Dec 28

Postcard from Pearl Brewster

Today, an old picture postcard of students in front of a school that was likely located in rural Adams County, Indiana, over 100 years ago. The postcard is postmarked Geneva, Indiana, and is dated February 19. Unfortunately, I cannot read the year of the postmark.

Postcard from Pearl (Reid) Brewster to her mother Emily (Bryan) Reid, Geneva, Indiana, c1910.

It is addressed to:

Mrs. Emily Reid
610 West Water St.
Portland, Ind.

The postcard is from Emily’s daughter Pearl (Reid) Brewster (1880-1962). Pearl was my great-grandmother and Emily (1856-1940) was my great-great-grandmother. Pearl lived in Geneva in her later years but likely lived in rural Adams County when she wrote this. [1]

Pearl writes:

Dear Mother and all, I will rite [sic] you a few lines. We are all well. Hope you ar [sic] the same. Have you heard from Minnie and how is Laura’s baby? Will rite [sic] more next time. This is the school. Pearl Brewster.

Postcard from Pearl (Reid) Brewster to Emily (Bryan) Reid, Geneva, Indiana, c1910.

The two women Pearl mentioned in the note, Laura (1882-1921) and Minnie (1884-1977), were Pearl’s sisters. Laura’s children were born between 1901 and 1908, so the postcard was probably written during that time period.

I am guessing that Pearl lived near this school and some or all of her children went there. Some of Pearl’s children could be in the photo. Maybe even my grandmother Gertrude, but I don’t recognize anyone.

Pearl (Reid) Brewster was photographed in two 5-generation family photos that were taken nearly 60 years apart. The first was taken in about 1898 and the second taken in about 1958. I posted those photos a couple weeks ago.

The message does not reveal much information but the school photo is very nice.


[1] I added punctuation but did not correct the spelling.

Dec 25

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Karen’s Chatt!

c1911 Christmas postcard to Wilbert Germann

1911 Christmas postcard to Wilbert Germann

Christmas blessings to you and yours.

Dec 21

Rev. George M. Schumm and a Quilt

I was going through some Schumm items the other day and I noticed this photo. It is a very nice photo of Rev. George Martin Schumm (1841-1917), but what caught my eye was the quilt hanging in the background. What a nice looking quilt! I wonder who made it and what colors of fabric were used for it. Rev. Schumm did not live in this area in his later years so the photo may not have been taken locally.

Rev. George M. Schumm

Rev. George Martin Schumm was the son of George Martin and Maria Anna (Pflueger) Schumm and was one of several Schumms who was called to the ministry.

Rev. George Martin Schumm

Pastor Schumm married Amalia Justine Markworth in 1867. She passed away in 1874 and he married Charlotte Breuninger in 1875. Charlotte was a sister to my great-grandmother Sarah (Breuninger) Schumm. Rev. Schumm passed away in North Dakota but is buried in Lafayette, Indiana.

Below is another nice photo that includes Rev. George Martin Schumm and three other Schumms: H.G. Schumm, Rev. George Martin Schumm, Louis M. Schumm, and J.F. Schumm. This photo was taken at the dedication of Zion’s new brick church in 1915. It was taken from the Schumm homestead west of the church. In the background, which would be looking east, you can see the old frame church and the new brick church. The frame church was on the east side of Schumm Road.

Dedication of Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm, 1915. H.G. Schumm, Rev. George M. Schumm, Louis M. Schumm, J.F. Schumm.

Certainly a group of distinguished-looking gentlemen.

But, back to what caught my eye in the first place, the quilt in the background of the first photo. It looks to be a dark-colored quilt. The Amish and Mennonites sometimes make dark quilts and they are some of my favorites. Rev. Schumm lived in Indiana for some time and who knows, it may have been an Amish quilt.

This is the antique quilt I have on my old iron bed for the Christmas holidays. It came from Indiana and has a real Christmas feeling.

Tree of Life quilt.

The pattern is call the Tree of Life. How fitting for Christmas!

Dec 18

Tombstone Tuesday–Catharina Dietrich

Catharina Dietrich, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Catharina Dietrich, located in row 4 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Hier ruhet in Gott
Catharina B
Tochterlein des
Adam u. Maria C.
21 Marz 1859

Here rests in God Catharina B, little daughter of Adam and Maria C. Dietrich, died 21 March 1859.

