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Judge Henry Koller Rodolf

JUDGE HENRY KOLLER RODOLF, Justice of the Peace, Notary Public, Pension Attorney and Collecting Agent, of Quincy, Ill., has been a resident of this city since 1863, but was born in Arahau, Switzerland, in 1826, his natal day being the 31st of July. His father, J. C. F. Rodolf, was in the French army and was commander of a company of Swiss in Napoleon's Army, with whom he marched to Moscow, Russia. In the fall of 1832, he came with his family to America and settled in New Orleans, but after a very short residence there took his family to St. Louis, where he began practicing law, having been graduated in that science while in his native land. In the winter of 1832, while on a visit to New Orleans on business, he was taken ill and died there, leaving his family strangers in a strange land. His wife, who was formerly Miss Emerensinia von Koller, was a daughter of President von Koller, who had a beautiful residence in the city of Zurich. He was president and Attorney-General of Switzerland for years and was a very highly educated and refined gentleman, and very prominent in the history of his country.
     Mrs. Rodolf was educated in Switzerland and France and was a lady of more than ordinary intellect. After the death of her husband, she nobly performed her part as head of the family, and in 1833 came with her children to Galena, Ill., but two years later removed to Mineral Point, Wis., where she was called from life. Her worthy traits of character endeared her to all, and her death was lamented by a wide circle of friends, as well as by her own immediate and sorrowing family. She was an Episcopalian. Her family consisted of five sons and two daughters, only four sons of whom now survive. Fred J. P. resides in LaFayette County, Wis.; Hon. Theo was a member of the State Legislature, and died in La Crosse; Dr. Frank S. is a resident of Oakland, Cal.; Hon. Charles J. was a member of the Legislature of Wisconsin seven terms and is now residing in Wichita, Kan.
     Of this family Judge Henry Koller Rodolf was the youngest; until he was about seven years of age, he lived on the Rhine River, in Switzerland. He came with his parents to America, taking passage on the sailing-vessel “Isaac Hicks” at Havre, France, and after a short voyage of forty-eight days landed at New Orleans. From that city to Lake Pontchartrain, he rode on the first train of cars he had ever seen. He attended the common schools in the different localities in which his mother resided, but later finished his education in Mt. Morris Academy, which institution he quitted in 1842. He entered upon the study of law in Wisconsin, to whose Bar he was admitted to practice at Richland Center in 1843, but prior to this time, in 1842, having learned the harness and saddle-maker's trade, he went to Dubuque, Iowa, for the purpose of pursuing that calling, where he remained in business a short time, then studied law, as above stated. In 1855, he returned to Dubuque, where he became a Clerk in the Post Office, and in 1856 was made Mail Clerk Agent on a Mississippi River steamboat and took the first mail that was ever carried up the Mississippi River to St. Paul, and afterward opened forty-seven post offices on the way. He continued in this business until 1858, then located in Dubuque, but spent his winters at La Crosse, Wis., as special agent in the Mail Department.
     In 1860, he went to Viroqua and became well acquainted with Hon. Jerry Rusk, when the latter was mail carrier, and while there was United States Deputy Marshal and took the census of Vernon County in 1860. For some time after this he was in the harness business in Sparta, to which occupation he devoted his attention until he sold out to take charge of the Government Works in Racine, Wis., later occupying the same position in Chicago. In February, 1863, he came to Quincy and was in the Government employ, cutting out knapsacks till the contracts were filled, after which he resumed work at his trade. In 1866, he was appointed Postal Clerk on The Wabash under President Johnson, which office he held until the latter had completed his term of office, when he turned his attention to other occupations. In 1868, he made over fifty political speeches in Indiana and Illinois, and in 1870 was elected Police Magistrate and Justice of the Peace, serving until the 4th of July, 1874. In 1875, he was elected Assessor of Quincy for two years, after which he began the practice of law in the Justice Courts, giving considerable attention to pensions.
     Since 1885, he has held the office of Justice of the Peace, has been a member of the County Democratic Committee for years, has been Chairman of his precinct convention and a delegate to the county and State conventions. He has been an active politician and has made a great many political speeches, as well as speeches for different societies. He was the first one to organize the eight-hour system for workmen's friend, and has made many speeches in their behalf in both English and German. He has a comfortable residence at No. 2231 Hampshire Street, Quincy. He was first married in 1844, in Dubuque, to Eliza Corkery, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., who died in Dubuque after having borne six children: F. H., in Dakota; John J., at Mt. Sterling, Ill.; A. C., a merchant of Le Mars, Iowa; Mary, wife of F. W. Nanels, of Denver; Emma, wife of R. T. Sheckells of Denver; and Rhoda, wife of S. P. Hesler, of Denver.
     Mr. Rodolf's second union took place in Dubuque in 1859, Ellen Healy, of Cork, Ireland, becoming his wife; she is the mother of seven children: Lorus, wife of H. W. Jeffrey, of Denver; Ettie, wife of E. P. Woillard; Nellie, Lillian, Laura, Isabel and Henry J., the latter being head clerk for Hessler & Co., commission merchants. Mr. Rodolf and family are members of the Catholic Church, and he is an old and highly respected citizen of this section.

[Source:Portrait and Biographical Record of Adams County, Illinois containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Chicago: Chapman Bros. 1892, Page 121, transcribed by Debbie Gibson]


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