Jan 30

Von Bierbach nach Chattanooga

Von Bierbach nach Chattanooga. That is the title of the newspaper story that appeared in last week’s edition of the Saarbrücker Zeitung, the “Saarbrücker Newspaper.”

“From Bierbach to Chattanooga”

And yes, the article refers to our Chattanooga, Ohio. It is the story of my immigrant ancestor after he settled in Mercer County, Ohio, in 1871. What he did, what his life was like as an American citizen, and what happened to him.

"From Bierbach to Chattanooga." "The Bierbach emigrants Jacob Mueller (sitting) in 1900 with his large family. In 1871 he went to the USA, where he was a farmer in Ohio."

“From Bierbach to Chattanooga.” “The Bierbach emigrants Jacob Mueller (sitting) in 1900 with his large family. In 1871 he went to the USA, where he was a farmer in Ohio.”

Never in his wildest dreams could my great-grandfather Jacob Müller imagine this. That nearly a century and a half after he emigrated, someone from his native village of Bierbach would want to know about his life in the New World. Not to mention the fact that his story and family photo would be published in a German newspaper and on something as inconceivable as the Internet, where anyone in the world can read it.

How could anyone from the late 19th century imagine these things? If Jacob thought that far into the future he would have wondered: Would there be any distant relatives living in my hometown of Bierbach in 2015? Would anyone in Bierbach know of my family and the contributions we made to the community? Were our emigrant stories passed down through the years? Would anyone remember my family at all?

Thankfully there are people who are interested in knowing what happened to the German emigrants after they settled in America. They don’t necessarily have ties to a specific family. They just want to learn about and write the emigrant’s story.

Kerstin Rech is one of the people. Kerstin lives in Stuttgart and is an author who writes novels and freelances as a newspaper journalist for various newspapers and magazines. One of those newspapers is the Saarbrücker Zeitung, “Saarbrücker Newspaper” in English. Saarbrücken is the capital of the state of Saarland, located in southwestern Germany, very near the French border. It is about 12.8 miles from Bierbach, as the crow flies. Bierbach, a little village in the Kingdom of Bavaria in Jacob’s time, is now in the state of Saarland.

Kerstin has family ties to Bierbach and chose to write an article about a local 19th century emigrant. She wanted write about his life in the New World and what eventually happened to him.

Kerstin found my website, likely from an Internet search for Bierbach, and read some of my blog posts. From that she learned that my great-grandfather Jacob Müller came from her region of Germany. She contacted me over six months ago and I provided her with information about Jacob for her article.

Her story was printed in the Saarbrücker Zeitung just last weekend, in the 25/26 January 2015 edition. The article was in the Heimat/Region (Home/Region) section of the newspaper.

As I told Jacob’s story to Kerstin we discussed why he emigrated. I mentioned that many Germans were lured to America by good cheap land because there was a shortage of land in Germany.  Families were large and often only the eldest male in the family inherited the family farm. There was just not enough land for everyone in the family and remaining siblings needed some form of employment. There was opportunity in America.

When I told Kerstin that Jacob purchased 80 acres of land in Blackcreek Township she was astounded. She questioned the 80 acre number, thinking I might have made a typo and actually meant 8 acres. She said that 80 acres would have been an almost unimaginable amount of land by German standards. But I explained that it was a fairly common amount of land to purchase in this rural area. I never really thought much about it because it was an average size farm around here, but it would have been a lot of land in Germany.

By German standards Jacob would have been considered prosperous. A wealthy farmer who owned a vast amount of land.

But prosperity is relative.

Jacob was probably of average wealth compared to the other farmers in Blackcreek Township. He may have even been a little poorer than average in his community. But with a lot of hard work and determination he cleared and worked and farmed and raised livestock on his 80 acres. He built a house and barn on his farm and raised a family of ten children, losing some of those children before his death in 1918.

Jacob was not prosperous by some standards, but by other standards he was quite wealthy.

