Dr. Theodore T. Rose Memoir - Part 1
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University of Illinois at Springfield Norris L Brookens Library Archives/Special Collections Dr. Theodore T. Rose Memoir R720. Rose, Dr. Theodore T. b. 1905 Interview and memoir 3 tapes, 180 mins., 62 pp. BLACK COMMUNITY PROJECT Rose, minister, recalls early and mid 20th century Springfield: 1908 race riot, work for the Illinois Foundry, ministry work, building of the Brown Street Church of God in Christ, schools and education in Springfield, discrimination and integration, black businesses, and family. Interview by Reverend Negil L. McPherson, 1985 OPEN See collateral file Archives/Special Collections LIB 144 University of Illinois at Springfield One University Plaza, MS BRK 140 Springfield IL 62703-5407 © 1985, University of Illinois Board of Trustees Preface 'Ibis matUJSCript is the product of a tape-recorded interview con::lucted by Reterend N. L. t-'bPherson for the Oral History Office on March 4, 1985. Liz OJrl transcribed the tapes and Linda Jett edited the transcript. Dr. 'lheodore T. Rose was born in Harvey, Illinois in 1905. t-hen the steel mills 'Where be was employed t.lX)\7ed to Alabama, be and his family Il.l:1led to Springfield, Illinois. His ambition wa.s the ministry rut he had to 'WOrk because he had no ass:i.gru.Ient to a church. He established ani built the BrONtl Street Church of God in Christ. Dr. Rose becama an important civic servant always fighting for equal rights for the black race. Rea:lers of the oral history neooir should bear in mind that it is a transcript of the spoken 'WOrd, and that the interviewer, narrator arrl editor sought to preserve the informal, cOIJ.Ilersational style that is inherent in such historical sources. Sangaacn State University is not responsible for the fac tua.l accuracy of the neooir, nor for views expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge. The marruscript may be read, quoted and cited freely. It may not be reproduced in whole or in part by any ueans, electronic or tOOChanical, without permission in writing fran the Oral History Office, Sangan:on State University, Springfield, Illinois, 62708. Reverend Dr. Theodore T. Rose, Springfield, Illinois, March 4, 1975. Reverend N. L. M:Pherson, Intervi~r. Q: N:>w, Dr. Rose, I understand that last 'fuesday, v.hi.ch was the 25th of February, that you marked your fiftieth year in Springfield? A: That is correct. I came here in February of 1925 fran a suburb of Clll.cago; Harvey, Illinois, the largest suburb, while at that tilm we set twenty-five miles south of Oti.cago. Clll.cago has tDJV"ed closer to Harvey, and Harvey has IIDV'ed closer to Chicago. So possibly fifteen miles, say sixteen, separates the bottan lines of W:lat is Chicago, [and] What is Harvey, Illinois. In fact, I was bom in Harvey. Q: <h, were you? A: That's my birthplace. And I am the third child of a family of aelve, presently living, too. Four girls and the rest are boys. Atxl men I came to Springfield, I was not yet fully grown. If wa count being grown at bienty-one. I was not t:¥alty-one years of age. My caning to the city is a thing I sanetimes like to talk about inaSllllCh as there was no visible, perhaps, logical reason. I wasn't coming in pursuit of a certain type of job or anploYJreOt, or there was nothing about Springfield that I had any reason to believe w::mld be of SCJIIE great advantage in my caning. I would like to say it was on impulse, fran a feeling that this was where I belonged. Or at least, this was where I was being sent, being a great believer in God's direction. I had no people here, no ties, no property. N:> anything, eJ~Cepting one driving influence that I felt it was God' s will in ne caning. I kept re.manbering, being a young minister, that a prophet was not without honor, save in his own country. N:>t that I was seeking honor. I was seeking to find the place where God could use ne mst effectively if he chose to use ne at all. One of the things that is hard to make people think ms done in a rational 'WaY is the circumstances surrounding my coming. I ms employed--rather gocd job, I thought--as a llt:>rker in a steel mill. Having taken courses in the art of steel bloo.ng, and was a.lrmst ready to take aver a bessener corwerter, [when] that plant decided to IIIJ\Te to Alabama. And fran what I've read in the history books, ani What I heard in the newspaper [about] the people who were leaving the South, I definitely didn't have any desire to go to the South. So I refused to follow the concem there, thereby giving up W:lat might have been a great opportunity to becOIIE a chemist, which was--or netallurgist, which was my field. Atxl coming to Springfield, after arriving, I sought to find sanething in the nature of ~rk that might further that particular ambition. But the ministry was Dr • 'lheodore T. Rose 2 my main course. 8.7erything else ..vas subject to the w:>rk in the ministry. I had to w:>rk bec.ause I had no assigrlmant to a clrurch. In the dead of the winter, of course, one of the things I did, (I suppose, in the light of present-day thinking w:>Uld say it was foolish) [was] to leave a \\ell-furnished, five-room apartment, all new furniture and apparently doing all right. I told my wife that God wanted ne to go to Springfield. And her an.swer was, "Well, let's go." I sent her to the city of Springfield t:w:> ~eks prior to my coming, with the instructions, "G:> dOTI.Il to Springfield. Fin:l a ctw.rch." There was a church established here. I think the church had been established about three years, possibly. "Get with the nenbers there and see if you can locate a place to live. And Wl.en you find a house, write ne where the house is located and give ne the address. I will freight our furniture, and ship it to the house, prior to my coming." She did this, wrote ne the address was 2022 East Kansas Street. I crated my furniture and shipped it to a house I'd never set foot in, rather to a city I'd never been in. A part of the city that, I didn't know whether it was east or ~st or what. It was an acceptable street name. Now, I knew nothing about the neighborhood or anything. But I crated the furniture and shipped it by express to that rn.nnber. Within t:w:> ~ks of the time she'd left h.oma, I made my arrival in Springfield. And then began the experience of my life that has brought ue to this present day. My first impressions on coming to Springfield -was one of--the city struck me [as] rather quaint. And whether I was able to draw the proper conclusions to put it down on paper perspectively, and I don't know, but I'm giving you ~t I felt. And, the very first person that spoke to me, after arriving here, this lady • . . now, at that time, 'NaB a nine year old gir 1. I met her going down Eighteenth Street. She was very slender, looked like to ne she W!sn 't too \~~ell-fed. But that was just my impression. And she said , ''Hi. " And I ans~red her with the w:>rd , "Hi," smiling tto myself, because where I was fran, ~didn't use the w:>rd, ''Hi." It W4s good uorning, or hello or SC~I~ething like that. And this gave ne the impression, "I'm in an overgrown country town." Later on, of course, ~ laughed about it, as I told her my impressions of her and the city an:l its quaintness. Of course, I knew that [Springfield] ..vas supposed to be the home of Abraham Lincoln. I was struck by the beauty of the--or the quaintness, I should say--of the houses. And then later on as the spring came in, the beauty of the trees in Springfield. As you know, it was--when you get to the 25th of February, you're getting down to 'Where spring is caning. And it seaned to ne then that spring was, at that time, was a little DDre deperrlable. The ~ther changed. It might have been my reaction fran the cold wind that blew arou:rrl the area of Chicago. It may have been that. But, anyway, it seeDEd like spring approached rather rapidly. 'Ihe trees began to bud out. And I was struck by the great rn.nnber of trees--even fruit trees, apple trees, and sorce peach trees. 1he elms of Springfield is sc.mething I will always remember. So many, many of than have disappeared now, since that 'WaS fifty years ago. But at that time, the streets ~re li.rurl with elm trees, tall, beautiful stately, and it gave you the impression that you were alDDst walking through a forest with lanes provided by trees. This was my impression. And another thing • • • ~ didn't have the sidewalks, at least not in this area, that we have now. There ~re no paved streets and uost of the walks, where there were walks, ware made out of brick laid. But to a Dr • 'lheodore T. Rose 3 great extent, they ~re cinder walks, and in some places, boardwalks. This was Springfield, fifty years ago. The road in front of the place that I chose to live was a high-crown road. Well, not 011er twenty feet wide, with deep ditches on either side. And it was IIJJd to the lrub of the old Fords, mich was a car that was used mstly because of the height of the car fran the grOI.liX.i. 'lhey could traverse the uud ruts. Cbce in the rut, you went to where you could get out of it, even it it wasn't in front of your house. And those -were CaiilDn because of the uud that was all CNer this particular part of Springfield. And I later learned fran an old gentleman it was called Goose Prairie. And I've always lived in the east side of Springfield, which was called Goose Prairie where mst of the Negro people lived. And still do, although they are living in just about every area of Springfield, now, if their incoue pr011ides the housing. This is my first impression. Springfield was a great big CNergrown town. And the atm:>sphere was, ''Nothing's going to ever change." This was the atm:>sphere. The people seane.d friendly enough, l:ut -well-satisfied. Not too pushy about progress, and very skeptical of strangers. It was very skeptical of IJJe. I wasn't known as a new c~r to Springfield to becane a citizen. Indeed , for alrrost t:v.Enty years, I was known as a young preacher from Chicago. They ne.rer accepted the fact that Springfield VlB.S my new llcma. And because of this feeling, anything that was happening i.nvolving the coom.mity, I was not considered a part of the ccmnmity because I was still the young preacher from Clti.cago. And that in itself was a stigma that repervented the situation, and made it very hard to enter into the cornnm.ity as & part of the camunity. E.Ven in the clrurch Where I attended, I felt ¢e distinct feeling I was not included as a nenber of the cornnm.ity but dust as a young preacher from Orl.cago. ! Q: How did [it] change CNer these fifty years, being skeptical of strangers? A: To a large degree, it has changed. It is not nearly so pronounce.P, but they still look you over at length. Except you care in with the I recOIIIIEildation of ~one in the city \J1.o can vouch for you that you' e an all-right person. Springfield was vilat I called a closed society, as far as breaking into it. 'lhe skepticism was--it was so great, you c ld feel it. But there is a change now. Q: Wlat was your neighborhood like--this neighborhood at 2022 East Kansas Street? What was it like? A: 'lhe neighborhood -was one of, if you don't bother me, I ~n' t bother you. 'lhey would meet you on the street and say hi. But ~ld hardly darken your door, except you offer the invitation, arxl in some way cultivate it, ani make this acquaintanceship becOIIE friendly. They responded to good treatment, as long as they didn't feel you -were patronizing than. Springfield's always been a neighborhood of people who ..vere rather proud of the fact that -were Springfieldians, and they loo with, ~11, disfavor on anyone that tried to curry favor. 