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 • Union Lutheran Church Cemetery
 • Salisbury
 • Rowan County
 • North Carolina
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Rev Samuel Rothrock
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Birth: Nov. 26, 1809
Forsyth County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Nov. 2, 1894
Rowan County
North Carolina, USA

Samuel Rothrock was the fifth of nine known children of Jacob Rothrock (1771-1848) and Esther Zeigler Rothrock (1777-1845), who married 05 Nov 1799 at Friedberg, Stokes (now Forsyth) County, North Carolina.

Samuel's early education was limited to three months of school each year for eight years. Although his early education was limited, he decided to attend the Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. At the age of nineteen, he walked all the way from Salem, Stokes (now Winston-Salem, Forsyth County) to Gettysburg. He started with only fifty cents, his homemade knapsack containing a few clothes and his Bible. The journey of four hundred miles took twenty days. He usually walked eight to ten miles before breakfast and then walked until darkness overtook him. Then he ate again and rested for the night. During his four years at Gettysburg, he made one trip home, walking both ways.

Samuel Rothrock was licensed to preach in 1833 and was ordained in 1834. He preached in both the German and English languages, sometimes in both at the same service. His first pastorates were Union Church in Rowan County, and St. John's Lutheran Church in Salisbury, Rowan County.

Samuel first married to Mary Hoke (1811-1836) in 1835 at presumably North Carolina. On 30 May, 1835, Samuel and Mary Hoke Rothrock started out for St. Thomas, Franklin County, where he had been called to serve several churches in Franklin and Fulton Counties. In his diary he kept a record of the seventeen-day journey, recording their daily mileage, expenses, and the places they stopped with comments which ranged from "tolerable" and "good" to "tormented by bed bugs." He noted that from Fredericksburg, Virginia, to Washington City they travelled by steamboat, covering sixty-five miles in three hours. The cost of the steamboat trip was eight dollars for themselves, their horses, and their barouche.

His ministry in Pennsylvania was cut short by the tragic death of his young wife in childbirth. Their son also died. Three months after her death, he returned to Rowan County where he lived the remainder of his long life.

1. infant son Rothrock (1836-1836)

Samuel remarried to Amelia Rosetta Arey (1812-1890) on 14 Sep 1837 at Rowan County, North Carolina. Samuel and Amelia were the parents of three known children, namely:

2. Lewis Hazelius Rothrock (1839-1923)
3. Milus Luther Rothrock (1840-1842)
4. Charlotte Lucetta Rothrock (1847-1851)

Samuel and Amelia had the privilege of celebrating their golden wedding anniversary in 1887, a rare happening in those days. On that occasion friends showered them with gold pieces and Samuel's brother, Adam, came to the celebration by train from his home in Oregon state. They received congratulatory letters from across the country and a letter from the Governor of North Carolina, A.M. Scales and the Lieutenant Governor, Charles M. Stedman. The couple was presented with a pass on the Carolina Central Railroad from Charlotte to Wilmington and return, and Mr. H.C. Eccles, proprietor of the Central Hotel of Charlotte, offered the free use of the hotel while on their trip. The golden wedding celebration was held at the Rothrock's comfortable home near Gold Hill. A contemporary account of the occasion states that "the dinner was a sumptuous feast, both in its variety and its delicacies." There was music, instrumental and vocal, and addresses throughout the day. Samuel Rothrock made note of this occasion in this diary.

"Wednesday, September 14, 1887: Celebrated Today our Golden Wedding. Many friends were present. Received many golden gifts and congratulations. Brother Adam came from Oregon to see us."

Rothrock's prodigious career is well recorded in the annals of the Lutheran Church. For a complete resume see Life Sketches of Lutheran Ministers and American Lutheran Biographies. For over thirty-one years he was the pastor of Organ Church in Rowan County. In addition, he served nine separate terms as President of the North Carolina Synod, more than any other man of his generation. In 1849, and again in 1867, he was elected president of the General Synod. He served many years as President of the Board of Trustees of North Carolina College at Mt. Pleasant, N.C. In 1888 he was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Divinity by the University of North Carolina. It was presented to him by the President of the University, Kemp Plummer Battle. His diary was his legacy to future generations. It was handwritten, in English, in a series of small unpaginated notebooks which he carried with him. He made his first entry in February, 1834 and his last in May, 1893. The extant books of the diary are as follows:

February 1, 1834 - October 26, 1836;
July 2, 1838 - March 21, 1840;
November 21, 1841 - April 18, 1852;
August 1, 1852 - April 20, 1857;
December 5, 1858 - June 15, 1860;
January 1, 1862 - March 28, 1863;
April 30, 1865 -April 2, 1866;
May 1, 1866 - May 27, 1866;
August 8, 1869 - May 27, 1893.

He kept diaries for all the other years, but they have been lost. The diaries have been published by the Lutheran Church in North Carolina. Volume I consists of the entire diaries as transcribed by Bernard William Cruse Jr. and is 700 pages in length. The cost, including shipping, is $50. Volume II is 176 pages and consists of annotations and commentary by Harriet Arey Davidson on the diaries. It sells for $30 postpaid. The cost of both volumes postpaid is $75. Order from Pastor Karl M. Park, North Carolina Synold, ELCA, 1988 Lutheran Synod Drive, Salisbury, NC 28144-5700.

Samuel Rothrock died November 2, 1894, less than a month before his eighty-fifth birthday. Amelia had preceded him in death on April 30, 1890. Samuel and Amelia are buried in Union Lutheran Church Cemetery. Their graves are next to, and in a line with, the graves of Amelia's parents, Peter and Phebe Thomas Arey.

The above was written by Samuel's great grandson, Archibald Caldwell Rufty (1914-2002).

Links to Samuel's parents, second wife, three of his four known children and six of his eight known siblings are included below.
Family links: 
  Jacob Rothrock (1771 - 1848)
  Esther Zeigler Rothrock (1777 - 1845)
  Amelia Rosetta Arey Rothrock (1812 - 1890)
  Lewis Hazelius Rothrock (1839 - 1923)*
  Milus Luther Rothrock (1840 - 1842)*
  Charlotte Lucetta Rothrock (1847 - 1851)*
  Catherine Rothrock (1802 - 1803)*
  Johann Jonas Rothrock (1804 - 1807)*
  Johann Jonas Rothrock (1804 - 1807)*
  Samuel Rothrock (1809 - 1894)
  Christina Rothrock Beckerdite (1813 - 1853)*
  Salome Rothrock Peeler (1816 - 1910)*
  Adam Bennett Rothrock (1820 - 1891)*
*Calculated relationship
Union Lutheran Church Cemetery
Rowan County
North Carolina, USA
Maintained by: Dan Stevenson
Originally Created by: S. Donaldson
Record added: Mar 10, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 18320432
Rev Samuel Rothrock
Added by: S. Donaldson
Rev Samuel Rothrock
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Wayne Ashworth
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Ninnette Zeigler
 Added: Dec. 17, 2010

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