Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff
Series 19: STUDENTS
Elisabeth Roettinger (1884 – 1928)
Summer Worker 1914 & 1915


Roettinger Album. “Columbus and Lizzie on the road to Hurricane Gap.” Elisabeth Roettinger, Columbus Creech. [Woman at left holding walking stick, man at right holding small parcel, walking down a trail.] [roe_068a.jpg]

ELISABETH ROETTINGER, Summer Worker 1914 & 1915

TAGS: Elisabeth Roettinger, Elizabeth Roettinger, Mrs. Justin M. Townsend, Elisabeth Townsend,  PMSS workers, PMSS Board of Trustees, attorneys, Marguerite Butler, William and Sally Creech, Ella McChesney Roettinger, Philip Roettinger, Stanley Clay Roettinger, Justin M. Townsend

Workers at Pine Mountain often mentioned in their writings of the friendship they enjoyed with Elisabeth Roettinger and her father, Philip Roettinger. Elisabeth was only briefly at the School as a worker during the summers of 1914 and 1915 but she and her father visited the School often, as he was a member of the board of trustees of the Pine Mountain Settlement School and had a great interest in seeing to the School’s success.

Philip Roettinger was an attorney from Cincinnati, Ohio. He was present on the School campus at least some of the time between the years 1914 and 1922 when Marguerite Butler was a PMSS teacher and superintendent of extension work and who became close friends with Mr. Roettinger and Elisabeth. One of the deepest friendships that the Roettingers made at the School was with one of its founders, William Creech, and his wife “Aunt Sal” Creech. The Roettingers maintained correspondence with them throughout the rest of their lives.

Mr. Roettinger and Elisabeth showed a particularly fond interest in Pine Mountain Settlement School. Besides serving as a member of the School’s Board of Trustees, he visited the campus often and assisted the School in a variety of ways. A 1917 letter written by Marguerite Butler mentions that he arrived on campus to attend Fair Day. A 1919 letter describes the arrival of Mr. Roettinger and his daughter, Elisabeth, for the School’s commencement program at which he gave a talk. A 1920 Butler letter tells of his sending Mr. Jackson, a private detective and “the best he could find,” to the School to work on a criminal investigation. Also, a 1920 letter mentioned his helping a community member with deeds.


Elisabeth Roettinger was born on October 25, 1994, in Pleasant Ridge, Ohio. Her mother, Ella McChesney Roettinger was born in Paris, Kentucky. Philip Roettinger was born July 9, 1853, in New Richmond, Ohio, to parents who had immigrated from Germany. He and his wife Ella had two children, Elisabeth and Stanley Clay Roettinger.

At age 32, Elisabeth married Justin M. Townsend, a widower, on August 24, 1917, in Hamilton, Ohio. Justin’s father, R.C. Townsend, was the minister who officiated at the ceremony. Justin (born 1889 in Iowa) was working as a manufacturer at the time.

The School’s archives indicate that Elisabeth was “killed in [an] accident.” That indeed may have been the case as her death certificate reports that she died of an injury on October 2, 1928, at the age of 43. Justin is listed in FindAGrave.com records as having died in the same year, possibly as a result of the same accident. They were living in Canton, Ohio, at the time. Both were buried in Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio. Her father, Philip, who died in 1935, was also buried there. Ella McChesney Roettinger died in 1930.



Elisabeth Roettinger

Alt. Title

Elizabeth Roettinger ; Mrs. Justin M. Townsend ; Elisabeth Townsend ; Betty Roettinger ; 




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Elisabeth Roettinger ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Elizabeth Roettinger ; Mrs. Justin M. Townsend ; Elisabeth Townsend ; PMSS Board of Trustees ; attorneys ; Marguerite Butler ; William and Sally Creech ; Ella McChesney Roettinger ; Philip Roettinger ; Stanley Clay Roettinger ; Justin M. Townsend ;

Subject LCSH

Roettinger, Elisabeth, — 1884 – 1928.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.


2018-01-21 aae


Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY




Collections ; text ; image ;


Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet


Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff

Coverage Temporal

1853 – 1935

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Pleasant Ridge, OH ; Cincinnati, OH ; Paris, KY ; Canton, OH ;


Any display, publication, or public use must credit the Pine Mountain Settlement School. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.




Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of Elisabeth Roettinger ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Elisabeth Roettinger ;




“[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2018-01-21 aae ; 2018-04-07 aae ; 2022-09-03 aae



Guide to Marguerite Butler Letters 1914-1970. Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

“Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XDGS-55Y : accessed  2018-04-07), Philip Roettinger in entry for Justin M. Townsend and Elisabeth Roettinger, 14 Aug 1917; citing Hamilton, Ohio, United States, reference p18; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 384,156. Internet resource.

“Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X6DF-J9S : accessed  2018-04-07, Philip Roettinger in entry for Elisabeth Townsend, 02 Oct 1928; citing Mt. Sterling, Madison, Ohio, reference cn 62229; FHL microfilm 1,991,497. Internet resource.

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