1911 Postcard with Chattanooga Connection

This is an interesting picture postcard, postmarked Rockford, 7 June 1911. The photo on the front is a common picture that I have seen before, labeled St. Mary’s River, Willshire, O. I wonder if the photo was actually taken on the St. Marys River at Willshire. Did the St. Marys River ever really look like that at Willshire? Did people boat on the river? Perhaps.

1911 postcard from Nellie Loehr

But that really doesn’t matter. I did not purchase the postcard for the photo or for the date. I purchased the postcard because of who wrote the message on it. The name, Nellie Loehr, caught my eye. I recognized that name right away.

In 1911 the Loehrs had just moved to Chattanooga, Ohio.

Nellie’s husband, Rev. Lincoln Luther Loehr, was the new minister at Zion Lutheran, Chatt.

Rev. Loehr; at Zion Chatt, 1911-13.

Written on the postcard:

Rockford, 7 June 1911, 7 p.m.
To Mrs. Ralph Weaver, Chicago, Ohio

Parsonage, June 5, 1911
Dear Friend,
Well we got here safely and are now all settled in the parsonage. We have a real pretty and comfortable home, and good kind people. I hope everything is going all right up there at Chicago. Please tell Mr. Vogel that we have had 4 horses offered us but we have not bought any yet. We send best regards to you all and hope to hear from you

Nellie Loehr

1911 postcard from Nellie Loehr

The note is short, but it tells us a lot.

The local people were good kind people. That is always good to hear.

The Loehr’s new home, the church parsonage, was pretty and comfortable. In 1911 that would have been the old frame parsonage, which was destroyed in a fire during the WWII years. The current brick parsonage was built soon after, in the same general location. The church at Zion Chatt would have been the old frame church. The current brick church was built in 1916/17, in the same general location.  

The old parsonage, south of the Lutheran School, c1900.

Zion Lutheran, Chattanooga. Old frame church beside new brick church. (1917 photo)

It appears the Loehrs would not have any trouble finding a horse. Although automobiles had been invented and were in use in 1911, apparently horse and buggy transportation was the norm in the Chatt area.  

About that address, Chicago, Ohio. I had never heard of Chicago, Ohio, and at first I thought that was a mistake. But Nellie was a teacher and she probably would not have made a mistake like that.

I am always learning and I learned that there was indeed a Chicago, Ohio, aka Chicago Junction, located in New Haven Township, Huron County, in north-central Ohio. The village was established about 1875 at the junction of two railroads, where the Chicago division of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad joined with the Mansfield-Columbus division. The extension was known as the Baltimore, Pittsburgh, & Chicago Railway. The community was incorporated in 1882 and they had a post office. [1] The name of the village was changed to Willard in 1960, renamed after the president of the B & O Railroad.

Rev. Lincoln and  his wife Nellie lived there in 1910. They resided on Rant Street, in the Village of Chicago Junction. Lincoln Loehr, 45, head, born in Ohio, preacher at German church; Nellie M, 34, wife, born in Ohio, not employed. They had been married 8 years, the first marriage for both, and they had no children. [2]

Nellie Mae Knepper was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, on 8 November 1874 the daughter of George A. and Emeline A. (Hoover) Knepper. In 1900 Nellie lived in Pickaway County, Ohio, and was a teacher.

Rev. Lincoln Loehr married Nellie Knepper 23 May 1901 at the home of her parents, near St. Paul, Pickaway County. At that time Rev. Loehr was the minister of Fairview Lutheran Church, Hiawatha, Kansas. [3]   

Rev. Loehr and Nellie were only in Chatt for two years. In 1913 they moved on to the Auglaize/Shelby County area, where he continued his ministry.

Rev. Lincoln Luther Loehr died in Columbus, Ohio, on 26 June 1954 and his wife Nellie (Knepper) Loehr died in Columbus on 29 March 1964. They are both buried at Reber Hill Cemetery, Pickaway County, Ohio. Nellie’s parents are also buried at Reber Hill Cemetery.

