HORTONVILLE, Wis. — At an age when most people are well into retirement, Bob Rohloff’s career is still going strong.  

At 91 years old, Rohloff decided to plug in his clipper and open Bob’s Old Fashioned Barbershop in Hortonville.

What You Need To Know

  • Bob Rohloff is one of the oldest barbers in Wisconsin

  • Beloved Milwaukee barber George Joseph Jelich celebrated his 90th in 2017. He died on Jan. 14, 2022
  • World's oldest barber, Anthony Mancinelli, 108, died Sept. 19, 2019

“Once people retire, it isn’t that easy. They’re gonna want to keep their hands on something. I like to do it and I feel good. It’s fun coming over here, working in Hortonville,” Rohloff said.

The only thing older than Rohloff in his shop is his 100-year-old customer chair.

“There aren’t that many old-fashioned shops left in the country and we’re gonna try and keep it that way,” Rohloff said.

Rohloff said cutting hair hasn’t changed much since his first apprenticeship in 1948 with his dad. Then, still in his teens, Rohloff was trained to wield a pair of scissors at the Appleton Vocational School.

“We did barbering at one of the old hotels and cut people’s hair off. They came in off the street, and we’d work in front of a barber board. That’s where we got our training. After three years, we went to Green Bay for our final test,” Rohloff said.

After graduating, Rohloff opened two shops in Wisconsin and then cut hair for 18 years in Arizona. 

Now, he’s moved back to Wisconsin, where he is the main attraction in Hortonville.

And that’s fine with co-owner Mark Karweick.

“He’s the best barber I’ve had in a long time,” Karweick said.

Karweick is also a barber. He said he wanted a partner that could help him brush up on his technique. 

“I learned how to make a barbershop run, how to make it relaxed, how to deal with customers, how to make them feel comfortable. Certainly, how to cut hair. I’ve picked up quite a few little differences, which have been great,” Karweick said.

Karweick said Rohloff’s also taught him and their customers a life lesson. 

“Sitting in a La-Z-Boy, that’s no way to live. Most people got their health issues and they either give up, or they think they can’t do anything after a certain age, but they can,” Karweick said.

Rohloff said retirement is not in his plan — even after over 75 years behind the chair.

“Don’t quit. I don’t think you will enjoy yourselves. Stay active in something, whether it’s a hobby or a job, but you got to stay active,” Rohloff said.

He’s still going strong, and he’s a cut above the rest. That’s because, for Rohloff, cutting hair is a “shear” delight.