History of Lenawee County, Michigan - Book 2, Page 68



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MEMOIRS OF LENAWEE COUNTY BIOGRAPHICAL - CONTINUED
Thomas Elwood Randall, a prominent dealer in staple and fancy groceries and fresh, salt and smoked meats at 59 Broad street, was horn at Lenawee Junction, March 5, 1882. He is the son of George C. and Alice C. (Pratt) Randall, the former of whom . was born in Palmyra township and the latter in Adrian township, and their marriage occurred in Blissfield. The father died on May 5, 19o8, at Palmyra and the mother came to live in Adrian in October of the same year, now making her home at 27 Chestnut street. There were two sons in the family-C. E. Randall, of Palniyra, and Thomas E. Randall, of this sketch. The latter received his educational advantages at Lenawee Junction and the Raisin Valley Seminary. Up to February, igo8, he was engaged in agricultural pursuits and the next month removed to Adrian, where he secured employment for a few weeks with the Maple City Granite Works. He then purchased the -grocery and meat business of C. H. Willbee at 59 Broad street and has since been occupied in that industry. Although he has been engaged in business but a comparatively short time he has attained a reputation and a popularity that promises well for the future. i In the matter pf politics Mr. Randall is a Republican, and for two years he served as school inspector of Lenawee Junction. Fraternally he is identified with the WVoodmen of the World and the Grange at Palmyra. On May 15, 1907, Mr. Randall was united in marriage to Miss Eva D. Doan, a daughter of O. L. Doan, of Adrian. Mrs. Randall was born at Fife Lake, Mich., and received her education in the Toledo High School and Adrian College. They have no 'children. Harva T. Roach, who is living retired in the outskirts of Adrian, was born in Royalton township, Lucas county, Ohio, Nov. 30, 184o, the son of William and Mary (Rhodes) Roach. Both parents were born in the Empire state, the father in Orange county and the mother in Ithaca. The father was a farmer, and after his marriage in Ithaca came west to Ohio and lived in Lucas county for a period of five years. When he had disposed of his eighty acres of land there, he removed to Dundee, Mich., near which village he owned 700 acres of land:. There he died in August, 1876, and the mother passed away in February, 18go, the remains of both being interred at-Dundee. Three children were born to the parents-Harva T., of this sketch; Mrs. Matilda Slayton, of Dundee; and Harley P., now deceased. After Harva T. Roach had finished his scholastic training in the schools of Dundee he began life as a farmer and has since followed no other calling. For sixty years he was a resident of Monroe county, either in Dundee or on his farms. In 1875 he sold his original farm and removed to the village of Dundee, where he had built a home for himself, meantime managing also a farm of 220 acres in Dundee township, part of the homestead farm which he had purchased of his father. In 1905 he disposed of his holdings and removed to Madison Center, where he lived about nine months. Thence he removed to Rollin and purchased eighty-eight and one-half acres of land. On May "I3, 1908,, he became a resident of Adrian, where he had purchased three acres of land. Besides his property in this state, Mr. Roach owns twentythree valuable lots on Washington and Michigan streets in the city of Toledo, Ohio. During the war lie' served as a private in Company K, Third Michigan cavalry, in Company E, Seventh Tennessee infantry, and part of his term of service, which continued from 1861 to 1864, he was a member of the secret service force. In the matter of politics he is unallied, preferring to use judgment in the exercise of his right of franchise rather than be guided by the dictation of party leaders: Fraternally and socially he is identified with the William Bell Post, No. 1o, Grand Army of the Republic, of Dundee; the Grange at Azalia, and the Farmers' Club, of Dundee. On July 7, 1858, was celebrated Mr. Roach's marriage to Miss Sarah A. Shellman, of Martin. Allegan county, Mich., daughter of Nicholas and Louise Shellman, who were pioneers of Allegan county. To this union were born two daughters-Martha A. was married on Aug. 30, 1884, in Arkansas, to David S. Archer, now a piano dealer in Dundee; and Marv Catherine, who died at the age of nine years. Mrs. Roach died on Feb. 14, 19o2, and on Aug. 18, 19o6, Mr. Roach. married Mrs. Matilda La Tour, of Petersburg, Monroe county. On the occasion of his daughter's marriage Mr. Roach made her a wedding gift of the home in Dundee, which had cost $7,500 to construct. and ,which together with the lot on which it stands is now worth $io,ooo. Mr. Roach's home in Adrian is at No. I1 North Scott street. Albert U. Reattoire, whose well improved farm property is located on rural mail route No. 2,-from Tecumseh, has gained a position of independence