Saturday, December 03, 2016

Frederick Rohrer from Alsace-Lorraine, France

Parent Category: Phillips and Monks

Among the prominent pioneer families of Westmoreland, York and other Pennsylvania counties with which the Deemars intermarried were the Rohrers, of Armstrong county, connected by marriage with the Deemars in the early days of this section. They are descended from Frederick Rohrer, at one time keeper of a celebrated inn at Hagerstown, Md.

He was a Huguenot, a native of France, born July 28, 1742, and came to America during the war between France and Great Britain (1754-1763). In 1766 he married Catherine Deemar, in York county, Pa., and shortly afterward moved to Hagerstown, Md. In that year he first visited the "western country," as it was then called, going as far as Pittsburgh, composed at that time of a few Indian huts. With him he brought a number of cattle which he exchanged to Gen. Arthur St. Clair for a tract of land in the Ligonier valley. However, his family remained at Hagerstown.

In 1767 he carried the first wheat over the mountains ever brought into the "western country," planting it with other grain on his farm in the valley, and making other preparations for his family, which he removed hither in the fall. He took out a warrant for all that valuable tract of land on the Conemaugh river where it was found profitable to make salt, and was the discoverer of the valuable saline springs. He boiled the first salt made there in an earthen pot, and traded it to the Indians, who were then practically the only inhabitants of Westmoreland county.

In 1771 he returned to Hagerstown with his family, finding life among the Indians intolerable, but they came back in 1793, settling at Greensburg, where Mr. Rohrer continued to reside until his death, in 1834.

Mr. Rohrer was a prominent man in this region in his day. Some years after he returned to Westmoreland county he was appointed a justice of the peace by Governor McKean, filling the office continuously until a short time before his decease. He was laid to rest in the German burying ground, on the Tuesday following his death, and an unsually large number of citizens attended the funeral. Mr. Rohrer had nine children, forty-two grandchildren, and seventeen great-grandchildren.

from: Armstrong County, Pennsylvania By J.H. Beers & Co pg 577