I have been to that cemetery. That is the same cemetery where my Revolutionary War ancestor, Christian Whiteman, is buried.

It is indeed a small world.

[1] Larry L. Miller, Ohio Place Names (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1996) 48. And Julie Minot Overton, Ohio Towns and Townships to 1900: A Location Guide (The Ohio Genealogical Society, Mansfield, OH: Penobscot Press, 2000) 69.

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Ohio, Huron, New Haven Township, ED 31, p.2a, dwelling 32, family 33, Lincoln  Loehr; Ancestry.com. 

[3] The Kansas Democrat, Hiawatha, Kansas, 6 Jun 1901, Lincoln Loehr & Nellie Knepper marriage; Newspapers.com, viewed 30 Nov 2023. And Ohio, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1774-1993, Pickaway County 1896-1906, p.268, Lincoln Loehr and Nellie May Knepper, 23 May 1901; Ancestry.com.

Tombstone Tuesday-Wreaths across America

You have probably seen a photo like this, Arlington National Cemetery during the Christmas season, when beautiful wreaths with red velvet bows are placed at veterans’ tombstones. It is a beautiful and touching scene.

Arlington National Cemetery, 2010, Flickr [1]

These wreaths are from the non-profit organization Wreaths across America and are placed by volunteers on a specified day in December.

This year National Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday, 16 December 2023, when volunteers will gather at more than 4,000 participating locations across the country to remember and honor our nation’s heroes, one wreath at a time.

These live balsam wreaths come from the Worcester Wreath Company, a family farm in Maine and a proud sponsor of Wreaths across America. The wreaths are made in Maine and each comes with a red velvet ribbon.

The mission of Wreaths across America is threefold: Remember the fallen. Honor those who serve. Teach the next generation the value of freedom.

Remember: Sponsor a veteran’s wreath in honor of or in memory of a loved one who served in our armed forces. Or sponsor a wreath and allow Wreaths across America to designate a recipient among the millions of veterans who rest in honored glory.

Honor: Volunteer with Wreaths across America as they honor our veterans throughout the year. Opportunities include laying wreaths locally, leading a sponsorship group, or coordinating a ceremony location.

Teach: Invite friends, family, coworkers, and organizations to join Wreaths across America as they strive to honor every veteran, helping to support and spread the word of their mission.

You can volunteer for this worthy cause several ways: sponsor a wreath, volunteer, partner with Wreaths across America on National Wreaths across America Day, or sponsor a specific cemetery or Local Sponsorship Group.

There are several ways to sponsor a wreath or any number of wreaths:

Pair a Wreath: Pair a sponsored wreath with a gift wreath which is delivered to your home or to a loved-one or friend.

In Honor and Memory Of: Sponsor wreaths in honor of living veterans or in memory of those who have passed, with the option to include email or mailed gift cards.

Show Your Support: Show your support on National wreaths Across America day with Wreaths across America merchandise and gear, which also makes a good gift, helping to spread information about their mission.

The past few years I have sponsored a wreath and purchased a wreath for my parents’ tombstone, called Pair a Wreath. I let Wreaths across America designate a recipient for my sponsored wreath, although I could designate a specific recipient if I wanted.  

I received my Wreaths across America wreath last week and we placed it at my parents’ gravestone, in honor of my dad, a WWII veteran. The wreath I sponsored will be placed at a tombstone somewhere on 16 December, National Wreaths Across America Day.   

Herbert & Florence Miller, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Ohio (2023 photo by Karen)

What a special way to honor our nation’s veterans and decorate a grave-site with a beautiful Christmas wreath as well. 

[1] Flickr photo, taken 11 Dec 2010, uploaded 14 Dec 2010, https://www.flickr.com/photos/walmartcorporate/with/5262055852/ , Creative Commons License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/# .

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from Karen’s Chatt! Wishing each of you a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. 


Tombstone Tuesday-Katherine C. Kable

Katherine C Kable, St. Paul UCC Cemetery, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. (2023 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Katherine C. Kable, located in row 9 of St. Paul UCC Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Katherine C.

