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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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