OHMERS in Ohio

OHMERs  in Ohio

   If you are of this line you may trace your lineage back to:
Michael Ohmer, born 4 June 1839 in Herxheim, Pfalz; died 25 January 1915 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He married abt 1864 in Cincinnati, Ohio Barbara Heitzman, born 20 November 1837 in Herxheim, Pfalz; died 16 December 1926 in Hamilton, Ohio.
Michael was a brewmaster, and he’s named in a record in 1862 in Cincinnati. His descendants are centered in Cincinnati and across the river in Kenton and Campbell counties near Covington, Kentucky. He is a one-half fourth cousin of both Theodor Ohmer and Appolonia Ohmer. His great great grandfather, Johann Jacob was a half brother of Johann Adam by Hans Jacob’s second wife.

Some research has shown that in 1857, The M. Ohmer’s Sons Co. had a a furniture store in Dayton on the corner of Main and Second Streets. They were involved in the construction of the Wood County courthouse, (their bid for $16, 855.15 dated September 16, 1895) whose website states “…Ohmer’s Son’s specialized in elaborate but sturdy wood furniture, and had previously supplied the interior furnishings for a number of government buildings from as far away as Massachusetts and Florida. The furniture itself was made out of “white oak of an unusually good color and figure…”
M. Ohmer’s Sons also constructed the Supreme Court Justice Bench for the Florida State Capitol. As part of the massive $75,000 expansion of the Old Capitol in 1902, new furnishings for all three branches of government were ordered from M. Ohmer’s Sons. The original furniture for the 1902 Capitol was manufactured by M. Ohmer’s Sons Company of Dayton, Ohio. The legislators’ desks were made of oak and cost $25.50 each. At that time, there were 32 members in the Florida Senate and session convened every two years instead of every year.

In 1930, the Ohio Inspectors Bureau made a list of businesses who whose sprinklers were at risk, one of which being Ohmer Fare Register Co., Bolander Ave. & Big 4 RR; Ohmer (John F.) Bldg., Miami Chapel Rd. & Big 4 RR.  I am yet to see one of the taxi fare meters they manufactured.

OHMERS in Alaska

OHMERs in Petersburg, Alaska

Earl Nicholas OHMER was born in Dayton, Ohio 17 Nov, 1882. In the early 1900s, he worked on a ranch breaking horses in eastern Oregon. He was the first Ohmer to call Petersburg home in 1914 when the town was in its infancy. In 1916 Earl Ohmer established the Alaskan Glacier Sea Food Company – the first and last remaining shrimp processing plant in the state of Alaska.

Earl arrived in Alaska with the aim of starting the first shore-based shrimp processing plant. His future investments included: additional fish processing plants, gold mines, mink and fox farms, and extensive real estate.

Earl also gave his time to public service as a multi-term mayor of Petersburg and over 20 years as the chairman of Alaska Territorial Fish and Wildlife Commission. His mark remains in many ways with conservation laws he passed still protecting Alaska’s natural resources, and regional water ways bearing his name. The original shrimp plant he established is the last remaining shrimp producer in the state, more than 85 years after it began.

Through the Depression, World War II, and the transition of Alaska from a territory into statehood the Ohmers contributed to a growing Petersburg. When Earl died in 1955, his son Dave took over as President of Alaska Glacier Sea Food. Dave also served on the hospital board for 25 years and as a multi-term President of the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce.

Dave’s wife, Gloria collaborated with Patti Ohmer-Norheim to form “The Cache” a general merchandise store that had everything needed to raise a family, run a business, or have a hobby in a small Alaskan town. Patti and Gloria’s successful association at “The Cache” continued after the business sold when they focused their efforts on property management.

Gloria became the center of the Ohmer family business when her husband, Dave, died in 1979. She later purchased the Tides Inn Motel as a partner and within a few years became its sole proprietor. The Tides Inn grew and expanded under Gloria’s leadership. Her warm personality and gracious hospitality has become legend with Tides Inn guests, many of whom have become close friends.

The Ohmer family history reflects their love of the local environment, great pride of community, and the desire to share the beauty and uniqueness of Petersburg with those who have interest in the area.

Ship Carack Passenger Manifest, June 16, 1851 New Orleans

List of Passengers of the ship Carack

Ship         Arrival               Arrival Date     Port of Departure        Captain

CARACK   New Orleans       6-16-51             LE HAVRE, FRANCE    FALES, WM J

Last Name                   First & Middle Name

ABTUL?                    ADOLPHE
ABTUL?                    ELISABETH
ABTUL?                    GOTTFRIED
ABTUL?                    JOHANN
ABTUL?                    MELCHIOR
ABTUL?                    SAMUEL
ANDRETTA                ANTOINE
ANDREWS                 J
ANTON                     REY
BAHLMANN                JOHANN
BANSCHER                BABETTE
BANSCHER                CONRAD
BECK                        MICHEL
BERKSWIZ                LOUIS
BERTRAND                PIERRE
BIDWELL                   H
BISSINGER               JOSEPH
BOHN                      JOSEPHA
BORDOLI                   STEPHAN
BRAND                     DANIEL
BRAND                     LOUISE
BRAND                     MADELAINE
BRAND                     MARGURITE
BRAUD                     ADOLF
BRICKMANN               FRANZ
BRUNKANT                GABRIEL
BUB                         WILHELM
BUNA                      JOSEPH
BUNK                      HEINRICH
BURNETT                   GENEVIEVE
BUSER                     ARO
DACOME?                 CHARLES
DANSMANN                ANNA
DANSMANN                SUZANNE
DEHNER                    CRESENESA
DEHNER                    KUNIGUNDA
DIETRICH                  PIERRE
DUCHANGE                HENRY
DURCK                     MARTIN
EKATHAL?                CATHRINE
ERNE                        GERHARD
ERNE                        JOSEPHINE
ERNE                        MARIE
ERNE                        PAULINE
FASNACHT                SAMUEL
FISCHER                   CATHRINE
FUCHS                     WILHELM
GEMSCH                    JOSEPH
GESL                        JACOB
GOEBELER                ADAM
GOEBELER                JOHANN
GOETZ                     GOETZ
GRANDJEAN               ANNA

