Aug 01

What to Wear?

This Sunday is the Schumm reunion, held every two years at Zion Lutheran, Schumm. This year I received several e-mails asking what kind of clothing is appropriate to wear to the event.

As you would suspect, these questions come from women. I don’t think men give quite as much thought and deliberation to their attire as women do. I know I sometimes change clothes several times before I walk out the door, while Joe has a much easier time selecting his wardrobe.

In 1924 the Schumm relatives dressed up for their first reunion. They attended in suits, ties, dresses, and hats.

The first Schumm reunion, 1924.

The first Schumm reunion, 1924.

It can be difficult trying to decide what to wear to a reunion. You want to look nice but be comfortable at the same time. The wardrobe challenge of the Schumm reunion is that it is an all-day event, starting with the morning church service. After church there is visiting, a smorgasbord-type meal, visiting, the afternoon meeting and program, followed by more visiting, and the final farewells.

Karel Thompson & Velma Schumm, 2008 Schumm Reunion.

Karel Thompson & Velma Schumm, 2008 Schumm Reunion.

What to wear to a church service that is followed by a picnic-style reunion? Folks usually dress up a bit for a church service, but who wants to walk around all afternoon in dress clothes and heels.

The locals have enough time to go home and change clothes, but what about those from out-of-town? It is usually more convenient for them to wear the same outfit all day rather than pack and drag along extra clothes.

2012 Schumm Reunion

2012 Schumm Reunion

The solution is, and I have this on good authority, that you can dress casually for the entire day. Nice casual clothes, such as capris pants, slacks, or a sun dress, are appropriate for all the events on Schumm Reunion Sunday, including the morning church service. But if any want to they can change clothes in the church restroom.

2008 Schumm Reunion

2008 Schumm Reunion

I will not be changing between church and the reunion. I will just head over to Schumm right after our service at Zion Chatt and I will probably wear capris.

As you can see, hats, which were so fashionable and popular at the first Schumm reunion in 1924, are still stylish after all these years.

Karen & Karel Thompson2006 Schumm Reunion

Karen & Karel Thompson, 2006 Schumm Reunion

This year I could have attended four reunions in two weeks. That amounts to two reunions a Sunday, two Sundays in a row. Although I wish I could, I just cannot be in two places at once.

Last Sunday was our annual Miller reunion, but I was also invited to a Brewster reunion near Muncie, for the descendants of Daniel Brewster and his second wife Loverda Bebout. That invitation came about as a result of my recent meeting with Darrel “Pete” Brewster, who descends from that side of the family.

This Sunday’s two reunions are the Schumm reunion and another Brewster reunion, this one held in Berne, for the descendants of Philip and Pearl (Reid) Brewster. Philip was the son of Daniel and his first wife Sarah Fetters.

I have heard rumors that this may be the last Brewster reunion so I may slip out of the Schumm reunion early and drive over to Berne to visit with some of my Brewster relatives. Who knows, Pete may even be there.

Now I just need to decide what to wear and what dish to fix…

Jul 29

Tombstone Tuesday–Michael and Elizabeth (Mueller) Kuhm

This is the tombstone of Michael (Sr) and Elisabeth (Mueller) Kuhm, located in row 6 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio.

Michael & Elisabeth Kuhm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

Michael & Elisabeth Kuhm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

The marker is inscribed:

Hier ruht in Gott

Geb. den
29 Juli 1826
Gest. Den
18 Nov. 1909


Geb. den
27 Aug. 1826
Gest. den
22 April 1912


[Here rests in God, Father Michael Kuhm, born 29 July 1826, died 18 November 1909; Mother Elisabeth Kuhm, born 27 August 1826, died 22 April 1912.]

The following information for both Michael and Elisabeth is from Zion Chatt’s records and their tombstones:

Michael was born 29 July 1826 in Schillersdorf, Elsass [now in Germany]. The records did not say who his parents were. He died of old age on 18 November 1909, at the age of 83 years, 3 months, and 20 days. Michael was buried on the 21st and was survived by his widow and 4 children.

