Tombstone Tuesday-Edward T. & Martha A. (Dirkson) Gunsett

Edward T & Martha A (Dirkson) Gunsett, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Edward T. and Martha A. (Dirkson) Gunsett, located in row 8 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Edward T.

Martha A.

“Edward” Theodor Gunsett was born 10 August 1891, the second of five children born to Joseph (1865-1931) and Clara (Schinnerer) (1866-1942) Gunsett. Edward was baptized at Zion Schumm church on 30 August 1891 with William Buechner II and Henry Schinnerer serving as his sponsors.

The Joseph Gunsett family in 1900: Joseph, 37, head; Clara A, 34, wife; Walter, F, 10, son; Edward T, 8, son; Herbert H, 3, son; and Lillie E, 1, daughter. Everyone in the family was born in Ohio and Joseph was a farmer. [1] By 1910 Edward’s brother Walter was no longer living with the family and the family was as follows: Joseph, 49, head; Clara, 44, wife; Edward, 18, son; Herbert, 14, son; and Lillie, 11, daughter. [2]

A 1917 newspaper account of an incident involving Edward Gunsett:

Two men made an attempt to hold up Edward Gunsett, of Willshire township, Saturday night, about a mile from Schumm, while he was driving home from Glenmore. The men stood in the roadway and commanded him to stop his horse and buggy but he struck the horse with the whip and ran past the couple. Sheriff Gunsett was summoned to make a search for the holdup men but could not find a trace of them.[3] [Note: the Van Wert County sheriff at that time was a Gunsett.]

Edward Gunsett served in the U.S. Army during WWI, from 4 September 1918-20 March 1919, as a private in the 574 Motor Transport Corps (MTC) and was honorably discharged. [4]

In 1920 and 1930 Edward Gunsett resided with his parents and his sister Lillie Gunsett in Willshire Township. Edward worked as a farm laborer. [5]

Their father Joseph Gunsett died in Willshire Township 21 October 1931.

Edward Gunsett married Martha A. Dirkson at Zion Schumm’s parsonage on 29 May 1932. Both were from Zion Schumm’s parish. Rev. R.O. Bienert presided over the ceremony and Paul and Leota Dirkson were witnesses to the marriage.    

Martha A. Dirkson was born near Decatur, probably in Preble, Indiana, 20 September 1903, the daughter of William “Edward” (1864-1938) and “Johanna” Louisa (Meyer) (1873-1923) Dirkson.

Martha Dirkson’s older brother burned to death in 1901 when he pulled a lamp into his crib and caught his bedclothes on fire. He was about 8 months old. Martha’s older sister Helena was born less than a year later and died the day after she was born. Martha had a younger brother Paul, born in 1906.

In 1910 Edward and Johanna Dirkson resided in Preble, Indiana, with their two children, Martha, 6, and Paul, 4. [6]

By 1920 Edward and Johanna Dirkson and their two children had moved to Willshire Township, where Edward farmed: Edward, 56; Johanna, 45; Martha, 16; and Paul, 14. [7]

Johanna (Meyer) Dirkson died 31 January 1923.

In 1930, after his wife Johanna’s death, widower Edward Dirkson lived with his two unmarried children Martha, 26, and Paul, 23, in Willshire Township. Edward and his son Paul were farmers. [8]  

After their marriage in 1932 Edward and Martha Gunsett set up housekeeping on the home farm where Edward grew up. Edward’s mother Clara and his sister Lillie moved from the farm to Van Wert.

The Edward Gunsett family in 1940, with the addition of a daughter: Edward, 47, head; Martha, 37, wife; and Phyllis, 7, daughter. Edward farmed. [9]

Edward’s mother Clara (Schinnerer) Gunsett died 12 March 1942.

The Edward Gunsett family in 1950: Edward, 58, head; Martha, 46, wife; Phyllis, 17, daughter; and Barbara, 9, daughter. Edward continued to farm. [10]

Edward Gunsett died 10 July 1973 at the Van Wert County Hospital. He was 81 years of age.

Edward Gunsett Dies at Hospital
Edward T. (Dick) Gunsett, 81, of route 1, Willshire, O., a farmer who resided on the same farm his entire life, died at 7:35 a.m. (EDT) today at the Van Wert, O., county hospital. He had been a patient there since Thursday, and ill for a brief time.

