Genealogy and History
Part of the Genealogy Trails History Group
One of the most pleasantly located homesteads in Oneco Township is the one occupied by the subject of this sketch, and in order that the reader may form some idea of its exterior appointments and substantial surroundings, a view is presented on another page of this album. Mr. Rahorn has been one of the successful men of Oneco Township, and in his business affairs has not only shown good judgment and much sagacity, but has been liberal and broad-minded in the methods adopted for conducting his farm. In all things he has kept abreast of the times, and on all occasions has demonstrated a progressive spirit. Mr. Rahorn is a native of the State of Maryland, and was born on the 10th of November, 1821, shortly after the arrival of his father and mother in this country. During his boyhood days he resided at home with his parents, to whom he was much devoted, and gave his best efforts in assisting in the care of the farm until he was twenty years of age. Just about the time of arriving at his majority he became engaged in co-operative farming in Clinton County, Pa., in which he continued for seven years. During these years, and while thus engaged, Mr. Rahorn developed those traits of industry and economy which have stood him so well in after life, and their practice at that time enabled him to accumulate means sufficient to emigrate farther West, and to make the beginning of what has proved a successful life, in Illinois. On the 9th of June, 1849 he arrived in Stephenson County and located in Oneco Township, purchasing at the time eighty acres of prairie and thirty-two acres of timber land, and two years later, eight acres just across the line in Wisconsin. With much energy he immediately began the improvement of this land, and persevered in the work until now he has, as the view given will show, one of the most delightful places in the township. On the 26th of July, 1857, Mr. Rahorn was married to Fannie Gingrich, a widow, daughter of Thomas Worts, a native of Union County, Pa. His great-grandfather was a native of Germany, and his great-grandmother was of English descent. To Mr. and Mrs. Rahorn have been born eight children, whose names are: Mary, now Mrs. Runkle; William, Ella, Albin, Anna Maria, Emma C., George A. and Amelia M. Mrs. Rahorn's children by her first husband were Cyrus W.; John H., who resides in Kansas, and Sarah, deceased. While Mr. Rahorn is a Democrat and invariably supports the nominees of that party for national and State offices, he discriminates among local candidates to the extent of voting for those he considers the best men, whether they be Democrats or not. If this line of policy were followed by a larger number of the citizens of townships and counties, there would be less dishonesty displayed and covered up by politicians. Mr. Rahorn, since his residence in Oneco Township, has earned for himself the reputation of a good citizen, and a business man who is prompt and reliable in his dealings. [Contributed by Karen Hammer from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Illinois Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1888 p. 689]
The subject of this sketch, is one of the best known citizens of Oneco Township. He was born in Canada West on the 10th of May, 1834. His father was Stephen Raymond, a native of North Carolina, who at the age of twenty emigrated to Canada West and settled near the River Thames. In North Carolina the grandfather of the subject of this sketch worked at the pottery trade. The father was a sailor and also worked at the pottery trade. He also engaged in farming in Canada West, but just after the revolt in that country his property was burned, leaving him destitute. With one yoke of oxen and leading one cow, he started for the West in 1836, when the subject of this sketch was but two years of age. He located near Rockford, but on account of malaria, which prevailed in those days, only remained there a part of one season, when he moved to what was known as the Campbell neighborhood, where he lived one year. He then took a claim in Walnut Grove of 160 acres and erected thereon a log cabin. While engaged in building and pottery-making, his wife died. After securing homes for his children he abandoned pottery-making for a time and engaged in mining and well-digging, but subsequently operated a pottery north of Monroe. Having sold his farm in Walnut Grove he bought one at Monroe and then married again, to Mrs. Elizabeth Worley, a widowed daughter of Mr. Bowman, of Kentucky. He remained there until 1851, at which time the gold fever broke out in California, when he left his family and with one of his step-sons went to that State, where he engaged for a time in milling, but that business not agreeing with him he concluded to seek his fortune by digging for gold. While mining he realized a profit of $7 per day out of his claim but had to abandon it on account of ill-health. When he returned home he sold his place and went to Grant County, Wis., where he spent the last days of his life, dying at the age of seventy-two. The mother of the subject of this sketch was Fanny Smith, daughter of the Smith family of Pennsylvania. She was born in 1804, and died in 1840. As far as known her people were farmers.
William M. Raymond was married on the 4th of July, 1861, to Miss H. Jane Van Matre, daughter of William Van Matre, whose father was Joseph Van Matre, and whose family was the oldest in the county. The wife was born Feb. 10, 1841. They have five children living: Olive, Mrs. M. M. Fenner of Freeport; Farmer B., married and lives on first farm west; Emma, Willie B., and Remember Jane, two years old, whom the wife calls Minnie, between whose age and the next oldest there is a lapse of twelve years. They are blessed with grandchildren, eight years of age. Mr. Raymond has served eleven years as School Director and has filled other local offices. He and the older children belong to the Christian Church, in which organization he has long been a Deacon. He is active in church work, and esteemed in both town and county by those who know him best. The father of Mr. Raymond indentured him to a farmer at the age of ten years, with whom he stayed until the man died; he then leased the farm, consisting of 212 acres, which he managed until it was sold. In the meantime, he had secured a small farm which he sold and applied the proceeds of the sale to the purchase of the farm on which he was raised. The deferred payments in the purchase of this farm were two years apart, but Mr. Raymond always met the payments before they became due. He should have shared with the heirs of the man by whom he was adopted, but did not, receiving only $70 in money for ten years' service, $40 of which was cash, and a colt, which rightfully belonged to him, was computed as $30. The old house in which he was reared is still standing, and will be transformed into a feed and grinding room. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 577]
John Reeder, one of the wide-awake business men of Lena, in 1873 purchased a large elevator near the line of the I.C.R.R. [Illinois Central Railroad], which he has operated since that time in connection with an extensive warehouse. He is one of the representative German citizens who have become a power in Northern Illinois, and have perhaps, to a greater extent than any other nationality, assisted in developing the resources of the Prairie State. The early home of John Reeder was in the city of Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany, where he was introduced to the responsibilities of life Aug. 15, 1837. His father, Louis Reeder, a resident at present of Cologne, was a native of the same city as his son, where for many years he was successfully engaged in merchandising, and from which he removed at the time of the Franco-Prussian War. He was very successful as a business man, and now at seventy-five years of age is enjoying the sunset of life upon a competency. In 1883 he came to this country, visited a year among his children, then returned to the Fatherland, where he expects to spend the remainder of his days. Mr. Reeder is essentially a self-made man, who under the training of his excellent parents imbibed those correct principles which have enabled him to succeed in life. He received a good schooling in his native country and afterward learned the trade of a bricklayer, at which he worked a short time before coming to America. He was a youth of seventeen when he left his native land and landed in New York City in February, 1855. He visited with friends in York County, Pa., a few months, and then came with them to Freeport where he followed his trade, taking up his abode at Lena in the spring of 1856. Five months later he was married, and returning to Freeport followed his trade two years there successfully, and with his surplus cash purchased a piece of land two miles west of Lena, upon which he settled. He continued to work at his trade and improve his purchase as he had time and opportunity.
After the breaking out of the Civil War Mr. Reeder became a member of the State Militia and afterward enlisted in Co. G, 15th Ill. Vol. Inf., serving until June, 1862, when he was discharged on account of disability and returned to his farm. This he sold a year later, being unable to work it, and purchased two lots on North Railroad street in Lena, where in 1865, he put up a good residence. This he occupied with his family until 1873, in the meantime being in the employ of Moses Weaver, a grain-dealer, and gaining a good insight into that branch of trade. Before the close of the year mentioned he embarked in business on his own account, and has dealt successfully in grain since that time, extending his transactions each year.
Mr. Reeder was married, Feb. 22, 1856, to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of Henry and Christina Lapp, who were natives of Germany and came to this country in 1835, locating in Summit County, near Cuyahoga Falls. There Mrs. Reeder was born in 1839. The children of this marriage were named respectively, Christie, Helen, Alfred L., Frank, John, Arthur, Bert, Irvin, Daisy and Sherman. The latter died when one year old. The family residence is pleasantly located on North Railroad street, and its inmates are surrounded by all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. Robert Reeder, the elder brother of our subject, came in 1850 to the United States, and afterward served as a Union soldier in Co. G, 15th Ill. Vol. Inf., being promoted Second Sergeant. After six months he was discharged on account of disability and died thirty days later. He was never married. [Contributed by Carol Parrish - Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 271-72]
JOHN M. REES
JOHN M. REES, Supervisor of Erin Township, has resided in that locality for over thirty-eight years, and been prominent in its agricultural and local affairs. He held the position of Constable two years, has served as Commissioner of Highways and Township Clerk, and with his estimable wife and four of their children, is one of the pillars of the Lutheran Church. He has been a member of its council for a period of fifteen years and Sunday-school Superintendent twelve years. Politically, he is a Democrat, and one of the strongest advocates of temperance in this section. The homestead of our subject is pleasantly located on section 24, where he cultivates 160 acres of valuable land and has a substantial set of frame buildings. His farming operations have been conducted with the wisdom and good judgment which have characterized him in all his transactions, while his personal character has secured him the highest regard of his neighbors and acquaintances. The residence and buildings indicate the thrift and industry of the proprietor, and the farm stock and machinery bear fair comparison with that of the farm property in a community noticeable for its prosperity and enterprise.
Mr. Rees is a native of Union County, Pa., where his birth took place at the country home of his parents, Nov. 13, 1834. He is the son of Semah and Margaret (Sights) Rees, also natives of Union County, where they were reared and married. They remained there for a time after beginning life together, but in April, 1850, gathered together their household goods and traveled by water and overland to the Prairie State. They took up their abode in Loran Township, this county, but nine months later, in March, 1851, purchased a tract of land in Erin Township, where the father established a permanent home which he occupied until his death, July 28, 1863. The mother survived her husband nearly eleven years, her death taking place at the home of her son, in March, 1874.
The parental household of our subject included twelve children, nine sons and three daughters, of whom John M. was the seventh in order of birth. He was a lad sixteen years of age when the family removed from Pennsylvania to Illinois, and since that time has been a resident of Stephenson County. He remained under the home roof until twenty-three years of age, and then engaged in farming on his own account on land adjacent to his father's homestead. His early education had been extremely limited, and he learned early in life to depend upon himself, and thus gained that strength of character and reliance which have been the secret of his success. During the progress of the late war, considering it his duty to have a hand in the conflict, he enlisted, in January, 1865, in the 26th Illinois Infantry, serving until the close of the war. This, however, included but a period of six months, but he had the pleasure of being present in the grand review at Washington and the consciousness of knowing that he had been ready to meet the rebels in open fire if occasion offered. After the organization of the Grand Army of the Republic he became a member of William A. Goddard Post, at Lena, with which he is still identified. He takes a lively interest in the affairs of his adopted county and State, and keeps himself well posted upon current events. The marriage of John M. Rees and Miss Elizabeth Fye, was celebrated at the home of the bride, on the 25th of March, 1858. Mrs. Rees is the daughter of Conrad and Sarah (Rumbager) Fye, natives of Pennsylvania, who emigrated to this State after their marriage, becoming residents of this county in 1846. After a residence of six months in Freeport, they removed to a tract of land in Florence Township, in the cultivation of which Mr. Fye was engaged two years. Thence he removed to Loran Township and finally to Eleroy, in Erin Township, where he lived retired until called from his earthly labors, his death occurring Sept. 1, 1884. The mother still survives and is a resident of Eleroy, being now seventy-four years of age. The parents of Mrs. Rees had ten children, of whom she was the eldest. She was born in Cambria County, Pa., Jan. 17, 1835. She passed her childhood and youth under the home roof, availing herself of the instruction to be obtained in the district schools, and under the training of her excellent mother became well fitted for the duties of life. Of her marriage with our subject there have been born seven children, of whom the record is as follows: Eleanor, now the wife of Rev. William H. Hartman, is a resident of Davis, this county; Charles W. died when two and one-half years of age; those remaining, Daniel F., James M., Herbert V., William H. and Sidney J., are at home with their parents. [Transcribed by Carol Parrish from History of Stephenson County 1888 Portrait & Biographical Album, pg. 363]
Jacob Reigard, a retired farmer of Silver Creek Township, was formerly one of the most extensive land-owners in this and Ogle Counties. He was admirably adapted to the calling of an agriculturist, and gave much of his attention to the breeding of fine stock, including Short-horn cattle and Norman horses, building up an enviable reputation as a farmer and stock-raiser. After due time, during which he had accumulated a competence, he wisely retired from active labor and is now spending his last years surrounded by all the comforts of life and many of its luxuries. The residence is a handsome brick dwelling, surrounded with shade and ornamental trees, and all the other appliances of a modern home. It is finished and furnished in excellent style, and what is unusual in village homes, each room is supplied with water carried by pipes. Mr. Reigard is a fine illustration of the self-made man. Commencing life at the foot of the ladder, by his industry and integrity he has acquired a competency for his declining years, and established himself in the confidence and esteem of all who know him. At the beginning he judiciously invested his surplus capital in land, and was at one time the owner of 800 acres in Ogle County. Besides his property in this county, he has a fine tract of land near Ottawa, Kan., embracing 660 acres with valuable improvements. He has been a resident of Illinois since November, 1854, when he established himself in the flouring-mill business, which he carried on for a period of fourteen years in Freeport, and was at the head of this industry in that section. This, however, did not please him so well as agricultural pursuits and dealing in real estate, and accordingly in 1866, he abandoned milling and thereafter became interested in farming lands. In which he operated seventeen years in Ogle County, and afterward took up his residence for a time in Freeport, whence, in December, 1883, he removed to Silver Creek Township, which he purposes making his permanent home.
