A prominent family in the early days in Cedar Vale were William M. and Katherine Eve Rothrock. William was born February 23, 1864 in Indiana and Katherine (Kate) was born October 17, 1865 in Ohio. At this time nothing is known of their early years but in the 1900 Federal Census the Rothrocks are living in Cedar Vale. William is listed as a dealer in general merchandise and Kate is listed as a saleswoman in “dry goods.” They have a step sister, 15-year-old Clara Rothrock living with them and they employ a servant--21-year-old Lucy Hayes. It is probable that Kate was a sales person in William’s business and the fact that they employed a servant indicates that the business was successful. Perhaps the house that CV bloggers described was constructed during that period.
Since there is no record of any other person named Rothrock living in this area of Kansas, it is unknown where Clara came from, but she is listed as having been born in Kansas. It is also impossible to determine exactly when the Rothrocks arrived in Cedar Vale, since the 1890 US census is fragmentary and doesn’t include information for Kansas.
By the 1910 federal census, William is still listed as a merchant and Kate is still employed as a salesperson in their store. Clara has left the household and there is a young school teacher, 19-year-old Pearl Buechle living with them. It is apparent from the two federal census reports, that the Rothrocks never had children.
By the 1920 federal census, William is listed as employed in a “mercantile and oil” business and Kate is no longer working at the store. There is a niece, 5-year-old Mildred Fisher living with them. Perhaps the presence of a 5-year-old in the household accounts for Kate’s no longer working outside the home.
In the 1930 federal census we find both William and Kate retired and living by themselves. William died on October 24, 1943 leaving Kate living alone in the house until her death on November 8, 1950. It was during the period between 1943 and 1950 that CV Memories bloggers had contact with Aunt Kate. William and Kate are buried in Cedar Vale Cemetery.