JOHN C. LOEHR, of the firm of J. C. Loehr & Son, dry-goods merchants at Carlinville, is one of the successful business men of this county. He was born in the village of Bruchmachtersen, in the Dutchy of Brunswick, Germany, December 3, 1826. Christopher Loehr, his father, was a native of the same village, as was also his father who was a farmer and spent his entire life there. He was a Lutheran in his religious faith.
The father of our subject was reared to the life of a farmer and always followed that calling in his native place. He married Dorothea Koch who was born in the German village of Lebenstedt and died at Bruchmachtersen. She was the mother of six children - John C., Charles, Dorothea, Christian, Christina and Sophia. John and Charles are the only ones of the family that came to this country, and the latter resides on a farm in this county.
From the time he was six years old until he was fourteen our subject attended school regularly and obtained an excellent education. After leaving school he was employed on his father's farm until he attained his majority. He then joined the army in accordance with the laws of his native land and served a part of each year for four years and the rest of the time worked on the farm. He continued a resident of his native village until 1852 when he wisely thought he could find more opportunities to obtain a competence than in the old country. He set sail from Bremen, April 19, and landed at New Orleans the 13th of the following June, with less than one hundred dollars in his pocket with which to begin life in a new land. He went directly to St. Louis by the Mississippi River, and soon engaged as a farm hand eight miles out the city at $6 a month. He was so employed one winter and then was taken sick and returned to St. Louis, where he lay ill two months. After that he found work in the city at $7 a month, and nine months later secured employment in a flouring mill at $7 a week. He proved himself a faithful and competent assistant and was soon promoted to be salesman, at a much more liberal salary.
He retained that position until 1857, and in that year came to Carlinville to engage in the dry-goods business with W. H. Stemmeyer. They conducted business together three years and then our subject bought out his partner's interest in the concern and was alone until 1864, when he admitted William Schutze into partnership. At the end of ten years he bought Mr. Schutze's interest and was by himself until his son, Adolph T., became his partner in 1886, under the firm name of J. C. Loehr & Son. This is one of the oldest established business houses in the city, and the trade that has been built up by degrees as the city has increased in size during these many years is very profitable, as it is well managed, and our subject is accounted one of the solid men of the county.
Mr. Loehr is happy in his domestic relations, as by his marriage, June 1, 1857, with Miss Friedricke Knabner, a native of Germany, he has secured a wife who has been truly a companion and helpmate. She is a daughter of George Knabner who was born and reared in Germany and came to this country in 1854 and settled in Carlinville. Mr. and Mrs. Loehr have seven children, namely: Paulina, wife of William Surman; Adolph F., Theodore, Gustave H., Matilda, Theresa, and Ida. The family are active members of the Lutheran Church and are greatly esteemed in the community.