Biography of George W. Roop of Adams Co, IN

George Washington Roop, boot maker and shoe dealer, was born 30 August 1847 in St. Mary’s Township, Adams Co, IN. He was a twin and one of nine children born to Joseph Roop and Elizabeth Kemp. Joseph was the son of Fredrick Roop and Elizabeth Abbott of Huntingdon Co, PA. The Roops had a prosperous farm of 263 acres near Tatman’s Gap, in Hopewell (now Union) Township where the family was listed on the tax rolls from 1765 to 1832 when Fredrick died intestate. The heirs of Fredrick are taxed in that same area until Joseph and his twelve siblings petitioned the Orphan’s Court of Huntingdon Co. to dispose of the property and divide the profits amongst the children and the mother who was still living. The petition named all thirteen children, their spouses and locations in 1834. Six of the children were already married, while all but one was over the age of 21. The petition was approved, the land sold to James Entriken, a neighbor, and Joseph struck out for Seneca County, OH, where his oldest brother, Jacob, was living. He bought property in Venice Twp, and married Elizabeth Kemp on 10 May 1836. Elizabeth was the daughter of David Kemp and Sarah Patricia Ward of Venice Twp., born 24 Jul 1816. By 1841, Joseph and Elizabeth Roop were in Van Wert Co, OH, as were Joseph’s brothers Frederick R. Roop who married Elizabeth Clayton, John Roop who married Elizabeth Sowards, Amos Roop who married Rachel Croninger and Samuel Roop who married Margaret Frisinger. Jacob Roop married Nancy Lewis and was living in Adams Co, IN, right across the state line. Before 1850, Joseph and Elizabeth were in St. Mary’s Twp, Adams Co, with eight of their nine children. Joseph Roop died 18 Jul 1876, having spent the rest of his life in Adams County.

Obit Index in Adams Co, IN Library:
Joseph Roop died at his residence 1/2 mile south of Pleasant Mills after illness of less than 3 days. He was an early pioneer of this county, clearing the land for his farm. Member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for 40 years.

Sons John Wesley Roop, George W.’s twin, who died at age 9, and Amos Roop who was killed in AL during the Civil War preceded Joseph in death. Elizabeth (Kemp) Roop died 7 Dec 1891. Both Joseph and Elizabeth are buried in Pleasant Mills Cemetery, Adams Co, IN.

Decatur Democrat (Adams Co, IN) 15 Dec 1891 Died last Monday evening, Mrs. Eliza Roop, mother of Geo Roop. Funeral services were held at Pleasant Mills on Wednesday. Grandmother Roop, living 1/2 mile south of this place (Pleasant Mills) died Monday night and was buried Wednesday morning of this week. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Freeman of the United Brethren Church.

George W. Roop grew to manhood in Adams Co, IN, but in 1870, George was living in Allen Co, with his sister, Sarah Ann Roop who had married John W. Andrews. George’s occupation in 1870 is listed as boot maker. On 12 May 1872, George married Sarah Elizabeth “Sadie” Hower in Adams Co. Sadie was the daughter of Henry W. Hower and Mary E. Coffman, born 14 Mar 1851, Champaign Co, OH. George’s brother, Daniel Boone Roop, married Sadie’s sister, Rebecca Ann Hower, in the same year. Following the death of Mr. Hower in 1854, Mrs. Coffman married Bazzle Hendricks, another pioneer of Adams Co.

On 30 Jul 1873, George and Sadie had their first child, Elsie Jane, but the child died of pneumonia on 14 Jan 1874. The couple was blessed with the birth of a son, Jesse Brenton Roop, on 20 Jun 1875. Eight years later Franklin Roop was born, but the infant died the same day (11 May 1883). It was another six years before Alpheus Marion Roop arrived. He was born on 11 Mar 1889. The last child of George and Sadie was born on 12 Nov 1893. Sadie was forty-two and George was forty-six years old when Miles Fremont True Roop entered this world.

George supported his family by boot making and shoe repair. In 1900, George was sued.

