28 April 2015

Eugene Marion Priest, Lewis Priest, and Elery Priest - Tragic Family

By Pamela Pattison Lash

It started with the old newspapers - here is a detailing of a family of tragedy; two brothers and the son of one who all ended up being admitted to the Toledo State Asylum in Toledo, Lucas Co, OH and died there.


Eugene Marion Priest (1845 – 16 November 1907, Toledo, Lucas Co, OH), son of Andrew Shenline Priest and Lydia Keeler

Catherine Mary Smetzer, (Sept 1857 OH – 14 Aug 1907), Jefferson Twp, Williams Co, OH, dau of William Smetzer and Mary DeGroff

1860 Pulaski, Williams, Ohio; Roll: M653_1052; Page: 41; Image: 86; Family History Library Film: 805052
h/h Priest, Andrew 41 PA farmer
Lydia 36 PA
Frederick 14 OH
Lewis 13 OH died 1917 in Toledo State Asylum
James 9 OH
Eugene 4 OH died 1907 in Toledo State Asylum
Unnamed male 1 OH

1870 Pulaski, Williams, Ohio; Roll: M593_1282; Page: 171B; Image: 346; Family History Library Film: 552781
h/h 206/206 Priest, Andrew 53 PA farmer
Lydia 50 PA
Francis 24 OH
Lewis 23 OH
James M 19 OH
Eugene M 14 OH
Irving 11 OH

1880 Pulaski, Williams, Ohio; Roll: 1078; Family History Film: 1255078; Page: 621D; Enumeration District: 011; Image: 0104
h/h 121/128 Priest, Andrew S 63 PA-PA-PA farmer, widower
Eugene M 24 son OH-PA-PA teacher
Washington J 21 son OH-PA-PA teacher
Kaily, Susan 25 niece OH-PA-PA housekeeper

15 Mar 1894, Lucas Co, OH – Eugene M Priest and Mary C Smetzer marriage

Birth of William Priest 26 Dec 1896, parents EM Priest/Catherine Smetzer
Ellery Priest – WWI Draft 1917 – patient at State of Ohio in Toledo Asylum – insane – has the same birth date as William Priest

1900 Pulaski Twp, Williams Co, OH
Priest, Catherine 42 (Sept 1857)  mar 7Y 2/2 ch OH-PA-PA
Edna dau, all lodgers of Samuel Zigler 5 (Mar 1895) OH-OH-OH
Elery son 3 (Dec 1896) OH-OH-OH
Note – Eugene is not with the household nor have I found him in 1900 census

Bryan Press (Bryan, OH), 22 August 1907 p9 c6 – obit of Mary C Smetzer Priest; her death certificate says Katherine Priest, d/o William Smetzer and Mary Dgroff, born Jefferson, OH

Bryan Democrat (Bryan, OH), 1 October 1907 p1 c2
Eugene Priest Insane
Eugene Priest of Jefferson Township was adjudged insane by Probate Judge Fraser yesterday morning.  Priest has been making his home with John Hallock, north of Bryan, and his condition was thought to be dangerous.  The demented man claims someone will murder him and to escape this has threatened to commit suicide.  When placed under arrest Saturday a razor and bottle were found on Priest.  His wife is dead but he has two children, Elery aged 9 who lives at Pulaski and Edna aged 12 who lives in Toledo, Eugene Priest is a brother of Lewis Priest of Bryan.  He was taken to the Toledo State Hospital by Sheriff Ames yesterday afternoon.

16 November 1907, Toledo State Asylum, Lucas Co, OH -Eugene Priest died, age 62, residence Williams Co, OH; born in Toledo

Bryan Democrat (Bryan, OH), 19 November 1907 p1
Eugene Priest who had been a resident of Williams County a great part of his life died in the state hospital at Toledo Friday.  He was about fifty years old.  Following the death of his wife several months ago Mr Priest’s mind became unbalanced and it was necessary to take him to the hospital at Toledo. His condition did not improve and he steadily grew weaker, until the end came Friday.

Eugene Priest was born on a farm a few miles north of Bryan, where he lived until a few years after the death of his father, which occurred about ten years ago.  In 1893 he united with Katherine Smetzer, to which union two children were born who survive the parents. Mr Priest also leaves four brothers, Lewis of Bryan, and three living in the west, Marion, Irving, and Monroe.
Note – his age is wrong, his marriage date is wrong

4 June 1913, Lucas Co, OH, Edna Priest, d/o Eugene and Catherine Priest, married John L Lee, son of Samuel and Rebecca Johnson Lee

Bryan Press (Bryan, OH), 27 September 1917
Lewis Priest died in the State Hospital in Toledo last Friday. He was taken there about a year ago when his health both physical and mental showed signs of giving way and he needed the care of the institution.  He was 63 years old and married 1 January 1880 to Emma McFadder, by whom he had two children.  Mr Priest was well-known about Bryan for a long time and had many admirable qualities.  Funeral services were handled from the Deck Undertaking Rooms on Sunday with burial in Brown Cemetery.

His death certificate says he was a resident of the asylum for over a year and was diagnosed with senile dementia

Ellery Priest – WWI Draft 1917 – patient at State of Ohio in Toledo Asylum – insane

3 November 1918, Toledo State Asylum, Lucas Co, OH – Ellery Priest, born 29 December 1897, son of Eugene Priest and Catherine Schmetzer, died; single, farmer, burial Bryan, OH – dementia praecox and chronic dilation of heart; there from 18 Oct 1917-3 November 1918

Bryan Democrat (Bryan, OH), 12 November 1918 p5 – obit of Elery Priest

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