Jul 18

Tombstone Tuesday–George F. Huffman

George F. Huffman, Chattanooga Mausoleum, Mercer County, Ohio. (2017 photo by Karen)

This is the mausoleum marker of George F. Huffman, located in the Chattanooga Mausoleum, Mercer County, Ohio. The vault is inscribed:

Father
George F. Huffman
1853-1937

George Ferdinand Huffman was born in Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio, on 29 June 1853 according to Zion’s Familienbuch. He was the son of Ferdinand and Elizabeth (Hartzog/Herzog) Hoffman. This record indicates that he was baptized in Mercer County, Ohio, but I did not find his baptism record at Zion Chatt.

The Huffman family lived south of Chatt and had a Skeels Cross Roads Post Office address in 1860. George was enumerated in the 1860 census when he was 7 years old. [1]

The family attended Zion Chatt for a time and George was confirmed there on Palm Sunday, 21 March 1869.

In 1870, at age 17, George worked on the family farm, living with parents and seven siblings. [2]

George Huffman married Sarah Rosanna Dodge on 16 August 1877 in Adams County, Indiana, married by Thomas E. Macy. [3]

In 1880 the couple lived in Liberty Township where George worked as a carpenter. They had one child, Burley, spelled Burleigh here, a 1 year old boy, although the relationship was not given on this enumeration. Later information shows Burley was indeed their son. Their household in 1880: George, 25; Sarah R, 23; and Burleigh, 1. [4]

By 1900 the George Huffman family had moved across the state line and resided in Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana. They had moved to Indiana in about 1884, where daughter Emma was reportedly born. Their household in 1900: George F, 46; Sarah, 44; Burley, 24; Emma, 16; Nora, 13; Mary 10; Maggie, 8; and Francis, 3. George and Sarah had been married 23 years and six of their seven children were living. George farmed. [5]

In 1910 only two of their children still lived at home with their parents George and Sarah on their Adams County, Indiana, farm: Maggie, 18, and Francis, 13. Five of the seven Huffman children were still living. George and Sarah lived next door to their son Burley, who was married to Maggie. [6]

George and Sarah still resided in Jefferson Township with son Francis H, age 22, in 1920. George was 63 and Sarah was 61. George was a general farmer and Francis helped on the farm. [7]

The last census George was enumerated in was the 1930 census: George F, 77, and Rosanna, 73, living next door to their son Francis, his wife Effie, and their three children. George’s occupation was livestock farmer. [8]

George Ferdinand Huffman died of pneumonia, senility, and paralysis on 18 January 1937 in Chattanooga, Ohio, according to Zion Chatt’s records. This record indicates he was 83 years, 6 months, and 20 days old and was buried on the 20th. He was survived by his wife, 3 children, 20 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, 4 brothers, and 2 sisters.

According to his death certificate he died of lobar pneumonia which he had had since 13 January. This record gives his age as 82 years, 6 months, and 18 days. His wife was the informant for the information on his death certificate and she indicated that they lived in Chatt, where he died. Wells and Byer Funeral Home of Geneva were in charge of the arrangements. [9]

George F. and Sarah (Dodge) Huffman had 7 children:
Burley (1878-1948), married Margaret “Maggie” (Engle) Fetters
Emma V (1884-1903)
Nora (1887-1971), married Welker Woodruff
Mary Olga (1889-1920), married William G Bollenbacher
Margaret “Maggie” Iona (1892-1976), married Jacob Dewald Bollenbacher
Francis H (1896-1988), married Effie Boice
Clarence (1900-1900)

Chattanooga Mausoleum

George’s wife Sarah is buried next to him in the mausoleum.

 

[1] 1860 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, p.358, dwelling 998, family 1003, Fred Hoofman; Ancestry.com; FHL microfilm 805009, NARA microfilm M653, roll 1009.

[2] 1870 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, p.147A, Dwelling 78, family 72, Finland Hoffman; Ancestry.com; FHL microfilm 552742, NARA microfilm M593, roll 1243.

