Oct 28

Halloween Memories

Halloween is just a few days away and many people will pass out candy to young trick-or-treaters very soon. Years ago this was also known as Beggar’s Night.

When Joe and I were first married we lived in Celina I noticed a difference between trick-or-treating in the country and trick-or-treating in town. When I was young I went only to the homes of people we knew–family, friends, and our rural neighbors. People would try to guess who was behind the mask. Everyone knew everyone. But trick-or-treat night in town was totally different from what I was used to. Many trick-or-treaters came to our house and I did not know any of them. There was no guessing who the kids were. Nevertheless, it was fun and we passed out a lot of candy.

I don’t recall ever dressing up in Halloween costumes at school, but they did when my mom went to school at Zion Lutheran Parochial School at Schumm.

Below are two photos of vintage, and probably partially homemade, Halloween costumes worn by the students at Schumm’s parochial school. This was likely during the1940s and my mom, Florence (Schumm), was one of the students. But which one? It is impossible to tell, but I think I know. Her two sisters were probably also in the photo.

Schumm Parochial School

Halloween, Zion Lutheran Parochial School, Schumm, Ohio.

Another photo that looks like it was taken at the same time as the above photo, but with fewer children. These look like the younger students.

Zion Lutheran Parochial School at Schumm.

Zion Lutheran Parochial School at Schumm.

Their masks were really sort of creepy but I am sure the students enjoyed dressing up for Halloween at school and getting sweet treats.

It is too bad that we do not know who these little goblins were.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Oct 25

Tombstone Tuesday–Halloween Edition

Halloween is less than a week away and today I am going to deviate from my usual Tombstone Tuesday post and instead show some tombstone art I have photographed over the years. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Some photos taken while we were in Boston, when our son Jeff ran the Boston Marathon in 2009:

Boston (2009 photo by Karen)

Skull & crossbones, Boston. (2009 photo by Karen)

Boston (2009 photo by Karen)

Boston (2009 photo by Karen)

Soul Effigy. Boston (2009 photo by Karen)

Soul Effigy, Boston (2009 photo by Karen)

Some local grave monuments.

Riverside Cemetery, Geneva, IN. (2014 photo by Karen)

Riverside Cemetery, Geneva, IN. (2014 photo by Karen)

Riverside Cemetery, Geneva, IN. (2014 photo by Karen)

Riverside Cemetery, Geneva, IN. (2014 photo by Karen)

Woodlawn Cemetery, Lima, OH. (2013 photo by Karen)

Woodlawn Cemetery, Lima, OH. (2013 photo by Karen)

St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Wapakoneta, OH. (2013 photo by Karen)

St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Wapakoneta, OH. (2013 photo by Karen)

Green Lawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta, OH. (2013 photo by Karen)

Green Lawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta, OH. (2013 photo by Karen)

Green Lawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta, OH. (2013 photo by Karen)

Green Lawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta, OH. (2013 photo by Karen)

Union Cemetery, Greenville, OH. (2006 photo by Karen)

Union Cemetery, Greenville, OH. (2006 photo by Karen)

Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert, OH. (2011 photo by Karen)

Knights Templar, Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert, OH. (2011 photo by Karen)

Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert, OH. (2011 photo by Karen)

Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert, OH. (2011 photo by Karen)

Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City, OH. (2004 photo by Karen)

Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City, OH. (2013 photo by Karen)

Woodlawn Cemetery, Lima, OH. (2013 photo by Karen)

Woodlawn Cemetery, Lima, OH. (2013 photo by Karen)

 

Oct 21

Photos of Maria (Pflueger) Schumm

While looking through some old Schumm and Germann photos I noticed a photo of a group of women, one of the women being Maria (Pflueger) Schumm (1820-1903), the wife of George Martin Schumm.

A few years ago I thought there were only one or two photos of Maria, but over time I have gathered several photos of her.

The photo below was one of Velma Schumm’s photos and Maria (Pflueger) Schumm is the oldest woman in the photo, the lady on the far right. The photo is also labeled on the back: Aunt Mary Weck, Aunt Ida, Grandma, Molly?, Aunt Anna Schumm, and great-grandmother Schumm.

Written on the back: Aunt Mary Weck, Aunt Ida, Grandma, Molly ?, Aunt Anna Schumm, Great-grandma Schumm.

Written on the back: Aunt Mary Weck, Aunt Ida, Grandma, Molly ?, Aunt Anna Schumm, Great-grandmother Schumm.

Only six names, but there are seven women in the photo. Darn. There was a space between the names Aunt Ida and Grandma, so maybe that is the unidentified person.