GUTMANN                 FRIEDERIC
GUTOWISKI               JOSEPH
HAEMER?                   FRANCISKA
HAEMER?                   SUSANNA
HAEMER?                   VERONICA
HAEMMERLE               JN PETER
HAMMER                  GEORGE
HARTMANN                NICOLAS
HAURY                     ANNAMARIE
HAURY                     BARBARA
HAURY                     CASPAR
HAURY                     ELISABETH
HAURY                     ELISABETH
HAURY                     ELISABETH
HAURY                     JACOB
HAURY                     JB RUDOLF
HAURY                     JNN JACOB
HAURY                     JOH JACOB
HAURY                     JOHANN
HAURY                     LIDIA
HAURY                     MARIE
HAURY                     MARIE
HAURY                     MARIE
HAURY                     MELCHIOR
HAURY                     RUDOLF
HAURY                     SALOME
HAURY                     SAMUEL
HAURY                     SAMUEL BUD
HAURY                     SUZANNE
HAURY                     SUZANNE
HAURY                     VERENA
HEISS                       ANTON
HENRY                     FRANCOIS
HOEHNLI                   ANNA BARBARA
HOEHNLI                   ANNAMARIE
HOEHNLI                   BARBARA
HOEHNLI                   ELISABETH
HOEHNLI                   FRIEDERIC
HOEHNLI                   JOHANN
HOEHNLI                   JOHANN
HOEHNLI                   SAMUEL
HOEHNLI                   VERENA
HOERMING                JOHANN
HOERMING                JOHANN G
JLG                           FRANCOIS
KAEL                        H BAPTISTE
KAMMER                    CATHRINE
KAMMER                    JACOB
KAMMER                    LORENZ
KEMMER                    VALENTIN
KERN                        CHARLES
KIEFER                      DIONA
KIENZ                       MADAND
KIESMSKY                  JACQUES
KISHN                     CARL
KNECHT                    ANDRE
KOULLET                   MICHEL
KRAEMER                   LOUISE
KRAUS                     BARBARA
KREINER                   GEORGE
KUHN                      PETER
LAHIRE                    ADELAIDE
LAHIRE                    HORTENSE
LAHIRE                    SERAPHINI
LANZ                        MICHEL
LEGGETT                   J
LEHMANN                 AA ELISABETH
LEHMANN                 ANNAMARIA
LEHMANN                 ELISABETH
LEHMANN                 ELISABETH
LEHMANN                 HEINRICH
LEHMANN                 HEINRICH
LEHMANN                 JACOB
LEHMANN                 JOHANN
LEHMANN                 MARIA
LEHMANN                 MELCHIOR
LEHMANN                 REGINE
LEHMANN                 RUDOLF
LEHMANN                 RUDOLF
LEHMANN                 VERENA
LEHMANN                 VERENA
LEINGEM?                  BERNHARD
LEINGEM?                  LAMBERT
LEIUNCE?                  ACHILLE
LEIUNCE?                  ADELAIDE
LEIUNCE?                  ERNST
LEIUNCE?                  FRANCOIS
LEMM                        CHRISTIAN
LENOIR                    JN FRANCOIS
LIETHY                    JOSEPH
LIETHY                    MARTIN
LIETHY                    SAMUEL
LOECKEL                   FRANZ
LOMMEL                    JN PIERRE
LOMMEL                    SOPHIE
LOTZ                        HENRY
LOTZ                        MARGURITE
LOUIS                       NICOLAS
MAERKT                    VHEADONE?
MARECHAL                ANTON
MARIA                     VERENA
MATHIEU                   JEAN
MATHIEU                   MARIE
MEIER                       ANNAMARIA
MEIER                       ANNAMARIA
MEIER                       ANTON
MEIER                       CAROLINE
MEIER                       CASPAR
MEIER                       JACOB
MEIER                       MARIA
MICHELLY                  JANE
MILLER                      CATHRINE
MOHR                      JOSEPH

MULLER                    CHRISTIAN
MULLER                    JN PIERRE
MULLER                    MARGURITE
MULLER                    WILHELM
MUSTER                    DOMINIQUE
OHMER                  TOBIAS

PAUSCH                    JACOB
PERKINS                   J
RAMENA  ?               KIEOLUS?
RAMENA?                 JOHANN
RAMENA?                 LEO
RAMENA?                 THEODORE
RAVEL                     ANNA
RAVEL                     GEORGES
RAVEL                     HEINRICH
RAVEL                     HELENE
RAVEL                     MADELAINE
RAVEL                       MARGUERITE
RAVEL                     WILHELM
RAVEL                     WILHELM
REISS                       FRANZ
ROES                        XAVIER
ROHRBACH                BERNHARD
ROSTE                       PIERRE
RUFF                        ALOISE
RUFF                        ANTOINE
RUFF                        GREGOIRE
SAINISCH                  DANIEL
SAINISCH                  MARIA
SAINISCH                  MARIA
SAINISCH                  PIERRE
SAINISCH?                 HUBERT
SCHAF                     CAROLINE
SCHAF                     FRANZ
SCHAF                     IGNACE
SCHAF                     SOPHIE
SCHAF                     WILHELM
SCHAF                     WOLFGANG
SCHINER                   EMANUEL
SCHMAHL                 CHRISTIAN
SCHNEIDER               JEAN
SCHNEIDER               JEAN
SCHNEPF                   CIRIAE?
SCHNUK                    GEORGE
SCHNUK                    MARIA
SCHOENER                CARL
SCHOENER                URSULA
SCHOENER                WILHELM
SCHOENIS                CLARA
SCHOENIS                ETWIG
SCHOENIS                JOSEPH
SCHOENIS                LUCAS
SCHOENIS                MATHIS
SCHOENIS                PIERRE
SCHOENIS                STEPAN
SCHOENIS                VERONICA
SCHOENIS                VHENISIN?
SCHREIBER               ANSELM
SEINEY                    ADAM
SESTER                    CHARLES
SIMON                     FRANCOIS
SIMON                     FRANCOIS
SIMON                     JOSEPH
SNOTH?                    JOSEPH
SOLER                     PAUL
SOMMEL                    CARL
SOMMEL                    CHRISTIAN
SOMMEL                    CHRISTINE
SOMMEL                    HENRY
SOMMEL                    JEANNE
SOMMEL                    LOUIS
SOMMEL                    WILHELMINE
SPHAN                     CHRISTIAN
SPHAN                     ELISABETH
SPHAN                     ELISABETH
SPHAN                     GEORGE
SPHAN                     JACOB
SPHAN                     WILHELM
SPHAN                     WILHELM

