Sketch of Andreas Otteni

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Sketch of Emily Oatney Schefler
1831 - 1912

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Maria Emily Oatney, daughter of Benedict and Christina Otteni, was born on 12 Jan 1831. It was once thought that Emily was born on a ship coming to America because the 1850 U.S. Census indicated that her place of birth was the "Atlantic Ocean." However, birth records from Germany show that she was born in Urloffen, Germany.

Not much is known about Emily's early life. The only reference by name, before her marriage, was in the 1850 U.S. Census. According to these records, she was 17 years old and lived with her sister and brother-in-law, Teresa and Christian Flemm.

Three years later, on 3 July 1853, Emily married Thaddeus A. Schefler. The marriage was performed by G. Steinman, a Justice of the Peace in Fairfield County, Ohio. For an unknown reason, the marriage record shows Emily as "Amelia."

Public records indicate that Thaddeus was born on 22 Jan 1829 in Adams County, Pennsylvania. They also show that he made his living as a carriage maker.

By 1860, according to the U.S. Census, Emily and Thaddeus had started a family and were living in Lithopolis, Bloom Township, Ohio. The census showed two children in the family. They were:




Maria L. Schefler


Sarah T. Schefler

8 months

However, according to "Cemeteries of Berne Township", T. A. & E. Schefler had two children that died before 1860. They included George and Mary A.

The 1870 U.S. Census shows the family still lived in Lithopolis and Thaddeus still worked as a "buggy maker." This census listed three children living at home. They included:



Ellen Schefler


Leonard Schefler


Emma Schefler


There is some discrepancy as to the name of Ellen. The 1860 census listed a four year old girl named Maria L. Ten years later, the 1870 census listed a fourteen year old girl named Ellen. In a land transfer document of 1888, a daughter is listed as "Ella." One possible explanation is that Maria L. should be Ellen in the 1860 census or that her name was Maria Ellen and was abbreviated incorrectly in the 1860 census forms. Ella can be used as a short form of Ellen.

By 1880, the U.S. Census only listed two children at home. They included:



J. Leonard Schefler


Emma Schefler


In all, Emily and Thaddeus are known to have had six children. They are:



Mary A. Schefler

1 Sep 1853

7 Mar 1856

George Schefler


21 Aug 1858

Ellen (Maria L? or Ella) (Lehman)

15 May 1856

21 Mar 1905

Sarah T. Schefler


19 Oct 1862

J. Leonard Schefler

29 Aug 1861

11 Mar 1909

Emma Schefler (Brown/Woods)

 6 Jul 1863

23 Sep 1940

Civil War Duty

Thaddeus enlisted in the Union Army on the 9th day of September 1864. According to his Civil War records, he enlisted for one year at Columbus, Ohio at the age of 36. Thaddeus mustered in at Camp Chase as a Private in Company B, 178th Regiment of Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Four months later on 23 Jan, 1865, Thaddeus was appointed to Corporal by order of Colonel Joab A. Stafford, the Commander of the 178th Regiment.

The "Roster of Ohio Troops" describes the limited action of the 178th.

This Regiment was organized at Camp Chase, O., September 26, 1864, to serve one year, and at once dispatched, by rail and river, to Nashville, with orders to report to Major General George H. Thomas for duty. The Regiment remained in Nashville some two weeks, performing guard duty, when it was sent to Tullahoma, Tenn., where it composed part of the post command. The post at Tullahoma was evacuated in the winter of 1864, and the One Hundred and Seventy-eighth was sent to Murfreesboro, where it remained during the siege. After the defeat of General Hood's army, at Nashville, the One Hundred and Seventy-eighth was ordered to North Carolina. It landed at Morehead City, N.C., with the Twenty-third Army Corps, and a few days thereafter participated in a skirmish with the enemy at Wise's Fork. After the surrender of Johnston's Army, the Regiment was ordered to Charlotte, N.C., where it performed garrison duty, until mustered out of service June 29, 1865, in orders from the War Department.

The Roster of Ohio Troops also named the members of Company B. The roster included the commanding officer, Captain John B. Slade, one 1st Lieutenant, one 2nd Lieutenant, two 1st Sergeants, eight Sergeants, ten Corporals, and 85 Privates. Thaddeus mustered out on 19 Jun 1865 in Columbus, Ohio by orders of the War Department. The rest of the Regiment mustered out on 29 Jun 1865 at Charlotte, S.C.

The war evidently left Thaddeus some problems with his health. In 1870, he filed for a Disability Pension for chronic diarrhea. Three medical affidavits were filed, one of which was from a local physician, Dr. Stephen Bennett. The other two were filed by Army physicians, one of which is reproduced below.

