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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Eli Rose

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[This information is from pp. 330-336 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Portrait of Eli Rose

Portrait: Eli Rose

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Eli Rose, former superintendent of the Howe's Cave Lime and Cement Company and proprietor of a general merchandise store, is now retired from business and residing at Central Bridge, N. Y. He was born in Maryland, Otsego County, N. Y., on February 20, 1840, son of Nathan and Deborah (Morehouse) Rose. He comes of English stock.

His paternal grandfather, Nathaniel Rose, probably a native of Massachusetts, said to have been the descendant of one of the early settlers of that State (whether of Thomas Rose, who was an inhabitant of Scituate, Plymouth County, before 1660, or of another emigrant, the present writer is unable to say), came to Columbia County, New York, in young manhood. From Columbia County Nathaniel Rose removed to Warren, Herkimer County, N. Y., and finally to Maryland, N. Y., where he spent the last years of his life. He started as a poor boy, but before he died he accumulated a large property, chiefly comprised in land. He was able to give to each of his six sons a fine farm, and then had some three hundred acres left for himself. Each son also received a pair of horses, farm stock, and grain for planting. Nathaniel Rose was a Captain in the State militia. He died at the age of seventy-six years. His wife, who died at the age of seventy-five, was before her marriage Lovina Spencer. Her family were people of importance in Columbia County. She was the mother of eight children, all of whom married and had families. Both she and her husband were members of the Baptist church, and were active and liberal in their support of all church matters. So interested were they that they were instrumental in building a house of worship almost without assistance from others.

Nathan Rose, son of Nathaniel and father of Eli Rose, was born in Columbia County, New York, and was educated in the common schools there. Shortly after his marriage he settled upon the farm given him by his father, and there engaged in farming with great success. In time he developed dairying to some extent and also lumbering, carrying on in the last-named industry a very large business. He was active in town affairs and a liberal supporter of the Baptist church. He died at the age of sixty-nine. His wife, Deborah, who died at the age of eighty-one, was a daughter of James Morehouse, a farmer on an extensive scale, residing at Maryland, N. Y. Her grandfather, who lived to be eighty-five years of age, was one of the early pioneers of that place. Her father was killed when only thirty-four years old by being thrown from a horse. Her mother, whose maiden name was Jane Burnside, was born in Maryland and died at the age of sixty. She was twice married, and had five children by her first marriage and three by the second. All of them grew to maturity, but all are now deceased save one. Nathan and Deborah Rose were the parents of five children, namely: John J., of Maryland, N. Y.; Betsey, who is the wife of Harvey Baker, of Oneonta; Mary, who married Amos Graves, of Glens Falls, now deceased; Lovina, who is the widow of Nelson Goodrich, of Oneonta; and Eli, the special subject of this sketch.

Eli Rose received a public-school eduction, and subsequently assisted his father on the farm until about twenty-seven years of age. He also taught school for two terms. In 1867 he entered the employ of the Howe's Cave Lime and Cement Company, which had just been formed, as book-keeper. The following year he purchased an interest in the business, and he was afterward promoted through the position of foreman to general manager and treasurer. He had sometimes as many as eighty men under his charge; and, besides managing the lime and cement business, he operated a general merchandise store, which he started in 1868 and which is now one of the oldest in the county. In February, 1898, Mr. Rose sold all his interests at Howe's Cave to a wealthy syndicate, and removed to Central Bridge, N. Y., where he is now living.

Portrait of Mary Rose

Portrait: Mary Rose

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A word in regard to the cement company with which he was so long connected may be interesting to the reader. This company was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York in 1867 by Hon. John Westover, of Richmondville, N. Y., Jared Goodyear, of Colliers, N. Y., and E. R. Ford and Harvey Barker, of Oneonta, N. Y., as charter members and owners. The seventy or more acres of land owned by the company were rude and rugged in the extreme, and no appliances were at hand. But generous ledges of limestone gave promise of rich reward to those who should quarry it. Houses for the employees, barns for the work horses, shops, kilns, and mills were erected; and derricks, engines, and other appliances were brought here. Fortunately for the company, the line of the Albany & Susquehanna, now a part of the D. & H. C. Company, ran near — so near, in fact, that often in blasting large pieces of rock were thrown on the track. The ledge nearest the railroad, which is of dark blue limestone, is forty-four feet thick, and is composed, of course, of comparatively thin and light rock. Next above this is a ridge of gray limestone in massive blocks and of excellent quality and soundness, such as are eminently suitable for the construction of piers, abutments, canal locks, retaining walls, and all kinds of massive masonry. The lime produced in the kilns is very strong, adhesive, and of great durability. Its lasting virtue is well shown in the stone fort at Schoharie Court House, which was built more than a hundred years ago, and as yet presents no imperfection of either stone or mortar. Among the important structures in which this cement has been employed are the following: the new capitol at Albany; Holland House, New York City; the Scranton Steel Works; Troy Steel and Iron Works; and the reservoir at Fair Haven, Vt. As all the process of manufacture and the disposal of the output was under Mr. Rose's supervision until his recent retirement, no further commentary upon his ability both as an executive officer and as a financier is needed.

Mr. Rose was married in 1870 to Mary C. Warner, who was born in Richmondville, daughter of Henry Warner. Her father, a farmer, who was a descendant of an old and honored family, died at the age of seventy years. Her grandfather and great-grandfather Warner were both carried captives to Canada by the Indians and held there as prisoners for a year. Mr. and Mrs. Rose have one daughter, Sophina, who assists her father in the store. In politics Mr. Rose is a Republican. He is a member of the Lutheran church, and is a trustee of the society. His wife and daughter are also members of the church.

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