One Old Postcard

An address on an old postcard. A town I had never heard of. Sometimes it only takes one little clue. That’s what it took to help solve this mystery.

The past several weeks my Tombstone Tuesday posts have been about the Schotts, Ladermans, and Linns who are buried in Zion Chatt’s Cemetery.

Mary (Schott) Laderman (1886-1918) died young, leaving her husband and four children. After her death their children went to live with various relatives, but I wondered what happened to her husband William Laderman, who was not buried in Zion’s cemetery with her.

I wondered until last night, when I looked at this old postcard and did a little research.

Chattanooga, Ohio, postcard, from Maggie to Julia Laderman, c1913.

Chattanooga, Ohio, postcard, from Maggie to Julia Laderman, c1913.

I am always on the lookout for old Chattanooga postcards, but unfortunately there aren’t many out there. I signed up to receive notifications from Ebay when anything related to Chattanooga, Ohio, comes up for auction and I get notifications of Chattanooga postcards nearly every day from them. The Chattanooga, Tennessee, that is. Not really what I am looking for. Not even close.

However, I was excited when one of my patients kindly gave me an old Chattanooga, Ohio, postcard last winter after learning I was looking for some. It is not a picture postcard of Chatt, but instead a generic “Greetings from Chattanooga Ohio” card. When he gave it to me I glanced at the note on the back but the names didn’t mean anything to me at the time. The name Laderman did not ring a bell so I never really paid attention to the hand-written note.

Until the other night, when I picked up the old postcard and looked at the name and address again. It was addressed to Julia Laderman in Gibsonburg, Ohio, and it was from Maggie.

Hmmm. Laderman. Maggie. I just wrote about Maggie Laderman, who married Edward Linn. Maggie’s mother, Mary (Schott) Laderman, died young and Maggie was raised by her aunt and uncle. Did Maggie (Laderman) Linn write this?

Miss Julia Laderman
Gibsonburg Ohio

From Maggie
Hellow [sic] Julia, how are you we are all well and hope you are the same Mary was going to come out there and then the baby got sick.


Chattanooga, Ohio, postcard, from Maggie to Julia Laderman, c1913.

Chattanooga, Ohio, postcard, from Maggie to Julia Laderman, c1913.

Who was this Julia Laderman and where was Gibsonburg?

I learned that Gibsonburg is a small town in northern Ohio, in Sandusky County. I searched the 1900 census for Sandusky County and found William Lederman, born October 1880. In the same household was his younger sister Julia Lederman, born April 1895. Both were born in Ohio. [1] That gave me an approximate birth date for both, but I still wasn’t sure if this was the same William Laderman, husband of Mary Schott. But he looked very promising.

William Fredrick Laderman, born 15 October 1880, filled out draft registration cards for both WWI and WWII. William and his wife Marie [Mary] were living on Smith St. in Ft. Wayne in about 1917. William was a fireman at G.E. in Fort Wayne. [2] In 1942 William Laderman, same date of birth, was living in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. This record stated that he was born in Sandusky County, Ohio. [3]

Next I found a birth record for William F. Lederman, which indicated he was born 15 October 1879 to Reinhart and Elisabeth (Burk) Lederman, born in Sandusky County, Ohio. [4]

William married Mary Schott 18 June 1904 in Mercer County, Ohio. [5] They had at least 5 children-Paul, Margaret, Florence, Josephine, and Emma. Florence Estella died in 1910 and was only 1½ years old. She is buried at Zion Chatt.

In 1913-14 William F. and Marie [Mary] Laderman were living at 2016 Nelson St, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was a driller for Thrasher & Herman. [6]

Mary (Schott) Laderman died in 1918 and their children went to live with various relatives. The 1920 censuses shows where the children were living.

In 1920 daughter Margaret was living with her aunt and uncle, Otto and Maggie (Schott) Bollenbacher. Maggie (Schott) Bollenbacher and Margaret’s mother Mary were sisters. [7]

At the same time daughter Josephine was living with her maternal grandparents, Michael & Margaret (Kuehm) Schott. [8]

The two other children, Paul and Emma, were living with their widowed paternal grandfather Reinhart Laderman, in Sandusky, Ohio. [9]

It was in this 1920 census that I learned of their fifth child Emma, born 15 May 1912 in Allen County, Indiana. [10]
William remained in Fort Wayne for a few more years, living at 719 E. Jefferson in 1918 and at 1211 Taylor in 1919. He was a fireman at G.E. during those years. [6]

According to Find a, William Laderman died in Mount Pleasant on 10 March 1957, at the age of 76 years, and is buried in Riverside Cemetery there. [11]

There is no postmark on the old postcard so I do not know when it was written. But I can make an educated guess.

