Jasper Co. IAGenWeb
Atlas Table of Contents

Standard Historical Atlas of Jasper County, Iowa

The Huebenger Survey and Map Publishing Co.,
Davenport, Iowa, 1901.

Biographical Sketches

~ Ramer, John P. ~Photo

John P. Ramer, a retired farmer, now residing in a comfortable home in Newton, was born in Germany September 7, 1832. He is the son of Frederick and Marie (Thieman) Ramer. His father was also a farmer in his native country, and died there in 1885. He was born July 28, 1802. Our subject received his education in his native country. Leaving there in the spring of 1853, he came across the water, landing in New York. After he had paid his first night's lodging, he had just two francs left. He soon engaged at gardening on Long Island. We next find him in Oneida County, where he remained about one year, and came to Chicago. Later he went to the Wisconsin pineries, where he remained about six years. He left the woods in 1862 and went to Illinois. From 1863 to the fall of 1866 he was in Idaho, later in Salt Lake City, and the same year came to Jasper County, having traded for land here in 1862. He now possesses 266 acres of Jasper County soil, and four business rooms in this city that are well rented. Susan M. Stearn became his wife in 1866. She was a native of Germany, and came to America with her parents when a babe. They became the parents of two sons and two daughters. One daughter is living, Mary Susan. Page 31

~ Rasmussen, R. P. ~Photo

R. P. Rasmussen, a contractor and builder in Newton, Iowa, was born in Denmark, March 14, 1868. In his native land he secured a good school education and learned the trade of cabinetmaker, which line he followed for over nine years, when he decided to go to America. He landed in this country in the spring of 1890 and located at Alten, Minn., where he remained about one year, and came to Newton on January 7th, 1891. Arriving at Newton Mr. Rasmussen started to work on a farm and then worked in the wood department of Skows' Foundry and Machine shop, and later for several local contractors. In 1894 he formed a partnership with Mr. R. M. Martin, an old and highly respected citizens of Newton, the firm being Martin & Rasmussen, builders and contractors, of which business they made a remarkable success for the past seven years. Mr. Rasmussen is a member of the I. O. O. F. Lodge. He married Charlotte Altemeier on October 26, 1899. They have one child, Irene Wilhelmina, now two years old. Page 51

~ Ratliffe, Alfred A. ~

Alfred A. Ratliffe, situated in a comfortable home on Section 21, Lynn Grove Township, will form the subject of this biographical notice. He is the son of Ephraim B. and Anna (Small) Ratliffe, and was born in Henry County, Iowa, November 10, 1841, and dates his settlement in Jasper County from December 20, 1878. The ancestors of the Ratliffe family are of Scotch-Welsh origin. William Ratliffe, the great-grandfather of our subject, came with his family from England prior to the War of the Revolution, settling in North Carolina, and was one of the men who purchased a large tract of land of the English Crown, 13 miles square. Later he became owner of several vessels plying between England and America. On one of these he died, but was brought to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and interred. His wife started to return to England, but the vessel was lost, and was never found. Thomas, his son, married, and nine children were born, among them Joshua, who married Letetia Prevo, of French nationality. They were blessed with eight children, among them Ephraim B., who married Anna Small December 12, 1836, and were the parents of our subject. They settled in Henry County, Iowa, April 2, 1837, and endured all the hardships of the pioneer in those days. There were nine children in their family that lived to maturity: Martha J., now deceased; Robert P., of Emporia, Kansas; James F., residence unknown; Ephraim B., killed at Golden Dale, Washington, in a saw mill; Susan H., Mrs. S. Dysart, of New Sharon, Iowa; Obediah S. and Mary E., Salem, Iowa; the latter now caring for her aged mother; Zachariah S., on the old homestead; and Alfred A., our subject, who married Ada Dimery, a native of New York State, who had come to Henry County, Iowa, with her mother and step-father in 1866. Mrs. Ratliffe's parents were English people, and came to America in 1850. Our subject and wife are the parents of four children: S. Guy, married Margaret Finch, and resides at home; Fred A., Frank L., and Anna M. Although Mr. Ratliffe's settlement in Jasper County can hardly be termed a pioneer, he has endured with his family many of the hardships that were endured by those coming at an earlier date. Although having had many reverses, he has succeeded, and is now counted among the substantial and influential citizens of Lynn Grove Township. Page 24