through his own well directed efforts, and has relied upon his own resources from his boyhood days. Since taking up his residence in Lenawee county his success has been cumulative and his prosperity is well merited. As the name indicates, he is of French lineage on the paternal side. He was born in the province of Quebec, Canada, Dec. 29, 1854, a son of James and Elizabeth (Sickles) Reattoire, the former a native of Quebec and the latter of England. The mother died in Canada in 1855 and in 1861 the father located in Toledo, Ohio, whence he later removed to the state of Tennessee; where he died in 1869. He was a carpenter by trade and was in the employ of the United States government during the progress of the Civil war. His father was a man of wealth and influence in Quebec, where he was for many years a leading physician and surgeon. James and Elizabeth (Sickles) Reattoire became the parents of seven children, all of whom are living. Albert U. Reattoire secured his rudimentary education in the public schools of Canada and was a lad of but fifteen years when the death of his father left him doubly orphaned. He forthwith took up the stern battle of life on his own responsibility, and from Tennessee, whither he had gone with his father, he went to Virginia, where he continued to reside about twenty years, during the greater portion of which he was identified with agricultural pursuits. In 1890 he came to Lenawee county and took up his residence in Tecumseh. For the four ensuing years he was employed by the month, principally at farm work, and thereafter he did independent farming on shares and by rental of land for about three years, at the expiration of which he purchased the old Morley homestead of sixty acres, to which he has since added twelve and one-half acres of the old Fisher farm. He has labored indefatigably and it is due to his energy and good management that he has placed himself among the successful and independent members of the agricultural community of Lenawee county. He has made a specialty of raising celery and onions, for which products he has found a ready demand, as he has brought out the highest grades-and, therefore, secured an appreciative patronage. In politics he maintains an independent attitude and in a fraternal way he is identified with Tecumseh Grange. On Nov. 24, 1874, Mr. Reattoire married Miss Mary T. Delbridge, who was born on Oct. 30, 1853, in Brunswick county, Virginia, and was reared in that state. She is a daughter of Thomas D. and Lucy P. (Waldron) Delbridge, both of whom were reared and died in Virginia. No children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Reattoire. Paul E. Richter, a young druggist of Adrian whose place of business is at 4o Tecumseh street, was born in Saginaw, Mich., March 14, 1884, the son of F. A. and Kathryne (Miller) Richter, both of whom were born in Germany. They came to the United States with their respective parents about the time of the outbreak of the Civil war, the father being fourteen years of age at the time and the mother eight. The mother died in Saginaw in 189o, leaving three daughters and five sons, all of whom are living but F. A. Richter, Jr., who died in the spring of I9o8. The survivors are Dr. E. P. 1V. Richter, a physician and county coroner, living at Saginaw; Mrs. II. E. Heyn, of Sturgis, Mich., whose husband is a minister of the Gospel; Albert 0., of Saginaw ; Rev. Henry C. Richter, of Sturgis, Mich.; Paul E., of this sketch; Mrs. Walter 1 eidermeyer, of Newport, Mich., and Clara. The father was married after the death of his first wife to Miss Tillie Neidermeyer, a native of Monroe county, who was a teacher in the schools of Saginaw at the time of her marriage, and by this union is the father of one son, Carl. The father is now engaged in the lumber business at Marion, Mich. Paul E. Richter, to whom this review is dedicated, received his preliminary educational training in the schools of Saginaw, finishing the prescribed course of the eleventh grade. He then became a clerk in a drug store, devoting his spare moments to the study of the profession, and in 1900 successfully took the examination submitted by the state board of pharmacy, becoming then a registered pharmacist. Mr. Richter is also a graduate of the course in chemistry given by the International Correspondence Schools of Scranton, Pa. In July, 19o8, he removed to Adrian and purchased the business which he is now conducting, and although he has been here but a short time he has won a host of friends and developed a trade that augurs well for the future. In the matter of politics Mr. Richter espouses the cause of the Republican party, but has never sought office. In religious matters he is identified as a member of St. Stephen's Church. On June 23, 1903, Mr. Richter was united in marriage to Miss Rose Hesse, who was born and educated in Buffalo, N. Y., and is the daughter of John Hesse, of Saginaw. They have two children, Mildred and Dorothea.



