May 29

Some Newsy Items from The Willshire Herald

News and social items in old newspapers can provide all sorts of information for your family history as well as information that is just plain interesting to read. Here are a few items I found recently.

Some social news:

Willshire Young Miss Weds Decatur Young Man Secretly

Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Reece learned last Saturday evening that their daughter, Miss Mae, had gone to Kalamazoo, Michigan, December 7, where she was united in marriage with Clifford Marshall of Decatur. The young lady returned to her home in this village, and it was several days before the members of her family and intimate friends knew that she had forsaken the ranks of single blessedness and taken on a life partner.

The groom is a tradesman, being an employee of the Schaffer Saddlery company, and has already taken his bride to that city, where they have gone to house-keeping. [1]

It really wasn’t such a secret once it was published on the front page of the local paper. And just who was out there tracking down and reporting all that information?

The Willshire Herald, 21 December 1922, p.1.

The Willshire Herald, 21 December 1922, p.1.

The paper reports an accident and gives a little genealogical information, too:

Local Woman Sustains Serious Injury in Fall

Mrs. Effie Fisher, residing on Green street, fell on the sidewalk in front of her home last Wednesday and was seriously injured. Dr. M.J. Osborn, called to administer treatment, found her sufferings were so great that an x-ray was determined upon, and she was taken to Decatur hospital Thursday, where Dr. C.C. Rayl took the x-ray.

It was disclosed that the arm was broken at the point where it enters the shoulder.

The patient was then turned over to Dr. Osborn again. She was brought to her home in this village, but for lack of suitable nurse attention, she was taken to the home of a cousin, Mrs. Vaughn Milligan, where she is being cared for. [2]

Here is a little item about the general store that was once in Schumm:

Geo. Weinman of the Weinman & Buechner general store at Schumm was a business caller at this office Tuesday evening, leaving an order for job printing, also an advertisement which appears in this week’s issue of The Herald. [3]

The Willshire Herald, 5 February 1925, p.3.

The Willshire Herald, 5 February 1925, p.3.

Evidently they reported about everyone who walked through their doors. Unfortunately I did not get a copy of the ad they mentioned.

An newsy item like the following could help track a family’s migration:

The Schinnerer Family is Coming Back Home
H.F. Schinnerer has completed transactions whereby he has again become owner of the Schinnerer farm on the eastern border of this town. The terms of the re-purchase of the property include an agreement to give Mr. Schinnerer possession March 1, 1926.

The farm, approximately 200 acres of land, is one of the best bodies of land in this section of the country, and Mr. Schinnerer is to be congratulated upon his ability to again come into its proprietorship, with the expectation of again becoming a permanent resident of the Willshire community—something that we trust will be of mutual congratulation to the Schinnerer family and the people of Willshire and vicinity. [4]

Finally, read about the big shoe sale in Chatt back in 1911: [5]

The Willshire Herald, 26 January 1911, p.5.

The Willshire Herald, 26 January 1911, p.5.

I wonder what that Candy Guessing Contest was all about…

 

[1] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 21 December 1922, p.1.

[2] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 14 January 1943, p.1.

[3] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 5 February 1925, p.3.

[4] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 1 October 1925, p.1.

[5] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 26 January 1911, p.5.

May 26

Tombstone Tuesday–Jacob J. Heffner

Jacob J. Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Jacob J. Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Jacob J.Heffner, located in row 3 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Jacob J. Heffner
Sept. 1, 1861
Dec. 18, 1899
In Memory
Of Our Father

Jacob Joseph Heffner was born 1 September 1861 in Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio. He was the 8th of 12 known children born to Conrad & Margaret (Miller) Heffner. Jacob was baptized 6 October 1861 at Zion and Jacob Becker and Jacob Deitsch were his sponsors. He was confirmed at Zion Chatt on 18 April 1875.

Jacob Heffner married Elizabeth Merkle on 16 December 1884 at Zion Chatt. Witnesses to the marriage were Joseph and Lucinda (Kantner) Merkle, parents of the bride.

Elizabeth Merkle was born 30 July 1865 in Celina, Ohio, according to their church marriage record.

Jacob Joseph Heffner died of lung and liver disease on 1 December 1898, at the age of 37 years and 3 months. According to Zion Chatt’s records he was survived by his mother, 10 siblings, and 3 children.