~ Reerink, Lambertus ~Photo

Lambertus Reerink, a successful lumber dealer and senior member of the firm or Reerink & Van Spanckeren, of Sully, was born in Holland January 27, 1859, and became a resident or Jasper County in 1898. He came to America in 1883, expecting to return in four years, but has concluded that the United States is good enough for him. His father was a carpenter by trade, and in his shop our subject learned the same trade, which he followed in his native country for about ten years. We next find him in a sash and door factory in Chicago, Illinois, where he remained for about five months, and then in a furniture shop. In 1884 he came to Pella, Iowa. Miss Carrie Van Spanckeren became the wife of our subject November 10, 1887. She is a native of Pella. They are the parents of five children, four of whom are living. Page 31

~ Rees, Spencer H. ~

Spencer H. Rees, Section 23, Palo Alto Township, was born in Hancock County, Ohio, August 4, 1847. He is the son of Thomas and Mary A. (Prouty) Rees, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively. His father always followed farming, and he removed to Ohio with his parents, Rowland and Elizabeth (Musser) Rees, in 1840. They were both natives of Pennsylvania. Thomas Rees, father of our subject, was married March 4, 1845, to Mary A. Prouty, the marriage ceremony taking place in Ohio. Mr. Rees was a stonecutter by trade, which he followed during the summer season, teaching school during the winter. In the summer of 1848, having decided to take Horace Greeley's advice to go west, he went to Cincinnati, and came from there to Burlington by boat, and with an ox team to Jasper County, arriving here in November, and located on Section 22. He was the first settler in Palo Alto Township, their only neighbors being the Indians, who were generally peaceable, unless some unprincipled dealers in fire water supplied them with an overdose, and under these circumstances they became quite quarrelsome; but by kindness and good treatment, Mr. Rees was always on good terms with them. Game was plenty in those days, and as Mr. Rees was fond of hunting, venison and wild turkey furnished a large portion of the family store for a number of years. Their first house was a log cabin 18x20, in which they lived until they erected a more comfortable one in 1853. Many were the hardships endured by this family during the early years. During the first three months of their residence here, Mrs. Rees never saw the face of a white woman. Mr. Rees was a man of energy and a good financier, and had acquired up to the time of his death, March 10, 1865, 740 acres of land. He was a stanch supporter of the principles of the Democratic Party, held numerous township offices, and in the fall of 1859 ran opposite to C. M. Davis for representative, but was defeated. Our subject, Spencer H. Rees, May 21, 1864, enlisted in Company B, 48th Iowa Infantry, and was a member of Hooker's Division; did garrison duty at Rock Island and Chicago, and was honorably discharged on October 21, 1864. He was married October 24, 1877, to Margaret E. Holmes, a native of Indiana. Ransom P. and Mary A (Duncan) Holmes, her parents, were settlers of Jasper County in 1863. Her mother died here October 27, 1891, and the father, February 26, 1893. Mr. and Mrs. Rees are the parents of five children: Maude E, deceased; Maurice H., at home; Freddie T., deceased; Edna Glen, and Floy N. Mr. Rees has served as Trustee of Palo Alto Township for two terms, Clerk for two terms, assessor for three terms, Justice of the Peace one term, and weigher of government mails in 1887 on route No. 27,036. He is at present secretary of the school board of the district township of Palo Alto. Socially, he is identified with Garrette Post No. 18, G. A. R., at Newton, Iowa. The family are all members of the Palo Alto United Presbyterian Church, of which they are regular attendants and supporters. Page 11

