Tombstone Tuesday–Michael J. & Margaret Kallenberger

Mike & Maggie Kallenberger, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio.

This is the tombstone of Michael J. and Margaret “Maggie” Kallenberger, located in row 10 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Margaret 1879-1962
Michael J. 1871-1952

Johann Michael Kallenberger was born in Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio, on 16 March 1871, the son of Andrew and Elisabeth (Burkhart) Kallenberger. He was baptized 14 May 1871 and confirmed 17 May 1885 at Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga.

Maggie Rueck was born 26 March 1879, according to her confirmation record at Zion. She was confirmed 9 April 1893. Maggie was born in Germany [probably Württemberg] to Christine Rueck. Maggie, her mother and her mother’s family immigrated to America about 1879, [1] but I have not located them on a passenger list. Maggie was my grandaunt and it appears that she was adopted by Jacob Miller after he and Christine Rueck married.

Mike and Maggie were married on 30 September 1897 at Zion. They lived on the Kallenberger farm, Section 17 of Blackcreek Township, Rockford West Road, until Mike died. After that Maggie turned the farm over to their son John and Maggie moved across from the Vernon Caffee farm on State Route 49, about 1 1/2 miles north of Chatt.

Relatives that remember Maggie have told me that Mike and Maggie were considered fairly well-off. They owned a refrigerator that was run by kerosene and they had a Delco System that worked like a generator and supplied their electricity.  My Aunt Ruth remembers that Maggie popped a lot of popcorn.

Mike and Maggie adopted two children, George Wesley, born May 1906, baptized 30 May 1909 at Zion, Chatt, and Ardella, born 7 January 1908, baptized 30 May 1909 at Zion. One child was born to them, Johann Andres Kallenberger, born 5 October 1910, baptized 6 November 1910.

Ardella, Mike, Wesley, Maggie and John Kallenberger.

Mike and Maggie also raised Bob and Merlin Miller, sons of her half brother John Miller and his wife Frona (Dull). And they raised their grandson Max Kallenberger, Wesley’s son, after his mother died and Wesley was drafted into the Army during WWII, leaving no one to care for the young children.

Mike and Maggie were baptismal sponsors for Vernon Caffee in 1915 and Maggie was the sponsor for several other nieces and nephews.


Mike and Maggie Rueck Miller Kallenberger.


County Native Passes Away
Michael J. Kallenberger, 80, passed away at 11:40 a.m. Sunday at his home one and one-half miles north of Chattanooga. He had been in failing health the past two years and was confined to his bed for two weeks.

A native of Blackcreek Township, he was born March 16, 1871, the son of Andrew and Elizabeth Brookhart Kallenberger.

On Sept. 30, 1990 [sic] he was married to Maggie Miller in the Lutheran parsonage, Chattanooga. His widow survives with three children, Wesley G., Decatur, Ind.; Mrs. James Hamrick, Wren, and John A., Willlshire; and 18 grand-children. He was the last of his family of four children.

Services will be conducted in the Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga, of which he was a member, at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Rev. W.E. Byers will officiate followed by burial in the church cemetery.

The body, cared for by Yager’s funeral home, Berne, Ind., will be returned to the residence, where friends and relatives may call after 6 p.m. today. [2]

M. Kallenberger
Decatur–Mrs. Margaret Kallenberger, 84, resident of Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, died Sunday in Van Rue Geriatric Center in Van Wert, following an illness of two years. She was born near Willshire and her husband, Michael J. Kallenberger died in 1952. Rites were held Tuesday afternoon in Zwick Funeral Home in Decatur and the Rev. Arnold J. Green was in charge. Burial was made in Zion Lutheran Cemetery, at Chattanooga. Survivors include one son, a foster son, a daughter, two brothers, two sisters, 21 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.  [3]

Maggie Rueck Miller Kallenberger


[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio, ED 0074, p. 11A, Family/dwelling No. 215, Maggie Callenburger; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 12 November 2012); FHL microfilm 1241303, from National Archives microfilm T623, roll 1303.

[2] The Daily Standard, Celina, Ohio, 3 March 1952, p. 1.

[3] The Daily Standard, Celina, Ohio, 31 Oct 1962, p. 8.


Skip to comment form

    • Waldo on November 13, 2012 at 1:52 pm
    • Reply

    Funny, I don’t remember Grandma every making popcorn, but that may well explain why we have always made lots of popcorn in both my parent’s home and our home. In fact we get a little crazy about our popcorn, from what type of popper, what type of oil, the types of corn, and even what you put on the popcorn. Popcorn balls are a very special and frequent treat for us. Strings of popcorn often end up on the annual Christmas tree (nice treat for the birds when the tree goes outside).

    1. That’s too funny! That must be where your family gets their love of popcorn.

        • Elizabeth Marko on March 29, 2014 at 11:41 pm
        • Reply

        Hey, I have a strange question for you. Was your grandmother ever put in the newspaper with her picture taken around the turn of the century for doing something special?

        1. I have to ask, which grandmother and which century? My Grandma Miller, nee Brewster, was about 2 years (c1898) old when a five generation family photo was taken. I believe it was eventually published in a Portland, Indiana, newspaper. My Grandma Schumm, nee Scaer, lived to be 101 years old and her photo was in a newspaper, commemorating her 100th birthday in 1995. Why do you ask?

    • Lee Kallenberger on November 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm
    • Reply

    I remember my Grandmother (Maggie) telling me her birth name was Margartha. I could never pronouce it right as a small child so I had to ask her frequently to repeat it. Don’t know if it ever was recorded that way or not.

    1. I have her name spelled that way in my database but I’m not sure where I got that spelling. I’ll have to recheck the church records and see if her name is recorded that way there.

  1. As you have noted, Great Grandpa and Grandma Andrew Kallenberger, as well as Great Grandpa and Grandma Jacob Miller are interned at the Chatt cemetary (the parents of Michael and Maggie, my grandparents) followed by my parents and even my brother (Leonard), so 4 generations of Kallenbergers rest in that tiny little plot of land next to the church.

    1. Awesome! I have three generations buried at Zion Chatt Cemetery. Jacob and Christine (Rueck) Miller great-grandparents) are buried in the mausoleum, which is technically not part of the church cemetery. Carl and Gertrude (Brewster) Miller (grandparents) and my dad are buried in the cemetery. Jacob’s mother, Marie (Kessler) Miller (great-great-grandmother) is buried a couple miles away in the UCC Cemetery on Wabash Road.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.