STOLY                     MARIE
UHILMANN?               JEAN
UHONIA?                 CHARLES
URESCHER                ARMAND
URESCHER                EBERHARD
WAGNER                  WILHELM
WEBER                     ADAM
WEBER                     JOHANN
WEBER                     JOHANN
WEIGOLD                 ELISABETH
WEILAND                 JACOB
WENTER                    HENRY
WIRAY                     JEAN
ZIEGLER                   CHARLES


Loyla Henriette Von Osten Ohmer

Loyla Henriette Von Osten Ohmer

February 21, 1900 – December 18, 1977

By Judy and Susan Ohmer, granddaughters

Loyla was one of the first children in Petersburg, arriving in 1903 with her father Captain Von Oston, when she was only three.  They sailed to Alaska when the town of Petersburg was not much older than she was.  Her father purchased a house, and the two of them returned to Tacoma to get the rest of the family.

When Loyla, her little sister Edna, and parents Henriette and Carl Von Osten settled in Petersburg, the Norwegian language was commonly heard on the streets.  Loyla’s mother was of Norwegian heritage and her father of German/Prussian, so there was a comfort in calling the developing Scandinavian town home.

As young girls, Loyla and Edna enjoyed their dollhouse furniture, setting it up in different ways and telling stories of life.  They also treasured their Noah’s ark with the carved wooden animals.  As they grew, they learned the homemaking and handicrafts skills necessary for a self-sustaining lifestyle:  sewing, knitting, cooking/baking, preserving, laundry, cleaning, and gathering the harvest (various berries, clams, etc. which were so plentiful in Petersburg).

Loyla married Earl Nicholas Ohmer in 1918.  They reared four children, Bob, Dave, Jim, and Patti.

In addition to her own family, Loyla also cooked for the cannery mechanic, the assistant mechanic, his wife and baby who lived with the Ohmers for several years.  The baby was born in the front bedroom because somebody in the hospital had measles, and they were trying to avoid exposure to the disease.  Dinner was served and grace was said at 5:30 each evening.  Those who were not seated at that point got to clear the table, wash and dry the dishes, and clean up the kitchen.  The women made clothes for all the children.

In the summertime Loyla and the children headed for “Bum’s Retreat” at Green Rocks across from Papkee’s Landing.  They left for the cabin the day after school got out and didn’t come back until the day before school started, except for a trip to town for the Fourth of July parade and celebration.  They packed water from the creek and recycled it through dishes and bathes until it was finally used on the garden.  They referred to the outhouse at “Bum’s Retreat” as “Bum’s Relief.”  Earl would join them every weekend aboard The Jim, bringing guests and fresh foods from town.  In keeping with their family tradition, he would prepare salmon Indian style, as it was called, with the side of fish standing up in the fire on a stick.

In both the spring and fall, picnicking at Sandy Beach was popular.  They pulled a wagon over the boardwalk and enjoyed the changing colors of the muskeg at the different times of year.  Berry picking was often a part of the adventure, depending on the season.  Blueberries, huckleberries, salmonberries, and cranberries were profuse.  At Sandy Beach there were clams to dig – and nobody could fry pink-necked clams better – crispy on the outside and succulent inside.

At Christmastime, Loyla organized the children to fill over 100 decorated boxes with candy and nuts to give to the cannery workers.  Colorful ribbon candy was a favorite. Another holiday treat was pitting dates, filling them with walnuts and rolling them in powdered sugar.  Loyla baked walnut bread that was especially good as toast.

And she made melt-in-your-mouth Berliner Kranse using her favorite recipe:

  • 8 egg yolks (4 hard and 4 raw)
  • 1 pound butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½  teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 cups flour

Press sugar and hardboiled yolks together.  Add raw yolks and mix well.  Work in butter and flour.  Chill overnight.  Pinch off a small portion and roll the size of little finger.  Shape into small ring and lap end over each other, pinching together.  Dip in beaten egg whites and then into granulated sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees until light brown.

Loyla had many interests.  She enjoyed gardening, especially for an early spring bloom of daffodils and narcissi. And she loved to pick cranberries in the fall.  She grew rhubarb to supply the many requests for her famous Rhubarb Cream Pie with Mile High Meringue.       She was an avid bridge player, meeting every Friday in a different friends home. She was also enthusiastic about solitaire, playing many varieties, among them “free cell.”  She was an animated member of community theatrical productions presented at the Sons of Norway.  She liked the stage and the entertainment it provided for the town. Loyla was active in Eastern Star and in the Women of the Moose.  She collected ceramic Siamese cats, displaying them on a mirrored shelf in her livingroom.

She was active with many handiworks.  She wove afghans on a loom and crocheted the squares together.  She knit mittens, caps, and sweaters, and she braided rugs from wool strips she’d made from old shirts and pants.

When she wasn’t busy with family and community activities, Loyla loved to travel.  She visited in California, Canada, and Bryce Canyon, Washington, D.C. and Chicago, and even further north into interior Alaska.  She visited her father in New York who had retired to Long Island to make sails, returning with gifts he’d made for her children – tents and saddlebags for their bikes complete with snaps.  In later years she visited extended family in Norway.

After Earl Ohmer’s death in 1955, Loyla married Eiler Wikan. They lived in a cottage at the end of what was called “Lutheran Hill” with a field of daffodils in the front yard.  On Sunday’s after church they would make Swedish pancakes for the grandchildren.  And in the winter they made potato balls for dinner, carrying on the Norwegian tradition they both loved.  They had a cookie drawer, the special place for store-bought treats that the grandchildren loved to raid.  And she still made Berliner Kranse.