Two years after Jacob’s death Elizabeth and her three sons were living in Celina, where they likely lived before Jacob’s death. In the household were Lizzie, 34; Carl R, 14; Leo C, 13; and Ralph J, 11. Elisabeth “Lizzie” was employed as a dressmaker and the boys attended school. [1]

By 1910 widow Elizabeth Heffner and her three sons had moved to Dayton, Ohio, where Elizabeth worked as a dressmaker at their home on 247 Chestnut Street. Living with her were sons Carl, 24, a lithographer at a printing office; Leo, 22, a merchant at a retail grocery; Ralph, 21, a cabinet maker; and her brother Fredrick Merkle, 37, who was employed as a carpenter. Her sons and brother were all single. [2]

Elizabeth died in 1924 in Dayton and is buried in Woodland Cemetery there. All three of her sons are also buried there.

Children of Jacob Joseph and Elisabeth (Merkle) Heffner: [3]
Charles “Carl” Rudolph (1885-1918)
Leo Conrad (1887-1967) married & divorced Ella R. Ryan
Ralph J. (1889-1940), married Louise Josephine “Lulu” (Schmacher) Ackerman

 

[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Celina, mercer, Ohio, ED 84, p.17A, dwelling 338, family 362, Lizzie Heffner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 May 2015); from FHL microfilm 1241304, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1304.

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Dayton Ward 7, Montgomery, Ohio, ED 95, p.5A, no.249, visited 113, family 126, Elizabeth Heffner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 May 2015); from FHL microfilm 1375229, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 1216.

[3] Their children were evidently not baptized at Zion Chatt since they were not in Zion’s church records.

May 21

Memorial Day Celebration 2015, Willshire, Ohio

The past four years the Willshire Home Furnishings store has been transformed into a military memorial to honor local veterans, past and present, for the Memorial Day weekend. This “Memorial Day Celebration” is the idea of store owner Aleta Weiss.

Aleta Weiss by one of the uniform displays. (2015 photo by Karen)

Aleta Weiss by one of the displays. (2015 photo by Karen)

Back in 2012 Aleta wanted to do something in memory of her father, to pay tribute to his military service. Delmore Mitch was a staff sergeant in the 106th Infantry, the Golden Lions. He served as a cartographer, a map-maker, in the 654th Engineer Topographic Battalion during WWII.

Display of Delmore Mitch [Aleta's father] WWII items, including maps. (2015 photo by Karen)

Display of Delmore Mitch’s WWII items, including maps he drew. Mitch was Aleta’s father. (2015 photo by Karen)

Aleta placed his uniform in the store window that first year but decided she wanted more uniforms to create a larger display. So she went next door to Willshire’s American Legion and asked them for help. They provided her with the names of ten local veterans and she ended up with a total of 23 uniforms to display in 2012.

The second year local residents added to the exhibit by contributing 57 uniforms. By 2014 there were 103 uniforms of local servicemen on display.

And the display continues to grow. There will be at least 120 uniforms on display this year, furnished by at least 100 people, from as far away as Roanoke and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Uniforms, photos, and other items on display at Willshire Home Furnishings. (2015 photo by Karen)

Uniforms, photos, and other items on display at Willshire Home Furnishings this weekend. (2015 photo by Karen)

Vast array of uniforms, photos, and other items on display at Willshire Home Furnishings. (2015 photo by Karen)

Vast array of military items on display at Willshire Home Furnishings. (2015 photo by Karen)

But military uniforms are not the only items to view there. Other items include photos, documents, letters, memorials, maps, flags, medals, ribbons, and other military memorabilia from most major U.S. wars and conflicts.

Aleta and her family go to a lot of effort to arrange specific displays and tributes to the veterans of several wars. This year there are items from WWI, WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, and Iraq wars.

On display this weekend at Willshire Home Furnishings. (2015 photo by Karen)

On display this weekend at Willshire Home Furnishings. (2015 photo by Karen)

Aleta begins accepting items for display the first week of April and by the third week of April she starts moving her array of home decorating items from the main showroom into a back portion of the store. In their place she arranges all the veterans’ articles.

On display this weekend at Willshire Home Furninshings. (2015 photo by Karen)

This weekend at Willshire Home Furnishings. (2015 photo by Karen)

Some new items for this year’s display include a traveling military vehicle exhibit from the WWII Museum in Auburn, Indiana. Vehicles will include a military Jeep and “Rolling Thunder,” a gunner truck that was used in Viet Nam. Pat Miller from WOWO radio will be there one day and there will be a bottle of sand from Normandy Beach.

A lot of people visit the tribute over Memorial Day weekend. Aleta estimates that between 800-900 people came to view her display last year.

Memorial Day Celebration at Willshire Home Furnishings. (2015 photo by Karen)

Memorial Day Celebration at Willshire Home Furnishings. (2015 photo by Karen)

This year’s “Memorial Day Celebration” at Willshire Home Furnishings will be open to the public Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, May 23, 24, and 25, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday the 22nd is not open to the general public, but is open for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. At least 11 nursing homes will bring residents to the store on Friday.

