Apr 25

Tombstone Tuesday–Infant Son of Wm. & M.E. Hoehamer

Infant Son of William & Maggie (Kallenberger) Hoehamer, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of the infant son of William A. and Maggie E. (Kallenberger) Hoehamer, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Son of
Wm. & M.E.
Feb. 14, 1913

This tombstone is located in the children’s section of Zion’s Cemetery. This child was stillborn [1] and was the fourth child of William A. and Margaret Elizabeth “Maggie” (Kallenberger) Hoehamer. There is no mention of his burial in Zion Chatt’s records.

The baby’s father was William Hoehamer and was born March 1875 in Auglaize County, Ohio, to Nicholas and Anna (Manzelman) Hoehamer. William married Maggie Kallenberger on 24 May 1900, married by Zion Chatt’s Rev. R. V. Schmitt. [2] Maggie was born in January 1874 in Blackcreek Township, the daughter of Michael Andreas and Elisabeth (Burkhart) Kallenberger.

William and Maggie lived in Blackcreek Township after their marriage and had three other children:
Ida/Edie/Edith Elisabeth (1901-?)
Friedericke Louisa “Freda” (1903-1970), married John Patrick Martelock
William Andreas Jr. (1909-1978), married Alice Luella Deitsch

The mother Maggie (Kallenberger) Hoehamer died in 1950 and is buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery. The father William Hoehamer died in 1956 and is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, Adams County, Indiana.


[1] “Ohio Death Index, 1908-1932, 1938-1944, 1958-2007,” FamilySearch.org (accessed 24 Apr 2017), Stillbo Hoehamer, 14 Feb 1913; OHS, Columbus; ODH, State Vital Statistics Unit.

[2] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, FamilySearch.org (accessed 21 Jul 2013), W.A. Hoehamer and Maggie E. Kallenberger, 1900; Mercer County Marriages, Vol. 8: 141.

Apr 21

Born in the 1800s

Last weekend we watched a classic movie that we have seen several times before. Driving Miss Daisy is one of those moves that you can watch over and over. Great cast, great acting, and a great story. It is set in the late 1940s and we calculated from things said in the movie that Miss Daisy was born about 1876. That just sounds like such a long time ago.

It was. It was the century before last.

Just this past week I read that the world’s oldest person, the last person known to be born in the 1800s died. Emma Morano was 117 and she died 15 April 2017 at her home in Italy. She was born 29 November 1899 and her life spanned three centuries! Just last year a 116-year old New York City woman died. [1] It is believed these were the last remaining people born in the 1800s.

That is just amazing to think about. If you were born at the very end of a century and have the right genes, you might see three centuries. My grandma Schumm almost did. She fell short by just three years.

I was born in the mid-1900s and knew people who were who were born in three different centuries. Many of you can probably say the same thing.

So I started a list of relatives I knew and remember who were born in the 1800s.

All four of my grandparents:
Carl Miller (1896-1973)
Gertrude (Brewster) Miller (1896-1973
Cornelius Schumm (1896-1986)
Hilda (Scaer) Schumm (1895-1997)

Carl & Gertrude (Brewster) Miller

Hilda (Scaer) & Cornelius Schumm

A paternal great-grandmother:
Pearl (Reid) Brewster (1880-1962)

Pearl (Reid) Brewster

Two of my grandpa Miller’s sisters:
Caroline (Miller) Caffee (1893-1988)
Clara (Miller) Reef (1899-1997)

Caroline (Miller) Caffee

Clara (Miller) Reef

Grandma Miller’s sister:
Alpha (Brewster) Derrickson (1898-1968)

Grandma Schumm’s sister and her husband:
Edna (Scaer) Schumm (1899-1985)
Emmanuel Schumm (1892-1973)

When you make a list you often forget someone and I probably did just that. There are probably some others who I met when I was a child but those mentioned are my closest relatives who I actually remember.

I also remember some of Zion Chatt’s members who were born in the 1800s:
Anna (Huffman) Bollenbacher (1879-1986)
Leah (Hartzog) Kessler (1895-1980)
Teddy Leininger (1895-1992)
Hulda (Betzel) Fisher (1896-1983)
Ercie (Butler) Ripley Reinking (1896-1994)
Homer Carr (1896-1990)
Forrest Ripley (1896-1969)
Rudy Strabel, 1897-1984)
Carrie (Becher) Leininger (1898-1988)
Carl Schroeder (1898-1987)

Years from now our descendants will probably talk about knowing people born way back in the 20th century.


[1] World’s oldest person, last to be born in 1800s, dies, USA Today on-line, 15 Apr 2017.

