Sep 06

Tombstone Tuesday–Pauline Becher

Pauline Becher, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio (2011 photo by Karen)

Pauline Becher, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio (2011 photo by Karen)

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

PAULINE Dau. of
Wm. P. & C.S. Becher
1912

Pauline Emma Becher was born prematurely at 7:30 p.m. on 2 August 1912 at her parents’ home in Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. She was the sixth child born to William P. and Katie (Schaadt) Becher. The records do not say how premature she was but she must have been very weak because her parents had her baptized at 10:30 p.m. that same evening. Conrad Heffner served as her baptismal sponsor.

Pauline Emma died the next day, 3 August, at 10:00 a.m., having lived only 14 ½ hours.

Pauline was buried on the 4th and the church records also indicate that she was survived by her parents, brothers and sisters, and the William Becher family. The records gave her cause of death as premature birth.

Pauline Becher death certificate. [1]

Pauline Becher death certificate. [1]

Pauline’s parents were both from Liberty Township and her grandparents were John and Anna Maria (Becker) Becher and Adam and Mary (Koch) Schaadt.

 

[1] “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 3 Sep 2016), Pauline E Becher, 3 Aug 1912; from Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, no. 45137; FHL microfilm 1953425.

Sep 02

Zion Lutheran Church Building in Chatt a Century Old

Last year Zion Lutheran Church in Chattanooga, Ohio, celebrated its 160th anniversary.

This year, although no celebration is planned, we recognize that fact that the current church building was built 100 years ago.

Zion Lutheran Church, 2015.

Zion Lutheran Church, 2015.

The congregation of Zion Chatt was formed in 1855 and for the first five years members worshiped in their homes. In 1860 they purchased a 100 x 85 foot parcel of land on the corner of State Route 49 and Tama Road from Jacob and Charity Deitsch for $5. They built a frame church there that same year for $325.

Zion Lutheran, Chattanooga. Frame church 1860-1917. (Photo c1912)

Zion Lutheran, Chattanooga. Frame church 1860-1917. (Photo c1912)

Zion Lutheran, Chattanooga. Frame church. (1860-1917)

Another view of the frame church, c1917.

The frame building was used by Zion’s members as well as the Evangelical worshipers for seven years, until the Evangelicals sold their interest and organized and built their own church east of Chatt on Tama Road, the building we know today as the old Grange Hall.

Over the years Zion purchased a little more land to make the church lot the size it is today. Discussions and plans for a new church building began as early as 1911 but it was not until 1916 that the building project was finally started.

Zion’s members decided to fashion the new church after the brick M.E. Church in Convoy, Ohio. The architect for the new church was Robert Gotwaldt and the building contractor was Christen & Mann of Decatur, Indiana. Charles N. Christen built several other churches and was the mayor of Decatur in 1913. The cost of Zion’s new church was $13,795.

Zion Chatt's cornerstone.

Zion Chatt’s cornerstone.

The church cornerstone was laid 2 July 1916, during the pastorate of the Rev. W.F.H. Heuer. Rev. B.F. Brandt and Prof. R.V. Schmitt presided at the cornerstone dedication with Rev. Heuer.

Cornerstone dedication, 1916. Rev. R.V. Smith, Rev. W.H.F. Heuer, Rev. B.F. Brandt.

Cornerstone dedication, 1916. Rev. R.V. Smith, Rev. W.H.F. Heuer, Rev. B.F. Brandt.

Nearly a year after construction began the church building was completed and it was dedicated on 13 May 1917. What a grand dedication it must have been. Three days of events with services in English and German!

The following article announcing the dedication was published in The Standard on 11 May 1917:

DEDICATION
Of Zion’s Evangelical Lutheran Church at Chattanooga to Take Place Sunday, May 13, With Elaborate Program for the Day–

Next Sunday May 13th, the new church edifice of Zion’s Evangelical Lutheran congregation will be dedicated to the service of the Triune God. The members of the congregation desire to extend a cordial invitation to all their friends and acquaintances to come and rejoice with them in the fact an undertaking which presented many difficulties and required many sacrifices has, by the blessings of God been successfully finished and that the members of Zion’s congregation at last possess a worthy and beautiful house of worship.

