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Jeal'V Pierre Rose

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2.1 December, 1807
Ne.then, Belgium

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M. 6 April, 1834
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B. 7 Oc.to ber, 1777 10
w. Hamme- Mi li e, Belgium
D. 19 April , 1859
w. Hamme- Mille, Belg;um

M. 19 Jan. 1903 Alberta Vetl'LDatt Acl<er B. zz. Ao~. 1ssz, D. 15 Dec. 19170
Victor Eeid ~se. 8 . 2 Ap ri I , l 9 o+
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M. 7 June 1904
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Joseph. Warren, Rose , 8. 28 Sei:it., 1 q1~, 'D. 8 July, 1qr10
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·-
A PROUD STEP
FORWARD
·'
Acknowledgements

There are so many people to whom I owe so much in helping me gather facts for this family
history - a book, a date, a name, a clipping, a picture - th at I cannot possibly list you all.
To each of you I say thank you. I am truly grateful.
Those I feel I must name because of their extra contributions are the following:
My husband, Robert Meyer for his interest and encouragement, and more especially for
his patience when the dining room table was laden with pictures and papers instead of his
dinner.
My daughter, Christine Mayer, without whose help I could never have had this book
printed. She made endless telephone calls and visited numberless printers and book binders
and helped solve all my "publishing problems".
Elisabeth and Marcel Roothooft, our Belgian cousins, for compiling and sending me the
Rose and Vandenplas genealogies as well as all the Belgian pictures years ago. I bet
Elisabeth knew all the time they would someday be printed.
Virginia Parker Rose for charting part of the original genealogy way back in 1959.
My granddaughters, Elizabeth Jam es and Anne Rasmussen, for helping me with the
genealogical record as it appears today.
Elizabeth Icks for translating many French letters that pertained to the history of the
family. They are the basis for several of the Belgian stories related in the book.
Mr. Joseph Pierre, from whose book, "Historical and Genealogical Information On Our
Belgian Ancestors," I obtained all the information and background of the emigration of the
Belgians to Wisconsin for my "History" chapter.
Dorothy Heinrich, who is in charge of the "Special Collections" department at the
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, whose help cannot be measured. She provided me with
pictures, translators and documents. She was the inspiration behind the original effort and,
without her, this book would never have been written, so, good or bad, she is the one who
started it all.

Betty Rose Meyer April 1978

Vll
Contents

Prologue xvu

Belgium
Chapter 1 Th e Heritage 3

Ch apter 2 Th e History 9

Ch apter 3 The Emigration 11

Green Bay
The Family
Chapter 4 The Parents 17

The Children

Ch apter 5 Victor J oseph Rose 31

Chapter 6 Felix (Felician ) Rose 41

Chapter 7 Julia Rose 45


J oseph Henri Rose 47
Rosa Rose 47

Chapter 8 J oseph Rose 49

Chapter 9 Mae (Maria) Rose 55

lX
John Rose
A note on the Contents 63
Chapter 10 The Early Years 65
Chapter 11 The Banking Years 69

Chapter 12 The Family Years 77


Chapter 13 The Civic Years 103

Elisabeth Roothooft

Chapter 14 Belgium 1960 109

John Rose

Chapter 15 The Rewarding Years 123

x
List of Illustrations

Village of Nethen, Belgium 2

Birthplace of John B. Rose in 1842 4

Marie 'I'ht\re'se Goffinet V andenplas 5

Elisabeth Roothooft in 1945 7

Mathilde Vandenplas Pensis 8

Religious Procession 8

Road to Antwerp and America 10

Birth Certificate of John Rose 12

The Parents - John B. Rose and Adele V. Rose 17

Curly Lambeau and Robert Meyer 18

1899 advertisement for Rose and


May Contracting Co. 19

East High School 20

Kellogg Bank - 1884 20

Jorgensen Blesch Co. 21

St. Francis Xavier Cathedral 21

The John B. Rose Family 24

Rose Family Home 24

John B. Rose - Certificate of Naturalization 25

Xl
John Rose 1873-1963 29
Alberta Rose, Victor Rose,
Victor Reid Rose 1913 30
Victor Reid Rose 34
Dr. Felix Rose 1942 40
The Poker Game 43
Julia Rose Stern 1912 44

Dr. Joseph Rose in his office 48


The Rose Brothers 1935 52

Dr. J oseph Rose and his son


Joseph W. (Bud) Rose 53
Bud Rose and his wife Germaine Rose 1938 53
Mae Rose 1960 54
Sister Leonard, Sister J osita and
Sister Mechteldes 1927 57

Mae Rose (Sister J osita) and one of h er


ch emistry classes 58
Mae Rose with brothers 59

John Rose 1890 64


Rufus B. Kellogg 68
John Rose - newly elected President of
Kellogg Citizens Bank 1926 71

Kellogg-Citizens Nationa l Bank 73

John Rose and Anne M. Rose 1906 77

Anne M. Rose, high school graduation 1896 80

Anne M. Rose 1912 80

Mother's teacher's contract 81

Three of the Four Roses 82

Soldier a nd Red Cross Nurse on July 4, 1918 83

Mother and I celebrating the 4th of July 1916 83

Dad and I out walking 1915 83

Xll
Robert Rose, Betty Rose 1913 83

On our way to Uncle John Marek's fa~ 84

Childhood home of John and Betty Rose 84

Dad, John and Mother 1928 85

Mother and Aunt Bert 1928 85

Betty, John and Mother 1931 85

Part of the Rose Family 1931 86

Dad hunting at Point Sauble 1938 86

Betty elected College Maid at Ward


Belmont 1932 92

John Lieutenant Commander in


United States Navy 1944 96

The Meyer Family 1948 99

John Rose and his Family 1951 100

Dad's 80th Birthday March 14, 1953


Joseph, Victor and John 101

Mrs. Frank Mraz, Mrs. Felix Rose, Mrs. Joseph Rose 101

John Rose 1953 102

John Rose reminiscing with girls in


his "official banking family " 106

Elisabeth Roothooft 1960 108

Marcel and Elisabeth Roothooft


Brussels, Belgium 1958 111

Anne and Victor Rose with Elisabeth Roothooft 1964 111

Marcel Roothooft and Betty Meyer


Nethen, Belgium 1960 114

The Meyer Family in Brussels, Belgium 1960 114

Our Belgian Relatives Nethen, Belgium 115

Andre Vandenplas, Bob Meyer, Betty Meyer 115

Marble Communion Rail given in memory


of John and Adele Rose 117

Church in Nethen, Brabant, Belgium 118

Xlll
Another view of Communion Rail 119

Marble Altar made from Communion Rail 119

Inscription on altar 120

Mass at Rose Memorial Altar 120

A Tribute to John Rose from


Association of Commerce 1956 122

Testimonial Dinner -
Bob Meyer, Betty Meyer, John Rose,
Meredith B. Rose and John M. Rose 124

Testimonial dinner -
John Rose, Virginia P. Rose,
Dr. Robert Rose, John M. Rose 124

Testimonial Dinner for seventy years in banking


John Rose cutting cake 125

Testimonial dinner -
Rev. Brendemihl, Robert Rose,
John M. Rose, Victor Rose, John Rose 126

Testimonial dinner -
Victor Rose, John Rose, Milan Boex,
Robert Meyer, Carl Mraz 126

Article in Milwaukee Sentinel


September 11, 1960 127

"John Rose Honored at Meet" December 1, 1950 128

"Veteran Banker to get Plaque from Chamber"


May 13, 1963 128

Picture of Kellogg Bank 129

John Rose sealing cornerstone on new


Kellogg Bank building 130

Opening new Kellogg Bank doors 131

Portrait of John Rose which hangs in Kellogg Bank 132

Editorial in Green Bay Press-Gazette


November 9, 1963 134

The Meyer Family 1974 135

Katherine Anne Mayer 1978 135

XIV
P rologue

TO MY CHILDREN AND MY GRANDCHILDREN

This is a story of a family, the Roses, from the sketchy


details I have of their early beginnings in a sm all town in
Belgium in 1741 to the end of a specific era in 1974.
It is not a famous family, and this is n ot really a
genealogy. I do not have many historical facts, only my
m emori es of some of these very specia l people and the
ways in which they touched m y life. These I want to share
with you.
I want you to h ave som e knowledge of your brave and
vigorous great grandparents who h ad the courage and the
foresight to leave Belgium for a new, and sometimes
difficult , life in the United States, and of their children who
carried on the dreams of their parents.
I want you to know your grandfather and great
grandfather, John Rose, who contributed so much, so
quietly, a n d without fanfare, to this community. I want you
also to know his wife, your grandmother a nd great
grandmother, Anne M. Rose, who, in h er comparately short
lifetime, was so much a pa rt in h elping him achieve hi s
goals.
T h eir gift to you is th e h eritage th ey left you.
My gift to you is reminding you of it.

April 18, 1978 Betty Rose Meyer

XVII
Belgium
Nethen. - Panorama

Village of Nethen, Belgium, Home of the Rose F a mily


I

THE HERITAGE

What's a Scotsman doing in a Belgian story? There's been


considerable headscratching and a lot of late night
conversation about that ever since someone in the family
tossed out the theory that the first Rose marched into
Belgium with his tartan and bagpipes, a nd , after meeting a
Belgian lass, decided tha t this was the life for him.
Perhaps my father said that his father told him the
story.
Perhaps it was Uncle Joe. He always loved to start an
argument.
It could have been the Scotsman my cousin Victor met
in Canada who presented some convincing, but n ot very
authentic, evidence that we should be descended from the
Rose Clan of Kilra vok.
Maybe someone in the family m ight wan t to pursue
this theory someday.
As for me - I like being Belgian!
Judging from the overwhelming number of Roses I
found in the gen ealogical records in the church a nd civil
archives in Belgium, they seem to h ave enjoyed being
Belgia n too.
On our direct branch of the Rose family tree most of
the men were n a med John, the French or Walloon spelling
of which is Jean. My great great great grandfather, Jean
H enri Rose, is the first Rose for whom there is any record,
and that is his death certificate which I found in N ethen,
Belgium which, is dated February 25, 1831. Since he was
ninety years old when he died, it is no great feat to figure
his birth date at 1741. Jean Henri's name is a lso on the list
of those confirm ed on June 8, 1755 at Lumay, Belgium (15
Km. from Nethen) which ma kes him fo urteen years old at
the time, so he, too, must have been a Belgia n and not the
elusive Scotsman.
And now let's carry on with the rest of the Belgians.

Since I h ave n o amusing, interesting, or even dull stories

3
to relate about our early a ncestor s, the next best thing to
do is read the enclosed genealogical chart. This in itself
could be pretty dull since it is nothing but a series of
n a mes , dates, and who begat whom, but it is our family
history, and, to us at least, should be fairly important.
On th e Rose side the paternal lineage is quite complete,
but on the matern a l side it stops very abruptly with my
great gr a ndmother, Albertine Delesteenne. I wrote to
several sources in Belgium for more information on her
family but received no answer.
John Henri Rose, whose acquaintance you h ave
a lready made, h a d a son, Dieudonrte, the literal translation
of which is "Gift of God" . H e was born in Nethen on
November 3, 1785 a nd married Mariette Bourguignon, the
daughter of Simon Bourguignon. Dieudonrte and Mariette
had two sons, Nicolas Rose born in 1805 wh o married
Maria Theresa Socquet, and the other, my great grand-
father, Jean Pierre Rose, who was born in 1807.
I h ave listed this because there are two facts here that
might be of interest if pursued farther, on e is Simon and
Mariette Bourguignon, the oth er is Marie Socquet.
F arth er on in this story you will note, if you stay with
it, that of a ll the Belgians who arrived in this area, th e
majority came from th e province of Brabant in which
Nethen is located. There are Bourguignons and Socquets
(Soquets) in Green Bay, as well as Roses, so who knows -
maybe we're more than friends.

In the 1800s, particularly in the Catholic countries of


Europe, girl babies were n a med Mary or Marie after our
Lord's Moth er, and the boys were named Joseph after His
earthly father. The n ext most popular n am e was J ean
(John) in honor of J ohn th e Baptist.
My grandfather, J ohn Rose, the son of Jean Pierre and
Albertine Delesteenne Rose, received the full treatment of
the latter. After his birth on J anuary 22, 1842 in Nethen,
Province of Brabant, Belgium, he was promptly christen ed,
not the usual Jean, but the entire title, Jean Baptiste.
H e was usually referred to as Baptiste, pronoun ced Bah-
te'es, by his friends and relatives.
In 1854, wh en J ohn was twelve years old, his father
Jean Pierre, died very suddenly, a victim of the dreaded
ch oler a plague. In fact, there is no record of his death in
the church records in N ethen because the plague claimed
its victims in less than twenty four hours. Since the disease
Birthplace of my Gra ndfather was so highly contagious, burial had to take place
John Baptis te Rose in 1842 immediately.

I remember h earin g the story when I was a child, or


perhaps this is still an oth er brain teaser, that J ean Pierre
left for work one morning and never returned h ome. His
body was found and literally scooped up with many others
who died wh ere they fell. Th ey a ll were supposedly buried
in a common grave because the families were not allowed
time to make th e necessary funera l arrangements.

4
Jean and Albertine had two more children besides my
grandfather, both sons. One, Maximillian, owned an inn in
Valenciennes, France. He and his wife died leaving no
children. The other brother, Joseph Rose, had a son
Theophile who was a mason contractor in N ethen, and a
daughter, Maria.
Theophile Rose, my father's cousin, was a Belgian hero
in World War I (1914-1918) and we have pictures of him
with medals strung across his chest, a ll of which were
awa rded to him by the country of Belgium for his feats of
bravery. His name is high on the list of townspeople
honored on the World War I monument in the town square
in N ethen. The war left him in very poor health, primarily
with a serious bronchial condition. Theophile had one
daughter, I was told.
Theophile's sister , Maria Rose, married a man by the
n a me of Omer Cassart, and her son, Victor Cassart, is, to
my knowledge, the last Rose living in Nethen, since
Theophile and Maria have both passed away. Victor owns
a small grocery store and lives in Nethen with his wife,
Marguerite, and their daughter Christianne Cassart
Dehalle, h er husba nd Arthur and their small son
Christophe.

Marie T herese Goffinet V andenplas


My great grandmother and mother of Adele Rose

And now for the distaff side of the family.


Maria Adele Vandenpla s, m y gra ndmother, was born
in Nethen, Province of Brabant, Belgium, October 18, 1844,
the da u ghter of J ean Joseph V andenplas and Maria
Th~re'se Goffinet V a ndenplas.

Adele's family was apparently of some importan ce in th e


small town of N ethen. As we were told when we visited
Nethen in 1960, "As far a s the eye can see is Vandenplas
la nd." Her entire family were well to do landowners and

5
farmers, a nd a pparently some of them still work the land
today.
My grandmother, Adele was pretty, very petite, barely
four feet eleven inches tall. She had black h a ir, sapphire
blue eyes, and exquisite pink and white skin.
Adele had three brothers. One was Desir<£ who owned a
farm in N ethen. I feel as though I know Desir~ because he
wrote my father a letter in 1930, which I now have, in
which he expressed his own sorrow and extended his
sympathy to the entire Ro~e family at the time of my
grandmother's (his sister Adele's) death. There was another
brother, Jean Baptiste, who h ad a farm in Hamm e-Mille
("one hour on foot from Nethen"), and Frederic, a farmer in
Nethen. Her sister's name was Mathilde, and I am
reasonably sure this was the entire family.

J ean Vandenplas, Adele's brother, h ad a grandson,


Edouard (Edward) Vandenplas, who was in the Belgian
Underground Army of Resistance in World War II. One of
the stories they told us about Edward was the night he
saved the young boys of the village from the Germans.
Edward received word that the German soldiers were
on their way to N ethen to take a ll of the youn g men
prisoners. He quickly alerted the village, then gath ered a ll
of the young men together at h is home, warned them of
their impending danger, and finally took them into the
woods wh ere he hid them. The Germans arrived during the
night, beat on Edward's door and ordered him to turn the
boys over to them.
Edward detained the soldiers for some time on the
premise that he was unable to understand their request,
a nd when the Germans finally realized that Edward was
stalling them, it was too late. The delay had given
Edward's wife a mple time to slip out a secret door in the
basement, run to the woods and warn the boys, all of
whom escaped. When Edward knew that his wife had
returned, h e proceeded to lead the Germans in the opposite
direction, away from the boys, and out of town. Then he
left them standing there wondering why the whole
operation h ad gon e wron g.
This was only one of Edward's many contributions to
the Resistance, and it is possible that the only reason he
escaped prison was the fact that he was the Registrar of
the church, and the Germans may have felt that these
particular Belgians were giving them enough trouble
without risking a n uprising of the entire town. The feeling
of the people of N ethen, we were told, was a very simple
tribute, "Hats off to Edouard!"
As it was, the Germans, according to Edward,
destroyed many of the church records with their senseless
vandalism, which is one of the reasons I have been unable
to complete our gen ealogy.

Another story of the German harrassment of the town


of Nethen during World War II is told about the Germans
r emoving the bells from the church.

6
Whenever Edward received a message from the
Resistance he found the quickest a nd most efficient way to
alert the village was to gather everyone together by tolling
th e church bells. This way, after he had discussed the
problem with a few of the leaders, h e was able to spread
the word quickly a mong the townspeople. A plan of a ction
was determined, each of the villagers played the part
assigned him, and the Germa ns became the unwitting
victims of their own treachery.
In order to prevent this reverse action by the Belgia ns
th e Germans decided to start by removing the church bells.
N aturally Edward received word of this latest order the
day before th e Germa ns were due to arrive, and the village
was summoned by ringing the bells for the last time. Since
the bells were the h eart of the life of the town, having
tolled the n ews, both happy and unhappy since 1680, they
were very precious to the townspeople.
That evening at sunset, after prayers, the bells started
tolling and rang continously throughout the night. They
were still ringing at nine o'clock the following morning
when the Germans arrived to remove them.
A s though on cue, when the Germans ma rched into the
churchyard , the clergy, the schoolchildren, and all the
villager s, standing quietly in groups, tears streaming down
their faces, began singing the Belgian National Anthem as
their beloved bells were taken from the church tower by the
German invaders. Still singing, the people of Nethen
followed the truck containing the bells until it vanished
fr om sight, the Belgian N a ti onal Anth em still
reverberating in the Germans' ears. The Belgian patriots
then returned to the church a nd placed a wreath on the bell
t ower.
Two years later the Belgian soldiers triumpha ntly
returned the bells to their tower in N ethen . They were
greeted by joyous and grateful townspeople who spread
flowers in their path and forced bouquets into their hands.
Only then was the wreath, n ow weathered a nd faded by
time and the elements, rem oved from the bell tower.
As for Edward, h e died several years ago. In a 1959
letter I h ave, I was told that h e had three children . At that
time his older son was an attorney in the Belgian Con go,
his dau ghter was a student a t the University of Louvain,
a nd his younger son owned and operat ed the same inn in
Nethen that Edward's father h ad own ed before him. I h ave
n o idea where any of th em are today.

And then th ere was Elisabeth Roothooft! Every fa mily


should have an Elisabeth if for no other reason than to
keep the family pride alive and well. She was my father's
first cousin, Elisabeth Pensis Roothooft, whose Mother
Mathilde was my grandmother Rose's sister. E lisabeth, like
my grandmother was tiny. She was a lso a stubborn,
resolute, brave and very determined little lady of fifty nine
years when the Germans occupied Belgium during the Elisabeth Roothooft
Second World War. in 1945

7
H er son, Marcel Roothooft, who had been a soldier in the
Belgian army, had been taken prisoner by the Germans
and was being held in a prison in Brussels. Elisabeth
decided that was enough of that, so one day she marched
down to the prison, drew herself up to her four feet eleven
inches and demanded the release of her son. She was still
very bitter because her husband, Francois, had been killed
in World War I (1914-1918) fighting the Germans, so she
didn't take very kindly to any one in a German uniform.

