Mar 11

Tombstone Tuesday–Theodore C. & Mollie (Schinnerer) Hofmann

Theodore C. & Mollie Hofmann, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

Theodore C. & Mollie Hofmann, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Theodore and Mollie (Schinnerer) Hofmann, located in row 4 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

HOFMANN

Theo. C.
1884-1969

Mollie
1883-1955

Theodore Christian Hofmann was born 21 September 1884 in Pleasant Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, to Jacob J. and Anna (Siegel) Hofmann. [1] He died 25 July 1969 in Convoy and was buried on the 28th. His death record indicates that he was a retired farmer. [2]

According to Zion Schumm’s records Theodore married Amalia Schinnerer on 21 February 1911 at the church parsonage. Witnesses to the marriage were Friedrich Hoffmann and Ora Hofmann. This record also indicates that Theodore was from Pleasant Township.

Theodore & Mollie (Schinnerer) Hofmann.

Theodore & Mollie (Schinnerer) Hofmann.

Amalia “Mollie” Schinnerer was the fourteenth child born to Friedrich and Elisabeth (Schumm) Schinnerer, born on 11 March 1883 in Willshire Township. She was the youngest of their living children. One child was born after her but was stillborn or died at birth. Mollie was baptized 13 March 1883 at the home of her parents just east of Willshire. [The old church records spell her name as Amalie.]  Sponsors at her baptism were Mrs. Martin Schinnerer and Mrs. Ludwig Schumm. Mrs. Ludwig Schumm was my great-grandmother Sarah (Breuninger) Schumm.

Amalia "Mollie" Schinnerer (1883-1955)

Amalia “Mollie” Schinnerer (1883-1955)

Theodore and Mollie had the following children:

Esther Florentina (1912-1998) married Erwin Aumann
Paul Lawrence (1913-1977) married Alda Kellermeier
Velma Laura (1915-2010) married Edgar Ehlerding
Mabel Anna Elisabeth (1920-1935)
Herbert Henry (1922-2009) married Mary Lou Hinen

Theodore and Mollie purchased the 100 acres of land with the brick home that Mollie’s father Friedrich Schinnerer built about 1894. The brick home is east of the Schinnerer home place, about a mile east of Willshire.

Theo & Mollie Hofmann home, former home of Friedrich Schinnerer. (2014 photo by Karen)

Theodore & Mollie Hofmann home, former home of Friedrich Schinnerer. (2014 photo by Karen)

I visited Velma (Hofmann) Ehlerding at her home in New Haven, Indiana, a few years before she died. She shared some old family photos with me and identified some old photos that I had acquired. We had a nice visit as we talked about our ancestors and looked at the old photos.

Obituaries:

Mrs. Theodore Hofmann Dies Suddenly Tuesday; Funeral Services Friday
Mrs. Theodore (Amalia) Hofmann, 72, of one mile east of Willshire, died suddenly at 7 a.m. Tuesday. Mrs. Hofmann lived her entire life in Willshire Twp.

Mrs. Hofmann was born March 11, 1883, a daughter of Frederick and Elizabeth (Schumm) Schinnerer, in Willshire Twp. She was married February 21, 1911, to Theodore C. Hofmann in Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm.

She is survived by the husband; two daughters, Mrs. Erwin W. Aulmann [sic] of Ft. Wayne, Ind., and Mrs. Edger Ehlerding of Decatur, Ind., route one; two sons, Paul of east of Willshire and Herbert H. of Ft. Wayne; two sisters, Mrs. Hannah Scaer of near Willshire and Mrs. Burt B. Balyeat of Altadenna, Calif., and six grandchildren.

Services will be held Friday afternoon at 1:30 at the home and at 2 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm. Rev. Francis Gerken will officiate. Burial will be made in the church cemetery. [3]

Amalia "Mollie" Schinnerer.

Amalia “Mollie” Schinnerer.

Theo. C. Hofmann
Willshire—Theo. C. Hofmann, 84, of Rt. 1, Willshire, died this morning at his residence. He had been in ill health for two years.

His wife, the former Amelia (Mollie) Schinnerer, died in 1955. Mr. Hofmann was a retired farmer.

