Jul 24

Louis Schumm’s Aermotor Windmill

I enjoy seeing old farm windmills, so it is a treat to have an old photo that shows a windmill. And even better when my ancestors are in the photo, too.

Aermotor windmill on Louis Schumm farm, 1901. L to R: Mrs. Don Eicher, Sarah (Breuninger) Schumm, Frieda Schumm, Louis J. Schumm, Cornelius Schumm, Mr. Dellinger.

Aermotor Windmill on Louis Schumm farm, 1901. L to R: Mrs. Don Eicher, Sarah (Breuninger) Schumm, Frieda Schumm, Louis J. Schumm, Cornelius Schumm, Mr. Dellinger.

This is an interesting family photo of what was probably a big event for the Louis Schumm family in 1901–the raising of a big, shiny, new Aermotor Windmill.

In this photo, left to right, beginning with the women in back: Mrs. Don Eicher, Sarah (Breuninger) Schumm, Frieda Schumm, Louis J. Schumm, Cornelius Schumm, Mr. Dellinger.

The little boy in the photo is Cornelius Schumm (1896-1986), who was my grandfather. His parents were Louis J and Sarah (Breuninger) Schumm. This photo is also special because it is one of only a couple photos I have of my great-grandmother Sarah, who died in 1921. Frieda Schumm, who eventually married Richard Allmandinger, was Cornelius’ sister.

The above photo was taken at the Louis Schumm farm on Willshire-Eastern Road, east of Willshire. Their home is visible in the background and their water-pumping windmill was erected in the barnyard, between the house and the barn. The large round container the women are standing in front of is the water tank, to hold water drawn up by the windmill.

Their banked barn was built in 1886. The windmill and water tank are to the right in the 1905 photo below. You can just barely make out the windmill but the water tank is easy to see.

Louis Schumm barn with water tank and windmill on the right. Cornelius, Freida, and Louis J Schumm, 1905.

Louis Schumm barn with water tank and windmill on the right. Cornelius, Freida, and Louis J Schumm, 1905.

The photo of my mother (below) was taken about 40 years later and you can see the windmill and the water tank in the background. I assume this was the same Aermotor Windmill and it looks like the same water tank.

Florence Schumm with windmill and water tank in background. c1944.

Florence Schumm with windmill and water tank in background. c1944.

Just about every farm had a windmill years ago. The windmill on the Carl Miller farm was located between the barn and granary.

Windmill on Miller farm, Mercer County, Ohio. Unknown date.

Windmill on Miller farm, Mercer County, Ohio. Unknown date.

I still see windmills on farms today, in all sorts of disrepair. Windmills are still used on Amish farms, while others that have not been used for decades are falling apart.

In the 1901 Schumm photo you can clearly see “The Aermotor Co, Chicago” written on the vane of the windmill. Aermotor was, and still is, an American manufacturer of wind-powered water pumps, pumping water by using the power of the wind.

Today the Aermotor Company describes their device as the lowest cost pumping power on Earth. It “puts the wind to work, saving fuel and money, with virtually no maintenance.” Their windmills are used today to pump water for livestock, pond water replacement, and other purposes.

The Aermotor windmill was developed by Thomas O. Perry in the late 1880s and the first one was sold in 1888. Only 24 Aermotor windmills were sold that first year but they had an edge on their competitors—the Aermotor had a much greater lifting power and was able to do more work than the larger wooden windmills. Theirs quickly became popular and they sold 20,000 in 1892.

By 1904, three years after the Schumm windmill was purchased, Aermotor had a catalog with a wide range of accessories, hand pumps, wood and metal tanks, equipment for the mills such as feed cutters, power saws, corn shellers and other specialty items. By mass-producing they were able to reduce the price of their windmills. An 8 foot diameter windmill cost about $25 and a 20 foot one cost about $300 back then.

During WWII they became a subcontractor for Bell & Howell and built precision lens mounts for the top- secret Norden Bombsight.

The Aermotor Company was bought and sold several times during the next few decades. From 1969-1980 the windmills were produced in Argentina but by 1980 they were once again manufactured in the United States.

In 2006 the company was purchased by a private group of ranchers who restored the original 1888 name to The Aermotor Company. All parts of the windmill are made in the United States and they come with a 7-year warranty.

The company currently operates out of San Angelo, Texas. They produce windmills from 6 to 16 feet in diameter, as well as the metal windmill towers, the pump assembly, and other components. All made right here in the United States and distributed worldwide.