Jacob Reigard was born in Centre County, Pa., on Christmas Day, 1813. He remained under the parental roof until seventeen years of age, and then began the study of medicine under the instruction of Dr. Bigelow of his native county. He was thus occupied for five years following, and finally became the partner of his tutor, with whom he practiced successfully, and shared the reputation which the latter had built up as a practitioner of no ordinary merit. Our young physician after leaving the office of Dr. Bigelow, went to Shirleysburg, Huntingdon Co., Pa., where he established, and practiced as nearly as possible after the methods of his former patron. He built up a successful and lucrative practice, which he continued during fourteen years, and then abandoned it for what he believed would be the more congenial occupation of a real-estate dealer. His first purchase of land was in Huntingdon County, on the Juniata River, and he afterward took a contract on the Pennsylvania Railroad, by which he realized a handsome sum of money. He was, however, located in a section of country whose climate brought on an attack of ague, which eventually caused him to leave Huntingdon County, and return to his old home in Centre County, where he afterward engaged in the manufacture of liquor and also resumed milling operations. In connection with this he was known as "mine host" of a stage house, which he conducted for a period of nine years, the proceeds thereof adding still more to his exchequer. He finally decided to remove to the West, and since taking up his residence in Freeport, has been widely and favorably known in the social and financial circles of Stephenson County.
The marriage of Jacob Reigard and Miss Lucinda Wagner was celebrated at the home of the bride in Columbia County, Pa., in March, 1833. Mrs. Reigard was born and reared in that country, and by her marriage with our subject became the mother of eight children, all of whom with one exception are still living. The eldest son, Frank, married Miss Chirslep, and is farming in Florence Township; Melia is the wife of J. C. Motz, of Centre County, Pa.; Louisa is the wife of R. C. McWilliams, who is a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature from Northumberland County; Shepard is married and a well-known business man of Freeport; Belle is the wife of F. J. Welch, a dealer in agricultural implements in Chicago; Juniatta H., Otie and Blanche are at home with their parents, the latter a successful teacher in the district schools. The parents and children are all members and regular attendants of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Reigrad is an uncompromising Democrat, and takes a lively interest in all matters pertaining to the general welfare of the people. The paternal grandfather of our subject, Peter Reigard by name, was one of the best educated men in Mifflin County, Pa. His education was completed in the best schools of his native Empire, and his whole career was that of a close student and extensive reader, whose talents brought him in contact with the best minds of his day. Even when over eighty years of age he was a fluent reader of Greek and Latin and no less a master of German and English. He was born in Heidelberg, Germany, and was educated for the ministry in the German Lutheran Church, to which his people belonged. He desired a career, however, which would better harmonize with his more liberal ideas. The great-grandfather of our subject, also named Peter, was a native of the Rhine Province, and carried out the design of his parents and friends in becoming a minister of the church. While still a young man he was sent to America as a missionary, and preached the first sermon in the German language that was delivered in the city of Philadelphia. He also closely applied himself to study, and became finely educated and lived to a ripe old age.
Daniel Reigard, the father of our subject, was born and reared on a farm in Mifflin County, Pa., his father deeming it wise to have his children reared amidst rural scenes and pursuits. These accorded so well with his tastes that he became a full-fledged farmer, which pursuit he followed successfully, though he was not physically strong and died in middle life. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 738-740]
Daniel Riem, of Oneco Township, was born in Union County, Pa., Feb. 20, 1806. He is the son of George Riem, whose father was also named George, and who laid out a town in Pennsylvania, which was named after him. The grandfather of our subject was a farmer, and being a first-class mechanic besides, built a number of cider-mills, which were in great request at that time in Pennsylvania. The father of our subject was born in Berks County, Pa., in 1771. In his early days he attended subscription schools, worked on a farm, at carpenter and joiner work, and helped his father in the mill. Our subject's father lived at home until he married Miss Magdelina Barnhart. Her people were farmers, and also came from Pennsylvania, where her ancestors were old settlers, and narratives about them are told in which brushes with Indians figure, the aborigines being inhabitants of the State at that time. Our subject's father never left Union County. He farmed about twenty acres, and worked at his trade of a miller, but was principally engaged in agricultural pursuits, the family all having been a race of farmers. He being also a man of some mechanical ingenuity, had a carpenter's shop, hired a cabinet-maker, and pursued the business of an undertaker. He died in 1861, at the advanced age of ninety years.
Daniel Riem lived with his parents until he was twenty-three years old, helping his father, and learning the cabinet-maker's trade. All the schooling he obtained was received by attending the subscription schools at intervals of a month or two at a time. After leaving home, he lived in one of his father's houses, getting married and moving his bride into the house at the time of his taking up a residence there. After marriage, he continued to work for his father about two years, managing the latter's business, which he had done for a few years previous to his marriage. The second year after his marriage, he bought property in Lewisburg, Pa., and moved there, engaging in business for himself as a cabinet-maker for two or three years. He then moved on his brother-in-law's farm, where he had the privilege of renting a small home, and kept stock and cows, working meanwhile at the carpenter's trade. He was there about six years, and then moved a mile away on property his father formerly owned, and upon which he was born, and spent the younger days of his manhood. After about two years, Daniel sold all his possessions, and in the spring of 1844 started for Ohio with one pair of horses and what household goods his wagon would carry. He first located near Medina, Ohio, on his father-in-law's property, and there farmed. About a year and a half later, our subject came to this county, landing in the fall of 1845, and first locating at Walnut Grove, where he lived until the next spring, and then moved on a tract of land which he had pre-empted while living at Walnut Grove. When he moved on his land, his earthly possessions consisted of a pair of horses, a wagon, and $3 in cash. He sold one horse for $50, wherewith to pay for his land, and sold his wagon to raise money with which to fence his property. His first building was a shanty, which would let in the water, and expose him to the elements. The next year a neighbor gave him a log cabin, which they tore down and moved onto his farm. He lived in that log cabin one year, when he moved into a house he had built, and used the log cabin for a shop for four or five years. During those years, and up to about 1862, Mr. Riem worked at cabinet-making and carpentering work, which he had also learned. He also made coffins, and was then chief undertaker in this section. His savings enabled him to buy more land and he had 120 acres when he retired from his useful and active career, which was in 1863. There is a desk which he made last spring, now in his house, which shows his handicraft. Daniel Riem was married, March 12, 1829, to Miss Mary Luther, daughter of John Luther, of Union County, Pa., of German parents. The wife of our subject was born March 10, 1806, and died Jan. 14, 1879. Mr. Riem is a Democrat, and has filled some of the local offices of his township. He worships at the Evangelical Lutheran Church. He belonged to the German Reformed Church before his marriage, and his wife was a Lutheran. Six children were born of their union: Martin died March 16, 1835, aged four years; Eliza, now Mrs. William Potts, was born Jan. 2, 1834, and resides in this county; Sarah, Mrs. James Trotter, was born June 25, 1836, and lives in Missouri; William, born April 14, 1839, died March 15, 1858; James, born July 23, 1841, died March 23, 1864, and George F., born Feb. 26, 1843, lived in Orangeville.
In 1861 James enlisted in the army, serving about three years in Co. A, 46th Ill. Vol. Inf., of which company he was Corporal. The battles in which he participated were Ft. Donelson, Shiloh and Natchez. At the siege of Vicksburg he was taken prisoner, and contracted a cold, which terminated in consumption, and caused his death. He was in several skirmishes after the siege of Vicksburg, and had re-enlisted as a soldier after his discharge at the hospital, but the seeds of disease had undermined his constitution, and it was not long before he died.
George F. was married, Dec. 21, 1870, to Miss Clara E. Cross, whose people were from Otsego County, N. Y., and who originally came from Scotland and Ireland. George F. has five children, all living at home: Mary Esther, born July 27, 1873; George B., Sept. 5, 1882; and Henry, May 18, 1884. George F. was a Republican during Lincoln's administration, but ever since has been a Democrat. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 588]
Jacob S. Reisinger, Superintendent of the Stephenson County Poor Farm, has been in charge of that institution for the last twelve years. It is scarcely necessary to say that, considering the length of time which he has occupied this responsible position, he has acquitted himself with credit and to the satisfaction of all concerned. He has managed the farm with excellent judgment and made the most of its natural resources, producing all kinds of grain and vegetable, and providing more than is necessary for the maintenance of beneficiaries of the institution. He devotes his whole time and attention to the interests of the unfortunate of this county. The farm embraces 166 acres of land, and there are twenty acres of timber belonging to it on another section. When Mr. Reisinger assumed charge there were but four trees on the place, but he has planted until there are 700 ornamental and shade trees, which add greatly to the beauty of the property. The land likewise was greatly run down and sadly needed the supervision of a man understanding his business. This want our subject has met most thoroughly, and besides bringing the soil to a good state of cultivation, has had the buildings repaired, additional ones erected, the fences and machinery properly cared for, and, indeed, could not have fulfilled the trust committed to him in a better manner if the property had been his own. There has been no trace of "bookler" work connected with this institution during the past twelve years, as the books are always open for inspection, and the Superintendent cordially invites examination by all those interested and entitled to the privilege.
Our subject spent his childhood and youth in Trumbull County, Ohio, where his birth took place Feb. 20, 1836. His father, David Reisinger, also a native of the Buckeye State, had learned blacksmithing in early manhood, which he followed in Trumbull County until the spring of 1855. Then deciding to seek his fortune in the West, he came to Illinois and located in Stephenson County, which was his home until 1858, when he went to Ogle County, where he remained until 1876. He then crossed the Mississippi into Grundy County, Iowa, where his death took place Jan. 8, 1877. The paternal grandfather of our subject, Peter Reisinger by name, was of German birth and parentage, and emigrated to the United States when a small boy, locating with his parents in York County, Pa. He was there married to a lady whose name is not now known to our subject, and who did not live many years. His second wife was Miss Barbara Shanner, of Beaver County, Pa., who became the mother of several children, and died in Ohio in 1849. The father afterward lived with his children until his death, which took place in Ohio in 1852, at the advanced age of eight-six years. His remains were placed by the side of those of the mother of his children. He had been occupied as a blacksmith the greater part of his life, but was also fond of agricultural pursuits. The father of our subject learned the blacksmith trade of his honored sire, and remained under the home roof until his marriage. The maiden of his choice was Miss Sarah Sibert, a native of Middletown Township, Columbiana Co., Ohio, who is yet living, and is now past seventy years of age. She is yet strong and active in mind and body, and retains many of the characteristics which distinguished her early in life as a careful and conscientious mother, and led her to train her children to habits of industry and principles of honor. The subject of this sketch was the eldest of eight children, six sons and two daughters, born to his parents. The two daughters are both deceased. The sons are all married and settled in comfortable homes of their own. The early life of Jacob S. was spent in the shop and on the farm, and he was nearly a young man grown when he accompanied his parents to this State. They located in Rock Run Township, and two years later our subject was united in marriage with Miss Rebecca Hulse, the wedding taking place at the home of the bride, Jan. 8, 1858. Mrs. Reisinger is the eldest daughter of Benjamin and Cloa A. (Sibert) Hulse, natives of Ohio, where they were reared and married. Mr. H. was a carpenter by trade, which he followed in his native State until 1856, when he came to the West, accompanied by his family, and settled in Rock Run Township. There the mother died in 1862. Mr. Hulse was married the second time and removed to Union County, Iowa, where his death took place July 14, 1883, when he was seventy-three years of age.
