Tombstone Tuesday–Karl G. Stegmeier

Karl G. Stegmeier, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Karl G. Stegmeier, located in row 4 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:


Karl Georg Stegmeier was born near Willshire, Ohio, on 31 January 1884, the first child of Leonhardt “Leonhard” G. and Leah “Katharine” (Rettig) Stegmeier. Karl was baptized 4 February 1884 at the home, with Karl Rettig and Georg Rueck serving as his sponsors. Interesting, because Georg Rueck is one of my ancestors, the brother of my great grandmother, Christine (Rueck) Miller.

Karl Stegmeier was enumerated in several censuses as Charles or Charley and sometimes spelled his name Carl. I will use the spelling Karl, as inscribed on his tombstone and on his baptism record.

The Leonhard Stegmeier family in 1900, living near Willshire: Leonhard, 43; Katharine, 40; Charles G, 16; Anton G, 14; and Nettie, 2. The father Leonhard was a farmer, born in Germany and immigrated in 1879. Everyone else in the household was born in Ohio. Katharine had given birth to 4 children and 3 were living. [1]  

In his 1918 WWI Draft Registration, Karl Stegmeier is described as having blue eyes and light hair, with medium height and build. He lived at RR #3, Ohio City, and worked for the C & E Railroad. He signed his name Charles Stegmeier. [2]   

The Leonhard Stegmeier family in 1920: Leonhard, 64; Katharine, 59; Charles, 34; and Nettie 22. Karl worked on the farm and his sister was a servant for a family. This enumeration shows that the father Leonhard immigrated in 1881. [3]

Karl’s mother died in 1927 and in 1930 Karl and his widowed father lived together in Willshire Township. Both worked on the farm. [4]

In 1940 Karl, age 56, resided with his widowed father, who was 83 years old by that time. Although other documents indicate that Karl worked for the railroad, all the census enumerations show him as working on the farm. [5] Karl’s father Leonhard died later that year.

In the early 1940s, on Karl’s WWII draft card, he was age, 58, lived in Ohio City and worked for Edward Gunsett. [6]

Karl George Stegmeier died of a heart attack in Tully Township, Van Wert County, on 23 July 1954. He was buried on the 25th and Smith Funeral Home, Convoy, was in charge of the arrangements. He worked for the railroad and lived at rural Convoy at the time of his death. His sister “Nettie” was the informant for information on his death certificate. Karl never married. [7]

Karl G. Stegmeier’s obituary:

Carl George Stegmeier, 76, a retired railroad worker, died at 7:25 o’clock this morning in the home of his sister, Mrs. James A. Bell in Tully Township, with whom he had made his home for the past two years. He had been in failing health for a year.

He was a native of Willshire Township, born January 31, 1884, a son of the late Leonard and Katherine (Rettig) Stegmeier. The only survivors are his sister and three nephews and a niece. Two brothers are deceased.

Funeral services will be held at 2 pm. Sunday in the Zion Lutheran Church at Schum and Rev Were P.V Kuhlberg will be in charge. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Friends may call at the H.D. Smith Funeral Home in Convoy. [8]

Karl George Stegmeier had the following siblings:
George Adam Anton “Tony” (1886-1929), married Anna Giessler
“Friedrich” Johann (1890-1892)
“Antoinette”/”Nettie” Elisabeth Martha (1897-1983), married James A. Bell


[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 98, p.12 [penned], p.311A [stamped], dwelling 224, family 229, L Stegmeyer; digital image by subscription,;  ( : viewed 7 May 2019)

[2] World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Van Wert, Ohio, Roll 1851249, Charles George Stegmeier; digital image by subscription,, viewed 7 May 2019.

[3] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 145, p.3A [penned], p.272 [stamped], dwelling & family 52, Leonard Stegmeier; digital image, ( : viewed 7 May 2019).   

[4] 1930 U.S. Census, WIllshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 24, p.7B [penned], dwelling 162, family 165, Lenhard Stegmeier; digital image by subscription,;  ( : viewed 7 May 2019).

[5] 1940 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 81-28, p. 6A [penned], p.357 [stamped] house 110, Leonard Stegemeyer; digital image by subscription, ( : viewed 7 May 2019).

[6] WWII Draft Cards (4th Registration), Ohio, Karl George Stegmeier; digital image by subscription,, Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975, Record Group 147.

[7] ”Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” Tully, Van Wert, Ohio, Karl George Stegmeier, 23 Jul 1954; database with images,  ( : viewed 5 May 2019).  

[8] Van Wert Times Bulletin, Van Wert, Ohio, 23 Jul 1954, p.12, Deaths and Funerals, Carl George Stegmeier; digital image by subscription,, accessed 7 May 2019.


    • Janet Goodwin James on June 8, 2019 at 11:31 pm
    • Reply

    Karen, I’ve tried to contact you before but not getting any response. I’m interested in seeing if you could speak at our Willshire Alumni next April, 2020. Our class of 1960 is in charge of presenting a program and I thought you would be of interest to our group. Please contact me. Thanks, Janet James FJAMES

    1. Janet, I think we are playing e-mail tag! I have responded to you privately by e-mail.

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