Katherine C. Kable was born in Mercer County, Ohio, 15 March 1868, [1] the daughter of Ferdinand and Catherine (Bollenbacher) Kable. Both of her parents were German immigrants.

The Ferdinand Kable family in 1870: Ferdinand, 43; Catharine, 37; Adam, 9; Caroline, 7; Louisa, 3; Katherine, 1. [2] The Ferdinand Kable family in 1880: Ferdinand, 54; Catharine, 45; Adam, 17; Caroline, 16; Louisa, 13; Katherine, 12; and Nettie, 8. Their father Ferdinand was a farmer. [3]

Katharine Kable married Thomas Jefferson “T.J.” Dellinger 21 February 1895 in Mercer County, married by Samuel Egger, a Chatt-area minister who was likely the minister of her church. [4]

The Ferdinand Kable household in 1900: Ferdinand, 72, head; Catharine, 67, wife; Louisa, 33, daughter, single; Kattie [Katherine] Dittinger [sic] [Dellinger], 32, daughter, widow; Emil Kable, 11, grandson; Henrietta Bollenbacher, 95, mother-in-law, widow. [5]

T.J. and Katherine apparently divorced sometime before 1902, when in 1902, T.J. Dellinger (1876-1931) married Margaret Brunstetter. Katherine Kable took back her maiden name and continued to live with her parents.  

The Ferdinand Kable family in 1910: Ferdinand, 82; Catharine, 77, wife; Louisa [Kable], 43, daughter, single; Katherine [Kable], 42, daughter, single; Henry Leininger, 23, nephew, single. [6]

The father Ferdinand Kable, a Civil War veteran, died 14 January 1912.

In 1920 Katherine, 51, reportedly divorced, lived with her widowed mother Catherine Kable, 87, and her older sister Louisa Kable, 53, single. The three women resided in Liberty Township and none of them were employed outside the home. [7]

The mother Catherine (Bollenbacher) Kable died 25 June 1922.

After their mother’s death Katherine Kable and her sister Louisa moved to Pleasant Township, Van Wert County, to live with their sister Henrietta and her husband Christian Merkle.

Katherine’s sister Louisa died there on 10 February 1930. Katherine was enumerated later that year in the Merkle household: Christian Merkle, 66, head; Henrietta Merkle, 58, wife; Catherine C Kable, 61, single, sister-in-law. [8]

Between 1935 and 1940 Katherine, age 72, moved back to Liberty Township, Mercer County, where she owned and resided in a home in Chattanooga. [9] Katherine remained in Chatt for the next 10 years. According to the 1950 census she lived on the south end of Chatt, on the west side of State Route 49. [10]

Katherine Kable died in Gibbons Hospital in Celina on 24 September 1950 of pneumonia and colon cancer. She was buried on the 27th. [1]

Katherine Kable’s obituary:
Mrs. Katherine Kable
Chattanooga, Sep. 25
Mrs. Katherine Kable, 82, last surviving member of a family of seven, died Sunday in Gibbons hospital, Celina. She was a member of the St. Paul Evangelical and Reformed church, Liberty-tp, and its Ladies’ Guild.

The body will remain at the residence until final rites at the church at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Burial will be in the church cemetery with arrangements in charge of the Ketcham funeral home, Rockford. [11]

Katherine C. Kable had the following siblings:
John George Kable (1855-1865)
Jacob Kable (1858-1865)
Adam Kable (1861-1948), married Catharine Hoffman
Caroline Fredericka Kable (1863-1934), married Theobald Leininger
Louisa M. Kable (1866-1930)
Henrietta “Nettie” Kable (1871-1946), married Christian Merkle
Mary A Kable [according to Sutton’s 1882 History of Van Wert & Mercer County]

[1] “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” Mercer County, Katherine C Kable, 24 Sep 1950; FamilySearch.org.

[2] 1870 U.S. Census, Ohio, Mercer, Liberty, dwelling 100, family 92, p.148B, Ferdinand Kable; Ancestry.com.  

