WILLIAM W. ROSE. - In both Kansas and Missouri there are to be found many fine public and private buildings that attest the skill of William W. Rose in his important profession, in which he has achieved marked success and high reputation. He is recognized as one of the representative architects of this section of the west and as one of the progressive and liberal citizens of Kansas City, Kansas, where he has significantly shown his civic loyalty, his independence and courage in following the dictates of his judgment as to matters of public polity, and his earnest desire to further the advancement of the city by all legitimate means, deprecating a mawkish sentimentality that defeats its own objects and represents impracticability in municipal government and incidental exigencies. This was shown emphatically in a rather diverting experience which was his in endeavoring to serve as mayor of Kansas City in 1905, and mention of this will be more specifically made in later paragraphs. Suffice it to say at this juncture that Mr. Rose is one of the essentially representative business men of the metropolis of Wyandotte county and that his course, whose independence has created certain antagonisms at times, has been such as to insure to him the respect of all classes of citizens.
William W. Rose was born at Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, on the 12th of March, 1864, and is a son of George B. and Charlotte N. (Warren) Rose, the former of whom was born in Jefferson county, New York, in 1823, and the latter of whom was born in St. Lawrence county, that state, in 1826, both families having been founded in the old empire commonwealth in the pioneer epoch of its history. The father passed away in 1883 and the mother was summoned to eternal rest in 1896, the subject of this review being the only one surviving of their three children. Both were zealous church members and in politics the father was a staunch Republican from the time of the organization of the party until his death. He was boss miller of a flouring mill at Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence county, New York, for thirty-eight years, and was a citizen of prominence and influence in the community.
He whose name initiates this sketch was reared to adult age at Ogdensburg, New York, and after availing himself of the advantages of the public school he entered Ogdensburg Academy, one of the excellent institutions of that section of the state, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1882. He then went to New York city, where he devoted himself earnestly to learning the science and art of architecture, in which his discipline and natural talent were such as to bring to him special technical facility as a draftsman and designer. In 1885, after gaining a thorough knowledge of his chosen profession, Mr. Rose went to Birmingham, Alabama, where he won three contracts in competitions with leading architects of that state, but the city and business outlook did not satisfy his desires in the matter of securing a permanent location, and in December, 1886, he removed to Kansas City, Missouri, where he became associated in a professional partnership with James O. Hogg, under the firm name of Hogg & Rose. The firm established offices in both that city and Kansas City, Kansas, and it gained substantial precedence as one of the leading firms engaged in this line of enterprise in this section. The alliance continued until 1896, when Mr. Rose withdrew from the firm and established his home and business headquarters in Kansas City, Kansas, where he had already done much important work and become most favorably known. He continued in the individual practice of his profession until December, 1909, when he admitted to partnership David B. Peterson, who is proving an able coadjutor, under the firm title of Rose & Peterson. Within the compass of an article of this circumscribed order it is impossible to enter into details concerning the many buildings planned by and erected under the supervision of Mr. Rose, but it is but consistent that mention be made of a few of the more noteworthy. He designed the Armour Company's fine office building in Kansas City, Kansas, and here also he was architect of the high school building and its two additions, the Carnegie library building, the Masonic Temple, the Bethany hospital, and the homes of Dr. C. M. Stemen, Harry Darby, Dr. E. D. Bennett and many others. He has designed and supervised the erection of many of the best school buildings in Kansas and Missouri, and among the more elaborate residences in Kansas City, Missouri, that stand as monuments to his artistic and technical ability may be mentioned those of Lewellyn James, George W. Tourtelott, John F. Downing, S. E. Stranathon and E. O. Moffat, all buildings of the best modern type.
In politics Mr. Rose is aligned as a staunch supporter of the cause of the Democratic party, and in his home city he has been prominent and influential in public affairs, as a citizen of broad views and well fortified opinions. In 1897 he was the Democratic nominee for the office of mayor of Kansas City, Kansas, and his opponent was Robert L. Marshman, one of the city's prominent men. The opposition urged with all of insistency that Mr. Rose was too young a man to be entrusted with the important office, but, notwithstanding this and other forces brought to bear against him, he was defeated by only six hundred votes. In the spring of 1905 he was elected mayor of the city by a majority of more than eight hundred votes, defeating Thomas B. Gilbert, a very strong opponent. As a matter of practical governmental policy, with incidental realization of the absolute inefficiency of the prohibition law of the state in enforcing the cessation of the liquor traffic in the larger cities, the new mayor refused to attempt the enforcement of the law, as it would entail the loss of more than one hundred thousand dollars a year to the city in fees from liquor licenses, with practically no restriction of the business, save that more or less surreptitious methods would be adopted in its pursuance. The case was carried to the supreme court of the state, and this tribunal issued an injunction prohibiting Mr. Rose from serving as mayor. Three days prior to the serving of ouster papers upon him, Mr. Rose sent in his resignation. He then announced his candidacy for re-election to the office in the election specially called to fill the vacancy. The attitude of the citizens was significantly shown in the rolling up to his credit the remarkable majority of sixteen hundred votes. Another injunction was promptly secured and he was thus unable to exercise the prerogatives of his office without violating this injunction. He, however, presided in due form over the city council and for this action he was subjected to a fine of one thousand dollars, assessed by the supreme court of the state. On the 7th of September, 1905, after serving eighteen months, he resigned his office, and shortly afterward Michael J. Phelan, a railroad engineer, was made the Democratic nominee for mayor, with the understanding that Mr. Rose should be the power behind the throne and virtually serve as chief executive. The opposing candidate was Dr. George M. Grey, one of the leading physicians of the city, and the latter was elected by a majority of only two hundred and sixty votes. He served about three months and then, on the 1st of December, 1905, another election was held in the perturbed municipality, and Mr. Rose again "bobbed up serenely" as the Democratic candidate for mayor, against Dudley E. Cornell. His defeat was compassed by less than six sundred[sic] votes, and thus ended one of the most noteworthy and distinctively, serious as well as amusing, municipal contests ever compassed in the period of a single administration in the state.
In the time honored Masonic fraternity Mr. Rose has received the thirty-second degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, in which he is affiliated with Caswell Consistory, No. 5, and he is past master of Wyandotte Lodge, No. 3, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. He also holds membership in Kansas City Lodge, No. 440 Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and is identified with other civic organizations of representative order.
On the 14th of November, 1887, Mr. Rose was united in marriage to Miss Clara D. Grandy, who was born at Hermon, St. Lawrence county, New York, and who is a daughter of John L. and Arvilla (Gibbs) Grandy, both of whom were likewise natives of that county and both of whom are now deceased. The father was one of the prominent farmers and honored citizens of St. Lawrence county, where both he and his wife passed their entire lives. Of their eight children Mrs. Rose was the seventh in order of birth. Mr. and Mrs. Rose have two children, Spencer G. and Pauline, both of whom are students in the Central High School of Kansas City. The family home is located at 415 Everett street, and is a center of generous hospitality and of a social activity that indicates the distinctive popularity of Mr. and Mrs. Rose and their son and daughter.
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