Survivors include two sons, Paul L. of Rt. 1, Willshire, and Herbert of Fort Wayne; two daughters, Mrs. Erwin (Esther) Auman of Fort Wayne, and Mrs. Edger (Velma) Ahlerding [sic] of Rt. 1, Decatur; two brothers, Henry and Richard, and two sisters, Mrs. Henry (Ora) Harris and Mrs. Olga Posten all of Fort Myers, Fla.; nine grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Funeral arrangements at the Zwick Funeral Home in Decatur are incomplete. [4]

 

[1] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VR9P-VD8 : accessed 9 March 2014), Theodore Hoffman, 1884; citing Van Wert, Ohio, Births Vol. 2 (1880-1890), p. 163.

[2] “Ohio, Deaths and Burials, 1854-1997,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F6CJ-NPV : accessed 09 Mar 2014), Theo. C. Hofmann, 25 Jul 1969.

[3] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 23 June 1955, p. 1.

[4] Van Wert Times Bulletin, Van Wert, Ohio, 25 July 1969, p. 2.

Mar 07

Friedrich Schinnerer’s Property

During the 19th century Germans immigrated to America for many reasons. Among the most common reasons were the economic opportunities and the availability of farm land in America. Both of these things were an important part of my great-great-grandfather’s life.

After emigrating from Bavaria in June of 1849 Friedrich Schinnerer settled down and lived the rest of his life in the same general area– the Rockford/Willshire area of Ohio. He first settled in Dublin Township, Mercer County, along the St. Marys River. By August of 1849 he was running John Rhodes’ saw and gristmill there.

Road sign that still bears the name of Rhodes Mill. (2014 photo by Karen)

The Van Wert County road still bears the name of Rhodes Mill. (2014 photo by Karen)

In June 1850 he purchased a little over 115 acres of land and the mill from Rhodes for $3300. The land was located in Section 6 of Dublin Township, about two miles west of Shanesville [now Rockford]. There were three old cabins on the land and he and his family likely occupied one of them. [1]

Friedrich built another mill in about 1859. [2] I do not know if it replaced the original mill or if it was a second mill. His occupation was shown as “flourist” in the 1860 census and he had an apprentice at the mill, John Shum, 18, probably the son of Georg Martin and Anna Maria (Pflüger) Schumm, who died in the Civil War. [3]

Where I believe Shinner's Mill once stood along the St. Marys River. (2014 photo by Karen)

Where I believe Schinner’s Mill once stood along the St. Marys River. (2014 photo by Karen)

In 1860 Friedrich’s 115 acres of farm land was valued at $3000, with 40 improved and 65 unimproved acres. His farm implements were valued at $150 and he had livestock: 6 horses, 5 milk cows, 3 other cattle, 18 sheep, and 47 hogs, all valued at $600. Slaughtered animals were valued at $115. There were 300 bushels of Indian corn, 40 pounds of wool, 1 bushel of peas & beans, 40 bushels of Irish potatoes, 300 pounds of butter, 15 tons of hay, and 12 bushels of flax seed. [4]

During the next few years Friedrich purchased more farm land in that same area of Dublin Township, near the St. Marys River. He eventually owned about 475 acres.

Friedrich and his family still resided in Dublin Township in 1870, but they would not be there much longer. In 1870 his occupation was listed as miller. His real estate was valued at $22,000 and his personal estate at $3470. He was married to Elisabeth Schumm and eight children were in the household. Also in the household was Lewis Schum, age 19, occupation given as farm laborer. This was probably my great-grandfather, Elisabeth’s brother, who was born in 1851. Two other millers lived near the Schinnerers in 1870 and probably worked at Friedrich’s mill–Michael Wagoner, 40, from Pennsylvania and James H. Brookwater, 20, from Ohio. [5]  

At nearly 50 years of age and a miller and farmer for 23 years, Friedrich decided to sell his Mercer County property and move a few miles down the road, near another old town. Closer to the German community where his wife was from and closer to the German Lutheran church they attended. In 1873 he sold the mill and all of his property in Dublin Township and resettled just east of Willshire, a few miles from Schumm.