'lhey felt -were out to use them for sanething. Strictly a ccmrunity that, if \<eren' t hom here, you had to earn the right to be accepted, either b the way that you lived or by becaning a part by introduction into the Springfield society. ' Dr • Theodore T. Rose 4 And the churches \Ere--the same impression was in the churches. Union was the church of the better equipped people, educationally and opportunity. Zion was the acknowledged place to be if you \Ere in that, What I -would call, elite class. The people who ~t to Zion had history on their side, being the roother church of the city. And people let you know, "I belong to Zion." It said roore than I belong to church. "I belong to Zion." That :rreant you ~re part of the history-makers in Springfield. You \Ere at the spot where things ~re initiated, as far as the progress of clubs of the city was concerned. Vben you say, "I'm a trember of Zion," you said roore than I'm just a nanber of the city of Springfield. 'lhis feeling was accepte:l throughout the city. And so, I never sought to be a nanber of Zion because I was a nanber of the Clrurch of God of Christ at that time. Q: \-ere there grocery stores in your neighborhood When you . . . A: Vben I cane to Springfield, there was a grocery store on Eighteenth Street, run by one Mrs. Roberts, at that time. later Bradley, and later Wilson, and she still resides in Springfield. lhls was one of the first black businesses to vbich I was introduced. And there was another store doWl on the corner of Seventeenth and Spruce Galled the Harper's Grocery Store. I traded there with Mr. Harper for nearly as long as they operated the store. It's been out of operation for, oh, I guess, nearly forty years, I would say. There \Ere other black rusinesses downtown. In fact, there 'WaS another--a printer. I don't know whether he -was in opeation Yhen I first came to Springfield; if not, soon after. 'lhi.s -was Foster Printing on Sixteenth Street. And there also 'WB.S a barber shop on South Fifteenth--the name escapes me right now--but it was a very fine shop. Now, one of the reasons for some of these businesses 'if.lere the 0\Tershad.owing resentnent . • • the resent::Irent of the Negro. Perhaps, not resent:uent, but the distrust and the fear the Negro might saneday becane stronger, 'WaS still present here. If you reuanber' the riot of--race riot of aoa' and this being 1925, the lapse of sixteen or seventeen years was a ver.y short span of tine to erase all the scars and the prejudices and the 'bate that was engendered and the hurt that people encountered in that very unfortunate affair. And this was still--kind of lnmg like a cloud from an atcmi.c bomb 0\Ter the \~hole neighborhood. There \Ere still people Who, at that time, talked about it in hushe:l tones. And there ~re people whose families had been so injured until they still felt the feeling of resent:uent, and so the Negroes ~t to themselves quite a bit, and therefore, they attended their--well, they patronized their own businesses and clothing stores, second-hand stores, shoe stores and places to eat and their gaming houses, and things like that, along washington Street, primarily fran, oh, I ~ld say, fran Tenth Street on out to Eleventh, 'IWelfth and so on, like that. And, you could secure fran that area roost of the things you wanted, excepting manufactured clothes and things like that. And , in going to the stores, you were, mre or less, handled as a special concem in the stores, if you had the patience to wait until they took the time to wait on you. Q: These \Ere the dow:~.tow:1 stores? Dr • 'Iheodore T. Rose 5 A: That is right. 'lhese vere the downtown stores. (tape stopped) Q: Ani so basically, many of these businesses [grew] out of the strained relation between the W:lite ccmnmity and the black coom..mity. A: Yes, you're correct, yes. There 'iNaS a feeling of--I got the feeling that this was a southern-indoctrinated ccmwnity. Many of the people in Springfield ~re people who cane up fran southern Illinois frcm out of Kentucky, and out of Termessee, and Springfield was just really a type of southern toWl. I remember, as I reflected about Springfield after being here, that men I was al:xrut four years old I cane through Springfield. My mther brought n:e from Missouri, ~ch was our home. And I renenber seeing the tents, the p.lp tents I called than, of the soldiers on the la...n of the State House as our train cane up what ~ called the Clrl.cago and Alton then, cane through Springfield. Q: That was on the Third Street line? A: 'Ihe Third Street line. This was a time of the riot, and of course, at that tille, I didn't know it, rut as I reflecte:l back, I remember seeing this situation in Springfield \\hen I c~ through there. It had to be around 1908. I was just a small child. And this scene never left n:e. After I bee~ grown enough to know ~t the n:eaning of these tents ~re, Why then naturally becaae SOllething that has really stayed with n:e. And then caning to Springfield--I met a family called the Holman family, that lived out here on, I think, it was Kansas or Ste\VB.rt, right out here in the area. And he was known as Capp. He was quite an agreeable man at that tille. And one of the experiences I had with him--I like to hunt, and I didn't own a gun. I fourrl out that Capp rented guns. So, I ~nt to him one winter, perhaps the second or third winter I 'd been here, and I said , "Gapp, I 'd like to--Mr • Holman, I 'd like to rent a gun." He smiled and said, "You rent a gun, huh? HeM you know I got any guns?11 I said, ''I heard you did. 11 And then he went aver to a closet, and he threw the door open. He had many shotgtms, several Springfield rifles, and other kin:i of guns. And naturally, I couldn't refrain fran saying, ''What are you going to do with all these guns?" And he picked up one, he took down, he said, 'This is old Betsy. 11 I said, ''What do you nean?11 He said, ''Well," he says, 11you know, 11 then he begins to tell ne about the riot in Springfield and Why he had so many guns I10W'. He said, 'They'll never catch t.te again without guns." Then he began to tell how, during the riot, the Negroes was running through the prairies and the cornfields, ani the--and he said out toward what was called Sugar Creek then, and hiding in the fields, trying to escape the White people. And he went on to tell Im about how that--TNhat was supposed to have set off the riot, and that sort of thing. I became quite interested in that part of the history. Sanewhere on my papers, I wrote do\'in this interview with Mr. Holman, because I thought it was rather unique and being one of the older people who are here, that with him this information vrnll.d go. And I later pursue.:l it to a W:ri.te gentleman, Who at that time was ~nty-one years old, ,.-ben I was ~rk.ing at the State, and he ga:ve ne a small booklet. And he told ue the real reason for the riot. And he was an eye witness to the--SOIIE of the happenings on Fifth Street and also, he knew definite information as ~t was to have really taken place. I have intended, SOJ:I¥eti.ma, to write this all up as a matter of history, rut . . • Dr • Theodore T. Rose 6 Q: Ib you now have that book? A: .tb, but I know ~ it is. It was borrowed from ne from one of the newsuen here, who's still alive. And I intend to recover it. It's a book that was put out right after the riot, pictures and all. And I appreciate::l it very rruch. I was loathe to allow it to be used, but he pranise::l he'd bring it back. The name of the man who has it is Maulden Jones. I should go and get it fran him because it's priceless. Q: He was TNOrking with the media, one of the • • • A: He was intending to publish sCJnething conceming the Springfield race riot and that Is wy I allowed him to use it 0 But he promised to bring it back. He's not returned it in several years. Q: Just for the sake of record, could you recall, since--what's the nama of the gentleman that was an eye witness? Is that the one? What's his rume? IX> you remember? A: Let's see. I know it well. Q: Well, it may cane back to you as ¥.e talk. t-hat I started to ask you--can you recall sooe of the things he said that actually happened and that actually caused it, because ¥.e know W:la.t you have read in the book? A: Well, just a matter of whether it should go in the history records, since it was kept back. He said it was caused by a lady Who had been involved with sooe gentleman who lived--ani she lived on North Fifth Street. He said her lrusbarrl was a streetcar conductor, and she got involved with sc:meone. And she becaae ill with saara venereal disease. And she blaue:l it on being attacked by a Negro. And point out this mm. At the sane ti.nE, there was a man involved here--it 'NB.S supposed to ~e been a robber named Ballard. He was in jail; t:TNO of them was in jail~ \ohen this news broke out or leaked out, then of course, they wanted t~ start a lynching party at the ti.nE. 'Ihe sheriff, vhose narre 'NaB in this lx>ok--and I wish, I hope I can recover the book--he 11X1Ved than from Springfield and took these prisoners to Decatur. Vben the crowi :Eouni out that he had liD'Ved these people, they y.ere very incensed. As I was told, the sheriff had a new car, parked in front of Telford's Barber Shop on Fifth Street, and the crow:l came, destroyed the barber shop, turned over the car, burnt the car, and went fran there CNer to Washington, and straight dow:1 Washington Street toward Eleventh Street, mere the Negroes lived. And throughout the city they proceede::l to fight, shoot, W:tat-rDt. Ani out on Fifth Street, arrl up Fifth Street to Second Street to Spring Street, I guess, there was a spot there mere there used to be a small tree, where a gentlamn n8IIEd IX>megan--he was lynched there, at that spot. I think his relatives still lived in Springfield at that particular ti.ne. A number of Negroes lost their lives and hon:es arrl everything. And there was a great m:wing and leaving out of Springfield. Mmy Negjroes left. The percentage of Negroes in Springfield before the riot was vejry ~ very great. Ani this past history, also, has tended to make Negroes ' reluctant to cone into Springfield e»:epting now 1 for the last few yeats, has seE!lled to be that a few of them are caning. Vben I came to Springfield, there -were 1 oh, possibly, maybe three thousand maybe four thousand; '~ : Dr • Theodore T. Rose 7 hardly that many, more or less, like benty-five hundre:i, three thousand, people in Springfield. There was • • • Q: You 1'lleBn. Negroes. A: Negroes. 'Ihe basic rrumber, I think at that time, was around, probably thirty-three, thirty-one thousand, sooething like that; not 011er forty thousand total p:>pulation. Q: l'bw, did this gentlanan say, since he was an eye witness and around, did he say about how many people lost their lives, or did anyone know? A: Really, I doubt if anyone knows how many T£re. He said he stood behin:l a lamppost and watched people take up the cobblestones out of Fifth Street and throw them into windows and things like that. Springfield had ~en blocks in the street, and they tore up these ~en blocks, you l<now, throwing and, you know, how a mb just--anything they can get their hands on--out there seeking to destroy, to vent their hatre:i on the officials ....no had cause:i than to be robbe:i of a victim that they ~t they should have killed and destroyed. And I'm going to see if I can t get this booklet, it Yl:>Uld • • . Q: Now, do you recall the nao:e of the book, by any chance? A: I think it was just simply, ''Race Riot of 1908." Q: Did Mr. Holman say-tell you anything more about it fran the Negro standpoint? A: Cb.ly that the Negroes--that it was at a distinct disadvantage and fear was running rampant. But as he said, there was always a few Yiho i had guns and they manage:i to retaliate as best they could. · Q: For instance, did he say ~t was behind the naming of his gun, Betsy? (laughs) A: l'b, he didn't say. But he called him Old Betsy, the one he showed rre. And I took fran that, that that migJ:lt have been one he used because he kind of caressed it kind of fondly. And I don't know whether he was ever in the Army, or not, but everyl:xxly calle:l him Capp. Q: So that's--actually it's a personal indirect knowledge of the riot. A: Oh yes, yes. He was here, he knew about it. He certainly was--he said they ran out toward Sugar Creek, W:rl.ch is out this way, you see. Q: East of here. A: East, yes. 