Cather, Roscoe (1877-1945) (“Ross”). Cather’s brother.
Roscoe was born in Virginia, the second child and oldest son of
Charles and Virginia Cather. After graduating from Red Cloud (NE) High
School in 1895, he taught country school for two years, attended the
University of Nebraska in Lincoln for one year (1897-1898), taught high
school in Carlton, NE, and Oxford, NE, and finally became superintendent of
schools in Fullerton, NE. There he met fellow teacher Meta Schaper, whom he
married in 1907. They relocated to Lander, WY, in 1909, where he opened an
abstract office and where their three children, Virginia and twins Margaret
and Elizabeth, were born. In 1921, they moved to Casper, WY, where Roscoe
became president of the Wyoming Trust Company, and in 1937 to Colusa, CA,
where Roscoe and his brother Douglass had acquired a controlling interest in
the First Savings Bank of Colusa. Roscoe served as president of the bank
until his death. Willa visited Roscoe and his family in Wyoming several
times and shared important travel experiences with them, including a 1926
trip to New Mexico with Roscoe, Meta, and their children and a 1941 San
Francisco vacation with Roscoe and Meta. She also relied on him to handle
family-related business as well as personal financial matters, and he was
one of her chief correspondents throughout her life. Roscoe served as a
prototype for one of the twin brothers in the Templeton family in “Old Mrs.
Ickis, Elizabeth Cather (1915-1978) (half of the “twinnies”).
Cather’s niece. Elizabeth and her twin sister Margaret were born
in Lander, WY, to Roscoe and Meta Cather, and moved with the family to
Casper, WY, in 1921. Elizabeth and Margaret both attended the University of
Colorado, graduating in 1937, and visited Willa Cather and Edith Lewis on
Grand Manan during the summers of 1936 and 1937. In Cather’s later letters
to them she often refers back to their summer visits as a magical time.
Elizabeth moved to Colusa, CA, with her parents in 1937 and married Lynn S.
Ickis, an electrical engineer, in April 1938. They lived in Cleveland, OH,
and had two children, Margaret and John.