Linn, Rhea “Laura”

Photos courtesy of Doug Meltzer. Click to view gallery and captions.

Attended 1892

Birth: 29 Dec 1874, Jonesboro, Union, Illinois
Death: 30 Sep 1918, Effingham, Effingham County, Illinois

John Thomas Shuler Linn (1847 – 1909)
Ellen Frances Goodman Linn (1851 – 1925)

Emil Frederick Melzer (1874 – 1930)
Married: 6 Feb 1901

Josepha Aurelia Linn Heilig (1872-1958)
John Hugh Linn (1875-1949)
Jenny Linn (1878 – 1878)
Maggie Alice Linn Nunamaker (1879-1945)
Samuel Grover Linn (1883-1966)
Beulah Elmina Linn Dillard (1885-1953)
George Bayard Linn (1892 – 1894)

Charles Leo Melzer (1901 – 1993)
Reola Lowanda Melzer (1904 – 1998)
John Henry Melzer (1908 – 1967)

Saint Johns Lutheran Cemetery
Effingham, Effingham County, Illinois, USA

Source:, 24868529.


The following remembrance was authored by Rhea Laura Linn’s daughter, Reola Lowanda Melzer (1904-1998).  It was provided by Reola’s nephew, Doug Meltzer, on 28 Jan 2021. The Rev. Josephus Adolphus Linn, who was the principal of Mont Amoena, is “Grandpa Linn’s half-brother.”

Rhea Laura Linn, daughter of Ellen Frances Goodman Linn and John Thomas Shuler Linn was born in Jonesboro, Illinois, December 29, 1873. She was married to Emil Frederick Melzer on February 6, 1901. Her parents were married December 30, 1869 in Rowan Co, NC.

To the best of my knowledge she was 4 ft. 10 1/2 or 11 inches tall. She wore a size 3 shoe. Had dark brown eyes, and beautiful auburn hair. She was able to shoot well and when she married brought her horse with her to Effingham. She and Aunt Josie attended a Junior College in Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina where Grandpa Linn’s half-brother was either President or some official of the college. Some of the paintings we have — oil and pastel – were done while they were at school. She also did water color and china – some of which we should have. (I haven’t been able to do any research on this college yet.)

She played the piano and often awoke us children in the morning by playing a hymn. She did beautiful needle work as well as making her clothes and mine (Lowanda).

She was an out-going person, made friends easily. One of the ladies who came into the St. John’s Lutheran congregation in Effingham (a year before mother died) said she didn’t know what she would have done without mother. Mother also was President of the Red Cross Unit in Effingham at the time of her death. Banks closed and classes stopped during the hour of her funeral which made an impression on me. I was a Freshman and Chas. was a Senior and John was in the 5th Grade.

I can remember kneeling at her lap to say my prayers and giving us a “good night kiss”.

She died at St. Anthony’s Hospital, Effingham, Ill. About 6 p.m. (I think it was a Monday as we told her goodbye Sunday afternoon) September 30, 1918. She left each of us a pencil written note and a passage marked in the Bible for Dad. It was the Third Epistle of JOHN, verses 13 and 14. “I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.”

The note she left me said “My dear daughter – During the days I’m away I want you to stay at home of evenings and practice all of those nice pieces I love to hear and if they say I’m not doing so well or very sick or the like, tell papa to send for Beulah. Behave yourself well at school and at all times remember a Good Name is rather to be chosen than Great Riches. Pray that God will be with us all and that the Drs do what they ought to do to make me well if God so wills. Your loving mother.”

[taken from Proverbs 22:1]

I saw Chas. note in his baby book when I was in Effingham.

Linn: Charley’s and John’s (if he were living) impressions of their mother would probably be different than mine. Rlm

I was 14 when she died.

John’s note had something about “Remember Thou God See’st Me.” In whatever you do.


The Standard (Concord, NC), 25 Jun 1891, p3.

Misses Josie and Laura Linn and Mrs. Linn, of Mt. Pleasant, passed through to China Grove Tuesday evening. The Misses Linn are students of the seminary and are from Illinois.

Jonesboro Gazette (Jonesboro, Il), October 4, 1918

Rhea Laura (Linn) Melzer died last Monday (23 Sep 1918) at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Effingham, and was buried in St. John’s Cemetery in Effingham.  Her funeral was at St. John’s Lutheran Church, where she became a member in 1904.  She went to the hospital on 25 Sep 1918, and never recovered after an operation on Monday, 30 Sep 1918.  She was born 29 Dec 1874, in Jonesboro, the daughter of J. T. S. and Ellen F. Linn, of Jonesboro.  At the age of 15 she went to Mt. Pleasant, N.C., and entered Mt. Amoena Seminary, of which her uncle, the Rev. J. A. Linn, was president.  She married on 6 Feb 1901, at her home in Jonesboro, Emil Melzer, senior member of Melzer Bros. Milling Company  In 1904 they moved to Effingtham.  She returned months ago from a visit for her health with her sister, Mrs. Sidney Nunamaker, at Portsmouth or Norfolk, Va.  Beulah Linn was also a sister.  She left a husband and two sons, Charles Melzer and John Melzer, and one daughter, Lowenda Melzer; two brothers in California, and three sisters.