Tombstone Tuesday-2 Railroad Acronyms

Today I am highlighting two tombstone symbols that are acronyms of railroad organizations. These inscriptions are on two tombstones at Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City, and are the only two inscriptions I have seen that are related to the railroad. I think they are rather unusual.

The first symbolizes the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (BRT). BRT was a labor organization for railroad employees founded in 1883 to negotiate contracts with railroad management and provide insurance for members.

BRT, Grover Demler tombstone, Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City, Ohio,

This inscription is on the tombstone of Grover J. Demler (1893-1918). Demler, originally from Ohio City, was a freight brakeman for the Erie Railroad to Huntington, Indiana, where he lived and was a member of Huntington’s B. of R. T. lodge. Demler died in Huntington from complications of influenza during the Spanish Flue Pandemic. Demler was also a Mason and a member of the Knights of Pythias.

Grover Demler, Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City, Ohio.

The other railroad organization symbol is the Benefit Association of Railway Employees (B.A.R.E.).

Benefit Association of Railway Employees/BARE, Beach tombstone, Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City, Ohio.

This BARE inscription is on the tombstone of Franklin H. Beach (1869-1926) a railroad worker who was struck and killed by a freight train east of Ohio City. Beach was also a member of the Knights of Pythias.

Franklin Beach, Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City, Ohio.

BARE was originally founded in 1913 as the Brotherhood of All Railway Employees, established by two insurance men and two North Western Railway employees.

In 1917 The Brotherhood of All Railway Employees adopted a new name and became the Benefit Association of Railway Employees (B.A.R.E.). The name change reflected their growth and defined their purpose. This was considered the Golden Age of Railroads.

In 1922 BARE became a mutual insurance company and was owned by its policy owners. The home office was in Chicago and by 1928 they had over 135,000 members. In 1929 the company began insuring individuals outside the railroad industry and in 1945 they established a life insurance department. The Benefit Association of Railway Employees celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1963 and changed their name to the Benefit Trust Life Insurance Company.

Two unusual inscriptions, indeed.

Some Local News of 1910

Some more area news from the Celina Democrat in 1910.

Miss Bertha Carver, the blind girl of near Salem, Ind., whose wonderful voice has won for her the name of “The Blind Soloist,” and who is giving a series of concerts at the different towns in the surrounding territory, so that she may receive funds with which to continue her musical education, has arranged to give one of her concerts in the Evangelical Church at Chattanooga this (Friday) evening, to commence at 8 o’clock. No admission will be charged but a collection will be taken.
(2 Sep 1910)

2 September 1910, Celina Democrat

That event was probably held at the Reformed North Church on Tama Road, about a mile east of Chatt.

Some miscellaneous items from the same 1910 newspaper:

Mendon will open her new canning factory tomorrow noon in a public manner and with much eclat. State pure food officers will witness the affair.

By a fall on a shovel Wednesday afternoon the little son of Mr. And Mrs. Charles Swallow, Mill street, sustained a bad cut across the left temple. Dr. Wintermute was called, who found it necessary to administer anesthetics in sewing up the wound.

Veteran Wm. J. Short, of East Market Street, who had an eye removed a few days since on account of a cancerous affection, is reported getting along nicely.

Lewis Alt, of Liberty Township, has the distinction of being the first man to make his annual school settlement with Auditor Morrow. He was in yesterday.

Otto Wendel, of Liberty township, made this office his annual call Monday, fixing up for his winter reading by adding daily Post and Ohio Farmer, our greatest clubbing offer.

