May 19

Tombstone Tuesday–Conrad & Margaret (Miller) Heffner

Conrad & Margaret (Miller) Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Conrad & Margaret (Miller) Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Conrad and Margaret (Miller) Heffner, located in row 3 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Conrad
1822-1878
Margaret
His Wife
1829-1908
HEFFNER

Zion Chatt’s records indicate that Conrad Heffner was born 18 March 1822 in Thuisbrunn, District Oberfranken, in the Kingdom of Bavaria, where he was also baptized and confirmed by Pastor Papst. He was the older of two surviving sons born to Dietrich and Margaretha (Schmidt) Heffner. His younger brother George Heffner married Sophia Martin.

Their father Dietrich Heffner died in Bavaria in 1828, leaving two young sons and a widow. Their mother Margaretha married Friederich Becher in about 1830 and they had one son together, Johann Becher. About ten years later the family immigrated to America and resided in Butler County, Ohio, for nearly a year before settling in Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio.

The church record indicates Conrad stayed in Butler County for three years before moving to Mercer County. After coming to Mercer County he married Anna Margaretha “Margaret” Carolina Miller on 15 January 1846. [1]

According to Zion Chatt’s records Margaret was the daughter of Andreas and Margaretha Mueller/Miller, born 8 October 1830 in Eichfeld, District Mittlefranken, in the Kingdom of Bavaria.

Conrad and Margaret Heffner set up housekeeping in Blackcreek Township where Conrad farmed. In 1850 they had three young children, Margaret, 3; Charity, 2; and Matilda, 1 month. [2]

In 1860 the Conrad Heffner family resided in Blackcreek Township with their seven children: Margaret, 13; Charity, 11; Matilda, 10; Sophia, 8; John, 6; George, 3; and Mary, 11 months. Also enumerated in the household was George Byer, 18, a farmer who likely helped on the farm. He may have been the same George Byer that married Conrad’s daughter Gertrude Charity in 1866. [3]

In 1870 Conrad and Margaret Heffner remained in Blackcreek Township and Conrad continued to farm. There were seven children in the household by this time: John, 15; George H., 13; Mary A., 11; Jacob, 9; Samuel, 6; Lewis, 4;, and Augustus, 1. Three of their children, Margaret, Gertrude, and Matilda had married within the previous four years and were not living in the household. Daughter Sophia would marry Jacob Germann the very next day after the census was taken. [4]

On 24 August 1878 Conrad Heffner’s left foot was severed by a threshing machine and he died 24 hours later, on Sunday 25 August. His probate death record gives the cause of death as “mashed in machine.” [5] He was buried on the 27th and Zion Schumm’s pastor gave the burial sermon, based on Psalm 90:12. Rev. Hugo Willert was Zion Chatt’s pastor at the time.

Something interesting is that the following was written in Zion Chatt’s church records: Conrad Heffner was excluded from the parish. But the exclusion was unjustified. Whatever the circumstances, the church evidently took him back since he and his wife are both buried in Zion Chatt’s Cemetery and his death and burial are recorded in Zion Chatt’s records. His death and burial are not recorded in Zion Schumm’s records. However, there still must have been some problem since Zion Schumm’s pastor was in charge of the burial service.

Margaret Heffner died 29 August 1908 in Blackcreek Township, at the age of 78 years. Her death record indicates that she died of old age. [6]

According to the church records Conrad and Margaret Heffner had at least 12 children:
Margaretha (1846-1889), married Lewis J. Brandt
Gertrude Charity (1849-1914), married George “Leonard” Byer
Matilda (1850-1930), married John Philip Sielschott
Sophia (1851-1935), married Philip Jacob Germann
Johannes “John” C. (1854-1923), married Marie/Mary Tester; married Harriet (Hillery) Faught Harris
George Heinrich (1857-1928), married Lucinda Karch
Anna Maria (1859-1926), married William Schmidt
Jacob Joseph (1861-1898), married Elisabeth Merkle
Samuel (1864-1935), married Katie Gribler
Ludwig “Lewis” C. (1866-1952), married Adele Eich
Wilhelm “August” (1869-1947), married [7]
Carl Wilhelm (1871-1920), married Elizabeth Wendel

 

[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” index and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 17 May 2015), Conrad Hafner and Margaret Miller, 15 Jan 1846; citing Mercer, Ohio, Vol. ABC p.187 ; FHL microfilm 914955.