Who are the rest of these women?

Aunt Mary Weck would be Velma’s Aunt Clara Maria “Mary” (Schumm) Weck (1879-1971), who married Frederick Weck.

Aunt Ida would be Velma’s Aunt Ida Carolina Margaretha Schumm (1877-1914). She was a sister to Velma’s father Philip and she never married.

Next might be the unidentified woman, whose name was left out.

Grandma would be Velma’s grandmother Maria (Germann) Schumm (1847-1915), wife of Jacob Frederick Schumm. She would have been Maria (Pflueger) Schumm’s daughter-in-law.

Who is Molly, written with a question mark after her name? If Velma didn’t know Molly’s last name I am sure I don’t know it either. Velma was very good at labeling her photos. Possibly Mollie Schinnerer (1883-1955), daughter of Friedrick & Elizabeth (Schumm) Schinnerer? Or possibly Amalia Clara German (1884-1969), daughter of and Hannah (Schumm) Germann, who would marry Charles Schumm?

Aunt Anna Schumm. I am not sure who this would be. Could it have been Velma’s Aunt Jeanetta Ann (Bury) Schumm (1875-1916), wife of Charles/CJ Schumm? Or could she be Anna Elizabeth Rosina (Schumm) Germann (1868-1954), who married Stephen Germann? However, she usually went by the name of Rosina. Note: Stephen and Rosina Germann were the parents of Edna and Viola Germann, another good source of family photos I use quite often.

Great-grandmother Schumm would be Maria (Pflueger) Schumm.

Maria (Pflueger) Schumm (1820-1903) w/o Geo Martin Schumm, d/o Christian Pflueger

Maria (Pflueger) Schumm (1820-1903) w/o Geo Martin Schumm, d/o Christian Pflueger

Maria (Pflueger) Schumm was born 20 June 1820 in Germany and died 25 March 1903 in Van Wert County, Ohio.

Maria (Pflueger) Schumm

Maria (Pflueger) Schumm

Maria was the daughter of J. Christian and Anna Barbara (Sekel) Pflueger. The Pfluegers were from Schrozberg and the parents emigrated with their six children in 1832. They first settled in Holmes County, Ohio, before moving to Van Wert County, near Schumm, a few years later.

This immigration story is very similar to that of the Schumm’s. The Schumms immigrated in 1833 and also lived in Holmes County a few years before moving to Van Wert County. In fact, the two families intermarried—two Pflueger sisters married two Schumm brothers. Maria married George Martin Schumm and her sister Anna Barbara married George Ludwig Schumm, my great-great-grandparents.

Maria Pflueger and George Martin Schumm married 1 May 1838 in Holmes County. [1]

George Martin & Maria (Pflueger) Schumm.

George Martin & Maria (Pflueger) Schumm.

Maria Pflueger Schumm (1820-1903)

Maria Pflueger Schumm

Maria (Pflueger) (1820-1903) & George Martin Schumm (1812-1871)

Maria (Pflueger) &  husband George Martin Schumm

When put together, this makes a nice collection of photos of Maria, my second great-grandaunt. Since I do not have any photos of her sister Barbara, who was my great-grandmother, I like to think that perhaps they looked alike, which gives me an idea of what Barbara might have looked like.

 

[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 24 Nov 2013), George Schumm and Mary Pfluger, 01 May 1838; Holmes County, Ohio, Marriages, Vol. 2 1831-1867, p.44; FHL microfilm 477144.

 

Oct 18

Tombstone Tuesday–Harold E. & Berneice F. (Becher) Stetler

Harold & Berneice (Becher) Stetler, Riverside Cemetery, Rockford, Dublin Twp, Ohio. (2016 photo by Karen)

Harold & Berneice (Becher) Stetler, Riverside Cemetery, Rockford, Dublin Twp, Ohio. (2016 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Harold E. and Berneice F. (Becher) Stetler, located in Riverside Cemetery, Rockford, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

STETLER

Berneice F.
1915-2008

Harold E.
1914-2008

Married Feb. 15, 1936

Harold Eugene Stetler was born in Van Wert County, Ohio, on 18 June 1914, the son of Roy H. and Blanche O. (Koontz) Stetler.