[3] “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” FamilySearch.org, George Hoffman & Rosanna Dodge, 16 Aug 1877; Adams County Marriages, FHL microfilm 2321470.

[4] 1880 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 188, p.474C, dwelling 50, family 53, George Hoffman; Ancestry.com; FHL microfilm 1255048, NARA microfilm T9, roll 1048.

[5] 1900 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 4, p.11A, dwelling & family 198, Geo F Huffman; Ancestry.com; FHL microfilm 1240357, NARA microfilm T623, roll 357.

[6] 1910 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, Ed 4, p.2A, dwelling & family 34, George Huffman; Ancestry.com; FHL microfilm 1374351, NARA microfilm T624, roll 338.

[7] 1920 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 4, p.7B, dwelling 148, visited 158, George F Huffman; Ancestry.com; NARA microfilm T625, roll 420.

[8] 1930 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 4, p.4B, dwelling 94, family 95, George F Huffman; Ancestry.com; FHL microfilm 2340309, NARA microfilm T626, roll 574.

[9] “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch.org, George Huffman, 18 Jan 1937; Liberty, Mercer, reference 5214; FHL microfilm 2023488.

 

Jul 14

Farmers Mutual Aid Association of Van Wert County

I am still finding interesting items with some good information in places that I haven’t had the time to go through yet.

The other day I was unpacking some old books that belonged to my great-grandfather Louis J. Schumm and his son Cornelius, my grandfather. Most of these books were old and were written in German and I was sure to look inside the covers to see if anyone had handwritten anything.

Louis Schumm wrote his name and the date 1890 in one old German book. But better yet, when I opened the book about a half dozen postcards fell out. These were not picture postcards but they had a lot of printing on them. I almost didn’t take the time to look at them closely but I am sure glad I did.

They were all from the Farmers Mutual Aid Association of Van Wert County, of which my great-grandfather Louis J. Schumm was a member. This Van Wert association was incorporated and commenced business in 1879. [1]

1889 Farmers Mutual Aid Association of Van Wert County assessment for Louis J Schumm

Apparently the association sent out postcards to their members periodically, after a member had sustained a loss or damage to property. Members were then assessed a certain amount, probably enough to cover the loss.

Most of the claims were from Van Wert County but a few were from Mercer County. A couple cards mentioned Liberty Township but did not specify which county, since both Van Wert and Mercer Counties both have a Liberty Township in them.

Below is what the four oldest cards have printed on them. Perhaps you will recognize some of the names.

The oldest postcard was from Leslie, Ohio, postmarked September 1889, addressed to Mr. Louis J. Schumm, Willshire, Ohio:

Office of the Farmers Mutual Aid Association of Van Wert County, Ohio
Leslie, O, Sept 30, 1889
Mr. Louis J. Schumm
Your assessment for a loss of $400 sustained by Henry Nickel, of Liberty Township, Sept. 21st, is five cents on each hundred dollars of risk.
Said assessment is due Nov. 30, 1889. You will please pay promptly to Henry Germann, Jr, or your agent. Present this card to treasurer or agent when payment is made.
Policy No. 558; Amount of Policy $17.00; Amount Due 85 cents
Policy No. 785, Amount of Policy $6.25, Amount Due 31 cents
Total due $1.16
C.F. Germann, Secretary
Received Payment, in full, [signed] Fred Lillich

1889 Farmers Mutual Aid Association of Van Wert County assessment for Louis J Schumm

Postmarked Glenmore, Ohio, 21 September 1892:
The Office of the Farmers Mutual Aid Association of Van Wert County, Ohio
Glenmore, O, 3 Sep 1892
Mr. L.J. Schumm
Your assessment for a loss of $350, sustained by Clark Glenn, of Harrison Township, Aug. 30th, is three and one-fourth cents on each hundred dollars of risk.
Said assessment is due Nov. 1st, 1892. You will please pay promptly to Henry Germann Jr, Treasurer, or your agent. Present this card to treasurer or agent when payment is made.
Policy No. 1190; Amount of Policy $2873; Amount Due 94 cents
C.F. Germann, Secretary
Received Payment, [signed] H.G. Schumm

