Good Friday 2024

Today is Good Friday, remembering the day Jesus suffered and died on the cross for us.

The cross is the Christian symbol of salvation, used often on tombstones years ago as well as today.

Here are a few crosses that remind us of Good Friday, inscribed on local tombstones.

A lot can happen in 3 days.



He is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Happy Easter, everyone!

Tombstone Tuesday-David J & Ida C (Sielschott) Schaadt

Schaadt, David J & Ida C (Sielschott), Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio

This is the tombstone of David J. and Ida C. (Sielschott) Schaadt, located in row 10 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Ida C.
David J.

David John Schaadt was born in Harrison Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, on 4 August 1873, [1] the son of Adam (1846-1895) and Mary Anna (Koch/Cook) (1850-1926) Schaadt.

The Adam Schaadt family in 1880, residing in Harrison Township, with 5 children: Adam, 34; Anna M, 28; Phebe, 8; David J, 6; Henry W, 4; Kathrine, 2; and Christina, 9 months. The father Adam, a farmer, was born in Germany and the others in the family were born in Ohio. [2]

David Schaadt married Ida C. Sielschott on 14 April 1898 in Mercer County, married by S. Egger. [3] His name is John David Schaadt on their marriage license.

David’s bride, Ida C. Sielschott, was born in Hopewell Township, Mercer County, Ohio, on 28 January 1879, the daughter of Philip John (1844-1894) and Matilda (Heffner) (1850-1930) Sielschott. [4] Ida’s mother Matilda was the daughter of Conrad and Margaret (Miller) Heffner and was from the Chatt area. Ida’s parents are also buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery.

Most records I came across for research of this family spell the surname Sielschott, which is also the way it is spelled on the tombstone of Ida’s parents. I have also seen the name spelled Sealschott a few times, but for this blog post I am using the Sielschott spelling.

I am not sure where Ida Sielschott was enumerated in the 1880 census, or if she was overlooked in that census. She was not enumerated with her parents. There is an Ida Sealschott, age 1, nephew, living with George Sealschott, 63, and wife Louisa, 50, and their 7 children in Center Township, Mercer County. I am not convinced that this is the same Ida, but she may be. [5]

In 1900, two years after their marriage, David and Ida lived in Liberty Township, Mercer County, and had a daughter, Matilda M., age 1 year. [6] They lived south of Chatt.

Their daughter Matilda died in 1904.

The David Schaadt household in 1910: David, 36; Ida, 31; Henry, 8; Victor, 6; and Minnie, 3. All were born in Ohio. David and Ida had been married 12 years and three of their four children were living. David was a farmer. [7]

By 1920 David and Ida had 5 children: Henry, 18; Victor, 15; Minnie, 13; Glen, 6; and Edith, 3. [8]

In 1930 just 3 of their children lived at home: Minnie, 23; Glenn, 16; and Edith, 13. [9]

Their daughter Minnie Schaadt died in 1931 and is buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery.

In 1940 and 1950, all of David and Ida’s children had left home and the couple lived by themselves in Liberty Township and David continued to farm. [10] [11]

Ida C. (Sielschott) Schaadt, 81, died from heart disease in Gibbons Hospital, Celina, on 23 May 1960. [12] Ida’s obituary:

Celina-Mrs. Ida Schaadt, 81, of Rt. 1, Celina, died at 8:30 p.m. Monday, at the Gibbons Memorial Hospital, where she had been a patient three weeks.

She was born Jan. 28, 1879, to Philip and Matilda (Heffner) Sielschott.

Mrs. Schaadt married David Schaadt in 1897 [sic] and he survives along with three sons, Henry of Geneva, Ind.; Victor of Akron; Glen of Willshire; a daughter, Mrs. Roland Lime of Celina; a brother, Jacob Sielschott of Celina; two sisters, Mrs. T.J. Smith and Mrs. William Schaadt, both of Celina; six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Friends may call at the family home until services at 2:30 p.m. Thursday when the body will be taken to the church at Chattanooga. Rev. Waldo Byers will officiate. Burial will be in the church cemetery. W.H. Dick and Sons are in charge of arrangements. [13]

David J. Schaadt, age 90, died 16 March 1964 in Celina. He died of old age, per Zion Chatt’s records. David’s obituary:

David J. Schaadt
Celina-David J. Schaadt, 90, Rt. 1, Celina, died at 11:55 p.m. Monday at Gibbons Hospital. He had been a patient three weeks.