Here is a link to newspaper article, if you would like to see it yourself: http://www.saarbruecker-zeitung.de/saarland/heimat/Von-Bierbach-nach-Chattanooga;art371088,5600009

A translation of the article is below, from Google Translate. It is a rather rough translation since the German language places verbs and adjectives in a different position in a sentence than we do. They also use the hectare as their land measurement and 80 acres = 32.375 hectares.

So far, a couple people from Germany have contacted me regarding the article. Who knows where that might lead…

Now I can answer at least one of the questions Jacob might have pondered. Yes, some people from your native land and community now know your story and how well you prospered in America.

Thank you, Kerstin, for telling Jacob Müller’s story.


Translation of the article written by Kerstin Rech:

Five million German immigrants from 1820 to 1920 in the United States. One of them was Jacob Mueller from Bierenbach. He tried his luck in Ohio – and even found oil.

They were not good times, raged 1870. The Franco-German war. In the Bierenbacher Dorfchronik one can read that the thunder of the guns on the heights Spicherer until after Bierenbach, today part of Blieskastel, could be heard. In this year the 27-year-old day laborer and small farmer Jacob Mueller made a decision that would completely change his life.

It was not just the war and material hardship, which led him. His great-granddaughter Karen Miller-Bennett found in researching their family history, that in 1870 for Jacob himself was also a tough year. His wife, Sophia, died in childbirth. A few months later, his father John died. These setbacks prompted the young man to America, as it had already done some Bierenbacher before him. With his mother Marie and the two sisters Catherine and Margaret, who were married to the equally derived from Bierenbach brothers Jacob and Phillip Linn subject.

Not irrelevant to his decision should the letters have been that, had written of his mother’s brother, Christian Kessler. Christian was in 1849 set out in the New World. In his letters he enthusiastically reported from cheap farmland.

With few possessions climbed Jacob Mueller and his family on May 31, 1871 in Bremen, the ship called “Bremen”. 16 days took the arduous crossing. On 15 June 1871, the Bierenbacher arrived in New York.

The German emigrants at that time was the largest non-English speaking group in the United States. The “most German” settlement area was in Pennsylvania, where the location of German Town was founded in the year 1683. Further preferred by German settlers States were Maryland and New York. From the middle of the 19th century, Wisconsin, Missouri and Ohio were driven increased. Jacob and his family it moved to Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio, near the border with Indiana. There, his uncle Christian Kessler had already established.

1873 Jacob bought in Black Creek Township two miles north of Chattanooga for $ 1,600 about 32 acres of land. On the fertile farmland he built his farm where he lived until his death. By 1900, he also discovered five oil wells on his land. But they were not very productive. 1876 Jacob took an American citizen. A year later he married Margaretha Stroebel. The couple had two sons, Johann Peter and Christian. Margaretha died in 1882, Jacob married in the same year, a native of Württemberg Christina Rüeck.

By 1900, he changed his name Müller in Miller that made him finally to the Americans, even though he had never learned the language properly. Jacob Miller died on 15 June 1918 aged 75 years. His farm still exists today. It is now managed by his great-granddaughter Karen Miller-Bennett and her family.

Jan 27

Tombstone Tuesday–Roman E. Heffner

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

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

This is the tombstone of Roman Edward Heffner, located in row 9 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Roman E.

Roman Edward Heffner was born 26 August 1899 in the family home in Chattanooga, the son of Fredrick and Anna (Merkle) Heffner. He was baptized at that same house on 10 September 1899, with Christ Kessler and his wife Margaret (Heffner) Kessler as sponsors. They were his aunt and uncle, Margaret being his father Fredrick’s sister. Roman was confirmed at Zion on 30 May 1915 by Rev. W.F. H. Heuer.

Roman registered for the WWI draft on 12 September 1918 in Mercer County, Ohio. At that time he lived at Rt. 5, Rockford and worked as a grocery clerk for S.S. Egger, also at Rt. 5, Rockford. The Rt. 5 address was likely in Chatt, so he probably still lived at home and worked nearby. His physical description indicates he was tall with gray eyes and dark hair. [1] I did not see any indication that he served in WWI.

