Aug 16

Willshire High School Class of 1947

Today, more class photos of the Willshire High School Class of 1947. These class photos are from their high school years, 1943-1947. The class was larger during their early high school years, but twelve graduated in 1947. My mom, Florence (Schumm) Miller was a member of that Willshire High School graduating class of 1947. I do appreciate that she labeled these photos.

Willshire Freshmen, 1943-44; Class of 1947:

Freshmen 1943-44, Willshire High School Class of 1947

Willshire Freshmen, 1943-44; Class of 1947:
Seated: Lila Lee Gibbons, Leona Luginbill, Ellen Bebout, Eileen Miller, Louise Davis, Leahline Case.
Middle row: Betty Weinman, Dorothy Ketrow, Bill Schumm, Kenneth Luginbill, Hazel Strickler, Barbara Painter, Florence Schumm, class sponsor Russel Griffith.
Back row: Ray Lautzenheiser, Robert Miller, Ray Hamrick, Bob Brasher, Paul Roehm, Charles Myers, Allan Dellinger, Tim Agler.

Willshire Sophomores, 1944-45; Class of 1947:

Sophomores 1944-45, Willshire High School Class of 1947

Willshire Sophomores, 1944-45; Class of 1947:
Seated: Mrs. Helser, Tim Agler, Kenneth Luginbill, Bill Schumm, Ray Hamrick, Ray Lautzenheiser.
Standing: Eileen Miller, Barbara Painter, Florence Schumm, Ellen Bebout, Leona Luginbill, Betty Weinman, Leahline Case, Joan Gallant, Louise Davis.

Willshire Juniors, 1945-46; Class of 1947:

Juniors 1945-46, Willshire High School Class of 1947

Willshire Juniors, 1945-46; Class of 1947:
Seated: Tim Agler, Charles Myers, Bob Brasher, Mr. Graber, Kenneth Luginbill, Bill Schumm, Ray Hamrick.
Middle row: Eileen Miller, Barbara Painter, Betty Weinman, Florence Schumm, Dorothy Ketrow, Ellen Bebout, Leahline Case.
Back row: Louise Davis, Joan Gallant, Leona Luginbill, Lila Lee Gibbons.   

Below is their 1947 Senior photo, which I posted last week, but am posting again for comparison and to have all of the photos together. The Willshire Senior class of 1947:

Willshire High School Class of 1947

Willshire Seniors, 1946-47; Class of 1947:
Men: Robert Cowan (principal and teacher), Tim Agler, Charles Myers, Kenneth Luginbill, Bill Schumm, and Ray Hamrick.
Women: Eileen Miller, Betty (Weinman) Reichard, Barbara Painter, my mom Florence (Schumm) Miller, Dorothy (Ketrow) Schumm, Leona (Luginbill) Amburgey, Leahline (Case) Schumm, Lila Lee Gibbons, and Joan Gallant.

Their Junior photo looks like it was taken in front of the stage in the gymnasium. The other photos were taken outside the school building.

Aug 13

Tombstone Tuesday–Anna M. Buechner

Anna M. Buechner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2019 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Anna M. Buechner, located in row 3 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. Her marker is inscribed:

Hier Ruhet
Anna M.
Tochter von
Wm und R Buechner
Geb. 12 Feb. 1897
Gest. 18 Sep 1901

Here rests Anna M, daughter of Wm. and R. Buechner, born 12 Februrary 1897, died 18 September 1901.

“Anna“ Margaretha Buechner was born 12 February 1897, the first child born to “William“ Adam and Katharine Magdalena (Schumm) Buechner. Anna was baptized at home on the on the day she was born, with Mrs. Friedrich Kreiselmeyer and Mrs. Heinrich M. Schumm serving has her sponsors.

Anna Buechner died 18 September 1901, at the age of 4 years, 6 months, and 6 days. Her death was the result of an accident, according to the records at Zion Lutheran, Schumm. She was buried on the 20th.

William and Katherine Magdalena (Schumm) Buechner had the following children:
Anna Margaretha (1897-1901)
Aaron Hugo (1899-1899-1987), married Mildred Steinbauer
Paula Henrietta (1901-2004), married Walter Leonhard Allmandinger
Alma Barbara (1907-1989), Henry James Moellering

Anna Margaretha Buechner was my first cousin two and three times removed. Her grandmother Maria Barbara (Pflueger) Schumm Buechner was my second and third great-grandmother. Maria Barbara was first married to immigrant Ludwig Schumm and after his death she married Adam Buechner. William Adam Buechner was born from their marriage.  

Aug 09

1947 Willshire High School Senior Class Play

I don’t often think of my parents as school students, but they were at one time. And I see that my mom participated in some school activities.

Here is a photo of the 1947 Willshire High School Senior Class play. My mom, Florence (Schumm) Miller, was a member of that class and she was also in their senior class play. Actually, the whole class was in the play. All twelve students from the Class of 1947 are in the photo.

1947 Willshire Senior Class Play. Standing: Ken Luginbill, Florence Schumm, Dorothy Ketrow, Ray Hamrick, Leahline Case, Barbara Painter, Leona Luginbill. Front: Joan Gallant, Charles Myers, Bill Schumm, Tim Agler, Betty Weinman.

I do not know the title of the play but it appears that one fellow, played by Bill Schumm, had some sort of an accident. Bill and the woman standing behind him (Dorothy Ketrow) would marry about 3 years after this photo was taken.

My mom was pretty good about labeling her photos and she put the names of the cast on the back of the photo:

Standing: Kenneth Luginbill, Florence Schumm, Dorothy Ketrow, Ray Hamrick, Leahline Case, Barbara Painter, Leona Luginbill.