September 1892 Farmers Mutual Aid Association of Van Wert County assessment for Louis J Schumm

Postmarked Glenmore, O, 28 October 1892:
Office of the Farmers Mutual Aid Association of Van Wert County, Ohio
Glenmore, O, 5 October 1892
Mr. Louis J. Schumm
Your assessment for a loss of $900 sustained by Oliver Putman, of Black Creek Township, Mercer County, Ohio, Sept. 29, 1892, is eight cents on each hundred dollars of risk.
Said assessment is due Dec. 1st, 1892. You will please pay promptly to Henry Germann, Jr, Treasurer, or your agent. Present this card to treasurer or agent when payment is made.
Policy No. 1190; Amount of Policy $2873; Amount Due $2.30
C.F. Germann, Secretary
Received Payment, [signed] H.G. Schumm

October 1892 Farmers Mutual Aid Association of Van Wert County assessment for Louis J Schumm

Postmarked Frances, Ohio, August 1893
Office of the Farmers Mutual Aid Association of Van Wert County, Ohio
Frances, O, July 31, 1893
Mr. L.J. Schumm
You will please take notice that W.R. Owens of York Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, sustained a loss of $1022 on barn and contents, July 12, 1893.
Also that Jacob Germann, Jr, of Harrison Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, sustained a loss of $618.50 on barn and contents July 15th, 1893.
To cover said losses you are assesses 14 cents on each Hundred Dollars of risk.
The assessment is due September 19th, 1893. You will please pay promptly to the Treasurer or your Agent.
The Treasurer, H. Germann, Jr., will receive assessments in the County Treasurer’s Office on Saturdays, September 2nd, 9th, and 16th
Policy No. 1190; Amount of Policy $2873; Amount Due $4.02
C.F. Germann, Secretary
Received Payment, [signed] H.G. Schumm

July 1893 Farmers Mutual Aid Association of Van Wert County assessment for Louis J Schumm

The last two postcards have quite a few claims listed on each of them and they give more information about the losses. I will post them next week. Perhaps you will see a claim listed by one of your ancestors.

 

[1] Ohio Insurance Department of All Companies Transacting the Business of Fire, Marine, Casualty, Fidelity, Surety, Liability, and Credit Insurance Authorized To Do Business in Ohio, A.I. Vorys, Superintendent of Insurance, (Springfield Ohio Publishing Co, State Printers, 1906); Google Books.com.

Jul 11

Tombstone Tuesday–Philip & Etta (Leistner) Huffman

Philip & Etta (Leistner) Huffman, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2017 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Philip and Etta (Leistner) Huffman, located in row 3 of Kessler Cemetery, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

HUFFMAN
Philip
1859-1954
Etta
1874-1956

Philip Huffman was born 24 December 1859 in Mercer County, Ohio, to Ferdinand and Elizabeth (Herzog/Hartzog) Huffman. He had a twin sister Elizabeth. Zion’s familienbuch indicates that the twins were baptized in Mercer County, Ohio, but their baptisms are not recorded in Zion Chatt’s records. Philip was confirmed at Zion Chatt on 14 April 1874 but there is no record that Elizabeth was confirmed there.

In 1860 the Huffmans lived south of Chatt and had a Skeels Cross Roads Post Office address. Philip was enumerated in the 1860 census when he was just 8 months old. [1] He was enumerated in the 1880 census with his parents and six siblings and his occupation was a carpenter. [2]

Philip and his twin sister Elizabeth, age 37, were both still living at home with their parents in Liberty Township in 1900. Both were single and Philip was a day laborer. [3]

Philip Hoffman married Etta Leistner 29 April 1903 at Zion Chatt, married by Zion’s minister R.V. Smith. Etta was 28 years old, born in Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, in August of 1874, the daughter of John and Leana (Hinton) Leistner. Etta used the name Ethel on her marriage license. Philip, age 39, lived in Chatt and worked as a carpenter. Neither was previously married. [4]

