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Christian Doerr

Map 17 S. 15th St., Philadelphia, PA
17 S. 15th St., Philadelphia, PA. This is where Christian and Jane Louise Doerr ran their Oyster Bar. Corner of the current block with City Hall.

Christian and Jane Louise Doerr

Christian “Chris” Dörr / Doerr, son of Johann Adam Dörr and Maria (Nahrgang) Dörr
born:      2 Mar 1830 in Niedernklein, Kirchhain, Upper Hesse, Hesse, German Confederation
died:      13 Aug 1898 at 6:15 p.m. at the age of 68 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
married: Jane Louise (Unknown) before 1860

Jane Louise (Unknown) Doerr aka Louise Jane
born:      1834 in Manhattan, New York, New York County, New York, USA *
died:       20 Jun 1889 at the age of 55 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA

Christian immigrated to America in 1848 at the age of 18, two years after his brother Wilhelm, who also immigrated to America. Christian settled in Philadelphia, where he would marry and live out the rest of his life.  He worked as a bartender before opening his own Restaurant at 17 S. 15th street. He and his wife lived above the restaurant and perhaps had a home in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Early records show them as Christian and Louise Derr.

Jane Louise is showing as “Louise or Louisa” in several records. Her Death Notice showed her as Louise Jane Doerr, but her Death Certificate shows her as Jane Louise Doerr. I was unable to determine her maiden name, however it appears that her sister was Lucy Hamilton and Lucy was mentioned in Christians will as his sister-in-law. 

*Jane Louise’s death certificate shows her as being born in New York. Find A Grave memorial # 44294962 1 shows her born in Manhattan, New York. The census records show her and her parents as being born in Pennsylvania. None are direct sources, so more research needed. Not knowing her maiden name has limited my research for Jane Louise.

The various directories and census records show Christians occupations as Bartender, Bar Keeper, Restaurant, Liquors and Oysters. It appears from reviewing the various documents I’ve uncovered, that Christian ran an Oyster Bar Restaurant and Bar at 17 S. 15th, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

See the map at the top ↑ of the post to see that the current site is right downtown just off Philadelphia City Hall Square where today there is a park and Trolley Station. Quite the prime real estate. However, he leased this property, and did not own it.

His estate showed that he had Oyster Bar fixtures, kitchen and cooking utensils listed on the inventory of his estate along with 3rd floor bedroom furniture and 4th floor bedstead & bed, and clothing.

His personal estate listed real estate premises situate nos. 445 and 447 Leedom St., Jenkintown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania valued at $3,600.00 with mortgage of $2,500.00. See Map to the right

According to Zillow, 445 was built in 1898, but the other side, 447 was built in 1890. This is one building, so I would assume the earlier date is closer to being correct, since 1898 is the year Christian died.

Map showing 445 & 447 Leedom St. Jenkintown, PA
445 & 447 Leedom st. Jenkintown, Pennsylvania

The distance between the two properties, 17 S. 15th St. Philadelphia and 445 Leedom St., Jenkintown, is about 10 miles. Christian may have lived in Jenkintown and stayed above the restaurant when needed or it could have been an investment property. His wife had already passed away by the time it was built. 

Christian left his estate to his sister-in-law Lucy Hamilton [the sister of his deceased wife?] during her lifetime.

After Lucy Hamilton’s death, the remaining estate was to go to his brother Wilhelms’ children and Katie Rule [Ruehl?] in Iowa, split equally. His sister, Elizabeth married Henry Ruehl and they had five children, one of whom was Katherine nicknamed Katie. However, at the time of his death, she was married to Anton Senera, so this may not be the same. Again, we can only speculate. 

Map showing distance from17 S. 15th St, Philadelphia, PA to 445 Leedom St., Jenkintown, Pennsylvania
445 Leedom St., Jenkintown, PA
445 Leedom St., Jenkintown, Pennsylvania 19046
447 Leedom, Jenkintown PA
447 Leedom St., Jenkintown, Pennsylvania 19046

Christian Doerr and Jane Louis Doerr Census & Directory Records

The following were pulled from a variety of records, including directories, census records, death notices and Christians Will. Keeping in mind that anyone in the household, or even a neighbor could be providing the information on the census records. Also, many of our early ancestors most likely had strong German accents and the information was dependent on the census takers interpretation.

1850 US Federal Census, Chestnut Ward, Hotel, Dwelling No. 47, Family No. 56, enumerated on 7 Aug 1850:

    • Christian Dera [Derr], age 19, occupation: Bar Keeper, birthplace: Germany

1860 US Federal Census, Philadelphia Ward 7, Philadelphia, PA, Dwelling  1010, Family 1078 – enumerated on 21 Jun 1860:

    • Christopher Derr, age 30, birthplace: Germany, occupation: Bar Keeper
    • Louisa Derr, age 25, birthplace: Pennsylvania

1863 –   Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1863

    • Christian Derr, bartender, address: 1912 Wilcox

1868 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1868

    • Christian Derr, bartender, h 2047 Shippen

1873 –   shows Christian operating his own restaurant at 17 S. 15th street, which he appears to have run until his death in 1898.

1875 –  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1875

    • Christian Doerr, street address: Wilcox, occupation: Restaurant.

1876 –   Gopsill’s Philadelphia Business Directory for 1876, Restaurants, p 315. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    • Christian Doerr, 17 S.15th

1880 –   US Federal Census, p. 20, Supervisor District: 111, Enumeration District: 159, 9th Ward, 5th Elec. District, 15th Street,  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, enumerated on 9 Jun 1880:

    • Chris Doere [Doerr]. age: 47, married, occupation: Saloon Keeper, birthplace: Prussia, Fathers birthplace: Prussia, Mothers birthplace: Prussia.
    • Louisa, age: 45, wife, married, occupation: keeping house, birthplace: Pennsylvania, Fathers birthplace: Pennsylvania, Mothers birthplace: Pennsylvania.

