History of Bridgeport and Vicinity, Volume 3: Biographical – George Curtis Waldo jr.
In three huge volumes George Curtis Waldo jr. has amassed a wealth of information on the beautiful town of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Volume one spans the settlement of the town, its governments, military and educational history and much more. It also includes chapters on the evolution of nearby Stratford and Fairfield. Volumes two and three contain hundreds of biographical sketches of the most prominent men and women of these towns, offering an almost flawless overview of the most important Connecticut people. These three volumes are treasure chests for everyone interested in the history of Connecticut and/or genealogical sources thereof.
History of Bridgeport and Vicinity, Volume 3: Biographical
Excerpt from the text:
Felix Rometsch, a well-known business man of Bridgeport, was born in the kingdom of Wurttemberg, Germany, on the 22nd of September, 1847, and is a son of Louis and Ottilie Rometsch, also natives of Wurttemberg. For many years the father was engaged in the manufacture of dolls’ heads in the city of Stuttgart but in 1869 came to America after the death of his wife. Locating in New York city he became a manufacturer of molds for making fancy candy by confectioners. In 1883 he removed to New Haven, Connecticut, but later returned to New York, where his death occurred.
In the land of his nativity Felix Rometsch was reared and educated but having decided to try his fortune in the new world he crossed the Atlantic in 1865, four years before his father came to the United States. This was immediately after the Civil war, when farm labor was very scarce in the south, and southern plantation owners had agents in New York city hiring all such help as was available. Thus it came about that Mr. Rometsch was hired and went to Alabama, where for two years he was employed on a cotton plantation. He was four years in Tennessee, where he was similarly employed, and then went to southern Indiana, where he worked on tobacco plantations for six years. It was about 1877, when Mr. Rometsch returned to New York city, where his father then resided, he having emigrate from Germany about 1869. In New York city he learned the making of display forms for corsets and devoted several years to that business before he established a business of his own for making plaster casts and molds for the making of fancy candy and fancy candy boxes, known as French candy boxes. In 1883 he became a resident of New Haven, Connecticut, where he was in the employ of the Union Form Company for several years, making corset display forms, and when that company was dissolved all the employees went to New York. Subsequently Mr. Rometsch removed to Norwich, Connecticut, and took charge of the form making department of the Norwich Nickle and Brass Company. In 1889, however, he came to Bridgeport as manager of the display form department for Warner Brothers Corset Company and remained with them five years. Having decided to discontinue that branch of their business Mr. Rometsch persuaded that company to promise that they would give him all their orders for display forms, which they have ever since continued to do. He not only has the patronage of Warner Brothers but also makes all the forms for a number of other corset companies, including the La Resista, the Batcheller and the Crown. He has met with success in this undertaking and now furnishes employment to about twelve hands. For the past eight years his shop has been located at 1027 Housatonic avenue.
In New York city, November 1, 1884, Mr. Rometsch was united in marriage to Miss Anna Linck, also a native of Germany, who came to America in childhood and died in Bridgeport in June, 1916. By this union were born two children, namely: Ottilie, now the wife of August Chambelis, inspector for the Yost Typewriter Company; and William H., who is with Warner Brothers Corset Company at Bridgeport.
Mr. Rometsch makes his home at No. 30 Randall avenue. He is a member of the Universalist church and is a believer in the principles of the democratic party but at the polls votes an independent ticket, supporting the men whom he believes best qualified to fill the offices regardless of party ties. In business affairs he has always been found thoroughly reliable and he well merits the high esteem in which he is held.
Dr. Clarence E. C. Atkins, engaged in the practice of dentistry in Bridgeport with office in the Security building, was born in Nova Scotia, October 8, 1880, a son of Charles Edward and Marguerite Augusta (Schutz) Atkins, who were natives of Nova Scotia and of Buffalo, New York, respectively. The father was for many years actively -engaged in the manufacture of cigars, and is now living in Orlando, Florida, but the mother passed away in 1914.
During his childhood the parents of Dr. Atkins removed to Bridgeport. Here he grew to manhood, acquiring his education in the public schools. While still in his teens. Dr. Atkins put aside his textbooks and for several years traveled extensively through the south and west, also visiting Mexico and British Columbia and returning in 1900 to become associated with his father in the cigar manufacturing business, Charles E. Atkins, Sr., being at that time the proprietor of three different stores in Bridgeport. He carried on both a retail and wholesale business and in the manufacture of cigars employed a considerable number of workmen. At length Dr. Atkins determined to turn his attention from commercial to professional interests and in 1905 became a student in the Philadelphia Dental College, from which he was graduated in 1908. He began the practice of dentistry in Bridgeport. For a short time he was associated with Dr. Frederick Hindsley and since that time he has continuously followed his profession in his own office in this city. He is president of the Bridgeport Dental Society, a fact which indicates his popularity among his fellow practitioners. He was previously secretary of the society for three terms. He also belongs to the State and National Dental Societies, and he enjoys the full confidence and regard of his colleagues and contemporaries.