The following is the order of the dedicatory services:

9:30 a.m.—A brief farewell service in the old church.

9:45—Formal opening of the new church. German sermon by Reverend J.F.C. Sollar of Youngstown, O., and an English sermon by Rev. H.J. Schuh of Anna, O.

2:00 p.m. afternoon services–Rev. George Haas, of Napoleon, O., will preach the German sermon and Rev. Paul Brockhaus, of Oak Lawn, Ill., the English sermon.

6:00 p.m. evening services—Rev. Lochre of Montra, O. and Rev. W.N. Emch of Ft. Recovery, O, will be the speakers. Besides the congregational singing which is in itself an essential feature, there will be special singing by various choirs, viz. the mixed choir and the male choir of Zion’s church, the male sextet of St. John’s church, Celina, and the male Liberty township.

The time designated is sun time.

Dinner and supper will be served in the basement of the new church for the nominal cost of 25 cents a meal. Additional services will be held on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Rev. F.G. Reitz of Celina will preach on Monday evening and Rev. H.N. Brobst of Coldwater on Tuesday evening. The organist Miss Bernice Haffner, will be assisted at the organ by Miss Clara Sunderman of Ft. Recovery and by Mrs. Rev. Brobst, of Coldwater.

May God grant his blessings in these services to all who may be present.

Initially, subscriptions were taken to pay for the new church and a five-year payment plan was adopted. Later “The Dollar Plan” was adopted to cancel the building debt. Members owning land would pay $1 per acre and members who did not own land would pay in proportion to what they had.

Zion's south window, given in honor of Henry and Mary Baker. (2011 photo by Karen)

One of Zion’s many beautiful stained-glass windows. The south window, given in honor of Henry and Mary Baker. (2011 photo by Karen)

The two churches were side by side for a short time, until the frame church was moved to the north end of Chattanooga and used as a garage for years.

The old frame church and new brick church.

The old frame church and new brick church.

The old frame church, used as a garage, 1980.

The old frame church, used as a garage, 1980.

Zion was extensively remodeled in 1968, using money from the Minnie Wilson estate. The upper balcony was made into three Sunday School rooms, the first floor under the balcony was made into two offices and a Sunday School room, and basement was remodeled and paneled. The sanctuary was redecorated in the late 1960s and again redecorated by Henry Husmann of Portland, Indiana, in 1992.

It is still a beautiful church, still in very good condition, with an active congregation.

 

 

 

 

Aug 30

Tombstone Tuesday–William P. & Katie (Schaadt) Becher

William P & Katie (Schaadt) Becher, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

William P & Katie (Schaadt) Becher, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of William P. and Katie (Schaadt) Becher, located in row 9 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

BECHER
William P.
1872-1938
Katie
1877-1955

William Philipp Becher was born in Mercer County, Ohio, on 2 March 1872, the son of John and Anna Maria (Becker) Becher. His father was born in Bavaria and his mother in Pennsylvania.

William was baptized 7 April 1872 at Zion Chatt with John Philipp Becker and his wife serving as his sponsors. William was confirmed at Zion Chatt on Palm Sunday, 18 April 1886. His father John had died about three years before.

William Becher grew up in Liberty Township and married Susanna Katherine “Katie” Schaadt on 8 September 1898 in Mercer County. They were married by Rev. S. Egger. [1]

Katie was born 19 September 1877, the daughter of Adam and Marie “Mary” (Koch) Schaadt. They lived in Liberty Township, Mercer County, and their address was shown as Brehm in 1895. [2]

Two years after their marriage William and Katie had set up housekeeping in Liberty Township and had one child. In their household in 1900: William P, 28; Catherine, 22; and Louisa W, 1. The couple had been married 2 years and William farmed. Katie had given birth to one child, who was living. They lived near Henry Becher, George Becher, John Roth, and Michael Schott. [3]