Michael’s wife, Maria Elisabeth (Mueller) Kuehm, was born 27 Aug 1826 and died 22 April 1912, at the age of 85 years, 7 months, and 25 days. She died of old age and complications from a throat problem and was buried on the 24th. Elisabeth was survived by 1 son, 3 daughters, 30 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren. The records did not give the names of her parents or where she was born.

After searching for some time I finally located the Kuhms in the census records. Sometimes a surname is indexed with a different spelling, depending on how the name was read and transcribed when it was indexed. That can sometimes make it difficult to find a family on websites such as and Plus, a name may be indexed differently on different websites, so it may be helpful to search for a hard-to-find name on several websites that have indexed records. I tried all that, so I used another method to find them–I searched for a neighbor with an easier-to-spell name. And it worked!

I searched for Jacob Hiller. The Hillers also attended Zion Chatt, where the Kuhms were baptismal sponsors for some of the Hiller children. Thinking of the “FAN” technique [friends, associates, neighbors], I figured the two families were probably neighbors and friends. They were. And I suspected the families lived in Adams County, Indiana. They did. So I searched for Jacob Hiller in Adams County, Indiana, and found the Hillers and Kuhms were enumerated side-by-side in both the 1880 and 1900 censuses, both living in Jefferson Township in Adams County. And they all likely lived very close to Chatt.

Michael and Elisabeth Kuhm were both 53 years old in 1880 and Michael was a farmer. The family consisted of the Kuhm children: Michael (Jr), 19; Jacob, 17; Mary, 15; Lena, 12; Barbara, 10; and George, 8. All were born in “Alsaac” [Elsass], [1] and from Zion’s records we know they were from Schillersdorf.

In 1900 the Kuhms were still living in Jefferson Township and still residing near the Hillers. They were enumerated between Jacob and George Hiller. The 1900 census is one of my favorites because it asked some different, but good questions, such as the year of immigration.

There were only three family members in the “Kuehm” household in 1900. [Yes, the name was spelled Kuehm in this record.] This enumeration indicates that Michael was born in July of 1827, that his wife Elisabeth was born in August of 1826, and that Lena was born in August of 1867 and was 32 years old. Both Michael and Elisabeth were 73 years old and they had been married 55 years. Their daughter Lena was singe. Elisabeth had given birth to eight children but only three were still living. [There may have been more children living, according to later records.] All three in the household were born in Germany and Michael immigrated in 1873. We know they were all born in Germany and I would assume the whole family immigrated together. Michael was a farmer and owned his farm. [2]

As I browsed through a few pages of those censuses I noticed that the Kuhms didn’t live all that far from some of my Brewster ancestors: great-great-grandfather Daniel Brewster and great-grandfather Philip Brewster. My grandma Gertrude Brewster was just 13 years old then. They also lived close to Charles Brewster, Winfield Brewster, Jesse Buckmaster, John Bollenbacher, Jacob Bollenbacher, James Duff, and Conrad Heffner, to mention a few. All familiar names. Jefferson Township borders Ohio and many of these Indiana folks conducted business in Chatt, and of course some attended church at Zion Chatt.

Michael died a year before the 1910 census was taken and Elisabeth, age 83, was a widow in 1910. She was living with her daughter Barbara “Phizer” [Pfeifer] and Elisabeth’s two Pfeifer grandchildren, Hilda, 8, and Carl, 6. Barbara was 40 years old and married, but her husband was not enumerated with them. They were living close to Elisabeth’s son Michael Kuhm Jr and his family, and all were still living close to the Hillers. [3]

Michael and Elisabeth (Mueller) Kuhm had the following children:

Margaretha (1855-1942), married Michael Schott
Michael Jr (1861-1947),married Maria Geier
Jacob (1863-1899), married Julie Berron
Maria (1865-1890), married Georg Berron
Magdalena “Lena” (1867-1909)
Barbara (1870-1928), married George J Pfeifer
Georg (1871-1899), married Lizzie Goess

Zion Chatt’s records mention a Catherine/Katherine Kuhm, married to George Hoehamer, who was a baptismal sponsor for a couple children. At this point I do not know if she was another daughter of Michael and Elisabeth.


