Tombstone Tuesday–Adam J. Pflueger

Adam J. Pflueger, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio.

Adam J. Pflueger, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio.

This is the tombstone of Adam J. Pflueger, located in row 11 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Adam J.

According to the records of Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm, Adam Jakob Pflüger was born 10 May 1862 to Michael and Catharine [Brandt] Pflüger. Adam was baptized 25 May 1862 at the church with Adam Büchner and Jakob Bienz as sponsors. Adam’s parents were born in Württemberg and Adam was born in Ohio.

Adam is my first cousin three times removed. Maria Barbara Pflüger, my second (and third!) great-grandmother and the wife of Ludwig Schumm, was Adam’s aunt.

Adam married Anna Regina Pifer/Pfeiffer in about 1893. They had the following children: Otto, Frieda, Georg, Della and Eva Viola. They also had a son that was stillborn or died the same day he was born, 20 May 1911. That was also the same day his mother Anna died. Surprisingly, Adam’s death was not recorded in the church records.

In 1900 Adam and Annie “Pfluegar” and their children were living in Willshire Township. Adam was a farmer and he and Annie had been married 7 years. In the household were Adam, (37), Annie (29), children Fredaricka (5), Otto (2) and George (9/12), plus Adam’s father Michael (76, widowed). The census indicated that Michael was born in Germany and immigrated in 1829. [1]


Adam Pflueger Met Death In Tragic Manner Friday
The people of this community had scarcely recovered from the shock of the tragic death of Lafayette Herle when news came that Adam Pflueger, a well-known resident of Willshire township, of the Schumm neighborhood, had been instantly killed in much the same manner—that of his team running away. In some manner throwing him from the engine wagon to which he had his team hitched, and under an 1,800 pound horse so that when the horse fell upon him the life was crushed out of him instantly.

Mr. Pflueger had gone to the Geo. Alspaugh farm at Abanaka to do some hauling on the oil lease, when the accident occurred, but as he was alone at the time, the exact circumstances surrounding the fatality likely never will be known, other than as to its fatal termination.

Mr. Pflueger had been a resident of the community for many years, and was aged about 52 years.  Mrs. Pflueger preceded him in death several years ago, and there are five children who survive: Mrs. Freda Putnam of Ohio City; Otto, Della and Viola, all at home.

Funeral services were held Monday, conducted by Rev. George Meyer of the Schumm Lutheran church, with interment in the church cemetery, and was attended by a large concourse of people. [2]

According to Adam’s death record he was born 17 May 1861, which does not agree with his baptism record. The death certificate indicates that he was a farmer and that his death was accidental, caused by a horse falling on the abdominal region of his body. [3]

Adam Jacob Pflueger death certificate, Van Wert County, Ohio, 1919.

Adam Jacob Pflueger death certificate, Van Wert County, Ohio, 1919.

We hear about farm tractor accidents today but I never really thought about accidents with teams of horses. Farming was as dangerous then as it is today.

I had not heard of Abanaka, although Joe knows where it is and has even worked there. Abanaka, aka Belden and Abanaka Station, is a little village in Section 24 of Willshire Township. It is a couple miles northeast of Schumm on Glenmore Road, laid out by John Brown in 1879 along the TD & BRR, later the Nickle Plate Railroad. The first house was built by Samuel Beldon, who also opened the first store. [4]


[1] “United States Census, 1900,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 27 Jan 2013), Adam Pflueger, ED 97 Willshire Township Willshire village, Van Wert, Ohio, United States; citing sheet 9B, family 199, dwelling 185, NARA microfilm publication T623, FHL microfilm 1241329.

[2] The Willshire Herald, Willshire Ohio, 1 August 1919, p. 1.

[3] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Jan 2013), Adam Jacob Pflueger, 25 Jul 1919; citing Willshie, Van Wert, Ohio, reference fn 45850; FHL microfilm 1984824.

[4] History of Van Wert and Mercer Counties, Ohio (1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, Indiana: Windmill Publications, Inc., 1991), 241.



  1. Accidents with horses are far more common and deadly than tractors. Horse spook, resist and have minds of their own, unlike tractors that do only what they are caused to do by the operator (who can certainly make serious mistakes). Just look at all the Amish deaths from run away horses, horses reacting badly while hooked to farm machinery, even just stepping on or kicking people. Get between a stallion and his girl friend and see how dangerous it can be! In that day one did not often have the privelege of working with others, so frequently took risks by working alone. How the world has changed, and yet remains the same.

    • Ray Krugh on October 24, 2018 at 11:47 pm
    • Reply

    Adam Pflüger was my Great Grandfather with my Grandmother being Della having been 18 years old at the time of his death. My father Raymond Krugh had told this story of his Grandfather’s horse falling on him resulting in his death.

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