This past Sunday was the 44th Schumm Reunion, the gathering of the descendants of immigrant John Georg Schumm. The reunion is usually held every other year and would have been held last year had it not been for the pandemic in 2020.
It was good to get together again, mask-free, on a beautiful August day. There was good company and conversation, good food, an interesting program by Mike (Spank) Schumm, and even commemorative items to take home.
This year also marks the 175th anniversary of Zion Lutheran Schumm’s congregation.
There was a lot to be thankful for and to celebrate Sunday.
John Georg Schumm immigrated to America in 1833 with five of his children and they are all buried in Zion Schumm’s cemetery.
There is much Schumm history in Zion’s cemetery and for one of the reunion’s afternoon activities I compiled a self-guided cemetery walk. The walk highlighted the tombstones of these immigrants.
Brief biological information about the six Schumm immigrants was printed on the walk guide. Each biography was numbered and a corresponding numbered flag was located by each tombstone.
Here is the virtual version of the cemetery walk:
No. 1 [Row 5] John Georg Schumm (1777-1846) was born in Wuerttemberg, Germany, the father who immigrated to America in 1833 with 5 of his children. His wife had died in Germany in 1822. In 1837 John Georg purchased 3 land patents, each containing 160 acres in Van Wert County: SW ¼ Section 23; NW ¼ Section 26; NE ¼ Section 27. His sons George Martin and Johann Friedrich each purchased 160 acres at the same time. The Schumms paid a total of $1000 for their 800 acres of land. The final land certificates were signed by President Martin Van Buren and were dated 10 October 1840. John Georg and his 4 sons were among the founding fathers of the congregation at Zion Lutheran, Schumm, but John Georg died 3 days before Zion’s first constitution was adopted.
No. 2 [Row 5] Maria “Catharine” Schumm Schueler (1810-1838) was born in Wuerttemberg, Germany, and immigrated to America in 1833 with her father John Georg Schumm and her 4 brothers. She married Michael Schueler in 1833 in Holmes County, Ohio, and they had 3 children. She was the first person buried in this cemetery. Her widowed husband married Catharine Lakehard in 1839. He died about 1880 near Preble, Adams County, Indiana.
No. 3 [Row 6] George “Martin” [M] Schumm (1812-1871) was born in Wuerttemberg, Germany, and immigrated to America in 1833 with his father John Georg, 3 brothers, and 1 sister. He married Maria Pflueger in 1838 in Holmes County, Ohio, and they had 13 children. In 1837 George Martin purchased a land patent for 160 acres (SE ¼ Section 22) in Van Wert County. His widow Maria died in 1903. [Row 5]
No. 4 [Row 6] Johann “Friederich” Schumm (1814-1902) was born in Wuerttemberg, Germany, and immigrated to America in 1833 with his father John Georg, 3 brothers, and 1 sister. He married Magdalena Meyer in 1838 in Holmes County, Ohio, and they had 12 children. In 1837 Johann Friedrich purchased a land patent for 160 acres (NE ¼ Section 22) in Van Wert County. His widow Magdalena died in 1897 and they share a tombstone.
No. 5 [Row 5] Johann Jacob [JJ] Schumm (1815-1853) was born in Wuerttemberg, Germany, and immigrated to America in 1833 with his father John Georg, 3 brothers, and 1 sister. He married Hannah Billman in 1859 and they had 5 children. Their son Daniel Schumm died in the Civil War. Johann Jacob’s widow Hannah married George Steger and she died in 1878.
No. 6 [Row 6] Georg “Ludwig” Schumm (1817-1855) was born in Wuerttemberg, Germany, and immigrated to America in 1833 with his father John Georg, 3 brothers, and 1 sister. He married Maria Barbara Pflueger in 1840 in Holmes County, Ohio, and they had 9 children. His widow Barbara married Adam Buechner and she died in 1908. [Row 4]
A seventh biography and tombstone was included, that of Zion Schumm’s first resident pastor Rev. John George Burger.
No. 7 [Row 5] Rev. John George Burger (1815-1847) was the first resident pastor at Zion Schumm. Born in Bavaria and educated there as a teacher, he immigrated to America in 1842. He studied at the Theological Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, and was ordained in 1845. He was called to be Zion Schumm’s pastor in June 1846 and wrote Zion’s first constitution soon after. During this time Burger also ministered to St. Thomas Lutheran, Ohio City, and St. Paul Lutheran, Liberty Township, Mercer County. Rev. Burger played an active role in the formation of the LCMS in America but died of pneumonia a month before the synod was formed on 26 April 1847. During the 9 months Burger served at Zion Schumm he performed 15 baptisms, 2 confirmations, 1 marriage, and 5 burials.