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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
Major A. J. Roof. who has been a resident of Chillicothe for more than a third of a century and is well and highly esteemed throughout Livingston county, now acts as public administrator here and is also a notary public and pension attorney. His birth occurred in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, on the 5th of August, 1840, his parents being John and Mary (Baird) Roof. who were natives of Maryland and Pennsylvania respectively. His paternal grandfather, Henry Roof, was a native of Maryland and a gentleman of Holland Dutch descent. Robert Baird, the maternal grandfather of our subject, participated in the War of 1812. His wife bore the maiden name of Susan Duff.
John Roof, the father of Major Roof, was reared near Akron, Ohio, and learned the tailor's trade, which he followed until 1865. In that year he went to Iowa and purchased a farm, but soon afterward came to Livingston county, Missouri, here following general agricultural pursuits for a number of years. Subsequently he removed to Abilene, Kansas, where his demise occurred in 1897, when he had attained the age of eighty-three years. His wife had passed away at Bryan, Ohio, in 1854, when forty-four years of age. Both were strict Presbyterians in religious faith. Politically Mr. Roof was an old-line whig until the organization of the republican party, the ranks of which he joined. Unto him and his wife were born three sons and two daughters, as follows: Susan E., the deceased wife of Nicholas Downey; George W., who is a resident of Albion, Indiana; Albert J., of this review; Robert D., of Pekin, Illinois, who was killed in the Civil war; and Harriet L., the wife of George W. Faulk, of Columbiana county, Ohio.
Albert J. Roof, whose name introduces this review, remained in Ohio until about seventeen years of age and worked at farm labor. Subsequently he went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and learned the printer's trade in the office of the Pittsburgh Dispatch. Making his way to Canton, Ohio, he secured employment in the office of the Canton Repository and after leaving that place went into the office of Dawson's Daily Times at Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Civil war being in progress, be enlisted for service in the Union army as a member of Company F, Twelfth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, remaining with that command for sixteen months, at the end of which time he was honorably discharged owing to the fact that he had been disabled by injury while in Virginia. Following the war he worked in Peoria and later became identified with the Chicago Tribune and Times offices as a printer. Afterward he was employed at his trade in St. Louis and various other cities and eventually began the publication of the Batavia (Ill.) News. In 1878 he came from Hutchinson, Kansas, to Chillicothe, Missouri, and has here remained to the present time, serving for a number of years as a reporter on the Chillicothe Tribune. He is now public administrator of Livingston county, and also acts as notary public and pension attorney, his services in each capacity proving most satisfactory.
On the 30th of May, 1867, in Peoria, Illinois, Major Roof was united in marriage to Mrs. Amelia E. Lewin, a native of New York city and the widow of Walter Levin of St. Louis. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Matthias F. Spencer, were natives of Maryland and New York respectively. Major and Mrs. Roof had three children. Albert B., who acts as station agent at Lakenan, Missouri, has been twice married and by his first wife, Mrs. Charlotte Roof, had three children: Bertha F., Lorene A. and Lewis. After the demise of Mrs. Charlotte Roof he wedded Miss Josie Carter, by whom he has one living child, Lavyrne. Warren A., a resident of Amarillo, Texas, married Effie Ewing and has two daughters, Della Ray and Hazel Lee. Harry V., who makes his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is married and has three children. The three sons of our subject are all railroad men. Mrs. A. J. Roof, the wife of our subject, passed to her eternal rest on the morning of January 6, 1913.
Major Roof gave his political allegiance to the republican party until the nomination of Taft in Chicago but is now affiliated with the new progressive party. Fraternally he was identified with the Knights of Pythias and he maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades through his membership in Tyndall Post, No. 29, G. A. R. His wife is a devoted member of the Presbyterian church. Upright and honorable in all life's relations, they are highly respected and esteemed in the community where they reside.