Jan 27

S. Lotter’s Meat Market, Willshire, Ohio

I enjoy looking at old postcards and a while back I acquired some old postcards of Willshire, Ohio.

Yesterday I scanned them onto my computer and enlarged and looked at them closely. There are people in the photos and detail on the postcards is good.

Written on the postcard below is “bank and drug store Willshire, O.”

State Street, Willshire, Ohio.

I believe these buildings were on the west side of State Street, in the first block south of today’s signal light.

As I looked at the photo closely I was able to read the store signs. The building to the far was the Drug Store. It looks like they had a telephone there because there is a bell-shaped sign hanging from the Drug Store sign. Unfortunately I cannot read the sign on the side of that building. The next business in that building was evidently the bank.

The small middle building was a meat market–S. Lotter’s Meat Market. Perhaps the store owner is one of the men standing in front of the store.

The name Lotter got my attention because I have recently been writing about the Lotters who are buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery.

S Lotter’s Meat Market, State Street, Willshire, Ohio.

I am not sure if this S. Lotter who owned the meat market was connected to the Lotters who attended Zion Chatt, but he probably was.

There was a Simon Lotter mentioned in the church records several times. The first mention was in 1876 when Simon and his wife Maria Wilhelmine were baptismal sponsors for Maria Wilhelmine Zeillinger.

On 9 July 1876 their own child, Emilie Elisabeth Lotter, was baptized at Zion Chatt. Emilie was born 24 February 1876 and that record indicates Simon Lotter’s wife was Wilhelmine Preus/Preuss.  Emilie Elisabeth died 9 July 1876 at the age of 4 months and 13 days. She may be buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery but her tombstone does not remain.

Simon and Wilhelmine Lotter had another child baptized at Zion Chatt on 20 April 1879–Louis Peter, born 27 February 1878.

Those were the only times that Simon Lotter was mentioned in Zion Chatt’s records but they did have several other children, which included a son Samuel (1886-1973). Depending on when this photo was taken, this may have been Samuel’s Meat Market.

In 1880 Simon and Wilhelmine “Minnie” lived in Willshire and Simon was a butcher. In their household: Samuel, 33; Minnie, 32; George, 6; Lue, 2; and Minnie, 1 month. Also in the household was a 19 year-old male, born in Bavaria, whose occupation was butcher. Simon and Wilhelmine were born in Bavaria and their children were born in Ohio. Their daughter Minnie’s name was crossed out. [1]

The Simon Lotter family remained in Willshire and in 1900 Simon’s occupation was “provisions dealer.” Their son Willie, 16, was a “provisions salesman.” Their household in 1900: Simon, 53; Minnie, 51; Emma, 19; Willie, 16; Samuel, 13; John, 11; and Carl, 8. They had been married 26 years and six of their nine children were living. According to this census Simon immigrated in 1873. [2]

By 1910 both Simon and his son Samuel were butchers in Willshire. This census enumeration indicates that Simon was the store owner and that Samuel worked in the “home shop.” Daughter Emma was a clerk in a dry goods store. The family lived on State Street in Willshire: Simon, 63; Minnie, 61; Emma, 29; Samuel, 22; John, 20; and Carl, 18. [3]

Simon Lotter (1847-1913) and his wife Wilhelmine (1848-1926) are both buried in Willshire Cemetery.

Simon died in 1913 and I imagine this photo was taken before then, when he owned the market. By 1920 his son Samuel had moved to Fort Wayne, where he was a meat cutter in a butcher shop there.

What an interesting postcard!


[1] 1880 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 154, p.460B, family 57, Samuel Lotterer; Ancestry.com (accessed 26 Jan 2017); NARA microfilm T9, roll 1074.

[2] 1900 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 97, p.3B, dwelling 59, family 63, Simon Lotter; Ancestry.com (accessed 26 Jan 2017); FHL microfilm 1241329, NARA microfilm T623, roll 1329.

[3] 1910 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 114, p 14A. dwelling/family 118, Samion Zoller; Ancestry.com (accessed 26 Jan 2017); FHL microfilm 1375251, NARA microfilm T624, roll 1238.


Jan 24

Tombstone Tuesday–Margaret Callens

Margaret Callens, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Margaret Callens, located in row 5 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. Her broken tombstone is nearly illegible, but it appears the inscription is:

[Top is broken off]
…. of
Tobias Callens
Sept. 22, 1878
77 y, 10 m, 2 [?] d

I looked at the tombstone in person, but the date is just about the only thing that is readable anymore.

I looked at how the Mercer County Chapter OGS read it in 1990. The marker may have been more legible in 1990 but it was broken even back then. The Mercer County readers were unable to determine the surname and Mercer County Cemetery Inscriptions, Vol. VI only shows the last two letters of what they determined could be the surname—ET. Their inscription from 1990: …ET, Tobias, Sept. 22, 1878, age 77 years, 10 months, 0 days.

I looked at the tombstone’s entry on Find a Grave.com. Find a Grave.com shows the surname as Lotter and the tombstone was read as: wife of Tobias Lotter, died Sept. 22, 1878, aged 77y, 10m, 22d.

However, I believe Zion Chatt’s death and burial records tell who is buried beneath this tombstone. Their records indicate that the surname is not Lotter at all, but is Callens.

Margaret Callens, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2017 photo by Karen)

Zion Chatt’s records indicate that Margarethe Callens died 22 September 1878, at the age of 77 years, 10 months, and 4 days.

