Mar 06

Mrs. Fisher’s First Grade, Willshire, 1958-59

Just a week ago I was hoping to find an old school photo. And today, here it is–the other Willshire first grade class photo.

I was looking for the classroom photo of Mrs. Fisher’s first grade, 1958-59, to see what the other half of our class looked like all those years ago.

Even after 57 years I still recognize all the faces. We really haven’t changed all that much.

Mrs. Mildred Fisher's first grade class, 1958-59, Willshire Public School.

Mrs. Mildred Fisher’s first grade class, 1958-59, Willshire Public School

A big thank you to a former classmate who kindly shared this photo with me.

We had two first grade classes that year and I was in Mrs. Clouse’s class. Both classes had these classroom photos taken but I don’t know if I ever saw this one of Mrs. Fisher’s class. We were joined as one class in the second grade and we had another classroom photo taken that year. I posted the other two photos in last week’s post.

Reading front to back, starting with row closest to the camera:
Row 1: Kenny Carmean, Debbie Carr, Sherry Hey, Terry Harmon
Row 2: Nelda Leistner, Sue Wolfe, Charles Putman, Brent Whitacre, Carla Hoblet
Row 3: Lynn Lough, Carol Andrews, Jim Stuckey, Helen Boring, Paula Clouse
Row 4: Joyce Roehm, Bill Bates, Linda Duff, Gary Hamrick
Mrs. Mildred Fisher is seated at the back of the room.

There are 17 students in this photo while there were 19 in the photo of Mrs. Clouse’s class.

Mrs. Fisher’s first grade class had four Chattanooga kids, just like Mrs. Clouse’s class: Debbie Carr, Nelda Leistner, Carla Hoblet, and Carol Andrews.

I mentioned Mildred Fisher in a Tombstone Tuesday post a few weeks ago, a post about her parents, Jacob A. and Emma E. (Heffner) Bauer. Her mother’s side of the family came from Chatt.

Mildred Bauer married John Fisher and after he passed away in 1973 she married Donald E. Whitmore. Mildred passed away in 2001. Her obituary mentioned that she taught in Chattanooga, Willshire, Rockford, and Celina schools.

Our class was the Parkway graduating class of 1970 and this year we will have our 45th class reunion. It is fun to look at these old photos and remember all the good times we had.

I wish they would have continued taking these class photos all through our school years, but I believe these are the only three taken of our class at Willshire. I wonder if any were taken at Rockford?

Mar 03

Tombstone Tuesday–Eleanore A.M. Roehm

Eleanore Roehm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm. (2012 photo by Karen)

Eleanore Roehm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Eleanore Anna Magdalena Roehm, located in row 8 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Hier Ruhet Eleanore A. [?] M.
Tochter von G.A. und G. Roehm
Gest. Den 9 Oct. 1901
Alter 15 Y, 3 M, 26 D

Translation: Here rests Eleanore A. [?] M., Daughter of G.A. and G. Roehm, Died 9 October 1901, Age 15 years, 3 months, 26 days.

Eleanore Anna Magdalena Roehm was born 13 July 1886 in Willshire Township, Van Wert County, the daughter of George A. and Gertrude (Heffner) Roehm. She was baptized at home on 1 August 1886 with Mrs. Anna Schumm and Magdalena Roehm as sponsors. She was confirmed at Zion Lutheran Schumm on Palm Sunday, 8 April 1900.

Eleanore’s church death record indicates she died 9 October 1901 of typhoid and pneumonia at the age of 15 years, 2 months, and 26 days. She was buried on 11 October.

According to her tombstone inscription she was 15 years, 3 months, and 26 days old, making her date of birth 13 June 1886. Both her baptismal record and church death record state she was born on 13 July 1886. Using those two church records to calculate her age, she would have been 15 years, 2 months, and 26 days old—2 months, not 3 months. It appears her age as inscribed on her tombstone is incorrect.

Eleanore was the third person in this family to die in 1901. Her father died a little over four months earlier and her little sister died a little less than two months earlier.

Eleanore’s death is the third of four Roehm deaths recorded consecutively in Van Wert’s probate records. The four are Andrew [George’s father], George [Eleanore’s father], “Ella Nora” [today’s subject], and Maria [Eleanore’s sister]. This record gives Eleanore’s death date as 10 September 1901, which disagrees with her church death record and her tombstone. [1]

4 Roehm death entries, Van Wert County, Ohio, Deaths, Vol. 2:185.

4 Roehm death entries, Van Wert County, Ohio, Deaths, Vol. 2:185.

Again, I have to agree with the church records. The four Roehm probate death records are not in chronological order and were likely reported and entered at the same time, after Andrew Roehm’s death on 4 January 1902, months after the other three deaths. Andrew was the last of the four to die but his death was recorded first on the page. In addition, we do not know who reported the information to the probate court. I believe there was an error in reporting or recording some of the information concerning the Roehm deaths in this record.

