Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens

JOHN W. ROSE. Among the enterprising, progressive and widely known merchants of Springfield is John W. Rose, one of Greene county's worthy native sons, and a worthy scion of an old and honored family of this locality, a man who is deserving of a great deal of credit for what he has accomplished, which has been in the face of obstacles that would have crushed men of less grit and ambition, for his early environment was decidedly unpromising, but, the modern Don Quixote that he was, he did not sit by idly pining for something to turn up, but went forth to conquer, and, by persevering, succeeded. His life, though comparatively uneventful, has not been unfruitful of good results and kind deeds in behalf of his fellow-men. He thoroughly understands the business to which so many years have been devoted, and the confidence and respect of the hundreds of customers who pass in and out of his doors continuously are his in a satisfactory degree.

Mr. Rose was born in Greene county, Missouri, on November 6, 1862. He is a son of John W. and Elizabeth (Laney) Rose, both natives of this state. The father was a soldier in the Confederate army and was killed in a skirmish with Union troops in 1864. The death of the mother occurred in 1906. The paternal grandfather, W. R. Rose, was a native of Tennessee, and from that state he came to Greene county, Missouri, in early pioneer times, locating on a farm here in 1834. The maternal grandfather, J. H. Laney, was also a native of Tennessee, from which state he emigrated to Lawrence county, Missouri, in 1835, and was one of the earliest settlers of that county. Both the Rose and Laney families were represented in the Revolutionary war. The Laneys are of French and English ancestry. Grandfather Laney and wife are buried in Garroutte cemetery, and Grandfather Rose and wife are buried in Prospect cemetery.

John W. Rose was left fatherless when two years of age, and he has always depended upon himself, which fact has doubtless been largely responsible for his success in life. When thirteen years of age he hired out as a farm hand at ten dollars a month, and continued farming until he was eighteen years of age. Meanwhile he had little chance to obtain an education, but this lack has later been made up by wide home reading and study and by contact with the world until today he is regarded as one of the best informed men on general topics in Springfield. When a boy he learned telegraphy, and at the age of nineteen was in the employ of the Frisco railroad and in charge of a station. He continued in that capacity for a period of six years, giving the company excellent service and was commended for his accuracy and fidelity. Not seeing much future to such employment and believing he had qualifications for the mercantile world, he left the road's employ and entered the mercantile business, and has since been engaged in the same in Springfield, with the exception of fifteen years spent as a traveling salesman, during which he gave excellent satisfaction to the firms employing him, and became widely known to the trade over a vast territory. He has operated a general book store on East Commercial street since 1906 and has enjoyed a large and ever-growing trade, and he carries at all seasons an extensive and up-to-date stock of everything found in a modern book store, and his obliging and courteous nature has won and retained a host of friends among his patrons.

Mr. Rose was married in 1883 to Mattie Wade, a native of Greene county, where she grew to womanhood and was educated. She is a daughter of T. W. and Ellen (Skelton) Wade. Mr. Wade has devoted his active life to farming, and he is a resident of Springfield.

Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Rose, namely: Ethel, married R. R. Matthews, a mechanic, and they reside in Dallas, Texas; Leon M., died on July 4, 1912; Jerry H. is associated with his father in business; Ina D. is at home. Ethel and Jerry H. are both graduates of the Springfield high school.

Politically Mr. Rose is a Democrat. Religiously he belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, and fraternally is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is deeply interested in the general welfare of his city and county in every way.


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