Willshire-1950 U.S. Census, part 3

Today, the conclusion of my transcription of the 1950 census in the village of Willshire, the final third households in the town.

And there are more surprises. And more interesting information.

We know that the village of Willshire was a test community in 1950, used to test the new “household” census form. The new form contained the information of one household per sheet, compared to the old “multi-family” form which contained several families on one sheet.

As I transcribed the last third of the village I saw that yet another, different household form was used for some of Willshire’s enumeration in 1950.

Two different census forms were used for the testing in Willshire! One form, that we find on images 2-161, was used for about 80% of the village. The second form, images 162-201, was used for the remaining 20% of the village.

Blank 1950 “household” U.S. Census test form used for 20% of Willshire village.

On the first form, question No.6 asked the marriage status, but on the second form the marriage status question was moved and became question No.29. In fact, question No.6 was completely removed on the second form and the numbering on that form was 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7… What an odd way to handle that. On the first form (images 2-161) the second half of the form consisted primarily of work/employment information. The second form asks more family/personal questions there. New questions on the second form include: No.30: married more than once; No.31: number of years married, widowed, divorced, or separated; No.32: number of children born to a woman, not counting stillbirths; as well as U.S. military service, number of hours worked the previous week, and earned income in 1949.

Blank 1950 U.S. Census “household” form used for 80% of Willshire village.

My transcription below includes: name (head of household in bold), age, occupation (if given). For the others in household: name, age, relationship to the head of household, and occupation (if given). Occasionally I include marital status or where a person was born.

The village of Willshire (ED 81-38), 1950 U.S. Census, p.133-200 (about 1/3 of the village):

Benjamin S Gause, 63, night watchman/merchant police; N Leah, 60, wife; Wilbur D, 31, son, never married, sales clerk/grocery store.
Roy E Brodbeck, 44, spot welder/truck manufacturing; Rosa M, 39, wife; Clarence J, 15, son; Helen L, 13, daughter; Earl Jr, 10, son; Dorothy L, 7, daughter; Darrell L, 7, son.
Ivan Wyer, 25, salesman/farm machinery; Joan L, 26, wife; Candice L, 1, daughter.
Walter G Stetler, 56, laborer/township road; Daisy P, 53, wife; Okaleah M, 29, daughter, never married, winder/electric motor manufacturing; R Ann, 20, daughter, never married, sales clerk/retail grocery store; Charles F, 18, son, never married, laborer/soybean factory; Jackie L, 15, son; Jesse Case, 49, sister-in-law, widowed.
Dewey E Neidigh Sr, 51, tool & die maker/electric motor manufacturing; Winifred H, 49, wife; Dewey E Jr, 18, son; Merelen J, 15, son.
Douglas H Neidigh, 25, lift driver/ordinance plant; Marrium/Marium, 21, wife, assemble switches/electric motor manufacturing; James D, 1, son; Jan A, under 1 year, daughter.
Cora E Bilderback, 82, widowed.
Charity A Brown, 74, widowed.
David R Bracken, 27, welder’s helper/railroad; Jean I, 33, wife.
Amy E Cox, 37, widowed, bookkeeper/public school; Patience L, 2, daughter.
John R Myers, 82; Mary A, 76, wife.
Noel G Black, 45, laborer/soybean factory; Wilma P, 44, wife; Donald W, 17, son, never married; Patricia L, 16, daughter; Ellen J, 14, daughter; Merle D, 12, son.
John M Schumm, 76, marshal/Willshire corp; Hester E, 63, wife.
Effie K Lautzenheiser, 47, widowed; H Ray, 21, son, never married, machine operator/oil seal manufacturing; Kenneth L, 15, son; Phillip L, 9, son; Marlin D, 4, son.
A Gale McLain, 56, widowed, process beans/soybean factory; Jimmie D, 15, son.
Oatus Strickler, 73, caretaker/cemetery; Lillie K, 72, wife.
Chancey H Debolt, 77; Alta I, 62, wife.
William H Dellinger, 62, tool crib attendant/electric motor manufacturing; Harriet M, 38, wife.
Orville E Hileman Sr, 49, feed man/elevator; M Louise, 40, wife; Orville E Jr, 13, son; Waldo C, 10, son.
Carl F Foreman, 50; Leah C, 48, wife.
Oscar E Miller, 58, laborer/electric motor manufacturing; Mae H, 54, wife.
Luella M Huffman, 32, widowed; William R, 11, son; Barbara P, 9, daughter; Roger D, 4, son; George H Huffman, 77, father-in-law, widowed.
Ralph W Baumgartner, 33, manager/sawmill; Helen M, 34, wife; Phyllis J, 11, daughter; Sharon R, 8, daughter; Rebbecca J, 7, daughter.
Daniel D Yocum, 41, auto mechanic/garage; Naomi N, 26, wife; Robert E, 6, son.
George F Marbaugh, 70, widowed.
James S Evans, past 65, widowed; Helen, 30, daughter, never married; Della Huffman, 84, sister-in-law, never married; information given by neighbor.

