Artifact Name: German Family Bible
Creator/Manufacturer: International Bible Agency (150 Fifth Avenue, New York City)
Location: Home of Josiah Schmidt, St Charles, Missouri, USA
Material(s): Leather, paper
Photographer: Josiah William Schmidt
Provenance: Margaretha Martha Anna “Maggie” (Schmidt) Van Loh (1875-1910) → Martha Elizabeth (Van Loh) Lusthoff (1901-1997) → elderly German couple (names unknown) → another couple (names unknown) → James Landon (rare book collector) → Josiah William Schmidt
Time Period: 1898
DESCRIPTION: This German-language family bible, printed by the International Bible Agency in New York City, was gifted by Rev. John Bernhardt Happel of the German Evangelical Church of West Bend, Iowa, to the newly-wed couple Henry Conrad Van Loh (1868-1907) and Margaretha Martha Anna “Maggie” Schmidt (1875-1910). After both Henry and Maggie died of tuberculosis, many of their children moved to the Pacific Northwest, where this family bible was carried. When the last of these children died–Martha (Van Loh) Lusthoff in 1997–the bible was bought in an estate sale by an elderly German couple who had fled Nazi Germany as Jehovah’s Witnesses and settled in the Woodburn/Mt. Angel area. This couple kept this bible in a box with Jehovah’s Witness reading materials. When this couple died, the box was passed on to another Jehovah’s Witness couple, who in turn passed the book onto a rare book collector by the name of James Landon. Mr. Landon, discovering mention of the Van Loh family on the Hans Schmidt Family Association website, sent the book to HSFA president Josiah Schmidt. For more information on this bible, see the full story here.