Contributed by Barbara Hill

Abraham Rothrock
Barbara J. Hill

     Abraham was born 6 Nov 1796 in Northampton County, PA, and grew up in Mifflin, PA.  His first wife was Hannah (no known children) and his second wife was Mary (Polly) Beshoar (Bashore).  He succeeded his father in the ministry and bishopric in Mifflin County.  He was a farmer and a minister in the Church of the Brethren.  In 1858 Abraham moved to Kansas and settled a few miles south of Lawrence as part of a community of Brethren.

     From “A History of the Church of the Brethren in Kansas” by Elmer LeRoy Craik, 1922, page 351:

     "During the drought of 1860 he [Abraham Rothrock] was sent on a visit to solicit aid from eastern congregations for the destitute in Kansas.  On 21 Aug. 1863 he was, in a most brutal manner assaulted and shot by members of the Quantrill band as they were leaving the town of Lawrence, which they had just sacked.  This tragedy did not, however, shake his well-grounded principles and he remained active in the work of the church till the end, passing away on 6 Feb, 1870, at the age of 72 years and 3 months.  The funeral at Pleasant Grove was conducted by brethren James E. Hilkey, Peter Brubaker, and J. W. Hoppin.  One who knew him intimately has said of him: 'He was the best man I ever knew.'  The family of Brother Rothrock consisted of a wife, who survived until 14 Dec. 1893, five sons, and three daughters.

     "His wounds may have been to his neck, shoulder and chin.  A Baptist preacher, a neighbor who came to help him asked, 'Mr. Rothrock, what would you do if you had those men in your power now?'  He answered 'I would convert every one of them.'  He remained active in the work of the church, Washington Creek (Pleasant Grove), to the end.  He was first buried on a son's farm but was later moved to Brumbaugh German Baptist Cemetery (now in the Coyer Cemetery District, Palmyra Township, Douglas County) where is wife is also buried."

     From “Bulletin Rothrock Families," Vol. I, No. 2, pg. 2:

     "Quantrill Raid -- Clara Saxman of Whittier, CA, remembers her grandmother's story of the raid which she writes as follows:

     “My mother, [Elizabeth] the youngest of the family, was ten years old at the time and remembered very vividly the events of that tragic day.  Their nearest neighbor was a Southerner and an acquaintance of Quantrill.  It was at this place that Quantrill ate dinner.  From this neighbor he learned that grandfather [Abraham] was a Northern sympathizer and had sons in the Union cavalry.  After dinner they came over to grandfather's.  Grandmother [Mary (Polly)] prevailed upon grandfather to hide in the cornfield near the house.  When they set fire to the house, grandmother and Aunt Mary [Mary Ann Rothrock] tried to take some things out of the house.  One of the men cursed grandmother and threatened to shoot her.  Grandfather seeing it from the cornfield came out to protect her.  He was met at the porch and shot three times, once in the neck, in the shoulder and in the left lung.  He fell down into the open cellarway.  A man who had stopped at grandfather's a number of times when teaming through there on the Santa Fe Trail told Aunt Mary she had better get her father out before the house fell in on him, and he helped her get him out just before the house fell in.  One of the men threatened to shoot him, and Auntie too, but she was such a spitfire she defied them and succeeded in dragging grandfather out of danger of the fire.  After burning everything on the place and depriving them of water by sinking the water bucket in the well, the raiders hastily left and went back to Missouri barely escaping an encounter with the cavalry and leaving a trail of desolation behind them.  Grandfather lived seven years afterwards but was never able to use his left arm.”

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