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April 05, 1991 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-04-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

CLOSE-UP I

"You can compare the Roses to the
Rothschilds. Just as the Rothschilds
started the banking dynasty, Ed Rose
started a dynasty of his own."

Rosenfeld took lessons
from his friend. He picked
up the trade quickly then
launched his own company,
Reliable Home Builders.
Through Max Rosenfeld,
one of the first buddies he
met after arriving in
Detroit from Denver, Ed
Rose met his wife, Lillian
Seyburn. Lillian was Max's
cousin from Providence,
R.I.
The uniting of Ed Rose
and Lillian Seyburn
brought more builders to
the Detroit market. Soon
after the wedding, Lillian's
brothers, Sam and George
Seyburn, arrived in
Detroit.
Another Providence man
who came to Detroit to
work for Ed Rose was his
wife's first cousin, Sanford
Adler, who was instrumen-
tal in the Rose family's
leap into the mortgage
banking business. Even-
tually, Sanford Adler moved
on to the West Coast and the
South as a developer of
hotels and subdivisions. (Mr.
Adler purchased the Flam-
ingo Hotel in Las Vegas
after the death of gangster
Bugsy Siegel.)
Though self-professed
business conservatives, the
Rose family did take a
chance in the financial
world — at first to enhance
sales of their own houses.
In the 1920s, -Ed Rose
built houses and sold them
on land contracts. He acted
as the mortgage company,
holding the contracts.
During this time, San-
ford Adler had been work-
ing for Ed Rose as a con-
crete mixer. Mr. Adler left
the Rose organization in

-

24

FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 1991

1930, a year Ed Rose built
no houses. Times were
tough, and the Rose organ-
ization weakened but
didn't vanish.
Leslie Rose remembers
his father saying - he an-
ticipated economic prob-
lems and prepared for the
bust. He cut down on in-
ventory.
The Ed Rose theory on
business was capitalistic:
Give the consumer the best
possible price, cut the
profit to the minimum, and
you can make money and
sell all your houses.
"He wasn't always right,
but he wasn't always
wrong," Leslie Rose says.
"He had good instincts. He
was frugal in business,
which meant he took no
risks. This meant he did
well in good times and
didn't do as well in bad
times. But he survived."

Ed Rose was especially
pleased by the sale of one
house in 1933 during the
Depression. He often told
the story to his sons and
grandchildren. For $2,900,
he sold a house on Green-
field north of Five Mile
Road during the most try-
ing times.
"My dad was proud of it
because it sold for nearly
$3,000 during the depth of
the Depression and there
was very little product in
those days," Sheldon Rose
says. "It was still a low
price. Normally, the house
would have sold for

Top:
The Rose Brothers — Irving,
Leslie, Sheldon.

Right:
A 90th birthday party for Max
Rosenfeld with Max, Ed Rose
and Sanford Adler.

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