He was a lifelong member of the Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm,…the Homer Pearson post 207, American Legion at Willshire, and a Veteran of World War I.

Born in Willshire Township…on Aug. 10, 1891, he was the son of Joseph and Clara Schinnerer-Gunsett, and was married on May 29, 1932, to Martha Dirkson, who survives.

Also surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Henry (Phyllis) Dietrich of Lima, and Mrs. Roger (Barbara) Dangler of Scott; one sister, Miss Lillie Gunsett of the Fort Wayne Lutheran Home; one brother, Herbert Gunsett of Sun City, Calif.; and six grandchildren.

…friends may call at the Zwick Funeral Home after 2 p.m. Wednesday. Rev. Robert D. Schuler will officiate at the funeral and burial will be in the Zion Lutheran cemetery at Schumm.

Funeral services and burial were on 12 July 1973.

Edward’s widow Martha (Dirkson) Gunsett died 29 September 1981 at Celina Manor, Celina, Ohio. She was 78 years old.

Martha A. Gunsett
Martha A. Gunsett, 78, Rt. 1, Willshire…widow of Edward (Dick) Gunsett, died at 11 p.m. (Ohio time) Tuesday at the Celina Manor nursing home, where she had resided for three weeks. She had been in ill health a number of months.
She was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church in Schumm…the Ladies Aid, the LWML and the LLL.

Born in Adams County on Sept. 20, 1903, she was the daughter of Edward and Hannah Meyer-Dirkson, and was married on May 29, 1932 to Edward (Dick) Gunsett. He died July 10, 1973.Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Henry (Phyllis) Dietrich, Lima…and Mrs. Barbara Dangler, Scott… one brother, Paul Dirkson, Ada…and seven grandchildren. One sister and one brother preceded her in death.

Services will be held Friday at 1:15 p.m. at Zwick, Boltz & Jahn Funeral Home and at 2 p.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm, Rev. Robert D. Schuler officiating. Burial will be in the Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery… [12]

Both Edward’s and Martha’s parents are buried in Zion Schumm’s cemetery.

Edward and Martha (Dirkson) had the following children:
Phyllis Johanna (1932-2022), married Henry Walter “Hank” Dietrich
Barbara Joan (1940-2009), married James Richard Stevens; married Roger Dangler

Edward Gunsett was my first cousin twice removed and my second cousin once removed, depending on which common ancestors you look at. We are related through both the Schumms and the Schinnerers. Lillie’s mother was the daughter of Frederick & Elizabeth (Schumm) Schinnerer. Her mother Clara was a sister to my great grandmother Lizzie (Schinnerer) Scaer.

[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Willshire Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, ED 98, p. 11A (penned), p. 310A (stamped), dwelling 207, family 208, Joseph Gruasett [sic];, viewed 20 Jun 2022.

[2] 1910 U.S. Censes, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 113, p.9A, dwelling 117, family 19, Joseph Gunset [sic];, viewed 30 Jul 2023.

[3] Van Wert Daily Bulletin, Van Wert, Ohio, 3 December 1917;, viewed 30 Jul 2023.

[4] U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1861-1985, Edward T. Gunsett;, viewed 30 Jul 2023.

[5] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, ED 145, p.3B, dwelling & family 63, Joseph Gunsett;, viewed 20 Jun 2022.

[6] 1910 U.S. Census, Preble, Adams, ED 8, p.1B, dwelling & family 21, Edward Dirkson;, viewed 24 Oct 2022.

[7] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, ED 146, p.3A, dwelling 55, family 56, Edward Dirkson;, viewed 24 Oct 2022.

[8] 1930 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, ED 245, p.2B, dwelling 39, family, Edward Derkson [sic];, viewed 24 Oct 2022.

[9] 1940 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 81-28, p.6A, household 115, Edward Gimsett [sic];, viewed 30 Jul 2023.

[10] 1950 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 81-40, dwelling 116, sheet 8, Edward J [sic] Gunsett;, viewed 30 Jul 2023.  

[11] Decatur Daily Democrat, Decatur, Indiana, 10 Jul 1973, Edward T Gunsett.

[12] Decatur Daily Democrat, Decatur, Indiana, 30 Sep 1981.

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