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Charles Broadway Rouss (Charles Broadway Rouss)

Charles Broadway Rouss

Businessman, Philanthropist. Although born in Woodsboro, Maryland, he lived in Winchester, Virginia between the ages of ten and twenty-four. He started his merchant career in Winchester as a store clerk and later owned his own business. He moved to Richmond, Virginia in 1862 where he opposed secession. Apparently having a change of heart, he joined the Confederate Army in 1864.  Just prior to joining, he placed all his money into Confederate bonds.  After the war he was deeply in debt and spent the best part of a year working on his father’s farm.  In 1866 he moved to New York City where he spent time in debtor’s prison.  But by 1889 he was a wealthy businessman and built his own building on Broadway.  A 10-story cast iron and stone structure, it was three bays wide and is still known today as the “Charles Broadway Rouss” building.  In an interview with the New York Post, he said of his business “We shall keep everything calculated to make a man fashionable, a lady irresistible and a family comfortable.”  Born with the middle name of “Baltzell”, he changed it to “Broadway” for the street where he invested heavily.  By 1895 he had branches in Paris, Berlin, Nottingham, Vienna, Chemnitz, and Yokohama.  That same year he would also go blind.  His offer of one million dollars for a cure generated an overwhelming number of offers, but no cure.  Charles Broadway Rouss was also a very generous man, donating money to charities and other worthy causes.  His generousity benefited several recipients in Winchester, Virginia including the Town Hall, Hospital, a Fire Hall, and the Mount Hebron Cemetery.  Outside the area included many donations in Virginia and New York, including half the funds needed for the Battle Abbey in Richmond that houses the Virginia Historical Society.  After his death, he was buried in Mount Hebron Cemetery, in what was at that time the larget private mausoleum in the United States. (bio by: Jonathan Coulter)  Family links:  Parents:  Peter Hoke Rouss (1806 – 1887)  Belinda Elizabeth Baltzell Rouss (1810 – 1887)  Spouse:  Margaret Keenan Rouss (1836 – 1899)  Children:  Charles H Broadway Rouss (1860 – 1891)*  Peter Winchester Rouss (1875 – 1932)*  Siblings:  Ann Elizabeth Rouss (1834 – 1858)*  Charles Broadway Rouss (1836 – 1902)  Milton Rouss (1840 – 1922)*  William W Rouss (1846 – 1914)* *Calculated relationship

Born

  • February, 11, 1836
  • USA

Died

  • March, 03, 1902
  • USA

Cemetery

  • Mount Hebron Cemetery
  • Virginia
  • USA

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