PLEASANT W. ROSE was born April 27, 1848, on one of the oldest settled farms in Johnson County, and he is now the fortunate proprietor of this fine old family homestead, which is situated in the northwestern part of section 5, Grantsburg Township, and since it came into his possession he has risen to be one of the leading farmers and stock-raisers of this locality.
The father of our subject, who bore the same name as himself, was born in Hardin County in 1812, when Illinois was a Territory, and his parents were among the first settlers of his native county. His father died when he was a little child, and when he was three years old his mother removed to an unimproved farm that the father had left in the wilds of Pope County, and he was there reared to the life of a farmer. His opportunities for an education were meager, as he had to work as soon as he was large enough to be of any use. He lived at home with his mother until he was twenty-two years old, affording her valuable assistance in the management of the farm, and he then took unto himself a wife in the person of Miss Mary Ann Ellis, from North Carolina. Her parents came here from the South in pioneer times.
At the time of his marriage, Mr. Rose was poor, and came without money to Johnson County to make a home for himself and bride. Energy, ambition and ability fully supplied the lack of capital, and the young couple entered upon the trying life before them with calm courage and good prospects of success in the future, in spite of the vicissitudes and hardships that they would inevitably encounter in their primitive surroundings. The land which Mr. Rose bought in Grantsburg Township, the same on which our subject is now living, was covered with a heavy growth of timber, and his first work on it was to clear a space for a dwelling and erect a log cabin. The country around was very sparsely settled, and he had to go a distance of eight or ten miles to get help in rolling logs and building his house. Many of the trees that he cut when clearing the land for cultivation he had to burn, although they would have made very fine lumber, but there was no market for them. By many years of hard and well-directed labor Mr. Rose wrought a great change on his premises, reclaiming from its natural state a farm that compared with the best in the vicinity in point of tillage and improvements. Here his life work was brought to an end by his death in 1873, and he was laid to rest in Grissom Cemetery. His wife did not long survive him, her demise occurring December 8, 1874. They were people of sterling merit and worthy types of the brave, resolute, stanch pioneers who did so much in the development of the county. They were blessed with six children, as follows: Mary, widow of D. C. Chapman and a resident of Johnson County; J. E., who died on the home farm; Jane, who died at the age of two years; Sydney A., wife of J. W. Damron, of this township; Maria, and our subject. Maria first married John M. Jones and after his death she married George Shelton. By her first marriage she had eight children, and by her last marriage one child.
Pleasant W. Rose is the youngest of the family, and the farm upon which he lives has always been his home, and is now his property. It comprises two hundred and seventeen acres of choice land, which he keeps up to a high standard of cultivation by methods best adapted to the soil, as he is a thoughtful, well-trained farmer, with an intelligent comprehension of agriculture in all its branches. He improves the place every year, and it is amply supplied[with buildings and machinery for various purposes.
Mr. Rose was married October 29, 1878, to Miss Mary Elizabeth Farris, a native of Tennessee, and a resident of Johnson County at the time of her marriage. In her he finds those excellent qualities that make her a true woman, who faithfully performs her duties as wife, mother, friend, and as a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church, to which she and all her family except our subject belongs. She has been the mother of seven children: Aristia A., at home; Ida, deceased; Mary, Lillie and William at home; and Sidney and James, twins, the former at home, and the latter deceased.
Mr. Rose was educated in the common schools, and is a thoroughly sensible, practical man, of good business ability, as is shown by his judicious management of his well-ordered farm. His life is guided by sound principles, his habits are exemplary, and he bears a high reputation for veracity and strict honor in all his dealings — as a husband and father, who is devoted to his family; as a kind neighbor, who is always glad to help others; and as a trustworthy citizen. In his political views he is a Republican, who stands firmly by his party just the same when it is shadowed by defeat as when victory perches on its banners.
Extracted from Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, published in 1893, page 217
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