JAMES RUSSELL ROSE
There are many kind-hearted, liberal spirited and modest citizens who by their ability, education and association become leaders in society without effort or a desire on their part. Their philanthropic nature, benevolence and rectitude bring them in close sympathy with their fellow-men, and they are recognized and accorded the highest type of American citizenship. The subject of this sketch belongs to this class, and is one of the most highly esteemed citizens of this State. He is a descendant of a noted ancestry that trace their lineage to the hardy Scotch and English for over two centuries. His maternal and paternal grandfather (sic) fought in the Revolution of 1776, his grandfather on his father’s side being the trusted and confidential agent of General Washington. His father Enos Rose, was a soldier in the war of 1812, and gained considerable notoriety for his valor, endurance and successful feats in the perilous duties as a courier. He was born in Richland county, Ohio, October, 1822, and was reared on a farm, learned the trade of a millwright and carpenter with his father, and lived with him until he was twenty-eight years of age. During this time he not only built mills, co-operating with his father, but run one that he had erected, sawing the western forests into house material for building homes and helping this wonderful march of civilization. In 1858 he removed to California, his family, consisting of a wife and one daughter of tender years, accompanying him. He commenced farming in Marin county, and after a few years of successful husbandry, purchased a large tract of land (2,200 acres) twelve miles south of Petaluma, where he has since resided. A portion of this princely estate was waste salt marsh land which has been reclaimed and become more productive under his management and direction than any tract of this character of land in this State. While Mr. Rose has filled in full measure the duties of a liberal and public spirited citizen, his career as a model farmer and sagacious breeder of fine cattle and horses has given him a national reputation as an expert in nicking horses and cattle.
In this connection as an importer and breeder he has the best herd of Devon cattle in the State, and his stud has produced a number of the most noted roadsters and trotters, among whom are Nellie R., who made a mile in 2:17 ½ in a race, in the seventh heat, a record that has never been broken. All through his life he has had protégés, and to his assistance and wise counsel a large number of young men owe their successful career. He was a close friend of the late Hon. Henry Vrooman, and rendered him material aid in the arduous struggle to lay aside the blacksmith’s hammer for the law book.
He is a devoted member of the Baptist Church, and labored assiduously, and has given a liberal support to sustain the Baptist church at Petaluma.
At the organization of the Sonoma, Napa and Marin District Agricultural Association he was one of the chief promoters, its first President, and served five years as such. He became a member of F. and A. M. in Ohio, and was one of the charter members of Vitruvius Lodge, No. 146, at Bloomfield. He is now a member of Petaluma Lodge, No. 77. He married Miss Anne Kenworthy, a native of England, a lady of refinement and lovely character. In her lifetime her Christian graces and devotion to her husband and children and the poor and distressed of her neighborhood live in the memories of those who knew her. This happy union was blessed with two daughters, Anna E. and Florence L., who have been to their parents both a credit and comfort. They were married in June of this year to H. W. Nicholson and F. L. Gray, young men of sterling character.
Patriarchal in appearance, honest in purpose, a man of sound judgment, with a deep sympathy for mankind, he has won the highest respect and esteem among his associates, and is worthy to be classed with the eminent men of our country.
Transcribed By: Cecelia M. Setty.
Source: “Illustrated Fraternal Directory Including Educational Institutions on the Pacific Coast”, Page 96, Publ. Bancroft Co., San Francisco. Cal. 1889.
© 2012 Cecelia M. Setty.