[1] 1880 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams County, Indiana, ED 133, p. 6B, dwelling 50, family 50, Michael Kuhm; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 23 July 2014); from NARA microfilm T9, roll 263.

[2] 1900 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams County, Indiana, ED 4, p. 11B, dwelling 203, family 203, Michael Kuehm; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 23 July 2014); from FHL microfilm 1240357, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 357.

[3] 1910 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams County, Indiana, ED 4, p. 2B, visited 37, family 37, Elizebeth Kuhm; ( : accessed 23 July 2014); from FHL microfilm 1374351, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 338.

Jul 25

Hats Off to Family Reunions

It’s family reunion time once again. The event that brings family members from near and far to see and visit relatives, sometimes meeting for the first time. A time to catch up on family news and meet the new babies. Where there is an abundance of good food–old family favorites as well as new recipes–that create one big home-cooked buffet, spread over several tables. Looking through and trying to identify old photos.

We regularly attend two family reunions and they will be held the next two weekends. Our Miller reunion, for the descendants of my grandparents Carl and Gertrude (Brewster) Miller, is this weekend. About 50 relatives attend and the out-of-towners will begin to arrive Friday afternoon.

The biennial Schumm reunion, for the descendants of my third great-grandfather John George and Anna Maria (Fisher) Schumm, is scheduled for the next weekend, 3 August. About two hundred relatives usually attend the Schumm reunion, which is an all-day event..

This past week I looked at some old reunion photos and I noticed that the attendees were all dressed up at the first Schumm reunion, held in 1924. This is no surprise because the Schumm reunion has always been held after the Sunday worship service and people were still in their church clothes.

I also noticed that hats seemed to be very fashionable in the 1924, at least with the Schumms.

The men wore hats and the women wore hats.

The first Schumm reunion, 1924.

The first Schumm reunion, 1924.

The girls wore hats.

The first Schumm reunion, 1924.

The first Schumm reunion, 1924.

The boys wore hats. And knickers!

The first Schumm reunion, 1924.

The first Schumm reunion, 1924.

Even the very young children wore hats.

Schumm Reunion 1924.

Schumm Reunion 1924.

No one wore a hat for the photo taken at the first Brewster reunion in 1913.

The first Brewster reunion, 1913.

The first Brewster reunion, 1913.

Mainard Brewster was holding his hat. Perhaps the others took off their hats for the photo.

Mainard Brewster, holding hat, first Brewster reunion, 1913.

Mainard Brewster, holding hat, first Brewster reunion, 1913.

Below is what may have been the first Miller reunion, in about 1958.

Miller reunion, c1958.

Miller reunion, c1958.

Even though no Miller wore a hat to the 1958 reunion, some Millers liked to wear hats. Going back one generation, some of my great-grandfather Jacob Miller’s sons were sometimes photographed in a hat.

Chris Miller (1880-1911), son of Jacob Miller.

Chris Miller (1880-1911), son of Jacob Miller.

John Miller (1889-1964), son of Jacob.

John Miller (1889-1964), son of Jacob Miller.

Today ball caps are probably the most popular hats worn at reunions.

Hat or no hat, I am looking forward to seeing family this weekend and the next. I have already heard from some relatives who I have never met and who plan to attend the Schumm reunion this year. I am looking forward to meeting them.

And overeating on all that good reunion food…


Jul 22

Tombstone Tuesday–Kuhm Brother and Sister

Georg & Lena Kuhm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

Georg & Lena Kuhm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

The German words Bruder und Schwester are inscribed on the front of this marker, located in row 3 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Ohio.

Brother and Sister.

The column portion of this tombstone is now leaning against its base. It is a little difficult to see, but the base behind the column bears the name Kuhm in large letters.

