Tombstone Tuesday–Anna M. Schumm

Anna Schumm w of HG

Anna M. Schumm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio.

This is the tombstone of Anna M. Schumm, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Anna M.
Ehefrau Von
H. G. Schumm
24 Mai 1857
23 Sep 1901
1 Petri, Chp 5, Vers 6

Translation: Anna M., Wife of H.G. Schumm, Born 24 May 1857, Died 23 Sep 1901, Text 1 Peter 5:6.

According to the church records of Zion Lutheran, Schumm, Mrs. Anna M. Schumm, born Roehm, the legal wife of Mr. H.G. Schumm, was born 24 May 1857 in Tully Township, Van Wert County, Ohio. She died 23 September 1901 of typhoid, at the age of 44 years, 3 months and 20 days. She was buried 25 September in the church cemetery. Her funeral text was 1 Peter 5:6.

Anna Roehm married Henry George “H.G.” Schumm on 1 April 1879 at the home of her parents. They had the following children: Maria Amalia (1880-1946; m. John Henry “Hugo” Schumm), Anna Wilhemina (1883-1901), Henrietta Clara (1885-1901), Walter Emanuel (1888-1967; m. Erna Theresa Schumm) and Esther Emilie (1893-1983; m. Amos C. Schumm).

Advent–The Christmas Trees

For centuries, at Christmas time, one of the main objects in homes has been the Christmas tree. As I look through family photos I see that our family is no exception to this tradition. Christmas trees are bright and pretty and photos often focused on them. Here are some pictures of family trees in various styles and sizes.

Carl Miller family Christmas tree (1951)

Carl Miller family Christmas tree (1951)

According to Wikipedia the custom of the Christmas tree originated in Germany. Christmas trees were originally decorated with foods such as apples, nuts or dates and were lighted with candles.

Grandma Miller and Uncle Vernie by the same Christmas tree. (1951)

Grandma Miller and Uncle Vernie by the same Christmas tree. (1951)

This past summer I found the photo shown below in a box stowed away in the Miller barn. The items hanging from the tree were dish cloths that look like they were made into slippers, probably made by my aunts. Each pair was labeled for their recipient:  Kate, Mom, Florence, Martha and Em.

Miller dish cloth gifts. (c1951)

Miller dish cloth gifts. (c1951)

When I was a young child we had a live Christmas tree. It was exciting to get the box of beautiful old-fashioned glass ornaments down from the attic and decorate the tree. I don’t know what happened to all those old ornaments. They probably broke over the years but I would love to have a few of them for keepsakes. We also used lots of tinsel and the large colored Christmas lights to adorn the tree. The tinsel was messy but the cats loved it.

A few years later artificial trees became popular and we got one to replace the annual live tree. The first artificial tree we had was green and resembled a real tree. The next artificial tree we purchased was a shiny silver aluminum tree. Those were quite popular in the late 50s and I loved watching the multi-colored light wheel rotate and change the color of the tree. Each of those aluminum trees came with the light wheel because we were cautioned not to string electrical lights on the metal tree.

The photo below was taken at a Farm Bureau Council meeting at my parents’ home. Some of you may recognize Donna and Vernon Caffee, Fred Miller and Bob Humbert holding his daughter Rita Kay. Note the aluminum tree in the corner.

Aluminum tree. (c1959)

Aluminum tree. (c1959)

We now use a mid-size artificial tree in the basement. Upstairs I have become very lazy with my trees. I group four skinny, folk-art-style trees of various sizes together and I decorate each differently. Here is the lazy part: I leave the lights on the trees, take them to the basement and cover each with a bag for storage. Each of these trees is one piece so there is nothing to take apart. The next Christmas all I have to do is take the trees upstairs, plug them in and hang a few decorations on them. How simple! And I have my own little pine forest.

Karen's trees

Grouping of my 4 trees.

Last year we visited the Fort Wayne Botanical Conservatory on Black Friday. It was decorated beautifully for Christmas and it was peaceful walking through the plants and flowers. There was no shopping and fighting the crowds for us. They had a poinsettia tree there.


We have a beautiful 12 foot tree at Zion, Chatt, decorated by a group of ladies at the church.

Zion, Chatt's, 12 foot tree.

Zion, Chatt’s 12 foot tree.

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
Wie treu sind deine Blatter!

[O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us!]

Tombstone Tuesday–Henry G. Schumm

Henry G. Schumm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio.

This is the tombstone of Henry G. Schumm, located in row 4 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Henry G. Schumm

Georg Heinrich Schumm was born 14 November 1854 near Schumm in Willshire Township, Van Wert County, Ohio. He was the tenth of fourteen children born to Georg Martin and Maria (Pflüger) Schumm. Henry was baptized 19 November 1854 at home. His baptismal sponsors were Ludwig Schumm and wife, Friedrich Schumm and wife and Pastor John Georg Streckfuss and his wife Margaretha. Henry’s father, George Martin, was one of the Schumms that immigrated to America in 1833.

