Monday, November 17, 2008

A Pioneering Family in Cedar Vale, Kansas: The Rothrocks

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.

29 comments:

Don Shaffer said...

Does anyone remember a wonderful singer, Mildred Fisher? I can't remember whether her first name was Mildred, but I remember sitting in a pew at the C.V. Methodist Church and hearing this person sing......and I had never heard that "way" of singing! It was operatic, and even though I didn't know "the way," I knew that whoever this woman was, "she was a classic!"

Gary White said...

Maybe your Mildred Fisher is the one mentioned in this article. I don't remember her, but I was more often in the Baptist Church than the Methodist. Anyone else know about this person?

DFCox said...

I remember Mildred Fisher. Yes she was musical. My oldest sister was a friend of hers. The John Fisher family lived in the last house south toward the park--east side. John Fisher owned the fine farm on Sycamore creek west of Wauneta--south of the highway.
I believe Mildred became a music teacher. I don't know if it was her living with the Rothrocks, but I bet it was--the age is right. I'll try to ask some questions and see if I can learn more.

Phil Foust said...

Gary, super interesting research on the Rothrocks.

Pat Pate Molder said...

Gary - Thanks for your great article on the Rothrock family. I should remember more about them since I moved to Cedar Vale in 1937but.. I, too, remember Mildred Fisher and where her parents lived.It seems like Kenneth and Faxine Dunn bought the Fisher house when the Estate was settled. It will be interesting to know if she is the same Mildred Fisher who lived with the Rothrock family. And, we can wonder why she did..?

wayne woodruff said...

Gary, we can always depend on you.

Don Shaffer said...

Well, I mowed Kate Rothrock's lawn many a time! Her home looked like a castle! Her lawn must have stretched out for a block or more! After mowing her lawn, she would often invite me into her "castle" to have a cookie or two! She was always dressed in a long dress, black was its usual color, attended by a high-neck collar, with a string of beads around it! Her white hair done up in a bun, not unlike Sarah Palin's! I remember her fine china, exquisitly displayed in more than one cabinet! A nice lady. And I knew that I was, as a little lawn-mower, a part of a history that happened only now and then! Yes, I remember Kate. Not the crusty owner of a castle but one who gave cookies to those who mowed her lawn, and made her castle seem like a home.....

Phil Foust said...

Well, let it be said .. that ole crusty Sarah Kate (too) was part of history in starting that little lawn-mower on his way to success .. all-the-while loving the "cookies" of life!

Gary White said...

I notice that two people have asked that this story be elaborated. I never met Kate to my knowledge and have worked from the only Ancestry.com materials I've been able to find. (It is curious that I can't find a single item about them before 1900 in any state. No birth records, no marriage records, no indications of their parents or Kate's maiden name. No nothing. Curious, isn't it?)

Anyway, I am at the end of my research rope here, so if anyone knows more or can give me any helpful hints, like names, places, or dates I'll get on it and continue the research. Until then, there is no more to elaborate.

DFCox said...

Well I feel from the evidence so far that "Aunt Kate" was a relative of Bessie Buchele and John Fisher who were siblings. First we have 5 yr old Mildred, daughter of John living with Aunt Kate in 1920. Then in 1930 Pearl Buchele is part of the household.
As they were childless, it is not such a stretch to see them helping to raise a couple of nieces. Gary you might hit paydirt with the Buckleles and the Fishers.

Gary White said...

Good hint, Don, but another blind alley. Just nothing about her before 1900 in the Ancestry.com records as far as I can tell.

DFCox said...

Not that it can be found, but one living relative here believes that Aunt Kate was an Aunt to Bessie Buchele and the Fisher boys. He further states that it would be the Fisher side as the other side would be Holroyd. This from Madison Holroyd age 87.

Gary White said...

I figured that her maiden name might well have been Fisher, but I found no references to any person with her birth date and the full name of Katherine Fisher, born in Ohio. The birth date is known from the CV Cem. records and her full name is given in various census records. It is really quite a mystery that they both seem to have just appeared in the 1900 census and never before. I'll try to follow up on the Buchele and Holroyd names when I have some time.

