William Henry Roll

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They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them. --Laurence Binyon,"Ode of Remembrance"

I have gathered a posie of other men's flowers, and nothing but the string that binds them is mine own. --Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Documenting your family history is a lifelong pursuit, a task of pleasure and research that is never completely finished.

Not to know one's ancestors, is to be a tree without roots, a stream without a source. --Kung-fut-se

The wind whispers through the trees, recalling words and dreams and memories of those who left us long ago. --Unknown

St. Basil of Caesarea, born about 330 A.D., said, "A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love."


This website was created the old-fashioned way; it has been hand coded.

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Harold Depew, Esq.
Real Estate Developer and Genealogist

Spouse(s): Grace H. Demott
Family tree: Harold Depew 1883-1939

Harold Depew, University of Missouri, 1905

Harold Depew, University of Missouri, 1905


207 Broad Street, Elizabeth, N. J.

"Son of Frank S. Depew, traveling salesman, and Martha A. Roll. Born at Linden, Union County, N. J., September 8, 1883. Residences before entering college: Plainfield, N. J.; New York City; East Orange, N. J.; Linden, N. J. Prepared at Barnard Military Academy, September, 1890-June, 1893; Linden public schools, including High School, 1893-1898; Private tutor, January, 1901-September, 1902. At Rutgers, September, 1902-June, 1903. University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, September 1903-June, 1905. Yale University, September, 1905-June, 1906. Chi Phi. In Yale Law School while at the University, graduating with degree LL.B., in office of W. Eugene Turton, Newark, N. J. Admitted to practice law in the State of New Jersey, February 20, 1908. Resided at Linden, Union County, N. J. since leaving college. Occupation, general practice of law and real estate development at 207 Broad Street, Elizabeth, N. J. Received the degree of LL.B. Yale University, June 17, 1908. Treasurer of Linden Township, January 1, 1907 to December 31, 1910. Attorney for Linden Improvement Company. Attorney for C. H. Winans Co. Attorney for Winans Realty Co., N. J. Attorney for Realty Trust Co., N. J. Attorney estate of William Ziegler. Legal representative of various other small corporations. Episcopalian. Republican. Avocation, travel. Married at 769 High Street, Newark, N. J., May 20, 1914, Grace H. DeMott, daughter of William H. DeMott and Florence H. Harrison. Member of Yale Club, New York City.; Oreint Lodge, No. 126, F. and A. M.; Elizabeth Lodge, No. 289, B. P. O. Elks; Meridian Club, New York City; American Legion."

Source: Pratt, Frank Randall. Class of 1906 Rutgers College History to 1916. pp. 24-25.

Another Biography

"HAROLD DEPEW — In 1906 Harold Depew received from Yale University, the degree of LL.B., and from the date Mr. Depew has practiced his profession in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He is also the honored president of Linden National Bank, located in his home town, Linden, a township of Union county, near Elizabeth. Mr. Depew is a son of Frank S. and Martha A. (Roll) Depew, his mother a descendant of John Roll, who came from Germany to New Jersey, and settled on a farm between Westfield and Springfield. The descent is through Abraham Roll, born August 29, 1739. died October 20, 1813. He was twice married, his second wife Caty Vreeland, being the mother of his tenth child, Isaac, who was born later than 1784. Isaac Roll was the ancestor of Martha A. (Roll) Depew. wife of Frank S. Depew. a salesman, and mother of Harold Depew, of Elizabeth, and Linden. New Jersey.

"Harold Depew was born in Linden. New Jersey. September 8, 1883. and there completed public school study, with high school graduation. He was a student at Rutgers, September, 1903, until June, 1903; University of Missouri, September, 1903 - June 1905; and at Yale University Law School, whence be was graduated LL.B., Class of '06. Mr. Depew was admitted to the New Jersey bar as an attorney in March, 1908. and at once began the practice of law in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Later he was admitted a counselor to the various State and Federal courts of his district. He has practiced his profession continuously for the past thirteen years, and has won honorable position at the bar of his native county and State. He is a member of the American Bar Association, New Jersey Bar Association, and Union County Bar Association, and is held in high regard by his brethren of the bench and bar.

"Outside his profession Mr. Depew has important positions in the business world, being president of the Linden National Bank, and a member of the Board of Directors of Roselle Park Trust Company. He is also a director of the Title and Mortgage Guarantee Company; director and treasurer of the Mutual Finance Company; the Realty Purchasing Company: the Richfield Realty Corporation; the Linden Improvement Company; and a solicitor for the Fidelity Building and Loan Association, of Linden, New Jersey. In politics he is a Republican. He served Linden township, Union county, as treasurer for three years, January 1, 1907 - January 1, 1910; as township Judge, January 1, 1008 - January 1, 1911; town attorney, October, 1910 - May 1, 1921. He is a member of the Chi Phi fraternity; Orient Lodge No. 126, Free and Accepted Masons; Elizabeth Lodge No. 289, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Yale, Meridan and Chi Phi Clubs of New York City, Universal Club, St. Louis, Missouri; Graduate Club, New Haven, Connecticut; Linden Country and Linden Craftsman's clubs of Linden; and Colonia Country Club, Rahway, New Jersey.

"Mr. Depew married in Newark, New Jersey, May 20 1914, Grace De Mott, daughter of William S. and Florence H. De Mott."

Source: Honeyman, A. Van Doren. History of Union County New Jersey 1664-1923, Vol. II. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1923, pp. 82, 83.

A Real Estate Developer, 1920

"Harold Depew in the year 1920 conceived the idea of developing in the City of Linden between Stiles Street and the Rahway City line lands for factory sites and industrial purposes. Interested with him in the project was Charles H. Frost, who together with Depew owned a one-half interest in the land. A map was prepared by engineers on which proposed railroad sidings and various streets and plots are shown."

Source: Farber v. Plainfield Trust Co. Court of Chancery, 136 N.J. Eq. 183 (N.J. 1945). Full title: Theodore Farber and Farber Bros. Supply Co., a corporation of the State of New Jersey, complainants, v. The Plainfield Trust Company, Marion Louise Willard and Frances Dorothy Dodds, as executors and trustees under the last will and testament of Charles H. Frost, deceased, et al., defendants.

Obituary, 1939

"Harold Depew Is Dead; Benefactor for Yale

"ELIZABETH, N.J., Oct 20.- Harold, a practicing attorney for 31 years and a pioneer in the development of the city of Linden, died yesterday at his home here following a long illness. He was born in Linden September 8, 1883.

"Depew studied at Bernard Military Academy and later attended Rutgers, the University of Missouri and Yale University. He received his LL.B. degree at Yale in 1906, and in his later years established a fund for Yale estimated at more than $1,000,000 and created when he transferred much of his extensive real estate holdings in Linden and other municipalities to the university."

Source: Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, NJ), October 20, 1939, p. 10.

Harold Depew's contribution to genealogy

Harold was a genealogist, and, although do not have any of his original work, he is identified as a contributor to Richard Timbrook Wilson's Genealogy of the Roll Family:

"J. MARTIN ROLL, SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (Deceased) and HAROLD DEPEW, LINDEN, N.J. for the use of manuscript records and information relating to the descendants of ABRAHAM ROLL."

Source: Wilson, Richard Timbrook. Genealogy of the Roll Family. Ridgewood, NJ, 1921, p. 10.