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Narrators: A Group of Old Timers in Hamilton

In 1867, the Rohrbough family came to Hamilton. There was Anthony Rohrbough, his wife, Mary, the sons, George and John, and a daughter who was to become Mrs. L.D. Moore. They opened a store in a frame building on the present Penney store corner, and lived over the store. About 1872, they leased this building to A.G. Davis and Gunby and built a brick building on the former Kemper store corner, which brick still is used by the Bram store. Here Rohrbough and Moore (son-in-law) did a big business till they sold out to Anderson Bros. (Wallace and Joseph) in 1879. The hall above was used for entertainments and was called Rohrbough's Hall or "The Opera House."

At that time, the family lived in the present Ream home, one block east of Martin's grocery, (or in older terms, three doors east of the brick bank). Mr. Rohrbough was soon recognized as a good citizen, for in 1868 he was a member of the first board of trustees.

John, one of the sons, was an expert piano player and it was quite a treat to have him sit down at the piano. He was organist at the Methodist church. He was one of the first from here to go to the State University. Albert Davis (A.G. Davis' son) was another early M.U. student. Both boys were gazed upon with awe on their return. The Rohrbough family were strong Methodists and Anthony Rohrbough was probably the largest giver that the Hamilton Methodist church has ever had.

When George married, he and his wife resided in the house on south Broadway now owned by Mrs. Mary Kautz and his brother-in-law, L.D. Moore, owned the corner house south (site of Houghton Funeral Home). The Moore house was afterwards moved to the second lot on the opposite side of the road by Kenney Dwight and is owned now by Ernest Snape. There was a partnership well on the Moore-Rohrbough started in 1868 the Prairie Cemetery (see Paper) which was more usually called the "Robough" Cemetery or the Old Cemetery. The older citizens almost invariably mispronounced the family name as indicated.

Mr. Rohrbough the elder, at one time during the later 70's tried to beat hard times by taking corn in return for dry goods. So many farmers brought in corn that he built a very long shed on the north side of the present Booth lots (then empty) to store his corn. Corn went down and he is reported to have lost heavily (reported by W.J. McBrayer). In general, however, the firm prospered and possibly made $100,000.00 from their store here. The family were of the better class of citizens and helped Hamilton grow into a good town.

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All photos are copyright KingsCross Farm, 1997 & 1998
All written material other than reference material copyright KingsCross Farm 1998