History of GRATIOT CO., Michigan. Historical Biographical, Statistical

By Willard D. Tucker pub. 1913 Press of Seemann & Peters, Saginaw, Michigan

Village of Ashley;  pgs.  1063-1094




Harry C. Rose, one of the solid and influential citizens of the Village of Ashley, and one of its most enterprising and popular merchants, was born in Watertown, Clinton County, Mich., June 30, 1872. His father, Isaac P. Rose, was born in Jackson County, Mich., July 9, 1848, and his mother, whose maiden name was Mary Garlock, was born October 24, 1851. They are now residents of Ashley where they enjoy the esteem of a large circle of friends.

Isaac and Mary (Garlock) Rose had six children born to their marital union, in the following order: Alice M., born May 26, 1870; Harry C., born June 30, 1872; Arta E., born February 16, 1875; Ruth L., born May 17, 1878; Hubert C., born July 4, 1881; Hollie J., born August 10, 1884. The family settled in Washington Township, Gratiot County, in the year 1884; not among the earliest settlers of the township, but early enough to be called upon to tackle many of the problems incident to life in a new country.

In the year 1900, Harry C. Rose, the chief subject of this sketch, embarked in mercantile trade in the Village of Ashley, and has since been engaged constantly in that business. His is what is called a general store, and, as the name implies, caters to the necessities and desires of the public with a large and varied line of goods. His establish­ment is probably one of the very best in the county, at least outside of the three chief towns in the county. Up to February 28, 1911, Mr. Rose was located in Chas. E. Beck’s block on the east side of the principal busi­ness street. On the date mentioned fire de­stroyed a large portion of his stock and fix­tures. Soon afterward he purchased the mer­cantile stock of A. Landi, located on the west side of the same street, and, with a full line of general merchandise, he continues to supply the wants of a host of pleased customers coming from many miles around.

Harry C. Rose was united in marriage at St. Johns, Mich., to Miss Lucy E. Gross, daughter of Alfred A. and Rhoda (Dayton) Gross, the former born at Enfield, Mass., in 1827, the latter born at Grand Blanc, Mich.,in 1842. They settled in Hamilton Township, this county, in 1865, and endured many of the hardships and inconveniences that fell to the lot of Gratiot’s pioneers. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Gross are Frank, Warren, Carrie and Lucy E. The last mentioned, now the wife of Harry C. Rose, was born on April 1874, in Hamilton Township. The father, Alfred A. Gross, died June 14, 1894. The mother resides with her children, Mr. and Mrs. Rose.

Three children have come to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Rose: Mary R. was born December 21, 1896; Hope R. was born March 18, 1899; Harold G. was born December 19, 1900. They are all students in the Ashley schools.

Mr. Rose has served his township and village in various responsible positions—township treasurer of Elba in 1901, ‘02, member of the village council in 1899, and village treasurer in 1906. He is an active member of the Masonic fraternity, and Mrs. Rose is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. Both are valued members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and are active and interested workers in all projects and enterprises designed for the upbuilding of their town, for the welfare of the community and for the improvement of society.




Rev. Nathan Roof was born June 26, 1832, at Little York, Indiana. His parents were John and Lucinda (Shaw) Roof. His immediate ancestors were pioneers who experienced many of the hardships and vicissitudes of the early days of our country. His grand­father served five years in the Revolutionary War. He married a French woman who had been captured by the Indians when 16 years of age, and held by them till she was 21. She was finally liberated by the French who pur­chased her liberty of the Indians at Detroit. The grandfather lived to be 105 years old.

John Roof, the father of Nathan, was born July 4, 1777. He served three years in the War of 1812, and died in April 1844. Lucinda (Shaw) Roof, the mother of Nathan, died when he was but two and one-half years old. He went to Ohio with his father at the age of four years, and from there to the State of Illinois. When Nathan was 12 years old his father died, and from that time he made his own way in life. He returned to Ohio where he spent his youthful days as a laborer and in learning the trade of a carpenter and joiner, at which trade he worked until the breaking out of the Civil War. Nathan Roof was among the first to answer his country’s call for troops, enlisting April 1, 1861, with the 90-day men. He enlisted again in 1863 and served till August 1865. He participated in several of the great battles of the war and in many smaller engagements and skirmishes.