[2] 1850 U.S. Census, Blackcreek, Mercer, Ohio, p.290B, dwelling 72, family 77, Coonrod Herfner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : 17 May 2015); from NARA microfilm M432, roll 710.

[3] 1860 U.S. Census, Blackcreek, Mercer, Ohio, p.333, line 13, Conrad Heffner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 May 2015); from FHL microfilm 805009, from NARA microfilm M653, roll 1009.

[4] 1870 U.S. Census, Blace Creek, Mercer, Ohio, p.29B, dwelling/family 155, Conrad Hafner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www:ancestry.com : accessed 17 May 2015); from FHL microfilm 552742, from NARA microfilm M593, roll 1243.

[5] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” index and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 17 May 2015), Conrad Haffner, 25 Aug 1878; citing Death, Blackcreek Township, Mercer, Ohio, Vol. 1-2, p.113; from FHL microfilm 914957.

[6] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” index and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 17 May 2015), Margaret Heffner, 29 Aug 1908; citing Death, Blackcreek, Mercer, Ohio, Vol. 1-2, p.315; from FHL microfilm 914954.

[7] According to his death certificate he was widowed.

 

May 15

Bollenbacher Grocery, Chattanooga, Ohio

Who doesn’t think of Bollenbacher Grocery when you think of Chatt as it was years ago? The little market, located in what was once The Farmers & Merchants State Bank of Chattanooga, is one of the things I remember most about Chatt during the time I was growing up.

Bollenbacher's Grocery, Chattanooga, Ohio. Submitted photo.

Bollenbacher Grocery, Chattanooga, Ohio. Submitted photo.

The brick building was the second structure south of the Chatt Bar and was built to house the bank, but the bank closed in about 1930. The building was then occupied by Heffner’s Grocery until Harold and Martha Bollenbacher purchased it in 1953.

Bollenbacher Grocery served the community at that location for 20 years, until they sold it to Tom Baker in 1973. [1]

Former Bollenbacher Grocery, Google Earth, October 2008 photo.

Former Bollenbacher Grocery, Google Earth, October 2008 photo.

In the mid-60s my friend Karen and I rode our bicycles a lot in the summer. She lived south of Chatt and I lived north of Chatt. We weren’t old enough to drive so our bicycles were the best means of transportation for us. We would arrange to start out at a specific time and eventually we would meet somewhere between our two homes on route 49.

One thing we often did while on our bike outings was to stop at Bollenbacher Grocery for a cold pop and some candy. Or better yet, an ice cream bar on a hot day. And Harold always had a smile on his face.

Junior and Harold Sr. in Bollenbacher's Grocery. Submitted photo.

Junior and Harold Sr. in Bollenbacher Grocery. Submitted photo.

Harold’s wife Martha was our Avon Lady. She would stop by the house every couple weeks and I always looked forward to seeing her makeup samples, smelling the perfumes, and looking through the Avon books.

The old brick building that once housed a bank and several groceries was demolished sometime between July 2009 and August 2010.

Thanks to Deb (Bollenbacher) Reichard for submitting the Bollenbacher Grocery photos.

 

 [1] Joyce L. Alig, editor, Mercer County, Ohio History 1978, (Dallas, Texas :The Taylor Publishing Co, 1980), 710.

May 12

Tombstone Tuesday–Kind von W. A. & A. Koch

Child of W.A. & A. Koch, St. John's Cemetery, Pusheta Township, Auglaize County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

Child of W.A. & A. Koch, St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery, Pusheta Township, Auglaize County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of the infant child of Wilhelm A. and Emilie (Schumm) Koch, located in St. John’s Cemetery, Pusheta Township, Auglaize County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Kind Von
W. A. und A.
KOCH
Geb und Gest
Den 27 Marz
1904

Translation: Child of W. A. and A. Koch, born and died 27 March 1904.

