Das verlorene Rheine
The lost child of Rheine

Looking at maps of northern America and seeing all the european and the many german sounding names I always wundered, wether there would be a place called after my hometown "Rheine". While searching for and collecting information about emigrants from my clan I came across the history of the Steinke immigrants to Rhine. They came from a village called Voltlage that is about 20 miles distant from Rheine. Within this history book was a drawing of a church with the description "St. Laurentius Kirche Rheine, Shelby County,O. 1856". There it was: RHEINE The drawing was done obviously by a native german speaker who knew the difference between "Rheine" und "Rhein"/"Rhine". There are some more words in german on that paper but very hard to decipher. The book contains a nice but rather vage description of the settlement and tries to make a connection between the river Rhein /Rhine and the name of the place. Of course there are a few songs about Germanys greatest River which the settlers knew but I don't believe that played a role in naming that place.
The drawing was obviously done St. Lauretius Kirche Rheine / Rhine by a german speaking person.

The story of "Rhine" was based on a booklet "Rhine's One Hundred years 1856 - 1956" The drawing is a bit clearer but not enough for me to read everything.

Then I found an other source in the web:

History of Shelby County, Ohio
and representative citizens
Evansville, Ind. -
1913 - 947 pgs.
Chapter XIX
Pg. 332
Historical Sketches of Clinton, Cyhthian and Dinsmore Townships - Organization - Early Settlement - Villages - Schools - Churches, Etc.

(The whole text can be viewd by the following URL: Ohio Genealogy Express )

Botkins, which is located on the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railway, near the north boundary of Dinsmore township, was platted as a village for Russell Botkin, who owned the land, in July, 1858.


St. Jacob's Evangelical Lutheran Congregation.
—-One of the most beautiful church edifices in the county
Botkins Methodist Episcopal Church
— The congregation of this church was in existence some years before a church edifice was erected.
The Lutheran church, Botkins,
Rev. A. Pflenger, pastor, holds alternate services Sunday mornings and evenings,
Anna Methodist Episcopal church,
originally known as Mt. Gilead Methodist Episcopal church,
Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, Botkins, Ohio.
— The history of this congregation dates back more than six decades, when a. few Roman Catholic families settled in the vicinity of the present town of Botkins. They were all German immigrants,
St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church, Rheine.
—This church is located near the southwest corner of section 36, Dinsmore township, three miles east of Botkins, on the Botkins pike. With about twenty families, Father Henry J. Muckerheide started a congregation in 1856, and held divine service for them in the schoolhouse of sub district No. 1, Dinsmore township, until another and more spacious building could be erected. At a cost of about $2,100 the newly organized congregation reared a new church of brick structure 50 by 40 feet, and in the autumn of 1858 Rev. H. J. Muckerheide was already enabled to dedicate it to the service of the Most High. In the spring of 1893 the cornerstone for a new church was laid, and on Christmas following it was successfully completed. The beautiful edifice as it now greets the eye of the traveler is a massive, yet handsome, brick building of 80 by 43 feet, which had been erected at a cost of $12,400. The solemn strains of bells invite all to enter its hallowed walls. Moreover, new altars, and the excellent frescoing by F. H. Hefele have embellished the interior aspect, while a new furnace has helped to increase the comfort of the church. Most Rev. Archbishop Henry W. Elder, of Cincinnati, dedicated the new building with grand ceremonies, August 26, 1894. A two-story brick schoolhouse, 48 by 36 feet, was erected in 1878 at a cost of about $1,800.

Remarkable about this official (?) document from about 1913 is not only that the place name is clearly shown as Rheine but that in 1856 a settlement of about 20 families erected a rather large brick church. The church St. Lawrence is still standing in its impressive clear beauty.
And my conclusion:
in 1856 and 1913 this place was kown as "Rheine".
In 1956 the name had changed to "Rhine".
I very much want to believe that this place was named after my hometown "Rheine"

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