The Rauch Family, 1900-

From the genealogy of James G. Rauch we know that James and Emma had five sons.

Oliver James (1891-1978) m. 12 June 1917 Helen Handwerk (1894-1944) m. 20 September 1947 Gertrude Hughes (1898-1949)
Russell Joseph (1896-1982) m. 11 November 1921 Helen Best (1900-1988)
Irl Owen (1899-1996) m. 18 July 1943 Anna Reinhard (1904-1996)
Allen George (1900-1978) m. 26 September 1923 Burnetta Bachman (1901-1974)
George Lewis (1901-1991) m. 7 September 1927, Ruth Neff (1904-1986)

From an early age, all five brothers were involved with the newspaper, and most remained involved with the newspaper until the paper was sold in 1967. James G. Rauch first enlarged his ownership in 1917 when he added Oliver as a partner. The other brothers were added over the years: Russell in 1919, Allen in 1924, George in 1926, and Irl in 1929.

Oliver left the paper circa 1930 when he became an insurance agent. Irl left sometime in the 1940s when he moved to Bethlehem. That left, by the 1960s, Russell, Allan and George as proprietors of the “News Publishing Company” with Russell as the managing editor.

Over time, they all married. Oliver, the oldest, was the first to marry when he married Helen Amanda Handwerk (1893-1944) in June 1917. They had 2 children, a son and a daughter. After Helen died in 1944, Oliver remarried Gertrude Hughes née Zellner (1898-1949). Russell, second oldest son, was the next to marry in November 1921 when he married Helen Best (1899-1988). She later became the secretary for the newspaper. They had one daughter. Allen married Burnetta Bachman (1901-1974) in September 1923; George married Ruth Neff in September 1927; and, Irl married Anna Caroline Bletz née Reinhard (1904-1996) in 1943. None of these three brothers had any children.

Three of the brothers (Irl, Oliver and Russell) saw some military service in World War I. Irl was in the Student Army Training Corps (basically a precursor of the later Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, ROTC) at Bucknell University, October-December 1918.

Oliver was drafted at Allentown in April 1918, and after training, he served with Battery A of the 315th Field Artillery, 80th Infantry Division and was overseas from late May 1918 to late May 1919. He was active in the Meuse-Argonne offensive of fall 1918 during which time he suffered mustard gas burns on his right hand.

Oliver Rauch

Oliver Rauch (standing, far right) with his unit in France

Russell enlisted at the Columbus Barracks in Ohio on 1 May 1917 and served with Company D of the 55th Telegraph Battalion. Eventually promoted to sergeant, he served in France from 7 Apr 1918 to 27 June 1919 and participated in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives.

Only one brother (Irl) served in World War II. After induction at Allentown on 12 August 1942, he trained as an airplane mechanic in the army air force. He served until 26 August 1943 at places such as Gulfport Field in Mississippi, Salt Lake City in Utah, Vegas in New Mexico and Rosecrans Field at St. Joseph in Missouri.

James G. Rauch, the father, died in June 1960 at the age of 92. He had been associated with the paper since he purchased it in 1898; he had built the News Building; and he had expanded the circulation of the paper. Over time, he had brought his sons into a partnership to publish the paper, and after doing that he had only occasionally taken an active part in publishing the paper. In 1946, had finally turned over all the business to three of his sons (George, Allen and Russell). His wife, Emma had died in 1950.

Oliver, the oldest of the sons, died in April 1978 at the age of 86. He had retired as an independent insurance agent in 1957 after twenty-nine years of working. Both of his wives predeceased him, Helen in 1944 and Gertrude in 1949. His son, Oliver Jr., died in 1997 in Alaska. and his daughter, Carolyn, died in 2005 in Delaware.

Allen died in July 1978 at the age of 78, just a few months after Oliver. He had spent his whole life working on The Slatington News until retiring in 1975.

Russell, who died in March 1982 at the age of 85, had also worked at the paper for fifty-six years before retiring in 1975.

George, who had also worked on the paper until 1975, died in December 1991 at the age of 90.

The last of the brothers to die was Irl, who died in August 1996 at the age of ninety-seven.