'Ihey ran east out there and hid, you know. Q: Did his family have to go, did he say? A: They all went, yes, because--see they was coming out of town all through-this was a Negro area, see, and. they hid out until the soldiers " II I ' ' Dr • Theodore T. Rose 8 came. And I don't know, even history, I mean, I don't know Y.hether there's any history in the archives concerning it, but if so, they nerer give you the exact figures. But many persons ~re killed and the one reason they couldn't get exact figures, a lot of people left Springfield and didn't COOE back. And there's no -way of knowing Y.hether they ~re alive or dead. Q: l'bw, I understand that when you CBIIE here, you came to this new town an::l the first person that spoke to you said, ''Hi." Ib you rem:mber the name of this lady'? A: Mrs. Magnolia Walker. Q: Ch. I see, yes. A: Mrs. Magnolia Walker. She's one of our head deaconesses here. Q: All right. Now, I think we should--! want to go back a little, back up a little bit now. You said that you came fran Harvey, Illinois, and you were v.orking at the steel mill. Vllat 's the nane of this mill? A: The mill is--at that particular mi.ll was Vbiting Equipnent Con:g;>any. Q: Whiting? A: Yes. And their ma.in prcxluction was cranes and bridges, bri.dgew:>rks. Q: Did they--they made the cranes? A: Yes, they made the cranes. And I rem:mber one particular crane ~se girders was, oh, six feet in height, and that crane was going to Cldna, going to China. And at that same time, this canpany had also been effective in tn9king what they call lips for the buckets, several years to the time I was \\Urking. And these lips to the l:uckets were the type of steel--! suppose, they ~re bolted or ~lded to the buckets that was digging the Panama Canal. And, of course, my stepfather was v.orking at that ti.me. That was part of his job, he supplied the IIDld to help make the lips for the buckets. And I was interested in chemistry at that particular ti.me. I ~rke:i there. Q: All right, you also said that you ~rke:i in there as a besseuer converter'? A: I \\Urke::l on a bessener converter. Q: Now what is a bessa:rer converter? A: It's where you--fran the cupola. And these people ma.ke cupolas, too, Vlrl.ting Equip:IEilt. Fran the cupola--the iron, the gray iron, the pig iron, scrap iron, is nelted in the cupola. And this catEs out 'What you call regular iron, gray iron, like cast. 'llie cast iron is poured into a bessetner converter. It's a big round, looks like a big barrel that cares to a small opening at the top, you see, and you pour this iron in there. And it is blov.n by bot air and this puts a turb.llance to this IIDlt . • • Eni of Side One, Tape One Dr • Theodore T. Rose 9 A: ••• longer iron, rut it tanpered steel. Q: Oh, I see. A: It's called a bessaner coil\Terter. It coil\Terts a gray iron into tempered steel. Q: I see. A: And a chemist handles it because you have to--it takes about ~nty minutes to a batch. And if you blow it too long, it's of no value. And if you don't blow it long enough, it's too brittle. So this is quite a profession, an:i a chemist or IIEtallurgist is in operation of this. And I was v.urking under the cha:nist to learn this profession, which was available to Negroes because it was hard, hot w:>rk, of course. But it was available for Negroes understanding it. Of course--and When I arrived :in Springfield, I naturally sought a foundry, thinking I could find them, and I found one. And I went to w:>rk there that March, 1925. And I told the--it 'WB.S just a small place--! told the owner what I could do. He said, ''Well, we don't have any chemistry lab here now." But he said, "I'm hoping to have one to test our gray iron, and test our castings, and things of that sort, an:l to correct our problems, arrl iron being too hard, too brittle or whatnot." And be said, ''V!'ten I put it :in, I' 11 be glad to consid~r you as a chemist." Well, this made IIE stay there. It ne\ler develope:! because they never :put it in, but then I w::>rked as a--back into the sand, as a IIDlder, finally becoming a m:>lding technician, v.hich was m:>re than just an average 100lder; on all Il'etals: v.hite n:etals, bronze, copper and aluminum and--I've had quite a bit of experience in all of these sort of things, later becoming a supervisor at the fourxlry. Q: Vbat was the Ilal'OO of that foundry? A: The nan:e of that foundry "Was the Illinois Foundry. Q: W:lere 'WaS it located? A: It was located at 2800 South Eleventh Street. It's defunct now. But I w::>rked there o..enty-seven years. Q: tbw, was this privately owned, or was it •.. A: The foundry? Q: Yes. A: The foundry was owned by a banker, a man W1o used to v.urk at the bank. I don't know v.hich bank it "Was--let tiE see. I think it was the INB [Illinois National Bank] bank. And he left the banking and becarre interested in the--ani l:x>ught the foundry. His rume was Mandell Bird Baker. And he sold out during the war years of 1943 or 1944 to Mr. J. L. Baugh. Q: Baugh? f I. ! ' i. ' ' i I I; : Dr • 'Iheodore T. Rose 10 A: Baugh. J. L. Baugh. B-A-U-G-H. Q: And, did they pay you on par with the Wl.ite v.nrkers or did they . . . A: Yes, yes. There was very few Wlite rNOrkers in the labor depart:IIEnt of the rough, hot v.nrk, like PJ.lling casts and cutting sand. That was handled by Negro young m:m. But, when \'.e ha:l a pattem maker and a few helpers. But the wage paid, as far as I could determine, was the SanE, which \Ya.S, at that particular t:i.rre, forty cents an hour , an eight hour day. Q: was that considered good pay? A: That \Ya.S the wage, generally across, for labor in Springfield . . . forty cents an hour. Now, I never v.nrked--I never \'lUrked at that foundry as a laborer, actually, because I don't lmow, the man--the superintendent gave IIE a job when he found out that I had the equivalent of experience of a three year apprentice IIDlder. He put IIE on IIDlding. I'd v.nrked as a mlder on, what ~ call, a floor IIDlder, and they had no--only one floor mlder there. He said, "If you're willing to v.nrk on what owe call a machine, if you lmow the techniques of IIDlding . . . if you can operate machinery very easily," he said he v.nuld hire IIE. And he asked me to stand around there, stand around there during the day and watch the operation, and cane in taoorrow and go to w:>rk. Vbich I did. I v.nrked, perhaps, tv.o or three days, or the end of that week on t:i.rre 'iNDrk, then I went on production, Wi..ch--I v.nrked on production for many years.. llitil I becaue the backbone of his crew of mlders, and then he put n:e on a salary basis, because it was helpful in one way. I couldn't make the BIIDUilt of mney that the piecev.orkers could make, but if v.nrk was slack, I always had a job. I was, IIDre or less, my own boss, because I was either naking patterns or correcting pattems, naking--while we owere naking tests and things of that sort, and because . . . Not only did I have llDlding experience, but there were no m:m in that foundry, at the t:i.rre. I d:i.dn' t have a high education. I was a high school graduate, and had this experience of training from Scrantan University in IIEtallurgy and chemistry. And I had a couple years of machine design, blueprinting, and things of that sort, and could read a blueprint real owell. So, I was about the highest scholastic person in the foundry. An:l therefore, when they cane to dealing with the pattern maker and making a pattem, gating of a pattern that is shrinking and the different ~ that--the porousness of IIEtals and all that sort of thing, owell, naturally the owner took the advantage of this education. Now, I don't say he paid IIE what he should have paid IIE for what I was able to do, but I had good security all these years. If the place w:>rked, I w:>rked, and I was never pushed. And the if it canE to SOII'e special production, I had agility enough to Wl.ere I could produce--in fact, I was the first man that ever set trNO lu.mdred IIDlds on the floor. And this lNB.S all done by hand. And he asked IIE to cane back that day, after cleaning up. He said, ''Make IIE one mre IIDld." I didn't want to do it, but he said, "I 've got a )?llrpose." So I made tw:> lu.mdred and one llDlds. 'lhat happened to be--! think it was han:mars or hatchets or sonething like Dr • 'Iheodore T. Rose 11 that, it was. But about one lrurrlred and forty or one h.u.nired and fifty was considered a gocxi day's \iOrk, but I did it. 'Ihis same foundryman, this man was a little futchman. He always chewed a cigar an:i had a Boston Bull he carried aroun:l with him, but he seem to give IIE favor. And later on, this same owner, the new owner, Mr. Baugh, he was the sane way by IIE. And many t:imas, they'd complain, ''Vby can Rose do this? 11 He said , ''Well, see, you're not Rose. " He said, '"'he reason I let him w:>rk ••. 11 Said, ''Ve don't know what's coming in the mail." He said, ''Well, you can run flatba.cks or some semi-jobs that's not difficult, but this man can make anything that cones in the mail. So I got to keep him because no matter what canes, he can make it. And I '11 tell the man that brings IIE a pattern to be made that I can produce that pattern because I got a man I know, if it can be made, he'll make it. That's my I keep him here. And sane of the other guys, if I don't give him a flatba.ck, he can't make it." Now he said that in my presence. Naturally, being a black, you know, they wanted to know Why, why. Q: N:>w the flatback was the pattern for '\<ihlch you made the mld? A: Yes, the flatback was sanething that maybe it w:W.d have a cope part that ~t 0\Ter. 'Ihe mld was made in tw::> sections; the drag, 'liilerein the pattern may be • • • Q: 'Ihat' s the bottcm part? A: Yes. If you're making a round washer, say, a half-inch thick, the cope \\t)Uld be flat. And they call that a flatback. But if you made something that was difficult to make, it may have been shape:i like this, see, [refers to sanething in room] arxl maybe have to be made up like this. And this \\t)Uld be your cope and your drag. And this here \iOUld be all up in the top of it, see. Be difficult to make setting cores or maybe filing cores, and pouring and gating ani all that. You bad to know unre than just making a flatback. Q: Vbat was the purpose of wantmg you to make tv.n hun:lred and one mlds? A: It was a record, he felt. Scmabody else make biD luu:vired., rut he wanted n:e to have the record of making the unst mlds ever made in an eight-hour day, v.hich was ca:nposed of six hours ani a half of unlding, arxl an hour ani a half of pouring. And then I think he wanted to be able to talk to the owner, as to ~t had been established. Q: You IIEltioned about cutting sand. W:lat is that? A: OJ.tting sand. In the erening, after the uvlds are poured, and the night man, or whoever's going to pull it, w:ruld take a hook about maybe four or five, five feet long, with a round handle on it and just a crook. An::1 he'd go in ani hook these castings--they'd be red hot many timas-.. and pull all the castings out into the aisle-way, arxl that left the sand there. And then they ~d vet the sand ani water it dom to temper it. You couldn't have it too dry. You couldn't have it too ~t. And then the IIBl who w:>rked at night w:ruld take this sanl and ••• (tape stopped) ~~ I ~ i ' Dr. Theodore T. Rose 12 Ani it was a unique situation, cutting san:l. To say unique, I mean, the \\Ork, the night \\Urk was done by the D.'allbers of one family, or at least-yes, by the nenbers of one family. Ani these boys ~re--really, they ~re the Hubbard family boys. Ani they lived about t\\0 miles, or nearly t\\0 miles, south, directly south of the foundry, on a small farm. And there was Carl Hubbard, the oldest one, Reuben Hubbard, Bluford Hubbard, Lyman Hubbard, leonard Hubbard, Sherman Hubbard, Jack Hubbard. And to these boys had been given the job-- \~hat they callerl the night crew. They pulled the castings out, llo1atered the sand, cut the sand. Now, the m:>lders generally Vl:>rked in an area possibly ~ty-five feet wide and about, oh, I ~ld say, fifty or sixty feet, probably fifty feet, in length. This was called their floor. Ani they ~re side by side. And on each floor there was a heap of sand. Machines IID\Ted out-~ re rolled out toward the front, toward the aisle. And the sand was generally on the right-harrl side of their machine, When they was facing the back of the floor. Ani it -was heaped in a pile that, for the m:>st part, might be four and a half feet wide, probably, and cane to a heap, perhaps, three feet high, and maybe ~ty-five or thirty feet long. And it was heaped up like that. And it was dampen.e:i to the point \\here it v.ould hold together, depending upon TNhat the m:>lder was making. ~ uvlds requried the sand to be a little heavier, sane a little drier. But they v.ould temper it so that the molder might add a little water to it. 