Tombstone Tuesday–Laura B. (Schott) Swander

Laura B. (Schott) Swander, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Laura B. (Schott) Swander, located in row 10 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Laura B.

Lorina “Laura” Barbara Schott was born in or near Chattanooga, Ohio, on 23 July 1888, the daughter of Michael (1855-1940) and Margaretha (Kühm) (1855-1942) Schott. Her father was born in Washington Township, Mercer County, Ohio, and her mother was born in Schillersdorf, Elsass.

Laura was baptized 29 July 1888 with George and Barbara Kühm serving as witnesses. The church records do not indicate if Laura was baptized at home or at the church. Laura was confirmed at Zion Chatt on 5 April 1903.

In 1900 Laura, age 11, lived with her parents and 5 of her siblings on the family farm in Liberty Township, Mercer County. The family in 1900: Michael, 44; Maggie, 45; Elizabeth E, 21; Fredrick C, 19; Mary K, 13; Laura B, 11; Albert W, 6; and Maggie O, 5. [1] 

In 1910 Laura lived with her brother August Schott (1879-1961) and his family on Taylor Street in Fort Wayne. Their household in 1910: August M, 30; Almeda, 29; Pauline, 5; Velma, 1; and Laura, 21, single. Laura worked as a winder at a knitting mill and her brother August was a chauffeur for and express wagon. [2] 

Laura married Frank Emil Swander in Celina, Mercer County, Ohio, on 27 January 1914. Frank’s name is spelled Swanders in their marriage record on several other records. Their marriage record gives quite a bit of information about the couple. Frank, age 24, was born in Indiana on 4 August 1890, the son of Emanuel and Francis (Strabie/Strabee) Swander. Frank worked for the rail road at the time they married. Laura, age 25, was born in Chattanooga, Ohio, and was living there when they married. The record names her father as Michael Schott and her mother as Margaret King. They were married by Rev. F.G. Reitz, Evangelical Lutheran pastor in Celina. Laura was 25 and Frank was 24. [3]

In 1920 Frank worked as farm laborer in Noble County, Indiana. He and Laura were the only two people in their household. Frank was 30 and Laura 31. [4]

In 1930 Frank E, 41 and Laura B, 43 lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where Frank was a tool keeper for a steam railroad. They owned their own home on East Rudisill Blvd and they had a radio. There were no children in their household. [5]

Frank and Laura moved to DeKalb County, north of Fort Wayne sometime between 1930 and 1935. The Frank Swander household in 1940: Frank, 50; Laura, 51; and Walter Schott, 47, single. Walter was Laura’s brother. Frank was the manager and operator of a filling station and Walter was an attendant at the filling station. Frank and Laura had lived in same house 5 years before the census but Walter had lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, 5 years before. [6]

Laura’s father Michael Schott died 20 January 1940 and her mother died two years later, on 13 August 1942. They are both buried in row 9 of Zion Chatt’s cemetery. According to her parents’ obituaries Laura and Frank were living in Auburn, Indiana.

Laura (Schott) Swander died at Sacred Heart Hospital in Garrett, DeKalb County, Indiana, on 22 June 1943. She was 55 years, 10 months, and 30 days old and died of pancreatic cancer which had metastasized. She had suffered with the disease for 1 year. Wellman’s Funeral Home in Fort Wayne was in charge of the arrangements and her brother Michael Schott of Fort Wayne was the informant for her information on her death certificate. Laura was buried on 25 June. [7]

Frank and Laura had at least one child who died at birth. Glen Franklin Swander died of a cerebral hemorrhage injury at his birth on 26 November 1915. He is buried at Lindenwood Cemetery, Fort Wayne. Glen Franklin’s death certificate indicates that he was born in Fort Wayne, that his father Frank was born in DeKalb County, and that his mother Laura was born In Mercer County. [8]

Laura (Schott) Swander’s obituary:

Cancer Claims the Life of Mrs. Laura Swanders, 54
Services for the late Mrs. Laura Swanders of Hopewell Corners, Jackson Township, DeKalb County, will be held at 1 o’clock Friday afternoon at the Wellman Funeral Home in Fort Wayne and at 1:30 at Grace Lutheran Church on South Anthony Boulevard in that city. The Rev. F. H. Holtmeyer will officiate. Burial will be made in a cemetery at Chattanooga, O.

Mrs. Swanders, who was 54 years of age, died at 5:35 Tuesday morning at the Sacred Heart Hospital in Garrett, where she had been a patient for more than nine weeks. The cause of death was cancer of the pancreas and Mrs. Swanders had been ill since last fall.

Surviving are the widower, Frank Swanders; one sister, Mrs. Otto Bullenbacher of Chattanooga, O., and two brothers, Walter A. and August Schott of Fort Wayne. Mr. and Mrs. Swanders moved from Fort Wayne to DeKalb County twelve years ago. Their only child died in infancy. Mrs. Swanders was a member of Grace Lutheran Church. [9]

Frank Swander died in 1961 and is buried next to his wife Laura.

Neither Frank nor Laura is listed in Zion Chatt’s death and burial records. In fact, the only time the couple is mentioned in Zion Chatt’s records (besides Laura’s baptism and confirmation) is when Laura’s niece Lorina Irene Schott was baptized in 1920. Both Frank and Lora were her baptismal sponsors.


[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 85, p.9B, dwelling 173, family 178, Michael Schott;; FHL microfilm 1241304, NARA microfilm T623, roll 1304.

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Fort Wayne Ward 6, Allen, Indiana, ED 47, p.2A, dwelling & family 31, August M Schott;; FHL microfilm 1374352, NARA microfilm T624, roll 339.

[3] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch, Frank E. Swanders & Laura Schott, 27 Jan 1914; Mercer County Marriages, Vol. 10, p.709; FHL microfilm 914959.

[4] 1920 U.S. Census, Swan, Noble, Indiana, ED 146, p.1B, dwelling & family 20, Frank Swanders;;  NARA microfilm T625, roll 459.

[5] 1930 U.S. Census, Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana, ED 45, p.28A, dwelling 57, family 60, Frank E Swander;; FHL microfilm 2340310, NARA microfilm T626, roll 575.

[6] 1940 U.S. Census, Jackson, DeKalb, Indiana, ED 17-8, p.11A, line 35, frank Swander;; NARA microfilm T627, roll 1036.

[7] Indiana, Death Certificates, 1943, Roll 7, no.18142, Laura Swanders, 22 June 1943;; Indiana State Board of Health, Death Certificates, 1900-2011, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.

[8] Indiana, Death Certificates, 1910-1919, Roll 2, no.821, Glen Franklin Swanders, 26 Nov 1915;; Indiana State Board of Health, Death Certificates, 1900-2011, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.

[9] “Cancer Claims the Life of Mrs. Laura Swanders, 54,” Garrett Clipper, Garrett, Indiana, 24 Jun 1943, p.1;



    • Tim Herron on December 13, 2017 at 9:07 pm
    • Reply

    I look foward to your updates each week and was especially thriiled to find my Grandmother, Lorena Irene (Schott) Herron, mentioned in this installment. She will be 98 next year.

    Your research and attention to details brings history alive. I really appreciate what you do.

    1. Thank you! That is amazing that your grandmother is nearly 98 years old! I am glad you find the information interesting and that it sparks an interest in your family history. Thanks for writing!

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