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RG5330.AM:  Rohrke-Zutz Family

Papers:  1853-1962, mostly 1923-1962

Hoskins, Wayne County and Norfolk, Madison County, Nebraska; Indianapolis, Indiana

Size:  1.5 cu.ft.; 3 boxes


Martha Elise Zutz, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Zutz, was born on June 23, 1870, near Norfolk, Nebraska.  She was married to Richard George Rohrke, a cashier at the Hoskins State Bank, on August 31, 1898.  They had three children, Ruth, Lloyd, and Paul, as well as six grandchildren.  Martha and Richard lived in Hoskins, Nebraska where she was involved with the church Ladies’ Aid Society, quilting, reading, visiting, and homemaking.  After Richard died on December 15, 1940, Martha lived in the Hoskins-Norfolk area during part of the year, and in Indiana with Ruth, Ruth’s husband Martin Stoeppleworth, and their three children the rest of the year.  In later years she lived in the Hoskins-Norfolk area year round.  She often visited her son Lloyd in Chicago.  Martha died at age 93 on July 15, 1963.


This collection relates to the life of Martha Rohrke and the Rohrke-Zutz family, and is arranged in two series:  1) Martha (Zutz) Rohrke papers; and 2) Rohrke-Zutz family papers.

The bulk of Series 1 consists of the diaries of Martha (Zutz) Rohrke dating from 1923 to 1962.  Entries describe Martha’s daily life as she lives in Hoskins, Nebraska, Norfolk, Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska, and Indianapolis, Indiana.  Most entries are of a general, factual nature, but some offer more detail.  Three subjects are emphasized throughout the diaries.  The first is genealogy; hers, her extended families’, and her friends’.  The second is health; hers, her childrens’ and her friends’.  Of note are the May 2, 1945 to June 23, 1945 entries in which she describes her stay at the New Meridian Sanatorium in Crofton, Nebraska.  Here she received various treatments to help alleviate her chronic pain.  The third subject is that of expenses; daily expenses, investments, purchases of major items, etc.  Lists of these are interspersed throughout the diaries.  Other interesting entries relate to World War II as it affected her life and the American home front.  Also included in Series 1 are Martha’s obituary; an article about the 1884 Norfolk, Nebraska, St. Paul Lutheran Church confirmation class; her autograph book; a notebook of school writings; a correspondence ledger; and correspondence with her son, Lloyd and his wife Frances.

Series 2, Rohrke-Zutz family papers, consists of family letters and documents written in German (dating from 1853-1910); land documents; and other personal papers relating to various members of the family, including Christian Huebner and Martin G. Rohrke, Lloyd E. Rohrke, Richard G. Rohrke and Paul Rohrke.

Note:  See the photo component [RG5330.AM] for related images.


Series 1 – Martha (Zutz) Rohrke papers

Box 1


  1. Diary, Nov. 29, 1923-May 4 1933 [scattered entries]

    Diary, May 5, 1933-March 17, 1934

  2. Diary, March 18, 1934-December 31, 1934

  3. Diary, January 1, 1935-March 29, 1936

  4. Diary, April 1, 1936-January 16, 1937

  5. Diary, January 17, 1937- October 13, 1937

  6. Diary, October 14, 1937-March 31, 1938

  7. Diary, April 1, 1938-June 24, 1939

  8. Diary, June 25, 1939-December 20, 1940 [scattered entries]; includes a list of letters she wrote at the end.

  9. Diary, January 1, 1941-November 30, 1941 [scattered entries]; after November 17 there is a 6-page list of letters written.

Box 2


  1. Diary, December 1, 1941 – December 31, 1942 [scattered entries]; lists of visitors and expenses at the end

  2. Diary, January 1, 1943-January 17, 1944; list of expenses at the end

  3. Diary, January 18, 1944-September 10, 1944; list of expenses at the end

  4. Diary, September 11, 1944-February 28, 1945; list of expenses at the end

  5. Diary, March 1, 1945-September 30, 1945; 2-page list of expenses after September 28, 1945

  6. Diary, October 1, 1945-March 30, 1946; 2-page list of expenses at the end

  7. Diary, April 1, 1946-December 5, 1946; 2-page list of expenses at the end

  8. Diary, December 6, 1946-January 31, 1948; 9-page list of expenses at the end

  9. Diary, February 1, 1948-November 15, 1949; 5-page list of expenses between September 18, and 19, then another list of expenses between October 14 and 15

  10. Diary, November 16, 1949-June 15, 1950; includes a 3-page list of expenses, a 6-page list of letters and cards, and a list of gifts received at the end

    Diary, June 16, 1950-Dec. 31, 1950; half page of expenses

  11. Diary, Jan. 1, 1959-Dec. 31, 1959 [scattered entries]; list of expenses at end

    Diary, Jan. 1, 1961-Oct. 28, 1961 [scattered entries]; list of expenses at end

Box 3


  1. Diary, Jan. 6, 1962-Sept. 11, 1962 [scattered entries]

  2. Obituary and newspaper article

  3. Martha Zutz’s school writings, 1883 [in German]

  4. Autograph book belonging to Martha Zutz, 1884-1889

  5. Correspondence with Lloyd and Frances Rohrke, 1923-1959

  6. Correspondence ledger, 1941-1953, and 1962

Series 3 – Rohrke-Zutz family papers

  1. Richard G. Rohrke, land transactions and official correspondence

  2. Richard G. Rohrke, German letters, obituary, etc.

  3. Paul Rohrke, business correspondence

  4. Lloyd E. Rohrke papers

  5. German material (mostly relating to Wilhelm Zutz)

  6. Land documents (see oversize)


MJR/kfk                04-24-2003; 04-15-2004

Revised TMM      08-10-2005; 02-19-2019