Tombstone Tuesday–Orah M. Heffner

Orah M. Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio.

Orah M. Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Orah Mathilde Heffner, buried in row 4 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Orah M.
Dau. of
Wm & C. Heffner
Nov. 3, 1896
Jan. 31

Orah Mathilde Heffner was born 3 November 1896, the second of three daughters born to William and Elizabeth (Wendel) Heffner. Although her probate court birth record indicates she was born in Blackcreek Township this same record shows her parents lived in Van Wert County. [1]

Orah was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Chatt by Rev. August Affeld on 6 December 1896 and her parents served as her sponsors.

Her death and burial are not recorded in Zion Chatt’s records but her death was recorded in Mercer County’s probate records. That record indicates that she died of croup in Blackcreek Township on 31 January 1899 at the age of 2 years, 2 months, and 17 days. [2]

Croup is defined as a loud cough and other symptoms caused by inflammation around the larynx, windpipe, and bronchial tubes, all caused by a virus.

Her name is spelled Ora Matilda in the county probate records.


[1] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 6 June 2015), Ora Matilda Heffner, 3 Nov 1896; citing Births, Blackcreek, Mercer, Ohio, Vol. 2, p.91, from FHL Microfilm 914,953.

[2] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 5 June 2015), Ora Matilda Haffner, 31 Jan 1899; citing Death, Blackcreek, Mercer, Ohio, Vol. 2, p.308; from FHL microfilm 914954.


    • Kate Eichler on June 14, 2015 at 11:05 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Karen, I must have missed this article earlier, we were just discussing about the death of Orah this last weekend as we were going through some old photos we have here and came across a picture of her. Paul’s mother was a sister of hers and his niece from Boston was here and wanted to look at old family pictures. We were wondering what she had died from. I knew she had the same birthday as Mom. really enjoy all your articles! Aunt Kate

    1. What a coincidence! I knew there was a Heffner-Eichler connection and saw it when I was doing that post. I remember Marie at your house. Thanks for reading!

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