Front: Joan Gallant Charles Myers, Bill Schumm, Tim Agler, Betty Weinman.

I recognize a few of the faces and names.

And I remember that old stage in the Willshire School gymnasium, where this 1947 play was likely held. I was in a play on that same stage when I was in the sixth grade.  

Willshire High School Class of 1947

Above is another photo of the seniors in the Class of 1947. My mom did not label this photo but I recognize most of the people from the class play photo. Women, left to right: [?], Betty (Weinman) Reichard, Barbara Painter, my mom Florence (Schumm) Miller, Dorothy (Ketrow) Schumm, Leona Luginbill, Leahline Case, [?], and Joan Gallant. There are two additional women in this photo and I do not know who they are. Men: Robert Cowan (principal and teacher), Tim Agler, Charles Myers, Kenneth Luginbill, Bill Schumm, and Ray Hamrick.

Aug 06

Tombstone Tuesday–Mary T. Roehm

Mary T Roehm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Mary T. Roehm, located in row 3 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

MARY T
Dau. of
J. & A. R. Roehm
Died
Jan. 6, 1892
Aged
13 Y, 11 M, 16 D

Maria Theresia Roehm (“Mary”) was born in Willshire Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, on 20 January 1878, the fifth of eight children born to Johann and Rosina (Schumm) Roehm.  Mary was baptized 3 February 1878, with Mrs. Rosina Schinnerer and Mrs. Elisabeth Bienz serving as her sponsors.

Mary Roehm died from typhus at 6:30 in the morning of 6 January 1892 at 6:30. She was just a few days shy of her 14th birthday and Zion Schumm’s church records indicate that she suffered with typhus for a prolonged time. Mary was buried on 8 January.

Mary’s parents John (1842-1932) and Rosina (Schumm) (1842-1932) Roehm had the following children:
Maria Wilhelmina Amalia “Minnie” (1871-1953), married George “Friedrich” Schinnerer
Andreas “Friedrich” George (1872-1926), married Henrietta Amalia Schumm
Mary “Julia” (1875-1957), married William Conrad Franke
Charlotte “Paulina” 1876-1962), married Frederick J Acker
Marie Therese “Mary” (1878-1892)
(Rev.) Johann Ludwig “Louis” (1881-1975), married Anna Peters
Albert Christian (1883-1953)
Alma Sophie (1883-1974), married Herman Kraft, married Justus F. Boese

Aug 02

1954–Willshire Water Tank Doomed by Progress

Progress…make way for changes.

A few months ago I wrote about the old train depot in Willshire, Ohio.

Willshire’s Nickel Plate Depot, unknown date.

Near the depot was a railroad water tower that supplied water for the steam engines.

The depot and the railroad’s water tower were located on the north end of town, south of the current grain elevator, east of US route 33 and about half way to the old railroad bridge that crosses the St. Marys River there. Both the depot and the water are gone but the old railroad bridge across the St. Marys River is still standing. Below, a couple photos I took of the old bridge last winter:

Railroad bridge crossing St. Marys River, Willshire, Ohio, 2019.

Railroad bridge crossing St. Marys River, Willshire, Ohio, 2019.

Railroad bridge crossing St. Marys River, Willshire, Ohio, 2019.

Below is a photo of 2 bridges over the St. Marys River at Willshire, on a circa 1910 postcard. One of the bridges may be the railroad bridge:

Photo postcard, c1910, St. Marys River, Willshire, Ohio.

Below is a 1954 newspaper article about the removal of Nickel Plate’s water tower from Willshire. This, at the time when the railroads were phasing out steam engines and replacing them with diesel engines.

1954, Removing Willshire’s RR water tank.

The caption under the photo:

These three Willshire men, who have served the Nickel Plate Railroad for many years, posed for their picture in front of the water tower which will soon disappear from the banks of the St. Marys at Willshire. Left to right they are C.H. Debolt, Oatus Strickler, and J.E. Weyer.

The news article:

WILLSHIRE—Any day now the old railroad tower at Willshire is due to disappear. The Nickel Plate Railroad has ordered it torn down. “We don’t need it any more,” say the officials.

It’s a case of progress and revolution in transportation. Last spring the Nickel Plate, on its Toledo to St. Louis division, began using diesel-powered locomotives which drink oil and scoff at water. No water, no water tank. That’s the story.

Gathered around the tank the other day were three Nickel Plate men, two of whom have been with the railroad even longer than the tank itself. C.H. Debolt, 81, retired in 1947 after serving the line 50 years as telegraph operator and station agent. His last station was in Willshire.

Oatus Strickler, 77, was with the railroad 30 years and before his retirement worked last for eight years at Graigville, Ind., as section foreman.

Still with the Nickel Plate is J.E. Wyer, 67, now in charge of the maintenance crew working between Ohio City and Pleasant Mills. He began his railroad job when he was 20 and has been at it ever since.

All of these three men, Willshire residents, admit they will hate to see the old water tower disappear but are glad that the railroad industry has been making such important strides in recent years with new and better equipment.

The Willshire water tank, erected about 1917, replaced an earlier tower. A steam pump then took water from the St. Marys River for use in the thirsty steam engines. There were many of these engines in those days because approximately 24 trains, including six carrying passengers, went over the line daily through Willshire.

About 1930 the steam pump for the tank was abandoned for one with an electric motor.

The tank was originally erected by the Cloverleaf Railroad which was taken over by the Nickel Plate in the early 1920s. The railroad hauled a great deal of livestock. Willshire itself was quite a livestock center in the early part of the century and still does a creditable business with producers of the area.

Progress means change. The railroad water tower, depot, and rail service are all now part of Willshire’s past.

Thanks to Farrel and Sharon for sharing this interesting newspaper clip.

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