Mortgage Papers of John Christen, son-in-law of Tobias Ambre OHMER

I’m not sure WHAT these papers mean, but there are about 10 or 15 other ones listed in some books labeled “Chattel Mortgages.”  It seems that John Christen owned a sawmill, and bought the lumber rights to several tracts of land in and around Napoleonville.  The land described here is believed to be the same land that my father continued to pay taxes on till he passed away in 2014.  Anyone understand this legal gobbledygook?



(Written in top left hand corner of  page)
A Wilbert  Sons
Mrs. W. Pugh

By virtue of a sheriff’s sale made  on January 15, 1910 in the ??? of Mrs Ratliff P. W. N. Pugh  4266 This mortgage is hereby ??? and  Canceled insofar with same affects the Woodlawn Plank Parish of Assumption January 19, 1910
Oscar Dugas


27th Judicial District Court
Parish of  Assumption
State of Louisiana

This case having been regularly fixed for this day, and upon motion of John  Marks, counsel for Plaintiffs, was regularly taken up and tried and after evidence adduced the law and the evidence being in favor of Plaintiff’s deucand  and against defendant.
It is therefore ordered, adjudged, and decreed that judgement be  and is hereby granted in favor of plaintiffs andagainst defendant William N. Pugh in the full and entire sum of Twenty one Hundred and seventy five and 19/100 Dollars, together with 8% Interest from July 18th, 1898  until paid and for all costs of this proceeding.
Done, read and signed in open Court in the Parish of Assumption,  Louisiana, this 3rd day of December, 1901.

Paul Ceche
Judge 27 Dist.
Filed December 3rd, 1901

Oscar Dugas
December 3rd, 1901

C. Dugas
Dy Clerk

Mistress Tobias Omer
widow of Tobias Omer
Missus John Christen and Lee

sale of land

United States of America
State of Louisiana
Parish of  Assumption

Be it known, That on this Tenth day of the month of July, in the year of our Lord One Thousand nine hundred and one, and of the Independence the United States of America the One hundred and  twenty sixth.
Before me, Philip N. Gilbert a Notary Public, a Notary Public duly commissioned  and sworn in and for the Parish and State aforesaid, therein residing , and in the presence of the witnesses herein after named and undersigned.

Personally Appeared

Mis Tobias Omer, widow of the late Tobias Omer a resident of the Parish of Assumption, State of Louisiana and Edmond Omer, and Mrs. Catherine Christen,  wife of John Christen and he to authorize her residents of this Parish and
State  who declared that for the consideration and on the terms and conditions hereinafter set forth by these presents, sell, cede, grant, bargain,  convey, assign,  transfer, set over and deliver, henceforth and forever, with full legal warranty  and with substitution and
subjugation to all their rights of property, of  ownership, of warranty, of actions of warranty and all others.
To and unto, Missus John  Christen and her a commercial firm composed of John Christen and Lawrence E.  Lee, residents of the Parish of Assumption State of Louisiana, here present accepting and purchasing for themselves, their heirs and assigns, and acknowledging due delivery and possession thereof the following described  property –
A certain tract of land situated in the Parish of Assumption, LA, being all of Section Fourteen in Township Fourteen South of Range Thirteen East, South  Eastern District.  West of the Mississippi River containing Two hundred and Thirty Three and 00/no acres.
This being the same property acquired by the late Tobias Ohmer from J. A. Fridik, in 1874.
The present sale is made and accepted for and in consideration of the full price and sum of One hundred dollars, in part payment and deduction.  Whereof the purchasers have paid cash in lawful money of the United States of  America, to the vendors, who acknowledge receipt thereof and grant full acquittance and discharge therefor, the sum of twenty five dollars.
And for the balance of said price amounting to Seventy five Dollars the said purchasers  furnished three promissory notes for the sum of Twenty five dollars each made and subscribed by themselves.  Under date of these presents payable to the order of themselves and by themselves endorsed in blank at the Bank of Napoleonville,  Napoleonville, LA.  The first payable September 10th, 1901, the second November 10th, 1901, and the Third January 10th, 1902, with interest of the date of eight  percent per annum from date until final payment; which notes having been signed and parapher “Ae Varietur” by me, notary to be identified here with were delivered and turned over to said vendors who acknowledge the receipt  thereof.
And in  order to secure the punctual payment of the said notes of maturity, as well as  of all interest to accrue thereon, and in order furthermore to secure the  payment and reimbursement of any and all lawyer’s fees that may be expended or  incurred, in case of suit being instituted to
enforce the payment of said notes principal  or interest, or any part thereof (which lawyer’s fees however are fixed at ten  percent on the amount so in suit and said purchasers consent and agree to pay and allow the same the said purchasers hereby specially mortgage, affect and hypothecate the herein described and conveyed property unto and in favor of the said vendors as well as of any and all future holder or holders of said notes promising and binding themselves and their heirs and assigns no to alienate, deteriorate nor encumber the said property to the prejudice of this  mortgage, nor of the special lien and vendors privilege which the said vendors hereby retain on said property, until the full and final payment of said notes.
The said appearers hereby agree to dispense with the certificate of Mortgages required by Article 3364 of  the Revised Civil Code of this State, and exonerate me, said notary, from all  liability in the premises.
All State, Parish and other taxes due on said property have been  paid, as evidenced by the Tax Collector’s receipt exhibited by me.
This done, passed and signed  at the Parish of Assupmption, State of Louisiana, on the day, month and year  first above written in the presence of Misters Frank Christen and W. J. Jones, lawful and competent witnesses who together with the parties hereto, and me  notary, have signed these presents after due reading thereof.
Mis Tobias Ohmer and Mrs. John  Christen having declared not knowing how to sign, made their ordinary mark.