In 1920 Roman lived in Chatt with his widowed mother Anna and his younger brother Vernon. His mother was 52; Roman, 20; and Vernon 14. Roman worked in a store, likely a grocery in Chatt. [2]

In 1930 Roman, at age 30, still resided in Chatt with his mother and continued to work as a merchant in a grocery store. [3] From 1933-1937 Roman and his cousin Walter Heffner owned and operated a general store in Chatt .

Roman was known as “Pat.” I have noticed that the Heffners liked nicknames. Roman went by the name of “Pat” and Walter was known as “Dick.” Vernon was called “Cy” and Oscar was nicknamed “Brownie.”

Roman’s mother Anna died in June of 1935 and a couple of months later he married Cecile Hoblet, the daughter of William H. and Ada (Jewell) Hoblet. Cecile was born 12 July 1908 in Willshire, Ohio. [4]

Roman died 20 April 1937, at the age of 37 years, 7 months, and 25 days. Zion Chatt’s records indicate that he took his own life by means of a shotgun wound to the chest, due to ill health. Other accounts say he was distraught because he needed kidney surgery but did not want to go through the procedure. He was survived by his wife, four brothers, and two sisters. He was buried next to his brother Albert on the 22nd.

His widow Cecile married Lester Wright on 22 May 1951 in Mercer County. Lester was 46 and Cecile was 42. [4]


[1] “U.S. WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” index and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 24 January 2015), card for Roman Edward Heffner, no. A 1141, Mercer County, Ohio; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, NARA microfilm publication M1509, imaged from FHL microfilm 1832519.

[2] 1920 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 140, p.3A, dwelling 44, house 44, Anna Heffner; digital images by subscription Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 January 2015), from NARA microfilm T625, roll 1418.

[3] 1930 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 20, p.10B, dwelling 254, family 254, Mrs. Anna Heffner; digital images by subscription Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 January 2015), from FHL microfilm 22341584, from NARA microfilm T626, roll 1850.

[4] “Ohio, County, Marriages, 1789-1997,” index and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 24 January 2015), Lester Wright and Cecile Heffner, 22 May 1951; citing Mercer County, Ohio, Marriages Vol. 20:282, #21819 , from FHL microfilm 2251798.

Jan 23

Willshire Bearcats Basketball, 1955 & 1956

People in this area still remember and talk about Willshire’s basketball teams in the mid-50s. I am sure some of you remember those teams and those seasons very well. You may have even been there to participate and experience the excitement.

Last week I wrote about the Willshire Bearcat basketball team’s successful 1939-40 season, which resulted in a trip to the state basketball finals. But that wasn’t their only trip to the state tournament. Years later they had two runs for the state championship, in 1955 and 1956.

I am sorry to say that I do not remember those great Bearcat teams because I was only 3-4 years old at the time. But I have heard the stories and have seen the photos. I do however remember their coach Robert Games, who was the superintendent when I was in grade school.

The Bearcats, in the Class B division, were undefeated during their regular seasons in both 1955 and 1956, losing their first games at the state level both years. In 1955 they advanced all the way to the state final game and in 1956 to the state semi-final.

In 1955 the Willshire Bearcats won the first game at the state tournament, the semifinal, advancing them to the final championship game. But they were defeated the next afternoon by Lockland Wayne 64-56, and they ended their season as the state runner-up. They finished the 1954-55 season 29-1.

State runners-up, 1955.

State runners-up, 1955.

The scoring of that state final game was as follows:
Koch, 1; Clase, 12; Kesler, 19; D. Marbaugh, 6; Black, 4; Miller, 11; Michaud, 0; Byer, 0; Stetler, 0; Bollenbacher, 0. [1]

When the team, coaches, and cheerleaders returned home from the tournament there was a parade and celebration for them in Willshire.