~ Reichelt, Charles W. ~

Charles W. Reichelt, dealer in general merchandise in Kellogg was born in Germany, March 26, 1852, and in company with his parents came to the United States when 10 years of age, and has been a resident of Jasper County since 1865. On their arrival in the United States, the family became residents of Illinois, where they resided until coming to Jasper County. On their arrival here, they located on a farm in Mariposa Township, where he became one of the most successful agriculturists in that section of the County. In September 1901, our subject located in Kellogg, and engaged in merchandising. August 18, 1874, Frederika Bobzin became his wife. She was born in Germany November 7, 1852. Nine children blessed this union: Hugo, associated with his father; Karl, Emma, Mrs. C. Hammer, Martha, Otillie, Mrs. Rev. Oltman, Stella, Harry, Walter and Clara. Hugo was born September 6, 1875, and is a young businessman of more than ordinary ability, and has a business future before him. The subject of this sketch is a believer in the principals of the Democratic Party, and with his family is a member of the German Lutheran Church. Page 51

~ Reid, Lewis D. ~

Lewis D. Reid, proprietor of Reid's Livery Barn, of Newton, is a native of Crawford County, Pennsylvania, born July 18, 1860, and dates his settlement in Jasper County from March 3, 1884. The next 12 years he was engaged in farming, starting his present business in 1898. Married in the fall of 1884 to Miss Nettie Drake, a native of Crawford County, Pennsylvania. They are the parents of five children: Lyle F., I. Pearl, George M., Hazell, and Gayz. Page 11

~ Renaud, Rev. Charles ~Photo

Rev. Charles Renaud, Section 21, Lynn Grove Township, has faithfully ministered to the spiritual needs of the people of that locality since 1887. He is a native of France, born February 4, 1847. He grew to manhood in his native country, and with his parents came to America in 1860, and located near Pella, Marion County. Here he resided until the fall of 1874, when he located on his present farm. Few men of foreign birth have become more favorably or widely known than the subject of this notice. He received his education principally in his native country. Mr. Renaud has been twice married, first to Mary Goll in 1870, who died November 17, 1890. By this union eight children were born, seven of whom are living. The date of his second marriage was December 30, 1891, to Eliza E. Stanley, a native of Wayne County, Indiana. They are the parents of four children. The year of 1879 marks an important period in this man's history, for it was in that year that he entered the ministry as pastor of the Friends' church. In his present work, Mr. Renaud receives a great deal of comfort and assistance from his good wife, who, like himself, is well educated, she being a graduate of the Iowa College at Grinnell in the class of 1885. Page 15

~ Rethmeier, Herman ~Photo

Herman Rethmeier, residing on Section 34, Malaka Township, was born in Lippe Detmold Amt Hohenhausen, Germany, August 18, 1864, and in April 1882, became a resident of Jasper County, Iowa. He never attended any but the common schools, but has a good business education. His land, which is a tract of about 100 acres, is well cultivated, on which he carries on general farming, and is a breeder of Short Horn cattle, and is quite an extensive raiser of hogs. Mr. Rethmeier is independent in politics, and is an earnest church member. Page 12

~ Rinehart, Charles H. ~Photo

Charles H. Rinehart, city assessor of Newton, is the son of James S. and Elizabeth (Needles) Rhinehart. His father was a native of Ohio, and his mother of Illinois, and are now both residents of Newton. They were among the early settlers of this County. Our subject was born in Jasper County August 9, 1867, and has received a liberal school education, finishing his study in the normal school of Dexter, Iowa. He has been more or less interested in the political as well as the business interests of Jasper County. He served as deputy sheriff under D. R. Tripp, and was elected to his present office in 1899. Socially, he is a member of Delta Lodge No. 53, Knights of Pythias, Newton, and M. W. A., and Yeoman. Page 40

~ Richey, Frank W. ~Photo of Residence

Frank W. Richey, residing in Section 36, Poweshiek Township, was born in Jasper County, Iowa, December 11, 1867. He received his education in the district schools of this County, and has watched its growth and development with marked interest. Mr. Richey was united in marriage the 4th day of July 1888, to Hallie D. Street. She was born in Jasper County August 8, 1869. Five children have been born to them: Charles, Edith, Ralph, Everette, and Sylvia. Politically, our subject affiliates with the Republican Party, and with his family attends the Presbyterian Church. Page 12