=Original  Signer=

Frank Christen
W. J. Jones
Lawrence E. Lee
Edmond (his X mark) Ohmer
Philip N. Gilbert
Notary PublicRecorded December 6th,  1901

C. Dugas
Dy Clerk

Gloria Lucille Ohmer

Gloria Lucille Ohmer

November 24, 1925 –

By Judy and Susan Ohmer, daughters

Gloria Lucille Anderson arrived in Petersburg on April 28, 1949, aboard an Alaska steam ship for a two-week visit with friends.  By the time she was to return to Everett, Washington, 14 days later, she had already decided that “this was her spot,” and she’d taken a job.  She said, “I loved Alaska.  It offered opportunity – and the exhilaration of possibility.  It was a land of extremes and of characters.  I felt as if I were coming home for the first time.”

Born in Chicago, November 24, 1925, Gloria started Kindergarten in Everett, Washington, as the Great Depression began.  It was, she said, a time of incredible struggle, of heartache, of sadness, loss, and hunger.  But somewhere in a child’s view of life, she learned to look for the good around her, and this viewing point sustained her through many challenges for the rest of her life

Both her parents worked.  She came home to an empty house, built a fire, started dinner, and watched over her little brother.  She dreamed of a home filled with laughter and warmth, with someone to greet her and be interested in her day.  This colored her life and propelled her into many ventures, among them the trip to Alaska.

Opportunity on the “Last Frontier” presented itself immediately.  Gloria wasn’t familiar with the work she was first asked to do, but said, “I could probably do that.” And with that, guessing she could probably do something became her words to life by as she went from opportunity to opportunity.

Her first job was as cook in a remote construction site where the city was installing new transformers at the hydroelectric plan.  She bought the only cookbook she could find, purchased eights months of groceries, and flew to Blind Slough.  She cooked there from April through November, learning to bake bread and feed a hungry crew.

After six months at the camp where Joy of Cooking was her Bible, Gloria returned to Petersburg.  She accepted other work, from clerking at Electro Service, to sketching mink and doing autopsies at a fur farm, and working in the post office. “I continued to be inspired by the rugged frontier and the chance to carve out a life of my own making.”

One morning while she was putting in a window display at Don Pettigrew’s service store, there was a tap on the window.  She turned around to find a man making a face at her.  Dave Ohmer later came in to apologize; he’d thought she was someone else.  They began a friendship that deepened.  Their dates included dancing at the old Elks Club, digging clams, playing cards with DeBoers and Pettigrews, and hunting.  Of these family stories, her children believed she’d once climbed into the cavity of a moose to stay warm, but she later claimed she had only used ducks for mittens.

She says of her life after marriage that she chose to “focus on raising our five children, keep books for the cannery, and do charitable and community service work,” noting that Petersburg didn’t have social service such as orphanages/foster homes or alcoholic treatment programs, meals-on-wheels, humane societies, domestic violence shelters, etc. “People needed to help people.”  Gloria was what she considered to be a “behind-the-scenes worker” who supported others to a healthier, happier life.  But she was also a leader, an initiator of ideas, a woman of big heart.  “Our home was always open and was usually very full.”  Indeed, her children were accustomed to steeping over sleeping bodies in the livingroom on many mornings.

She and Fran Lund headed up the Alter Society’s December bake sale, the primary fundraiser for St. Catherine’s Catholic church, a mission church at the time.  Their baking began in October.  Lefse, fattigman, krumkaka, sunkaka, hjortatak, Berliner kranse, and rosettes, were among the many Norwegian specialties that filled the huge tins and vats in their kitchens.  They also pickled herring, and they baked Swedish limpa and stollen for the popular event.

Her hands have always been busy.  The Norwegian baby sweaters she knit were legendary.  Her first quilt won the top prize at the State Fair.  She embroidered, beaded, arranged flowers, wove baskets, and created a colorful garden.  She also liked to pound down walls, build cabinetry, and turn wooden bowls.  While many children think their moms can heal boo-boos with a kiss, Gloria’s kids were witness to near miraculous healings–hamster resuscitations and gold fish revivals occurred with regularity, with solemn funerals being attended when the pet was beyond even her ability to cure.  Any creature—human, furred, or finned—who crossed the threshold of Gloria’s home and stayed for more than 15 minutes was, literally, family.  She was unofficial keeper of statistics at the high school basketball statistics, even when she didn’t have a child on the court. She enjoyed reading poetry, novels, and cookbooks.  She has always been busy bringing in and putting up the harvest – cranberries, clams, rhubarb, and other Alaskan bounty.


Hospitality was basically Gloria’s middle name.  She is highly regarded for her cooking talents – from Alaskan seafoods to international menus, as well as family favorites.   A birthday treat was a dinner of your choice, where she was known for such selections as her teriyaki chicken, halibut cheeks, buttermilk biscuits, and split pea soup.  She was a magician in making do, innovating, and stretching things to go around—her “poor man’s sukiyaki” could feed a dozen people with a head of cabbage and a pound of hamburger.

Gloria was musical, but when asked about it she said she just “Played for my own amazement.”  She began in grade school with treble cleft instruments:  e flat alto horn, trombone, and c-soprano sax.  In high school she played bassoon in concert and glockenspiel in marching band.  It was during her solo in “Grand Canyon Suite” that she learned it didn’t work to chew gum and play a reed instrument.  As an adult she played ukulele, harp, piano, organ, and banjo.  She became the organist at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church by what she called accident.  She currently stars on base washtub in the Petersburg’s Norwegian kitchen band, the Lefse Marching Band.

In 1970 she and her sister-in-law Patti Norheim purchased the old Ben Franklin and renamed it The Cache.  It became the heart of downtown, and the place to get everything from house wares to office supplies, toys to red-eared turtles and tourist items, fabrics to framed Rie Munoz artwork.  It was a key community social center; a friendly place to stop for coffee from the back room, encouragement, or to duck in out of the rain.  At the front of the store they served popcorn in “Hungry” and “Starving” sizes.  On the rare summer days it didn’t rain, a sign was posted, “Closed for Sunshine,” and folks gathered at Blind Slough for picnics and jumping off the bridge.  And they would specially open the store whenever the ferry from Kake docked.

