Mar 04

Charles C. & Edna (Brewster) Abnet

Much of our time during the past few weeks has been spent going through stuff. A lot of stuff. But that also means finding items to research and write about.

Here is a photo that I had never seen before and the names of the people in the photo were written on the back! That is always a very good thing. Even better yet, their relationship to the family was also recorded on the back. What luck!

This is a photo of Charles and Edna (Brewster) Abnet and their son Don Brewster Abnet.

Charles C., Edna, and Don Abnet, c1919.

Charles C., Edna, and Don Abnet, c1919.

Dora “Edna” Brewster was my great-grandaunt. She was the daughter of Daniel Brewster and his second wife Mary Loverda “Love” Bebout. I descend from Daniel and his first wife Sarah Ann Fetters. Daniel and Sarah had four children and I descend from their son Philip.

Sarah (Fetters) Brewster died in 1877 and Daniel married Loverda Bebout in 1878. Daniel and Loverda had six children and Edna was their fifth child, born 6 March 1892 in Adams County, Indiana.

Charles Calvin Abnet and Edna Brewster married 24 October 1918 in Adams County, Indiana. Charles was born 15 November 1879 in Adams County, Indiana, to Jacob and Rebecca (Barr) Abnet. [1]

This was the second marriage for both Charles and Edna. Edna’s first husband was Abe Sprunger. One marriage record indicates that Edna was married after her divorce to Abe Sprunger while another record does not indicate that. I did not find a third marriage record for Edna.

Edna (Brewster) Abnet died in 1967 and her husband Charles died in 1960. They are both buried in Riverside Cemetery, near Geneva, Indiana. [2]

Edna and Charles Abnet’s son Don B., the child in the above photo, was born in 1919 and died in 2007. He married Ruth Ellen Luginbill. [2]

Edna and Charles had another child, Esther Eileen, who married Herman R. Habegger. Esther Eileen passed away in 2015. [2]

This photo and a little bit of research helped me add several more individuals to my family database.


[1] “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 3 Mar 2016), Charley Calvin Abnet and Dora Edna Brewster, 1918; from Adams, Indiana, Marriages, Vol. K, p.424, from FHL microfilm 2321630.

[2] Find a Grave ( : accessed 3 Mar 2016); Dora Edna Brewster Abnet memorial #36828806.

Mar 01

Tombstone Tuesday–John Hiller

John Hiller, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

John Hiller, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of John Hiller, located in row 15 of Kessler Cemetery, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Mar. 10, 1869
63 yrs, 10 ms

According to the records of Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga, Ohio, John [Johann] Hiller was born 8 May 1805 to Johann and Margaretha Hiller in Mittelfranken, Kingdom of Bavaria. The town he was born in looks like Markhernizheim in the church records, but that spelling is probably incorrect because I cannot locate a town by that name. John was baptized and confirmed in the town of his birth.

In 1838 John married Maria “Mary” Margaretha (Müller) Stump/Stumpf, who was born in the Kingdom of Bavaria on 4 June 1800 to Conrad and Dorothy Müller. Mary was the widow of Erasmus Stump and had three children from her first marriage–Phillip, Catherine, and Gertrude.

John and Mary Margaretha immigrated to America in 1839, about a year after their marriage. This information was included in Zion Chatt’s records as well as on a passenger arrival card. On their immigration card John Hiller was 34 years of age, born in Germany about 1805, and is shown traveling with Margaretha, Philip, Catharina, and Gertraud. John’s occupation was a weaver and their destination was the U.S. [1]

Johann, Margaretha, Philip, Catharina, & Gertraud Hiller immigration record.

Johann, Margaretha, Philip, Catharina, & Gertraud Hiller immigration record.

After their arrival in America the Hillers resided in Butler County, Ohio, for eight years. They moved to Adams County, Indiana, about 1847, and settled a few miles from Chattanooga, where they attended Zion Lutheran Church.

John and Mary (Müller) Hiller had the following two sons, both of whom were born in Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio:
Jacob, (1842-1926), married Martha Sundmacher
Johann “George” (1846-1932), married Caroline Brecheisen; married Catharine Alt

In 1850 the Hillers lived in Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana. In the household were John Hiller, 48, a weaver; Margaret, 45; Jacob, 8; and George, 4. [2]

In 1860 the family had a New Corydon, Indiana, post office address and John farmed. In the household was John, 54, Bavaria; Margaret, 60, Bavaria; Jacob, 16, Indiana; George, 15, Indiana. [3]

John Hiller, Kessler Cemetery. (2015 photo by Karen)

John Hiller, Kessler Cemetery. (2015 photo by Karen)

According to Zion Chatt’s records, John Hiller died suddenly on 10 March 1869 of a stroke and apoplexy. He was 63 years, 10 months, and 2 days old.

