Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
JOHN ROSBACK. John Rosback, veteran harness maker, and for thirty years a resident of Springfield, was born on January 15, 1844, in the River Rhine country, Germany. He was a son of Peter and Magdalene Rosback, both natives of Germany, where they grew to maturity, attended school and were married. They continued to reside in their native land until 1852, when they immigrated to the United States, and for many years lived at Springfield, Illinois, where the mother of our subject died, after which the father remarried and in January, 1879, came to Springfield, Missouri, where he spent the rest of his life, dying some thirty-four years ago. While living in Springfield, Illinois, he was employed by the Wabash Railroad Company. His family consisted of three children, namely: Margaret, who died in Memphis, Tennessee; John, of this sketch; and Fred, who makes his home in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
John Rosback was eight years old when his parents brought him to America. He grew to manhood in Springfield, Illinois, and there received a common school education, and when a boy learned the saddle maker's trade, which he made his life work and in which he became an exceptionally skilled workman. He worked at this trade fifty-six years. When he first came to Springfield, Missouri, he worked as foreman at the old Moore Saddlery concern, then worked for the Steineger Saddlery Company as foreman for fifteen years. He was next employed by the Herman Sanford Saddlery Company, continuing as foreman for this firm until his death. He gave eminent satisfaction in the three firms mentioned above and did much toward making each successful. He was not only thoroughly familiar with every phase of the business, but was a man of good executive ability, sound judgment and foresight, and knew how to handle his men so as to get the best results possible and at the same time retain their good will and friendship. He was an artist at stamping leather and made many beautiful designs in leather work.
Mr. Rosback was married on October 9, 1865, in Springfield, Illinois, to Louise Pletz, who was born near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, February 3, 1844. She is a daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Witce) Pletz, both natives of Pennsylvania, where they grew up, attended school and were married. Later in life they removed to Springfield, Illinois, where they spent the rest of their lives and died there. Mr. Pletz was a shoemaker by trade and an accomplished workman. Mrs. Rosback was a small child when her parents removed with her from Pennsylvania to Springfield, Illinois, and there she grew to womanhood and received her education.
Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Rosback, namely: Ira, born on August 23, 1866, is a candy maker and lives in Chicago; Oscar, born on August 12, 1870, is engaged in the harness business on West Walnut street, Springfield, Missouri, and resides on South Market street; he married Flora McClure, a representative of an old family of Greene county. Frank E., born on November 9, 1875, lives in this city and is engaged in the clothing business; John, born on April 2, 1879, died when a small boy.
Politically, Mr. Rosback was a Republican. He belonged to the Masonic order and the Order of the Eastern Star. In his earlier life he took an active interest in Masonry and always tried to live by its high and noble precepts, which constituted his daily religion, and for this reason he was known as a man of exemplary character.
The death of Mr. Rosback occurred after a brief illness on November 6, 1914, at the cozy family residence on South Jefferson street, where he had resided sixteen years. He was seventy-one years of age. Mrs. Rosback is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and is known as a neighborly, kind and hospitable woman who has a very wide circle of friends.
Springfield-Greene County Library