He was born Aug. 4, 1873 in Van Wert County, the son of Adam and Mary Koch Schaadt. He married Ida Sielschott in 1897 [sic]. She died in 1960.

Surviving are three sons, Henry, Geneva, Ind.; Victor, Akron; and Glen, Willshire; a daughter, Mrs. Roland Lime, Celina; two sisters, Mrs. Otto Wendel, and Mrs. Gustave Klopfleisch Sr., both of Celina; six grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

He was the oldest member of Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Thursday in Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga. Rev. Arnold Green will conduct, and burial will be in the church cemetery. Friends may call at the family residence until time for services. W.H. Dick and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. [14]

David and Ida (Sielschott) had the following children:
Matilda (1899-1904)
Henry (1902-1970), married Edna W. Dailey
Victor W. (1904-1995), married Opal Strabel
Minnie (1907-1931), not married
Glenn Cornelius (1913-1987), married Roxie Mae King
Edith Lawrena (1917-2005), married Roland Lime

[1] Ohio, U.S. Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973, David John Schaadt, 4 Aug 1873;

[2] 1880 U.S. Census, Ohio, Van Wert Co, Harrison Twp, ED 148, p.309B, dwelling 152, family 155, Adam Schaadt;

[3] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” Mercer Co, Vol. 7, p.316, John David Schaadt & Ida C. Sielschott, 14 Apr 1898;

[4] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” Mercer, Vol. 1, p.258, Ida Sielschott, 28 Jan 1879;

[5] 1880 U.S. Census, Ohio, Mercer, Center, ED 181, p.366D, dwelling 266, house 74, George Sealschott;

[6] 1900 U.S. Census, Ohio, Mercer, Liberty, ED 85, p.7, dwelling 132, family 137, David Schaadt;

[7] 1910 U.S. Census, Ohio, Mercer, Liberty, ED 119, p.10B, dwelling 191, family 196, David Schaadt;

[8] 1920 U.S. Census, Ohio, Mercer, Liberty, ED 140, p.6A, dwelling 110, family 118, David Schaadt;

[9] 1930 U.S. Census, Ohio, Mercer, Liberty, ED 20, p.2A, dwelling & family 43, Dave Schaadt;

[10] 1940 U.S. Census, Ohio, Mercer, Liberty, ED 54-22, p.7A, household 133, David Schaadt;

[11] 1950 U.S. Census, Ohio, Mercer, Liberty, ED 54-33, p.9, dwelling 71, David Schaadt;

[12] “Ohio Death Index, 1908-1932, 1938-1944, 1958-2007,” Celina, Mercer County, Ida C Schaadt, 23 May 1960;

[13], Ida C Sielschott Schaadt, Memorial no. 39968022, newspaper image of obituary, unidentified newspaper. 

[14] David J Schaadt obituary, The Lima News, Lima, Ohio, 18 Mar 1964, p.2;

The Merkles from Chattanooga

I appreciate when readers send me information about their family, especially when the family has a Chattanooga, Ohio, connection. Thanks to Doug Roebuck for sharing information and photos about his Merkle and Kantner family lines, which definitely have a Chattanooga connection. Perhaps this Merkle information connects with your family somewhere.

Merkle was sometimes spelled Merkley in some mid-1800 documents and Merkle family members also confirm that. The name was spelled Merkley on the 1860 marriage record of Joseph Merkle (1835-1901) to Lucinda Kantner (1843-1919), as Merkley when their daughter Anna Merkle (1867-1935) married Fred Heffner (1861-1918) in 1885, and when another daughter Emma Merkle married Conrad Heffner in 1897. There may be even more instances.

Doug said that the Merkle’s liked to play baseball, which was a very popular sport in Chatt years ago.

Joseph Merkle (1835-1901) was born in Germany and married Lucinda Kantner in Auglaize County, Ohio, on 29 January 1860. Lucinda Kantner (1843-1919) was born in Ohio and grew up in Auglaize County. She was the daughter of Elias and Elizabeth (Oswald) Kantner. Joseph and Lucinda Merkle lived in Auglaize County until about 1872, when they moved to Chattanooga, Ohio. Joseph was a blacksmith in Chatt and Lucinda ran a boarding house. Their family attended Zion Lutheran Church in Chatt.