On 12 March 1873 Friedrich sold five pieces of land, totaling 473 92/100 acres, to Thomas Jefferson “T.J.” Dull for $20,000. The parcels were located in Section 6 as well as in the Black Loon, Charley, and Crescent Reservations. [6] The sale included the gristmill, by then known as Shinner’s Mill. [7] Dull would later build a steam-powered gristmill in Shanesville. That mill, built in 1880, was constructed of brick and used the roller method of processing grain. [8] [9]

In May 1873 Friedrich purchased 140 acres in Section 29 in Willshire Township from William Lamb for $5600. [10] This was once the homestead of Ansel Blossom and was about ½ mile east of Willshire, not all that far from the St. Marys River. Ansel Blossom was one of the early settlers in the Willshire area, arriving in about 1822, and his land purchase in Section 29 was one of the original entries. Ansel taught the first school, was a justice of the peace, and was one of the first postmasters in Willshire.

Friedrich Schinnerer farm in 1882. (former Ansel Blossom farm).

Friedrich Schinnerer farm in 1882, the former Ansel Blossom farm, settled in 1826 . (1882 Van Wert History, p. 237)

Friedrich gradually purchased additional acreage east of Willshire where he eventually owned about 300 acres. Most of the land was in Section 29, with a few acres in Section 30. Friedrich farmed and he and Elisabeth raised their family on the old Blossom farm. They were active members of Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm, just a few miles down the road. They remained at that home for about 20 years.

In December of 1894 Friedrich and Elisabeth Schinnerer sold  the farm, which included the frame home, to their son Henry F. for $1. The farm consisted of 140 acres in Section 29. [11] Henry F. Schinnerer and Louise Schumm married on 1 May 1892 and they moved into the house, where they remained to raise their family. Two of their children, Fred and Lydia, stayed on the old homestead until they passed away in the 1980s. They were the last Schinnerers to own the property. [12]

At the same time in 1894, Friedrich and Elisabeth sold an additional 72 acres to son Henry F. for $1. A portion of this parcel was in Section 30. [13]

Land Friedrich Schinnerer owned in 1886. (Willshire Twp., 1886 Atlas, p. 63.)

Land Friedrich Schinnerer owned in 1886. (Willshire Twp., 1886 Atlas, p. 63.)

It was probably about this time, about 1894, that Friedrich built the brick home, about ½ mile east of the old frame house. Friedrich lived in the brick home until he died in 1905. After Friedrich’s death his widow Elisabeth remained there with their daughter Mollie.

Mollie Schinnerer married Theodore C. Hofmann on 21 February 1911 and in March 1911 they purchased the 100 acres with the brick home for $8662.50 from the other heirs of Friedrich Schinnerer. [14] Elisabeth Schinnerer remained in the brick home until her death in 1917 and the Hofmanns went on to raise their family there.

Friedrich Schinnerer died 5 February 1905 at his home east of Willshire. His son Henry was the executor of his estate, which amounted to $24,928. After the funeral costs and debts were paid and a special legacy of $4500 was given to Amalia [Mollie] Schinnerer, Friedrich’s heirs divided $19,453. Children Lena Huffman, Clara Gunsett, Hannah Scaer, Lizzie Scaer, Sophia Gunsett, Emma Balyeat, and Amalia Schinnerer each received one-eighth. Grandchildren [children of Rosina Schumm, deceased] Clara Deitrich, Minnie Huffman, John, Hannah, August, Willilam, Matilda, and Joseph Schumm each received one-sixty-fourth. Son Henry F. had already received 212 acres of land for $2 and did not receive anything from the estate. [15]

Yes, Friedrich Schinnerer did very well for himself in America. He was an immigrant who came to America with hardly anything but skill, determination, and the willingness to work hard. He was a miller and a  farmer who owned nearly 800 acres of land and a prosperous milling operation during his lifetime. He raised livestock and one record indicated that he was an attorney at law, although that is the first time I ever heard that. This Christian couple raised a large family, although they endured the loss of several children.

Yes, Friedrich was successful in many ways.

[1] Mercer County, Ohio, 1853 Plat Book, Dublin Township, Section 6, p. 315 A & B, Fredrick Schinnerer; Recorder’s Office, Celina. A map of the mill’s location: http://www.karenmillerbennett.com/schinnerer/friedrich-schinnerer-the-flourist/

[2] Sutton, History of Van Wert and Mercer Counties, Ohio, (1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, Indiana : Windmill Publications, Inc., 1991), 254.

