Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 301] a leading contractor of New Castle, was born at Middle Lancaster, Butler Co., Pa., Sept. 22, 1863, and is a son of John and Christiana (Beighley) Rodenbaugh, and grandson of Jacob and Mary Magdalene (Brown) Rodenbaugh.

Jacob Rodenbaugh was born in Easton, Pa., and was a member of an old Pennsylvania Dutch family. He married his wife there, and with one child, Jesse, came to Butler County, which was considered then to be on the very edge of civilization, and settled at Old Harmony, Butler Co., where he bought a small place, a few acres of which he cleared and put into crops, and there reared his family, some of whom are living to-day on the old homestead. He was by trade a pump-maker, and made the "penstalks" for his pumps by boring out the core of a straight oaken log of the proper dimensions. Both of our subject's grandparents lived to be over eighty years old. Their children were: Jessie; Joseph; John; Abraham; William; Catherine; Polly; Susan; Rebecca; and Sarah. Of the above family, all were born in Butler County, except Jessie, who was born in Easton. John Rodenbaugh learned the carpenter's trade, and quite early in life began figuring on building contracts, taking up his residence in 1871 in New Castle. In 1875, he built the Cement Works at Wampum, this county, and was millwright for the company until his death at the age of forty-four of cancer, July 8, 1877. The children born to him were: Charles M., who died at the age of four; Almeda; William B.; Ella; Minnie; Alvin J.; and Annie. His widow married James D. McKinley and moved to Venango County, where our subject was reared and educated.

William B. learned the carpenter's trade, and labored at his craft in Pittsburg, Butler, and New Castle. In 1886, he came to New Castle, and as a contractor and as an architect built up a large and highly profitable business, establishing himself in the estimation of the people as a man of ability and fertile ideas. Finished products of his hands and brain may be seen on many of the principal streets of the city, and include, among a large number of beautiful homes, the handsome residences of R. P. Marshall; Dr. McKee, Capt. Gilliland, J. G. McConahy, E. E. Seavy, B. A. Winternitz, and the Croton M. E. Church. Mr. Rodenbaugh has also built and sold a number of houses as a personal speculation.

Our subject married Miss Kittie B. Blaine, daughter of James A. Blaine of New Castle, and has been made the parent of three children: Beulah, born May 17, 1888; Rena, born July 8, 1890, died Dec. 28, 1890; and Elsie Dorothy, born July 19, 1895. Mr. Rodenbaugh is a strong adherent of Republican principles, but owing to the magnitude of his business, which demands his whole and undivided attention, he has never felt that he could conscientiously accept a nomination for office. He and his wife have many of the warmest of friends in the M. E. Church, of which they are leading members.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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