Parade Greets Willshire Team
Willshire—A band concert, parade and victory march around the school district greeted the Willshire High School Bearcats, state Class B runners-up, when they returned home yesterday afternoon.

Arriving from Cincinnati, where they lost the state finals Saturday afternoon, the Bearcats were met at Rockford by a band and escorted here by a parade of fans’ cars.

The team was hauled at the outskirts of town and nearly every citizen of this 580-population village jammed the center of the town for the celebration.

During the festivities a collection was taken to purchase a new trophy case for the school.

Following the final game Saturday night, the team elected to go to a movie in downtown Cincinnati, instead of attending the Class A finals. [2]

1955 Runners-upSome of the team players were selected for the all-tournament teams.

All-Tourney Teams
Three Willshire players were named on the Class B all-tournament teams. Charles Koch, senior, and Gary Kesler, junior, who scored 45 points in two games, were named on the first team and Larry Miller, who played bang up ball in the title contest., was named to the second team. [1]

Willshire Bearcats, 1955 state runners-up. (1954-55 season).

Willshire Bearcats, 1955 state runners-up. (1954-55 season).

The next school year (1955-56) the Bearcats again had a winning team and once again finished their regular season undefeated. In 1956 they traveled to the state basketball tournament for another try at the state title.

1955-56 Bearcats, front: Larry Huston, Paul Bollenbacher, Joe Clase, Gary Kesler, Larry Miller, Dave Byer. back: Don Jones, Supt; Bob Lucas, Bud Marbaugh, Boyd Hey, Jim Krueckeberg, Jerry Dennis, mgr; Jim Finch, coach Bob Games.

1955-56 Bearcats, front: Larry Huston, Paul Bollenbacher, Joe Clase, Gary Kesler, Larry Miller, Dave Byer, Don Jones; back: Bob Lucas (Supt.), Bud Marbaugh, Boyd Hey, Jim Krueckeberg, Jerry Dennis, Jim Finch (manager), coach Bob Games.

On 22 March 1956 the Willshire Bearcats traveled to Cleveland to play Arcanum in the state semifinal game, scheduled for 1:35 the next day. Willshire’s record was 27-0 while Arcanum’s was 25-1. The team went a day early to look over the arena and get one last practice. [3]

The Bearcats were favored to beat Arcanum and advance to the finals as they had the year before. One of their players was the tall Gary Kesler, who had been named Class B’s outstanding player during the regular season and had been selected to play on the all-tournament team 1955. [4] Kesler’s height varied in the different newspaper accounts, ranging anywhere form 6’8” to 6’11”. So I don’t actually know how tall he really was, but he was tall.

Willshire fans back at home were able to hear the game on the radio, since 18 stations reportedly carried at least a portion of the game. A Lima station would have been the closest in this area. [4]

Unfortunately the Bearcats were defeated 55-54 in the semifinal game, their first loss in the 28 games they played that season. Willshire’s defeat was described as “one of the most stunning upsets in recent tournament history.” Kesler was held to 16 points, a lot fewer than his average. It was not his best game. One reporter noted the outside shooting of Dave Byer, Al Clase, and Larry Miller, as well as the free throw shooting of Paul Bollenbacher kept Willshire in the game until Kesler began hitting in the third quarter.

The scoring was as follows:
Miller, 6; Clase, 8; Kesler, 16; Bollenbacher, 10: Byer, 8; Hey, 4; Kruecekberg, 2; Samples, 0. [5]

Willshire Bearcat Basketball Team.

Willshire Bearcat Basketball Team in Willshire

That was the era of Willshire’s basketball dynasty. They certainly knew how to play basketball at Willshire High School back then, but that would end forever about five years later when the Willshire and Rockford school systems merged to form the Parkway Local School District.

What great achievements for a school the size of Willshire! It must have been an exciting time.


[1] The Van Wert Times Bulletin, Van Wert, Ohio, Lima, 28 March 1955, p.6; digital images by subscription Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 January 2015).

