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Joseph Roth
Joseph Roth, during several terms alderman and now mayor of Fruita, and who conducts in that thriving and progressive town a general mercantile, hardware and grocery business, has served the sections of the country in which he has lived with fidelity and zeal in peace and war, carrying on good business enterprises in times of peace and devoting himself to critical and hazardous service in the Federal army during the closing year of the Civil war. He was born on Christmas day, 1845, at Quincy, Illinois, and is the son of John A. and Apollonia (Schell) Roth, natives of Bavaria, Germany. The father came to the United States in 1836 and locating at Quincy , Illinois , where he worked at cabinet-making. He was among the first of the Argonauts to cross the plains to California in 1849 and after a residence of three years in that state returned to Illinois , locating in Adams county. Later he made another trip to California and remained two years. On his return he settled at Camppoint , Illinois , where he was engaged in general merchandising nearly twenty-five years. He died at that town on October 1, 1875. His wife came to this country when a girl and met and married Mr. Roth at Quincy . When she was sixteen she made a trip to Europe as companion to a tourist, being engaged as such because of her facility in speaking French, German and English. She died at Camppoint in 1890. They were the parents of ten children, five of whom are living, Joseph being the second born and the oldest of those who survive. He was about eleven years old when the family moved to Camppoint, and in the public schools of that place finished the elementary education he had begun in those of his former home, afterward supplementing the instruction thus received with a course of one term at Knox College , at Galesburg , in his native state. He learned the tinner's trade but remained at home until he was nineteen, then in 1865 enlisted in the Union army as a member of Company E, One Hundred and Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry. In this company he served to the close of the war, part of the time being on detached service, and while the railroads were in the hands of the Confederates he carried the mails and orders. This part of his service was full of peril and he had a number of narrow escapes from capture and death. He also participated in the battle of Franklin and did much skirmishing in Tennessee and Alabama . At the close of the war he returned home and during the next six months worked in a tin shop. He then his sold his interests to his father and came west to Montana in March, 1867, making the trip up the Missouri to Fort Benton and from there across the country to Bozeman. There he opened an establishment in the stove and tintrade which he conducted for a number of years. He was at Bozeman when the treaty with the Crow Indians was made, and was the first postmaster of Bozeman , being appointed by President Grant. He subsequently sold out at Bozemen and went prospecting and mining in the Snake river country below Blackfoot Idaho. Here in seven months he lost all he accumulated in his former operations, after which he went to work as a brakeman on the Union Pacific Railroad. On his fourth trip in this service he had a wreck and as a reward for his care and wisdom in the disaster was promoted conductor. Six months later he returned to Illinois and engaged in business in Hancock county, and later; at Liberty , Adams county, remaining at the latter place three years. At the end of that time he sold his business at that point and from then until 1886 was in a similar enterprise at Barry, in the same state, carrying on extensively under the firm name of Roth & Whike. He then sold out to his partner and moved to Norton , Kansas , where he engaged in the real estate business, continuing his operations in this line eight years. From Norton he came in to Fruita and, established the business in which he is occupied, and which he is now occupied, and which has grown to good proportions from a small beginning. He has been married twice, his first wife being Miss Margaret A. Thompson, a native of Camppoint , Illinois . He was united with her on September 5. 1871, and the fruit of their union was one daughter, now the wife of John Van Hook, of Glenwood , Colorado. Her mother died in 1874, and Mr. Roth, on September 10 1875, married a second wife. Mrs. Iris C. (Waggaman) Green, a native of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, daughter of Rev. J. C. Waggaman, a Presbyterian clergyman, and a widow with two children of her own, Flora and Etta, and a step-son, Ellis L. Green. By his second marriage Mr. Roth is the father of three children, Delia A., Pearl and Joseph F. In politics Mr. Roth is a Republican. He is now mayor of the town and has served several terms as alderman. In fraternal circles he belongs to the Masonic order, with membership in the lodge at Fruita.
(Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado , Publ 1905. Transcribed by Tracy McAllister)

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