 

Sources of information:

Aermotor Windmill Company  

Wikipedia, Aermotor Windmill Company

Jul 21

Tombstone Tuesday–Ida R. Heffner

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

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

This is the tombstone of Ida R. Heffner, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Ida R. Heffner
Apr. 14, 1880
Sept. 5, 1880

Ida was the first child born to George Heinrich and Lucinda (Karch) Heffner, born in Jefferson Township, Mercer County, Ohio, on 14 April 1880. [1] She died of brain fever in Celina on 4 or 5 September 1880, at the age of 5 months. [2]

Ida’s name was written as J.R.C. Heffner on both her probate birth and death records. Her year of birth looks like it was changed to or from 1880 to 1881 on the probate record, but the year has to be 1880 since she died in September 1880. Her death record indicates she died on the 4th but her cemetery marker indicates she died on the 5th. Her death record also indicates she was born in Celina.

Her parents, George Heffner and Lucinda Karch Heffner, were married at Zion Chatt on 14 September 1879. Their marriage is recorded at Zion as well as in the Mercer County probate records. [3]

There is no birth, baptism, or death record for Ida in Zion Chatt’s records and George and Lucinda are not mentioned in Zion’s records after their 1879 marriage.

I have not located George and Lucinda in the 1880 census but in the 1900 census Lucinda indicated that she had given birth to four children, but that only three were living. Their other three children were Edward S., Ralph Rufus, and Frank Clarence. [4]

Ida’s father George Heinrich Heffner was the son of Conrad and Margaretha (Miller) Heffner, born in Mercer County, Ohio, 21 Jul 1857, and died in Mercer County 3 July 1928. [5]

Ida’s mother Lucinda (Karch) Heffner was the daughter of George and Walburga (Riddle/Riedel) Karch, born 12 December 1860 in Marysville, Ohio, and died 17 April 1945 in Mercer County. [6]

George and Lucinda are both buried in the North Grove mausoleum, Celina.

 

[1] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 18 Jul 2015), J.R.C. Heffner, 14 Apr 1881; from Jefferson Township, Mercer County, Ohio Births, Vol. 1, p.328-9; from FHL microfilm 914953. Note: Her birth year is incorrect in this index. It should be 1880.

[2] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 18 Jul 2015), J.R. C. Heffner, 4 Sep 1880; Celina, Jefferson Township, citing Mercer County, Ohio, Death records, Vol. 1-2, p.162-3; from FHL microfilm 914954.

[3] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 18 Jul 2015), George H. Hoeffner and Lucinda Karch, 14 Sep 1879; citing Mercer, Ohio, Marriages, Vol. 4, p.141; from FHL microfilm 914956.

[4] 1900 U.S. Census, Celina, Mercer, Ohio, ED84, p.4A, dwelling 78, family 79, George H. Heffner; digital images by subscription Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Jul 2015); from FHL microfilm 12413045, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1304.

[5] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, (https://familysearch.org : accessed 18 Jul 2015), George Henry Heffner, 3 Jul 1928; from FHL microfilm 1991346. Note: George’s birth year is transcribed incorrectly in this index. What was transcribed as a 9 is actually a 7; the top of the 5 appears to make the 7 a 9.

[6] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 18 Jul 2015), Lucinda Heffner, 17 Apr 1945; citing reference certificate; from FHL microfilm 2372782.

Jul 17

Summer is for Baseball

Warning. This blog post has nothing at all to do with genealogy. I try to be well-rounded and I do have a few other interests beside genealogy. Baseball happens to be one of them. Specifically, watching Cincinnati Reds baseball. I don’t play baseball. I have never been that athletic and I am too old at this point to try.

This has been a fun baseball week. It was the All Star break–a time-out from the regular season, which has been a somewhat less than mediocre season for the Reds.

This past Monday was the Home Run Derby and Tuesday was the All Star Game, both held this year at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.

We helped put our favorite Reds’ player, Todd Frazier, on the All Star roster by voting for him numerous times. I guess it helped because he came from behind, trailing over 2 million votes a couple weeks ago, to win the starting 3rd baseman position in the 2015 All Star Game.

Frazier, aka ToddFather, aka King of Swing after Monday night’s performance, has been our favorite player since Cincinnati drafted him in 2011. We followed him back then and Joe recognized him walking on a sidewalk near the Great American Ball Park back in June of 2012. That was his rookie year and he may have been going to the ballpark for batting practice, but he was kind enough to stop and talk with two old folks for a couple minutes and even allowed Joe to snap a photo.

This gives me another opportunity to show off the photo below, just in case someone missed it before.

Todd Frazier, Reds' 3rd baseman, and Karen. (2012 photo)

Todd Frazier, Reds’ 3rd baseman, and Karen. (2012 photo)

I usually carry a hard copy of this photo wherever I go, showing it to anyone who shows a remote interest in baseball. At first, during Frazier’s rookie year, people did not always recognize him in the photo, but people recognize him now! Maybe someday I will get it autographed.

