Tombstone Tuesday-Carl H. & Vilenna M. (Bienz) Krueckeberg

Carl H. & Vilenna M. (Bienz) Krueckeberg, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Carl H. and Vilenna M. (Bienz) Krueckeberg, located in row 2 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Carl H.
Vilenna M.

Charles “Carl” H. Krueckeberg was born in Van Wert County, Ohio, on 27 Mar 1877, the son of Charles/Carl Henrich W. (1835-1915) and Caroline Wilhelmine (Kleinschmidt) Krueckeberg (1834-1913).

The Charles Krueckeberg family in 1880: Charles [Sr], 45, born in Germany; Caroline, 45, Germany; Fredrick, 19; Sophia, 17; Louisa, 17; Minnie, 12; Ernst, 8; and Carl [Jr], 3. All the children were born in Indiana and their father was a farmer. [1] In 1900 Carl Krueckeberg [Jr] lived with his parents and extended family in Union Township, Adams County, Indiana.

Carl Krueckeberg [Jr] married Mary “Vilenna” Bienz at her grandparents’ home in Van Wert County on 22 August 1901. Carl was from Adams County, Indiana, and Vilenna was from Zion Schumm’s parish.

Vilenna Bienz was born in Van Wert County on 19 Jul 1879, the daughter of John Lewis (1852-1940) and Mary (Chilcoat) Bienz (c1859-c1881).

Vilenna Bienz, with her family, in 1880, residing in Willshire: JL [John Lewis] Bienz, 28, born in Ohio; Anna, 22, wife, Ohio; Mary V [Vilenna], 11 months, Ohio, born in July. John Bienz’s occupation was a house carpenter. [2]

Zion Schumm’s records indicate that Vilenna’s mother Ann Mary (Chilcoat) Bienz died before Vilenna’s baptism at Zion Schumm on 3 December 1882. Maria Bienz and Mrs. Katharina Roehm [?] served as Vilenna’s baptismal sponsors. The church records indicate that Vilenna’s grandparents Jacob and Elizabeth (Pflueger) Bienz had taken in Vilenna to raise.

In 1900 Vilenna Bienz lived with her grandparents, Jacob and Elizabeth (Pflueger) Bienz: Jacob, 75; Elisabeth, 64; and Mary V [Vilenna], 20. [3]

Meanwhile, Vilenna’s widowed father John L. Bienz had remarried in 1890, to Elizabeth Hixon. In 1900 John Lewis Bienz and wife “Lizzie” lived in Indianapolis, Indiana: John, 47, born June 1852 in Ohio; and Lizzie, wife, 38, born April 1862 in Indiana. They had been married 10 years and had no children. John reportedly worked as a machinist. [4]

Seven years after Carl and Vilenna married, Vilenna’s grandfather Jacob Bienz died in 1908. In 1910 Vilenna’s widowed grandmother Elizabeth (Pflueger) Bienz resided with Vilenna and Carl Krueckeberg and their children: Carl H Krueckeberg, 33; Vilenna, 30; Leo Krueckeberg, 7; Hugo Krueckeberg, 6; Elvira Krueckeberg, 4; Henoch Krueckeberg, 1; Elizabeth Bienz, 75, grandmother; Earl Roehm, 17, hired hand; and Della Roehm, 23, servant. Carl Krueckeberg was a farmer. [5]

Vilenna’s grandmother Elizabeth (Pflueger) Bienz died in 1913.

Carl and Vilenna continued to reside in Willshire Township, in 1920 with their 6 children, and by 1930 only their two youngest children resided with them. Son Hugo Krueckeberg, age 36 and single, was their only child living with them in 1940. It appears that Carl had retired from farming by that time and that Hugo had taken over the farming. [6]   

Carl Krueckeberg died from colon cancer in Decatur, Indiana, on 5 January 1943, aged 65. He was buried on the 7th. [7]

Vilenna Krueckeberg died at a long-term care facility in Alllen County, Ohio, on 2 November 1964, at the age of 85. [8]

Carl and Vilenna (Bienz) Krueckeberg had the following children:
Leo Charles Krueckeberg (1902-1970), married Helen Henrietta Miller
Hugo Friedrich Krueckeberg (1903-1985)
Elvira Carolina Krueckeberg (1906-1989), married Maurice Malcom Markle
Henoch Ernst Krueckeberg (1908-1996), married Ruth Schultz
Walter Friedrich Kreuckeberg (1910-2000), married Helen G. Backus
[male] Krueckeberg (1917-1917)
Anna Luetta Krueckeberg (1917-1942), married Edwin Herman Reinking

[1] 1880 U.S. Census, Union, Adams, Indiana, ED 131, p.26B, dwelling 41, family 42, Charles Krikeberg [sic]; digital image,, viewed 2 Apr 2023.

[2] 1880 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 154, p.460A, family 48, JL Bieny [sic]; digital image,, viewed 2 Apr 2023.

[3] 1900 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 98, p.310A (stamped), dwelling 208, family 214, Jacob Bienz; digital image,, viewed 8 Apr 2019.

[4] 1900 U.S. Census, Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana, ED 62, p.2, dwelling 32, family 38, John L Bienz; digital image,, viewed 2 Apr 2023.   

[5] 1910 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 113, p.9A (penned), dwelling 114, family 116, Charles H Kruckeberg [sic]; digital image,, viewed 8 Apr 2019.

[6] 1940 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 81-28, p.5B, household 106, Chas H Kruckenberg [sic];, viewed 3 Apr 2023.

[7] Indiana, U.S., Death Certificates, 1899-2017, Charles H. Krueckeberg, 5 Jan 1943; digital image,, viewed 3 Apr 2023.

[8] Ohio Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-1944, 1958-2007, Vilenna Krueckeberg, 2 Nov 1964;, viewed 2 Apr 2023.

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