Harold grew up on a farm near Willshire and his father was a farmer. His father Roy was born in Willshire Township in 1893, the son of George Henry and Clara Jane (Hileman) Stetler. His mother Blanche was born in Ohio, the daughter of C.B. and Hattie J. (Hoblit) Koontz.  Roy and Blanche married 27 November 1913 in Van Wert County, Ohio. It is interesting that they were married by Rev. A.M. Johnson, the same minister who officiated at the marriage of Harold and Berneice 23 years later. [1] [2]

In 1920 the Stetler family lived in Willshire Township and in the household were Roy H, 26; Blanch O, 25, and Harold Eugene, 5. [3]

The family remained in Willshire Township and their household in 1930: Roy, 37; Blanch, 35, Harold, 16. Also living with them were Roy’s divorced sister Annis Weinman, 33, and her son Richard D. Weinman, 4. [4]

Harold Stetler married Berneice Becher on 15 February 1936. They were married by A.M. Johnson of Huntington, Indiana, but they have a Mercer County marriage license and return. Their marriage was not recorded in the Zion Chatt’s records. Berneice was a minor and had her parents’ consent. [2]

Berneice Friedericka Becher was born in Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio, on 26 May 1915, the daughter of William and Katharine (Schaadt) Becher. She was baptized at Zion Chatt on 18 July 1915 with John F. Becher and Mrs. Friedericka Becher as her sponsors. Berneice was confirmed at Zion Chatt on 24 March 1929 by Rev. J.E. Albrecht.

1929 Confirmation class, Zion Lutheran, Chattanooga, OH.

1929 Confirmation class, Zion Lutheran, Chattanooga, OH.

In the photo above Berneice Becher is girl seated on the left side. Those in the 1929 confirmation photo, left to right, seated: Morris Huffman, Berneice Becher, Rev. Albrecht, Pauline McGough, Waldo Brandt. Middle row: John Albrecht, Herb Brandt, Vernon Caffee, Elihu Davison, Werner Becher. Back row: Reginald Fisher, Paul McGough, Charles Strabel, Luther Bollenbacher.

Berneice’s church confirmation record indicates she was born in 1914, but her church baptism record indicates the year was 1915.

In 1940, four years after their marriage, Harold, 25, and Berniece, 24, lived on a farm they rented south of Willshire. They had their only child by this time, their son Ronald, age 2. Also in the household were Harold’s father Roy, 47, and mother, listed as Hattie F. Koontz, age 46. Harold was listed as the head of the household. Harold and his parents had lived in the same house in 1935 but Berniece had lived in Mercer County in 1935. [5] It is likely that Harold and Berneice had moved in with Harold’s parents after their marriage and were living with them.

Harold was a farmer, according to his marriage license and census enumerations. He joined Zion Chatt on 15 April 1945. He had been a member of the Willshire Methodist church.

Harold and Berneice were one of the longest-married couples at our church, married over 70 years.

Harold & Berneice Stetler, 65th wedding Anniversary, 2001.

Harold & Berneice Stetler, 65th wedding Anniversary, 2001, Zion Chatt.

I remember Harold and Berneice very well. They were at church services nearly every Sunday, always with smiles on their faces.  Such a pleasant sweet couple. I don’t know where the nickname came from, but nearly everyone called him Mike.

Harold Stetler died 7 April 2008 at the age of 93 at the Van Wert County Hospital. He was buried on the 11th with Rev. Randall Swanson in charge of the service.

Berneice (Becher) Stetler died less than five months later, on 27 August 2008, at the Laurels of Shane Hill, Rockford. She was also 93 years old. Berneice was the last surviving member of her immediate family.

I was a little surprised when I noticed that Harold and Berniece were not buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery. When we drove to Riverside Cemetery to get a photo of their tombstone I noticed that they are buried next to Harold’s parents.

Harold & Berneice Stetler buried next to his parents, Roy & Blanch Stetler. (2016 photo by Karen)

Harold & Berneice Stetler buried next to his parents, Roy & Blanch Stetler. (2016 photo by Karen)

 

[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 15 Oct 2016), Roy H. Stetler and Blanche O. Koontz, 27 Nov 1913; Van Wert, Ohio, Marriages Vol. 14, p.253; FHL microfilm 1015865.

[2] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 15 Oct 2016), Harold E Stetler and Berneice Becher, 15 Feb 1936; Mercer, Ohio, Marriages Vol. 14, p.301; FHL microfilm 2366955.

[3] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 146, p.6B, dwelling 131, family 132, Roy H Stettler; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Oct 2016); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 1446.

[4] 1930 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 24, p.1A, dwelling/family 13, Ray H Stetler; digital im age by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Oct 2016); from FHL microfilm 2341624, from NARA microfilm T626, roll 1890.

[5] 1940 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 81-28, p.9A, line 39, Harold E. Stetler; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Oct 2016); from NARA microfilm T627, roll 3163.

