Schumm History

In 1838, John George Schumm purchased outright an 800 acre tract for $1,000 in Van Wert county and received a patent to the property signed by President Martin Van Buren. John moved to the Willshire area from Holmes County, Ohio.  John was one of the pioneers that began to clear the native forests and turn the area into rich farm land.  Schumm's journey to Ohio began in 1833 in Ruppertshofen, Germany, a village located about 40 miles northeast of Heidelberg.

God mercifully remembered these Lutheran settlers.  For in 1839 the tireless, traveling missioner, Pastor Friedrich Wyneken found his way also into this region, and blessed these pioneers with the preaching of the Word of Life.  John George Schumm with his four sons, George M., John J., Ludwig (Louis), Frederick, and his son-in-law, Michael Schueler, were six of the eight members who in the year 1846 founded Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, a year before the organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and other states, now known as the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod.  This congregation the next year became one of the charter members of the synod aforementioned.  Their pastor at that time was the Rev. J. G. Streckfuss.  In the course of time Zion has become the mother of several other Lutheran congregations.

During the time of its existence, several houses of worship were built by the congregation.  The first one was a small log structure, at the location of the present parsonage.  The second church was notable in this, that the pulpit, the alter, the pews, and all fixtures were made of black walnut.  It was this church that saw the congregation grow at its fastest.  This church stood in the midst of the cemetery, surrounded by the founders of the congregation asleep in their graves.  The church which is used at present was dedicated in 1915.  It is a fine structure, built in the Gothic style, with windows of a beautiful warm tint, and stands opposite the site of the old church.

A detailed history of the John George Schumm family is available at this link.

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Willshire (Schumm), Ohio

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