RODERICK ROYCE, senior member of the firm of Royce and Bergen, conducting a nursery business in Shellsburg, was born in Sullivan county, New York, in 1845. He is a son of Colby Royce, who cleared and improved a farm in Sullivan county, at an advanced age; he was from Connecticut, where he was a colonel in the state militia. Mr. Royce was twice married, and Roderick is one of two children by the second marriage. The other son, Edward, was killed during the Civil war, off Cape Hatteras, by the burning1 of the steamer in which he was stationed.
Roderick Royce grew to manhood in his native state, and received his education in the public schools. He followed farming many years, and spent two years in a store at Monticello, New York. He partially lost his health, and has since then chiefly followed the nursery business and farming. Mr. Royce started in his present line of business in the spring of 1869, in company with J. L. Budd, mentioned elsewhere in this work. They first started business at Parkers Grove, in Canton township. In 1875 they removed to Shellsburg, and there carried on the business until the removal of Mr. Budd to Ames, Iowa. Five years later the son, A. L. Budd, became a partner, continuing six years; from then until seven years ago, when the present partnership was formed, Mr. Royce carried on the business alone. At the present time they take care of about twenty-five acres, and supply almost the entire needs of the surrounding county. They employ two or three salesmen, and the surplus is sold wholesale. They have also shipped direct to many parts of the country, and have established a reputation for first-class goods and honest treatment of their customers. Both are well informed along the line of their work, and pay close attention to their business interests. Mr. Royce has been a resident of the county since 1868, and has a wide circle of friends. Politically he is a Republican, and has served as mayor of Shellsburg, and has also filled other posts of public trust. He is a member of the Masonic order of Shellsburg, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Royce & Bergen, besides their interest in the line of horticulture, conduct a farm near Shellsburg, where they raise Shorthorn cattle.
Mr. Royce married, in New York, in 1867, Charlotte Divine, born in Sullivan county, daughter of Henry Divine, and they have one daughter, Edith, who married 0. C. Bergen, of Shellsburg, given mention at length elsewhere in this work.