Tombstone Tuesday-Calla Lily Images

In general, lilies symbolize innocence and purity, but there are several types of lilies used on gravestones and they have slightly different meanings.

Calla lily, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Ohio.

The image of calla lilies on a tombstone symbolizes majestic beauty, marriage, and fidelity.

Calla lily, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Ohio.

Calla lily, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Ohio.

The South African calla lily, with its beautiful vase-like blooms, was introduced in the U.S in the late 1800s. It wasn’t long after this that these flowers became popular funeral flowers and their images appeared as cemetery art.

Calla lily, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Ohio.

Willshire, Schumm, & Chatt-1914 R.G. Dun Mercantile Reference

Who knew that some local towns and their merchants were listed in the R.G. Dun Mercantile Agency Reference Books years ago? I guess I never thought about it, but they are. Willshire, Schumm, and Chattanooga are all listed and are called Banking Towns in their publication.  

Yes, this is the same R.G. Dun who eventually became Dun and Bradstreet. They have rated merchants for over 100 years and their annual published directories were made available by subscription to businessmen to learn the credit ratings of their clients. Information, categorized by city within a state, includes merchants, tradesmen, and manufacturers with their financial worth and credit rating. They also give the population of the villages.

1914 R.G. Dunn Mercantile Agency Reference Book

These books are searchable on the Library of Congress website. Below I have transcribed the information they published for Willshire, Schumm, and Chattanooga in 1914.

The letter after the merchant’s name is the Estimated Pecuniary Strength. Their key: AA/over $1,000,000; A+/over $750,000, etc. Our local towns mostly fall below those levels and their village merchants are in these areas:
M/less than $500  

After the Estimated Pecuniary Strength is a number, which is the General Credit rating: High, Good, Fair, or Limited. Most of our area fell in the 3/Good, 3½/Fair, or 4/Limited ratings.

Some merchants/businesses have no letter or number listed.

WIllshire, 1914 R.G. Dun Mercantile Reference.

Willshire, Van Wert Co.-4A
Population 653-A Banking Town
Acheson, W.W.—Livery; K 3½
Allen, K. (Mrs. PW)—Restaurant; M
Althoen, Fred—Boots & Shoes; G 3
Avery B.H.—Blacksmith; L 3½
Bauer, J.A.—Jewelry & c.; M 4
Beam, J.—Clothing
Brown, A. & J.—Dry goods, Builders’ supplies & c.; G 3
Buchanan, James S.—Blacksmith; K 3
Colter & Johnson—Harness & Vehicles; J 3½
Cowan & Roller—Groceries; L 4
Craine, F.D.—Publisher; M
Dull, Wilbert A.—Flour Mill, Grain, & c; F 3
Erie Stone Co (Branch of Toledo); C 1½ [$75,000-125,000; High]
Foreman, V.A.—Confectioners & c.; M 4
Geisler & Riley—Groceries; K 3½
Hofstetter, John & Co—Restaurant, Notions & c.; L 4
Lotter Bros—Meat; K 3½
Major S.—Lunch; M [not sure what Lunch means; lunch not in key]
Mercer, G.D. & Co—Flour & Feed; K 3½
Parks, W.W.—Drugs, Wallpaper & Paint; H 3
Peters, Burton W.—Confectioner; M
Rex Hardware Co (not inc.)—Hardware & Implements; G 3
Rogers, P.S.—Cobbler; M
Spitler, Wm E.—Groceries; M 4
Stetler, Wm—Billiards, Cigars & c.; M
Straubinger, Adam—Hotel; K 3
Wagner, J.C.—Coal; L 3½
White, Jesse W.—Varieties; M 4
Willshire Hardware Co (not inc.)—Hardware, Implements & c.; G 3½
Willshire Lumber Co (not inc.) (Also People’s Lumber Co, Wren); F 3
Willshire Motor Co (not inc.)—Garage; M 3
Willshire Packing Co; 3
Willshire Telephone Co; 3

Schumm, 1914 R.G. Dun Mercantile Reference.

