After receiving all the data from interviewing my mother, now the hard task of verifying and organizing the data. I’ll start with her father, Harley Hartman Deeter.
This is only picture that I have of Harley H. Deeter. He is shown here with his third wife, Charlotte Crocker (probably on their wedding day).
As far as I can determine, my mother has no other pictures of her father. This picture is in possession of my cousin, Linda (nee Deeter).
I did advanced Google searches for Harley H. Deeter (and variations), but found no data there. My search of FamilySearch and Ancestry.com yielded census records (1900, 1910, 1920, 1930), transcription of Ohio marriage license (Harley & Mable E. Smith), and draft registration cards (WWI & WWII).
Harley’s birth date has not been discovered in primary sources. I previously wrote to the archivist of Tennessee to determine whether a delayed birth certificate had been issued to Harley H. Deeter, born in October 1881. The result was negative. At the time I did not know the county in which he was born.
The 1900 census has a Harley Deeter living in Basil, Fairfield County, Ohio, as a servant in the residence of Ella Fairchild. His birthdate is listed as October, 1881, in Tennessee. Harley’s mother (nee Knepper) is from Fairfield County, Ohio. Listed on the same census page is Cyrus Knepper, possibly a cousin.
The 1910 Census lists Harley and his wife, Mabel, living as boarders in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio. Their 11 month old son is listed as Bartleh J. (actually, Barthel). Harley is listed as 28 (therefore, a birth year of 1881 or 1882). His birth locations as listed is listed as Ohio; both his parents, United States. It seems likely that this data was not given by Harley, but more likely by one of the Butlers with whom they resided.
1920 Census has Harley and Mabel living in their own home (65 S. Ridgeview Ave., Youngstown, Ohio) with five children, along with Mabel’s mother and brother. I have learned from my mother that her maternal grandfather also lived with them at this time, but he often went to Georgia or Florida in the wintertime to build a home. (The census was enumerated on January 8th.) Harley’s age is listed as 38; his birthplace, Tennessee; his parent’s birthplaces, Indiana and Ohio.
1930 Census has Harley and Mable living at 216 Hazelwood Ave, Youngstown, Ohio. Their 5 children and Mable’s father are also listed with them. Harley’s age is 48 and his birthplace is listed as Tennessee; his parents, Indiana and Ohio. (I previously had difficulty locating this 1930 census record because they were indexed as “Dester” instead of Deeter.)
Indexing of Ohio Marriages (FamilySearch.com) lists Harley H. Deeter and Mabel E. Smith as being married on 15 October, 1908, in Montgomery County, Ohio. His birth place is listed as Tenn. No age or birth date is given.
World War I & II registration cards were reviewed. Harley’s birthday is indexed as 15 October, 1881, from the WWI card. (Reading the image of the actual card is difficult because of the lack of sharpness.) The date could be read as either 15 or 17 October. WWII card, however, is quite clear. Birthdate is given as 15 October, 1881. Location is Lawrence County, Tennessee. His death certificate lists October 15, 1881, as his date of birth. That information is consistent, even though the informant was his wife of only 2 or 3 years. (She listed his birth place as “Ohio.”)
I would conclude that Harley H. Deeter was born in Lawrence County, Tennessee, on October 15, 1881. While the information leading to this conclusion is all dependent upon Harley, himself, the only data to suggest otherwise, lists his birthplace as Ohio. This information was likely provided by the people with whom he was living at the time, and not by Harley. This inferrence is supported by the fact that the birthplace of Harley’s parents is simply listed as “United States,” indicating a likely guess, rather than actual knowledge.
So, we know that Harley Hartman Deeter — name verified on WWI & II registration cards, death certificate, and Ohio Death Index (where middle name is “Hart an” with the “m” obscured) — was born in Lawrence County, Tennessee, on October 15, 1881. His first wife probably died in 1906. He married his second wife in 1908, and had 6 children with her (one died in infancy). He married for a third time 1939 and died on 11 December, 1942. His parents (John Henry Deeter & Elmira Knepper) were likely born in Indiana and Ohio, respectively.
Two tasks to be done: check Lawrence County, Tennessee, for any birth records and check Montgomery County, Ohio, for marriage license.
Next information to debrief: Harley Hartman Deeter’s brothers and sisters