Friday, June 29, 2018

The Sad Tale Of The Rothe Family of Delmar

In 1919 Benjamin Rothe Sr and Benjamin Rothe Jr purchased a farm outside of Delmar.  Ben sr was married to Claire Hummel Rothe (1864- .)  Ben Sr was born in Wisconsin in 1858.  He married Claire Hummel there in 1882.  They travel to California to Yountville, Napa Valley  California.  In 1896 Ben Jr was born there.  About 1915 they came to Delaware where Ben Jr married and then divorced Blanche Dill.  In 1919 he married again to Camellia Sarah Dantinne in Elkton Maryland.  Camellia parents are John Baptist Dantinne and Mary Seraphina Jackman of Cecil Pa. Camellia had a sister, Mary, who was married to George Quillen of Salisbury.  Both families of Rothes lived outside of Delmar, first on the Maryland side of town and then on the Delaware side of town.  In July of 1921 Ben Sr was arrested for bootlegging and running a speakeasy on Shelly Elliott farm two miles from Delmar.  He had at the time of his arrest 10 gallons mash and 6 gallons of wine. 

In December of 1921 Camellia had grown bored with Ben Jr and Delmar.  She use to drive to Salisbury to watch the movies and there mean Daniel Joseph (DJ) Pabst who convinced her to run off with him.  They head for New York State where she uses the name Ruth Pabst and writes Ben Jr she has been abducted and held prisoner.  She writes this letter to Ben

After about three months the police find the two of them and sentences D J Pabst to five months of hard labor and Camellia to reform prison.  After a few weeks Camellia is returned to Delmar.

 In 1929 Ben Sr is ill and goes into the Peninsular General Hospital for an operation.  It is unsuccessful and he died on October 24, 1929.  He is buried in Delmar’s Mount Olive ( St Stephens) Cemetery.  His wife Claire returns to California, loses her mind and is put in a mental hospital.

Life settles down for Ben and Camellia, in 1944 they put their farm up for sale.  It  was advertised for sale as; 89 acres, 5 room house, 10,500 boilers, 25 ton coal, 2 ½ miles north of Delmar.  The couple moves to Greenwood.

In June of 1955 while driving near Smyrna, Delaware he pulls off on the side of the road and put two .32 caliber bullets in his head killing himself. He is buried at St Stephens Cemetery alongside his father.  Camellia would move to Millington, Maryland and dies in 1979.  She too is buried by her husband at St Stephens Cemetery.

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