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:


Clara A.

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.

Feb 21

The Flourist

He gave his occupation as flourist in the 1860 census. That was a pretty good description of his profession.

He was a successful Germany immigrant. A hard-working, enterprising immigrant who probably arrived in America with very little money, but with a lot of ambition and skill.

This is the story of my great-great-grandfather Friedrich Schinnerer, who owned and ran a flour gristmill.

Friedrich Schinnerer (1824-1905)

Friedrich Schinnerer (1824-1905)

As a young man Friedrich learned the trade of miller in Bavaria. He was 25 years old when he immigrated to America in 1849. I am not sure if Friedrich was a miller or a millwright, or maybe he was both. A miller would operate a mill to grind grain into flour, while the millwright could build the mill and the machinery and perform needed repairs.The millwright job could be compared to that of an engineer today.

Perhaps Friedrich was a member of a milling guild in Bavaria before he immigrated. If so, that may have been part of reason he immigrated.

I always wondered why Friedrich did not marry Margaretha Deier in Germany before coming to America. They married two weeks after arriving in America and she gave birth to a daughter about six weeks after their marriage. [1]

Perhaps his homeland and his profession were part of their marriage situation. A couple years ago I attended a lecture at a genealogy conference about German marriage laws and customs and I now wonder if the some of them could apply to Friedrich and Margaretha.

Bavaria proper, not Rhine Pflaz Bavaria, had many marriage restrictions in the 16th-19th centuries. Restrictions included getting permission to marry, marrying outside one’s social or economic class, monetary requirements, restricting the poor from marrying, to name a few. [2]

German craft guilds also had marriage restrictions and they might include: The guild had to approve the marriage. A master had to be married. Journeymen and apprentices were not allowed to marry. Journeymen and apprentices were not allowed to marry until there was an opening in the guild. Journeymen were encouraged to marry the daughter or widow of a guild member. [2] [3] In short, it could take a long time to get the approval for a marriage.

Since most people immigrated because of the economic opportunities in America, Friedrich may have actually had a couple of reasons to come to the new world–personal and financial. We may never know the whole story.

Within two months of their immigration, Friedrich and his new wife settled in Mercer County, Ohio. There, near the town of Shanesville, Friedrich began work in a grist and saw mill owned by John Rhodes. One source indicates it was a also shingle mill. [4]

The German-Lutheran community of Schumm is about six miles by road (about three miles as the crow flies) from the site of Rhodes mill. People traveled with and/or settled near relatives, friends, or friends of friends. So I would not be surprised to learn that someone from the Schumm area sent word back to Bavaria about an opportunity for a miller in this area. Perhaps John Rhodes wanted to sell the mill and move on, which he did not long after Friedrich arrived.

John Rhodes built the water-powered gristmill in 1840 and it was the first flour mill in the township. Friedrich took over operation of the mill in 1849 and agreed to rent the mill from John Rhodes for $400 per year. But before the first year ended Friedrich purchased the mill and 115 acres of land for $3300. Friedrich had only $1000 at the time but he paid the balance from profits he made from the mill. [5] The deed for the land and the mill was signed June of 1850. [6]

The mill was located along the north bank of the St. Marys River, on River Trail Road, where it turns to the north. It was about two miles west of Shanesville, known today as the village of Rockford, in Dublin Township. River Trail Road extends into Van Wert County, where it is named Rhodes Mill Road. That is a pretty descriptive road name. The mill was a little less than a mile south of the Van Wert County line.

Friedrich Schinnerer property, Dublin Township, 1853 Mercer County Plat Book, p. 315A.

Friedrich Schinnerer property, Dublin Township, 1853. The mill was located at green star, by the St. Marys River.

The 1853 Mercer Platt book gives the following description of Friedrich’s land and mill: SW fraction 1/4 of Section [6], 115; excellent land situated on a county road, 20 acres of plow land well cleared, 3 old cabin houses; one grist mill 26 by 36, 2 burrs; sawmill attached. The value of the mill was a $1200 and the value of the land cabins was $705, for a total value of $1905. [7] I imagine Friedrich and Margaretha lived in one of those cabin homes, close to the mill. He was doing quite well and had only been in the country about four years.

In 1860 his real estate was valued at $8,000 and his personal estate at $2,000. By 1860 Friedrich 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. [8]

Yes, Friedrich was doing quite well in America.

Next: More about Schinnerer’s Mill.


[1] Karen Miller Bennett, CGsm, “Friedrich Schinnerer—Immigration & 1st Marriage,” Karen’s Chatt, 7 February 2014 (http://www.karenmillerbennett.com/schinnerer/friedrich-schinnerer-immigration-marriage/).

