At the bottom of a box of vintage toys, beneath some old Pez dispensers and Weebles lay a 147 year old journal. How did it get there and how long had it been there? That’s any ones guess. But, one day a man would take the box to a vintage toy store owned by Tom Klopfenstein, and sell the old Pez dispensers and Weebles that it contained. Never thinking twice about the journal at the bottom, not till he was walking out the door.

As he left the man mentioned the journal at the bottom of the box. Tom Klopfenstein got it out and would spend the rest of the day reading the journal, “getting to know the girl he had never known,” as he put it.

Curious about the girl, and wanting to know more about her, Tom posted to a genealogy Facebook group about his find and what information he knew from the journal about Lovina Markle. It didn’t take long for someone to track her down, and shed a little more light on Lovina Markle. Deedee Bonbone found the building blocks of Lovina’s tree, and after some more digging I was able to track her tree and find her living descendants.

Lovina Markle was born in 1848 in Clark County, Ohio, to Jonas Markle and Mary Kreighbaum, both in their mid 30’s at the time. She was the 6th of  8 children, having 3 sisters (Mary, Emma -Emaline, and Ida), and 4 brothers (William, David, John, and Charles). Jonas Merkle was born in Pennsylvania and Mary Kreighbaum was born in Ohio.

By the mid 1850’s the family had moved to Elkhart, Indiana, where Lovina’s youngest siblings, Charles and Ida where born.

In 1870, an 22 year old Lovina Markle, from Elkhart, Indiana, wrote dutifully in her journal, beginning 1 January 1870 and ending 31 December 1870. Just two years after the journal had been penned, on 22 October 1872, Lovina would travel to Edwardsburg, Michigan and marry Morow Gordon. The couple would travel back to Indiana before the birth of their children. They would go on to have two sons; Clifford Markle Gordon born 30 November 1873, in Elbart, Indiana, and Guy Garfield Gordon born 22 May 1879, in Bristol, Indiana. Lovina would be 25 for the birth of her first child and 31 for the birth of her second child.

Lovina and her husband lived into the turn of the last century, and by 1900 can be found living in Alamota, Kansas. The dates of their deaths is unknown, but they likely died in Kansas and are buried there.

Descendants of Lovina Markle and Morow Gordon, their children and grandchildren:

Clifford Markle Gordon and Bertha Etta Markle

  1. Mary Ellen Gordon (1901-1965)
  2. Charles M. Gordon (1903-1969)
  3. Robert Floyd Gordon (1906-1960)
  4. Ina G. Gordon (1908-?)
  5. Alvin M. Gordon (1910-1993)
  6. William C. Gordon (1912-1973)

Guy Garfield Gordon and Laura May Carringer

  1. Raymond Gordon (1905-1988)
  2. Dorothy Marie Gordon (1909-1974)
  3. Wayne Howard Gordon (1913-1968)
  4. Edna Leone Gordon (1916-1997)

From their two children, Lovina and Morow would have a total of 10 grand children; with their great grandchildren and great great grandchildren being their living descendants. Their descendants would go on to spread to the states of Georgia, Colorado, and California.

Journal Entries

Transcribed with help from Lisa McEwan and Molly Logue Arthur.


[?] Lana Markel

Elkhart, Ind

Box no 1144


(This may have been someone who gave Lovina the journal, it is also possible this was the original owner of the journal, as it is clear that Lovina recycled it later on. She crossed out 1867 on the pages on wrote in 1870.)


 Saturday, January 1, 1870


Pleasent today, wanted to go to town, but was disapointed. Will took the team to go to the lyceum* but did not get much for a (?). In event for the first time. Rhode was not at home. Bell was sick Mon went had the paper.

*Lyceum is a gym


Sunday, January 2, 1870


Quite pleasant no one came & no one went anywhere I was so sleepy that I slept nearly all day, worked some in my arithimetic & spent the remaining of the time in reading.


Thursday, January 6, 1870


able to come down Thursday. At? school Mrs. Sloan? is better, is able to come to school & teach. Love Great God we thank thee for this this beauteous _____land of the free. When wanderers from afar may come and breath it and of liberty.


A special thank you to Tom Klopfenstein for giving me the chance to write this article, and for providing me with pictures of Lovina’s journal.

Thank you Lisa McEwan and Molly Logue Arthur for you help in transcriptions, without your this article would have taken me much longer to finish.



“1850 United States Federal Census.” 2009. Accessed May 28, 2017. Year: 1850; Census Place: Concord, Elkhart, Indiana; Roll: M432_144; Page: 19A; Image: 42

“1860 United States Federal Census.” 2009. Accessed May 28, 2017. Year: 1860; Census Place: Concord, Elkhart, Indiana; Roll: M653_256; Page: 100; Family History Library Film: 803256

“1870 United States Federal Census.” 2009. Accessed May 28, 2017. Year: 1870; Census Place: Concord, Elkhart, Indiana; Roll: M593_311; Page: 240A; Image: 162841; Family History Library Film: 545810

“1880 United States Federal Census.” 2010. Accessed May 28, 2017. Year: 1880; Census Place: Bristol, Elkhart, Indiana; Roll: 275; Family History Film: 1254275; Page: 212A; Enumeration District: 026; Image: 0244

“1900 United States Federal Census.” 2004. Accessed May 28, 2017. Year: 1900; Census Place: Alamota, Lane, Kansas; Roll: 485; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0124; FHL microfilm: 1240485

“Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952.” 2015. Accessed May 28, 2017.