La Grande, Union County, Oregon
Pioneer Builder Julius Roesch Fatally Stricken At Age Of 98
Julius Roesch, pioneer La Grande construction man who came to this country from Germany at the age of 14 to seek his fortune, died late last night at the age of 98.
Builder of the Sacajawea Hotel and adjacent Roesch Building which is popularly known as the Sacajawea Annex, he resided at 1005 Penn Ave., the house he constructed for his bride in 1888.
Born in 1862. He was believed to have been the oldest resident of Union County at the time of his death. Last February, a birthday party was given in his honor at the hotel.
Born in 1862 at Cannstatt, Germany, he came to America in 1876, migrated to this area in his teens and built a brewery in La Grande before he reached his 20th birthday. That was back in 1880, and his first building was constructed across from the present Union Pacific Depot, then the crossroads of La Grande.
In 1888, young Roesch, then getting ahead in the construction business, married the former Anna Gangloff. She passed away here in June 1955.
He sold his first building, the brewery, in 1921 and six years later, began building the Sacajawea Inn, now the present hotel. Three years later–1930–he built the Roesch addition.
Many other buildings in the city and county were built by the hardy German-American who successfully weathered the great depression years of the 1930’s.
Active in all phases of community life, including his church, he served for several years as a city commissioner here. He and his wife shunned public life despite their influence and leading position in the community, but in 1927 they made a trip around the world.
He was a longtime member of the local Rotary and Elks as well as engaging in many civic enterprises.
A Rosary will be recited Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Don Dempsey’s Funeral Chapel, and requiem Mass will celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, with Msgr. Matthew Crotty the celebrant. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery.
Survivors are one son, Marcus L Roesch; a daughter, Mrs. Louise R. Fitzgerald; Herman Roesch, a nephew, all of La Grande, and three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
La Grande Observer, Friday, 22 Apr 1960, Front Page.
Contributed by: Robert Bull