This 1900 map of Chattanooga shows Lot 9, Lucinda Merkle and a hotel to the north:

Chattanooga, Ohio, 1900, Lucinda Merkle & Hotel, Lot 9

According to the 1900 census Joseph and Lucinda had 10 children, but only nine have been identified: Mary, Elizabeth, Anna, John Francis, Friedrich, Emma, William, Joseph “Edward”, and Leo.

How wonderful to have a photo of the Joseph & Lucinda Merkle family:

Joseph & Lucinda (Kantner) Merkle family. (photo courtesy of Doug Roebuck) 

Joseph and Lucinda both died in Liberty Township, Mercer County, and are buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery.

A little about the children of Joseph and Lucinda (Kantner) Merkle:

  • “Mary” Magdalena (Merkle) FEGGER (1861-1954), born in Auglaize County, married Rev. Albert J. Feeger (1858-1941) in Chattanooga, Ohio, on 6 July 1882. Rev. Feeger was a Lutheran minister. They had two girls and seven boys: Luther Martin, Mabel Ida, Carl Herbert, Helen Emilie, Albert Julius, Paul George Henry, Theodore Franz, George Edward, and another who is not identified. Rev. Feeger and Mary died in the Dayon area and are buried in Dayton Memorial Park Cemetery.
  • Elizabeth H. “Lizzie” (Merkle) HEFFNER (1865-1924), born in Auglaize County, married “Jacob” Joseph Heffner (1861-1899) at Zion Chatt on 16 December 1884. Jacob was the son of Conrad and Anna (Miller) Heffner. Jacob and Elizabeth Heffner had three children: Carl, Leo C., and Ralph. Jacob and Elizabeth are buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery.
  • Anna (Merkle) HEFFNER (1867-1935), born in Auglaize County, married Fred Heffner (1861-1918) on 1 October 1885 at Zion Chatt. Fred was the son of George and Sophia (Martin) Heffner/Haeffner. Fred resided in Chatt most of his life and ran a saloon there for several years. They had nine children: George “Rudolph,” Albert Conrad, Emma Elizabeth (marr. Bauer), Walter Herbert, Fredrich Oscar ”Brownie”, Maria Helena, Roman Edward, Verla Marguerite (marr. Roebuck), and Vernon Hugo “Cy.” Fred and Anna Heffner are buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery. 

Vernon “Cy,” Fred, Margaret, Anna (Merkle) Heffner, c1913, in Chattanooga. (photo courtesy of Doug Roebuck)

  • John Francis MERKLE (1870-1895), born in Auglaize County, was a carpenter and contractor in South Chicago. He drown in the Calumet River there, when his rowboat capsized. He is buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery. He was not married.
  • Frederick “Fred” Arthur MERKLE (1872-1947), probably born in Auglaize County, married Freda Slater (1877-1938) in Chicago on 30 November 1911. Fred moved to Chicago when he was 16 and worked for Cudahy [?] Packing Company, installing refrigerators in meat packing companies. Fred and Freda had three daughters, Irma (marr. Strutter); Bernice (marr. DuSan) and Myrtle (marr Masterton; marr. Hughes). Fred and Freda are buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Evergreen Park, Cook County, Illinois.
  • Emma (Merkle) HEFFNER (1874-1950), probably born Chattanooga, married Conrad Heffner (1867-1951) on 27 October 1897 at Zion Chatt. Conrad was the son of George and Sophia (Martin) Heffner. Conrad and Emma had two children, Walter Heffner and Bernice Heffner (marr. Victor Stucke). Conrad and Emma are buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery.
  • William MERKLE (1877-1959), born in Chattanooga, married Bertha May Short (1884-1968) on 27 September 1903 in Shelby County, Ohio. William was a blacksmith. They had one child, Opal Merkle (marr. Dwight Franz). William and Bertha are buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Piqua, Ohio. 
  • Joseph Edward “Ed” MERKLE (1882-1952), born in Chattanooga, married Nellie Dull (1882-1948) in Auglaize County on 28 January 1906. Nellie was the daughter of Elliott and Nettie Dull. Ed was a street commissioner in Celina and was a Deputy State Fire Marshal. They had a daughter, Pauline M. (marr. Stanley Bartholomew). Ed and Nellie Merkle are buried in Elm Grove Cemetery, St. Marys, Auglaize County, Ohio.
  • Leo “Lee” MERKLE (1888-1956), born in Chattanooga, married Clara Baker (1890-1955) on 30 June 1912 in Mercer County. Clara was the daughter of Henry and Mary Anna (Manche) Baker. Lee Merkle and Sam Egger ran a huckster wagon in the Chattanooga area and Lee later owned a produce company in Toledo, Ohio. They had one daughter, Mary Helen (marr. Bill Avery). Lee and Clara Merkle are buried in Toledo Memorial Park Cemetery, Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio.

