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John Baptist Rauch


Posted By: Hilary J. Rauch (email)
Date: 7/27/2007 at 09:40:36

John Baptist Rauch was born Johannes Baptista Ruch in Latz, Nenzing, Vorarlberg, Austria on November 19, 1823, the eldest son of John Christian Ruch and Elisabetha Grass. He was educated at Latz, at the parish school of Beschling, and at the royal provincial high school in Bregenz. He taught school at several places in Vorarlberg and Tyrol. In 1851 he decided to emigrate to America. He married Anna Maria Mayer on November 22, 1852 at Nenzing, and shortly thereafter they emigrated to America. During his middle years, from 1852 to 1884, he taught in various German-speaking Catholic parochial schools in the Midwest. He was also the church organist and choir director. His first wife died May 10, 1858 at New Vienna, Iowa. They had three children, only one of whom survived childhood. October 23, 1860 he married Sybilla Schmidt of Dyersville, Iowa. They had eight (possibly ten) children, of whom seven lived to maturity. In 1874 he bought 160 acres of virgin prairie land in western Iowa, in Sac County. In 1880 he settled there with his family. For some years he continued to teach school and to serve as church organist. His sons, with hired help, did the farming. There were eight children in the family during the farm years. In 1903, at the age of eighty, he and his wife Sybilla built a house in Breda, their parish town, and moved there to live. Their two youngest daughters, unmarried, lived with them and did the housekeeping. The farm was rented out, thus providing the family's income. During his last years he was totally blind. Sybilla Schmidt Rauch died February 4, 1912 at the age of seventy-one. He died October 14, 1913, a few weeks less than ninety years of age. He left an estate which, by will, was evenly divided among his surviving sons and daughters. John and Sybilla Rauch were buried in St. Bernard's Cemetery at Breda. There is a large granite tombstone marking their graves.

The source of this biography, which includes many details and genealogical tables, is the family history book entitled "The Rauch Book, Revised Edition" by Hilary J. Rauch, published in 2007 by iUniverse (see http://www.iuniverse.com/bookshop).


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