Blog Highlights of 2018

Tuesday we welcomed in a new year, but today I am looking back at some of Karen’s Chatt’s 2018 blog posts. Looking at some things I found interesting and some things that I learned last year. That was part of my intention when I started blogging—to discover and learn some new things about my family and the community.

Some highlights of my 2018 blog posts:

I spent a good part of the year transcribing and posting the rest of my dad’s WWII letters. After nearly a year of transcribing and posting his letters I posted the last one on 30 October 2018. One of the most interesting things I learned from one of my dad’s letters was that he was standing along the side of the road when President Truman drove by, inspecting the troops at Frankfurt, Germany, on 26 July 1945. My dad wrote that the event was captured on film. [1] We actually found the film on-line! The film survived after all these years! It is very exciting to watch it, knowing that my dad was standing there along that highway with the other soldiers of the 84th. In the letter he wrote that he was the eighth man from the railroad overpass, but the film goes so quickly and you can’t make out any faces. But I know he was there!

President Truman drives by 84th Infantry Division, 26 July 1945. Herbert Miller is standing along the road. Photo from Critical Past, used by permission.

My great-grandmother Pearl (Reid) Brewster (1880-1962) was in two 5-generation photos in her lifetime, in photos that were taken nearly 60 years apart. [2] The first was taken about 1898 and the other taken about 1958. I had the newspaper clippings here all the time but I never put them together or thought about how amazing it is that she was in two 5-generation photos. It is pretty rare that someone can say they were in one 5-generation photo, let alone two! We took a 3-generation family photo with my Schumm grandparents after our son was born. That was as many generations as we had. I could have had a 4-generation family photo taken with my great-grandmother Pearl, but we didn’t. Sadly, I don’t think I ever had my photo taken with Pearl.

Front: William Reid, Gertrude (Brewster) Miller, Mary Ann (Cotterell) Headington. Back: Pearl (Reid) Brewster, Elvira (Headington) Reid. c1898

Brewster 5-generation photo, c1958.

When we visited Greenbriar Cemetery this fall to take some photos we noticed that Michael G. Pflueger’s tombstone had been reset and restored. [3] I photographed the marker in 2013 and it had fallen over and was resting on the ground. The restoration is very nice and it good to see the repairs. Kudos to the person(s) who repaired it. George “Michael” Pflueger was a private during the Civil War, in Company C of the 41st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, serving from 1864-1865. [4] [5] He was my second great-granduncle, the brother of my great-great-grandmother, Maria Barbara Pflueger, who was the wife of my great-great-grandfather Johann “Ludwig” Schumm, one of the Schumm immigrants.

Michael G. Pflueger, Greenbriar Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2018 photo by Karen)

One of most popular posts of 2018 featured a photo of a man sitting in the Spitler Grocery huckster truck. [6] A reader wrote that the man sitting in the truck was actually Vernon Hoblet, her grandfather. The woman standing at the back of the truck was likely Vernon’s mother, Ada Hoblet. That photo and post created quite a conversation among readers and brought back many memories about the former groceries in Willshire and some other businesses, such as Mary Stetler’s ice cream parlor. I also learned that my grandma Hilda Schumm had a cream separator and sold her cream to Mary. Mary’s ice cream was said to have been the best around.

Spitler Grocery, Willshire, Ohio, Huckster Truck

An unbelievable story, sent to me by a reader, was about a 1919 basketball game, where Celina was beaten by Bluffton, Indiana, 138-0. Bruno Betzel played on Celina’s Phi Delta Kappa team that night. They were beaten by Bluffton Phi Delta Kappa and the game was played in Bluffton. [7] It sounds like Celina’s team didn’t really come to play. There must have been something else going on…

Celina Defeated by Phi Delta Kappa, 1919.

Mercer County native Pvt. August Froning, who was killed in action in France during WWI, was one of about 50 American soldiers honored in a Centennial Commemoration at Oberlauchen on 29-30 September 2018. The commemoration honored the American soldiers killed in action near their town of Linthal and to restore the monument that had been destroyed by the Nazis during WWII. [8]

Linthal, DNA, 3 Oct 2018

Finally, there was the story about the dynamiting of the Schumm Lutheran Parochial School in 1918 because of the anti-German sentiment during WWI. [9]

Zion Lutheran Parochial School, Schumm, Ohio (built in 1899)

It is always good to keep learning and adding information. Who knows what I will learn in 2019.


[1] Dear Mom & All—WWII Letters from Herb (part 24) , Karen’s Chatt, 6 Jul 2018.

[2] Two More Brewster 5-Generation Photos , Karen’s Chatt, 14 Dec 2018.

[3] Tombstone Tuesday—Michael G Pflueger (revisited) , Karen’s Chatt, 6 Nov 2018.

[4] 1890 Veterans Schedules, Van Wert County, Ohio, Willshire Township, p. 3, line 34, Home 121, Family 126, Michael Pflueger, database, ( : accessed 3 Apr 2013), from National Archives Microfilm, Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Publication M123, Record Group 15.

[5] U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865, on-line database, ( : accessed 10 May 2013), from National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System,

[6] Spitler Grocery Huckster Truck, Willshire, Ohio , Karen’s Chatt, 20 Apr 2018.

[7] 1919—Bluffton Shuts out Celina, 138-0 , Karen’s Chatt, 5 Oct 2018.

[8] Linthal, France, Honors WWI Fallen Americans , Karen’s Chatt, 16 Nov 2018.

[9] Schumm Parochial School Dynamited in 1918 , Karen’s Chatt, 13 Jul 2018.



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    • Gloria Clouse on January 4, 2019 at 7:43 am
    • Reply

    Thank you, Karen, for all the great stories, pictures and remembrances of our local history. Every week is an adventure and a glimpse into the past, Thank you for keeping it all alive for us. Looking forward to more in 2019.

    1. Thank you, Gloria!

  1. Happy new year, Karen, and I’ve enjoyed following along on your genealogical journey. I especially enjoy your posts about your dad’s WWII experiences because I’ve been indexing letters and other documents from my family during that era.

    1. Thank you, Marian! The indexing is a big job, but is well worth the effort. Good luck with you project.

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