Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ROSE, Chauncey, philanthropist, born in Wethersfield, Connecticut, 24 December, 1794; died in Terre Haute, Indiana, 13 August, 1877. He was educated in the common schools of his district, and during the autumn of 1817 visited the states of Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama, looking for a place in which to reside and engage in business. After spending the winter in Mt. Sterling', Kentucky, he settled in April in Terre Haute, and soon afterward moved to Parke county, where for six years he devoted his attention to milling. In 1825 he returned to Terre Haute and entered business, becoming one of the most successful merchants of that region. His profits were judiciously invested in land, and he acquired a large fortune. He was active in securing railway transportation in Indiana, and was the principal pro-motet of the Terre Haute and Indianapolis railroad. On the death of his brother John, he found that the will, if it were executed under the laws of New York, would not accomplish the clearly defined intentions of the testator. He accordingly instituted legal proceedings to have it set aside, and after six years of litigation succeeded in doing so. The estate was then valued at $1,600,000, to which he became sole heir. Although legally entitled to the money, he at once endeavored to carry out his brother's wishes and expended about $1,500,000 in charities, principally in New York. Besides other sums, he contributed $12,000 to endow an academy in Wethersfield, and his gifts for philanthropic purposes in Terre Haute and vicinity exceed $1,000,000. Among the special objects of his interest were the Providence hospital, the Free dispensary, and the Rose orphan asylum, which he endowed with sufficient money to assure its permanency. His chief benefaction was the building and equipment of Rose polytechnic institute (of which the principal building is shown in the accompanying illustration), to which he left the greater part of his estate, so that this institution has a productive capital, exclusive of the buildings," of at least $500,000. In 1874 it was organized as the Terre Haute school of industrial science, with Mr. Rose as president of its board of managers, and in 1875 it assumed its present designation, Its chief purpose is to provide higher education in mechanical engineering, and it is the only separate school of its character in the western states.
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