At first I glance, looking at only the front of the tombstone, I thought it was probably the marker of two young siblings. But that is not the case. There is writing on two other sides of the marker that tell who the brother and sister were. Those inscriptions on the sides could easily be missed.

The north side of the marker is inscribed:

Gest den
26 Oct 1899
28J 10M 1T
Off. 1-11, Joh. 21:4

[Georg Kuhm died 26 Oct 1899, age 28 years, 10 months, 1 day.]

The south side of the marker is inscribed:

Gest den
3 Apr 1909
41J 8M 17T
1 Cor. 15: 42-43

[Lena Kuhm died 3 April 1909, age 41 years, 8 months, 17 days.]

They were not young children at all. Who were these two siblings, from a family that I know very little about? The only thing I know about the Kuhms is that is that there is a Miller/Kuhm marriage in the family. Pete Miller married Della Kuhm about 1914. Pete was the son of Jacob Miller [my great-grandfather] and his second wife Margaretha Strable. Pete was my granduncle and Della was the daughter of Michael Kuhm Jr and Maria Geier.

Georg & Lena Kuhm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery. (2014 photo by Karen)

Georg & Lena Kuhm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery. (2014 photo by Karen)

I found very little information about the Kuhm brother and sister in my two favorite Internet go-to sites, and So I went to one of my favorite and best local resources, Zion Chatt’s church records, where the family is mentioned a few times. [1]

The Kuhm family first appears in Zion’s records in 1875, when Michael Kuhm and his wife Elisabeth were baptismal sponsors for Elisabeth Hiller. There are a few Kuhm marriages, confirmations, and burials in Zion’s records. From these entries I learned that Elisabeth’s maiden name was Müller. That several, if not all, of Michael and Elisabeth’s children were born in Schillersdorf, Elsass, in what is now Germany. And that they immigrated sometime after 1863 and eventually lived in Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana.

Georg Kuhm, the brother named on the tombstone, was confirmed 6 April 1884 at Zion. This record gives his date of birth as 16 December 1871 and named his parents as Michael and Elisabeth Kuhm. He was likely born in Germany. Zion’s records indicate that he died in Hamilton County, Ohio, of a brain inflammation and stroke. He was survived by his widow, 2 children, his parents, and 6 siblings. The church burial record shows his age as 27 years, 10 months, and 10 days, which agrees with the 16 December birth date, but which disagrees with his tombstone inscription.

Georg Kuhm (2014 photo by Karen)

Georg Kuhm (2014 photo by Karen)

I did find a couple records for Georg Kuhm on Family Search and they add to the above information. Georg married Lizzie Goess in 1894 in Butler County, Ohio. [2] They had at least one son, Albert, born 12 April 1897, in Hanover Township, Butler County. [3] This would correspond with his death/burial information in the church records which states he was survived by a wife and 2 children and he died in Hamilton County, which is near Butler County. He was probably brought to his family and former home near Mercer County to be buried.

According to Zion’s records, his sister Magdalena “Lena” Kuhm was confirmed 16 April 1882. She died of pneumonia on 3 April 1909, at the age of 41 years, 8 months and 16 days and was buried on the 6th. Her calculated date of birth is 18 July 1867. Although the church records do not specifically name her parents, she communed with Michael and Elisabeth, the only Kuhm family in the area, and most importantly, her tombstone indicates she was the sister of Georg, who we know was the son of Michael and Elizabeth.

Lena Kuhm (2014 photo by Karen)

Lena Kuhm (2014 photo by Karen)

From the church records I was able to determine most of Georg and Lena’s siblings:
Maria Kuhm, married Georg Berron
Michael Kuhm Jr, married Maria Geier
Jacob Kuhm (1863-1899),married Julie Berron
Margaretha Kuhm, married Michael Schott

Bruder and Schwester.


[1] I have seen this name spelled Kuehm and Kühm, and our family usually pronounces the name as Keem, with a long e.

[2] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1997,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 Jul 2014), George Kuehm and Lizzie Goess, 4 Feb 1894; citing Marriage Records 1890-1898, Vol. 6, p. 229, Butler County, Ohio; from FHL microfilm 355780.