Andrew Roesch, one of the prominent citizens of Adrian, was born in that city on Sept. 4, x859, the son of George H. and Christine (Miller) Roesch. Both parents were born in Germany, but were married in Adrian. The father was a coat-maker in the Fatherland and after coming here earned his livelihood in the tailoring. business, working for one firm, Herman & May, as foreman of their shop for twenty-five years. When the company failed he purchased a farm of forty acres in Monroe county, twelve miles northeast of Monroe, where he passed the remainder of his life, his death occurring in March, 1882. After her husband's death the mother returned to Adrian, where she died on Jan. 8, 1894. The mother came from Germany when but eight years of age, making the journey with her parents in a sailing vessel Ğrhich took eight weeks in the passage. Four children were born to the parents-Carrie, the wife of Sehastine Saile, a farmer owning forty acres of land in Palmyra township; Andrew, of this sketch; George, of Adrian; and John, who died at the age of eighteen years. Andrew Roesch received his educational advantages in the public and German schools of Adrian, and when he had completed his scholastic work he entered the employe of Herman & May as a clerk. He remained with that firm as a clerk until the company failed. and was then engaged in a similar capacity by other houses for different periods. For thirteen years he was employed by the Webb & Smith Clothing Company, and for four years was in the same business for Dan Benedict. At the end of that period he formed a partnership in the clothing business with Daniel Mulligan, under the firm name of Mulligan & Roesch. This venture did not prove successful and after four years the firm failed. In his political relations, Mr. Roesch is a Democrat, and as such is now serving his thirteenth year as supervisor from the Sixth ward of Adrian. Fraternally he is identified with the Knights of the Modern Maccabees, and the German Workingmen's Society. Although he was reared in the German Lutheran faith he now attends the Presbyterian church, of which his wife and children are members. On Oct. 17, 1882, Mr. Roesch was united in marriage to Miss Carrie Hieber, daughter of John and Pauline Hieber. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hieber were born in Germany, but were married in Newark, N. j:, coming thence to Tecumseh, where their daughter was born and educated. Mr. Hieber is now deceased and his widow resides in Adrian. To Mr. and Mrs. Roesch have been born four childrenElsie, now the wife of Asa Hill, of Adrian; Edith, now Airs. Charles Hoag, of Albany, Ore.; Mabel and Walter at home. The Roesch home is at No. 79 East Front street. Herbert D. Roff, an enterprising farmer of Raisin township, was born at Clayton. Lenawee county, Michigan, Sept. 10, 1875, a son of Philip and Martha M. (Sample) Roff, the former born at Royalton, N. Y.. April 16, 1838, and the latter at Fairfield, Huron county, Ohio, Oct. i6. 1841. Martha M. (Sample) Roff is the daughter of David and Susan (Henderson) Sample. Her father, horn near Newark, Ohio, was the son of Samuel and Nancy (Carr) Sample, both natives of County Tyrone, Ireland, of Scotch-Irish descent, They came to America in 1792. Her mother, Susan (Henderson) Sample, was the daughter of James and Electa (McInt),re) Henderson, both natives of New York state, where they were reared and married. Subsequently_ they removed to Huron county, Ohio, where they passed the remainder of their lives. Philip Roff came to Union City, Branch county, Michigan, in 1851, his wife's parents having traded their Ohio farm for one near Hudson, Lenawee county, in 1849. On Aug. 24, 1858, Philip Roff and Martha M. Sample were married in Adrian, and in 1897 they removed to a farm in Raisin township. Three years later they purchased the homestead farm of sixty acres in the same township, where Philip Roff died on March 13, 1901, leaving besides his widow four children, viz.: Viola D., now the wife of Alpha Fox, of Dover township; Effie, now the wife of David Vorhees. a farmer of Adrian township; Herbert D., the subject of this sketch, and Chester I., who resides on the old