Throughout his entire life Winfield Scott Rochelle has been connected with agricultural interests in Franklin county. He was born September 25, 1847, on the farm where he now resides. His father, John Rochelle, was a native of Sussex County, New Jersey, born in 1805. There he was reared to manhood and learned the trade of an iron-worker, being employed in the days before the advent of the furnace, when the iron ore was taken from the mines and worked into its various stages from the forge. While still in New Jersey Mr. Rochelle was married, and four of his children were born there. In December, 1836, he came with his family to Ohio and settled on the farm now occupied by our subject, purchasing eighty-one acres of land from a Mr. Mills, who was the original owner of the entry from the government. Later Mr. Rochelle added a tract of one hundred and sixty acres in Mercer county and some time subsequently purchased one hundred and twenty-five acres of land adjoining the home farm. There he resided up to the time of his death, which occurred October 26, 1877. He was a stanch supporter of Republican principles and believed firmly in the party, but never sought office. Although a member of no church, he regularly attended the services of the old school Baptist church, of which his wife had been a member for a half-century.
Mrs. Rochelle bore the maiden name of Lucinda Search, and was born in Sussex county, New Jersey, her parents being Martin and Elizabeth (Rorick) Search. Her father was a native of New Jersey and was an iron-worker by trade, following that pursuit in connection with his son-in-law, John Rochelle. His wife was born in Holland [sic], and both died in Muskingum county, Ohio. Mrs. Search came to this state with John Rochelle in 1836 and took up her abode in the home of her son near Zanesville, while her husband remained in New Jersey and settled up some business affairs and to attend a lawsuit over some property. As the litigation continued over a period of several years he did not become a resident of Ohio until 1869. He lived to the advanced age of ninety-two years, and his wife passed away at the ripe old age of ninety-three. It will thus be seen that longevity is a characteristic of the family, and their daughter, Mrs. Rochelle, is still living, at the advanced age of ninety-two years. She is one of the remarkable women of the county, retaining her mental and physical faculties to a wonderful degree. Through fifty years she has held membership in the Baptist Church, and has been one of its active workers, contributing largely to its support and doing all in her power for its upbuilding and growth. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Rochelle were born twelve children, six of whom are yet still living: Dency, the widow of C.H. Barber of Grand Rapids, MI; Mary A., the wife of Daniel Hickman of Truro township, Franklin county; Martin S., a practicing physician of Wichita, Kansas; Winfield; and Phebe C., the wife of W.I. Hempstead of Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
Winfield Scott Rochelle was reared in his parents’ home until his sixteenth year, when he ran away in order to enlist in the service of his country. He made his way to Columbus, and on the 28th of March, 1864, joined Company C, of the Forty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which was assigned to the Fifteenth Army Corps, commanded by General John A. Logan. With the exception of a few weeks in the hospital in Resaca and Marietta, Georgia, he was continuously with his command until the close of the war, and his loyalty and bravery were equal to that of many a veteran of twice his years. He was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, on the 27th of July, 1865, after having participated in the following engagements: Resaca, Dallas, Allatoona, New Hope Church, Congaree Creek, Atlanta, Griswoldville, Savannah, Charleston and Columbia.
When the war was over and the country no longer needed his services, Mr. Rochelle returned to his home and resumed the work of the farm. He was the only son at home and his labors proved an important factor in the operation of the fields. On the 4th of February, 1875, he was united in marriage to Mrs. Samarida E. Hanson, a native of Jefferson township, Franklin county, and a daughter of James E. Todd, who was born in Virginia and belonged to one of the early families of this county.
After his father’s death Mr. Rochelle continued the operation of the home farm, and from time to time has purchased the interest of other heirs until he now owns all but a small portion of the place. His fields are under a high state of cultivation, many improvements having been added, and everything about the farm is in a thrifty condition, showing that the owner is a practical and progressive agriculturist. He votes with the Republican party, to which he has given his support since attaining to man’s estate. He is recognized as a leader in local ranks, his opinions carrying weight in party councils. For many years past he has been a delegate to the county and state conventions, and in 1899 he was appointed a member of the country board of election, but resigned that office to become a candidate for the nomination for country infirmary director. He belongs to Reynoldsburg Lodge, No. 350, F. & A. M., and also to Daniel Noe Post, G. A. R. The patriotic spirit which prompted his enlistment in the army in his youth has been manifest throughout his life in the discharge of his duties of citizenship, and in all life’s relations he has enjoyed the confidence and regard of his fellow men.
Source: A Centennial Biographical History of the City of Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio. 1901. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company.