We stopped by the store last Tuesday and were amazed at the number of uniforms, photos, and other items on display. The store has been totally transformed and it is awesome and humbling to look at all the items and to think of all the sacrifices that were made. Aleta does a great job to redecorate the store for this patriotic exhibit. The store is truly transformed and she puts a lot of time and effort to create this tribute to our veterans.

One of the many displays at Willshire Home Furnishings this weekend. (2015 photo by Karen)

One of the many displays at Willshire Home Furnishings this weekend. (2015 photo by Karen)

In addition to organizing this wonderful tribute, Aleta is on the board of the Northeast Indiana Honor Flight, a non-profit organization that flies veterans to Washington DC so they can visit memorials built to honor their service. She started out as a flight guardian before becoming more active in the group. She now accompanies nearly every flight as well as to help with flight preparations and paperwork.

I encourage you to stop by her store this weekend if you can. Willshire Home Furnishings is located at 318 State St., Willshire, Ohio. The store is not open for business during the time of the Memorial Day observance.

Willshire Home Furnishings. (2015 photo by Karen)

Willshire Home Furnishings. (2015 photo by Karen)

Willshire’s Memorial Day Parade will start about 9:30 a.m. on Monday and Aleta Weiss will speak at the Willshire Cemetery.

We owe each one of our veterans so much and we should always remember the sacrifices they made, and still make, for our freedom.

Willshire Home Furnishings this Memorial Day weekend. (2015 photo by Karen)

Willshire Home Furnishings this Memorial Day weekend. (2015 photo by Karen)

Thank you Aleta for honoring our veterans in such a special way. I can tell it is a labor of love.

May 19

Tombstone Tuesday–Conrad & Margaret (Miller) Heffner

Conrad & Margaret (Miller) Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Conrad & Margaret (Miller) Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Conrad and Margaret (Miller) Heffner, located in row 3 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Conrad
1822-1878
Margaret
His Wife
1829-1908
HEFFNER

Zion Chatt’s records indicate that Conrad Heffner was born 18 March 1822 in Thuisbrunn, District Oberfranken, in the Kingdom of Bavaria, where he was also baptized and confirmed by Pastor Papst. He was the older of two surviving sons born to Dietrich and Margaretha (Schmidt) Heffner. His younger brother George Heffner married Sophia Martin.

Their father Dietrich Heffner died in Bavaria in 1828, leaving two young sons and a widow. Their mother Margaretha married Friederich Becher in about 1830 and they had one son together, Johann Becher. About ten years later the family immigrated to America and resided in Butler County, Ohio, for nearly a year before settling in Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio.

The church record indicates Conrad stayed in Butler County for three years before moving to Mercer County. After coming to Mercer County he married Anna Margaretha “Margaret” Carolina Miller on 15 January 1846. [1]

According to Zion Chatt’s records Margaret was the daughter of Andreas and Margaretha Mueller/Miller, born 8 October 1830 in Eichfeld, District Mittlefranken, in the Kingdom of Bavaria.

Conrad and Margaret Heffner set up housekeeping in Blackcreek Township where Conrad farmed. In 1850 they had three young children, Margaret, 3; Charity, 2; and Matilda, 1 month. [2]

In 1860 the Conrad Heffner family resided in Blackcreek Township with their seven children: Margaret, 13; Charity, 11; Matilda, 10; Sophia, 8; John, 6; George, 3; and Mary, 11 months. Also enumerated in the household was George Byer, 18, a farmer who likely helped on the farm. He may have been the same George Byer that married Conrad’s daughter Gertrude Charity in 1866. [3]

In 1870 Conrad and Margaret Heffner remained in Blackcreek Township and Conrad continued to farm. There were seven children in the household by this time: John, 15; George H., 13; Mary A., 11; Jacob, 9; Samuel, 6; Lewis, 4;, and Augustus, 1. Three of their children, Margaret, Gertrude, and Matilda had married within the previous four years and were not living in the household. Daughter Sophia would marry Jacob Germann the very next day after the census was taken. [4]

On 24 August 1878 Conrad Heffner’s left foot was severed by a threshing machine and he died 24 hours later, on Sunday 25 August. His probate death record gives the cause of death as “mashed in machine.” [5] He was buried on the 27th and Zion Schumm’s pastor gave the burial sermon, based on Psalm 90:12. Rev. Hugo Willert was Zion Chatt’s pastor at the time.

Something interesting is that the following was written in Zion Chatt’s church records: Conrad Heffner was excluded from the parish. But the exclusion was unjustified. Whatever the circumstances, the church evidently took him back since he and his wife are both buried in Zion Chatt’s Cemetery and his death and burial are recorded in Zion Chatt’s records. His death and burial are not recorded in Zion Schumm’s records. However, there still must have been some problem since Zion Schumm’s pastor was in charge of the burial service.

