Rev. John Forsythe Rouze devoted thirty six years of his life to preaching the gospel and his influence was
of no restricted order, for he was not denied the full harvest nor the aftermath of his labors. In fact he contributed
in large measure to the moral progress of Marion county and he was a man highly beloved and respected by all who
He was born in Butler county, Ohio, January 1, 1823, and was one of a family of five sons and five daughters who
were children of Joseph and Susan (Forsythe) Rouze, both of whom were natives of New Jersey, where they were reared
and married. They removed to Ohio and later to Indiana, where their last days were spent.
The Rev. John F. Rouze received only such meager educational opportunities as the schools of that early day in
the pioneer district afforded. He was quite young when he started out in life on his own account and prior to the
Civil war he came to Marion county and entered land from the government. The fact that property could be secured
in that way is indicative of the conditions of the county at the time. He lived to see remarkable changes and bore
his part in the material development of this section as well as in the moral progress. He was a minister of the
Methodist Episcopal church in early manhood but afterward became identified with the Methodist Protestant church,
believing that more good could be accomplished through that avenue. For thirty six years he engaged in preaching
and his work was fraught with good results for the benefit of his fellowmen.
Mr. Rouze was three times married and his children were all born of the first union. His last marriage was celebrated
September 4, 1865, when Mrs. Nancy J. May became his wife. She was the widow of Alexander S. May, who came to this
county with his parents when the Indians were here. After the outbreak of the Civil war he offered his services
to the Union and served as a member of Company E, Eighth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. His remains now rest in a cemetery
in New Orleans. Mrs. Rouze is a daughter of S. P. and Alsina (Robinson) McCorkle and she became the wife of Mr.
Rouze in the old Knoxville courthouse. For a time thereafter they resided upon his farm and he gave considerable
attention to its development and improvement, but he never ceased his labors as a minister of the gospel and his
efforts in that direction were largely beneficial. At different times he was called to public office by his fellow
townsmen, who recognized his worth and ability. He was a member of the Masonic order and also the Knights of Pythias.
He died August 28, 1901, since which time Mrs. Rouze has taken up her abode in Bussey, where she still resides.
His life, ever honorable in its purpose and high in its ideals, left a deep impress upon many with whom he came
in contact and his memory now remains as a blessed benediction to all who knew him.
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Marion County, IA
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