My transcription continues below, now from the second form. Additional information from this form that I include: if married more than once; number of years married, widowed, divorced, or separated; number of children born to a woman; and U.S. military service.

Russel L Christy, 55, separated 17 years, WWI vet.
Hugh D Reynolds, 48, married 23 years, plant superintendent/stone quarry; Eva M, 43, wife, 4 children; Leon W, 8, son; Kathleen I, 4, daughter.
Clarence B Hoblet, 67, married 39 years; Pearl M, 67, wife, no children.
Paul M Schaffner, 58, married 29 years, WWI vet; Eva J, 46, wife, 14 children, trimmer/mop factory; John F, 20, son, never married, truck driver/lumber yard; Martha L, 18, daughter; Paul L, 16 son; Georg C, 14, son; William R, 12, son; Rachael F, 10, daughter; James W, 8, son; Francis, 5, daughter; Eleanor, 2, daughter; Laura A, 4, granddaughter.
Ira E Huber, 54, widowed 3 years, test electrical/General Electric, WWI vet.
John E Acheson, 29, married 6 years, lineman/telephone co, WWII vet; Phyllis J, 27, wife, 2 children, office work/newspaper office; Gayle S, 5, daughter; John E, 2, son.
Truman Dudgeon, 69, widowed 30 years, fence building/farm.
L Leroy Ray, 64, married 42 years, retail grocery clerk/grocery store; Eva D, 61 wife, 3 children.
Russell T Price, 40, married 15 years, core inspector/casting foundry; Isabel, 35, wife, 2 children; Eugene F, 14, son; Sharon L, 4, daughter.
Kathryn I Detter, 73, widowed 11 years, 8 children; Mary L, 37, never married, grocery clerk/retail grocery store. 
Robert J Shoup, 46, married 19 years, inspector/electric motor manufacturing, WWI vet; Dora D, 41, wife, 2 children; Robert D, 16, son; Sonja S, 12, daughter.
John P Estill, 46, married 18 years, self-employed/restaurant & package; Elizabeth E, 38, wife, 2 children, self-employed/restaurant & package; Betsy E, 11, daughter; Susan M, 6, daughter; Bertha M Grunden, 16, lodger. 
Elmo L Wolfe, 40, married 3 years, truck driver/casting foundry, WWII vet; Ruth E, 26, wife, 3 children; Roberta A, 5, daughter; David W, 3, son; Betty J, 2, daughter.
Eugene V Reichard, 22, married 2 years, printer/newspaper office; Betty J, 21, wife, 1 child; Terry D, under 1 year, son.
Thomas B Passwaters, 49, married 19 years, custodian/public school; I Leone, 42, wife, 2 children, bookkeeper/printing office; Thomas R, 16, son, paper carrier/newspaper office; Teddy E, 10, son.
James S Buchanan, 71, married 46 years, insurance agent/insurance agency; Eliza C, 68, wife, 1 child.
Ray H Kelsey, 29, married 10 years, welder/electric motor manufacturing, WWII vet; Berniece L, 28 wife, 3 children; Ronald A, 8, son; Jerry A, 7, son; Bruce L, 3, son.
A Marie Popp, 84, never married.
Frank B Ketrow, 53, separated less than 1 year, fireman boiler house/feed mill, WWI vet; Dorothy E, 22, daughter, not married, winder/electric motor manufacturing; Ruth M Kelly, 24, daughter, married 7 years, 1 child, winder/electric motor manufacturing; Robert W Kelly, 3, grandson.
Charles R Jones, 34, married 13 years, operates machine/soybean mill; Opal M, 34, wife, 3 children; Donald L, 11, son; Carolyn S, 5, daughter; Linda L, under 1 year, daughter.
Florence R Dull, 75, widowed 19 years, 6 children; Vera P, 54, daughter, never married, high school teacher/public school.
Cecil M Stetler, 31, married 10 years, assembly line/truck manufacturing, WWII vet; Marcia E, 29, wife, 2 children, cafeteria cook/public school; Judy K, 9, daughter; John D, 7, son.
John Thatcher, 67, married 26 years, farm hand/farm; Margaret, 54, born in Switzerland, wife, 5 children.
Leo B Buechner, 41, married 10 years, sheet metal worker/sheet metal shop; Louise M, 41, wife, no children; Gary L, 1, son.
Minnie Wilson, 64, widow for 8 years, no children; information given by neighbor.
John E Reichard, 44, married 6 years, married more than once, postmaster/post office; Delores E, 40, wife, married more than once, 3 children, postal clerk/post office; Daniel J, 4, son; James D Habegger, 14, step-son; Eldon L Habegger, 12, step-son.
Vera B Fisher, 48, never married, self-employed/intertainer [sic], worked 3 hours the previous week.
Van B Nelson, 34, married 9 years, married more than once, assembler/electric motor manufacturing, WWII vet; Beatrice T, 32, wife, 3 children; Charles L, 6, son; Michael E, 2 son.
Glenn E Hurless, 36, married 16 years, stator press/electric motor manufacturing, WWII vet; Dorothy G, 37, wife, 2 children; David C, 3, son; Phoebe Reece, 78, mother-in-law, widowed 12 years, 8 children.
Frank S Bailey, 47, married 20 years, farm hand/farm; Gladys L, 43, wife, 8 children; Edna M, 15, daughter; Esther M, 12, daughter; Janice M, 11, daughter; Wilbur L, 10, son, Evelyn L, 7, daughter; Kathleen A, 5, daughter; Joyce E, 4, daughter.
James E Wyer, 62, married 28 years, married more than once, section foreman/railroad; Grace I, 55, wife, married more than once, 2 children, peel tomatoes/tomato cannery.
Gary D Mercer, 82, married 46 years; Mary A, 71, wife, 3 children; Margorie R, 43, daughter, never married, winder/electric motor manufacturing.
Robert L Cowan Sr, 30, married 8 years, high school teacher/public school, WWII vet; Norma J, 29, wife, 1 child; Robert L Jr, 6, born in Delaware, son; information given by father.
Lester M Ross, 21, married 2 years, machine operator/axle factory; Wilma L, 19, wife, 1 child.
Heber H Alsbaugh, 47, married 17 years, laborer/electric motor manufacturing; Inola F, 38, wife, 3 children, laborer/novelty manufacturing; Gloria L, 16, daughter; Jeanette C, 11, daughter; H Eddie, 9 son.

