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RG3584.AM:  Rokahr Family

Papers, etc.:  1862-1969; mostly 1915-1968

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska:  Contractors

Size: 1.5 cu.ft.; 3 boxes


Ernest Fridrich Rokahr, son of Fridrich and Mary (Bockman) Rokahr, was born at Lüderson, Germany on December 22, 1862.  He immigrated to the United States on April 26, 1882 and worked as a stonemason on the East coast before coming to Nebraska from Illinois around 1885.  He married Margaretha Schneider at Keokuk, Iowa, on March 15, 1888, and the couple lived in Omaha, Nebraska.  Ernest worked at the Union Pacific Railroad smelter works from 1885 to 1903.  The couple had five children: Elsie, born June 3, 1888; Harry Carl, born December 5, 1889; Mary Ann, born September 4, 1891; Herbert Frederick, born August 4, 1894; and George Ernest, born November 4, 1897.

Ernest left the Union Pacific and partnered with John C. Marxen in the contracting firm of Marxen & Rokahr.  Marxen was a carpenter and Rokahr was a stonemason.  The firm had their headquarters in Avoca, Iowa, and the Rokahr family moved there.  The company received the contract to build the Crawford County Courthouse at Dennison, Iowa.  The cornerstone for the building was laid on July 30, 1904.  After completing that project, Marxen & Rokahr accepted the contract for building the Seward County Courthouse at Seward, Nebraska.  The firm dissolved before completion of the project and Ernest Rokahr completed the building on his own.  Rokahr established the Trenton Building Company in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1908 and served as general manager.  Later, he changed the name to Ernest Rokahr & Sons.  Ernest Rokahr died in Lincoln, Nebraska, on July 20, 1936.


This collection consists of three boxes of papers relating to Ernest Rokahr’s career as a contractor and to various members of the Rokahr family.  Included in the collection are business records and correspondence, family correspondence and ephemera, and miscellaneous materials collected by the family.  The bulk of the materials date from ca. 1915 to 1968. 


Series 1 – Business records

Box 1


    1. Cash book, 1919-1920

    1. Ledger, 1919-1920

    1. Timekeeper’s book, Security Mutual building, June 1915 to February 1916

    1. Timekeeper’s book, Security Mutual building, February to July, 1916

    1. Timekeeper’s book, Security Mutual building, March to August, 1916

    1. Timekeeper’s book, Security Mutual building, June to August, 1916

    1. Timekeeper’s book, Security Mutual building, August 1916 to January 1917

    1. Timekeeper’s book, Security Mutual building, January to September, 1917

    1. Timekeeper’s book, William Brach job, Hastings, May to October, 1916 (also includes Security Mutual Life Insurance Co., September to November, 1917

    1. Timekeeper’s book, Oakland School, May 1916 to January 1917

    1. Timekeeper’s book, Milford School House and Milford City Hall, May to October, 1917

Box 2


    1. Business correspondence, contracts, etc., 1908-1921, 1948

Series 2 – Family papers

    1. Family correspondence, 1907-1948

    1. Information about the Rokahr residence

    1. Ernest Rokahr biographical information and certificates, 1862-1934

    1. Ernest Rokahr clippings

    1. Ernest Rokahr scrapbook

    1. Ernest Rokahr memorial book, 1936

    1. Ernest Rokahr miscellany

    1. Margaratha Rokahr items

    1. Harry, Mary, Herbert and George Rokahr materials

Box 3


    1. Elsie Rokahr correspondence, 1950 (world tour)

    1. Elsie Rokahr correspondence, 1956-1957 (Turkey)

    1. Elsie Rokahr correspondence, 1958-1959, n.d. (Turkey)

    1. Elsie Rokahr correspondence, 1963-1964 (South America)

    1. Elsie Rokahr correspondence, 1964 (Africa)

    1. Elsie Rokahr correspondence, 1968 (South Pacific)

    1. Elsie Rokahr miscellany, 1888-1969

    1. Miscellaneous


Subject headings:

Ernest Rokahr & Sons (Lincoln, Neb.)

Lincoln (Neb.) — Businesses

Rokahr family

Rokahr, Elsie K., 1888-1970

Rokahr, Ernest, 1862-1936

Rokahr, Harry C., 1889-1963

Rokahr, Herbert F., 1894-1958

Rokahr, Margaretha (Schneider), 1861-1949

Rokahr, Mary Ann, 1891-1972


Trenton Building Company (Lincoln, Neb.)


JEP/DDS/pmc      10-22-1971

Revised TMM      09-13-2021