Apr 18

Tombstone Tuesday–Arley S. Byer

Arley S. Byer, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Arley S. Byer, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is laying on the ground and is inscribed:

Here rests
Arley S.
Born Feb. 17
Died March
30, 1887

Gone, but not forgotten

Neither Arley Byer’s birth, baptism, death, nor burial are recorded in Zion Chatt’s records. However his birth was recorded twice in Mercer County, Ohio, records, entered among the Liberty Township births [1] and the Mercer County Probate births [2]. These two records indicate that Arley Seaman Byers was the son of Leonard and Gertrude (Heffner/Haffner) Byers, born 17 February 1887 in Liberty Township.

According to Zion’s Chatt’s records Arley’s father Leonard Byer was born in Puschendorf, Bavaria in 1839, the son of Johann Michael and Catharine Dorothea Byer. The family immigrated to America in 1846. The church records also tell that Arley’s mother was born in Mercer County in 1848, the daughter of Conrad and Margaretha (Miller) Heffner.

Arley’s parents Leonard Byer and Gertrude Heffner were married 2 November 1866 in Mercer County, Ohio, married at Zion Chatt by Zion’s Rev. George Heintz. [3] Witnesses to their marriage were Heinrich Schandy and Barbara Leistner.

Old Mercer County atlases show the Leonard Byer family living in Section 32 of Blackcreek Township in 1876 and in Section 33 of Liberty Township in 1888, at the very south edge of Liberty Township. The family moved from the area and are absent in the 1900 Mercer plat maps.

Leonard and Gertrude (Heffner) Byer had quite a few children. At least eleven. Most were baptized at Zion Chatt  and some confirmed there. I copied their names as they appeared in the church records. The church records often mention the child’s place of birth which indicates where the family lived and when they moved. Their first four children (1867-1874) were born in Blackcreek Township but Carl Wilhelm was born in Liberty Township in 1876. Christian Arthur was their last child to be confirmed at Zion Chatt, confirmed on 31 March 1901, the last this family is mentioned in the church records.

Information on Find a Grave.com indicates that Leonard and Gertrude Byer moved from the area around the turn of the century and both are buried in Starke County, Indiana. This information also includes two additional children who are not mentioned in Zion Chatt’s records, George Samuel and Richard Wilfer. [4]

Children of Leonard and Gertrude (Heffner) Byer:
James Marion Beyer (1867-)
Sophia Anna Maria Beyer (1870-1939)
Maria Katharine Beyer (1872-1943)
Margaretha Rosette (1874-1957)
Carl Wilhelm Beyer (1876-1963)
Anna Christine Beyer (1878-1969)
George Samuel (1880-1979)
Johannes Benjamin Byer (1882-1951)
Christian Arthur (1885-1904)
Lulu Molletty Beyer (1888-1969)
Richard Wilfer (1891-1936)

Gertrude (Heffner) Byer died in 1914 and Leonard Byer died in 1916.

I noticed several spelling and indexing variations for this surname: Byer, Beyer, Byers, Byerly, Byuly, Bryer.


[1] “Ohio, county Births, 1841-2003,” database with images, FamilySearch.org (accessed 15 Apr 2017), Arly Seaman Byer, 17 Feb 1887; Liberty, Mercer Births, unpaginated; FHL microfilm 2367095.

[2] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” FamilySearch.org (accessed 15 Apr 2017), Arly Oeaman Byuly, 17 Feb 1887; Liberty Twp, Mercer Co Births; FHL microfilm 914953.

[3] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” FamilySearch.org (accessed 15 Apr 2017), Leonard Bryer & Gertraurd Haeffner, 2 Nov 1866; Mercer Marriages, Vol. 3, p.137; FHL microfilm 914956.

[4] FindaGrave.com, Memorial #36922210, Leonard George Byer and Gertrude (Heffner) Byer.

Apr 14

A New Chapter

I am starting a new chapter in my life. I am now officially retired. My final day of work was this past Monday, April 10.

It was a fun but bitter-sweet day as I said good-bye to my boss, my co-workers, and my last ten patients.

Lots of balloons from Joe and co-workers on my last day of work.

I retired after nearly 44 years of what has been a very rewarding career in dental hygiene, working in the same dental practice all those years. I started working right after I graduated from Indiana University at Fort Wayne in 1973. Dr. James Overman had started a new dental practice in St. Marys, Ohio, the year before and I was his first dental hygienist. I am not sure, but I may have been the first hygienist in Auglaize County. If not, I was probably the second. Thank you for hiring me, Dr. Overman. Dr. Duncan worked with Dr. Overman for a year, around 1974, before moving on. In 1975 Dr. Larry Heitkamp joined the practice. Doctors Overman and Heitkamp worked together for a year or two until Dr. Overman sold the practice to Dr. Heitkamp. Dr. Travis Lutz joined the practice in 1999 and purchased the practice in 2000 and Dr. Heitkamp retired.

