L. R. ROTER, secretary and manager of the Cold Storage & Crystal Ice Company, of Parsons, Kansas, whose portrait is herewith shown, is a thoroughly self made man. His history reads as an unbroken chapter of results successfully achieved, as, step by step, his genius and energy have pushed him to the front. Mr. Roter was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1851, and is a son of J. H. and Margaret (Elderbrook) Roter. The father now lives in the suburbs of Cincinnati, the mother having died May 1, 1901. They reared six children, namely: L. R.; John F., of Topeka, a Santa Fe Railway employee; Sophia (Vandolah), a widow, of Dillsboro, Indiana; Louise, now Mrs. John Currey, of Indianapolis; Dora (Younger), of Butte, Montana; and Harry, a citizen of Dillsboro, Indiana.
Mr. Roter attended the district schools of Indiana, and when a youth of seventeen years went to Titusville, Pennsylvania, where he also attended school; he then clerked in a wallpaper and house furnishing store. In 1878, he went to the oil regions in the vicinity of Bradford, Pennsylvania, and with a small capital entered into business for himself. Although his cash capital was limited, his ample stock of pluck and energy carried him safely through, as his success in business dates from 1878.
He was engaged in the grocery business at Bradford, Pennsylvania, until 1881, with satisfactory results. He then moved to Abbotsford, Wisconsin, and conducted a very flourishing general merchandise store until 1897, when he moved to Parsons to accept his present important position as secretary and manager of the Parsons Cold Storage & Crystal Ice Company, of which W. J. Wade, of South McAlester, Indian Territory, is president, and William Busby, of Parsons, is vice-president and treasurer. The plant has a capacity of 50 tons of ice per day, and is located one mile from the retail office, - corner of Central and Washington avenues and just north of the city limits.
Ten men are employed at the plant during the summer months, and about five in the winter season. Ten or 11 men are also occupied in distributing the product of the plant, making in all, a force of about 20 men at the cold storage room of the plant. The plant was established in 1888, by Mr. Lewis. It subsequently went into the hands of Kimball, Edwards & Busby, and later was transferred to the present control. The retail room and office at 200 Central avenue, is 25 by 60 feet, in dimensions, and here Mr. Roter is in charge, assisted by John I. Russell, assistant secretary and general office man. Mr. Roter travels somewhat; the company has had no difficulty in disposing of its product without employing regular traveling salesmen.
Mr. Roter has been twice married. July 24, 1878, Alice B. Thompson, daughter of Rev. J. B. Thompson, of Butler, Pennsylvania, became his wife. She died in 1883, leaving one daughter, Edith B., who is now attending Armour Institute at Chicago, She is preparing for kindergarten work as an instructor. Four years after the demise of his wife, in 1887, Mr. Roter was married to Cora Thompson, sister of his first wife, and a native of Delaware, Ohio. Her college education was obtained at Butler, Pennsylvania. Two children have blessed this union, Bessie P. and Charles A.
In politics, our subject is a Republican, and served his party as village treasurer at Abbotsford, Wisconsin. He is quite prominent in fraternal circles; he was made a Mason at Colby, Wisconsin, and served as junior warden and senior warden, after which he was chosen worshipful master of the lodge; he became a Royal Arch Mason at Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. He is also a member of the M. W. of A. In his religious belief, he favors the Presbyterian church.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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