In 1910 William, Katie and their five children still lived in Liberty Township. In their household in 1910: William, 38; Catharine, 32; Marie, 11; Leana, 9; Matilda, 7; Lesta, 5; and Bertha, 3. William was a farmer. They had been married 11 years and Katie had given birth to five children and all five were living. [4]

William and Katie remained in Liberty Township, where they were enumerated in 1920: William P, 47; Catherine B, 42; Marie l, 21; Leona L, 19; Matilda, 17; Leslie, g, 15; Bertha H, 12;, and Bernice, 4 years and 7 months. William was still a farmer. [5]

By 1930 most of their children had left home. Only three family members were in the William Becher household: William, 58; Katie, 52; and Bernice, 14. William was described as a general farmer and their name was spelled “Becker” in this enumeration. [6] 

According to Zion Chatt’s records, William had a heart attack and died suddenly in his field on 4 February 1938.  He was 65 years, 11 months, and 2 days old and was buried on the 6th. He was survived by his wife, 1 son, 5 daughters, 1 brother, 1 sister, and 2 grandchildren.

Katie (Schaadt) Becher died of old age on 1 March 1955, at the age of 77 years, 5 months, and 12 days. Her death record at Zion Chatt provides a lot of information about Katie: She was one of nine children born to Adam and Marie (Koch) Schaadt, born 19 September 1877, baptized by JC Reinert, and confirmed 22 March 1891 by Rev. Karl Mueller. She married William Philip Becher in September 1898 and he died 4 February 1938. She died at home and was buried on the 4th. She was survived by her son Leslie; daughters Mrs. Marie ( Hugo) Willrath, Leona, (Buress) McBride, Matilda (Alger) Eley, Bertha (Harold) Stephenson, and Bernice (Harold) Stetler; 9 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and 4 sisters: Mrs. Otto Wendel, Mrs. Lewis Alt, Mrs. Gust Fliescher, Mrs. Otto Fickert, 2 brothers: David and Adam.

William P and Katie (Schaadt) Becher had the following children, all who were baptized at Zion Chatt:
Lavina Maria (1899-1970), married Hugo John Willrath
Leona Louise (1900-1962), married Buress B McBride
Matilda Rosina Philippina (1902-1978), married Alger M “Peck” Eley
Leslie G (1904-1982)
Bertha Helen (1907-1995), married Donald Stephenson
Pauline Emma (1912-1912)
Infant daughter, stillborn (1914-1914)
Berneice F (1915-2008), married Harold Stetler

 

[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 27 Aug 2016), William P. Becher and Katharine Schaadt, 8 Sep 1898; from Mercer County Marriages, Vol. 7, p.338, from FHL microfilm 914957.

[2] Probate Case Files and Indexes 1852-1900, Mercer County, Ohio, Ohio Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998, Adam Schaadt, file no. 3716, 1895; database on-line, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Aug 2016); from Ohio County District and Probate Courts.

[3] 1900 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 85, p.9B, dwelling 174, family 179, Calvin P Becher; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Aug 2016); from FHL microfilm 1241304, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1304. [note: William’s name is indexed as Calvin P on Ancestry.com.]

[4] 1910 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 119, p.18A, dwelling 397, family 348, William Becher; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Aug 2016); from FHL microfilm 1375227, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 1214. [note: I wrote the names as they were indexed on Ancestry.com]

[5] 1920 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 140, p.11B, dwelling 226, family 245, William P Becher; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Aug 2016); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 1418.

[6] 1930 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 20, p.11A, dwelling & family 259, William Becker; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Aug 2016); from FHL microfilm 2341584, from NARA microfilm T626, roll 1850.

Aug 26

Wildcat School No. 9, Mercer County, Ohio

School is back in session and summer vacation is over for students and teachers. The school schedule is so ingrained in me that I always have to remind myself that there is still a lot of summer left even though school has started.

