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Thomas and Catherine Hilti Fett




Many of our country roads are named after residents who settled in the area and who owned land along the road carrying their name.


Among such road names in Richland Township include Augsburger, Bentley, Bixel, Grismore, Huber, Lugabill, Phillips, Shifferly, Snider and Zurflugh.


This column’s focus is on Thomas Fett, and his wife, Catherine Hilti. Tom Fett Road carries Mr. Fett's name.


Thomas Fett was born on July 31, 1932, in Canada. His father was German and his mother Irish. No additional information was found on his parents.


In 1836, when Thomas was about 4 years old, the family moved to this community. Thomas married Catherine Hilti in 1857. They lived in a house made of bark. Catherine was the daughter of Christian and Anna C. Sollberger Hilti.


Thomas and Catherine had 12 children, each born in Richland Township. An 1880 plat record, shows that Thomas owned 187.50 acres in Section 14.


His farm was along the Dixie Highway (old U.S. 25) and the Norfolk Southern Railroad. Some of this land was taken for Interstate 75. Just east of the Fett farm lived Thomas Jefferson Bentley and his land is along Bentley Road.


Thomas and Catherine were active in the Reformed Mennonite Church and are buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Bluffton.


Of the 12 Fett children, their fifth child, John, was probably one of the best known in the Bluffton community. In the mid-1890s he started in the hardware and implement business. Other activities included the Bluffton Slaw cutter Co. and Bluffton Stone Co., John’s two sons, Clair and Gilbert, also became active in the business with Gilbert taking over the business in 1915 where he continued for 40 years.


Gilbert’s son, Maurice, became the third generation to continue the business. Today, the Bluffton Senior Citizens Center is in that former hardware location.


Maurice was born March 2, 1923, in Bluffton to Gilbert and Inez (Triplehorn) Fett. On May 1, 1949, he married Eula Locher. She died Sept. 16, 1991. Maurice died Oct. 14, 2009.


Maurice and Eula's children are Dave (Mary), Bob (Sue) and Ed (Denise), each living in Bluffton, and a daughter, Carole (Larry) Hechler who lives in Indiana.


Thomas Fett

Born: July 31, 1832, Canada

Died: Jan. 13, 1916, Bluffton

Buried: Maple Grove Cemetery, Bluffton

Married July 6, 1851, Allen County


Catherine Hilti

Born: June 28, 1833

Died: April 1, 1903

Buried: Maple Grove Cemetery, Bluffton

Catherine’s father: Christian Hilty (1787-1869

Catherine’s mother: Anna C. Sollberger (1786-1835)


Thomas and Catherine Hilti Fett’s children:


David Fett

Born: November 1854, Richland Township

Died: Sept. 1, 1936, Parlier, California

Spouse: Kitty ?

The couple had two children


Anna Fett

Born: March 17, 1857, Richland Township

Died: Year not known

Spouse: Thomas Charles

The couple lived in Findlay


Isaac Fett

Born: Dec. 13, 1858, Richland Township

Died: July 27, 1892, Richland Township


Elias Fett

Born: Oct. 9, 1860, Richland Township

Died: June 5, 1939, Richland Township

Spouse: Mary Hochstettler, died at age 33, 7 years after Amelia was born

The couple had one daughter, Amelia

Spouse: Malinda Hochstettler


John Fett

Born: Feb. 20, 1862, Richland Township

Died: May 14, 1926, Bluffton

Spouse: Elizabeth Stratton

Elizabeth’s father: Asa Stratton

Elizabeth’s mother: Frances Cornwall Stratton

The couple had four children: Mabel, Ellen, Clair and Gilbert


Emma Fett

Born: March 11, 1864, Richland Township

Died: June 13, 1938, Bluffton

Spouse: Henry Stauffer


Maria Fett

Born: May 16, 1866, Richland Township

Died: 1900, Bluffton

Spouse: John J. Badertscher

The couple had one daughter, Carrie


Edward Fett

Born: Feb. 29, 1868, Richland Township

Died: Nov. 20, 1960, near Beaverdam, Ohio

Spouse: Louise Conrad

Spouse: Ida Conrad


Kathryn Fett

Born: Jan. 20, 1879, Richland Township

Died: Date not known, lived in Billings, Montana

Spouse: Mack McCoy


Ella Fett

Born: March 20, 1873, Richland Township

Died: Oct. 21, 1958, Ada Nursing Home, Ada, Ohio

Spouse: Charles G. Fenton

The couple had three children


Samuel L. Fett

Born: Jan. 10, 1875, Richland Township

Died: June 17, 1938, Bluffton Community Hospital

Spouse: Cora A. Cozeman

The couple had one son, LeRoy


Albert Fett

Born: Jan. 31, 1877, Richland Township

Died: Date not known; lived in Michigan

Spouse: Sallie Harlow



Tom Fett Road in Richland Township


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