Schumm, Van Wert Co.-4A
Population 25-Banking Town Willshire
Behymer Bros–Elevator (Branch of Rockford); D+ 1½ [$50,000-75,000, High]
Colter, Henry—Saw Mill & c. (Branch of Bobo, Ind); F 3½  

Two businesses in these towns had a higher than area-average Estimated Pecuniary Strength and Credit Rating: Erie Stone Co (Branch of Toledo), with C 1½ [$75,000-125,000; High] in Willshire, and Behymer Bros Elevator (Branch of Rockford), with D+ 1½ [$50,000-75,000, High]

And, I am proud to announce that Chattanooga, Ohio, was included in the book! Actually, Chatt was much larger than Schumm.

Chattanooga, Ohio, 1914 R.G. Dun Mercantile Reference.

Chattanooga, Mercer Co.-4A
(R.D. Rockford)
Population 250—Banking Town Rockford
Andres, John H—Meat & Groceries; M 4
Baumgartner, J.W. & Son—Sawmill; J 3½
Chattanooga Hardware Co (not inc.)—Retail; J 3½
Germann, A.—Shoes, Restaurant & Groceries; K 3
Gibbons, Perry—Saloon; K 3½
Heffner, Fred—Saloon; H 3½
Merkle & Egger—General merchandise; H 3½
Regedanz, Chas—Blacksmith; M 4
Riesen, S.L.—Restaurant & Barber; M
Smith, John F.—Tinner; M 4

Interesting that Heffner’s saloon was valued higher than Gibbon’s.

Just some more interesting area information from a source I had never looked at.
Source: 1914 R.G. Dun Mercantile Agency Reference Book, Vol. 183, part 2; Dun & Bradstreet Reference Book Collection, Library of Congress,,  viewed 19 May 2022. Willshire, Ohio: p.130, image 254/776; Schumm, Ohio, p.110, image 244/776; Chattanooga, Ohio, p.19, image 198/776.

Tombstone Tuesday-Hannah Miller

Hanna Miller, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Hannah Miller, located in row 10 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Wife of
George Miller
died Feb. 7
aged 65 yrs

Hannah Miller’s sandstone tombstone is one of the oldest markers in Zion Schumm’s cemetery. Hannah’s death and burial are not recorded in Zion Schumm’s records. In fact, very few Millers are mentioned in their church records.

Hannah Miller died before the 1850 census and censuses before that time only recorded the head of household.

Her tombstone only tells us that she was 65 years old (born about 1784) and that her husband was George Miller. We don’t know if she was the widow of George or if he died after her death. If George is buried at Zion Schumm, there is no record of it in their records or in the cemetery.

There is a good deal of information about Hannah Miller and her family on Find a, Memorial no. 34047119, Hannah Chilcote Miller. I will not recopy the information here because I did not research it, but if you are interested in Hannah and her family I would encourage you to take a look at the all the information there.

It appears Hannah’s family is spread across Ohio and Indiana but there also appears to be a couple connections to this area, a Chilcote and Tindall connection. That may explain how she came to be buried in Zion Schumm’s cemetery.

Were she and her family passing through this area in 1849 or did some stay? According to Find a Grave, some family members stayed. Her sons James Henry Miller (1820-1895) and John C Miller (1826-1882) are buried in this area. James Henry is buried in Willshire Cemetery and John C in Hileman/Smith Cemetery south of Schumm. A nephew, John Chilcote Tindall (1827-1885) is buried in Tricker Cemetery, Decatur, Adams County, Indiana. The nephew was the son of her sister, Nancy (Chilcote) Tindall, according to Find a Grave. There may be others.

Hannah Miller likely lived near Schumm because she is buried there and because of the Chilcote and Tindall names, which were local back then. Perhaps she attended Zion Schumm, but never joined the church.

For now, we can simply enjoy the beauty and carving of this old tombstone that has weathered many seasons.

M.J. Schumm, General Store at Schumm, Ohio, 1883

This is a lovely little advertising card, dated 1883, advertising Green’s August Flower for dyspepsia and liver complaint and Boschee’s German Syrup for other various ailments. An 1883 calendar is on the reverse side.

