Family Stories

Karl Mitchell Rose Genealogy Trip of A Lifetime!

What an amazing journey back through time!  Thank goodness our ancestors were interested in where they came from, and keeping family history as prized information.  Mr. Karl Mitchell Rose started his journey from Ashland, Oregon, on October 25, 1924, and came as far east as Harrodsburg, Kentucky, in pursuit of his ancestors!  Just a quick Google search gives that distance as 2,368 miles.  But Mr. Rose didn’t come on a straight stretch of road, but stopped at various sight-seeing places along the way, in addition to visiting family members.  The prices for hotels are amazing – as well as his train tickets and meals!  This should encourage all of us to at least visit a few places our ancestors lived and find out more about them!

Notes by Karl Mitchell Rose on a trip to Kansas City to see a girlfriend (Katy), and on to Kentucky to see his parents’ background – written in a 3×5 notebook.

October 25, 1924 – started from Ashland on #15 paid $2.50 Pullman fare to Sacramento.  Paid $10.50 from Sacramento to Kansas City, arrived October 26.  Enjoyed time with girlfriend and her parents.  Left for St. Louis October 30.  That night went to the picture show – saw Buster Keaton in The Navigator.  Oct. 31 from St. Louis into Illinois, saw the Mississippi River, arrived in Evansville.  Paid $4.50 for a ticket from Evansville to Louisville.  Didn’t mention his hotel, but said he arrived in Louisville at 8:00, at the hotel at 8:22 at 822 South Third Street.  People were having Halloween parties.

November 1st – Left Louisville for Thorntown, Indiana, went to bank and met Ed Rose, had a shave and hair cut at a barber shop.  Ed’s son is named Eugene Rose.  Ed showed me old pictures of Grandfather and Grandmother Rose.

November 4th – From Thorntown to Indianapolis to visit Cousin Russell Warner at Danville, Indiana.  He is blind and cannot walk, but very bright, cheery and alert, was in the Spanish American War.  Russell’s wife took me down to see Grandfather Rose’s house – of course it has been remodeled.  Met a Mrs. Milliken who had remembered Grandfather Rose.  She said, ‘Who do you mean – that old, old man?’

Stayed at the Plaza Hotel in Indianapolis – $1.50.

November 6th – Back in Louisville.  Went to the horse races, were probably ten or fifteen thousand people there.

November 8th – Came by auto stage from Louisville to Lexington, cost $2.50, from Lexington to Harrodsburg by stage, $1.10.  This Kentucky country is very pretty, so must be beautiful in spring or early fall.  Arrived at Harrodsburg 2:30 p.m., saw Mr. Isham and met Miss Neva Williams, newspaper woman.  Went to Mr. Isham’s with Gertie and Miss Carrie VanArsdall was there with Aunt Alice (born November 17, 1828).  I stayed to dinner, we talked family relationships.  Aunt Alice is up and around, and talked some of Gum, my father, she remembered him.

On the way to Harrodsburg passed the Shakertown mill, also ferried the Kentucky River just above High Bridge.

November 9th – Carrie VanArsdall (my second cousin) asked me to church today.  Got up at 8 a.m., had breakfast and shaved myself and sent folders of Harrodsburg to family in Oregon.  Went from church to second cousin Merrell Williams home, where I had dinner, met his wife, Cousin Susie Van Arsdall.

Cousin Merrell took me up on the hill and showed me where Elisha Williams home and barn and farm used to be, also the oldest cemetery in Kentucky where the first white child in Kentucky is buried, and where old Fort Harrod was.

