Search billions of records on Ancestry.com

Erhart RAU, born 03 Sept 1787 in Bethleham,Northampton Co.,PA, son of Valentine Rau. In the fall of 1822 Erhart and his wife Susan, came from Pennsylvania to Sparta and settled at Reeds Corners. Known as "Daddy Rau", he owned the first mower in this part of the county. It could do the work of six or eight men. It was first used, about 1855, in the field across the road from what was known as Jim Strong's house at Reeds Corners. Lloyd Moose wrote in the history of the Story Road in 1933. "I remember him(Erhart Rau) when I was a big boy before I ever heard his given name, and today(1933) when people in Sparta speak of him still say Daddy Rau, and folks to us older folks it still sounds good to hear these familiar names. The main part of the present house was built by him more than 90 years ago(about 1840) and stood on the main traveled road from Dansville to Geneva(may have meant Geneseo), known as the old stage route,... Fifty years ago(about 1880) this house was called the Daddy Rau mansion. At the time it was built it was considered one of the best houses in this section. It had a cellar kitchen and was built on the plan of the houses in lower Pennsylvania at the time, nearly all of which were two and a half and three and a half stories high. Daddy and Mammy Rau had a family of sixteen children, all of whom lived to grow up. Abraham Rau was the first to pass away at the age of 17 years. He was killed while cutting timber, when a limb from a tree struck him on the head. Mammy Rau, was a woman of fine Christian character and very generous. When my father was an old man I have heard him tell, as tears gathered in his eyes, how kind Mammy Rau was to him... He said she was one of the best bread makers in Sparta. Daddy Rau amassed a fortune and it was said that he left a farm or its equivalent to each of his children." Erhardt Rau died 06 Dec 1884 in his 98th year in Sparta.