Religious Procession Passing Home in


Nethen where Elisabeth Roothooft
was born on March 29, 1885
Her demands were not only denied by the officers in
ch arge, she was laughed out of their offices a nd all the way
to the street. That laughter, added to th e fact that her only
son was being held by the "Huns," as she so colorfully
described his captors, quickly made up Elisabeth's mind.
Sh e remained at the prison gates all that day. She
returned at seven the next morning, mocking and jeering
at the guards the entire day, and the next day, and the
next, until the days stretched into two long weeks. By n ow
the guards derisive laughter had turned to pleading and
frustration as she continued her war on nerves. She coul d
hear their groans when she came into view as they spread
the word, "Here comes that little old lady again. "
By the end of the n ext week, as Elisabeth neared the
prison gates, whom should she see waiting for her but h er
son Marcel. He was flanked on either side by two German
guards, who shoved him roughly into Elisabeth's out-
stretch ed arms and shouted, "Take him and go home!"
And so, although it took a good portion of Hitler's
army to capture Belgium, one little Belgian lady conquered
her share of the German army a ll by h erself. Dumb
Belgian indeed!
There are many more members of the Vandenplas
Mathilde Vandenplas Pensis
family still in Nethen, but they are only names, not stories.
Elisabeth 's Mother Others you will meet la ter, and Elisabeth you will hear
Sister of Adele Rose from again!

8
II

THE HISTORY

It is interesting to note here just why Wisconsin had such a


large immigration from Belgium between the years 1853
and 1873.
In the 1850s Wisconsin sent and maintained an agent
in New York City whose duty was to recruit settlers to
Wisconsin , which he did by advertising in the European
newspapers. He also sent pamphlets, posters, and
brochures abroad which gave information a bout the
opportunities in Wisconsin, the availability of land , as well
as the rights of freedom and equality.
Many of the booklets were sent to Belgium. The very
first group of ten Belgian families, fifty people in all, came
from the Province of Brabant on May 18, 1853 and staked
out land claims about ten miles northeast of Bay Settle-
ment in the area, I presume, we know as Thiry-Daems.
Father Daems, a young Belgian priest, who was pastor
of a frontier parish at Bay Settlement, helped the new
arrivals stake out their claims and get settled in their new
homes. The Belgians called this area " Aux Premier
Belges." (To the First Belgians)
The Belgian port of embarkation was Antwerp, a nd
many of the emigrants were encouraged to come to
Wisconsin by the ship owners in Antwerp who recommend-
ed Wisconsin as one of the very best localities for a Belgian
settlement.

The price of a ticket from Antwerp was $35.00 for each


person over twelve years of age. The emigrants furnished
their own bedding for the trip as well as provisions to last
a minimum of six weeks. They were provided with one bed,
and the children, not having been charged with the
passage, were expected to sleep with their parents. Their
immediate destinations were New York and/ or Quebec.
It was not an easy journey. Many times there were
storms at sea, ships were lost, and many perished or
became ill from dysentery, but still they came.

9
When each group arrived here they wrote glowin g
letters back to Belgium about their new h omes a nd
encouraged their friends and relatives to join them. Most of
the Belgian emigrants settled in Brown, Kewaunee, a nd
Door Counties, and the majority of them came from the
Province of Brabant.

Nethen. - Route de Weert-Saint-Georges

Road down which Adele and John Rose walked the two miles to the
railroad station on their way to Antwerp and America.

10
III

THE EMIGRATION

There is no doubt that my grandparents, John and Adele,


always knew one another, but I presume that th e
V andenplas family was m ore prominent than the Rose
family, so possibly they may h ave been reluctant to have
their daughter Adele marry John. At any rate, so the story
goes, John and Adele eloped to Lou vain, Belgium and were
married there on August 27, 1866.
They settled in Lou vain wh ere John obtained work as
a stone mason . Their first child, Jan vier, was born there
J anuary 28, 1869. On October 26, 1870 they became parents
of a daug hter, Marie Louise. It must have been about this
time that John and Adele began to think and talk about
America, because in a little more than a year the young
couple would leave for Antwerp for the beginning of a
journey that would end in Green Bay. In early 1870 they
had returned to N eth en with their plans a ll made. They
h ad decided to leave Belgium a nd emigrate to America a nd
settle in Wisconsin as so many of their countrymen had
done before them.

When we visited Nethen in July 1960 we were told by


relatives, who h ad heard th e story many times, how John
and Adele and their two small children, Jan vier and Marie
Louise, accompanied by th eir families and friends, walked
the two miles to the railroad station to board th e train for
Antwerp, the port from which they would sail for America.
As my grandparents said goodbye to th eir parents and
their broth ers and sisters, there must h ave been a deep
sadness in their h earts along with the excitement and
anticipation of the n ew adventure a h ead of them. Both of
them knew they would never see their families again!
When they arrived in Antwerp John foun d work once
more as a ston e mason, a trade which would continue to be
his livelihood wh en they reached the United States.
While they waited for their passage to America,
tragedy of the cruelest kind struck the young couple. Their

11
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tv

KONINKRIJK BELGIE

ST.AD .ANTWERP EN
1e DISTRICT

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' '-...:~ :
son, Jan vier, died on May 21, 1872, and ten days later, on
June 1, 1872, his little year and half old sister followed
him. I received their death certificates from Antwerp with a
note, "Belgian law does not permit us to list the cause of
death," so I do not know the reason , the disease, or the
catastrophe that took them both at the same time.

John and Adele were disconsolate, I am sure, but on


March 14, 1873 their third child, my father, John Rose, was
born in Antwerp at twelve o'clock noon. I remember my
grandmother telling me that all the church bells were
tolling the hour, but she felt sure, at the time, they were all
ringing because of the birth of her new baby boy.
He was baptised Januarius Josephus Zacharias Rose
which leaves absolutely no doubt why he became John
Rose. He added no number, no initials, no middle name,
and certainly no nickname. He remained John throughout
the years - a plain name, but he made it a respected
name.
Shortly after John's birth the young couple and baby
embarked for America. I concluded, after exchanging
several letters with the Director General of the Port of
Antwerp, that the ship on which they sailed was the S.S.
"Victoria" which left Antwerp on April 25, 1873 with its
destination Quebec, Canada. They disembarked at Quebec
and boarded another ship on which they sailed for Toronto,
Canada. From here they took a train to Lake Michigan
(port unknown) and from there sailed to Green Bay on a
la ke steamer, arriving here in June 1873 when my father
was three months old.
The majority of Brabant Belgians who arrived here
staked out claims to farm lands in and around Dyckesville,
Luxemburg, Bay Settlement, Namur and Brussels and
became farmers as their descendants are today. However ,
because my grandfather's vocation was masonry, h e
decided to remain in Green Bay where he would h ave a
better opportunity to use his trade, rather than try his luck
with farming, an occupation about which he knew very
little.

13
Green Bay
The Family

;.•
+
IV

THE PARENTS

John Baptiste Rose Adele V. Rose


1842-1930 1844-1930

My grandparents were accompanied to America by Victor


Lambeau, the grandfather of Earl L. (Curly) Lambeau,
founder and coach of the Green Bay Packers. Victor was
born August 14, 1853 in the same little village of Nethen
from which my grandparents came, and from all reports
the two familes had always been friends.
Being a bachelor and eligible for the Belgian draft,
Victor decided the United States was a better risk than the
Belgian army, so he asked John and Adele Rose if they
would take him with them. Naturally they did, and as we
so often jokingly pointed out to Curly, had it not been for
the Roses there might never have been a Packer football
team, and to our surprise, but complete satisfaction, he

17
always agreed. Victor Lambeau lived with the Rose family
for several years and was godfather to their second son,
Victor Rose, who was n a m ed after him.

Soon after they arrived in Green Bay my grandfather and


Victor Lambeau organized the Rose-Lambeau Mason
Contracting Company, which was a most s uccessful firm
for many years. After Victor Lambeau 's death on October
5, 1891 at the age of thirty eight, my grandfather took
Peter May as his partner, a nd the firm became known as
Rose and May.
These two companies did the masonry work on some of
the best known buildings of that era, namely, the first
Kellogg Bank building on the corn er of Washington and
Pine Streets, the Jorgensen Blesch building, (now Pranges),
the Continental Building on the corner of Washington and
Main Street (destroyed by fire), an d the Neville Building
(not to be confused with the Neville Museum). They built
t h e old East High School on Webster Avenue, the masonry

Earl L. (C urly) La mbeau a nd Robert T. Meyer. Curly, coach a nd fo under


of th e Green Bay P ackers was the gra ndson of Victor La mbeau who
accompanied the Roses to America a nd was a pa rtner of J ohn B. Rose
in the Rose-Lambeau Mason Contracting Compa ny.

18
of which is now part of the old City Stadium behind the
present East High School.

l.,hey also did all the masonry work on St. Francis


Xavier Cathedral on Monroe Avenue. In 1881 Rose and
Lambeau set a record for the greatest number of bricks
ever laid in one day - a record way up in the thousands
my cousin, Bob Rose, reminded me, and one that has never
been broken.

1899 Advertisement for Rose and May, John Rose's new partner after Victor Lambeau's death in 1891.

19
Some of the buildings on which Rose and Lambe au did the masonry w ork.

East High School - corner of Webster and Chicago Streets.

Kellogg N ational Bank Building - com er Washington and Pine Streets.


Con structed by Rose and Lambeau Maso n Contractors in 1884.

20
Jorgensen Blesch Co. - Next to original Kellogg Bank on Washi ngton
Street. It is n ow the site of H.C. Prange Co.

St. Francis Xavier Cathedral - Monroe A venue. Here Rose and


La mbea u set a record for greatest number of bricks laid in on e day.

21
One of the first things my grandfather, J ohn Baptiste,
did after purchasing a home and settling his family, was
file his intention to become a citizen of the United States.
This he did on July 25, 1874. Since there was only one
year's residency required in Wisconsin a nd five years
residency in the United States before being awarded
citizenship, my grandfather must have made the identical
error so many others did because of the language barrier at
that time. They believed that filing a n intention
automatically awarded them American citizenship.
On March 14, 1889, however, on my father's sixteenth
birthday, his father, John Baptiste, returned to the court
house, renounced Leopold the King of the Belgia ns for the
second time a nd became a citizen of the United States of
America. This document, framed and hanging on a wall of
our home, is one of my most treasured possessions.

The old family home at 1263 Day Street is still there and,
with the exception of some minor remodeling and a ghastly
paint job, h a s changed very little with the passing of the
years.
Grandmother and Gra ndfather Rose h ad a ma rvelous
"root cellar" in their backyard where we children used to
love to play whenever we visited our grandparen ts. While
the a dults chatted in the house we would immediately
make our way to the root cellar which was a dark little
room in a small building ma de entirely of brick (undoubted-
ly constructed by our gra ndfather). It had a dirt floor, n o
windows a nd was always cool, even in the summer time. It
would h ave made a perfect hiding place, h ad it not been
the first place we all chose to hide in.
In the fall a nd winter the cellar was filled with bush el
baskets of food - red cabbages, white cabbages, beets,
pota toes, r ed onions, white onions, turnips, carrots, apples
- everythin g that was raised in our grandparents' garden
in the summer time, and m any things not a vail able in the
stores in the winter time. While we gazed at these wonders
Grandmother Rose would join us a nd fill sacks full of each
variety of food for us to ta ke h ome, a nd then we would
feast on these treasures which were a lmost as fresh as the
day they were harvested.
John B. Rose, our gra ndfather, died on J a nuary 16,
1930 after a very brief illness. It was one week before his
eighty eighth birthday. Our courageous little gran dmother
was heartbroken without him , a nd one day sh e calmly
a nnounced that she h a d ra ised her children , lived h er life,
a nd with h er devoted husba nd of sixty four years gon e sh e
was ready to go too. A month later, on February 19, 1930
she joined him at the age of eighty six, thus ending a most
important era in the history of the Rose family.

I remember our grandfather as a slight man, possibly


five feet six or seven , yet when standing beside him, one
got the impression of stren gth. He was a jolly man, had a
hearty h a ndsh a ke, and a lways h ad a joke a nd a s mile. His
hair was jet black, and h e h a d beautiful large brown eyes

22
that sparkled as he talked. He usually spoke French and
Walloon Belgian because he never did completely master
the English language. He wore a full beard which turned
white as he grew old, yet his hair remained jet black to the
day he died at eighty eight.
After he retired one of his favorite pastimes, much to the
distress of Grandmother Rose, was to join other retired
friends in Whitney Park about two in the afternoon. Here
they would play cards and drink beer until four o'clock
when they would return home to face the censure of their
wives.

I remember our grandmother as a very tiny lady about


four feet eleven and not weighing more than ninety
pounds. She had beautiful skin, azure blue eyes, long white
hair which she parted in the middle and drew back tightly
in a bun at the nape of her neck.
The first impression one might have of her was that
she was apt to be very delicate and fragile. Nothing was
farther from the truth! She was the backbone of the family,
a strict disciplinarian, but always fair and just. She
managed and controlled the family finances, set down the
rules and enforced them and was the Florence Nightingale
of the entire neighborhood, helping all of h er neighbors by
nursing their families, listening to their problems and
coming to their assistance whenever they asked for help.
To her life was crystal clear. There were only two ways
to react to a situation - a right way and a wrong way. Her
husband and children loved and respected her - and did it
her way.
Whenever any of the grandchildren came to visit she
would greet us with a kiss, and then immediately reach up
to the top shelf of the cabinet in her dining room , take
down her best china teapot, and bring forth a silver dollar
for each one of us. This custom never varied, no ma tter
how often we visited h er.

She had a big black wood stove in her kitchen and far
on the back burner stood the ever filled coffee pot which
simmered all day long, so whenever any neighbor, friend or
member of the family came to call, he was either offered a
cup of coffee which was a little potent if one arrived late in
the day, or a glass of wine she had made from the grapes
in her garden. These were served with a fresh piece of cake
or some cookies which she had probably just taken from
the oven.
She was a dear unforgettable old lady, and I have
never seen greater devotion and love and loyalty than her
husband and her children had for h er.

23
The John B. Rose Family - 1886
Back Row: Victor, John, Young Servant girl who lived with the family , Felix
Front Row: John B. Rose, Mae, AdelP Rose, Juli a
Seated on chair in front: Joseph

,)

Rose Family Home


1263 Day Street

24
'"'" C" ·' ' C<J1.1" I•· •• ,; ,. ,. "" ;

John B. Rose - Certificate of Na tura lization

25
THE CHILDREN
THE CHILDREN

John Rose - 1873-1963

John Rose 1898

29
'l'HE CHILDREN

Victor Rose - 1875-1964

Alberta Rose, Victor Rose


Victor Reid Rose - 1913

30
v
VICTOR JOSEPH ROSE

The Roses had seven more children, all of whom were born
in Green Bay. The first one was Victor Joseph Rose, who
was born on April 15, 1875, a nd, as you a lready know, was
named for Victor Lambeau. He h a d a bit of the wanderlust,
and since h e was a flamboyant non-conformist a nd years
ahead of his time in doing his own thing, led possibly a
more colorful life than his brothers and sisters.
There is an old family story they tell about Victor.
When he was quite young, h e and his brother Felix owned
a barber shop which was located on Ma in Street. F elix was
in th e business of cutting h air a nd trimming beards to earn
enough mon ey to h elp finance his education in medical
school, while generous, popula r, funloving Victor was in
the shave and haircut business to keep F elix company,
apparently, since h e was using his day's profits to
entertain his friends - of whom there were many.
Each evening, after the shop closed, Victor would take
his earnings from the cash register, and a way h e would go
for an evening of fun. This went on for a few weeks until
the story r eached his older brother, J ohn, my father, who
then took it upon himself to follow Vic. H e would appear a t
Victor's side at the precise moment Victor would toss a ll
his money on the bar, counter, or table, a nd jus t as h e was
announcing expansively, "The party's on me!"
Without a word to Victor, my father would scoop up a ll
the money, a nd without a word from Victor, who stood
quietly by a nd watched him do so, my father would pocket
the mon ey. He would then ba nk it the next day in Victor's
name. As Victor told the story himself, "He followed me
enough nights and took enough money away from me to
pay for my education at Valpa riso."

Upon graduation in pharmacy from Valpariso University


in Va lpariso, Indiana, Victor headed west and settled in
Ellenda le, North Dakota, wh ere h e found employm ent as a
pharmacist in th e drug store.

31
One day a girl from Bellevue, Iowa, Alberta Van-
DanAcker, came to Ellendale to visit her uncle who owned
the newspaper. It was love at first sight, and she and
Victor were married in St. Paul, Minnesota on January 19,
1903 at the home of Alberta's brother, Thomas Van-
DanAcker.
They then moved to Donnybrook, North Dakota where
Victor and Fred White, his college roommate at Valpariso,
and a graduate pharmacist also, opened their own drug
store which they named, quite naturally, "The White
Rose."
While Alberta and Victor were living in Donnybrook
their son, Victor Reid Rose, was born on April 2, 1904.
Shortly after this they took the "Rose" from the "White
Rose" leaving it with the unimaginative name "The White
Drug Store," and the young couple and their small son
went farther west to homestead.

It is impossible for me to tell you of the many


experiences they had, but two of their investments were a
hotel in Oregon and a sheep ranch in Dakota. Soon,
however, Victor became interested in politics, and,
a lthough he n ever ran for political office himself, h e
became a real power in Dakota politics, one of the old time
"kingma kers of the smoke filled rooms." He was also a
delegate to the Republican con vention that nominated
William Howard Taft. Through the years he retained h is
interest in politics and was one of the most interesting men
I have ever talked to on the subject. To quote a phrase, I'm
sure that he "forgot more about politics than most people
ever know."
Soon after his return to Donnybrook Victor opened the
First National Bank of Donnybrook, and he and Alberta
managed it together for many years. Because of the
depression in the 1930s, and the fact that the dust storms
and grasshopper invasions took their toll of the wheat
fields of the Dakotas, Victor was unable to collect on the
farmers' notes, so he decided to retire, cancelled the notes,
paid the depositors 100 cents on the dollar and closed his
bank doors.

I should like to write a word here about Alberta, or


Aunt Bert as she was to all of us. She was, quite simply , a
remarkable lady, and today only her son, Victor, knows
how remarkable she really was. Together they h omestead-
ed, alone at times, on those cold windswept pra iries. She
managed a hotel, from office to kitchen , raised sh eep, and
h elped run a bank to mention only a few of her ac-
complishments.
She came to Green Bay a nd became for me the mother
I had lost. She h a d the unique a bility of adjusting to any
age level; at times she was my peer when I confided all my
secret hopes a nd plans to her, or when we rebelled against
the restrictions imposed upon us by Victor and Uncle Vic
when the three of us (Bert, Vic, and I) were visiting Victor

32
in Medellin, Colombia for three months. This time Bert and
I were wrong, however. Walking downtown unaccompanied
was really not the thing to do in South America in 1937.
We not only collected a crowd, we sustained a few bruises
which we could not display, where we had been pinched by
our enthusiastic admirers. At other times she became my
superior when she advised me on more perplexing
problems.
She filled the same need for my three girls, Janet,
Susan, and Christy. Since my mother had died before they
were born, she became for them the grandmother they
never knew, and she bestowed upon them the same
attention, love, and affection my mother would have - as
well as spoiling them, which is a grandmother's privilege.
Later on, about .1940, Vic and Bert came to Green Bay
to live permanently with my father who was alone, and
they gave him their devotion and companionship for many
years, for which m y brother John and I sh a ll be forever
grateful.
Victor died Ma rch 23, 1964, 3 weeks before his 89th
birthday and Aunt Bert died December 15, 1970. They were
two wonderful and delightful people whom we all miss
more than we can say.

