In years following the Civil War, David and Elizabeth Zeller were certainly feeling proud of the great general who had secured a victory over the traitorous general of the south and who was now a great president of the United States. So when their son was born on July 6, 1871 in Bethel Township in Lebanon County, PA, they named him Ulysses Grant Zeller (or possibly Grant Ulysses Zeller; I’ve seen it both ways).
Whichever way they chose to name him, he was therein-after known as Grant.
I don’t have many details about his early life, but on September 13, 1890, he married Emma Salinas Schaeffer, daughter of John and Sarah Schaeffer, in Sherksville in Lebanon County. Census records reveal they remained in Lebanon County, although they moved around a bit, as they gave birth to 13 children, the first being Anna Mary in 1893.
Then came Sallie Rebecca (1894), Elizabeth Carrie (1896), Grant Jr (1898), Harry John (1900), Mabel Mae (1904), Charles David (1907), Katie Ida (1909), Edith Jennie (1911), Margaret Emma (1913), Walter Leroy (1916), Elmer Martin (1917), and last but not least Edwin Adam (1920). Whew! Just coming up with all those names must have been a chore, let alone actually carrying them to term and giving birth to them in the days before modern medicine. Well done, Emma!
By the way, most of them lived reasonably long lives, with my great uncle Eddie, their last born, having just died in 2016.
Anyway Harry J. Zellers (he added the “S” for some reason to his last name, as did several of his siblings, possibly to indicate there were so many of them) went on to marry Tillie Esther Reed in 1920, and they had a mere five sons and one daughter, that daughter being Arlene, my mother, which is why I proudly claim Ulysses Grant Zeller as my great-grandfather.
(My mother suffered from dementia in her final years, but just a few years before she died, she was still able to name all of Grant and Emma’s children!)
I do vaguely recall visiting my great-grandparents when I was very young (under seven), but mostly all I recall is playing Chinese checkers (probably with my uncle Reed or cousin Kathy), or maybe regular checkers, in the middle room while the adults played cards (probably pinochle or their other fall-back hasenpfeffer, which I think they usually called haussy or somesuch) in the front room.
I don’t recall the occasions when any of these pictures were taken, and I can only name a very few of the people in the Zellers Clan photo below.
On April 21, 1956, Emma died, and Grant went to live with my grandparents, Harry and Tillie. That I do recall. He was very ill and didn’t last long. On June 19 he followed his wife to the grave.