Biography of Rebecca E. Rouse
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

REBECCA ELLIOTT ROUSE. The name of Rebecca Elliott Rouse was closely identified with many of Cleveland's first important individual and organized efforts at charity, and she was one of the founders of the Cleveland Associated Charities. In a quiet way she probably did more to promote the growth of organized Christian work during the pioneer days of the Western Reserve than any other woman. She was the wife of Benjamin Rouse. Her maiden name was Cromwell and she was born at Salem, Massachusetts, October 30, 1799. She died at Cleveland, December 23, 1887. She was well educated for a woman of her time and had the benefit of extended travel abroad. She was eighteen when she married Benjamin Rouse, and in the fall of 1830 they arrived at Cleveland, Mr. Rouse having come west to act as agent for the American Sunday School Union in the Western Reserve, and she equally eager to share with him in missionary labors. She and her husband became one of the first seventeen original members of the first Baptist society at Cleveland. She organized and became president in 1842 of the Martha Washington Society, one of the first benevolent organizations in the city. Out of this grew the twentysixth orphan asylum, of which Mrs. Rouse was for many years managing director. She was prominent in forming the Soldier's Aid Society of Cleveland, which has the distinction of being the first society of women ever organized for the noble work of caring for the soldiers and families. She was president of the society, and not only looked after the work at home, but frequently visited the front and the military hospitals. In recognition of this service, a bronze figure of Mrs. Rouse has been placed on the Cuyahoga County soldier's monument in the Cleveland public square.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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