homestead. Herbert D. Roff has entire charge of the old home place, where he resides with his mother. and is generally recognized as one of the most successful and progressive farmers of that section of Lenawee county. Recently he has been devoting a considerable portion of his time to the breeding of Duroc and Poland China hogs, experimenting with the crossing of those two breeds. He has a Poland China brood sow from which he has raised and sold over zoo head of hogs within the last seven years, receiving for them more than $I,6oo. In his political views Mr. Roff is thoroughly independent, giving his support to men and measures that he thinks will best subserve the interests of the community or the nation. He is a member of Birdsall Grange, No. 793, of Raisin township, and is keenly alive to all matters affecting the agricultural interests of the Country. Through his genial disposition he has made a host of friends who predict for him a brilliant future in any line of work he may undertake. Henry Rohrbach, retired, one of the prominent residents and substantial citizens of Blissfield, was born in Germany, Feb. 211, 1859, the son of Jacob and Martha (Keahle) Rohrbach, natives of Germany. His father spent three years in the Fatherland learning the stone-mason's trade, at which he worked there for a number of years. - Like so many of the ambitious young Germans, he desired to widen the field of his activities and determined to come to America where there was better opportunity, and sailed for the new world with his family in 1869. After landing in the United States they came to Michigan, where Jacob Rohrbach bought forty acres of land in Ogden township, Lenawee county. When the family were settled in their new home he began work at his trade and continued to follow his trade and to farm until the time of his death in May, i88o. His widow survived him until October, 1907. Eight children were in the family. John is a farmer in Ogden township; Conrad died in Germany at the age of twelve years; Justis is 'a farmer of Ogden township; Daniel is a farmer of Riga township ; Valentine is a farmer of Ogden township; Martha, now Mrs. Klump, lives on the old homestead in Ogden township; Mary is now Mrs. Peter Iffland and her, husband is a farmer in Ogden township; and Henry is the subject of this sketch. The last named, was given the benefit of the excellent educational training afforded by the public schools of his native land before he came to America with his. parents. For a short time he worked on his father's farm and then found employment with the farmers near his home until he was twenty-two years of age. Being of an ambitious nature he purchased forty acres of woodland in Ogden township. Lenawee county, part of which he himself improved. He was able to dispose of his property to advantage within a short time and with that money purchased forty acres in Riga township, where he lived for three years. Subsequently he sold out in Riga township and returned to Ogden, where he again became the owner of a finely improved eighty acre farm. There he lived for twelve years before removing to Blissfield, where he built a beautiful home. but he returned to the country again after four years to engage in farming in Palmyra township. At the end of two years he returned to Blissfield, purchased a fine brick residence property and has since made that his residence. During his active career Mr. Rohrbach secured a sufficient competency to enable him to retire from active life and enjoy a well earned respite during his last years. Tn politics he is affiliated with the Republican party, and fraternally is popular in the Independent Order. of Odd Fellows. On April 15, i88o, in the township of Riga, Mr. Rohrbach was united in, marriage to Miss Maggie Iffland, the daughter of Justis and Anna (Lohr) Iffland, of whom more particular mention is made in the sketch of their son, John C. Iffland. Mrs. Rohrbach was born in Oberlin, Ohio, Feb. 16, 1857, but received her education in Riga township. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs. RohrbachGeorge, born in Riga township, Feb. 5, 1888, and lives in Blissfield. The family are members of the Evangelical church.