Oct 14

East Bethel Church

As I wrote this week’s Tombstone Tuesday about Buress and Leona (Becher) McBride I was reminded of East Bethel Church, a local church that no longer exists, and one of its former pastors. The McBrides were members of East Bethel Church, a church that was located just a couple miles east of where I grew up.

East Bethel Church is no longer standing. They tore it down around 1967 but I remember it when it stood just west of its cemetery, named East Bethel Cemetery.

The church was located on State Route 707, 2½ miles east of State Route 49, east of the intersection of State Route 707 and Wabash Road. It was in Section 34 of Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio.

Below is an old photo of East Bethel Church, probably not long before it was torn down. The congregation was disbanded in 1963 and the church looks like it was not in use when this photo was taken. Note the cemetery in the background, to the left.

East Bethel Church, Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio.

East Bethel Church, Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio.

East Bethel church was organized in 1855 as a Liberal United Brethren church.

The congregation began when Rev. Gillen held services for a group of people in a small log cabin a short distance from where the church would later be built. Gillen came from the old Miami Conference and had also organized the United Brethren Church at Montezuma in 1845. Jane Reichert, Altie Hill Lower, and Mrs. Richards, relatives of the Montezuma Class but lived in Blackcreek Township, recorded the information about East Bethel Church.

The class was organized 2 June 1860, in the home of Mother Henderson, with the assistance of Ms. King. Rev. Abe Miller and Rev. John Hill were the organizers of the class and Rev. Miller was the first pastor. One of the first Bible readers was a man named Martz.

The church was first named Mt. Pleasant, but since there were seven other churches named Pleasant in the area they dropped the name Pleasant and began using the name Bethel in 1884. Over the years it was known by several names–Mt. Pleasant, Pleasant-Bethel until 1884, Bethel Brethren, and finally East Bethel.

East Bethel Church, Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio.

East Bethel Church, Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio.

East Bethel was first part of the old Maumee Conference, then part of the Auglaize Conference, the Sandusky Conference, and finally the Ohio Sandusky Conference.

Names on record of the church include Harb, Martz, Marks, Gause, Shindledecker, King, Henderson, Jordan, Summers, Cremean, Cartwright, Carpenter, Carr, Stober, Skinner, Andress, Leistner, Johnson, Roebuck, Counterman, Miller, and Slusser.  Rev. Thomas Coates was mentioned in 1867. [1]

Land for the church was purchased for $5 from Henry C. Morrison by the church trustees in September 1886. [2] At that time Bethel was part of the Pleasant Grove circuit of the Auglaize Conference.

In 1909 the trustees purchased additional land from John and Barbara Leistner to enlarge the church lot. Trustees at that time were Andrew Harb, W.E. Counterman, Peter D. Cross, and J.J. Carr.

East Bethel Cemetery, Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio. (2016 photo by Karen)

East Bethel Cemetery, Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio. (2016 photo by Karen)

East Bethel, one of seven churches once located in Blackcreek Township, closed its doors closed 30 June 1963. The last church members were Lillian Martz Carr, Edwin & Naomi Counterman, Lloyd & Florence Gause, Iris Roebuck Putman, Buress McBride, Lola Purdy Fisher, Zoa Miller Groth, Melvin & Mary Counterman Hull, Marie Counterman Schnarre, Nellie Purdy Cross, Carl Cross, Laura Wolf Counterman, Lucille Gause, Beatrice Gause Huston, John & Icy Gehm, and Melville & Louise Gehm. Each family was descended from the original members. [1]

Very few of their church records exist today and those that do are probably held by a several individuals.

Leona McBride’s obituary indicates that Rev. Delbert Cress was in charge of her funeral service. I did not know Rev. Cress but I did know his wife, Juanita Cress. She was one of my teachers and I spent all four of my high school years at Parkway High School in one of her her algebra and/or geometry classes.

Juanita Cress, algebra & geometry teacher at Parkway High School in the 1960s.

Juanita Cress, algebra & geometry teacher at Parkway High School in the 1960s.

I really liked algebra (geometry, not so much) and I enjoyed Mrs. Cress’ classes. I actually did very well in her classes. It must have been a challenge for her to try to explain x, y, and z to a class full of teenage high school students, knowing that a good number of them probably did not really want to be in the class. But her classes were among my favorites.

 

[1] Information from by Florence Gause, acquired from church history, notes from conference records, early Ohio history accounts.

[2] Mercer County Deeds, Vol. 52:365, Recorder’s Office, Celina, Ohio.

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