Who was Gertrude Elinor Sturges?

Gertrude Elinor Sturges was born in Norwood, New Jersey on March 21, 1887.  Her parents were Arthur Dimon Sturges and Iantha B. Wescott.  Iantha was born in New York and Gertrude’s father, Arthur, was born in Mansfield, Ohio to Edward and Mary (Mathews) Sturges.  According to Edward’s obituary, he arrived in Mansfield around April of 1820 at the age of 14, and joined his brother, E. P. Sturges’s business.[i]  Edward and his brother, Eben, would go on to be some of the most successful businessmen in the young city of Mansfield.


Arthur Dimon Sturges and Gertrude’s older brother Herbert

Gertrude carried on the prolific lifestyle of her ancestors.  In the 1900 U.S. Census, she and her family are shown living in Painesville, Ohio.[ii]  According to her obituary, Gertrude graduated from Oberlin High School in 1903 and continued her education in that city, graduating from Oberlin College in 1908.  In 1913 she obtained her medical degree from the Cleveland Pulte Medical College, which would later become The Ohio State University College of Homeopathic Medicine.[iii]  Gertrude had always had an interest in physical training and, for at least one season, was the girls’ basketball coach in Mansfield.   In the February 11, 1905 edition of the Mansfield News, she is “given the power to select the varsity team.”[iv]  She was also captain of the Inter Class Girls Basketball team in 1908 at Oberlin[v] and coached the Moorhead Normal women, who swept both NDAC and Fargo College teams in every 1916 match.[vi]


Gertrude, center, at Oberlin College


Moorhead Normal School, 1916

Gertrude’s obituary states that “in 1917-1918 she had charge of muscle-training at the American Baby Hospital, Brooklyn, N.Y., and treated more than 1,300 polio cases.”  She would later work for the New York Academy of Medicine, become “assistant director of the Cleveland Hospital and Health Survey, and assistant director of the Chicago Medical Plan Commission.”  In 1925 “she became executive secretary of the Committee on Maternal Health in New York City. In 1929-30 she assisted in the organization of the first international conference on mental hygiene.  She conducted a number of studies of the biological aspects of overpopulation.”[vii]  Dr. Sturges was an early advocate for the use of birth control.


Gertrude, abt. 1919


Gertrude’s French Drivers License

Dr. Sturges was a consultant for the American Public Welfare Association and urged, in a 1940 journal article for the Social Service Review, that the “most fundamental and urgent need of public medical service today is to improve our administrative organization”[viii]  “Dr. Sturges was honored by the American Public Welfare Association in 1965 at a luncheon in Wakefield, where she received a resolution citing her ‘development of appropriate principles, policies and procedures, at a time when the field of medical care in public welfare was an unmarked wilderness.’”[ix]


Gertrude’s business card


Dr. Gertrude Elinor Sturges, date unknown

Her passport applications indicate her work took her all over the world.  She traveled to England, Italy, Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.[x] [xi] [xii]  Dr. Gertrude Sturges died on October 25, 1968 at Wakefield Manor, a rest home in Wakefield, Rhode Island.


[i] The Mansfield Herald, 19 SEP 1878.
[ii] Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004
[iii] The Oberlin Alumni Magazine, Oberlin, Ohio, February 1969, pp. 37-38.
[iv] The Mansfield News. 11 FEB 1905, pp. 9.
[v] Oberlin College Yearbook.  Oberlin, Ohio. 1908-09.
[vi] Shoptaugh, Terry L. and Dille,, Roland 1924-2014, “MSUM memories 1888-2013 : reflections of the college and the university” (2013). Histories of MSUM. 8.Retrieved from https://red.mnstate.edu/histories/8
[vii] The Oberlin Alumni Magazine, Oberlin, Ohio, February 1969, pp. 37-38.
[viii] Sturges, Gertrude, Social Service Review, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Sep., 1940), pp. 501-508.
[ix] The Oberlin Alumni Magazine, Oberlin, Ohio, February 1969, pp. 37-38.
[x] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 577; Volume #: Roll 0577 – Certificates: 32500-32749, 28 Aug 1918-29 Aug 1918
[xi] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1347; Volume #: Roll 1347 – Certificates: 86376-86749, 31 Aug 1920-01 Sep 1920
[xii] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 2227; Volume #: Roll 2227 – Certificates: 270850-271349, 18 Apr 1923-19 Apr 1923