Merkle & Egger, Chattanooga, Ohio. (photo courtesy of Doug Roebuck)

The photo below was taken between April & November 1919. Joseph Merkle was deceased but his widow, Lucinda (Kantner) Merkle, is in the center of the photo. She died later that year.

Joseph & Lucinda (Kantner) Merkle family, 1919. (photo courtesy of Doug Roebuck)

Front Row (L-R):  Edgar Monroe, Bernice (Heffner) Stuckey holding Mary Helen Merkle, Pauline (Merkle) Bartholomew, Luther Heffner, Vernon “Cy” Heffner, Fern (Bauer) Moore, Ruth Heffner, Mary Elizabeth Kauper, Gwendolyn (Bauer) Row and Mildred (Bauer) Fisher.

2nd Row (L-R):  Leo Merkle, Ed Merkle, Mary (Merkle) Feeger, Elizabeth (Merkle) Heffner,, Lucinda (Kantner) Merkle, Anna (Merkle) Heffner, Emma (Merkle) Heffner and Aunt Moll.

3rd Row (L-R):  Clara (Baker) Merkle, Nellie (Dull) Markle, one of Aunt Lizzie (Merkle) Heffner’s boys, Helen (Fegger) Kauper, Nellie (Dayo) Heffner hold Lois (Heffner) Koch, __?__, Mabel (Fegger) Kauper, Emma (Heffner) Bauer, Mary Monroe and __?__.

Back Row (L-R):  Rev. Albert Fegger ?, Albert C. Heffner, Oscar” Brownie” Heffner, _____Fegger, ____ Fegger, Jacob Bauer, Rudolph “Rude” C. Heffner, George Kauper, Conrad Heffner and Norris Monroe.

Thank you Doug for sharing these photos. I will post some more photos from this family in the future.

I have written several blog posts about this family, including Tombstone Tuesday-Joseph & Lucinda (Kantner) Merkle. Other posts about the Merkles can be found by using the search feature on Karen’s Chatt Home Page.

Tombstone Tuesday–James M & Florence M (Reynolds) Wilson

James M & Florence M (Reynolds) Wilson, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of James M. and Florence M. (Reynolds) Wilson, located in row 10 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Florence M.
James M.

James Michael Wilson was born in Henry County, Ohio, 9 July 1897, the son of James A. Wilson (1849-1943) and Elizabeth (Gessner) (1854-1931) Wilson. [1]

James M. Wilson, age 1 year, was enumerated in the 1900 census with his family: James, 50, head; Elizabeth, 45, wife; William F, 21, son; Emma B, 17, daughter; and James M, 1, son. The family lived in Flatrock Township, Henry, County, Ohio, and according to the 1900 census, the parents had been married 24 years and 3 of their 5 children were living. All members of the family were born in Ohio and the father James was a farmer. [2]

James M. Wilson, 12, was the only child living with his parents in Flatrock Township in 1910. [3]

James M. Wilson, 20, married Florence M. Reynolds, 18, in Monroe County, Michigan, on 9 August 1917. They were married by F.R. Vine, a Baptist minister, and Mrs. Howard Reid and Mrs. Ollie Seymour were witnesses to their marriage. At the time of their marriage both the bride and groom resided at Holgate, Ohio. James was born in Ohio and Florence was born in Michigan. [4]

Florence M. Reynolds was born 19 September 1898 in Adrian, Michigan, the daughter of Ernest A. (1876-1948) and Nellie (Patten) (1877-1963) Reynolds. [5]

Florence Reynolds, enumerated with her family in 1900: Ernest A, 23, head; Patten Reynolds, 20, wife; Florence M, 1, daughter; and Eva L, 4 months, daughter. Her father Ernest was a porter at a hotel. The mother was born in Ohio and the other family members were born in Michigan. [6]

