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 school 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.

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