Our Oldest Resident - page 2


Over 100 Years Old
   According to the Wanderbuch, which John Leonard Roeder brought with him from Germany in 1844, he was born at Grossherbach, Germany, January 21, 1800 proving that at the time of his death last evening he was aged 109 years, 7 months and 2 days.
    At the early age of 8 years he began his service as an apprentice to his father, who was an industrious German cobbler. This became his trade, and at it he earned his livelihood while actively employed both in Germany and in this county.
    At the age of 44 he emigrated to America, sailing from Bremen on May 15, 1844. After landing at Philadelphia he immediately started for the west, locating first at Cincinnati, then going to St. Louis, and finally traveled up the Illinois river on a steamboat, landing somewhere near Pike County, where he worked as a wood chopped for one winter.
    In the spring of 1845 he came to Quincy and this city has been his home up to the time of his death. He had been married before leaving his native country to Miss Appalonia Dehm. His wife died 42 years ago and Mr. Roeder never again married.

Made Boots for John Wood
    After coming to Quincy, Mr. Roeder naturally engaged in the trade which he had learned from his father in Germany. He opened a little shoemaking shop on State between Sixth and Seventh streets and there he worked industriously for many years.
    During the years he was in the shoemaking business he met the men most prominent in early Illinois history. He made all the shoes for Governor John Wood and he used to tell with delight of receiving $ l6 and $ 19 for a pair of boots from the governor of the state of Illinois. At the age of seventy he retired from the business and had not been actively employed since. For over a score of years after he left his trade as shoemaker he was as strong and as hearty as ever and it was only due to the urgent insistence of his family that he decided to give up his work.
    Mr. and Mrs. Roeder had no children of their own but in 1852 they adopted an orphan girl. She grew up in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Roeder cherishing heartily the home which they had provided and the care which they showed her. She is today Mrs. John P. Liebig, the woman at whose home Mr. Roeder died last night.
    Ever since the death of Mrs. Roeder almost a half century ago, he has lived with the foster daughter. In return of the love and care shown her in her youth, Mrs. Liebig made the last years of the aged man as pleasant as possible. Naturally during the last years at times the care of so aged a man would become a burden to the ordinary person, but Mrs. Liebig attended to him with a cheerfulness most extraordinary and which was prompted by her deep gratitude.

With Blucher at Waterloo
  
An interesting chapter of the life of Leonard Roeder is the story of his years of service in the German army. He served seven years in the army of the Kaiser and had among his effects a faded discharge paper given him by the German government. At the time of the battle of Waterloo he was but 15 years old but nevertheless he took an active part in that engagement. He was not regularly enlisted in the army at that time but like all the rest of the German youth was deeply interested in the remarkable world conquering campaign of Napoleon Bonaparte.

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