The wife of our subject was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, Jan. 24, 1836 and remained with her parents until her marriage. Of her union with Mr. Reisinger there have been born seven children, three now deceased, namely, Charles H., David L. and Mattie J., who died when quite young. Those surviving are Clara Ada; Lizzie E., a teacher in the district schools; Sarah A., also a teacher, and Lydia A., all making their home with their parents. The family are members and regular attendants of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Freeport. Mr. Reisinger keeps himself well posted upon matters of general interest and votes the straight Republican ticket. He is held in high regard by the people of his township as a man who has contributed his full quota toward its prosperity. He owns a good farm in Plymouth County, Iowa, which embraces 320 acres of land. He takes pride in having everything done well, and his management of the County Farm has been highly creditable to his excellent judgment and good business capacity. [Contributed by Carole Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. 1888]
WILLIAM A. RICE
William A. Rice, one of the prominent farmers of West Point Township, residing on section 1, was born Nov. 14, 1847, in Taylor, Fulton Co., N. Y., and is the son of Joseph and Harriet (Coleman) Rice. Joseph Rice was twice married. His first wife, Harriet A. Coleman, was a native of Taylor, N. Y., where her death occurred in 1851. His second wife was Frances E. Prince, who was also a native of Taylor. Two children born of the first marriage are now living: William A., our subject, and Ira D., a resident of Jo Daviess County. Anette died at the age of twenty-two. The children of the second marriage are: Frank, a resident of West Point Township; Burdette, of Nebraska; Edwin, George, Edith and Minnie Myrtle. William Rice, Sr., the paternal grandfather of our subject, and after whom he was named, was a native of Massachusetts, and married Miss Theodosia Thompson. He left his New England home and became one of the early settlers of Cortland County, N. Y., where he purchased a tract of timbered land. A log house stood in a little clearing, but otherwise it was a dense forest. It proved, however, a profitable investment. The timber was in itself valuable, and after it was cleared, Mr. Rice brought it to a high state of cultivation. Here Mr. and Mrs. William Rice passed the remainder of their lives. The former died at the age of eighty-two years. The family of William Rice consisted of six children, and Joseph was the fourth in order of birth. The school privileges were very limited at that early day, and he grew to manhood assisting his father in clearing the farm, but acquiring little education otherwise. At the age of eighteen he commenced his life as a wage-worker, hiring out both by the month and by the day. In the course of five years he married, and had acquired sufficient capital to purchase 100 acres of land in Taylor Township, N. Y., where he resided until the year 1863. He then sold out and came to Stephenson County, purchasing 350 acres of land in West Point Township. His estate was located on section 1, where he resided a few years and then removed to section 6, where he lived until 1881, when he again sold out and purchased the place where he now resides.
William A. Rice was reared on the home farm, where he passed his boyhood attending school and assisting his father. He accompanied his parents from New York to Illinois in 1863, and continued with them until he reached the age of twenty-one. He then rented a farm by the year and commenced business for himself. In the meanwhile he made a purchase of 120 acres of land, which he began cultivating and improving, while renting at the same time. As opportunity offered he purchased more land at different times until he now has a fine farm of 412 acres located in West Point and Winslow Townships.
Mr. Rice, Jan. 28, 1875, was married to Miss Rosetta Satterlee, daughter of Zenas and Leethe (Tumbleson) Satterlee, of West Point Township. Her father was a native of Southern Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Rice have a family of four children - Kittie, Star, Fern and Pearl. Mr. Rice is one of the substantial men of the township. He possesses much executive ability and carries on an extensive farming business, which usually engrosses his attention to the exclusion of public affairs. While not actively interested in politics he always votes with the Republican party. [Contributed by Carol Parrish - Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 273]
Although more than a third of a century has passed away since Reint Reints was called to his final rest, he is yet remembered by many of the older settlers as a prominent and enterprising farmer of Ridott township, where his capable management of his business interests made him the owner of seven hundred acres of valuable farming land. He was born in Veenhusen, Ostfriesland, Germany, March 7, 1833, and his parents, Heije and Kuntje (Kruse) Reints, were also natives of that country. The father was a farmer in Germany and on crossing the Atlantic to America in 1850 established his home in Stephenson County, settling in Ridott township. He made his way westward by boat to Savanna, Illinois, and thence drove across the country with ox teams to his destination. He first purchased eighty acres of land in Ridott, improved that and added to it from time to time as his financial resources permitted until he had accumulated considerable land. Upon his original purchase he remained until his death, which occurred when he was more than eighty years of age. His wife passed away at the age of seventy-two. They were the parents of four sons and two daughters: Elske, the deceased wife of George Beck; John, of Hastings, Nebraska; Wilhelm, of Le Mars, Iowa; Heiko, of German Valley, Stephenson county; and Grietje, the wife of John Buttle, of German Valley. Reint Reints was seventeen years of age when he came to America with his parents. He had previously acquired his education in the common schools of Germany and after arriving in Stephenson County he lived at home until he had attained his majority, and during that period assisted in the cultivation and improvement of a new farm. At the time of his marriage he purchased eighty acres of land from his father and was thereafter engaged in farming on his own account in Ridott township until the time of his demise. As the years passed he won success through his diligence, determination and perseverance. He worked early and late until he was fairly started on the high road to prosperity and in the course of time, through his judicious investments, he had become the owner of over seven hundred acres of land, which he improved, making this very valuable property. Thus he was numbered among the extensive landowners of the county and was classed with the most successful citizens of this district. On the 15th of April, 1858, Mr. Reints was married to Miss Maria Ackerman, a daughter of Hinderk and Katharina (Addengast) Ackerman. She was born in Opleeward, Germany, May 9, 1835. Her parents were also natives of that country and came to the United States in 1856, settling in Ridott township, Stephenson County, where Mrs. Reints was married. Her father engaged in farming and died on the old homestead at the age of seventy-nine years, while his wife passed away at the age of sixty-two. He was a soldier in Hanover, Germany. In the Ackerman family were three children, Maria, Henry and Feike. The paternal grandparents of Mrs. Reints were Feike and Maria Ackerman, while the maternal grandparents were Adde and Greitje Addengast. Nine children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Reints - Heije R., a resident farmer of Silver Creek township, who married Lizzie Brockmeier; Hinderk R., who wedded Maria Ackerman, who died June 16, 1897, leaving a daughter, Marie; John R., who wedded Trientge Ackerman, and is living in Ridott township; Feike R., who married Hauke Ackerman and has three children -- Marie, Rena and Harry; Kuntje R., who died when about two years of age; Reint Albert, who died February 20, 1884, at the age of seventeen years; Geert R., who lives on the old homestead and married Lizzie Brauer, now deceased, by whom he had two children -- Marie and Minnie; Kuntje R., the second of the name, who married Albert Sluiter, of Freeport, and has four children -- Reint, Arvilla, Edna and Katharine; and Krieno R., who married Edde De Vries and has three children -- Reint, Sophie and Krieno.
The death of the husband and father occurred September 20, 1876, when he was forty-three years of age. The community deeply mourned his loss for he was one of the representative agriculturists and business men. Moreover, he had capably served as supervisor of his township and was a faithful member of the German Reformed church, to which his widow also belongs. Mrs. Reints has continued to reside in this county but some years ago left the farm and took up her abode in Freeport, her home now being at No. 140 Oak street. [Contributed by Amy Robins from History of Stephenson County, Illinois; A Record of its Settlement, Organization, and Three-quarters of a Century of Progress (S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1910)
Martin Ritzman, who is numbered among the substantial farmers of Buckeye Township, is a native of Union County, Pa., his birth taking place there April 11, 1844. His father, William Ritzman, a native of the same county, was born in 1805, and was there married and lived until 1846. In the fall of that year he started with his wife and nine sons for Illinois, making the entire journey overland, and camping and cooking by the wayside, after the manner of the travelers of those days. He possessed some means and purchased a tract of land which is now included in the homestead of our subject. Forty acres of this was in meadow and twelve acres had been cleared from the timber. The remainder consisted mostly of a growth of underbrush. Upon it was a small frame house, of which the family took possession and prepared to make the best of their circumstances. The nearest markets were at Galena and Chicago, the former on the western borders of Jo Daviess County, and the latter, 120 miles east. The father of our subject, however, was a man not to be discouraged by trifles, and he persevered amid all the difficulties which beset him, and was successful in his undertakings. In due time he had added to his real estate, and the first humble dwelling was replaced by a shapely and substantial brick residence. He also put up a large frame barn and other necessary out-buildings, and upon the homestead thus established continued to live until the spring of 1881, when he rested from his earthly labors. The mother of our subject, who in her girlhood was Miss Sarah Gaywix, also a native of Union County, Pa., died the year following the removal of the family to this State. The father was married again, and five more children were added to the eleven formerly included in the household.
Our subject was in the third year of his age when his parents came to this county. As soon as old enough he commenced assisting his father and brothers in clearing the farm, and remained a member of the parental household until after the outbreak of the late Civil War. In July, 1862, he enlisted in Co. B., 71st Ill. Vol. Inf., and after his term of enlistment had expired returned home for a time, but re-enlisted, and went with his regiment into Missouri and Arkansas, being chiefly assigned to teaming, a duty which involved very little direct fighting with the enemy. At the close of the war he returned home, and resumed farming until 1870. Subsequently he rented a tract of land in Black Hawk County, Iowa, which he occupied four years, then returning to this county, purchased eighty acres of land in Florence Township, which he occupied until 1876. He then traded this land for eighty acres in Buckeye Township. The year previous, however, he had established a butcher shop at Orangeville, which he operated until 1881, when he sold it and took possession of a farm in Buckeye Township. There he lived until 1881, when he removed to the old homestead where he purposes to remain. Of this he owns ninety-six acres adjoining the town of Orangeville, which is quite valuable. In 1883 he also laid off a portion of his land as an addition to the town. A view of the residence and surroundings of Mr. Ritzman is shown in this volume. Our subject was married, Feb. 7, 1868, to Miss Mary M. Dersham, a native of Union County, Pa., and one of his childhood associates. Of this union there were born seven children, six now living, namely, George W., Laura B., Luella A., Harvey, Maude and Leon. Martin was drowned on Christmas Day in 1882, when five years of age. Mr. Ritzman, politically, is a straight Republican, and with his estimable wife, is prominently connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church. The father of our subject was a Lieutenant in the Mexican War. Four of his sons, beside our subject, assisted in putting down the late Rebellion. John belonged to Co. A. 46th Ill. Vol. Inf.; William was in the 2d Kansas Infantry, which operated mostly in Kansas; George was in the 2d Illinois Battery, and Robert was in Co. A, 46th Ill. Vol. Inf. [Contributed by Karen Hammer from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Illinois Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1888 p. 686]
Levi Robey, Esq. a portrait of whom appears in this connection, has been widely and favorably known throughout Waddams Township for a period of 53 years, being one of its earliest settlers, and is probably the oldest living pioneer of the county. Nature in bestowing her gifts upon Mr. Robey provided him with a good supply of cheerfulness, a generous and unselfish heart, and the genial spirit which has always rendered his companionship pleasant and desirable. He is beloved as thoroughly as he is known, and is the center of a large circle of friends and acquaintances, who entertain for him the highest respect and who watch his declining days with the solicitude natural in connection with one who has completed his fourscore years.
