NOTICE: This site will go offline July 1st, 2024.
Please contact if you are interested in maintaining this site after July 2024.



User Rating:  / 0
Community Calendar
Social Groups
Web Links


Thursday July 8, 1982


Pix #1 & Pix #2 - Owners of the house at 612 Cherry St. have been Michael Lannen, and his wife Margaret Anne, first generation in 1882.

Pix #3 - Edward John Gehring and wife, Mary Ellen (Lannen), representing the second generation. With them are Joseph, in arms, and Edward.

Pix #4 - Joseph Gehring ans wife Margie, are the present owners, who live in the Centennial Home and respresent the third generation.

Pix #5 - The Centennial Home at 612 Cherry St., as it appeared just before the turn of the century with the Lannen family...children Alice, Joseph, wife Margaret Anne, children Mary Ellen, William and father Michael.

Pix #6 - The Centennial Home as it appears today.

On March 8, the Joseph Gehring property at 612 Cherry St. became a Centennial Home. A Centennial Home is defined as a house owned and lived in continuously by one family for 100 years.

It was March 8, 1882, that Michael Lannen purchased the house at 612 Cherry Street. Lannen was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1850, came to the United States in 1871, and was naturalized Oct. 6, 1876. His wife Margaret Anne McFarland, was born Wapakoneta in 1851. They were joined in marriage at Wapakoneta.

The Michael Lanned family of five children (second generation) consisted of three boys and two girls. They wre William, Mary Ellen, Alice, Joseph, and James. Mary Ellen married Edward John Gehring and at the death of Lannen and his wife, they took over the property. They in turn reared their family of two - Edward and Joseph - in the house. Two other children died at birth.

Today the house is owned by Joseph Gehring and wife, Margie E. (third generation). They have reared their family of three in the house - Kathleen, Michael and Jeffrey. Mary Alice, Daniel and Anne Marie died at birth or shortly thereafter.


On Sunday, June 20, the Gehring family commemorated the historic event of the house becoming a Centennial Home. Invitations brought approximately 100 relatives and friends to the Cherry Street home to observe a special Mass conducted by the Rev. John and James Bryne, cousins and second-generation members of the family. Following the Mass were open house and refreshments.

The house at 612 Cherry Street was built on land that became part of early Fostoria. The first records go back to Nov. 14, 1833, when Seneca County records shows it was registered by a patent deed, having been purchased by Hannah Boyer from the U.S. Government. It was part of the northeast quarter of section six, township two north, range 13, containing slightly over 160 acres.

The original abstract, still in the possession of Joseph Gehring, contains names of many land owners who were prominent during the early days of this town. Elizabeth and James Fisher, Morris P. Skinner, Andrew Emerine, Elijah and Levi Niebel, Jacob L. Kenower, Lorenzo D. Hooper, William T. Brown, George Enis, R.C. Caples and Edward Miller.


The land on which the house was built were in-lots 1104 and 1108, part of what was known as Kenowers Addition when it was surveyed and recorded in 1875 and added to Fostoria in 1875.

The addition consisted of a total of 29 lots on Lynn Street north from the railroad; 19 lots on Cherry Street north from the railroad; and six lots on the west side of Buckley Street north from the railroad.

Michael Lannen purchased the two lots from Robert C. Caples and wife, Mary E. for $850.00 with the house already on it. When the house was built the abstract does not say but, according to Joseph Gehring, the house was vacant at time of purchase in 1882, information that was passed down by Michael Lannen; also that the house was built by man for his bride-to-be, but at the last minute she declined, so the house stood empty until Michael Lannen bought it.

Lannen was a section foreman on the Atlantic & Lake Erie railroad, just to the south of the property, where the Lake Erie and Western operated in later years. It is said that Lannen saw the vacant house as he passed it regularly in connection with his work. He like it and figured it was a good location for his family.


The R.C. Caples family from whom Lannen bought the house, lived where the Nazarine church is now, on Sandusky Street. Older readers will remember the Caples house, which the church incorporated into its building of the present sanctuary.

One of the accompanying photos shows the property after the Lannens had lived there for a number of years. The house today is essentially the same as it was originally, with the exception that the interior has benn totally modernized. Another photo shows the house as it appears today, after being re-sided.

Another historical photo with this article shows Lannen standing beside a hand car with a group of section hands. The house is in the background.


Michael Lannen was a charter member of St. Wendelin Church and one of its first councilmen. The present church building contains a large stained glass window on the south side, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Michael Lannen and Mr. and Mrs. Redmon Walch.

The Gehring family is not only proud of having a Centennial Home, but also of the contribution which various members of the family have made to their community and to the Catholic Church.

James Lannen (second generation) is president of the American Bank at Port Clinton, also chairman of the board. He is also preseident of the Fremont Savings Bank. Richard Lannen, brother of James is an accountant at Gillig Electric, Fostoria.

In addition to the Revs. James and John Byrne, who presided at the commemorative Mass, Monsignor Cogan of Glnwood was on of the early ancestors of the family.

Others from the second generation who served the Catholic church were: Alice McFarland (Sister Mary Alice), administrator in charge of the hospital at Colorado Springs, deceased; Mary McFarland (Sister Mery Lenore) deceased; Catherine Regan (Sister Mary Therese) retired and living at Mount St. Joseph, Cincinnati.

Four generations of children have attended St. Wendelin schools.


Members of the family celebrants from three states who attended the Mass on June 20 were: Michael and Patty Gehring, Northwood, Edith Lanned, Massillon; Sandra Smith, Canton; Catherine Fitzpatrick, Lima; Eric and Dan Eickholt, Elida; Peg and Howell Kanode, Lima; John and Betty McFarland, Lima; Rosemary and Jim Lannen, Port Clinton; the Rev. John Byrne, St. Charles Seminary, Carthogenia; the Rev. James Byrne St. Marys; and member of the Zofkie family from Chicago, Detroit, also Orland Park and Evergreen Park, IL.

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Gehring, present owners of the Centennial Home, hope that the house will continue to be owned and lived in by some members of the family, but admit that only time will tell.

To the best of the author's knowledge, the Gehring house is the Centennial Home in Fostoria.

Top of page


Hosted by Noguska Computer Center Serving Fostoria's computer needs since 1973!