Then in 1980 she bought controlling interest in the Tides Inn.  It was a proud moment when the bank loaned her, a woman, a million dollars for the immediate expansion of the motel.  “When I added the conference room and commercial kitchen it brought the ‘hearth and ‘living room’ to the business.  The Tides Inn feels like an extension of who I am and how I believe in living life.  It’s as if I have a big home to open, that is warm and welcoming to guests who happen by.  I feel like I’m finally living my childhood dream.”

Gloria won several State awards for tourism and her work at increasing visitorship and commerce to the area.  She developed a local Elder Hostel program, and worked with Cruise West on creating southeastern tours.  “Living in Petersburg allowed me to do that,” she said, “People were supportive of whatever you wanted to do.  Nothing seemed too far-fetched.”  Gloria’s life work has been written up in the nation’s largest newspapers, and she never told a soul.

Gloria was widowed in 1979.  “Busyness has always helped me work through my pain,” she said, “I thought I needed to be buy 36 hours a day instead of just 20.”  Her spiritual beliefs sustained her, as did her philosophy of looking for the good and for the opportunity in every day.

She remarried in 1996 to Don Koenigs, a neighbor and fellow church member who had recently lost his wife to cancer.

She and Dave Ohmer had five children:  Judy, David, Becky, Penny (Katelyn), and Susan.  She raised her children on the “Bambi rule” (“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say nothin’ at all.”), and the concept that “something good could still happen before midnight.”

“But what I have most sense of legacy about, are my children.  Each has gone on to be successful in what they’ve chosen to do.  Each has a college education, among them a Ph.D. and two Masters degrees, which is quite an accomplishment coming from a rural, isolated setting where they’d never even seen a college or university.  Each has a sense of business and of working with people.  I see them opening their homes and laying out the welcome mat.  And my childhood dream is perpetuated.”2.  Electro Service, an appliance store Don Pettagrew

  1. Fur Farm, Jim Leekley

Both secretarial and lob work – autopsied animals

Four part to one experiment, eg Vitamin E

Yellow fat developed from eating salmon.  Flounder worked best for feeding mink

Trying to find ways to use fish guts

Foxes, martin, mink.  First place in the world to breed martin in captivity

Drew mink – spotting pattern – to later identify when pelted.

Earl Nicholas Ohmer

Earl Nicholas Ohmer

1882 – 1955

By Judy and Susan Ohmer, granddaughters

earl_ohmerEarl Nicholas Ohmer made his way west from Dayton, Ohio, then north from Seattle, arriving in Petersburg in 1914.  His Alaska-bound map was the words of a new friend Mr. DeArmond, “keep the land on your right.”  With these directions Earl made his way slowly into the Territory of Alaska, following the entire coastline without a chart.  Arriving in the developing Norwegian fishing village of Petersburg in 1914, he pioneered the shrimping industry in Southeastern Alaska.

Earl began to experiment with the catching and processing of shrimp aboard the Osprey, and by 1916 he and his brother-in-law were in business, Earl in Alaska and Karl in Seattle.  They added boats to their fleet over the years – boats of character and colorful historyOne of their first was the Kiseno that took its name from a combination of their initials: Karl I. Sifferman and Earl N. Ohmer.  There was the Charles W., a schooner they noticed when a crowd had gathered on a Seattle dock for a Marshall’s sale; they realized bidders were deliberately keeping the price of the boat low and that that was a sad and wrong thing for the widow who had little else.  Earl and Karl went to opposite sides of the crowd and began bidding the price higher – until they realized that they were bidding against themselves and finally bought the boat, dubbed it the Charles W. after Karl’s grandfather.  Soon after they purchased another boat, and named it the Charles T. after Earl’s grandfather. They painted the boats gray, with red trim, a tradition that stood throughout the history of the shrimping business in Petersburg.

Earl had the ready appearance of a pioneer scouting new territory; and he ran his business in the same manner.  He expanded from shrimping into salmon, halibut, and butter clams, fur farming and gold mining.  At one point he had 12 cannery boats in the shrimping fleet and another processing plant in Cordova.

Generations of many families have worked along side the Ohmers in the shrimping business.  Most notably are the Kainos, the Greiners, and the Kawashimas.

Earl Ohmer was dubbed the “Shrimp King of Alaska.”  His cannery, Alaskan Glacier Sea Food Company, with its label “Frigid Zone” set the gold standard for quality of handpicked shrimp across the country.  He took great pride in his product, the crew who produced it, and the nomenclature on his window and stationery: “Earl Ohmer and Sons.”  A sense of family, community, and legacy were important to him.

Earl was adventurous, industrious, and hospitable – a one-man chamber of commerce, employment office, museum curator, and 24-hour loan officer.  He served on the City Council, was elected Mayor, was chairman of the Alaska Game Commission, was sought out as Territorial Governor, and in the words of his granddaughter Penny/Katelyn Ohmer “Any other thing he could get into for the good of the city, his neighbors, and friends.”

He was accepted and respected outside the town he called home.  The Martins of Kake, Tlingets of the Eagle clan, adopted Earl; his Native name was “Tatuten,” meaning “Still Waters Run Deep.”  National and territorial politicians, stateside businessmen/ industrialists, and movie stars also welcomed him.  To all, he answered the telephone, “Ohmer talkin’.”

He was easily recognized, sporting a winsome smile, a twinkle in his eye, and blue smoke that he blew from his pipe.  While a description of Earl may sound like one of Santa Claus, he looked like a cowboy – clad in riding breeches, leather leggings and a ten gallon hat, his seal skin vest open to show his gold watch chain, gold nugget, and along with various ivory-handled jack knives dangling from his belt.

His cowboy appearance was real.  Prior to venturing to Alaska, Earl graduated from St. Boniface University in Canada where he’d planned on being a Royal Mounted Policeman.  He was disqualified as being too short, but spent five years breaking horses for the men who rode.  Earl then packed up, headed west, and settled into ranching in Eastern Oregon.  He roped and wrangled for many years, and served as deputy sheriff along the way.  But then people began building fences, and cowboys don’t like fences.  It’s then that Earl set out for new territory in Alaska and what became his home.