[3] 1860 U.S. Census, Dublin, Mercer County, Ohio, p. 42, dwelling 296, family 300, Frederick Shimer; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 February 2014); from Family History Library Microfilm 805009,  from National Archives microfilm M653, roll 1009.

[4] 1860 U.S. Agricultural Schedule, Dublin, Mercer County, Ohio, p. 13, line 22, Frederick Shiner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com ( http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 February 2014); NARA microfilm publication T1159, roll 24.

[5] 1870 U.S. census, Dublin, Mercer County, Ohio, ED? p. 32, dwelling 239, family 241, Fredrick Shiner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 February 2014); FHL film 552742, NARA microfilm M593, roll 1243.

[6] Mercer County Deeds, Book 19:521-22, Courthouse—Recorder’s Office, Celina, Ohio; Frederick Shinerer to Thomas Jefferson Dull, 12 March 1873.

[7] McConahy, Map of Mercer County Ohio, (1888; reprint as Mercer County, Ohio Combined Atlases, Mt. Vernon, Indiana : Windmill Publications, Inc., 1999), 16. The mill was still known as Shinner’s Mill as late as 1876.

[8] Griffing, Atlas of Mercer County, Ohio, (1888; reprint as Mercer County, Ohio Combined Atlases, Mt. Vernon, Indiana : Windmill Publications, Inc., 1999), 10, 23. [This source lists T.J. Dull as a manufacturer and dealer in roller process flour, feed, corn, meal, etc., and dealer in all kinds of grain.]

[9] Sutton, History of Van Wert and Mercer Counties, Ohio, (1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, Indiana : Windmill Publications, Inc., 1991), 411. [This source lists T.J. Dull & Co. as proprietors of steam grist-mill, erected in 1880, a brick building, sixty-five horse-power engine, and employs four men. J.P. Dysert, proprietor of two workhouses in this town and one at Mercer, handles about 150,000 bushels of grain annually, is also dealer in general goods; commenced store business in 1872 and opened grain trade in 1878.]

[10] Van Wert Deeds, Book 4:466-7, Courthouse—Recorder’s Office, Van Wert, Ohio; William Lamb to Frederick Shinnerer, 16 May 1873.

[11] Van Wert Deeds, Book 48:144, Courthouse—Recorder’s Office, Van Wert, Ohio; Frederick & Elisabeth Schinnerer to Henry F. Schinnerer, 20 December 1894.

[12] Photos of the farm in 1906 and 2001: http://www.karenmillerbennett.com/schinnerer/tombstone-tuesday-henry-f-louise-m-schumm-schinnerer/

[13] Van Wert Deeds, Book 37:149, Courthouse—Recorder’s Office, Van Wert, Ohio; Frederick & Elisabeth Schinnerer to Henry F. Schinnerer, 20 December 1894.

[14] Van Wert Deeds, Book 85: 158, Courthouse—Recorder’s Office, Van Wert, Ohio; 13 March 1911.

[15] Frederick Schinnerer will & estate, Van Wert County probate file 4220, Vol. 1327: 510-539; microfilm at Van Wert, Ohio, Courthouse Annex. [Friedrich stated in his will that he had already given each of his children who were of full age the sum of at least $4500. His will was written in 1900 and Amalia “Mollie” was not of age at that time. Also, “…should I advance her [Mollie] any sums and charge her with the same in my account of advancements, such sums are to be subtracted from the amount of this bequest.”]

 

Mar 04

Tombstone Tuesday–Henry F. & Louise M. (Schumm) Schinnerer

Henry F., Louise M., Lydia A. Schinnerer, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

Henry F., Louise M., Lydia A. Schinnerer, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Henry F. and Louise M. (Schumm) Schinnerer and their daughter Lydia A. Schinnerer, located in row 4 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

SCHINNERER

Henry F.
1867-1952

 Louise M.
1870-1952

 Lydia A.
1897-1985

Heinrich Friedrich Schinnerer, known as Henry F., was the fourth child born to Friedrich and Elisabeth (Schumm) Schinnerer, born 2 May 1867 in Dublin Township, Mercer County, Ohio. He was baptized at Zion Lutheran, Schumm, on 19 May 1867 and his sponsors were Friedrich Schumm Jr. (son of Georg Schumm ) and Heinrich [unreadable in the church records].

