The photo above depicts four generations of the Arras family of Hancock County, Ohio.
Johann Philipp Arras, known as Philip (1832-1913)
George Henry Arras, known as Henry (1862-1943)
Oliver Martin Arras (1889-1973)
Theron Henry Lamont Arras (1910-2003)
The genealogy bug seems to skip a generation in this family.
Theron was my great-uncle, brother of my grandmother, Lucia Arras. He was an incredible genealogist, working with German researchers to trace the origin of all the families involved in the shipwreck of the “Famous Dove” (Brig James Beacham). His work was published in the Palatine Immigrant of July 1988.
Theron’s grandfather, Henry Arras, was also interested in the family history, as I’ve mentioned before. He worked with the Rev. John Gauss, pastor of Trinity church in Jenera, Ohio, to compile a history, the Familien Rekord, of the Arras family from Germany to Hancock County, Ohio. I hope to include the Familien Rekord on the blog at a later date.
The original of this photo hangs in a large oval frame on my second floor landing, so you can see it as you come up the stairs. Theron owned it until his passing. Prior to that, it hung in the parlor of his parents’ home in Findlay, Ohio.
The police were probably getting pretty sick of seeing Stanley’s face by now. After somehow escaping prosecution twice over, he was back in the city jail for the third time in two weeks.
After stealing butter from the Findlay Dairy Company, Stanley had gone around town to various grocers, trying to sell on his ill-begotten goods. On one such outing, he visited Jacob Frank, a man in his early seventies, at his shop on West Front Street.
Frank refused to purchase Stanley’s purloined products and, either in a fit of pique or unable to resist an opportunity, Stanley stole one of Mr. Frank’s checks while the man was not looking.
All in the Family
Surprisingly, Jacob Frank was also a relative.
Stanley’s sister, Clara Viola Smith, my great-grandmother, was married to Oliver Martin Arras.
Oliver’s mother, Johanna, was born a Crates.
Her father, Gottlieb, was the son of Johann Michael and Sibylla (Zehnder) Kroetz.
Gottlieb’s younger sister, Caroline, married Johann Jakob Frank in their hometown of Oberurbach on August 28, 1859, a year after Gottlieb had left for America.
Caroline and Johann Jakob’s son, Jacob Frank, emigrated to Findlay around twenty years later and established his grocery store.
If that all made about as much sense as trying to nail Jell-O to a tree, check out the chart below to clarify:
All of this means that Jacob Frank, the victim of Stanley’s theft, was his sister’s husband’s first cousin, one time removed.
While it is possible that Oliver and Clara were unaware of Oliver’s relationship to Jacob Frank, it is rather unlikely. At least two of Oliver’s Crates uncles, Charley and Monroe, remained in contact with the family in Oberurbach. After World War I, when Germany was suffering so heavily, they sent money to keep their German relations afloat. With letters going back and forth so long after Gottlieb and Caroline had left their homeland, it seems unlikely that their children and grandchildren would be oblivious of one another’s lives in the same city.
With Obvious Regret
On February 20th–Yes, you read that right. The same day Stanley must have been released from jail after his arrest on the bad check charges. So much for remorse!–Stanley, the old charmer, wrote out a check in the amount of $19.10 to be cashed by “Lester Smith”. He forged Jacob Frank’s signature and took the check to a bank to be cashed.
It all could have ended there, as the bank refused to cash the questionable check. Instead, “Lester” handed the check over to a friend, who had it cashed at Bazley Market.
Bazley Market, located at 407 South Main Street in Findlay, opened in mid-October 1928. It was one of a chain of meat markets across the Midwest, owned and operated by Bazley Markets of Chicago, Illinois. Given their ability to purchase meat in large quantities, the chain was able to keep prices low. As a result, the Bazley Market in Findlay was open until at least 1969.
Stanley was arrested the 27th of February, accused of the crime of forgery. This time he would not escape the swiftly turning wheels of justice. The following day he was bound over to the grand jury by Mayor Groves.
Unable to pay his bond of $1,000–an unimaginable amount of money for the man who couldn’t drum up $3 at the drugstore–he was transferred to the Hancock County jail.