[2] The Lima News, Lima, Ohio, 28 March 1955, p.17; digital images by subscription Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 January 2015).

[3] The Lima News, Lima, Ohio, 22 March 1956, p.39; digital images by subscription Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 January 2015).

[4] The Lima News, Lima, Ohio, 23 March 1956, p.30; digital images by subscription Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 January 2015).

[5] The Lima News, Lima, Ohio, 24 March 1956, p.5; digital images by subscription Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 January 2015).


Jan 20

Tombstone Tuesday–Jacob A. & Emma E. (Heffner) Bauer

Jacob A. & Emma E. (Heffner) Bauer, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Jacob A. & Emma E. (Heffner) Bauer, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Jacob A. and Emma E. (Heffner) Bauer, located in row 9 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Jacob A.
Emma E.

Jacob Adam Bauer was born 30 November 1886 in Wendelin, Mercer County, Ohio, the son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Hoenie) Bauer. [1] According to Zion Chatt’s records he was baptized and confirmed Roman Catholic.

Emma Elizabeth Heffner was born at the family home in Chattanooga on 4 March 1890 to Fredrick and Anna (Merkle) Heffner. She was baptized at Zion Chatt by Rev. C. Reichert on 23 March 1890, with Johann Merkel and Elisabeth Deitsch as sponsors. She was confirmed at Zion Chatt on 5 April 1903.

Emma Heffner and Jacob Bauer were married by Rev. George Haas at Zion Chatt on 2 February 1908. At the time of their marriage Jacob was employed as a tool clerk and was living in Chatt. Emma was a housekeeper, also living in Chatt. Emma’s father Fred gave his consent for the marriage because she was not yet 18 years of age. [1]

In 1910, 2 years after their marriage, the Bauers lived in Chatt, next to Emma’s parents Fred and Anna Heffner. Mildred was their only child at that time, aged one year and seven months, born in Indiana. Jacob was employed as a jeweler at a jewelry store. [2] Their second daughter Gwendolyn would be born about 10 days later.

Sometime later the Bauer family moved to Fort Recovery, where they rented a home on Butler Street. Jacob was a jeweler and piano dealer with Edward Hoke at their store in Fort Recovery. [3]

By 1917 the Bauers moved to Celina where Jacob and his brother-in-law Albert Heffner owned and operated Bauer & Heffner Music Store, located on East Market where Domino’s Pizza is located today. They sold pianos and Starr phonographs. [4]

Jacob applied for the WWI draft on 5 June 1917. He was living at 553 East Livingston Street in Celina at that time and was self-employed as a piano dealer. He stated that he had a wife and three children, was of medium build, and had blue eyes and black hair. [5] It appears that Jacob did not serve in the war.

In 1920 Jacob “Jake” and Emma still resided on East Livingston Street in Celina, where Jacob was employed as a salesman in a music store. In the household were their daughters Mildred, Gwendolyn, and Fern, as well as Jacob’s brother-in-law Albert Heffner, who was also a music store salesman. [6]

By 1930 Jacob and Emma moved to Haynesville, Claiborne, Louisiana. In the 1930 census Jacob, age 43, was the head of the household and also in the household were Emma, 40, and daughters Gwendolyn, 19, and Fern, 18. All were born in Ohio. Jacob was employed as a fireman working in the oil fields. [7] Their daughter Mildred had remained in Mercer County.

Emma Bauer died 8 September 1938 in Haynesville, Louisiana, at the age of 48 years. [8] Her body was brought back to Chattanooga, Ohio, for burial in Zion’s cemetery but there is no record of Emma’s funeral in Zion’s records.

