From: Portrait and biographical album of Sumner County, Kansas
Author: Chapman Brothers
Subject: Sumner County (Kan.) -- Biography
Publisher: Chicago : Chapman bros.
JAMES W. BELLER, now a resident of Perth, was born in Berkeley' County VA, August 29, 1838. Abisha Beller, his father, likewise a native of that county, was born in 1779. He served in the War of 1812. and was by occupation a planter. Legacia Beller, James W. Beller's grandfather, was born in France. He came to the United States when a child, located in Virginia and died in Berkeley Couny at an advanced age. He served in the Revolutionary War, and was a farmer, cultivating a large plantation.
Margaret (Morgan) Beller, the mother of the subject of this notice, was born in Berkeley County, Va., in 1797. and died at the age of sixty-three years. To her and her husband, Ablisha, there was born a family of thirteen children, of whom James W. is the only surviving member. He was given a good education, being graduated from Prof. Frarey's High School in Jefferson County, Va. Soon after the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted, September 6, 1861, in Company H, First Maryland Dragoons, and was mustered out at the hospital in Williamsport, Md., December IG, 1862. He re-enlisted, January 14, 1863, in Battery D, Second Pennsylvania Heavy' Artillery, as a private, and was promoted by special order No. 161, Current Series 64, Adjutant General's office, Washington, D. C, dated April 28, 1864, by order of Abraham Lincoln and countersigned by Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary' of War, as Second Lieutenant, and assigned with brevet rank of Captain to the command of Battery E, Prov'l, Second Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, and was taken prisoner by the Confederate Army, July30, 1864, in the crater, caused from blowing up of the rebel fort, in front of Petersburg.
Mr. Beller for a period of seven months was held a prisoner of war in the "officer's prison" at Columbia, S. C, being at the expiration of this time paroled and passed through the lines at Wilmington, N. C. He arrived at Camp Parole, Annapolis, Md., on Sunday, March 3, 1860. He was in all the principal battles of the Army of the Potomac, except those of the Peninsular campaign and the fight at Gettysburg; during the latter his battery was stationed at Ft. Ethan Allen, in the defense of Washington, D. C.
After he was mustered out of service Mr. Beller returned to Martinsburg, which had now become West Virginia, and where he resided for several years. He there engaged in the sale of engines and sawmills for the firm of Griffith & Wedge, at Zanesville, Ohio. In 1879 he went to Porter County, Ind., where he was a contractor and builder, and where he also engaged in the mercantile business. He was married there in 1879, to Miss Matilda Miller, who died April l5, 1885. In 1880 he came to Kansas, and for some years was a resident of Labette County. On the 1st of March, 1887, he came to this county, settling in Perth, where he is now engaged in the real-estate business and insurance, and is also a Notary Public. Politically', he is an active, working Republican.
On the 19th of January, 1887, Mr. Beller contracted a second marriage in Martinsburg, W.Va., with Miss Lizzie I., daughter of Dr. John and Mary (Elderdice) Carpenter. This lady was born near Gettysburg, Pa., and was of illustrious ancestry. Her maternal grandmother was a member of the Royal family of the Stuarts of Scotland, whence she went with her family to Ireland when a young girl, and was there married to a Mr. Alderdice, which name was afterward written Elderdice. They left Ireland and came to the United States about the year 1797, during the reign of persecution by Catholics, they being Scotch-Irish Presbyterians. They landed at Baltimore, Md., when that city was a small town, and letters written by Mrs. Beller's great-grandmother, and now in her possession, show that there were no postal facilities beyond the Alleghany Mountains.
Mrs. Beller is a very superior lady, possessing marked literary talent, and for some years has been a contributor to various newspapers and magazines. For some years also she was associate editress of the Martinsburg (W. Va.) Herald, and wrote up a history of the county and of the prominent men of Martinsburg for the special edition of that paper. She was for a time court stenographer, serving under the Hun. Judge Charles J. Faulkner, now the United States Senator from West Virginia.
