Berney-Rochat family papers, 1840-1978  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Berney-Rochat family
Berney-Rochat family papers
1840-1978 (inclusive)
6.4 linear feet, (7 boxes)
Collection Number
The Berney-Rochat family papers include family and business records of Ulysses Henri Berney and his family from 1840 to 1978. Also included are William E. "Bill" Berney's scrapbooks of Whitman College athletic team newspaper clippings from the mid 1900s.
Whitman College and Northwest Archives
Whitman College and Northwest Archives
Penrose Library, Room 130
345 Boyer Avenue
Walla Walla, WA
Telephone: 509-527-5922
Fax: 509-526-4785
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Henri Rochat was born on July 5, 1828 in Switzerland. He emigrated to the United States in 1852 and established himself as a watchmaker in New York state by 1854. In 1856 he married Fanny Rosselet, born in 1831 in Switzerland. Henri and Fanny had six children, all born in St. Paul, Minnesota. Their children are Eugene Rochat (1857-1936), Eva Rochat Thonney (1859-?), Anna Louise Rochat Berney (1860-1933), Matilda Rochat (1861-?), Paul Rochat (1867-1952), and William Rochat (1869-1901). Fanny Rosselet Rochat died in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 12, 1874. Henri Rochat died in Spokane, Washington on May 20, 1907. Eva Rochat married John Thonney and lived in Walla Walla, Washington. Matilda Rochat also lived in Walla Walla, working as a watchmaker. Paul and William Rochat were both farmers who settled in St. Maries, Idaho.

Anna Louise Rochat married Ulysses Henri Berney in 1887. Ulysses was born on November 14, 1862 in Switzerland and emigrated to the United States around 1884, setting up his homestead near Bickleton, Washington. In 1890, Ulysses, Anna, and daughter Alice moved to the Walla Walla area. In total, Ulysses and Anna had nine children: Alice Angeline/Helen Berney (1888-1966), Lilian Edith Berney Cornelius (1890-1967), Harry Ulysses Berney (1891-1975), William Edward "Bill" Berney (1893-1979), Walter Clarence Berney (1894-1934) Ulysses Stanley Berney ( 1896), Arthur George Berney (1897-1920), and twins Florence May Berney (1898-1912) and Floyd Marcus Berney (1898-1916). In Walla Walla, Ulysses was involved in agriculture, business, and civic endeavors. In 1893, he founded the Walla Walla Produce Company with his brother-in-law, John Thonney. He donated the land for the Berney School in 1904. Ulysses died in Walla Walla on November 19, 1932. Anna Louise Rochat Berney died in Walla Walla on October 17, 1933.

William Edward "Bill" Berney, Ulysses Henri Berney's son, was a member of the Whitman College class of 1915. Following the death of his father in 1932, he continued the family produce business taking over as president. Bill Berney was also an active member of the Walla Walla business and civic communities, as well as the Whitman College alumni association. Bill Berney also was elected to the Board of Directors of the Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce in 1947, and later as its President in 1949.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Berney-Rochat family papers, which dates from 1840 to 1978, houses correspondence in both French and English, photographs,scrapbooks, family histories, the business records of the Walla Walla Produce Company, and memoirs from both the Berney and Rochat families. The correspondence is predominantly from Ulysses Henri Berney, Anna Rochat Berney, and Henri Rochat to many other members of their respective families. The collection also contains Anna Rochat Berney's 1894 French family Bibles. Also included are the William E. "Bill" Berney papers. His papers include personal correspondence, photographs and scrapbooks, business records and correspondence of the Walla Walla Produce Company, deeds, and Whitman College athletic team clippings from 1947 through 1978.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Geographical Names :
  • Walla Walla (Wash.)