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Apr 30

Tombstone Tuesday–Adam J. & Christina Matilda (Bleeke) Bienz

Adam J & Christina M (Bleeke) Bienz, Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery, Adams County, Indiana. (2019 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Adam and Christina Matilda (Bleeke) Bienz, located in row 1 of Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery, also known as Bleeke Cemetery, Decatur, Adams County, Indiana. The marker is inscribed:

BIENZ
Christina M.
1874-1944

Adam J.
1858-1949

Johann “Adam” Bienz was born at home in Willshire Township on 26 October 1858, the son of Jacob and Elisabeth (Pflueger) Bienz. He was baptized 30 October 1858 at home, with John Bienz and Adam Buechner and his wife Rosina as his sponsors, according to the records at Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm.

Adam grew up in Willshire Township and by 1870 Adam had 7 siblings: Jacob, 45; Elisabeth, 35; John G, 18; Margaret, 16; George, 14; Adam, 11; Fredrick, 8; Elizabeth, 10; Mary, 6; and Anna, 4. Adam’s maternal grandfather, Christian Pflueger, age 89, was also living with them. [1]  

Adam Bienz married three times. He married Pauline (Germann) (1862-1891) in Van Wert County on 25 September 1887. [2] They had two children: “Mina“ Elisabeth Bienz (1888-1952) and Walter Bienz (1890-1890). Pauline (Germann) Bienz died 5 August 1891 and is buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery at Schumm.

Widower Adam Bienz married Wilhilmine “Christine” Reinking (1861-1897) on 9 April 1893 in Adams County, Indiana. [3] Adam moved to Adams County they resided there after their marriage. Adam and Christine (Reinking) Bienz had one child, Paula M. Bienz (1894-1987). Adam’s second wife Christine (Reinking) Bienz died in Adams County on 26 January 1897. [4]

Adam Bienz’s third marriage was to “Christina” Mathilda/Matilda Bleeke. They married in Adams County, on 14 May 1899. [5] She also went by the name of Matilda, but I am using the name Christina in this post since it is the name inscribed on her tombstone.

Christina Bleeke was the daughter of Christian and Mary (Rupp) Bleeke. The Christian Bleeke household in 1880: Christian, 59; Mary, 47, wife; Elisa, 19, daughter; Charles, 18, son; Fredrick, 16, son; Martin, 14, son; Theodore, 11, son; Edward, 9, son; Matilda [Christina], 6 daughter; Otto, 4, son; and John H, 82, father. Christian and his father John H. were born in Germany, the wife Mary was born in Ohio, and all the children were born in Indiana. Christian was a farmer. [6]

Adam and Christina (Bleeke) Bienz were enumerated in 1900 census, a year after their marriage, living with Christina’s brother Otto in Adams County, Indiana: Otto E Bleeke, 24, head; Amelia Bleeke, 18, wife; W Theodore Bleeke, 30, brother; Hedwig A Bleeke, 20, sister-in-law; Adam J Bienz, 40, uncle; Christina M Bienz, 25, aunt; and Paula M Bienz, 5, niece. Paula was Adam’s daughter from his second marriage to Christine Reinking. All were born in Indiana, except Adam, who was born in Ohio, and Hedwig, who was born in Germany. [7] This enumeration indicates that Christina was Otto’s aunt, but the 1880 census and both of their death certificates show they were both the children of Christian and Mary (Rupp) Bleeke, indicating that they were siblings.

Adam Bienz also had a surviving child from his first marriage to Pauline (Germann). In 1900 this daughter, Mina Bienz, age 11, was living with her maternal grandparents, John Phillip and Mary (Jung/Young) Germann, in Harrison Township, Van Wert County, Ohio. [8]

The Adam Bienz family in 1910: Adam Bienz, 52; Matilda [Christina], 36; Paula, 15; Erwin, 9; Amalia, 7; Martin, 4; and Louisa, 2. Christina had given birth to 5 children and 4 were living. Adam was a farmer. [9]

The Adam Bienz family in 1920: Adam, 60; Christina M, 45; Erwin, 19; Amelia, 16; Martin, 15; Louisa, 12; Emil, 9; Ida, 7; and Norma, 4. Adam was a general farmer. [10]

By 1940 all of their children had left home, except for Norma Bienz, age 25. The Adam Bienz household in 1940: Adam, 81; Christina, 66; and Norma, 25. They lived in the same house as they had in 1935. There is no occupation given for Adam and he was probably retired by this time. [11]

Adam’s third wife Christina Matilda (Bleeke) Bienz died of heart disease in rural Adams County, Indiana, on 22 April 1944. [12] [13] She was buried on the 25th.