Mr. Robey was born in Washington Twp., Scioto Co., Ohio, Oct. 22, 1807. His father William Robey, was a native of Maryland, and his grandfather, also named William, served under Gen. Clark during the Revolutionary War, and assisted in driving the British from the soil of his native State. After this trouble had ended in the victory of the Colonists, William Robey, Sr., in company with five or six others repaired to Kentucky and made a claim, put up a log cabin and contemplated returning home for the winter, but before completing their preparations the entire party with one exception was murdered by the Indians, including William Robey. He had been married, but his wife had not accompanied him to KY. She was afterward married to Philip Moore, of Maryland. After peace had been declared between England and the Colonies the Moore family removed to the Northwestern Territory, and located in that portion now included in the State of Ohio. The journey over the mountains was made with pack-horses, and the father of our subject located at the mouth of the Scioto River, which was then designated as the "Nile of America." The Robey family were among the earliest settlers of that region. Mr. Moore also cleared a farm and there spent the last years of his life. Grandmother Moore survived her husband several years, and also died in what is now Jo Daviess County Ill.
William Robey, Jr., the father of our subject, was but four years old when his parents removed to the Northwestern Territory, and in common with the others was conveyed on a pack-horse across the Alleghany Mountains. As soon as old enough he engaged in boating on the Scioto and Ohio Rivers, and upon reaching manhood became the owner of several boats, by which means he transported produce from Portsmouth to other points. During one of his expeditions he purchased a pony, and riding across the country visited his old friend, Daniel Boone, in KY. He remained a resident of Scioto County OH until 1834, then disposing of his interests in that region, started in the month of June for the prairies of IL., whither his family had preceded him a few weeks. They joined him near Hennepin, where they spent the summer, and in the fall came to that part of Jo Daviess County which is now included in Stephenson. They first stopped at Brewster Ferry, which now lies in Winslow Township, and renting the Brewster farm carried on agriculture and operated the ferry across the Pecatonica River until 1836. Afterward Mr. Robey made a claim in Buckeye Twp. on the present site of the village of Cedarville. He secured his title as soon as the land came into market and lived there several years, then crossing the Mississippi went down into Texas and located twelve or fourteen miles north of Austin and not far from Round Rock. There he improved the farm which he occupied until his death in about 1877, after he had reached the age of 98. His wife, the mother of our subject, was Mary, the daughter of Judge John Collins, one of the earliest pioneers of Scioto County, OH. She also died in Texas. The parental family included 12 children, eight of whom grew to mature years.
Levi Robey was educated in the subscription schools of his native county, which were conducted in a log cabin with puncheon floor, slabs for seats and desks, and greased paper for window panes. His studies were conducted mostly in the winter season, and as soon as large enough his services were utilized on the farm. In due time he developed into a pedagogue, following teaching, however, but a short time, and later traveled over the country selling clocks. He was married, when 26 years of age to Almira Waite, the wedding taking place at the home of the bride in Washington Twp. Ohio Dec. 26, 1833. The following April, accompanied by his wife and his mother's family he started for IL, proceeding via the Ohio, Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, and then by hired teams traveled 16 miles further, where Mr. Robey rented a tract of land and remained until fall. He then started for Jo Daviess County, equipped with teams of horses and oxen. At Dixon they met a party of Indians who frightened one of the oxen so that he broke loose from the yoke, but was caught after much chasing. Soon after his arrival Mr. Robey entered a claim on section 1 of what is now Waddams Twp. and on St. Valentines' Day, Feb. 14, 1835, signalized himself as the first settler of the township. It had not yet been subdivided but afterward became a part of Stephenson County.
Mr. Robey made it his first business to put up a log cabin which was located on the northwest quarter of section 1, and which he occupied with his family 12 years. In 1847 he sold out and purchased his present homestead. The nearest market during these pioneer days was at Galena, 45 miles distant, and Chicago for several years was comparatively unheard of. The postage on a letter was 25 cents, which oftentimes proved a larger sum than a settler could raise. Had it not been for the people required to operate the lead mines the settlers would probably have been compelled to transport their produce even farther than Galena. Mr. Robey watched with intense satisfaction the gradual development of the rich resources of his adopted state, and was no unimportant factor in the building up of Waddams Twp. He was uniformly successful in his labors, meeting with an ample reward for his toil and sacrifices. He became identified with local matters at the beginning, and was one of the Commissioners appointed to lay off the townships in this county. He represented the people of Waddams on the County Board of Supervisors seven years, and served as justice of the Peace, receiving his appointment from Gov. Duncan. There were few enterprises connected with the public welfare in which he was not consulted, and no man took a warmer interest in the prosperity of the country around him. He cast his first Presidential vote for Andrew Jackson, and since that time has been a stanch supporter of Democratic principles.
The wife of our subject, who has been the cheerful and patient sharer of his fortunes for a period of more than 50 years is the daughter of Asa and Lydia (Kendal) Waite, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this album. Of her marriage with our subject there were born five children of whom the record is - William A. operates a stock farm in Nora IL; Louisa E., the wife of Robert Young, a farmer of Rock City; Cyrus A. is a resident of California; Mary A. married James L. Hartsough and lives at McConnells Grove; Levi Woodbury occupies the homestead; a granddaughter, Amanda E. Robey, has been a member of the family since infancy. Our subject and his wife are connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, Mrs. R. being the oldest members of that church in this county. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portraits & Biographical 1888 Stephenson Co. IL., Pg 242]
J. L. Robinson, one of the enterprising young business men of Freeport, is engaged in the manufacture of spring-wagons. He was born in the city of Pittsburgh, Pa., on the 9th of August, 1848, and with his parents, Israel and Cornelia Robinson, moved to Tazewell County, Ill. Here he received his primary education, afterward completing his studies at the State Normal University, at Normal, Ill. His father died in the year 1859; his mother and four children are living. Mr. Robinson learned the carriage-making trade while a young man, but began his business life in the occupation of a farmer. During the time he lived on a farm he was engaged in the sale of farm implements at Delavan, Ill. In 1876 he came to Freeport, and started in his present business. He has been a resident of Stephenson County for three years previously and was engaged in business at Ridott. Mr. Robinson, of our sketch, commenced in Freeport, in 1876, at Nos. 118 and 120 Exchange street. From a small beginning his business has assumed large proportions; the annual product is now between six and seven hundred wagons. His trade extends into the States of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, and his establishment is represented by two energetic and pushing salesmen on the road, who have no difficulty in disposing of his goods, whoever may examine them. The present manufacturing establishment is very commodious, the dimensions being 50 x 120 feet, two stories high, besides the basement. It is substantially constructed of brick and is made as nearly fire-proof as possible. This establishment is looked upon as one of the most promising now located in Freeport, and its proprietor enjoys the good-will of all the citizens of the place. Like most successful men in the West Mr. Robinsons's beginning was on a very small scale. In 1876 Mr. Robinson was married to Miss Sarah A. Briggs, formerly of Alton, Ill., and the union is a very fortunate one, and their domestic life very happy. [Contributed by Karen Hammer from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Illinois Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1888]
PAUL WARREN ROCKEY
Paul W. Rockey, who is now living retired in Freeport, was formerly actively identified with the industrial interests of this county as a carpenter and followed contracting for forty years. His birth occurred in Clinton county, Pennsylvania, on the 7th of March, 1831, his parents being Abraham (1808 1857) and Lydia (Womaldorf D. 1892) Rockey, both of whom were natives of Virginia. The paternal grandfather, Barnett Rockey, was a farmer by occupation and lived in Clinton county, Pennsylvania, for many years, passing away at the age of seventy five. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Margaret Dalton and whose birth occurred in 1773, lived to attain a remarkable age, her demise occurring in 1876, just six days prior to her one hundred and third birthday. They were the parents of seven sons and two daughters, namely: Abraham, Jacob, Michael, John, Elizabeth, Henry, David, Susanna and William. The maternal grandfather of our subject, Frederick Womaldorf, was likewise an agriculturist by occupation and lived in Clinton county, Pennsylvania. About 1845 he and his wife came to Illinois, settling in the northern part of Stephenson county, where they spent the remainder of their lives. Frederick Womaldorf died of cholera in 1854 when sixty five years of age. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Barbara Bierly, passed away in 1852 when about sixty years of age. Their children were as follows: Lydia, John, Kate, Hannah, Barbara, Peter, Michael, Mary, Jacob and David. The father of Mrs. Womaldorf served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War.
Abraham Rockey, the father of Paul W. Rockey, was a farmer and proprietor of a saw-mill and made his home near Loganton, Clinton county, Pennsylvania. He was called to his final rest in 1865 when nearly fifty seven years of age. Both he and his wife belonged to the Evangelical Association. Following the death of her first husband, Mrs. Rockey was again married, her second union being with Frederick Staver, who passed away when eighty four or eighty five years old. Her demise occurred in Wisconsin in 1892, when she had attained the age of nearly eighty one years. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Rockey were born thirteen children, nine sons and four daughters, namely; Paul W., of this review; Jacob, who is deceased; Rebecca, the deceased wife of Aquilla Berry; Jeremiah, a resident of Pennsylvania; John and Thomas, who have likewise passed away; Mary, the widow of William Runyan; Abraham D., living in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Louis, of Jewell, Kansas; William, who makes his home in Pennsylvania; James, who is deceased; Harriet, the widow of William Huber; and Hannah, the wife of E.S. Howe, of San Jacinto, California.
Paul W. Rockey was reared in the county of his nativity and early in life worked at lumbering. In 1854, when a young man of twenty three years, he came to Stephenson county, Illinois, and here worked in a sawmill during the summer seasons, while in the winter months he taught school. He likewise followed carpentering until the time of his retirement from active business life in 1906 and was engaged in contracting for a period of forty years. A great many of the residences in Freeport stand as substantial monuments to his skill, handiwork and business enterprise and that his efforts were attended with prosperity is indicated by the fact that he now enabled to spend his remaining days in well earned ease, surrounded by all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. He resides at No. 170 Union street, where he built a fine home in 1876, and also owns other city property as well as some land in McIntosh county, North Dakota. When a young man he owned land in Kansas, Nebraska and Arkansas. On the 5th of June, 1856, Mr. Rockey was united in marriage to Miss Catharine Matter, whose birth occurred in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, in 1831, her parents being Isaac and Hannah Lenker Matter, likewise natives of the Keystone state. The year 1845 witnessed the arrival in this county and here they continued to reside until called to their final rest. They were the parents of the following children; Jonathan, Sarah, Moses, Mary, Joseph, Catharine, William, Susan, Lydia, Elizabeth and David. Mr. and Mrs. Rockey had four children, the record of whom is as follows. Alpha Eugene, a physician and surgeon residing in Portland, Oregon, wedded Miss Jane Watson, by whom he has two children, Paul and Eugene, who are also medical practitioners. Willard, an insurance agent who makes his home in Greensboro, North Carolina, married Miss Clara Burnett. Thomas, a contractor and builder of Freeport, wedded Miss Martha Saxby and now has four children: Helen, Paul, Marion and Charles Willard. Miss Mary Rockey is at home with her father. The wife and mother passed away on the 24th of June, 1894, at the age of sixty two years and six months. She was a devoted member of the Evangelical church and her life was in harmony with its teachings, her many good qualities winning her uniform regard and esteem. Politically Mr. Rockey is independent. He has continuously resided in Stephenson county for fifty six years and is therefore well known and highly esteemed within its borders. Though now past the seventy ninth milestone on life's journey, he appears to be a much younger man and in spirit and interests seems yet in his prime. [Unknown source, Contributed by Roger Cramer]
Thomas Rodebaugh, of Winslow, occupies a prominent place among the honored pioneers of Stephenson County, of which he became a resident in September, 1845. He entered a tract of land from the Government and put up a small frame house, and thus commenced life with the hope and courage which characterized the men of that day, and enabled them to endure uncomplainingly the hardships and privations of life in a new country. His industry and frugality were amply rewarded, and while building up a comfortable homestead he witnessed with satisfaction the progress and development of his adopted State. The main points in the history of our subject are as follows:
Mr. Rodebaugh was born in Centre County, Pa., Dec. 30, 1824. His father, John Rodebaugh, was a native of Dauphin County, Pa., and was the son of Peter Rodebaugh, who was born in Germany in a town of that name. The great-grandfather, Matthias Rodebaugh, emigrated to America with his family prior to the Revolutionary War, and located in Pennsylvania, where he spent the last years of his life. His son Peter was a lad of ten years when he came to America, and was afterward bound out for the payment of his passage money. He endured this kind of slavery for seven years, and then ran away and enlisted in the federal army, passing the memorable winter of 1773-74 at Valley Forge with Gen. Washington. He served as a soldier for a period of seven years, and after the Colonies had established their independence purchased a tract of land in Dauphin County, Pa., where he remained several years and thence removed to Ohio. He received a pension during the last years of his life, and died in Medina County, when eighty-five years of age.