Mrs. A. J. Jackson of Route 2, was in town Tuesday to attend the funeral of her old neighbor, Mrs. Botkin, brought here for burial, and left an annual renewal for their old home paper before returning home. She reports Mr. Jackson, who has been in ill health a year or more, but slightly improved. (2 Sep 1910)

A September 1910 obituary, from Blackcreek Township:

Mrs. Lucetta Vining, aged 51 years, widow of the late Robert M. Vining, of Blackcreek Township, died at her home two miles north of Chattanooga last Friday evening, shortly after five o’clock. Deceased was born in Darke County, March 8, 1859. In 1878 she was united in marriage to Mr. Vining in Darke County, and five years later they moved to this county, locating in Blackcreek Township. Mrs. Vining’s illness took serious form last June, when she was operated upon at Ft. Wayne, Ind., for gall stones and it was also found that she was a sufferer from cancer. She recovered sufficiently to be able to return home the first of last month, but her condition kept growing steadily worse.

She is survived by eight children Mrs. Dora Beam, of Robinson, Ill., Irvin Vining, of Indianapolis, Ind., Haskell Vining, residing two miles north of town; Mrs. Halley Brush, of Center, and Mrs. Golda Mambrick and Clarence, Floyd and Earl Vining, all of Blackcreek Township. She is also survived by four step children, Hon. S. J. Vining, of this city; and Mesdames Ida Michael, Jennie Kuhn and Anna Detro, of Blackcreek Township.

Funeral services were held at East Bethel Church last Sunday morning, followed by interment in the cemetery nearby. (9 Sep 1910)

Lucetta Vining obituary, 9 Sep 1910

There were a number of accidents in December 1910. A few of them, as reported:

The Celina Democrat, 1910

Henry Bruhns, [sic] of Rockford, will likely loose his entire left hand as the result of having it caught in the rolls of a corn shredder, while working for George Lillick on the Oliver Putman farm, north of Rockford. All but the thumb and first finger were torn completely off and these so badly mangled that is feared they can not be saved.

Arthur P. Dull, of Rockford, was seriously, if not fatally injured last Saturday afternoon, when he was caught between a heavily loaded wagon and a wall of the Rockford Milling Co’s elevator and his chest crushed and collar bone broken. It is also feared he suffered internal injuries. Dull only recently escaped serious injury when he was buried under several feet of corn in one of the elevator cribs.

Orlando Stump, of Rockford, an employee of the Lewis Bros. Lumber Co, had a finger of his left hand torn off when he caught it in a jointer last Saturday afternoon.

Mrs. Louis Alt, Sr, and daughter, of Chattanooga, were bruised up but luckily escaped serious injury, when thrown from a buggy in a runaway Wednesday afternoon. Their horse frightened at an automobile near the Ben Bacher home, upsetting the buggy. (23 Dec 1910)

A 1910 obituary with a Liberty Township connection:

Aaron Keifer was born in Green County, Ohio, June 7 1832. He grew to manhood in Shelby County, Ohio, and learned the cooper trade at Springfield. On the 30th day of March, 1860, he was united in marriage to Miss Eliza Ellis, near Troy, O. A few months later they moved to Celina, where he accepted a position with the late Wm. Dickman.

In 1884 he moved to a farm in Liberty township, where he remained until three years ago. Feeling the infirmities of age creeping upon him, he, with his aged wife, moved back to Celina, where he passed away Thursday, April 28, aged 77 years, 10 months, 21 days.

He was the father of seven children, three of whom died in infancy.

About eight years ago he united with the Society of Friends, at the Friends Home church, west of Celina, and has lived a consistent Christian life. Often at night, while others were asleep, he was heard praying. He leaves an aged and loving wife, one son, 3 daughters, 28 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. The children are Mrs. John Woods, Mrs. John Alexander, Mrs. Wm. Hull and Ellis Keifer, of Indianapolis, Ind.

Funeral services were held at the Beaver Chapel Church last Sunday afternoon, conducted by Mrs. Elmira Brock. (6 May 1910)

Obituaries, The Celina Democrat, 6 May 1910

Another 1910 obituary, with a Willshire connection:

Sylvester Brock, Co. A, 71st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, son of Rev. Wesley Brock, and brother of Leonard  Brock (who died last July) and Orlando Brock, who resides west of Celina,. Born Nov. 15, 1839, the third son of a family of seven boys, four of whom are still living. Rev. Brock came with his boys to Mercer Co. about fifty-six years ago.

