Family Stories

John Foos – Lincoln County

Most of the inhabitants of the small town of Ottenheim, in Lincoln County, came from Germany and Switzerland in the 1860’s.  A Mr. John Foos, of this same community, came from Luxembourg.  There was little information to find on this gentleman.

John Foos, bon March 8, 1850, died April 9, 1914.  St. Sylvester Catholic Cemetery, Ottenheim, Lincoln County, Kentucky.

I began with the nice gravestone that stands in St. Sylvester Cemetery.  Written in German we find that Mr. Foos was born March 8, 1850, and died April 9, 1914, age 64 years.

His death certificate gave us the same dates.  John’s birthplace was Pentange, Luxembourg, located on the border with Belgium and France.  His parents were John Foos and Josephine Origer, both also born in Luxembourg.  John Foos died of cancer of the stomach.  Reverend Father Leo Mayer, the parish priest for St. Sylvester Catholic Church, was the informant.

From the Friday, November 29, 1912, Interior Journal, of Stanford, Lincoln County, we gather the following information:


Our little town is on a boom.  Rev. Father Leo has built an addition to his house.  Mr. John Wentzel and Mr. John Foos have painted their houses and improved the town by putting up ever so many outbuildings.

We can definitely place John Foos in the town at this date.  But other information was more difficult to find.

I could not find John in any census record in Lincoln County.  I even went back to the ‘old fashioned’ way of viewing the 1910 Lincoln County census – page by page!  He was not listed.  In the April 3, 1914, issue of the Interior Journal it says, ‘Mr. John Foos, who has been in a critical condition for some time is very low and is under the care of Drs. O’Bannon and Morris.’  And in the April 14th issue, which must have been written before his death, one sentence, ‘Mr. John Foos continues very low.’

I could find no obituary, looking at the next two issues of the paper, on each page.  I did notice there was nothing from Ottenheim in those two issues.  Perhaps that is why there is no notice of John Foos’ death.

May 8th issue of the Interior Journal gives one more piece of information – John was married.  It says, ‘Mr. Jacobs also has the contract for a large marble monument for Mrs. John Foos to be erected in the Catholic cemetery at Ottenheim.’  Mrs. John Foos is listed in the Ottenheim news as attending a dinner or visiting friends in the next several months.  I could find nothing about children.  Mrs. Foos must have remarried or moved away from Ottenheim – John Foos is the only person by that last name buried in St. Sylvester Cemetery.

Does anyone have information on this gentleman?



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