'Ihey preferred to be uvre dry, if necessary, than wet. It was too -wet. It couldn't be used nnless it was a lot of dry and added to it and recut. When the :aolder came in the mrning, this is the way you found his floor. And he'd use that sand up, as he IIOV'a:i back, he use:l the sand up, set his mlds dO'Wil on the floor; When he got back to the wall, 100st of the time, his san:l was just about used up. And the space use:l up, he VHS ready to put the jackets arouni his rrold, p.1t the -weight on, and pouring began around 2: 30 in the afternoon. Am that process was repeated day after day. Now, by the way, the Hubbard boys, out of that group of I:hJbbard boys, Lyman can:e, Lyman Hubbard. He v.as one of the boys that \\Ork.ed in the founiry When I CBI:l'e. He finally began to mld and later, of course, "Went into the ministry. Q: I think \E want to still back ~en--about something you said back hone in Harvey. You had an impelling force to cone to Springfield. I meant to ask you how did you hear of Springfield, but you said ¥hen you were four or so, you cane through from Missouri here. All right. '!hen what did you account this impelling force to be? A: I always accepted it as a directive from God because there was notirl.ng here enticing me to cane. And, it could have been, ~11, Detroit, Michigan, it could have been anywhere. But sooething in my mi.rrl said Springfield. And the :people at the church and my parents said, ''t-hat do you want to go there for?" They said, '"lhe.re's no Vl:>rk. You don't know anybody there." Said, ''You'll be back in three \Eeks." I said, "I can't help it. God's saying 'Go' ani I have to go.'' And I was here ~ty years before I realize:l my God sent J:IE. r· : Dr • 'Iheodore T. Rose 13 Q: Ch. W:lat was the occasion for bringing this realization about? A: When it cane to ne and I had many offers after I'd begin to mature as a capable, prepared minister. I remember one offer I had to go to Hartford, Connecticut, to a very good church. But I refused the offer. An:l then the bishop asked rre to go in 1939 to the--to Garborx:lale. I refused that offer. I was offered the bishopric of the Old-t:i.IIE Methodist Church if I wanted to go to Benton Harbor and live there, a very gocxi offer, and I refused it. And finally, I was :impressed with my reason. My reason was to build a church. And at the time, I was pastoring the m:>ther church here, Brown Street [Church of God in Cll.rist] it was called. And I i.mnediately began to try to raise fun:is to build a church. I put on a six-TNeek drive and I raised $176. 'lhe people didn't want a clrurch. But I was impressed. This was my p..trpe>se here; to build a clrurch. An:l the supervisor of YaiEl1 at the church, by the nanE of M:>ther Lizzie Thomas, became ill. She called rre to her hone one day, and she said, "Brother Pastor, you say that God told you to luild a church, and I ¥Ent to tell you somathing. You may build a church, lut you'll never build it on these grounds." And she TNent on to relate sane incidents that had happened there with the people. And the general bishop of the church and ~t he had told those folks about the situation. And she said, "If you're going to build a church, build it somewhere else." And she died a few days after that, and I never could understand What M::>ther 'Ihonas meant. Here I'm pastoring over there, and she's telling ma to build a church somewhere else. How could I do it? 'Ihey had three lots CNer there, and I couldn't understand it. But in 1939, ....-hen the bishop asked rre, for no reason, to go to Carbondale, an:l sent a man from Chicago to take over, he said, "I brought him with me." And I said , 'Well , I can't go to Carborrlale. I just can't go." He said, ''Well, it's up to you." So I didn't take the appoinonent. 1hat left rre without an appointment, canpletely. And for a year, I preached from--for IIDstly for white clrurches, all around this area: Paw:1ee, New Berlin, Old Berlin, Bul<Na, Edinburg, Kincaid, Taylorville, Mason City, Peoria, just all around. At the end of that year, I opene:i up a tent IIEeting, over here in the field, across these railroad tracks down here. And the Lord blessed. Well, at the end of the tent maeting, I said, "I don't know what I 'm going to do, no place • • • " I had a few people, probably five or six or something. And there's a \~bite gentleman because, see, the Lord had prepared rre for these white churches I had preache:l to. They all cane to my tent ~eting. 'Ihey was the support I had, not the Negroes, excepting the Negro pastors. I had no support fran the clrurch to ~h I belonged, at all. But the nenbers of Zion, the nenbers of Union, the nenbers of St. John, they caiJ:e, they supported. Well, I had no place to go, so this White gentleman came, said, ''Have you considered that place do~ there on the end of Stuart Street?" I sai4, ''Yes , I tried • But he w:ruldn' t let ~ have it. " Says , ''You wait her'. " And he sar,s, "I '11 be back." An:i he cane back in about an hour or ~. He says , 'Yes, you can get the place. I got it for you." That' s Y1h.ere. the Withrow School is. And, \ole ~re--it was a barn, a stable's all it Dr • 'Iheodore T. Rose 14 -was 1 We went :in there and we cleaned it up, redecorated and had a man that sprayed trees COll'e over with his machine. Arxl he sprayed all the inside with \\hitewashing. He just sprayed it and cleaned it up. And ~ went in there for service. Ani the man said, "Well, Reverend, go ahead and"--I don't know \\hat the rent was--said, "in the spring, if you want to buy it, I '11 sell it to you." And there was a three-quarter acre place and fifteen lots, ~t clear down, all that was school yard. &.lt, in the middle of the winter, sormthing happened beaeen him and his wife. And before I knew it, he had sold the \\hole thing at auction. And the man that p.rrchased it, refused to sell it to ne. And so--oh, ~ could stay there and all if "We'd wanted to, but he w::mldn' t sell it. And, the people was ready to wild. I was ready to build. We didn't have any DX>ney. I put on a neeting, had a young man fran Kinlock, Missouri cane. And he had a three-string and four-stringed instrunents; trombone, he played the coronet, guitar and clarinet or something. And he 'ii\Orked with rna that SLliiiiEr. We raised $750. I gave him $250. We took the $500, I bought this lot--I should have bought them both but I didn't have the mney. I bought this lot; paid $250 for it. I took the other $250 for it. I took the other $250 and bought material. This started All-Nation Tabernacle. By that tim:!, it was 1942, 1943, or sooething like that. War was on. Material was terribly hard to cane by. In fact, they had their priorities. I didn't take the priorities because the system was if you l.erlt under priority, you couldn't do a JDJVe. You couldn't buy nothing tmtil they had it ready. But if you wanted to take your chance and drop priority, and pick up a piece here and a piece there, you could. So that's what I did. Then I was very lrurt and angerai because the bishop wanted ne to go to Carl:xm:lale. I hai a good church over there, I thought, ani quite a few members, an:i was quite popular among the people. And I thought, ''Youre taking fran ue my chance to l:uild." But it was God who did it. And t me in a position to v.here I could understand the M:>ther' s w:>rd, "Buil it sonabere else." And here I am. • Later on, v.hen the general bishop came by, he said, "Son, "--they was going to--~ didn't have any seats in there at all. And be came; he stood rNer there in that comer, he says, "Son, get sane seats to seat the people." I didn't see no people or nothing like that, you know. But evidently, he could in his mind, and I often think about that. And all that he said came to pass. And even during the years men my wife was ill, she said, ''Well, the l.Drd didn't have the church bu.ilt for nothing. Ibn' t WJrry. God will sen:! the folks . " And now, "t<~Je 're thinking nOW", if the people continue to cane, ~ 're going to--all that wide space back there \VaS l:uilt so if ani when it was needed, ~ can put a balcony up there. 'Ibis was built in the plans. So if "We are crmrled, ~ will open the balcony ani p.1t on a IleW' front, and buy such land as ~ can get around here. I still think God's going to give us this place here, across here where Pee wee is, the barber. I offered him ten thousand . dollars for the shack that was on it, but he w:>uldn't sell it. But I' still think Qxl 's going to get it. So this all has been an experi.n:ent;. in faith, really. I : : I I . ' ; I : I Dr • 'Iheodore T. Rose 15 Q: So 'iitlen you started the ctru.rch, then, about how many m:mbers, could you say •.• A: I had three ..• actually, three, possibly, well, I'll say, four. 'Ihree, not counting my wife, When I started. And I had t:w:> children; a daughter, Dorothy, and my son, he 'WaS bom in 1935. Debbie wasn't barn until 1941. 'Ihat 's all I had when we opened up. Q: About how many m=mbers do you have now? A: I guess, not counting Sunday School, close to around one hundred. We've got at least about sixty adults ani the Sunday School. I haven't taken a toll of the enrollmant now, but last year, we had ninety-five enrolled. We averaged, maybe, seventy-eight, seventy-nine, or eighty in SUnday School now. And the thing that has been so encouraging is, of those we have, we have eighty-five or ninety percent attendance mst ti:nEs. And am:mg our ctru.rches--\<lle have sane cln.trches that got maybe three or four hundred uenebers in various places in <llicago. And in addition, then on a week night, we rank, oh, good. ~ may have as many in our prayer ~eting or Bible class as what a clrurch with three or fuur hundred uanbers will have. CUr financial rating is very good. As you know, we don't have a nnrtgage, just-I think we owe twJ or three, maybe four thousand on this, on the i.mprCJIIement loan system. last year we grossed CJIIer thirty thousan:i dollars, just regular ~rking. And this nnnth we have (leafs through papers), I did have them on the desk here. Just to show you what has happened •.