John Rodebaugh, the father of our subject, was reared on a farm in his native county, and subsequently learned the trade of shoemaking. He was married early in life, and located in Clearfield, Centre County, Pa., where he lived until about 1830, thence removed to Medina County, Ohio, during its early settlement, purchasing a tract of timber land and clearing a farm, while at the same time he employed his leisure hours at his trade. Subsequently he sold his farm there and removed to Summit County, where his death took place about 1838. The mother of our subject was formerly Miss Polly Bughman, a native of Northumberland County, Pa., born about 1867. She accompanied her husband to Ohio and survived him several years, dying in Summit County. The children of the parental household were named, respectively, Susanah, Mary, Charles, Betsey, Elizabeth, Thomas, John and Lovinia. The subject of this sketch was the fifth child of his parents, and was about four years old when they emigrated from Pennsylvania to Ohio. His early years were spent upon the farm and in attendance at the pioneer schools, and when fifteen years of age he commenced learning the cabinet-maker's trade. He followed this in Ohio until in September, 1845, and then started for the farther West in company with two other families. The journey was made overland with teams and consumed eighteen days. He first located in Buckeye Township, where he entered a tract of land from the Government and remained five years. He then took a contract to complete one mile of the railroad then being constructed in West Point Township, which occupied him six months. In 1855 he purchased a tract of land in Winslow Township, which he improved and lived upon until 1863, thence removing to Davis County, Iowa, where he sojourned ten months, and then returning to Winslow Township purchased a farm, where he occupied himself until 1869. In the spring of that year he sold out and purchased hotel property in Winslow, where he operated as "mine host" about ten years. In 1886 he purchased his present residence and the mill property in Honey Creek, which for a period of two years has furnished the dressed lumber for a large proportion of the people of Winslow and vicinity. The marriage of Thomas Rodebaugh and Miss Lavina Ferguson was celebrated at the home of the bride in Wayne County, Ohio, Nov. 12, 1844. Mrs. R. is the daughter of Samuel and Phoeba Ferguson (see sketch of Robert Ferguson). The six children of this union are recorded as follows: Mary A., the wife of D. E. Tyler, is a resident of Green County, Wis.; Elizabeth, Mrs. Wilson, lives in Linn County, Mo.; Lavina, the wife of Albert Eells, lives on a farm in Minnehaha County, Dak.; Charles B. is a resident of Winslow; Melissa, Mrs. Edwards, lives in Umatilla County, Ore.; Daniel T. is living near his parents. [Contributed by Carol Parrish - Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 301]
Joseph Rodemeier is a native of Germany, and came to this country in 1854. His parents were Henry and Elizabeth Rodemeier. The mother died in Germany, and the father came with his children, consisting of seven boys and two girls, in 1854. Having friends in Freeport who had preceded him to this country, he came direct to that point, where he remained until his death, which occurred in 1866. He was a farmer by occupation. Joseph Rodemeier was born in Germany on the 24th of November, 1844, and when his father emigrated to this country, was ten years of age. In less than ten years after coming to the New World the war between the North and South was inaugurated. Having adopted this as his country, his patriotism was aroused, and on the 10th of December, 1861, he enlisted in Co. A, 57th Ill. Vol. Inf., where he served for three years and nine months, being discharge in July, 1865. In the battle of Corinth, Miss., which was one of the great engagements of the war, and taken in connection with Pittsburg Landing and Shiloh, constituted the greatest battle of the war with the exception of Gettysburg, he was seriously wounded in the left arm by a minie ball, and was in the hospital for two months. During this time of service he was in eight general engagements, besides skirmishes too numerous to mention. For meritorious service and strict obedience to all orders given him he reached the rank of Sergeant of his company, which position he held during the last year of his service. He was mustered out at Louisville, Ky., and returned to Stephenson County in 1865, and settled in Kent Township, where he procured forty acres of land on section 32. He now owns 160 acres on that section, all of which is under improvement. Mr. Rodemeier has made it an object to pleasantly surround himself and family. His residence is one of the best appointed in the township and his barn is commodious and is supplied with all the modern conveniences. We take pleasure in presenting a view of it in this volume. On the 11th of November, 1865, very soon after returning from the army, Mr. Rodemeier was married to Miss Margaret Holland, the daughter of John and Margaret Holland, of Kent Township, who were natives of Ireland. Mrs. Rodemeier was born on the 6th of January, 1847, in New Bedford, Mass. Her father came to Stephenson County about the year 1850 and settled in Kent Township, where he was a victim of the cholera scourge which swept over the country in 1854. The mother is still living, at quite an advanced age. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Rodemeier are five in number, their names being Mary A., Maggie, John, Ellen and Henry. Maggie died when one year and three months old. Mr. and Mrs. R. are members of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Erin Township. In politics he is a Democrat. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 388]
Henry Rohkar, an active and responsible business man of Freeport, was born in Hanover, Germany, in the city of Osnabruck, on the 11th of June, 1829. His parents were Henry and Lotta (Meyers) Rohkar. Owing to sickness it was not until the age of nine years that he began attending school. He continued at school until he was fourteen years of age, when he began learning the trade of a baker, serving an apprenticeship of four years, and thoroughly acquainting himself with all the details and branches of that trade. Completing his apprenticeship he sailed for America in 1849, landed in the city of New York, and worked at the baker's business on Staten Island until 1856, when he came to Freeport. He at once opened a bakery on a small scale on Stephenson street, at which stand he has ever since remained. Not long after commencing business at that location he purchased a house and lot which he has since owned. His business building is 40x120 feet and the business room adjoining his own he leases to other parties. His place is equipped with ample oven capacity and the best improved machinery and appliances for the business, and the daily product of the establishment is about 500 loaves of bread, besides an unlimited quantity of cakes, rolls, pies, etc. Mr. Rohkar has been married twice, his first wife being Margaret Ludwig, of Newark, N. J. She died leaving one daughter, Anna, the wife of George Holbrook, of Freeport. In 1860 he married his present wife, Caroline Grecht, of Freeport, and they have had seven children, three sons and four daughters - Henry, Georgie, Fred, Katie, Carrie, Eugene and Jennie.
Mr. Rokhar lives in one of the most comfortable houses in Freeport, which is located at No. 175 Adams street, and was erected in 1872. The grounds are ornamented with various shade trees, evergreens and flowers, in the cultivation of which he takes great interest. Mr. Rohkar, in the fullest meaning of the words, is a self-made man. When he arrived in New York he did not possess money enough to pay his board and was compelled to leave his trunk as security for a board bill. He now has seven good business houses, which yield him a handsome income in the way of rent. His residence is completely furnished with everything that goes to make a comfortable home, and his surroundings are kept up in admirable style. He is a member of Freeport Lodge, I. O. O. F., having joined that body in 1856. He is a member of the National Union and the Germania Society. In politics he espouses the cause of the Democratic party. He is looked upon as an enterprising and valuable citizen. His counsel is frequently sought by the younger generation of business men, particularly those of his own nationality. Having had a successful business career himself he is thoroughly competent to point out the road to success to others. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888) pg 594]
CHARLES H. ROSENSTIEL
Charles H. Rosenstiel, one of the most extensive land-owners of Stephenson County, has been identified with its business interests for over thirty years, and has been remarkably prosperous in his undertakings in life. He has been the representative of important interests, and in all the positions which he has occupied, has acquitted himself with credit and in such a manner as to secure the respect and confidence of his fellow-citizens. Upon coming to this county he was first employed as an architect and builder, in which profession he had become more than ordinarily proficient in his native Kingdom of Saxony, where he spent his childhood and youth, and where his birth took place April 21, 1821. The father of our subject, Jacob Rosenstiel, was also a native of Saxony, and of excellent ancestry, who were not far removed from the nobility. He occupied a Government position for a number of years, and retained his situation as Superintendent of a large estate for a long period and until deciding to emigrate to the United States. The mother of our subject was, in her girlhood Miss Dora Schietmeister, who also descended from excellent ancestry and, like her husband, had been finely educated in her native Saxony. They became the parents of five sons and one daughter, and after the birth of these, continued residents of Stephenson County the remainder of their lives. The subject of this sketch, like his parents before him, received an excellent education, completing his studies in the High School, and afterward taking a thorough course in architecture. He became an expert in his chosen profession, and was released from military duty upon the condition that he would emigrate to the United States and secure not less than 1,000 specimens of its native minerals and animals and convey them back to Saxony. For each of these he was to receive $1. He executed his commission with satisfaction to all concerned, and sent his collections across the water.
Mr. Rosenstiel, upon landing in this country, was twenty-four years of age, and after completing the business we have spoken of, located in Pittsburgh, Pa. Thence he went to Wheeling, W. Va., where he was engaged considerably as a contractor, afterward removing to Sunfish, Ohio, where he was joined by his father and mother with the rest of their family. They all then came to Illinois, locating in Winslow Township, Stephenson County, by request of a friend who had preceded them to this locality. Not long afterward, however, they removed to Freeport, our subject finally purchasing 1,200 acres of land adjacent to the city limits of Lena, and afterward became the owner of 620 acres in Silver Creek Township, which he brought to a good state of cultivation. He made his home for a time in Freeport, and became quite extensively engaged as an architect, builder and contractor, being thus employed from 1845 to 1868. During that time he had superintended the erection of some of the best buildings in the city, which still remain, a monument to his genius and skill. For a time after the date last mentioned he resided on his farm in Silver Creek Township. He erected the first woolen-mills in the city of Freeport, and has been connected with the building of most of the mills established in this section. In 1859 he was elected Vice President of the State Board of Agriculture, with which he was connected nineteen years. He also served as President of the Stephenson County Agricultural Society for a period of six years. In 1872 he erected an immense sugar refinery, with a capacity of fifty tons per day, the largest factory in the West. In this enterprise were associated with him Jacob Bunn, of Springfield, and J. I. Case, of Racine, Wis. The agreement was that Mr. Bunn should draw up the contract, but unfortunately for the other partners, who held quarter shares, this important part of the business was neglected. Through mismanagement on the part of those to whom great responsibilities had been entrusted, failure followed, and five years later the works were abandoned. Mr. Rosenstiel then turned his attention to farming and stock-raising, in which he met with remarkable success, and was in time enabled to fully repair his losses. The residence of Mr. Rosenstiel, built of stone, is one of the finest structures in Stephenson County, standing in the midst of natural and ornamental trees, and presenting to the eye of the passer-by a picture most pleasing to contemplate. The home is located on section 4, Silver Creek Township, and not far from the city limits of Freeport. The proprietor is popular among the people of that section, and exerts a considerable influence in local politics. He officiates as Elder and Trustee of the Presbyterian Church, of which his estimable wife is also a member in good standing. Mr. Rosenstiel uniformly votes with the Republican party.
