It was 130 years ago, 9 October 1889, in Ligonier, Noble County, Indiana, that my Grandaunt, Ethel Jeannette Koontz was born to Casmear P. and Phebie Ann Gardner Koontz. Aunt Ethel was the second in birth order of C.P. and Phebie’s children and is pictured. above, with her older sister, Essie. The picture always hung in my grandparents’ bedroom, but it wasn’t until after I had inherited it from my mother and taken it out of its frame that I found out who the two children were in the picture. As a child I had always assumed it was a picture of my mother and her older sister — BAD ASSUMPTION! Maybe I should have asked Grandma!
Aunts Essie and Ethel came to Ohio with their parents — OK, they were a little young not to make the trip since the family had relocated by 1895 when their younger sister, my grandmother, was born in Columbus. Aunt Ethel married Charles McKinley Griste on 23 October 1913, in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. The pair were the parents of four children: Charles Gardner (1914), Dorothy Jane (1918), Mary Elizabeth (1920), and Phyllis Ann (1923).
Aunt Ethel passed away on 3 January 1969. Uncle Charles soon followed on 24 June 1969. Both are interred in Sunset Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.