The year 1824 was a special one for many Bluffton-Pandora Swiss pioneers. The ship, Boston, left Le Harve, France, with 118 passengers and landed in Alexandria, Virginia, on Sept. 9, 1824. With the help of the ship manifest, we are able to identify over 70 last names, many of them local names.
These names include Basinger, Beer, Bichsel, Bucher, Diller, Gerber, Hofstetter, Liechty, Luginbuhl, Moser, Neuenschwander, Ramseier, Schrag, Schumacher, Steiner, Suter, Tscheigg and Welty among passengers.
We do not know how many of these families decided to come over as a group. Some settled in Holmes and Wayne counties, Ohio, and later moved west to our community.
One of these immigrants was Katherine Steiner, daughter of Hans Johannes and Elisabeth Leeman Steiner.
Katherine and her husband, Christian John Luginbuhl, came from Holmes County with their six children, ages 5 to 21. The children moved to Putnam and Allen counties except for Barbara, who married Johannes Walti, who remained in Wayne County. Two children, David and Peter, died in France before the family came to America.
The seven children in America gave birth to 67 grandchildren to Christian and Katherine.
Katherine died on Feb. 21, 1832, in Holmes County at age 50. Christian John then moved to Allen County in 1836, as he must have felt to the need to be with his children here.
His farm is shown on the 1871 plat book as Section 32, Richland Township, Allen County. The farm eventually passed to David C. and his son, Jacob, then to son, Harry. The farm is on the southwest side of Pandora Road with Riley Creek bordering it on the north.
Today that farm is across the road from the Suter strawberry farm near Bixel Road.
According to the P.B. Amstutz book, “Historical Events of the Mennonite Settlement in Allen and Putnam Counties, Ohio,” Christian John had an accident cutting his foot with an axe. The wound did not heal and it was necessary to have an amputation.
He was able to continue his work and died at age 68. The story continues stating that his earthly body was put in a wooden coffin and buried in the Old Swiss Mennonite Cemetery.
Another coffin, 20 inches long, made of walnut, was made to place his wooden leg in and it was buried in his garden. We do not know the location of his garden.
The family name Luginbuhl has changed to other spellings, and writer of this original column, Herb Probst, wrote that he would let the Luginbuhl descendants decide, which is the proper spelling for their family name.
Christian John Luginbuhl
Born: Sept. 12, 1779, Montreuz Oberthal Jeune, Belfort, France
Died: Sept. 17, 1847, Riley Township
Buried: Old Swiss Mennonite Cemetery
Occupation: Farmer and miller
Christian John’s father: David Niclaus Luginbuhl (1732-1794)
Christian John’s mother: Barbara Elizabeth Schumacher (1745-1808)
Katherine Steiner Luginbuhl
Born: July 25, 1781, La Charme Cme. Florimont, France
Died: Feb. 21, 1832, Paint Township, Holmes County, Ohio
Buried: Holmes County
Katherine’s father: Hans Johnanns Steiner (1746-1806)
Katherine’s mother: Elisabeth Leeman (1750-1814)
Christian John and Katherine’s children
John C. Luginbuhl
Born: Oct.14, 1803, Cme. Courtelevant, France
Died: Oct. 2, 1873, Riley Township
Spouse: Anna Marie Thüler (Diller)
The couple had 10 children
Spouse: Anna Oberly (previously married to Johannes Lerch
Born: Feb. 18, 1807, Cme. Courtelevant, France
Died: Nov. 4, 1883, Sonnenberg, Wayne County, Ohio
Spouse: Johanne Walti
The couple had 9 children
Christian A. Luginbuhl
Born: Nov. 21, 1809, Cme. Courtelevant, France
Died: Oct. 3, 1855, Riley Township
Spouse: Barbara Hilty
The couple had 10 children
Elizabeth “Elsie” Luginbuhl
Born: Feb. 1, 1811, Cme. Courtelevant, France
Died: Feb. 16, 1887, Richland Township
Spouse: Johanne P. Geiger
The couple had 5 children
Born: May 7, 1813, Cme. Florimont Moulin de IEcrevisse, France
Died: Jan. 18, 1815, Cme. Florimont Moulin de IEcrevisse, France
Born: Jan. 15, 1815, Cme. Florimont Moulin de IEcrevisse, France
Died: Jan. 29, 1815, Cme. Florimont Moulin de IEcrevisse, France
Born: April 11, 1817, Cme. Florimont Moulin de IEcrevisse, France
Died: Dec. 28, 1871, Riley Township
Spouse: Christian “Columbia” J. Basinger, Jr.
The couple had 12 children
David C. Luginbuhl
Born: June 18, 1819, Cme. Florimont Moulin de IEcrevisse, France
Died: Feb. 1, 1894, Richland Township
Spouse: Katherina Geiger (died at age 26)
The couple had 6 children
Spouse: Anna Amstutz (died at age 41)
The couple had 4 children
Spouse: Anna Lederman
The couple did not have children
Born: Aug. 5, 1825, Paint Township, Holmes County, Ohio
Died: Jan. 30, 1899, Riley Township
Spouse: John G. Geiger
The couple had 11 children