[3] 1880 U.S. Census, Ohio, Mercer, Liberty, ED 188, dwelling, 51, family 54, p.474C, Ferdnand [sic] Kable; Ancestry.com.

[4] Ohio, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1774-1993, Mercer County 1887-1904, p.92, TJ Dellinger & Katie Kable, 21 Feb 1895; Ancestry.com, viewed 17 Nov 2023.

[5] 1900 U.S. Census, Ohio, Mercer, Liberty, ED, dwelling 162, family 167, p.9, Ferdenand [sic] Kable; Ancestry.com.

[6] 1910 U.S. Census, Ohio, Mercer, Liberty, ED 119, p.17B, dwelling 391, family 342, Federinand [sic] Kable; Ancestry.com.

[7] 1920 U.S. Census, Ohio, Mercer Liberty, ED 140, p.10A, dwelling 190, family 206, Catherine Kable; Ancestry.com.

[8] 1930 U.S. Census, Ohio, Van Wert, Pleasant, ED 12, p.7A, Dwelling & Family 167, Christian Merkle; Ancestry.com.

[9] 1940 U.S. Census, Ohio, Mercer, Liberty, ED 54-22, p15B, household 315, Catherine Kable [sic]; Ancestry.com.

[10] 1950 U.S. Census, Ohio, Mercer, Liberty, ED 54-33, p.18, dwelling 158, Catherine Kable [sic]; Ancestry.com.

[11] Katherine Kable obituary, The Lima News, Lima, Ohio, 25 Sep 1950, p.2; Ancestry.com.

More About the Otterbein Sixteen

The WWII generation is often referred to as the Greatest Generation and I certainly believe that to be true. Those from that generation were smart, hard-working, good, brave, patriotic citizens who put their love of country and freedom before themselves. They served their country unselfishly. Actually, those qualities can be attributed to all veterans who have served this country from our nation’s beginning through the current time. It is what soldiers do. And we truly appreciate it.   

I featured The Otterbein Sixteen, a poem by C. Dillon Sell, in last Friday’s blog post for Veterans Day, One Day in My Life-A Story of WWII, by Paul & Lowell Sell. The poem was written about 16 young men from Otterbein United Brethren Church, Rockford, who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during WWII and, by the grace of God, all sixteen safely came back home.

The Otterbein Sixteen were: Clifford Beougher, Charles Berry, Ned Berry, Bill Book, Rea Book, Russell Book, Albert Clutter, Lowell Deitsch, Jacob Koeppel, Harold Leighner, Carl Sell, Leroy Sell, Lowell Sell, Paul Sell, Henry Warthman, and Bud Williams.

After reading Sell’s poem I wanted to learn a little more about the sixteen men who attended church together and who all fought in WWII.

I found additional information about all of them, more information on some than others. They had families but I did not include the names of their children. The Otterbein Sixteen were about my father’s age and their children are my contemporaries. I even went to school with a couple of their children. Most of the Sixteen stayed in the area, but some moved farther away. 

I knew one of the Otterbein Sixteen. Henry Warthman was one of my school bus drivers at Parkway Local School, one of my favorite bus drivers.

“Henry” James Warthman (1925-1977) was born in Mercer County 9 October 1925, the son of Carl and Martha (Hansel) Warthman. He married Margaret L. Gilson (1927-2001) on 5 May 1946 in Mercer County. He worked at Goodyear Tire & Rubber, St. Marys, and drove school bus at Parkway. Henry died 4 April 1977 and is buried at Friends Cemetery, SR 118 & Tama Road. Henry Warthman served in the U.S. Navy.

Henry Warthman’s sister Virginia Rose married another one of the Otterbein Sixteen, Ned Edwin Berry. Ned and his brother Charles Jr. were among the Otterbein Sixteen:

“Ned” Edwin Berry (1924-1990) was born in or near Rockford on 27 December 1924, the son of Charles F. and Alma D. (Yahn) Berry. He married Virginia Rose Warthman (1928-2006) on 30 June 1946 in Mercer County. He worked at Goodyear Tire & Rubber, St. Marys, and was still a member of Otterbein UB church when he died 14 June 1990. He is buried at Mercer Memory Gardens, Celina. Ned Berry served in the U.S. Navy.