In 1943 a fire destroyed his cannery at Citizen’s Dock.  Earl rebuilt, determined to provide jobs for the many workers who relied on him.  By all counts he should have been a rich man.  But, he added things up differently than most, and people came before profits.  Earl believed it was more important to extend a loan or provide a job (even if he had more workers than were needed to get the job done) than it was to see his profits soar.  He knew the dignity that work affords.

Earl came from a long line of entrepreneurial, hardworking businessmen. When Earl first departed Dayton, Ohio, he left behind a family tradition in manufacturing and invention (Ohmer cash registers, taxi meters, trolley car fare boxes, and lawn mowing machines). He also left a family history of horticulture from wheat farming in Argyle, Minnesota, to the developing and propagation of the Nick Ohmer strawberry.  His family home at 1350 Creighton Avenue is on the National List of Historic Houses.

He loved the Territory of Alaska and knew he was home.  He’d often sit on the porch in the evening, smoking his pipe and commenting, “It’s 60 degrees, best temperature in the world, by golly. We’re living in God’s country.”

Earl Ohmer married Loyla Von Oston in 1918.  They raised three sons and a daughter:  Bob, Dave, Jim, and Patti.

When Earl passed on in 1955, his son Dave assumed the leadership and presidency of Alaska Glacier Sea Foods. Dave left his father’s office untouched, even to the last ashes in Earl’s pipe.  In 1983 this office, a landmark on Main Street, was repositioned at the Clausen Memorial Museum.  This decision came with an unknown blessing, for in 1985 the cannery burned to the ground again, taking with it all historical memorabilia and family treasure.  Earl’s collection ranged from Native totems and carved fishing hooks to machine wax recordings, from pocket watches to pipes, from a gun collection to baleen carvings, from furs and flying fish wings to glass balls.  His office wall was a community bulletin board completely covered with pictures of friends and visitors, cartoons, and certificates.

Earl’s artifacts and the spirit he created around him can be experienced at the museum, or you can glimpse it in a talk with family members who carry on some of his traditions.

David Paul Ohmer

David Paul Ohmer

July 3, 1919 – December 8, 1979

By Judy and Susan Ohmer, daughters

Dave was one of the first generation of children born in Petersburg.  He was reared there as the town was developing into a noted seafood producing areas in Southeastern Alaska.  He had the typical freedoms of boys of the wilderness, almost expected to be packing a fishing pole, a basketball, or a .22-rifle.

Childhood summers included time at Greenrocks, rowing skiffs, picking berries, jigging fish, and chopping wood.  As a teen he would entertain tourists by diving from Citizen’s Dock and swimming across Wrangell Narrows.  Winters meant ice-skating and sledding parties.  And basketball was king.  In 1938 the Petersburg Vikings won the Southeast Alaska basketball championship. Dave, and fellow high school seniors Ernest Enge and Elder Lee, gloried in that distinction for the rest of their lives.

Dave quested after gold, sunken treasure, truth, and the meaning of life.  He believed a people should “Always leave a place better than they found it,” and that “A man’s only as good as his word.”  He was a seeker and a giver. He understood the struggle of the underdog, and he lived by a code that sometimes only he understood.

Dave was color blind, except for red.  While he accommodated to that by forever buying red pickup trucks, Dave wanted to fly; and his colorblindness restricted him. One of his greatest life disappointments was that he couldn’t serve his country in the U.S. Air Force because of his eyes. Given that, he never thought he’d done enough in WWII, although he served in the merchant marines in some of the most dangerous missions during the war.

In 1945 his father called him home to work beside him.  Dave always regretted not being able to complete college, but would not have considered refusing his father.  Dave and Earl worked along side each other for 10 years, and then in 1955 with his father’s death, Dave became President and CEO of Alaskan Glacier Sea Food.  During the 24 years of his leadership, he consolidated ownership and control of the company, still listed as “Earl Ohmer and Sons,” purchasing 100% of the outstanding shares.  This period was marked by a growing interest and fierce competition for Alaska’s seafood by large outside companies.

Dave addressed the challenges of the seafood industry by pioneering other non-developed fisheries he believed offered opportunity.  He was a major impetus behind the harvesting of naturally produced herring roe on kelp.  He explored the possibility of sea cucumbers production. He was one of the first producers of Bairdi crab, making a commercially viable product from something that was considered a pest and routinely destroyed.  Dave led Alaskan Glacier Seafoods through its most difficult period.

Dave’s office was the pocket of his Pendleton shirt, where he recorded loans and advances on one of many envelopes stuffed there.  He did have a desk at the cannery on Main Street, and continued his father’s tradition of collecting memorabilia.  Much of Dave’s treasure came from sunken ships and far-flung friends.  A bulletin board covered his entire wall, displaying pictures and cartoons.

His standard dress was wool plaid shirts and white cords, later replaced with khaki pants when he couldn’t get the cords.  Dressing up meant adding a string tie with an 1882 silver dollar cinch. Children liked to encourage him to do cartwheels, because coins fell out of his pockets – Petersburg’s version of a piñata.

Dave is remembered for his lyrical radio calls with the cannery boats, every morning at 10:00 and every afternoon at 4:00.  “KWY 73 Petersburg” checked in like clockwork with “WD 8415 the Charles W” and the rest of the fleet.

And in his whiskey baritone voice he answered the phone “Dave talkin.’”   Women were always “Darlin’ if they were younger than he was and “Mom” if they were older.

Dave had a sentimental side that preserved tradition and honored those who’d gone before him.  He regularly visited with the town’s old-timers, having coffee and sharing stories.  And he brought them home to dinner where Atomic Ole, Corbit Ship, Gainheart Samualson, Ralph Young and others became part of the family.  Dave made sure the pioneers were properly buried and had a headstone commemorating their life.

He stood on principle.  After many decades of service with the Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department, he quit when a decision was made to let a house burn because it was out of the city limits and didn’t pay taxes to support the department.  Dave believed in helping neighbors throughout the community.

