Theophilus F. Rosse was born in the grand little republic of Switzerland, the date thereof being October 28. 1859. His parents. Joseph and Barbara (Berdat) Rosse were of French extraction and their home was in France until Bonaparte changed the boundary of Switzerland. The father of our subject was born in Delemont, the old home place of this son, in 1804, and he died in 1873. He was a farmer and served as a cadet under Napoleon Boneparte in 1816. The mother of our subject was born in the same place in 1820 and died in 1863.

Theophilus was reared on a farm and gained his education from the common schools. He “learned the trade of making confections and fine pastry cooking. He was favored in his youth in being able to study in French and German and speaks those languages in connection with the English. When twenty-one he came to the United States and from New York he sailed to Argentine and back as cook. Next he cooked on a steamer on Lake Michigan. Then we see him in Minnesota following the fine art in a summer hotel on Lake Osakias. Consequent to this he cooked for a corps of Canadian Pacific engineers and thus traveled all over the country.

He took land in Saskatchewan and held it until the breaking out of the Indian rebellion, when he joined the whites and received a wound in the thigh. This was in 1885 and soon after his discharge he came to Lane County, Oregon, where he settled to farming and stock raising. For fourteen years Mr. Rosse did well here and then the panic of 1893 struck the country and he was financially crippled with the others. Then he came to the reservation and leased Indian land, whore he now is three and one-half miles west from Ilo, since which time he has done well. He has released the land for three years and is entering still more deeply into agricultural pursuits.

Mr. Rosse has the following named brothers and sisters: Joseph, a large wholesale merchant in France; Julia Frey, Josephine Fox, Bridget Bill, all in Switzerland; Mary Schaub, whose husband is a banker in Buenos Ayres, Argentine.

Mr. Rosse is a Catholic and adheres to the Republican Party. He is a man of principle and integrity and is of excellent standing in the community, being ever allied on the side of substantial up building and progress.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903