ROOSA, CHARLES A. - Some of the most progressive and public spirited men of Springfield are those who are retired from active life and are consequently able to study carefully the needs of the community. One of these men is Charles A. Roosa, a retired real estate dealer, who was born in South Lebanon, Ohio, March 21, 1838, a son of Matthew and Eunice (Mullin) Roosa. The father, a native of Pennsylvania, came of "Pennsylvania-Dutch" stock, his father having emigrated to Pennsylvania from Germany, previous to the Revolutionary War.
Charles A. Roosa received more than ordinary education advantages, attending the common schools and later taking a course in Antioch College and having the privilege of studying under Horace Mann, then its President. After leaving college he learned milling and distilling in his father's mills, and later embarked in the same line of business with his brother-in-law, Joseph W. Rhodes. Meanwhile his father had died, leaving a large estate which was divided among his heirs. Having been married near Xenia, Greene County, Ohio, to Sarah V. DeHaven, in 1865 he came to Illinois, establishing himself in a shipping and produce business at Mattoon, where he was able to recover from the heavy loss of $8,000 he and Charles DeHaven had sustained in a venture at Boonville, Mo. He and his wife's brother had established themselves in the milling business there in 1864, but all their investment was swept away in Price's famous raid. Owing to lack of educational advantages for his children, he left Mattoon to go to Jacksonville, where he with his sons, Frank and Edward, conducted a grocery, hardware and furniture business, and also bought produce. In January, 1895, he came to Springfield, and has been a heavy realty operator there. Some of the finest buildings and residences in the city were put up by him and his sons, including a five-story one of concrete. He is a Democrat in political convictions. Fraternally he belongs to the Modern Woodmen and the Knights and Ladies of Honor. Mr. and Mrs. Roosa have had children as follows: Frank, of Springfield, married a Miss Hawkins; Douglas, deceased; Edward D., in the plumbing business in Springfield, married a Miss Schlagle, of Bloomington; Bessie married H. C. Ogden, of Chicago; Deanie married Samuel B. Stewart, of Jacksonville, who was City Clerk for eight years. Mr. Roosa is one of the substantial men of Springfield, and to his and his sons' influence and public spirit many improvements are due. Frank, the eldest, has established a vulcanizing plant at three points - Springfield, Bloomington and Decatur.