Rothmer I. Silliman was born on March 27, 1842, in Sterling, Whiteside County, Illinois. He was the son of Ira and Melissa (Brooke) Silliman. In 1846, they moved to Como, Illinois, where he grew up. In 1860, he became a bookkeeper for Simeon Sampson, a grain dealer in Sterling, Illinois. Two years later, he began farming in Whiteside County. He married Lucy Newmen of Elk Horn Grove, Illinois, on
November 9, 1864. She was born on October 16, 1842. He farmed and taught school in Whiteside County. Rothmer and Lucy moved to Wisner, Nebraska, where they lived in a sod house. He dealt in lumber, grain, and livestock. While there, they
suffered drought and a locust plague. He had a chance to buy a lumber and grain business in Nevada and the couple moved here in 1877. He purchased the Amouth Elevator in 1878. With his sons, Homer and Edwin, Rothmer was one of the founders of the First National Bank in Nevada. Later his sons worked with him in banking in Cambridge and Colo. In 1893, Rothmer and Homer went to Cedar Falls
and opened a bank.
Their children were Homer N., Edwin R., Mahala, Emma, Alice, and Ira A. They were active in the Methodist Episcopal Church. He served on church,
library, and school boards. They were active in community affairs of the time. Rothmer was a member of IOOF.
Rothmer died February 13, 1896, at the age of 54. At the time of his death, they owned several farms in Story County. In 1900, following Rothmer’s death, the family gave $3,000 toward the building of the public library in Nevada. Lucy was 98 when she died on May 6, 1941. Rothmer, Lucy, and Edwin are buried in Nevada Cemetery.
Pioneer Families >