John Troyer family

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John Troyer family - Troyer, a 'champion' dad Editor's note:...
Troyer, a 'champion' dad Editor's note: Father's Day is coming Sunday, time to honor Dad. With this story, drawn from local family histories, you can honor the memory of a "champion" "champion" Howard County father. "I just don't see how I can do any sewing this fall," Caroline Troyer said to a neighbor. Then she told her husband, John Troyer, to take the children to town and get them some school clothes. When John returned, he handed to Caroline his idea of school clothes — a large bolt of denim. Caroline then went to another room in the house and cried. By Jeff Hatton Caroline Troyer had good reason to weep — she was all sewn out. There were 31 children in her family, though they all didn't live to adulthood and were born over a 38-year period, and 29 of them belonged to John Troyer. Born in Holmes County, Ohio, July 14,1830, John Troyer was the second of 10 children born to Michael (1802-1855) and Barbara Miller Troyer (1810-1889). As a youth he worked on the family farm and decided on farming as his life's work. In 1852 he married Catherine Shrock, born May 22, 1835, the daughter of Henry (1807-1883) and Barbara Miller (1807-1885) Shrock. Their first home was north of Walnut Creek, Ohio, on 132 acres purchased from John's parents. In November 1854, their first child, a son named Henry, was born. Henry died Jan. 23,1923. Other children followed, 12 in all: Barbara (1856-1917); Benjamin Benjamin J. (1857-1940); John (December 1859-October 1860); Lizzie Anna (1861-1929); Amanda (1863-1885); Lucinda (1865-1946); Katie (1867-1907); Michael J. (1869-1934); Eli J. (1871-1957); Noah J. (1873-1941); and Mary June (May 23-June 29,1874). Moving on In March 1873, John and Catherine Troyer sold their farm and moved to Howard County, Indiana, Indiana, onto 200 acres John has already already purchased. Today this farm is the Dennis and Larry Yoder Dairy Farm at 400 N. Road 550 East. John's original buildings, all gone now, stood about 300 feet behind the present buildings, more than a quarter-mile from the road. John and Catherine joined the Howard-Miami Amish-Mennonite Church at 600 N. Road 700 East and worshipped in the church building completed in 1871. Catherine died on May 28,1874, following the birth of her twelfth child; the baby died one month later. John and Caroline Troyer, seated, pose with 16 of their 31 children at the first Troyer family reunion in Kokomo about 1911 (Photo provided) On Dec. 11,1874, John married Caroline Shrock Kendall, daughter of J. Benjamin and Mary Keck Shrock. Caroline, born Sept. 5, 1848, was first married to Simon Kendall, born in 1849 to Joseph and Elizabeth Kendall. Simon was killed when the forge blew up in a blacksmith shop where he worked, leaving Caroline a widow with a little daughter, Emma (1870-1946). Simon Sr. never saw his son, Simon Kendall Jr. (1872-1964). The elder Simon was killed the March before his son was born in December 1872. In the next 18 years, 17 children were born to John and Caroline Troyer. They were: Harvey J. (1875-1930); Sarah (1876-77); Edward Edward (1878-1952); Ellsworth (1879-1965); Mattie (1880-1966); Joseph E. (1881-1963); an infant daughter, born and died Aug. 19, 1882; twins Nathaniel (1883-1943) andEmanuel (1883-1967); Nora (1884-1955); an infant son born and died Feb. 26,1886; an infant son born and died Oct. 30,1886; Callie (1887-1917); an infant daughter born and died Oct. 2,1888; George D. (1890-1969); an infant son born and died Sept. 4,1891; an infant daughter (Nov. 14-Dec. 16,1892). Full house In those 18 years, there were only only three years when no new baby was born, and twice there were two births in the same year. In one year, there were six children under 5 years of age in the house; and seven years there were five children under 5 years old. In January 1881, older son Benjamin Benjamin left home and John was burdened with working the 200- acre farm. So he sold this farm to Andrew J. and Elizabeth Troyer and bought 100 acres across the road and a bit east, moving in mid-summer. Caroline wove her yarn and made the family's underwear, stockings, outergarments, and the boys' pants. On Saturday, she would bake 15 to 18 pies for the week. In addition to the large family, the Troyers were known for their hospitality, and guests were frequent at their 20-foot-long dining table. John Troyer operated a sawmill all his life in addition to farming, and with John Miller he had a sawmill across the road from his house. The boys used to dig tunnels tunnels in the huge piles of sawdust. Survivors John Troyer died on March 5, 1912, at the age of 81. Eighteen of his 29 children survived him (nine died in infancy or within one year of age; two others died before 1912). He also left his two stepchildren, stepchildren, Emma and Simon, as well as 60 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He had spoken to all of these about the new home to which he would be going, and he left a Christian witness in their hearts and minds. A large crowd gathered to honor him and to bury his earthly remains remains next to those of his first wife in the Mast (now Mast- Hensler) Cemetery, a short distance south of his home. Caroline Troyer lived on at the home farm until she suffered a stroke in the fall of 1924. Weighed down with diabetes as well, she died June 2,1925. She left 11 children, six stepchildren, and 91 grandchildren and stepgrand- children. Caroline had that special quality of temperament to accept what life presented her without complaint complaint — through all of the births and deaths — and admirably, almost heroically, she stepped into a needy situation at her marriage and for the rest of her life she held the family together through everything. Modern times George Troyer was the last survivor survivor of the 31 children. He attended attended Greentown High School and played center on the football team. He also attended Goshen College, and graduated from Marion College, Marion, Ind. He taught grade school two years in Howard County, taught high school at Bristol and Wakarusa, and studied medicine at Chicago Medical School, graduating in 1922. He specialized in eye medicine medicine and surgery. He married Kathryn Sommers in 1914 and eventually went to India India through the Elkhart Board of Missions (Mennonite), and practiced practiced eye medicine there for 13 years. He became medical director director of Dhamtari Christian Hospital. Hospital. In 1936 the family moved to Fisher, 111., where he practiced medicine until 1944, when the Mennonite Central Committee sent the family to Puerto Rico. They stayed for 25 years, serving as resident agent for the Mennonite Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities out of Elkhart. On Dec. 6,1969, George Troyer suffered a heart attack and died. He was the last of a family known as the largest family around in an era of large families. Perhaps the John Troyer family was the largest family —- ever — in this area. (Hatton, a native of eastern Howard County, is employed by the U.S. Postal Service. An amateur amateur historian, he contributes columns columns to the Kokomo Tribune and can be reached through the newspaper newspaper office.)

Clipped from The Kokomo Tribune14 Jun 1989, WedPage 9

The Kokomo Tribune (Kokomo, Indiana)14 Jun 1989, WedPage 9
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  • John Troyer family

    Evemariek – 24 Oct 2014

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