The marriage of our subject was celebrated in this county Oct. 5, 1843, the maiden of his choice being Miss Annie C. Gillman, and the officiating minister, Rev. Schitz, of Freeport. Mrs. R. is a native of Union County, Pa., and was born Feb. 27, 1827. Her father, Daniel Gillman, was a farmer by occupation, and the family is of English and German ancestry, one of the first representatives in this country (her grandfather) being a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Daniel Gillman came to Illinois with his family in1841, and built up a good home in Lena Township, where he lived to the advanced age of eighty years. The mother, formerly Miss Katie Linn, preceded her husband to the silent land. Their children were carefully trained but received a limited education. Mr. and Mrs. Rosenstiel became the parents of five children: Matilda, the wife of Dr. H. P. Cary, with her husband, died in Beloit, Wis.; Oliver married Miss Grace Hewitt, and is farming in Florence Township; Louisa is the wife of H. Stephenson, and they are living near Jacksonville, Ill.; Jerome married Miss Julia Byers, daughter of Rev. Byers, and resides in Freeport; Howard remains on the home farm. Miss Grace Cary, a granddaughter, the child of Dr. and Mrs. Cary, before mentioned, makes her home with our subject. Mr. Rosenstiel was one of the first Supervisors of Silver Creek Township, and has filled various other offices. [Contributed by Carol Parrish - Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888)]
Henry Rosenstiel is a successful farmer living on section 12, in Erin Township. His parents were Jacob and Dorothy Rosenstiel, who were born in Germany. In 1842 they emigrated to America with their family and settled in Stephenson County, where they died. They had six children: John, Mary, Charles H., Chris, Henry and Frederick. These are all living except Frederick and Mary, Frederick dying in Erin Township, July 22, 1887, and Mary, who was the first wife of Frederick Gossman, dying in Erin Township. Our subject was born in Saxony, Germany, Aug. 22, 1827, and was fifteen years old when he came with his parents to America. He was reared on a farm, and his education was obtained in the schools of the old country. Mr. Rosenstiel is a self-made man. By means of his own perseverance, energy and frugality, he takes rank with the first men of Stephenson County. He has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits, and has been a continuous resident of Erin Township with the exception of one year, when he lived in Waddams Township. He owns 160 acres of valuable land, on which he has made many improvements, diligently tilling it and bringing it to a high state of cultivation. The Rosenstiel family are widely and favorably known throughout Stephenson County. Henry Rosenstiel was married in 1848, in Erin Township, to Miss Jane Pickard, daughter of S. W. and Effie (Skiel) Pickard, the latter of whom was born in New York State. Mr. and Mrs. Rosenstiel are the parents of seven children, who are: Lorenzo, Lorna, Lewis, Harlow, Herman, Josephine and Charles. Loran died when a young man; Lewis is in Kansas; Harlow resides in Harlem Township; Herman is in Iowa; Josephine resides at home, as also does Charles. Mr. Rosenstiel has been a School Director of the township. He is a man who has attended strictly to his own business, and has not sought office. Mr. and Mrs. Rosenstiel are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and have been so for a great number of years. Mr. Rosenstiel is a strong temperance man, and an earnest advocate of the Prohibition cause. Charles H. Rosenstiel, of Silver Creek Township, and John Rosenstiel, of Ridott, are his brothers. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 544]
Cornelius Rousch - deceased, was widely and favorably known as one of the earliest pioneers of Stephenson County, to which he emigrated from Union County, Pa., where he was born May 12, 1826. He was the eldest son of Michael and E. E. (Breon) Roush, of whom mention is made in the sketch of George Roush, which will be found on another page in this Album.
Our subject grew to manhood in his native State, and learned the trade of a tanner and currier in his father's shop. He came West with his parents in 1849, and they located in West Point Township, where Michael Roush entered a tract of Government land, but was mostly employed as a carpenter. Cornelius also worked at carpentering until after his marriage, and then engaged in the dry-goods trade at Louisa four years. Afterward he sold out, and coming to Lena spent there the remainder of his days, first engaging in the grocery trade and afterward adding drugs to his stock. The last few years of his life he was associated with his brother George S. in the flour and feed business, and they also dealt quite extensively in coal. His natural inclination rendered him industrious and frugal, and he spent few idle days until receiving his final summons hence. He died on the 4th of May, 1887, at the homestead which he had established by his thrift and industry, and is remembered as a peaceable and law-abiding citizen, who contributed his full quota toward the various interests of the town. The farm which he purchased lay near the town limits, and a part of it through his enterprise was eventually taken within the corporation. He served as Assessor and Collector, and took satisfaction in noting the gradual development and growth of the country around him. The wife of Cornelius Roush was formerly Miss Adelia Howard, a native of Jefferson County, N. Y., where she was born April 11, 1829. Her parents, Parker and Louisa (Boomer) Howard, are referred to in the sketch of G. L. Howard given elsewhere. Of her marriage there were born two children, of whom only one, the son, Frederick, is living; Elizabeth, who was born Jan. 13, 1857, became the wife of Albert Shadle, and died May 10, 1886, leaving a son and daughter - Bertha and Harmon, who now live with their grandmother. Mr. Roush politically was a Republican, and socially belonged to Lena Lodge No. 174, A. F. & A. M., also to Lena Chapter. His funeral services were conducted by the Masonic fraternity, and were made the occasion of an imposing and impressive ceremonial.
Years hence, when a future generation shall listen with silent wonder to the tales of the struggles, the toil and the noble lives of the pioneers, and shall view with thoughtful men their pictured faces, that of Cornelius Roush, which is herewith given, will receive it due share of reverent attention, and his name will be held in kindly remembrance. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 398]
GEORGE S. ROUSCH
The career of this gentleman, whose portrait is shown in this connection, and whose name and face are familiar to most of the people of Lena, has been one of wide and varied interest. His youth and early manhood were characterized by a spirit of adventure which would not allow him to be content with revolving in one little circle, but instead led him entire length and breadth of the United States, the greater part of which he has traversed on foot, or with teams. He has seen nearly all of the wonderful sights of this continent, and claims that tourists need not go to the Old World to view the sublimity and beauty of Nature, for we have it here broadly and bountifully displayed, but especially in the great West. Mr. Roush started out on his journeyings when a young man twenty years old, traveling first from Stephenson County, Ill., to Texas, thence to Shreveport, La., and from thence on foot to Corsicans, Tex., a distance of nearly 300 miles. There he worked for a time as a carpenter, and also engaged in training horses, to which he seemed peculiarly adapted. In the fall of the year he purchased a pair of ponies, and driving them through the Indian Territory, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas, finally landed in this county, where he concluded to take up his future abode.
Our subject, who is the son of Michael Roush, of Pennsylvania, was born April 17, 1840. His grandfather, also a native of the Keystone State, was a descendant of German and French ancestry, and a tanner and gunsmith by occupation. He spent the greater part of his life in Centre County, Pa., and reared a family of sons and daughters. Michael, the father of our subject, learned the trade of a tanner when quite young, and also took up the gunsmith business, operating the two together in his native county until 1849. He then disposed of his interest in that locality, and accompanied by his wife and eight children, started overland for Illinois. They were equipped with a two-horse team, and carried with them their provisions and cooking utensils, camping by the wayside, and sleeping in the wagon at night. Their destination was this county, and they spent the first winter at Buena Vista, removing in the spring to West Point Township, where Michael Roush entered a tract of Government land, located on section 21. He established his family in one of the nearest houses in that locality, and commenced the improvement of his purchase, the same year putting up a good frame house. He did not live, however, to carry out his plans, his death taking place six years later, in December, 1855. He had laid the foundations for a comfortable home for his family, and the mother kept her children together as well as she could during the years that intervened before they were able to take care of themselves. They all lived to mature years: Amelia became the wife of Daniel Grinn, and is living in Orangeville; Cornelius died in 1887, when sixty-one years of age; Lovina married George Bordner, and lives in Freeport; Joseph is engaged in carpentering at Chanute, Kan.; Rosetta is the wife of M. L. Howard, of Lena; Mary E. died when an interesting girl of seventeen years; George S., of our sketch, was the seventh born; Samuel died when seventeen years old. Our subject was a boy nine years of age when his parents came to this State. He remembers many incidents connected with the overland journey, and the subsequent life in a new country. He was but fifteen years old when his father died, and rallied bravely to the assistance of his mother, assuming the management of the homestead the following year. He had improved his opportunities for education, and not long after leaving school, commenced teaching in order to add to the income of the family. He was thus employed until the outbreak of the Civil War, and then decided to assist in the preservation of the Union. Not long after the first call for troops, he enlisted in Co. B, 46th Ill. Vol. Inf., and followed the fortunes of his regiment until the close of the conflict. He was present at the battles of Ft. Donnelson, Shiloh, the sieges of Corinth and Vicksburg, and also at Ft. Blakesley, and met the enemy in many minor engagements. He was mustered in as private, and at the battle of Shiloh was promoted First Sergeant, then Second Lieutenant, and then First Lieutenant. In June, 1865, very much against his inclinations, he was compelled to resign on account of ill-health, and returned home. The war, however, had now practically ended, but it would have suited him much better could he have remained and marched back under the banner of victory with his comrades.
After his retirement from the army, Lieut. Roush associated himself with his brother Cornelius in the drug and grocery business in Lena until April, 1866, then started with a mule team for the Territory of Montana. After arriving at Helena, he prospected and mined in that vicinity for two and one-half years, and afterward became clerk in a general store for eighteen months. In the spring of 1870, he started homeward by stage and the Missouri River to Sioux City, and then availed himself of the railroad which brought him to Lena. We, however, soon find him in Iowa, in charge of the telegraph repair department on the line of the Illinois Central Railroad. He was thus employed until 1880, when he resigned his position, and going to Dakota, provided himself with carpenter tools, and erected the first store building which was ever put up in Chamberlain. The town of Chamberlain, which was started through his assistance and encouragement, was located fifty miles from the nearest railroad, and while his store was being built, Mr. Roush sold goods from a tent, his customers being mostly Indians. Three months of this life was sufficient, and disposing of his stock of goods, he returned to the borders of civilization, and resumed his old position with the Illinois Central. A year later he threw this up, and coming to Lena, again became the partner of his brother Cornelius, and they established the flour, feed and coal business, in which they continued together until the death of Cornelius, May 4, 1887. Mr. Roush then purchased the interest of the latter, and is now operating alone. He is a general favorite in business circles, his genial disposition and the interesting fund of information from which he often draws an incident or an anecdote, constituting him an interesting companion, whose society is often sought by those whose opportunities for seeing the world have been more limited. Mr. Roush was married when over thirty years of age, in September, 1872, the lady of his choice being Miss Margaret Wilson, a native of Baltimore, Md. The children of this union are two daughters, Jessie and Lucy, who still remain under the home roof. Mr. Roush is a true-blue Republican, politically, and socially is one of the favorites of the William R. Goddard Post No. 258, G. A. R., being Past Commander. In the Masonic fraternity he belongs to Lena Lodge No. 174. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 689]
GEORGE W. RUNDLETT
George W. Rundlett, now retired from active business, is passing a quiet and pleasant life in Freeport. He was long one of the hardest workers of the city, an earnest and pushing worker, and his friends congratulate him upon his privilege of rest and ease. He belongs to a family that is descended from one of two brothers who crossed the ocean at an early day, coming from England to make their home in New Hampshire. The grandfather of George W., died while still a young man at the family homestead in Belknap county, New Hampshire. He was the proprietor of an extensive tract of land as well as a flour mill, which passed under the control of his son-in-law, Elias Russell, at his death. His widow remarried to a Mr. Simons, and died in Northfield. To Mr. and Mrs. Rundlett were born two children, William and Comfort (Mrs. Elias Russell).