The Fort Wayne Evening Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Friday 28 December 1900, p. 6 - Caused By A Corn. Decatur, Ind., Dec. 28.--An action out of the ordinary has been filed in the circuit court of Adams county, John Reynolds, a section hand on the Clover Leaf railroad, being the plaintiff and G. W. Roop, a shoe dealer, the defendant. Reynolds says he had a corn on his toe, which pained him so badly that he could scarcely work, and that Roop cited several instances in which he had successfully cured them. According to Reynold's allegations Roop operated on his corn, paring it down with a shoe knife and then applying a lotion. The complaint states that this treatment caused blood poisoning to set in, with the result that the toe had to be amputated. Reynolds now wants damages from Roop in the sum of $2,000.

George was also an inventor. He patented and manufactured the “Ideal Storage” Container for fruit, vegetables, grain and garden seeds. His son, Alpheus, was manager of the Fremont Specialty Co. and secretary of the Ideal Container Co., both of Decatur, IN.

George W. Roop died in Adams Co, IN, on 1 Oct 1916. He lived to see his oldest son, Jess, married to Eva Reed on 6 Oct 1895, and enjoyed the arrival of five grandchildren. He saw that same son go off to fight in the Spanish American War. If he had lived twenty more days, he would have seen Jess & Eva’s youngest child born (my father, Raymond V. Roop).

Obit from the Decatur Democrat (Adams Co, IN)
handwritten date of 1 Oct 1916
George W. Roop, veteran shoemaker of this city, a lifelong resident of this county, and probably possessing one of the widest acquaintances of any man in the county, died at his home, 333 N. 10th St, last night at 11:33 after suffering for several months from paralysis. His end came peacefully, and after several weeks in which he was confined to his bed.

George W. Roop was the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Roop, and was born in Saint Mary's township, this county 30 Aug 1847, being sixty-nine years, one month and one day old at the time of his death. He was married to his wife, Sarah E. early in life, and to the union were born three children, all surviving. He spent his entire life in this county.

Surviving are the wife, Mrs. Sarah E. Roop, three sons, Jesse B, Miles and Alpheus, all of Decatur. One brother, Daniel, lives near Pleasant Mills and one sister, Mrs. Hanna Jane Winans lives at Pierce City, MO. Mr. Roop was a steadfast Christian and had been a lifelong member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Sadie (Hower) Roop died on 28 Jul 1925. She witnessed the marriages of the other two sons. Alpheus married Hilda (Strebler) McGovern in 1920 and Miles married Izora Harriet Thornhill. She saw her oldest grandchild, Ralph E. Roop, serve his country during WW I and return to eventually become Decatur’s City Engineer. She and Alpheus attended the third Roop Reunion in Decatur in 1916, when descendants of the children of Fredrick Roop and Elizabeth Abbott celebrated the relationships of the many Roop families in the Adams Co/Van Wert Co area. Alpheus became secretary of the reunion organization and kept meticulous notes on the descendants of the Pennsylvania pioneers. The reunions continued annually through 1950. Both George W. and Sarah (Hower) Roop are buried in Maplewood/Decatur Cemetery.

Decatur Daily Democrat (Adams Co, IN), Vol. XXIII, #177
dated 28 Jul 1923
SARAH E. ROOP EXPIRED TODAY - Pioneer Resident of Decatur Died of Acute Indigestion This Morning
Mrs. Sarah E. Roop, age 74 years, a pioneer resident of Decatur and Adams county, died at the home of her son, Jesse Roop, on North Tenth street, at 3:15 o'clock this morning. Death was due to acute indigestion. Mrs. Roop took suddenly ill last Friday night.

Mrs. Roop was a daughter of Henry and Mary E. Hower and was born in Champaign county, Ohio, March 17, 1851. She came to Adams county when a young child and spent the remainder of her life here. She was a life member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Her husband, George W. Roop, died nine years ago. Mrs. Roop had been residing on North Tenth street, this city, since his death.

Surviving are three sons, Jesse B., and Miles F. Roop, of Decatur, and Alphus M. Roop of Akron, Ohio; one half brother, James Hendricks, of Monroe; and one half sister, Mrs. Hattie Sells, of Monroe. One daughter, Elsie Jane, preceded Mrs. Roop in death. Mrs. Roop's sister, Mrs. Dan B. Roop, died at her home in Pleasant Mills a week ago today. Funeral services will be held from the home at 2 o'clock and from the Methodist church at 2:30 o'clock Thursday afternoon. Burial will be made in the Decatur cemetery.

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Submitted by: Margie Roop Pearce, Great granddaughter of George W. Roop
September 24, 2004

Deb Murray