The letters ET at the upper right could be the last two letters of the name Margaret since the rest of the name has broken off on the upper left

The dates on the tombstone match the dates in the church records, except for the 4 days entry. The days on the grave marker are basically too worn to read but it looks like 2 or 22 days.

Margaret Callens, negative image to better see the inscription. (2017 photo by Karen)

That surname is not familiar to me and it was only entered in the church records that one time.

Did Margaret live in the area?

Did she die while visiting relatives or friends?

Or did she die while passing through the area?

Who was Tobias? Was he her husband or her father?

Yet another mystery in Zion’s cemetery.

We may never know the answers to these questions but it appears the church records have helped identify another grave marker.


Jan 20

Photos from the “Germann Collection”

Here are a few more photos from what I like to refer to as “The Germann Collection,” a group of old photos that belonged to Edna and Viola Germann.

Edna (1896-1997), Viola (1900-2001), and their brother Wilbert (1905-1972) were the children of Stephen E. and Rosina (Schumm) Germann.

Their father Stephen was the son of Henry and Mary (Hertz) Germann and their mother Rosina was the daughter of Jacob Frederick and Maria (Germann) Schumm.

From time to time I have posted some photos from the Germann Collection and below are some more, photos from Edna and Viola’s childhood.

Edna and Viola Germann:

Edna & Viola Germann

Edna and Viola’s aunt Louise Schumm (their mother’s sister) married Henry Friedrich Schinnerer. Henry Friedrich and Louise (Schumm) Schinnerer had children William (1893-1963), Lydia (1897-1985), and Fred, and two other children who died in infancy.

Edna and Viola with their first cousins William and Lydia Schinnerer:

Edna & Viola Germann with 1st cousins William and Lydia Schinnerer

Edna & Viola Germann with 1st cousins William and Lydia Schinnerer

Edna, Viola, and their brother Wilbert Germann:

Edna, Viola, & Wilbert Germann

Edna, Viola, Wilbert Germann, and Fred Schumm:

Edna, Viola & Wilbert Germann; Fred Schumm

I believe the small boy in the above photo is Joseph Fredrick “Fred” Schumm, the son of Charles “CJ” and Jeanetta Ann (Bury) Schumm. Jeanetta was accidentally electrocuted a little less than 2 months after their son Fred’s birth. It appears that Fred went to live with the Stephen Germann family after her death. Fred was enumerated with the Germanns in the 1920 and 1930 censuses, shown as their nephew. Charles “CJ” Schumm was a brother to Edna and Viola’s mother Rosina, so Fred would have been Edna and Viola’s first cousin.

Thank you to Edna and Viola for labeling so many of your photos!

Jan 17

Tombstone Tuesday–Mary E. Lotter

Mary Lotter, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2015 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Mary E. Lotter located in row 4 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Mary E.
Dau of
J.P. & C.
Mar 6, 1889
13 mo. & 12 d.

Although the Lotters attended Zion Lutheran Church in Chatt at one time, where several of their children were baptized, neither Mary Lotter’s baptism nor her death or burial is recorded in Zion Chatt’s records. The only information that remains about her is the information inscribed on her tombstone.

Her tombstone indicates that Mary was the daughter of J.P. and Lotter–John Peter and his wife Catharine (Eichler).

Both of her parents were from Zweifelsheim, Bavaria. They immigrated in 1869 and moved to the Chatt area by 1875, where they attended Zion Chatt.

Mary had at least eleven siblings and she was one of the younger children, if not the youngest in the family.

Mary’s father and grandmother [Anna Lotter] are also both buried in Zion Chatt’s Cemetery. Her father died in 1891 and her grandmother died in 1890.

Jan 13

Offering Envelopes, Old and New

The late Don Caffee used to have an amusing little saying about church. He said, “Whenever two or more are gathered, there will be an offering.” This little quip, called a Donism by his son, is fairly accurate.

At the end of every year Zion Chatt’s members get their offering envelopes for the new year and we got our 2017 envelopes a couple weeks ago.

I also have a couple old 1928 offering envelopes that I found among my grandpa Carl Miller’s old papers. Apparently he did not use all of his envelopes that year.

1928 Offering Envelope

These old offering envelopes are really small—just a little over 3½ inches long. I don’t see how they could get very much money in them. I wonder if he put cash or a check in the little envelope.

Today’s offering envelopes are certainly larger than the ones they had about 90 years ago. Today’s envelopes are about 7” long, nearly twice the size of Grandpa’s envelopes.

2017 & 1928 Zion Chatt offering envelopes

I don’t remember an offering envelope quite that small but I do remember when we switched to the larger envelopes that we use today.  I guess they reason that the larger the envelope, the larger the offering will be. It must be a psychological thing.

At Zion, a member gets his/her first packet of offering envelopes soon after he/she is confirmed, at about age 14. Each married couple and each single person gets their own set of envelopes every year.

I do not know when Zion Chatt first started using printed offering envelopes. Early on, members may have just put their money in the offering plate when it was passed to them. Or perhaps they used regular envelops and wrote their name on it.

Today, as in 1928, each member/family has a number on the offering envelope. Grandpa Miller was number 139! Did they have that many members back then? Our membership is smaller today. We are number 2 because our surname is at the beginning of the alphabet.

The Sunday offering provides money to support the church, salaries, maintenance, pay the bills, and support missions.

God loves a cheerful giver!



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