Martin S. Rochelle

A resident of Wichita for nearly forty years, the late Martin S. Rochelle here achieved distinctive success in connection with business affairs and was a citizen who commanded unequivocal esteem in the community. He was a native of the old Buckeye State and represented same as a gallant soldier in the Civil war.

Mr. Rochelle was born near Columbus, the capital city of Ohio, on the 25th of November, 1842, and at his home in the City of Wichita, Kansas, his death occurred February 25th, 1908. He acquired his youthful education in the public schools of Columbus, and was a youth of eighteen years at the inception of the Civil war. He promptly tended his aid in defense of the Union, by enlisting in Company C, Forty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served four years with this gallant command and its history virtually constitutes the record of his military career. He took part in twenty-six of the strenuous battles of the great conflict between the states of the North and the South, and was with General Sherman in the ever memorable march from Atlanta to the sea, and for a considerable part of his services he held the office of commissary sergeant.

After the close of the war Mr. Rochelle engaged in business at Gahanna, Franklin County, Ohio, where he held for some time the position of postmaster. He finally sold his business at that place and number himself among the pioneers of Kansas. He engaged in the hotel business at Independence, judicial center of Montgomery County, and on January 1, 1872, he established his permanent residence at Wichita. Here he was engaged in the real-estate business for a period of about fifteen years, during which his progressive policies and honorable methods enabled him to aid materially in the civic and social development and upbuilding of the ambitious little city. In 1888 Mr. Rochelle here established a sanitarium for the treatment and cure of cancer, and the effective system of treatment which he employed did much to relieve human suffering, the treatment at his sanitarium having enabled him to build up a substantial and successful business and likewise to prove a true benefactor. He continued to give his personal supervision to the affairs of his well equipped sanitarium until the time of his death and gained to the institution a wide and commendable reputation. Since his demise his widow has successfully continued the beneficient institution and has proved herself a specially able business woman.

On the 6th of September, 1860, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Rochelle to Miss Margaret J. Hanson, of Franklin County, Ohio, and they became the parents of two sons: Homer L., who was summoned to the life eternal on the 23rd of November, 1911, had, about five years previously, established a cancer sanitarium at Kansas City, Kansas, and, since his death the institution has been conducted by his widow, Dr. Mae E. Rochelle; Charles, the younger of the two sons, is a representative contractor and builder in the City of Wichita.

Dr. Rochelle was one of the charter members of the Garfield Post, No. 25, of Wichita, and was one of the prime movers of the organization of the post.

Source: Connelly, William E. 1918. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company.

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