|Birth: ||Apr. 23, 1831|
|Death: ||Jul. 12, 1908|
Luther was a son of Daniel Romberger and Eva Romberger (later Hoffman), and was thus an uncle to my great grandpa, Daniel H. Romberger. Luther was a brother to Gilbert "the saddler" Romberger and Susan Romberger. Their dad died at age 23 while they all were young, and their mom Eva was remarried, and had more children. Luther was barely age two when his father passed away.
As a young adult, Luther left Pennsylvania to try his luck in Illinois. Luther became a much respected Masonic leader, serving as as High Priest of the Princeton Chapter No. 28, Royal Arch Masons. He was also a noted bee keeper and farmer. His apiary (bee operation) was one of the largest in its time in the country. He had children Emma Romberger Hoffman and Charles L. Romberger and one more child who did not live to see adulthood.
H. C. (Henry C.) Bradsby's "History of Bureau County, Illinois" lists him as having multiple positions within fraternal organizations, such as within the Masonic Lodge in Bureau County; C. of H. of Princeton Chapter, No. 28, R. A. M; Sir L. D. Romberger, 3d Grd. of Temple Commandery, No. 20, Knights Templar; Com. L. D. Romberger, P. C. W. of Orion Council, No. 8, R. & S. M.; Secretary of O. M. A. — Princeton Lodge, No. No. 41. Clearly I've got some research to do on what all the titles and acronyms mean.
Online genealogy lists his death as occurring in 1906, but "Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of the State of Illinois Ancient Free and Accepted Masons" shows it differently, stating "Bro. Luther D. Romberger, W.M. for two years (1885-86) of Bureau Lodge No. 112, died July 12, 1908." Fortunately, kind fellow FindAGrave contributor Har37x located and photographed Luther's burial marker, so as of January of 2013, we know that the 1908 date is correct.
The "Biographical Record of Livingston and Woodford Counties, Illinois" has a bio of Luther's son Charles, and within that is a short summary of Luther's life:
"L. D. Romberger, was born in Pennsylvania, April 23, 1831, of German ancestry, and was left an orphan when only a year old. At the age of eight he started out in life for himself and served an apprenticeship to the tinner's trade. He was about twenty-three years of age when he removed to Wyanet, Illinois, where he was married, March 1, 1860, to Francisca L. Weaver, who was also born in Pennsylvania, February 20, 1839, and had come west with her parents, who were engaged in the hotel business.
Romberger was engaged in merchandising in Wyanet for a few years and later followed farming for two years, after which he moved to Princeton, Illinois, where he was engaged in the mercantile business until his health failed, in 1880, when he sold out and has since devoted his attention to bee culture, having one of the largest apiaries in the United States. He has always been a stanch Republican in politics, but never an aspirant for office, though he is now serving as justice of the peace.
Of his three children, one died in infancy; Emma L. is now the wife of Frank H. Hoffman, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Charles L. completes the family."
1860 Federal census, Wyanet, Bureau Cty Illinois:
(Ramberger or Rumberger depending on whose index you use)
-Luther D. R-mberger, male age 29, born in Pennsylvania, merchant with real estate valued at $3000 and personal estate valued at $2000.
-Frances R-mberger, female age 20, also born in PA.
-(Also with them - Hiram J Croft, age 24, born in Ohio, clerk, possible Luther's own employee.)
1865 Illinois census in the town of Center, Bureau County, Illinois, household of L. D. Romberger:
A white male and female under the age of 10
2 white males and 1 female over 20 but under 30
1 white male over 30 but under 40
Totals: 4 males, 2 females (all white, not all necessarily family)
1870 Federal census, Princeton, Bureau Cty, Illinois:
-Luther D. Romberger, white male age 36, dry goods merchant with real estate valued at $6000 and personal estate valued at $8000, born in Pennsylvania.
-Fanny Romberger, white female age 28, keeps house, born in PA.
-Emma Romberger, age 8 white female, at home, born in Illinois, attended school in the past year.
-Charles Romberger, age 9 white male, at home, born in Illinois, attended school in the past year.
-(Also with them - Emma Endinger, 18 year old white female, domestic servant, born in New York state.)
Note: The Romberger family's census information was collected in 1870 by "O. G. Lovejoy". It could not have been the famous statesman and abolitionist, Owen Lovejoy, who had died in 1864, but must have been his son Owen Glendower Lovejoy. The only Lovejoy family in Bureau County in 1870 was headed by Eunice, the abolitionist's widow, and where Owen Jr. lived. This is interesting in light of the fact that one later Romberger, George, my great grandpa's big brother, married Anna Laura Miller, a lady from Princeton and her family headed by Major John Frank Miller, was associated with the Underground Railroad, of which Mr. Lovejoy was a key figure, so perhaps this is how the association was made.
1880 Federal census, Princeton, Bureau Cty, Illinois:
-Luther Romberger, white male age 49, dealer in bees, zero weeks unemployed in the past year, self and parents born in Pennsylvania.
-Francisca Romberger, white female age 40, wife, keeping house, self and parents born in PA.
-Emma Romberger, white female age 19, at school, born in Illinois, parents born in PA.
-Charles Romberger, white male age 17, at school, born in Illinois, parents born in PA.
1900 Federal census, Princeton, Bureau Cty, Illinois:
-Luther Romberger, white male age 69, white male born April 1831, married 40 years, self and parents born in Pennsylvania, retired farmer.
-Frances (illegible) Romberger, white female age 60 born September 1840, married 40 years, self and parents born in Pennsylvania. Reports giving birth to 3 children, of whom 2 are alive.
Luther did not leave his Pennsylvania family forgotten; in the August 8, 1899 Harrisburg Telegraph, it's reported that he visited at the home of Wilson Romberger. Wilson was married to Lillie Romberger, so Luther was staying with his niece.
Daniel Romberger (1810 - 1833)
Eva Romberger Hoffman (1810 - 1876)
Francisca L Weaver Romberger (1840 - 1924)*
Emma Louise Romberger Hoffman (1860 - 1911)*
Charles Luther Romberger (1862 - 1907)*
Rebekah Hoffman (____ - 1908)**
Gilbert Romberger (1829 - 1894)*
Luther D Romberger (1831 - 1908)
Susan Romberger Bowman (1832 - 1900)*
Isaac White Hoffman (1837 - 1924)**
Adam Hoffman (1838 - 1902)**
Sarah Hoffman Schreiner (1842 - 1926)**
Addaline Hoffman McAlarney (1845 - 1915)**
Plot: Block 44, lot 3.
Created by: sr/ks
Record added: Oct 20, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 30702155