Officer’s Certificate to Disability of Soldier



To all whom it may Concern

It is hereby Certified, That (1) Thadeus A. Scheffler late a Corporal of Captain Company "B" of the 178 Regiment of (2) Ohio Vols Inft - - - - in the War of 1861 was enrolled into the service of the United States at Columbus in the State of Ohio on or about the 9" day of September A.D. 1864 to serve for the period of one year and was honorably discharged at Columbus in the state of Ohio on or about the 19th day of June A.D. 1865, by reason of (3) Instructions from Secy of War

He was born in is years of age feet, inches high, complexion, eyes, hair, and by occupation when enrolled a That during the service of the said (1) Thadeus A. Scheffler he became disabled from performing the duties of a soldier on or about the last day of January A.D. 1865, in consequence of (4) Diarrhea incurred in the service aforesaid, and while in the line of his duty, in the manner and at the time and place as follow: (5) On the march from Tennesee to Washington D.C. about the last January 1865 cause by insufficient & unhealthy food extreme cold weather & hard marching (before this time) and in being transported from Cincinnati to Washington in cars without any fire in extreme cold weather. Treated him about 3 months & half. Sent to about 20 March 1861 - and he was unfit to perform the duties of a soldier and he is thereby not only incapacitated for military duty, but in the opinion of the undersigned is (6) Partially disabled from obtaining his subsistence by manual labor. That the said soldier was in good health at the time he entered the service, and the disability above referred to affected him while in the service and at his discharge as follows: (7) Said soldier contracted diarrhea in the manner at the time above stated and was unfit for duty as a soldier when sent to the Hospital & was furloughed May 20 1865

This certificate is based upon official information and personal knowledge of facts. That the undersigned is disinterested in making this certificate of facts

Given at Ashland O (signed) John Campbell M.D. Date: March 9th 1870 Surgeon 178 Regmt O.V.I .

(Original spellings used and placement is approximate to the original. The information entered was written in long hand.)

According to the Examining Surgeon's Certificate dated 5 Apr 1871, Thaddeus was granted a ¾ temporary disability pension. The pension amounted to $6 per month but he had to be reexamined regularly in order to keep the pension. In this document, Thaddeus was described as 5 ft. 8 ½ in. tall and weighed 132 pounds. His complexion was listed as pale. His examinations for 1873, 1875, and 1877 listed similar remarks. The 1877 examination mentioned that:

He had chronic diarrhea ever since his discharge from the service. Is weak and emaciated. Cannot do any hard work or indulge in active exercises.

The Record of Deaths in Fairfield County, Ohio indicates that Thaddeus died on 4 Mar 1882 at 53 years, 1 month and 13 days. The cause of death is listed as "Cancer of Stomache." Thaddeus is buried at Lithopolis Cemetery in Lithopolis, OH.

After Thaddeus's death, Emily filed for a Widow's Pension. Part of the paperwork required was an affidavit by Dr. Stephen Bennett attesting that Thaddeus died as a result of problems incurred while in the Army. The affidavit is reproduced below.


State of Ohio


County of Fairfield

In the Pension Claim of Emily Sheffler widow of Thadeus Sheffler personally came before me, a Justice of the Peace in and for aforesaid County and State Stephen Bennett a resident of Lithopolis of the County of Fairfield State of Ohio who, being duly sworn, declares in relation to the aforesaid case as follows: That in addition to what I have said in a former affidavit in this case I further say that the connection between Chronic Diarrhaea and cancer of the Stomach. There was a chronic inflammation of the Stomach for so long a time causing indigestion and Diarrhaea from that cause. The chronic trouble of the Stomach degenerated into a cancererous condition shown by Tumors at the Pylonic Orifice and general thickening of the Coats of the Stomach. Pronounced cancerous by me and I am satisfied from my knowledge of the case and treatment for so long a time that the Chronic Diarrhea & diseased condition of the Stomach was the exciting cause of the Cancer & his chronic troubles caused his death. Being nervous at this time I had written for me and I dictated the same

And he further declares that he has no interest in said case, and is not concerned in its prosecution

(signed) Stephen Bennett M.D.

(Original spellings used and placement is approximate to that of the original. The information entered was written in long hand.)

From later records, it was determined that Emily did receive a widow's pension. Her last payment was for $12 on 4 Mar 1912 just six weeks before she died.

Emily and Thaddeus owned several pieces of real estate at different times. One piece of property is of interest because of the location and circumstances surrounding it. In 1874, Emily and Thaddeus inherited the East half of Lot 7 in Square 15 of the original town of Lancaster, Ohio.

