Herman Roleke

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Herman Roleke
b: 2 Apr 1862
d: 17 Apr 1930
From the history of Harrison County, 1921

Herman Roleke, who has lived at Bethany since 1880, and who has been a merchant tailor all these years, is, as his name would indicate, of German birth, his native province being that of Hanover and his town the city of that name. He was born April 2, 1862, and was reared in the home of the tailor, his father being Joseph Roleke, a tailor and a native of the same locality, where he spent his life as had his ancestors back to 1640. The family seems to have included a long line of mechanics, and all soldier when needed by the fatherland, an uncle of Mr. Roleke being a distinguished German army officer during the Franco-Prussian war. Joseph Roleke married Amelia Schultze, and to them were born seven children, of whom Herman, of this review, is the only one of the family to come to the United States.

Herman Roleke secured his education in the public schools and the commercial College in Hanover, and learned his trade under the capable preceptorship of his father. He learned something of the opportunities in America from having a cousin who came over before the Civil War and was lost as an engineer in the Federal Navy during that struggle, and while the young man, of course, did not gain his knowledge of America from that uncle, the impetus which started him westward and across the Atlantic was that given by the presence of the uncle here. Mr. Roleke sailed from the city of Bremen, Germany, on the German Lloyd steamer Rhein, bound for New York, and landed after a trip devoid of special incident some 14 days later. Subsequently, while en route west he stopped at Chicago and Quincy, Illinois, and chanced to make some acquaintances before Bethany was reached, these influencing him to stop at this point. At that time this town was the end of the railroad and he was forced to stop here, so that he had an excellent chance of noting opportunities and advantages, and finally decided to make this place is permanent home. For two years Mr. Roleke was employed at his trade for the old tailor here at that time, one McCurry, and then established a place of business of his own.

During the next thirty-two years, Mr. Roleke's history as a businessman of Bethany is expressed briefly by career of industry. he displayed his interest in public affairs, was one of the promoters of the Young Men's Improvement Club, and was selected himself to the town Council more than twenty-two years ago. The stimulating product this time was for the macadam roads, electric lights and waterworks, and this was achieved by bonding the town, the first issue of bonds for any purpose by the Corporation. After serving a term Mr. Roleke refused to again become a candidate the position of alderman, and his career was ended as a public official, although he has never ceased his "boosting." Mr. Roleke laid out the "Park Addition" to Bethany, being associated with McCollum brothers in that movement. This comprised in addition in the east part of the town, the best one here. Mr. Roleke subsequently built Roleke Park, called by Bob Taylor, Hobson and other chautauqua men "Beautiful Roleke Park," and in it the chautauqua meetings as Bethany had been held here for nine years. Mr. Roleke has built there one of the most beautiful landscaped gardens to be found in Missouri, this comprising ten acres laid off by Mr.Roleke himself from a barren tract of land, and its improvements have given Bethany a park which rivals anything in the state in attractiveness. The Allen Park, in the east part of Bethany, is also a product of Mr. Roleke's genius for park building. It is a small plasma at the junction of three streets, and is equipped with a fountain. The place was once a mere wallow and an eyesore to the town. When Mr. Roleke took up the question of making a park of it and urged it, as only he can, it assumed other shape than an "undesirable spot" rapidly.

The laying out of the ground of the County home near Bethany also fell to Mr. Roleke's lot. He was chosen for this labor by the County Court, and it, too, presents wonders in the direction of landscape beautification. He financiered and promoted the erection of the Pythian Castle,at Bethany, in 1900, built upon the medieval style of architecture and at a cost of about twenty thousand dollars. Quoting from the address of the grand Chancellor of the Knights of Pythias of Missouri, with reference to this matter, we find the following: "I have not sufficient command of language to describe this building, nor space had I the words, but this I will say - it is and always will be a fitting monument to one of the best men and truest friends I ever knew, Herman Roleke."

Mr. Roleke joined the Knights of Pythias in 1883, passed all the chairs here, and has been a member of the Grand Lodge since 1895. He has been Grand Master of the exchequer for eleven years, or treasurer of the Missouri Order. After 10 years of service as such the honors as past grand Chancellor of the state were bestowed on him in honor of his labors. That occasion was marked by the presentation to Mr. Roleke of a solid gold emblem by the Grand Lodge with appropriate inscription as to his faithful service.

In politics Mr. Roleke started out as a voter as a protective democrat, following Randall of Pennsylvania, but when the Democratic Party parted for Randall's lead he abandoned it and cast his lot with the Republicans. He followed the fortunes of this party until 1896 when he voted for William J. Bryan. In 1912, having resumed Republicanism, he resented the methods used at the Republican convention at Chicago and follow the cause of Col. Roosevelt.

