A Town in Arizona, USA Bearing the "ROLL" Name

ROLL Reunion

ROLL, Yuma County, Arizona, USA 85347

Location: 3245'6"N 11359'18"W
Elevation: 259 feet

ROLL, Arizona Home Page - City facts, weather, entertainment, etc.

The town of ROLL, Arizona was founded by John Howard Roll, born August 04, 1891 in Santa Clara, California, USA and died in Yuma, Arizona on March 29, 1974. He is the grandson of Johannes Roll, born December 5, 1772 in the area of Kehl, Baden, Germany and died September 2, 1868 in Sauk County, Wisconson, USA. Johannes emigrated to America in 1852 with his daughter, Marianna.
You can find this ROLL family branch in the Worldwide ROLL Family Database

ROLL, ARIZONA, USA - Aerial View

ROLL, ARIZONA, USA - Aerial View





Barbara Postier of Kalispell, MT, USA writes on December 1, 2000 (mmbear@@bigsky.net): "My husband's great uncle, Johann ROLL, born August 04, 1891, homesteaded land in Roll, AZ. He donated 5 acres for a churchyard and picnic grounds. He gave the right of way to Southern Pacific Railroad. The town was named for him, but he never lived there. His son, Jack, lives there. Johann's grandfather, Johannes ROLL, was born December 5, 1772 in the state of Baden, Germany. He lived to be almost 94 years old, dying September 2, 1868 and is buried in Honey Creek, Sauk County, Wisconson. Johannes emigrated to the United States in 1852 with his daughter, Marianna born 1803. He lived with his son Andrew, born May 11, 1814. When Andrew died he lived with Marianna at the home of her son, Jacob VEIDT. Johannes possibly had one other child who remained in Germany.

I have a newspaper article on ROLL, Arizona" . . .

Santa Clara Family went on to found Arizona Town

By Patricia Loomis, Staff Writer

A little town on the Gila River east of Yuma, Arizona, is tied to a Santa Clara, California, Family that has taken an important part in city and county government over the past century.

You don't have to be an old timer for the name "Roll" to conjure up memories of members of the big family that stemmed from five brothers who began arriving from Wisconsin in the late 1870s when Santa Clara was still a small town wrapped around the college.

In Arizona the name means a machine shop, post office, tavern and general store named for the son of one of the brothers.

Roll, Arizona is a tiny crossroads settlement off Highway 80, visited this spring by several members of the Metropolitan Adult Education Argonaut Historical Society who were following the Anza trail along the Gala. Most helpful in answering questions on the little town's history, the postmaster eventually admitted he was Jack Roll, son of the founder of the town.

The late John H. Roll (1891-1974) and several other Santa Clara County businessmen invested in land along the Gila River back in 1924 about the time the Southern Pacific railroad was being re-routed through this section of Arizona. Roll, who had served in World War I and was working for the State Highway Department in Santa Clara, decided to settle on his land. He built a home, planted a crop, and put up a grocery store beside the shining steel tracks. The SP built a station and called it Roll, and on November 3, 1926, the post office was established with John H. taking over the job his son holds today.

The founder of Roll, Arizona, was born in Santa Clara, the son of John Roll, who had spent a couple of years mining and working in construction on Turkey Creek in the Prescott area of Arizona before following his brothers to the mission town in 1884.

The elder John Roll worked for the Pacific Manufacturing Company in Santa Clara and was on the town board of trustees during the period the water and electrical power systems were acquired.

In 1894 he was elected to the county board of supervisors, and was winding up his eighth consecutive term when he died August 16, 1925. He was one of the organizers of the state association of county supervisors and served as its treasurer and president.

John Roll was also instrumental in the development of the county's road system and in the expansion and improvement of the county hospital.

He and his wife, Emma (who died in 1937), were the parents of a daughter and three sons, Clara, Robert I., (employed in the county assessor and tax payers offices for 33 years), August, (Santa Clara hardware dealer and city councilman) and John H. A grandson, J. Robert Roll, was chief engineer for the Santa Clara Valley Water District a number of years.

The other four Wisconsin brother who helped spread the Roll name about were George, Frank, Felix and Robert B., the latter foundr of the Santa Clara Building and Loan Association in 1888 and the Enterprise Steam Laundry in 1894. He also was city trustee, mayor and treasurer of Santa Clara.

Roll, Arizona, which during World War II was a camp for German and Italian prisoners of war, serves a rich farming area with a population of more than 700, but it is rare to find more than a couple of pickup trucks parked in front of the post office or the Tamarack Inn. Roll is busier during the grain harvest when freight trains make their only tops of the year.

John H. (Jack) Roll and his wife and two daughters grow alfalfa and cotton on 160 acres north of town. Along the road in from the highway there are orange groves and cultivated fields.

This spring the Gila River, which meanders across southern Arizona, sometimes slipping underground and sometimes rising up over its banks flooded much of the real estate around Roll and closed one of the two roads that come off the highway.

It was reminiscent of election day September 7, 1926 where voters waded knee deep to vote at Roll's store following a cloud burst upstream that sent the errant Gila on the rampage.

Santa Clara has remembered the Roll family with sign posts on a tree running south off Warburton Avenue between San Tomas Expressway and Scott Boulevard.

Although there's no big sign on the highway, Arizona made sure the town of Roll is on maps.



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