This column’s focus on a Bluffton Amstutz family also includes the Will Triplett family information, as Mr. Triplett married into it. The material is provided by Malinda Miller Cearbaugh, granddaughter of Malinda Amstutz Miller. The column covers portions of four generations of this family.
Johannes and Elizabeth Steiner Amstutz
The first couple in this column is Johannes A. and Elizabeth Steiner Amstutz, who were married on Aug. 5, 1837.
Johannes, also known as “Wagonmaker Amstutz,” was one of the few Swiss pioneer who came to America by way of the port of New Orleans and made his way up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and then to Putnam County, Ohio.
Later Johannes came to Richland Township and built a log cabin in 1837. A later home was built at the same location in 1883 on Augsburger Road on the grounds today of Willow Ridge, which is part of Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio.
Johannes and Elizabeth, married in 1871, had at least 13 children, although the exact number is not known. Johannes was born in 1811 and died in 1892. Elizabeth was born in 1814 and died in 1866.
The following is what we know today of Johannes and Elizabeth’s son John, their fifth child.
Born: Feb. 7, 1846, Richland Township
Died: April 18, 1914, Allen County
Buried: Maple Grove Cemetery, Bluffton
Occupation: Farmer and stock raiser
Spouse: Sara Klinger
Born: Aug. 25, 1851, near Cairo, Ohio
Died: March 25, 1932, Richland Township
Buried: Maple Grove Cemetery, Bluffton
Sara’s father: John Adam Klinger (1735-?)
Sara’s mother: Margaret Eve Hoffert
John and Sara’s children
John and Sarah had five children: Lona, Pauline, Philip, Wilhelm A. and Malinda Mae. Pauline died at the age of 41 and was not married. Philip died at age 3.
Born: July 30, 1873, Richland Township
Died: July 1, 1914, Richland Township
Born: Sept. 1, 1876, Richland Township
Died: March 10, 1979, Richland Township
Wilhelm Albert Amstutz
Born: May 30, 1884, Richland Township
Died: Oct. 17, 1970, Fountain Manor, Hicksville, Ohio
Spouse: Reigh Brandenberg
Married: June 18, 1913
Wilhelm married Reigh Brandenburg, who came here from Oxford, Ohio. She was a high school teacher at Bluffton, Pandora, Leipsic and Vaughnsville. In fact, she coached Bluffton High School’s first-ever girls’ basketball.
Wilhelm was also a school teacher in Bluffton and Pandora. He was a knowledgeable community historian and one of the founders of what is today the Swiss Community Historical Society. The couple had two daughters, Betty and Sarah and a son, Wilhelm II.
Malinda Mae “Linda” Amstutz
Born: Feb. 16, 1887, Richland Township
Died: March 23, 1942, Whitely County, Indiana
Spouse: Carl Leroy Miller
Married: 1915, Richland Township
The couple had two daughters, Vivian and Betty Jean.
Malinda’s husband, Carl, was born May 28, 1885, in Panola, Illinois. His parents, David and Susan Whisler, lived in Hancock County, Ohio. Carl was first married to Mary Wallen, born March 14, 1884, in Putnam County and she died in 1912. There are no known children from this marriage.
Born: Aug. 6, 1871, Richland Township
Died: Sept. 7, 1971, Ft. Wayne, Indiana
Spouse: John W. Renner
Spouse: Will Triplett
Lona first married John W. Renner and the couple had one child, Walter, who lived in Charleston, West Virginia, and died May 5, 1951, at age 57.
Following the death of Lona’ husband, John, she married William “Will” A. Triplett in 1906 and they had no children. Will was Bluffton’s pioneer photographer, in business here for 53 years.
Will, born March 26, 1861, came to Bluffton from Newark, Ohio. He first married Mabel Spooner from Plain City, Ohio. The couple had three sons, Morris A., Ray L. and Clean A. who grew up in Bluffton. Mabel, died in 1889.
Following the death of Mabel, in 1889 at age 29, Will married Emma Huttinger who died in 1904 and they had no children. Will later married Lona Amstutz in 1906.
Will died at age 73. Lona lived until she was 101, staying with her niece, Vivian Miller Cearbaugh, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
Will and Mabel Spooner Triplett’s children
Morris A. Triplett
Morris A. worked for the Gilbert Clock Company in Chicago in 1904. He died at age 26 in Bocas del Toro, Panama, in 1908.
Ray “R.L.” Triplett
Ray L. “R.L.” was born on Nov. 13, 1883, and married Etta Lantz. The couple had two daughters, Margaret and Barbara Jean, and two sons, W. Ropp and M. Morris.
R.L. launched the Triplett Electrical Instrument Company when he was 21. After over 60 years with the company, he retired and he and wife, Etta, moved to Florida in 1968. During the period when he was president, the company was Bluffton’s largest employer. Its Bluffton plants were on Harmon Road with a second plant on East College Avenue.
Cleon A. was born Jan. 20, 1887, and married Edith Blanche Williams. Cleon joined his brother in 1904 in the development of the Triplett Company and also with Readrite Meter Works. Cleon and Edith had two daughters, Dorothy and Betty Jean, and a son, Norman A.