John is buried next to his wife Mary Margaretha, who died in 1876. Although John’s tombstone is broken, the cemetery was read by the Mercer County Chapter OGS in 1990 and they recorded his death date as it was inscribed on the stone at that time.

John and Mary Hiller, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

John and Mary Hiller, Kessler Cemetery. (2015 photo by Karen)


[1] “United States Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874,” database with images, ( : accessed 28 Feb 2016), Johann Hiller, 1839; from FHL microfilm 418239, from NARA Immigration microfilm M334.

[2] 1850 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, p. 63A, dwelling & family 809, John Hiller; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 27 Oct 2015); from NARA microfilm M432, roll 135.

[3] 1860 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, p. 234, dwelling 1649, family 1629, John Hiller; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 27 Oct 2015); from FHL microfilm 803242, from NARA microfilm M653, roll 242.


Feb 26

1940 Willshire School Bus for Chatt-area Students

How did rural students get to school in 1940? By riding a school bus, just like they do today.

Below is a 1940 photo of students who lived in the Chattanooga, Ohio, area and rode the school bus to the Willshire Public School.

With help, I have been able to identify most of the students in the photo. Perhaps some readers can identify the others.

Willshire School Bus that transported Chatt-area students, 1940.

Chatt-area students by their Willshire school bus, 1940.

Front row: Don Caffee, Robert Bollenbacher, ?, ?, LaVerne “Vernie” Miller, Hamrick girl, ?, ?, ?, Kenny Miller.

Middle row [Zig-zaging up and down this row]: ? [girl], Catherine Miller, Dorothy Jean Leininger [taller girl behind], ? [shorter girl in front], Dorothy White, Emeline “Em” Miller, Marjorie Pifer, ? [boy], Catherine Leininger, Dorothy Carr, Helen Miller, Herb Miller, Twyla Pifer.

Back row: Carl Ripley, Leland Carr, Laverne “Vernie” Stetler, Robert “Bob” Byers, Fern Bollenbacher, Genevieve Baker, Bill Chapman, Dale Caffee.

My dad and several of his brothers and sisters are in the photo—Uncle Vernie, Uncle Kenny, Aunt Helen, Aunt Kate, and Aunt Em. My aunt Helen was a senior that year and my Uncle Kenny was in the first grade. My dad was aged somewhere between them.

Helen (Miller) Linn

Helen (Miller) Linn, Senior in 1940.

Two Miller neighbors rode the bus—brothers Don and Dale Caffee, as well as some names I recognize from Zion Chatt—sisters Catherine and Dorothy Jean Leininger, siblings Leland and Dorothy Carr, and Carl Ripley.

Someone told me that the 1940 school bus seats were not arranged as they are today. Instead there were two long benches down the center of the bus and the riders faced toward the windows. Maybe someone can verify this or correct this information.

Feb 23

Tombstone Tuesday–Mary Ursula Hiller

Mary Ursula Hiller, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2016 photo by Karen)

Mary Ursula Hiller, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2016 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Maria Ursula Hiller, located in row 10 of Kessler Cemetery, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Hier Ruht
In Gott
Mary R [?]
Dau of
G & C
Aug. 9, 1888
Aged 7 mo

According to Zion Chatt’s records, Maria Ursula Hiller was born to George and Catherine (Alt) Hiller on 9 January 1888 and was baptized 8 Jul 1888, with her grandparents Friedrich and Ursula Alt as sponsors.

Her mother Catherine (Alt) Hiller was the second wife of her father George Hiller. George’s first wife Caroline (Brecheisen) died 20 May 1884 and George married Catharine Alt on 30 November 1884. Catharine was the daughter of Friedrich and Ursula (Koch) Alt.

Maria “Mary” Hiller’s birth is also recorded in Mercer County, Ohio, probate and indicates that she was born in Liberty Township. [1]

Mary Ursula Hiller, was likely named after her two grandmothers—her paternal grandmother Mary (Müller) Hiller and maternal grandmother Ursula (Koch) Alt.

Mary only lived a few months. Her death and burial are recorded at Zion Chatt but her death record does not appear in the Mercer County Probate records. Mary died 9 August 1888, the same year she was born, and she was buried on the 11th.

Although Mary did not live to be enumerated in a census, the 1900 U.S. census indicates that two of three children born to Catharine (Alt) Hiller were living, indicating that she had lost one child. [2]

Mary Ursula Hiller, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2016 photo by Karen)

Mary Ursula Hiller, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2016 photo by Karen)

Mary Hiller had two brothers, Heinrich Friedrich (1886-1966) and John (1890-1981).

Mary is buried next to her father’s first wife, Caroline (Brecheisen) Hiller.


[1] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 Feb 2016), Mary Hiller, 9 Jan 1888; from Liberty Twp, Mercer, Ohio, Vol. 2, p.87; from FHL microfilm 914953.