Henry F. Schinnerer (1867-1952)

Henry F. Schinnerer (1867-1952)

Henry’s father owned and operated a gristmill on the St. Marys River west of Shanesville [known as Rockford today]. When Henry was five years old his family moved to Van Wert County, about ½ mile east of Willshire, where he resided the rest of his life. This was the same home his father Friedrich purchased about 1872, the home where three generations of Schinnerers would live over the years. Henry was a farmer, raised livestock, and was a life-long member of Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm.

Henry Schinner, c1910.

Henry Schinnerer with bull, c1910.

Henry married Maria “Louise” Schumm on 1 May 1892 at Zion Schumm. They were both members of Zion’s parish and they had attended school together.

Henry Schinnerer & Louise Schumm, marriage 1 May 1892.

Henry Schinnerer & Louise Schumm, marriage 1 May 1892.

Louise was the third child born to Jacob “Frederick” and Maria (Germann) Schumm. She was born 15 December 1870 in Dublin Township and was baptized at Zion Schumm on 26 December 1870. Sponsors at her baptism were Maria Schumm and Eva Maria Germann.

Henry Schinnerer home east of Willshire, 1906.

Henry Schinnerer home east of Willshire, 1906.

Louise died of a stroke on 22 July 1952 at their home near Willshire, at the age of 81 years, 7 months, and 7 days. She was buried on the 26th in Zion Cemetery. Henry died at their home a few months later, on 10 September 1952, at the age of 85 years, 4 months, and 8 days. He was buried in Zion Cemetery on 13 September.

Henry and Louise Schinnerer had the following children:

Georg Wilhelm Joseph “William” (1893-1963) married Martha Juliana Louisa Schinnerer
Emma Maria (1895-1896)
Lydia Amalia (1897-1985)
Frederick Heinrich (1904-1984)
Heinrich Frederick (1907-1908)

Mrs. Louise Schinnerer Succumbs Following a Cerebral Hemorrhage
Funeral services for Mrs. Louise M. Schinnerer, 81, who died early Tuesday morning at her home east of Willshire, will be held this afternoon at 2:30 o’clock at the home and at 3 o’clock at Zion Lutheran Church in Schumm, Rev. Werner P. Kuhlberg officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery in charge of Zwick Funeral Home of Decatur, Ind.

Mrs. Schinnerer suffered a cerebral hemorrhage last Friday and had been in critical condition since.

She was born December 15, 1870, in Mercer County, a daughter of Fed and Mary Germann-Schumm, and had resided in Willshire Twp. since her marriage to Henry Schinnerer May 1, 1892. She was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church.

Surviving in addition to the husband are two sons, William of Ft. Wayne, Ind., and Fred, at home; one daughter, Miss Lydia Schinnerer at home; four brothers, George Schumm of Orange, Calif., Charles, Philip and Ferdinand Schumm, all of near Rockford; and three sisters, Mrs. Steve Germann of near Ft. Wayne, Mrs. Otto Germann and Mrs. Fred Week, of near Van Wert. One son and one daughter are deceased. [1]

Schinnerer homestead as it looks today.

Schinnerer homestead. (2001 photo by Karen)

Henry F. Schinnerer Claimed by Death; Rites To Be Held Saturday
Henry F. Schinnerer, 85, retired farmer, died at his farm home one and one-half miles east of here Wednesday at 1 p.m. following an extended illness. He had been bedfast two weeks.

He was a son of Frederick and Elizabeth Schumm Schinnerer and was born May 2, 1867, near Rockford, where his father operated the Schinnerer grist mill. On May 2, 1892, he was married to Louise Schumm. The couple went to housekeeping at the present home, where they celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary in May of this year.

He was a member of Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm. His wife, Louise, died July 22.

Surviving are two sons, William of Ft. Wayne, Ind., and Fred at home; a daughter, Miss Lydia Schinnerer, at home, and three sisters, Mrs. Hannah Scare and Mrs. T.C. Hoffman, both of Willshire Twp., and Mrs. B.B. Balyeat of Altadena, Calif.

