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Dr. J.J. and Susan Lugibihl Sutter




An earlier column in this series focused on Abraham and Anna Locher Lugibihl. This column features Abraham and Anna’s daughter, Susan, and her husband Dr. John J. Sutter.

Susan married Dr. John J. Sutter. His parents were Johannes (or John) and Elizabeth Waltï Sutter.

Johannes’s parents were Christian and Katherine Berner Sutter, and were born in Canton Bern, Switzerland. They came to America and Wayne County, Ohio, where John was born April 17, 1835.

Elizabeth’s parents, John and Christina Gerber Waltï, (or Welty), were also born in Switzerland, where Elizabeth was born on Aug. 14, 1833. Her parents did not come to Wayne County until around 1850.

When the Civil War broke out John was drafted for army service on Oct. 2, 1862. But as the Mennonites took a defenseless attitude on war, John obtained a release by getting a substitute in his place.

John came to Putnam County early in life and was a landowner east of Pandora. The 1880 Putnam County plat record shows he owned 99.5 acres in Riley Township, Section 16. Today, part of this land is owned by St. John Mennonite Church.

Elizabeth came to Putnam County with her parents around 1855. John and Elizabeth were married on Jan. 17, 1858, and had nine children.

Of these children, John J. Sutter graduated from medical school in Cincinnati in 1898 and returned to Bluffton as a physician and surgeon.

With the help of Dr. John J. Sutter’s wife, Susan, the couple was instrumental in forming the Bluffton sanitarium in 1908, which eventually became Bluffton Hospital. The sanitarium was located on the site of Bluffton Public Library at the corner of Main and College.

Susan served as matron for the hospital, which remained on Main Street until 1936 when a new building opened on Garau Street.

John was active in Bluffton civic affairs. He served two terms as Bluffton mayor and 15 years as Allen County health commissioner.

In 1937 John and Susan returned to Wayne County where he become health commissioner for the county and the city of Wooster.

Upon retirement in 1950, John and Susan then moved to Lakeside, Ohio, where John died at age 81. Upon his death, Susan returned to Bluffton and died at age 83.

John and Susan and John’s parents are buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Bluffton.

A news item from the Aug. 6, 1903, Bluffton News states: “Last Friday afternoon, Dr. J.J. Sutter, while on his way to see one of his patients, met with a very painful accident four miles south of town.

“As Dr. Sutter was driving along at a fair rate of speed, his horse shied (frightened), sprang to one side and fell, throwing the doctor out of the buggy.

“The horse unable to get out of the shafts and doctor crawled to one side of the road, suffering severe pains in his shoulders and legs.”

Another famous Sutter, connected to the California gold rush, was also from Switzerland. He was Johann, but we have no positive connection to Johann and the Sutter families who settled in Bluffton.

Johannes Sutter Born: April 17, 1835, Wayne County, Ohio Died: Dec. 7, 1912, Bluffton Buried: Maple Grove Cemetery

Johannes’ father: Christian Sutter (1797- ??) Johanne’s mother: Katherine Berner (1799-1869)

Elizabeth Waltï Born: Aug. 14, 1833, Bagischwand Emmental Bern Switzerland Died: Sept. 6, 1913, Bluffton Buried: Maple Grove Cemetery

Elizabeth’s father: John Waltï (1787-1855) Elizabeth’s mother: Christina Gerber (1793-1890)

Johannes and Elizabeth Sutter's children

Christian C. Sutter Born: Oct. 25, 1858, Riley Township Died: June 9, 1894, Riley Township Spouse: Katherina Suter (note spelling) The couple had 2 children.

Daniel C. Sutter Born: June 8, 1860, Riley Township Died: Jan. 7, 1939, Riley Township Spouse: Louise Schutz The couple had 3 children.

Maria Sutter Born: March 31, 1862, Riley Township Died: Oct. 5, 1867, Riley Township

Abraham L. Sutter Born: July 2, 1864, Riley Township Died: Feb. 21, 1953, Riley Township Spouse: Elisabeth Diller The couple had 11 children.

Lydia Sutter Born: Aug. 22, 1866, Riley Township Died: ?? Spouse: F. H. Eberle The couple had 6 children.

Samuel S. Sutter Born: July 21, 1868, Riley Township Died: March 16, 1946, Oregon Spouse: Ida Sicklander No additional information is available on this couple.

Henry J. Sutter Born: Feb. 21, 1871, Riley Township Died: June 16, 1949, Bluffton Spouse: Carolina Schaublin The couple had 7 children.

Dr. John J. Sutter Born: Sept. 8, 1874, Riley Township Died: Feb. 11, 1955, Lakeside, Ohio Spouse: Susan Lugibuhl Born: Nov. 26, 1879, Riley Township Died: Oct. 5, 1962, Bluffton The couple had 6 children.

Joseph C. Sutter Born: Oct. 11, 1875, Riley Township Died: December 1962, Kansas Spouse: Martha Lugibill The couple had 3 children.

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