Margaret Heffner died 29 August 1908 in Blackcreek Township, at the age of 78 years. Her death record indicates that she died of old age. [6]

According to the church records Conrad and Margaret Heffner had at least 12 children:
Margaretha (1846-1889), married Lewis J. Brandt
Gertrude Charity (1849-1914), married George “Leonard” Byer
Matilda (1850-1930), married John Philip Sielschott
Sophia (1851-1935), married Philip Jacob Germann
Johannes C. (1854-?), married Marie/Mary Tester [7]
George Heinrich (1857-1928), married Lucinda Karch
Anna Maria (1859-1926), married William Schmidt
Jacob Joseph (1861-1898), married Elisabeth Merkle
Samuel (1864-1935), married Katie Gribler
Ludwig “Lewis” C. (1866-1952), married Adele Eich
Wilhelm “August” (1869-1947), married [8]
Carl Wilhelm (1871-1920), married Elizabeth Wendel

 

[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” index and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 17 May 2015), Conrad Hafner and Margaret Miller, 15 Jan 1846; citing Mercer, Ohio, Vol. ABC p.187 ; FHL microfilm 914955.

[2] 1850 U.S. Census, Blackcreek, Mercer, Ohio, p.290B, dwelling 72, family 77, Coonrod Herfner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : 17 May 2015); from NARA microfilm M432, roll 710.

[3] 1860 U.S. Census, Blackcreek, Mercer, Ohio, p.333, line 13, Conrad Heffner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 May 2015); from FHL microfilm 805009, from NARA microfilm M653, roll 1009.

[4] 1870 U.S. Census, Blace Creek, Mercer, Ohio, p.29B, dwelling/family 155, Conrad Hafner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www:ancestry.com : accessed 17 May 2015); from FHL microfilm 552742, from NARA microfilm M593, roll 1243.

[5] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” index and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 17 May 2015), Conrad Haffner, 25 Aug 1878; citing Death, Blackcreek Township, Mercer, Ohio, Vol. 1-2, p.113; from FHL microfilm 914957.

[6] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” index and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 17 May 2015), Margaret Heffner, 29 Aug 1908; citing Death, Blackcreek, Mercer, Ohio, Vol. 1-2, p.315; from FHL microfilm 914954.

[7] Johannes “John” C. Heffner may have married Marie/Mary Tester and he may have died in 1923. More research is needed.

[8] According to his death certificate he was widowed.

 

May 15

Bollenbacher Grocery, Chattanooga, Ohio

Who doesn’t think of Bollenbacher Grocery when you think of Chatt as it was years ago? The little market, located in what was once The Farmers & Merchants State Bank of Chattanooga, is one of the things I remember most about Chatt during the time I was growing up.

Bollenbacher's Grocery, Chattanooga, Ohio. Submitted photo.

Bollenbacher Grocery, Chattanooga, Ohio. Submitted photo.

The brick building was the second structure south of the Chatt Bar and was built to house the bank, but the bank closed in about 1930. The building was then occupied by Heffner’s Grocery until Harold and Martha Bollenbacher purchased it in 1953.

Bollenbacher Grocery served the community at that location for 20 years, until they sold it to Tom Baker in 1973. [1]

Former Bollenbacher Grocery, Google Earth, October 2008 photo.

Former Bollenbacher Grocery, Google Earth, October 2008 photo.

In the mid-60s my friend Karen and I rode our bicycles a lot in the summer. She lived south of Chatt and I lived north of Chatt. We weren’t old enough to drive so our bicycles were the best means of transportation for us. We would arrange to start out at a specific time and eventually we would meet somewhere between our two homes on route 49.

One thing we often did while on our bike outings was to stop at Bollenbacher Grocery for a cold pop and some candy. Or better yet, an ice cream bar on a hot day. And Harold always had a smile on his face.

Junior and Harold Sr. in Bollenbacher's Grocery. Submitted photo.

Junior and Harold Sr. in Bollenbacher Grocery. Submitted photo.

Harold’s wife Martha was our Avon Lady. She would stop by the house every couple weeks and I always looked forward to seeing her makeup samples, smelling the perfumes, and looking through the Avon books.

The old brick building that once housed a bank and several groceries was demolished sometime between July 2009 and August 2010.

Thanks to Deb (Bollenbacher) Reichard for submitting the Bollenbacher Grocery photos.

 

 [1] Joyce L. Alig, editor, Mercer County, Ohio History 1978, (Dallas, Texas :The Taylor Publishing Co, 1980), 710.

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