Parent’s names were not entered in this probate death record because they were to be recorded only when an infant died without a name. This record indicates both sisters and their father were born in Willshire Township, that Andrew was born in Bavaria, and that all died in Willshire. [1]


[1] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” index and images, FamilySearch (http: : accessed 23 February 2015), Ella Nora Roehm, 10 September 1901; citing Van Wert County, Ohio, Deaths, Vol. 2: 185, from FHL microfilm 1015858.

Feb 27

My First and Second Grades at Willshire Public School

This is Willshire Public School, the school I attended my first eight years.

Willshire Public School 1917

Willshire Public School, Willshire, Van Wert County, Ohio.

Last week someone on Facebook posted an old photo of my second grade class. Mrs. Marcella Schroeder was our teacher during that 1959-60 school year. The photo, shown below, shows our whole class sitting at our desks in our classroom. Of course the photo brought back many memories.

Second grade class, 1959-1960, Willshire Public School, Mrs. Marcella Schroeder, teacher.

Second grade class, 1959-1960, Willshire Public School, Mrs. Marcella Schroeder, teacher.

I have another photo just like it, of our first grade class, taught by Mrs. Opal Clouse. That was the 1958-59 school year. These class photos are nice and I wish I had some more from the other grades. [The names of the students are at the end of this post.]

We did not have a kindergarten class at Willshire. Instead we were put right in to the first grade. There were two first grades at Willshire at that time and Mrs. Fisher taught the other class. There was only one second grade so both first grades were combined for our second year.

First grade, 1958-59, Willshire Public School, Mrs. Opal Clouse, teacher.

First grade, 1958-59, Willshire Public School, Mrs. Opal Clouse, teacher.

As you can see, there are 19 pupils in my first grade photo and 39 in the second grade photo. Poor Mrs. Schroeder. That was a very large class for one teacher!

Our first grade classroom was across the hall from the second grade room. It wasn’t really a hall, but rather a big open area. The oiled wood floors creaked when you walked over them and large wooden staircases lead to the upper floor where the third and fourth grade classrooms were located. The stair steps bowed in the middle from the many years of student traffic.

Our first grade classroom was toward the front of the building, on the northwest side. There was a narrow cloakroom [aka coatroom] adjacent to our classroom, where we stored our coats, galoshes, and other winter gear. The girls wore dresses to school back then and in the winter we wore slacks under them to keep our legs warm. The slacks were often made of corduroy and we usually did not wear them when we were in class. I see that Sue Wolfe was wearing her plaid slacks in our second grade photo.

The photos reminded me that we tied our tennis shoes together and hung them from our desks. Nobody wore tennis shoes to school back then but we had to wear them on the gymnasium floor at gym time. We usually wore saddle shoes to school.

We had to crawl under our desk when we had a tornado drill. That was a tight squeeze.

We must have been doing our reading in Mrs. Clouse’s class because we all had our books open to the very same page. There are a number of toys in the photos, but I don’t remember playing with toys at school.

I did well in school but Mrs. Clouse gave me an S- in Attitude a couple times because she thought I talked too much. Imagine that! Me talking too much! Actually she should have known better than to put me in the back of the class, right across from Susie Brandt. Susie and I went to church together and we always had a lot to talk about. It was really hard to keep from talking.

Most of the kids in my first grade class were from Willshire or the area nearby, but a few of us were from the Chatt area. I notice that Mrs. Clouse put the Chatt kids together in the back of the room–Dave Stephenson, Cheryl Gilliland, and Donna Behm are back there with me. The other Chatt kids were in Mrs. Fisher’s class. There are eight Chatt-area students in the second grade photo: Carol Andrews, Nelda Leistner, Carla Hoblet, Cheryl Gilliland, Dave Stephenson, Debbie Carr, Donna Behm, and me. And of course Mrs. Schroeder lived right in downtown Chatt.

These are the only two classroom photos I have and I wish I had more. Maybe they only took them these two years. Someone probably has one from Mrs. Fisher’s first grade, 1958-59.

The old school building at Willshire was torn down in 2006. It would be interesting to walk through it again.