I remember, as though it were yesterday, the first time


I saw my cousin Victor. I was eight, and he was seventeen
He was living in St. P aul, Minnesota with his mother's
brother and his wife and attending high school there since
there was no high school in the small town of Donnybrook,
North Da kota.
It was Easter vacation, and Victor h ad written to say
that h e was coming to Green Bay to visit his Rose
relatives, none of whom h e h ad ever met, and, n eedless to
say, we were all looking forward to his arrival. The day of
his visit finally came, the doorbell rang, and a tall , slim,
sandy haired blue eyed teenager walked into the house
carrying a two foot high black and white toy rabbit which
he placed in m y arms, and I fell in love with him on the
spot. The rest of the Roses did too, and we a ll spent a
happy Easter weekend with our, up until now, unknown
cousin from North Dakota, a place m y brother and I
thought was surely the wild wild west .
From then on Victor visited often, and when h e
graduated from the University of North Dakota he was
given th e choice of three gifts as a graduation present from
our mother and father. I have forgotten what the first two
were, but the third was a trip through the East, which
would include the cities of Washington D.C., Philadelphia,
Gettysburg, Boston, New York, Niagara F a lls, the states of
Maine, Vermont, a nd New Hampshire, plus the cities of
Toronto and Quebec, Ca n a da to n am e the plums. Naturally
there were some lesser attractions a lso.
My broth er, John, a nd I waited expectantly for Victor's
answer, because, whether Victor liked it or not, we went
along with the trip. He apparently liked it because h e made
the trip his choice, and one h ot summer morning in July

33
we started off in our charcoal grey Jordan sedan on our
marvelous expedition to those wondrous places none of us
had ever seen except through the pages of the "National
Geographic".
John and I were too young to drive, Mother never was
able to master the complexities of an automobile, Dad
stayed home to mind the bank, so Victor manned the wheel
for the entire trip. Mother sat in the front seat beside him ,
clutching her purse in one hand since she was financing
the trip, and a road map in the other hand since she was
navigating the trip. John and I sat in the back seat and
entertained - or annoyed - the two of them all the way to
the east coast, and through it, and up into Canada and
back, by singing (we thought it was) all of the popular
tunes of the day, beginning with "Barney Google" and
ending with "In a Little Spanish Town," and all the way
around again. I remember Victor turning to Mother at one
point up in the Adirondack Mountains and saying wearily,
"Gosh, they know a lot of songs!"

We did a lot of sightseeing, visited a lot of shrines, saw a


lot of battlefields, took a lot of pictures - and had a lot of
fun! In fact, the three of us still talk about that trip to this
day. Mother was wonderful with young people, and we
didn't miss a thing!
When we were in New York, Victor called on the
National City Bank to see if he could find a position in
their foreign department. He was hired immediately, and in
the fall of 1929 he left for Bogot~, Colombia, South
America with a position in the National City Bank's
branch in that city.
It took him one month to make the trip to Bogot~,
which today only takes four or five hours by jet. He left
New York on September 7, 1929 on the United Fruit ship
"Metapan" arriving in Barranquilla, Colombia after a
week's trip on the Caribbean. From there he took a river
boat - a Mississippi stern wheeler - up the Magdalena
River to La Derado. From here he drove by car to lbaque (a
half day's trip) and then by train to Bogot~.
We had all heard many stories of Victor's river boat
trip, and when Bert, Vic, and I visited Victor in Medell{n,
Colombia in November and December of 1937 and January
of 1938 - one of the most memorable, exciting, and
unusual trips I have ever had - Victor decided that upon
our return home we should retrace his trip in part and take
the river boat down the Magdalena to Barranquilla and
relive some of his experiences.
On our trip into Colombia we had sailed from New
York on November 7, 1937 on the Grace Line ship " Santa
Maria," disembarked at Panama, a nd flew from P anama to
Medell{n on a small passenger plane that arrived in
Medell{n three times weekly. We were the only passengers
Victor Reid Rose
on board, the plane was not pressurized, the ride was
July 29, 1929 bumpy, our stomachs were queasy, and our general attitude
Shortly before leaving for was uneasy. Looking through the plane's cloudy windows,
Bogota, Colombia, So. America the Andes mountains certainly did nothing to deny their

34
reputation as one of the world's largest and highest
mountain ranges, and, as we dipped between the peaks, the
jungles below with their dense impenetrable growth seemed
very threatening and frightening.

To add to our misery, we were kept in a constant state


of anxiety by the co-pilot who joined us in the cabin and
"entertained" us with stories of the tribe of Indian head
hunters who, even in that day and age, he assured us,
resided somewhere below. Their victims, we were informed,
were decapitated, the bodies discarded, the head and all its
features were then shrunk perfectly through some secret
heat and sand process to the size of a doll's head. The
resulting product then ended dangling ingloriously from a
chain attached to the conqueror's waistband - a trophy of
his bravery and prowess. The fact that we knew these
stories to be true only added to our uneasiness.
When we arrived in Medell{n we found that Victor was
the proud but concerned owner of one of these shrunken
human heads - an Indian girl whose long black hair was
tied with a blue ribbon which had been carefully arranged
by Victor's Colombian housekeeper. Since shrunken human
heads were illegal in Colombia, and punishment was swift,
Victor decided he would give the contraband booty to our
cousin Bob Rose who was a student at Marquette Medical
School - and I was selected as the contrabandist to see
that it arrived safely in Milwaukee.
It seemed like a rather intriguing Agatha Christy type
plot, so I instantly agreed, and my head was already
buzzing with plans for ways to get the other head out of
Colombia.

I was so obsessed with my plans of foreign intrigue that I


never considered the fact that shrunken human heads were
illegal in the United States as well! This bit of information
Victor obligingly whispered into my ear as he kissed me
"goodbye" when we were leaving Colombia with "Carmen"
(named after Victor's housekeeper) already a stowaway
among my luggage.
This revelation completely fascinated as well as
unnerved me. I daydreamed and thought of myself
imprisoned and languishing in a Colombian jail or seized
by the U.S. Customs upon my arrival in New York where I
would immediately be turned over to the State Department
for interrogation which would finally precipate in an
international incident.
I sighed over my impending fate as I took the head
from my luggage and tucked it into the dolman sleeve of
my fur coat where it settled down comfortably for its trip to
the United States - the trip which I was convinced would
certainly prove to be my undoing.
Victor, by now though, must have had a twinge of
conscience because he notified bank officials in both
Barranquilla and New York to meet us in each city and
help us through customs - which they did.

35
After my huge self buildup and plans for an inter-
national incident, nothing - but absolutely nothing -
happened! We were passed through both countries exactly
as the simple travelers we all were - the head nestling in
the full sleeve of my unworn coat the entire trip.
Carmen was ceremoniously and impressively presented
to Bob Rose, and to this day I have never quite forgiven
him for donating her to the Milwaukee Museum where
there are four other "heads" instead of the Green Bay
Museum where there are none.

Meanwhile, back to Medell{n. When our visit was over,


and it was time to return to the United States, the
complexities of the plane trip still fresh in our minds, we
eagerly accepted Victor's alternative suggestion of the river
boat trip which we thought might be a calm, relaxing
interesting cruise down the Magdalena River. Interesting it
was - cruise it was not!
We left Medellin by train, which consisted of a small
engine and several open red wooden passenger cars to
whose seats we clung desperately as we slid, swerved, and
screeched our way down the mountains until we reached
Puerto Berrio, the lowland river town where we were to
board the boat which was there waiting for us. It was a
three decked paddle wheeler very much like the pictures of
the Mississippi Showboat - minus the glamour, the
cleanliness, and the size.
We threaded our way to the top deck past many native
Colombians who were waiting to board. They were
primarily in family groups - the women with their heads
wrapped in gaily colored turbans, the men in their colored
shirts and trousers, and the children in practically nothing
at all. They chattered eagerly with one another, and their
possessions, around which they clustered, spilled from
overstuffed paper sacks and baskets.
The first deck was reserved for the lowest class fares
and was soon jammed with passengers, most of whom
would sleep and eat on deck. The stern was loaded with
freight and many articles of produce consisting of
bananas, mangoes, and other tropical fruits among which
were intersperced crates of cackling, squawking, live
chickens.

The second deck was quieter and obviously more expen-


sive. I believe the " officers" quarters were here as well as
cabins for the more prosperous passengers, a few of whom
were in evidence, dressed in white suits and panama hats.
Our quarters were on the third, or top deck, and as I
remember it, there were only four staterooms which were
very neat and clean and comfortable. The only other
passengers on the top deck besides Vic, Bert, and me were
a young Colombian couple and their six year old son. They
spoke no English, and we spoke no Spanish, so we
communicated solely by smiling, nodding, and pointing.
We saw them only at meal times when the six of us ate

36
together at one table in our own private dining room. It
never ceased to amuse us when the little boy was served a
glass of milk and a cup of strong black Colombian coffee
with each meal, he was never allowed to leave the table
unless he finished drinking - not his milk - but his
coffee.
The weather was unbearably hot and humid.
The mosquitoes were active and hungry.
The river was much like the Mississippi - wide rn
parts, sluggish and muddy.

We glided past miles of lush green jungles where we


glimpsed brilliant colored macaws in the tree tops, their
harsh grating voices calling to one another, or berating us
for disturbing their peaceful habitat. We heard monkeys
chattering and saw them swinging from tree to tree as we
approached. Every so often a crocodile would slither off the
bank into the water looking like a decaying old log as h e
floated lazily down stream.
The sun continued to beat down unmercifully, and the
humidity increased. The mosquito horde was now rein-
forced by a swarm of small black gnats, and no amount of
swatting, slapping, or swearing could reduce their number.

When we had a respite from their attacks and once again


settled back to enjoy the river and its endless natural
beauties the boat would come to a grinding halt. We had
run aground on a sandbar! The mosquitoes, recognizing
their opportunity, would return to attack with renewed
vengeance. While we swatted, the crew, with much
pushing, pulling, maneuvering, and, if we were close to
shore, h elp from the first deck passengers would eventually
free the boat and start us on our way once again.
We docked at a few very small river ports where some
of the boxes, crates, a nd produce were unloaded by h appy
stevedores singing and harmonizing in Spanish on their
Colombian songs. The heavy boxes were either tossed
lightly up to their shoulders or were placed on their h eads
where they balanced perfectly as the carrier glided
gracefully ashore with them. There was much gaiety and
laughter as arriving friends and families found and were
reunited with those who waited for them on the dock. As
the crates and boxes were unloaded, new ones were loaded,
and another mass of humanity replaced the one that had
just disembarked.
When the river widened to join the Caribbean, and we
knew we had reached the busy port of Barranquilla, I can
truly say we were all relieved, but I can a lso say that we
had just completed an experience that very few people from
the United States have ever had or ever will have. It is one
that I shall a lways remember with great nostalgia, thanks
to Victor who had taken it nine years before.
At Barranquilla we boarded the Grace Line cruise ship
"Santa Rosa" for our return to New York, and as we
boarded we were aware that we were creating a small bit of

37
conversation among the cruise passengers who had started
the trip at New York and were now draped over the rail
watching us embark.

It seemed that, since we were boarding the ship at


Barranquilla, we were assumed to be a Colombian family
on a trip to the United States, and the most vocal of the
passengers were both puzzled and chagrined when we did
not respond to the high school Spanish phrases with which
they rushed to practice on us when we reached the deck. In
fact, one pseudo sophisticate, (we found out later that she
was the editor of Vogue), her hair dyed a bright lavendar,
informed me in her best Brooklynese that I spoke English
"exceedingly well for a Colombian."
Victor became manager of all the National City
branches in Colombia - Cali, Medellin, and Bogota - as
well as opening and managing their newest branch in
Barranquilla.
In 1941 he took a leave of absence when the war broke
out, and, because of his extensive knowledge of the Central
and South American countries, he was assigned to military
intelligence with the rank of Captain.
On October 10, 1942 Victor married Anne Boughton of
Erie, Pennsylvania in Miami, Florida. He and Anne had
met four years earlier in Medellin where she was visiting
friends. After their marriage Victor was assigned to
Panama, and in 1943 he became assistant military attache
for the five countries of Central America with headqua rters
in Guatemala City. It was here that Anne was allowed to
join him. In May 1945 he was detached from the service
with the rank of Major, and he and Anne returned to
Bogota where Victor became ma nager of the National City
Bank branch there.

In 1949 h e returned to the United States as Sr. Vice


President of the International Petroleum Company. He
resigned in 1954 and went back to Bogot~ where he went
into private business.
In January 1958 he went to LaPaz, Boliva as executive
director of the Monetary Stabilization Council and Finan-
cial Advisor to the President of Bolivia. In 1960 he returned
to the United States where he became Sr. Vice President
and Manager of the International Dept of the United
California Bank in Los Angeles.
He was knighted in 1970 by his Majesty, Baudhouin,
King of the Belgians, in the order of Leopold the Second,
for financial services rendered by him to the office of the
counsel General of Belgium in Los Angeles, as well as to
the country of Belgium. He is listed in "Who's Who in
America," as well as "Who's Who in Finance," and "Who's
Who in Commerce and Industry."
Victor and Anne have two da ughters. The older, Susan,
was born in Guatemala in 1944 in the midst of a
revolution. Anne told me that sh e was terrified watching
the tracer bullets whizzing past, a nd through, her h ospital

38
room, one bullet hitting the wall and missing the baby by
inches, .forcing them both to take shelter under the bed.
Their other daughter, Nancy, was born in Bogot.{ in 1946
weighing in at only two pounds.
Victor is now retired, and he and Anne are living in
Vista, California.

39
T·H E CHILDREN

Felix Rose - 1877-1944

_,.

Dr. Felix Rose and some of his horses


1942

40
VI

FELIX (FELICIAN) ROSE

Felix Rose (Felician) was born March 16, 1877. After


graduating from the University of Illinois Medical School
he went to Coleman, Wisconsin in 1905 where he practised
medicine for ten years. Since it was a "horse and buggy
age" he soon discovered he was allergic to the horses he
drove, and he developed an asthmatic condition. Conse-
quently, he sold his practice to his brother-in-law, Dr.
Harry Graner, and took his family to Chicago where he
enrolled at the University of Chicago for further study.
Upon completing his courses he returned to Green Bay
and set up an office, away from the horses, where h e
maintained a practice for twenty five years.
However, since his hobby was h arness racing, the love
of the equine finally prevailed. He purchased several
standard breds which he raced, allergies notwithstanding,
a nd lived a happy, though asthmatic life, until his death
January 16, 1944 at the age of sixty six.

Felix married Emma Graner of Green Bay in 1903. They


had two sons, one of whom died in infancy in 1910. The
second son, Robert John Rose, who was named for both his
grandparents, Robert Graner and John B. Rose, was born
June 9, 1913.
After graduation from the University of Marquette
Medical School, Robert went to the New England
Deaconess Hospita l in Boston as a resident in pathology.
Here he met Virginia Parker, a Massachusetts' resident,
who was employed at. Deaconess Hospital as a medical
technologist. They were married in 1941, after which they
left for Fall River, Massachusetts where Robert became a
resident in surgery at the Truesdale Hospital.
He entered the service in 1942 with the rank of First
Lieutenant and was assigned to Wendover Airforce Base in
Utah and later to Fort George Wright in Spokane,
Washington .

41
Robert was separated from the service February 8, 1946
at which time he returned to Green Bay and joined the
staff of the Gosin Clinic. Later h e and Dr. Thomas Burdon
became associates and founded their own clinic. After Dr.
Burdon's death, Robert and Dr. Richard Jensen formed a
partnership and now have the Rose, J ensen , Manabat
Clinic here in Green Bay.
Robert and Virginia have four children, Robert, Nancy,
James and Virginia.
A story told me by Virginia Rose had to do with
Robert's father, Dr. Felix Rose. On one of his weekend
visits home from medical school Felix was accompanied by
a "lady" skeleton who had been considerable help to him
in his anatomy class.
She was quickly adopted as a member of the family by
Felix's brothers. She accompanied them on their various
ventures into town, proved a congenial and willing poker
partner (see picture) and was a quiet, unassuming and
pleasant girl to have around the house.
Everyone enjoyed her company with the exception of
Grandmother Rose. The new arrival would jump out at h er
from closet doors when Grandmother Rose opened them.
She would hide in her bed and appear unbidden at her
dining room table at dinner time.
One day Grandmother Rose pronounced her ultimatum,
"Out!"
On Felix's next visit home he took the young lady and
buried her in the rhubarb patch in the backyard. The
rhubarb patch has been gone for a long time, but the lady
is still there awaiting the day when some unsuspecting
soul disinters her, leaving the Green Bay Police Depart-
ment in the startling, but amusing, predicament of
investigating an apparent homicide.

42
Seated Left: John Rose and Friends P laying P oker with "Lady" Felix Rose brought h ome from Medical
School.

43
THE CHILDREN

Julia Rose - 1879-1964

Julia Rose Stern


1912

44
VII

JULIA ROSE STERN

Julia Rose Stern was born April 22, 1879. I don't think
Julia was very family oriented because we saw very little
of her when we were growing up. This may be due to the
fact that she had no children so came home to visit very
seldom. I do know that sh e was a banker in Chicago.
She married a man by the name of Rinquist, and after
his death she married William Stern, a Chicago manufac-
turer.
Julia lived in Chicago until her death in June 1964 at
the age of eighty five.

45
THE CHILDREN

JOSEPH HENRI ROSE

Joseph Henri Rose was born March 23, 1881, and died
August 19, 1882.

ROSA ROSE

Rosa Rose was born March 16, 1882 and died September 4,
1882.

47
THE CHILDREN

Joseph Rose - 1883-1973

Dr. Rose in his office

48
VIII

JOSEPH ROSE

Joseph Rose was born June 16, 1883. He graduated from


the University of Illinois Medical School where he
specialized in opthalmology. He began his practice of
medicine in Lena, Wisconsin in 1907. On the day that he
arrived in Lena he was invited to a dance, and the first
person to whom he was introduced was Belle Netzer, the
daughter of an early settler and one of the town's most
prominent businessmen. It was seven years later, on his
thirtieth birthday, June 16, 1914, before he got around to
marrying her, for in those days you didn't marry unless
you had money enough to support a wife. Few of Joseph's
early patients paid him in cash, and, since h e never sent
out a statement, h e was usua lly paid with a freshly baked
pie, a h ome cooked meal, or some produce from the garden.
By now though Uncle Joe had had several offers to
join clinics of some prominent "eye, ear, nose and throat"
specialists, but h e rejected all offers and soon became the
beloved doctor of the entire area. He loved Lena, and Lena
loved him.
In the sixty years in which h e served the community
he performed gall bladder surgery, appendectomies, ton-
silectomies, even amputations, some of necessity on kitchen
tables with the neighbors administering the anesthetic,
while members of the familes held the lights so h e could
see to operate.

H e delivered over five thousand babies. Obstetrics became


his real love in medicine, and there must be hundreds of
girls, who are named "Rose" in his honor.
He was Lena's first mayor when the village was
incorporated in 1921, a position he held until he resigned in
1948. He organized the high school basketball team in
1916-17 and managed the Lena City Team in 1919-21. He
also found time to direct several h ome talent plays as well
as play short stop on the Lena Baseball Team.

49
On November 8, 1953 the community held a "Dr. Rose
Day," and the entire area turned out to honor him while
T.V. cameras were sent from Green Bay to record the
occas10n.
On January 30, 1969 Bernice Blank, a reporter for the
Oconto Co. Reporter wrote a column about Dr. Rose
entitled " Doctors Don't Advertise - One of the Beautiful
People". I am repeating a portion of the column exactly as
she wrote it.
"I met the doctor last Friday - a bad day. The
mercury had headed for the cellar, the car heater was out, a
gale was · blowing more snow across County trunk A, and
the links in my tire chains kept breaking, setting them to
clanking with a din that threatened to tear off the top of
my head. As I headed for Lena on the trail of a " horse and
buggy doctor" story, I thought of all the other ways people
find to spend their time - like lying on Florida beaches.
Coming back a couple hours later the chains clanking
louder than ever, the heater still gave out cold air, and
frostbite was rapidly setting in. None of it seemed to
matter anymore. I had just had a brief encounter with one
of the " beautiful people" we are all of us subconsciously
hoping to meet and all too rarely do.
Up until this time, I knew very little about the doctor
beyond his n ame and age. For all I knew, he'd never owned
a horse and buggy. Then, too, his acquiescence to my
phoned request to talk with him h ad seemed less than
enthusiastic. Now as I reached the top step of his home I
was confronted with a penciled sign nailed to the door that
had obviously been there for some time and which read:
"Do not ring the bell. The doctor is ill."
He had said he would see me so I took a chance. I rang
the bell. In a few seconds the door was opened, not by a fat
grumpy old man I'd imagined, but by a rather slight and
bright-eyed "young" man who immediately extended a
hand in welcome and invited me in.
I was soon to discover the reason for the doctor's
dislike of being interviewed - a fear of being eulogized. It
went beyond the code - "Doctor's Don't Advertise" - and
was instead the sincere humility of one who feels simply
that a man does his job and that's that. His job happened
to be medicine. Repeatedly as we talked he'd reach over to
halt my scribbling - "Don't you write that. It'll sound like
bragging."

