Tombstone Tuesday-Margaretha (Strobel) Miller

Margaretha Strobel Miller (1859-1882) Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga

This is the tombstone of Margaretha Miller, nee Strobel, located in row 5 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Margaretha d/o
Johann Strobel
& w/o Jacob Miller
Died 21 Apr 1882
23 Y, 3 M, 15 D


The inscription on the weathered stone is now very difficult to read and I relied in part to the transcription of Mercer County Cemetery Inscriptions Volume VI, compiled by the Mercer County Chapter OGS, 1990, page 96.

I calculate her date of birth as 6 January 1859, which agrees with the information about the Strobel family in the records of Zion Chatt. According to their records Margaretha was born 6 January 1859 near Cincinnati, the fifth child of Johann Peter and Margaretha Dorthea (Herbolzheimer) Stroebel.

Johann Peter Stroebel, son of Gottfried and Catharina Stroebel, was born 10 Feb 1818 in Dottenheim, County Court Winzheim, District Mittelfranken, Kingdom of Bavaria, baptized and confirmed there. He traveled to North America in the year 1849, settled down in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, married there in the year 1849 to Margaretha Dorothea Herbolzheimer, daughter of Thomas and Dorothea Herbolzheimer. The same was born 25 August 1826 in Markipsheim, County Court Windsheim, District Mittelfranken, Kingdom of Bavaria, baptized and confirmed there. Both spouses lived some years near Cincinnati and then moved to Mercer County, Ohio.

Children of Johann Peter & Margaretha Dorothea Stroebel:
Leonhard, b. 6 January 1850 in Cincinnati
Joh. Georg, b. 2 October 1852 near Cincinnati, died at age 7, near Cincinnati
Johann Georg, b. 30 December 1854 near Cincinnati, died at age 2, near Cincinnati
Susann Barbara, b. 6 January 1857 near Cincinnati
Margaretha, born 6 January 1859 in Cincinnati
Johann, b. 17 March 1861 in Cincinnati
Johann Michael, b. 5 August 1863 in Mercer County, Ohio
(source: Family Register, records of Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga, page 65)

Margaretha was the second wife of my great grandfather, Jacob Miller. Jacob’s first wife, Sophia Goelzer, died in Bavaria before he immigrated to America in 1871. Jacob married Margaretha Strobel at Zion Lutheran, Chattanooga, on 15 March 1877. (source: Mercer County Ohio Probate Court, Marriage Vol. 4:73)

Jacob and Margaretha had two sons:
Johann Peter (1878-1957), married Della Kuehm
Christian Miller (1880-1911)

Christian never married and died of typhoid fever in the western United States. After Margaretha’s death Jacob married Christine Rueck on 9 November 1882 at Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm.

Spring Cleaning

I am not one for spring cleaning. Our house gets a weekly once over and I usually give it a good cleaning before our family reunion weekend in July, when my cousin stays with us, and around the holidays, when the house is redecorated in fine holiday décor. I used to do spring cleaning, but things have a habit of disappearing around here whenever I clean. Things just seem to vanish and I get tired of trying to track down the misplaced items. I don’t know if my memory is failing or if I just have too much stuff, but I really do spend a lot of time trying to locate things. This phenomenon even happens to Joe in his domain, the garage. On the bright side, I now look at cleaning as an adventure since I often find the things that I lost several seasons before, when I am not even looking for them.

During one cleaning frenzy I misplaced a feather duster, a hammer, and all of our certified documents—birth certificates, Social Security cards, baptism and marriage certificates. Yes, I misplaced all of our important documents. They were all in an efficient folder in a closet, on the same shelf they had been stored on for years. In my infinite wisdom I decided they should be moved to a new, better location. It was not until several months later, when I needed those documents for a project, that I could not remember where that new location was. I looked all over the house for them and finally gave up the search, believing that they had been thrown out by accident. I went so far as to replace all of the documents I could. I acquired new Social Security cards, new birth certificates, and everything else I could replace. But some items were irreplaceable. The whole folder finally turned up about a year later when I was cleaning the basement. I don’t know why I put them in the basement. Perhaps I thought they would be more secure down there in the event of a tornado. It would have been a different story if the basement had flooded. That search had a happy ending, but the feather duster and hammer have yet to turn up.

