Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.


Isaac Franklin Rosel

ISAAC FRANKLIN ROSEL. While he first knew Kansas in the years immediately following the Civil war, Isaac Franklin Rosel has been a permanent factor in the development and citizenship of Grant County for only thirty-one years, having come to the county in 1887. He is a successful farmer and stock raiser and his well appointed ranch is on the banks of the Cimarron River.

Mr. Rosel represents an old Virginia family that has successively pioneered in several of the Middle Western states. His grandfather, Jesse Rosel, was a Virginian and became a pioneer Hoosier in Sullivan County, Indiana. He and his wife had three daughters and a son, all of whom reared families. These children were: Mrs. Mary Hunt, who died in Sullivan County on the homestead her father settled; Sarah, who married Eli Hunt and died in the same locality; Letha, who married Seth Hunt - oddly enough none of these Hunts were related - and both died near the old Rosel homestead; and Jonathan, who was the only son.

Jonathan Rosel, father of Isaac F. Rosel, was born in Virginia in December, 1822, and was a child when his parents moved to Indiana. He spent his rather brief life as a farmer, and in the fall of 1862 enlisted in Company F of the 85th Indiana Infantry. He was a faithful soldier with his regiment until he was stricken and died of disease and is buried in the National cemetery at Nashville, Tennessee. By his first marriage he had two sons, Jesse, now a retired farmer at Eureka, Kansas, and I. Franklin, who was only an infant when his mother died. Jonathan Rosel married for his second wife Cynthia Frakes, who is now living in Tennessee, and the mother of one son, Hiram Rosel.

Isaac Franklin Rosel was born at Valparaiso, Indiana, January 13, 1848. When his father went into the army he was left at home with his maternal grandfather, who was a southern sympathizer. The old man and the young one at once began to differ strongly in regard to their political sentiments and the boy soon went away and enlisted in the same company with his father. After being in camp six weeks, on account of his youth - fourteen years of age - and his light weight and undersize, he was mustered out. He then returned to his maternal grandfather's home for a time, and after his brother returned from the army on a veteran furlough both went to Shelbyville, Illinois. In Shelby County of that state he grew to manhood and acquired most of his education in the country schools. He lived there as a farmer and wage worker by the month until 1869, when with his brother, two cousins and Andrew Hunter he was one of a party to come out to Kansas and locate in Greenwood County. They covered the entire distance in wagons, and Mr. Rosel entered a tract of Cherokee land, paying $1.25 an acre. It was located five miles south of Eureka. He sold his interest before proving up the claim. For a number of years Mr. Rosel had a career of varied experiences over the west. At one time he was a stage driver from Caldwell, Kansas, to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. His rambling carried him through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon and Utah and Wyoming, and he was not a resident of any one community long enough to become a citizen or identify himself with its affairs. He was absent in various sections of the west for thirteen years. At one time while in the mountain regions of the southwest he was employed by Mr. Hitson in gathering up cattle in New Mexico for Texas ranchmen. These cattle were identified by marks and brands and the round-up was part of the endeavor to break up the Comanche Indian trade in stolen or maverick cattle.

In 1885 Mr. Rosel returned, as it were, to the haunts of civilization, and took charge of a bunch of cattle which his labors had acquired. In 1886 he married, and on April 2, 1887, removed to Grant County, settling where he now is on the Cimarron River.

Mr. Rosel brought to this region a team, a few cows and calves, and at once opened out as a rancher. He homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 25, township 30, range 36. A sod house of one room sheltered him and his family. The chief incidents of his life in this region have been those common to a cattleman and while the range was open and the grass free he developed a large herd of stock. With the fencing off of the country and the advent of permanent settlers the range was shortened and his cattle industry accordingly curtailed. However, he is still running a modest bunch of White Face cattle. Along with his homestead he took up a timber claim and owns both of them and by the acquisition of other lands has a complete section. A hundred acres are under cultivation, and he grows kaffir, maize, cane and broom corn. He has also produced something of a record crop in field corn, forty bushels to the acre. Both Mr. and Mrs. Rosel have served on the board of school district No. 26. They are republicans in politics, and Mr. Rosel was his party candidate for sheriff when the populist party was predominant all over Kansas.

On March 28, 1886, Mr. Rosel married Miss Mary E. Bowen, who was born in Wisconsin November 11, 1863, one of the seven children of George E. and Elizabeth (Axford) Bowen, who were married in Wisconsin. Her father was a native of New York State and her mother of Michigan. Mr. Bowen spent most of his active life as a farmer, though for a time he was a merchant. In 1867 he came from Wisconsin to Kansas, locating on Otter Creek in Greenwood County. The surviving Bowen children are: Mrs. Lydia Rutter, of Greenwood County; Mrs. Rosel; George A., of Phillips, Wisconsin; Ezra T., of South Dakota; William, of Greenwood County; Asa M., of Soda, Texas. George E. Bowen died near Eureka, Kansas, April 1, 1906, and his widow still occupies the old home there. An interesting family of children have grown up in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Rosel in Grant County, and several of them have gone out from here and established homes of their own. The record of the children briefly is as follows: William Tecumseh, who is a farmer in Grant County and married Anna Gray; Mary Eliza, who married Jesse Kellogg, of Sedgwick, Kansas, and has a son, Harold; Rhoda J., who was educated in the Friends Academy at Fowler and in the Friends University at Wichita, was a teacher in Seward County until she married Guy E. McCracken, of Wichita, Kansas; Franklin DeWitt is in training at Camp Grant, Illinois, for the war; Clothilde, who married Frank D. Hollar, of Ulysses, Kansas, and has a son, Victor Eugene; Merl Axford, a student in high school at Liberal, Kansas; Jonathan Eldridge, also in school at Liberal; J. DaIny, in the Liberal schools; and Harold, youngest of the family, still at home.


Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Volume 4 - Table of Contents

Tom & Carolyn Ward
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