THE ROUZER FAMILY
The Rouzer family are of Pennsylvania-Dutch stock. The name is a familiar one in the southeastern part of this state and the eastern part of Maryland, and as far as we have been able to ascertain, came to the western part of our state shortly after the War for Independence.
The record shows (see accompanying map (This map can be found by taking the link from my Home page to my Maps page and going to the Warrant map for Moon Twp)), that Philip Rouzer, Sr., acquired a small tract of land, adjoining a grant to John Meek, on the southeast side, about 2 miles east of Old Sharon Church. Philip Rouzer 57 Acres, 140 Perches. Surveyed, June 27, 1811. Patented, March 14, 1814 to same.
This Philip Rouzer, Sr., was my great grandfather , as he was the father of Adam, Philip, Jr., and Alexander Rouzer. Philip, Jr., born 1805, died 1865, leased and lived on a farm near Stevenson Mill, where he died. This farm was a part of the grant to Amos Roney.
Adam Rouzer, his brother, who, with his wife, Elizabeth, lived on a farm, which was a part of the Robert London grant, died there with his wife. They had no children. This farm is now owned by the Montour Country Club. We cannot find any record of their birth or death.
It seems, according to the record, that Adam Rouzer inherited a farm across the Beaver Grade road, northeast of the one he lived on, from his father Philip Rouzer, Sr. (see map).
Alexander Rouzer, my grandfather, lived with his wife and family on the property granted to Robert London, April 18, 1785, from whom it was purchased. Alexander Rouzer was born, 1816, died 1853.
His wife, my grandmother, was Mary Cooper Rouzer, who was the daughter of William Cooper, whose residence was an old log cabin, which is still standing. This cabin is located on Thorn Run hill, and now a part of the new housing project, called "Mooncrest" .
He was a brother or cousin, am not sure which, of the man, William Cooper, who was called "Bookbinder" Cooper. This man is the one mentioned when writing of the Basel Meek family.
My grandfather, Alexander Rouzer, and his wife, Mary Cooper Rouzer, had 2 sons, William Alexander and David Duval Rouzer, who were born and grew to manhood on their father's farm, which was inherited from their father, Alexander Rouzer, a son of Philip Rouzer, Sr. Their home was a log cabin. This cabin is the place in which I was born. My 3 brothers were born in a new, 2 story frame house, having 6 rooms. This house was erected by my father, Uncle David, and my grandfather, William C. Dilkes. This building is still standing on what is now called the Tenner Place. It has been modernized, and does not look much like my old home.
Later in my story, under the caption "From Log Cabin to Jet Plane", I will attempt to describe the "Log Cabin" in which I was born. This description will be typical of many cabins that used to be seen in this rural community.
Log cabins were built when suitable timber was plentiful, much of which,
of necessity, had to be cut down in clearing of land for cultivation of
the soil in raising wheat, corn, potatoes, etc., for food for the pioneer
and his family; also feed for his horses, cattle and hogs. Remember, that
he could not go to the feed store as now, 1948, but first had to thresh
his wheat by using his flail and man-powered windmill, shell his corn by
hand or by use of a crude corn-sheller, after which he would have to haul
it, sometimes many miles, to a water-powered grist mill, which ground his
wheat into flour for the making of bread. He also had to grind his corn
into what was called corn-meal for making his mush, cornbread and cornpone;
also he had his corn on the cob mixed with oats to make what he called
chop, for feed for his cattle and hogs. The corn that was to be used for
the making of corn-meal, later to be made into mush, cornpone, corn cakes,
etc., was carefully selected by our father, and brought into the cabin,
where, before the large log fire, after supper, the entire family engaged
in the shelling, which means breaking the grains of corn from the cob.
These cobs were then thrown on the
You can imagine what a treat for young boys and girls on the farm in the cold winter days and nights of long ago, to have a large bowl of mush 'N milk for supper and fried mush for breakfast. "Yum-Yum"--I know, for I was one of them.
My father, William Alexander Rouzer, was born on January 21, 1842, died January 20, 1922, just a few hours before his 80th. birthday. He was born in the log cabin I will attempt to describe later. See "From Log Cabin to Jet Plane".