So this past week was pretty exciting, with Frazier participating in not only the All Star Game but in the Home Run Derby on Monday night.

Last year Frazier was the runner up in the derby and this year he started out as second seed since he is one of the leading home run hitters in MLB this year.

The whole format of the Home Run Derby was revamped this year and I must say it was the most exciting sporting event I have seen since the Buckeyes won the National Championship last January.

It was an exciting, nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat event and, best of all, Frazier won. The crowd, made up mainly of Reds fans, was on its feet, cheering him on at every opportunity. How wonderful that a player from the host team won the Home Run Derby.

Ah, to have been there and to have been a part of the cheering crowd, the excitement, and the drama. Darn. We should have bought tickets for the event months ago. Oh well. We had good seats right here at home.

Meanwhile, we had our own drama going on here at the house. Immediately after Frazier hit the home run to beat his second opponent Josh Donaldson, a big thunderstorm came through here. We did not lose power but the storm blocked our TV satellite transmission and the TV went out. That storm needed to pass through quickly, not only so we could see the end of the home run competition, but because we really didn’t need any more rain here. Our lawn was already super-saturated, and then some.

A co-worker, who is also a fellow Reds fan, and I had been texting back and forth about t how well Frazier was doing and how exciting the whole event was. She still had TV reception but within five minutes the storm reached Rockford and her TV went out, too. We were both getting nervous, not wanting to miss a single minute of the show.

Our TV came on about ten minutes later and I was able to text her with the results of the next match-up, the winner of which would be up against Frazier in the final round.

Thankfully there were enough commercial breaks to stretch out the Home Run Derby and we both had TV reception by the time the final match between Frazier and Pederson came on. Frazier hit 15 home runs to beat Joc Pederson and he hit a total of 39 home runs Monday evening.

After Monday night’s power-hitting event the All Star Game was a little anticlimactic and unfortunately Frazier was all out of home runs by that time. Before the game they honored and introduced some of the legendary baseball greats. When I was a kid my favorite player was Sandy Koufax and he, along with Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, and Willie Mays, were honored in person, on the field, right there in Cincinnati. Koufax even threw out the first pitch to Johnny Bench. Wow!

That would have been awesome to see in person.

Below is proof positive that we have been Frazier fans since he started with the Reds. We special ordered our shirts during Frazier’s rookie year, before they ever made and sold a Reds shirt with his name on it. His name and number were ironed on our shirts.

P1020445I wonder when Cincinnati will host another All Star Game. Maybe we will go to that one…

 

Jul 14

Tombstone Tuesday–Infant Child of John & Mary Haeffner

Infant child of John & Mary Haeffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen.

Infant child of John & Mary Haeffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of the infant child of John and Mary Haeffner “Heffner,”located in row 3 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Infant
Child of
John & Mary
Haeffner

There is no name and there are no dates on this tombstone. There is no record of this child’s birth, death, or burial in Zion Chatt’s records.

The child’s mother, Mary (Tester) Heffner, died during childbirth on 21 September 1895 and this could be the tombstone of that child.  The child’s father, John Heffner, was the son of Conrad and Margaret (Miller) Heffner, born 22 October 1854 in Mercer County, Ohio.

After Mary (Tester) Heffner’s death in the fall of 1895, her widowed husband John married Harriet “Hattie” J. (Hillery) Harris on 8 July 1896. [1]

Harriet Hillery was born in November of 1842, [2] likely the daughter of Enos and Rachel Hillery, from near Macedon, Washington Township, Mercer County, Ohio. [3]  

This was Harriet’s 3rd marriage. She first married Nathaniel Faught [4], who died in 1886. [5] Her second marriage was to Pleasant W. Harris in 1895. [6]

After John and Harriet married they lived in Washington Township, Mercer County. Living in the Heffner household in 1900 were John C., 45; Harriet J., 57; Allie M. Heffner, 17; John H. Heffner, 12; Wilbert C. Heffner; and Della H. Heffner, 7. Harriet had given birth to two children but both were deceased by 1900. [7]

John and Harriet remained in Washington Township for at least another ten years. The 1910 census confirmed that they had been married 14 years and that this was John’s second marriage and Harriet’s third. Della Heffner, John’s daughter, age 17, was the only child still living with them. [2]

John and Harriet moved back to Liberty Township by 1920 and by this time all of John’s children had left home. [8] John was a farmer all of his life.

John Heffner died while likely visiting his son Charles W., who lived in Jackson County, Michigan. [9] John died 3 September at the age of 68 years. His Michigan death record indicates he was born in Chattanooga, Ohio, on 22 October 1854 and that his parents were Conrad Heffner and Margaret Miller. [10]

John was brought home for burial and his death and burial are recorded in Zion Chatt’s records. According to those records John died of dropsy on 3 September 1923 at age of 68 years, 10 months, and 11 days. He was survived by 2 sons, a daughter, and 3 grandchildren. He was buried on 6th, but has no tombstone in Zion Chatt’s cemetery.

