Biography of William Roth

WILLIAM ROTH. – Many of the most esteemed and thrifty citizens of our land have come from Germany, whence also came the subject of this sketch, and as is customary with that worthy race of people, Mr. Roth has ever displayed a talent for business and a vigor in prosecuting the same that have placed him among the heaviest property owners of the county, and as a leader in his line of industry, that of designer and builder, while also he has handled successfully a number of ventures in real estate and in the stock business that have resulted in handsome financial returns to their promoter.

Mr. Roth was born in Baden, Germany on January 23, 1834, being the son of Anton and Marion (Busch) Roth, the father being a cooper. In his native land, William received his education and also learned much of the skill of handling tools, and when he had reached the age of eighteen, in company with three brothers, he immigrated to the United States, settling in Norwalk, Ohio, where he learned the carpenter and builder’s trade, remaining there for four years. Thence he went to Dubuque, Iowa, where he wrought at his trade until 1864, when his adventurous spirit was stirred to action by the reports of the rich fields of the west, and in that year he came across the plains with four horse teams, landing in the Grande Ronde valley on November 18, 1864. He at once set to work at his trade in Union, and some of the finest buildings in the town, as the postoffice block, the bank building, and so forth, testify of his skill and vigor. During the years since that time he has acquired much valuable town property, and while engaged in the work of improving the county and building up its county seat, he was also buying and selling real estate in various portions of the county. In this way he was augmenting his wealth continually which manifested both his good judgement in selecting property and keen financiering in handling the same. While engaged in these occupations, he was also interested in raising stock in the county. In 1882 he bought a fine stock ranch on the Snake river, forty miles below Huntington, and gave the major portion of his time and attention to raising cattle and horses. His usual industry and close attention to business brought the desired results and he was prosperous in all of his endeavors. He continued in the prosecution of this industry until 1899, and then sold the entire property and took a trip to the Paris exposition. Since returning from that tour he has again resumed the cattle industry and his usual success is attending him.

Politically, Mr. Roth has ever been active in the interests of good government, and his voice and efforts are always in favor of those principles which are for the advancement of the interests of all. He was a member of the first city council of Union, serving also a second term. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the I.O.O.F., Union Lodge, No. 39. Mr. Roth has always preferred the quieter joys of the celibate in contrast to the responsibilities attendant upon conjugal relations, and he is spending the golden years of his life in comfort and enjoyment of the portion that his ability and labors have accumulated. His residence is in Union, and there, as wherever he is known, he has the respect of the people and the esteem of his fellows.



An Illustrated history of Union and Wallowa Counties: with a brief outline of the early history of the state of Oregon. Western Historical Pub. Co., 1902.

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