“Charles” Floyd Berry Jr (1922-2001) was born in Dublin Township on 4 August 1922, the son of Charles F. and Alma D. (Yahn) Berry. He married Lois Ann Rutledge (1926-2001) on 22 August 1945 in Mercer County. Charles was a farmer and drove truck for the Rockford Stone Quarry. He was a member of New Horizons Church when he died 29 June 2001 and is buried at Stringtown Cemetery. Charles Berry Jr served in the U.S. Navy.

Two sets of three brothers were among the Otterbein Sixteen, the Book brothers and the Sell brothers. 

3 Book Brothers:

Theodore “Russell” Book (1916-2003) was born 13 June 1916 in Vinton County, Ohio, the son of John “Asa” Logan and Martha Luella “Lula” (Raver) Book. He married Barbara Inez Kidd (1917-1997) on 3 March 1946 in Van Wert County. He worked at Continental Can, Van Wert, and was a farmer. Russell died in Rockford on 13 April 2003 and is buried at Greenbriar Cemetery, Glenmore, Van Wert County. Russell Book served in the U.S. Army.

“Rea” Pershing Book (1918-2009) was born in Mercer County 9 July 1918, the son of John “Asa” Logan and Martha Luella “Lula” (Raver) Book. He married Mary Akom (1919-1978) on 25 May 1941 in Van Wert County, and after Mary’s death married Fern Edith (Redlinger) Debolt (1920-2013) on 11 August 1979 in Van Wert County. Rea Book was a United Methodist minister. He died in Van Wert County on 12 September 2009 and is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City. Rea Book served in the U.S. Army.

William Gene “Bill” Book (1924-2006) was born in or near Rockford on 27 October 1924, the son of John “Asa” Logan & Martha Luella “Lula” (Raver) Book. He married Crystal “June” Hurless (1926-1985) on 12 May 1945 in Van Wert County, and after her death he married Edna Marie Herberger on 14 May 1989. He worked at Gray Printing, Fostoria, Ohio. Bill died 8 April 2006 at Ohio City and is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City. Bill Book served in the U.S. Navy.

3 Sell brothers:

“Carl” Andrew Sell (1917-2003) was born in Dublin Township on 11 August 1917, the son of Samuel Oliver and Zelma (Boice) Sell. He married Martha Ann Akom (1919-1950) on 3 May 1942, and after Martha’s death he married Pauline Book (1931-2022) on 6 June 1951 in Mercer County. Pauline Book was a sister to the three Book brothers, members of the Otterbein Sixteen. Carl was a shop foreman, mechanic, and salesman for Ford Motor Tractor and Implement Division, owned and operated Farm Equipment Dealership, managed Ridgeway Motel in Van Wert and Western 6 Motel in Tempe, Arizona, and farmed. He died 1 May 2003 and is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City. Carl Sell served in the U.S. Army.

“Lowell” D. Sell (1923-2011) was born 20 February 1923, the son of Samuel Oliver and Zelma (Boice) Sell. He married Martha R. Cotton (1930-2008) on 6 November 1949 in Franklin County, Ohio. He was a farmer, mechanic, part owner of Sell’s Ford Tractor Sales, and worked at Speicher Corp, Celina. Lowell died 15 March 2011 in Wapakoneta, Ohio, and is buried at Stringtown Cemetery, Rockford. Lowell Sell served in the U.S. Army.

“Paul” Ivan Sell (1926-2014) was born 29 October 1926 in Dublin Township, the son of Samuel Oliver and Zelma (Boice) Sell. He married Elizabeth/Betty Ann Kelly (1932-2007) on 28 September 1952 in Allen County, Indiana. He sold life insurance and was a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. Paul died 3 February 2014 in Shelby County, Indiana, and is buried at Oak Lawn Cemetery, Ossian, Wells County, Indiana. Paul Sell served in the U.S. Navy.  