What’s in a Name: Edna Schwartz


Edna Schwartz, or Swartz as it appeared on her grade cards, was born November 25, 1890 to Samuel W Schwartz.  Samuel was born in 1854 in Lafayette, Ohio.  In his obituary, it states he made money selling apples in Shelby during the Civil War, later worked as a saddler and harness maker and then entered the shoe repair business.  Edna’s step-mother was Cora (Emmens) Schwartz.  She married Samuel in the mid to late 1890s.  Marriage records for Richland County show a Samuel W. Swartz marrying Della Roberts on July 3, 1873.  This could be mother of Enda, her brother Fred and a sister, Clara, who passed away at the age of 4 in 1885, but no further information was found.   Enda had one other brother Leroy, who was born to Samuel and Cora in 1899.  Cora passed away on July 9 1941 and Samuel followed on July 3, 1947.



1941 Mansfield City Directory


1951 Mansfield City Directory

Enda graduated from Mansfield High School in 1909.  She worked at the Ohio Public Service Co., later Ohio Edison and, before that, she was associated with the Ohio Brass Co.  Her brother, Fred, a veteran of both World War I and World War II, worked at Westinghouse  and passed away on April 23, 1964.  Edna died on December 9, 1969.  Leroy was the last of the family to pass away on July 8, 1982.  He also worked at Westinghouse and was a graduate of the Columbus School for the Deaf.  It doesn’t appear that Edna, or any of her siblings, were ever married.  Both Edna and Fred were living with Leroy when they died.  The family lived in the same home at 405 Lexington Ave. for 50 years, until Leroy left for a nursing home, shortly before his death, in 1982.  The entire family is buried in Lexington Cemetery.


Mansfield High School, Class of 1909


What’s in a Name: Russell Karns

In the Sherman Room, there is a collection of cards for the promotion of a Russell Karns from third grade through eighth grade in the Mansfield, Ohio, Public Schools.  Using tools like Ancestry.com and other resources available in the Sherman Room, we are able to get a glimpse into the life of Russell.

Birth Records show Russell Elmore Karns was born 07 FEB 1897 in Mansfield, Richland County, Ohio to Jacob Loran Karnes and Cora Belle (Weaver) Karns.[1] [2]  Jacob and Cora were married on 01 JUN 1893 in Columbiana County, Ohio[3] and had one other daughter Marjorie Athena Karns, who was born on 20 AUG 1899.[4]  On 01 NOV 1901, Jacob Loran Karns, who was a popular postal clerk in Mansfield, died of blood poisoning when he was scratched by a brass tack.  According to the Mansfield Daily Shield, he had an impressive funeral at his home at 405 South Main Street.  City postal clerks, including many from out of town, came to pay their respects.[5]  On 15 SEP 1908, Cora married Abraham Hamlin Au[6], whose wife had died 05 JUN 1906 of tuberculosis.[7]  Abraham and Cora had at least one more daughter, Helen Elizabeth in 1910, but she died before turning 1 year old.[8]  The 1910 Census shows Abraham H. Au, Cora B. Au, Helen E. Au, Russell E. Karns and Marjory A. Karns living at 326 W. Fifth Street, Mansfield, Richland County, Ohio.

R Karns 1915

1915 Mansfield High School Annual

M Karns 1918

1918 Mansfield High School Annual

Russel and Marjorie both graduated from Mansfield High School, Russell in 1915 and Marjorie in 1918, and both siblings continued their education.  Russell first went to Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, OH, and then went on to graduate from The Ohio State University in 1920 with a B. A. in Arts.  Marjorie became a nurse graduating from St. Luke’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH in 1921.

osu 1920

The Makio, 1920 OSU Yearbook

By 1930 Russell had made his way to California.  The 1930 Census shows him living in Redwood City, San Mateo, California with his wife Paula, daughter Dorothy, and sons Russell Jr. and Phil.  The listed occupation for Russell in the Census is mail carrier for the U. S. Postal Service, following in his father’s footsteps.  Russell lived the rest of his life in California, dying in San Mateo on 18 APR 1975.  His body was sent back to Mansfield and he is buried in the Mansfield Cemetery.