[2] F. Warren Bittner, CGsm, “German Marriage Laws and Customs,” NGS 2012 Family History Conference, 9-12 May 2012, Cincinnati, Ohio. An outline of this presentation is at http://www.hgftx.org/Data-4afw4/Document-Library/1151929287.pdf .

[3] Another good source of information about Bavarian marriage customs:  http://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Bavarian_Marriage_Customs,_Laws,_and_Trends_of_Illegitimacy

[4 History of Van Wert County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, (Chicago, Illinois : Richmond & Arnold, 1906), p. 629.

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

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

[7] Mercer County, Ohio, 1853 Plat Book, Dublin Township, Section 6, p. 315 A & B, Fredrick Schinnerer; Recorder’s Office, Celina.

[8] 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.



Feb 18

Tombstone Tuesday–John and Elizabeth (Schinnerer) Scaer

John & Elizabeth (Schinnerer) Scaer, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

John & Elizabeth (Schinnerer) Scaer, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of John and Elizabeth (Schinnerer) Scaer, located in row 2 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:




The Scaer surname has been spelled several ways over the years. Spellings include Scaer, Scare, Scarr, and  Skahr. John’s brother Peter changed the spelling to Scare for his branch of the family. John and Elizabeth were my great-grandparents.

John Scaer was the third of five children born to Johann and Katherine (Emrick) Scaer. [He also had an older adopted step-sister, Elizabeth, from his mother’s first marriage.] John was born 1 May 1865 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. His parents were born in Germany and his father immigrated with his family about 1839. The family first lived near Winesberg in Holmes County, Ohio, before moving to Tuscarawas County. [1] They eventually moved to near Monroeville, Allen County, Indiana, in about 1867.

John married Elizabeth Katherine “Lizzie” Schinnerer on 15 April 1894 at Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm. [2]
Lizzie was the sixth child born to Friedrich and Elisabeth (Schumm) Schinnerer, born 23 April 1870 in Dublin Township, Mercer County, Ohio.

John & Elizabeth (Schinnerer) Scaer, 1894.

John & Elizabeth (Schinnerer) Scaer, 1894.

People usually found a spouse within three miles of their home, but John and Lizzie’s marriage did not adhere to that rule. The Scaers lived near Monroeville and the Schinnerers lived near Willshire, a distance of roughly 20 miles. John’s brother Peter married Lizzie’s sister Hannah in 1890 at Zion Schumm. I can see how John met Lizzie, since their siblings Peter and Hannah married, but I wonder how Peter and Hannah met. I would not be surprised if they met at a church-related function.

After they married, John and Lizzie lived near Monroeville. [3] By 1904 they had moved to Van Wert County and their fourth child Elsie was born there in 1904. [4]

The Scaers lived a couple miles east of Willshire on Willshire Eastern Road. Their first home was a frame house but they later built a brick home that still stands today. Their home was the second house east of Ludwig Schumm’s home. John and Lizzie’s daughter Hilda would eventually marry Ludwig Schumm’s son Cornelius, and they were my grandparents.

John Scaer home east of Willshire, c1904. Willie, Elsie, Hilda, Edna Scaer.

John Scaer home east of Willshire, c1904. Willie, Elsie, Hilda, Edna Scaer.

John passed away 2 February 1940. Lizzie had a stroke about three years later and was confined to a wheelchair after that. She continued to live at her home with her son Oscar. Oscar never married and took care of her until she died on 28 October 1951, after suffering another stroke. Oscar resided in the Scare home place the rest of his life.

John and Lizzie (Schinnerer) Scaer had the following children:
Hilda Magdalena (1895-1997) married Cornelius Louis Schumm in 1927
Wilhelm (1897-1906)
Edna (1899-1985) married Emanuel Schumm in 1929
Elsie Elizabeth (1904-1998) married Paul Roehm in 1927
Oscar J. Scaer (1906-1992)

John and Lizzie are buried next to their son Oscar.

John Scaer, a well known and highly respected farmer, east of Willshire, died in the Decatur hospital Friday morning, Feb. 2, at the advanced age of 74 years, nine months and one day, following an extended illness.

Mr. Scaer was taken to the hospital about a month ago, suffering from serious complications. He underwent a major operation in the hope of prolonging his life, but the surgery was unavailing and he passed away Friday. 

He was born in Baltic, Tuscarawas Co., OH, on May 1st, 1865, where he was also baptized.  A few years later the family came to live near Monroeville, IN, where Mr. Scaer was admitted to membership in the Lutheran Church by confirmation.

