Tombstone Tuesday–Anna Margaret (Giessler) Stegmeier

Anna M (Giessler) Stegmeier, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Anna Margaret (Giessler) Stegmeier, located in row 11 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Anna M.
Wife of
A. Stegmeier
At Rest

Anna Margaret Giessler was born in Harrison Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, on 21 July 1890, the oldest child of William and Phoebe/Philippina (Schaadt) Geissler. [1]

The Giesslers did not attend Zion Schumm, but the Stegmeiers, the family she would marry into, did attend church there. She and Anthony Stegmeier attended Zion Schumm after their marriage and their three children were baptized there.

The William Giessler family in 1900, living in Harrison Township, Van Wert County, Ohio: William, 39; Philippina, 30; Anna M, 9; Dora C, 8; Laura L, 6; and Edwin W, 3. All of the family members were born in Ohio, but William and Philippina’s parents were born in Germany. William and Philippina had been married 11 years and she had given birth to four children, all of whom were living. The father William Giessler was a farmer. [2]

Anna Giessler’s mother Philippina (Schaadt) died in Harrison Township of “consumption of the bowels” on 17 December 1907, at the age of 38 years. She is buried in Evangelical Protestant Cemetery, Convoy. [3] Since Anna was 19 and the oldest of the five children, the bulk of the household work likely fell upon her, although her two younger sisters would have also been old enough to help out a good deal.

Anna’s widowed father, with his five children in 1910: William, 48; Anna Margaret, 19; Dora C, 18; Laura Lucy, 16; Edwin W, 13; and Oscar W, 7. The father William was a farmer. [4]

Anna Giessler married Anthony Stegmeier on 6 July 1916 in Van Wert County, Ohio. Anthony was the son of Leonard and Katharina (Rettig) Stegmeier, born in Van Wert County on 26 September 1886. Anthony was a common laborer and Anna was a housekeeper, as listed on their marriage record. [5]

Three children were born to Anthony and Anna Stegmeier within the next four years, Kenneth, Kathleen, and Doyt. All were baptized at Zion Lutheran, Schumm.

In 1920 the Anthony Stegmeier family lived on Glenmore Road. The family consisted of Anthony, 32; Anna, 29, Kenneth, 2, and Kathleen, 1. Anthony was a laborer. [6]

Anna (Geissler) Stegmeier died of heart problems at the Adams County Memorial Hospital, Decatur, Adams County, Indiana, on 16 June 1928. She was 37 years, 10 months, and 25 days old and was buried on the 8th. [7]

Less than a year later Anna’s widowed husband Anthony died of heart disease near Venedocia, Ohio, on 28 February 1929, at the age of 42 years.

This couple died relatively young and left behind three children between the ages of about 9 and 12. I wondered what happened to their children after the death of their parents. From the 1930 census I learned that all three of the children were living at the March Foundation, on East Lincoln Highway, Van Wert. Doyt Stegmeier, 9, Kathleen Stegmeier, 11, and Kenneth Stegmeier, 13, were all listed as students there, all born in Ohio. They were enumerated with about 116 other children who were living at the March Foundation. [8]

Tony and Anna (Giessler) Stegmeier had the following children:
Kenneth Carl Edwin (1917-1997), married Evelyn Faye (Bunger) Payner
Kathleen Bernice (1918-2002), married Gordon Karl Todd
Doyt Milton (1920-1976), married Vergie (Williamson) Shimp; married Marcia Jane Bell

Kenneth and Doyt both served in WWII.


[1] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : viewed 15 Jun 2019), Anna Giesler, 21 Jul 1890; Harrison Township, Van Wert Births, Vol. 3, p.186.

[2] 1900 U.S. Census, Harrison, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 79, p.23A [stamped], dwelling & family 232, line 13, William Geesler; digital image by subscription,;  ( : viewed 17 May 2019).

[3] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : viewed 17 Jun 2019), Phoebe Giessler, 17 Dec 1907; Deaths, Harrison Twp, Van Wert, Vol. 3, p.87. and Find A Grave, memorial no. 83445333, Philippina Giessler, 28 Oct 1869-17 Dec 1907; Evangelical Protestant Cemetery, Convoy, Ohio. [William Giessler died in 1948 and is also buried in Evangelical Protestant Cemetery, Convoy, Find a Grave memorial no. 833118781. They have separate tombstones.]

[4] 1910 U.S. Census, Harrison, Van Wert Ohio, Ed 190, p.12A, dwelling 229, family 233, William Giessler; digital image by subscription, ( : viewed 10 Jun 2019).

[5] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : viewed 10 June 2019), Anthony Stegmeier & Anna M. Giessler, 6 Jul 1916; Van Wert Marriages, Vol. 14:590.

[6] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio Ed 145, p.2B, dwelling & family 38, Antony Stegmeier; digital image by subscription, ( : viewed 10 June 2019).

[7] Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, Indiana State Board of Health, Indianapolis, Anna Margaret Stegmeier, 16 Jun 1928, Adams Co; digital image by subscription,,  viewed 17 Jun 2019.

[8] 1930 U.S. Census, Van Wert, Van Wert, Pleasant Township, Ohio, ED8, p.21B, dwelling 570, house 593, lines 61-63, Doydt, Katherine, & Kenneth Stegmeier; digital image by subscription,  ( : viewed 15 Jun 2019).

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