Tombstone Tuesday–Lennie Hiller

Lennie Hiller, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2016 photo by Karen)

Lennie Hiller, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2016 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Lennie Hiller, located in row 10 of Kessler Cemetery, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Dau. of
G & C Hiller
May 8, 1883
7 Y 8 M

The inscription for this young girl is carved on the side of her mother’s tombstone, Caroline (Brecheisen) Hiller. Her father, George Hiller, is buried a few rows away.

This marker is very weathered and is very difficult to read. I referred to the cemetery inscription made by the Mercer County Chapter OGS in 1990 and their reading indicates that Lennie was 7 years and 8 months old. That reading was made over 25 years ago, when the stone was probably more legible.

Lennie’s father George Hiller was born 15 November 1846 in Hamilton County, Ohio, and died 5 January 1932 in Mercer County. Her mother Caroline Brecheisen was born in Mercer County, Ohio, in the spring of 1855 and died 20 May 1884, about a year after Lennie’s death.

Who was Lennie Hiller? I think Lennie would have been an unusual name for a girl back in the 1880s.

Neither her death nor burial information was recorded in Zion Chatt’s records or in Mercer County’s death records.

Lennie Hiller, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2016 photo by Karen)

Lennie Hiller, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2016 photo by Karen)

I looked at the names of George and Caroline Hiller’s children, their four daughters:

Their oldest daughter Katharina Barbara lived to adulthood, married, and died in 1950.

Their second daughter Helen Elisabeth was born 19 September 1875, according to Zion Chatt’s records. She was baptized as Helene Elisabeth at Zion Chatt on 4 March 1876, with George Hoffmann and Helene Brecheisen as sponsors. In 1880 Helen Elisabeth went by the name of “Lena.” [1]

The third daughter of George and Caroline was Henriette, born 19 May 1878. I do not know what happened to her.

Their fourth daughter Margaretha was born 30 Apr 1881 and baptized at Zion Chatt on 18 June 1885. Her mother was listed as deceased at Margaretha’s baptism.

I believe this is probably the tombstone of George and Caroline Hiller’s second daughter, Helen Elisabeth, who went by the name of Lena. Her date of birth would be the closest match to the inscription on her tombstone. She was born 19 September 1875 and her date of birth, as calculated from her tombstone, would be 8 September 1875. Very close, but not an exact match.

The inscription may have been meant to be Lenni E. Or it may have been misspelled on the tombstone.

Or she may have been called Lennie.


[1] 1880 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 188, p.474C, dwelling 57, family 60, George Hiller; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 27 Jan 2016); from FHL microfilm 1255048, from NARA microfilm T9, roll 1048.


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