This was infant child of William A. and Emilie/Amelia (Schumm) Koch, of Wapakoneta, Ohio. Emilie (Schumm) Koch was originally from Schumm, in Van Wert County, and was the daughter of William and Anna Marie (Heffner) Schumm.

When I wrote the Tombstone Tuesday about Emilie (Schumm) Koch a few weeks ago the 1910 census indicated that she had given birth to four children but only three were living. [1]

Three of her children were identified, but not the fourth. I estimated that the fourth child would have been born between 1901 and 1906, but I could not find a birth or death record for a fourth child. Even the Schumm genealogy did not mention a fourth child.

Thanks to reader and Schumm descendant Sue Allen who helped me locate the infant’s tombstone, enabling me to identify the child’s birth and death date. Unfortunately the tombstone did not indicate the gender of the child.

Child of W.A. & A. Koch, St. John's Cemetery, Auglaize County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

Child of W.A. & A. Koch, St. John’s Cemetery, Auglaize County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

Only the initials of the parents are inscribed on the tombstone–W. A. and A. The father’s tombstone, located a few rows away, shows his name as Wilhelm A. Koch. Although the mother’s name was officially Emilie, her christening name, she occasionally went by the name of Amelia, as enumerated in the 1910 census. [1]

This child is buried a few rows from the father Wilhelm’s grave-site and from the grandparents grave-site, Wilhelm’s parents.

Emilie (Schumm) Koch moved back to Willshire after Wilhelm’s death in 1906. She died in 1952 and is buried in Zion Lutheran Schumm’s cemetery.

 

[1] 1910 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert County, Ohio, ED 114, p.2B, dwelling 44, family 44, Amelia Koch; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : assessed 28 March 2015); from FHL microfilm 1375251, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 1238.

May 08

Flowers for Mother’s Day

What mother wouldn’t enjoy getting a beautiful bouquet of cut flowers on Mother’s Day. Especially if the flowers were from her son who was overseas, serving his country during World War II.

Flowers from Herb in Germany, May 1945.

Gertrude (Brewster) Miller holding flowers from her son Herb, stationed in Germany. May 1945, Mother’s Day.

It was 13 May 1945. Mother’s Day. Less than a week after V-E Day, which marked the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany and the end of fighting in Europe. Yes. There was a lot to celebrate.

Somehow my dad arranged for his mother to receive this large bouquet of flowers on Mother’s Day. Maybe one of his sisters cut them from the garden. No matter how she got the flowers, grandma certainly looks happy and proud. After all she had more than one reason to celebrate that day.

But the best and most important reason to celebrate was that the war was over and her son would be returning home soon.

Herb Miller, US Army, WWII.

Herb Miller, US Army, WWII.

Harry S. Truman issued a Mother’s Day Proclamation in April 1945: “…Whereas it is fitting that we acknowledge anew our gratitude, love, and devotion to the mothers of America… in this year of the war’s greatest intensity we are ever mindful of their splendid courage and steadfast loyalty to the highest ideals of our democracy…the service rendered the United States by the American mother as the greatest source of the country’s strength and inspiration…” [1]

Harry Truman’s words are still true and meaningful today, 70 years later.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

[1] Harry S. Truman: “Proclamation 2649—Mother’s Day, 1945,” April 17, 1945, Online by Gerhard Peters and john T. Wooley, The American Presidency Project (http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=87028 : accessed 7 May 2015).

May 05

Tombstone Tuesday–Wilhelm A. Koch

William A. Koch, St. John's Lutheran Cemetery, Auglaize County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

Wilhelm A. Koch, St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery, Auglaize County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Wilhelm A. Koch, located in St. John’s Cemetery, Pusheta Township, Auglaize County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

PEACE BE THINE
Wilhelm A.
KOCH
Gest. den. 2, Apr 1906
Alter
37 J. 5 M. 22 T.
KOCH

Translation: Wilhelm A. Koch, died the 2 April 1906, age 37 years, 5 months, 22 days.