Jacob Bauer applied for the World War II draft, the “old man’s registration,” in April 1942. He was living and working in Haynesville, Louisiana, working for the Ohio Oil Company, Shreveport. According to this record he was married and was born in Burkettesville, Ohio. [9]

According to Zion Chatt’s records, Jacob died 21 November 1961 at Oil City, Louisiana, at the age of 74 years. He died of a sudden heart attack while working in the field and was buried on the 24th. The only survivor that was mentioned in this record was his daughter, Mrs. John J. Fisher (Mildred), who lived in Mercer County.

Jacob A. Bauer
Rockford—Jacob A. Bauer, 74, formerly of Celina, died in Oil City, La., at 9 a.m. Tuesday following a heart attack.

Born Nov. 30, 1886 at Wendelin, he was a son of Jacob and Elizabeth Bauer.

Survivors include three daughters, Mrs. John Fisher of Chattanooga, Ohio; Mrs. W.C. Row of Shreveport, La.; and Mrs. Haskell Moore of Magnolia, Ark.; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; two brothers, Floyd of Spencerville; and Harold of Findlay; and one sister, Mrs. J.N. Bish of Shreveport, La.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday in Ketcham Funeral Home, Rockford, with Rev. Arnold Green officiating. Burial will be in Zion Lutheran Cemetery at Chattanooga.

Friends may call after 8 p.m. Thursday. [10]

Jacob and Emma Bauer had the following children:
Ruth “Mildred” (1908-2001), married John J. Fisher; married Donald E. Whitmore
Gwendolyn Lucille “Gwen”(1910-2004), married [?] Row; married [?] Henry
“Fern” Marie (1912-1962), married Haskell Moore

[1] “Ohio, Marriages, 1800-1958,” index, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 17 January 2015), Jacob A. Bauer and Emma E. Heffner, 2 February 1908; citing Mercer County, Ohio, marriages, Vol. 9, p.405, from FHL microfilm 914958.

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Liberty Township, Mercer, Ohio, ED 119, p.17A, dwelling 375, household 826, Jacob Baner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 January 2015), from FHL microfilm 1375227, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 1214.

[3] The Farm Journal Illustrated Directory of Mercer county Ohio (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania : Wilmer Atkinson Company, 1916), 46, 176; copy owned by Karen Miller Bennett.

[4] Doug Roebuck, “Heffner Family History,” given to author March 2014.

[5] “U.S. WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” index and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 17 January 2015), card for Jacob A. Bauer, no. 46, Mercer County, Ohio; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, NARA microfilm publication M1509, imaged from FHL microfilm 1832519.

[6] 1920 U.S. Census, Celina, Mercer, Ohio, ED 137, p.8A, dwelling 187, family 188, Jake Baner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 January 2015); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 1418.

[7] 1930 U.S. Census, Haynesville, Claiborne, Louisiana, ED 5, p.24B, dwelling 199, family 204, Jacob Bauer; FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 17 January 2015), from FHL microfilm 2340524, from NARA microfilm T626, roll 789.

[8] “Louisiana, Deaths Index, 1855-1875, 1894-1956,” index, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 17 January 2015), Emma E. Bauer, 8 September 1938; citing Haynesville, Claiborne, Louisiana, certificate no. 11210, State Archives, Baton Rouge; from FHL microfilm 2266860.

[9]United States WWII Draft Registration Cards, 1942,” (Fourth Registration), for the state of Louisiana, index and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 17 January 2015), Jacob Adam Bauer, serial no. 1492, 1942; NARA microfilm publication M1936, M1937, M1939, M1951, M1962, M1964, M1986, M2090, M2097, NARA; from FHL microfilm 4434794.

[10] The Lima News, Lima, Ohio 22 November 1961, p.2; digital images by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 January 2015).


Jan 16

1940—Willshire High School Excels in Basketball and Academics

Willshire High School was known for its successful basketball teams. They even traveled to state tournaments several times. And the students were smart, too!

The following is an article about the celebration banquet held for the members of the Willshire Bearcats basketball team who played at the state basketball tournament in Columbus, Ohio, on 15 March 1940. Unfortunately they lost that game to New Carlisle 36-32. They had advanced to the second-round of the final by beating Marysville 29-21 the day before. [1]

Willshire High School, October 1917.

