This is the wedding photo of Herbert and Erma Heydinger taken on June 12 of 1937. The groomsman was Paul Sheibley and the maid of honor was Helen Heydinger.

Herbert and Erma Heydinger on their 40th wedding anniversary in 1977


The Herbert "Whitey" Heydinger Site


Herbert Joseph "Whitey" Heydinger,the second son of August (Gus) and Mayme Heydinger, was born on July 7, 1909, on the Heydinger homestead called Locust Grove on Auburn Center Road. Introduced early to farm work, Whitey attended school at Mother of Sorrows Parish School and went to the eighth grade only, as was common for boys at that time. Actually, he went to 8th grade twice. Not being old enough to quit school, as per state law, Whitey chose to walk 1/4 mile to the public grade school versus three miles to the high school until he was old enough to quit.

As a young man he was known to be friendly and a jokester, always sporting a smile. At age nine, the family moved into the Wechter farm atop the hill on what is now SR 103 across from Auburn Lake Park. Whitey met and courted a down-the-road neighbor, Erma Alberta Sheibley, for seven years, and the two married in June of 1937. She was the fourth daughter of Mathias and Catherine McMahon Sheibley. The two made a good life farming and raising their children with a good work ethic, among many values instilled in the kids.

The young couple moved into a home on Kenestrick Road, north and east of where Whitey had been raised. He farmed there and later on also farmed on the Jake Cramer farm on Scott Road. In 1942 he also bought from Uncles Joe, Steve, and John the 75 acres of the original John Heydinger farm on Marsh Road where many of the early Heydinger reunions had been held. The couple started their family at their new home with a daughter, Carol, and three sons: Thomas, Edwin, and Gerard. In 1949, Whitey's father Gus retired and moved to New Washington, whereupon Whitey bought Gus's farm.

The growing family moved to the home where Whitey had been raised and produced one more son, Herman. The family prospered there during the 1950's and 60's as all helped with the farming. Then one by one the children began to leave. Thomas entered the seminary in 1954, Carol married in 1958, Edwin entered the service in 1961, and Gerard college in 1965 and Herman college in 1969. Whitey continued farming alone mainly because he could - mechanized farming of the 60's and 70's did not require as many hands as did farming with horses in his father's time.

Whitey was a church going man as well as civic minded. He was also a very active member of the Knights of Columbus in New Washington, serving on their initiating team.  He served as a member of the Crawford County Fair Board for many years, even happily taking tickets at the fair admission gates. He and his family attended Mother of Sorrows Church at North Auburn all of his life. He was also elected Auburn Township Trustee, a position he held some 28 years. At family gatherings and reunions he could always be heard expressing his opinion on the vital political subjects of the day.

Whitey was known throughout the area for his many varieties of homemade wine.  These were always offered to neighbors and relatives when they paid a visit. Occasionally he would "water witch" for folks but accepted no pay, unless they insisted - and then only a fifth of whisky.  Spring and fall mushroom hunting was a great hobby of his, oakleaf in the fall and sponge and spikes in the spring.  Erma and Whitey in their retirement years loved perch fishing on Lake Erie with Geneva and Dick Kehres.

On a September day in 1983, Whitey received a call that wild dogs were harrassing his sheep. While on the way to investigate and protect his flock, he suffered a heart attack, with his truck driving off the road and coming to a stop in a pasture lot. He was pronounced dead at the site.

Erma continued to live at the farm for a few months until she was diagnosed with leukemia at age 71, finally succumbing in May of 1984 after a courageous battle, just nine months after Whitey's death. The family then rented the farm out until finally it was sold out of the family to a young couple, Eric and Beth Hiler, and the cycle began again.

Erma Alberta Sheibley was born on  March 2, 1913 near New Washington on State route 103 on a farm that had originally been deeded to her ancestors from Andrew Jackson.  Her siblings were three sisters and three borthers.  She went through grade school and high school, played the saxophone in the New Washington High School band and graduated on May 23, 1932.

Erma planted a large garden every year, canned and froze nearly everthing they ate, raised her chickens, and sold eggs.  Never buying a can of veggies or fruit (only pineapple) was her pride.  Her fried chicken, elderberry pie, gum drop cookies, and turtle soup were favorites of her family.  Many car trunk loads of veggies, fruit and "dressed" chickens were delivered every couple of weeks to her sisters' families in Bucyrus and Crestline.  Many of her pies were given to her two bachelor brothers.


Being an excellent seamstress, she made all of Carol's clothes out of flowered feed sacks and many of the boys' clothes as well.  Sewing rags for rag rugs was just one of her frugal ways.  Erma recycled, reused, and reduced consumption decades before these things were "in".  Her handmade quilts and crocheted afghans were much appreciated by her children and grandchildren.  She raised geese and ducks for her feather pillows, and what a hoot to hear the geese honk, then to be thrown out of the duck house one by one as they had been made a little lighter!

Working at the election polls for many years was a patriotic duty she took seriously.  Erma and Whitey never missed voting in an election.  Being a member of Mother of Sorrows Church, the Catholic religion was a very important part of her life. She was an active member of the Altar and Rosary Society. "Charity begins at home" and "if you can't say something kind, don't say anthing" were stressed to her children.

Keeping journals for decades proved to be very interesting to her children and grandchildren over the years, who have come to cherish her writings.

The Herbert and Erma Heydinger children are:

HELP!!! We need your HELP!!!

Posted by Mike Heydinger on October 15, 2009      

This is YOUR FAMILY WEBSITE. It will be successful only if YOU contribute. You do NOT have to be computer savy to help out. Contact us, and we'll git'er done!

We need Current Contact Information.

In order to keep all folks fully informed, we need CURRENT CONTACT INFORMATION: street addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses.

Contact your siblings, your children away from home, your folks - anyone in the relation - to email us their current contact information. Send it to me at

If you are more comfortable with snail-mail, send any information to me at Mike Heydinger Box 112 Huron, OH 44839.

We need Family History Data.

Also, we would like to do a full page here of information on each branch of the original John Heydinger family. We will post histories of each branch, pictures as far back as we can get them, and any other interesting data about the branches - whatever YOU think ought to be up on the site. We ask you to send us digital files if possible. If you are not computer savy and still wish to make a contribution of materials to this site, please email us and we can arrange to either come to you or have materials shipped to us for scanning and then return to you.

PLEASE - on all pictures, identify each person with a recognizable face. If known, indicate the year and place the picture was taken. Protect your valuable pictures and documents with cardboard stiffeners!

We need Current Family Tree Information.

If you go to the FAMILY GENEALOGY TREE in the column to the right, you can open it by clicking on the RED words This Family Tree and locate your immediate family's limbs, branches, and twigs on the family tree.

The further back you go, the more accurate the information actually is. What we need most is more MODERN up-to-date information.

Locate your part of the family's information and update it for us, PLEASE. Email to us the new and improved data. Don't worry about formating the data. Just give us the names and important dates, tell us what generation they are in and under whose name they should go. Generation numbers are included just to the LEFT of each name.

In order to have the NEW information included in the revised tree, you MUST get it to us. We will maintain the original document in order to guarantee security. Sorry!