Idaho family seeks help solving a 100-year-old family mystery


An newspaper article from a Dec. 20, 1922 edition of the Galion Inquirer prompted a couple in Boise Idaho to try and solve an almost 100-year-old puzzle.

They are looking for information about a long-lost relative and that 1922 article is their best lead

I was contacted by the couple in recent days and they asked if I had access to old Galion Inquirer archives or newspapers or microfilm collections.

Sadly, I do not.

In the last 20 years or so, the Inquirer has been purchased and sold and acquired several times. After some of those purchases, the Inquirer offices were moved and unfortunately papers and archives and old records and notes were purged. They were donated to libraries, historical societies and others.

Or they were simply thrown away.

So I’m seeking help from other readers of the Galion Inquirer

The puzzle solvers want to keep their name out of the search at this time, but if you have any information, you may email them at fifethomas@gmail.com.

This is the email I received.

Mr. Kent,

I am trying to solve an ancestry mystery from back in the 1920s. I found an old record from the December 30, 1922 Galion Inquirer about a man who committed suicide in the Kenton Ohio City Jail on December 28, 1922.

His name was Chester Harvey and it appears he was taken into custody for “train riding”, probably vagrancy in our times.

I think there is a good chance this young man may be a long lost grandfather. The December 30 newspaper indicated that he alleged that he was looking for work and although his natural father and mother were deceased, his stepmother lived in Crestline.

I am attaching a copy of the December 30, 1922 article with the hope and chance that you folks might have done a follow up story on Chester Harvey.

This event occurred approximately 98 years ago so I know it’s a long shot, but I would be grateful for any other information about Chester Harvey, such as date of birth, where he was buried, stepmother’s name who lived in Crestline, etc

Thank you for your help.

Here is the original articles from that Dec. 30, 1922 edition of the Galion Inquirer.

“Chester Harvey, whose home is said to be at Crestline, Ohio slashed his throat from ear to ear in the city prison at Kenton, Ohio Thursday morning (December 28, 1922) while awaiting a hearing before Probate Judge Turner of Hardin County. Information was to the effect that his parents are dead but that he has a stepmother living in Crestline.

Harvey was arrested at eleven o’clock in the morning by Chief Sheldon along the big four right of way south of the Franklin Street Station. Persons reporting the case to the police declared the man had been standing in the center of the track for nearly two hours.

Wednesday night Harvey had been taken into custody at the Erie station by night police on a charge of train riding. When he was brought before Mayor Ochs, he was admonished and ordered to leave the city. At the time, he seemed rational and officers did not suspicion mental disability.

During his hearing he declared that his home was in Crestline and that he was seeking employment. Only a razor knife, a package of needles and the papers were found in his clothing.”

So, readers, if you have information on this Chester Harvey or his family, and are willing to help solve this 10-year-old myster, please email fifethomas@gmail.com and share that information.

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Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email him at rkent@aimmediamidwest.com

Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email him at rkent@aimmediamidwest.com