Tombstone Tuesday–Charles & Catherine E. Bollenbacher

Charles and Catherine (Baker) Bollenbacher, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

Charles and Catherine Bollenbacher, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Charles and Catherine E. (Becker) Bollenbacher, located in row 6 of Kessler Cemetery [aka Liberty Cemetery], Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:


Catherine E.

Their Record is on High


Charles was the youngest son born to George and Henrietta (Alt) Bollenbacher. He was born in Bedesbach, Kingdom of Bayern, on 18 October 1845. In 1852, when he was six years of age, he immigrated to America with his family. The family immediately came to Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio, where they purchased land. Their farms were located a couple miles south of Chattanooga. [1]

About that same time the John Becker family moved to Liberty Township and the two families crossed paths. The Becker family attended Zion Lutheran Church in Chattanooga and their name was recorded as Becker in the early church records. Other records, later records, indicate the name was Baker. I do not know if the name was eventually changed to Baker. Maybe someone can share some information about their surname.

Zion’s records indicate that John Becker immigrated from Rhine-Bavaria in 1833 and married Barbara Wiedmann in Northampton County Pennsylvania in 1836. Other records show her name as Wittman. A couple children were born to them in Pennsylvania, before they moved to Piqua, Ohio. They had several more children in Piqua before moving again, this time to Mercer County.

Charles Bollenbacher married Catherine E. “Baker” on 13 May 1865 in Mercer County, Ohio. Her name was recorded as Baker on their marriage record. [2]

Catherine Elizabeth Becker was born 1 July 1845 in Shelby County, Ohio, to John and Barbara, their fifth child. [1] Catherine was mentioned in last week’s post, A Wild Man in the Woods.

Brothers married sisters in Mercer County. According to Zion’s records, Charles’ brother Jacob Bollenbacher married Catherine’s sister Louisa Becker on 30 October 1862 by Zion’s Rev. George Heintz.

Charles Bollenbacher (1845-1923).

Charles Bollenbacher (1845-1923).

Catherine Bollenbacher (1845-1917).

Catherine (Becker/Baker) Bollenbacher (1845-1917).












Charles and Catherine Bollenbacher lived on their farm south of Chattanooga all of their married life. Their large brick home, built in 1886, was located on Oregon Road, between State Route 49 and the Indiana State Line. Brother Jacob Bollenbacher owned the farm immediately to the west and lived in what appears to be an identical brick home. A third brick home with the same design stands about a half mile away on State Route 49. They were probably all built about the same time. Over the years the homes have had some porch additions and a few window changes, but they their basic design is the same.

Charles Bollenbacher home on Oregon Road, Mercer County, Ohio.

Charles Bollenbacher home on Oregon Road, Mercer County, Ohio.

While Charles’ primary occupation was farming, he pursued other endeavors and was active in local affairs. From 1885-1893 he manufactured bricks. He was a township trustee for six years, served as township treasurer, was a county commissioner from 1897-1902, and was a school director and supervisor.. The Bollenbachers were members of the local Evangelical Protestant Church. [1]

Catherine died 9 May 1917 in Liberty Township, at the age of 71 years, 10 months, and 8 days. She died of chronic myocarditis and was buried on the 11th. Bierie & Yager, Berne, Indiana, was in charge of the funeral arrangements. [3]

Charles died in Liberty Township on 26 January 1923, at the age of 77 years, 3 months, and 8 days. He died of carcinoma of the colon and was buried on the 27th. S.S. Egger was the undertaker. [4]

The couple had ten children:

John C. (1865-1940) married Phoebe Schaadt
Henry George (1867-1958) married Sophia Kessler
Caroline L. (1868-1941) married William Kessler
Anna H. (1870-1872)
Mary Louisa (1871-1897)
Margaretha H. “Nettie” (1873-1952) married Anton Andrew Schaadt
Anna Maria (1875-1881)
William F. (1878-1882)
Maria K. “Katie” (1880-1960) married John J. Schaadt
Hulda M. (1883-1979) married George A. Koch


[1] Mercer County Chapter, OGS, Mercer County, Ohio, Combined 1888, 1900 Atlases and 1876 Map of Mercer County, Ohio, (Mt. Vernon, Indiana : Windmill Publications, Inc., 1999); 1900 Atlas Biographies, p. 12, 84-85.

[2] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 Mar 2014), Charles Bullenbaugh and Catharine Baker, 13 May 1865; citing Mercer, Ohio, United States, reference Vol. 3, p 86; FHL microfilm 914956.

[3] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 23 Mar 2014), Kathryn Elizabeth Bollenbacker, 09 May 1917; citing Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, reference fn 62060; FHL microfilm 1984114.

[4] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 23 Mar 2014), Charles Bollentacher, 26 Jan 1923; citing Liberty Twp, Mercer Co., Ohio, reference fn 5091; FHL microfilm 1992182.




  1. While there are a lot of familiar family names in these two related posts, there does not appear to be a direct link to family members. Are the Beckers, Bakers, Bollenbachers and Schaadts part of the family, or is the Kessler link the key to family ties? While they may have lived just outside the 3 mile radius of the Miller homested, they were pretty close to it.

    • Sheila Hines on March 29, 2015 at 6:00 pm
    • Reply

    Thank you for the confirmation on the children and dates! My husband is from the Bollenbacher line. There are so many of them it can become confusing at times.

    1. Glad the information was helpful. Thanks for reading!

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