A deeply religious man, Dr. Rose. He is Catholic, but


the new movement toward unity excites him. "No religion ,"
he told me, "teaches a man to be bad. If every man lived up
to his religion , regardless of the creed, the world would be a
better place." It's a source of much satisfaction to him that
many of the phone calls he receives saying, "We're praying
you live to be 100," are from Baptists, Lutherans, and other
faiths.
As I was leaving, Dr. Rose cautioned me once again
not to make him sound too good. " You do," he said, " a n d
it'll be like the Dad telling his son a lot of war stories a n d

50
the boy asking, 'But, Dad, what did they need all those
other soldiers for?' "
I promised and started off. On the way out the door,
the "Do not Disturb" sign fell off the nail and clattered to
the floor, "Oh, leave it there,' ' the doctor said, "Nobody
pays any attention to it anyway."
Belle died in 1971. Her death was like her life, quiet
and unobtrusive, but leaving its mark particularly on
Uncle Joe. As a friend of theirs once said about Belle,
"Mrs. Rose was the ideal doctor's wife. They were neither
one complete without the other. They were together for fifty
seven years, and while young love may be beautiful, old
love like theirs endures, weathers and grows."
Another portion of an interview Bernice Blank had
with Uncle Joe was on March 30, 1972 and a portion
follows.
"When I stopped in Lena on a recent Saturday
morning to visit with Dr. Joseph Rose, I found him hard at
work in his office seeing patients. Not an unusual pastime
for a doctor, except that Dr. Rose is 88 years old (89 in
June), and is under a doctor's care himself. For a few
weeks in January there was a sign on the door reading -
"Do not ring the bell. The doctor is ill" - but it soon came
down, and it stayed down even after Dr. Rose h a d a bad
fall in February.
It was after one o'clock before he finished with the last
patient and came into the living room, making his way
slowly and painfully with the aid of a walker. When I
nagged him for working instead of resting I got the usual
answer; "You don't expect me to sit around twiddling my
thumbs all day, do you?" The obvious a nswer to that is
that most people retire at sixty five and are happy to do
the equivalent of thumb twiddling.
But then Dr. Rose is not - nor ever has been - known
to do the obvious, which generally means looking after the
old id. He's been going where he was needed a round the
local countryside since 1907 - at all hours of the day and
night, come literal h ell, highwater, or north country
blizzards.
He sees no reason why h e shouldn't be available if
someone needs him, though now they have to come to him.
Interesting too, that although h e makes a point of keeping
up with the latest in medicine (the couch where he rests
and the tables surrounding it a re piled high with medical
journals), he seems ipnocently unaware that a doctor's fees
have gone up since the days when he was paid off with a
fresh-killed chicken or a bucket of oats for his horse."

I think these interviews of Bernice Blank's give a true


insight into the character of this kind, dedicated and
thoroughly good man who used his talents, skill a nd
education solely for the benefit of others. He was sincerely
loved by all, and on June 7, 1973 he died within one week
of being ninety years old.
Joseph and Belle had one son, Joseph Warren Rose
(Bud), who was born September 28, 1916. He gr a duated

51
from St. Catherine's High School in Racine, Wis. and from
St. Norbert College in DePere. On February 14, 1939 he
married Germaine McGuire of Lena. They had seven
children, Diane, Joseph, James, Mary Pat, Michael,
Michele and Richard.
Joe, Jr. (Bud) owned a hardware store in Lena which
he operated for several years, retiring finally because of
poor hea lth. He died July 8, 1970 at the age of fifty three.

The Rose Brothers-1935


Joe, John, Felix, & Vi c

52
Dr. Joseph Rose with his
son Joseph W. (Bud) Rose

Bud Rose and his wife


Germaine, July 1938

53
THE CHILDREN

Mae Rose - 1885-1974

Mae Rose 1960

54
IX

MAE (MARIA) ROSE

Mae (Maria) Rose was born April 12, 1885. From the time
she was a little girl Mae was convinced that she wanted to
become a nun when she grew up, so when she graduated
from high school in 1903 she made plans to enter the
convent.
Her mother and father were not too pleased with the
idea, not because they objected to her choice of a vocation,
but because they feared that she was making a final
decision too hastily. A compromise was reached, and Aunt
Mae went to college for a year, but she returned more
determined than ever, and in 1906 she took her final vows
and became a member of the Dominican order and selected
the name of Sister J osita.
The Dominicans are to the sisterhood what the Jesuits
are to the priesthood. They are strictly a teaching order -
and excellent teachers they are. Aunt Mae ta ught physics
a nd ch emistry, and she enlightened untold numbers of
boys a nd girls regarding the mysteries of these two
sciences, which to me are still two unsolved puzzles. I
passed both subjects, but that is another unsolved mystery.
She taught in several high schools, one of which was St.
Catherine's in Racine, Wisconsin, where she was also vice-
principal and one of the school's most popular teachers.
Sister J osita was the perfect teach er as far as the
students were concerned. Not only did she like children ,
she understood them. St. Catherine's was a lso a boarding
school, and how lucky for the girls Sister Josita was in
charge of the dormitory.

N aturally, as in a ll boarding schools, most of the girls'


thoughtful and concern ed mothers would keep the U.S.
Postal Service, as well as the Railway Express, h ard at
work just delivering packages of food to their "starving
and famished" daughters at St. Catherine's - even though
it was against the rules.

55
When a box of the forbidden delicacies arrived and was
claimed by the happy but apprehensive youngster, Aunt
Mae, who had undoubtedly signed for it, would innocently
hand the package to the girl, although she was well aware
of the next step - the recipient was about to play the role
of hostesss to the rest of the _g irls in her room that night.

Promptly Aunt Mae sent out the same orders she always
did when the tell tale packages arrived. All Sisters who
were floor monitors were to be deaf, dumb and blind once
again, and bed check was to be conveniently overlooked.
The next morning the culprits, well fed and well
pleased with the success of their supposedly clever
deception, were ready for a resolute day's work in the
classroom. Sister Imelda, who had been one of the long ago
floor monitors, laughed as she told me the story at Aunt
Mae's Diamond Jubilee, but two of the former students who
had joined us for the conversation answered agreeably,
"We were always pretty sure that Sister Josita was on to us
all the time."
Aunt Mae was a sister when a nun was a nun, not the
liberated species of nuns we see today. Back then, they
were dressed in the traditional black h abits and hoods of
the sisterhood, and each order had a different type hood,
enabling one order to be distinguished from another. All
the sisters wore their rosaries hanging loosely from the
wide black belt that encircled their waists.
They had complete and awed respect from the wide
eyed youngsters who whispered, "Good morning Sister," to
their more sophisticated parents who nodded a nd stood
aside to let them pass.
They were spiritual and special, and their choice of
vocation, we all felt, made them better tha n we were, and
the habits they wore were the symbols that proved they
were better. Nowadays a sister is just like the rest of us
mortals - and isn't it a shame to h ave them a ll come
down to our level?

Aunt Mae had two special friends whom all of us children


loved, and since no sister was allowed to travel
anywhere alone in those days, she would always bring one
or both of them with her when she came to visit. One was
Sister Mechteldes, a jolly, cheerful, jovial lady with snappy
brown eyes and a hearty laugh. The other, Sister Leonard,
was quiet, soft spoken, very gentle and was more like Aunt
Mae in her manner and appearance.
Every summer the three would take a ten day vacation
together, which meant going to the Joseph Rose cottage at
Kelly La ke, and all of us young cousins, Robert, Joe, John
and I, would go right along with them. We were, of course,
accompanied by our mothers, and our fathers would join us
all on the weekend.
Sister Mechteldes would play baseball with us , after
which Sister Leonard would join us while we went fishing.
Usually we returned with no fish because I would let them

56
all go as soon as we caught lhem, much to the boys'
disgust. Aunt Mae was always waiting to play "Hearts"
with us when we got back, and how we all used to love to
give her the black queen. She would cloud up and grumble
half way through the next game. When it got dark we
children would have to remain indoors while Sister
Leonard and Sister Mechteldes would each don some type
of bathing suit - we were never permitted to see them -
a nd go for a swim.

August 16, 1927


Sister Leonard, Sister Josita (Mae Rose)
a nd Sister Mechteldes

This is not to infer that they did not take their vows
seriously. They were deeply religious and were mildly upset
because none of the Green Bay Roses were Catholic. Each
morning while we were at the cottage they would silently
sit on the porch together for about an hour and say their
offices (prayers) while we were cautioned to play quietly.
They prayed for us all constantly, and I know our lives
were richer and fuller and made safer because of their
prayers which protected us.

When I was married, my husband and I moved to


Minneapolis to live. On January 1, 1942, four years and
two daughters later, Aunt Mae announced to us, "I think
you've been there long enough now. I'm going to pray you
back to Green Bay." Sure enough, in six months Hoberg
Paper Mills, Bob's employer, notified us that we were to
r eturn to Green Bay. To this day I'm not sure whether it
was the war or Aunt Mae who brought us back here.
Aunt Mae, as did all the sisters, adhered strictly to the
rigid rules of the order, yet she was not adverse to
"bending" them a little to suit her purpose.
I remember when Victor and Anne Rose and their two
small daughters rented a cottage at Egg Harbor for a
month one summer, they thought it would be nice to have
Aunt Mae visit for a few days. Since Victor's parents, Vic
and Bert, were also with them it was not convenient to
have her bring her required companion along.

57
When the problem was presented to Aunt Mae she said,
"That's easy. Tell Vic (her brother and Victor's father) to
get into bed." - which maybe h e did or maybe h e didn't.
She then told those in charge at Racine that her brother
was ill - in bed anyway - and she wished permission to
travel to Egg Harbor to visit with him until he recovered.
Permission granted - Aunt Mae arrived alone - Uncle
Vic got out of bed - and we had a wonderful family reunion.

Mae loved the P ackers and knew each player by name as


well as the position he played. She was also an avid
Yankee (New York) fan and could tell you the batting
average of every member on the team. She never missed a
single game of either the Packers or Yankees whether it
was on radio or television, and she cheered both of them as
enthusiastically and wildly as a n y one of us.
She continued teaching until sh e was retired at th e age
of eighty when she went to Sienna Center in Racine to live.
She celebrated her Diamond Jubilee (60 years) there on
August 21, 1966 and died there April 21, 1974 at the age of
eighty nine - a truly unusual and well loved lady.

Mae Rose (Sister Josita) a nd one of h er chemistry classes

58

.....
Mae Rose (Sister Josita) with three of her brothers, Joe, John, Felix

59
John Rose
A NOTE ON THE CONTENTS

Because John Rose lived such a full and active life, it is


almost impossible to tell of his many faceted activities in
one continuous story and still keep the dates in
chronological succession.
In order to keep some sequence to these events I have
listed . his achievements under several different chapter
headings and will attempt to relate his history with
material that pertains to this specific category.
I am sure that you will have no trouble following his
life story, and it should be far more interesting than had I
attempted to skip from one unrelated incident to another so
that the dates might be in perfect arrangement.

63
John Rose 1890

64
x
THE EARLY YEARS

John Rose, my father, as I told you earlier, was born in


Antwerp, Belgium in 1873 and came to Green Bay with his
parents when he was three month s old.
Life for him as a young boy was not too easy in
comparison with the way the children of today are ra ised.
He, as well as the rest of the Rose children, was required to
work. After school they all had their chores in the house as
well as out in the yard where they were expected to ten d
the garden and do all the outside chores.
J ohn, being the eldest, went out to work with hi s fath er
and Victor Lambeau in the mason contracting comp a ny as
soon as h e was old enough to be of any h elp to them. When
school was out in the summer time they would start out
early in· the morning, and a twelve h our day was not
unusual as they laid row after row of seemingly endless
brick and mortar.
An interesting bit of memorabilia as told me by
Virginia Rose is the fact that Grandfath er Rose built a ll
the fireplaces in the beautiful a nd historically important
home on Monroe Avenue in which Virginia and Robert
Rose now live. The home was built in 1855 a nd was h eated
entirely by wood a nd coal stoves which were rep laced,
possibly about 1887, by fireplaces built by Rose and
Lambeau. One of Rose-Lambeau's competent assistants on
the job was my father, John Rose, wh o was a youn g boy of
fourteen a t th e time.
As each boy became old enough h e was taken into th e
family business and was expected to put in his fu ll day's
work also. For those young boys, laying bricks in a blazing
sun was lon g hot hard work. It was probably then that
they decided being doctors and ba nkers wer e easier
vocations in the long r un - physically a t least.

I t was not a ll work for J ohn and his brothers, however.


The waters of Green Bay were higher long ago than now,
so the bay was only a block from their home. They had a

65
boat and two golden retrievers, and John spent many
holidays in the fall in the duck blinds h e and his brothers
and their friends constructed, hunting teal, mallards,
canvas backs and other ducks - a sport he enjoyed
throughout his entire lifetime.
Bicycling was a popular sport in those days too, and to
quote an article by Jack Rudolph, "Green Bay's enthusiasm
for cycling was a preoccupation equalled only by today's
Packers."
The local club, to which the Roses belonged, was the
Pastime Cycle Club which was a member club of the
national organization, "League of American Wheelmen."
They staged bicycle meets here, and to quote Mr. Rudolph
once again, "John Rose played a key role in bringing the
LAW state meet to Green Bay in 1898. Much of the year's
excitement centered around the state convention of the
LAW in Milwaukee in December when the local club made
its big pitch for the 1898 state championships. Oshkosh,
Chippewa Falls and Racine were in it too, and there was
considerable uncertainty, tension and political maneuver-
ing before Green Bay got the nod on the 46th ballot. When
Rose and the other delegates came home they were met at
the station by a cheering crowd and McKenzie's Military
Band."
The "Pastimes" was a social club as well as a cycling
club. It had no age limit and boasted both men and women
members. In the summer when they were not racing or
having meets they would bicycle out into the country and
have picnics. In the wintertime they would have dancing
parties, masquerade balls and dinner and card parties.
They even had their own newspaper. Later on, when Da d
and Mother were married they belonged to a strictly social
cycling club which was called the "Ragtime Millionaires."

An of the Rose children were educated in the public


schools in spite of the fact that the family was Catholic
and required to attend the parochial schools which charged
tuition. This their father was not able - or perhaps not
about to pay. This decision caused considerable reaction
from the parish priest who informed the Rose children
every Sunday that the kingdom of Heaven was certainly
out of reach for each of them.
Possibly this may have been the reason young John
came to his mother at the age of sixteen and told her that
he was leaving the church. Surely this declaration must
have come as quite a shock to a Catholic mother,
particularly in that day and age, but she calmly question-
ed, "What do you wish to become, John?" "I'd like to be a
Mason," he replied confidently, to which she answered,
"Go, John, with my blessing and be the finest Mason you
can be." He became a thirty third degree Mason, an
honorary degree awarded to only a few men - the finest
Mason you can be!
My brother, John, and I were raised as Episcopalians
which was our Mother's faith , but each Sunday it was our
father who made sure we were both delivered to the church

66
door in time for Sunday School. He also kept up Mother's
financial pledge to her church from the time of her death in
1935 until his own in 1963.
In 1937 Dad and Mr. Louis Hoffman, whose daughter
Marjorie is one of my oldest friends, donated the side
paneling on the altar of Christ Episcopal Church in Green
Bay as a memorial for Mother and Mrs. Hoffman who were
not only neighbors and close friends but who both died
very suddenly only two months apart.
Though he did not attend church services, Dad was a
man who lived his religion every day of his life. The
Golden Rule was tailor made for him.

John was thoroughly honest and gentle even as a young


boy. He had a deep sense of responsibility, and early in his
life he assumed the duty - unfair though it was - of
caring for the rest of the family.
He remained at home working and contributing
financially so his brothers and sisters could go to college.
He also promised his mother that he would not marry until
the rest of the children were all taken care of and settled.
Consequently he was thirty three years old before he did
marry in 1906.
John was the mainstay of the entire family, and his
brothers and sisters continued to come to him for advice,
guidance, and encouragement their entire lives - a task
which he expected, accepted and enjoyed.
He was sincerely happiest when he was helping others.

67
Rufus B. Kellogg - Founder of the Kellogg Bank

68
XI

THE BANKING YEARS

In 1890 when young John Rose was seventeen years old


and in his senior year in high school, Mr. Rufus Kellogg,
the founder of the Kellogg National Bank, and Mr. Fred
Hurlbut of the Hurlbut Coal Co. came to the school to
interview students as prospective employees for their two
orga nizations. They questioned the students and put
problems on the blackboard for them to solve. Both men
were impressed with young John's record as well as his
responses to their questions, and they requested that he
come down to their respective organizations for another
meeting.
John wasted no time in appearing and was offered
employment in both places. While he was grateful to Mr.
Hurlbut for his confidence in him, he was convinced that
banking was to become his life, so after graduation he
began work at the Kellogg Bank as messenger in 1890 at a
salary of $20.00 a month. Mr. Kellogg's salary as president
was $100.00 a month, the cashier, H.G. Freeman, received
$166.00, possibly because he was more or less responsible
for the entire operation of the bank, and the head
bookkeeper was paid $83.00.
From the first day he started work, my father told me,
Mr. Rufus Kellogg became his ideal as well as his guide
and teacher. He said that Mr. Kellogg carefully counseled
him in banking and basic finance and economics, and I'm
sure that young John proved to be an eager and receptive
student. In any interviews, as well as any conversations
about banking, Dad always reverently gave Rufus Kellogg
complete credit for any success he might have had as a
banker and never failed to add, "Mr. Kellogg was the finest
man I have ever known, and as a banker, scientific or
practical, he had no peer."

Banking was a great deal different in those days. There


was no electricity, so gas lights furnished the
illumination. All records were written in pen and ink.

69
Typewriters were just coming in (and were not entirely
trusted) and posting and a dding machines were unheard
of.
Being a messenger in those days was vastly different
than it is today also. In my father's words, a messenger
boy was a "walking teller". He was sent to collect drafts,
notes, and other business transactions for the bank, as well
as deliver pay rolls which were always made up in coins.
Consequently he was entrusted with a small fortune as he
went to and from the bank. Gold and silver coins were
preferred because they were faster to count than paper
money , and there was less chance of error. Now, of course,
everything is credit and handled primarily through the
federal reserve system.
Along with these duties he was required to deliver,
collect, and sort the mail, run errands, and sweep the
floors. Then there were the fireplaces to clean and tend,
and in which to build endless fires!

Since the bank was heated entirely by fireplaces, and


every room had a fireplace, young John h ad no eight hour
day because in the cool weather the fires had to be kept
going all night as well as all day. In the cold Green Bay
winters this meant he was required to remain in the bank
for the entire night, and, with the number of fireplaces to
be kept operating, this meant little or no sleep for him. In
those days he carried so much wood, built so many fires,
and carried out so many ashes, it is no wonder that after
he married and had a family and home of his own, h e
refused to even go near a fireplace, so we grew up sans
fires, quite happily, I might add.
His career rose steadily at the Kellogg Bank. He went
from messenger to bookkeeper, to h ead bookkeeper, to
teller, to head teller, and finally to assistant cashier in
1909.
In May 1912 Mr. W.E. Kellogg, who h eld the position of
cashier of the bank, died suddenly at the age of fifty seven
years in the same manner his brother Rufus had several
years before at the age of fifty four. My father told me that
all the Kellogg men had sudden deaths while in their
fifties, and that they were attributed to a form of apoplexy.
On June 3, 1912 Dad was elected cashier to fill Mr.
Kellogg's position and was elected to the board of directors
as well. From then on he was the chief executive officer of
the bank, and while Mr. Nicolas Bur of the Bur Grocery
Company held the title of president, he was not active in
the actual operation. This was left primarily to John Rose
who continued in this capacity until the merger of the
Kellogg and Citizens banks in 1926. The Kellogg then
moved all their offices, equipment, and millions of dollars
worth of bonds, notes, and collateral securities quietly
across the street into the Citizens' bank building on a
Friday night and a Saturday afternoon early in August
under the watchful eyes of the Green Bay Police Depart-
ment - plain clothes and uniformed officers alike.

70
Aug ust 6, 1926 - John Rose elected President of th e n ewly consolidated Kellogg-Citizen s N a tion a l Ba nk

71
At the first meeting of the new bank on August 6, 1926
Mr. Rose was elected president of the now Kellogg-Citizens
National Bank by the unanimous decision of both boards
of directors. At this same time he was approached by the
First Wisconsin National Bank of Milwaukee and was
offered an executive position with their institution, but he
felt, quite naturally, that he preferred to remain in Green
Bay.