I learned that Julia Laderman married Clarence J. Smith on 4 March 1914 in Sandusky. [12] She would have used her maiden of Laderman before 1914, so the card was probably written before then.

Which Maggie wrote the message? Julia’s niece Margaret “Maggie” Laderman, who married Edward Linn? Or Julia’s brother’s sister-in-law, Maggie (Schott) Bollenbacher?

In the message Mary is mentioned with a baby. I assume this may be Mary (Schott) Laderman. Would her daughter Maggie call her by her given name of Mary? Would Maggie Bollenbacher know Julia Laderman from Sandusky, her brother-in-law’s sister?

Or maybe an entirely different Maggie wrote the message…

We may never know who wrote the message, but the town’s name of Gibsonburg gave me a starting point to look for the Laderman family.

Mystery solved, thanks to one old postcard.


[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Madison Twp, Sandusky, Ohio, ED 82, p.173A, dwelling 91, family 91, R. Lederman; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 15 Oct 2014); from FHL microfilm 1241318, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1318.

[2] U.S. WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, Draft Board 3, roll 1503885, William Fredrick Laderman; database on-line, ( : accessed 15 Oct 2014). William gave his date of birth as 15 October 1880.

[3] Selective Service Registration Cards, WWII: 4th Registration, Record Group No. 147, William Frederick Laderman; database on-line, ( : accessed 15 Oct 2014). William gave his date of birth as 15 October 1880; born in Sandusky Co., OH; current address as 303 N. Main, Mt. Pleasant, MI; employed by Turner Drilling Co, Mr. Pleasant; person who will always know your address: Timothy Fry.

[4] “Ohio Births & Christenings Index 1800-1962,” Wm F Lederman, b. 15 Oct 1879, Washington, Sandusky, Ohio, to Reinhart & Elisabeth Burk Lederman; ( : accessed 15 October 2014); from FHL microfilm 511730.

[5] “Ohio, Marriages, 1800-1958,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 October 2014), William F. Ladermann and Marie C. Schott, 18 June 1904; citing Mercer County, Ohio, Marriages, Vol. 9, p.20, from FHL microfilm 0914958.

[6] U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989, from 1913 Fort Wayne, Indiana, City Directory, p. 712, 1914 p. 724, 1918, p.709, 1919, p.721; database on-line, ( : accessed 15 Oct 2014).

[7] 1920 U.S. Census, Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana, ED 4, p.7B, dwelling 144, family 154, Otto Bollenbacher; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 15 Oct 2014); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 420. Maggie is shown as Margurite A. Latterman, 12, niece, born in Ohio.

[8] 1920 U.S. Census, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio, ED 140, p.3A, dwelling 46, family 46, Michael Schott; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 15 Oct 2014); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 1418. Josephine Ladderman, 9, granddaughter, born in Indiana.

[9] 1920 U.S. Census, Madison, Township, Sandusky County, Ohio, ED 86, p.9A, dwelling 189, family 189, Rinhart Leaderman; ; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 15 Oct 2014); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 1429. Paul Leaderman, 14, grandson, born in Indiana. Emma Leaderman, 7, granddaughter, born in Indiana.

[10] “Indiana Births, 1880-1920,” database on-line, from Index to Birth Records, Indiana WPA, 1938-1940; Allen County, Vol. 3, Book CH-5, p. 99; (www. : accessed 15 October 2014).

[11] Find a Grave Memorial #75838601, created by Gravehound Club, added 1 September 2011, William Laderman; buried at Riverside Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant, Isabella Co., MI, Block B, Lot 90, Space 5, Spot ID 1920; Find A ( : accessed 15 October 2014).

[12] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1997,” index and images, FamilySeach ( : accessed 15 Oct 2014), Clarence J. Smith and Julia L. Laderman, 4 Mar 1914; citing Sandusky, Ohio, reference V-18, p.40, CN 3911; FHL microfilm 506649. Clarence was 22 and Julia was 18. Julia’s parents were given as Rheinhart & Elizabeth Burk Laderman.



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  1. Wow! Very impressive analysis based on this one postcard and your family knowledge. Looking forward to hearing more about this mystery!

    1. Thanks, Marian! I enjoy solving mysteries.

  2. Karen,

    Old postcards that belonged to our family members are wonderful clues and windows into their lives.

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you so much! I am honored.

  3. What fun research! And I’m glad it had a payoff.

    1. It was fun, Vera! And I enjoyed every minute of it.

    • Theresa on April 3, 2017 at 2:14 am
    • Reply

    I knew a Maggie Bollenbacher in Ft wayne Indiana. I was married to her grandson. Her family was from Ohio.

    1. There are a lot of Bollenbachers in the area and there may be a connection. This may get you interested in genealogy! Thanks for writing.

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