Tombstone Tuesday–Conrad & Emma (Merkle) Heffner

Conrad & Emma Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanoota, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Conrad & Emma Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Conrad and Emma (Merkle) Heffner, located in row 10 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:




Conrad Heffner was born 29 April 1867 in Mercer County, Ohio, the son of George and Sophia (Martin) Heffner. He was baptized 26 May 1867 at Zion Chatt, with Conrad and Margaretha Heffner, serving as his sponsors. His sponsors were his uncle and aunt and his uncle Conrad was his father’s brother.

Conrad [today’s subject] grew up on the family farm in Blackcreek Township just west of Chatt, very near the Indiana state line.

Conrad Heffner married Emma Merkle on 27 October 1897 at Zion Chatt, married by Zion’s pastor Rev. August Affeld. The church record indicates they were both from Mercer County, although the Merkles lived in Auglaize County before moving to the Chattanooga area. Emma’s surname was spelled “Merkly” in the church record and “Merkley” in their county marriage record. [1]

Emma Merkle was born 4 December 1874, the daughter of Joseph and Lucinda (Kantner) Merkle. Emma was probably born in Auglaize County, where the family lived in 1870 and were enumerated as Merkley. In 1870 the household consisted of Joseph, 34; Lucinda, 26; Mary M., 9; Elizabeth, 4; Anna, 2; and John, 5 months. [2]

The Merkles moved in or near Chattanooga between 1874 and 1876. There they attended Zion Lutheran Church where Emma and her older brother Friedrich were both baptized on 23 September 1876, with Jacob Deitsch as their sponsor. Emma was confirmed 6 May 1888 by Rev. Karl Adam, Jr. Both her baptism and confirmation records give the names of her parents.

Soon after their marriage Conrad and Emma lived in Blackcreek Township, where Conrad farmed. He owned his farm and in the household were Conrad, 33; Emma, 25; their son Walter E, 1; and Edward Bausser, 20, a boarder who helped on the farm. [3]

The Conrad Heffner family had moved to Adams County, Indiana, by 1910. The couple had been married 13 years and had 2 children, Walter, 12, and Bernice, 6. Conrad owned his farm and their son Walter helped farm it. [4]

Conrad and Emma likely remained on their Indiana farm the rest of their lives. It appears their farm was on the Indiana/Ohio state line and Conrad was still farming at age 73. [5]

Conrad and Emma had the following children:
Walter Edward (1898-1974), married Vera P. Schenk
Vera “Bernice” (1903-1994), married Victor L. Stuckey

According to Zion Chatt’s records Emma Heffner died 11 May 1950 at the Adams County Memorial Hospital in Decatur, Indiana, at the age of 75 years, 5 months, and 7 days. She died of heart failure and complications from a gall bladder operation. She was buried on the 11th, with Rev. Waldo Byers in charge of the funeral service. She was survived by her husband Conrad, daughter Mrs. Bernice Stuckey, son Walter Heffner, brothers Edward, William, and Leo, a sister Mrs. Mary Feeger, 3 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.

According to Zion Chatt’s records Conrad died of a heart attack on 20 January 1951, at the age of 83 years, 8 months and 21 days. He was buried on the 23rd, with Rev. Waldo Byers in charge of his funeral service. He was survived by daughter Bernice Stuckey, son Walter, grandsons Waldo and Elbert Stuckey, and James Heffner, as well as 2 great-grandsons.


[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 April 2015), Conrad Heffner and Emma Merkley, 27 Oct 1897; citing Mercer, Ohio, marriages, Vol.7, p.279, from FHL microfilm 914957.

[2] 1870 U.S. Census, Wapakoneta, Auglaize County, Ohio, p. 36 (penned), dwelling 304, family 298, Joseph Merkley; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 18 May 2014); from FHL film 552671, from NARA film M593, roll 1172.

[3] 1900 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer County, Ohio, ED 74, p.15A, dwelling/family 306, Conrad Heffner; digital image ( : accessed 26 April 2015); from FHL microfilm 1241303, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1303.

[4] 1910 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams County, Indiana, ED 4, p.2B, dwelling/family 42, Conrad Heffner; digital image, ( : accessed 26 April 2015); from FHL microfilm 1374351, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 338.

[5] 1940 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams County, Indiana, ED 1-4, p.4A, line 9, Comod Heffner; digital image, ( : accessed 26 April 2015); from NARA microfilm T627, roll 1024. [Indexed as Comod Heffner on]


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    • Martha Fisher Lawler on April 28, 2015 at 5:42 pm
    • Reply

    Conrad and Emma were living in Chatt when they died. They lived across the street from me and I remember going to their home as “Uncle Coon” as I knew him could really tell a good story, especially about the old days, which to me would have been the early 1900’s. We also went to the farm fairly often to visit them.

    I really appreciate all the info about my relatives you are sharing.

    1. Thank you for that additional information. It is always so nice to learn more about them from people who actually knew them. Was their farm on the north side of Strable Road, very near the state line?

        • Martha Fisher Lawler on April 29, 2015 at 6:20 pm
        • Reply

        There farm as I remember it was at the end of the Strable Road, on the Indiana side. I remember that road as dead end right in front of their house. Of course you could go north or south but not west.

        1. Thanks! That is where I figured it was from the old maps.

    • Kate Eichler on April 30, 2015 at 2:42 pm
    • Reply

    I remember Coon Heffner singing in church, he loved to sing and you could hear him singing louder than everyone else.

    1. Thank you for sharing that memory. I remember hearing the name Coon Heffner, probably from my dad or grandpa.

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