• in All-Nation Tabernacle, by the nnnth (leafs through papers)--! have that, yes--the total receipts fran Jarruary lst to the 30th, vas $2,324.51. And that is the n:onth of January. And I don't have the tally in front of ue, but the mnth of February \<Vent above that, ~nt above that. And, for instance, like last Sunday, they grossed over $800, and this is \\hat's happening, you see. And confidentially, my incane, that I figure fran the church here, is close to $15,000 a year. And it's done under Wla.t you call a retiranent program, plus sane percent of tithing and • • • I don't even take 'illihat I could. I could take a lot of things that I don't take. Because I'm of the opinion it's better to leave SOil'£, you know, and my--I count this to one thing. I have systematized the ctru.rch in a vay that gives something back to the people. We have our benevolent or charity furxi that any member of the congregation, any person in the c<miiJility, if they need SOIIEthing, they cane to ue or to the coomittee sane 'WaY, and we'll give than ten or fifteen or 'Or!lenty [dollars] , \lha.tever they need • And the tithers are eligible to receive nnney fran tithing account. If they p..t.t in and they need twenty-five, fifty or a hundred dollars, all they do is come to me. If it's for a need, they're not required to reimburse the treasurer. If it's for sanething like Cllrist:mas or sanething, they say, "I' 11 pay it back," ani they do pay it back. I've got a check here now (leafs through papers). Here's a lady who borrowed--before <llristmas she was short of nnney--and she borrowed $125. She paid it back. This is out of the tithing furxi. At the same time, she paid her tithes, "tJ:ri.ch is $70. And this keeps the furxi intact. i' Dr . Theodore T. Rose 16 Now, in our church, the minister receives the tithes, is eligible to use any part of it that he feels he needs, \\hich I do. But for the nost part, it goes into the fun:l. ve have stipualted the amount ~ want to raise wery Sunday. A bad Sunday, someone is ill or people out of tO\\U or bad days, and they don't take up--maybe they'll COllE within twenty-five, thirty or forty dollars of what 'We believe is necessary to operate the clru.rch. So, fran the tithing that COIIES in, I 'll give the deacons, forty, fifty, whatever it takes to meet the balance. I take it out of the tithing, before the tithes go to the bank. See? 'lhis keeps us en a budgeted systan and ~ never go back to the people and say, ''look, ~ ~re short last Sun:lay, ~ need so mJCh. 11 It comes out of the tithing fund. This is the way ~ operate and ••• Q: That's great. fuw, lttlat was the attitude of the bishop after you, well, actually refused to go to Carbon:iale? A: That's a good question. His attitude was--well, When I refused, I asked him this question, "Bishop, can I get my support from Carbon:iale?" I said, ''Now, you know I'm w:>rldng. If I go ~ there, could I get my support fran there?" He said, ''No." Said, '"'he man who's here, he got whatever they ~uld give him. 11 I said, ''Well, how can I make it down there an:l back?" Arxi his ~rds to ne were, ''You're nore blessed than he is. You got a new car." This was his ~rds. ''You can drive down ~re. You can go every Sunday, every other Sunday, or once a m::>nth. Suit : yourself. But I'm going to appoint him here." It cane this way. "And I want to know Why are you making this change? This man you're bringing," mich is Bisho~ Lenox, now--''he's away from Ori.cago. Bringing him to Springfield YX>n t take him back to Chl.cago-he' s still tw:J lnmdred miles--and you're sending ne away from my hane " It didn't --it wasn't logical. He said, ''Well, I want him here. Arxi you go there.'' He said, ''No reason other than we made a new rule. When u leave your congregation and come to the state convention, you are not to go back to your pulpit in the church W:lere you were, unless you are reassigned there. 11 Now this was a Methodist rule. And I knew it. I realized that this rule had been brought up and voted upon by resolution. I had been to the meeting, rut I had returned hooe when this resolution was put through. And I didn't know I was ~ing to be changed until after the meeting was CJI/er with. He said, "Didn t you get your certificate of appoin'l:lnent?" I said, ''No. 11 "Well, the secretary should have sent you one. It should be in the mail." I said, ''Well, nevertheless, Bishop, I don't think this is fair. I'm not going to accept the appointment." He said, ''Well, that's up to you." And I said, "I'm going to tell you TNhat. I recognize this is a Methodist rule, and it's not known among the Ulurch of God in Christ, rut I'll abide by it." And the Methodist rule says that--! used to be a Methodist--that if you're given an appointJ:oont, arrl you don't take it, you're without an appointment for the year. But at the end of the year, you can reapply for another appoinbrnent or else you're eligible to establish a mission on your own somewhere. And I said, 'trhat' s \\hat I'm going to do. I'm not going to ask you for another appointJrent, but," I said, "at the end of this year, I 'm going to establish a mission here in Spr~field." He said, ''Well, don't interfere with this clrurch. 11 I said, 'No, I don't I , , I i : 1: Dr • Theodore T. Rose 17 believe in tearing up SOIIething I've trie:i to build. I' 11 not interfere with this clrurch here, in any way. But I will establish a mission." And I did. I started. He prevailed upon ne not to do it, but I was within my rights. And I knew this bishop very well. His sons and daughters were friends of mine. I was best man at his daughter's wedding, ani everything like that. Vben he was in Chicago with nothing, we lived in Harvey. ve carried--we had hogs ani stuff like that. ~ killed a hog ani carried him fresh IIEB.t, cabbage out of our garden, potatoes out of our garden, ani helped him take care of his big family up there in Chicago, ~he had nothing. And. that particular time, my wife didn't mi..rrl it. She said, "Well, things have changed. 11 And she said like this, said, ''We helped you, Bishop, to get where you are. And now my huband 's on the verge of being able to do something here, and you're cutting him back. And I don't think this is fair." And. she said, ''You are like Ahab that came down to Naboth' s garden and desired it, and took it wer." Well, the basic reason of his lWV'e was this. In 1937, he had fell into disfavor with the national DDITa:nents, by things he had said and done. Ani, at that time, the presiding elders or bishops--presiding bishops-sane of them were in control of one state, or sooe even tw> states. Che time this bishop was in control of Indiana and Illinois. But, at this present time, Indiana had been given to Bishop Bennett, and he was simply over all of Illinois. \E had in the state, oh, ~ssibly, forty or fifty dru.rches, maybe, about this time. I think there s around three hurrlred arxl fifty D.O'W. lmyway, the national bishop had a letter written to ne. At this time, I was the chairman on the fifty-one man board of the southem district. And the bishop of the state held a rreeting in Cairo, and one in Ch~' go. And so, the senior bishop had written ne a letter, said, "Now, we t you to take a.~er southern Illinois," ~h maan.t a splitting of the state, which w::ruld deprive the then bishop of the right. I would . a jurisdiction down here. He w:mld cooe as far as Springfield. I had Spring£ield down. And a young In9Il and--I love the bishop because he's been a friend of the family for years. And I couldn't see breaking his heart in his old age. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't do it. And I went to him and I told him. I showed him the letter. Ani he said, "It 's not true." I said, "Bishop, it is the truth." And I didn't know ~ther to go ahead and accept it, or What to do. So I made my decision, and I told than, ''t-b, I won't accept it. 11 All I was supposed to do was send the ~s inof the ministers and I would be sent in as the bishop. And maybe I nade a mistake, but I couldn't do it. I respected him as a father. I just couldn't do it. And I know it was a stroke of repr:iman:l and punishment w:lS being neted out to him for what he had done. There had been no other state in all of the \Jlole brotherhood that had been divided. Illinois was the first that this action was to be taken. This happened in 1937. It was mine to take. I didn't take it. 1938 passed. I didn't take it. In 1938, I was told that, ''The bishop is trying to find occasion ~ainst you, so be careful. Ibn' t make any kin:l of a slip." I said, 'Well, I'm not afraid Dr • Theodore T. Rose 18 to make a slip. I'm not going to do that.'' And I made no response--! gave him no reason to say, "I want to tiDV'e you." Our bishop was Ill.lCh m:>re pt:>TNerful then than they are now. Bu.t, when the convocation cane--or convention, that year in 1939 in Cairo. Then he got the nen to make this rule, unlerstand, whereby he could get to tl'e. And the reason he wanted II£ IIDVed was, he thought I might just change my mind, ani accept the downstate. So the man he brought was a man that he'd used to wash our faces with in the Chicago meeting, all the time. He called him, ''My boy, Lenox, my boy, Lenox, my boy, Lenox." He was the greatest. So he brought him down, back to Springfield. He had given him the second church in Ca.rbon:lale. He brought him back to Springfield, because, at that time, my church was run aver with folks. I had eight-seven members there in that small place. And the folks was standing up during the services. End of Side '"1"\\U , Tape One A: • • • you know, generally he'd let you know I'm coming. And he found the clUJrch packed ani everything. He didn't give--he didn't say any reason, you know, just dropped in. And then this happened in a couple of IOOnths afterwards. Then I could understarrl. So, you've asked tl'e about his attitude, so he was afraid I would take CNer. But I had no desire to do it. As I said, maybe I made a mistake. imyway, after the year was CNer with, I opena:i the mission. He was giving Bishop Elder Lenox, the minister he'd sent here, all kinds of support. He'd be down here ~ and three days out of the veek, every other \Eek. Soo:etines he'd stay a \'eek. • • • pushing for Brown Street and telling the folks not to visit me. My people were told by tl'e, "Don't say anything. D:m't do an~. No matter who says what, slrut your UDUth. Have church, forget it. I said, ''1\uo wrongs don't make one right." And the people, the ministers here in the city, they said this to tl'e, "Brother Rose, we've knowl you these years. And whatever there is that we can help, in whatever it is, let us know. So ~ were telling our people if they've got any mmey to give outside their own church support, bring it to you." And that's the way it ~nt. And he was very cruel, in a way, to me. Finally, they had a meeting here and he called me in and asked II£ if I'd cooe CNer, be wanted to talk. So, I ~t 011er. He said, "I want you to close your ueetings." I said, "Bishop, v.hat do you mean?" "Close it down ani cooe back here with your people and be assistant to this man that ' s here." I said , "Bishop . . . " (laughter) Here ' s 'What I told him. "I '11 pray for you. I '11 sing and shout with you. I '11 give you my m:>ney, but I'm not going to close my meetings. And furthenmre, m:>st of these people that's here, I preached than all. And I've been telling them to stay heme. Ibn't follow n:e. Stay hane." And I said, "If I came :· ! ~ : '! i ' Dr • 'lbeodore T. Rose 19 back here as his assistant, in thirty days, I'd be the pastor." ''You don't n::ean that. Sooething' s got to be done." I said , "I 'm sorry, Bishop. I'm not ~oing to do it." He said, ''!'his is a disgrace. Here I COOE ani they can t get the folks out." I said, "I'm sorry, Bishop. I \VOn't do it." Well, you see, at the time, I had written to the national bishop. He didn't write, "Go ahead," he simply wrote, ''Keep on preaching. 