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Max Rohr, Sr.

1875 - 1952

810 S. Eighth St

 

WDT article of 01 11 1952 included picture

 

Max Rohr, Sr., Banker, Dies Last Evening; Ill for Past Month

 

Max Rohr, 76, widely known Watertown banker, living at 810 South Eighth Street, died at 5:30 p.m. yesterday in St. Maryís hospital following an illness which took him to the hospital for observation on Dec. 16. He was suffering from leukemia and had undergone a number of blood transfusions in the interval which had prolonged his life. He was able to spend Christmas at his home and then returned to the hospital. His condition for the past several days had been critical and yesterday morning all hope was abandoned.He passed away peacefully in sleep.

 

Mr. Rohr was associated with the Merchants National bank since 1898. In 1930 he became president, following the death of Charles E. Frey. He held that office until his retirement on July 26, 1951. He retained the position of chairman of the board and one of the vice presidencies. He was reelected to both positions at the last annual meeting of the bank held Jan. 8.

 

Under his presidency the bank acquired a building east of the original location and the institution was greatly enlarged and improved.

 

Mr. Rohr was born in Watertown on Dec. 24, 1875. He was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. William H. Rohr. His father was at one time a justice of the peace here. On June 12, 1901 he married Miss Jennie Sproesser. She survives, as do a son, Max Rohr, Jr., who has been living in Pensacola, Fla., but who is shortly to locate in another state; two grandchildren, Staff Sgt. Donald T. Rohr, Barksdale Field, Shreveport, La., and Mrs. Robert Farrell, Camp Le Jeune, N. C. There is one sister, Mrs. Henry C. Martin, this city.

 

Mr. Rohr was a member of St. Paulís Episcopal church where he was long active. He had served as a vestryman and had been a choir boy. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity and was a past master of the local Masonic lodge.He also belonged to Watertown lodge No. 666, B.P.O. Elks, and the Watertown Rotary club.

 

Services Monday

 

The funeral will take place on Monday with services at 2 p.m. at the Schmutzler Funeral home. The Rev. James R. DeGolier will officiate and interment will be in Oak Hill cemetery.

 

In state at the funeral home Sunday afternoon and evening and Monday prior to the funeral.

 

Mr. Rohr was a member of the Fifty Year club of the Wisconsin Bankers association and was honored in Milwaukee with a membership some years ago.

 

Mr. Rohr was a warm, personal friend of a great many people in the community where he had long enjoyed the high regard, confidence and goodwill of his fellow townsmen. His life was such that he had proven himself worthy of such respect.As a banker and adviser he had few equals here.

 

Friend of Davies

 

He was a close friend of Joseph E. Davies, Watertown-born former ambassador to Russia and when Mr. Davies and his daughter, Mrs. Burdette W. Fitch of Washington, D. C., visited Watertown last Nov. 18 they were guests at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Rohr. The two men had begun their friendship during their school days and it had lasted throughout the years. They had kept up a correspondence for many years and Mr. Rohr had at various times handled local financial business for Mr. Davies.

 

At the time of his November visit Mr. Davies announced plans for a high school scholarship at the University of Wisconsin and had chosen Mr. Rohr as one of the men who were to administer it. The other two are Attorney William H. Woodard and John D. Clifford. Roger Holtz, superintendent of schools, also is to work with the committee on the matter.

 

Was Music Lover

 

His home life was simple. He liked music and reading. He enjoyed it when friends dropped in and was always a genial and generous host. Close friends do not recall him ever having spoken ill of any one. He remained silent when he could say nothing good about a person. He was punctual in his daily routine and until his last illness had been active at the bank every day. But he could relax and enjoy life and the things he liked.

 

Mr. Rohr was for many years a member of the old Elks quartette which ranked as one of the finest male singing groups ever organized here. Other members were William Sproesser, Edward L. Schempf and Dr. O. E. Meyer. The quartette sang at all Elks initiations and for many special ceremonies. The voices of the four men who were warm personal friends blended beautifully. Mr. Rohr had also belonged to the Watertown Male chorus which for many years was directed by William Sproesser. Mr. Rohr always took a great interest in music and was at all times ready to promote and encourage good music in the community.

 

Helped Develop Bank

 

Thoroughness characterized Mr. Rohrís life. He was thorough in everything he did and he played a large part in developing the Merchants National bank into one of the foremost financial institutions in this area.

 

His day-to-day life and influence here were such that they had earned him a creditable place in the community.

 

He never sought political office or leadership in the community but was always interested in the moral, intellectual and business progress of Watertown. He played a part in many of the things which went to promote Watertown and at all times stood for all that is progressive and labored for those interests and things which constitute vital forces in the development and progress of a community.

 

Last year he and Mrs. Rohr made a trip to Florida where they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on June 12 at the home of their son and daughter-in-law who were then living there. It was one of the few vacations Mr. Rohr had taken in recent years.

 

He was always happiest when he was active and though he delegated more and more of his responsibilities to others in the bank, he enjoyed being there and having a part in its operation and meeting the patrons and friends and associates who dropped in.No matter how busy he was he was always glad to spare a few moments for friends and one could get ready access to him at any time.In the life of the community there have been few men as warm hearted as Mr. Rohr and he will be missed by his associates and by all who knew him.

 

 

 

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