Tombstone Tuesday–George Pfeifer

George Pfeifer, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of George Pfeifer, located in row 9 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

George Pfeifer

George Pfeifer was born 8 September 1868 in Moulton, Auglaize County, Ohio, [1] the son of Christopher and Fredericka (Kneisel) Pfeifer. [2] [3] Although George’s marriage record indicates his mother’s maiden name was Miller the 1864 marriage record of his parents indicates her name was Kneisel, sometimes spelled Kniesel. [4]

In 1870 the Christopher Pfeifer family lived in Moulton Township, Auglaize County, with a Moulton post office address. Their household in 1870: Christopher, 50; Fredericka, 23; John, 17; Henry, 11; Kate, 4; Nicholas, 3; and George, 2. Christopher was born in Bayern and Fredericka in Württemberg. All of their children were born in Ohio. The father Christopher was a farmer. [5] Apparently this was Christopher’s second marriage.

The Christopher Pfeifer household in 1880: Christopher, 60; Mary, 30; Katie, 15; Nicholas, 14; George, 12; Anna, 10; Lawrence, 8; Frederich, 5; and Jacob, 2. [6]

George’s father Christopher Pfeifer died 14 September 1880 and is buried in Zion Cemetery in Moulton. [7] After Christopher’s death George’s mother Fredericka married Nicholas Hoehamer and they moved to the Chatt area, just across the state line, in Adams County, Indiana. That is probably how George Pfeifer came to meet Barbara Kuehm. The Hoehamers were once members of Zion Chatt and several of their children were baptized and confirmed at Zion. George probably attended there, too. Nicholas and Fredericka are buried in Willard Cemetery, aka Mount Hope Cemetery, Adams County, Indiana.

George Pfeifer married Barbara Kuehm on 25 May 1899, married by Lutheran pastor A.F. Klopfer. They were not married at Zion Chatt. Although they obtained their marriage license in Adams County, Indiana, their marriage record indicates they were married in Erastus, Mercer County, Ohio. George Pfeifer was 31 years of age, born in Ohio, reportedly the son of Christopher and Fredericke (Miller) Pfeifer. He was a farmer and resided in Knox County, Indiana, at the time of their marriage. Barbara was 30 years of age, born in Germany, and resided in Chattanooga, Ohio. She was the daughter of Michael and Elizabeth (Miller) Kuehm. This was the first marriage for both of them and Nicholas Pfeifer and Elizabeth Schott were witnesses to their marriage. [2] [3]

I have not located Barbara and George in the 1900 census.

Barbara and their two children lived in Adams County, Indiana, with her widowed mother Elisabeth Kuehm in 1910. Their household in 1910: Elizabeth, 83, head; Barbara “Phizer”, 40 daughter; Hilda [Pfeifer], 8, granddaughter; and Carl [Pfeifer], 6, grandson. The census indicates that Barbara was married but her husband George was not enumerated with them. [8]

Barbara and George Pfeifer moved to Van Wert, Ohio, about 1915, where they lived on Cherry Street. In 1920 they lived at 412 Cherry Street and their household consisted of: George, 50; Barbara, 49; children Hilda, 17, and Carl, 16; and Barbara’s widowed sister Katharine [Kuehm] Hoehamer, 62. George Pfeifer worked at a common laborer. This record indicates that Barbara immigrated in 1873. [9]

George’s wife Barbara died in Van Wert on 25 June 1928 and is buried in row 7 in Zion Chatt’s Cemetery.

In 1940 George lived with his daughter Hilda/Hulda and her family and George’s son Carl. Their household in 1940: Kenneth Guinn, 45, head; Hulda Guinn, 38, wife; Robert Guinn, 15, son; George Pfeifer, 72, father-in-law; Carl Pfeifer, 36, brother-in-law. George was widowed and the extended family on North Cherry in Van Wert, Ohio. This enumeration indicates that The Guinn family and Carl lived in this same house in 1935. But it indicates that George had lived in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1935. Kenneth and Carl worked for a steam railroad but George did not work. [10]

George Peifer died in Van Wert of coronary heart disease on 26 June 1945. He was 76 years, 8 months, and 18 days old and lived at 408 Cherry at the time of his death. E. Knolls was in charge of the arrangements and George was buried on the 29th. His death certificate indicates that he was a machinist helper for the New York Central Railroad. His father’s name was given as Jacob and mother’s name unknown, per his death certificate. Name listed as Georg J. Pfeifer. C.H. Pfeifer [their son] was the informant for the personal information on the death certificate. [1]

Barbara and George had two children and they were both baptized at Zion Chatt:
Hilda Margaretha Magdalena Pfeiffer (1902-1967), married Kenneth Guinn
Karl Heinrich Michael Pfeiffer (1903-1954), probably never married and was a WWII veteran

I am often surprised at the connections to my family that I learn about while writing these blog posts. George’s sister Anna Regina Pfeifer (1871-1911) married Adam Jacob Pflueger (1862-1919). I am related to the Pfluegers on my mom’s side of the family and Adam Jacob Pflueger is my first cousin three times removed. Adam Jacob and Anna Regina are buried in Zion Schumm’s cemetery and I posted their Tombstone Tuesdays some time ago.


[1] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch, George J Pfeiffer, 26 Jun 1945; Pleasant Township, Van Wert, FHL microfilm 1952880.

[2] “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” database with images,, Geo Pfeifer and Barbara Kuehm, 25 May 1899; Adams County Marriages, Vol. I, p.77; FHL microfilm 2321357.

[3] “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” database with images,, George J Pfeifer and Barbara Kuehm, 25 May 1899; Adams County Marriages, Vol. G, p.495; FHL microfilm 2,321,629.

[4] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch, Christopher Pfeifer and Frederica Kniesel, 11 May 1864; Auglaize County Marriages, Vol.3, p.161, FHL microfilm 963056.

[5] 1870 U.S. Census, Moulton, Auglaize, Ohio, p.440B, dwelling and family 139, Christopher Reifer;; FHL microfilm 552671, NARA microfilm M593, roll 1172.

[6] 1880 U.S. Census, Auglaize, Ohio, ED 8, p.450B, dwelling & family 66, Christopher Pfeifer;; NARA microfilm T9, roll 993.

[7] Find A, Memorial #23764396, Christopher Pfeufer [Pfeifer], Zion Cemetery, Moulton, Ohio.

[8] 1910 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams County, Indiana, ED 4, p. 2B, visited 37, family 37, Elizabeth Kuhm;; from FHL microfilm 1374351, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 338. [Barbara was enumerated as Barbara Phizer.]

[9] 1920 U.S. Census, Van Wert, Van Wert County, Ohio, ED 130, p.9A, dwelling 214, visited 223, George R Pfiefer;; NARA microfilm T625, roll 1446.

[10] 1940 U.S. Census, Van Wert, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 81-9, p.10A, house no. 408, visited 237; Kenneth Guinn; NARA microfilm T627, roll 3163.

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