Tombstone Tuesday–Samuel A. Bollenbacher

Samuel A. Bollenbacher, Chattanooga Mausoleum, Mercer County, Ohio. (2017 photo by Karen)

This is the mausoleum marker of Samuel Abraham Bollenbacher, located in the Chattanooga Mausoleum, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. His vault is inscribed:

Samuel A.

Samuel Abraham Bollenbacher was born 22 July 1872 in Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio, the son of George (1830-1912) and Anna Barbara (Albrecht) Bollenbacher (1836-1913). [1]

In 1880 Samuel lived with his parents and seven siblings in Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. In their household: George J, 49; Barbara, 44; Louis, 20; Louisa, 17; Anna, 15; George, 13; Frank, 11; Samuel, 8; Mary, 5; Edward, 1. Both of Samuel’s parents were from Germany and all of their children were born in Ohio. Samuel’s father was a farmer. [2]

Samuel still lived with his parents in Liberty Township 20 years later, although the family was much smaller. The George Bollenbacher family in 1900: George, 69; Anna B, 65; George, 33; Samuel, 27; Edward, 21; Christina Shanabarger, 17 (granddaughter); and William Shanabarger, 10 (grandson). Samuel’s parents had been married 48 years and 8 of their 12 children were living. Samuel’s father George immigrated in 1847 and his mother Anna immigrated in 1840. The father George farmed and sons George and Samuel helped on the farm. [3]   

Ten years later, in 1910, three Bollenbacher sons lived with their elderly parents and farmed the family farm: George, 79; Barbara, 74; George, 42; Samuel, 37; Edward, 30; and William Shanabarger, 19. William Shanabarger is shown as a nephew in this census and 8 of 12 Bollenbacher children were living. The father George is still shown as a general farmer and his sons also farmed. [4]   

By 1920 both of Samuel’s parents had passed away and he lived with two of his brothers, George and Ed. His brother George is shown as the head of household and he farmed while Samuel and Ed were real estate agents. Their father George had died in 1912 and their mother Anna Barbara died a year later in 1913. George and Anna Barbara have a beautiful and ornate monument in Kessler Cemetery with large carved marble angel that looks downward. [5]   

By 1930 Samuel, age 57, lived by himself and was a general farmer. [6]

Samuel Bollenbacher married Bertha Huffman on 18 November 1937 in Mercer County, Ohio. Neither had been married before. Samuel, 65, was retired and Bertha, 40, was a housekeeper. They were married by Rev. H.F. Holtmeyer, the pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. [7]

Bertha was born 3 August 1897, the daughter of Jacob and Mary (Kessler) Huffman.

In 1940 Samuel and Bertha lived in Chatt. Samuel was 68 years of age, born in Ohio. Bertha was 43 years of age and was also born in Ohio. Samuel had lived in the same house five years previously and was a farmer. [8]

Samuel and Bertha had only been married seven years when Samuel died on 2 April 1945 near Chatt in Liberty Township, probably at his residence at R.R. #3, Celina. He was 72 years, 8 months, and 10 days old. He died of bronchial pneumonia due to endocarditis according to his death certificate and Zion Chatt’s records. He was interred in the mausoleum on the 5th and Cowen, Ohio City, was in charge of the funeral arrangements. Samuel’s wife Bertha was the informant for his personal information on his death certificate. [9] Samuel was survived by his wife Bertha and his brother Edward.

Samuel Abraham Bollenbacher’s obituary:

Samuel A. Bollenbacher; Chattanooga, Apr 4—Funeral services will be conducted Thursday at 2:30 p.m. for Samuel A. Bollenbacher, 72, of near Chattanooga, who died Monday at his home in Liberty-tps from a cerebral hemorrhage.

Surviving are the widow, Bertha, and one brother, Ed of Portland, Ind.

Funeral services will be at Zion Lutheran church, Chattanooga, with Rev. H.W. Wolber officiating and the body will be placed in the mausoleum in the church cemetery. [10]

Bertha (Huffman) & Samuel A. Bollenbacher, Chattanooga Mausoleum, Mercer County, Ohio. (2017 photo by Karen)

Samuel’s widow Bertha died 3 June 1977 in Coldwater, Mercer County, Ohio. She is buried next to Samuel in the Chattanooga Mausoleum.

The couple did not have any children.


[1] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” database with images,, Samuel Bollenbaugher, 22 Jul 1872; Liberty, Mercer County Births, Vol. 1, p.88; FHL microfilm 914953.

[2] 1880 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 188, p.474C, dwelling 52, family 55, George J Bollenbacher;; FHL microfilm 1255048, Nara microfilm T9, roll 1048.

[3] 1900 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 85, p.11B, dwelling 217, family 223, George Bollenbacher;; FHL microfilm 1241304, NARA microfilm T623, roll. 1304.

[4] 1910 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 119, p.11B, dwelling 208, family 215, George Bollenbacher;; FHL microfilm 1375227, NARA microfilm T624, roll 1214.

[5] 1920 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 140, p.9B, dwelling 183, family 197, George E Bollenbacher;; NARA microfilm T625, roll 1418.

[6] 1930 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 20, p.4A, dwelling & family 79, Samuel Bollenbacher;; FHL microfilm 2341584, NARA microfilm T626, roll. 1850.

[7] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with imags,, Samuel A Bollenbacher & Bertha M Huffman, 18 Nov 1937; Mercer County Marriages, Vol. 15, p.90, FHL microfilm 2366956.

[8] 1940 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 54-22, p.4A, line 20, family 68, Sam Bollenbacher;; FHL microfilm 5460643, NARA microfilm T627, roll 3114.

[9] “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images,, Samuel A Bolenbacker, 2 Apr 1945; FHL microfilm 2372736.

[10] Samuel Abraham Bollenbacher obituary, The Lima News, 4 April 1945, p.4 Lima News; digital image,

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