William Rothfuss, a prominent and highly esteemed merchant of Blissfield, one of that thrifty class of German-Americans who have enacted a stellar role in the development of the great com-monwealth of Michigan, was born in Erie township, Monroe county, Michigan, March 18, 1858, the son of John and Elizabeth Rothfuss, born in Germany in 1824 and 1830 respectively. His father, a weaver in the "Vaterland," having early resolved to take advantage of the splendid and numerous opportunities offered to young men of industry and thrift `in this "land of the free," set sail for America in 1852, being one of that great stream of hardy and courageous Teuton immigrants who crossed the Atlantic about the middle of the nineteenth century. Upon setting foot upon the shores of the New World he came direct to Michigan, locating in Monroe county, where he resided for seven years. In 1854 his first wife died, leaving three children, and the following year he married her sister. In 1859 Mr. Rothfuss came ~o Riga township, Lenawee county, settling on a farm two and one-half miles from the village of Blissfield. The father passed away in 1905, leaving the record of a useful and well spent life as an incentive for his children and grandchildren to emulate. To his two marriages were born ten children, viz.: John F., a hardware merchant, residing in Blissfield; Mrs. Sophia (Rothfuss) Renklau, a resident of Toledo, Ohio; Rosina, now Mrs. Knapp, lives in the township of Ogden ; Mrs. Lona (Rothfuss) Miller resides in Blissfield township; Mrs. Mary (Rothfuss) Koebbe, passed away in 19o6; Charles II. and George M., twins, the former of whom resides at Wampler's Lake and the latter lives in Blissfield; -Mrs. Clara (Rothfnss) Hagerman lives in Adrian township; and Frank lives on the old homestead in Riga township. William, the subject of this review, received his early scholastic training in the public schools of Ogden, subsequently attended school in Blissfield, and after completing his studies he was employed on a neighboring farm for a year. He then entered the employ of Mr. Williams, a grocer, working for him for a period of two years at $25 per month. Here he readily and thoroughly mastered the principles of the grocery business, but as he was too ambitious to remain a paid employee for any considerable length of time he purchased, in 1881, a half interest, that of Mr. Wise, in the firm of Wise & Collins, dealers in drugs and groceries, and the firm soon became widely and favorably known as Collins & Rothfnss. They successfully conducted the two branches of the enterprise until 1884, when they bought out Smith & Pratt, a grocery and drug firm next door to them, and combined the two places of business, moving the drugs into one store and the groceries into the other. About 1889 Mr. Rothfuss disposed of his interest in the drug department to H. M. Collins and subsequently disposed of his grocery interests. Twenty-five years ago he became interested in the farm implement business and now assiduously devotes his entire attention to that field of endeavor. He now occupies a large and commodious double store building, and nine years ago he put in a fine stock of pianos, organs and sewing machines in one department, while the other half is devoted to farm machinery, wagons and automobiles. In this, as in his other business ventures, he has met with unusual success. In addition to his other business enterprises. Mr. Rothfuss is vice-president of the Blissfield State Bank, the leading financial institution of his beloved city. Politically he is affiliated with the Republican party, being a stanch and enthusiastic adherent of the principles and measures espoused by Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley. In May, 1878, he was united in marriage to Miss Permelia A. Miller, daughter of Benjamin and Saloma Anna (Ruppert) Miller, both natives of Pennsylvania. Mr. Miller passed away in Three Rivers, Mich., some years ago and Mrs. Miller now resides in Blissfield. Mrs. Rothfuss was born at Wauseon, Ohio, Nov. 23, 1859, and received her educational training in the schools of Blissfield. Three worthy children blessed this happy union-Lawrence H., the popular cashier of the Blissfield State Bank; Carl W. graduated in 1909 at Kirksville, Mo., in osteopathy, having previously completed a course in Huntington College; and Stanley resides under the parental roof and renders his father able assistance in his business enterprises; Lawrence H. is the husband of Bessie (Furman) Rothfuss, formerly a successful teacher in the Blissfield schools, by whom he has one child-Richard Russell, born Feb. 7, 1908. The subject of this sketch resides in the most handsome residence in Blissfield and he owns two beautiful summer homes-one at Lakeside, Ohio, the other at Wampler's Lake. The family is affiliated with the United Brethren church of Blissfield, and Mr. Rothfuss is an active and devout Christian worker, being intensely interested in every movement which looks to the intellectual, moral or spiritual advancement of the people of his community. He has met with a well earned success in his various fields of endeavor and owes his present financial and social status to his own unaided efforts. Starting forth in the great "battle of life" without a dollar to his credit, he has through his assiduous and pertinacious enterprise, great energy and thrift, his close attention to the numerous minor details with which his business ventures have been com-plicated, fought his way to the front, and today he-is universally recognized as one of Blissfield's most conservative, thorough and substantial men of affairs. Certainly he can approach the evening of life with the comforting realization that he has seized upon the opportunities which nature and man have thrust in his pathway to the best of his ability, and it would seem that his motto has ever been-"as ye sow so shall ye reap." When the Divine One decides that he cast aside life's earthly mantle he will leave behind him the record of a well lived earthly career, which will be a precious heritage to the members of his-family, both of this and future generations.