By 1910 the Ernest Reynolds family of four had moved to Toledo, Ohio, where the father was a salesman. [7]

By 1920, three years after their marriage, James and Florence Wilson had a daughter, Virginia Mae, born about 1918. The family lived in Flatrock Township, Henry County, Ohio, where James was a farmer: James M, 22, head; Florence M, 21, wife; and Virginia M, 1, daughter. [8]

By 1930 their family had grown to include Marvel E, born about 1921, and Imogene L, born about 1922, in addition to their oldest daughter Virginia Mae. James continued to farm in Flatrock Township. [9]

Sometime between April 1935 and April 1940 the James M. Wilson family moved to French Township, Adams County, Indiana. Their son James Leroy was born in Ohio in 1935 and was baptized by Rev. S.K. Strams at Holgate, Ohio, on 12 April 1936, so they likely moved to Adams County after his baptism.  

By 1940 daughters Marvel and Virginia Wilson had left home and their siblings Imogene, 18, and James Leroy, 4, were the only children living at home with their parents. The father James M. continued to farm in French Township. [10]

In 1950 James M Wilson, 50, wife Florence, 50, and son James Leroy, 14, were living in Blue Creek Township, Adams County, Indiana, where James M. farmed and son James L. helped on the farm. [11]

The Wilsons attended Zion Lutheran, Chatt, during this time and their son James Leroy was confirmed at Zion Chatt on 2 April 1950. His church confirmation record also gives information about his baptism.

James M. and Florence Wilson had a Monroe, Indiana, address, and according to James’ death certificate they lived 2 miles east of Salem. According to Zion Chatt’s records, James M. Wilson died of a heart attack on 15 December 1958 at Adams County Memorial Hospital, Decatur, where he had been hospitalized for a week. He was 61 years, 5 months, and 6 days old. He was buried on the 18th and was survived by his wife, 3 daughters, a son, 3 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. [1]

Florence died at Lakeside Manor, Decatur, Indiana, on 26 August 1989, at age 90. Her cause of death was a heart attack and she was buried the 30th. Her occupation was a cook. [5] Neither her death nor burial are recorded in Zion Chatt’s records.

James M. and Florence M. (Reynolds) Wilson had the following children:
Virginia Mae Wilson (1918-1991), married Aiden L. Babcock; married Leo E. Ulman
Marval Elizabeth Wilson (1920-2003), married Earl Stader
Imogene Lee Wilson (1922-1999), married Robert L. Hahnert
James Leroy Wilson (1935-)

[1] Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga, Ohio, death/burial records, James M. Wilson; and Indiana Death Certificates, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Year 1958, roll 15, James M Wilson, 15 Dec 1958;

[2] 1900 U.S. Census, Ohio, Henry County, Flatrock, ED 24, p.9, dwelling 183, family 189, James F [sic] Wilson;

[3] 1910 U.S. Census, Ohio, Henry County, Flatrock, ED 26, p.8B, dwelling & family 100, James Wilson;

[4] Michigan Marriage Records, 1867-1952, Michigan Dept of Community Health, Division of Vital Records & Health Statistics, record 709, James M Wilson & Florence M Reynolds, 9 Aug 1917;

[5] Indiana Death Certificates, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Year 1989, roll 12, Florence M Wilson, 26 Aug 1989;

[6] 1900 U.S. Census, Michigan, Lenawee County, Adrian Ward 2, ED 35, p.1, dwelling & family 2, Ernest A Reynolds;

[7] 1910 U.S. Census, Ohio, Lucas County, Toledo Ward 1, ED 31, p.7A, dwelling 147 & family 153, Ernest A Reynolds;

[8] 1920 U.S. Census, Ohio, Henry County, Flatrock, ED 52, p.9A, dwelling 180, family 181, James M Wilson;

[9] 1930 U.S. Census, Ohio, Henry County, Flatrock, ED 7, p.8A, dwelling & family 170, James Wilson;

[10] 1940 U.S. Census, Indiana, Adams County, French Township, ED 1-2, p.5B, household 75, James M Wilson;

[11] 1950 U.S. Census, Indiana, Adams County, Blue Creek Township, ED 1-1, p.17, dwelling 189, James M Wilson; 



Wedding Announcements

I have been looking through quite a few civil marriage records lately, a good source of information for both the bride and groom. Records associated with marriage may reveal age, date of birth, place of birth, current residence, occupation, parents’ names, if it was the first marriage and/or many times married, and how the previous marriage(s) ended.

