Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Samuel Rohrbach

  • Name: Samuel Rohrbach
  • Born: February 1, 1856 Erlenbach, Bern, Switzerland
  • Died: August 14, 1949 Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandfather Kenneth Hanni

Samuel Rohrbach was born on February 1, 1856. He died on the14 of August 1949. He was 93 years old. His wife was Margaritha Baehler. She was born on November 1, 1856. She died on the December 21, 1934. She was 78 years old. They had sixteen children. Four of these children died in infancy, five more died while real young. Some died of brain fever, and diphtheria and tuberculosis. Samuel was a watchmaker. They were very strict parents. Margaritha joined the church in Switzerland against her husband’s wishes. But the children were not able to join until they turned 18. They immigrated to the United States in 1922. They sailed from Le Havre, France and  passed through Ellis Island on August 26, 1922. They were both 66 years old. Some of their children had already moved to the Utah by then.

Samuel and Margaritha on ship to America
Granddaughter Jeanette Spencer writes, “My Grandfather was very strict and I was afraid of him. He could not speak English, and so we could not communicate with him. We saw him a few times. He was short and carried a cane, and wore a mustache. He was a watch repair expert. He worked at repairing watches until he grew too old to work on them. He then went to keeping bees, and gathering honey. We remember seeing his beehives, and tasting his honey. Before he became a member of the church, he smoked a pipe. One day he took out his pipe and looked at it and said," That's enough of you. He put his pipe away and never smoked it again. He joined the church in his old age, and attended the temple often. He did hundred of endowments in the temple for those relatives of his who had died. We remember him coming to our house, to take English lessons from my sister Grace. Our Mothers Mother, we only saw about twice. She was sick. She was in bed. She joined the Church over in Switzerland. I believe that our Mother looked a lot like her Mother. Samuel was born in Erlenbach, Canton of Bern. Margaritha was born in Wattenwill, Bern.
Rhorbach family in Switzerland

Rhorbach family in Salt Lake City
Following is a birthday announcement from the newspaper in Salt Lake City.

91st Birthday Awaited by S. L. Resident

Until three years ago — when he was 88—his nimble fingers skin fully manufactured Swiss matches. When he thought he should give that up, his interest turned to the keeping of bees; today that's his prime joy in life.

Rhorbach home in Switzerland
Samuel Rohrbach, 2507 Green St., will observe his 91st birthday Friday in a gathering he began many score of years ago . . . his family circle. Although each birth-day adds another year to his lifetime, the elderly man is in the best of health and daily journeys to the Salt Lake temple, where he is an ardent worker. He never misses Sunday church services at the Nibley Park ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints, where he is the eldest ward member.

His birthday observance this year will be a quiet one, with just the family present at the home of a daughter, Mrs. Margaret Durtschi, where he has lived many years.

He was born in Switzerland Feb. 21, 1856, and came to the United States in 1922. He is a veteran Swiss watchmaker, and carried on his favorite vocation when he came to this country. He married Margarita Bahler Feb. 11, 1878. She died about six years ago. The couple was the parents of 16 children, all but six of whom have been outlived by their spry father.

Sons and daughters of Mr. Rohrbach are Mrs. Martha Hanni, Garland, Box Elder County; Mrs. Matilda Spencer, Mrs. Adele Durtschi and Alfred S. Rohrbach, all of Salt Lake City, and Mrs. Bertha Hatt, Biel, Switzerland. Mr. Rohrbach has 28 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.

Thanks to Kenneth and Jeanette Spencer for much of this information and to Grandpa Ken for the photos.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this! I have never seen the photo of them on the boat. Samuel Rohrbach is my great great grandfather thru his daughter Margaret.