[3] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 Jul 2014), Albert Kuehm, 12 Apr 1897; citing Butler County, Ohio, Births, Vol. 3, p. 142-3; from FHL microfilm 373049.

Jul 18

Lunch with Darrel “Pete” Brewster

I don’t often get to meet the people I write about because I usually write about my ancestors and others who have passed away. But this past week I had the opportunity to meet my first cousin twice removed, Darrel Burton “Pete” Brewster.

I wrote a blog post about him on 12 October 2012, entitled “Pete Brewster-Professional Football Player.” Darrel lives in Missouri but is spending some time with family near Portland this summer. We talked on the phone a few weeks ago and arranged to meet. Joe and I met him for lunch in Portland last Wednesday.

Darrel "Pete" Brewster & Karen. (2014 photo by Karen)

Darrel “Pete” Brewster & Karen. (2014 photo by Karen)

Darrel is still very tall and gets around well despite being a professional football player and having a few joint replacements over the years. He has striking light blue eyes and is a humble, Christian man. He mentioned that his 64th wedding anniversary was the day before. His wife Vivian passed away in 2012 and I could tell he still misses her very much.

He said the Brewsters call him Darrel, but Vivian’s side of the family call him Pete. How did he get the nickname Pete? Originally friends called his brother “Pete” but they later started calling Darrel by that nickname and it stuck. He said his mother did not care for that nickname.

Darrel was born in 1930 near Jefferson School, in Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana, not far from Berne and Chatt. He lived there until he was about four years old, when his family moved to Portland.

Darrel’s father died when he was 12 years old and his mother married Orlie Walker a few years later. His father, Fred E. Brewster, is buried in Neptune Cemetery, just east of Neptune, but his mother, Nellie E. (Bricker) Brewster Walker, is buried at Green Park Cemetery, Portland, beside her second husband.

Darrel enjoys music and plays rhythm guitar to this day. He said he enjoys bluegrass gospel music. His love of music comes honestly and has always been part of his family. He said that in the 30s his father would go to Chatt and play his fiddle with other area musicians on a flat bed wagon. Darrel’s uncle Charlie played the mandolin, which Darrel inherited.

Darrel & Joe. (2014 photo by Karen)

Darrel & Joe. (2014 photo by Karen)

Darrel was a natural athlete and his height was an advantage. He loved to play basketball and was an Indiana Basketball All Star while at Portland High School. He wanted to play football his senior year at Portland, but his mother wouldn’t let him because she thought the game was too dangerous. So his older sister Esther signed the permission slip to play, without their mother’s knowledge.

After high school Darrel went to Purdue University on a basketball scholarship, but he also played football there. He played football very well at Purdue. So well that in 1952 he led the Purdue Boilermakers to a Big Ten football co-championship, was selected as the team’s MVP, and was named to the National College Football All-Star Team. He was a five-time letterman at Purdue and is a member of Purdue’s Athletic Hall of Fame in both basketball and football.

In 1952 he was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals [today the Arizona Cardinals] but was immediately traded to the Cleveland Browns. He had a very good career with the Browns that included two NFL championships, 210 receptions, 3,758 receiving yards, and 21 touchdowns. He played seven seasons with the Browns, from 1952-58.

Pete Brewster football card, signed by "Pete" on 16 July 2014. (2014 photo by Karen)

Pete Brewster football card, signed by “Pete” on 16 July 2014. (2014 photo by Karen)

I asked him about his pro football career and he said back then there weren’t many players on a team so he played on offense, defense, and special teams. He mentioned that during one game he was hit very hard by Dick “Night Train” Lane. Lane, who played for Detroit at the time, was a defensive back and was known as the #2 “most feared tackler.”

After Darrel left the Browns he played for the Steelers from 1959-60. Paul Brown was Darrel’s coach at Cleveland and Buddy Parker was his coach at Pittsburgh. He played in the NFL for nine seasons before becoming an assistant receivers coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, from 1964-1974. There he worked with Hank Stram.

