Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1630


Francis Roland, Jr., the secretary of the Reading School District, who has his office in the high school building, is a son of Francis and Anna Eliza (Yeager) Roland.

Francis Roland, Sr., was born in Reading in 1816, and died in 1897. He was in the hatting business in Reading for sixty years, was clerk of Quarter Sessions for Berks county for a term, and also served as director of the poor. He married Anna Eliza Yeager, who was descended from an old American family, some of her ancestors being soldiers in the Revolutionary war, and her mother received a pension as the widow of a soldier who had served in the war with Mexico. To them were born five sons and two daughters; Lucien, who was a soldier in the Civil war, died in 1886, aged forty-three years; one daughter died in infancy; George E.; Henry Y.; Emma Catharine; Frederick, who is in the real estate business and served as director of the poor; and Francis, Jr. The mother of these children died in 1900, aged seventy-nine years.

Francis Roland, Jr., was born Feb. 13, 1853, and received his education in the public schools of Reading. His first occupation was that of telegrapher for the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, remaining in this service for almost twenty years. In 1890 he became secretary of the Reading School District, a position he has held to the present.

Mr. Roland married Rebecca Spencer, daughter of Osborn Spencer, deceased, of Allentown, who was at one time superintendent of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Two children were born to this union: Spencer Brown, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, class of 1903, was admitted to practice in the courts of Berks county in 1904; C. Frederick is a salesman in one of the leading mercantile establishments of Reading.

Mr. Roland belongs to the Royal Arcanum and to the Sons of America. He is a member of St. Paul's Memorial Reformed Church. In politics he is a Democrat.


p. 424


Frederic A. Roland. One of the prominent business men of Reading is Frederic A. Roland, Cashier of the Second National Bank. In matters of finance Mr. Roland is looked upon as a safe and conservative counsellor, and his careful and efficient service has done much to place the institution which he represents in the enviable position it holds in the financial world.

Mr.. Roland is a son of Henry A., and Jane W. (Heyl) Roland, of New Holland,, Pa. He is descended from an old and honorable family which has been identified with affairs in America for about two hundred years. The Rolands were originally from the region of the Rhine in Germany known as the Palatinate. Jacob Roland, great-great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was one of the thousands who on account of religious persecution left Germany, and came to America some time after 1709. In 1733 a large tract of land in the vicinity of New Holland, was granted to him by Thomas Penn, one of the Proprietaries of the Colony of Pennsylvania. Since that time the family has been more or less prominent locally an in the affairs of the State.

In 1775, Jonathan Roland, a son of Jacob, and great-grandfather of Frederic A., was one of the Committee of Safety chosen to provide for and protect the country during the trying times of our war for Independence.

Henry Roland, grandfather of Frederic A., was during his life prominent in the local affairs of his district. Major John F. Roland, son of Henry and uncle of our subject, was distinguished officer under Generals Taylor and Scott during and following our war with Mexico.

Henry A. Roland resided during his life time in New Holland, taking an active interest in local enterprises. A gentleman of deep learning and high principles, his advice was eagerly sought and cheerfully given. He died in 1901, at the advanced age of eighty-one, and lies buried amongst his forefathers in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery at New Holland. He married Jane W. Heyl, daughter of Philip and Margaret Heyl. She is descended from an old Philadelphia family, whose lineage dates from 1702. Besides Frederic A., there were also born to this union: Dr. Oliver and William H. Roland, both of Lancaster, older sons, the latter a leading attorney.

Frederic A. Roland, who forms the subject of this review, was born in New Holland, and passed the formative period of his life among the scenes and people which gave sturdiness to his ancestry. He was carefully educated in the public schools and later matriculated at Princeton College, New Jersey, from which famous institution he graduated in 1879. The following year he came to Reading with the intention of entering upon a legal career, accepted a position with the Second National Bank as teller, and in 1889 was promoted to the Cashiership, which position he has since honored. Mr. Roland is also a Director of the Second National Bank. He was one of the original Committee appointed to organize the Reading Clearing House Association in 1906, and has been an active officer of that important Association ever since.


p. 1164


Charles L. Roland, an enterprising young business man of Reading, Pa., who is engaged in the manufacture of umbrellas at No. 631 Penn street, was born in this city, July 18, 1875, son of Augustus and Mary (Heanuse) Rolland.

