Hardin County

Sarah Elizabeth Baker Rose

Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth Rose is proprietor of oldest hotel in Illinois.

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ill. (Jan. 10, 1935) — Mrs Sarah Elizabeth Rose daughter of the late Calvin and Frances Baker was born on the Jim Pruett farm, a short distance from Elizabethtown on November 5, 1851, being now 83 years and two months of age. She was one of nine children of whom four, including herself are now living. They are Morgan Baker of Gallatin County, Mrs Mary Baker Pearson and Mrs Lucy Baker Wasson of Harrisburg.

In 1854 her father together with three other families moved in Gallatin County going up the Ohio river to Shawneetown in a flat boat. They settled on a farm near Shawneetown and the brother, Morgan Baker, still lives in the house which was built long years ago by his father.

In 1869 she was married to Wiley Rose, a member of one of the oldest pioneer families of Hardin County. To them were born three children, one of whom died in infancy. Miss Frances Rose who died in 1914 and Mrs. U. G. Gullett of Elizabethtown. She has two grandchildren, Mrs Robert Price of Carbondale and County Judge James Gordon Gullett of Elizabethtown, children of Mr. and Mrs. Gullett and one great grand child Rose small daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Price.

The house now owned and occupied by Mrs. Rose was built in 1817 by James McFarland and was never used as a dwelling, but was a taveran, then an inn. Mrs. Rose bought the house in 1884 and has operated a hotel there ever since. The Rose Hotel is probably the oldest operating hotel in the state of Illinois.

Mrs. Rose can trace the history of Hardin County from its earliest beginning to the present time. She tells us that three men came from the Eastern part of the United States to this, then far distant western country. Their names were Hardin, Grandpier and McFarlan. They obtained a tract of land from the government and settled here. After a while Hardin went away and Granpier died, but James and Elizabeth McFarlan stayed and from three families we have Hardin County, Grandpier Creek and McFarlan Precinct and Elizabethtown, the town getting its name from Elizabeth McFarlan.

Mrs. Rose has an excellent memory and is a most interesting conversationalist. Her home over-looking the beautiful Ohio river, is one of the most beautiful sites in Hardin County, and has been a haven for many a weary traveler who has, no doubt, pleasant memories of the Rose Hotel and Mrs. Rose.

Thanks to Wanda H. Reed for contributing this article to the Hardin County ILGenWeb site. The Hardin County Independent first published this article on Jan. 10, 1935. Webmaster's note: The Rose Hotel, now a state historic site is believed to have been first built in 1812, not 1817.

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