Tombstone Tuesday-Harold G. & Mildred L. (Giessler) Merkle

Harold G & Mildred L (Giessler) Merkle, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Harold G. and Mildred L. (Geissler) Merkle, located in row 5 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio.  The marker is inscribed:

Harold G.

Mildred L.

Harold George Merkle was born in Glenmore, Willshire Township, Van Wert County, on 16 July 1904, the son of William (1867-1926) and Mary (Siegel) (1864-1932) Merkle. [1] [2]  

The William Merkle family in 1910, residing in Willshire Township: William Merkle Jr, 43, head; Mary S, 46 wife; Esther, 14, daughter; Richard, 12, son; Lauren L, 10, daughter; Della E, 8, daughter; Harold, 3, son; and Edwin, 2, son. The father William was a farmer. [3]

Harold Merkle’s father William died in 1926 and in 1930 Harold Merkle, 26, resided with his widowed mother and two brothers in Willshire Township. Harold worked for the railroad at that itme. [4] 

Harold Merkle married Mildred Giessler in Adams County, Indiana, on 23 January 1934, married by Paul W. Schultz. At the time of their marriage Harold lived at RR2 Ohio City and worked as a laborer. Mildred lived at RR3 Ohio City and was not employed. Their marriage license does not give the name of Harold’s parents but indicates that they were deceased. [1]   

The bride Mildred Lucille Giessler was born in Van Wert County on 14 May 1911, the daughter of Fredrich C. (1886-1952) and Clara Ellen (Myers) (1888-1949) Geissler.

Mildred Giessler, age 8, with her family in 1920, residing in Willshire Township: Fred C Giessler, 33, head; Clara Giessler, 31, wife; and daughters Mildred S, 8, and Florence V, 3. Mildred’s paternal grandparents were also enumerated in the household, Philip Giessler, 72, father [of head of household], and Katherine Giessler, 69, mother [of head]. Mildred’s father Fred was a farmer. [5]

In 1940, six years after their marriage, Harold and Mildred Markle and their 3 children resided in Willshire Township: Harold, 34; Mildred, 29; Barbara E, 5; Eugene, 4; and H Lavon, 1. Harold was a farmer. [6]

Harold Merkle died in Van Wert County on 21 February 1956, his death cause by a heart attack. He was 51 years old and was employed by a container company. He was buried on the 24th. [7]

Mildred (Giessler) Merkle died 20 April 1971, at the age of 59.

Mildred’s obituary:

Mildred L. Merkle, 59, of Rt. 1, Willshire, died early today following an extended illness.

Born May 14, 1911, in Willshire township, she was the daughter of Fred and Clara (Myers) Geissler. She married Harold G. Merkle Jan. 23, 1934.

Survivors include one daughter, Mrs. Barbara E. Debolt of Fort Wayne; two sons, Eugene F of Ohio City and Harold LaVaughn of Rt. 1, Willshire; one sister, Mrs. Elmer (Florence)Garver of ohio City, and six grandchildren.

Services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Zion Lutheran Church in Schumm with the Rev. Robert D. Shuler officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Mrs. Merkle will lie in state from noon until 1:30 p.m. at the church.

Friends may call at the Zwick Funeral Home at Decatur after 7 p.m. Wednesday. [8]

Harold and Mildred (Giessler) Merkle had the following children:
Barbara Ellen Merkle (1934-2002), married Charles R. Johnson; married Debolt
Eugene Frederick Merkle (1936-1999), married Patricia
Harold LaVaughn Merkle

[1] Indiana Marriages, 1811-2019, Adams County, Indiana, Vol. P:270, Harold Merkle & Mildred Giessler, 23 Jan 1934; database with images,, viewed 5 Mar 2023.

[2] Draft Registration Cards, Ohio, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947, Selective Service System, 147, Box 967, Harold George Merkle, 14 Feb 1942;, viewed 5 Mar 2023.

[3] 1910 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, Ed 113, p.7A, dwelling 78, family 79, William Merkley J [sic];, viewed 5 Mar 2023.

[4] 1930 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, Ed 24, p.10B, dwelling 227, family 230, Mary Merkle ;, viewed 5 Mar 2023.

[5] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 145, p.4A, dwelling & family 71, Fred C Giessler;, viewed 5 Mar 2023.

[6] 1940 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 81-28, p.5B, household 109, Harold Merckle;, viewed 5 Mar 2023.

[7] Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001, Willshire, Willshire township, Van Wert, Ohio, Harold George Merkle, 21 Feb 1956; database with images,, viewed 5 Mar 2023.

[8] Mildred (Giessler) Merkle obituary, Van Wert Times Bulletin, Van Wert, Ohio, 20 Apr 1971, p.2;, viewed 6 Mar 2023.

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