William Rundlett, the father of George W. was born August 24th, 1808, was a man of much more than ordinary ability, and was ever recognized as a strong and capable character. He was born on the New Hampshire homestead, and early learned the woolen business at Simonton, New Hampshire, where he set up for himself in a small way. He was burned out, and suffered a total loss, but this did not dishearten him. He sought employment, saved his earnings, and presently was able to start again at Turner, Maine, and this time a well deserved success crowned his efforts. After a number of years he decided to change his location, and seek the opportunities of the new west. He was impatient to get away in the early fall, but still he was anxious to remain and vote for Pierce for president. In 1852 he came west alone, and travelled over northern Illinois quite thoroughly, and then went back to Maine, still uncertain of his location. Immediately after the election in 1852 he put his family into a three-horse wagon, and started for the west. The journey was a long and tiresome one, some of the family walking a good part of the distance from choice. But they pushed on, and reached Chicago the following January. The Garden City then presented little promise of its future growth, and they were glad to get through it, and keep their westward way. They reached Stephenson county without stopping, and here they rested from their long journey. The family remained at Oneco, while the elder Rundlett and his son George made a trip into Iowa as far as Volga City, then a hamlet of two houses and a saw mill. They did not like the country and returned to Oneco. Hearing of a choice farm in Florence township, they visited it, and liking it, they purchased and took immediate possession of it. It consisted of one hundred and sixty acres of very desirable land. It is remarked as a curious coincidence that they entered upon it the same day that Pierce entered the White House. There was pitched the family fortunes, and here the senior Rundlett remained until his removal to Freeport in 1869. He was a resident of this city until he died April 8th, 1878, leaving behind pleasant memories and tender recollections. Although an ardent democrat he would accept no nomination to any official position. His wife was Elizabeth B. Lane, a daughter of Captain John Lane of the state militia, and a hero of the war of 1812. She was born on June 6th, 1806, at Simonton, New Hampshire, and died November 6yh, 1896, in the home of her daughter, Mrs. George E. Bushnell, at Ripon, Wisconsin, when past ninety. Their children are Sarah E., born October 16th, 1833 (Mrs. George Bushnell of Ripon, Wisconsin), Charles W., born September 27th, 1835, of Sharon, Wisconsin; and Jennie, born October 18th, 1838, is Mrs. John W. Royer of Wellsville, Missouri. George W. is the oldest member of this interesting family group.
George W. Rundlett was born November 17th, 1831, at Simonton, New Hampshire, and very fairly educated in the public schools. He was anxious to learn his father's trade, and for that purpose quit school earlier than perhaps he otherwise would have done. He entered the mill at the age of twelve and went through each department in turn, until the entire business was plain to him. At eighteen he was first hand of his father's mill, and had everything in charge except the finishing department which his father still kept in his own hands. About 1850 he went to East Bethel, Vermont, to act as overseer of the weave room in Mr. Faulkner's mill. He remained with him until his father wrote for him to make the journey west with the family. He was glad to do this, and when the family located on the prairie farm he went with him, and spent a year with the family. Then he secured a position in the machine shop of P. Manny at Waddams Grove. They were burned out and came to Freeport to re-establish. While they were temporarily out of work Mr. Rundlett worked for F. B. Williams, well known in the early days of this city. When the Manny factor was re-opened he returned to it and was in the employ of the company until 1860. That year he bought an 80-acre farm in Florence township, and for the next three years was engaged in its cultivation. He gave it up at the end of three years, and concluded that the delights of the city overbalanced its troubles, and he returned to Freeport to again enter the services of P. Manny. He was with them until the dissolution of the firm, and continued with Mr. Pattison the successor of the firm as long as he was in business. For some years he has mainly lived a retired life excepting about two years, when he was draughtsman in the machine shops at Whitewater, Wisconsin, and later on as superintendent of the establishment. Mr. Rundlett was married March 7th, 1859, to Miss Lucy Acelia Van Brocklin, a daughter of Conrad and Harriet (Serle) Van Brocklin. She was born in Stephenson county, September 11, 1840, and is the mother of four children. Cora E., born July 7th, 1860, was Mrs. Lincoln E. Park of Waterloo, Iowa, where she died February 8th, 1892. Howard W., born January 18th, 1862, was married to Anna Wolfe and lives in Chicago. Luella C., born October 11th, 1866, is now the wife of Victor Powell of this city. Ethel M., born December 31st, 1872, is Mrs. Jacob H. Boos, of Freeport. Mr. Rundlett was a democrat until he embraced the principles of the prohibition party several years ago. Since then he has largely voted that ticket. He is not associated with any church, but is a man of unblemished reputation in the community. [Contributed by Karen Hammer]
Hugh Runkle, retired farmer, and a resident of Orangeville, is a native of Centre County PA and was born Oct. 5, 1825. His father, John Runkle, was a native of Bucks County PA, where he was reared to manhood, and whence, after his marriage, he removed to Centre County. He purchased a tract of timber land in Potter Twp. where he cleared a farm and spent the remainder of his life. He served as a soldier in the War of 1812, and possessed all the substantial and reliable traits of his ancestry. The mother of our subject in her girlhood, was Miss Elizabeth Phillips, also a native of the Keystone State. Of her marriage with John Runkle there were born eight sons and four daughters, all of whom became of age and nine of whom are still living. The subject of our sketch assisted his father in clearing the land and tilling the soil, and in the meantime availed himself of the limited opportunities for education in the subscription schools of his native county, often walking a distance of three miles in order to reach the temple of learning. He remained a member of the family circle until 19 years old, when he learned shoemaking, at which he served a two year apprenticeship, and afterward worked two years as a journeyman. Then, on account of ill-health he was obliged to abandon the bench, and resumed farming. For eight years afterward and until the spring of 1859, he rented his father's farm, when, coming to this county, he purchased a tract of land in Buckeye Twp., but made his residence in Oneco Twp. until 1861. He then took possession of his purchase and occupied it 18 months, after which he rented out the land and went into Rock Grove Twp. where he opened a blacksmith shop and worked at the anvil one and a half years. At the expiration of that time he returned to his farm, which he sold a year later, and purchasing 115 acres in Oneco Twp. H erected the present dwelling in the fall of 1886, and is surrounded by all the comforts of life, while enjoying the friendship of the best residents of the village. The lady who has been the close companion and friend of our subject for the last 34 years was formerly Miss Hannah Fye, who became his wife March 18, 1853. Mrs. Runkle was born in Centre County, PA and is the daughter of Henry and Catherine E. (Van Kirk) Fye, also natives of PA, spent the last years of his life in Centre County PA. His son, the father of Mrs. R., was married in his native state and came to Illinois in 1855, purchasing a farm in Rock Grove Twp., this county. Subsequently he took up his residence in the village of Oneco, where he spent the last years of his life. Mrs. Catherine Fye was born in 1797, and is still living, making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Runkle. The children of our subject, eight in number, were named respectively, Alice, Eliza, L.C., David W., Daniel, John, Oscar J. and Irving. The parents are members of the Reformed Church, and Mr. Runkle, politically, is one of the stanchest supporters of the Democratic party. [Contributed by Carol Parrish Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 471]
L. C. RUNKLE
L. C. Runkle, although one of the youngest farmers of Oneco Township, has been exceptionally prosperous. He is a great admirer of fine stock, and it is his boast and pride that he has the finest blooded horses, and other stock in the county. Mr. Runkle was born on the 18th of April, 1858, in Centre County, Pa. He is the son of Hugh Runkle (see sketch elsewhere), and came to Stephenson County with his parents, with whom he lived until he was twenty one years of age. Having reached his majority and concluding it was not well for man to live alone, he was married in June, 1878, to Miss Mary E. Rahorn, daughter of Conrad Rahorn, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this Album. Our subject's wife was twenty years of age at the time of her marriage. The first year after their marriage was spent at the old home; they then moved onto Conrad Rahorn's farm, where they remained one year, then going to the farm of Mrs. R.'s half-brother, where they lived for two years. They then moved to Orangeville, where Mr. Runkle engaged in butchering, after which he teamed one year. Still later he moved three miles south of Dakota, Ill., where he rented William Kryder's farm, and after working it for two years returned to Orangeville and leased his father's old homestead, where he now resides. Mr. and Mrs. Runkle have four interesting children, whose names are - Ina Leona, Hugh Benton, George W. and Mabel Ellen. Mrs. Runkle is a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Runkle is a Democrat and takes considerable interest in political affairs, especially in assisting to get the best men to fill public offices. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 527]
ZIBA THOMAS FURST RUNNER
Superintendent of the Freeport Gas Works, and a gentleman of excellent education and good business capacity, has been a resident of this county since he was twelve years of age. He was born in Centre County, Pa., Dec. 21, 1845, and is the son of Frederick S. and Elizabeth (Furst) Runner, also natives of the Keystone State. The father spent his entire life there. He was born in 1816, and died in 1853. The mother was born in Clinton County in 1815. After the death of her first husband she remarried in 1857, and came West in October of the same year. By her union with Mr. Runner there were born three sons and two daughters. Our subject was educated in the common schools, completing his studies in the city of Freeport when a youth. During the late Rebellion Mr. Runner enlisted in Co. I, 142d Ill. Vol. Inf., for 100 days, serving in Tennessee and Missouri. On the expiration of his term of service, he re-enlisted in Co. K. 46th Ill. Vet. Vol. Inf. He took part in the battle at Ft. Blakely and met the rebels at Spanish Fort and other minor engagements. He experienced all the hardships of life in the army, and at the close of the war was mustered out at Baton Rouge, La., Jan. 15, 1866. Upon his return to Freeport he took a course at the Commercial College, but for several years afterward was employed at farm labor. His tastes, however, did not incline to farm life and its pursuits, and in 1868 he entered the employ of the Freeport Gas Company, with which he continued until 1874. He then withdrew on account of failing health, and accepted a position as traveling salesman, first for the Freeport Notion Company, and later for a glove and mitten factory. His business led him into the States of Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, and resulted in the restoration of his health. Upon retiring from the road Jan. 1, 1880, he was proffered the management of the Freeport Gas Works, and has since held the position with credit to himself and satisfaction to all concerned. Our subject was united in marriage with Miss Maria E., daughter of Charles Oxley, Esq., June 22, 1875. Mr. Oxley in earlier years followed farming in Florence Township, but is now retired from active labor, and is a resident of Freeport. Mr. and Mrs. Runner became the parents of four children, three girls and one boy, namely: Mabel A., Olive G., Charles F. and Nellie E. Mrs. R, is a member in good standing of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, in which our subject officiates as Steward, and is one of its most liberal supporters. Socially he belongs to Moses R. Thompson Lodge No. 381, A. F. & A. M., and John A. Davis Post No. 98, G. A. R., and is a Director in the Freeport Building and Loan Association. The mother of Mr. Runner died Oct. 11, 1886, in the seventy-first year of her age. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 537]
JOSEPH W. RUSH
Joseph W. Rush, one of the quiet, modest, and yet independent farmers of Kent Township, is the subject of this sketch. He owns a model little farm on section 35, and is the son of Joseph and Judith (Flowers) Rush. His father was born in Virginia, and his mother in Pennsylvania. They first began life in Mifflin County, Pa., thence moved to Union County, Pa., and in 1843 came West and settled in Loran Township, Stephenson County, where they lived until their death. Joseph died on the 15th of June, 1860, and his wife departed this life three months later. They had ten children, five boys and five girls.