Sylvester Brock was united in marriage to Katherine Shaftner, [sic] of Willshire, Ohio, and went to Zuay, [sic] Oklahoma, about fifteen years ago, where he died Jan. 11, 1910. He leaves a wife, one son and two daughters. He was a faithful and Christian husband and father. (6 May 1910)

Newspapers certainly reported a variety of items back then, many the type of news we would never read in a newspaper today. But when you think about, at that time the newspaper was the best way to report and circulate any and all news. Particularly in a small community, the small, incidental, local news, some of which you might even call gossip, was as interesting and important to read as the national and world news. You might say the local newspaper was the social media of that time.

Tombstone Tuesday-John A. & Louisa C. (Lillich) Buechner

John A & Louisa C (Lillich) Buechner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of John A. Buechner and Louisa C. (Lillich) Buechner, located in row 11 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Louisa C.

John A.

Johannes “John“ Peter Buechner was born in Willshire Township on 20 August 1865, the son of John and Margaret (Scior/Zior) Buechner. John Buechner was baptized 27 August 1865 with Peter Germann and Adam Dietrich serving as his sponsors. John was christened as Johannes Peter but he may have had a second middle name, Adam. His tombstone and some other records indicate that his middle initial was A.

The John Buechner family in 1870: Catharine Lillich, 80; John Buechner, 42; Margaret Buechner, 40; William Buechner, 11; Mary Buechner, 9; John Buechner, 5; and Henry Buechner, 2. John Buechner’s father John was a farmer. [1]

The John Buechner family in 1880: John Buechner, 51; Margaret Buechner, 51; William A Buechner, 21; Mary C Buechner, 19; John P Buechner, 14; and Henry C Buechner, 12. [2]

John Buechner’s father John died 7 January 1896.

John Buechner married Louisa Lillich on 19 April 1900 at the Zion Lutheran parsonage, Schumm.

“Louisa” Charlotte Lillich was born 6 February 1872 in Van Wert County, the daughter of Fredrick Samuel (1829-1890) and Sarah (Shell) (1836-1911) Lillich.

Louisa was enumerated with her family in 1880: Frederick Lillich, 51, head; Sarah, 43, wife; Rebecca, 21, daughter; Rose Elizabeth, 17, daughter; Frederick S, 15, son; Sarah U, 13, daughter; William H, 10, son; Charlotte L, 8, daughter; John A, 6, son; George F, 3, son; Emma Isadore, 11 mo, daughter; John R Ellinger, 19, nephew. [3]

John Buechner and Louisa Lillich were married in April 1900 the newlyweds were enumerated in the 1900 census in June: John Buechner, 34, farmer, and Louisa, 28, wife. [4]

John’s mother Margaret (Scior) Buechner died 20 April 1907.

By 1910 John and Louisa Buechner had two children, Lillian, 7, and Leo, 2. [5]

Their household in 1920: John A P Buechner, 54; Charlotte L Buechner, 47, wife; Lillian M, 17, daughter; Leo B Buechner, 11, son; John F Buechner, 5, son; William H Lillich, 50, brother-in-law. [6]

The John Buechner family in 1930: John 64; Louisa, 57; Leo, 22; and John, 16. [7]

John Buechner died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Van Wert County on 27 April 1963, at the age of 67 years, 6 months, and 7 days. He was buried on 1 March. [8]

By 1935 widow Louisa Buechner had moved into the village of Willshire. In 1940 widow Louisa Buechner lived with her son Leo Buechner and his family in Willshire: Leo, 32, head; Louise, 31, wife; Louisa, 68, mother; John Buechner, 26, brother. [9]

Widow Louisa Buechner, age 78, lived by herself in Willshire in 1950. [10]

Louisa (Lillich) Buechner died from complications of a stroke in the Van Wert County Hospital on 17 April 1963, at the age of 91. She was buried on 19 April. Her usual residence was Willshire. [11]

Louisa C. Buechner
Willshire-Mrs. Louisa Charlotte Buechner, 91, died at 6:35 a.m. Wednesday in Van Wert County Hospital where she had been a patient six days.