William "Bill" Rouzer and his only brother, David, about 2 years younger, lived on this farm about 30 years. Their father, Alexander Rouzer, died in 1853, leaving his wife and their 2 boys to keep house and make their living as best they could.
My father married Eleanor Jane Dilkes, a daughter of William C. and Eliza McKnight Dilkes, January 25, 1867. This lady became the mother of 4 sons: Charles Dilkes, William Wenzel, David Percy and Harry Alexander. Charles D. the oldest, born, January 6, 1868; William W., born, 1870, died 1916; David P., born, 1872, died 1893 and Harry A., born, 1875, died January 23, 1933.
My father, his wife and 4 sons, lived on this farm until 1877, when their farm was sold to Mr. Samuel Stewart. After the sale, father rented a place called the "Parry" farm where we lived for 3 years. Father, having bought the~farm owned by Levi Stevenson heirs, moved his family to their new home April 1, 1881. My grandmother Rouzer died here in 1884; my mother died here April 14, 1886; brother David died here in 1893; my step-mother died here September 1921; my father died here 1922, and my youngest brother died here in 1933.
As for me, in 1948 I am living in a new 4 room apartment attached to the east end of our old homestead, which is a log house built, according to record, in 1810.
My father's old farm has changed so much in appearance in the last few years that if he were to return he would have to employ a guide to help him find it.
The only Rouzer's holding title to any of the original 100 acre farm, are Mrs. Katy Rouzer, the widow of Harry A. Rouzer, and their son, Hillard Rouzer.
The Greater Pittsburgh Airport has acquired about 15 acres and on the remaining portion, about 21 houses have been erected and are occupied by those who have acquired lots or acreage.
Note: You may have noticed the difference in the spelling of our name. I have used the letter "s" instead of "z" in spelling my name for many years, as has my brother Harry's son, Hillard. This issue 1966, spells the name Rouzer (by R. E . S . )
I find that the descendants of our forebears in southeastern Pennsylvania spell their name with "s", the "s", and "z" probably being confused sometime during these many years.
Now for some reminiscing by the writer. I can remember how the log cabin in which I was born looked, for it remained standing several years after the great event, at least to mother and me, for I was her first born. The days when my brothers and I played in that cabin come vividly to my mind, for our Uncle Dave used it as a workshop. He was a good mechanic and made sleds, wagons and buggies for the neighbors, also repaired all breakdowns of wagons, etc,, for the farmers in the neighborhood. He also helped my father with work on the farm. Uncle Dave went to Sewickley about 1876, built a shop and established himself as a carriage builder. He married a Miss Davidson, and carried on his work for several years, then finally moved to Kansas and died there in 1886.
Another vivid recollection that comes to my mind when thinking of my old home, is that one evening when I, evidently very young, had been asleep on a couch near the end of the piano, wakened and looked to see what or who was making so much noise, my mother, who was playing the piano for Uncle Dave and several folks who were singing, turned her head and smiled at me. I believe that was the first time her boy really recognized his mother, for- that incident left such an impression on my mind, that in recalling it, I seem to be holding an actual picture of that face in my hand today.
Another incident that happened in that old home also included my mother. One day I was playing in the kitchen where mother was at work. Suddenly she called me to come quickly to her where she was standing at the window. Running to her, she lifted me so I could stand on a chair and look out the window. She pointed to a very black cloud which seemed to have a long tail that reached to the ground, and while looking, I also caught sight of mother's gray horse standing by the fence under a cherry tree .
While we were gazing at it and the cloud, suddenly this tree and the fence under it were torn apart and scattered over the ground, and the horse was running away from there as fast as she could go. The wind had been blowing hard at the house where we were, but now it was calm again. Then mother called from the window at the other end of the kitchen, from where we could see the stable. After looking a few minutes, mother exclaimed, "Why, Charlie, the roof has been blown off the stable and is lying on the ground in the field some distance beyond the stable". That was my first and only experience with a tornado. It has hit the ground first, at fence and cherry tree, rebounded over the house, which was directly between cherry tree and stable, then dropped on the stable, and removed the roof.