Wilhelm August Koch was born 10 October 1868 in Auglaize County, Ohio, the first child born to Johann J. and Christina Wilhelmina (Hoehammer) Koch. [1] Wilhelm’s parents married in about 1868 and they had at least eleven children. [2]

In 1880 Wilhelm lived with his parents and siblings in Pusheta Township, Auglaize County. In the household were John, 37; Christina, 32; William,1; Adam, 10; Lena, 7; Anna, 5; Edith, 3; and Laura, 1. Everyone in the family was born in Ohio and Wilhelm’s father was a farmer. [3]

Wilhelm Koch married Emilie Schumm on 13 September 1896 at Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm. Emilie was the daughter of William and Anna Maria (Heffner) Schumm.

I wrote a Tombstone Tuesday post about Emilie (Schumm) Koch several weeks ago and just last week we traveled over to Wapakoneta to get the tombstone photos for today’s post.

By 1900 Wilhelm and Emilie had one child, a daughter Clara, who was born in May 1898. The family lived on Benton Street in Wapakoneta, Duchouquet Township, where Wilhelm worked as a railroad section manager. The record indicates that Emilie had given birth to one child who was living. [4]

Wilhelm and Emilie were married only ten years when Wilhelm died in April 1906. I have not been able to find any details about his death. He may have died of an illness or as the result of an accident, perhaps even a railroad accident. Their fourth child was born in November of that same year.

Wilhelm was buried in St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery, located on Pusheta Road, southeast of Wapakoneta. St. John’s Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, is nearby, where the Wilhelm Koch family were likely members.

This is a beautiful area, with a rolling landscape and quite a few ponds nearby. Pusheta Creek runs to the north of the church and cemetery. Glacier Hill Lakes is a few miles away.

Old St. John's Cemetery, Pusheta Rd, Auglaize County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

Old St. John’s Cemetery, Pusheta Rd, Auglaize County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

There are actually two cemeteries near St. John’s Lutheran Church. The oldest cemetery is to the east of the frame church and parsonage. It is on a hill overlooking Pusheta Creek and the beautiful farmland. All of the tombstones in this cemetery appear to be from the 19th century and the oldest markers we noticed were from the late 1880s.

I was in this old cemetery about 10 years ago when the Auglaize County Historical Society sponsored a weekend cemetery restoration workshop. Walt Walters, the Graveyard Groomer, from Connersville, Indiana, gave a hands-on demonstration of tombstone cleaning and restoration. During that same weekend I gave a tombstone art and cemetery research presentation as well as a tombstone rubbing demonstration.

St. John's Lutheran Cemetery, Auglaize County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery, Auglaize County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

The newer cemetery, where Wilhelm Koch is buried, is about a quarter of a mile west of the church. The older section of this cemetery is to the east, and that is where Wilhelm, his infant child, and his parents are buried. Wilhelm is buried a short distance from his parents.

Tombstone of John & Christina Koch, William's parents, St. John's Cemetery, Auglaize County. (2015 photo by Karen)

Tombstone of John & Christina Koch, Wilhelm’s parents, St. John’s Cemetery, Auglaize County. (2015 photo by Karen)

Wilhelm and Emilie had four children, one of whom died in infancy. Their son Water was born seven months after his father’s death.

Wilhelm and Emilie had the following children:
Clara Maria (1898-1983), married Carl Reidenbach
Paula L. (1900-1991), married Harold E. Reidenbach
Unnamed infant (1904-1904)
“Walter” Theodor ((1906-1970), married Blanche Wickliffe

 

 

[1] Samuel Wilhelm August Koch entry, Find a Grave memorial no.90605956, FindAGrave.com (www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 March 2015). [10 Oct 1868-2 Apr 1906]

[2] 1900 U.S. Census, Duchouquet Township, Auglaize County, Ohio, ED 31, p.5A, dwelling 79, family 80, line 1, John J Koch; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 May 2015); from FHL microfilm 1241240, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1240.

[3] 1880 U.S. Census, Pusheta Township, Auglaize County, Ohio, ED 10, p.479B, dwelling 73, family 76, line 1, John Koch; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 May 2015); from FHL microfilm 1254993, from NARA microfilm T9, roll 993.

[4] 1900 U.S. Census, Wapakoneta, Auglaize County, Ohio, ED 32, p.12A, dwelling 232, family 243, William A. Koch; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 March 2015); from FHL microfilm 1241240, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1240.

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