Augustus Rolland was born in the city of Paris, France, and from that place came to America about 1865, locating in Reading, where he became engaged successfully in the manufacture of umbrellas, a business in which he continued during the remainder of his life. Three children were born to Mr. Rolland and his wife: Charles L.; Augustus, a manufacturer of umbrellas; and Joseph, manager of the Eagle Book store.

Charles L. Rolland was educated in the public schools of Reading, and as a boy learned the trade of umbrella maker in the old Rolland establishment at No. 639 Penn street, remaining there until 1906, after death of his parents. In that year he engaged in business on his own account, conducting it in the same square where it was established for twenty-five years. He keeps a choice assortment of umbrellas and parasols, making a specialty of repair work, counting as customers some of Reading's leading people. Mr. Rolland is a very good business man, and is affable and courteous to all, thereby winning for himself unbounded popularity. He is connected with several fraternal associations, among them St. John Lodge, No. 435, F. & A. M.; Mystic Star Commandery, No. 47, Knights of Malta; Lincoln Chamber, Knights of Friendship; and Juniata Tribe No. 74, Improved Order of Read Men.


p. 545


Adam M. Rollman, formerly postmaster at Shillington, and now living retired, was born in Cumru township, Berks County, Oct. 7, 1841, son of Henry and Elizabeth S. (Matz) Rollman.

The family has long been resident in Cumru township. William Rollman, grandfather of Adam M., was a farmer and landowner in that section, and his farm descended to his son Henry. He married a Miss Elizabeth Spohn, and they had five children, viz.: Joshua, a farmer and butcher near the "Five Mile House" m. to Miss Amelia Mengel; Henry; William and Sallie, who both died unmarried; and Molly, m. to William Matz, of Reading.

Henry Rollman, born Jan. 21, 1819, was a farmer for the better part of his life. Until 1851 he operated his father's farm of ninety-six acres near Sinking Spring, but in that year he sold the place and bought instead the Schwartz farm, of 300 acres, on Mt. Penn. There he remained till 1872 when he sold this second farm also, and moving to Reading, opened a shoe store. He conducted this a number of years, but finally retired not long before his death, Sept. 3, 1890, when he was aged seventy-one years, seven months and twelve days, and he was buried at Sinking Spring Union Church. Mr. Rollman married twice. On July 11, 1840, he m. Elizabeth Sharp Matz, who died April 22, 185--, aged thirty-eight years, one month and twenty-eight days, and was buried at Sinking Spring Church. The only child of this marriage was Adam M. On Oct. 28, 1856, Mr. Rollman m. (second) Marguerite, daughter of John and Elizabeth Swartz. This issue of this second union was two daughters, viz.: Elizabeth, m. to Albert Schuck, of Hyde Park, Pa.; and Mary, m. to Martin Leininger, of Reading. Mr. Rollman and his family were Lutherans in their religious faith, members of the Sinking Spring Church.

Adam M. Rollman grew up at home, familiar with the routine of farm life, but he was sent to school for a generous portion of the time, attending first the township schools and then a private one in Reading. At the age of twenty-five he took up butchering, and has made that his trade for the greater part of his life since. He learned his trade from his uncle Joshua Rollman, under whom he worked a year, and then until 1871, did butchering among the farmers. The next two years he was associated with John Yerger, of Reading, and then from 1873 till 1877 he worked for Henry Hoover, of that city. When he left Mr. Hoover it was with the intention of going into business for himself, and he selected Shillington as his location, opening a butcher shop there in 1877, which he conducted with most satisfactory results till his retirement in 1901. This, however, was not his only interest, for his wife had previous to her marriage carried on a mercantile business, of which after 1884 her husband assumed a joint management. The preceding year they had built a home on Lancaster avenue and planned it with reference to continuing and enlarging this business at this new location. The enterprise proved increasingly profitable, and was maintained till 1904.