Joseph W. Rush, our subject, was the sixth child of his parents, and was born in Union County, Pa., March 16, 1836, and was five years old when his parents became residents of Stephenson County. What education he received was obtained in the common schools of that day. He remained with his parents until he was twenty years of age, when he went out to work for himself on farms in different places. He continued working in that manner until he was twenty-six years old, when he settled in Loran Township. He remained in this township until 1869, and then removed to Kent Township, where he has since resided. He has followed farming without variation during his life. He is the owner of eighty acres of excellent land which he has highly improved, and which produces under his systematic manner of farming more than many farms of larger area, less prudently cultivated. Mr. Rush was married in Loran Township on the 8th of January, 1865, to Elizabeth Tipton, daughter of Noah and Elizabeth (Wagerman) Tipton. They were natives of Pennsylvania, and migrated to the West in 1863, settling in Stephenson County. Mr. Tipton died in Loran Township in 1870. Mrs. Rush was born in Bedford County, Pa., April 9, 1843. The children born to them are: Charles H.; Joseph, deceased; Emma, James F., Anna, Edith, Martha; Willie, deceased; Maud and John R. Mr. and Mrs. Rush are of religious inclinations, and are both active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Rush has been Tax Collector of Kent Township, and discharged the duties of that office to the eminent satisfaction of the taxpayers. He is an intelligent man, and by reading the current publications of the days, keeps well informed of the events of the times. In his political affiliations, our subject is a Republican. No family is more highly esteemed than that of Mr. Rush. Hospitable in the great degree, charitable and generous without stint, they are greatly respected by their friends and acquaintances. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 570]
George Ruston is a dealer in produce, choice dairy butter, eggs, paper and rags, etc., at Nos. 155 and 157 Stephenson street, Freeport, Ill., which business he established in 1862, first opening on lower Stephenson street, where he began in a modest way. Through his energy, and by close application, he has succeeded in building up a large business, and is looked upon as one of the live and enterprising business men of Freeport. Mr. Ruston was born in London, England, on the 18th of December, 1840. His father was John Ruston, a merchant in early life, who married Matilda Edwards, and settled in London, where they resided until the spring of 1842, when they emigrated to the United States, arriving at New York, in which city they permanently settled, and where they both died. George Ruston was educated in that city, attending school until the age of fourteen, when he entered the banking house of Kissman & Taylor, where he occupied the responsible position of Collector and Recorder, in which capacity he served two years, at which time he severed his connection with that firm, enjoying their fullest confidence and esteem. In 1857 he determined to cast his lot somewhere in the West, and came to Batavia, Ill., where he accepted a clerkship; after remaining there some time, he went to Janesville, Wis., where he stopped for one year, and thence to Chicago, in which city he remained three years. In the spring of 1862 he left Chicago and came to Freeport, where he began his present business. In 1881 Mr. Ruston was married to Miss Lyma E. Bordmer, of Freeport. She was born in Stephenson County, Ill., and is a lady of culture. They have two sons - Leonard B. and George Alfred. Mr. Ruston has been in active business in Freeport so long that he has become a part and parcel of the business history of the city. In the various lines in which he deals he is an authority as to quality and prices, and his transactions are so extensive that he comes very nearly naming the prices for those products in that vicinity. Mr. Ruston and wife are acceptable members of the First Presbyterian Church, of which he is one of the Trustees, and in the affairs of that organization they both take a lively interest. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 254]
The history of the Ruth family begins almost simultaneously with the history of Pennsylvania. They came with the old High Dutch families at about the same time the Penn colonies first settled on American shores. They lived for many years in Berks County, Pa., the father of the subject of this sketch being a prominent farmer in Conway Township, where he was born May 24, 1789. He was named George after his father, and was the eldest child. He was a farmer, and was married in his native county, March 4, 1810, to Miss Hannah Rose, who was born in Reading, Berks Co., Pa., Aug. 6, 1791. Her father was a jeweler, and his fine mechanical skill made him famous in local circles.
After George Ruth and his wife were married they lived in Berks County, Pa., for about twenty-one years, when they went to Northumberland County, where the father kept a public tavern for eight years. During that time the subject of this sketch was born, Aug. 29, 1829. He was the youngest son and the younger but two of a family of eleven children, four sons and seven daughters, ten of whom lived to be grown and married. At present only the subject of this sketch and two sisters are living. In 1836 the parents came with the children to their new home in Illinois, where they settled on the 12th of June in what is now Lake County, but at that time was a portion of Cook and McHenry Counties. The settlement was made four miles from any post-office, at what was then and is now Half Day. For many years Mr. Ruth, the subject of this sketch, was well acquainted with the business men of Chicago, having frequently come in contact with them, and he could name almost all the merchants until after the fire of 1871. The father and mother of our subject both died where they settled on coming to this State, the former Nov. 4, 1850, and the latter in August, 1870. They were among the first settlers, and secured wild, unoccupied Government land. William Ruth grew to manhood in the county of Lake, living at home until he was married, which event occurred Oct. 27, 1853. His bride was Miss Sarah J. Morse, who was born near Lockport, Niagara Co., N. Y., May 31, 1835, and was the daughter of James and Maria (Kneedler) Morse. Mr. M. died in Jefferson, Wis., about 1876; his wife departed this life in Lake County, Ill., when her daughter, Mrs. Ruth, was about eleven years of age. The latter was reared by her father, who came to Lake County, Ill., in 1844. She is the mother of ten children, one deceased and the remainder living, as follows: Reuben E. is married and lives in Wabasha, Minn.; Irwin S. is married and resides in Westmoreland, Oneida CO., N. Y.; Mary E. is now Mrs. Brubaker, of Freeport; Aden L. is married, and is farming in Lyons County, Iowa; Daniel S., Valera A., William B., Edward M. and Wallace P. remain at home. The deceased child was named Katie M. C. After his marriage Mr. Ruth was for many years a farmer in Lake County, but sold his farm and came to Lancaster Township, Stephenson County, in the fall of 1873. In 1880 he moved to his present farm of 100 acres, which is well improved and located on section 8. Mr. and Mrs. Ruth are members of the Reformed Church, and Mr. Ruth has served as Township Collector and in other local offices. In politics he is a Prohibitionist. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 544.]
Samuel A. Rutherford, one of the old citizens of the township of Lancaster, now resides with his brother, William Rutherford, whose biography appears elsewhere in this work. Samuel A. was born in Dauphin County, Pa., near Harrisburg, Aug. 13, 1832. He remained at home until he was twenty-nine years of age. He had learned the shoemaker's trade, which occupation he followed for fifteen years of his life. At the beginning of the Rebellion he enlisted in the army on Aug. 18, 1862, at the time of the call of President Lincoln for 300,000 troops to defend the "Stars and Stripes" of his country. He was a member of Co. B, 127th Pa. Vol. Inf., which was attached to the Army of the Potomac under Burnsides, Hooker, and the several successive commanders who had charge of that army. He was in the battle of Fredericksburg on Dec. 13, 1862, and later at Chancellorsville, in which he was prostrated by a shell but was not seriously hurt. He afterward took part in numerous hard fought battles, but fortunately escaped without serious injuries. After re-enlistment, and having served his country for one year he was discharged in August, 1863, and immediately afterward came to Illinois, where he has since resided, with the exception of a short time spent in Minnesota, where he owns 160 acres of land partly improved. He never was married, and in politics is Republican. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill.,1888]
The Rutherford family is of old Pennsylvania stock and sprung from Thomas Rutherford, who emigrated to the United States in 1728. This patriarch was of Scotch descent, although by birth Irish. He came over to the colonies with the first exodus of the hardy people from Europe. He was born in the vicinity of Cookstown, in the county of Tyrone, Ireland, and was a man of character and commanding influence among the early pioneers of Pennsylvania, being of stout build and hardy constitution, such as was necessary to the first settlers. He was betrothed prior to leaving Ireland to Miss Jane Mordah who, however, preceded him to America. When he arrived on the shores of the Western continent, family tradition has it that his earthy possessions consisted of one English shilling as a capital stock upon which to begin his career in the wilderness of a strange land. Not many months after his arrival here he met his intended, and they were married in 1730. Thomas Rutherford and his good wife lived to an advanced age, honored and respected by all who knew them and revered by their many descendants. Thomas died April 18, 1777, and his wife followed him Aug. 10, 1779. They both sleep side by side in the old churchyard of Paxtang Church near Harrisburg, Pa. The tract of land secured by Thomas Rutherford in Dauphin County, Pa., has remained in possession of the family from that generation to this. The Rutherford family was of old Presbyterian stock. Two brothers who came from Ireland with Thomas settled in New England. The descendants in the female line are scattered over many States in the Union, while but very few of the males have departed far from the ancestral acres.
Beginning with the children of Thomas Rutherford, we have the following record: Agnes, born July 9, 1731, died aged four years; Eleanor, born Jan. 16, 1733, married William Wilson; Jean, born June 22, 1734, married Thomas Mays; John, born Feb. 16, 1737, married Margaret Park; Thomas, Jr., born Feb. 12, 1743, Mary and Elizabeth born Feb. 17, 1745 - Elizabeth died when but eight months old; James, born Aug. 8, 1747, married Margaret Brisbin, Samuel, born Dec. 15, 1749, married Susan Collier; Elizabeth, born Feb. 27, 1752, married Patrick Gallaway.
The children of John and Margaret (Park) Rutherford were Jane, who became the wife of Samuel Hutchinson, a Revolutionary soldier; Martha, born Feb. 27, 1765, married Capt. James Collier, an officer in the Revolutionary War; Thomas, born Nov. 28, 1767, died Oct. 15, 1793, unmarried; Samuel, born July 16, 1769, married Elizabeth Brisbin; Mary, born Sept. 13, 1771, married Robert Gray, a soldier of the Revolution; John, Jr., the father of William who heads this notice, was born Jan. 15, 1774, and died May 1, 1832. He was first married to Jane Meader, and after her death he was married to Priscilla (Espy) Barrett. He had been a surveyor for many years, and was a representative citizen of high standing and great honor among the people of that part of Pennsylvania, whose interests he served for several terms in the State Legislature, about the year 1820, being a staunch supporter of old Hickory Jackson.
William Rutherford, the subject of this sketch, was born Feb. 24, 1830. He was reared and educated in the county of Dauphin, but when he became old enough served an apprenticeship in a printing-office three or four years. He afterward came West to Illinois and located in Dakota Township in Stephenson County, where he purchased 160 acres of land to which he has since added eighty. In 1864 he purchased eighty acres on section 4, in Lancaster Township, and this became his home in 1865, where he has since resided. He has also forty acres in Buckeye Township.
November 1, 1860, Mr. Rutherford was married in Lancaster Township to Miss Mary Hutchinson, daughter of Thomas Hutchinson, yet living on a farm in Dakota Township. Mrs. Rutherford was born in Perry County, Pa., April 15, 1837, and is of a family of nine children. She was but a child when she came to Illinois. She is the mother of four children, viz.: Nettie B. is the wife of A. O. Clingman, and resides on Mr. Rutherford's farm in Dakota Township; Alice, the second daughter, was formerly a student in Jennings' Seminary at Aurora, but is now at home with her parents; John P., a very promising young man, died from sunstroke Aug. 15, 1887; Thomas H. is still at home. Mr. and Mrs. Rutherford are active members of the United Presbyterian Church, Mr. Rutherford now being one of the Trustees and leading members of the organization. In politics, Mr. Rutherford supports Republican principles. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888)]
JAMES M. RYBOLT
James M. Rybolt, of the firm of Hinds & Rybolt, who represent the grocery trade at Lena, is a gentleman in the prime of life and a partner in a good business among the friends whom he has known from boyhood. He is a native of this county and was born in Oneco Township, Nov. 13, 1847. His father, Henry Rybolt, was born in Brown County, Ohio, in 1818, and having been deprived of a father's care when an infant, was reared by strangers. He lived on a farm in his native county until a youth of sixteen years and then began an apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade, serving out his time and following this occupation in Ohio until 1843. Then believing that he could better his condition in Northern Illinois he started overland in company with a friend, Lewis Gibler, and took up his residence in Oneco Township, this county. Here he followed his trade, and being skillful with his rifle often realized both pleasure and profit from excursions into the woods and fields in search of wild game. He possessed many excellent traits of character, and gathered about him a large circle of friends and acquaintances, among whom he lived worthily until called hence, on the 27th of January, 1875. In the meantime he had married and reared a family, and established himself on a good homestead where he spent his last years. The mother of our subject who, in her girlhood, was Miss Elizabeth McMear, was a native of Kentucky and of Scotch-Irish ancestry. Her parents emigrated to this country and were settlers of Dubuque, Iowa. The parental household included nine children, of whom our subject was the third in order of birth. His early studies were conducted in the district schools, and at an early age he learned to make himself useful on his father's farm. After being graduated from the common school he spent a year each at Dubuque and Jefferson, Wis., in the pursuit of more knowledge, and when twenty-two years old had developed into a competent teacher. He followed this profession continuously until the spring of 1887, being mostly employed in the schools of this county. He closed his last term in March of the year mentioned, and established himself in his present business. His upright methods and courteous treatment of his patrons are building up for the house a good patronage which bids fair to steadily extend. James M. Rybolt was united in marriage with Miss Idella May Hinds, May 11, 1879, the wedding taking place at the home of the bride in Green County, Wis. Mrs. R. was born in Oneco Township, and is the daughter of Andrew Hinds, of whom a sketch is given elsewhere in this work. Of this union there are two children, a daughter and son -- Minnie and Homer. Mr. Rybolt is Democratic politically, and while a resident of Winslow represented the township on the County Board of Supervisors. He was also connected with Winslow Lodge No. 564, A. F. & A. M. Both he and his estimable lady are valued members of the Christian Church. [Contributed by Karen Hammer from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Illinois Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1888 p. 261]
BACK - HOME
© Genealogy Trails