Heinrich G. Schumm married Anna Roehm on 1 April 1879 at the home of her parents. They had the following children: Maria Amalia (1880-1946; m. John Henry “Hugo” Schumm), Anna Wilhemina (1883-1901), Henrietta Clara (1885-1901), Walter Emanuel (1888-1967; m. Erna Theresa Schumm) and Esther Emilie (1893-1983; m. Amos C. Schumm).

Henry’s wife Anna (1857-1901) died in 1901 and Henry married Wilhelmina (Kramer/Kroemer) Limecooley on 23 November 1904 in Allen County, Indiana, by Henry Luchn. [1]

Henry George Schumm died 26 July 1939 near Schumm at the age of 84 years, 8 months and 12 days. He was buried 29 July 1939 in Zion Lutheran Cemetery.  His funeral text was 1 Timothy 1:15, with Pastor A. Moeller officiating.


H.G. Schumm Laid To Rest Saturday
With simple, but impressive rites, Henry G. Schumm, one of the oldest members of Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm, was laid to rest in the congregation’s cemetery at Schumm, last Saturday afternoon.

A German service was conducted at the old homestead for the family and other relatives. A girls’ choir sang in German the ancient choral: “Lord Jesus Who Dost Love Me,” a favorite hymn of the departed grandfather.

The service in the church was conducted in English. The Walther League Choir sang a 17th century selection appropriate for the occasion. The pastor of the church at Schumm was in charge of both services. In spite of the inclement weather, a large number of relatives and friends from far and near filled the church to pay last respects to Grandfather Schumm. [2]


[1] Indiana Marriages 1811-1959, Allen County, Indiana, Vol. 27:38, digital image, ( : accessed 10 December 2012).

[2] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 27 July 1939, p.8.




Advent–The Christmas Program

Three Wise Men, Christmas program, c2008.

The children’s Christmas program is an annual event at our church. It is a time of pride for parents and grandparents as they get to see their little ones dressed in special Christmas clothes, nervously saying their “pieces” and singing in front of the congregation.

When I was a child our Christmas pageants were usually held on Sunday morning or Sunday evening. We had a rehearsal on the Saturday before the performance. There was a big party in the church basement after the rehearsal and we had food and a gift exchange. It was a lot of fun.

The first Christmas program that I remember participating in was held in our church basement. It may not have been the Christmas program, but it was an event of some sort held during the Advent season. I was about five years old and I sang the 1950s hit, All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.

I was scared to death to sing in front of people and would never have gotten through that song had it not been for the beautiful pink and blue Teddy bear that our neighbor Cindy had set on top of the upright piano. I focused on that bear and I somehow knew that he would be mine if I could finish the song. I did finish the song and I did get the bear. “Smiley” was my cuddly companion for many years after that.

Memorizing and reciting a Christmas piece has always been a part of our Christmas programs. I was never good at memorizing and worried about saying my verse correctly. I don’t think most children are good at memorizing their pieces. The little ones get a lot of prompting from the Sunday School teachers and the older kids usually just read their parts.

Most Christmas programs include a live nativity (sans animals) and the children play the parts of Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds and the wise men. The role of Baby Jesus is usually played by a doll baby. I never had the major role of Mary in any of our programs. I was usually just in the background chorus. A few years ago my husband and two other men played the roles of the three wise men. My husband got to wear a fancy robe and crown and carried a gift for Baby Jesus. It was a proud moment for our family to have one of our very own cast in a major Nativity role. [And, yes, I have heard all those “wise men” jokes and chose not to go there.]

Joe as a Wise Man, Christmas Pageant, c2008.

I guess I have always been a Nervous Nellie. When I was young I was anxious about my part in the Christmas program and later I was nervous about our son’s part in the program. He was a spirited, independent and strong-willed little boy and we never knew what he would do in front of a crowd. It did not matter that the crowd was our church family. He had no shame as he rolled around on the floor or ran around the manger. We held our breath until the program was over. Why are the antics of little ones always more amusing when they are not your own children?

When all the characters of the Nativity are all in place the rest of the children usually sing Away In a Manger and Silent Night. The program concludes and the costumes are put away for another year.






Tombstone Tuesday–Leonard Laverne Kallenberger

Leonard Laverne Kallenberger, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio.

This is the tombstone of Leonard Laverne Kallenberger, located in row 8 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Leonard Laverne
Son of John & Margra
Sept. 12-Oct. 6, 1944

Leonard Laverne, son of John and Margra (Burkhart) Kallenberger, was born prematurely on 12 September 1944. According to Zion’s church records Leonard was baptized on 13 September 1944 by Agnes Nelson at the Decatur Hospital in Decatur, Indiana. A baptism can be performed by a lay person if an infant is born prematurely and death seems likely. Leonard’s death on 6 October 1944 was due to his premature birth, bowel problems and indigestion. Survivors included his parents, a brother Leon and a sister Anna. He was buried on 8 October.

Hold Services for Infant Son

Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon for the infant son of John A. Kallenberger, at the home, with committal and interment at Zion Lutheran Cemetery immediately afterward. Child was born Sept. 12, and died Oct. 6. Name Leonard Laverne. [1]


[1] The Daily Standard, Celina, Ohio, 10 Oct 1944, p.1