An Eye on the Lower Muskingum: Watertown descendant famous

Jacob Peters was born in Germany and immigrated to Watertown Township in 1833 in search of better opportunities for his family. A close study of his descendants shows he succeeded.

Jacob settled on Lot 68 in the Rainbow Creek Allotment, which today is the John and Hettie Reed farm on Watertown Road. Jacob’s son, Charles “Carl” Frederick Peters, Sr. (see picture), was born in Germany in 1817. He lived on the farm until he died in 1907. Previous to this the farm became the property of his daughter, Anna Marie, and son-in-law, Jacob Mindling, in 1877.

Carl Peters had a wide variety of talents. His grandson, John Mindling (1883-1965) of California wrote: “He became a successful farmer who had unusual attainments in other fields of endeavor, being an expert in fancy lettering and motto painting, an operator of competence in weaving rag carpets on his loom, a maker of many pieces of household furniture and fine cabinetry, [and] an expert in the use of the turn lathe for fancy wood carvings.” In later years he made elegant wooden horses, mostly for his grandchildren. He took an unusual interest in music and was one of the first in Washington County to obtain music boxes to produce new sounds in his home. He was an avid reader and his library at the time of his death included Pilgrim’s Progress, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Tales of Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver’s Travels, and many others. Even in his advanced years, he was constantly crafting something. He married three times. First on March 9, 1847, he married Mary Henry, who died in 1860. Second he married Elizabeth Meister in 1861. There were no children by this marriage and she died in 1874. He married his third wife, Anna Starlin Henry, in 1875. No children resulted from this marriage and she died in 1901. Carl died on July 23, 1907, and he rests beside his third wife in the Watertown Cemetery. There are many descendants, relatives, and those who are connected by marriage to this skilled man living in Washington County today.

Carl and Mary Henry Peters had six children: 1) Anna, died young; 2) Elizabeth (b. 1850), married Nicholas Mindling and resided in The Old Log House that has been restored at the Oliver Tucker Museum in Beverly; 3) Anna Maria (b. 1853), married Jacob Mindling; 4) Charles Frederick Peters, Jr. (b. 1855); 5) Margaret “Maggie” (b. 1858), married Sol Baughman; and 6) Mary Catherine (b. 1860), married John Starlin.

Sol and Maggie Peters Baughman lived much of their lives in Kansas. In later years they lived in San Juan County, New Mexico, and Boulder, Colorado. They had five children: Paul, died young; Karl (named for Grandpa Peters); Pearl (boy who drowned at age 12); Ella; and Milo (b. 1898). In a letter in 1947, Ella Baughman Walling wrote to her cousin, George W. Mindling, about her memory of a trip from Kansas back to Watertown Township in 1903 when she was seven and one-half years old. The family made the trip to visit

her Aunt Mary Catherine Peters Starlin, who was suffering from an illness that took her life. Young Milo was almost five years old. Ella wrote, “(H)ow we loved our Grandpa Peters!” When visiting at the home of her Uncle Nicholas and Aunt Elizabeth “Liddie” Mindling (now where Thad Skinner lives on Waterford Road), she was shown Grover Mindling’s “wonderful flock of White Wyandotte chickens of which he was very proud.” She wrote: “It hurt us to see black walnuts being broken for chickens to eat and Milo and I went out and ate with the chickens-only they could get the best of us because they were so quick at picking them up when the nuts were cracked.”

Carl Peters’ grandson, Milo Baughman, Sr. (b. 1898), had a son, Milo, Jr., born on October 7, 1923, in Goodland, Sherman County, Kansas. Milo, Sr. and family resided in Long Beach, California, after 1924. Wikipedia states: “Milo Baughman (1923-2003) is one of the most significant, distinctly American designers to leave his mark on the latter half of the 20th Century . . . His beautiful, thoroughly unpretentious furniture appealed to people looking for a modern forward-thing aesthetic on a modern budget.” He continued to design furniture into the 1990’s. He died on July 23, 2003, in Utah. A search on the internet will show the popularity of Milo Baughman Furniture, especially in western United States. Undoubtedly, these families know that “Like great grandpa, like great grandson.

“Phillip L. Crane, a Waterford resident and Marietta history teacher for 32 years, will share stories of historical events that occurred in the Lower Muskingum Valley. His column will appear every other week.