'Ihe Lord bless you." 'Ihat 's all he said. He was a man--he'd never ccmnit himself to where you could take the letter, and say, ''See, see. Th.e head bishop ••• " He never did that. You bad to know him and he wrote ne that. Ani of course, my bishop realized I ~dn 't be doing ~t I was doing unless I had some national support. So, here's the thing that capped it all. In 1943, he had so handled himself, they made this effort again, rut not with Ire. 'Ihe man that he had brought here, that he had so IlllCh confidence in, that he 'W:>Uld never do it; that's the man that did it I They offered it to him and he took it • • • and it liked to killed that bishop. Q: \-hat was his name? A: Bishop Robert. Q: Roberts. A: Roberts. William Roberts. William E. Roberts. It like to killed him. Now then, he turned to DE ••• called DE one night, said, "I'm caning dam and withdraw fran the brotherhood. I'm withdrawing from the Church of God of Clrrist. Going to establish a jurisdiction of my OWl." I said, ''Dad, don 1 t do it. You 1 Ve p.1t too many years in the church. D:>n 1 t do it." ''Well, what an I going to do, sorre .•. " I said, 1 'VIlat 1s the trouble?" ''Well, such and such a church is taken from under this jurisdiciton, Peoria. I can't say • • • " I said, "Okay, I' 11 tell you ~t. ~et me in Peoria. I 1 11 go with you." And I ~t fran place to place with this man that had done ne so wrong. He had been given orders at the end, ''Don't cane to southern Illinois. You stay in Chicago. If you don't, ~·re going to dismiss you fran the whole thing." I kept him fran going to Springfield and rechartering tp.s churches in the North, as an individual convention. I kept him fran doing that. And IIDre than once--scmatimes he'd call DE ~ and three ti.nes a night, with this on his mind, "Sorrething happened • " I said , "I '11 neet you in the mrning at Champaign," or ~rever his problem was. Arrl finally, I told him, I said, ''NOW", men Memphis t~ comes, I '11 ~ what I can do." And I went to the general bishop in ~his, and I said, '"lbere' s a few of us v.ho 've been with the old man all of our mi.nister:ipl lives." And I asked him, and I said this, ''Now, I know he's done w:>r:ip.g. He's said things. But will you allow us to stay with him because ~ ' prefer it?" Well, he give me a little going CNer. Finally, he said--1 said, ''Now ~' re not going to enter the w:>rd. Here's our report." ~ said, "All right. Go back. If you all want to stay with Roberts, go ahead. Be all right. Just go ani w:>rk for him." i . l ; : ' ' ' Dr • 'lheodore T. Rose 20 And there was thirteen churches that I came and reinstated in northern Illinois. He made ne assistant bishop. later on, those san:e churches, what Bishop Lenox--Bishop Gilispie has a lot of them down there now. So after he died, and Bishop Ford was set in line, Bishop Mason, rNho pranised to give him a portion up in Ori.cago and Illinois, arrl he came to ne and said, "Brother Rose," he said, "I need SOliE help." I said, ''Vbat do you mean?" He said, ''Dad said I should have part for a new jurisdiction tin Chicago, but they don't want ne to have it. I need s~ne to speak for ne to the camrl.ssioners." After Bishop Mason's, I just set up--said the ccmnissioners could operate the cl:rurch until a new bishop was selected. 'lhese ccm:oi.ssioners refused. Vhile Bishop Mason wasn't dead, he was incapacitated. He didn't do too 1D.lCh after he p.1t the church in the hands of these seven IIEil. So then, I vm1t to the front for Bishop Ford. I went to the ccmnissioners, they refused. I w:mt to the Bishop Mason, himself, and he says, ''Yes." And Bishop Ford became one of the bishops. Bishop J .0. Mason :in Chicago, Bishop L.H. Ford, they were the t:r.u bishops in Chicago, Illinois. 'Ihen he asked ne to be his assistant bishop, vhich I 've been a year or so. But he told IIE, "I don't interd to wild up central Illinois. I want to return that to you, at the proper ti.IIE, or if I build it up, I still want to do that." But he has never done it. And I never pushed for it until now. Because he's got Chicago, the suburbs, got eighty-~ churches, and he's the second vice-president of the national "WJrk. He just don't have the time. And he recently made ne his aide in Memphis, vhich will run the office in Ma:nphis, vhich I've been doing anyway. And now--he dedicated this office, and he made sorre statements conceming dOWJ. here and so has the general bishop. Sunday, the general bishop asked ne to give him SOliE records of what's going on and everything. And he says he hopes it's in the near future, to establish--they'll be another jurisdiction, which I will be the bishop here, residing bishop. It's in the making now. Q: So, though you started out fran scratch, you still remain with the denanination? A: <h yes, I've never, never been out of the denanination, not ever, not et~er. I've been preaching, let's see, fifty-seven years. I had been preaching ~ years in the ~thodist church. I put fifty-five years in here. I organize::l district--the first district out of Chicago, I organized, I was superintendent for five years. And that district stretched from Kankakee to Gairo. Since then it has opened to several now, b.J.t it wasn't at that particular time. I've ~rked in Springfield. I've wrked in the church and I 've w:>rked in many of the different problems of the national cl:rurch. I've done that. But here in Springfield, the Orurch of God in Christ has been accepted because--there 'W.B things done by SOliE of the people who ccrre here, that it made it a very hard place to break in to. And I have lived to see the cl:rurch COllE into its om by • • • You see, our clurrch--I don't know why, but--it didn't prcm:>te a::lucation. And naturally, being a lot of ministers were uncouth, no discretion, you know. But in later years \-2 have adopted a policy of educating the ministers, W:dch they need to do. : I ' ' i· : Dr • Th.ecxiore T. Rose 21 Q: Couldn't this be a change in trend of education; ~ are--so many young people are going--advancing thanselves. A: '!his is true, you see. \.e found, unless we did get with education, our IIEIIlbers, when they graduated fran high school and college, we had nothing to offer them, and no place to send them. But now, we have accountants, and our church has a lot of records ~ch must be kept, ~ an office to carry on. So there's openings for than. And ~ 're constantly pushing education. I have opene:i up, now, just ~ ~eks ago started, the program will be in May, on the establishing of the education fund. I put Sister Bonnie Walker CNer it. She's probably the first WJIDa.n--girl that spoke to ne. And I asked her to raise five hundred dollars. And I said, "I'm goiqs to personally give five lrundred." So she told ne the other day, ~ sit and talked,--~ are the ccmni.ttee. She said they're going to get patrons. I said, ''Why not go like--the patrons is such a small way. let's start with sponsors, and patrons." She said, ''Well, What sponsor--what do you mean?" "Anyone that will give you ~ty-five dollars, elicit as a sponsor. 'Ihose people' 11 be the ones, when ~ meet in the conmittee, whether there's ~ty or t:v.eny-five, will do the selecting of lNho gets what." And that very day, she got nine. She told ne last week, ''We're going to raise ~ty-five hundred dollars in the first year of the educational fund." I said, ''Vben ~ do this, then I' 11 go to Fiat-Allis and I '11 go to Horace Marm ani I '11 go to the other places, and let them see what we're doing, ani ask than for an educational fund, because ~ will o • • II Q: A donation? A: " • . • a donation, or we will establish it," see. And that's gOjing on right now. 1 I Q: &>, ~en you first came here, then, is it right to asSI.Dlle then ~t the church you affiliated with was the Brow Street Clrurch of God in ' Christ? A: Yes, that is right. I was a uanber there, and assistant pastor there, after a while. And then that was my first charge as a pastor. I took that charge in Jarruary of 1927. I was just twenty-one years old. Q: What was the rume of the pastor that you assisted at first? A: Reverend Farley, F-A-R-L-E-Y. Reverend Farley. Q: The rume is altrost--his rume is almst like Far low, the man lNho' s there now. A: Yes, that's right. Farley was his name. Q: I see. Yes, I see. Now, how long had you been preaching before you came to Springfield? ' ' r' :~ ! Dr • Theodore T. Rose 22 A: Se\ren years, seven years. I was just a licensed minister. I was not ordained. I wasn't ordained until I started pastoring. Q: All right. I think~ want to, I think, cone back to Springfield. And, I notice you said you ~rked at this mill, this foundry, for ~ty-seven years. Did you retire fran the foundry? A: No. In a way, I considered this; that the foun:lry offered nothin,g but social security. And then I got to thinking one day, ''What am I doing out here in the san:l When I got a good brain an:l a fair education?" And the reason I was there, I had been offered--! was interested in politics, to a certain extent. It was a challenge to me--and I was offered a job at the State House. And When I ~nt to see about the job, after they called ma, the mm told ma--I asked him, ''Vbere \\Ullld I be 'INOrking?" And he looked at me and said, ''Well, as a janitor." I said, ''No." ''Yes." He said, ''VIlat'd you expect?" I said, ''Well, I thought I'd have a decent job." I said, ''Why should I leave a trade to pick up a IIDp ani bucket?" ''Well, that's all ~·ve got to offer you." I said, ''Well, Mr. Lawler, "--he 'NB.S a representative-- "I'm making by piece'INOrk, $200 a DDnth now, arrl you're only offereing me $110 as a janitor." I said, "I 'm sorry, but I don't want it. \-ben you find a job that can equal W.t I'm getting and I don't have to swing a mb and a bucket, then you get in touch with ma again." That's ~t I told Bill Lawler. Q: W:1o was he? A: Bill lawler was a respresentative. Q: Oh, for this • . . A: This district, yes. And so, I didn't w:>rk for the State, quite spne tiJie. I stayed at the foundry. I 'NB.S making good rroo.ey. And later pn, as I got older, I'd w:>rked for--made speeches for Governor Stratton. I enjoyai public speaking. I want up and do\1Il the state from Peoria,~· Bloanington, to Cairo, speaking in behalf of Governor Stratton. And then, he told ma I could have a job. Ed Pree, I think, was one of · administrators • • • Conrad Knoll, Conrad Knoll. He 'NB.S one of the , administrators. And he had set tm up in a job--I thought it was too~ood to be true. $560 a mnth as one of the governor's administrative ass· stants. But it was too good, you know, no black men have that. And so ~t y did, they liDled Conrad Knoll into sanething else, and that closed. ou my opportunity for that. But they did make ne an offer. I think it was! $250 a m:>nth. Prior to this, I had w:>rked in the mail depar'I:Jrent for $190 a mnth, or son:ething like that, change of administration. Then I was out four years, ani I went back urxler Governor Stratton at $250 a mnth. And I had a choice of ~rking in the auditing departm:mt of the rerenue department, auditing section, or in the collection section. And I chose the collection section. And I w:>rke:l in the collection section for seventeen and a half years. And, oh, I think my raises ~nt up to close to $1,000 a mnth. I wmt as far as I could go, in one way. George Taylor becane the supervisor. He died. And, I was set in direct line. I could've--if they had one, I had to be it. Put, I decided to retire. I had already w:>rked over retiranent age, so I just retired. !~ I : I I , I, ' ' ' ' ' I I Dr • 'Ihecxlore T. Rose 23 They offerei ue a job of Accountant II, but I had to be in the office three days and out 0\u, or in the office tw:> days, an::l out three, traveling and I told them I didn't want it. Q: So, ~ld it be fair to say, then, that this job that Fd Pree offered you at $500 plus, this was your first .