[2] 1900 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 85, p.2B, dwelling 41, family 43, George Hiller; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 27 Jan 2016); from FHL microfilm 1241304, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1304.

Feb 19

A 1957 Journal

I never realized until lately, while sorting through some papers, that my mom regularly kept a journal.

Well, sort of.

She used a date book and wrote down events that happened during the year.

1957 Date Book used by Florence Miller.

1957 Date Book used by Florence Miller.

I found her date book/journal for 1957 rather interesting and will share some events and noteworthy items that she chose to record that year. It is also interesting to see the local names that pop up.

Tuesday, 1 January: Bertha Etzler married on Dec. 8, 1956 to Mr. Stevens.

Monday & Tuesday, 14-15 January: Very cold this morn.

Wednesday, 16 January: 9 below zero.

Thursday, 17 January: Herb, I, Karen, Anna Lou & her mother went to Springfield & Dayton today. Anna Lou had an appointment at Dr. Weaver in Dayton. Very cold today.

[My mom worked as a bookkeeper at Willshire Grain & Supply, a grain elevator, so of course she would record the grain prices.]

Friday, 18 January: Corn, $1.84; Oats, .74; Wheat, 2.26; Beans, 2.39.

Saturday, 19 January: Went to Berne this afternoon. Herb got his first polio shot.

Sunday, 20 January: Mr. & Mrs. Norval Weitz & Gloria, Mr. & Mrs. Paul Eichler over for dinner today.

Monday, 21 January: Karen Sue Miller 5 years old today. Vernon Caffee birthday.

Thursday, 24 January: Mr. & Mrs. Forrest Hileman over this eve.

Friday, 25 January: We sold our beans today, 608 bu in storage for 2.37. Bruce Barber’s dad died today.

Sunday, 27 January: Herb & I went to Ft. Wayne today. Open house for 4 new pre-fab homes. Herb & Norval went to see Bruce Barber (sheriff)’s dad this eve.

Tuesday, 29 January: Corn 1.81; Oats, .74; Wheat, 2.23; Beans, 2.37.

Saturday, 16 February: Jim Dutton & Rev. Pattrick daughter married this eve. He is owner of Farmers Grain & Feed Co.

Wednesday, 20 February: Merle Hoverman died this noon of a heart attack. Corn, 1.79; Oats, .70; Wheat, 2.14; Beans, 2.27.

Monday, 25 February: W.J. [Johnny] Reef run tractor in ditch and ran over him this afternoon. Taken to Adams Co. Hospital. Very warm today, 66 degrees.

Saturday, 9 March: Phil Hileman married to Dallas Kiracofe daughter this eve. Willshire beaten at Bluffton, O, tourney by New Bremen, in district finals.

[My parents built their home in 1957, built by carpenters Louis Schumm and Bill Baker. My mom kept a good timeline of the construction process.]

Monday, 11 March: Dug basement today. Very nice this week.

Wednesday, 13 March: Finished digging basement this morn.

Thursday, 14 March: Forrest Hileman worked on basement today.

Sunday, 17 March: Ruben Thieme, 23 years old, son of Max Thieme killed in 2-car crash in Fort Wayne this eve at 7:30.

Monday, 18 March: Rained today. Brought out forms today from Smalley at Celina.

Tuesday, 19 March: Herb, Forrest Hileman & Billy Baker set up forms today.

Wednesday, 20 March: Ruben Thieme funeral today. Poured concrete today. Got down to 21 this eve.

Saturday, 23 March: Herb sowed oats today. Very nice. Opal (Gribler) May, 29, died this eve in her home in Defiance of a heart condition.

Monday, 25 March: Snowed hard today.

Tuesday, 26 March: Opal (Gribler) May buried today. Survived by a 2-year old son.

Thursday, 28 March: Dug out & poured footer for garage today.

Friday, 29 March: Poured garage walls today.

Saturday, 30 March: Poured floor in basement today. Forrest Hileman worked from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Sunday, 31 March: Hildegard (Schumm) Buxton’s 2 wk old baby buried today. W. J. Reef came home from hospital this afternoon.

Tuesday, 2 April: Mrs. Ivan Johnson died today.

Wednesday, 3 April: All power went off at 8:30 this eve. Rained and froze today. Everything covered with ice.

Thursday, 4 April: Did not go to work today. Power did not come on till 3:30 this eve. Everything flooded. Mrs. Ivan Johnson buried today.

Sunday, 7 April: Esther & Al over this eve. Rained about all day.

Monday, 8 April: Snowed very hard today. Down to 15 this eve.

Wednesday, 10 April: Forrest Hileman laid fireplace in basement today.

Friday 12 April: Ground covered with snow this morn. Forrest Hileman finished with basement today. Finished fireplace in basement & flue up to first floor. Very cold this eve.

Monday, 15 April: Very nice today.