The Chiefs won Super Bowl IV on 11 January 1970, the culmination of the 1969 season, when Darrel was rewarded with a Super Bowl ring.

I wondered if he would wear The Ring when we met for lunch Wednesday, or if he only wore it on special occasions. I noticed right away that he was wearing it. It was hard to miss. We were extremely excited when he took his ring off and asked if we wanted to see it and put it on. Heck yes!

Karen with Darrel's Super Bowl ring. (2014 photo by Karen)

Karen with Darrel’s Super Bowl ring. (2014 photo by Karen)

It is a large, heavy ring with lots of embellishments that represent the Chief’s Super Bowl victory over the Minnesota Vikings. The ring contains a lot of information. The top is red, the Chief’s color, and around the border is engraved Kansas City Chiefs, World Champions, 1969. The diamonds form the shape of a football and the ten small stones represent that the Chiefs were in the AFL for 10 years.

Darrel's Super Bowl IV ring. (2014 photo by Karen)

Darrel’s Super Bowl IV ring. (2014 photo by Karen)

Engraved in the one side of the ring is the Super Bowl trophy and above the trophy is Chiefs 23-7 Vikings with the word POISE below the trophy. Engraved on the other side is BREWSTER Asst Coach; 62, 69, 66; Chiefs 17, Raiders 7; a large A surrounded by 10 stars, and the word Confidence at the bottom. [The Chiefs won the 1969 AFL Championship by defeating the Oakland Raiders 17-7. The 62, 66, and 69 represent the years the Chiefs won three league championships.]

Darrel's Super Bowl IV ring. (2014 photo by Karen)

Darrel’s Super Bowl IV ring. (2014 photo by Karen)

Darrel said he is interested in learning about his Brewster family roots and that no one in his family has much genealogical information. I think I can help them with that. I was glad that I took a couple albums of old Brewster photos and some print-outs of information about Daniel Brewster, our common ancestor.

Daniel Brewster (1845-1917) was Darrel’s grandfather and my great-great-grandfather. Darrel’s father was the son of Daniel and his second wife, Mary Loverda Bebout. I descend from Daniel and his first wife, Sarah Fetters. Daniel’s oldest child, Philip (1868-1935), was my great-grandfather, and the father of my grandmother Gertrude (Brewster) Miller.

Darrel by his memorial plaque, East Jay Middle School football field. (2014 photo by Karen)

Darrel by his memorial plaque, East Jay Middle School football field. (2014 photo by Karen)

Before we left Portland Wednesday Darrel drove us around the town. He showed us the memorial plaque erected in his honor in 2012, located beside the field where he used to play high school football. [1] The field was renamed Brewster Field in 2012 and is now the East Jay Middle School football field. He also drove past two of the homes in Portland where he lived as a boy.

What a nice visit we had. Thank you Darrel!


[1] The memorial plaque at East Jay Middle School football field is inscribed:

The football field at East jay Middle School, the former football field of Portland High School, is dedicated to honor the career of Pete Brewster, class of 1948.
• Member of Portland Panther Varsity Football and Basketball teams.
• Named as 1948 Indiana High School Basketball All Star.
• Played Basketball and Football at Purdue University.
• Named to 1952 College Football All Star team.
• Played 9 season in the NFL 1952-1960.
• Earned two NFL championships with the Cleveland Browns (1954 and 1955)
• Retired from the NFL in 1960 after accumulating 210 receptions, 3,758 receiving years, and 221 touchdowns as an offensive end.
• An Assistant Coach for the NFL Kansas City Chiefs that won Super Bowl IV in 1969.
• Inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1976 and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.
• Inducted into the Purdue Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
This Jay School Corporation board resolution made on this day, July 16, 2012.
Greg Wellman, President
Mike Masters, Vice President
Larry Paxson, Secretary
Mike Shannon, Beth Krieg, Ron Laux, Jim Sanders, members
Dr. Tim Long, Superintendent


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