The dental practice was first located in the Barton Medical Building in 1973, just west of the hospital. We moved about a block down the street and around the curve to the Wheatland Building in 1986 and we moved to Celina in 2000, where we are today. Dr. Lutz renamed the practice Grand Lake Family Dentistry when he took over.

Dentists have come and gone in the practice but I have stayed the whole time. I have known some of my patients for nearly 44 years and have been the dental hygienist to four generations of some families!

Lots of cake!

I have worked with great co-workers and have met many lovely people. I have made life-long friendships with co-workers and patients as well. I have many wonderful memories.

The way you clean teeth hasn’t changed all that much but I have seen the biggest changes in technology, with x-rays and record-keeping. We now take digital x-rays and we can see the images immediately on the monitor. No more messing with films and developing solutions. And thanks to the computer we don’t have a scheduling book or patient files anymore. Everything from charting to scheduling is done on the computer. Infection control became a big issue in the 1980s and many changes, including masks and gloves, came about as a result.

On my last day of work my co-workers surprised me with a balloon bouquet held by the cutest plush bear that brushes his teeth and sings. The bear brushes for two whole minutes. (You know you should brush for two minutes.) They also gave me a specially made T-shirt that says “The Legend Has Retired,” and a cake with my dental hygiene graduation photo on it. Husband Joe brought in a bright balloon bouquet as well as cake and ice cream. Several patients brought in cards and a couple gifts. Monday Dr. Lutz is taking us out for a retirement dinner.  I worked with such nice people.

Ready to cut the cakes!

Is Dr. Lutz really that sad to see me go??

Tears were shed, hugs and handshakes given. Saying good-bye is so hard.

Below are some photos of my dental hygiene career.

1973 Dental Hygiene graduation photo.

Capping, 1972 IPFW.

Dr. Heitkamp and staff, 1982.

A gift from Dr. Heitkamp, for 20 years of dental hygiene, 1993.

Celebrating my 50th birthday with Dr. Lutz I staff. It was an office tradition to wear the crazy birthday vest on your 50th birthday.

Dr. Lutz and staff at Grand Lake Family Dentistry, 2000.

Me wearing my countdown to retirement shirt. Dr. Lutz with his 2039 retirement sign.

My last time clock punch.

So begins a new chapter in my life.

Apr 11

Tombstone Tuesday–Rolland Miller

Rolland Miller, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Rolland Miller, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Son of
J. & F.E. Miller
Aug. 11, 1913
3m, 8d

Budded on earth to bloom in heaven

Rolland Eugene Miller was born 3 May 1913, the first child born to John and Frona E. (Dull) Miller. He was baptized 15 June 1913 at Zion Chatt with Caroline Miller, Carl Miller, and his parents as sponsors.

Rolland died in Blackcreek Township on 11 August 1913. His name is simply listed under Zion Chatt’s death and burial records. Nothing else is recorded in that record.

I found his death certificate on FamilySearch.org, indexed as Rolland Ugene and the scan of the original document is very hard to read. His cause of death looks like ?? infarction, gastroenteritis, which he had for two days. Mike Kallenberger was the informant for information on his death certificate. [1]

Yes, there is a Miller family connection to me. Rolland was my first cousin once removed. His father John Miller was the full brother of my grandfather Carl Miller.

Rolland Miller, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2017 photo by Karen)

Rolland’s father John Miller was born 2 January 1889 in Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, and died 25 November 1964 in Goshen, Indiana. He married Frona E. Dull on 7 December 1912 at Zion Chatt, married by Zion’s Rev. L. Loehr. [2] His wife Frona was born in Dublin Township, Mercer County, on 29 September 1893 and died in 1975. She was the daughter of Hugh Dobson Dull and Amanda Shindeldecker.

John and Frona (Dull) Miller went on to have a very large family. Some of their children were born in this area and were baptized at Zion Chatt but eventually the family moved out of the area to northern Indiana. According to my Miller family database they had the following children:

Rolland Eugene (1913-1913)
Paul Bernard (1914-1988)
Raymond Lee (1915-2007)
Robert Dale (1916-2010)
Mary Margaret (1918-2005)
Betty Jane (1922-1996)
Bill E. (1924-2004)
Murlin “Spike” (1925-2006)
Beatrice “Bea”
LaVerne Ruby (1929-1990)
Donald D.
Jo Ann (1934-2009)

[1] “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (accessed 8 Apr 2017), Rolland Ugene Miller, 11 Aug 1913; Blackcreek Twp, Mercer, Ohio, reference 48036; FHL microfilm 1953756.

[2] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” FamilySearch.org (accessed 8 Apr 2017), John Miller and Frona E. Dull, 7 Dec 1912; Mercer County Marriages, Vol. 10, p.255; FHL microfilm 914959.

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