Rufus Mathewson Rose was born May 17, 1836, in Williamantic, Conn., of an old and influential New England family. Receiving an academic education in his native city, he later went to New York City, entered the drug business and filled an important appointment at the Sailors’ hospital on Long Island. Later he studied medicine, attending lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and received his diploma.
While still a young man, he came to Hawkinsville, Ga., and entered the drug business with his uncle, Darius Randolph Mathewson, a prominent Georgian.
When the war between the states came on, Dr. Rose was among the first to volunteer, joining the cause of the south and enlisting in the Tenth Georgia Regiment of the Confederate Army. Although at first engaged in the field, he was soon transferred to the medical department, serving in the old converted hospital of William and Mary College, and later in the laboratory at Macon.
Returning south at the close of the war, he came to Atlanta, and from the very first was prominently identified with the progress, enterprise and push of this struggling city. In 1867 he organized the R. M. Rose & Co., shortly afterwards changed to R. M. Rose Co., and continued at the head of this firm until he retired in 1905, and was succeeded by his son, Randolph Rose. Such was the reputation of this house, that the label on any goods was the same as his bond, and it received the highest recommendation ever given by the government, was one of only two houses in the country to receive such a distinction. Since his retirement, Dr. Rose had been a familiar figure on Atlanta streets as he attended to his large real estate interests to the very last.
Was Prominent Mason.
One of the most prominent Masons in the state, he was the oldest living charter member of Georgia lodge, of which he was chairman of the finance committee at the time of his death. He was also a past worshipful master of this lodge, having been presented with what has been acknowledged to be the handsomest Masonic jewel ever presented in the south. He was also honored many times by the grand lodge of the state and was a past grand junior warden of the Grand Commandery of Georgia.
Twice married, his first wife, Miss Sue F. Bowen, of Wilcox county, Georgia, lived but a short time. His second wife, formerly Miss Kate Fleming, of Pulaski county, and of one of the oldest families in the state, is one of the best-known and most widely-loved gentlewoman in Atlanta.
Retiring and inconspicuous, none outside of those directly concerned knew of his very many charities. Dr. Rose was always among the very first and most generous in subscribing to any and every cause looking to the betterment and growth of Atlanta.
Eminently successful, both in his professional and business life, Dr. Rose will be longest remembered for those traits of perfect loyalty, hatred of all deception and sterling integrity that made his friendship the highest-prized privilege of the thousands who will ever cherish his memory together with his unfailing helpfulness in every time of trouble.
R. M. Rose. (Rufus Mathewson Rose) (Mr. Rose)
In 1867 he organized the R. M. Rose & Co. as a wholesale dealer in Atlanta, Granit Block and Broad St.
In 1873 Mr. Rose changed the name to R.M. Rose Company. At the time all of the whiskey coming into Atlanta was being made at the Cox & Hill Distillery in Stone Mountain Ga. In 1877 Mr. Rose worked for Cox & Hill as their salesman an also had his wholesale dealer on Granit Block and Broad St. in Atlanta.Ga
Atlanta went dry 1885/1886 forcing Mr. Rose to open wholesale operations in Chattanooga Tennessee and Jacksonville Florida. In 1887 Atlanta was losing revenue, so the voted to open the liquor houses.
1887 Mr. Rose opened on 40 Decatur St Atlanta and let his brother O.A.V Rose be a partner in the company. Things didn’t go well with his brother, he was a heavy drinker, so the split in 1890.
Mr. Rose opened Mountain Spring Distillery in 1889 in Gilmore Ga., Cobb County. The company was formed by Mr. Rose, G.B. Stewart, C.P. Johnson, and J.W. Birdsong.
Randolph Rose, Mr. Rose son became secretary of R.M. Rose Co in 1890 and incorporated in 1894. Randolph advertised the whiskey in all the surrounding states. Opening Chattanooga and Jacksonville back up, business was booming.
Mr. Rose and his son Randolph entered there famous corn whiskey in the 1904 St. Louis Exposition and won the Gold Medal for the finest Georgia Whiskey.
1905 Mr. Rose sees the temptress movement / Prohibition going strong, Mr. Rose retires and sells the R.M. Rose Co. to Randolph.
1908 Greogia was one of the first states to go dry, so Randolph loaded all of his Georgia Whiskey on 11 Western & Atlantic train cars and went to Chattanooga Tennessee. Randolph purchased ½ interest in the Wakeman Distillery in Chattanooga.
Rufus Mathewson passed away July 21 1910 (age 74) Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia Oakland Cemetery
Randolph purchased ½ interest in the Old 76 Distillery in Newport Kentucky in 1912 and move operations, also opened a wholesale store in Manhattan New York. Randolph also still had his wholesale stores in Jacksonville Fl. Florida went dry in 1914.
1917 R.M. Rose Co. closed
Randolph Rose passed away July 2, 1933 (age 62) in Reno Nevada, Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia Oakland Cemetery
In 2010 opened the R.M. Rose Co.
2011 we started building all of our equipment, Still. Fermenters and all of our tanks
My dad George Sudderth made moonshine and that’s how I learned the trade. George Sudderth was inducted into the National moonshine hall of fame in 2016 in Dawsonville GA.
We opened the distillery in 2016 in Dillard Ga. We decided this location because of the water, the best water in Georgia. When you got good water, copper pot still and the finest corn you can make some of the finest whiskey around.
R.M. Rose has some of the finest brands on the market. Old Georgia Corn Whiskey, George Sudderth Corn Whiskey, Bourbon Whiskey Fire on the Mountain Cinnamon Whiskey, Apple Whiskey, Blackberry Whiskey, Peach Lemon Whiskey, Cinnamon Cherries.
Come and visit R.M. Rose C. 890 Franklin St Dillard Ga. 30537 706-982-8115