Services will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the residence and at 3 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm with Rev. W.P. Kuhlberg, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Zwick Funeral Home of Decatur, Ind., will return the body to the residence, where friends may call after 8 p.m. today. [2]

Their daughter Lydia is buried next to her parents. Lydia Amalia Schinnerer was born 21 November 1897 in Willshire Township. She was baptized 5 December 1897 at home, with Mrs. Rosine Germann and Amalia Schinnerer as sponsors. Lydia died 29 December 1985, at the age of 88 years, 1 month, and 8 days.

Siblings Fred and Lydia resided in the Schinnerer home east of Willshire until their deaths.

 

[1] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 24 July 1952, p.1.

[2] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 11 September 1952, p. 1.

Feb 28

Schinnerer’s Mill

No, this is not a photo of Friedrich Schinnerer’s gristmill, but I like to think his mill probably looked a lot like this one. Both mills were built in the 1840s and were located in west central Ohio.

Bear's Mill, Greenville, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

Bear’s Mill, Greenville, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

Friedrich was my great-great-grandfather and he immigrated from Bavaria in 1849. Within two months he and his wife settled in Mercer County, Ohio, and he took over operation of John Rhodes’ water-powered grist and sawmill. The mill was located along the north bank of the St. Marys River, about two miles west of Shanesville [now Rockford], in Dublin Township. [1]

John Rhodes built the gristmill in 1840, the first flour mill in the township. Friedrich agreed to rent the mill from Rhodes for $400 per year, but in June 1850, before the contract year had even ended, Friedrich purchased the mill and 115 acres of land for $3300. He only had $1000 at the time but paid the balance from profits made from the mill. [2] [3]

Shinnerer’s Mill had one pair of stone grinding burrs [aka buhrs; mill stones], used for grinding wheat, corn, and buckwheat and Friedrich ran both the gristmill and the sawmill by himself for three years. Ten years later he built another mill, which he sold in 1873. [2] By 1876 T.J. Dull was the proprietor of Shinner’s Mill, located in Section 6 of Dublin Township. [4]

Schinnerer’s Mill is no longer standing but a few old mills have been preserved and restored and still operate the way they did nearly 175 years ago. To get an idea of the construction and operation of a mill constructed in the 1840s, we decided to visit one.

Last week Joe and I took a road trip to Bear’s Mill, located on Greenville Creek, east of Greenville, in  Darke County, Ohio. Bear’s Mill is listed with the Great Lakes Chapter Society for the Preservation of Old Mills (SPOOM), under Ohio Mills by County & Mill Name. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bear’s Mill is a little larger than Schinnerer’s Mill was. Bear’s Mill is about 40 feet long and has three large sets of burrs, while Schinnerer’s Mill was 26×36 feet and had one set of burrs. [1] [2] Bear’s Mill was originally sided with black walnut and was resided with black walnut a few years ago. I imagine Schinnerer’s Mill was also a wood frame building.

A burr [mill stone]. (2014 photo by Karen)

A burr [mill stone]. (2014 photo by Karen)

Bear’s Mill was not operating the day we were there but we took the self-guided tour. We were amazed at the engineering and ingenuity that went into the construction and operation of the gristmill. I was expecting to see a building with simply a set of mill stones. I had no idea how complicated the whole milling process was. I won’t describe the whole process but I will say that a millwright and miller must have had a lot of training, skill, and experience to construct and run a gristmill.

Bear’s Mill is four stories tall. Grain was hoisted up in sacks to the fourth floor by a pulley and then pulled inside. From there the grain went down and up, from floor to floor, through elevator legs, to first clean and  filter the grain. Elevator legs are long, thin, square, wooden tubes that run from floor to floor, and they are all over the mill. There were also many large bins in which to store grains.

Grain moved through elevator legs, which were throughout the mill.

Grain moved through elevator legs, which were throughout the mill. (2014 photo by Karen)

The mill works by gravity and water power. The water power comes from turbines located in the millrace below the mill. This was also a surprise to me. When I think of a water-powered gristmill I think of a water wheel. I wonder if Schinnerer’s Mill used turbines or a water wheel?

