Biography of H. B. Rodecker
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H. B. Rodecker, an enterprising and successful druggist of Ramona, was born near Eureka, Illinois, on the 22d of August, 1874, and was taken by his parents, William B. and Leona (Hellen) Rodecker, to Newton, Harvey county, Kansas, in 1880. The mother is a niece of the late Cecil Rhodes, multi-millionaire and statesman of South Africa. The father was a tinner by trade and followed that pursuit until 1889, when the family removed to Oklahoma City and he entered the employ of W. J. Pettie, a hardware merchant, conducting a business that has since been developed into a large wholesale enterprise. Mr. Rodecker was associated with the house for six years and then went to Los Angeles, where he is now living retired.
He passed the seventy-seventh milestone on life’s journey on the 30th of March, 1922. He makes his home with his son, F. E., who is engaged in the grocery business in southern California. Mr. Rodecker was born in Peoria, Illinois, while his wife was born at the wharf in New York harbor, when her parents landed from England. She died at Shawnee, Oklahoma, February 14, 1904. The only daughter of the family, Lulu Mable Rodecker, died in Shawnee in 1903.
H. B. Rodecker attended the public schools of Newton and was graduated from the high school with the class of 1888. Later he took up the study of pharmacy there with the firm of Morrow & Pearson and was engaged in the business for two years. He then went to Oklahoma City, where for three years he was associated with the drug house of A. J. Kirkpatrick.
On the expiration of that period he removed to Fort Smith, Arkansas, and worked in the wholesale drug establishment of John Schapp for a year, at the end of which time his employer sent him to Huntington, Arkansas, where he had charge of a drug business for two years. He next removed to Nowata, Oklahoma, and for two years was employed with the firm m of Dodge & Hill, druggists. At the end of that time he removed to Oglesby, and there entered the general merchandising field and laid out the town, which was a part of his wife’s allotment. They still own a great deal of property there.
After thirteen years spent at Oglesby Mr. Rodecker removed to Ramona, where he has resided for the past five years. He is the owner of the drug store formerly the property of the Boss Drug Company. He is thoroughly acquainted with the drug trade in every particular and his close application, indefatigable energy and laudable ambition are bringing to him a most creditable and substantial measure of prosperity.
On the 1st of August, 1808, Mr. Rodecker was united in marriage to Miss Emma L. Coleman, a daughter of James and Nancy (Walker) Coleman, of Cherokee extraction. Her father was engaged in the lumber business at Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, for many years and now lives at Muskogee. The mother passed away in 1904. The Walker family has been represented here since Civil war times, while the Coleman family came from Tennessee and they, too, were numbered among the pioneer residents. Mrs. Rodecker’s allotment of land was seventy acres, coming to her by reason of her Cherokee descent. She is a graduate of the Oklahoma University with the class of 1893, and Miss Alice Robinson, who is now the second congresswoman of the United States, was one of her teachers. Mr. and Mrs. Rodecker have become parents of three children: Brant L., twenty-two years of age, who joined the army but did not get overseas, married Mina Schank of Kansas, and is a teacher in Ramona; Lulu Minnie is attending the Tulsa University, where she is pursuing a teacher’s course; and Addie Maude is attending high school at Ramona. The son’s military experience came to him in the students’ training camp at Tulsa, which was in reality the Henry Kendall University, which he had entered as a student prior to America’s entrance into the World war.
Mr. Rodecker and his family occupy a prominent social position in Ramona, while his activity and enterprise in business have firmly established him as one of the representative merchants of the city.