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Nov 01

Tombstone Tuesday–George W. & Mary L. (Schlenker) Becher

George & Mary Becher, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

George & Mary Becher, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of George W. and Mary L. (Schlenter) Becher, located in row 9 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

BECHER
Mary L.
Feb. 16, 1875
Dec. 2, 1951

George W.
Feb. 29, 1868
Nov. 10, 1939

George William Becher was born 29 February 1868 in Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio, to John and Anna Maria (Becker) Becher. His father was born in Bavaria and his mother in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. George was baptized at Zion Chatt on 5 April 1868 and his baptismal sponsors were George and Sophia Heffner. George was confirmed at Zion Chatt on 16 April 1882. It was a large confirmation class that year, when 25 young adults were confirmed.

George Becher married Mary Schlenker, but I am not exactly sure when they married. Their marriage is not recorded in Zion’ records. Unfortunately there is a gap in the church marriage records between 11 December 1890 and 1 September 1892. I could not find a marriage record for them on-line either. Some accounts indicate that George and Mary wed on 13 December 1890. Mary’s death record at Zion Chatt indicates they were married in 1891. Another account suggests the year 1892. Their first child was born 20 April 1892, so we might assume they were married in 1891.

Mary Elisabeth Schlenker was born 16 February 1875 in Liberty Township, Mercer County, the daughter of John and Magdalena (Betzel) Schlenker. Her father was born in Würtemberg and her mother in Butler County, Ohio. Mary was baptized as Maria Elisabetha Schlenker at Zion Chatt by Rev. Schmidt on 2 May 1875. Her baptismal sponsors were Dietrich Betzel and Maria Elisabetha Betzel. Mary was confirmed at Zion Chatt by Rev. C. Adams on 6 May 1888. Her middle initial on her tombstone is L, which I believe stands for Lizzie.

In 1900 George and Mary Becher lived in Liberty Township, where George farmed. In the household: George, 32; Mary, 23; Mabel, 8; William, 5; and Clarence, 2. This record indicates they had been married 8 years and that Mary had given birth to 3 children and they were all living. [1]

In 1910: George, 42; Mary, 35; Mabel, 18; William, 15; Clarence, 12; Odas, 8; and Lucille, 6. George still farmed and this record indicates that they had been married 18 years. Mary had given birth to 8 children and all 8 were living. [2]

The Becher household in 1930: George, 62; Mary, 55; Clarence, 32; and Odas, 28. They owned their home and George continued to farm. They also owned a radio, according to the census enumeration. Sons Clarence & Odas worked on the farm. [3]

George Becher died on 10 November 1939 in Chatt, at the age of 71 years and conflicting months and days. Zion’s records indicate he was 71 years, 8 months, and 9 days old. His death certificate shows he was 71 years, 9 months, and 1 day old, and, according to my Roots Magic age calculator, he died at the age of 71 years, 7 months, and 12 days. According to Zion’s records George died as a result of complications from several diseases. His death certificate indicates that he died of possible pancreatic cancer which had metastasized to his lungs, an aortic aneurysm, and edema. He appears he had been ill since July of that same year. He was buried on the 12th. George was survived by his wife, 5 children, 5 grandchildren, and one sister. According to the information on his death certificate, furnished by his son William J. Becher, Rockford, Ohio, George was a farmer and did not serve in the armed forces. Ketcham Funeral Home was in charge of the funeral arrangements. [4]

In 1940, 5 months after George’s death, Mary (Schlenker) Becher, age 65, a widow, lived with her sons Clarence, 43, and Odas, 38, on the family farm. This was the same house she had lived in in 1935. Clarence farmed and Odas worked as an assembler at General Electric. [5]

Mary (Schlenker) Becher died 2 December 1951 at the Otis Hospital in Celina, at the age of 76 years, 9 months, and 16 days. According to Zion Chatt’s records she died of heart failure following gall bladder surgery. She was survived by 2 daughters, Mrs. W.B. Rumple and Mrs. Cletus Menchofer; sons William J., Clarence, and Odas; 5 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren; sisters Mrs. Frank Spriggs, Mrs. Frank Abrams, Mrs. Rose Becher; and brothers Ralph & Urban. Mary was buried on the 5th.

George and Mary (Schlenker) Becher had the following children, who were all baptized at Zion Chatt:

Mabel Louise (1892-1963), married William Burel Rumple
William John (1894-1959), married Mary Smalley; married Hilda Frahm
Clarence Edward (1897-1972)
Odas LeRoy “Hod” (1901-1971), married Vivian Carr
Edith Lucille (1904-1989), married Cletus Menchofer

 

[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 85, p.9B, dwelling 172, family 177, George Becher ; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Oct 2016); FHL microfilm 1241304; NARA microfilm T623, roll 1304.

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 119, p.15A, dwelling 324, family 283, George Becher; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Oct 2016); FHL microfilm 1375277, NARA microfilm T624, roll 1214.

[3] 1930 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 20, p.3B, dwelling & family 68, George Becker; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Oct 2016); FHL microfilm 2341584, NARA microfilm T626, roll 1850.

[4] “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch.org (https://familysearch.org : accessed 29 Oct 2016), George William Becher, 10 Nov 1939; from Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, no. 67648; FHL microfilm 2023768.

[5] 1940 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 54-22, p.3A, line 39, Mary Becker; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Oct 2016); NARA microfilm T627, roll 3114.

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