According to "Crossroads and Fence Corners Vol II" by Charles Goslin, this lot was owned by Dennis Cassat who owned many lots in Lancaster in the early 1800's. In fact, he bought 37 lots on 21 Aug 1806 from Noah Zane, son of Ebenezer Zane the founder of Lancaster, Ohio. In settling Cassat's estate in 1822, Lot 7 became the property of John Clark. Four months later, he sold it to Samuel Effinger. Sometime later, Charles G. Hood bought the East half of Lot 7 and in 1852 bought Lot 8, which is located at the southwest corner of High and Chestnut Streets.

In 1857, Hood sold Lot 8 and the East half of Lot 7 to Justus Younghaus who owned a brewery on the canal. Lewis Durian then bought these lots in November 1867. At this point there is conflicting information about the ownership. According to Goslin, "John S. Snider" bought these lots at a sheriff's sale on 11 May 1871. However, according to Vol 40, page 53 of Fairfield County Property Transfer records, Emily and Thaddeus inherited the East half of Lot 7 from Eliza McAleer in a will dated 10 Jan 1874.

It then sold to "John S. Snyder" for $1200 on 23 Nov 1874. It is possible the different halves of the lot have been confused or even the recorded document is in error. In any event, the property did pass through the Schefler family during this period.

According to Gene Ross, cited in Goslin's book, Snider received permission from the City of Lancaster to construct a large wine cellar on Lot 8. The wine cellar runs parallel to High Street from north to south with an entrance on Chestnut Street. On November 27, 1872, the Hockhocking Wine Company leased the wine cellar from Snider. John S. Snider was a director of the Company. The wine cellar still exists today and the property has been renovated.

As a side note, Eliza McAleer is buried in the same row in Elmwood cemetery as Mary L. "Shefler", Nancy Otney Wald (Emily's sister), and Nancy's children. It is very possible there is some relationship between the entire group.

Some of the other land transactions carried out by Emily and Thaddeus were:

  • Sold 21 1/4 acres to George Runkle on 7 Sep 1874 for $1500. This land is located in the North West half of Section 16, Township 14 (Bloom)Range 20.
  • Sold a small section of land to Martha I. Baker on 20 Apr 1877 for $95. It is located in the North West quarter of Section 8, Township 14 (Bloom), Range 20.
  • Sold Lot 184 in Lithopolis on 13 Dec 1879 to Catherine Glick for $375.

Then on 5 Mar 1888, three real estate transactions took place. They were:

  • Emily Schefler, Leonard Schefler, Emma Schefler Brown, and William F. Brown sold Lot 185 in Lithopolis to Ella Schefler Lehman for $200.
  • Emily Schefler bought Lot 169 in Lithopolis from John Walton and his wife, Mary Florence for $500.
  • Emily Schefler, Ella Schefler Lehman, and Emma Schefler Brown sold 40 acres to William F. Brown (Emma's husband) for $4000. This land is located in the West quarter of Section 8, Township 14 (Bloom), Range 20.

Emily's son, Leonard, died on 11 Mar 1909. His obituary in an unknown newspaper listed that his death occurred from a complication of diseases. Leonard was, according to the article, a carriage maker and blacksmith during his life in Lithopolis. At the time of his death, he was serving as the Township Treasurer.

According to the newspaper, not very many people attended Leonard's funeral. Those listed were: Mr. and Mrs. John Thimmes, Mrs. Will Thimmes, Miss Mayme Thimmes, Mrs. Talmadge Shugert, Mrs. Charles Pearce, and Mrs. Luther Brandt. It cannot be discerned whether or not his mother and sister attended. The article only mentioned that Leonard was survived by "his aged mother and one sister." Since Ella was deceased at this time, the sister would have been Emma Brown. The article also mentioned that Leonard was never married. He is buried beside Emily, Thaddeus, Ella Lehman and her 2 year old son, Eddie, at the Lithopolis Cemetery in Fairfield County, Ohio.

Emily died three years after Leonard on 20 Apr 1912. Nothing is known about how she lived during her last few years. She is buried beside Thaddeus at the Lithopolis Cemetery in Lithopolis, Fairfield County, Ohio.


More Information


Click on the following link to view information on the descendants of Emily Otteni Schefler to the present. (Report with documentation also available)

Descendants of Emily Oatney Schefler (1831-1912) - a privatized (dates & places of living people omitted) 5 Generation Descendant Book (PDF), starting with Emily Oatney Schefler - 4 pages plus index.

Emily Oatney Schefler Find A Grave - burial information with liniks to descendants

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Last modified: October 20, 2022