Peter H. Roth, occupying a pleasant home at No. 107 West Adams street in Fairfield, has here resided since his
removal from Packwood. Previous to the time when he took up his abode in the latter place he had been closely and
actively associated with farming interests for many years and won a measure of success that now entitles him to
live retired and yet with sufficient to supply him with all of the necessities and some of the luxuries of life.
He was born in Wayne county, Ohio, April 17, 1842, a son of Joseph and Mary (Kiophefenstein) Roth. The father was
a native of Alsace, France (now Germany), and was of French descent. He followed the occupation of farming and
in early life became a cheese maker. After crossing the Atlantic to the new world he devoted his attention exclusively
to general agricultural pursuits. It was in 1840 that he sailed for America and until after his marriage he was
a resident of Wayne county, Ohio, removing westward to Jefferson county, Iowa, in 1842. He then established his
home in Cedar township, preempting one hundred and sixty acres of government land upon which not a furrow had been
turned nor an improvement made. The soil, naturally rich and productive, responded readily to the care and labor
which he bestowed upon it and the fields brought forth golden harvests that enabled him in time to add to his holdings
until he was the owner of one thousand acres of fine land in Fairfield and Cedar townships. In fact he became one
of the largest property holders in that part of the county. There he was busily employed in the task of developing
and improving his land throughout his remaining days and upon the old homestead he reared his family and there
passed away in 1896, having for twelve years survived his wife. They were the parents of thirteen children of whom
eight are now living, namely: Peter H., of this review; Mrs. Rebecca Messer, living in Richwood, Iowa; John, a
farmer of Cedar township; Mrs. Mary Kyle, of Fairfield; Jacob, whose home is in Birmingham, Van Buren county; Mrs.
Annie Lampson, living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Edward, whose home is in Holden, Nebraska; and Ben F., a resident
of South Omaha, Nebraska.
Peter Roth has spent the greater part of his life in Jefferson county and the schools of Fairfield township afforded
him his educational privileges. Farm work to some extent interfered with his studies for his assistance was needed
in the fields and he aided in the work of plowing, planting and harvesting and also operated a threshing machine
each season until he reached the age of twenty eight years. He then began farming on his own account on a tract
of land in Black Hawk township belonging to his father, and when his labor had enabled him to save a considerable
sum from his earnings he purchased this place of two hundred acres and made his home thereon for twenty eight years,
or until ill health forced retirement, when he rented the place and removed to Packwood where he spent nine years.
On the expiration of that period he took up his abode in Fairfield and is now pleasantly situated in a comfortable
home at No. 107 West Adams street. He still owns the old homestead farm of two hundred acres in Black Hawk township
and its rental supplies him with a substantial income.
On the 26th of January, 1870, Mr. Roth won as a companion and helpmate for the journey of life Miss Mary Weitzel,
their marriage being celebrated on that day. Her parents were George and Amelia (Brady) Weitzel. Her father was
born in Alsace (then France), Germany, and was of German lineage. By, trade he was a cabinet maker and followed
that pursuit in his native country until 1840, when he came to America, settling in Ohio. Later he removed to Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, where he resided until 1866, when he came to Jefferson county, Iowa, and bought a farm north of Fairfield
in Black Hawk township. He thereon made his home for ten years, at the end of which time he removed to Muscatine,
Iowa, and died there in 1893. His wife died upon the old homestead farm in Black Hawk township forty years ago.
She, too, was born in Germany and they were married in that country before sailing for the new world. In their
family were five children: Mrs. Minnie Schaffer, of Fairfield; Mrs. Roth; Mrs. Elizabeth Bosworth, whose home is
in Clay, Iowa; Fred, a resident of Tekamah, Nebraska; and Mrs. Emma Christensen, of Omaha, Nebraska. Unto the marriage
of Mr. and Mrs. Roth have been born two daughters. Cora, the elder, is the wife of Dr. J. O. Laird, a practicing
dentist of Malvern, Iowa, and they have one child, Donald Roth, five years of age. Lulu E. is the wife of O. F.
Fryer, a banker of Fairfield, Iowa, and they have one child, Maurice Laird, thirteen years of age, who attends
school in Fairfield and spends much of his time with his grandparents.
In his political views Mr. Roth is an earnest republican, supporting the party since age conferred upon him the
right of franchise. He has filled a number of public positions, the duties of which he has discharged with promptness
and fidelity. For several years he was a trustee of Black Hawk township and for eighteen years was treasurer of
the school funds of that township. He also served as assessor in Black Hawk township for two years and for a similar
period in Polk township. Both he and his wife are consistent and faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal church
of Fairfield, being always loyal to their professions. While living in Black Hawk township Mr. Roth became a member
of the Odd Fellows lodge at Richland, Iowa. His wife is a member of the Home and Foreign Missionary Societies of
the Fairfield Methodist church and both are held in the highest esteem because of their loyal support of and interest
in all those measures which tend to uplift the individual and promote civilization. In every relation of life Mr.
Roth has been found reliable, trustworthy and honorable, and therefore he has been accorded high respect and esteem
by those who know him. He has lived in the county from early boyhood days and is familiar with its history throughout
almost the entire period of its development, his memory forming a connecting link between the primitive past, with
all of its hardships and trials, and the progressive present with its opportunities. its advantages and its prosperity.
History of Jefferson County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organizatin,
Progress and Achievement
BY: Charles J. Fulton
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Jefferson County, IA
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