November 10th – Foggy this a.m.  Visited Harrodsburg Cemetery.  Mr. Isham let me use his Dodge car and Cousin Gertie and Carrie and I went out on Salt River to old VanArsdall mill and Aunt Alice’s old home (Aunt Alice married a William VanArsdall), where Cousin Gertie Isham and all the other children were born.  Mother used to visit Aunt Alice’s home and stay, and used to wade in the Salt River.  Then in Harrodsburg Cousin Carrie showed me where Aunt Rebecca (Williams) VanArsdall lived.  Cousin Carrie VanArsdall was born in this house, also cousin Stella (VanArsdall) Averill, and one sister who is dead.  Aunt Maria, the old Negro woman I met today, cooked for Aunt Rebecca for 45 years.  In Aunt Rebecca’s home I saw where father B. M. Rose met my mother, Mary E. Williams.  Father came to Rebecca’s home and mother had her shoes and stockings off, and hid behind the door, so when father was there a little while mother had to run out and they say it was love at first sight.

Mr. Isham showed me a gun used by Elisha Williams in the rebellion War of 1812 and has the date of 1808 on it.  Cousin Gertie showed me the home where Elisha and family arrived in 1833 when they arrived from Missouri, the same day they had the great rain of stars.  Uncle Joel Price Williams was one of the richest men in Kentucky, it was 8 or 9 miles across his place one way.  He left everything to his widow.  This Joel P. Williams was my great uncle.  Aunt Alice Williams married William S. Vanarsdall December 20, 18??.  Aunt Rebecca Williams married David VanArsdall May 11, 1862, they were married at Aunt Alice’s home (where Poor Farm is now).

Cousin Carrie and I went in Mr. Isham’s Dodge car to Isabel Sharpe’s home 7 or 8 miles out to see Lewis Roses’s old bible and get all the dates that was in it.

We went to see the old burying ground of Rose ancestors in a field of J. W. VanArsdall’s farm.  Found headstones with these inscriptions:

  • Mary Rose born February 4, 1779, died February 28, 1845
  • Rebecca R. McMurtry, born December 26, 1806, died July 26, 1823
  • Mrs. Jemimah McMurtry, born October 12, 1782, died September 14, 1840
  • Captain Lewis Rose, born October 11, 1749, died February 20, 1829
  • David R. Rose, died December 2, 1841, in the 21st year of his age
  • Samuel McMurtry, born July 18, 1776, died April 17, 1815

November 11th – Cousin John P. Williams took me to see John Stone of Burgin, Kentucky.  We found him painting the pastor’s house, and he returned with us to his home where he gave me what dates of family history he had on the Stone side of the family.  He also gave me a picture of my mother – a very fine one – taken by Camp’s of Ashland, Oregon.  The old Stone home was on Dix River, where John Stone was raised, lived there until 1904.  My mother (Mary E. Rose) lived at this home with Jessie and Matilda Stone when Grandmother Williams died.  Mother lived here the same at Aunt Martha Williams and Aunt Alice and Rebecca.

November 12th – Went to Perryville and saw the battlefield where the Civil War Battle of Perryville was fought.  Went towards Danville to see Joe Crowder, who remembered my father, said he first knew him as a guard at Leavensworth Prison in Kansas.  We were within two miles of Parksville, where my father was born.

November 16th – On the way back to Lexington stopped at Shakertown and had $1.50 dinner at the Shakertown Inn.

November 17th – In Lexington visited Aunt Laura Bell.

November 18th – Arrived in Frankfort.  After visiting the capital and other sights, moved on to Cave City.

November 23rd – Mr. Ellis, Mrs. Martin and the five children and I went out to get hickory nuts.  We some persimmons and blackberries and had a good time.  Got back to the house about 2:00 p.m.  Mrs. Ellis had a fine dinner, chicken cooked about three different ways.  The next day visited Mammoth Cave.

November 27th – Left on the train from Evansville to St. Louis, then to Kansas City.

December 2nd – Left on train for Walla Walla, Washington.

December 8th – Arrived in Ashland on time, found everything at the house fine and all the folks pretty well.


2 replies »

  1. This is amazing. Karl was my great grandfather’s brother. BM (Basil Montgomery) Rose mentioned here is my great great grandfather. I would love to know where the house is where he met Mary. Also where the Captain Lewis Rose bible mentioned here is now. Would love to see it. Do you still have Karl’s notebook or any additional papers or letters from him? Fascinated. Thanks for publishing this!

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