Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    In all the industrial and professional walks of life success depends solely upon individual merit, ability being the key which unlocks the portals of prosperity. Men who advance on the highway of life are, therefore, the ones whose labors display more skill than others who devote their energies to the same line of work, and the responsible position which Mr. Roosevelt now occupies is an indication of unflagging effort, combined with talent. He is today serving as foreman of the paint department of the Troy Buggy Works, and his artistic ability has enabled him to occupy other important places in connection with some of the most extensive industrial concerns of the state.

    A native of Alton, Illinois, Mr. Roosevelt was born April 20, 1850, and is a son of John Jason Roosevelt. The father was a native of New York city, and in early manhood removed to the Prairie state, where he engaged in contracting and building. During the Black Hawk war he served as a member of a cavalry corps. In 1854 his death occurred, and to the widow he left the care of their family of young children. Mrs. Roosevelt bore the maiden name of Mary Wood. She was born in Lynchburg, Virginia her father having been an extensive planter of the Old Dominion. Mrs. Roosevelt had to cope with many difficulties and hardships in her attempt to establish a home and provide for her children in the new country in which she was living. Her son, Charles W., was only four years old at the time of the father's death. He attended school to a limited extent between the ages of eight and eleven years, and his mother, seeing no opportunity to provide for him and fit him for the practical duties of life aside from apprenticing him to a trade, bound him out to learn painting in a carriage factory. He served for a term of five years, and after working hard through the day he attended a night school at the Washington University, in St. Louis, Missouri. He studied the various English branches of learning, but paid special attention to painting and drawing and throughout his life he has continued his studious habits. After removing to Cincinnati he spent one or two winters as a student in the McMicken Art School and two winters in the Mechanical Institute. As opportunity offered he also continued his studies, for two years, under the direction of Mr. Hammell, a celebrated animal painter of Cincinnati, and for two years was a student in R. T. Clark's studio and art school. His natural talent, combined with enthusiasm and industry, enabled him to make rapid progress and he became recognized as a first-class decorator. His apprenticeship to the carriage trade, at the age of eleven years, was with Theodore Salorgne, of St. Louis, the Brewster of the west, and since that time he has worked for every leading carriage firm of Cincinnati. He painted landscapes for the Hall Safe Company and fruit and flowers for C. F. Manwold, of Cincinnati, manufacturer of wood mantels and grates. In 1898 he came to Troy, as foreman of the painting and decorating department of the Troy Buggy Works Company, which in all its departments secures the best skill to be had. Some of Mr. Roosevelt's heraldic work attracted such attention in 1876 that he received a tempting offer to go to London, England, and engage exclusively in such work, but his love for America and his appreciation of its privileges were so great that he resolved to remain in his native land.

    Mr. Roosevelt is particularly liberal along all lines and especially on religious subjects. In manner he is unostentatious, and his sterling qualities commend him to the confidence of all with whom he comes in contact. Remembering his own struggles in youth, he is always ready to encourage others and is a stanch champion of public institutions of learning, commending most highly the work accomplished by the libraries, mechanical institutions and art schools of the cities. Through every winter for many years he has devoted three nights each week to teaching art to any worthy and ambitious young men who desire to learn, and has never accepted any compensation for his services aside from the gratification there has been in knowing that some of his students are now occupying commanding positions and have won wealth and honor. Mr. Roosevelt is certainly a credit to the well known New York family. His great-uncle founded the celebrated Roosevelt Hospital. Governor Theodore Roosevelt is also descended from the same ancestry, although his branch of the family has adopted a different mode of' spelling the name.

    Mr. Roosevelt is now a member of the Knights of Pythias, is past dictator of Louisville Lodge, No. 2, K. of H., and is a valued member of the Masonic fraternity. He takes very little interest in party politics and rarely ever votes. He inspires personal friendships of great strength and has the happy faculty of drawing his friends closer to him as the years pass by.

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