The hardest thing he ever had to do was to carry the news to the Japanese families who worked along side his at the cannery that they would have to be part of internment during WWII.  He held their jobs, fought for their return, and helped them resettle their lives.

Dave served for many years on the Hospital board, the Salvation Army board, and was a member of the Elks and the Moose Clubs.  He was grateful to be the Grand Marshall in one of the Fourth of July parades.  He was honored to be adopted into the Raven clan of the Tlingets; his Native name meant “The End.”

He married Gloria Lucille Anderson on May 6, 1951, in Juneau, with a 35-cent dime store rink with a pink stone and glass diamonds…when the real ring from Fredrick and Nelson in Seattle didn’t show up.  Maxine and Quentin DeBoer were supposed to stand up for them except Quentin couldn’t get there because of foul weather, so a man off the street stood in.  The wedding took place at 1:00a to accommodate the three day waiting period and so Dave could be back in Petersburg later that morning to buy halibut.  The line “and with this precious token” still brings a burst of laughter.

The Ohmer’s dining room table welcomed everyone – from the Catholic priests who passed through the mission town, to Coastal and Ellis pilots laid over due to weather, from children whose parents were ill, to salesmen who stopped by, from fishermen who were down on their luck, to guests who were touring the Great State of Alaska.  There was always room for one more.  And when the food supply was low there was always an “Ohmer Special:” an open-faced fried egg sandwich with mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato.

He celebrated 60 birthdays, usually with chocolate cake and chocolate frosting.  But he enjoyed it most after it had been in the freezer for months, at which time he’d pour canned milk over the top.

Dave and Gloria reared five children: Judy, David, Becky, Penny/Katelyn, and Susan.

Foundation of the German Empire



Foundation of the German Empire

On 10 December 1870 the North German Confederation Reichstag renamed the Confederation as the German Empire and gave the title of German Emperor to William I, the King of Prussia, as President of the Confederation.[16] During the Siege of Paris on 18 January 1871, William was formally proclaimed German Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles.[17]

Die Proklamation des Deutschen Kaiserreiches by Anton von Werner (1877), depicting the proclamation of the foundation of the German Reich (18 January 1871, Palace of Versailles). Left, on the podium (in black): Crown Prince Frederick (later Frederick III), his father Emperor Wilhelm I, and Frederick I of Baden, proposing a toast to the new emperor. Centre (in white): Otto von Bismarck, first Chancellor of Germany, Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, Prussian Chief of Staff.

The 1871 German Constitution was adopted by the Reichstag on 14 April 1871 and proclaimed by the Emperor on 16 April,[17] which was substantially based upon Bismarck’s North German Constitution. The new empire had a parliament called the Reichstag, which was elected by universal male suffrage. However, the original constituencies drawn in 1871 were never redrawn to reflect the growth of urban areas. As a result, by the time of the great expansion of German cities in the 1890s and first decade of the 20th century, rural areas were grossly overrepresented.

Legislation also required the consent of the Bundesrat, the federal council of deputies from the 27 states. Executive power was vested in the emperor, or Kaiser, who was assisted by a chancellor responsible only to him. The emperor was given extensive powers by the constitution. He alone appointed and dismissed the chancellor (which in practice was used by the emperor to rule the empire through him), was supreme commander-in-chief of the armed forces, final arbiter of all foreign affairs, and could also disband the Reichstag to call for new elections. Officially, the chancellor was a one-man cabinet and was responsible for the conduct of all state affairs; in practice, the State Secretaries (bureaucratic top officials in charge of such fields as finance, war, foreign affairs, etc.) acted as unofficial portfolio ministers. The Reichstag had the power to pass, amend or reject bills and to initiate legislation. However, as mentioned above, in practice the real power was vested in the emperor, who exercised it through his chancellor.

Although nominally a federal empire and league of equals, in practice the empire was dominated by the largest and most powerful state, Prussia. It stretched across the northern two thirds of the new Reich, and contained three-fifths of its population. The imperial crown was hereditary in the House of Hohenzollern, the ruling house of Prussia. With the exception of the years 1872–1873 and 1892–1894, the chancellor was always simultaneously the prime minister of Prussia. With 17 out of 58 votes in the Bundesrat, Berlin needed only a few votes from the small states to exercise effective control.

The other states retained their own governments, but had only limited aspects of sovereignty. For example, both postage stamps and currency were issued for the empire as a whole. Coins through one mark were also minted in the name of the empire, while higher valued pieces were issued by the states. However, these larger gold and silver issues were virtually commemorative coins and had limited circulation.

While the states issued their own decorations, and some had their own armies, the military forces of the smaller ones were put under Prussian control. Those of the larger states, such as the Kingdoms of Bavaria and Saxony, were coordinated along Prussian principles and would in wartime be controlled by the federal government.

The evolution of the German Empire is somewhat in line with parallel developments in Italy which became a united nation-state a decade earlier. Some key elements of the German Empire’s authoritarian political structure were also the basis for conservative modernization in Imperial Japan under Meiji and the preservation of an authoritarian political structure under the Tsars in the Russian Empire.

One factor in the social anatomy of these governments had been the retention of a very substantial share in political power by the landed elite, the Junkers, resulting from the absence of a revolutionary breakthrough by the peasants in combination with urban areas.

Although authoritarian in many respects, the empire had some democratic features. Besides universal suffrage, it permitted the development of political parties. Bismarck’s intention was to create a constitutional façade which would mask the continuation of authoritarian policies. In the process, he created a system with a serious flaw. There was a significant disparity between the Prussian and German electoral systems. Prussia used a highly restrictive three-class voting system in which the richest third of the population could choose 85% of the legislature, all but assuring a conservative majority. As mentioned above, the king and (with two exceptions) the prime minister of Prussia were also the emperor and chancellor of the empire – meaning that the same rulers had to seek majorities from legislatures elected from completely different franchises. Universal suffrage was significantly diluted by the gross overrepresentation of rural areas from the 1890s onward. By the turn of the century, the urban-rural balance was completely reversed from 1871; more than two-thirds of the empire’s people lived in cities and towns.