~ Risedorph, Charles E. ~

Charles E. Risedorph, proprietor of the hotel in Baxter, was born in Le Sueur, Minnesota, April 6, 1856, and followed railroading for about 28 years, starting work in a roundhouse, and gradually worked up until he became an engineer, and became quite noted in this line. He holds the world's record for the fastest run ever made with a locomotive. This was made on the South Jersey railroad, between Cape May and Camden, New Jersey, 128 miles per hour for five miles, and 98 ½ miles were run in 53 ½ minutes. Married Maria Angell, of Adrian, Michigan, December 5, 1879. She was born at Adrian September 19, 1860. They have one daughter, Lucy E. Our subject quit railroading in 1897, and engaged in the insurance business, and followed it until 1899. In July 1901, he engaged in the hotel business. Having traveled as much as he has, he realizes what the traveling public desires, and is willing at all times to accommodate them. Page 19

~ Robb, H. N. ~

H. N. Robb, an industrious farmer and stock raiser, residing in Des Moines Township, was born in Johnson County, Iowa, June 10, 1856. He is the son of John and Ann (Elliot) Robb, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively. His mother died April 26,1895. December 27, 1882, our subject was united in marriage to Alice M. Hoffstatter, daughter of William and Mahala (Collins) Hoffstatter. Her parents were natives of Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Robb are the parents of four children: M. Anna, Irma May, M. Ellen, and Sarah J. Page 23

~ Robb, Simon ~Photo

Simon Robb, residing on Section 6, Des Moines Township, was born in Henry County, Illinois, November 11, 1864. He is the son of John and Ann (Elliott) Robb, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively. In 1892 the family came to Jasper County, and in April 1895, his mother died. His father is still living on the farm. There are three children in his father's family: Nathan, living in Prairie City, Walter, residing in Madison County, and Simon, on the old homestead. Page 23

~ Robb, Wilson M. ~

The career of this gentleman presents an example of industry, perseverance and good management, rewarded by substantial results, worthy of imitation by all who start out in life as he did, with no capital except a good constitution and a liberal supply of pluck and energy. Mr. Robb was born in Muscatine County June 23, 1854. His parents were James E. and Elmira (Freeman) Robb, natives of Indiana, and parents of four children, of whom our subject is the third. Mr. and Mrs. Robb came from their native state to Muscatine County in 1850, and resided there until coming to Jasper County In 1883. They settled in Buena Vista Township in the locality known as Adamson Grove. They purchased 197 acres of land of Enos Adamson, an old pioneer. They lived on this farm until 1892, when they removed to Newton. Mr. Robb died there October 27, 1900. When our Mr. Robb came here with his parents eighteen years ago, he was financially down close to the bottom rung of the ladder. His father furnished the farm and he the muscle, and with the help of one of the best of wives, and possessing some of the quality called grit, he was able at the time of his father's death, a year ago, to negotiate for the farm, which now contains nearly 240 acres, with a fair prospect of entire ownership in the near future. The farm is now known as the Walnut Grove Farm. His herd of twenty-four Short Horn cattle, called the Walnut Grove Short Horns, is composed of choice selections from the best herds in Jasper County. His aim is not to do an extensive business in this line, but beside general farming, to try and make the very best of this foundation herd of fine cattle, by good management in every way, especially in the selection of herd bulls, whenever necessary to change. Mr. Robb is proud to show Master Primrose II, No. 167613, his present leader, as a sample of his ideas. February 20, 1879, Mr. Robb married Elmira J. Moss. She was the daughter of William and Mary E. (Humphrey) Moss. Mr. and Mrs. Robb are the parents of four children, two of whom are living: Lynn M., born December 2, 1879, and Clarence W., born March 13, 1883. The family are members of the M. E. Church. Mr. Robb supports the Republican Party, but he is a Prohibitionist. Page 47