1880 –  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1880

    • Christian Doerr, address: 17 S. 15th, occupation: Restaurant

1887 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1887

    • Christian Doerr, address: 17 S. 15th, occupation: Liquors

1889 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1889

    • Christian Doerr, address: 17 S. 15th, occupation: Oysters

1893 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1893

    • Christian Doerr, address: 17 S. 15th, occupation: Restaurant

1895 – Philadelphia Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1895

    • Christian Doerr, address: 17 S. 15th, occupation: Restaurant

1896 – Philadelphia Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1896

    • Christian Doerr, occupation: Restaurant. 

Louisa Jane Doerr Obituary

Louise Jane Doerr Death Notice (The Philadelphia Record – June 23, 1889, p. 3 – Obituaries)
“DOERR – On June 20, 1889, Louse J. Doerr, wife of Christian Doerr.
Funeral will take place on Monday afternoon, at 2 o’clock, from her late residence, No. 17, South Fifteenth street. Internment private.” 2

Mrs. Jane L. Doerr Burial

Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 3

Name: Mrs. Jane L. Doerr Burial
Deat Date: abt 1889
Burial Date: 24 Jun 1889
Burial Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Denomination: Episcopal
Organization Name: Church of the Redemption
Name: Mrs. Jane L. Doerr


Jane Louise Doerr Death Certificate

The following is from Jane Louise’s Death Certificate: 4 5

Name:Jane Louise Doerr
Birth Date:abt 1834
Birth Place:New York City
Death Date:20 Jun 1889
Death Place:Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Age at Death:55
Burial Date:24 Jun 1889
Burial Place:Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Street address:No 17 S 15th St
Residence:Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cemetery:Mount Vernon Cemetery
Marital status:Married
FHL Film Number:2079813
Jane Louise Doerr Death Certificate
Jane Louise Doerr Death Certificate

Jane Louise’s cause of death was Cancer of the Liver. Place of birth is showing New York City, but the census records show she was born in Pennsylvania. 

Christian Doerr Obituary

Christian Doerr Obituary, Philadelphia Inquirer, August 16 1898 :
“DOERR – On August 13, 1898, Christian Doerr, aged 68 years. The relatives and friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, on Tuesday morning, at 8:30 o’clock, from his late residence, 17 S. 15th street. Solemn requiem mass Holy Trinity, Sixth and Spruce streets. Internment at Mount Vernon.” 6

Christian Doerr Death Certificate

The following is transcribed from Chritians Death Certificate, copy below. 7 8

NameChristian Doer
Birth Dateabt 1831
Birth PlaceGermany
Death Date13 Aug 1898
Death PlacePhiladelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Age at Death67
Burial Date16 Aug 1898
Marital StatusWidowed
FHL Film Number1769417
Christian Doerr Death Certificate

Christians cause of death was a strangulated Hernia. A strangulated hernia is a life-threatening medical condition. Fatty tissue or a section of the small intestines pushes through a weakened area of the abdominal muscle. The surrounding muscle then clamps down around the tissue, cutting off the blood supply to the small intestine. This strangulation of the small intestine can lead to intestinal perforation, shock, or gangrene (death) of the protruding tissue, which can lead to death.

Christian Doerr Will

I transcribed Christians Will from his probate records. Copies of the inventory and personal inventory of the estate included below.9

Christian Doerr’s Will:

“I, Christian Doerr, of No. I7 South 15th Street, in the City of Philadelphia, do make and publish this my last Will and Testament; ___________

First. I give, devise and bequeath my entire estate, real personal and mixed, of whatsoever kind and wheresoever situate, unto my sister-in-law Lucy Hamilton, for the term of her natural life.

Second. After the decease of the said Lucy Hamilton I give devise and bequeath my said Estate unto Katie Rule and the children of my deceased brother William Doerr, all of the State of Iowa, in equal parts, share and share alike. _________

Third. I nominate and appoint the said Lucy Hamilton and Rebecca Stuart to be the Executors of this my last Will and Testament. _____

In Witness whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this 9th day of October, A.D. 1896
In the presence of us                  )                                    signed Chris Doerr, (Seal)
Signed: Philip Weidner
   11 S. 15 St.

Signed: Oliver E Shannon
   21 So. 15th St.5

Christian Doerr Estate Inventory

Christian Doerr Personal Estate

Chrstian Doerr Personal Estate Inventory


  1. Louise Jane Doerr Find A Grave Memorial #44294962, Find A, digital record, Find A Grave at, (Accessed 30 June 2019).
  2. Mrs. Jane L. Doerr Burial. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Collection Name: Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 230. (Accessed 20 Sep 2019).
  3.  Jane Louise Doerr Death Certificate, “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 16 May 2014), 004010397 > image 344 of 1158; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
  4. Jane Louise Doerr Death Certificate, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915, (Accessed 20 Sep 2019). 
  5. Find A, digital record, Find A Grave (, Accessed 30 June 2019), memorial for Christian Doerr, Find A Grave Memorial #44295803.
  6. Christian Doer Death Certificate “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 16 May 2014), 004009433 > image 1321 of 1847; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
  7. Christian Doerr death certificate, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death certificates Index, 1803-1915, (Accessed 20 Sep 2019).
  8. Christian Doerr Probate Records,, Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2015),,, Pennsylvania probate record; Probate Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The family Information was retrieved from a variety of family trees, webgens and family stories. I will note citations as appropriate and hope the information assists you in your research, but please do not use this as proven evidence. Feedback is welcome!

Pat Burns. Copyright © 2024. All Rights Reserved.

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