In 1894 he was joined in marriage with Elisabeth nee Schinnerer. This marriage was blessed with five children, of whom four are living, one son having preceded him in death in 1906.

In 1904 Mr. Scaer settled on the farm a few miles east of Willshire, where he was residing when summoned by death.

The immediate family mourning his death are the following:  His wife, Elisabeth; his son, Oscar, still at home; Mrs. Cornelius Schumm, Mrs. Emanuel Schumm and Mrs. Paul Roehm, all residing within a few miles of the old homestead; nine grandchildren and one brother, Peter Scaer, residing near Schumm.

The funeral service was conducted by the Rev. A. Moeller at Zion Lutheran Church in Schumm Sunday afternoon, Feb. 4. The church choir rendered the music singing the beautiful hymn, “Who Knows How Near My End May Be.” Interment was made in the congregation’s cemetery at Schumm. Buchanan & Son were the morticians. [5]

John Scaer (1965-1940)

John Scaer (1865-1940)

John Scaer (1865-1940)

John Scaer (1865-1940)













A stroke proved fatal to 81-year-old Mrs. Elizabeth Scaer, who died Sunday morning at her home two miles east of here. She had been an invalid for eight years.  The deceased was the daughter of Frederick Schumm-Schinnerer, was born April 23, 1876, and was married to John Scaer April 15, 1894. Her husband died February 2, 1940. She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm.

Surviving are one son, Oscar Scaer, at home; three daughters, Mrs. Cornelius Schumm, Mrs. Emanuel Schumm and Mrs. Paul Roehm, east of here; one brother Henry Schinnerer of near here; three sisters, Mrs. Hannah Scaer and Mrs. T.C. Hoffman, of near here, and Mrs. B.D. Balyeat of Altedena, CA, and nine grandchildren. Rev. Werner P. vanKuhlberg officiated at the funeral services held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the home and at 2:30 at Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm. Burial was in the church cemetery. [6]

Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Schinnerer) Scaer (1870-1951)

Elizabeth “Lizzie” (Schinnerer) Scaer (1870-1951)

Lizzie (Schinnerer) Scaer (1870-1951)

Lizzie (Schinnerer) Scaer (1870-1951)














A second obituary was printed the following week:
Funeral services for Mrs. Elizabeth Scaer, a long-time resident of Willshire Township were conducted on October 30 with Rev. Werner P. v.Kuhlberg officiating and with Zwick Funeral Home of Decatur in charge. Brief services were held at 2 p.m. at the home with only the immediate relatives and close friends of the deceased in attendance. From there the body was taken to the Zion Ev. Lutheran Church at Schumm to which Mrs. Scaer belonged as a member during her lifetime.

The funeral address was based on Psalm 42, v.11, the memory verse selected for her by Pastor Seemeyer at her confirmation. A well-represented congregation testified to the high esteem in which the deceased was held in this vicinity. A view of the remains concluded these services and the body was carried to the church cemetery for interment. 

Elizabeth Katherine Scaer (nee Schinnerer) was born on April 23, 1870, in Mercer County to Frederick Schinnerer and his wife, Elizabeth (nee Schumm). A little later the family moved into Willshire Township and she was confirmed at Zion Ev. Lutheran Church on Palm Sunday April 28, 1884, which also happened to be her fourteenth birthday.  Her memory verse on the occasion was the last verse of the 42nd Psalm, and this verse also served as the text of her funeral address. This Psalm was one of the favorite ones for her. 

On April 15, 1894, she was married to John Scaer of this community, who preceded her in death on February 2, 1940. Their almost 46 years of happy union were blessed with five children, of which one son died at the age of nine. The other children are still living in the community:  Mrs. Cornelius (Hilda) Schumm, Mrs. Emanuel (Edna) Schumm, Mrs. Paul (Elsie) Roehm, and Oscar, who resides on the farm of his late parents.

Besides the above mentioned children, she leaves to mourn her one brother, Henry Schinnerer on the farm just outside of Willshire, as well as three sisters:  Mrs. Hannah Scaer, mother of Mrs. Rudy Allmandinger, with whom she makes her home; Mrs. Emma Balyeat of Altadena, CA, and Mrs. Amelia Hoffman, wife of T,D, Hoffman of this community. She is also survived by nine grandchildren, of whom one, Paul Roehm, Jr., serves his country on the battle fields of Korea. 

After a lingering illness of over eight years, she fell asleep rather unexpectedly at 5:45 on Sunday morning, October 28, on the day she had expressed her desire to participate in Holy Communion with the rest of the congregation.