1883 advertising card, Schumm General Store.

I have seen a number of these cards and what makes each unique is that printed inside is where one could purchase the medicines.

This card indicates that they were for sale by M.J. Schumm, General Store, Schumm, Ohio.

1883 advertising card, M.J. Schumm, General Store.

M.J. Schumm was very likely Martin J Schumm. Martin J Schumm was appointed Schumm’s first postmaster on 31 December 1881. Back then it was common to have a post office located in a general store, so Martin J Schumm was both postmaster and general store merchant. The general store at Schumm was located by the railroad tracks.

Schumm’s first postmaster, Martin J. Schumm (1881). [1]

Martin J Schumm (1859-1909), born near Schumm, Ohio, was the son of George Martin (1812-1871) and Maria (Pflueger) (1820-1903) Schumm. Both parents were German immigrants. In 1882 Martin married Elizabeth “Lizzie” Ehrenmann (1860-1893). Lizzie died during childbirth in 1893 and by 1900 Martin and his three children were living in Brooklyn, New York, where Martin worked as a clerk/printer. Martin died in 1909 and both he and his wife are buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery at Schumm.  

Unfortunately, I could not locate Martin Schumm in the 1880 census. However, he was in the area in 1882, when he was married at Zion Schumm. Plus, their three children were born near Schumm between 1883-1888 and his wife Lizzie died near Schumm in 1893. So, he definitely lived in the area in 1883.

Imprinted on the advertising card:  

Has the largest sale of any medicine in the world, for the cure of Consumption, Bronchitis, Severe Colds settled in the chest, Pneumonia and all diseases of the Throat and Lungs. There is not probably, a druggist in the civilized world but will recommend it in preference to all others. Introduced in the U.S.A. in 1867, by distributing over 3,000,000 Sample Bottles free of charge. No medicine has ever met with such wonderful success and retained its popularity in every family where used, as Boschee’s German Syrup. Sample Bottles 10 cents. Regular size, 75 cents.

I wonder if this syrup is still around? It sounds like it could help treat Covid.

Since the introduction of GREEN’S AUGUST FLOWER, in 1867, for the use of Dyspepsia, Indigestion and Biliousness, with their discouraging effects, such as sour stomach, sick headache costiveness, palpitation of the heart, symptoms of paralysis, dizzy head, sleeplessness, &c., there has sprung into the market hundreds of remedies advertised for the same purposes; but they all fail to meet that certain success and praise that every druggist and dealer in medicines over the entire civilized world, give to GREEN’S AUGUST FLOWER. Ask your Druggist about it. Three doses will relieve any of the above complaints. Every bottle sold has been a permanent advertisement, until over 2,000,000 Bottles were sold last year. Sample Bottles, 10 cents. Positively sold by all dealers in medicines on the Globe.
G.G. Green, Sole Manufacturer,
Woodbury, N.J., U.S. S.  And Toronto, Canada.

Another nice piece of Schumm history.

[1] U.S., Appointments of U.S. Postmasters, 1832-1971, Vol 38, c1873-91, p. 478-9; and U.S., Appointments of US Postmasters, 1832-1971, Vol 79, c1891-1930, p. 575-77; digital images by subscription, ( : accessed 17 September 2014), from NARA microfilm publication M841, roll 101.

Tombstone Tuesday-Lamp Symbol

A lamp inscribed on a tombstone symbolizes immortality of the spirit and resurrection. It may also symbolize wisdom, faithfulness, and holiness.

Lamp, Catholic Cemetery, Celina, Ohio

Lamp, Catholic Cemetery, Celina, Ohio

A lamp creates light and its purpose is to bring light to darkness. A lamp and light are mentioned a number of times in the Bible and here are just a few:

For you are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness. (2 Samuel 22:29)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  (Psalm 119:105)

For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light…(Proverbs 6:23)

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts. (Proverbs 20:27)

For it is you who light my lamp; The Lord my God lightens my darkness. (Psalm 18:28)

Lamp, Baltic Cemetery, Tuscarawas County, Ohio

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)