Etta’s date of birth was recorded in Blackcreek Township as 25 August 1874. [5]

Etta Leistner grew up in Blackcreek Township. She was baptized, christened as Leiniette, at Zion Chatt with her younger sister Flarensdelle on 26 June 1876. Their baptismal sponsors were Barbara Leistner and Catharina Beyer. Their mother’s name was recorded as Magdalena (Hinton) Leistner. Etta’s name is shown as Ettie in some records.

The extended Leistner family lived together in 1880: Andrew, 72; Barbara, 68, wife; John, 34, son; Andrew, 25, son; Leann A, 30, sister-in-law; Sinsetta, 5, daughter; Florance D, 4, daughter; and Barbara E, 2, daughter. The older couple, Andrew and Barbara, were Etta’s grandparents. The daughter enumerated as Sinsetta was Etta and she was disabled, with what was described as a spinal contraction. [6] Apparently Etta’s given name was Sinsetta or Leiniette or something similar. The handwritten S and L can be difficult to differentiate and is indexed differently on different records.

The Leistner household in 1900: John, 54; LaAnn, 52; Etta S, 25; Barbara E, 22; Anna E, 16; John H, 13; and Mary M, 11. John and Leana had been married 28 years and had had 8 children, but only 6 were living. John was a farmer. Etta was born in August 1874, was single, could read and write, and spoke English. This enumeration indicates that Etta’s middle initial was S. [7]

Etta married Philip Huffman in 1903.

The Philip Huffman household as enumerated in 1910: Philip, 52, Etta, 36, and their daughter Bernice, 3. Bernice was the only child they had. Philip was a general farmer and he and Etta had been married 7 years. [8]

In 1920 the Huffmans lived on a farm. In the household: Philip, 57; Etta, 46; their daughter, enumerated as Grace, 13; and nephew Jesse, 14. Philip still worked as a general farmer. [9]

Philip, 68, and Etta, 55, lived by themselves in 1930. Philip worked as a carpenter, doing public work. [10]  

I have to wonder who reported their ages in these census enumerations. The ages certainly varied a lot!

In 1940 Philip, 81, was an old age pensioner, likely retired from farming completely. Etta, age 65, did not work. The highest grade Philip completed in school was the 6th grade and Etta had completed the 5th grade. They lived in the same house as they did in 1935. [11]

According to Zion Chatt’s death records Philip Huffman died of complications at 9:30 p.m. on 15 October 1954 in Celina, at the age of 94 years, 9 months, and 21 days. He was buried on the 18th. He was survived by his wife Etta; daughter Mrs. Grace Raudenbush; 2 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; and a sister Mrs. Rose Zellinger. The record goes on to state that he was born 24 December 1859 to Ferdinand and Elizabeth Hartzog Huffman. He was one of a pair of twins who was baptized, and was confirmed on Jubilate Sunday in 1875 by Rev. Schmidt. He was married 29 April 1903 by Rev. R.V. Smith.

Obituary:

Philip Huffman
Celina, Oct. 16—Services for Philip Huffman, 94, retired meat market operator, who died Friday, will be at 2:15 p.m. Monday in Zion Lutheran Church in Chattanooga, west of Rockford. The Rev. Waldo Byers will officiate and burial will be in Kessler Cemetery.

Mr. Huffman is survived by his widow, Etta; a daughter, Mrs. Dwight Raudenbush, Celina; and a sister, Mrs. Rosa Zeilinger, San Diego, Calif.; two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Friends may call at the Dick & Stallter Funeral Home. [12]

According to Zion Chatt’s death records Etta (Leistner) Hoffman died of a complication of ailments at 6:30 a.m. on 5 October 1956 at the age of 82 years, 1 month, and 10 days. She was buried on the 8th. She was survived by her daughter Grace Raudenbush, 2 granddaughters, Mrs. William Nash, and Nila Sue Raudenbush; a brother John Leistner, 2 sisters, Mrs. Charles Kuhn, and Mrs. Martin Affolder. This record also indicates that she was the daughter of John Leistner and was baptized at West Bethel. [Zion’s records show she was baptized at Zion.] She married Philip Huffman 29 April 1903 at Zion.