Mr. Rollman also combined with his other duties that of postmaster for Shillington from 1884 till 1894. He was the first incumbent, as the office was established at that time. The village had been called Shillingsville, after the Shillings residing there, but on establishing the office there the postal department asked Mrs. Rollman to suggest a name for the station. As there were so many "villes" in that section already, she proposed the present form, Shillington, and it was at once adopted. Mr. Rollman has always been a strong Republican and his appointment was made by that party. On Sept. 1, 1908, he was elected first chief burgess of Shillington, and declined a renomination, as he felt he had had honor enough.

On April 26, 1877, Adam Rollman was married to Mary, daughter of Henry W. and Elizabeth (Pennypacker) Deeds. The other children in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Deeds were: Angeline, m. to Richard Schnade; Elizabeth, m. to John F. Leib; Owen and Henry. The paternal grandparents, Henry and Mary (Warner) Deeds, were the parents of five daughters besides the only son, Henry W., viz.: Susan, Mary, Leah, Harriet and Nellie. Mrs. Rollman is a lady of much intelligence and has an unusually good memory. From 1867 till 1874 she was a teacher in Cumru township, but in July of the latter year she definitely abandoned that profession and opened the store in Shillington referred to above. Both Mr. and Mrs. Rollman are Lutherans, and members of the Sinking Spring Union Church.

In person Mr. Rollman is tall and well-built and of considerable physical power. A good business man, practical and energetic, he has accumulated a good property, and is now able to live comfortably free from all cares and responsibilities.


p. 1356


Francis I. Rollman, a leading citizen of Rehrersburg, Tulpehocken township, who has been serving as justice of the peace since 1900, was born Aug. 14, 1866, in Bethel township, Berks county, son of Thilon J. and Emma (Kurr) Rollman.

Peter Rollman, the great-grandfather of Francis L. was born May 23, 1791. He was a drover and farmer, and resided for some time near Wernersville, Berks county and later in Tulpehocken township, near Rehrersburg, where be died March 22, 1859. He was married to Rebecca Margaretha Fisher, born March 14, 1795, who died Nov. 14, 1868, and they had the following children: (1) Elizabeth, who resided in Tulpehocken township, mar. John Stump, and had two children: Lovina, who married Isaac Reedy; and Jonathan. (2) Daniel, who was a farmer, resided below Strausstown, where some of his descendants still live. (3) Samuel was the grandfather of Francis I. (4) Peter, a miller who was employed at various mills in Berks, Schuylkill and Lancaster counties, married and had three children. (5) Benjamin, who was a farmer of near Rehrersburg, married and had four children. He died aged sixty years, while his widow still survives in good health, at Fleetwood, Pa. (6) Pauline m. Jonathan Deck, a miller by trade and later a farmer, and had seven children, five boys and two girls. (7) Mary m. David Dieffenbach and resided near Freystown, where Mr. Dieffenbach carried on coach-making; they had eight children. (8) Catherine m. Thomas Carver, a veteran of the Civil war, resided at Myerstown and had six children. Both parents are deceased. (9)Carolina m. Daniel Anspach and resided in Rehrersburg where she died. (10) Ellen died unmarried, aged thirty-one years, ten days. (11) Rebecca also died unmarried.

Samuel Rollman, grandfather of Francis I., was born and reared near Wernersville, and at an early day learned the trade of blacksmith, which he followed all of his life. He was married to Mary Bordner, daughter of Jacob Bordner, whose biography appears elsewhere in this work, and they had four children: Thilon J.; Catherine mar. Seranus Noll, a tailor of Freystown, Berks county, and has one child, Rev. Elmer; one son died when sixteen years of age; Mary S., who is unmarried, resides near Mount Aetna.

Thilon J. Rollman, father of Francis I., learned the trade of blacksmith with his father, but later, evincing a desire for a higher profession, entered Freeland Academy, and after graduating from Palmyra College engaged in teaching, for a number of years being principal of the Millersburg high school. He was elected to the office of justice of the peace, which he filled with credit for a number of years. He was married to Emma Kurr, and to them five children were born: Francis I.; Ella m. Charles Schreiber of Lebanon, Pa., and has three children; Minnie mar. Jonathan Bressler, a baker of Lebanon, Pa., and also has three children; Eva died at the age of eighteen years; and Emma m. John Carpenter, a soap manufacturer of Lebanon.

