Biography of Louis R. Roter

Louis R. Roter. One of the very able business men of Parsons was the late Louis R. Roter, who was president of the Parsons Cold Storage and Crystal Ice Company and had followed merchandising and various lines of business in Kansas and other states for many years.

He died in his fifty-fourth year at Parsons February 3, 1907. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, October 2, 1853, a son of Henry Roter, who was born in Germany and died at Dillsboro, Indiana. Henry Roter came to this country a young man, lived in Cincinnati many years, and then moved to a farm at Dillsboro, Indiana.

The first seventeen years of his life the late Louis R. Roter spent on his father’s farm and in the meantime acquired an education in the public schools of Dillsboro. He then went to the oil district of Western Pennsylvania, and found employment at Titusville, at first in a grocery store and afterwards in a paint and wall paper store until 1879. From that date until 1881 he was a merchant at Colville near Bradford in the oil district. For many years Mr. Roter carried on a successful business as a general merchant at Abbottsford, Wisconsin. He left there in 1897, and in 1899 located in Parsons, Kansas, where he became actively identified with the ice business. He did much to develop the Crystal Ice Company and the Parsons Cold Storage Plant, and was president and manager of this corporation at the time of his death. Politically he was a republican and served in the city council of Parsons. He was a member of the Lutheran Church and fraternally was affiliated with Parsons Lodge, No. 117, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Parsons Chapter, No. 39, Royal Arch Masons, Coeur de Lion Commandery No. 17, Knights Templar, Parsons Lodge, No. 527, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Parsons Camp, No. 844, of the Modern Woodmen of America, and also belonged to the Sons and Daughters of Justice.

Mr. Roter married for his first wife Alice B. Thompson, who died at Abbottsford, Wisconsin. Her children were: Edith B., wife of Fred P. Hogue, who resides at New Orleans and is general salesman for the Louisiana Red Cypress Company, their children being Fred Louis and Cora Alice; and Alice, the second child of the union, who died in infancy.

In 1855 at Abbottsford, Wisconsin, Mr. Roter married Miss Cora A. Thompson, a sister of his first wife. Mrs. Roter since the death of her husband has continued to live in Parsons and is now president of the Parsons Cold Storage and Crystal Ice Company. She is a very capable business woman, and is also well known socially. She was born at Delaware, Ohio, attended the public schools there and in the State of Pennsylvania, and is a daughter of Joseph B. Thompson. The Thompson family is of Scotch-Irish descent, and its first members in America settled in Pennsylvania during colonial days. Mrs. Roter’s grandfather Edward Thompson was born in Pennsylvania, spent many years in educational work in Pennsylvania, and afterwards lived retired in the State of Nebraska until his death. Joseph B. Thompson was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1817, grew up there, and subsequently became a minister of the Reformed Church, preaching in Ohio and Pennsylvania. He died at Canaan, Ohio, in 1879. He was a republican in politics. Joseph B. Thompson married Phoebe Jane Tallman, who was born in Winchester, Ohio, and died in Shannondale, Pennsylvania. Their children were: Alice B., who was the first wife of the late Louis R. Roter; Otho Ferrel, who is superintendent of the Associated Oil Company at Bradford, Pennsylvania; Mrs. Cora A. Roter; Effie Jane, wife of William B. Frost, an oil operator at Muskogee, Oklahoma; Edward U., a painter living at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Nevin H., a bookkeeper at Warren, Ohio; Grace A., who died at the age of twenty-seven, the wife of George Erskine; Birchard D., an oil operator at Simpson, Pennsylvania; Pearl, who died at Pasadena, California, in 1912, the wife of Edwin R. Libert, who was a traveling salesman and is also deceased; and Lulu Maude, who died in infancy.

Mrs. Roter resides in her attractive residence at 1505 Grand Avenue in Parsons. She is an active member of the First Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Roter has two children. Bessie Pearl married Guy B. Bebout, who is an assistant civil engineer in the Federal service, now stationed at Wheeling, West Virginia, and they have an infant daughter named Elizabeth Ann. Charles R., the only son of Mrs. Roter, lives with his mother and is assistant manager of the Parsons Cold Storage and Crystal Ice Company. He and his wife, Bessie R. Roter, have a daughter named Helen Marjorie.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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