Robert M. Trollinger


ROBERT M. TROLLINGER, president of the Rural Valley National Bank, was born at Rural Valley, Armstrong Co., Pa., April 25, 1866, son of Henry and Martha (McElroy) Trollinger.

Michael Trollinger, his grandfather, was born in Germany in 1801, and died in Rural Valley, Pa., in 1866, aged sixty-five years, nine months, seven days. His wife, born in 1812, died Oct. 8, 1865, aged fifty-three years, six months, seven days, and they are interred in the cemetery at Rural Valley. Michael Trollinger came to America in young manhood, locating first in Philadelphia, and in 1845 brought his wife and family to Armstrong county, settling in what afterward became Cowanshannock township. He and his wife had the following children: Susan, who married Reisinger Yount; Laanna, who married John Boyer; Henry; Isaac; and Elizabeth, who married Michael Reanch.

Henry Trollinger was born in 1837 at Philadelphia, where he began to learn shoemaking with his father. In 1845 he came with the rest of the family to Armstrong county, and continued to work as a shoemaker. On Oct. 1, 1897, he was appointed postmaster at Rural Valley, and still held that office when death claimed him, On July 5. 1905, aged sixty-seven years, eight months five days. His wife, Martha (McElroy), died April 9, 1895, aged sixty-two years, four months, twenty-eight days, and both are buried in the- cemetery at Rural Valley. The children born to them were: Anna, who married John S. McFarland, postmaster at Rural Valley; Rebecca, who married Thomas B. Garden, of Vandergrift, Pa.; John A., with the Cowanshannock Coal & Coke Company, of Yatesboro, Pa.; Margaret, and Robert M. Mr. Trollinger was a member of the Presbyterian Church. The candidates of the Republican party had his hearty support, and he was active in politics. During the Civil war he served in the 105th Heavy Artillery Regiment of Pennsylvania, until the close of the conflict. After the formation of the Grand Army of the Republic he belonged to the local post.

John A. McElroy, maternal grandfather of Robert M. Trollinger, was one of the early merchants of Rural Valley. A well educated man, he taught the academy at that place for a number of years, and was a leading factor in his locality. His daughter Martha married Henry Trollinger.

Robert M. Trollinger attended public school and the Rural Valley Academy before he began clerking, at which he was engaged in various stores for several years, in Armstrong county. He was then in the county treasurer's office under George W. McNees. Following this he conducted a general store for two years, at Rural Valley, and for the next twelve years was superintendent in the gas fields. Mr. Trollinger next turned his attention to real estate and fire insurance, and when he deemed there was sufficient demand for proper banking facilities to justify his action he organized the Rural Valley National Bank, becoming its first president. This institution opened its doors for business Feb. 2, 1902, and in 1911 erected the present handsome bank building, which is one of the most thoroughly modern in the county. The present officers of the bank are: R. M. Trollinger, president; J. A. Bowser, vice president, and C. C. Farren, cashier. The board of directors is as follows: R. M. Trollinger, S. E. Ambrose, James Craig, W. S. Blaisdell, J. A. Bowser, J. A. James, F. C. Lang, S. A. Rinn and C. C. Farren. The bank is capitalized at $30,000, and there is a surplus and undivided profits fund amounting to $24,606. Under the wise control of the officers this bank has gained an enviable position among similar financial institutions in the county, for it is their policy to administer its affairs conservatively, with due regard to the interests of depositors. A special feature is made of the attention paid to small accounts. In addition to his affairs already mentioned Mr. Trollinger is a director of the Kittanning Telephone Company, and interested in a number of other large concerns. A strong Republican, he was one of the organizers of the borough of Rural Valley, and was one of the members of its first council. He takes an active interest in educational matters, and has rendered valuable service as a member of the school board, a portion of the time as its treasurer, and also as president. Fraternally Mr. Trollinger belongs to Kittanning Lodge, NO. 244, F. & A. M.; Kittanning Chapter, NO. 247, R. A. M., and Pittsburgh Commandery, No. 1, K. T. He is also a member of Rural Valley Lodge, No. 766, I. O. O. F. The Presbyterian Church has in him a generous and loyal member.

Mr. Trollinger married Margaret McKelvey, daughter of William McKelvey, of Rural Valley. They have one daughter, Dorothy, who is attending school.

The development of Mr. Trollinger from clerk to bank president has been gradual but steady. There has been nothing spectacular in his rise, for it has been but the natural outcome of well directed efforts along legitimate lines. With no special training for his work, he has applied himself diligently to it, and all of his transactions bear the imprint of earnest and intelligent foresight and integrity of purpose. Few men stand any higher in Armstrong county than he, and his community has every reason to be proud of him and what he has accomplished for it as well as for himself.

Source: Pages 443, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 2001 by Vaughn Davis for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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