Obituary:

Mrs. Etta Huffman
Celina—Services for Mrs. Etta Leistner Huffman, 82, here, will be at 1:30 p.m. Monday in the Dick & Stallter Funeral Home and at 2:30 p.m. in the Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga. The Rev. Waldo Byers will officiate and burial will be in Kessler Cemetery, south of Chattanooga.

Mrs. Huffman died at 6:30 a.m. Friday in the Gibbons Hospital of complications, after being a patient there for three weeks.

A lifelong resident of Mercer County, she was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church. She was the widow of Philip Huffman who died in 1954, one year after they had observed their Golden wedding anniversary.

Surviving are a son-in-law and daughter with whom she had made her home for 16 years, Mr. and Mrs. Dwight Raudenbaush [sic], Celina’ two granddaughters, and two great-granddaughters.

Friends may call at the funeral home after 1 p.m. Saturday. [13]

At one time Philip and Elizabeth were the oldest living pair of twins in Mercer County.

Elizabeth Huffman next to Philip & Etta (Leistner) Huffman, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2017 photo by Karen)

Philip and Etta Huffman’s tombstone is located next to that of Philip’s twin sister Elizabeth Huffman.

Philip and Etta had one child:
Grace Bernice (1906-1998), married Dwight Raudenbush

 

[1] 1860 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, p.358, dwelling 998, family 1003, Fred Hoofman; Ancestry.com; FHL microfilm 805009, NARA microfilm M653, roll 1009.

[2] 1880 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, Ed 188, p.472D, dwelling 27, family 28, Ferdinand Hoffman; Ancestry.com; NARA microfilm T9, roll 1048.

[3] 1900 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 85, p.9A, dwelling 166, family 171, Ferdinand Hoffman; Ancestry.com; FHL microfilm 1241304, NARA microfilm T623, roll 1304.

[4] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” FamilySearch.org, Philip Huffman & Etherl Leistner, 29 Apr 1903; Mercer Marriages, Vol.8, p.441; FHL microfilm 914957.

[5] Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973, Black Creek Township, Mercer County, Ohio, S…Tte Leistner, female, 25 Aug 1874; Ancestry.com; from ”Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962,” index, FamilySearch.org.

[6] 1880 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, ED 179, p.323A, dwelling 2, family 1, Andres Leistner; Ancestry.com; NARA microfilm T9, roll 1048.

[7] 1900 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, ED 74, p.7B, dwelling & family 155, John Leistner; Ancestry.com; FHL microfilm 1241303, NARA microfilm T623, roll 1303.

[8] 1910 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 119, p.16B, dwelling 157, family 318, Philip Huffman; Ancestry.com; FHL microfilm 1375227, NARA microfilm T624, roll 1214.

[9] 1920 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 140, p.3B dwelling & family 59, Philip Hoffman; Ancestry.com; NARA microfilm T625, roll 1418.

[10] 1930 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 20, p.10B, dwelling & family 253, Philip Hoffman; Ancestry.com; FHL microfilm 2341584, NARA microfilm T626, roll 1850.

[11] 1940 U.S Census, Liberty Mercer, Ohio, ED 54-22, p.15A, line 26, Philip Huffman; Anecstry.com; NARA microfilm T627, roll 3114.

[12] The Lima News, 17 Oct 1854, p.2A; Ancestry.com.

[13] The Lima News, 5 Oct 1956, p.12, Ancestry.com.

Jul 07

The Breuninger Boots

Last Saturday was a very pleasant summer day so we decided to drive up to northern Indiana and spend the day in Shipshewana.

