St Francis Orphanage
Visitors share their stories & queries
For further information about specific orphans please
write the archivist:
Sr. Mary Charles
St. Francis Home
182 St. Francis Ave.
Tiffin, Ohio 44883
Was your relative raised at St. Francis?
their story here!
Richard and Robert Kuhn were placed in St. Francis not as orphans. Their
mother deserted them when they were young boys. Their father placed them
in the care of the Home. Jeffery Kuhn, the son of the now deceased Robert
Kuhn, has letters that his father wrote while he was in the home. He also
has photos of Robert as a child standing in front of St. Francis Home taken
while he was a resident there. I shall have to get more information
on this from My cousin, Jeff. I am glad I visited and found this section
on the home, I had forgotten all about Jeff’s story of his father’s childhood.
Web Site: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~ohio/links2.shtml
Kristina L Kuhn
I found my grandmothers name on your list of orphans. I believe she
was transferred to St. Anthony's in Toledo Ohio. Do you know if there are
any records of what happened to the children when the orphanage closed
down. Her name was Catherine Baker, she was admitted in 1926 on your
records. I've look all over the web for some information on St.
Anthony's but have been unable to find anything. Are there any
admitting records outside of the list of children? If there is could
you please direct me in what to do.
Just where was the St. Francis Orphanage? I'm from Fremont and know
Tiffin pretty well but have no idea where this was/is located.
NOTE: When the orphanage closed in 1936, all of the remaining
orphans were transferred to St. Anthony's in Toledo.
I have no knowledge of the existance of the records of St. Anthony's,
but I would guess that they are kept in Toledo.
Didn't I hear a story that they found some amputated limbs buried around
the location recently?
Several generations ago my 'great aunt' Mary Molter married Nicholas
Noel. Their grave is in Delphos, Ohio. They were married about 1859 when
Mary was 22 and Nicholas died in 1868 at the age of 40. They had
NOTE: The St. Francis Home is located on St. Francis Ave., which
is in the south end of Tiffin between State Routes 231 & 100, east
of St. Joseph's Cemetery.
The story about the amputated limbs is new to me. Does anyone have
more information about this?
Josephine - married Theodore Agustes Penland 1884
Katherine - became SR Kostka CPPS
and one more ( don't have the info with me)
I have no record of Elizabeth or Barbara - I just recently visited the
probate court of Allen county to search for Birth/death/marriage records
but came up with nothing. So maybe they were just buried in Delphos but
didn't live there.
The orphanage has an Elizabeth Noel arriving in 1870 and Barbara Noel
in 1871. I am just trying to find out if these are the right people.
My thinking is that perhaps in 1870 a widow might have to give up her
children or might have had them taken away.
Just want to congratulate you on the information you gave about St. Francis
I am a Sister of St. Francis of Tiffin,Ohio, but as a child from
Reed,Ohio, the orphan children used to come to our school and play ball
with us and they had a good team. Then we used to visit the orphanage,
too, and at times I would envy them. However, later as I grew up I realized
that they may have had a lot of things but they wanted a lot of love from
a family. I went to school with some of the people listed on the list,
like, Ruth Ann Kelly and Betty Kuzma. And of course I heard
a lot of stories about the children from some of the older Sisters. God
bless you for all your efforts in doing this. I also had a second cousin
maried to a Hartzell. Regina Hartzell was Walter Beat's wife,
and he is my 2nd cousin.God keep you in his care. I am now working down
in Booneville,KY but used to work at St. Anthony Villa for ll years, so
I've always had a fond regard for any children who have been in an orphanage.
Love and peace,
Sr. Bea Herman
Is there any way to find out who the parents of Hindabell, Mary Fern,
and Hazel Feasel were? They were in your list of orphans: date entered
Any help would be appreciated.
Are there registrations of the ascendancies and descending of three Naderer
(Joseph, Francis and Georg), what did enter in the orphanage in 1897?
Note: Can someone out there help Pam?
Note: Can someone out there help Felipe?
Felipe André Naderer
Videira SC - Brazil
Enjoyed my visit to the St Francis Orphanage site. Noticed you were lacking
a picture of Fr Josephus Ludovicus Bihn, 1822-1893. Let me
know. I can send you one.
I saw you had a list of all the orphans at St. Francis. Do you also
have a list of their parents? I'm looking for the parents of Frank,
George, Josephine and Bertha Bihn. Mrs Edward Bihn of Cincinnatti said
they were raised at St Francis and that their uncle was a priest, but they
had no other info. I haven't been able to trace them in my tree.
