Sketch of Andreas Otteni

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Sketch of Louisa Oatney Thimmes
1836 - 1911

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Louisa Oatney, daughter of Benedict and Christina Otteni, was born on 11 Mar 1836 in Fairfield County, Ohio. There is much confusion as to the year Louisa was born since different records indicate different years. The following lists seven sources indicating five different dates of birth.

  • 1836 - 1840 - The 1840 U.S. Census only lists children by age groups, however, only one daughter was marked in the "under 5" category. Since all other daughters of Benedict were accounted for in the other age groups, Louisa is assumed to be in the one in the "under 5" group. This would make her birth year between 1836 and 1840.
  • 1836 - According to the 1850 U.S. Census, Louisa was 14 years old

  • 1836 - The 1860 U.S. Census reaffirms 1836 because she was listed as 24 years old

  • 1838 - The 1870 U.S. Census indicates that Louisa was 32 years old in that census year

  • 1834 - The 1880 U.S. Census shows Louisa was 46 year old

  • 1833 - Louisa's headstone at St. Mary Cemetery in Fairfield County, Ohio states her age at death to be 78 years, 8 months, and 22 days from her death date of 3 December 1911

  • 1832 - The 1902 publication of The Biographical Record of Fairfield County reported Louisa as being born in February 1832

Given that Louisa's brother, John Oatney, was born on 10 Oct 1833 and the three earliest census records agree, 1836 is the most plausible year of birth. Using this assumption, this means that Louisa's tombstone is in error.

Using 1836 as the year of birth, Lousia was 17 years old when she married Mathias Thimmes. On 7 Aug 1853, Joshua Young, a priest at St. Mary Catholic Church, performed the marriage. No witnesses were recorded in the Fairfield County Court House files.

Mathias was born on 24 Apr 1829. His year of birth is also subject to some confusion. Like Louisa, the following accounts cite different birth years.

  • 1829 - The 1860 U.S. Census shows that Mathias was 30 years old, however, the census may have been taken before his 31st birthday. If so, 1929 is still correct.
  • 1829 - In 1870, the U.S. Census shows that Mathias was 41 years old

  • 1832 - The 1880 U.S. Census, however, lists Mathias' age at 48

  • 1831 - The Biographical Record of Fairfield County denotes that Mathias was born in 1831

  • 1831 - The Thimmes Family History, published in 1958, agrees with the Biographical Record. However, the possibility exists that the author used the date from this publication.

  • 1829 - Mathias' headstone shows that he was born 24 Apr 1829.

In this case, the headstone is probably correct since the 1870 census agrees and the 1860 census essentially agrees.

Although the original sources are not cited, the Thimmes Family History mentions the following as background on the Thimmes family.

  • The Thimmes name changed from the original spelling of THOIMMES
  • Mathias Thoimmes (grandfather of Mathias Thimmes) was born in 1781 and died in Fairfield County, Ohio on 11 Jan 1858

  • Nicholas Thimmes (father of Mathias Thimmes), was born in Wittenberg, Germany in 1805 and married Catherine Schneider (later spelled Snider)

  • Mathias Thimmes was born in Trier, Germany but later moved to Baden, Germany

  • In April 1842, the Thimmes family moved to Fairfield County, Ohio.

By 1860, according to the U.S. Census, Louisa and Mathias started a family and lived in Fairfield County, Ohio. The census showed five children in the family. They were: 



John Thimmes


Benedict Thimmes


Christopher Thimmes


Charles Thimmes


Terese Ann Thimmes

3 months

The 1870 U.S. Census shows that the family had grown to eight children although it did not list Benedict. According to the Thimmes Family History, Benedict died in 1867 of pneumonia. The children listed were:



John Thimmes


Christian Thimmes


Charles Thimmes


Anna Thimmes


William Thimmes


Franklin Thimmes


Mary Thimmes


Maggie Thimmes


In the 1870 U.S. Census, both Mathias and his oldest son, John, listed their occupation as "butcher". According to The Biographical Record of Fairfield County, John began to assist Mathias at the meat market at the age of twelve. According to the 1880 U.S. Census, Christian, Charles, William and Frank were also in the butchering business. They all were listed with the occupation of "butcher."

In all, Louisa and Mathias had 14 children. From a combination of records, their full names, birth and death dates are:



John Henry Thimmes

1 Nov 1853 

3 Oct 1932

Benedict Thimmes

3 Aug 1855 


Christian (Christopher) Thimmes

6 Jan 1857 

3 Dec 1931

Charles Nicholas Thimmes

4 Aug 1858 

1 Aug 1933

Anna Louise Thimmes (Miller)

3 Mar 1860 

19 Apr 1919

William Edward Thimmes

6 Apr 1862 

8 May 1931

Franklin Thomas D. Thimmes

14 Dec 1863 

6 Apr 1926

Mary Ellen Thimmes

18 Oct 1865 

10 Jan 1947

Sara Cecelia Thimmes

12 Feb 1867 


Margaret Louise Thimmes (Brown)

19 Jan 1869 

24 Jun 1934

George Mathias Thimmes

17 Nov 1871 

25 Feb 1950

Emma Gertrude Thimmes (McLeod)

12 Dec 1873 

28 Feb 1955

Clara Philomena Thimmes

12 Mar 1876 

19 Jan 1960

Frederick Joseph Thimmes

27 Jul 1877 

16 May 1944

The Thimmes Family History points out that a nurse dropped Sara Cecelia and the fall caused her death in 1868.

