Tarrant County TXGenWeb

Sam Rosen

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 1932
Researched by Rita Martin

From Immigrant Peddler Boy to Fort Worth Real Estate Developer

Sam Rosen was 13 years old when he immigrated from Russia to America 50 years ago, paying his way by working on the boat. He lived two years in Dallas with an older brother, Isaac, and then moved to Fort Worth, where he was a foot peddler of tin goods, novelties and jewelry between Fort Worth and El Paso. In a few years, he had enough money to open a small dry goods store and later owned a men's clothing store u at Tenth and Main.

His next business venture was the organization of the Rosen Heights Land Company. He bought over 1000 acres of land north of Fort Worth, then still a prairie. Rosen dug wells, put in water mains, furnished power and light and built moderately prices homes - the area became known as Rosen Heights. Transportation to Fort Worth was furnished by the Fort Worth and Rosen Heights Street Railway Company - the line running from the far end of Rosen Heights to the T & P Depot in Fort Worth.

While on a visit to Chicago, Rosen was so impressed with the amusement parks he saw there that he designed and built an elaborate park in Rosen Heights. Known as "The White City," it was considered one of the show places of North Texas. Attractions included an artificial lake, dance pavilion, merry-go-round , Punch and Judy Show, and many other amusements for both old and young alike. It was later completely destroyed by fire.

Rosen donated land for what is now the Sam Rosen School and for all of the churches in Rosen Heights. When that section became a part of North Fort Worth, he served a three year term as alderman. Even though he sold thousands of homes and business lots, he had one firm policy - "never foreclose." Once when his water system was losing money every week, Rosen reluctantly agreed to cut off some of the delinquent customers. Not long afterward, bills for those who had been cut off were being paid. This took place because (as it was discovered later) Sam Rosen had given personal loans to all to make the payments.

After a stroke, Rosen had been in poor health for several months. While on his way to his doctor's office, he apparently had a heart attack and died in a hospital a short time later. Survivors are his widow, Mrs. Bettie Rosen, two sons, Eph and Joel Rosen and a granddaughter, Miss Betty Jean Rosen, all of Fort Worth. A sister, Mrs. Sonia Promer, lives in Mexico City. His father, who had joined his sons in the United States, died in Fort Worth in 1900.


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