Another Sell, a first cousin to the above 3 Sell brothers:

Otis “Leroy” Sell (1916-1968) was born 28 February 1916, the son of Charles Dillon and Mary Katharine (Rettic) Sell. He married Mary R. Hynes (1906-1986), an immigrant from Northern Ireland. He moved to Arizona shortly after the war and was a heavy equipment operator for Fisher Contracting Co. and Benson Contracting Co. Leroy died 1 July 1968 in Maricopa County, Arizona, from heat prostration in the desert after his vehicle broke down. He is buried at Saint Francis Catholic Cemetery, Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona. Leroy Sell served as a Tech5 298th General Hospital, U.S. Army.

“Clifford” Wilmer Beougher (1922-2007) was born in Mercer County 26 May 1922, the son of William D. and Bessie (White) Beougher. He married Marcile A. Krugh (1924-2009) on 22 July 1943 in Wooster, Ohio. He worked at the Huffy Corporation and Midwestern United Life Company. Clifford died 3 July 2007 in St. Marys and is buried at Elm Grove Cemetery, St. Marys. Clifford Beougher served in the U.S. Army.

Samuel “Albert” Clutter Jr (1921-1995) was born in or near Rockford on 21 July 1921, the son of Samuel and Lela May (McClintock) Clutter. He married Betty Eileen Long (1926-) on 5 July 1980 in Tennessee. Albert was a railroad employee and died 21 November 1995 in Osceola, Florida, burial details unknown. I could not find information concerning his military service.

“Jacob” F Koeppel Sr (1919-1996) was born in Dublin Township on 23 May 1919, the son of Adam W. and Sarah J. (Ford) Koeppel. He married Dorothy G. Chaney (1919-1984) on 30 May 1937 in Willshire. He was employed by GTE’s accounting division. Jacob died 5 Jul 1996 in Marion County, Ohio, and is buried in Grand Prairie Cemetery, Marion County. Jacob Koeppel Sr served in the U.S. Navy.

“Harold” Rufus Leighner (1921-1951) was born in Branch County, Michigan, 23 December 1921, the son of Harry Oliver and Mary E. (Applegate) Leighner. He married Ruthilene Wert (2023-2020) on 14 February 1942 in Mercer County. Harold Leighner died 31 August 1951 as the result of a farming accident and is buried at Woodland Union Cemetery, Van Wert. Harold Leighner served in the U.S. Army.

Kenneth “Lowell” Deitsch (1927-2018) was born 9 March 1927 in or near Rockford, the son of Ben J. and Mary Electa (Eichenauer) Deitsch. He married Marilyn Irene Cotton (1934-) about 1954. He worked at Honda Power Equipment. He died 17 June 2018 in Manatee County, Florida, and is buried at Gwinnett Memorial Park, Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia. Lowell Deitsch served in the U.S. Navy.

“Bud” Earl Williams (1925-1996) was born in or near Rockford on 14 February 1925, the son of Oscar W. and Ida (Dull) Williams. He married Phyllis Jane Hiles (1924-2002) on 15 August 1943 in Mercer County. He was a farmer, mowed grass for the Anthony Wayne Boy Scout Camp, Pleasant Lake, Indiana, and worked for Snell Groves, New Port Richey, Florida. He died 21 December 1996 in Florida and is buried in the Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Florida. Bud Williams served in the U.S. Army.

Otterbein United Brethren in Christ Church, aka Stringtown United Brethren Church, was located on State Route 707, about half a mile east of State Route 118, south of Rockford. It was organized in 1841 and some of the first members were Koeppels and Custers, likely ancestors of some of the Otterbein Sixteen. Otterbein UB was originally called Stringtown United Brethren Church and the cemetery next to the church is still called Stringtown Cemetery. Otterbein UB and Calvary UB merged in 1993 and, after a 1999 fire, in 2000 the congregation built a new church in Rockford and changed the name to New Horizons Community Church. Another group, called the Christian Church, repaired and used the Otterbein UB building on 707 for a few years, but sold it to St. Teresa Catholic Church in December 2008.