That concludes my transcription of the 1950 enumeration of Willshire village.

I was able to get a little more interesting information from the additional questions on the second form, the form used for 20% of the village:

Cudos to the persons who worked the most hours the week before the census was taken: to Frank S Bailey, who worked 90 hours as a farm hand; to John Estill and his wife Elizabeth, who each worked 84 hours at their restaurant; and to Thomas Passwaters, who worked 80 hours at his custodial job at the school. And an atta-boy to Thomas’ son, Thomas Passwaters Jr, 16, who worked 7 hours on his paper route the previous week. He earned $286 from that paper route in 1949.

I remember Tom Passwaters and his full head of bushy white hair from my early school days at Willshire Public School. He always had a smile on his face and was very pleasant.

Tom Passwaters, 1961, Willshire School

The different census form showed an individual’s reported income in 1949 for this 20% of the village. For those who were employed somewhere, income ranged from $200 to $3800, and $4200 for one family where both the husband and wife were employed. The average 1949 annual income for this 20% of the village was $2400. Not many were self-employed in this group but their income was about $700. About a dozen residents reportedly earned income from interest, dividends, or pension and this income ranged from $100-$2000, with an average of about $700.

I also remember Effie Lautzenheiser from my elementary school years at Willshire. No occupation was given for her in 1950 but she was a cook at the school in 1961.

Effie Lautzenheiser, cook, 1961 Willshire School.


  1. Enjoyed your series. Amazing to read that Frank Bailey worked 90 hours a week on the farm!

    1. Thanks, Marian. Those farmers put in long hours!

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