•• A: Conrad Knoll's the one that offerei ue • Q: Oh, Conrad Knoll, yes, Conrad Knoll offered you--this w:ruld be, then, your first encounter of discrimination . • • A: Yes. Yes, that's right, in that way, ~epting with Bill Lawler. They wasn't offereing a Negro anything but a unp and a l:ucket. N:> 'li!J.)rk in the offices, see, just--they ~e janitors, that was it. An:i they thought you should be satisfiei with it. Ani I just didn't want anything like that. To say I was 'li!J.)rking for the state for $110 a Il'Dilth didn't ~anything to ue W:len I could make $200 and some dollars out there in the foundry as a tradesman ani a nenber of the fourrlry uen' s local. Q: Then would you say that you ~re one of the first black persons to receive office appoin1:IJ:ent for the State? A: N:>, I wasn't the first. There was others . . . . Q: One of the first? A: Yes, the others was 'li!J.)rking there at that particular time, yes. Q: Well, What v.uuld be the relationship to the tine--the first tine 'When Lawler said that •.. A: 'Ihe first tiiie--this was, oh, back in • . . oh, nru.st have been the thirties, I guess, when the--! turned it dom. I could have taken the. job, but I turne:i it down. An:i it was considered at that time, if you TNaS 'li!J.)rking for the State as a janitor--if you 'li!J.)rked for the State, you were somebcxit,:. People W1o 'li!J.)rked in the city for the State, they ~re considered, 'Oh, they're sCIIEbody." Didn't care v.hat they was doing, you know, because if they ~re 'li!J.)rking for the State, they ~t to 'li!J.)rk all dressed up like they was going to a swanky office, got there and ch.anged clothes. \hen they left there, they left dressed like they just steppe:! out of a bandbox. ''Well, this is a State 'li!J.)rker." But they didn't know all they 'WaS doing was swinging a IIDp and carrying a bJcket. Ani I ~dn' t have none of that because IIDney was the purpose, and I was making twice that aoount of m:>ney. And I \\UUldn' t take this distinction of being a State w:>rker ani drop the aiiDIJilt of mney I was making. So men I did do it, I had w:>rked quite a rrumber of years, and I "Was thinking about, "I'm getting older. So get out of the sand, get out and get a hold of sam! thing like that." And Wei1 I did cane, I l'IDVed on up just as--and I had good relation, never had any problems ~ile I was there. Q: You said men theis George Taylor, then, retired or died •.. ~ t: ' ' I' i i i I ' i [: Dr • Theodore T. Rose 24 A: He retired. And the he died and • • • Q: So you '\Ere in line, then, to becc:ma the supervisor? A: Yes. And now, here's another . . . 'Ihey didn't put ne in the place. They left the place open and let the ~rk be handled by another departJ:rent, rather than put ne in as supervisor. But I knew they ~uldn' t dare put anylxxly in because I ~s sitting in a spot that ''You can't bypass this man, now. You just can't do it. Sanetimes things are so apparent, you can't." But here's what happened. W:len I announced--no, before I announced r.ey retirenent, I TNent into the section supervisor, I said, ''Now look. I'm at the top. I've got to have rmre rmney if I stay here." Well, he said, ''Well, I don't know 't\bat ~ can do, but I '11 try." So he said, "I'll send a request do~ to personnel," or sc:mathing. Ani so after he--he's supposed to have wrote the request--he sent ne a copy, a carbon copy. You know, a copy to ne, a copy in the office. So finally-- ! ne.Ter heard nothing, so I ~nt do'WI:lstairs. Of course, I knew the lady in personnel. I said, ''Inok. 'What's happening here?" ''Vbat do you mean, Mr. Rose?" "I unlerstarrl you was getting requests dO'iNil here for checking to see 't\bat ~s open." "For you, let ne see. No, nothing." I said, ''Wait a mirute. I got the copy of the letter you're supposed to be receiving." She said, ''We di.dn' t receive any." Said, "Do you have the copy?" I said, ''Yes." Said, 'This is a carbon." I said, ''Yes." Said, ''Wa ne\Ter got the main letter. We di.dn 't get it." So realized ....tla.t had happened. They had wrote the letter, give ne the carbon, and tore up the original. So personnel never got any requests. But fran there on, she said, ''Oh, ~' 11 see W:tat ~ can do." They final! y came, I can be AccOlmtant II. No Accountant I open, be Accotm.tant II, which 'NB.S higher. But he said, you'd have to go--like you go out and make an audit of a man's account and I ~t to--far as Cairo, and be there a couple of days and then have to cane back bane to Springfield and go back again. Then I said, ''No, I don't ~t that.'' So finally I told them, I said, ''Look, I'm going to retire in August." In a ~ek' s time, they put a man at that desk . . • when I announced I was going to retire. 'lha.t' s ~t they did. This is for real. They did. Of course, I didn't care then, because I was going to retire anyway. When I checked out what I was making, how much I could get on retirement, how DJJCh I get on social security, and it costs probably fifty dollars a unnth to ~rk, I figured I was only really clearing about forty or fifty dollars a week. And I said, '"'hat's not enough to ~rk for." And after I made the tiDVes, I said, ''I should have retired ~ years sooner." Because I made mre by retiring than I did by ...,rking, because I '""9 t getting enough llDtleY. So when I put r.ey state retiranent and my soc· security together, it was so near to what I was taking hane, with the taxes and all, it was foolish for rre to ~rk, so I quit. And I had just as III.lCh--~11, I have a ~le lot nnre now. So, if get to a place in your retiranent, that's it's foolish to w.>rk. So you're ~rking for maybe forty, fifty dollars a unnth. Vben you put retiranents together, if you have something besides the social securi y and everything, arxl what you pick up on the side--of course, I was pastor--and naturally, when I quit the foun:iry, or quit the State, my: I I Dr. Theodore T. Rose 25 people even did m:>re, see. Arld so now, I'm making six or seven thousand dollars m:>re than what I'd be making at the State. Arld the way it's set up, it's set up alm:>st where there's very little taxes have to be paid because you have the clu.lrch retirement program, social security, state retirement, and then the type of exemptions for clergy expenses, car expenses, clergy garmant, contributions. If you figure your taxes right, you don't have too nuch to pay. Because this has been the story, to a large--oh, there's a lot of other things • • • Q: N::>w, you 'i!lOrke.d for the State seventeen and a half years. A: Yes. Q: Illring that time, ~11, did your job cane under the Secretary of State? A: lib. Governor. Q: Under the Governor? A: Yes. Q: So then, you have w:~rked urrler several governors, then. A: Yes. Yes. Q: You started un::ler Stratton? A: Yes. Stratton and all those that . . . Q: Came behind. A: N::>w, also, during this time, I ran for office •.. p1.blic office and supervisor. Q: W:lich of these g(.JVernors, 'i!lOUld you say, was the best so far as minority people were concerned, in looking out for their rights? A: Kerner. Kerner was a Dem::x:!ratic gt:Nernor, and I was a staunch Replblican. He was quite a friend. You'd neet him in the hallway--wherever you u:et Mr. Kerner, he recognized you. Arld it was Mr. Kerner that gave ne my greatest thrill--Stratton's all right, too;..-but he's the one that invited 1m, men they made him chairman of the • • • report. Q: Kerner Report. A: Kerner Retirt. He invited ne--called IE one day at the office, and be 'WBilted to c:NI if I'd have time to cane CNer and chat with him. I said , "By all uean.s. " Said , "Can you make it 'lhursday?" I said , ''What time?" He said, "Aroun::l bJo o'clock." So I told the supervisor, I said, "Can I s:o and talk to the gt:Nernor Thursday at 0«> o'clock?" He looked at IE, "Can you go?" I said, "Yes, I thought I'd better ask you." (laughs) I think be kir.d of cussed a little bit. (laughs) He thought, I . Dr • 'Ibecxiore T. Rose 26 you know, I was putting him on. vell, he said, "why, don't ask me, go ahead. I'm just the supervisor." (laughs} "He's the governor. He's the boss." I said, ''Well, I'll be going about 0\o o'clock ton:Drrow." And I v:ent aver about tw:> o'clock, and I think I hai to vva.it a little ..tlile. And I talked with him until ten minutes--altogether 0\o hours and ten minutes. He said, "Reverend, I 'WBilt you to review with ne this report." He said, ''Now, no one has seen it. It won 1 t be announc.ed until I think it's the 17th of March. I take you in my confidence. I 'WBilt to know r,.,hat you think about it •.. exactly wt you think. Something --maybe I've been too strong, maybe I haven't been strong enough." Said, "I neoo to keep up with the situation, lmow wt's happening. Tell me your opinion. 11 So -we -went all through that report, and W:len I finished, I said, "GNernor, to tell you the truth, I think it's a little strong. I think it's a little strong." He said, '\-hat do you nean?" ''What you're advocating is needful, ougj:lt to be, but it's too strong to be enactoo upon at this time. 'Ihey won't like it." And he said, "I don't care if they don't--I don't give a so and so Whether they like it or not, it is the truth. And I'm not going to change one word." Said, "I wish I could make it stronger." That's lAhat GNernor Kerner told ne. And as you know--I told him I wasn't going to say anything about it, which I di4l't. W:len the report caae out, Governor Johnson--President Jolmson did not like it. But he told him, if you enact this report, you'll bring a semblance of peace to the nation. And if you don't, you're going to have trouble. And as it turned out, they hai a riot in Chicago, riot in Detroit, and the riots of California. Because they wouldn 1t pay any attention to mat the Kerner Re~rt tried to tell them would and did happen, I Q: N.::>w, since you were, I guess I could put it, close to Governor ~r, afterward quite a few people said that the proble.n that he ran into -.s all sort of repercussion of this report. A: Right. That is right. I feel this. I haven't said tDJCh about it, but I feel this. He hai an honest report. ~ prior to this report, or was it aftervva.rd--this report was after the Civil Rights Q: Yes. A: All right. I was in Washington the day the Civil Rights bill was passed. AOOut a year then in 1962, 1963, yes, I was called--Represent:ative Finley calloo ue, and he said, ''Now,"--I was a 1J.'Sllber of the county board, and Mrs. Oblinger and myself hai got our heads together and discussed the situation here in Springfield, that the Springfield Human Relations hai no authority outside of the corporate limits of Springfield. Ani v:e "Were having trouble on the bypass, people passing through, trouble with the skating rink on the outside, the Ponderosa, taverns and things like that. And these canplaints would ccn:e in and the city said, ''Well, it 1 s outside our jurisdiction." Okay. ; ' i ' i ' t I I' i f I Dr • 'lhecxiore T. Rose 27 So I called Mrs. Oblinger and said, ''look, I got a resolution I want to present to the board, and I 'ilmlt you to join ne with it. She said, "Okay, Reverend, ~t is it?" I told her. She said, ''Well, that's fine. " Said, ''We' 11 sponsor this resolution. " And the resolution was to create a Sanganx>n County Human Relations Committee, and \le set it up, then ....e wrote it up, and it passed the board. And then I was made the chairman of that coomi.ttee. And in this set-up of the coomittee, ~ also wrote into the resolution that the state's attorney of the county '\\Ullld be the enforcing officer of this. All right. Th.is put teeth in the resolution. There was only one human relations resolution--human relations group that l~B.Bn' t just a citizen's ccmnittee with persuasive powers, but no legal powers. The only other one Y.Bs in Kankakee, and Sangamon County Y.Bs the other. And ....e used this at Olio other nen, three other men with--they were ~te. But I was the only Negro on the board, the first one they e.