My father was a strong, active man, about 5 feet 10 inches tall. He weighed about 170 pounds in his prime; clean shaven when I knew him, as a boy, but later in life wore a full beard, which, with his hair, was snow white when he died. He was a good farmer and a splendid horseman and owned, in his time, many fast-driving horses.
Father's family, at the time of his death, consisted of 2 sons, Charles and Harry, and 5 grandsons. More of my mother will be noted when writing of the Dilkes family.
Now about our father's family. His oldest son, Charles D., he, who is trying to write the story of Moon Township, is the only survivor of William Rouzer's family. Charles Dilkes Rouzer lived the life of a farm boy, got what education he could in the one-room school house between fall and spring work on the farm. He began learning the carpenter's trade when about 20 years of age, and was engaged in that and other branches of the building industry most of his life.
He secured the consent of Miss Enola White to be my wife and we were married on January 29, 1891. This girl of mine was the daughter of Bennet White and his wife, Elizabeth Sterling White. She had 1 sister, Altha White Meanor, the wife of S. N. Meanor of Carnot, and the mother of Walter Meanor of Carnot, and several grandchildren. She and her husband have been dead many years.
Three sons were born to Mrs. Enola Rouzer and me. Our first son is Charles Wayne Rouzer, born June 24, 1895. Our second, Stanley White Rouzer, born October 28, 1897 and Frank Dudley Rouzer, born June 1902, and died January 17, 1906.
Our son, C. W. Rouzer, now lives in Minneapolis , Minn., and is associated with a nut and bolt company in that city. His wife, Enid, is a daughter of William Amend and wife, formerly of Neville Island. She has 1 brother living in Coraopolis, Pa.. Her Father, mother, and 2 sisters are dead as of 1948.
Charles Wayne Rouzer and his wife had 5 sons. All served in World War; II, in the Navy and Air Force. Their oldest son, Charles Wayne Rouzer, Jr., was radio-man and gunner on the dive bombers with the Airplane Carrier Lexington, when she was sunk in the Coral Sea fight. His plane was shot down, and the crew lost.
Their 2nd. son, Robert L., was a machinist mate. Their 3rd., James Russell, was a fire control man, first on the cruiser Vincenns, when she sank at Guadalcanal. He was saved after 8 hours in the water. Their 4th. son, Richard L. was a Bosun's Mate on a Tanker and their 5th. John Stanley, was a Navy Airman in the ordinance department. By the way, their father is World War I veteran.
Our 2nd, son, Stanley W. Rouzer, is employed at the Pittsburgh Screw and Bolt Co ., where he has been working for 15 years. He is not married, and he is also a World War I veteran, and is now living in Coraopolis.
William and Eleanor Rouzer's 2nd. son, William Wenzel Rouzer, married Miss Rachel McCleaster, daughter of Joseph and Sarah McCleaster. They had 1 son, Clyde Orr, and 1 daughter, Estella. William Wenzel Rouzer died in 1916; their son, Clyde, died in 1918; their daughter, Estella, died 1919; and Mrs. Rouzer died in 1926.
William and Eleanor's 3rd. son, David Percy, died in 1892-not married, Their 4th. son, Harry Alexander Rouzer, married Miss Katy Tipker, a daughter of John and Mary Tipker, in 1904. They have 3 sons, their oldest being Detmer L. Rouzer, who married Miss Alverda Wood, daughter of Jonah and Mrs, Wood. She has 2 sisters, Mrs. Geneva Dugan and Mrs. Ethel Goss, and 1 brother, Gaylord Wood.
Detmer L. Rouzer worked as a machinist for a number of years, but now is a contractor and builder. They have 1 daughter, Ann, and 1 son, LeRoy. Their daughter, Ann, is joining Old Sharon Church congregation this year, thus becoming 1 of the 7th. generation of our name to become a member in our church since it's organization.
Hilliard Rouzer, their 2nd. son, married Miss Ruth Gebhart, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Gebhart. They have 1 son, Harry. Hilliard Rouzer is the only son of W. A. Rouzer, whose home is on a part of our father's old farm.
John Tipker "Jack" Rouzer, the 3rd. son of Harry A., is not married. Jack is serving his country in the U. S. Navy. Part of his time was in World War II.