Edward Osthoff

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Birth and Rebirth

Edward was born around 1876 in Iowa.  His parents were born in Germany, and married in Dubuque, Iowa.   He served as correspondent for the Clayton Gospel Hall, IA from at least 1927 to 1943, one of the first five led to Christ by Oliver Garfield Smith thru Gospel meetings, in Clayton during the winter of 1918, followed by fifteen others.

Marriage and Family

In 1895, Edward married Louise Franz (b. 1871) in Dubuque, having their first two children, Lorraine (1908-) and Edwin (1902-1995).  

In 1930, he was working as a section foreman for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad.  His son, Edwin, was employed the same year as a foreman in the steam railroad industry.    They had at least three children:

  • Lorraine Elizabeth Osthoff was born Aug. 31, 1908 in McGregor, Clayton, IA to Edward and Louise Osthoff, and christened at St. Peters, Garnavillo, IA, an Evangelical Lutheran church. On Dec. 19, 1928, in McGregor, Lorraine married Clarence Raymond Lietha (b. 1906) who was born in Cochrane, Wisconsin, the son of Peter (1876-1959) and Emily Zirzow (1878-1944) Lietha.  Their wedding was officiated by J. Franklin Parsons, an Evangelical Lutheran pastor.  Children:
    • Ronald Clarence Leitha (b. 1935 Buffalo, WI) married Rochelle Sandra Parask (b. 1946), who remarried Charles R. Benjamin in 1988 and she may live in Seattle. Ronald, if living, may live in Tomahawk, WI.    Children:
      • Kelly Jae Rochelle Lietha (b. 1963 Winona, MN)       
    • Edwin William Osthoff was born in Clayton on June 20, 1902, to Edward and Louisa. Edwin  married Freda F. Wilhelmina Koehn (b. July 4, 1902) in Elkader, Iowa on March 8, 1924.  Freda’s parents were August (1861-1932) & Wilhelmina Krueger Koehn (1870-1941), both born in Germany, buried in Elkader, Iowa.    In 1930, Edwin was employed as a foreman in the Steam Railroad industry.  Edwin died November 14, 1995, and Freda died March 15, 1994, they are buried in the Guttenberg Cemetery.   
      • Edwin & Freda had one son, Keith Lavalle Osthoff, who was christened into the Evangelical Lutheran church, which appears to be Freda’s church roots. Keith served in the Navy during WWII (1943-1946).  In 1948, he married Theresa N. O’Brien, daughter of Thomas O’Brien, at St. Ann’s Church, Harpers Ferry, Iowa;
        • Their four children: Gary, Gail (Runde), Ginny and Geri, some of which were christened at St. Joseph Catholic Church. In 1992, he remarried Arlene M. (b. July 13, 1937, may be still living) and Keith died May 8, 1996.  He enjoyed league bowling, regularly scoring high in both in the 1960’s-1970’s. 

On May 20, 1909, Louise died at the age of 38 in Clayton.   On June 28, 1910, in Dubuque, Edward remarried Frances Broessel.  Frances was born in Jefferson, Dubuque, IA in Oct 1887 to John & Elizabeth Foell Broessell. 

Later years

Edward died in 1952, as reported by a June 1952 Truth & Tidings, credited as "saved in 1918 during first meetings held there by O.G. Smith.  Was correspondent for the assembly from its beginning.  Funeral conducted in Garnavillo Gospel Hall by O.G. Smith.

In 1956, there was a “School of Missions” series teacher named Frances Osthoff that was honored at St. Luke’s Methodist in Dubuque.


  • [www.ancestry.com Ancestry.com]
  • [www.newspaperarchive.com NewspaperArchive.com]
  • [www.findagrave.com FindaGrave.com]
  • 1946 September: Letters of Interest
  • 1927 Assembly Address Book, Faithful Words Publishing, St. Louis, MO
  • 1936 Assembly Address Book, Light and Liberty Publishing, Fort Dodge, IA
  • 1943 Assembly Address Book, Walterick Publishing, Fort Dodge, IA
  • Oliver Smith's testimony concerning Clayton was originally written in 1929 entitled "Pioneering in Iowa", in a scrapbook entitled "With The Lord", compiled by Pauline Van Mill.
  • 1952 June: Truth & Tidings