On the 16th of August, 1915, Dr. Atkins was married to Miss Lillian Robie Spencer, a native of Bridgeport, where she is widely known socially. The doctor gives his political support to the republican party and fraternally is connected with the Improved Order of Red Men. He enjoys baseball, football, fishing, hunting, boating, a good saddle horse and a motor car, but his chief recreations are horseback riding and motoring. He is fond of music and a guitarist of no mean ability. Dr. Atkins is a young man alert, energetic and actively interested in the welfare of his community and maintains a high professional and personal reputation.
Dr. Robert Douglas Roller, Jr., physician and surgeon of Bridgeport, who is associated with Dr. W. Lee Weadon in the ownership of the Galen Hospital, was born in Richmond, Virginia, May 24, 1879, a son of the Rev. Robert Douglas and Carrie (Booker) Roller, who are also natives of the Old Dominion. The father is an Episcopal minister, now rector of St. John’s church of Charleston, West Virginia, where he has served for nearly thirty years.
Dr. Roller was reared in Charleston and acquired his more specifically literary education in the University of West Virginia at Morgantown, from which he was graduated in 1900. Later he entered upon preparation for the practice of medicine and surgery and in 1905 won his M. D. degree from the University College of Medicine at Richmond, Virginia. For nine years thereafter he continued in active practice in West Virginia but in 1915 removed to Bridgeport and became identified with the Galen Hospital as one of its owners and managers, entering into business relations with Dr. W. Lee Weadon, a former classmate in the medical college. He keeps in touch with the trend of modem thought and scientific investigation along the lines of medical and surgical practice as a member of the Bridgeport, the Fairfield County, the Connecticut State and the American Medical Associations. He specializes in internal medicine and is now clinical assistant in the department of medicine in the New York Post Graduate School.
In leisure hours Dr. Roller finds pleasure and companionship in the University, Seaside and Brooklawn Clubs and he is also well-known in Masonic circles, having taken the degrees of lodge, chapter and commandery, while in his life he exemplifies the beneficent spirit upon which the craft is founded.
Frederick C. Eckart is a factor in the business development of Bridgeport as senior partner of the Eckart Brothers Brewing Company. He was born in this city in 1879, of the marriage of George and Caroline Eckart, who in 1865 emigrated from Meiningen, Germany, to the United States. They first settled in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, but in 1868 came to Bridgeport and here the father, in association with a half-brother, Frederick Ehrsam, established the Eagle Brewing Company, which is now known as the Eckart Brothers Brewing Company. The father passed away in 1889, but the mother survives To them were born three children: Frederick C, of this review; George, who is the junior partner in the Eckart Brothers Brewing Company; and Louise, who married Franz Schulz, of Bridgeport.
Frederick C. Eckart graduated from the high school in Bridgeport and then went to New York city, where he took a full course at the National Brewers College, receiving the degree of Master Brewer. In further preparation for his life work he was connected for some time with the John Kress Brewing Company of New York city and was for two and a half years employed by the James Wallace Brewing Company, also of New York. He thus added to his theoretical knowledge broad practical experience and upon his return to Bridgeport was qualified to take an active part in the management of the brewery established by his father. In 1896 he and his brother took over the concern, which they reorganized under the name of the Eckart Brothers Brewing Company. In the intervening twenty-one years they have added many improvements to the plant, the most important being a large bottling works. They employ an average of fifteen men and two trucks are required in delivering their goods to various parts of the city. They make high class porter, beer and ale, and the local demand for their product is so great that almost the entire output of the brewery is sold in Bridgeport.
Mr. Eckart was married in 1902 to Miss Louise Cunningham, of Bridgeport, and they have three children: Carl, John and Louise. It is the intention of Mr. Eckart to give all of his children a college education. Fraternally Ije is connected with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Improved Order of Red Men. In politics he is an independent democrat but the demands of his private business interests have been so heavy that he has had no time to take an active part in public affairs. Among his salient characteristics are determination, energy and good judgment, qualities which go far toward insuring success in any field of endeavor.