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Title: Henry Rossiter
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It is no doubt true that Ireland, of all countries of the world, has sent more emigrants in proportion to population to the United States than any other country, and the reason is well known. For hundreds of years the Emerald isle has been denied many valuable rights and privileges by Great Britain and the pride and honor of the people were ground into the dust. They could avoid all this only by leaving the island, much as they loved it, and accordingly thousands of them, as the years have rolled around, have crossed the wide Atlantic to find a home of greater freedom in America. They have settled in almost every county in our half hundred states, devoting themselves to all lines of endeavor, and usually succeeding at whatever they have undertaken. They were among our first teachers and business men and today they occupy many of the proudest positions within the gift of the people.

Among the native sons of the land of the shamrock who became citizens of the United States is Henry Rossiter, of Prairie township, Warren county, Indiana. He was born about the year 1822 in county Wexford, Ireland, and was reared to manhood in his native land. The family were in poor circumstances, so that the subject, instead of being given the opportunity to gain an education, was compelled to spend his youthful days in toil, mostly at farm work. He then apprenticed himself to learn the trade of milling, which was a very comprehensive term, embracing the making and setting up of milling machinery, handling and grinding of grain, and the bolting and marketing of flour. Mr. Rossiter served an apprenticeship of seven years, and became an expert in his line. However, conditions in the home country became so intolerable that Mr. Rossiter felt compelled to make a change and, having heard much a wonderful opportunities afforded in the western continent, he set sail, at the age of twenty-one years, landing in Canada after a voyage of fourteen weeks. He remained in the dominion about three years, then came to Lafayette, Indiana, remaining there until 1858, when he purchased his present homestead in Prairie township, Warren county. Though arriving in this country not able to read, Mr. Rossiter was ambitious and quick of perception and it was not long before he was able to read, and he has absorbed much by a long life of observation, so that he has become a well informed man. His first years in this country were years of privation and labor, especially the first years spent on his new farm. The breaking of the new prairie land, draining the ponds, building a home, fighting the prairie fires, and the other unwelcome features of the pioneer life in this section of the country made the newcomer's life anything but a bed of roses. But patient industry and perseverance won the battle and eventually Mr. Rossiter found himself the owner of a comfortable home and a splendid farm.

In October, 1857, Mr. Rossiter was united in marriage with Margaret Foster, the daughter of Lackey and Elizabeth (Foster) Foster, pioneers of Medina township. The father was a native of Ireland, emigrating from there to Ohio, where he was married. Soon after that event they moved to Medina township, Warren county, Indiana. To their union were born six children, of which number Mrs. Rossiter was the fifth in order of birth. She was born on October 23, 1833, and her death occurred on June 1, 1902. To Mr. and Mrs. Rossiter were born nine children, of whom the living are Samuel, Elizabeth, Mary, Luella, Gertrude, now Mrs. A. C. Stump, of Prairie township, and Chester, of WIlliamsport. These children were carefully reared and given good educations, through the common schools and colleges, and all of them became teachers in the public schools.

In religion Mr. Rossiter was reared a Roman Catholic, but when he located in Indiana there was no Catholic church in his neighborhood, so he united with the Methodist Episcopal church, his wife joining also, and he ever afterwards remained a faithful and consistent member of that body, the children being reared in the same faith. Politically, Mr. Rossiter has always supported the Republican party, being a firm believer in the tenets of that party. He has always been interested in the progress of his adopted country and in the development of its resources and gives his assistance and influence to all laudable means and measures to further these ends. He often refers to the primitive conditions of the early days here and how he worked in starting a new home in a new land, but he has reaped a large reward for his labors and now is able to enjoy the rest which he has so richly earned.


[Page 941-942.]

Date: 1/1/1913
Origin: Past and Present of Fountain and Warren Counties Indiana
Author: Thomas A. Clifton, Editor
Record ID: 00000990
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Entered By: Leslie J. Rice

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