Among the men who by their own honorable exertions and moral attributes have carved out for themselves friends, affluence and position, and by the strength and force of their characters have overcome obstacles, must be mentioned that of Arthur Patrick Rose, whose life stands out preeminently for two things. One is his high ideals of public and private life, and the other is the sacrifice of time and money to charity, which he has practiced throughout his career.
Arthur Patrick Rose was born in the town of Savannah, Wayne county, New York, June 11, 1842, on the farm of his father, Charles A. Rose. At the age of three years he came to Geneva, New York, to reside with his uncle, Dr. Gavin L. Rose, who resided in the old Rose homestead on North street, where Arthur P. Rose resided until 1907. He attended the Walnut Hill school, conducted by Thomas C. Reed on the present site of the home of the late William H. King, near Glenwood cemetery, after which he became a student at Hobart. College, entering in the fall of 1859 and pursuing the regular classical course. In the following year he took the first sophomore prize in Latin and two years later was graduated as the valedictorian of the class of 1862, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts. During his college course he became a member of Sigma Phi fraternity and upon graduation he became a member of Phi Beta Kappa Society. Three years after his graduation the college conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts. Throughout his life he has maintained an active interest in his alma mater. From 1871 to 1899 he was a trustee of the college, and from 1877 to 1885 was secretary of its board of trustees. During the years from 1865 to 1882 he served as treasurer of the Alumni Association, and when the Geneva Alumni Association of Hobart College was organized under the present administration of Dr. L. C. Stewardson, he became vice-president of this organization, serving during the years 1904-05. From time to time he has been a benefactor of the College Library.
After his graduation from college, Mr. Rose entered the law office of Folger & Mason and there pursued a course of study, being admitted to the bar in 1865, and shortly afterward formed a partnership with the late Angus McDonald, of which firm he was a member until Mr. McDonald removed to Rochester. On April 1, 1876, he formed a law partnership with the late judge Francis O. Mason under the name of Mason & Rose, which connection continued until the death of judge Mason, July 25, 1900. For a considerable period of time judge Mason was the legal representative of the eastern branch of the Pulteney Estate and upon his death Mr. Rose succeeded him. In 1903 this important estate was finally closed and Mr. Rose rendered a final accounting.
In addition to his professional career Mr. Rose has been keenly interested and an important factor in the conduct of public affairs, giving his allegiance to the principles and candidates of the Democratic party. At various times he has served on election boards in several capacities; in 1865 had a clerkship at Albany during the sessions of the legislature: early in the eighties he became interested in the civil service reform and when the Geneva Civil Service Reform Association was formed in 1883 he became secretary of the organization, holding the position over ten years, or until the civil service system came into general practice. While not a political position his first public office was trustee of school district No. 1 of Geneva, to which he was elected on December 27. 1890. After serving a full term of five years he was reelected, December 28, 1895, but on December 30, 1899, with one year to serve, he resigned and was succeeded by 1. G. Chase. In 1901 he was elected supervisor, and two years later was reflected, and while on the board served as chairman of the committee of military affairs and on many other important committees, including those on equalization, surrogates’ office, road damages, county clerk’s office, printing, law and legislation. On September 22, 1905, he was nominated for the office of mayor by the Democratic city convention on a motion made by City Attorney W. Smith O’Brien, and in the following election was elected, and two years later was reelected. His administration of the office was noted for economy and conservatism, and his mind was ever occupied with mighty projects for the advancement and welfare of the city of his adoption.
Mr. Rose has been one of the leading spirits in the founding and continuance of the City Hospital, the Young Men’s Christian Association and Church Home, the three leading charitable institutions of the city. He was one of the signers on March 22. 1892, of the petit on for the charter of the Medical and Surgical Hospital of Geneva which was the original name of the Geneva City Hospital, and he was also a signer of the petition of May 31, 1898, upon which its name was changed to its present title. Mr. Rose and his partner, Mr. Mason, gave the site on which the institution stands and throughout its history Mr. Rose has served on the hoard of trustees. Upon the death of Mr. Mason, Mr. Rose was made executor of his will. This has proven a means of making his relations even more intimate with the institution owing to the fact that Mr. Mason made liberal provision in his will for the maintenance of the hospital. He was also one of the signers of the certificate of incorporation of the Young Men’s Christian Association, which was filed August 9, 1888. When the building was erected in 1894 he was secretary of the board of trustees, and after the building was destroyed by fire on February 13, 1902, he took an active part in its reconstruction. He has served continuously as a member of both the board of trustees and as a director. When the Church I-Tome for Aged Women was organized on April 27, 1878, Mr. Rose was one of the incorporators, but shortly resigned to make a place for another person on the board of trustees, but he retained his position as secretary of the board, which he has since filled.
Upon the organization of the Thirty-fourth Separate Company on January 21, 1880, Mr. Rose became one of the charter members and served a full enlistment of five years as a private. When the Veteran Association of Company B was organized in 1909 Mr. Rose was made president of the association. He took an active part in organizing the Black Diamond Hose Company on September 23, 1896. and became one of the charter members of the company. He had charge of the legal matters attending the incorporation of the company, and the purchase of the site for the hose house. He resigned from active service in 1907, but his name is still retained on the roll of the company as an honorary member. On June 28, 1900, he was elected a director of the Geneva National Bank and has since retained a seat on this board. He has served as president of the Geneva Bar Association and assisted in the organization of the Direct Nominations League of Geneva and the new society in the interest of centralizing the charities of the city.
Since early life Mr. Rose has been a communicant of Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church. In 1871 he was elected a vestryman and served continuously until 1893, when he resigned, but served again in 1896 for one year. From time to time Mr. Rose has been a delegate from Trinity parish to diocesan council, and at the meeting of the council held in St. Paul’s Church, Buffalo, in September, 1876, he was made one of the trustees of the parochial fund of the diocese.