[1] Ancestry.com. Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
[2] Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
[3] Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.
[4] Ancestry.com. Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
[5] The Mansfield Daily Shield, 04 FEB 1901, p. 8.
[6] The Mansfield Daily Shield, 16 SEP 1908, p. 2.
[7] The Mansfield Daily Shield, 05 JUN 1906, p. 8.
[8] https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/87305191/helen-elizabeth-au

The Early Life of H. L. Reed

Horace Lafayette Reed was born in Rootstown, Portage County, Ohio on November 13, 1840.  He attended school in the area, became a teacher, and was to begin teaching in the fall of 1862 when he decided to answer President Lincoln’s second call for troops in June of 1862.  Reed enlisted on August 1, 1862 as a private in company I of the 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  The regiment, comprised of soldiers from Stark, Columbia, Summit and Portage counties, was organized at Camp Massillon and was mustered into service on August 30, 1862.

P-25 Horace reed portrait

H. L. Reed in 1896

On September 1st the regiment left for Cincinnati and assisted in defending the city when they crossed the Ohio River into Covington, KY.  It was here they saw their first action resulting in one soldier being killed and five others wounded.  These were the only casualties of the conflict.  On September 12th the regiment marched in pursuit of the Confederate Army towards Lexington.  They reached Lexington on October 15th shortly after the Confederates had evacuated.  The regiment stayed there until December 6th when they marched to Richmond, KY, then to Danville, Harrodsburg and back to Danville where they expected to engage the enemy, but found little resistance.

The regiment stayed in this area of Kentucky, during which time Horace Reed was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, until they made their way to Knoxville, TN in early September of 1863.  The regiment joined General Burnside’s army in East Tennessee and saw little action until the Siege of Knoxville in late November 1863, where a number of men were lost and wounded.  They stayed in this portion of Tennessee until April of 1864 when they were ordered to Cleveland, TN to prepare for the Atlanta Campaign.  The first major conflict of the Atlanta Campaign for the 104th was the Battle of Utoy Creek.  Twenty-six men were either killed or wounded, in a desperate assault made on the 6th of August.  It was shortly after this that Reed was made 1st Lieutenant on August 19, 1864.


Battle of Franklin, by Kurz and Allison (1891).

The regiment marched through Georgia, Alabama and back to Tennessee tearing up railroads and guarding communication lines.  The 104th made its way to Franklin, TN and participated in the Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864, where the Union Army lost 2,326 men (189 Killed) and the Confederates lost 6,252 men (1,750 killed).   Of these, 60 were killed or wounded from the 104th OVI, including Captain David D. Bard of Company I.  After the battle, the regiment marched to Nashville, TN, reaching the city on December 1st.  They participated in a small skirmish on the 15th and 16th of December pursuing the enemy to Clifton, TN where they remained until January 16th.


1865 Map of Fort Anderson, NC

On February 16, 1865, the 104th crossed the Cape Fear River and landed in Smithville, NC.  On February 18th, Reed led troops toward Fort Anderson and had a skirmish with the Confederate Army.  Two men were killed and 20 other wounded.  One of those 20 was 1st Lieutenant Horace L. Reed who was shot through both his legs below the knees.  Reed was discharged May 15, 1865 for wounds received at Fort Anderson.  The regiment participated in one more conflict at Town Creek, NC on February 20, 1865 before being mustered out on June 17, 1865.

Reed made his way to Mansfield shortly after the war and went into business with his brother J. H. Reed, eventually becoming one of the most successful and respected merchants in the city.


Baughman, A. J. (1908) History of Richland County, Vol. 2.
Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, Vol. 7.
Pinney, N. A. (1886). History of the 104th regiment Ohio volunteer infantry from 1862 to 1865.
Reid, Whitelaw. (1868) Ohio in the War, Vol. 2.