Over the past few months my office had become quite cluttered. Just about every horizontal surface had become storage for papers, books or photos. That included the largest horizontal surface area in the room, the floor. In fact, the floor was probably the worst. I could barely walk through the room.

It was organized clutter, though. I pretty much knew what was in every pile and I could even find what I wanted fairly quickly. This type of organization often occurs when I am doing a lot of research. I pull out books and binders and don’t put them back because I know I will be looking at them again soon. Most are temporarily filed on the floor. But the stacks had gotten too big. Along with the piles of binders there were newspaper clippings, notes, photos, copies, and other items that needed to be sorted and filed. Yes, it was time to clean my office.

So, knowing the drill around here, and knowing that I would probably “lose” something during the cleaning, I hoped that what I would find would outweigh what I would misplace. I thought of it as a search and recovery mission. I had high expectations that I would find some papers and photos that I had not been able to locate recently. I was not disappointed. Here is what I came up with:

The Rueck family information [Too bad I couldn’t locate this last year when I applied for the new OGS lineage society, Century Families of Ohio. The land deed I found showed that Jacob and Regina Rueck were living in Van Wert County in 1881, which would have qualified them for CFO. They will just have to be supplementals next year.]

2 photos of Maggie & Christina Rueck

Proof that Hallot Bryan was the son of Peter Bryan [Wahoo! To my Brewster, Miller, and Bryan relatives– we have another Civil War soldier in the family.]

Jeff’s AP Style book that he wants back

A large old Schumm Reunion photo

A Brewster research report compiled by a researcher several years ago

Some things I need to give back to Miriam

Some old negatives [Important, because I cannot find the photos.]

All in all it was a successful cleaning day. My office looks much better. I can walk across the floor now without tripping and files and binders are in their new, efficient locations.  And best of all, so far nothing seems to be missing.

As for the missing feather duster and hammer, I have determined that they are not in my office. I haven’t a clue where they could be. I guess I should keep on cleaning. Maybe they will still turn up this spring.

Tombstone Tuesday—Agatha Heintz

Agatha Heintz (1842-1868), Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga

This is the tombstone of Agatha (Kirn) Heintz, located in row 5 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. Her tombstone is the oldest known tombstone in Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Ohio.The marker is inscribed:

Pr. G. Heintz
Feb. 2, 1868
24 J, 5 M, 2 T

According to Zion’s church records, Agatha was born in Bruenbach, Wuerttemberg. She was the wife of Zion’s second pastor, George Heintz, who served at Zion from 1861-1872.

Agatha died 2 February 1868, age 24 years, 5 months, 2 days. I calculate her birth date as 31 August 1843. According to Zion’s records she died of Antonius fever or erysipelas. Wikipedia describes erysipelas as an acute streptococcus bacterial infection of the skin, resulting in inflammation. Agatha was buried on the 4th of February.

Two children were born to Rev. Heintz and Agatha while they were at Zion, Chattanooga. Johann Mathias Heintz was born 26 July 1866. (Book 1: 116) Friederich Christoph Heintz was born 8 September 1867. (Book 1:118)

After Agatha’s death, Rev. George Heintz married Maria Elisabeth Germann in about 1869. She was from Van Wert County.

Rev. George Heintz (1834-1911)

1916 Mercer County Directory

A few years ago I purchased a 1916 Farm Journal Illustrated Directory of Mercer County, Ohio, on Ebay. It was published by the Wilmer Atkinson Company, publishers of the Farm Journal, from Washington Square, Philadelphia. It contains 208 pages, an alphabetical list of the people living in Mercer County with some information about them, advertisements, and a classified business directory. The following is some information about my ancestors from this directory.