I grew up on Wildcat Corner, where a one-room brick school once stood. Wildcat School was located on the corner of what is now State Route 49 and 707, a mile north of Chatt. Below are the few photos I have of Wildcat School.

A few of the students’ names are written on the photos but those names are very difficult to read.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone that can identify more of the students in the photos or correct any who are not identified correctly. I will add additions or corrections to this blog post.

The oldest photo I have of Wildcat School, 1897-98:

Wild Cat School, Mercer County, Ohio. Undated photo.

1897-98 Wild Cat School, Mercer County, Ohio.

Back row, tallest girl in plaid dress, left of the shutter: Christena Rosena (Byer) Gappa. [Thanks to Andy Gappa for providing this information. Since this photo was passed down in the Miller family, I wonder if one of my Miller ancestors was also one of the students.]

Wildcat School, 1911:

1911 Wildcat School, Mercer County, Ohio.

1911 Wildcat School, Mercer County, Ohio.

None of these students are identified in the 1911 photo, but the girl standing at the far left in back row sure looks like my great-aunt Clara (Miller) Reef.

Wildcat School, 1925:

1925 Wildcat School, Mercer County, Ohio.

1925 Wildcat School, Mercer County, Ohio.

Front: Frank Leistner; Becher?; Eugene Caffee; ? Becker; Lawrence Witter ?; ?; Bollenbacher.

Row 2: B Pfifer;?; ?; Ruth Miller; Fern Caffee; Ruth ?; ?; Vernon Caffee.

Row 3: Not identified.

Wildcat School, 1926:

1926 Wildcat school

1926 Wildcat School, Mercer County, Ohio.

Row 1: ?; ?; ?; Eugene Caffee; ?; Bollenbacher; ?; Paul Leistner?.

Row 2: ?; Fern Caffee; ?; ?; ?; ?; Ruth Miller; Eileen/Jolene Oakley; Ruth Leistner?.

Row 3 & 4: Not identified.

My Aunt Ruth, the oldest sibling in my dad’s family, is in both the 1925 and 1926 photos and will be 97 years old this year.

 

Aug 23

Tombstone Tuesday–Jacob B. Germann

Jacob B Germann, Evangelical Protestant Cemetery, Ohio City, OH. (2014 photo by Karen)

Jacob B Germann, Evangelical Protestant Cemetery, Ohio City, OH. (2014 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Jacob B. Germann, located in row 2 of the Evangelical Protestant Cemetery, Ohio City, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Jacob B.
1850-1926
1 Cor. 15. 12-23
GERMANN

Jacob Germann was born 4 September 1850, the son of Peter and Catherine/Katherine (Dietrich) Germann.

It appears that his parents Peter and Catherine Germann were not members of Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm, but one of their children was baptized there, their daughter Maria Catharine. She was born 29 December 1858 and was baptized at Zion Schumm on 23 January 1859, with GP Germann, Heinrich Germann, Mrs. Dietrich senior, and Mar. Stamm serving as her baptismal sponsors.

The Peter Germann household in 1860, the first census Jacob appears in: Peter, 37, born in Ohio; Catharine, 28, Hesse-Darmstadt; Jacob, 10, Ohio; Elizabeth, 6, Ohio; and Catharine, 2, Ohio. [1] Other records indicate that the father Peter Germann was born in Germany.

In 1870 Jacob’s father Peter Germann farmed and Jacob worked on the family farm. Their household in 1870: Peter, 47, Hesse/Hamburg; Catherine, 38, Hesse/Hamburg; Jacob, 19, Ohio; and Catherine, 11, Ohio. [2]

Jacob Germann married Sophia Becher on 14 November 1873 at Zion Lutheran Church in Chattanooga. Sophia was the daughter of John and Anna Maria (Becker) Becher. Witnesses to the Germann-Becher marriage were Carl Stamm and Maria Sechor. The groom’s name was recorded as Jacob Peter but nearly every other record, including his tombstone, shows his middle initial as B.

