From the book about Wabasha Co. Minnesota
“HISTORY OF WABASHA COUNTY”
Compiled by Dr. L. H. Bunnell
Published Chicago by H. H. Hill, Publishers, 1884
Republished Currently by Higginson Books
Roff, Henry, (page 1063), farmer, Lake City, was born May 26, 1828, in Yates county, New York, and is the ninth child of Henry and Clementine (Brown) Roff, who became the parents of eleven children. In 1837 they removed to Crawford county, Pennsylvania, where the father died in 1841 and the mother in 1845. The early youth of our subject was spent on the farm, where he enjoyed but a limited means of gaining an education. He was married in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, September 28, 1852, to Miss Clarrisa Hotchkiss, a native of Crawford county, Pennsylvania, born January 28, 1837. Early in the spring of 1856 Mr. Roff decided to seek on the fertile prairies of Minnesota a better reward for his labor and investment than the sterile soil of the east then yielded, and at the same time secure for himself a home in a state where land in value was within his reach. He came by railroad to Chicago, bringing with him his team and wagon; at that point he loaded his effects, with his wife and two children, in the wagon and drove through to Olmstead county, Minnesota, three hundred and fifty miles, arriving there in May. He at once pre-empted a quarter-section of government land in Eyota township, on which he made final proof and paid for the same fall. Fearing the severity of a Minnesota winter on the prairie, he removed to Winona late in the fall, where he put in a profitable winter in the wood business, notwithstanding the deep snow and intense cold witnessed here during the winter of 1857. The next spring he concluded not to return to his farm, but came to Lake City, landing here on May 1. The next day he began to build a house, into which he moved six days later. That spring he started in the butcher business, opening the first meat-market in Lake City. In 1864 he sold out the market, and with his family went to Montana, where he engaged in mining two years, and again returned to Lake City a wiser if not a richer man. Butchering was again resumed and followed till 1876, when, on account of his own and his daughter’s ill health, he sold out his entire business and took his family to New Mexico. On his return to Lake City he purchased a small farm near the city limits and engaged in farming. In the spring of 1880 he bought a farm of two hundred and forty acres in Gilford township, on which his son now resides. He is a member of the three Masonic orders of this city. His children’s names in the order of their birth are: Ellen, now Mrs. Frank Bouton; Henry L., on the farm; Mary L., wife of Henry Nelson, of Red Wing; Clara B., Minnie C. and Julia.