Sunday, February 19, 2017

Krass House in Colerain Township Since 1831

Thanks to my Facebook followers for helping to choose a house for my presentation to the Coleraine Historical Society. This home is one of the oldest in Colerain Township according to a search with the Hamilton County Auditor.

Hamilton County Auditor
The Auditor's site has the build date as 1831 and I wanted to confirm whether this date was accurate, so I first took a look at some old maps. I always compare them to the CAGIS map of today so I can line up the property.
2017 CAGIS - The blue "i" is the location of the house today. This is located in Section 20 Township 2 Entire Range 1 in Hamilton County, Ohio.

1847 Map of Hamilton County, Ohio by attorney William D Emerson, C. S. Williams and Sons publisher (No. 5 W. 4th St.), includes property owner names, inset maps and detailed legend

1856 Hamilton County by A.W. Gilbert

1869 Titus Map

1884 Map of Hamilton County, Ohio, by Geo. Moessinger & Fred. Bertsch

1914, Hamilton County atlas: containing plats of townships, incorporated towns and villages, and map of greater Cincinnati
So it appears that Michael and Edmund Grass/Krass (their last name is spelled multiple ways over the years) owned it from at least 1869 and a structure is on the map in the approximate location of the house today. I decided to complete a deed and mortgage index search on the Hamilton County Recorder's website to explore further into the past.
Index to 1st Series (1789-1859)
John and Michael Grass purchased 10 acres from Samuel Harden and an additional 8.77 acres from Mary Hardin.
 I also found a mortgage record for John and Michael Krass and the website has some of the actual mortgages to examine.
Index to 1st Series (1789-1859)
John and Michael Krosz/Krafs had multiple mortgages with the Hardins.
Mortgage Book 160 Page 371 describing the 10 acres. This mortgage was written in 1851.
While this mortgage seems to state the Krass family purchased the land in 1851, evidence from the census records show they lived here the previous year. It could be that the previous land owners, Truman Allen and Samuel Hardin used tenant farmers to help cultivate their land. This house may have been built in 1831 for these tenants, but there is no proof of this in the records found. Samuel Hardin lived on Springdale Road near Colerain Avenue and in 1856 owned well-over 300 acres in the township. He also served as an early Trustee.

1850 United States Census
1850 United States Productions of Agriculture Census
1860 United States Census
1870 United States Census
1870 United States Products of Industry Census
Michael Grass is listed as producing lard kegs.
1870 United States Productions of Agriculture Census
1880 United States Census
1900 United States Census
1910 United States Census
1920 United States Census
1930 United States Census
The census records show that the Krass family lived in the home until the 1920s. John Krass, born in 1806 in Germany, died in 1871 and is buried along with his wife Margaretha (1803-1878) in Saint James Cemetery in White Oak. Michael, their son, married Eva Peter in 1849 and they had five children: Elizabeth, Margaret, Catherine, Caroline and Edmund. Michael remained with his son after the death of Eva around 1900 and he died in 1915. Ownership of the farm transferred to Edmund until he sold it in 1925 to Anthony and Annie Roth. The Roths are listed on the 1930 Census with their eight children.

Index to 6th Series (1918-1927)
Ownership Card - Hamilton County Auditor
This ownership card above shows that the Roths sold the farm to Margaret Herrmann in 1941. Her family still owns the farm today, having added two more homes in the 1950s. The property also has at least two barns.

Summary of the owners:
  1. United States
  2. John Cleves Symmes
  3. William Henry Harrison
  4. Truman Allen
  5. Samuel Harden (Hardin)
  6. John, Michael & Edmund Grass/Krass (1851)
  7. Anthony & Anna Roth (1925)
  8. Margaret & Charles Herrmann (1941)
  9. Walter C. & Marilyn Herrmann (1983)
House and two barns on the property. Photo by author on February 15, 2017