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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
W. Frank Rasbach

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 745-746 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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W. Frank Rasbach, secretary of the Grange Cooperative Insurance Company, of Herkimer, New York, was born in Shells Bush, town of Herkimer, on October 5, 1863, the son of Marcus and Nancy Maria (Shell) Rasbach. Marcus Rasbach, a farmer, was born at Shells Bush in April, 1831, and died in 1916, at the old homestead, now owned by his son, Irving P. Rasbach. Marcus was the son of Marks and Elizabeth (Helmer) Rasbach. Marks Rasbach was born and died in Shells Bush. He served in the War of 1812, entering the service as a drummer boy, and later became private. His wife was born in the town of Herkimer in 1796 and died there in 1887. Nancy Maria (Shell) Rasbach, mother of the subject of this sketch, was born in Shells Bush in 1836 and died on the farm at that place in 1911. She was the daughter of Peter and Mary (Rasbach) Shell. Peter Shell was born and died in the same locality, and he also served in the War of 1812. His wife was born in the town of Little Falls, Herkimer county, in 1802, and died in 1899, in the town of Herkimer.

W. Frank Rasbach attended the district school in his home town, then entered Fairfield Seminary for two years, after which he became a student at the Clinton Liberal Institute for two years. After completing his education he became associated with his father on the farm, where he remained until four years after his marriage. In 1892 he located on an adjoining farm and remained twenty-five years. He then came to Herkimer and became secretary of the Grange Cooperative Insurance Company, which secretaryship he still holds.

On November 21, 1888, in the town of Fairfield, New York, Mr. Rasbach was united in marriage to Miss Bertha L. Lasher, who was born in February, 1869, the daughter of Herman and Mary (Chamberlain) Lasher. Herman Lasher was born in Montgomery county, New York, on March 16, 1844, and now resides in Herkimer, aged eighty years. He followed farming until 1891 when he moved to Little Falls for the Grange Cooperative Store at that place, and has made his home with Mr. and Mrs. Rasbach for the past fifteen years. His wife was born in Montgomery county, died in August, 1893, and was buried at Fort Plain, New York. Herman Lasher is the son of George I. E. Lasher, who was an extensive farmer and at one time had a lock stand at Willow Basin on the Canal. He was a democrat in politics and a former supervisor of the town of Herkimer.

Mrs. Rasbach is a member of the Eastern Star and has been a member of the State Grange for a number of years. She attends the Universalist church. Mr. Rasbach has one brother and one sister: Mary Elizabeth Rasbach was born on August 28, 1872, and married Burton Crill, a farmer of East Herkimer. They have three daughters, Hazel, Ruth and Edna Crill. Irving P. Rasbach first married Mary Meyers, now deceased. They were the parents of two children: Raymond and Nellie Rasbach. Mr. Rasbach later married Grace Smith and they have one child, Vera Rasbach.

During the World war Mr. Rasbach was active on the Liberty Loan and Red Cross drives. He is a member of Herkimer Lodge, No. 423, F. and A. M., and also a member of the Herkimer County Grange and of the State and National Granges. He attends the Dutch Reformed and the Universalist churches. In politics he is a democrat and enjoys hunting and fishing as a diversion. The interests of Mr. Rasbach are thoroughly identified with those of Herkimer county and he enjoys the confidence and respect of his many friends in that section of the state.

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