby Hartsville College.



Hartsville College

It was at Hartsville College in the 1850s where a young up and coming minister of the United Brethren Church, Milton Wright from Rush County, Indiana, was appointed Supervisor of the Preparatory Department at Hartsville College, a United Brethren institution.  Milton met, and fell in love with a literature student, Susan Koerner whose family’s farm and wheelwright business were near Fairmount, Grant County, Indiana.


Milton and Susan would eventually marry and produce seven children, two of whom would enter the annals of aviation as The Wright Brothers.

I’ve often wondered my Barmes ancestors ever had interactions with Milton and Susan, perhaps through their farm produce offered to the college students and faculty.

I just learned another connection through my paternal line with my great-great grandparents who moved from Butler County, Ohio where several of my Jolliff ancestors are buried on a lovely rise just south of Hamilton, Ohio.

John Jolliff.  B. Jun 1856; Decatur, County, Indiana.  D. 4 Sep 1922; Waynesburg, Decatur County, Indiana.

Sarah Wolf Jolliff. B. 3 May 1849; Butler County, Ohio. D. 17 Mar 1926; Geneva, Shelby County, Indiana.

Of their seven children, one included my great-grandfather, Perry Willard Jolliff.

Both John and Sarah are buried in the Hartsville College Cemetery, Hartsville, Bartholomew County, Indiana.

This is a note and the obituary for John Jolliff:

John Jolliff was the son of James Jolliff and Ruth Harper, a couple who married in Butler Co., Ohio April 8, 1847.

The father apparently died young. John Jolliff was living with other people in Butler Co. in 1860; and residing in Franklin Co., Indiana in 1870.

He married Sarah Wolf Jan. 1, 1874, in Decatur Co., Indiana.

John’s death is sometimes reported as March 17, 1925, but it is documented in the Norman Funeral Home records, #1473, died March 17, 1926, buried March 19, 1926.

Greensburg Daily News
Greensburg, Indiana
Thursday, March 18, 1926

John Joliff, 74, died Wednesday at the home of his son, Lora, near Geneva, Shelby County. His wife, who was Sarah Wolf, died three years ago. Four sons, Lora, Alonzo of Grammer, Perry of Alexandria, Frank of Hartsville, and a daughter, Mrs. Dayton Gross of Alexandria, survived. The family lived at Waynesburg.

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s