Names of the students in the photos:

First Grade, Willshire School, 1958-59, Mrs. Opal Clouse, teacher:
Row 1: Jim Huffine, Doug Carr, Dayle Hileman
Row 2: Chuck Myers, John Ridenour, Tamara Dellinger, Lana Lautzenheiser, Donna Behm
Row 3: Kenny Baylog, Chuck Painter, Darla Ross, Dave Stephenson, Cheryl Gilliland, Susie Brandt
Row 4: Joyce Webb, Nancy Stetler, Ray Gamble, Colette Geisler, Karen Miller
At the back: Mrs. Opal Clouse

Second Grade, 1959-60, Mrs. Marcella Schroeder, teacher:
Row 1: Karen Miller, Dave Stephenson, Darla Ross, Debbie Carr, Linda Duff, Donna Behm
Row 2: Sue Wolfe, Nancy Stetler, Bill Bates, Cheryl Gilliland, Chuck Painter, Joyce Webb, Gary Hamrick, Joyce Roehm
Row 3: Tamara Dellinger, Kenny Carmean, Sherry Hey, Doug Carr, Paula Clouse, Jim Huffine, Ray Gamble, Lana Lautzenheiser, Kenny Baylog
Row 4: Carol Andrews, Lynn Lough, Nelda Leistner, Chuck Myers, John Ridenour, Dayle Hileman, Jim Stuckey, Helen Boring
At the back of the room: Carla Hoblet, Mrs. Schroeder, Terry Harmon, Colette Geisler
To the left: Gary Moser, Charles Putman, Brent Whitacre, Susie Brandt, Steve Sipe

Feb 24

Tombstone Tuesday–George A. Roehm

George A. Roehm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

George A. Roehm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of George A. Roehm, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Hier ruhet
Georg A. Roehm
Gest. Den 30 Mai 1901
38 Y. 2 M. 17 T.

Translation: here rests Georg A. Roehm, Died 30 May 1901, age 38 years, 2 months, 17 days.

George Adam Roehm was born in Willshire Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, on 13 March 1862 to Andrew and Friedericka (Guthiel) Roehm, according to Zion Schumm’s records. He was baptized at the church on 14 March 1862, with Mr. & Mrs. Georg Steeger and Mr. & Mrs. G. Adam Kolb as sponsors. [1]

George Roehm’s parents were both born in Germany, his father in Württemberg and his mother in Saxony. His father was a farmer. In 1880 George had four living siblings Catherine, 18; Magdalena, 15, Susanah, 14, and Rosanah, 11. [2]

George married Gertrude Heffner on 21 January 1886 at Zion Lutheran church in Chattanooga. Gertrude was from Chattanooga, the daughter of George and Sophia (Martin) Heffner. George and Gertrude moved to Van Wert County after their marriage and attended Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm.

In 1900 George and Gertrude lived in Willshire Township, where George was a farmer. George and Gertrude had been married 15 years and they had six children, all of them living. George’s parents were also living with them at that time, his father, 86, and his mother 75 years of age. [3]

Things would change drastically for the Roehm family during the next year, when George and two of their children would die. George’s father Andrew would pass away the year after.

According to Zion Schumm’s records, George Roehm died 30 May 1901 of dropsy. He was only 39 years, 2 months, and 17 days old. He was buried on 2 June. His wife Gertrude died in 1933 and has a separate headstone in row 6 of Zion’s Cemetery.

George Adam Roehm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

George Adam Roehm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

George’s tombstone inscription indicates he was 38 years old, which would make his birth year 1863. However, both his church baptismal record and death record state he was born in 1862. I tend to agree with his baptismal record and I believe the tombstone inscription is incorrect. His baptismal record was created shortly after his birth, written in chronological order with the other baptismal records for that year. Additionally, his church death and burial record indicates he was 39 years old.

George and Gertrude had seven children; all were baptized at Zion Schumm:

Eleanore Anna Magdalena (1886-1901)
Selma Sophie (1888-1924), married Fred Althoen
Edwin Andreas (1890-1950), married Alma A. Reidenbach
Carl Georg (1893-1959), married Grace E. Rice
Estella Julia Sophie (1896-1988), married William Chase Winters; married Clarence T. Sears
Marie Friedricke (1899-1901)
Edna Pauline (1901-1991), married Thomas B. Alspaugh


[1] Some show his middle name as Andrew, but he was baptized as George Adam, according to Zion Schumm’s records. All other records show his name as George or George A. His baptismal record is the only record I have seen that gives his middle name as Adam.

[2] 1880 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert County, Ohio, ED 154, p.449B, family 120, Andrew Roehm; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 23 February 2015); from FHL microfilm 1255074, from NARA microfilm T9, roll 1074.

[3] 1900 U.S. Census, Willshire Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, ED 97, p.9A, dwelling 177, family 190, George Roehns; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 23 February 2015); from FHL microfilm 1241329, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1329. Note: Their surname is indexed as “Roehns” on

Feb 20

Organizing My Book List with Book Catalogue App

Books. I like books and I have quite a few. I enjoy reading non-fiction as well as fiction and I have a number of reference and how-to genealogy books.