Jacob Muller [umlaut over the u] is listed on page 117: Muller, Jacob, wife Christina, 1 child, a farmer who owned 80 acres at Route 1 Willshire, Blackcreek Township. He owned 8 horses and 3 cows and had an Indiana telephone. I would imagine a telephone would have been quite a luxury in 1916.

Jacob’s son, John, was living next to Jacob, and is listed on page 115: Miller, John, wife Sophronia, 2 children, a farmer who owned 62 acres at Route 1, Willshire, in Blackcreek Township. John owned 4 horses and 3 cows and also had an Indiana telephone.

A map of Mercer County was included with the directory. Numbers on the map correspond with numbers given with the names of the people in the directory. Jacob and John Miller were both listed as #17 in Blackcreek Township. I was not aware that John owned land in this section. I need to look through the deed books at the Mercer County Recorder’s Office and check this out.

1916 Mercer Directory Map

Chattanooga was the nearest town to the farm, about 2 miles away. Several Chattanooga businesses advertised in the 1916 directory. It appears that Chattanooga was a thriving little village. The following are the Chattanooga businesses listed in the directory:

Chattanooga Hardware Co. [see photo]
Regedanz Brothers, blacksmiths
Heffner Brothers, garage
Merkle & Egger, general store
Baumgartner & Andrews, lumber
John H. Andres, meats
Perry Gibbons & Fred Heffner, saloon
A. Germann, shoes
Smith Brothers, tinners

The other day I was talking with my dad about the Miller farm in Blackcreek Township.  The 1853 Mercer County plat book showed that the 80 acres was divided into two tracts of land at that time, owned by two individuals, each having a cabin on their 40 acre plot. The cabin at the back end of the property would have been about ½ mile from the current road. My dad said that his grandfather, Jacob, talked about a cabin that had one time been toward the back of his farm. This would correspond with information from the 1853 plat book. Supposedly, the road from Berne, Indiana, now route 218, was to go by the cabin that was in the back 40 acres. Perhaps there was a dirt road back there in the 1850s. If the Indiana road from Berne came straight into Ohio it would have probably gone right by the cabin. However, route 218, instead of coming straight into Ohio, curves south at the state line and becomes Ohio route 707.

There were some Schumms living in Mercer County in 1916, but they lived closer to Rockford. The following Schumms are listed in the directory, all on page 135:

Schumm, Amos C, tenant, farmer, 6 horses, 5 cows, route 6 Rockford, Blackcreek Township, Indiana telephone.

Schumm, C.J., wife Jeanette, 2 children, farmer, owns 145 acre farm, 10 horses, 3 cows, route 2 Rockford, Dublin Township, Indiana phone.

Schumm, F.M., wife Amber, farmer, owns 62 acres, 5 horses, 19 cows, route 2 Rockford, Dublin Township.

Schumm, J.F., Sr., Rockford.

Schumm, Mary, Rockford.

Schumm, P.F., wife Leona, 3 children, farmer, owns 100 acres, 5 horses, 14 cows, route 2 Rockford, Blackcreek Township, Indiana telephone.

Schumm, Wm. L., wife Amanda, 2 children, farmer, owns 95 acres, 4 horses 1 cow, route 6 Rockford, Blackcreek Township, Indiana, telephone.

I will be happy to do any lookups from this 1916 directory. Just e-mail me with your request.

1916 Mercer County Directory

Tombstone Tuesday—Jacob Miller

Jacob Miller (1843-1918), Chattanooga Mausoleum

This is the mausoleum marker of Jacob Miller, located in the Chattanooga Mausoleum, at the west side of Zion Lutheran Cemetery. The marker is inscribed:


I have not been able to locate Jacob’s Ohio death certificate. The only records of his death that I have are the church records, the mausoleum marker, and his obituary. Jacob’s wife Christine is buried beside him in the mausoleum.

