Tombstone Tuesday–Dora C. (Bollenbacher) Anspaugh

Dora C. (Bollenbacher) Anspaugh, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2017 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Dora C. (Bollenbacher) Anspaugh, located in row 9 of Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Wife of
Died May 17, 1902
Aged 20 Y. 10 M. 10 D.

Dearest Dora we must lay thee
In the peaceful grave’s embrace
But thy memory will be cherished
Till we see thy heavenly face

Dora Catharine Bollenbacher was born 7 July 1881 in Adams County, Indiana, the daughter of Jacob and Margaret (Huffman) Bollenbacher. [1]

I could not find much information about Dora. She was born a year after the 1880 census was taken and died two years after the 1900 census was taken. She died young and she was not mentioned in Zion Chatt’s records.

In 1900 Dora (Bollenbacher) lived with her parents and four of her siblings in Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana. In the household: Jacob, 51; Margaret, 44; August William, 21; Dora C, 18; Jesse Charles, 16; Abraham, 16; and Rosa C, 13. [2]

Dora Bollenbather married James L. Anspaugh within the next two years, but I could not find their marriage record on-line.

James and Dora had a child, a son, Wilbert T. Anspaugh, born in Indiana on 14 May 1902, born three days before Dora’s death. [3]

Dora (Bollenbacher) Anspaugh died 17 May 1902 in Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana. She died of acute miliary tuberculosis, which she had for 3 months. She was only 20 years, 10 months, and 10 days old. Her death certificate indicates that she was married. Dora was buried on the 19th with C.C. Clark of Geneva in charge of the funeral arrangements. Charles Bollenbacher of Chatt was the informant for the information on her death certificate. [1] This was likely her brother Charles.

Dora C. (Bollenbacher) Anspaugh, Kessler Cemetery. (2017 photo by Karen)

I do not know what happened to Dora’s husband James L. Anspaugh after her death, but it appears that Dora’s parents Jacob and Margaret (Huffman) Bollenbacher raised Dora’s son (and their grandson) Wilbert T. Anspaugh. Wilbert lived with Jacob and Margaret in 1910 and 1920, enumerated as their grandson in both censuses. [4] [5]  

Dora (Bollenbacher) Anspaugh and her husband James L. had one child:
Wilbert T (1902-1986), married Marie I Overholt


[1] Indiana, Death Certificates, Year 1902, roll 1, Dora C Anspaugh 17 May 1902; digital image,; Indiana Death Certificates, 1899-2011, Indiana State Board of Health, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis.

[2] 1900 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 4, p.6A, dwelling 104, household 104, Jacob Bullenbacher;; FHL microfilm 1240357, NARA microfilm T623, roll 357.

[3] Indiana, Death Certificates, Year 1986, roll 12, Wilbert T Anspaugh, 30 Aug 1986; digital image,; Indiana Death Certificate, 1899-2011, Indiana State Board of Health, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis.

[4] 1910 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 4, p.2A, dwelling & family 29, Jacob Bollenbacher;; FHL microfilm 1374351, NARA microfilm T624, roll 338.

[5] 1920 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 4, p.6B, dwelling 119, family 129, Jacob Bollenbacher;; NARA microfilm T625, roll 420.


    • Julia Margaret anspaugh wiard on September 30, 2021 at 12:11 pm
    • Reply

    I am the granddaughter of Wilbert T. Anspaugh.
    He was raised by an Aunt, and put out to earn his own living as a farm hand around the age of 13.

    James L. Anspaugh married again, and raised a family in TX but had no relationship with his son until my father located him when he was quite elderly.
    I have photos of James, Wilbert, and my father, James O. Anspaug together.
    I also have numerous photos of Dora and Thomas.

    1. Thank you for this additional family information. It is very helpful and shows how difficult life could be when a parent dies (particularly the mother), leaving behind a very you child. Thank you for writing!

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