He remained in the position of president for twenty-five


years - the only president the Kellogg Citizens Bank had
ever had. On September 6, 1951 he was elected Chairman
of the Board of Directors and was succeeded by his son,
John M. Rose, who at thirty five was the youngest
president in the nation of a bank the size of the Kellogg-
Citizens.
This short summary of his career in the bank does n ot
tell of the human side of his banking experiences, nor of
the outstanding accomplishments of his banking career,
such as the multitudes of lives h e touched a nd strengthen-
ed, the innumerable business concerns he saved, the
beneficial financial, as well as personal advice, he gave to
so many, nor the endless widows h e aided and counseled.
It does not tell how he came to the rescue of countless
businessmen and their firms when the McCartney Bank
failed in May 1931, nor how h e saved so many farmers
from ruin at that time by buying up their n otes, refusing to
foreclose on their farms, a nd givin g them time to pay off
on the original note.
It does not t ell how in 1931, after the closing of the
McCartney Bank, he kept all of the Green Bay banks open
during the worst run in their histories .
Business concerns were failing everywhere, three Green
Bay banks had closed, banks were closing throughout the
n ation as well, and on the morning of June 3, 1931 rumors
ran rampant that the Green Bay banks were in financial
trouble and were about to fail. Before nine o'clock, which
was the opening hour, the streets were lined with people
waiting; others were beating on the bank doors, shouting
and shoving in their anxiety and panic.
The Kellogg-Citizens, on orders from the President,
opened its doors earlier than usual. People poured in and
rushed to the tellers' cages which, at the s uggestion of my
father, were stacked with bills - out of reach but clearly
visible to the crowds so that they might see that there was
plenty of money. Dad hoped tha t the sight of this much
cash might work psychologically to calm the majority of
people and restore their composure as well as their
confidence. It did with some of them, who, after seeing the
money, sheepishly apologized and left.
Others, however, refused to be appeased, and upon
receiving their savings literally snatched the bills, and
with hands held high shouted, "I've got mine!" and rushed
from the bank. Many dropped bills in their eagerness to
leave, or perhaps their embarrassment at being there in the
first place.

72
Citizens National Bank on the corner of Was hington a nd Cherry Streets
which became the Kellogg Citizens Nationa l Ba nk after the consolida-
ti on of the two in 1926.
The a ddition on the right was put on several years la ter.

73
Meanwhile, my father and Judge Samuel Dexter
Hastings, Chairman of the Board of Directors, a wise
distinguished old gentleman in his eighties, his gold
capped cane held tightly in his right hand, calmly strolled
through the crowd assuring each person that there was
money enough for all and tried to create order out of chaos.
He and my father were joined by other directors and
officers who mingled with the crowd throughout the entire
day.
Just about this time Mr. Austin Cofrin, then President
of Fort Howard Paper Mills, and a good friend of my
father, appeared and stationed himself at the edge of the
milling crowd. When questioned if he too was there to
withdraw his money calmly answered, "Not one cent,
John. I'm only here to observe people and see how they
react in a situation of this kind." And, only taking time to
leave for lunch, he remained there watching the crowds
throughout the day.
Some of the Kellogg's reserve had already been sent to
the smaller banks, and soon it became apparent that there
was a possibility, because of the heavy withdrawals, that
the bank could conceivably run out of cash.
My father had prepared for this situation however, and
had called some of the Chicago and Milwaukee banks very
early that morning and had borrowed one half million
dollars in currency from them to help all the other banks,
as well as his own. The money was being rushed to Green
Bay in armoured cars.

Now the doors opened, a nd in stepped Bishop Paul Peter


Rhode, the head of the Catholic diocese in this area.
He approached my father saying, "John, do you need any
money?" When he was told that money was on its way
from Milwaukee and Chicago, h e added, "I want you to
know that a ll the money in the Catholic diocese is at your
disposal. If your money does not arrive in time, just call
me, and I shall have some here for you immediately."
Then, touching my father's lapel in which he wore his
Masonic pin, he added gently, "You know, John, if I
weren't what I am, I'd be what you are." So saying, he left
as quietly as he had come.
The bank ignored the three o'clock closing hour and
went right on into the evening paying the long line of
people still standing at the windows. By now the radio and
the evening papers were announcing that armoured cars
were bringing $500,000.00 to the bank, and, strangely
enough, some of the people standing in line at this time
were some of those who had withdrawn their money
earlier. Now they were back in line to redeposit it.
Eventually the armoured cars arrived at the Kellogg-
Citizens Bank. The money was distributed by the Kellogg
to the other banks as well, and the most threatening
situation in the Kellogg's history was over.
In "75 Happy Years - A Biography of a Bank" Harold
T.I. Sha nnon writes this about the following day at the

74
bank. "Meantime President John Rose had employed the
'holiday' technique long before it was nationally ordered.
Invoking a rule of the Savings Department that the
depositor must give the bank 90 days notice of intention to
withdraw savings, he had a printer running off forms for
use at the window the next day. Only two depositors signed
the forms . Soon former accounts of the McCartney and the
other banks that had closed, including hundreds of
commercial accounts, were all new Kellogg Citizens
accounts and were running the bank's statement in to
unprecedented high figures."
Shortly after this, Mr. Rose was asked by the
stockholders and the Board of Directors of the Farmers
Exchange Bank (now the First Wisconsin) to be their
president as well as the Kellogg's. This was n a turally an
honor he deeply appreciated, but one he felt he should not
consider.

He was very instrumental in helping pick up the pieces


that were the result of the tragic circumstances that closed
the McCartney Bank and reorganizing it as the West Side
State Bank. Because of the help given the new bank it was
tenderly referred to as the "Kellogg's Baby." Mr. Claren ce
Marcott was elected president, and my father served on th e
Board of Directors for many years until a ruling was
passed making it impossible to serve on more than on e
bank board.
In 1933 the Federal Government declared a bank
moratorium, and to quote Mr. Shannon once again, " In
1932 and 1933 and the famous banking moratorium,
Kellogg Citizens stood like a local Gibraltar with a public
confidence that was a hea rtening thing to see. When the
banks of the country opened a fter the enforced h oliday
(1933) Kellogg Citizens National was not in need of any
government capital nor assistance." A local newspaper
wrote about the same occasion, "Under the leadership of
Mr. Rose, Kellogg Citizens theory of conservative but
cooperative banking, the ba nk was so financi a lly sound it
was unnecessary to have any government assistance
during the moratorium."
The Kellogg was now the third largest bank north of
Milwaukee, and somewhere Rufus Kellogg must have
smiled and said, "Well done, John!"

75
XII

THE FAMILY YEARS

John Rose 1906 Anne M. Rose

On November 9, 1906 John Rose ma rried Anne Marie


Mraz, the da u ghter of Joseph a nd Mary Ma rek Mraz. Anne
was a ta ll, very pretty, dark haired , brown eyed vivacious

77
young lady with a n engaging smile a n d a quick sense of
humor, whom John had courted for many years a nd h a d
been engaged to for several.

Upon h er graduation fr om high sch ool in June 1896 when


she was barely seventeen years old, she was hired to teach
school in the town of Humboldt. It was a typical one room
country school with grades one through nine all in the
same room. This presented quite a challen ge to Anne -
nine grades with some of the students older and ta ller than
she was!
Anne graded the students, and two supervisors visited
the school individua lly and graded Anne with the same
type report card. On h er first card she received a ll 98's and
lOO's, and after one year she was "promoted" to Woelz
School (now Nicolet) in Green Bay where she was assigned
to the fo urth grade. By 1904 h er salary was $45.00 a
month, and the school year was 10 months not 9 as it is
today. She remained h ere until sh e was married wh en s h e
gave up teaching and "cried every time a school bell rang"
because she was so lonesome.
John a nd Anne had two children. I was born January
25, 1913 and christened Janet Elizabeth which was
promptly shortened to Betty by my Grandmother Mraz,
a nd this is what I have been called ever since. My brother
John Marek (Marek was my Grandmother Mraz's maiden
name) was born May 9, 1916.
We had a wonderful and h appy childhood.
Mother, as well as Dad, was interested in civic affairs.
She was President of the Green Bay Woman 's Club, the
Monday Shakespeare Club, and the Women's Society of
Christ Episcopal Church. She was a lso very active on the
City Beautiful Committee - long before La dy Bird
Johnson started her campaign to beautify the landscape.
How shocked Mother a nd Mrs. Arthur Courtn ey Neville,
the committee's president and driving force, would be to see
what has h appened to their "City Beautiful" on
Washington Street!

I remember way back then that two of their projects were


"The Spirit of the Northwest," the statue on the court
house lawn, and the rows of once beautiful and stately elm
trees that lined either side of the lower road on the drive
from Green Bay to DePere which were planted as a
memorial for the World War I servicemen. They wouldn 't
be too h appy about the condition of those elm trees now
either. Mother was also deeply involved in the Red Cross
a nd the Antiquarian Society.
Both Mother a nd Dad were devoted parents, a nd no
matter what their activities were on week days, Saturday
aftern oons a nd a ll day Sunday always belonged to John
a nd me, a nd they allowed nothing to interfere with the
time they spent with us.
We never lacked for things to do and accompanied by
our cousins and their parents, or our friends and theirs ,

78
would take off for all kinds of interesting places in our Reo
touring car a nd never get home until evening.

Sometimes we would drive to our great Uncle J ohn


Marek's farm at Maribel and terrorize th e cows and
chickens to the point where, I am sure, they neither gave
milk nor laid eggs for several d ays after our vi sit.
On other occasions we would find a cool deep woods,
tumble out of the car laughing and shouting, and here our
parents would teach us to recognize the various species of
trees, wild flowers and birds. We would find birds' nests
but never disturb them , and Dad would tell us what kinds
of birds built them by the construction of the nests and the
color of the eggs.
He would strip the bark from a fallen birch tree a nd
make us toy canoes which Mother would s titch with string.
We would m an them with stick figures and sail them in the
streams which were choked with watercress, some of whi ch
we would gather and bring home.
There were picnics, band concerts in the park, circus
trains unloading at four in the morning, the parade down
Washington Street at noon which we would view wide eyed
from the bank windows, and roller coaster rides at Bay
Beach where, clutching our boxes of cracker jack, we would
scream as we catapulted down each steep drop.
Other times we would drive to our Uncle Joe's cottage
at Kelly Lake. It was here that Mother taught us both to
swim although she was unable to swim a stroke herself.
In the winter we would ride downtown on the streetcar.
The battery was taken out of the Reo which was put up on
blocks for the entire winter to protect the tires. Then we
would go to a movie and vaudeville show at the Orpheum
theater (now the Vic) and visit an ice cream parl or
a fterward. On the way home J ohn and I would sit on the
conductor's seat in the back of the car, spin the seat , clang
the bells and pretend we were running the troll ey - much
to the unhappiness of the motorman up front .
Most of this, I am sure, would be a real bore to th is
television motivated generation of today , but what a
wonderful time we had!

M other and Dad were both avid readers. Dad was strictly
a newspaper man , and the Milwaukee Sentin el ,
Chicago Tribune, Green Bay Press Gazette, the Wa ll Street
Journal and several other fin a ncial periodi cals arrived
daily via paper boys a nd mailman. Dad would stack th em
up alongside of his ch air and go through them meth odica l-
ly, column by column and page by page, each evening
when h e returned from the bank.
Mother, on the other h and, r ead magazines, some that
a re still being published today as well as the oldies like
Woman's Home Companion , the Delineator, Liberty, a nd
Colliers. I would cut out the paper dolls when s h e h ad
finished with the articles in the first two , a nd she would

79
Anne M. Rose
High School Graduation
June 1896

Anne Rose - 1912

80
No. TEACHER'S CONTRACT. r-i
co
GREEN BAY, WIS., .......... ..........f:'.'\/\L.:?..~)_904
It is Hereby Agreed, Between The Board of Education of the City of Green Bay, party of the "<!"
0
O'l
first part, and ............ ~.&.. . /'~.· · - ·- - - - ·-party of the second part, ...,
(.)
t.1l
...,
)...
c
0
that the said party of the second part is to t each in the Public Schools of the City of Green Bay u
CJJ
4(;./__-~-- : . ... . . .
"i...
Q,)
...c::
for the ensuing school year of 10 months, for the sum of __ ......... .......... Dollars <.)
t.1l
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CJJ
" i...
pe r month, and for said services properly rendered, the said party of the first part is to pay the Q,)
...c::
...,
0
;:;s
amount that may be due, according to this contract, at the close of each school month.
It is agreed and understood by the parties Lereto, that this contract ie subject to all rules for the regulation and government of
the City S chools now in forcf', or tbat may be h ereafter adopted by the said Board of Education, and tha t, unless said teacher
possesses the necessary tf'acher's certificate at the begioning of the fall term of school, this contract shall be void.
//), rl /_//JV r t. \-.~. 1
,
T ucher.
... . . . ... . .~~-T--l/~--~ C hairman of Committee on H iring Teachers.
Three of the Four Roses
Anne, Betty (How about that bow?)
John (And wh a t about th e dress?)

82
Soldier a nd Red Cross Nurse
waving the flag on July 4, 1918
Mother and I celebratin g
th e 4th of July - 19 16

Dad a nd I Robert Rose, Betty Rose


out for a walk - 1915 1913

83
On our way to Uncle John Marek's farm in Ma ribel.
Betty and Father, John a nd Mother, Mrs. Green and Carl Mraz

Childhood Home - John a nd Betty Rose


533 So~th Webs ter Aven ue

84
1928 Mother and Aunt Bert
1928 Dad, John & Mother (Mrs. Victor Rose)

September 1931 - Betty, J ohn a nd Mother

85
Part of the Rose Family - 1931
Left: Mrs. Felix Rose, Dr. Felix Rose, Sister J osita, J oh n Rose, Robert
Rose, J ohn M. Rose

Dad hunting at Point S a uble, October 25, 1938

86
snip out the recipes which she seldom used - exactly as I
do today.

She a lso belonged to a book club, and she' would read a ll


its selections as well as any oth er good book s h e was able
to purchase. She would then settle down with a ny of these
books (usually the best sellers of the day) and with h er
pencil would write n otes and comments on the margin as
she carefull y a nalyzed the book's contents. When she had
finished reading, the novel would be packed a nd sent to
North Dakota to Aunt Bert (Mrs. Victor Rose) to read , and
back it would come with Aunt Bert's impressions a nd
comments filling the opposite margin .
Any unsuspecting reader who borrowed the book might
be understa ndably confused a t first to find himself
engrossed in two novels, the printed on e a nd the margina l
one - and usua lly the one inserted on the margin was by
far the more interesting.
Mother a lso belonged to two study groups, the Monday
Shakespeare Club a nd the Readin g Club. In the
Shakespeare Club, the ladies studied the plays and sonnets
of William Sha kespea re, had Twelfth Night parties a nd
entertained before the meetings with luncheons prepared
the same way they were (they believed) in Shakespeare's
day. In the Reading Club they studied the classics as well
as best seller s - fiction a nd n on-fiction - and reported on
them .
John a nd I were therefore introduced to literature early
in our lives, a nd when Mother a nd Dad took a trip, their
return home present was usually a book. My favorites were
Frances Hodgson 's Burnett's "Secret Garden," a ll t he
Louisa May Alcott books, and - the absolute epitome -
a n y of the Oz books. Today, I believe, I had most of these
books written by L. F ra nk Baum, and I h ave long since
given them to my daughter J a n et for h er da ughter Ann e.
When Dad went on a trip alone a nd was n ot able to get
our book, as I remember it now, Mother would disappear
into th e innermost depths of h er closet a nd come out with a
book which would miraculously reappear in Dad's suitcase
or out of his coat pocket, and of th e three of us I think h e
was the most s urprised!

M other was terrified of t hunderstorms, and sh e could


literally h ear the thunder of a n impending storm lon g
before a n y of us knew that one was on th e way. Her
" radar" was even m ore accura te than th e United States
Weather Bureau's is today when the T.V. stations have us
a ll in a minor panic for hours with their tornado and
severe storm warnings which they const a ntly flash across
th e screen interrupting every program and causin g us a ll to
scurry around frantically battening down the windows,
securing the yard furniture, bringing in the plants,
gath ering up the children and pets, a nd looking for safe
corners in which to weath er the expected storm.

87
Mother's warnings were not so prolonged nor
monotonous, however. They usually occurred at night when
we were all asleep. She would tiptoe in and rouse us with a
firm shake of our shoulders and announce forcefully,
"There's a storm coming; everyone go downstairs."
John and I were delighted instead of terrified as we
were supposed to be. He and Dad lifted the mattresses from
the beds and started down the stairs with them, Dad
remonstrating quietly as he struggled with each mattress,
which guided from the top by John, slid and bumped the
wall - and Dad - with each step as it bounced its way
down the stairs. Dad was never too verbal in his criticism,
however, because h e knew how frightened Mother was as
she and I followed with the pillows, blankets and sheets.
Soon, after much rearranging of furniture, noisily and
happily pushed into various corners by John and me, the
mattresses were settled on the living room floor. Then
Mother and I would carefully remake the "beds" with the
sheets, blankets, and pillows and settle down and wait for
the storm to arrive - which it invariably did.

John and I thoroughly awake by now would lie on our


mattress beds, and I would pretend that mine was a raft
and I was shipwrecked on a storm swept sea. Dad would
return to sleep immediately with only one small sigh
betraying the fact that he considered the entire perfor-
mance unnecessary and ridiculous, while Mother, reassured
that her brood was safe from the elements, relaxed and
tried unsuccessfully to ignore the thunder and lightning
that crashed and flashed around us .
I have related this experience to some of my contem-
poraries believing it to be an isolated incident in my early
childhood a lone, but I have found many who had endured
the identical situation in their own lives with one small
exception. John and I were more fortunate than most of
them. We were only roused from sleep to continue sleeping
under more unusual conditions, while the majority of our
friends were awakened and, instead of the mattress
routine, survived the storm in the downstairs living room
with the aid of lighted candles and prayers.
Another peculiarity of this era was the clean un-
derwear ultmatum which, I am positive, was a cardinal
rule in every household. It was merely this. Each morning
we were given a complete change of every undergarment,
slips, shirts, panties, and stockings which had been
carefully checked for tears, rips, and missing buttons, for
which a safety pin was forbidden as a replacement. This
procedure apparently was not as much a case for the cause
of cleanliness as it was for maternal pride, because all of
us were cautioned with the simple truth that it might be
our fate to become involved in an accident that particular
day, and how disgraceful it would be to have the medical
personnel in the emergency room of the receiving hospital
discover us in anything but our carefully laundered Twenty
Mule Team boraxed fresh white undergarments.

88
Our Grandmother, Mary Marek Mraz, lived with us
possibly six months of the year, dividing her time between
us and our cousins, the Mraz family. While I loved my
mother a nd father, I think I loved my Gra ndmother Mraz
more than anyone in the world.
She never seemed to be out of the kitchen, and when
we came home from school the house was filled with
wonderful aromas - and right in the midst of them all
would be our grandmother surrounded by sugar cookies,
prune kolaches, apple pie, and fresh bread.
I would spend Saturday mornings with one of her
aprons wrapped around me, dropping round circles of
dough into a french fry pan and would gaze fascinated as
they were transformed into doughnuts which I would
rescue from the pan and then embellish with sugar. Next I
was permitted to knead the bread . dough - not too
successfully - which was then covered and set on the back
of the stove to rise.

Sometimes we would make homemade chicken soup,


which in itself is no great accomplishment, but how many
of you h ave seen homema de noodles? I wa tched in absolute
silence as Grandmother deftly sliced the tiny noodles,
wondering how she could move h er fingers out of the way
of the shimmering blade of the swiftly moving knife so
quickly.
Becky Sharp (Mrs. Donald Sharp) called me and said that
she had found one of my grandmother's recipes in a n old
cookbook that had belonged to h er mother, Mrs. Frank
Cartier. It was in the "Badger Cook Book" and was printed,
Becky thought, about 1910, and, from the a dvertisements in it,
she believed it had been put out by the Ebeling Milling Co. a n d
Joannes Brothers.
The recipe is interesting, n ot only from the standpoint of
its somewhat archaic wording and grammar, but the
ingredients and the number of steps involved in completing it.
It is the only one of my grandmother's recipes that I h ave ever
seen, and I believe that it may be the only one in existence. Her
recipes were n ever written. She knew them a ll so well that, as
she used them, she often varied them with a dash of this
ingredient or a pinch of this one - with perfect results every
time.