Willshire High School, October 1917.

Basketball Boys Honored at Banquet—
Approximately 175 patrons, students, and townspeople attended the banquet held last Wednesday evening in the school auditorium to honor Coach Lawrence Johnson and the boys of his 1939-40 basketball squad.

Coach Burl Friddle of Fort Wayne South High School delivered the principal address of the evening. He spoke of the value of an athletic program to a boy, now and in later years.

Mr. Johnson spoke briefly and presented the individual trophies which are given to each boy who takes part in a state tournament. Those receiving trophies were Donald Dellinger, Robert Myers, LaVerne Ripley, and Eugene Duff, seniors; Glenn Miller, Kent Geisler, Donald Painter, Jack Ross and Eben Alspaugh, juniors; and Henry Schumm, sophomore. LaVerne Stetler, a senior who was unable to go to the state contest due to an injury received during the county tournament, was awarded a gold basketball by the school.

Music consisted of congregational singing led by Mr. Targett, with Mrs. William Hoffer as accompanist; a high school girls’ sextette; vocal solos by Florence Dull; and an instrumental solo by Albert Wyer.

The four cheerleaders, Ruth Kuhn, LaFern Bollenbacher, Joyce Smith and Norma Jean Carr were also guests at the banquet. Members of the girls’ basketball squad were given complimentary tickets due to the thoughtfulness of the Band Mothers’ Organization, who cooked and served the meal. Mrs. Floyd Strickler is president of the Band Mothers.

The next column of that same paper reported how well Willshire High School students performed on the County Tests. Two of my close relatives were among those mentioned—two aunts, Emiline and Helen Miller, my dad’s sisters. Emiline placed first in Latin II and Helen placed third in bookkeeping. And of course all of the Schumms mentioned are relatives, too.

Emiline (Miller) Henkle

Emiline (Miller) Henkle

Willshire Pupils Rank High in County Tests—
Eight Willshire High School students, by virtue of winning first or second places in the county by elimination tests held last Friday, will be among those who represent Van Wert county at the district Scholarship Tests at Bowling Green on Saturday, May 4.

Those who placed in the county contest were: Milton Schumm, first in chemistry; Ruth Alspaugh, first in Latin I; Emiline Miller, first in Latin II; Twyla Pifer, first in Algebra; Edith Heacock, first in Typing; Lola Schumm, second in Shorthand II; Ellen Schumm, second in English 9; and Albert Wyer, second in English II.

The way Willshire students ranked in the various tests follows.

World History: Harriet Detter, third; Donna Mae Stetler, ninth.
American History: Lois King, third; Eileen Hoblet, tenth.
Plane Geometry: Floyd Andress, third; William Chapman, fourth.
Algebra: Twyla Pifer, first; M. Alspaugh, fifth.
Biology: Eugene Wolfe, eighth.
Chemistry: Milton Schumm, first; Nancy Heacock, fourth.
General Science: Dick Cowan, ninth; Vera Andress, thirteenth.
Latin I: Ruth Alspaugh, first; Carl Ripley.
Latin II: Emilene Miller, first; Marjorie Pifer.
English 9: Ellen Schumm, second; William Stauton, fifth.
English 10: Donald Hoblet, sixth; Alice Bebout, eighth.
English 11: Albert Wyer, second; Kent Geisler, fourteenth.
English 12: Eugene Duff, eighth.
Typing 1: Edith Heacock, first.
Shorthand 2: Lola Schumm, second; Catherine Leininger, third.
Shorthand 1: Ruth Anna Voltz, third.
Bookkeeping: Helen Miller, third; Alice Handwerk, fourth. [2]

Helen (Miller) Linn

Helen (Miller) Linn

Impressive! Especially when I remember how lost I was in Latin II.


[1] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 21 March 1940, p.1.

[2] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 11 April 1940, p.1.

Older posts «