Here is a photo of Elizabeth Rohde (née Woike), whom we last saw hurrying across the old family farm in Ohio. Elizabeth was my maternal grandmother’s paternal grandmother. She seems much younger in this photo, although it’s difficult to be sure, and no date is given for that picture or this one. My wild guess is that this was taken sometime in the 1920s, but I can offer no forensic evidence to support that conclusion.
This photo was in a batch that my mother gave me recently, a batch loosely associated with an old Rohde family photo album, from which they all seem to have fallen out or been pried away. My mother remembers her great grandmother Rohde to have been small in physical stature.
Elizabeth was born in 1868 in Prussia, probably near the north coast of what is now Germany or Poland. In 1872, when she was four years old, she and her two brothers were brought to America by her parents John Woike (also sometimes seen as Weike, Woikey and Woika) and Regina (Radtke) Woike. In the New World she gained two more brothers and two sisters, all born in Ohio.
Elizabeth married native Ohioan Charles August Rohde in 1885 or 1886, before she had seen twenty summers. They farmed in Brunswick, Medina County, and had six children, including my great grandfather William Carl Rohde. She continued to run the farm and supervise sales of fruit from its orchard after Charles’ death, and she herself died at her home seven years later on 12 April, 1955, at the age of 87.
A newspaper article written about her in a local paper in about 1949 notes that Elizabeth always kept candy and cookies around for children who happened to stop by the house, a tradition “as German as kraut” that she brought over from her native country. I imagine children found themselves visiting Mrs. Rohde at home quite often. – mdf
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Pencil: “Grandma Rohde”