Obituary: Our departed brother, Jacob Miller, was born March 7, 1843 in Bierbach, Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany.  He received the sacrament of baptism in early youth and was later confirmed in the Evangelical Protestant Church of his native village.

In 1870 he was joined in marriage with Sophie Gelzer.  This companion was taken from him through death together with her still-born child.  Not long after this, namely in 1871, brother Miller emigrated to America.  After living in Liberty Township for a short time, he purchased the home place in Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio, on which he lived until his death.

In 1877 he was again married, namely to Margaret Strabel.  To this union there were born two sons, Peter and Christian, of whom the latter 6 years ago, through unexpected death, caused by typhoid fever, preceded his father into eternity.  In 1882 also his second wife was called from his side through death.

In 1885 our deceased brother was joined in marriage with Christina Rueck.  This union was blessed with seven children, three sons and four daughters.  Of these children, three also preceded their father into eternity, namely Jacob, Mary and Katherine.  Jacob, like Christian, died while far from home, his death being caused by an accident. In a little more than a year, both of their sons, while in the bloom of youth were stricken down and brought home in their coffins.  The grief caused by this sore affliction contributed much to the gradual break-down of the otherwise so robust health of the father.

Soon after our brother’s arrival in this country he became a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Zion’s Congregation in Chattanooga, Ohio.  He was one of our faithful members and loved the habits of God’s house and the place where His honor dwelleth.  And through many tribulations his heart was drawn ever nearer to God and the Savior.

Several years ago he became afflicted with Bright’s disease, which in the course of time grew worse and against which no medical treatment would afford permanent relief.  About a year ago the vision of his eyes also began to vanish and before his death he became totally blind.

The sickness required constant and painstaking care, and this care was bestowed upon him in a self-sacrificing way by his faithful wife and children. He departed this life on June 15, 1918 at 1:30 p.m., having reached 75 years, 3 months and 8 days.

Our brother belonged to those foreign born pioneers of this community who through rigid toil and many hardships stood in the front rank in transforming a swampy unhealthy region into a veritable garden of God.

He was a sinner as we all are and he recognized and acknowledged that fact.  But he also learned to know the Savior of sinners and through tribulation learned more and more to seek and to find that peace and pardon which can be obtained only under the cross of Christ.

How grateful he always was when the comfort of God’s Word was brought to him and when Christian hymns were read and sung in his presence.  Thus he laid hold of the one thing needful and the Lord Jesus has now, as we confidently believe, delivered him from every evil and permitted him to enter into the eternal rest and bliss of that home which he prepared for us.

His departure is mourned by his widow, 5 children, 1 step-child, 11 grandchildren, 1 sister, Mrs. Margaret Linn, 2 daughters-in-law, 1 son-in-law, 2 brothers-in-law and many other relatives and friends.

“Thou on my head in early youth didst smile
And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile
Thou hast not left me as I oft left Thee
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy Cross before my closing eyes
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies
Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee
In life, in death, O Lord! Abide with me.”

The funeral was held on Thursday from Zion’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Words of comfort and admonition were spoken by the pastor on basis of John 10:9 and Timothy 11 1:9-10.  The mortal remains were laid to rest in the mausoleum, close to Zion’s Cemetery. (Source: unknown newspaper clipping)

Front: Carl, Jacob, John, Christina (Rueck), Clara, Caroline. Back: Mary, Peter, Jacob Jr, Christian, Maggie.

Here are the vital dates of those in the above photo. Front: Carl (1896-1973), Jacob (1843-1918), John (1889-1964), Christina (1858-1845), Clara (1899-1997), Caroline (1893-1988). Back row: Mary (1884-1905), Peter (1878-1957), Jacob Jr (1885-1913), Christian (1880-1911), Maggie (1875-1962).

Mausoleum, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Ohio