There were three large sets of granite burr stones on the second floor, probably 40-48 inches in diameter. The Bear’s Mill stones were imported from France in 1848 and cost $6000 a set. Chutes were positioned over the stones, one each for wheat, corn, and buckwheat. The grain flowed down them and went between the stones, where it was ground into flour and meal.

The grain poured between the burrs here. (2014 photo by Karen)

The grain pours between the burrs here. (2014 photo by Karen)

A skilled person, the miller, was needed to successfully grind the grain. The miller controlled the flow of the grain into the burrs. If too much grain went between the burrs the grain would not be ground completely. If too little grain flowed between the burrs it would cause the burrs to heat up. The miller also had to keep the burrs level, keep them properly surfaced, and maintain the correct grinding speed.

The grain goes between the encased burrs. (2014 photo by Karen)

The grain goes between the encased burrs. (2014 photo by Karen)

About 1880 roller mills became the popular method of milling, but stone-grinding is still the method preferred by many today. Stone-grinding grinds the grain in to fine pieces and does not produce much heat. retaining more nutrients and vitamins and producing a nice nutty flavor. The roller method crushes the grain and produces heat during the process, destroying nutrients. We purchased a loaf of bread baked with Bear’s Mill stone-ground flour. It was delicious with their local honey!

A gristmill provided an important service to the community and was a profitable business for the owner in several ways. The mill owner could grind his own grain and sell it. Area farmers took their grains to the mill to be ground, left some flour and meal with the miller as payment for the grinding, and took the rest for themselves.

Our visit to the old gristmill was very interesting and gave me an insight into the occupation of my great-great-grandfather, Friedrich Schinnerer.

Next: Where Friedrich Schinnerer lived and the property he owned.

 

[1] Mercer County, Ohio, 1853 Plat Book, Dublin Township, Section 6, p. 315 A & B, Fredrick Schinnerer; Recorder’s Office, Celina. A map of the mill’s location: http://www.karenmillerbennett.com/schinnerer/friedrich-schinnerer-the-flourist/

[2] Sutton, History of Van Wert and Mercer Counties, Ohio, (1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, Indiana : Windmill Publications, Inc., 1991), 254.

[3] Mercer County Deeds Book P:25, Recorder’s Office, Courthouse, Celina, Ohio. John Rodes to Frederick Schinnerer, 25 June 1850.

[4] Mercer County Chapter, OGS, Mercer County, Ohio, Combined 1888, 1900 Atlases and 1876 Map of Mercer County, Ohio, (Mt. Vernon, Indiana : Windmill Publications, Inc., 1999); 1876 Dublin Township Directory, p. 16.

Feb 25

Tombstone Tuesday–Joseph and Clara (Schinnerer) Gunsett

Joseph & Clara A. Gunsett, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

Joseph & Clara A. Gunsett, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Joseph and Clara A. (Schinnerer) Gunsett, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

GUNSETT
Father
Joseph
1863-1931

 Mother
Clara A.
1866-1942

According to Zion Schumm’s records Joseph Gunsett was born 30 April 1863 in Tully Township, Van Wert County, and he died 21 October 1931 in Willshire. He was buried on the 25th and was 68 years, 5 months, and 21 days old. According to his death certificate and obituary he was born in Ohio to Joseph and Hannah (Wyandt) Gunsett. He died of pernicious anemia, cerebral hemorrhage, and cirrhosis of the liver. [1]

Clara Schinnerer with parents Friedrich & Elisabeth (Schumm) Schinnerer

According to Zion Schumm’s records, Anna Clara Schinnerer was the third child born to Friedrich and Elisabeth (Schumm) Schinnerer, born on 1 March 1866. She was baptized 5 March 1866 and the sponsors at her baptism were Mrs. Baals & Mrs. Büchner. Clara died of tuberculosis of the spine on 5 March 1942 in the city of Van Wert. [2] Clara was my great-grandaunt as well as my first cousin twice removed.

Joseph and Clara were married 7 April 1889 at Zion Schumm. The church records indicate they were both from Zion’s parish.

Joseph & Clara (Schinnerer) Gunsett.

Joseph & Clara (Schinnerer) Gunsett.