Anonymous said...

I found in the Chautauqua marriage records that William and Katharine were married in Chautauqua County on February 15, 1899. He was 34 and she was 33.

Pat Pate Molder said...

I'm Anonymous and didn't intend for it to be so ! In the marriage records, Katharine's maiden name is Buchele.

Gary White said...

Thanks, Pat. I'll look into her background on Ancestry.com.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing the response one little question will inspire.

Gary White said...

Yes, it must show that we don't have much to do to occupy ourselves!

I've found Kate at age 15. Her name at that time was Catharine Buchele. Her family was living in Napoleon, Ohio. Her father,John C. Buchele was born in Wurttemberg, Germany, as was her mother, Greg Cynthia. The birth date in 1865 checks out and I'm very sure I have found her.

She had nine siblings, Fredrick, age 25; Mary, age 23; Sophia, age 21; Christian, age 18; George, age 17; Martin, age 13; Henry, age 10; Charles, age 6; and Laura, age 1. Most intriguing is that there is also one Joseph Fisher, age 20 living in the house. OK all you old time CV folks, how many of these people immigrated to Chautauqua County?

Anonymous said...

So, how was she related to Paul and Julian and Jim Buchele??

Gary White said...

I'll leave that one for the CV old timers amongst us. I only know what I can find in the genealogical records.

Pat Pate Molder said...

Great job, Gary. I'm glad the marriage records helped.

DFCox said...

I think Pat and Gary did a yoeman job on this. I'm not sure what I'll do with this information--Maybe I'll pretend I knew it all the time as I display my knowledge to anyone interested. Seriously this was a conundrum and I'm glad to know the truth. Thanks to the sleuths.

DFCox said...

Charles Buchele, the youngest of "Aunt Kates" siblings took as his second wife Bessie Fisher at Cedar Vale. This was about 1908 when his first wife died. To this union were born Paul and Julian. many of you know them and their offspring. Since Charles was a brother to Aunt Kate She was indeed a Step Aunt (is there such a designation?) of Paul and Julian.

This info is from CQ. Co. Obituaries--Charles Ned Buchele

Gary White said...

Well, Don, that completes the circle. It was fun doing the research for this person. If others bloggers have mystery persons they would like to have checked out put up a post with all the info you have.

wayne woodruff said...

We knew Paul and his wife well, as they lived not far from our house in town, and Jimmie was in my sister's class. But, Mrs. Buchele use to serve me rhubarb pie for dessert when I worked for them, and I hate rhubarb pie. Does anyone like it???

Pat Pate Molder said...

Rhubarb pie looks absolutely yucky to me and I can't stand it. I didn't even know my Mother ever baked them. But, at her funeral the preacher said "I will always remember Nadine for her rhubarb pie"......had to be after I left home.

Phil Foust said...

Rhubarb Pie is one of my favorites ... but Gooseberry is even better to my taste.

wayne woodruff said...

Phil, I guess you should have worked for Paul instead of my dad.

Anonymous said...

Well, my sister just sent this comment thread to me. I see it's dated 2008, so I wonder if anyone will respond. I am a grandchild of Mildred Fisher's. She was, indeed, the splendid singer you all heard at church. She went on to marry my wonderful grandfather, Alfred Charles Curtiss, of Ness County. She passed away at a young age of cancer, leaving my father, John, and my aunt, Carol. Mildred is buried in the cemetery there in Cedar Vale. Dad and I took a trip some years back when I lived in Kansas City to see his mother's grave. Both of Mildred's children inherited Aunt Kate's house when she passed. Dad and I visited C.V. more than a decade ago to see her grave and catch up with family he'd not seen in many decades. He'd not been back since his mother's funeral when he was a teenager. Aunt Kate's house paid for him to go to medical school where he trained to become a pediatrician. It also paid for my aunt to go to college to become a teacher. I would hope that the family (much distressed by the will at the time of Kate's passing) would be proud to know that the money was put towards making the world better through the children of sweet Mildred. Dad has had a superb run as a doctor to little children. I'd like to think Kate would be immensely proud of that.