My mother Ruth Anna Stotler Bishop was raised by her grandfather Joesph
Wesley Stotler who was at St. Francis. We were very much surprised to find
this information. My great grandfather J. Stotler also had two sisters,
Ella M and Mary Stotler at St. Francis along with two brothers Frederick
and John Stotler Jr. We have been trying to find information on them. My
great grandfather had been trying to locate his sister Mary who apparantly
became a Nun in Tiffin. My distant cousin in Tennessee came upon your web
sight. My mother has recieved a copy of John Stotlers Will which is very
difficult to make out, the hand writing is most difficult. It looks like
the children were placed in the orpanage at the death of their father but
the mother Minnie
A gggnephew of Fr. J. L. Bihn
Note: The wonderful full length picture submitted by Jeff has
been posted. Many thanks to Jeff for sending it.
I have no further information about any of the orphans listed.
Please direct further inquiries to the St. Francis Home address
Zimmerman was still alive, maybe remarried to a Sheriff or Sharif.
The paper work dates to 1872. If you have anymore information let me know.
My mom may be able to give you more if you have questions. She said her
never spoke of the orpanage, only his sister the nun in Tiffin who
he would visit now and again.
Debbie Decker Curtis
I am interested in seeing the entry of 1892 Emil Roth. This
is the name of my Great Grandfather. When reading an article in the Tennessean
Magazine about him in 1946, he said he arrived in Hohenwald, TN from Nebraska
with 2 children and later had nine others. But when I've tried to research,
I've only found 7 names. I assumed some may have died early but the listing
of Emil Roth as an orphan in 1892 made me question if there was an Emil
Jr that was possibly placed in an orphanage as the family made their way
across the US. Would you know if there is a connection?
What a shock to find a familiar name on the list of orphans at the Orphanage
in 1890. I do believe this is my Great Uncle Matthew Goetzinger.
Uncle Matt used to come to see us often, and I remember him well when I
was a child. He was a very devout Catholic and left much of his estate
( after my family dug it out of the floors, wall, couch, mattress, etc)
to St. Thomas Aquaintis Church in Toledo, Ohio. ( We were never sure
we found all of it.) Great Uncle Matt was a very loving, hard working man.
I never heard anything about any orphanage, but then, I'm surprised I never
knew very much regarding most of the family. I guess they call things
like this "skeletons in the closet".
NOTE: I am not aware of any further information about this Emil
God be with you.
William Bihler on your list was my husband's gr. gr. grandfather.
I know he was placed in an asylum or orphange in Ohio.
He was born in Stark County. Is this the same Bihler on your
My Great-great grandmother's sister was SISTER PAULINE of the Order of
NOTE: William, Philomena & Clara Bihler were admitted in
I cannot verify with certainty that this is the same William, but I
would say it is likely.
I believe that she died in the convent in 1936. Her name was Theresa
Any information that you can give me will be most appreciated.
NOTE: Theresa Kunkle (1848-1936) professed as Sr. Mary Paulina
Aug. 7, 1873.
My Great-great aunt, Christina Terbrack (1872-1954), is listed as an orphan
in your list for the year 1889. She wasn't truly an orphan in that
her father was still alive; however, her mother, Henrietta Wensink Terbrack
died nine days after Christina was born in December of 1872.
Christina professed her religious vows with the Franciscan Order in
Tiffin on 20 June 1893. As Sister Mary Fabian, her long religious
service included teaching at St. Joseph and St. Mary schools in Lorain,
Sister Fabian was in charge of girls for three years and of boys for twelve
years during the period that the St. Francis Orphanage remained in operation
in Tiffin. She had been superior at St. Joseph Hospital in Lorain
for three years, mistress of novices at St. Francis Convent for three years,
and Mother Superior at St. Francis from 1934-1937. She is buried
in Saint Francis Cemetery in Tiffin. In 1997, I had a pleasant chat
on the phone with Sister Miriam, O.S.F. and she personally knew Sister
Fabian...It was indicated that Sister Fabian loved to play cards and that
it was a very serious business. Also, Sister Fabian had some special
jokes that were all her own...there was no comment as to whether these
jokes may have been a little risque!!!
Also, two of Sister Fabian's nieces attended St. Francis Convent...Mary
Terbrack (1898-1966) became Sister Mary Henrietta; and Margaret Terbrack
(1902-1955) became Sister Mary Liguori. They, too, are buried in Saint
Francis Cemetery. These two sisters had a brother, John P. Terbrack
(1899-1920), who had studied to be a Franciscan priest somewhere in Ohio;
and as a Professed Cleric he was known as Father Walter...was there a seminary
for Franciscan priests in Tiffin?
...I'd love some help on this question (e-mail :)!
That ends my tale. I hope that it was of interest to someone.
NOTE: There are 3 Terbrack's buried at St. Francis.
Mary Terbrack (1898-1966) - Sr. Mary Henrietta
Margaret Terbrack (1902-1955) - Sr. Mary Liguori
Christina Terbrack (1872-1954) - Sr. Mary Fabian
My dad Harold L. Spaun was raised at the orphanage. He was
born July 10, 1903. I don't know when he was at St. Francis.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. His dad's name was Ruthaford
Spaun and he had a sister named Thelma.
Thanks again for this web site.
