Tombstone Tuesday–Jacob & Mary (Kessler) Huffman

Jacob & Mary (Kessler) Huffman, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2017 photo by Karen

This is the tombstone of Jacob and Mary (Kessler) Huffman, located in row 7 of Kessler Cemetery, aka Liberty Cemetery, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:


Jacob Huffman was the son of Ferdinand and Elizabeth (Herzog/Hartzog) Huffman, born 20 January 1865 in Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio, according to Zion Chatt’s Familienbuch. Jacob was baptized on 18 February 1865, also according to Zion Chatt’s records, with Jacob Hoffmann serving as his sponsor. There were several Jacob Hoffmanns/Huffmans in the area and I am not sure which one was his sponsor. Although his tombstone shows his birth year as 1866 these two entries in Zion Chatt’s records indicate he was born in 1865.

There is no record that our subject Jacob Huffman was confirmed at Zion Chatt.

Jacob’s parents were both born in Germany.

The Huffman family lived south of Chatt and had a Skeels Cross Roads Post Office address. Their family in 1870: Ferdinand, 41; Isabella, 38; George, 17; Margaret, 15; John, 12; Philip, 10; Elizabeth, 10; Catharine, 7; Jacob, 6; and Fredrick, 3. The father was a farmer. [1]

The Ferdinand Huffman household in 1880: Ferdinand, 51; Elizabeth, 45; John, 22; Philip, 19; Elizabeth, 20; Katie, 17; Jacob, 15; Frederick, 13; and Rose Ann, 5. [2]

Jacob Huffman married Mary Kessler on 21 September 1893 at the home of the bride’s parents in Mercer County. Witnesses to their marriage were Edward Kessler and Rosa Huffman, as recorded in Zion Chatt’s records.

Marie Eugenia “Mary” Kessler was born 14 February 1875 in Mercer County, Ohio, the daughter of Christian and Margaret (Haeffner/Heffner) Kessler. Her father was born in Bavaria and her mother was born in Mercer County, Ohio. Mary was baptized at Zion Chatt on 21 March 1875 with her parents serving as sponsors. She was confirmed at Zion Chatt on Palm Sunday, 30 March 1890.

The Kesslers also lived south of Chatt, very close to the Huffmans. In 1880 both families were enumerated on the same page, with just one family between them. Mary’s father was also a farmer.

The Christian Kessler household in 1880: Christian, 37; Margaret, 28; Lana, 8; Anna, 7; Mary, 5; Edward D, 3; and Louisa, 10 months. [3]

By 1900 Jacob and Mary Huffman had been married 5 years, had 3 children, and lived in Liberty Township. Their household in 1900: Jacob, 35; Mary, 25; Fiona, 5; Bertha, 2; and Clara, 1. Jacob farmed. [4]

According to Zion Chatt’s records Mary (Kessler) Huffman died of complications during childbirth [giving birth to Rosella] on 5 October 1908, at the age of 33 years, 7 months, and 21 days. She was buried on the 7th. She was survived by her husband and children. I could not find her death certificate on-line.

In 1910 widower Jacob Huffman lived with 6 of his children along Willshire Pike, which I assume was State Route 49. He worked as a laborer doing odd jobs. His household in 1910: Jacob, 45; Frona, 15; Bertha, 13; Clara, 11; Roman, 9; Lucille, 7; and Harold, 3. [5]

At the same time Jacob’s little daughter Rosella Huffman was living in neighboring Black Creek Township with her cousin and his wife, Gust W. & Maggie (Bausser) Bollenbacher. Gust [August] Bollenbacher was the son Jacob & Maggie (Hoffman) Bollenbacher. Jacob Huffman [our subject] and Maggie (Huffman) Bollenbacher were brother and sister. [6] It appears Rosella continued to live with them and they raised her.

In 1920 widower Jacob worked as a teamster and 5 of his 7 children lived with him: Jacob, 56; Bertha, 23; Clara, 20; Roma, 18; Lucille, 16; and Harold, 12. [7]

Jacob Huffman died of heart trouble and dropsy on 22 January 1939 in Liberty Township at the age of 74 years and 2 days, according to Zion Chatt’s records. He was buried on the 24th. He was survived by 7 children, 11 grandchildren, 3 brothers, and 2 sisters. According to his death certificate he died of mitral regurgitation and chronic nephritis, with arteriosclerosis and senility as contributing factors. Son Harold Huffman was the information for information on Jacob’s death certificate. [8]

Jacob and Mary Huffman had seven children, all of whom were baptized and confirmed at Zion Chatt:

Safrona Elisabeth “Fronie” (1895-1980), married Edward C Green
Bertha Margaretha (1897-1977), married Samuel Abraham Bollenbacher
Clara Magdalena (1899-1994), married Hugo Hofstetter
Roman Edward (1901-1983), married Lois I Avery
Nora “Lucille” (1904-1993), married Charles N Agler
Harold Luther (1906-1964), married Evelyn Fox
Rosella Huffman (1908-1992), never married


[1] 1870 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, p.147A, dwelling 78, family 72, Finland Hoffman;; FHL microfilm 552742, NARA microfilm M593, roll 1243.

[2] 1880 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, Ed 188, p.472D, dwelling 27, family 28, Ferdinand Hoffman;; NARA microfilm T9, roll 1048.

[3] 1880 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, ED 188, p.472D, dwelling 29, family 30, Christ Kesler;; FHL microfilm 1255048, NARA microfilm T9, roll 1048.

[4] 1900 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 85, p.9A, dwelling 165, family 170, Jacob Hoffman; Ancestry,com; FHL microfilm 1241304, NARA microfilm T623, roll 1304.

[5] 1910 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 119, p.16A, dwelling 343, family 303, Jacob Huffman;; FHL microfilm 1375227, NARA microfilm T624, roll 1214.

[6] 1910 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, ED 107, p.13B, dwelling 293, family 295, Augustus W Bollenbacher;; FHL microfilm 1375227, NARA microfilm T624, roll 1214.

[7] 1920 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 140, p.10A, dwelling 194, family 210, Jacob Hoffman;; NARA microfilm T625, roll 1418.

[8] “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,”, Jacob Huffman, 22 Jan 1939; Liberty Twp, Mercer Co, FHL microfilm 2023675.

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