Born Feb. 6, 1872, in Willshire Township, she was a daughter of Frederic and Sarah (Shell) Lillich. Her husband, John, died in 1937 [sic].

Surviving are a daughter and two sons, Leo Buchner [sic] of 3270 Ottawa Rd, Lima; and John of Sacramento, Calif; a daughter, Mrs. Lillian Schinnerer of Fort Wayne; three grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Buchner [sic] was a member of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, a charter member of the Ladies Aid and the Women’s Missionary League.

Services will be Friday at 2 p.m. in the church. Rev. Elmer Braun will officiate and burial will be in the church cemetery.

Friends may call at Cowan and Sons Funeral Home, Van Wert, until noon Friday when the body will e taken to the church. [12]

John and Louisa (Lillich) Buechner had the following children:
Lillian Margaretha Buchner (1902-1994), married Gerhardt Johann Schinnerer
Leo Bernhard Buechner (1908-1971), married Louise M. Schumm 
Johann “John” Friedrich Buechner (1914-1973), married Marcile Margery Schumm

Interesting to note is that Louisa (Lillich) Buechner’s sister Rosa Lillich married John Buechner’s brother Henry Buechner.

[1] 1870 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, p.445B, dwelling 218, family 2019, John Buechner; digital image by subscription,, viewed 11 May 2020.

[2] 1880 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 154, p.444C, family 24, John Buechner; digital image by subscription,, viewed 11 May 2020.

[3] 1880 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 154, p.450D, family 138, Frederick Lillick [sic];, viewed 16 Aug 2022.

[4] 1900 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 97, p.9, dwelling 176, family 189, John A Buechner [sic];, viewed 12 Sep 2022.

[5] 1910 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 114, p.1A, dwelling & family 12, John Buechner;, viewed 12 Sep 2022.

[6] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 146, p.3B, dwelling 64, family 65, John A P Buechner;, viewed 12 Sep 2022.

[7] 1930 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 24, p.2A, dwelling 33, family 34, John Buechner;, viewed 13 Sep 2022.

[8] “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, John Adam Buechner, 27 Feb 1933; database with images,, viewed 13 Sep 2022. 

[9] 1940 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 81-26, p.5B, house visited 119, Leo Buschner [sic];, viewed 13 Sep 2022.

[10] 1950 U.S. Census, Willshire [village], Van Wert, Ohio, Ed 81-38, serial no. 92, Louisa C Buechner;, viewed 12 Sep 2022.

[11] “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, Louisa Charlotte Buechner, 17 Apr 1963; database with images,, viewed 13 Sep 2022. 

[12] The Lima News, Lima, Ohio, 18 Apr 1963, p.2; digital image,, viewed 13 Sep 2022.

More Local News from 1910

I am still looking through old newspapers, specifically the Celina Democrat in 1910. This newspaper is online, is easy to view from home, and has some interesting information for our part of the county as well as all of Mercer County. Perhaps you will recognize some of the names mentioned here.

Farm Residence Goes Up in Smoke
The residence of Adam Kaylor in Blackcreek Township was totally destroyed by fire last Sunday, only a portion of the household goods being saved. The fire is supposed to have originated from a defective flue, but was not discovered until it had gained such headway that hardly anything could be saved. The loss is partially covered by insurance.
(Celina Democrat, 6 May 1910)

Celina Democrat, 6 May 1910, p.1.

Samuel Wick, an old resident of Blackcreek township, died on the 5th inst. and was buried Sunday at Duck Creek cemetery. The Berne (Ind.) band and the Willshire quartet furnished the musical part of the service, which was very impressive.

J.F. Harb had the bone removed from a finger that has caused him much trouble for some time last Saturday.