By 1930 Harriet Heffner had moved to Geneva, Indiana, where she lived with her sister and brother-in-law Daniel and Rachel (Hillery) Beeler. [11]

 

[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 11 Jul 2015), John C. Heffner and Hattie J. Harris, 8 Jul 1896; citing Mercer, Ohio Marriages Vol. 7, p. 185; from FHL microfilm 914957.

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Washington, Mercer, Ohio, ED 125, p.12B, dwelling & family 270, Jno C. Heffner; digital images by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Jul 2015); from FHL microfilm 1375227, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 1214.

[3] 1860 U. S. Census, Washington, Mercer, Ohio, p.464, line 9, Enas Hillery; digital images by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Jul 2015); from FHL microfilm 805009, from NARA microfilm M653, roll 1009.

[4] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 11 Jul 2015), Nathaniel Faught and Harriet Hillery, 24 Sep 1863; citing Mercer, Ohio Marriages Vol. 3, p.50; from FHL microfilm 914956.

[5] Nathaniel Faught death, 15 May 1886, Robert Lilly family tree, Ancestry.com.

[6] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 11 Jul 2015), Pleasant W. Harris and Hattie J. Faught, 20 Aug 1895; citing Mercer, Ohio Marriages Vol. 7, p.118; from FHL microfilm 914957.

[7] 1900 U.S. Census, Washington, Mercer, Ohio, ED 90, p.14B, dwelling 294, family 297, John C. Heffner; digital images by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Jul 2015); from FHL microfilm 124304, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1304.

[8] 1920 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 140 p. 2B, dwelling & family 38, John Heffner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Jul 2015); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 1418.

[9] 1920 U.S. Census, Jackson, Michigan, ED 8, p.6B, dwelling 150, family 152, Charles W. Heffner; digital images by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Jul 2015); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 774.

[10] “Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 11 Jul 2015), John C. Heffner, 3 Sep 1923; citing Jackson, Jackson, Michigan, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing; from FHL microfilm 1972962.

[11] 1930 U.S. Census, Geneva, Adams, Indiana, ED 18, p1B. dwelling/family 19, Daniel Beeler; digital images by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Jul 2015); from FHL microfilm 2340309, from NARA microfilm T626 , roll 574.

Jul 10

A Wedding Celebration

This is a nice photo postcard of a wedding dinner. The guests are in the middle of the meal. Their plates are full and one man can be seen passing a dish of food to another.

Besides being an interesting photo, taken from an unusual perspective, I like it because it was not raining and the family was able set up two longs tables in the yard for family and friends to celebrate the young couple’s marriage.

They would not be able to do that this year in this part of the country. If you are reading this and are not from these parts, we have had more rain this summer than I can ever remember. It is nearly impossible to hold any event out of doors around here this summer.

Undated wedding dinner photo postcard from the Germann collection.

Undated photo postcard from the Germann Collection.

The above postcard is from a group of photos that belonged to Viola and Edna Germann, so there was likely a Germann and/or Schumm connection, but I do not know who the couple was or when the photo was taken. There was nothing written on the back of the postcard, but it probably dates after 1907 because it has a divided back. There is a car in the photo, which could also help date it.

The bride and groom are seated at the right end of the lower table and the bride is wearing a rather distinctive veil. There were other wedding photos in the photo collection, but none that match this veil.

It appears the photo was not long enough for the postcard since there is a blank area on the right side. There is writing on the right edge of the photo, a reverse image that looks like it was written on a negative. I flipped the photo and was able to read the words “Wambsganss” and “group 30.”

Was it a Wambsganss wedding? Could be. There were a couple photos in the collection labeled “Wambsganss Brother’s Cousins.” I am not sure what they meant by that but there is a Wambsganss/Germann connection.

According to various vital records on FamilySearch.org, George P. Wambsganss married Elizabeth Germann around 1864. It appears George was a German immigrant, a teacher who lived and taught in Van Wert County about 1863. He evidently met and married into the Germann family during that time. This might be the marriage photo of one of their grandchildren.

There is also something written on what appears to be the leg of a windmill and looks to be some dimensions.

The Germann sisters had relatives in Long Beach, California, and the photo may have been taken there. Or it may have been taken in Van Wert County on a nice summer day. It looks more like an Ohio farm to me.

The photographer probably took the photo from a second story window or from a roof-top, creating quite a nice view of the wedding guests.

At any rate, it looks like they had a grand wedding feast.

Maybe someone will recognize this couple and will be able to identify them.

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