The AWTHS has two large portraits that were given on loan by the Don Dietrich family of their ancestor Lewis Dietrich. Lewis was the owner and had the brick home built in 1894 which was the Louis Deitrich Saloon. Per Anita Short’s Arcanum Business book we note the following: Per the GJ 4/5/1894 we read “The old Peter Siler property was sold last week to a Mr. Deitrich of New Bremen, who proposed to erect a hotel theron.” “The Deitrich house is now completed and will soon be occupied.” GJ 9/27/1894. In six months’ time the house was completed and was the Deitrich saloon until 6/29/1899.
Today it is the home of the Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society located at 123 W. George Street in Arcanum.
From his obit found in The Arcanum Times dated 2-2-1939 we read that Lewis was born July 29, 1845 and was born to John and Elizabeth Dietrich. His birthplace was Mechlenburg, Germany. In 1850 his parents and six siblings came to Ohio and located in the New Bremen area. Until 1880 he worked for the government agencies in building canals in western Ohio. In 1880 he married Christina Roh at Piqua, Ohio. To this union were born nine children: Nero Henry, Caroline, Charles, Otto, Alma, Walter, Julius, Luella and Oliver. He moved to Arcanum in 1893. In 1913 he retired from farming and moved to Pitsburg. In an interview with family of Don Dietrich, we learn he had a house near the old Pitsburg School which was located on the north end of Pitsburg near the Jefferson Street and Pitsburg-Laura Road intersection.
. His farm was found on the 1910 plat map and was on Grubbs-Rex Road in Monroe Township and was around 126 acres. It was also the farm that the Germany one room school house stood on. On the map it shows three house’s on the tract of land and is located before the S curve on Grubbs-Rex. He died January 20, 1939 at 93 years of age. He is buried at Mote Cemetery along with other Dietrich’s including his son Otto and grandson Glen.
There is also different spellings of Lewis first and last name as well as his wife’s in researching the history of the AWTHS house as well as his obit and tombstone. According to Don Dietrich, each family decided on the spelling of their last name. The AWTHS has two Souvenir school programs for Germany School. The first is the year 1903. A number of Lewis’s children attended and their names are listed as (note spelling) as following: Oliver Diedrich, Elma, Walter, Julius, and Luella. The teacher was Oscar Stuhlman. In 1908 attending from the Dietrich family were: Luella and Oliver Diedrich. Teacher is listed as Alfred Oakes.
My parent’s memory of the Dietrich farm, which was east of their farm, was that the Dietrich sisters, Alma and Luella, who were single and lived there. My parents raised tobacco and when they were stripping it in the winter my siblings, Fred and Shanda, became tired of waiting around. Fred said to Shanda “let’s go home”. So they walked through the fields and over fence rows to get back home. Trouble was it was very muddy and their little boots squished down in the mud and then Shanda lost her boots! In return her brother, Fred, was somewhat aggravated by the entire episode.
Written by Annette Stewart. Please see copyright on this story, photos and AWTHS blog.