Bohemian "Schiskies"
Make a sponge with 1 qt. flour, 1 yeast cake, and 1 scalded
qt. of milk. Let the spon ge raise until double in size. Take 1/2
cup melted lard, add 2 tbsp. sugar and work into the sponge
with fl our until it is a stiff batter.
When kneading, use a spoon, kneading toward _you and
adding flour until the dough falls from the spoon; let raise
until double in size, then form into rolls. Let raise on a warm
board about 15 minutes. Flatten and fill with sweetened
prunes. Fold over so the prunes are covered inside. Let raise
again - about 15 minutes - and cook as doughnuts in h ot
lard.

89
When I was very small my grandmother was my
refuge when fleeing from my mother's anger when I had
disobeyed. I would run to her and she would take me in her
arms and hide me under her long floor length apron.
Confident that I was completely covered, I could never
understand how my mother found me as she led me away
to be punished - nor why my grandmother came in for a
share of the scolding too.
Grandmother Mraz died when I was twelve, but I still
remember her as vividly as though it were yesterday.
Mother was an excellent cook also. We had a fruit
cellar which Grandfather Rose had added to our base-
ment, and Mother had it completely stocked with every
store and home canned food - vegetable or fruit - that
you could name, as well as homemade jams, jellies and
pickles. There were jars of olives, ripe and green, spiced
peaches, apricots and crab apples and elegant rum babas
and plum puddings all of which Mother bought from some
concern in Chicago.
Everyone who came into our home was invited to stay
to dinner, and between my Mother's well stocked larder
and my grandmother's cooking there was a lways a
delicious meal - for us alone, or for our unexpected but
welcome guests.
Breakfasts and lunches were hasty affairs because we
were a lways rushed to get off to school, but dinners were
relaxed and unhurried. As soon as we were seated - John
to my father's left - Dad would remove his watch from his
pocket, place it between John and himself, and then
caution John with the same words every night. "Twenty
minutes - I don't care how fast you eat, but you will sit
here for twenty minutes," and no matter which of John's
friends came to the door for him , he waited outside for
John for - twenty minutes.

After this opening ritual, followed by a short blessing Dad


would serve the meal, and we would a ll discuss our day.
Each of us told what exciting, interesting, or unpleasant
thing had happened to him, and the other three, or four if
our grandmother was present, interjected interested com-
ments, advice and suggestions. It was a happy time
beca use we were all genuinely involved with one a nother.
After dinner we took turns doing the dishes, but
sometimes if John and I had a great dea l of homework,
Dad would go out and dry the dishes for Mother, and we
could hear them chattering and laughing together as they
discussed their day.
Both of our parents were perfectionists as well as strict
disciplinarians, and they expected us to practice these
guidelines in our own lives.
They were keenly interested in education , and we were
brought up by three key rules. (1.) The teacher was a lways
right. (2.) There was absolutely no excuse for missing
school short of 103 degree fever and/ or two broken legs. (3.)
We never brought home a "B" on a report card if we were
capable of achieving an "A".

90
It is not difficult to understand , therefore, our parents
interest in every school activity. Th ey were ardent
supporters of a ll East High projects, financially as well as
physically, particularly the football and basketball teams
on which my brother played. They were a lso interested in
forensics, dra matics and social activities as well, and they
ch a peroned the East High proms lon g before John a nd I
were even in high school.
After graduating from East High in June 1930 I
enrolled at Ward-Belmont College in N ashville, Tennessee.
This was my ch oice of any school I wished to attend, and I
selected it, n ot so much for its academic rating which was
excellent, but for its geographical loca tion. I h a d spent a ll
of my seventeen years in Wisconsin, a nd I thought it would
be "culturally broadening" (the big thing in that day a nd
age) to spend some time in the South, a section of the
country about which I was totally ignorant. However, I
had not reckoned with the regim entation of a girls' school,
particularly in the thirties.
Mother took me to Chicago by train, a nd we taxied to
the P a lmer House hotel where my new adventure was
about to begin.
We were directed to the "Ward-Belmont Suite," a nd
upon entering t h e room were set upon by four imposing
matrons dressed in black. I was litera lly snatch ed from my
mother's side a nd promptly and efficiently read the rules of
th e school wh ich were delivered to me as briskly as a
sergeant's orders to a new recruit. No smokin g - n o
makeup - only n avy blue and black dresses to be worn on
our trips to town in Nash ville, the areas of which were
restricted to certain blocks and stores, a nd to which we
were to a lways be accompanied by a ch aperon e - church
every Sunday with ch a peron es - no gum chewing on the
street s or a t the sch ool - lights out at ten - rising bell at
seven - breakfast at 7:30 with everyone present - n o food
in rooms - one demerit for every infraction of t h e above
(and 101 other rules) -three demerits meant a month 's
campus - and 12 d emerits resulted in expulsion .

I was then ticketed, tagged, a nd la beled and escorted


firmly to the furthermost side of the room where I joined a
group of girls of various shapes a nd sizes - all misty eyed
a nd chewing on their quivering lips. We were the Middle
West Group and were from Wisconsin, Michiga n,
Minnesota and Iowa, a nd everyone of us would have given
a nything to be back there.
The time a rrived to leave - we kissed our moth ers
goodbye, and with a tearful backward glan ce at them, we
were herded into cabs a nd rushed down to the railroad
station wh ere we bo a rded three priva te pullmans - Ward
Belmont girls were protected from everyone - and choo-
chooed off to Nashville.
To the surprise of each of us we fo und we were h avin g
a good time together on the train, and many deep and
lasting friendships began that night. The n ext morning

91
Betty elected College Maid a t Ward-Belmont - 1932
Composition of picture dictated by " Milestones" the College Annual -
earrings and all.

92
when our " private cars," along with the rest of the train,
pulled into the station at Nashville we were a group of
happy, well adjusted girls already devising schemes to
outwit the chaperones.
We were met at the station by automobiles and
whisked off to the school. When we arrived we were
deposited at a lovely old Ante-bellum home which was the
former Belmont mansion. It was surrounded by dor-
mitories, an academic building, and a group of stucco
bungalows which were club houses ("Club Village") which
had been substituted for the sororities that had been
banned from the campus.
We were given keys to our rooms and directions on how
to find them. Mine was in Fidelity Hall, and upon locating
214 I open ed the door and saw a very pretty d ark ha ired
girl sitting on one of the beds. Her name was Charline
Dowling, and she h ad a thick southern accent, which to my
unadjusted Yankee ears might just as well have been a
foreign language as she told me she was from Lowvull. (It
took me three days to realize that she h ad said Louisville.)
When she learned that I was from Wisconsin s h e looked at
me qui zzically and drawled , "Ah declah, Ah was fouteen
befoh Ah knew that 'damn ' a nd 'Yankee' didn 't go
togethah, and now Ah h ave one foah a roommate!" That
message I had absolutely no trouble deciphering. It came
through loud a nd clear, and I had just decided th a t the
Civil War was about to ruin a friendship before it h a d
begun, but with that statement a ll hostilities ceased a nd we
became g ood friends immediately. We roomed togeth er for
our two years at Ward-Belmont and correspond and see one
a nother even today.
Two of our classmates were Mary Martin, whom we
didn't know because she was in school for only a month,
and Minnie Pearl (Ophelia Colley) whom we knew very
well. Neither one of them knows us today.
I enjoyed Ward-Belmont, got good grades and liked a ll
the girls. My biggest thrill came when I was told that the
girls h ad elected me May Queen, which was the hi gh est
honor on campus. The May Queen was supposedly a good
student, was actively engaged in all the school programs,
and was, as a whole, a representative of the entire student
body.

On May Day, which was traditionally the first Saturday


in May, an arbor, intertwined with flowers, was con-
structed on a raised platform which held three flower
bedecked chairs, the center one slightly elevated from the
two on either side. The "Queen" sat in the middle, and her
two attendants, the "College Maid" and the "High School
Maid," sat on her right and left. Perched rather timidly on
the steps before them, their flower baskets on their laps,
were two little Nash ville youngsters who served as flower
girls and strewed rose petals before the paths of the school
"royalty" as they arrived at the arbor. The members of the
senior class, all dressed in long white dresses then paraded

93
past the queen a nd h er court - rather like a review of the
troops.
All of the natives of Nashville a ttended, the la dies
dressed in long chiffon dresses a nd wearing large leghorn
hats. The two Na shville pa pers t ook pictures of the ritua ls
in which the school displayed the pulchritude they h a d
been training and hiding in n avy blue a nd black all year.
The next day we were then exhibited in the rotogravure
section of their Sunday editions.
My h a ppiness was short lived, h owever, because
immediately after the ba llots were counted, I was sum-
mon ed to the dean's offi ce. I was greeted upon my arrival
by Dr. Barton , Miss Sisson, Miss Morrison , and Dean
Burke, a ll very serious a nd a ll very obviously distressed. I
was told to be seated, and then Miss Morrison gently
a nnounced to me that I h ad placed the school in a very
emba rrassing situation as well as a frightful dilemma . She
then continued in h er carefully cultured voice that kept
rising a nd rising as she t alked faster an d faster. " We don't
know what to do. N ever in the history of the school has a
Northern girl been elected May Queen at Ward Belmont!
All of Nashville will be in attendance, the papers will be
h ere to take pictures, not of our usual Southern girl - but a
Northerner!" She spit the offensive word out as though it
were hot in her mouth.
All I could answer meekly was, "That 's right, you
certainly can't get any farther north tha n Wisconsin."
They had ch ecked h astily, she then informed me, a nd
found that I owed a 25¢ library fine (news to me), and since
the May Queen was required to be without fault, they h ad
decided to demote me to College Maid (th e number two
spot) and elevate the runner up, one Annie Ka te Rebman
from Courtland, Alabama, a true daughter of the old South,
to May Queen - which was done with no further delay.
May Day arrived as planned, the Nash ville pa pers took
their pictures - even of me - the natives "yo'alled" here
and ther e, Ward-Belmont preserved its tradition, and a
good time was had by all.
I chuckled after it was over, a nd I was hanging up my
white organdy dress. They n eedn't h ave invented a 25¢
library fine for me. There were a few more interesting
"crimes" they could have eliminated m e with legitimately
had they taken the time to check a little longer.

Upon graduation I was awarded a scholarship to the


University of Southern California which I was unable to
accept because of the r eoccurence of a slight heart murmur
which h as plagued me since childhood.
My brother John graduated from East High School in
1934 and enrolled at N orthwestern University in Evanston,
Illinois. While there h e was voted th e most outstanding
member of the Freshman Class. He was just n earing the
end of his freshman year when our mother died very
suddenly on April 25, 1935.
April 18th was Mother's birthday, and she a nd Dad,
with a group of Green Bay friends, h ad been invited to a

94
dinner party in Manitowoc. They had a ll met at our h ome,
and I waved goodbye to them as I watched them get into
their cars laughing and joking as they pulled away.
After dinner, just as they were leaving Manitowoc,
Mother became very ill, and Dad stopped the car a nd went
up to the door of a lighted home to use a phone to summon
h elp. The owner of the home turned out to be a doctor who
immediately called an ambulance and had Mother taken to
Holy Family Hospital.
After getting her settled and reasonably comfortable,
Dad was told by the doctor that he should return home.
The next morning h e broke the sad news to me.
We left for Manitowoc at once and remained with
Mother every day - only returning home to sleep at night.
She was in acute pain with a violent headache that n one of
the doctors seemed able to diagnose or relieve. This
continued for a week, and then on April 25th it disappeared
completely.
She was happy and talkative and sent me out to get
her a n ice cream sundae that afternoon. The doctors
arrived a nd commented that they "wish ed all their patients
were doing as well as she was," and when I left that
evening we were all ma king plans to bring h er home.
When h er special nurse arrived with her dinner tray,
Mother sent her to dinner a nd told her to take as much
time as she wished since sh e felt so well. When the nurse
returned a half hour later she fou nd Mother unconscious,
and at nine o'clock that evening she died without ever
regaining consciousness.
They said it was an embolism. It didn't matter - we
were all too shocked. Her death was a deep sorrow for a ll of
us but most of all for our father. He h a d not only lost his
h elpmate but his companion, confidant, a nd his best
friend. Being at h ome with him, and knowing h ow grieved
he was, I continually admired the stoicism h e maintained
as he went on bravely without h er.
J ohn returned to Northwestern and graduated in June
1938. That September he enrolled in the Harv ard School of
Business Administration for graduate work.

O n October 24, 1938 I married Robert Thomas Meyer, a


native of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He was a sales represen-
tative for Hoberg Paper Mills (n ow Charmin), and we went
to Minneapolis to live. Our first daughter , Janet Anne was
born there October 31, 1939.
In June 1940 John graduated from Harvard Business
School, returned to Green Bay and began employment at
the Kellogg-Citizens Bank on July 1, 1940.
Since h e had graduated from Northwestern with an
N.R.O.T.C. Commission as an ensig n, and the United
States was getting close to its inevitable involvement in a
war that was raging overseas, John was required to report
to the Naval Reserve every morning before h e went to the
bank.
On March 1, 1941 h e married Meredith Burke of Green
Bay, and only three weeks later, on March 25th - eight

95
John - Lieutenant Commander, Uni ted States Navy - 1944

96
and one half months before Pearl Harbor - he was called
to active duty in the U.S. Navy, reporting to the U.S.
Naval Training Station at Norfolk, Virginia.
After an eight week's refresher course at Norfolk, he
was assigned to the U.S.S. P ocomoke on July 7, 1941, along
with eighty other Green Bay men, who, as Ensign Rose,
were a ll members of the Green Bay Naval Reserve.
The Pocomoke was a floating hotel and supply ship for
sea planes, and John and his fellow officers were in charge
of the second deck. Crews of the sea planes lived on the
shi p when not on duty. Food, gasoline, and many other
supplies were furnished by the Pocomoke which moved
about and literally acted as a "landing field" and
headquarters for the seaplanes' activities.

In January 1942, while still serving on the Pocomoke,


John was promoted to Lieutenant Jr. Grade, and in May
1942 he was transferred to Lakehurst, New Jersey, where
in July he became a full Lieutenant.
Meanwhile, back in Minneapolis our second daughter,
Susan Kay was born on September 23, 1941. We then got
word from Hoberg that we were to return to Green Bay,
which we did in June 1942, and we a ll moved in with my
father because Bob was trying to get a commission in the
Navy, and we had no idea what our future plans would be.
John had by now transferred to Lighter than Air -
Zepplins - and became a naval aviator of an airship, and,
after being stationed in Richmond, Florida, was assigned
to Squadron 41 and sent to South America in August 1943.
In June 1944 he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander.
He then served five months, from September 6, 1944 to
February 2, 1945, in the Amphibious Division of the
Atlantic Fleet, and was then assigned to L.S.M. Group 39
as Group Commander and was ordered to a Pacific sea
duty tour. Fortunately, the war was soon to be over. In
May 1945 the Germans surrendered and in August the
Japanese gave up, so on December 7, 1945, John was
released from active duty. On January 1, 1946 h e returned
once again to resume his duties at the Kellogg Citizens
Bank where he was made assistant cashier. On February
26, 1946 he was formally released from active duty, and on
September 3, 1948 he resigned from the Navy and was
given an honorable discharge.
As you know, in 1951 John became President of the
Kellogg Citizens Bank when his father was made Chair-
man of the Board. John, like his father, has continued to
keep the Kellogg an outstanding bank. Under his
leadership they have formed the Associated Ba nc-Corp.,
the members of which a re the Kellogg Bank, the First Nat'l
Bank of Neenah, the Manitowoc Savings Bank, Neenah
West Nat'l Bank, Bank Services Mortgage Co. Inc., and the
East Wisconsin Trustee Co. John serves as Chairman of
the Board for the entire group.
The Kellogg has a branch in Allouez, one in the Town
of Scott, and one in the Port Plaza Mall. In 1976 the

97
Kellogg was the largest bank in Green Bay, the sixth in
the state of Wisconsin and the 525th largest in the United
States, a growth of twenty seven places over 1974. It has
come a long way from the bank Mr. Rufus Kellogg opened
for business on January 1, 1874 and its success has been
due primarily to the banking ability of two men, father and
son, both of them named John Rose - a record of 52 years
of leadership from the Rose family.
John and Meredith have five children, Meredith
(Polly), Alexandra, John, Ann, and Victoria and one
granddaughter, Lisa Weaver, who is Polly's daughter.

After our return to Green Bay our third daughter,


Christine Elizabeth was born on April 5, 1947. Bob left
Hobert Paper Mills and purchased Tape, Inc., a concern in
Green Bay which manufactures gummed, reinforced, and
pressure sensitive tape for packaging. Tape, Inc. has
progressed rapidly under good management also, and we
can truthfully say that life has been good to the two Rose
children.
It was a happy day for us when we returned to Green
Bay from Minneapolis. Although our daughters never had
the privilege of knowing my mother, they were blessed in
knowing my father and having the benefit of his
knowledge, his philosophy, and his companionship for a
good many years.
One of the highlights of their early lives - Meyer and
Rose children a like - was their Sunday morning visits to
the bank with him - "It was a lot more fun than Sunday
School." While he checked the mail they "typed" letters,
practiced their mathematics on the adding machines and
left the switchboard a tangle of wires. After they had
demoralized all the equipment, Grandpa would take them
to Kaaps where he would buy Meredith and me a two
pound box of chocolates for a take home present, while
each grandchild received several packages of gum and
candy from his ever filled coat pockets.
He and I always took our three girls to the County
Fair, and before they went on the merry-go-round and the
ferris wheel, we visited each barn and found the blue
ribbon cows, horses , sheep, pigs, chickens, lambs and
rabbits. Then he explained each variety to them just as h e
had done for my brother and me so many years before.
He never failed to buy tickets for the Shrine Circus in
Milwaukee, a nd Dad and I would load the Meyer and Rose
children into our station wagon and accompanied by our
friends, Ruth and Bud Destache, off we would go for the
day. We would stop and have dinner at a restaurant on the
way back and then arrive home laden with balloons,
whirly birds and even a chameleon or two.
The memory of these happy times with him is still a
tender and constant inspiration for our three daughters ,
J anet, Susan and Christy. They h ave spent many hours
talking about Grandpa Rose, his humor, his advice to
them, and the countless things h e taught them.
My hope is that they n ever forget.

98
The Meyer fam il y, September 23, 1948
Left - J anet, Christy, Betty, Susan

99
John Rose and his Family - March 1951

Left to right back row: Meredith Rose and Ann , John M. Rose, Alex
Rose, John Rose, Christy Meyer, Bob Meyer, Betty Meyer
Seated on F loor: Polly Rose, Susan Meyer, John P. Rose, J an et Meyer

100
Dad's 80th birthday, March 14, 1953

Left: Dr. Joseph Rose (70) Victor Rose (78) J ohn Rose (80)

Left to Right: Mrs. Frank Mraz, Mrs. Felix Rose, Mrs. Joseph Rose

101
John Rose - September 23, 1953
at the time he was awarded the
33rd degree in Masonry

102 \
XIII

THE CIVIC YEARS

John Rose's contributions to his community were numerous


and unheralded. He was not a wealthy man - yet h e
might have been had h e taken advantage of some of the
opportunities that came his way. The investment oppor-
tunities, most of which proved profitable, were passed
a long to others.
Since h e had no real estate or inherited wealth to give
away, there are no college football fields or parks n a med
after him, no buildings bearing plaques with his name, nor
any community c.enters dedicated as his memorial.
He was a quiet and gentle man who lived modestly,
a nd the accumulation of money, as such, was n either his
immediate nor ultimate goal.
He was an ardent supporter of the Y. M. C. A. and was
chairman of the finance committee during the construction
of the "Y" building in 1924. He became a ch arter member,
ser ving on the board of directors from September 1925 to
February 1949 and as treasurer from February 1931 to
February 1948 wh en h e declined re-election. As stated in
the memorial tribute to him from the Y. M. C. A. "by his
loyal and devoted membership, he participated in,
furthered, and, through the force of his personality a n d
leadership, gave inspiration to the program of this
organization to serve the youth of the Community."
Dad served on the Board of Education for eight years,
six years as President, resigning July 18, 1925. During this
time it was his suggestion to name the Junior High School
"Washington" after our first president.

