I could make up a story about D. J. Rose, and tell you he was a movie star. Based on this photograph, would you doubt me? This gorgeous man has long settled into his place on the family tree, yet he is not forgotten. I’ve gazed at this photograph, hoping Mr. Rose would reveal himself. He sent me in search of some facts to help imagine his surroundings. We know he arrived in Rocky Mount in 1890 at age 29. Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President (1889 to 1893), elected after conducting one of the first “front-porch” campaigns, delivering short speeches to delegations that visited him in Indianapolis. (In today’s political climate, I was drawn to the word short.) Amazing people were born in 1890, which could easily side-track us. People like Dwight Eisenhower, Rose Kennedy, Agatha Christie, Charles de Gaulle and Boris Pasternak.
HERE is a youtube link to the popular songs of 1890-1920.
In search of clothes worn at the time of Mr. Rose’s arrival, I found this photo of men wearing three-piece suits, posing for a portrait, 1890-1900. With his handsome face, I hope Mr. Rose never wore a mustache.
We know that in time, David Rose married Anna Phillip Woodall. They had three children: Mary Lucille Rose Ward, Ira Woodall Rose and Vera Durham Rose. After Anna’s death he married Vira Benton with whom he had five more children. With apologies to these two women, their stories must wait.
Between 1890–1918: D. J. Rose and Company’s new business is established. In 1900, offices are opened on Rose Street, where Mr. Rose partnered with fellow builder S. S. Toler until 1910. The company oversees notable projects such as the city’s first electric power plant in 1901 and the Bank of Rocky Mount (right) in 1918. We salute Rose and Company for their numerous projects. You can read HERE about the Ricks Hotel, one of his many contributions to Rocky Mount. Don’t miss Part 3 to learn more about the accomplishments of D. J. Rose, and an upcoming event you won’t want to miss.