In 1853 Mr. Roof was married, in Ohio, to Miss Priscilla Detrow. Four children were born to them, one only of whom—Sarah Crego—is now living. In the fall of 1876, Mr. Roof removed to Michigan with his family. His wife died December 5, 1876. Mr. Roof was again married on the 19th day of December 1877, the lady of his choice being Elizabeth Ladd. They lived for a time in Elba Township, but removed into Saginaw County, and from there to Ashley in 1887. To this union two sons were born—William N. and John A. The latter served eight years in the navy, and recently received his honorable discharge from the service. Both sons served in the Spanish-American War.

The wife, Elizabeth, died May 27, 1893, and on March 6, 1895, Mr. Roof was married to Mary Louthan, of Ohio, who died January 26, 1906. On the 16th of September 1907, Mr. Roof was again married, this time to Miss Vevia Wadsworth. They were married in the Baptist Church at Ithaca. Vevia Wadsworth was herself a minister of the gospel, of the Baptist faith and had recently served the church at Ashley as its pastor. She is a daughter of Dr. C. S. and Lydia (Raymond) Wadsworth. Her paternal ancestors came to America in 1632; her maternal ancestors in 1631. The many Wadsworths renowned in history as patriots, warriors and philanthropists belonged to her own ancestral stock, and she is directly descended from James Wads­worth who, with his own hand, in 1687, concealed the State Charter in the famed Charter Oak ; all of which is narrated in the history of the country.

Nathan Roof was a clergyman of the Christian Church. He began his ministerial labors in September. 1868, in Ohio, and from that time to the end of his life he was continuously thus employed. In his ministerial capacity he was called upon times almost without number to officiate at marriages, baptisms and funerals among his parishioners and neighbors. He officiated at over 700 funerals and at as many or more marriage and baptismal services. As a friend and counselor in the hour of affliction, he will be affectionately remembered by hosts of friends for many years to come; and this sketch, with his accompanying portrait, will long serve as a reminder of his faithful work for the alleviation of affliction, the amelioration of physical suffering, and, in general, for his influence, by precept and example, in behalf of justice and morality.

He patiently and confidently awaited the final call, until May 14, 1912, when he passed to the immortal life. Burial in Ford Cemetery, near the southeast corner of Elba Township.



Among the best-known residents of Ashley may be mentioned the name of Thomas E. Brown, justice of the peace and prominent in other ways, a resident of Gratiot County for the last thirty years.

Mr. Brown was born September 29, 1842, in Bartholomew County, In­diana. He is the son of Thomas Brown who was born in 1785, in South Carolina. His mother’s maiden name was Mary Ann Girley. She was horn in South Carolina in 1775.

Thomas E. Brown was one of a family of ten brothers and sisters: Leah was born near Charleston, South Carolina; John, Elizabeth, James and Margaret were born in Marion County, Indiana; William and Hannah were born in Jackson County, Indiana; Enoch, Joseph and Mary were born in Bartholomew County, Indiana. Thomas E., our subject, is the only member of the family now living.

Thomas E. Brown served in the Civil War as a member of Company G, 20th Indiana Infantry, receiving an honorable discharge after four years of active service. He was twice wounded—first at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863, and again in front of Petersburg, June 16. 1864. Four brothers, also, were soldiers in the union army, John being killed in 1862 and James dying during the same year from wounds received in battle.

Mr. Brown was united in marriage September 9, 1867, to Jemima Baker in Tipton County, Indiana, daughter of John and Sarah Baker. She was born in Hickman County. Tennessee. September 2, 1831. Mrs. Brown had two brothers and one sister: Calvin was born in Jackson County, Indiana; Mary and John were born in Brown County, Indiana.

To Mr. and Mrs. Brown were born two sons, John was born June 22, 1869, in Cass County, Indiana, and is married to Elzina White. They live in Vickeryville, Mich. Charlie was born in Miami County. Indiana, April 18, 1872. He was married September 2, 1902, to Clara Posey. They are nowresidents of Newaygo County, Missouri.

Mr. Brown removed from Indiana and settled at Elsie, Clinton County, March 20, 1877. March 10, 1882, he removed to Gratiot, and this county has since been his home. Mrs. Jemima Brown died August 22, 1896, and Mr. Brown was married again September 2, 1897 to Keziah Bingham, of Ashley. He has always taken an active interest in local affairs, and, recognizing his worth and ability, his townsmen have entrusted him with various positions of trust and responsibility. He served eight years as deputy sheriff while yet a resident of Indiana;served ten years as constable and marshal in Elsie;eight years and three months as justice of the peace of Elba Township, and six years as councilman in the Village of Ashley;a total of more than 26 years as a public official.

This sketch of Thomas E. Brown and family will justly be looked upon as a valuable and interesting portion of the local history of Elba Township and of the Village of Ashley.

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