In April 1935, he and Ira H. Mclntre, superintendent of


Schools initiated "Boy's Day in Citizenship. " In this event
the boys took over all city offices for the entire day. They
were motorcycle policemen, traffic policemen, police detec-
tives, firemen, councilmen, mayor, county and municipal
judges, district attorney and other city and county offices.
Needless to say, the day was a huge success for the boys.

103
They all had a wonderful time. The girls were less
enthusiastic. There was no women's lib, in 1925.

Dad was asked to be on the Board of Regents of the


University of Wisconsin in the 1950s but declined since he
had sent John and me to out of state schools of our choice,
and he felt, in so doing, that it was unfair for him to help
formulate policies at a Wisconsin school.
His humor on school integration is worth noting at this
point, I think. We were just at the beginning of the
controversy about integration, and a group of us was
having a very heated discussion about the pros and cons of
the problem. Just as the heat of the argument reached its
climax, my father said very calmly, " I can't understand all
this hue and cry about integration nowadays. In my
graduating class back in 1890 one quarter of the class was
black!" This bombshell produced absolute silence for
several seconds, and soon the rebuttal was thunderous in
questioning disbelief. Only then did he chuckle and add,
" It certainly was. There were four of us in the graduating
class, a nd one, Bill Dawson, was black!" As was so
characteristic of him, he kept in touch with the oth er three
throughout their lifetimes.
In 1934 Green Bay observed its tercentennia l, and the
climax of these three hundred glorious years was a visit by
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
My father was appointed to a committee which was
charged with making the necessary arrangements for the
presidential visit. These duties included meeting with th e
secret service, providing a ramp for the President's
wheelchair, draping the platform with bunting so the
h arness in which the President sat while addressing the
crowd would not be visible, and, as the grand fin a le, sitting
on th e platform with him.
Since Dad was a staunch Republican this posed a
minor problem. How could h e explain to his Republican
friends what he was doing on the same platform with
Franklin D. Roosevelt, th e most outstanding Democrat of
the day - even though there would be many other Green
Bay citizens up there with him?
The time arrrived, the committee was waiting on the
platform, the president was brought in, a nd , being a Mason
himself, noticed my father's Masonic pin. He thrust out his
hand and in his booming voice shouted, "Hello Noble!" So
Dad and the President of the United States exchanged the
Masonic grip before the entire a udience, Republicans a nd
Democrats alike, while the Green Bay Band continued
laboriously playing "Hail to the Chief!"
Dad was an active Mason, as he had so long ago
promised his mother he would be and held dual
membership in the Valley of Green Bay. He belonged to the
Scottish Rites in Milwaukee and was a lso a life member of
the Tripoli Temple in that city. He was a member of the
Green Bay Shrine Club where he h eld the office of
treasurer for fifteen years after which he refused re-
election.

104
In Green Bay he was affiliated with the York Rites, and
each year it was his task to help direct the 14th degree for
the new classes in Masonry. In fact after Dad's death, one
of the classes for the 14th degree was named the "John
Rose Class" in his honor, and my husband Bob, my
brother John, and I attended the dinner that was given
following the installation.
On September 23, 1953 Dad was a warded the 33rd
degree in Masonry, one of the first men in Green Bay, a nd
the fourth in Brown County to receive th e honor which is
conferred only for outstanding service to the community as
well as to the Masonic order . The Green Bay Shrine Club
honored him at a dinner la ter at whi ch Oscar Richter,
a nother 33rd degree Mason was the guest speaker. One of
Dad's favorite charities was the Shrine Crippled Children 's
Hospitals, and his support of these was tremendous.
During both World Wars he served as co-ch a irman for
Brown County for the Bond Drives and received recogni-
tion from the citizens of Green Bay as well as the Treasury
Department of the United States.
He was on the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army
fo r the State of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan . The
Salvation Army was another of hi s favorite charities.
He was a charter member of both the local Elks a nd
Kiwanis Clubs a nd served as treasurer a nd director of the
Kiwanis Club for years.
Dad was a Knight of Pythias for sixty years, having
joined at the age of twenty one and held every office in the
organization, after which h e was given a life membership.
He was a charter member of the Fifty Year Club of th e
Wisconsin Ba nkers' Association and was honored along
with thirty seven more bankers in the state on June 5, 1941
for having served their communities for fi fty years or more.

In Jun e 1941 h e was appointed by Governor Heil for a five


year term to the· Wisconsin Banking R eview Board a nd
was immediately m a de vice-chairman. Governor Goodla nd
r e-a ppointed him in 194 7 when he was elected ch a irma n of
the group. His appointment received a una nimous endorse-
ment 29-0 by the Wisconsin State Senate - "the only
unanimous decision ma de during the entire session," stated
a Madison n ewspaper at the time.
The Banking Review Board is one of the most
important regulatory agencies of the government of the
s ta te of Wisconsin, serving, under the law, as a check on
the activities of the State Banking Commission which
regulates banks and other financial institutions. Dad
served two three year terms on the Executive Council of the
Board on a committee of five that drafted the presen t law
pertaining to the insuring of public funds in saving
accounts a nd the like.
He was re-appointed by Governors Goodland a nd
Kohler a nd served on this board for a total of four term s,
fourteen year s as ch a irma n , before h e resign ed September
29, 1961.

105
These were some of his civic activities. I am sure there
were more with which I am not familiar. One thing we do
know, he enjoyed contributing his talents to his community
and gained his own satisfaction with a "job well done. "

Sixty years in Banking, November 19, 1950

John Rose reminiscing with the girls in his "officia l banking family" at
party given in his h onor by the employees a nd th e board of directors of
the Kellogg-Citizen's Na tion a l Bank.

106
ELISABETH ROOTHOOFT

BELGIUM
Elisabeth Roothooft (my fat her's first cousin)
on her seventy-fifth birthday March 29, 1960

108
XIV

BELGIUM 1960

In June 1960, when our second daughter, Susan, graduated


from East High, Bob and I decided to take the family to
Europe. This decision was made primarily because our
eldest daughter, Janet, was living in Germany at the time,
so we thought it a perfect reason to take the trip.
Naturally we included Belgium in our itinerary for the
simple reason that Dad's cousin on the Vandenplas side,
Elisabeth Roothooft, (the same one who routed the
Germans) had contacted us immediately after the end of
the war in 1945. She and I exchanged many letters, most of
which suffered in the translation, I'm afraid, because mine
were in English and hers to me were in French. Though
n either of us knew the other's language we continued this
labor of love - or duty through the mail for years.
When the trip was definite I wrote Elisabeth and, with
an American's compassionate misconception of the " poor
suffering Belgians," a hangover phrase from World War I,
I asked if there was anything at all they would like us to
bring them.
I am sure my offer was made with the subconscious
thought we a ll had at that time - Zippo lighters and/ or
nylons - which we Americans were led to believe to be our
passport into the hearts of any foreign country's citizens.
Elisabeth wrote back and said, " Do not bring
anything. We shall let you know what we want when you
get here." And so the Meyer family boarded a plane and
flew innocently into Belgium!

Elizabeth and her son, Marcel Roothooft, who, at the time


was a professor at the University, but is now making
documentary films for the Belgian government, met us in
Brussels. They were two thoroughly delightful people. As I
said earlier, Elisabeth was tiny, less than five feet tall,
very much like her aunt, my Grandmother Rose, deter-
mined, resolute and imbued with family love and devotion,
which she expressed in very animated French, which we

109
could not understand , and much hugging and kissing,
which we could.
Marcel was ver y charming, very European, a nd sin ce
h e spoke English haltingly was very h arrassed trying to
translate the thoughts, the em otions and the opini on s of
six very excited people - five of whom s poke only English !
However h e was a success, a nd after touring the beautiful
city of Brussels, we were told, "Tomorrow we sh a ll go to
Nethen a nd visit the co usins."
Next morning bright a nd early, Marcel and E lisabeth
picked us up at our h otel, and we left for Nethen , a very
small town of several hundred people, about twenty five
miles from Brussels.
I am sure that Nethen h as n ot ch anged since my
grandmoth er and grandfather walked to that railroad
station in 1872. The streets were cobblestone, the houses
were primarily of stone, rur(!l, a lmost medieval in
appearan ce. In fact, the houses in which my -,grandfather
a nd gra ndmother were born are still standing a nd s till
occupied, in some insta n ces, by member-s of the family.
When we arrived the town was quiet, n o one was out of
doors, a nd th ere was no one to meet us . When I questioned
Marcel as to whether we were expected, I thought I
detected a slight glint in his eye as h e said, "Oh yes, the
cousins kn ow the Americans are h ere."
So saying, h e stopped the car at one of the stone
houses, the birthplace of m y grandmother Adele Rose a nd
before we got out, Marcel briefed us with , "This is the home
of my mother's brother, Vital Pensis a nd his wife Marie.
He knocked on the door which was opened immediately by
a husky, ruddy faced, smiling m an in his seven ties. He h ad
beautiful white h a ir, a m oustache, and the bluest eyes I
h a ve ever seen.
"Bon jour, bonjour," h e shouted heartily, grasping our
h ands in both of his own and thumping us soundly on our
b acks and shoulders as h e pushed us into the h ouse a nd
into the arms of a timid quiet lady who had been hiding
behind him , "Marie, les cousins," h e announced, while she
shyly motion ed to us to enter h er home. Their da ughter
Marquerite, a da rk, smiling young lady about twenty three
years old, stepped forwa rd, shook h a nds - and then
disappeared into what I presumed was the kitch en .

The h ome was comforta ble but a lmost primitive by our


standards. The ston e floor was covered with a bra ided rug,
the furniture was s turdy and durable, and a long table,
which was set for lunch, stood in t he middle of the room
which seem ed to be a combination living a nd dining room.
We were immediately invited to sit down for luncheon,
a lthough it was then only about eleven o'clock, and, when
we did, a plate with a generous h elping of chicken salad
was placed before each one of us. It looked delicious, a nd
we thought it was a perfect selection for a warm summer
day. The salad was complemented with a glass of warm
Belgian beer which was served from a pitcher. Each time

110
Maree! and .l<.;!isabeth Hoothoolt
Brussels, Belgium, December 25, J ':)fi~l

.. . -~----
•.Ji.":
-w__
'~"
. , ii' . .
~
;:\.
I
- .' "
•Y .,... '
.. •

.
... -

, . .. .. ».-.,,'
~.
t.. ~\:""
'
~
,,"'
!t~

'

Anne and Victor Rose


Brussels, Belgium, Nov. 6, 1964
Elisabeth Roothooft (Center)

111
we bravely took a taste of the beer the glass was promptly
refilled , much to our despair.
When we h ad finished the chicken salad, which was
excellent, we tried to rise from the table but were told ,
" Non , non," and were gestured back into the ch a irs.
Now Marie a nd her daughter, Marguerite, n either of
whom had eaten anything with us, marched in carrying an
enormous platter laden with a succulent pork roast
surround ed by new brown potatoes, tiny carrots, a n d
steaming boiled onions. Fried apples, red cabbage, h ot
rolls, fresh bread, a huge bowl of gravy and individual
lettuce salads a ppeared miraculously, and you guessed it,
more warm beer. Through it all , Marcel translated French
into English, English into French.

When I asked Vi tal, through the n ow perspiring Marcel, if


t here were any more La mbeaus in Nethen, Vital responded
himself, " Non, last Lambeau go with Baptiste," (my
grandfather)
All this tim e I kept wondering where the rest of the
cousins were. In the United States we would h ave had the
inevitable "family reunion" a n d met all the visitors
together.
When the meal was finished, with two kinds of
"Belgian Pie," Vital, and Marie who h ad finally joined us,
rose from the table, indicating it was time to leave. After
many " th a nk yous," smiles a n d hugs, "good byes" and "au
revoirs," Marcel took us across a small yard to a house
directly n ext door.
As the door of Vita l's home closed behind us, the door
of Oscar a nd Doroth ee's home opened, and we were
received just as cordially and enthusiastically. Oscar,
E lisabeth 's youn gest brother, was a friendly sligh tly
balding man, and his wife Dorothee was a sm all dark
birdlike lady wh o darted around trying to make us
comfortable.
Oscar and Doroth ee must have been more affluent
th an Vital and Marie. Their h ome was larger, very ni cely
furnish ed, and both Oscar a nd his wife seemed a bit more
cosmopolitan than Vita l a nd Marie.
However , no soon er had we arrived than we were once
again ush ered into th e dining room and were served
a n oth er complete dinner! This time, after a fresh fruit
cocktail, the entree was a n en ormous standin g rib roast
complete with a u jus a nd a ll the proper accompanimen ts,
beautiful to behold - but h ow to hold?
After warning our daughters with a look that plainly
said "Remember the Ugly American ,'' we grasped our
knives and forks firmly, and I am s ure we did Un cle Sam
justice in the eyes of the Belgians, as we actually finished
a nother dinner. This time there was no warm beer, but in
its place they served Belgian coffee made from chicory,
which was not much of an improvement.
We were now bid "au revoir" with the same ardor and
waddled down the cobbleston es past six houses where, with
8inking spirits, we watched Marcel knock on the door of

112
still another house. This one was opened by two charming
old ladies, Adele 82 and Marie 87, both sisters of
Elisabeth's. They were wearing long black crepe de chine
dresses, and Adele, who had been named for my grand-
mother , had a lovely string of pearls a round h er n eck ,
while Marie was wearing the m atching earrings.
·we were greeted warmly h ere, hands were exten ded to
greet us but with greater reserve a nd constraint. This
house was s ma ll but really quite delig htful. The furniture
was mahogany and g leamed with much polishing and
care. A tea table, laid with a lace cloth a nd a si lver ser vice
waited expectantly for the arriving guests.

We were invited to be seated, little cakes a ppeared on a


silver tray, and tea was served in fragile cups and saucers.
We sipped and nibbled and once again were on our way.
Ver y la boriously now we followed Marcel down the
cobblestones and across the street, passing a church with a
gaping h ole in the roof through which the s ky was clearly
visible - a souvenir from the Germa n Luftwaffe, a nd,
though it was 1960, it had still n ot been repaired .
Now Marcel climbed th e steps of a brick h ouse, very
noticeably newer and more modern tha n the stone houses
we h a d left behind. This time the door was opened by a
younger m a n, possibly in his forties, who greeted us with
" Ho w nice to see you. Do com e in!" Marcel, visibly relieved,
smiled at us and said, "Carry on ," which we did.
This was Andre Vandenplas , a second cous in, and a
nu clear physicist, and both h e and hi s French wife, Yvette,
spoke perfect English. For a few minutes we relaxed whi le
we visited with them - n ot for long, h owever, because they
soon excused themselves and disappeared.
" Now what," we thought, as we loo ked a t on e another
in mounting despair. Soon they reappeared, both canyin g
a tray, Andre very proud a nd visibily beaming as he
produced one very large bottle of Scotch from hi s tray .
Yvette seemed just as thrilled to be foll owing with two tall
high ball glasses on h er tray.
This gesture was ver y definitely mean t to be the pi6ce
de resistance of the visit, but to m e it spelled disaster. I had
eaten chicken salad, fruit salad, a wedge of lettuce salad,
pork roast, beef roast, Belgian pie, ch ocolate cake and ice
cream , teacakes and coo kies, a nd h ad imbibed in warm
beer, chicory coffee , and tea a ll in four h ours time, but
Belgians or no Belgians , thi s was too mu ch. I n ot only
dislike Scotch; it was only three o'clock in the afternoon!
I glanced a t Bob who was experiencing an entirely
different reaction. All day lon g h e h a d been extremely
placid as though h e were bravely tolerating a necessary
situation, b ut suddenly h e seemed to come alive. He was
smiling broadly at this new and unexpected development
and rubbing his hands together in a nticipation. I could see
that h e felt that , at last, this was to be his reward for so
docilely submitting to an entire day of my relatives.
Andre began filling the tall glasses rig ht from the
bottle, a nd I watched in complete fasci n a tion as the a mber

113
Nethen, Belgium - July 1960

Marcel Roo thooft and Betty Meyer


From the condition of the s ign it appears to have been
there sin ce 1741 also

Th e Meyer Family in Brussels, Belgi um J uly 24, 1960


E lisabeth (center) an d cousi ns

114
Our Belgian relatives who furnished the food before we furnis hed the
church .
Back Row: Marquerite, Vital (her father) Dorothee, Oscar (Dorothee's
husband) Elisabeth
Front Row: Marie (Vital's wife) Marie, Adele

After Andre Vandeplas (right) poured the scotch.


Left: Bob Meyer, Betty (note skeptical look)

115
liquid kept flowing a nd flowing until th e gla ss was
completely full! This ch a llenge was then h a nded to me -
no ice - no water - no soda - just one very full , very ta ll
glass of scotch. I realized this was to be a real s train on
American-Belgian relations - a nd rela tives - and tha t I
was about to flunk. I tried fran tically to think of a way to
dispose of the drink in some manner other tha n the
expected one.
Once a gain I stole a gla n ce in Bob's direction. I saw
him casua lly look around in the h ope of discovering some
ice, but seeing n one, h e unda untingly attacked his scotch.
With each swallow h e seemed to enj oy it more. He beca me
expansive, talka tive, and rela xed, and when his glass was
empty, he calmly reach ed over a nd exch a nged it for my
untouch ed full one!
Wh en he h a d finish ed mine h e had a g low tha t lit up
th e room. T here was n o d oubt a bout it; h e loved his
fellowmen , but most especia lly h e loved the Belgian s, a nd
these Belgians in particular.

Now came the moment we h a d a ll waited for. E lisabeth


a nnounced through Ma rcel, " Come, we will now sh ow yo u
wha t we wa nt from you." We collected Bob, a nd with
Elis abeth firmly leadin g the way , m a rch ed across the
street to the church.
" Not the roof," I gasped in pa nic! " Non ," said
Elisabeth as sh e mars h a lled us down the aisle righ t up to
th e a ltar. With a gesture tha t included the entire area, she
looked a t Marcel, who touchin g his foreh ead with his
forefin ger said seriously, " It comes to my mind, we would
like a communion rail - a ma rble communion ra il."
While I menta lly added up Belgian fran cs a nd tri ed to
ch a nge them into American dolla rs a nd composed severa l
negative excuses, I h eard my husba n d a ddressing me. "Of
course, Betty, it's a ma rvelous idea. It's a perfect memoria l
for your gra ndp a rents from a ll the Roses in the United
St a tes." Then , before I could reply, h e turned to Ma rcel a nd
a dded , "Consider it a ccomplished. I s h all be persona lly
responsible for this project and assure you th at a ll the
Ros es in the United Sta tes will be in complete agreem ent. "
This a nnouncemen t was foll owed by much h a ppiness
a nd h a ndsha king, and Bob, h ead tilted back a nd gazing a t
the h ole in the roof, dramatically unfolded a poign a nt ya rn
for his n ow spell bound a udien ce.
He told of yet another year, and perh a ps anoth er wa r,
a nd certa inly a nother Rose, Belgian of course, who,
escaping the en emy, German naturally, stumbles into the
church a t Nethen. As h e kneels at the ra il h e discovers the
inscription and realizes tha t the Roses in America h ave
given this memori a l to their cousins across th e sea. This
revela tion n atura lly gives the soldi er the incentive a nd
courage to continue, a nd h e returns to battle a nd defeats
th e Germa n s single h a nded - or a lmost.
Mar cel's emotion al trans la tion a n d his perform ance of
th e soldier stumblin g into t h e chruch was academy award
caliber a nd brought tears to everyon e's eyes, including

116
mme. Needless to say, mine were for an entirely different
reason.
Then with cheers for Bob and a promise to name a
street "Bob Meyer" after him, the "innocents abroad" left
Belgium and flew back to the security of the United States.

True to his promise, upon our return to Green Bay, Bob


contacted all of the Roses and found none of them receptive
to his plan. When he contacted my father though, Dad said,
" I think it's a great idea, Bob, and I shall pay the entire
cost. " It was then agreed that he would pay half and Bob
and I would pay the other half. With that my brother
decided that he would contribute also, and the money was
forwarded to Belgium.
And so, because of two people, Elisabeth , a determined
little Belgian lady, who had the dream, a nd Bob Meyer
who h a d the h eart, as well as the scotch, there was a black
marbel communion rail (now converted into an a ltar)
constructed in a church in the little town of Nethen,
Belgium, which bears the inscription "In memory of John
Rose and Adele V andenplas from their children in the
United States."
John and Adele had come home at last!