I actually had an ulterior motive. Ever since we were up there last month, talking with the shoemaker at the Center for Traditional Arts, 160 Morton Street, about my great-great-grandfather’s boots, I couldn’t wait to go back and show him the boots in person and see what he had to say about them.

Louis Breuninger Boots

These boots belonged to my great-great-grandfather Louis Breuninger who was born in Bachlingen, Württemberg, in 1819 and came to America with his brother Carl about 1840. Louis lived in Green Bay, Wisconsin, until about 1869, when he moved to Van Wert County, Ohio, near Willshire. He died near Willshire in 1890.

Louis Breuninger (1819-1890)

My mom found these boots in an old wooden chest/box in the barn along with some other items she said belonged to Louis. She thought that he brought the boots with him from Germany. When she found them they were very dirty and inhabited by wasps and it took her a lot of time and work to clean them up.

Her cleaning paid off and they look like a new pair of boots! They are in very good, nearly pristine condition and I was eager to learn more about them from someone who is an expert on antique footwear.

I took the pair of boots along with me Saturday and here is the shoemaker’s assessment of the boots:

They are leather riding boots, but they could have been worn as dress or a work boots. They were made and machine stitched by a professional and would have been made specifically for Louis. They are a left and right boot, not a straight last boot made for either foot, as I first thought.

Stitching on Breuninger boots.

Stitching on Breuninger boots.

This type of boot is called a Whole Cut Wellington, made from one continuous piece of leather, stitched for inner support. This style, high in the front and low in the back, dates back to the 1700s and they were popular during the Civil War.  They have a steel shank and a clump sole. The heels consist of 8 layers of thin leather pieces stacked together and the soles are held together by screws, square zinc nails, and square wooden pegs.

Heel made of stacked leather.

He gave me a couple wooden shoe pegs, which are about 5/8 inch long. They put these little square pegs in round holes. Evidently this is where the term “a square peg in a round hole” comes from!

Square wooden boot pegs.

The boots measure 18 inches tall in the front and 15¼ inches in tall in the back. They are about 11¾ inches long and 4¼ inches wide at the widest part. They have a square toe and the heel is about 7/8 inch high. They are very dark brown or black and red on the inside top 4 inches.

Breuninger boot sole

And they are heavy! They weigh a little over 7 pounds. The leather is rather stiff, not soft and supple, and I think they would be difficult to put on.

These boots look large but compared to Joe’s shoes, which are size 9½, Louis’ boots are about an inch shorter. So he had rather small feet.

Louis’ boots were likely made sometime between the mid-1800s and the 1920s, but the beading indicates that they were made close to the 1900s. That news was a little disappointing because that means that Louis would not have brought them with him from Germany when he immigrated.

If they are indeed Louis’ boots they would have been made before 1890, when he died. I am not sure how my mom determined they were Louis’ boots when she found them in the barn. Maybe grandpa Schumm told her that or maybe she found them with some of Louis’ other possessions. But since it appears these boots were made much later than we thought I suppose there is the possibility that they belonged to someone else in the family. Perhaps they belonged to my great-grandfather Louis Schumm. Louis Schumm (1851-1938) was Louis Breuninger’s son-in-law, married to Sarah Breuninger (1861-1921). My grandfather Cornelius was born in 1896, and they could have even been his boots if they were made in the 1920s.

It is wonderful to know a little about the history and construction of this wonderful pair of old boots, which appear to have hardly ever been worn.

For now I will go with what my mom said and assume they were Louis Breuninger’s boots. They are still a great family heirloom even though Louis probably did not bring them with him from Germany.

Jul 04

Happy Fourth of July!

Independence Day 2017. 241 years since the Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, declaring that the thirteen colonies were no longer part of Great Britain, but independent sovereign states, part of a new nation.

“Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” –Benjamin Franklin

“Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.” –Louis D. Brandeis

“And I’m proud to an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.” –Lee Greenwood

I wish everyone a happy and safe Independence Day.

God Bless America! Land that I love.

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