In Memory of Herbert Miller, 1925-2012

A member of The Greatest Generation passed away this past Saturday–my father, Herbert M Miller. This blog is devoted to his memory. Farewell brave soldier. We miss you so very much.

US Army, 84th Division, 333rd Company, Infantry. WWII, Battle of the Bulge.


Herb & Karen

Thank you for being a wonderful father and thank you for your service for our country.

May you rest in peace.

Herbert M. Miller, 29 Nov 1925-21 Apr 2012.


Chattanooga Happenings–April 1940

Yesterday I listed all the inhabitants of Chattanooga, Ohio, as they were recorded in the 1940 census. After that I decided I wanted to learn more about what was going on in the village back in 1940. So I went to the Mercer County Public Library in Celina and looked through several April 1940 issues of the local newspaper, The Daily Standard. At that time the newspaper ran a column with little news items about Chattanooga. Below are some things that were going on in Chatt in April 1940:

Miss Matilda Bollenbacher spent Saturday night and Sunday with Miss Georgie Reinhart at Celina.

Mrs. Melvin Moser and Mrs. John Regedenz and Mrs. And Mrs. Luther Gibbons and daughter spent Tuesday evening with Mrs. Vivian Carr.

Mr. & Mrs. Robert Clase and son moved into part of the house belonging to W.W. Baker, the first of the week.

Jake Duff purchased a ’37 Chevrolet at the Wendel motor sales on Monday evening.

Mrs. Dewey Gibbons was a Wednesday dinner guest of Mrs. Effie Morrison near Rockford. The dinner was in honor of Mrs. Carl Brandt of Rockford, who celebrated her birthday.

Mr. & Mrs. Floyd Vining left for their home at Buckley, Mich., the latter part of last week.

Mr. & Mrs. Dwight Raudenbush and family are quarantined for scarlet fever.

Richard Bollenbacher, son of Mr. & Mrs. Francis Bollenbacher celebrated his 10th birthday on Monday at his home here. Those present were Charles Myers, Jr, Paul Duff, Gordon and Paul Leistner, Donna Rose Andrews, Wando Lou and Robert Carr, Pauline Egger, Lila Lee Gibbons, Donald Mayor, Alfred Schott, Victor Andrews, Ann Lee Schott, Mr. & Mrs. Irvin Lugginbill and daughter Pearl. Mrs. & Mrs. Raymond Broerien and son Harold and Mr. & Mrs. Francis Bollenbacher and son Roger.

Mr. & Mrs. Conrad Heffner were Tuesday Celina shoppers.

Mrs. Walter Heffner has been on the sick list.

Mrs. William Lawson called on her mother Mrs. Minerva Dudgeon near Willshire Wednesday afternoon.

Mrs. Ivan Johnson is on the sick list.

Miss Donna Rose Andrews was a Wednesday overnight guest of Miss Ann Gibbons.
(Source of above news: The Daily Standard, Celina, Ohio, 6 April 1940, p. 2.)

Roger Bollenbacher was unable to be in school Thursday, due to illness.

Dr. Githens of Wren, O., was seen in this town Thursday.

Mrs. John Regedanz and Mrs. Vivian Carr did some papering for Mr. & Mrs. Luther Fisher Tuesday.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stubor are the proud parents of a baby boy born at their home near here March 28. He was named Thomas Eugene.

Miss Sanda Hoblet, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Hoblet, celebrated her 5th birthday on Friday afternoon, by having a number of her little friends in to help her observe the occasion.

Charles Gause is able to be back at work in the Schroeder barber shop.

Miss Goldie Baumgartner is confined to her bed at the home of her parents, ill with scarlet fever.

Mrs. Vivian Carr and Mrs. John Regedanz papered on Friday and Saturday at the homes of Fred Myers and William Schaadt.

Mr. & Mrs. Leo Slusser and daughter Kay spent Saturday evening at Van Wert.

Mrs. Ralph Baumgartner was taken to the hospital at Decatur on Sunday afternoon.

Mr. & Mrs. Jake Duff and son Paul and Mrs. Emma Duff spent Sunday afternoon with Mr. & Mrs. E. G. Butcher at Bryant, Ind. Mrs. Emma Duff remained for a longer visit.

Mrs. Rudolph Heffner has been on the sick list and Mrs. Art Bailey has also been ill.

Miss Lila Lee Gibbons, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Luther Gibbons is confined to her bed due to illness.