Unfortunately, I cannot decipher the rest of the inscription, but Zion Schumm’s records give some information.

Twin daughters were born to Adam and Maria (Germann) Dietrich on the morning of 21 March 1859. Maria Magdalena Margaretha survived but her twin sister Catharina died later in the evening. Catharina’s health must have been in question when she was born because the records indicate that she was quickly baptized by a church elder.

The surviving twin was baptized a couple days later.

The twin girls were the second and third children born to Adam and Maria Dietrich. Their first child Jacob died in 1857, the same year he was born, so the death of another infant would have been devastating.

The parents were both born in Germany and they married in Van Wert County on 21 November 1854. [1] Her father Johann “Adam” Dietrich was born 27 January 1828 and died 10 February 1912. Her mother Maria Elisabeth (Germann) was born 20 February 1833 and died 28 November 1888. Both are buried in Zion Schumm’s cemetery.

Adam and Maria (Germann) Dietrich, had the following children:
Jacob Dietrich (1857-1857)
Maria Magdalena “Lena” Margaretha (1859-1940), married Adam Sauer
Catharina (1859-1859), born and died on the same day, twin to Maria Magdalena Margaretha,
Johann Adam (1860-1903)
Wilhelm (1862-1863)
Georg Ernst (1864-1905), married Clara Schumm
Anna Maria Sophia (1866-1945), did not marry
Jacob “Heinrich” (1869-1935), married Maria Schumm
Hannah “Emma” Magdalena (1874-1956), married Johann “Ferdinand” Schinnerer


[1] “Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958,” database,, Adam Detrick & Mary Elizabeth Germann, 21 Nov 1854, Van Wert, Ohio.

Dec 14

Two More Brewster 5-Generation Photos

How many people can say they have been in two 5-generation family photos. Not many, I would guess.

However, my great-grandmother, Pearl (Reid) Brewster (1880-1962), did just that. She was in two 5-generation family photos that were taken nearly 60 years apart!

The first 5-generation photo Pearl was in was taken around 1898. Pearl was the mother of the youngest child in that photo, my grandmother Gertrude (Brewster) Miller (1896-1973):

William Reid (1855-1905), Gertrude (Brewster) Miller (1896-1973), Mary Ann (Cottrell) Headington (1816-1903) Standing: Pearl (Reid) Brewster (1880-1962), Elvira (Headington) Reid (1838-1911). c1898 photo

The little girl is my grandmother, Gertrude (Brewster) Miller. Her mother, Pearl (Reid) Brewster, is standing on the left. Pearl’s father William Reid is seated. William’s mother, Elvira (Headington) Reid, is standing on the right and Elvira’s mother, Mary Ann (Cottrell) Headington, is seated on the right. [1]

The next 5-generation photo that Pearl was in was taken about 1958. In that photo she was the oldest person, the great-great-grandmother. That photo is one of two 5-generation photos that were published together around 1979. The newspaper clipping is not labeled so I do not know the exact date or the name of the newspaper, but it is probably from a Berne, Geneva, or Portland-area paper:

Brewster 5-generation photo, c1958.

The caption between:

Twenty-One Year Makes A Difference
In the picture above, you have seated on the left, Pearl Brewster, great-great-grandmother and on the right great grandfather, holding Debbie McCroskey. In the back on the left is Sue McCroskey and on the right Eileen Bollenbacher, the grandmother.

In the picture below seated on the left you have Dorothy Brewster, a great-great-grandmother, and on the right, Eileen Bollenbacher, a great-grandmother. Standing on the left is Sue McCroskey, the grandmother, and on the right is Debbie Ehr, the mother holding Jeremy Ehr. So the baby in the picture above is the mother in the picture below.

5-generation Brewster photo, taken c1979.

Pearl’s son Jesse Brewster (1900-1964) was the great-grandfather in the 1958 photo.

Jesse’s widow Dorothy (Parr) Brewster (1903-1980) was the great-great-grandmother in the 1979 photo.

Some great family photos!


[1] A Snapshot of the Past—Five Generations of My Family, Karen’s Chatt, 29 Apr 2011.

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