Isaac Newton Roop (1822 - 1869)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About Isaac Newton Roop

Isaac Newton Roop (March 13, 1822 – February 14, 1869) was a lifelong member of the Whig party, United States politician, and pioneer.


Roop was born in Carroll County, Maryland. He married his tutor, Nancy Gardner, on December 24, 1840. He was devastated by her loss ten years later when she died of typhoid fever on June 20, 1850, and became widowed with two sons, John and Isaiah, as well as a daughter Susan. Possibly motivated by grief or desperation, he pulled up stakes for California that same year and tried to rebuild his life.

In 1851 William Nobles started taking settlers over a route through the Sierra Nevada passing through the Honey Lake valley; included among these settlers were the 29-year-old Isaac Roop and his family. His first three years in California were spent in Shasta County, in farming and trading. During this period he also held the positions of Postmaster and School Commissioner. He had accumulated in that time upwards of fifteen thousand dollars worth of property, but in June 1853, lost it all by fire. It was then that Roop retreated to the Sierra Nevada and to Honey Lake, where he concentrated on his own backcountry holdings and nearly single-handedly erected the burg of Rooptown which he would later name for his daughter Susan.

In September 1859, Roop was elected the first territorial governor of the proposed Nevada Territory. At the time, Susanville was thought to be in Nevada instead of California. The new provisional government first convened on December 15, 1859, in the town of Genoa. Roop lived in the contested County of Roop. After the county's dissolution in 1865, Roop returned to Susanville, California. There, he became Lassen County's district attorney for two terms and stayed in the town that he had built and loved until his death in 1869. His daughter Susan Arnold resided in the town as well until her own death in 1921, and both were buried in the town's cemetery. There is a mural depicting father and daughter in downtown Susanville.

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Isaac Roop, Provisional Governor of the Proposed Territory of Nevada's Timeline

Age 19
Age 47