~ Robbins, Moses ~Photo

Moses Robbins, a farmer and breeder of draft and German coach horses, now resides on Section 12, Hickory Grove Township. Mr. Robbins was born in Illinois January 16, 1858. In 1877 he came to Poweshiek County, Iowa, and in the spring of 1882, became a resident of Jasper County. He is the son of Gilmore and Lucinda (Robbins) Robbins. Robbins has a good business education, which he received entirely in the district schools. He takes an active interest in all enterprises that tend to develop the state and county, and is a stanch supporter of the Republican Party. Angeline Dee became his wife January 6, 1898. She was born in Sheridan Township, Poweshiek County, Iowa, March 27, 1873. They are the parents of two children: Gilmore, born Wednesday, February 28, 1899, and William McKinley, born Monday, October 15, 1900. Page 27

~ Roberts, George A. ~Photo

George A. Roberts, whose comfortable farm residence is located on Section 25, Mound Prairie Township, has been a resident of Jasper County since 1868. He was born in Warren County, Illinois, November 18, 1861. He is the son of John and Elizabeth Roberts, a sketch of whom very appropriately appears elsewhere in this work, and is now living a retired life in Prairie City. Our subject's first piece of land was acquired in 1892, part of his present farm. He now owns 150 acres, 140 of which is in his home farm and 10 acres of valuable timber in Fairview Township. Ella V. Daniel, a native of Warren County, Illinois, became his wife in 1885. Three children have been born to them, George A., Ethel G., and Edith M. Besides doing general farming, our subject is quite a successful stock grower and stock feeder. Part III, page 7

~ Roberts, Jason L. ~Photo

Jason L. Roberts, a conservative and practical farmer, residing on Section 34, Mound Prairie Township, is the son of John and Elizabeth A. (Murrell) Roberts, and is the second child of a family of five children. Jason L. was born in Warren County, Illinois, December 8, 1859, and with his parents came to Jasper County in 1868. Our subject's first piece of real estate was purchased in 1890, a tract of 100 acres. To this he has since added until he possesses 219 acres, which he is bringing to a high state of cultivation, and on which he does a general farming business, besides breeding and feeding high-grade cattle and Poland China hogs. Our subject was united in marriage, December 22, 1881, to Julia French, a native of Illinois. Six children have been born to them: Orpha B., Oca S., Guy L., Wiley A., Willard F., and Charley W. Page 20

~ Roberts, John ~Photo

John Roberts, residing at Prairie City, was born in Indiana December 5, 1832. He is the son or John and Jane (Saylers) Roberts, natives of Kentucky. In 1855 our subject removed to Illinois and went to work as a farm hand. March 8, 1857, he married Elizabeth A. Murreil, a native or West Virginia. In 1868 they came to Iowa with about $600.00, purchasing the west half or the southeast quarter of Section 23, Mound Prairie, which he still owns. The trip to Jasper County was made overland, accompanied by a wife and four children. He is a carpenter by trade, which business he has followed more or less ever since coming to Jasper County, besides looking after his landed interests. He was a successful farmer and stock grower. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts were the parents of five children: William E., Jason L., George A., Mary J., and Wilbert J. The latter died June 27, 1878. Politically, he is a stanch supporter of the Republican Party, and was a member of the county board from 1884 to 1887. Socially, he is a member of Preston Lodge No. 218, A. F. & A. M., at Prairie City, and with his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Page 11

~ Roberts, William E. ~Photo

William E. Roberts, residing on Section 23, Mound Prairie Township, was born in Warren County, Illinois, February 9, 1858. In 1868 the family came to Iowa, locating in Jasper County. His parents were John and Elizabeth A. Roberts, natives of Indiana and Virginia, respectively, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Our subject received his education in the district schools of Illinois and Jasper County. In the spring of 1894 he purchased his first piece of real estate, the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 23, paying $30.00 per acre. He now owns 80 acres in Mound Prairie, and ten acres of timber in Fairview. He resides on the old homestead, on which the family located in 1868. Our subject was united in marriage January 20, 1880, to Mary M. Main. In 1881 they removed to Guthrie County, where they resided for nine years, renting land of his father-in-law. Our subject has been a successful farmer and stock grower, and has fed cattle two different seasons. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts are the parents of five children: Edna M., deceased; Maud M., Clara D., Orville J., and Fred E., deceased. Page 23