Dr. John Carpenter, the father of Mrs. Beller, came to Kansas in 1889, arriving on the 15th of November. He was born in Adams County, Pa., Jauary 20, 1805, and in 1826 removed with his father’s family to Rochester, N. Y. He studied medicine at Rochester, and at Cincinnati, Ohio, being graduated at the latter place. He practiced near Gettysburg. Pa., for a period of thirty years, residing there at the time of the famous battle, and acted as surgeon for the wounded during and after the conflict. He removed to Martinsburg, W. Va., in 1868, and practiced medicine in that city for twenty-one years. His wife, Mary (Eldedice) Carpenter, died there in 1881, at the age of sixty-seven years. Dr. Carpenter's maternal ancestors, the Zimmermans, came from Switzerland to this country before the .advent of William Penn. When Penn arrived he undertook to naturalize the people, and to change all the Gernan and Swiss names into English. A part of the people agreed to this, while others refused to accept the change. Among the latter was one of the Zimmerman's, and that blanch of the family are spread out through New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and the West, as Zimmermans, while Mrs. Buller's branch of the house use the English version of Carpenter. Dr. Carpenter has in his possession title deeds to lands in Adams County, Pa., a part of which was then called the " Manor of Maske," that date back to Penn's residence and were given under his hand and seal. Dr. Carpenter's grandmother, who in her maidenhood was Miss Lamon. was captured by the Indians in what is now Adams County, Pa., about the year 1765, when she was a child. Subsequently, after she had grown to be a young lady, she was recaptured by the Provincial Army and returned to her family. The Doctor is probably the only person living who saw the famous .Sam Patch make his fatal leap over the Genesee Falls, at Rochester, N. Y., in the year 1828-29 he being not quite positive as to which year it occurred. He has lived a useful and long life, been eminently successful as a physician, and respected and esteemed by all who have known Him.
EDMOND) ROCKHOLD. This gentleman, in the spring of 1889, established himself as a farmer in Downs Township, purchasing eighty acres of land on section 13, where he still lives and carries on general farming. He has attained to considerable prominence in the community, being a stanch supporter of the Republican Party, and is an Elder of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He is now approaching the sixty-fith year of his age, having been born March 19, 1825, and Is a native of Baltimore County, Md., where for many y'ears his father, the Rev. Edmund Rockhold, a native of the same county, officiated as a minister of the Methodist Protestant Church. The latter was born in 1770, and departed this life in Baltimore County, Md.. at the ,age of seventy-six years.
The paternal grandfather of the subject of this notice was Jacob Rockhold. a native of England, who emigrated to America in 1760, locating in Baltimore County, Md., where he carried on farming and died at the age of seventy-six years, six months and twenty days. The mother of our subject was in her girlhood Miss .Susan Miller, she was a native of the same county as her husband and son, and spent her Last days in Butler County, Ohio, passing away at the age of sixty-three years. Her parents were .Jacob and Elizabeth (Marshall) Miller. Grandfather Miller was born in Germany, whence he emigrated to the United .States at an early day, settling in Pennsylvania, where he married his wife, who was a native of that State. Subsequently they removed to Maryland, where Grandfather Miller died when eighty-seven years old. He was a miller by occupation, a steady-going, prudent and industrious man who enjoyed the esteem and confidence of his fellow-citizens. Grandmother Miller died at the age of seventy- eight years in .Stark County, Ohio.
To Edmund Jr., and Susan (Miller) Rockhold there was born a family of five children, namely: Edmund. Susan, Hannah, William and John. The subject of this notice was the first-born and is the only living member of the family. He was reared on a farm in his native county, and received the educational advantages afforded by the common schools. When a man of twenty-seven years, he, in 1852, removed to Butler County, Ohio, and after the out- break of the Civil War, enlisted as a Union soldier in September, 1863, in Company B, One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Ohio Infantry. He only served until the following year, being mustered out and returning to his old haunts in Butler County. He remained there until the spring of 1880, then turned his face to the country west of the Mississippi.
Mr. Rockhold was married in his native .State October 20, 1846, to Miss Eliza Elderdice. Mrs. Rockhold was born in Frederick County, Md., June 20, 1820. and is the daughter of Hugh and Catherine (Meyers) Elderdice, who were natives of Ireland and Pennsylvania, respectively. The grandmother on the mother's side was a Barbara Martin, and on the father's side, was Mary Stewart, who was Scotch-Irish, and was of royal blood. Mr.Elderdice was a farmer by occupation, and removed from his native State to Maryland, where he and his excellent wife spent their last days. To Mr. and Mrs. Rockhold there have been born seven children, viz.: Kate. James, Abbie, Mary. Tillie, Ella and John C. Mary was taken from the home circle when a young woman of twenty-seven years; James died when a promising youth of sixteen: Abbie died at the age of three years. John C. married Miss Rose DeFreese and lives in Spivey, and is Roadmaster of the Mulvane extension of the Santa Fe Railroad; Mary married J. W. Hoover, who is County Superintendent of Schools; Kate is married to B. F. Grove, of York. Pa.