Francis I. Rollman was educated in the common schools, the Millersburg high school and the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, Pa. He is a Democrat in politics, and has been active in the ranks of that party, being elected justice of the peace in 1900, an office which he still holds. With his family he attends the old Lutheran Church at Rehrersburg. Mr. Rollman is a prominent member of Camp No. 567, P. O. S. of A., and is a past president thereof.

Mr. Rollman was married May 19, 1888, to Kate A. Snyder, daughter of Aaron and Lovinia (Lebo) Snyder, the former of whom was a justice of the peace of Tulpehocken township for thirty-five years. Three children have been born to this union: Laura R., born Oct. 28, 1888, who when but nineteen years old had taught two terms in the public schools of Tulpehocken township, at the same time taking a course in the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown; Lillie G., born Nov. 8, 1890, who graduated from the township schools at the age of twelve years; and Robert S., born Aug. 31, 1895, who is still attending school.


p. 1136


William H. Rollman is successfully engaged in the butchering business at Edison, Cumru township, and has long been a familiar figure at the Reading markets, attending Reading street market daily, Fourth and Penn street market twice a week (stands Nos. 25 and 26), and Crystal Palace market (stands Nos. 114 and 115). He was born July 11, 1869, son of Joshua S. and Amelia (Mengel) Rollman.

The Rollmans have long lived in Cumru township. Johan George Rollman, great-grandfather of William H., was born Nov. 16, 1756. In 1785 he married Magdalena Bright, who was born Nov. 5, 1765, and who died Oct. 1, 1821, aged fifty-seven years, ten months, twenty-eight days. Seven sons and five daughters were born to them. Johan George Rollman died June 20, 1814, aged fifty-seven years, seven months, four days.

William Rollman, son of Johan George, was born March 17, 1797, and died Nov. 14, 1847, aged fifty years, seven months, twenty-seven days. He was a farmer and land owner in Cumru township, his son Henry inheriting the farm. On Dec. 11, 1816, he married Elizabeth Spohn, who was born Nov. 20, 1798. She died Nov. 21, 1864, aged sixty-six years, one day. Their children were: Joshua S.; Henry, born Jan. 21, 1819, was a merchant in Reading, and died Sept. 3, 1890; William, born March 8, 1822, died Dec. 21, 1840, aged eighteen years, nine months, thirteen days; Sallie died unmarried; Molly married William Matz, of Reading.

Joshua S. Rollman, son of William and father of William H., was born in Spring township in 1825. For a number of years he kept the "Central Hotel," at Sinking Spring, and became well known to the traveling public. His hostelry was well patronized, and its proprietor won great popularity for his courtesy and his first class entertainment. Before the Civil war he engaged in butchering, but abandoned it to devote some years to carpentering in Reading. He later resumed the butcher's business, and continued it until his death, April 17, 1885, when he was aged sixty-one years. His remains were interred at the Sinking Spring Lutheran Church, of which he was a member. He married Amelia Mengel, born in April, 1835, daughter of Daniel Mengel, and they became the parents of four children: Sarah, m. to Ephraim Stitzel, of Reading; Rosa, who died young; Miss Amelia; and William H.

William H. Rollman, son of Joshua, passed his boyhood days under the parental roof. When he was fifteen his father died, and this placed responsibility early upon the lad's shoulders. He took hold of the butchering business left by his father, and with an ability and judgment far beyond his years carried it on for his mother. He killed from eight to ten hogs a week, at that time. He has followed this line of work ever since, with the exception of seven years, 1892-1898, when he worked at hatting for his father-in-law, Jacob Kessler, of Mohnton. Since he has returned to butchering he has enlarged his business and besides hogs, calves and sheep, he kills two or three steers a week, and he is considered a first class man at his trade. For three years he lived at the "Five Mile House," but since 1901 he has made his home at Edison.

On Feb. 21, 1891, Mr. Rollman married Julia A. Kessler, born April 17, 1860, daughter of Jacob Kessler, of Mohnton. They are Lutheran members of St. John's Church at Mohnton. In his political views Mr. Rollman is an independent Democrat. He is one of the enterprising men of his township, and he is looked upon as a worthy and substantial citizen.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:56:55 EDT

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