In addition to civil marriage records, newspaper accounts of engagement and marriage can information. Usually not as much information as the marriage record, but at a minimum, the date and place of marriage and the parents’ names.

In the mid-to-late-1900s engagement and marriage announcements were quite descriptive and lengthy. But like most things, these newspaper announcements have changed over the years. They are shorter today, giving more basic information about the couple and the wedding.  

Engagement announcements have not changed all that much. Back then, as well as today, there is often an engagement photo of the couple with information about the upcoming nuptials, their occupations or schooling, and the names of their parents.

However, sometimes there is more. This couple went above and beyond. They had a regular engagement announcement and then sometime later they announced who their wedding attendants would be. A little unusual, but we are always seeking information, so here it is:

Bonell Names Attendants for June Wedding, 1963

Priscilla Ruth Bonell Names Attendants for June Wedding (1963)
Miss Priscilla Ruth Bonell, daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. Harold C. Bonell of Nashua, N.H., will be attended by her sisters, the Misses Miriam E. Bonell and Deborah G. Bonell, when she becomes the bride of the Rev. Herbert Ivan Schumm of Willshire, Ohio, Saturday, June 15, in the First Baptist Church at Nashua. The Rev. Bonell, pastor of the church, will perform the ceremony at eight o’clock…

The groomsmen are also named: Albert R. Schumm, Rockford, bridegroom-elect’s brother; and Rev. Ellis E. O’Neal, Newton Center, Mass.

The reception was to be held 5-7:00 at the parsonage. [1]

Perhaps it was commonplace there to announce the wedding party. Another article announced the wedding a few weeks later.

And I wonder, was it customary in that area to have the reception before the wedding ceremony? That is a little different from what we are accustomed to.

A note about the couple. The bride-to-be, Priscilla R. Bonell, was a nurse and was completing theological studies as well. She lived in Germany for a time, where she combined her theological studies and professional nursing and eventually became a pastor.

The groom-to-be, Rev. Herbert Ivan Schumm, was a graduate of Andover Newton Theological School and was the former minister of the Congregational Church, Warren, Indiana. Both husband and wife were pastors and Priscilla’s father was a minister as well. Rev. Herbert Ivan Schumm was the son of Louis Fredrick Schumm (1892-1974) and my Grandpa Cornelius Schumm was Herbert Ivan’s baptismal sponsor in 1928.

Rev. Herbert Ivan Schumm (1928-2018) was a brother to the next groom, Rev. Robert William Schumm (1915-2003).   

Newspaper marriage announcements in the 1900s went into great detail about the wedding gown and veil. I think most of us remember those long descriptions about the gown:

Miss Picknell is Sunday Bride (of Rev. Robert William Schumm, 1950)
…The bride [Frances L Picknell] wore white Chantilly lace over taffeta with a shirred shoulder neckline, long tight sleeves, cathedral train and full gathered skirt. Her imported illusion fingertip veil fell from a Juliet cap and she carried a white colonial bouquet filled with white maline…matron of honor in gray imported marquisette over gray taffeta made with bouffant skirt with colored panels, elbow length shirred sleeves, and high neckline…

It went on to name the groomsmen but did not describe their attire.

The bride, Frances L Picknell, attended a music conservatory and wrote the words to one of the vocal numbers sang at the wedding. [2] The groom, Rev. Robert William Schumm, was the son of Mr. & Mrs. Louis Frederick Schumm, Willshire.

Couple United in German Ceremony [1969]:
The next wedding occurred in Germany. The bride was from Germany the groom was from Van Wert and they were married in a traditional German ceremony in the Smidt Gedachnis Church.

The German ceremony was not all that different from an American ceremony. Just a couple differences.

There was a musical prelude with German wedding songs. The flower girl and flower boy scattered fresh flowers on the aisle just before the bride was escorted down the aisle by the bridegroom. Their ceremony was conducted in both German and English….The bride appeared in a floor-length gown of traditional white, styled in a controlled A-line silhouette of Swiss lace and tissue bridal taffeta. She wore a flowered head band crown lavished with small pearls caught to a net illusion bouffant waist-length veil. The bride carried a cascade arrangement of white, lilac, and red carnations, accented with fern…

Following the ceremony Dr. Gerlits [officiant] presented the couple with a Traditional German Bible. The reception was held in the bride’s home.