~er had in Sanganon County. And, those nen w:>rked with ne good. We put the Mx>nlight Garden out of business because he '\\Ullld not canply. And v.e had the state's attorney ready to file charges against them, legally. Ponderosa raised its head. We got to writing, and--we got Ute canplaint in writing. And he had that man on his knees. He straight~ up. Cb Eighteenth Street down here, they straightened up. Several places, ...tlatever C()lle to our attention. When Slaughters IIDiled out hete on Kern, I think it is, South Fifth, I straightened that place up. Mr. Roberts of the FBI w:>rked behin:l scenes with ne-- tw> justice n:en fran the Federal gooernmant. There was no flare-up in Springfield, but we stayed on top of things, kept the newspapers out until it happened. So, Mr. Finley, Wen this--they were having various bills cane up for ! the civil rights IID\Teaent. He called ne. Said, "Re.~erend Rose, vm1ld cane to Washington?" I said, ''Well, what's the problem?" He said, ' have noticed there's trouble in Jacksonville, trouble in Decatur, tr ble in Peoria. Th.ere' s trouble all aroun.l you. \bat are you doing to ke p peace in Springfield? We notice there's no trouble there. W:lat are doing? What's your system? We'd like to have you cane to Washington and talk to the Civil Rights Ccmni.ttee of the House to see if there's an · in your program we can incorporate into this law that might be gocxi £ r the nation." So I went. I talked with Miller, Roberts, M:Gruger out of Wisconsin, with Miller out of California, Roberts out of New York, and. then to Finley in the House restaurant. And then he asked ne to go CNer to M:Colloch of Ohio, Senator M:Colloch, and mke a tape, and I told him what v.e ~re doing. Our system lNB.s, men we discCNered something was wrong--! had a good coomi.ttee--112 IID\Ted in fast • . • IDJV'ed in fast, and got a hold of the person and told them what they had to do, v.hat the law was, and asked • • • (tape stopped) So M:Colloch asked ne later on that day, he said, "I'm going to ask you a question, Reverend, you don't have to an~r unless you want to." He said, "I'm chai:rmm of this ccmni.ttee and this bill is not out of the coomi.ttee yet." And he said, "Are you familiar with the present bills that's been offered?" 'There was tw::> or three of us said, Dr • 'lheodore T. Rose 28 ''Yes." He said, 'This present bill"--or "This bill :in its present form, if you \\ere the chairman, \\OU.ld you let it out of camd.ttee for a vote?" I thought a few mirrutes, I said, ''Well, Senator, I'm going to tell you. With the condition of this country right now, sorre law--sooething has got to be done to give these people W:la.t they're asking for, civil rights law. We're at the po:int of chaos . " "And , " I said , "the bill that you've got now is not the best bill that Congress is capable of making. But between now and the end of the session, you will not get another bill. So, I suggest you let it out of catmlttee, vote upon it, pass it, ani in the next session, emend it to IIBke it the kind of bill you think it ought tO be o II He said t 'Thank you. II And so I was inviterl back and Senator Everett Dirksen and Senator Humphrey, when they got it down to mere each one had an hour, Humphrey took on the arguments of the Deox:lcrats, the southern Deroocrats. Dirksen took on the arguuents of the conservative Republicans. W:len they finally had enough votes in their pocket, they voted the bill, and it passed. I ~t to Senator Dirksen's office afterwards, and I said, "Senator, you've done a great job today, a \<\Dnderful job. You made history." And that when he--he said, ''Reverend, I IIBY not be for it or others IIBY not be for it, and maybe I am for it, lut," he said, "I want to tell you one thing. W:ten the tine corres for"--Y.bat Wi.S his \<\Drds, he didn 1 t say objec.t--"ti.Ire canes for an e\Tent to take place, you cannot hold it back." 'Ihat' s what he told rna. "And that's ~y I've \<~Dr ked to get it passed." And that Wi.S the last time I was :in Washington, D.C. Q: Now, When you w:!re calla! to washington like this, who underwrote your expenses? A: I don 1 t remember ...tlether the county did or not. 'lhey underwrote my expenses mile I was there as far as care was concemed. No, I think I paid my own fare. Yes, I'm aliiDst sure, sure I did. I don't renenber any check or nothing. Vben I w:!nt to Martin luther King 1 s funeral, the city, I remember, did. Because I ~nt--I was going anyway, and Mayor Howarth called rna and asked ma if I WJU.l.d represent the city of Spr~ield while I was there, and I did. later on, they reimbursed trE for the cost. So, I 1Ve had a a rather unique life here in Springfield, IIBnY other things I've done and lAUrked with. Q: How long did you serve on the board of supervisors? A: Ch, I think my tenn was be~en six and Se\Ten years. I went in on a--s011:130Ile DD\Ted and I ~t on and served that term. 'lhen I was elected to the job. Q: Was this a four year term? A: Yes. I TNB.s there about six, six and a half to seven years, ani I was a member of the Hunan Relations Camd.ttee, and also ~t \E call the Welfare Ccmni.ttee; later was changed to Clli.ldren 1 s Home Coamittee, hanlling neglected children. I~ , I ! I i ' I Dr • Theodore T. Rose 29 Q: They bad a hale here in Springfield A: On Seventh Street. And they \<ileren 1 t doing a thing for them kids. They only b.Jdgeted them for $1, 500 ani t:urn.e:i oost of that back. Brother, '\\hen I got in there, I used that $1,500. I used $4,500. We painted the building. We took out a lot of partitions, redid the house, blacktopped the yard, fenced the yard. We really made that place fit for the kids. And then~ got ready ani they established a new wilding out here at the hospital, l.t.lmted to take (Ner that property, W:lich they did. The man Ybo run it--after the man was there and left--they had some difficulties and he left, and I 1m the mm that selected the next man they appointed, W:lich was John Forrest • .F.n:l of Side One, Tape '00 Q: Dr. Rose, I ~ld like if you \\U\lld discuss for us your son 1 s experience after finishing school, and then cane back to Springfield. A: Well, Dr. M=.Pherson, that is a •.. an area that was of special concem to ne then and I feel it also has been a problem to other of our students that ~nt off to school and ret:urn.e:i back to Springfield; that is, the black student. Now, his education here in the Springfield schools was a good education, as far as it \<ilent, rut he only got the best of the e:iucation because of my insistence that he be allowed to atterxl the best high school in the city, Which was Springfield High School. He was enrolled in Feitsbans High School , the old Feitshans High School, W:lo--the school was not equipped as it should have been, and the teachers v.Eren 1 t equipped as they should have been. After he decide:i he wanted to go in the neiical profession, cha:nistry was necessary, and it WiB not offere:i at Feitshans High School. then I went to (tape stopped) the Board of Education, and Mr. Fish was the president. And I demande:l that he go to Springfield [High School] for the purpose of getting this chemistry because he 1 s going to need it, if he intends to be a doctor. And of course, they IUt up the sane excuse; he 1 s out of that pa.rticular jurisdiction and all that. But I was insistant and he okayed it. So then he spent his last three years in Springfield High School , where he received as good an education as Springfield could give. And he had gocxi fellowship with his teachers and coaches an:l whatnot. He maintai.nerl a good average. Well, on leaving there, he want to the Illinois G:>llege in Springfield--no, the Springfield College in Illinois--out on South Fifth Street, and he spent Q: North fifth? A: North Fifth, yes, North Fifth Street, that 1 s right. And--where he spent one year. Now, in seeking to be a podiatrist, it required one year of college and--or junior college, I guess you would call it--and then four years of DEdical school. So after a year of college here, he w:mt
|Title||Rose, Dr. Theodore T. - Interview and Memoir|
Brown Street Church of God in Christ, Springfield (Ill.)
Springfield (Ill.)--Race Riot, 1908
|Description||Rose, minister, recalls early and mid 20th century Springfield: 1908 race riot, work for the Illinois Foundry, ministry work, building of the Brown Street Church of God in Christ, schools and education in Springfield, discrimination and integration, black businesses, and family.|
|Creator||Rose, Dr. Theodore T. b. 1905|
|Contributing Institution||Oral History Collection, Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Contributors||McPherson, Reverend Negil L. [interviewer]|
|Digital Format||PDF; MP3|
|Relation||BLACK COMMUNITY PROJECT|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
|Title||Dr. Theodore T. Rose Memoir - Part 1|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
University of Illinois at Springfield
Norris L Brookens Library
Dr. Theodore T. Rose Memoir
R720. Rose, Dr. Theodore T. b. 1905
Interview and memoir
3 tapes, 180 mins., 62 pp.
BLACK COMMUNITY PROJECT
Rose, minister, recalls early and mid 20th century Springfield: 1908 race riot,
work for the Illinois Foundry, ministry work, building of the Brown Street Church
of God in Christ, schools and education in Springfield, discrimination and
integration, black businesses, and family.
Interview by Reverend Negil L. McPherson, 1985
See collateral file
Archives/Special Collections LIB 144
University of Illinois at Springfield
One University Plaza, MS BRK 140
Springfield IL 62703-5407
© 1985, University of Illinois Board of Trustees
'Ibis matUJSCript is the product of a tape-recorded interview con::lucted by
Reterend N. L. t-'bPherson for the Oral History Office on March 4, 1985.
Liz OJrl transcribed the tapes and Linda Jett edited the transcript.
Dr. 'lheodore T. Rose was born in Harvey, Illinois in 1905. t-hen the
steel mills 'Where be was employed t.lX)\7ed to Alabama, be and his family
Il.l:1led to Springfield, Illinois. His ambition wa.s the ministry rut he had
to 'WOrk because he had no ass:i.gru.Ient to a church.
He established ani built the BrONtl Street Church of God in Christ. Dr.
Rose becama an important civic servant always fighting for equal rights
for the black race.
Rea:lers of the oral history neooir should bear in mind that it is a
transcript of the spoken 'WOrd, and that the interviewer, narrator arrl
editor sought to preserve the informal, cOIJ.Ilersational style that is
inherent in such historical sources. Sangaacn State University is not
responsible for the fac tua.l accuracy of the neooir, nor for views
expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge.
The marruscript may be read, quoted and cited freely. It may not be
reproduced in whole or in part by any ueans, electronic or tOOChanical,
without permission in writing fran the Oral History Office, Sangan:on
State University, Springfield, Illinois, 62708.
Reverend Dr. Theodore T. Rose, Springfield, Illinois, March 4, 1975.
Reverend N. L. M:Pherson, Intervi~r.
Q: N:>w, Dr. Rose, I understand that last 'fuesday, v.hi.ch was the 25th of
February, that you marked your fiftieth year in Springfield?
A: That is correct. I came here in February of 1925 fran a suburb of
Clll.cago; Harvey, Illinois, the largest suburb, while at that tilm we set
twenty-five miles south of Oti.cago. Clll.cago has tDJV"ed closer to Harvey,
and Harvey has IIDV'ed closer to Chicago. So possibly fifteen miles, say
sixteen, separates the bottan lines of W:lat is Chicago, [and] What is
Harvey, Illinois. In fact, I was bom in Harvey.