In 1890, David Jeptha Rose relocates from his native Johnston County at the age of 29 to Rocky Mount, NC and soon after founds D.J. Rose & Company. The company’s first projects of note in Rocky Mount included the city’s first electric power plant (1902) and May & Gorham Drugstore (1904). Sam Toler, Sr. joins the firm as partner.
The business expands and is awarded large contracts throughout the East Coast with F.S. Royster Guano, Florida Phosphate, and the Atlantic Coastline Railroad. When completed, these structures were some of the largest and most advanced on record. Royster’s Baltimore plant completed 1910, measured 1,046 ft. long by 183 ft. wide. It was described as the most modern fertilizer plant in the United States. Rose’s sons, I. Woodall Rose and Dillon J. “Toby” Rose, join the company renaming the firm D.J. Rose & Sons.
D.J. Rose & Sons is granted one of the first unlimited, unclassified general contracting licenses issued by the State of North Carolina. This license (#27) remains active. A portrait of D.J. Rose hangs on Founders Wall in the NC Licensing Board for General Contractors headquarters in Raleigh recognizing his positive contribution and influence on the construction industry.
D.J. Rose, founder of the company, passes. An excerpt from his obituary read: “Mr. Rose stood in the forefront of contractors in the South. Examples of his work can be found from Baltimore to Florida and west to the Mississippi. For years heavy construction was his specialty and included the construction of the Atlantic Coastline Shops in Rocky Mount, many stations along the line of that company, and all of the construction work for the F.S. Royster Fertilizer Company, including buildings in Indianapolis, Norfolk, Jackson, MS, and Toledo, OH. In Rocky Mount, he built the High School, Edgemont School, Old West School, City Hall, the Electric Power Plant, and numerous stores and manufacturing plants.”
Woodall and Toby assume operations of the company.
The company flourishes with post-WWII growth and continues high-profile projects for Carolina Telephone & Telegraph Company, FS Royster Fertilizer, and the Atlantic Coastline Railroad.
Images below are from the 1940 addition to Rocky Mount Mills, Rocky Mount, NC. Image 1 from February 26, 1940 is the view from Tar River facing the Falls Road Bridge and image 2 from March 1940 is the view from Falls Road Bridge.
Toby takes over operations of the company because of Woodall’s failing health. The firm is renamed D.J. Rose & Son. Toby opens a new, ready-mix concrete division led by Norman Chambliss, Jr.
Dillon J. Rose passes unexpectedly, leaving D.J. Rose & Son’s operations in the hands of Dewey Weaver, President, Norman Chambliss Jr., Secretary-Treasurer and A. Hicks Jr., Vice President.
William M. “Bill” Marshburn is hired
Toby’s son Dillon W. Rose, Sr. joins the company
Business flourishes with Carolina Telephone, Financial Institutions, Tobacco-Processing Plants, and Pharmaceutical work. The company celebrates its 100th year of continuous operation in 1990.
A Division is Sold and a Fourth Generation Joins
After nearly 50 years of service with the company, Dewey Weaver retires, leaving leadership of D.J. Rose & Son to Dillon as President, and Marshburn as Secretary/Treasurer. The firm’s ready-mix concrete division is sold due to an increase in local competition.
Dillon Sr.’s son, Dillon Jr. was brought on board, representing the fourth generation of the Rose family in the business. D.J. Rose & Son maintained a steady workload fueled by repeat business as well as completing several HUD, custom residential, industrial, and historical preservation projects. In 2010, Dillon W. Rose Jr. was named Vice President of the company. 2015 will mark the company’s 125th year of continuous operation.