The couple participated in an interesting German wedding tradition: The couple was honored at a pre-wedding party given by their friends. At this time it is customary for the children of the neighborhood to collect bottles and throw them against the frond door step for good luck. The prospective bridegroom then goes to the door and treats the children with candy… [3]

The best luck would be if the children had good aim and it seems the broken glass would be a mess to clean up. It rather of sounds like what I remember as a Belling.

My mom’s gown and veil were described in detail in 1950:

Schumm-Miller Wedding Revealed
Bride [Florence Schumm]…wore a gown of ivory slipper satin designed with a fitted bodice, sweetheart neckline, trimmed with seed pearls and rhinestones, and full skirt which ended in a cathedral train. Her fingertip veil was of French illusion and was edged with Chantilly lace. The veil was attached to a tiara of satin trimmed with seed pearls and rhinestones. She carried a bouquet of white chrysanthemums and daisies centered with an orchid.

Miss Esther Schumm attended her sister as maid of honor and wore a gown of shrimp satin fashioned with a fitted bodice with a deep lace yoke. Her braided headdress was of the satin to match her gown. Her bouquet was of bronze chrysanthemums.

Miss Catherine Miller and Mrs. Louis Allmandinger were bridesmaids and they wore gowns in blue and green, respectively, styled like that of the maid of honor.  They carried bouquets of yellow chrysanthemums.

Alvin Krueckeberg was best man and ushering the guests were Kenneth Miller and Elmer Schumm.

The bride’s mother wore a black crepe dress and the bridegroom’s mother wore a green dress, and both had corsages of red roses.

A reception was held in the church parlor, attended by 200 guests. Phyllis Gunsett, Emma Allmandinger, Helen Roehm, and Mrs. Wilbert Thieme served the guests….

Rev. Werner Kuhlberg was the officiant, Velma Schumm played the organ, and Edgar Allmandinger was the vocalist. The church was decorated with chrysanthemums, ferns, and candles in candelabra. [4]

And of course, I followed the same tradition, with a very long description:

The bride [Karen Miller], escorted down the aisle by her father, wore a formal wedding gown of candlelite satin. Cluny lace entwined with satin ribbon enhanced the bodice and the high ruffled collar. The long traditional sleeves were lace trimmed at the wrist and the waistline was sashed with satin ribbon, streamer bow in back. The A-line candlelite satin skirt was embellished in front with two overlays of ruffled Cluny lace entwined with satin ribbon, and lace formed the hemline. The back of the gown was styled with a built-in train also accented with lace and fell to cathedral length. She wore a matching candlelite Cluny lace cloche enhanced with matching satin ribbon and small pearls, held to a full layered elbow length bouffant veil of imported illusion. She carried an arm bouquet consisting of orange sweetheart roses, wheat, dry baby’s-breath, bittersweet, fall leaves, yellow pompoms, and straw-flowers…[5]

That was quite a lengthy description of my gown and veil, thanks to Harriet Chodash. In fact, the whole write-up was quite long. All the musical selections were named, as well. All twelve of them! It was a lot!

Personally, I don’t think it is a totally bad thing that those gown and veil descriptions were dropped from the wedding announcements. Did anyone really read them closely? Even though they were detailed descriptions of beautiful wedding gowns, it is hard to visualize a dress from a written description.

[1] “Priscilla Ruth Bonell Names Attendants for June Wedding,” Portland Press Herald, Portland, Maine, 2 Jun 1963;  

[2] “Miss Picknell is Sunday Bride,” The Decatur Daily Review, Decatur, Illinois, 28 Aug 1950;  

[3] “Couple United In German Ceremony,” Van Wert Times Bulletin, Van Wert County, Ohio, Neiford & Hain, 15 Feb 1969;

[4] “Schumm-Miller Wedding Revealed,” Van Wert Times Bulletin, Van Wert, Ohio, 23 Dec 1950;

[5] “Karen Sue Miller Is Bride of Joe Alan Bennett In Recent Ceremony,” The Photo Star, Willshire, Ohio, 9 Jan 1974.