Rosson Andruss

As published in
"The City of Kenosha and Kenosha County Wisconsin: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement"
by Frank H. Lyman Vol. 2, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1916.




Death has long since called Rosson Andruss but he is yet remembered by those who knew him and entertained for him warm regard because of his many sterling characteristics. He was born in Saratoga, New York, December 25, 1805, his parents being Benajah and Abigail (Nash) Andruss, both of whom spent their entire lives in the Empire State. After attending the common schools of New York, Rosson Andruss engaged in teaching school for several terms, and in 1839 arrived in Zion City, Illinois, but the following year crossed the border into Bristol Township, Kenosha County. Rosson Andruss first purchased five eighty-acre tracts of land and a forty-acre tract from the government, paying the usual price of a dollar and a quarter per acre. That the land might be secured in that manner is indicative of the slightly developed condition of the country at that time. Only three years before had Chicago been incorporated and Racine and Kenosha were but tiny hamlets. There were still traces of Indian occupancy in this section of the country, and upon many a broad acre now highly cultivated not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made at that time. Mr. Andruss at once began to clear, till and develop his farm, and continued to reside thereon until his death.

In 1834 Rosson Andruss wedded Miss Parmelia Townsend, a daughter of John and Hannah (Fox) Townsend, who were natives of Pennsylvania. They became the parents of six children: Esther Ann, the eldest, now deceased, taught school in this county for nine terms. George Emery, who has also passed away, served as Justice of the Peace for many terms. Charles Rosson, who was in the regular army for three years, married Emma Washburn, of Bristol, and they became the parents of a daughter, Eda, who married F. E. McCollum, of Chicago, by whom she has four children. Mrs. Emma (Washburn) Andruss passed away in 1883, and Charles Rosson Andruss afterward married Mrs. Emma (King) Baker, their home now being in Sterling, Kansas. Marvin J. taught in the county for some time. He wedded Mary Nolan, who died in 1873, after which he married Alice O'Connell, of Salem, who died, leaving a son, Rosson J., also now deceased. For his third wife, he chose Mary Drummond, of Cherry Valley, Illinois, and they have one child, Joy May. They are all now living in Alberta, Canada. Mary B., the next of the family, died in infancy. Adelia E. attended the common schools in Bristol, also an academy at Waukegan, and has since lived in Bristol. She still owns and occupies a portion of the original farm purchased by her father from the government. She is very prominent in lodge circles, holding membership in the Eastern Star, with the Mystic Workers, the Royal Neighbors, the Tribe of Ben Hur, and the Equitable Fraternal Union.

The death of Mr. Andruss occurred in 1873, when he was sixty-seven years of age, while his widow survived him until 1904 and had reached the remarkable age of ninety-seven years at the time of her death. They were laid to rest in the South Bristol cemetery, as were the son and two daughters of the family who have departed this life. In politics Mr. Andruss was a Republican, and although he never sought political office he was officially connected with the schools. Both he and his wife belonged to the Christian church, and they were interested in all that pertained to the moral progress of the community, displaying in their lives many sterling traits of character which gained for them the confidence and high regard of those who knew them.

Typed by: Michelle Laycock



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