Mr. & Mrs. Homer Carr and family of north of town and Mr. and Mrs. Orville Felver of Gas City, Ind., were Sunday dinner guests of Mrs. Vivian Carr and children.

Phil Hershberger of Farmland, Ind., spent Sunday and Monday at the home of his brother, Rev. & Mrs. Ben Hershberger and son, Steven Lee.

Dwight Raudenbush took a load of cattle to Indianapolis on Tuesday evening.
(Source of above news: The Daily Standard, Celina, Ohio, 11 April 1940, p. 5.)

As you can see, there was a lot of sickness in the Chatt area in April 1940. The census of Blackcreek Township, Liberty Township’s neighbor to the north, contained a sheet that was labeled “Scarlet Fever & Mumps” on the left side of the page.  (ED 54-1, Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio, sheet 61A, no date written of the census was taken. Enumerator Philip L. Runyan.)

Names on the sick page:
1: White, Glen (farm operator), Glendora, Dorthy, Glen Jr
2: Carr, Dewey (state truck driver), Lillian, Calvin L
3: Hoblet, Lee Orville (farm operator), Anna R, Donald L (farm labor), Gerald L
4: Young, H O (farm operator), Abbie, Raymond A (farm labor)
5: Detro, William (farmer)
6: Gause, Ralph M (construction labor), William E
7: Bayles, John W (farm operator), Eve, Thomas
8: Bollenbacher, Ben (farmer), Rolland (farm operator), Clara, Harry
64 (cont): Plants, Charles (brother-in-law) [#64: the Albert Pontius household]
3 (cont) Schumm, Edgar (son) (mill feed factory labor) [#3: the LW Schumm household]




Inhabitants of Chattanooga, Ohio, 1940

1940 Census, Chattanooga, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio, ED 54-22, sheet 14A.

This past week I continued to look through the 1940 census, focusing on the nearest place I can call my home town—the unincorporated village of Chattanooga, in Mercer County, Ohio. Just who were the approximately 150 residents living there in April 1940? The 1940 census gave me that information.

Chattanooga, called Chatt by the locals, was enumerated by Lewis H. Brehm on 23-24 April 1940. The main census question I focused on was, “Name of each person whose usual place of residence on April 1, 1940 was in this household.”

Chatt was a thriving little village back then. It is interesting to read the names of those residing there at that time. I see names of those that I remember and names of a few that I still know.

The majority of Chattanooga is in Liberty Township but a small portion is in Blackcreek Township. Unfortunately, the Blackcreek Township census taker did not specify who was living in Chatt. The information below is only from the portion of Chatt in Liberty Township.

The enumeration district for Liberty Township is 54-22. I included the number the household in the order it was visited. The list includes the name of the head of the household and his/her occupation as well as the names of the others living in the household. The others were usually the head’s wife and children and I noted if the relationship was otherwise. I tried to spell the names as they were written.

Sheet 14A (image #27 on April 24, 1940:
271: Schaadt, Victor (road grater operator for county), Luella L, Ralph
272: Heffner, Rudolph (garage mechanic), Nellie, Robert
273: Bollenbacher, Francis (grain elevator operator), Beatrice, Richard K, Roger Lee
274: Bollenbacher, Herbert (truck driver for grain elevator), Esta, Paul E
275: White, Homer (furniture repairman), Alethia
276: Clase, Robert, Edna E., Robert Allen
277: Wendel, Lewis P (automobile dealer), Jesse, James, Pauline, Genevieve, Robert
278: Wick, Fred W (laborer, farm & other)
279: Bollenbacher, Christian, Daniel, Abraham (farm labor, (brothers)
280: Johnson, Ivan (garage man/service & repair), Hazel, Geneveve; Gibbons, Orville (brother-in law)
281: Fisher, Luther (General hardware dealer), Gladys, James, Mary Ann
282: Fisher, John (General hardware dealer), Mildred, Carl, Martha

