The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

Tombstone mystery nearly solved 2012.05.16

Written by David Green.

It’s nothing too unusual for Sue and Randy Clement to find objects buried in their Union Street yard in Morenci. They’ve found pottery shards and other remnants of the past, and a visit from the outhouse diggers [featured in the Sept. 22, 2010 Observer] turned up another collection of relics.

What they found last week was the most unusual yet.

“We were getting our garden ready and we hit something,” Sue said. “Anytime we hit something, I have to dig it up.”

This find was just a little creepy, she said. They unearthed a tombstone, and it wasn’t a relic from the distant past: Dahrel F. Gottschalk, 1914-1972; Catherine R. Gottschalk, 1928- . The stone was face down under a foot of soil. 

The Clements called city hall and soon had a visit from police chief Larry Weeks who needed to determine if it was an actual gravesite.

So began a mystery that’s mostly been solved—at least two thirds of the puzzle.

John Sinks saw an article about the gravestone in the Adrian newspaper and told Chief Weeks how it came to be buried in the Clements’ yard.

Back when the Sinks lived next to the Clement house, their son, Mike, had a summer job with the Lenawee County Road Commission. He spotted the tombstone in a ditch one day and took it home, believing he could use it for a marble top table.

He later realized it was too heavy and his father suggested that he bury it in the yard to get it out of the way.

That was the source of the “clunk” when the Clements were digging, but what about Mr. Gottschalk?

Chief Weeks did a little digging of his own, using the findagrave.com website. In the Oakwood Cemetery near Flat Rock, Mich., there’s a tombstone for Dahrel F. Gottschalk with the same 1914-1972 dates. This time, Catherine isn’t listed. A reporter from the Adrian paper discovered what appears to be her grave with a second husband.

A genealogy website discussion mentions a Dahrel F. Gottschalk born in Liberty Center, Ohio, on May 15, 1914, and there have been Gottschalks in Morenci in the past, including school music teacher John Gottschalk in the 1930s.

For the most part, the case of the mysterious gravestone is solved, with one glaring exception: How did it ever end up in a Lenawee County ditch?

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