Matamoras Minute: The Karcher family

Photo provided by Charles Karcher. The photo shows the Philip Karcher farm which was located on Cemetery Road just beyond the turnoff from County Road 33.

Some of the additional German families of the area included Karcher and Fox. The Karchers came in 1844 from southwest Germany with Henry and Catherine taking the initiative. The family of Nicholas and Elizabeth Fox emigrated from the Bavarian area of Germany in 1847.

Henry Karcher was a carpenter and owned a farm. The family had nine children. One of his sons, Philip, married Caroline Lohr of Monroe County, also of German descent. For several years Philip worked in Moundsville as a barber but returned to Matamoras and established a dairy farm on 165 acres bordering the road to the Matamoras Cemetery.

Another son, Lester, was the proprietor of a shoe repair store on the first block of Main Street. The establishment was well-patronized in a day when a pair of good shoes was resoled and reheeled several times. He married Myrtle Adamson whose career in education is legend with her 50 years as the first grade teacher of Matamoras.

A third son, William, was known as Blacksmith Bill. He had his establishment in the bend of Main Street with horses tethered at a long hitching rail waiting their turn to be shod. This location would later be the home of Creighton’s Machine Shop.

Bill’s family lived on the northwest corner of Main and Third Streets. Their son, Jack, would later own a restaurant between this home and the blacksmith shop. The specialty of that eatery was meatloaf sandwiches and Coca-Cola, a new, wildly popular drink especially with the young people being attracted like a magnet.

The Fox family first arrived in New York. They brought with them eleven year old Margaret and one year old Jacob.

From various homes they eventually settled in Grandview Township. With the father’s death in 1889 the family farm passed into the hands of Jacob. He had been engaged as a school teacher and then with a general merchandise store in the village of Grandview.

After inheriting the farm he turned his livelihood to the raising of produce along with an apple orchard and operating of a cider mill on the property.

Jacob was married to the former Rosa Roth. They had 14 children who were all raised to adulthood. Jacob was civic minded serving as township clerk, land appraiser, assessor, and a member of the school board.

John Miller is president of the Matamoras Area Historical Society. Membership dues are $15 per year single/couple. Life membership is $150. Contact the society at P.O. Box 1846, New Matamoras, Ohio 45767. Much of this column is built on the work of Matamoras’ historian, the late Diana McMahan.


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