In 1880 Jacob and Sophia Germann lived in Harrison Township, Van Wert County, Ohio. In their household: Jacob B, 29; Sophia, 24; Richard T, 4; Rudolph A, 2; and Julia AC, 1. Jacob was a farmer and Sophia kept house. [3]

The 1900 census indicates that Jacob Germann was born in September of 1850 in Ohio. This enumeration also indicates Jacob and Sophia had been married 26 years and that Sophia had given birth to 9 children, all of whom were still living. Jacob farmed and son Richard was a carpenter. Their household in 1900: Jacob, 49; Sophia, 54; Richard T, 24; August R, 22; Julia A, 21; Wm F, 18; Hugo J, 16; Walter L, 14; Lydia T, 10; Oscar E, 7; and Esther L, 5. [4]

Jacob and Sophia were still living in Harrison Township in 1910: Jacob B, 59; Sophia, 54; Walter, 24; Lydia, 20; Oscar, 17; and Esther, 15. Jacob farmed and this enumeration indicates Sophia had given birth to 9 children and all 9 were living. [5]

The Jacob Germann household in 1920: Jacob B, 69; Sophia, 64; Lydia, 30; Oscar, 27; and Esther, 24. This enumeration was taken on 4 February 1920, less than two weeks before Sophia died. [6]

Sophia (Becher) Germann died 24 February 1920 in Van Wert County, Ohio. She was buried on the 27th.

Jacob B. Germann died of lobar pneumonia 4 April 1926 in Harrison Township, Van Wert County, Ohio. He was buried one row away from his wife on the 7th. His death certificate indicates he was born on 4 September 1850. WL Germann of Van Wert was the informant for the information on the death certificate.  [7] [8]

Jacob and Sophia (Becher) Germann had the following children:
Richard Theodore (1876-1940), married Mary G Reidenbach
Rudolph August (1878-1942), married Julia A Bolander
Julia Katharine (1879-1936), married Daniel Jacob Gunsett
William Frederick (1882-1943), married Fredona Baker
Hugo John (1884-1959), married Maude Elizabeth Berger
Walter Leo (1886-1951), married Margaret E. Saam
Lydia Theresa (1889-1958), married Arthur J Buechner
Oscar Edwin (1892-1970), married Laura L Merkle
Esther Leonora (1895-1989), married Albert Edgar Miller

 

[1] 1860 U.S. Census, Harrison, Van Wert, Ohio, p.442, dwelling 1322, family 1316, Peter German; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Aug 2016); from FHL microfilm 805045, from NARA microfilm M653, roll 1045.

[2] 1870 U.S. Census, Harrison, Van Wert, Ohio, p.267A (stamped), dwelling/family 221, Peter Germann; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Aug 2016); from FHL microfilm 552774, from NARA microfilm M593, roll 1275.

[3] 1880 U.S. Census, Harrison, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 148, p.304C, dwelling 59, family 60, Jacob B Germann; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Aug 2016); from FHL microfilm 1255073, from NARA microfilm T9, roll 1073.

[4] 1900 U.S. Census, Harrison, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 79, p.27A, dwelling 281, family 284, Jacob B Germann; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Aug 2016); from FHL microfilm 12411329, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1329.

[5] 1910 U.S. Census, Harrison, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 90, p.16A, dwelling 281, family 290, Jacob Germann; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Aug 2016); from FHL microfilm 1375251, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 1238.

[6] 1920 U.S. Census, Harrison, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 122, p.9B, dwelling 201, family 215, Jacob B Germann; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Aug 2016); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 1446.

[7] Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007, database on-line, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Aug 2016); from Ohio Division of Vital Statistics Death Certificates & Index 1908-1953, Series 3094, OHS, and ODH Index to Annual Deaths, 1958-2002, ODH, Columbus, OH.

[8] “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 20 Aug 2016), Jacob B Germann, 4 Apr 1926; from Harrison, Van Wert, Oh, no. 28563; from FHL microfilm 1984303.

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