Tombstone Tuesday–Theodore C. & Mollie (Schinnerer) Hofmann

Theodore C. & Mollie Hofmann, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

Theodore C. & Mollie Hofmann, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2014 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Theodore and Mollie (Schinnerer) Hofmann, located in row 4 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:


Theo. C.


Theodore Christian Hofmann was born 21 September 1884 in Pleasant Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, to Jacob J. and Anna (Siegel) Hofmann. [1] He died 25 July 1969 in Convoy and was buried on the 28th. His death record indicates that he was a retired farmer. [2]

According to Zion Schumm’s records Theodore married Amalia Schinnerer on 21 February 1911 at the church parsonage. Witnesses to the marriage were Friedrich Hoffmann and Ora Hofmann. This record also indicates that Theodore was from Pleasant Township.

Theodore & Mollie (Schinnerer) Hofmann.

Theodore & Mollie (Schinnerer) Hofmann.

Amalia “Mollie” Schinnerer was the fourteenth child born to Friedrich and Elisabeth (Schumm) Schinnerer, born on 11 March 1883 in Willshire Township. She was the youngest of their living children. One child was born after her but was stillborn or died at birth. Mollie was baptized 13 March 1883 at the home of her parents just east of Willshire. [The old church records spell her name as Amalie.]  Sponsors at her baptism were Mrs. Martin Schinnerer and Mrs. Ludwig Schumm. Mrs. Ludwig Schumm was my great-grandmother Sarah (Breuninger) Schumm.

Amalia "Mollie" Schinnerer (1883-1955)

Amalia “Mollie” Schinnerer (1883-1955)

Theodore and Mollie had the following children:

Esther Florentina (1912-1998) married Erwin Aumann
Paul Lawrence (1913-1977) married Alda Kellermeier
Velma Laura (1915-2010) married Edgar Ehlerding
Mabel Anna Elisabeth (1920-1935)
Herbert Henry (1922-2009) married Mary Lou Hinen

Theodore and Mollie purchased the 100 acres of land with the brick home that Mollie’s father Friedrich Schinnerer built about 1894. The brick home is east of the Schinnerer home place, about a mile east of Willshire.

Theo & Mollie Hofmann home, former home of Friedrich Schinnerer. (2014 photo by Karen)

Theodore & Mollie Hofmann home, former home of Friedrich Schinnerer. (2014 photo by Karen)

I visited Velma (Hofmann) Ehlerding at her home in New Haven, Indiana, a few years before she died. She shared some old family photos with me and identified some old photos that I had acquired. We had a nice visit as we talked about our ancestors and looked at the old photos.


Mrs. Theodore Hofmann Dies Suddenly Tuesday; Funeral Services Friday
Mrs. Theodore (Amalia) Hofmann, 72, of one mile east of Willshire, died suddenly at 7 a.m. Tuesday. Mrs. Hofmann lived her entire life in Willshire Twp.

Mrs. Hofmann was born March 11, 1883, a daughter of Frederick and Elizabeth (Schumm) Schinnerer, in Willshire Twp. She was married February 21, 1911, to Theodore C. Hofmann in Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm.

She is survived by the husband; two daughters, Mrs. Erwin W. Aulmann [sic] of Ft. Wayne, Ind., and Mrs. Edger Ehlerding of Decatur, Ind., route one; two sons, Paul of east of Willshire and Herbert H. of Ft. Wayne; two sisters, Mrs. Hannah Scaer of near Willshire and Mrs. Burt B. Balyeat of Altadenna, Calif., and six grandchildren.

Services will be held Friday afternoon at 1:30 at the home and at 2 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm. Rev. Francis Gerken will officiate. Burial will be made in the church cemetery. [3]

Amalia "Mollie" Schinnerer.

Amalia “Mollie” Schinnerer.

Theo. C. Hofmann
Willshire—Theo. C. Hofmann, 84, of Rt. 1, Willshire, died this morning at his residence. He had been in ill health for two years.

His wife, the former Amelia (Mollie) Schinnerer, died in 1955. Mr. Hofmann was a retired farmer.

Survivors include two sons, Paul L. of Rt. 1, Willshire, and Herbert of Fort Wayne; two daughters, Mrs. Erwin (Esther) Auman of Fort Wayne, and Mrs. Edger (Velma) Ahlerding [sic] of Rt. 1, Decatur; two brothers, Henry and Richard, and two sisters, Mrs. Henry (Ora) Harris and Mrs. Olga Posten all of Fort Myers, Fla.; nine grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Funeral arrangements at the Zwick Funeral Home in Decatur are incomplete. [4]


[1] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 9 March 2014), Theodore Hoffman, 1884; citing Van Wert, Ohio, Births Vol. 2 (1880-1890), p. 163.

[2] “Ohio, Deaths and Burials, 1854-1997,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 09 Mar 2014), Theo. C. Hofmann, 25 Jul 1969.

[3] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 23 June 1955, p. 1.

[4] Van Wert Times Bulletin, Van Wert, Ohio, 25 July 1969, p. 2.


Skip to comment form

  1. Obviously Willshire, Rockford (Shanesville) and Chatt were farm communities with very different atmospheres (stores, services and businesses) than today when all these Germans came there to settle. It would be interesting to know how many farmers were resident to the area back then as opposed to now. My guess would be a relatively small fraction of the residents are farmers and that the numbers are a fraction of the number 100 years ago. Yet the production from both livestock and field crops is probably 5 or 6 times greater.

    • Mary on March 12, 2014 at 10:41 pm
    • Reply

    Thanks, Karen. I always loved that beautiful brick house east of Willshire, and wished someone would have remodeled it. It sure had great potential but I’m sure would cost a small fortune for the work needed.

    1. I agree! The house must have been something in its day. I can visualize the Schinnerers and Hofmanns sitting on the porch on a nice summer day.

    • Anonymous on January 21, 2015 at 6:09 pm
    • Reply

    That’s a fascinating piece of research, Karen – thank you. I remember Ora Hofmann as a tiny old lady with a strong German accent living in Fort Myers when I was a small boy. My father was named after Theodore Hofmann.

    1. Thank you! How nice to hear from you and of your recollections. I remember visiting with Velma in New Haven. Very nice family. Thanks for writing.

    • Brittini Martinez on September 14, 2018 at 10:12 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Karen! I’m so glad I stumbled across your page. This is actually my great grandmother and grandfather! I am Herbert’s granddaughter. I was looking at my grandfathers diploma and noticed that it looks like my great grandfather may have been the president of the board of education in 1940, when my grandfather graduated from high school! Wasn’t sure if you discovered anything that confirmed this or not.

    1. So glad you wrote! It is always nice to hear from relatives. You are probably right about him being on the board of education. I think I may have seen that, too, but I am not sure where. I will let you know if I run across that somewhere. Thanks for writing!

Leave a Reply to Karen Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.