Adam Bienz died 16 January 1949. Adam shares a tombstone with his third wife Christina (Bleeke) in Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery. [14]

Adam and Christina Bienz’s tombstone is in the front of the photo below. The tombstone of Adam’s second wife Wilhilmine “Christine” (Reinking) Beinz is several rows behind, located along the drive, the tall tombstone with a cross on top. 

Adam J & Christina M (Bleeke) Bienz, Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery, Adams County, Indiana. (2019 photo by Karen)

Adam and Christina (Bleeke) Bienz had the following children:
Erwin C. F. Bienz (1900-1979), married Emilie Bulmahn
Amalia Bienz (1903-1999), married Martin W. Bulmahn
Martin G. Bienz (1905-1955), married Leona Alice Bucher
Louise K. Bienz (1907-1935), married Herman W. Bohnke
Emil T. Bienz (1910-1987), married Dorothy Bieberich
Ida E. Bienz (1913-1994), married Carl H. Badenhop
Norma A. Bienz (1915-1997), married Oscar William Schuller

 

[1] 1870 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, p.15 (penned), dwelling 107, family 108, Jacob Bence; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1870usfedcen/ : viewed 8 Apr 2019).

[2] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1879-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-65XH-H3?i=119&cc=1614804 : viewed 10 Mar 2019), Adam J Bienz & PC Germann, 25 Sep 1887; Van Wert County Marriages, Vol. 7:181.

[3] “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6GTH-1XV?i=240&cc=1410397 : viewed 10 Mar 2019), Adam J Bienz & Christiana W. Reinking, 8 Apr 1893; Adams County Marriages, Vol. F:478.

[4] Find a Grave memorial no. 106418617, Wilhelmine Christine “Lena” (Reinking) Bienz, Immanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery, Decatur, Adams County, Indiana.

[5] “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRS9-DQ8?i=49&cc=1410397 : viewed 10 Mary 2019), Adam J. Bienz & Christena Mathilda Blakey, 14 May 1899; Adams County Marriages, Vol. G:492.

[6] 1880 U.S. Census, Union, Adams, Indiana, ED 131, p.28A [stamped], p.9 [penned], dwelling 70, family 72, Christian Blakey; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com  (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1880usfedcen/ : viewed 27 Apr 2019).

[7] 1900 U.S. Census, Union, Adams, Indiana, ED 11, p.4 [penned], p.138A [stamped], dwelling 69, family 70, Otto E Blakey; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1900usfedcen/ : viewed 27 Apr 2019).

[8] 1900 U.S. Census, Harrison, Van Wert, ED 79, p.8A [stamped], dwelling & family 67, John P Germann; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1900usfedcen/ : viewed 27 Apr 2019).

[9] 1910 U.S. Census, Union, Adams, Indiana, ED 11, p.4A, dwelling & family 77, Adam Brinz; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1910uscenindex/ : viewed 27 Apr 2019).

[10] 1920 U.S. Census, Union, Adams, Indiana, ED 12, p.5B [penned], dwelling & family 94, Adam J Bienz; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1920usfedcen/ : viewed 27 Apr 2019).

[11] 1940 U.S. Cesus, Union, Adams, Indiana, ED 1-18, p.5B, house 81, Adam Bienz; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1940usfedcen/ : viewed 27 Apr 2019).

[12] Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, Roll 4, Mrs. Christina Matilda Bienz, 22 Apr 1944; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis.

[13] Find a Grave memorial no. 98917043, Christina Mathilda Bleeke Bienz, Immanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery, Decatur, Adams County, Indiana.

[14] Find a Grave memorial no. 98917041, Adam Jacob Bienz, Immanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery, Decatur, Adams County, Indiana.

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