Jim & Kathy Spaun
NOTE: Harry & Thelma Spaun were admitted to the orphanage
My great-great-grandparents were Andrew and Barbara Yochem, first
of Morrow County and later Crawford County. They parented five children:
Peter, Barbara, Jacob, and Margaret (my great grandmother).
It appears that between the 1850 and 1860 Censuses, Barbara and
died, since both were young and neither appeared in the 1860 Census.
The 1883 will of Andrew Yochem (Crawford County Probate Court)
gives $350 to his two grandchildren, John and Sophia Yochem,
when they reach their majority.
Since Peter is the only suriving son, it would appear that Peter
is the father of John and Sophia Yochem who were admitted
to St. Francis in 1879 as noted on your web site. They appear in the 1880
Census as ages 5 and 3 respectively. I am unable to trace them beyond this
The children of my great-aunt are listed on your web-page as being admitted
in 1899. My sister and I have been working on a family genealogy
for some years, and would like to know more about the circumstances of
All we know is that our great-Aunt was buried in an unmarked grave in
St. Nicholas cemetary, and her children were admitted to the orphanage.
Your web-site has been very enlightening re: Tiffin and Seneca Co. history.
Thank you very much for the information.
Found my great aunt, Ida Feisel, in the list of orphans at St. Francis
in 1890. I am interested in finding out more information, e.g., her age
at admittance, what happened to her parents that resulted in her being
admitted, etc. My great-grandfather, Henry Feisel, was found in
the 1880 census married to Margaret Byers and with three children:
Henry, Edmond and Anton. Ida evidently was born between 1880-90. I have
been unable to find any information regarding my great-grandparents since
the 1880 census. Also, Anton seems to have disappeared since then also.
Henry and Edmond have been fairly easy to trace.
Thank you for your response to my email and the contact for St. Francis
Home. I will be contacting Sr. Mary Charles to determine what info
may be available in their archives.
I am somehow related to George Hesseldenz who was a resident in
the 1870's. Any info on this person would be greatly appreciated.
Stacy (Hesseldenz) Douglas
NOTE: George Hesseldenz was admitted in 1870.
Just a note to thank you for your write up on the St. Francis Orphanage.
As a result of my finding it on the web, I was able to solve a mini-mystery
about a great-uncle of mine, Stephen Ambrose Rochte. From other
sources I knew that he had been sent to an orphanage by his father, Joseph
Sebastian Rochte, after his wife's, Margaret Crom Rochte, death
in 1864. Thanks to your work I now know which orphanage it was and where.
Fred C. Rochte
NOTE: Ambrose Rochte was admitted in 1869, and was the 6th person
ever admitted to St. Francis.
My name is Jefferia and I am doing genealogical research. My grandfather
was enumerated in Ohio's 1910 census as being an eight year old living
with a woman named Eva Bork, in Seneca Co. There was no mention
made of his parents, William H. Standish and Nida R. Pangle.
After his name comes the abbreviation, INMA. I don't know what this means,
and was wondering if it meant inmate. After reading your story on St. Francis,
I thougt it was possible that he was an orphan there, and was adopted by
William and Nida? I know that you have been publishing the names of the
children that were residents there over the years, and that you have not
yet printed your list for the year 1910. Is there any possibility that
you could go through your records and see if you show a young lad, born
March 3, 1902 as being a resident then? I don't know if his name would
have been Donald then or not. He may have had a sister also. William
and Nida also had a daughter, born in 1905. We can not find a birth certificate
on either of these people. All parties in question now are deceased, Donald
having died in 1987, and the daughter, Mary Francis, (sound familiar?)
having died in 1954. Nida and William have been dead for some time also.
Nida since 1962 and William since 1918. I'm trying to cover all the bases
as I haven't been able to find where either of them were born. Any help
you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Also, any advice as to
where I might look in Seneca County for further information. Thank you
so much for sharing the story of St. Francis with all of us. It's a well
written story that imparts so much of the people who built it and the people
who went through there as orphans and the aged. Continued good luck in
all that you do. I look forward to reading more of the orphans lists as
you get them printed. Thank you Stephen, for taking the time to read my
e-mail, and to answer it.
I thought you might like to know that Sr. Mary Charles returned
my call today and was very helpful. She was able to tell me that both Donald
and Mary were retrieved by their mother in 1914. She was able to confirm
birthdates and admission and discharge dates for both children. She also
was able to tell me that Mary had been admitted originally to Blessed Blood
Convent before being transferred to St. Francis. It may be that they thought
the brother and sister should stay together for support of each other during
this time of turmoil. I believe that my greatgrandmother put them in St.
Francis after the death of their father until such time as she could get
a job to support herself and her family and a home for them to live in.
I will continue in my search for family and the stories behind them. Thanks
to you, I have a good start. Thank you again for your documention of the
existance of St. Francis and of sharing it online. You truly have made
Jefferia and Jim Bourdeau
NOTE: Donald & Mary Standish were admitted in 1909.
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