Frank Egger and Gusta Leininger were the guests of Clyde Harb Sunday. (Celina Democrat, 13 May 1910)

Celina Democrat, 13 May 1910, p.1.

Mrs. Catherine Linn, aged 35 years, widow of the late George Linn, died at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Hiller, in Liberty township, last Saturday afternoon, after a lingering illness, of tuberculosis. She is survived by two children. Funeral services were held at the Lutheran church at Chattanooga last Tuesday morning.
(Celina Democrat, 13 May 1910)

Linn obituary, Celina Democrat, 27 May 1910, p.1.

Our old friend John C. Brehm, of Liberty township, always prompt, was in with his renewal Wednesday.

John Sipe, of Blackcreek township, was in town Wednesday on his way to St. Marys to attend to some business matters. (Celina Democrat, 24 Jun 1910)

Adam Alt, of Liberty township, was in town Wednesday and took home with him some fine Holstein cattle he purchased at New Bremen. Adam surely captured some prizes. (Celina Democrat, 17 Jun 1910)

There were some interesting clubs in Celina in 1910:

There was a Thimble Club. I am not sure if this was a sewing club or if they collected thimbles.

Celina Democrat, 6 May 1910, p.1.

The B.E.S. Embroidery Club was probably a sewing club.

There was a Shakespeare Club, likely a reading/book club and not all that unusual.

And there was the Jolly Dozen Club, which included a couple I mentioned several months ago, John Eli Headington and his wife Ruth. They lived in Celina before moving to Portland, Indiana, in 1910. Their son Ken Headington’s widow Elma eventually ran Celina’s Headington House Hotel in the 1930s, until her death in 1970.

The following article is not from Blackcreek or Liberty Townships, but from Celina and is rather interesting:

Celina Democrat, 13 May 1910, p.1.

Hoping This Time, No Doubt, to Have a Less Strenous Wife for Partner
Isaac J. Gallihugh and Anna M. Gallihugh divorced Saturday morning at 10 o’clock. Isaac J. Gallihugh and Mrs. Luesia Kennard married Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock.

Such is part of the unwritten diary of last Saturday’s adventures of Ike Gallihugh, a part time resident of the County Infirmary. Despite the fact that Ike found it necessary as well as difficult to hobble into court on a pair of crutches last Saturday morning to secure a decree of divorce from his wife Anna, whom he told Judge Layton had thrown various kitchen utensils at him, beat him over the head at various times and lastly broken his leg when she threw a stick of stove wood at him, he couldn’t be without a wife and about four hours after he had been untied by the Judge he was again tied to a life partner by Justice Raudabaugh. Gallihugh is 47 and his new bride is 25. (Celina Democrat, 13 May 1910)

Note: Isaac and Luesia both had been married before. Isaac Jackson Gallihugh (1863-1942) married Anna Abigail (Lyman) in 1886 and Luesia/Louise (Kittle) (1885-1933) married Charles Kennard in 1903.

Tombstone Tuesday-Daughters of Rebekah Symbol

The Daughters of Rebekah, a branch of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was established in 1851. Their name is derived from Rebekah in the Bible and they are sometimes called the Rebekahs. Their society is an international service organization.

Daughters of Rebekah symbol, Woodlawn Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio.

Initially, membership was open to only women but they now allow male members. Women do not have to be related to an Odd Fellow to be a Rebekah member as long as they meet the moral, ethical, and age requirement of 16-18 years and older for admission.   

Members are to live peaceably, do good to all, and to obey the Golden Rule.

Daughters of Rebekah symbol on flag holder, Greenlawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta, Ohio.

The items on their symbol include a moon, seven stars, a dove, and a lily. They represent the following:

The moon and seven stars represent the never-failing order which pervades God’s universe and all of nature and the value of regularity and precision in all worthy undertakings.

The dove symbolizes peace. Rebekahs are to promote peace on earth and good will to men and strive to bring happiness to others.

The lily symbolizes purity and represents the purity of character, thought, word, and action.