Early Evansville Portraits And Biographies
From History of Vanderburgh County, Indiana
by Brant & Fuller
1889

Albert C. Rosencranz

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rosencranz

MAJOR ALBERT C. ROSENCRANZ, member of the City Council and manager of the Heilman Plow Works, was born in Baerwalde near the city of Berlin, Prussia, October 26, 1842. His father, C. F. Rosencranz, a watchmaker by trade, was a man of prominence in his native village, and took an active part in the German revolution of 1848. Having taken up arms against the king, he was obliged to leave his native country, and in 1850, emigrating to America, settled near Evansville. About a year later he located in the city and resumed his business as a watchmaker. He returned to Europe in 1867 and died twenty years later. His wife, whose maiden name was Dorothea Nohse, died in 1884.

Albert was educated in private schools, and at the age of twelve years learned the trade of a watchmaker under his "father's directions," at the same time pursuing his studies.

When the civil war broke out he was engaged in his father's shop. In 1861 he aided in the organization of Company A, First Regiment Indiana Legion, and upon the muster in of the company became orderly sergeant. In July, 1862, he recruited Company F, Fourth Indiana Cavalry, and was commissioned First Lieutenant, and in 1863 was promoted to the Captaincy.

His first service in the field was as bodyguard to General Ebenezer Dumont, a Mexican officer of prominence. He followed the fortunes of his regiment, and was engaged in several important battles, notably among the number, Chickamauga. In March, 1864, the regiment was ordered to join Sherman on his famous march to the sea. Near Buzzard's Roost the brigade to which he was attached, while making a reconnaissance in front of the left flank of Sherman's Army, was attacked by the enemy and lost heavily. Eight officers were lost. Capt. Rosencranz was slightly wounded and captured; he was confined in rebel prisons at Macon and Savannah, Ga., Charleston and Columbia, S.C., and Charlotte, N.C. March 1, 1865, he was paroled, and on May 3 following, was exchanged. He rejoined his command and was mustered out June 29, 1865.

During the winter of 1863-4, he had at times been in command of the regiment, and soon after his release from prison was commissioned major, his commission being dated May 1, 1865.

Returning to Evansville he succeeded his father in business, in which he remained until 1868. In that year he was married to Miss Mary, daughter of Hon. Wm. Heilman, and shortly afterward took charge of the office business of the Heilman Machine Works. In 1873, his health became impaired by overwork. On this account he went to Missouri and engaged in stock raising, in which he was highly successful.

Losing both his children by sudden death, he disposed of his interests there in 1876 and returned to Evansville. On the 1st of the following January he took charge of the works of the Heilman-Urie Plow Company. In 1878 Mr. Urie retired, since which time Maj. Rosencranz has been in exclusive control of the business. His executive ability and his close attention to business have made his management eminently successful. The company is now manufacturing chilled plows, in addition to their steel goods, for which patents were obtained in 1888, and to meet the extensive demand the capacity of the works has been doubled.

Maj. Rosencranz has not confined his abilities and energies to the prosecution of his own business enterprises, but has taken a proper interest in all matters pertaining to the public good. In March, 1887, when the question of settling the city debt in some way was seriously disturbing the public mind, the City Council appointed an advisory committee of prominent citizens to consider the subject. Maj. Rosencranz was placed on this committee and took a leading part in the discussions engaged in. His capacity for handling important public questions was at once recognized, and in April following he was elected to the council from the Fifth Ward. Upon the organization of the council he was made Chairman of the Finance Committee. Here his skill as a financier soon showed itself, and he did much valuable service in shaping financial interests, and especially in making satisfactory arrangements for the payment of the city debt. He has also served as Chairman of the Water-Works Committee and in other important relations.

His career as a public officer is beyond reproach; he performs every duty fearlessly in the manner suggested by his conscience and judgment; he places himself under obligations to no man or party of men, and acts always for the public good.

In politics he is a staunch republican, but by no means a ward politician in the common acceptance of that term. He is a prominent member of Farragut Post, No. 27, G.A.R.