~ Rogers, Merritt G. ~

Merritt G. Rogers, a progressive farmer residing on Section 1, Kellogg Township, has been a resident of Jasper County since 1881. He is the son of William and Sarah (Conklin) Rogers, natives of Greene and Washington counties, Pennsylvania, respectively. There were six children in his father's family, Merritt being the third child, born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, in 1856. When our subject located in Jasper County his cash capital was less than $50.00, but was the possessor of all 80-acre farm which he had purchased before he made Jasper County his home. He now possesses a fine farm under a high state of cultivation, and on which is situated suitable buildings. Callie Irish became the wife of our subject in the fall of 1883. They are the parents of three children, Cora A., Floyd L., and Cecie M. Page 44

~ Romans, J. M. ~Photo

J. M. Romans, a courteous agriculturalist whose comfortable farm residence graces the old pioneer homestead of Mr. Highland, is farm residence graces the old pioneer homestead of Mr. Highland, is located on Section 32, Fairview Township. His parents, William G. and Mahaley J. (Miller) Romans, were pioneers of Jasper County. Our subject was born in Fairview Township, July 1, 1855, where he has grown to manhood and received his education. February 3, 1878, Eleanor McCuen, daughter of W. W. and Jane (Hilborn) McCuen, became his wife. Two sons and two daughters have been born to them: William H., Ida Grace, Ada Pearl, and Hallie J. Page 12

~ Rorabaugh, John M. ~

John M. Rorabaugh, of Mound Prairie Township, residing on Section 9, was born in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, May 24, 1848, and has been a resident of Jasper County from May 1, 1860. His parents were Israel and Phoebe (McQuillen) Rorabaugh, also natives of the Keystone State. Our subject was married January 3, 1871, to Julia Kelley, a native of New York City. Four children have been born to them: Phoebe, Thomas F., deceased, Fredrick O., and Mary Ellen. Part III, page 4

~ Ross, James M. ~Photo

James M. Ross, engaged in farming and stock raising on Section 5, Des Moines Township, has been a resident of Jasper County since the spring of 1877. He was born in Delaware July 15, 1836, and was reared as a farmer's boy, and acquired his education in the district schools. His parents were Charles and Priscilla (Jones) Ross, natives of Delaware. They were the parents of thirteen children, James M. being the fifth child. While he was an infant the family removed to Ohio, and in 1847 to Delaware County, Indiana. In the fall of 1851 they became residents of Warren County, Illinois, where his parents both died. When our subject came to Jasper County, in 1877, he purchased 160 acres of land, on which he now resides. He has brought it to a high state of cultivation, and is now valued at $80 per acre. August 5, 1891, Mary R. Brous became his wife. She was the daughter of Benjamin and Jane (Johnson) Brous. They are among the first families of Des Moines Township. Mr. Ross has been a life-long Republican; however, he never sought official honors, but has devoted his attention strictly to his private affairs, but takes an active interest in all matters pertaining to the development of the state and county. Page 44

~ Russell, Thomas G. ~

Thomas G. Russell, Section 16, Buena Vista Township, is among Jasper County's enterprising and up-to-date farmers. He is yet a young man, but has shown a marked interest in all enterprises that tend to add to the development of the state and county. He was one of the prime movers in establishing the Newton Creamery, and is now putting forth his best efforts to make the Jasper County Telephone a success. He is the son of J. W. and Margaret (Rayburn) Russell, natives of Virginia and Ohio, respectively. His father, when a small boy, removed with his parents to Ohio; here he attended school at Russell Station, Highland County. In 1861 he came to Jasper County, and became one of the County's well-to-do farmers. Part of the land now owned by our subject was acquired by his father in 1864. March 5, 1890, T. G. Russell and Nellie May Davis were united in marriage, and are the parents of two children: J. Stuart, and Willis Murray. His wife's parents, John S. and Jennie (Squires) Davis, are among the early settlers, and are highly respected citizens, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Page 20

Transcribed by Ernie Braida
Copyright © 2002 by Ernie Braida