Tuesday, 16 April: Louie [Schumm] & Billy [Baker] laid floor joists today. Drizzled all day.

Bill "Billy" Baker. (2006 photo by Karen.

Bill “Billy” Baker. (2006 photo by Karen)

Friday, 19 April: Very hot today. 80 degrees.

Sunday, 21 April: Easter Sunday. About 85 & very hot. Went to Schumm Church this morn, at mom’s for dinner. In afternoon we went to Home Show at Coliseum. Clara went with us.

Monday, 22 April: Louis Schumm & Billy Baker started on house today.

Friday, 26 April: Had Paul Roehm Jr and Katherine Breymaier over for supper this eve.

Sunday, 28 April: Scrubbed basement this afternoon.

Tuesday, 30 April: Started on roof rafters today.

Thursday, 2 May: Put most of sheathing on house today. Very nice all week. Very cool this eve.

Saturday, 4 May: Got frame of garage up today. Have insulation board on house and also sheathing on house now.

Sunday, 5 May: Mom & Amy over today.

Monday-Wednesday, 6-8 May: Put shingles on house & garage roof rafters on.

Sunday, 12 May: Mother’s Day. Ruth, Bob & family out over weekend. We were all over at LaVerne & Martha’s for pot-luck dinner today.

Florence & Karen, c1959.

Florence & Karen, c1958-9.

Friday & Saturday, 17-18 May: Put windows in & painted windows. Louie & Billy almost finished on house until the wiring comes.

Monday, 20 May: Worked all day putting garage door on.

Wednesday, 22 May: Louis & Billy finished on house today. Ready to be wired now.

Thursday, 23 May: Forrest Hileman here to lay bricks for fireplace in living room. Rained again today. No corn planted yet. Very wet.

Sunday, 2 June: All over at Aunt Edna’s this eve for a house warming.

Friday, 7 June: Herb finished planting corn and beans this week.

Sunday, 9 June: The whole family, Emanuel’s, Uncle Paul’s and all of us over at Esther’s this eve for their wedding anniversary.

Monday, 10 June: Jack Brasher here all day plumbing. Mom had her cabinets put in today.

Thursday, 13 June: Karen went to Bible School this week & last week. [Wow! We had Bible School for 2 whole weeks!]

Friday, 14 June: Rained every day this week. Very wet. Some people don’t have any crops out yet. Jesse Sipe has 8 acres corn & 12 acres beans in the ground. Nailed on rock-lath about every night this week.

Saturday, 15 June: Alumni Banquet at Willshire School this eve. Enid Westerberg married to Charles Strable today. Jack Brasher did some plumbing this morn. Here till noon.

Sunday, 30 June: Wm Kelly, husband of the former Ruth Ketrow, buried today. Schumm Ice Cream Social this eve. Still very wet. Russel Price & Melvin Nussbaum drowned in the lake of St. Mary’s today in a boat accident.

Friday, 5 July: Mr. & Mrs. Wayne Weaver’s 6 mo. daughter killed today. Herb’s cousin. Mrs. Weaver’s car went out of control & left the berm. Had our floor in garage and back porch and planter put in today.

Sunday, 7 July: Went to the Hardy & Hardy Funeral Home to see the Weaver baby this morn. Had our church’s annual picnic in the Berne Park today.

Sunday, 28 July: We were at Herb’s folk’s for dinner today.

Friday, 2 August: Went to Decatur shopping this eve. Looked at Plymouth station wagon at M & W (Morningstar’s). Louis Schumm worked on outside of house today (trim).

Saturday, 3 August: Got Karen’s gray bedroom suite from Shaffer’s today. $139.50. Herb also bought 1953 Plymouth station wagon this eve. $895 for station wagon. Allowed him $400 for his 1948 Chev. Pick-up truck, $495 difference.

Sunday, 4 August: Boat races at Celina today. A cool day.

Monday, 5 August: Herb started work at Huffman’s [Huffy’s] today.

Thursday, 8 August: Started plastering house today.

Saturday, 10 August: Finished with first coat of plastering today.

That was the last entry in the journal. Either she got very busy with finishing the house and moving into it or she lost interest in journaling.

There is an itemized price list of the labor and materials to build the house in the back of the book. It is amazing to see the 1957 prices.

I also learned that W.J. Reef, our neighbor “Johnny”, as we called him, did the electrical work for the house. That is no surprise because my dad did electrical work with him years later.

Wavil "Johnny Reef (1901-1964)

WJ “Johnny” Reef (1901-1964)

I also see that my Uncle Kenny and neighbor Larry Caffee helped work on the house and that my Uncle Al did the bulldozing on the lot.

Also interesting is that my mom referred to Bill Baker as “Billy” Baker. Bill built our house years later. He was a very good carpenter who liked to use a lot of nails. We can vouch for that!

As usual, some very good information!












Older posts «

» Newer posts