White W. Sammis, a well known veterinary surgeon of Blissfield, was born in Huron county, Ohio, July 5, 1873. He is the son of Anson and Charlotte M. (Burr) Sammis, both of whom were natives of Long Island, and were pioneer settlers of Huron county, where the father engaged in farming. The mother died on July 13, 1873, and was survived by her husband, who still lives in Huron county, and three children-Flora, now Mrs. Burkett, lives at Portland, Ind.; Mrs. Martha Hillicker, a resident of Kansas City, Kan.; and White W., the subject of this sketch. The latter received his scholastic training in the public schools of Ohio, graduating in 1891. He worked on a farm some time and assisted Dr. Norton, a veterinary surgeon, at his office in Bellevue, Ohio. Mr. Sammis became interested in this line of work and determined to take up the study of the science. With this end in view he entered the Veterinary College of Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1889, and graduated from that excellent institution in 1902. The Doctor began to practice at Big Rapids, but was there only ten months when he returned to the Veterinary College at Grand Rapids to become an instructor, a position he held for one year. Upon severing his connection with the institution Dr. Sammis went to Belding, Mich., where he was engaged in the active practice of his profession for a period of two years. In May, 1904, he came to Blissfield, Lenawee county, and since that time he has built up a large and lucrative practice. On June 23, 1904, was solemnized the marriage of Dr. Sammis and Miss Lula E. Carpenter, the daughter of Alvin B. and Helen R. (Fish) Carpenter, old and honored residents of Grand Rapids, Mich. Mrs. Sammis was born in -Carlton Center, Mich., and received her educational training in Grand Rapids, Mich. Dr. Sammis is a stanch supporter of the Democratic party. Fraternally he is associated with the Modern Woodmen of America. His home and office are located on Adrian street, Blissfield. Holloway Sawyer, a thrifty and enterprising agriculturist of Pal myra township, was born in that township on June 28, 1871. He is the son of David Sawyer, and his family relationship is mentioned more particularly in the sketch of his brother, ,George Sawyer, elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Sawyer's educational advantages were limited to the district schools of his native township. Until he was twenty years of age he remained at home with his parents, and during the winter following was engaged in teaching school. In the spring of 1892 he entered the employ" of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Company as a brakeman on a passenger train, and was thus occupied until November, 1893. Then for a year he worked on the farm with his brother George, and then having disposed of his home in the village he purchased twenty acres of land where he now resides. Subsequently, in 1899. he added more than forty acres to the property, until today he has altogether sixty-three acres of land, constituting one of the most highly productive farms in the township. At the present time he has a fine, modern residence in the course of construction. As soon as he is able to satisfactorily arrange his sheds and outbuildings, Mr. Sawyer expects to engage in the business of raising swine. All he has today is the direct result of his own effort, with no assistance save the inspiration and co-operation of his good wife. Fraternally he is allied with Paltnyra Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons. In the matter of politics he is a stanch supporter of the men and measures of the Republican party, and one of the prominent figures in the local organization of that party. As' its sttc-. cessful candidate he served two years as township treasurer and five years as township clerk, which position he now holds. Mr. Sawyer was happily married on March 20, 11895, to Miss Mary Boulton, and by this union has one son, Howard Holly, born Oct. 21, 1902.

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History of Lenawee County
published by The Western Historical Society in 1909. Book 1
Book 2

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