It is not clear whether Christian's name is his only name or if Christopher is a second or even his original name. The 1860 U.S. Census lists him as "Christopher" as well as some land transfer documents. However, many records indicate his name was Christian although many records simply abbreviated his name to "Christ."

Much of the history of the family business is recorded in The Biographical Record of Fairfield County published in 1902. The following is an excerpt from the sketch on John Thimmes, son of Louisa and Mathias.

Mathias Thimmes...was reared upon the home farm and on leaving the parental roof learned the butcher's trade in Lancaster. He afterward opened a meat market in this city and in connection with its management began dealing in live stock, hogs and cattle. He carried on his own butchering and often bought and sold for parties in the east. His business reached quite extensive proportions, becoming one of the leading commercial interests of this city.

The biographical sketch indicated that Mathias started his business in 1848. In 1874, Mathias entered into a partnership with his son, John. In 1877, John purchased his father's interest in the business. John continued alone for three years at which time he entered into a partnership with his two brothers, Christian and Charles. The business became known as "Thimmes Brothers."

The sketch continues to say:

They are now carrying on an extensive butchering business and have a large building, which was erected for packing, smoking and curing of meats. There is also a cold storage in connection and the members of the firm are extensive buyers and shippers of hogs and cattle. They also feed large numbers and handle annually about thirty thousand hogs and large number of export cattle, which they buy and ship to Baltimore, Maryland, their principal hog markets being Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Chicago, Illinois. The business has now assumed extensive proportions and annually brings to the partners a handsome financial return on their investments.


Louisa and Mathias owned a number of parcels of land both in the City of Lancaster, Ohio and in Fairfield County. One worthy of mention is at the corner of Columbus Street and Wheeling Street in the city of Lancaster. Mathias purchased the north part of Lot 1 of the 8th Original Square of Lancaster on 1 Apr 1869 for $4,500.

According to the original town layout, as can seen below, the residence stood at the corner of Wheeling Street and Second Street. Even though Second Street became Columbus Street by city ordinance on 21 Feb 1868, the recorded real estate transaction refers to "Second" Street.

Residence of Louisa and Mathias Thimmes in 1869
Corner of Second (Columbus) and Wheeling Streets

Charles Goslin's book, Crossroads and Fence Corners, Volume II, documents the history of Lot 1 or Square Eight. The following is an excerpt from his book.

Lot One of Square Eight at the southeast corner of Columbus and Wheeling Streets was sold by Noah Zane on April 20, 1804, to John Clark of Belmont County, Ohio....In 1805, John Clark and his wife Rebecca, a sister of Noah Zane, sold this lot to the House of Pancoast & Walker of Philadelphia. On July 5, 1810, Pancoast sold this lot to William W. Irvin. The next year, Judge Irvin disposed of this lot to Philip Helick. Helick divided the lot and sold the north part to Daniel Brumback in 1813.

The south part he sold to William Martin in the fall of the same year. The next year he obtained the Brumback interest in this lot. Some time after William Martin's death, Elnathain Scofield owned this property on the corner of Columbus and Wheeling. It was there Dr. B. Raymond, a graduate of Munich, established his office for medical practice.

It is interesting to note that Mathias deeded this property over to Christopher Thimmes on 25 Jan 1878 for $10.00. Then, on the same date immediately after that transaction, Christopher signed over the property to Louisa for $10.00. Even more interesting is that these transactions were not recorded until four years later on 18 May 1882.

Mathias Thimmes died on 26 September 1892. He is buried in St. Mary Cemetery in Lancaster, Ohio in a family plot with a family monument. Louisa Oatney Thimmes, who died 19 years later on 3 December 1911, is buried next to Mathias. Many other family members are buried in the family plot located in Row 1 of the "Holy Mother of God" section.

For more information on the Thimmes family, visit the Thimmes Family. (Use your browser BACK BUTTON to return to this page)

More Information

Click on the following link to view information on the descendants of Louisa Oatney Thimmes to the present. (Report with documentation also available)


Descendants of Louisa Oatney Thimmes (1836-1911) - a privatized (dates & places of living people omitted) 6 Generation Descendant Book (PDF), starting with Louisa Oatney Thimmes - 26 pages plus index

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Last modified: October 19, 2022