A portion of the author's books.

A portion of the author’s books.

I recently saw a Barnes and Noble quiz on Facebook, “What’s Your Book Nerd Score?” Here are just a few items from that list that apply to me:

  • I currently own more than 100 books.
  • I own hard-copy books as well as books on an e-reader.
  • I have read more than one book at a time.
  • I leave the house with my purse, phone, keys, and my e-reader.
  • I have pulled an all-nighter reading a book.
  • I can read while working out.
  • I am a stickler for spelling and grammar, even when texting.
  • I love the smell of books.
  • I have binge-read an author’s entire series in just a few days.

Yes, I passed the Book Nerd Test.

It is difficult to keep track of my books and I hate to admit it, but I have been known to purchase duplicates of the same book. More than once.

That is bad enough, but I have even read several chapters of a book before I remembered that I had already read it!

I needed a way to catalog my books.

Several years ago I tried entering my book list in a database which I printed and took with me to conferences. That did not work very well. It was time consuming, difficult to keep up to date, and unhandy to search for books.

I tried LibraryThing, a very good “book cataloging and social networking website for book lovers.” But entering my books still took time and I wanted access my book list on the go, from my phone and tablet.

Then I heard about the Book Catalogue app for Android phones and tablets. It is free, but donations are accepted.

Book Catalogue app on my Android phone.

Book Catalogue app on my Android phone.

I downloaded the app from the Google Play Store and it does just what I want—it enables me to have a list of my books on my phone, my tablet, and my PC. What I like most is how quick and easy it is to enter a book. Even fun!

There are four ways to enter a book into Book Catalogue: scan the barcode/ISBN; enter ISBN; search the Internet; or add a book manually.

Ways to add a book with Book Catalogue.

Ways to add a book with Book Catalogue.

Scanning the book’s barcode is the absolute fastest and easiest way to enter a book. The app uses my phone’s barcode scanner. I just hold my phone over the book’s barcode and within a few seconds I have all sorts of information about the book and a thumbnail photo of its cover.

Book Catalogue searches Amazon, Good Reads, LibraryThing, and Google Books for book information. It syncs with LibraryThing to provide the thumbnails. I already use LibraryThing so Book Catalogue prompted me to get a developer key from LibraryThing in order to get the thumbnails.

Book list with thumbnail covers on Book Catalogue.

Book list with thumbnail covers on Book Catalogue.

Book Catalogue gathers and lists the following information about a book: title, author, cover picture, ISBN number, number of pages, publishing company, year published, book description (some of which may be quite lengthy), price, genre, and more.

A book's information with thumbnail. Book Catalogue.

A book’s information with thumbnail. Book Catalogue.

Book description, scrolled down from above photo. Book Catalogue.

Book description, scrolled down from above photo. Book Catalogue.

It is still easy to catalog a book even if it does not have a barcode. The app does this by searching the Internet. You can enter the author’s name with a portion of the title or simply the book’s title.

I have found nearly every book on my bookshelves using either of these two methods.

You can view your books a number of ways: alphabetically, by author, with or without thumbnails, read and unread, by bookshelves, and more. You can create your own Bookshelves and organize your books by subject matter. Books can be on multiple shelves.

Compact book list, arranged by author, Book Catalogue.

Compact book list, arranged by author, Book Catalogue.

Some other features:

  • Sort by author (last name), title, series, etc.
  • Search capability
  • Export and Backup
  • User-defined sort and list styles
  • Create a wish list
  • Write your own notes about a book
  • Indicate to whom and when you loaned a book

For backup and export, Book Catalogue saves your book list as a csv file. I sent my export.csv file as a G-mail attachment to my PC and my Android tablet. My book list can be viewed and printed as a spreadsheet on my PC. I also back up my csv file in Dropbox.

Book list as csv spreadsheet, as seen on PC, Book Catalogue.

Book list as csv spreadsheet, as seen on PC, Book Catalogue.

I could scan and enter books on my tablet, too, but since I am working with only one file I enter information on just one device [my phone] and update the other device [my tablet] with the export.csv file. First I downloaded the Book Catalogue app onto my tablet and then downloaded the export.csv file. Next I imported that csv file into my tablet’s Book Catalogue app. I got the thumbnails from “Automatically Update Fields,” under the app’s Administration and Preferences.

Administrations and Preferences, Book Catalogue.

Administrations and Preferences, Book Catalogue.

This app is fairly easy to use because helpful tips pop up often and most tasks are self-explanatory.

One thing I would like to see Book Catalogue develop is cloud storage. Although I can share my book list between my devices by importing and exporting the csv file, syncing automatically between devices would be very nice.

I think will go now and scan in some more books….








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