Tombstone Tuesday–Joseph and Clara (Schinnerer) Gunsett

Joseph & Clara A. Gunsett, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

Joseph & Clara A. Gunsett, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Joseph and Clara A. (Schinnerer) Gunsett, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:


Clara A.

According to Zion Schumm’s records Joseph Gunsett was born 30 April 1863 in Tully Township, Van Wert County, and he died 21 October 1931 in Willshire. He was buried on the 25th and was 68 years, 5 months, and 21 days old. According to his death certificate and obituary he was born in Ohio to Joseph and Hannah (Wyandt) Gunsett. He died of pernicious anemia, cerebral hemorrhage, and cirrhosis of the liver. [1]

Clara Schinnerer with parents Friedrich & Elisabeth (Schumm) Schinnerer

According to Zion Schumm’s records, Anna Clara Schinnerer was the third child born to Friedrich and Elisabeth (Schumm) Schinnerer, born on 1 March 1866. She was baptized 5 March 1866 and the sponsors at her baptism were Mrs. Baals & Mrs. Büchner. Clara died of tuberculosis of the spine on 5 March 1942 in the city of Van Wert. [2] Clara was my great-grandaunt as well as my first cousin twice removed.

Joseph and Clara were married 7 April 1889 at Zion Schumm. The church records indicate they were both from Zion’s parish.

Joseph & Clara (Schinnerer) Gunsett.

Joseph & Clara (Schinnerer) Gunsett.

Joseph and Clara had the following children:
Walter Friedrich (1890-1968) married Clara Bender
Edward Theodore (1891-1973) married Martha A. Dirkson
Arthur Hermann (1893-1895)
Herbert Heinrich (1896-1981) married Fayelle Kelly
Lillie Emma (1898-1989)

In 1900 Joseph and Clara were living in Willshire Township with their four children. Joseph was a farmer and he owned his home and farm. [3]

Hand of Death Placed on Brow of Willshire Township Man
The passing of Joseph G. Gunsett at his residence five miles northeast of Willshire at 9 o’clock, Wednesday night, October 21, 1931, caused widespread regret throughout Willshire township, in which he had been a resident for the past fifty years. He had been in poor health for two years past, and his fatal illness of six weeks’ duration was the cause of grave concern both to the members of his family, other relatives and a large acquaintance throughout Van Wert county, of which he was a native son.

He was a man of substance, and during the active period of his life took an active part in the various affairs of the community. As a farmer he was industrious and progressive, as is evidenced by the state of his farm and the modern farm buildings, including the dwelling house and out-buildings. Mr. Gunsett was a man of jovial disposition, attracting to him a large circle of intimate friends, who respected both his friendship and his counsels in social and business intercourse, and of course, such a man will be missed in home and community.

Tribute to his memory was visibly noted in the impressive funeral services held for him Sunday afternoon from the German Lutheran church at Schumm, which was filled to capacity with sorrowing relatives and friends for the sad occasion. The services were in charge of the pastor of the church, Rev. R.O. Bienert, who gave two sermons, one in German, the other in English, with special music by members of the church choir.

Interment was made in the church cemetery, under the direction of Buchanan & Son, Willshire morticians.

During the church services this authoritative obituary was read:

“Joseph Gunsett, son of Josiah and Hannah Gunsett, was born in Tully township, Van Wert county, Ohio, April 30, 1863. He was baptized in infancy and was confirmed in the Evangelical Lutheran St. Johns church, near Convoy, in 1878, and in later years removed to Willshire township.

“April 7, 1889, he was united in marriage with Clara Schinnerer. This union was blessed with five children. One son, Arthur, preceded him in death. Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Clara Gunsett; four children, Walter of Chicago, Illinois; Herbert of Akron, Ohio; Edward and Lillian at home; one brother, three sisters and three grand-children.

“He ‘fell asleep in Jesus’ Wednesday night, October 21, 1931, at 9 o’clock, at the age of 68 years, five months and 21 days.” [4]

Relative of Willshire Folks Buried Saturday
Funeral services were held Saturday afternoon for Mrs. Clara A. Gunsett, 76, widow of Joseph Gunsett, who died Thursday morning at her home in Van Wert. Her death was attributed to senility and followed an illness of several years.

The deceased was a daughter of the late Frederick and Elizabeth Schinnerer and was born March 1, 1866 in Mercer county. She was a member of the Emmanual Lutheran Church, Van Wert.

Surviving are four children: Lily Gunsett at home, Walter Gunsett of Chicago, Edward Gunsett of Willshire township and Herbert Gunsett of Akron; a brother, Henry Schinnerer of Willshire; four sisters, Mrs. Peter Scaer, Mrs. John Scaer and Mrs. T.C. Hofmann of Willshire and Mrs. B.B. Balyeat of Altavana, Calif.; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Burial was in Schumm Church cemetery, Willshire township. [5]

[1] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 23 Feb 2014), Joseph Gunsett, 21 Oct 1931; citing Willshire Twp., Van Wert Co., Ohio, FHL microfilm 1992476.

[2] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 23 Feb 2014), Clara Anne Gunsett, 05 Mar 1942; citing Van Wert, Van Wert, Ohio, reference fn 20346; FHL microfilm 2024000.

[3] 1900 U.S. Census, Willshire Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, ED 0098, p. 11A (penned) p. 310A (stamped), dwelling 207, family 208, line 21, Joseph Grausett; digital image by subscription,, viewed 23 Feb 2014.

[4] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 29 October 1931, p. 1.

[5] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 12 March 1942, p. 1.

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