Marble Communion Rail given to the church in Nethen by the Meyer and Rose families
in memory of Adele and John B. Rose

117
Church in
Nethen , Brabant Belgium

118
June 1962 - Another view of the Commun ion
Rail in Church in Nethen.

In 1965 when Communion Rails became obsolete in the Catholic Church ,


th e rail was converted into an altar, sh own above.

119
The origina l inscription
which was on the rail
is now part of the altar.
It reads,

Given by the children


of
J .B. Rose
a nd
Adele Vandenplas
U.S.A.
1962

September 8, 1968
A mass at the Rose Memoria l Altar in Nethen

120
JOHN ROSE
THE REW ARD ING YEARS
40T H A NN I VERS A RY
GREEN BAY ASSOCIATION OF COMMERCE
An n ua l M ee t i n g Hono r ing
JOHN ROSE, SR.
31 Con tinuous Yea rs of Service as
Treosurer of the Association

Tu e sday , November 13 , 1956


6:30 P.M.
N OR THL A N D H OTE L

Testimonial din ner given for J ohn Rose


by Green Bay Association of Commerce, November 13, 1956

122
xv
THE REWARDING YEARS

John Rose had many glorious and h appy years in public


life, a nd the honors bestowed upon him by the
organizations he served and the friends he made were
numerous.
On N ovember 19, 1950, his "official family," the
employees of the Kellogg-Citizens Bank honored him at a
dinner party at the Stratosphere for his sixty years in
banking. All of the employees, officers, and the Board of
Directors attended, and Dad was presented with a plaque
and sixty roses - one for each year.
December 1, 1950, h e was honored at a dinner meeting
of the Retail Credit Association and the Board of Directors
of the· Chamber of Commerce for his sixty years as a
banker, the longest any man had ever been in business on
Washington Street. He was awarded a scroll a nd at 7:30
P .M. he pulled a switch lighting the city's downtown street
decorations for the first time for the Christmas h olidays.
On this occasion he delivered a speech giving an account
of his recollections of his years in business on Washington
Street.
On November 13, 1956 Dad was again honored by the
Chamber of Commerce at a testimonial dinner attended by
more than five hundred people. At this time h e was serving
his thirty first consecutive year as treasurer of the
organization which was believed to be the longest tenure of
office for any Association of Commerce officer in the
United States. This time h e was presented with a book of
momentoes which included photographs of the entire
occasion, congratulatory messages from a ll over the United
States, a key to the city, and a resolution from the Board of
Directors. Once again he related stories of his long
business career.
The Chamber of Commerce honored him for the third time
on May 13, 1963. This was at their annual meeting which
was held at the Bay theater, and on this occasion h e
received a plaque citing his long service to the group.

123
Green Bay Association of Commerce Testimonial Dinner
Nov. 13, 1956

Left to Ri gh t: Bob Meyer, Betty Rose Meyer, John Rose, Meredith B. Rose, J ohn M. Rose

J oh n Rose, Virginia P . Rose, Dr. Robert Rose, J ohn M. Rose

124
Seventy years in Banking - September 10,
1960

Testimonial dinner a ttended by close business associates a nd personal


friends from all over the United States.

125
Testimonial dinner for seventy years
in Banking Septern her 10, 1960

Left to Right: Rev. Henry Brendemihl, Robert Rose, John M. Rose,


Victor Rose, John Rose

Left to right: Victor Rose, John Rose, Mila n Boex, Robert Meyer, Ca rl Mraz

126
Banlcer Still lilces
Job After 70 Yrs.
GREEN BAY, Sept. 9 (Spe-
cial) John Rose got $5 a week
when he started work as a
bank messenger here on Sept.
9, 1890. He liked banking so
he ren'lained in the field.
He celebrated his 70th year
as a banker Thursday night at
a civic d i n n e r attended by
friends from as far away as
New York and San Francisco
to honor Rose, now chairman
of the board of the Kellogg-
Citizens National Bank here.
Rose, now 87, was only 17
when he took the bank mes-
senger job. He was bank presi-
dent before his son, John M.
Rose, succeeded to that post
nine years ago.
BORN IN BELGIUM
JOHN ROSE
"Grandpa Rose," as he is
known at the bank, was born Green Bay Area ChaJPber of
in Antwerp, Belgium, on March Commerce for over 30 years.
14, 1873, the same year the He has been a member of
Kellogg Bank was chartered. the Bellin Memorial Hospital
His parents brought him to board since 1932, formerly act-
Green Bay when he was a year ing as treasurer.
old. His father, a bricklayer, He is a life member or the
later developed a prosperous Elks and a charter member
contracting business. of the Green Bay Kiwanis
Club.
Despite his age, Banker Rose
has no intention of taking ON BANK BOARD
things easy. Asked when he
Completing his 19th year as
planned to retire, ·h e replied:
chairman of the Wisconsin
"I don't really know. •1 intend
Board of Review, he is now
to wear out rather than rest
the state's o l d e s t active
out."
banker.
LIKES BIRD HUNTING As a man who has handled
a lot of money in his life-
An avid hunter, he outwears time, Rose is often asked,
friends many years his juniors "When is a man rich ?"
in chilly, wet duck blinds along "I'm rich," he replies. "Rich
the shores of Green Bay. in getting things out of life ;
His activities don't stop at in being able to help people
the entrance to his open-front without gaining anything in
office next to the bank door. return but their good will,
A charter member of the friendship and respect."
YMCA, he has been on its Then, he adds quiCkly, "I'm
board for 24 years. richest in my eight grandchil-
He has been treasurer of the dren."

Milwaukee Sentinel
September 11, 1960

127
John Rose To Be Vete·ran Banker To Get
Honored at Meet Plaque From Chamber
John Rose, veteran Green
Veteran Washington Bay banker. who advanced
Street Businessman from a messenger boy t o
pres ident, will be honored
Will Turn on Lights Monday evening during the
annual meeting of the Green
John Rose Sr., president of the
Bay Area Chamber of Com- '°·
Kellogg-Citizens National bank merce.
and a Washington street business- Rose, who mafked his 90th
man for 60 years, will be honored birthday March 14, became
at a dinner meeting of the retail
committee and board of d irectors president when the Citizens
of the Green Bay Association of Na tion al a nd the Kellogg's
Commerce a t 6:15 Wednesday Nationa'l Banks consolidated
e vening at the Beaumont hotel. in 1926 to his retirement in
No other man has been in busi- 1951.
ness on Washjngton street for so He was born in Antwerp,
l ong, the Association of Com - Belgium, in 1874 and moved
merce believes. Besides heading with his father and mother
the bank, Rose is treasurer of the t o this country when he was
association and has held that posi- two months old.
tion for some time. After graduating fr om East
I
J oseph Horner Jr., president of High School at the age of 17, I
the Association of Commerce, will he wa s employed by Rufu.s I
present Rose with a scroll mark-· B. Kellogg, president of the
ing his 60 years in business. The
award will be made at 7:30, when
R ose will pull a switch lighting!
b ank . From t hat day to his
retirement he kept his own I
. r
"banker 's hours," 7 a.m. un-
for the first time the city's down-
town street decorations for Christ- til the bank'. c losed.
mas. Rose is also scheduled to Rose Through R a nks
give an account of his recollec- Rose worked up throu·g h the 1
t ions of the past of Washington r anks of bookkeeper, tell er, 1
street. assistant cashier, a nd in l912 J
M. Z. Baxter, chairman of the was made cashier.
r etail committee of the Associa- He was married in 1906 and
tion of Commerce, will preside at i.s the father of two children,
the dinner. The committee and
the board of directors will be
guests for the evening of A. C. and
Carl Witteborg of the Beaumont
J ohn M., who succeeded him

and Betty.
I
to the presidency of the bank ,
Annual Meeting Monday
h otel. The board will hold its Rose has been active in l The chamber's an nu a 1
m onthly meeting at 5 o'clock banking, civic and commun-,' meeting will be held at the
Wednesday afternoon at the hotel. ity affairs. He served two B ay Thea ter, beginning a t
preceding the dinner. t erms as a member of the 7 :30 p .m. Rose will receive
The new Christmas street deco- exec utive council of the Wis- , a plaque citing his long serv-
rations are the first lighted ones consin Bankers Assn., and ice t o the group fro m Wil-
the city has had in several years four six-year term s as chair- liam Servotte, president of
because of previous shortages of man of the state Banking Re- B ay West Paper Co.
electricity. They are being put view Boar d . Also to be honored with
on Main street t o Monroe avenue, He was one of the fir.st 33rd plaques w ill be 12 local pa-
Washington street, Adams s treet, degree Masons in Green Bay I per compq.nies as part of the
Broadway, West Mason and West 1 a nd a memb er of all its ~tate's ·.;alute to the paper
·w alnut street. They are a coop- · industry.
b ranches, as well as the
erative venture of the r etail divi- F irms to be honored are:
sion of the Association ·of Com- Knights of P y thias. He is also
a charter member of the . B ay West Paper Co. , Cha r-
merce, and the South and Central 1
West Side Businessmert's associa- G reen Bay E lks Lodge a nd I m in Paper Products Co. , Di-
tions. the Kiwanis Club. He served ana Mfg. Co. , Fort Howard
. Besides the lights, the decora-1 eight years on the Board of Paper Co., Freeman Paper
h ons consist of evergreen roping: Education , six as its pre.;i- Co., Green Bay Pack aging,
s trung across the streets, and 156 d ent and has been treasurer Inc., Milprint ; Inc., Nicolet
plastic figures · surrounded by and board memb er of Bellin P aper Co., Northern Pape r
lights and wreaths on the lamp Mem orial Hospital, the Cham- Mills , Straube! Paper Co.,
posts. The figures represent carol ber of Commerce and the Tape, Inc., and U.S. Paper
singers, lamplighters, town criers YMCA. Mills Corp.
and Santa Clauses. '!'hey were
erected by city employe111.

December 1, 1950 May 13, 1963

128
I

New Kellogg Bank on the corner of Adams and Cherry Streets in Green Bay.

129
November 21 , 1962 - John Rose sealing cornerston e on new Kellogg
Bank building.

130
John Rose and two of his granddaughters opening the doors of the new
Kellogg Bank for the first time July 1963.
Left: Christine Meyer and Victoria Rose.

131
Oil Portrait of Joh n Rose which hangs
in Kellogg Bank

132
Dad was honored on September 10, 1960 with a
testimonial dinner celebrating his seventy years in bank-
ing. This affair was attended by close business associates
and personal friends from a ll over th e United States. At
the time one of his friends said of him, "With John every
step has been a proud step forward." This, I believe,
describes his life in one positive forceful sentence.
On this occasion h e was interviewed by the press and
was asked, Mr. Rose, you h ave been a banker your entire
life, tell us, when is a man rich?" "I'm rich," he replied,
"rich in getting things out of life, in being able to help
people without gaining anything in return but their good
wi ll, friendship a nd respect." Then h e quickly added, "I'm
richest in my eight grandchildren!"

They too are rich, rich in the heritage h e left them,


honesty, integrity, morality, a strong religious belief, as
well as a depth of kindness and humility that is unknown
today. May they guard this h eritage well!
On November 21, 1962 his lifelong dream was realized
when the cornerstone was laid for the new Kellogg-Citizens
Nation a l Bank on the corn er of Ada ms and Cherry Streets.
John Rose, at eighty nine, wielded the trowel that sealed
the new cornerston e, with auth ority I might add, because
before beginning his banking career he h a d worked for his
contractor father.
With two of his granddaughters, Christine Meyer and
Victoria Rose at his side, h e turn ed the key that opened the
new bank doors for the very first time on July 29, 1963.
As was so typical of his ch aracter, throughout h is
seventy three years of banking h e refused to ever h ave a
private office sayin g, in his own words, that he did not
wish to be shut away from the people wh o came to his
bank. Therefore, h e a lways h a d his desk n ear the door in
easy access to the customers who wished his advice as well
as the numerous friends and acquaintances who merely
wished to exchange pleasantries with him.
Today his oil portra it hangs facing his desk in the
main portion of the bank wh ere most of the activity is
centered. As John P. Rose, his grandson and a third
generation banker, told me, many of th e older people wh o
knew him still pause a moment at his portrait and
cheerfully greet him with "Good morning , John ," as they
enter or leave the bank he served so long and loved so well.
On November 7, 1963, after spending the morning at
his desk and the afternoon at his hunting shack with his
son, his grandson, and several close friends, h e ret urned
home, sat down in his favorite ch air and remarked to his
sister-in-law, Mrs. Victor Rose, "This h as been one of the
most beautiful days of my life." With this he put back his
h ead and closed his eyes forever. A gentle death for a
gentle man. He was ninety years old.

133
Editorial in
Green Bay
Press-Gazette GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE
November 9, 1963
SATURDAY NOON, NOVEMBER 9, 1963
A DAILY THOUGHT: Through fa ith we understand that the worlds were
framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not
made of things which do appear. - Hebrews J1:3.
Apart from faith man cannot understand how tha universe came into
being nor impart meaning to it.

John Rose, Banker and Citizen


The death of J ohn Rose, chair- ties available to all p eople and built
man of the board of the Kellogg-Citi- from that an outstanding career of
zens National Bank, at 90 years of leadership in the financial life of this
age, will serve to remind thousands community and the state of Wiscon-
of people in this community of the in- sin.
f luence this man's career had upon Mr. Rose was deeply interested
their own individual lives an d of his in education. He devoted eight years
great contribution to the develop- of his spare time to serving as a mem-
ment of the community. ber of the Green Bay Board of Edu-
Mr. Rose entered the banking cation and of those, six years he
business in 1890 at the age of 17, just served as president of the board. He
after he had gradu?ted from East was active in su ch civic undertakings
High School. From the lowly position as the YMCA and the Chamber of
of bank messenger for the Kellogg Commerce. He made a national
National Bank he rose steadily, step record in serving for 38 years as
by step, to the t op post which gave treasurer of the Green Bay Area
him the direction and leadership of Chambe'r of Commerce and the or-
that institution. The Kellogg and the ganizations which preceded the
Citizens National banks were consol- chamber under other names.
idated in 1926. The Kellogg bank was Mr. Rose had an abiding faith in
moved across the street to the Citi- the future of Green Bay as a commer-
zens Bank building and Mr. Rose be- cial center and a good place to live.
came president of the new Kellogg- He believed firmly in judging people
Citizens National Bank by the unani- on the basis of their native ability
mous choice of the consolidated bank supported by their earnestness, hon-
boards. esty and willingness to work. I n his
When Mr. Rose began his career own life he set an example and for
as a bank messenger, it is well to re- many years he was the first man at
member that he had no influence in the bank in the morning and the last
banking circles that any high school to leave at night. He understood the
graduate did not have. It is probably banking business and what banks
true, also, that he had less of the could do and should do for the com-
world's goods at that time than al- munity. Thus with this knowledge as
most any 1963 high school graduate the head of the largest financial in-
would have in embarking upon such stitution in this community he was in
a career. What he did have was a position to do some truly great things
high order of intelligence, honesty, for the community.
determination and a desire to make a Those who knew him well know
career of the service of banking. The that he used this great power and
story of Mr. Rose is that of a boy born the prestige of his position humbly
in Belgium who came to America and modestly and in a way that made
with his parents as a child, took ad- the finest contribution to the wide
vantage of the educational opportuni- area served by h is bank.

134
The Meyer Family - July 197 4

Back Row-left: Susan James, Christine Mayer, Elizabeth James, J a net


DeSpirito, Robert Meyer, Betty Meyer, Anne Rasmussen (J a net' s
daughter)
Front Row-left: Christin e J ames, Scott Mayer

Katherine Anne Mayer


1978

135
MORE NOTES AND PICTURES
Jobq, Jt?se_,
~
B. 2.l December, 1807
w. Netnen, Belgium

his Jeatt. '6apti ste Rose,


B. 2.2. Jan. 1 IS4'2..
M.
D.

jamili9 w. Nernen, Selqillm


D l<o Jari. 1 1930
W. &i-een Ba~. Wis.
M. Z.7 August) J86b
S. 23 August 1808
J"olut, Rose w. Pi ctrebais Chapelle , l3el9iu
D.
B. 14 Mcirc.h 1873
I
w.
W. Antwerp, Be19·1um
D 7 No-.ember, 1%3
W. Green Bay, Wis.
M. 9 November> 1906
A.Me 11-tra;
B. 18 April, 1879 Jeatt.. Joseph Vandenplas
w. Green Bay, Wis. B. I Nov., 1809
0. 25" April, 1935" w. Neth en, Belgium
M. 6 Apri l ) 1834
W. Mon'1towoc,, Wis . }i{~rie Adele Ycmdenplas
O. 2. March 1 1879
B. 18 Oct ., 1844 W. Net hen, Belgium
w. Net.hen , Belgium
D. 19 Feb. 1930
W. Green Bay, Wis.

Children.. B. 28 March / 1810


W. Hqmme-fv'l'll \e , Belgium
Janet t'.,liJabeth, Rose Q 7 Ma~, 1888
W. Ne+hen , Belgi urrt
e. 2.S- Jan. , 1913
13rotlt.ers attd Sisters
Joh11.i 1\1tlrek, RosQ.
B. 9 May, 1916 Jattvier'Rose, B. 2.8Ja.n.18~,<3, o. z..1 May,\872..
Maria bguise Rose, B. 2.6 Oct. 1870, p. 1 June,1872.
V1ctorJ<.Wiepk Rose , 8 . 15 April 1875, D. Z3March, 1964
b~l«.a Gratter M.
1903 f'e1ix(f'elic10tt)Rose, B. l 6 March l877, 0.1", Jan . 1944
1
'Eaby "'6oy Rose B. 19lO 0.1910 J\J1ia Rose, B. 2.2. Apr'il, 1819, o. June 19"4
'Robert Johl'l.'Rase B. 9 June 1q13 Joseph 1-lenr.l 'Rose, f3 . 22 March, IBBl D.17,AtKJ.,1881
1

&,sa 'Rose. B. 1~ March 1882.. D. 4Sept.,1882..


KEY Joseph Rose, B. I~ June , 1883, o. 7 lune .. 1973
B.= Born ~ri<A Rose, B. 1'2. April , 1885, 0.20 Apri l, l974
W.= Where
M. = Marr'1ed
D.= Died
Jealti ri 'Rose e. 11+1
Dieudonne 'Ro&e ,..-..,=:..:..~.........:..:,_=-==::;..:....----~o~.~2~s_F~eb~
., _
1S_3_
1 _______
--'--'==="-'::....:..='---'-'==-~----~

B. 11 March , 1778 l'rtlrie tke'rese Carpen.tier a.


w. Ne+hen , Belgium o.
M.
D. 2. 1 February, 185'7 ,_S_il1-W
_ n.
_ Bou
__ri_qu
.' -i_g._nm _ _ ___.L~~·-'s_Se_pt_
_ t., ., _
'?4_a______
W. Nethen Belgium I -
~'Wg--.:-:-r=ieU:e-=-=-=Bxi=='-m~u~zj~no~~-~-~l~Ar~n~e~™a~M=·e~De:::..::...Y<__;_::,o=~=er:;__-1L~_:_ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
B. '"Jan, 1'779 _
w. Nethen, Be lgiom
Q
W.
r----- - - - - - - ----18·
D

'------------~B-
o.

tbrri Vandenplas 1aD..


Jean Baptiste Vande11plas
B. 5 Apri l, 1772. Anne 1'-~ t3omb~erts J B.
w. Nethen, Belgium D
M· Io June 179<D
D 2.5" April, 1a4g Gllles Ancrnux 8. ?g Ju1y ?43
I

W. N ethen, Belgium D
arie ' 5eAnc1au..x
8. 4 Novernbe.r1 177.q lttAr1e Calheritle Pu4e B 3 June 754
W Nethen 1 Belq·ium :>
O. 24 Ju1y , SS3
Jacq es Goffinet
I~
W·Ne+hen , B~ 1v rn
J0'3?ph Goff met
8. 8 Decemoe.... ~I Cal lterm.e f 1elett- 8
w. 0
M.
D. Gil'e Demcuet o9 "la':! , 7~9
w. ...,..,
AttcjdiCLue femar'et" Jecn-}\e 1\~cne t=b1s~~\.:lnS s.i - Au~t.is• 75 3
8. 7 Oc..i) be- ... -- 0
w. Harime- v.. e 3e ~ . . . . . .
D. 19 Aor;. , E59 •
w. Hanirrie- ._.., e 3e c ~m

M. 19 Jar. . '9C3
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