Isaac Roop

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Isaac Roop
Isaac Roop 1869.jpg
Provisional Governor of the
Proposed Territory of Nevada
In office
December 15, 1859 – March 2, 1861
Preceded by None
Succeeded by James W. Nye
as Territorial Governor
Personal details
Born (1822-03-13)March 13, 1822
Carroll County, Maryland, U.S.
Died February 14, 1869(1869-02-14) (aged 46)
Susanville, California, U.S.
Resting place Susanville Cemetery
Susanville, California, U.S.
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Nancy Gardner
Children John, Isaiah, Susan
Profession Farming, trading

Isaac Newton Roop (March 13, 1822 – February 14, 1869) was a United States politician, pioneer, and a lifelong member of the Whig party. In 1859, he was the first elected (provisional) governor of the newly proposed Nevada Territory.


Roop was born in Carroll County, Maryland.[1] 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 (guide) 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. He was elected in 1861 to the new Nevada Territorial Senate.[2] 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.

Death and legacy[edit]

Roop died in his residence in Susanville on February 14, 1869.[3] 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.[1] There is a mural depicting father and daughter in downtown Susanville.

Roop County, Nevada was named for him.[4]


  1. ^ a b Bruce, A. T. (1869). "Isaac Roop". Lassen Sagebrush. Retrieved November 16, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Isaac Roop". Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Isaac Roop". Lassen County, California GenWeb Project. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Creation of Nevada’s Counties". Nevada Association of Counties. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Butler, James Thomas (1994). Isaac Roop, Pioneer & Political Leader of Northeastern California. Susanville (California): High Desert Press. ISBN 0-936029-40-4. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Provisional Governor of the Proposed Nevada Territory
1859 – 1861
Succeeded by
James W. Nye
Territorial Governor