Joseph and Clara had the following children:
Walter Friedrich (1890-1968) married Clara Bender
Edward Theodore (1891-1973) married Martha A. Dirkson
Arthur Hermann (1893-1895)
Herbert Heinrich (1896-1981) married Fayelle Kelly
Lillie Emma (1898-1989)

In 1900 Joseph and Clara were living in Willshire Township with their four children. Joseph was a farmer and he owned his home and farm. [3]

Hand of Death Placed on Brow of Willshire Township Man
The passing of Joseph G. Gunsett at his residence five miles northeast of Willshire at 9 o’clock, Wednesday night, October 21, 1931, caused widespread regret throughout Willshire township, in which he had been a resident for the past fifty years. He had been in poor heath for two years past, and his fatal illness of six weeks’ duration was the cause of grave concern both to the members of his family, other relatives and a large acquaintance throughout Van Wert county, of which he was a native son.

He was a man of substance, and during the active period of his life took an active part in the various affairs of the community. As a farmer he was industrious and progressive, as is evidenced by the state of his farm and the modern farm buildings, including the dwelling house and out-buildings. Mr. Gunsett was a man of jovial disposition, attracting to him a large circle of intimate friends, who respected both his friendship and his counsels in social and business intercourse, and of course, such a man will be missed in home and community.

Tribute to his memory was visibly noted in the impressive funeral services held for him Sunday afternoon from the German Lutheran church at Schumm, which was filled to capacity with sorrowing relatives and friends for the sad occasion. The services were in charge of the pastor of the church, Rev. R.O. Bienert, who gave two sermons, one in German, the other in English, with special music by members of the church choir.

Interment was made in the church cemetery, under the direction of Buchanan & Son, Willshire morticians.

During the church services this authoritative obituary was read:

“Joseph Gunsett, son of Josiah and Hannah Gunsett, was born in Tully township, Van Wert county, Ohio, April 30, 1863. He was baptized in infancy and was confirmed in the Evangelical Lutheran St. Johns church, near Convoy, in 1878, and in later years removed to Willshire township.

“April 7, 1889, he was united in marriage with Clara Schinnerer. This union was blessed with five children. One son, Arthur, preceded him in death. Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Clara Gunsett; four children, Walter of Chicago, Illinois; Herbert of Akron, Ohio; Edward and Lillian at home; one brother, three sisters and three grand-children.

“He ‘fell asleep in Jesus’ Wednesday night, October 21, 1931, at 9 o’clock, at the age of 68 years, five months and 21 days.” [4]

Relative of Willshire Folks Buried Saturday
Funeral services were held Saturday afternoon for Mrs. Clara A. Gunsett, 76, widow of Joseph Gunsett, who died Thursday morning at her home in Van Wert. Her death was attributed to senility and followed an illness of several years.

The deceased was a daughter of the late Frederick and Elizabeth Schinnerer and was born March 1, 1866 in Mercer county. She was a member of the Emmanual Lutheran Church, Van Wert.

Surviving are four children: Lily Gunsett at home, Walter Gunsett of Chicago, Edward Gunsett of Willshire township and Herbert Gunsett of Akron; a brother, Henry Schinnerer of Willshire; four sisters, Mrs. Peter Scaer, Mrs. John Scaer and Mrs. T.C. Hofmann of Willshire and Mrs. B.B. Balyeat of Altavana, Calif.; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Burial was in Schumm Church cemetery, Willshire township. [5]

 

[1] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X6M9-NBV : accessed 23 Feb 2014), Joseph Gunsett, 21 Oct 1931; citing Willshire Twp., Van Wert Co., Ohio, reference fn 62903; FHL microfilm 1992476.

[2] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X8SW-G1V : accessed 23 Feb 2014), Clara Anne Gunsett, 05 Mar 1942; citing Van Wert, Van Wert, Ohio, reference fn 20346; FHL microfilm 2024000.

[3] 1900 U.S. Census, Willshire Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, ED 0098, p. 11A (penned p. 310A (stamped), dwelling 207, family 208, line 21, Joseph Gunsett; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 February 2014); FHL microfilm 1241329, from National Archives microfilm T623, roll 1329. Name is indexed as Grausett.

[4] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 29 October 1931, p. 1.

[5] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 12 March 1942, p. 1.

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