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John F. and Barbara Habegger Steiner

John F. Steiner married Barbara Habegger on March 15, 1832, in France. John was also known as “Buchwald Hans” because of the area where he was born.

Click here for a column on John's brother and sister-in-law, Peter and Barbara Schumacher Steiner.

Barbara was the daughter of Peter and Elisabeth Sprunger Habegger.

John and Barbara had 10 children. Barbara died on Jan. 31, 1853, just 11 days after her first-born, Christian, died at age 19. On April 17, 1853, another daughter, Fannie, died.

John’s second marriage was to Katherine Neuenschwander on Feb. 18, 1854. They had one child, Anna, who married Johannes A. Sutter and later Ulrich Bucher.

John F. is buried in the St. John Mennonite Church cemetery. Barbara is buried in the Old Mennonite Cemetery. Children (details below) Katherine, Elizabeth, Andrew and Magdalena remained active in the Swiss Mennonite Church.

Stories of John F. and Barbara’s children Peter T. and John J. (details below) joined the Reformed Mennonite Church. The obituary for Peter T. stated that he was one of the few remaining pioneers. “His departure removes another of that generation, which witnessed the transforming of the wilderness into productive fields and his farm reflected is forward looking attitude on agriculture and farm life.”

John J. died at age 73, as a result of a farm accident. He was caught between a barn and a runaway team hitched to a hay wagon.

Elizabeth’s husband, Gotthard Althaus, was a farmer. The German correspondent in the Aug. 11, 1910, issue of The Bluffton News reported, “A group of gypsies camped on the Hilty school grounds.” (This school still stands at the corner of State Route 696 and Columbus Grove Road.)

The story continues: “Their presence and meandering caused annoyance to some farmers and complaint was filed with the township officers and they had to change their quarters, Sunday.

“Gotthard Althaus said it was a shame to molest the gypsies and chase their wives and children on the streets. Those people are not like we are and those called upon the law for help, he says, if there is such a law, know no more about the world than a wooden Indian before a tobacco store.”

John F. Steiner “Buchwald Hans” Born: Sept. 12, 1807, La Charme Cme Florimont, France Died: April 22, 1900, Riley Township, Putnam County Buried: St. John Mennonite cemetery, Pandora

John’s father: Rev. Christian Steiner (1774-1846) John’s mother: Katharina Luginbuhl (1781-1848) John married Barbara Habegger: March 15, 1832

Barbara Habegger Born: Dec. 1, 1806, Trunda Roche, Bern, Switzerland Died: Jan. 31, 1853 Buried: Old Mennonite Cemetery, Bluffton

Barbara’s father: Peter Habegger (1764-1833) Barbara’s mother: Elizabeth Sprunger Bethli (1785-1853)

Children of John F. and Barbara

Christian Steiner Born: June 5, 1833, La Charme Cmer Florimont, France Died: Jan. 20, 1853, Riley Township

Katherine Steiner Born: June 5, 1833, LaCharme Cme Florimont, France Died: May 4, 1916 Spouse: Frederick Welty The couple had 17 children

Peter Steiner Born: Oct. 20, 1834, La Charme Cme Florimont, France Died: March 4, 1835, La Charme Cme Florimont, France

Elisabeth Steiner Born: Oct. 21, 1837, Riley Township Died: Nov. 12, 1916, Richland Township Spouse: Gotthard Althaus The couple had 11 children

Barbara Steiner Born: March 4, 1840, Riley Township Died: April 4, 1871, Riley Township

Peter T. Steiner Born: Dec. 30, 1841, Riley Township Died: July 1, 1931, Riley Township Spouse: Magdalena Diller The couple had 10 children

Spouse: Verna Schumacher The couple had 2 children

John J. Steiner Born: Oct. 11, 1843, Riley Township Died: July 6, 1916, Riley Township Spouse: Mary Magdalene Koenigsecker The couple had 4 children

Fannie Steiner Born: Jan. 7, 1845, Riley Township Died: April 17, 1853, Riley Township

Andrew Steiner Born: Oct. 5, 1847, Riley Township Died: March 6, 1923, Pandora Spouse: Marie Wehrly The couple had 5 children

Magdalena Steiner Born: Dec. 18, 1848, Riley Township Died: Jan. 11, 1871 Spouse: Rev. Benjamin Diller The couple had 1 child Benjamin then married Barbara Steiner and the couple had 12 children

John F. Steiner “Buchwald Hans” - Second marriage Spouse: Katherine Neuenschwander Born: May 21, 1811, Cme Boron, France John and Katherine were married Feb. 18, 1854 Died: Sept. 24, 1878, Riley Township Buried: Old Mennonite Cemetery

Katherine’s father: Daniel Neuenschwander (1785-1816) Katherine’s mother: Barbara N. Schumacher (1779-?)

Children of John and Katherine Anna Steiner Born: March 23, 1855, Riley Township Died: Dec. 7, 1939 Spouse: Johannes A. Sutter Spouse: Ulrich Bucher


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