Sheet 14B (image 28 on April 24, 1940:
283: Gibbons, Dewey (garage mechanic), Lottie, Doris Ann
284: Hunziker, Paul (truck driver), Alice L, Patricia L, Louisa
285: Raudenbush, Dwight (live stock dealer), Grace Bernice, Phyllis Joann, Nila Sue
286: Egger, Simon S (electrician/electric service), Anna, Pauline, Luther, Kathryn (grocery store clerk)
287: Yahl, Rev. Carl (minister of the Gospel, worked 52 wks/$1200)
288: Baker, Henry C (farmer), Margaret, Kenneth Hoblet (son-in-law, farmer), Gertrude, Sandra J, Linda Lou, Dana Mary
289: Vining, Earl (agri-product dealer), Wanda (dau)
290: Slusser, Jacob S (truck driver for state), Sarah, Leo, Dorothy, Kay
291: Duff, Jacob W (labor for state highway), Rose, Eugene, Paul, Emma
292: Sipe, Clark E (public school teacher, worked 36 wks/$1025), Iva Pearl, Naomi E
293: Barley, Carrie

Sheet 15A (image 29 on April 24, 1940:
294: Kuhn, Victor F (assist operator of grain elevator), Mildred H, Shirley Ann
295: Hershberger, Rev. Ben (minister of the Gospel), Helen, Stephen
296: Gibbons, Perry, widower, Vivan Carr (dau, grocery store clerk, widow), Robert Carr, Wanda Lou Carr
297: Myers, Charles (grocery man), Sarah, Charles Jr
298: Bollenbacher, Fred V (restaurant operator), Elizabeth, Matilda, Arthur (both attendants at restaurant); Vining, Ervin (border, farm labor)
299: Heffner, Walter (grocery store merchant), Vera
300: Huffman, George (old age pensioner), Barbara
301: Huffman, Sarah R
302: Schroeder, Carl (public school teacher), Marcella
303: Huffman, Philip (old age pensioner), Etta
304: Andrews, William (farm labor), Minnie, Robert, Floyd, Vera May, Donna Rose
305: Schott, Glenn (garage mechanic), Hilda
306: Deitsch, John J, Christina
307: Regedanz, John (blacksmith), Ella; Mosser, Melvin, son-in-law (oil spreader/road construction)

Sheet 15B (image 30 on April 23, 1940:
Mosser, Mildred (Regedanz housold)
308: Andrews, Charles (garage owner), Viola
309: Andrews, Victor (garage mechanic), Beatrice, Victor Jr
310: Miller, Lester F (gas & oil truck driver), Margurite A., Larry Duane
311: Baumgartner, Ralph (laborer at saw mill), Helen, Phyllis
312: Charles Bollenbacher, Mary E
313: Paul Baumgartner (saw mill operator), Hulda, Goldia (housekeeper at private home), Dale (saw mill operator)
314: Andrews, Sophia
315: Kable, Catherine
316: Watkins, Dr. Charles (practicing medicine/professional), Clara M, Charles Robert
317: Schott, Minnie (widow), Clarence F, Paul F, Dale F, Alfred W, Anna Lee
318: Weinman, Amelia (widow), Wilma J, Eileen H

1940 Census, Chattanooga, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio, ED 54-22, sheet 14A.

These names bring back a lot of memories. Lester Miller was our mail carrier for many years but this must have been before his letter-carrier days. Carl and Marcella Schroeder attended Zion and Marcella was my second grade teacher at Willshire School. Clark Sipe and his daughter Naomi were both school teachers and school administrators. In her later years Hilda Schott lived near St. Marys. We used to take a Christmas plate to her at Christmas. My parents purchased several Pontiac automobiles from the Wendel Brothers. Gene Duff’s daughter Linda was one of my good school friends and was in our wedding party.

Rev. Carl Yahl was the minister at Zion Lutheran, Chattanooga, in 1940. He was age 35, single, and was living in the same place in 1935. Rev. Ben Hershberger was probably the minister at the Methodist Church in Chatt.

It is interesting to note that Perry Gibbons died on 16 April, eight days before the census was taken. How could that be? Remember the question that was asked: Name of each person whose usual place of residence on April 1, 1940 was in this household. Perry was still living on April 1.

Tomorrow: What were the Chattanoogans doing in April 1940?

Tombstone Tuesday–Maria Katharina Dietrich

Maria Katharina Dietrich, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio.

This is the tombstone of Maria Katharina Dietrich located in row 6 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed Hier ruhet in Gott, Maria Katharina, gattin von J. Jacob Dietrich, gestorben den 28 Mai 1871, alter 68 jahre, 9 monat, 13 tag. [Here rests in God Maria Catharina, wife of J. Jacob Dietrich, died 28 May 1871, age 68 years, 9 months, 13 days]

Maria Katharina’s death and burial as it was recorded in Zion’s church records: Mrs. M. Katharina Dietrich died in the night of 27 and 28 May 1871 and was buried on 29 May. She was 68 years, 9 months and 13 days old.