Mr. Roleke was married at Bethany, Missouri, in March, 1882, to Ms. Rachel Mainwaring, a daughter of Josiah Mainwaring, who came from Liverpool, England, in 1839 and married Elizabeth Henry. Mrs. Roleke was the youngest of six children living. To Mr. and Mrs. Roleke there have been born the following children still living: Helena, the wife of Earl Poland, of Bethany; Gertrude, the wife of Harvey J. Burris,of Denver, Colorado; Joseph, a resident of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Hazel, the wife of Alvin Bartlett, of Bethany; and Agnes, the youngest, who is single and resides with her parents.
  • 2 Apr 1862 - Birth - ; Hanover, Germany
  • 18 Apr 1930 - Burial - Miriam Cemetery ; Bethany, Harrison Co., Missouri
  • 17 Apr 1930 - Death - ; Bethany, Harrison Co., Missouri
Wilhelm Anton Roleke
24 April 1800 - 30 Jun 1841
Joseph Frederich Roleke
30 Jul 1824 - 31 Oct 1879
Herman Roleke
2 Apr 1862 - 17 Apr 1930
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) Joseph Frederich Roleke
Birth30 Jul 1824Gronau, Germany
Death31 Oct 1879
Marriage21 Oct 1849to Karoline Emilie Schultze
FatherWilhelm Anton Roleke
MotherJohanna Anna Maria Katharina Gieseler
PARENT (F) Karoline Emilie Schultze
Marriage21 Oct 1849to Joseph Frederich Roleke
FatherGottlieb Schultze
MHerman Roleke
Birth2 Apr 1862Hanover, Germany
Death17 Apr 1930Bethany, Harrison Co., Missouri
Marriageto Rachel Mainwaring
MMaximillian Roleke
Marriageto Anna Puupel
MWilhelm Roleke
Birth31 Mar 1850
Death16 Nov 1892
Marriageto Therese Auguste Sophie Meyer
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Herman Roleke
Birth2 Apr 1862Hanover, Germany
Death17 Apr 1930 Bethany, Harrison Co., Missouri
Marriageto Rachel Mainwaring
FatherJoseph Frederich Roleke
MotherKaroline Emilie Schultze
PARENT (F) Rachel Mainwaring
Birth28 Oct 1861
Death13 Mar 1946 Bethany, Harrison Co., Missouri
Marriageto Herman Roleke
FatherJosiah Mainwaring
MotherElizabeth Henry
FHazel Roleke
Birth1 Oct 1892
Death20 Jun 1975
Marriage31 Oct 1929to Melverne Clark Cole at Jackson Co., Missouri
FHelena "Lena" Roleke
Birth28 Jan 1885
Death6 Dec 1920
Marriageto Charles Earl Poland
FAgnes G. Roleke
Birth12 Nov 1898Bethany, Harrison Co., Missouri
Death3 Nov 1943Denver, Denver Co., Colorado
Marriage17 Jan 1918to Robert Dee Scott
FMabel Roleke
Birth1 Apr 1889
Death23 Nov 1906
FGertrude Roleke
Birth7 Feb 1887
Death29 Jul 1970
Marriageto James Harvey Burris
MJoseph B Roleke
Birth4 Sep 1891Bethany, Harrison Co., Missouri
Death16 Jul 1950Denver, Denver Co., Colorado
Marriageto Esther Caroline Carlson
[S-1793721111] Web: Missouri, Find A Grave Index, 1812-2011
Descendancy Chart
Herman Roleke b: 2 Apr 1862 d: 17 Apr 1930
Rachel Mainwaring b: 28 Oct 1861 d: 13 Mar 1946
Hazel Roleke b: 1 Oct 1892 d: 20 Jun 1975
Melverne Clark Cole b: 24 Dec 1894 d: 16 Dec 1979
Helena "Lena" Roleke b: 28 Jan 1885 d: 6 Dec 1920
Agnes G. Roleke b: 12 Nov 1898 d: 3 Nov 1943
Robert Dee Scott b: 20 Sep 1894 d: 26 Nov 1974
Robert Carlyle Scott b: 22 May 1923 d: 19 Oct 1978
Juanita Pauline Moon b: 5 Jan 1923 d: 4 Jun 1996
Annetta Scott b: 8 Dec 1919 d: 17 Dec 1919
Mabel Roleke b: 1 Apr 1889 d: 23 Nov 1906
Gertrude Roleke b: 7 Feb 1887 d: 29 Jul 1970
James Harvey Burris b: 2 Sep 1881 d: 29 Feb 1976
Joseph B Roleke b: 4 Sep 1891 d: 16 Jul 1950
Esther Caroline Carlson b: 10 Aug 1894 d: 17 Mar 1987
Jacquelyn Jeanne Roleke b: 02 Apr 1928 d: 01 Sep 2004
Lewis Raymond Beckett b: 6 Mar 1926 d: 1 Oct 1962
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