Edward C. Christian and Maria Simons

Edward Christian
Edward C. Christian was born on 25 Aug 1833 in Rushen, Isle of Man of parents James Christian and Margaret Corlett.  The youngest of 9 children, Edward was baptized on 01 Sep 1833 in Kirk Christ (also know as Holy Trinity). Today, the church is most commonly known as Kirk Rushen and is located in Rushen which is the south-western most province/parish of the Isle of Man. The church is between the villages of Port St. Mary and Port Erin, north of the Four Roads.

Home was located at Croite-e-caily farm in the eastern end of Rushen, where Edward lived with his parents James & Margaret, 6 brothers & 2 sisters.

Christian family 1851 Isle of Man Census
After Edward’s mother Margaret passed away it appears the family may have had to move for a while to Kentraugh, Rushen, but it is not known for certain as the family is later mentioned to still be living at Croite-e-caily farm.

When Edward came of age he found work as an Apprentice Tailor for Mr. Thomas J. Quayle (1829-1883). Ed was noted as standing 5 feet 5 inches tall.

In late March 1853, Edward departed from Liverpool, England aboard the ship "Constitution" bound for America. He arrived in New York, New York on 15 Apr 1853. We don’t know what Edward did for the next two months, but he is said to have arrived in Berea, Ohio on 16 Jun 1853 where he would settle down and start his life in America.

It is not known whether the decision to come to America was 100% his own or if, as an apprentice, he followed his master T.J. Quayle "over the pond". Mr. Quayle set his tailoring business up on Bridge Street in Berea. As a fellow immigrant from the Isle of Man, T.J. Quayle and Edward would become good friends though the years, extending far beyond the years of Ed's apprenticeship.

Simons family's 1841 England Census
Maria Simons was born on 02 Jun 1841 at Great Gap, Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire, England in the Leighton Buzzard District to parents George Simons and Sarah Short.

Maria departed from London, England around the 14 May 1842 aboard the ship Philadelphia, bound for America with her parents and older brother Thomas. Her ship arrived at port in New York, New York on 30 May 1842.

After immigration, Maria’s parents made their way to Royalton, Cuyahoga, Ohio with Maria lived with her 3 brothers Thomas, Jesse & Edward.

Ed & Maria's Marriage Record (1857)
On 26 Nov 1857, Edward Christian married Maria Simons in Berea, Cuyahoga, Ohio. A newspaper article from their 50th Anniversary explains in detail "November 26, 1857, in the presence of a number of invited guests at the residence of T.J Quayle, on Seminary Street, Berea, Ohio. Mr. Edward Christian and Miss Maria Simons were united in marriage. The ceremony was performed by Rev. E.P. Clisbee, then pastor of Berea Congregational church. Miss Lucy Baker (Woodbridge) and Mr. C.F. Peebles of Berea were bridesmaid and best man respectively."

Marriage Application for Ed & TJ (1857)
It should be noted that T.J. Quayle applied for and signed a marriage application for Edward and another for himself a few days before the wedding took place. We do not know if they had a double wedding that day at T.J.'s house or not. The paper never mentions it.

Edward and Maria would live at 95 Beach Street in Berea, Cuyahoga, Ohio and raised a family there. They had 6 sons and 3 daughters. Edward’s Real estate was valued at $2500 and personal estate at $3000.

Edward opened his own Tailoring Shop on Front Street in 1861 in Berea, Cuyahoga, Ohio and was in business for over 50 years until he passed away.
09 Oct 1867 in Berea, Edward became a member of the Masonic lodge of Berea. Ed was one of the 16 founding members, or "Master Masons". Edward remained a Mason until his death 50 years later. His official title was "Captain of Host" for Berea (Quarry) Masonic Lodge, Chapter No. 134.

In 1896, Edward Christian ran for and won a local election to become Mayor of Berea. A position he held for one 2 year term 1896–1897. His time as mayor was not without great obstacles. Edward had two noteworthy issues he had to deal with during his time in office. The first being the Berea Quarry Strike. Workers went on strike at the quarry, Berea’s main source of income and work for residents, and Edward had to help mediate and provide police protection after violence broke out and the quarry president declared that he would hold the village of Berea responsible for any and all damage to company property as a result of the strike. Edward responded by appointing a strong police force to patrol the village at night, protecting the citizens and businesses.

Edward’s second great test as a mayor came on 23 April 1897 at about 5:45am when a great fire broke out in gale-force winds between Front, Bridge & N Seminary Streets and threatened the Council Hall. Ed sent a telegram to the Cleveland Fire Department requesting help as the village fire departments equipment was unable to handle the rate at which the wind was causing the flames to grow. Edward then proceeded to enter Council Hall with others and managed to save many of the town books and valuable papers. At the end of it all 30 buildings, including the village fire department, were lost to the flames. A total estimating $100,000 at the time. The newspaper that day read "Berea's Greatest Fire…Many Business Houses on Front and Bridge Street Laid Low…City Hall in Ruins."

Maria Simons' Death Record (1911)
On Thanksgiving Day 1907, the local newspaper reported that "the sons and daughters planned a grand reunion in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary. The children all came together, (except Willis and Ralph) and a most pleasant occasion it proved to be. After a sumptuous dinner, the family, consisting of parents, children, 14 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren were grouped for a portrait by [photographer] Mikolajcyk. Among the guests were Mrs. Christian's sister, Mrs Robinson (Mary Ellen Simons) and daughter from Earlville, Iowa."

Maria died on 26 Jun 1911 in Berea, Cuyahoga, Ohio from Pulmonary Tuberculosis.  She was buried on 28 Jun 1911 in Woodvale Cemetery (7535 Engle Road) in Berea.

Ed Christian Death Record (1917)
Edward died on 06 Feb 1917 in Berea, Cuyahoga, Ohio after slipping on ice and falling. He died from his injuries, or as the Medina Gazette wrote "shock", 7 days after the fall.

Ed was buried on 09 Feb 1917 in Middleburg Heights, Ohio at Woodvale Cemetery (7535 Engle Road). A double funeral was held at the family home on 95 Beech St. in Berea for Ed and his son George who passed away a day later on 07 Feb.

Children of Edward & Maria Christian
1. George Edward Christian, 22 Nov 1858 – 7 Feb 1917
2. Francis Emerson Christian, 4 May 1860 – 24 Sep 1873
3. Fredrick Howard Christian, 17 Jul 1862 – 27 Aug 1882
4. Sarah Maria Christian, 21 Sep 1865 – 16 May 1938
5. Hugh Stowell Christian, 22 Mar 1867 – 5 Jan 1933
6. Emma Florence Christian, 02 Oct 1870 – 16 Feb 1941
7. Willis Alfred Christian, 30 Jul 1873 – 30 Dec 1941
8. Alice Bertha Christian, 19 Sep 1875 – 22 Jul 1944
9. Ralph Emerson Christian, 18 Aug 1878 – 20 Sep 1960

Ed's front page Obituary in the Medina Gazette (9 Feb 1917)

Ed's Obituary - Paper unknown (1917)


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