According to Zion’s Family Register Maria Katharina Dietrich, born Werner, was born 15 August 1802 in Hainstadt and baptized on 17 August in Neustadt, Grossherzogthum, Hessen Darmstadt.  She married Johann Jacob Dietrich on 23 October 1825. They immigrated to America in 1836, resided 18 months in Zoar, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and came to the Schumm area 19 May 1838. The couple had the following children:

Margaretha Dietrich, born 6 November 1826, she lived 12 days.
Johann Adam Dietrich, born 27 January 1828.
Maria Katharina Dietrich, born 6 April 1832.
Andreas Dietrich, born 28 March 1843.

Bennett Family in the 1940 Census

Louise, Fred & Helen "Goldie" Roesner

This past week I continued to browse through the recently released 1940 census on This time I was looking for my husband’s side of the family.

I found Joe’s mother Louise with her family right away. I knew they were probably living in Celina, Jefferson Township, Mercer County, Ohio, but I did not know which ward. I chose a section of town west of Livingston Street and luckily made the right choice.

The Edward Roesner family was right there on line 33, the page 1A, Ward 3, enumeration district (ED) 54-18. They lived at 217 Echo Avenue and owned their home which was valued at $5000. The family consisted of Edward, head, 44; Helen, wife, 34; Frederick, son, 17; and Louise, daughter, 17, all born in Ohio. They lived in the same house in 1935. Ed’s occupation was watchman for a steam railroad and he was employed 52 weeks during 1939, and earned $1300.

Edward Roesner household, 1940 US Census, Mercer Co., Oh, Celina, Ward 3, ED 54-18, sheet 1A, line 33.

I also located Joe’s grandfather Vermont H. Bennett and his family. They were living in Yorkshire, Patterson Township, Darke County, Ohio, ED 19-39, sheet 2B, line 44. They owned their home which was valued at $700. The family consisted of Vermont H., head, 53; M. Evelyn, wife, 50; and Helen, daughter, 13. Vermont and Helen were both born in Ohio and living in the same house in 1935. His wife Evelyn was born in Nebraska and living in Grand Junction, Mesa, Colorado, in 1935. Vermont’s first wife, Lura (Monroe), died in 1935 and he had remarried Mattie Evelyn (Yeaton) Bennett. Evelyn was the widow of Vermont’s brother Delaware. Vermont’s occupation was postmaster of a rural post office. He worked 52 weeks during 1939 and earned $690.

Vermont H Bennett household, 1940 US Census, Darke Co., Oh, Yorkshire, ED 19-39, sheet 2B, line 44.

Joe’s father Dwight, Vermont’s son, was not listed in the Vermont Bennett household and I do not know where to look for him.

Joe had two great-grandmothers living in 1940, Sarah (Cain) Monroe and Aretha (Green) Lee.

Sarah (Cain) Monroe, the widow of James Francis Monroe, was living in the Roy Grunden household, Franklin Township, Mercer County, ED 54-8, sheet 1A, line 11. The household consisted of Roy Grunden, head, 53; Stella, wife, 42; Jimmie, son, 17; Virginia, daughter, 12; Gail, son, 2; Sarah Monroe, mother-in-law, 80, widow, born in Indiana. The rest of the family members were born in Ohio. Roy was an assembler in an agricultural implement factory, worked 26 weeks in 1939 and made $350.

Roy Grunden household, 1940 US Census, Mercer Co., Oh, Franklin Twp, ED 54-8, sheet 1A, line 11.

I looked through several areas of Paulding County, northern Van Wert County, and the Monroeville, Indiana, area, but I could not locate Aretha Lee. I’ll probably just have to wait until the 1940 census is indexed to find Dwight and Aretha.

Some thoughts and comments while looking through 1940 census pages: Good penmanship must not have been a requirement for the position of census taker. Why did the Census Bureau furnish some enumerators with pens that left ink blotches in the middle of a name? One enumerator left blank lines at the bottom of most sheets so the next household could be started on a new sheet. Nice for indexing, but they probably weren’t supposed to do that. Another census taker started out writing the surname of every single person on every line. That lasted for about two sheets.

This past week I also indexed 7 batches of the 1940 census, sheets from Kansas and Franklin County, Ohio. Yes, Ohio is now up for indexing. It would be fun to index Mercer and Van Wert Counties.