She attained the age of 81 years, six months and five days. The earthly remains were committed to the ground at the side of those of her husband. [7]

[1] Lester W. N. Scarr, A short History and Family Tree of the Scarr/Skahr Family, (No place : privately printed, no date), 11, 21.

[2] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XD26-8HC : accessed 16 Feb 2014), John Scaer and Lizzie Schinnrer, 15 Apr 1894; citing Van Wert, Ohio, Marriages Vol. 8:287 #864, United States, reference 864; FHL microfilm 1015862. They were married by Rev. G.F.C. Seemeyer, pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm.

[3] “United States Census, 1900,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MMBW-YV9 : accessed 16 Feb 2014), John Sear, Monroe Township, Allen, Indiana, United States; citing sheet 2A, family 28, NARA microfilm publication T623, FHL microfilm 1240358.

[4] “United States Census, 1910,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MLJ3-T3J : accessed 16 Feb 2014), John Scarer, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, United States; citing sheet 3A, family 56, NARA microfilm publication T624, FHL microfilm 1375251.

[5] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 8 February 1940, p.1.

[6] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 1 November 1951.

[7] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 8 November 1951.





Feb 14

About Grandmothers

I am happy to report that a new generation has been added to our family tree. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life, and as a result, I have a new title.

My new title, in addition to titles of Registered Dental Hygienist and Certified Genealogist, is Grandma. But unlike the other two, I didn’t have to study for years or take an examination for this position. The title of Grandma was simply bestowed upon me when Chloe Kay was born a couple weeks ago.

Chloe & Karen

Chloe & Grandma Bennett

Being Grandma is an important position. A grandma’s duties include providing a warm, soft lap, a listening ear, fresh-baked cookies, and the ability to dry tears. But my grandmothers also taught me many important things.

I knew three of my grandmothers, Grandma Miller, Grandma Schumm, and Grandma Brewster. Grandma Brewster was my great-grandmother and I vaguely remember visiting her. But I distinctly remember the other two because I spent a considerable amount of time with them.

Grandma Miller and me.

Grandma Miller and me.

Grandma Miller taught me how to fry potatoes and pork chops in a cast iron skillet using lard, how to make stewed tomatoes, how to sew with a treadle sewing machine, to have a sense of humor, and how to win at Gin Rummy. Yes, she may have cheated a little at cards, but it was all in fun.

From my Grandma Schumm I got an appreciation of nice things, like fine China, antique dishes, and quilts. She was also like a pioneer woman. She gardened and made nearly everything from scratch. I once watched her prepare a chicken for dinner. When I say she prepared a chicken, I mean that she prepared it from start to finish. The chicken’s morning started out like a typical day in the barnyard but  ended tragically for the poor fowl.

Grandma Schumm (Hilda Scaer Schumm)

Grandma Schumm (Hilda Scaer Schumm)

I barely remember my great-grandma Brewster, just that Grandpa Miller would take Grandma to visit her in Geneva every few weeks and I would tag along. Their long conversations were boring to me back then but now I wish I could go back in time and listen to them talk.

Grandma Miller (Gertrude Brewster Miller) and Great-grandma Brewster (Pearl Reid Brewster)

Grandma Miller (Gertrude Brewster Miller) and Great-grandma Brewster (Pearl Reid Brewster)

I look forward to being Grandma, but along with the title comes a big responsibility.

What will I teach Chloe?

I want to teach her to have faith in God. To be honest and fair and to be persistent in whatever she does. To like what she does and to finish what she starts. To have a sense of humor, to enjoy reading, and to be creative.

I hope to teach her to enjoy and appreciate music and I will encourage her to take music lessons.

I would like to teach her to appreciate nature—to enjoy watching birds, walking through a woods, and to marvel at the beautiful sky at sunrise and sunset.

I could teach her some crafty skills like counted cross-stitch, sewing, crocheting, scrap-booking, and rubber stamping.

I will certainly teach her about our family history and encourage an interest in genealogy so that maybe she will want to continue family research and record-keeping. I have a lot of information and photos to pass on to her.

Chloe Kay Bennett

Chloe Kay Bennett

This is Chloe’s first “professional” photograph, taken at the hospital when she was only one day old. Chloe is wearing a sleeper I made for Jeff when I was pregnant and she is laying on a blanket that her great-grandmother Miller crocheted for Jeff and was used at his baptism.

What a wonderful way to create and pass on family heirlooms. Thanks Jeff and Erin for being so thoughtful!

And thank you for the beautiful little granddaughter.

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