Early Days of Greenbush


Roswell Rose

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Roswell Rose was born in Oneida county, New York, February 2, 1801. His father was Phineas Rose, a Revolutionary soldier. He attended school but very little, but was educated by his mother, who was a scholarly woman. He taught school for a number of years when a young man. He afterward learned the carpenterÕs trade and worked for a time in the city of Buffalo, New York. In 1836, he came to Chicago with his family, consisting then of a wife and four children, and worked there at his trade for about a year, when he pre-empted a piece of land in Lake county, Illinois, about twenty miles northwest of Chicago, the land in that locality having but recently come into market. He improved this land and lived there about six years, when he moved to Waukegan, Illinois, a small village, then just starting, where he worked at carpenter work and millwrighting, being interested in building the first mill erected in that place. He came to Fulton and Warren counties in the summer of 1850, and purchased a half-interest in a mill property, situated near where Swan creek crosses the Meridian line. This property had been partially improved some time before by John and Riverus Woods. A sawmill was already running and a frame put up for a gristmill. Mr. Rose returned to Waukegan in the fall of that year and moved his family, locating on the northeast quarter of section 13, in Greenbush township, now known as the Saunders farm. Here he bought a log house and some other small improvements. The house was built by Loren Woods in 1838. He resided in this house about three years, when he erected a frame dwelling on the south side of the creek and near the mill, where he resided until his death. Mr. Rose, with his partner, Riverus Woods, put the grist-mill in operation in 1851. This mill did quite a large business for a number of years, and was a great accommodation to the surrounding country, especially Greenbush township and farther west, many customers coming there from a distance of 25 or 30 miles, and sometimes they were obliged to wait two or three days to get their grist ground. When this mill was built Swan creek furnished sufficient water to run the mill nearly the whole year, but as the country became improved, the water became less and steam power was added. This mill proved to be a death trap for Mr. Rose. On September 5, 1867, he was caught in a band and instantly killed. His partner, Riverus Woods, had died the year before at the age of 62 years. At the time of Mr. RoseÕs death his son, H. Rose, was interested with him in the business and carried it on for some time after. Roswell Rose was married to Elizabeth Ingraham in Oneida county, New York. Six children were born to them, namely: Harriet, Havilah R., Silas N., and Cyrus (twin brothers), William H., and Birney. Elizabeth, wife of R. Rose, died in Avon, Illinois, November 29, 1870, at the age of 66 years, surviving her husband a little more than three years.

  • Harriet (Rose) Nichols died near Santa Ana, California, September 21, 1898, at the age of 71 years.
  • Havilah R. Rose died in Avon, Ill., August 11, 1900, at the age of 70 years.
  • Silas N. Rose died at Memphis, Mo., September 22, 1898, at the age of 66 years. His twin brother, Cyrus, died at the age of 8 years, in Lake county, Illinois.
  • Birney Rose died in Avon, Illinois, February 2, 1877, at the age of 31 years.
  • W. H. Rose, the only surviving member of the family, is now a resident of Avon, Illinois.
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