Saturday, November 04, 2017

Jacob H. Roth, Former Superintendent of Sandusky Parks

After working as a gardener for the city of Sandusky for a few years, on September 3, 1897 Jacob H. Roth was appointed superintendent of parks, a position he held until his retirement on January 1, 1940. He was born in Germany in 1869, and studied gardening at Heidelberg University in Germany, though he did not graduate from high school. He emigrated to the United States as a young man, and on May 22, 1895, married Christine Hacker. They had two children, Helen who died in 1926, and Ferdinand, who died in 1938.  

In 1930, Jacob H. Roth achieved some local fame by crossing a lemon with a grapefruit; the result was a fruit that was larger than an ordinary lemon, but smaller than a grapefruit. The “synthetic lemon” was a big attraction at the city greenhouse’s “Mum Show” held in November of 1930.  

Mr. Roth made news in the April 27, 1933 issue of the Sandusky Register, when he caught four youngsters, all about the age of ten, trampling flower beds in Washington Park. He marched all four of the youths to the Sandusky Police Station, where Sergeant Al Tremper gave them a lecture. Since the boys promised to stay away from the flower beds in the city parks, Sergeant Tremper let them go to enjoy the rest of the day. Sergeant Tremper was impressed that Mr. Roth not only caught the boys, but none of the young men escaped on the walk to the police station. 

In 1936 a highlight of Washington Park was a fifteen foot loving cup, made from over 14,000 plants.

When it was announced that Mr. Roth would be retiring soon, Sandusky City Manager, R.L.J. Wagar said, in part, “Under Jacob Roth our parks have been one of our main attractions for drawing people to Sandusky and a constant joy for all of us to behold and we cannot afford to let the parks be neglected in any way when Jake leaves us.” Indeed, the city parks of Sandusky are still a beautiful asset to our city. 

Jacob H. Roth died on April 9, 1948. He was a member of St. Stephen’s Evangelical and Reformed Church, and the Woodmen of America. He was survived by his widow Christine, and two granddaughters. Burial was in Oakland Cemetery. 

Below is a picture postcard of Washington Park, taken during the time that Jacob H. Roth served as superintendent of the parks of the city of Sandusky.


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