LYON COUNTY GENEALOGY: The Compendium
REIMERS, JOHN H.
Mr. Reimers was born in Germany in 1849, where he was reared on a farm, and well prepared for that honorable and useful career which he has led in the United States. Here he has had his home since 1868, and his loyalty to his adopted land is beyond question. He is thoroughly Americanized, and is proud of the land which has given him such a generous welcome. His home is in Doon township, Lyon county, where he has lived many years.
In May, 1868, Mr. Reimers arrived in Scott county, Iowa, coming from Germany, and for a time was employed as a farm hand. In 1873 he began farming for himself, and the following year was married to Miss Caroline Elizabeth Clasen. She was also born in Germany, and by her marriage with Mr. Reimers has become the mother of four children: Otto J., Meta E., Mary C., and Clara S.
Mr. Reimers removed to Cedar county, Iowa, where he maintained his home three years. In March, 1885, he located in Lyon county, having already bought a farm in Cleveland township the previous year. In the spring of 1885 he bought his present property, the northeast quarter of section 1, Doon township, on which some few and simple improvements had already been made. In 1889 he bought the northwest quarter of section 6, Garfield township, and at the present time owns three hundred and fifty-six acres, all improved, and furnished with about the finest set of farm buildings to be found in the county. he devotes his attention principally to stock and grain raising, and has made a very great success of his various agricultural enterprises. In these years in which he has been a citizen of Doon township he has built up a magnificent farm, and made for his family a noble and commanding home.
In political matters Mr. Reimers generally takes strong Democratic ground, and has served as town trustee, and has been appointed supervisor to fill a vacancy on the county board. In his own district he has been school director, and has always been ready to meet every duty as a man and a citizen. His upright and honorable career should be an encouragement to the young men of the present generation, as in it they can see what thrift and industry, honesty and integrity can always accomplish.
Julius Reimers, thrifty farmer of Richland township, Lyon county, was born in Germany July 13, 1863, and while still in the prime of life has won for himself a most creditable standing in the land of his adoption. His father, Jerome Reimers, was a lifelong farmer in the Fatherland, and there he died full of years and of honor.
The subject of this narrative grew up and attended common school in his German home. When he was sixteen he began work for himself, learning the carpenter trade at which he became very proficient. In 1882 he crossed the ocean seeking a larger life for himself, and greater opportunity for industry and courage, which he knew was to be found in the land of freedom under the starry banNer. He landed at New York, and came straight through to Clinton county, Iowa, where he found employment for a time as a carpenter. Ten years later he removed to Lyon county, where he bought a farm and entered at once upon its cultivation. Here he has since remained and by good management and untiring work has become prosperous.
Mr. Reimers was married June 2, 1885, to Miss Helena Stelcke, a native of Germany, where she was born October 14, 1867. To this marriage have come four children: Clara, Emma, Linda and Edna. Linda died in 1892. The youngest child was born in Lyon county, the others in Ida county.
Mr. Reimers is like his brother, a Democrat, but devotes his attention very closely to his farming operations. While his farm is not large according to the expansive west, it comprises one hundred and twenty-two acres, and has a fine set of farm buildings. It is under thorough cultivation, and presents every evidence of most careful management. It has a farm grove, which Mr. Reimers set out himself, and which is a charming feature of the landscape, being both sightly and useful.
Peter Reimers, a well know German-American farmer of Richland Township, Lyon County, belongs to that vast army of stalwart men, with arms of steel and hearts of courage, who have done so much to reclaim the great northwest and make it a garden and a home for many millions. His father, Jerome, was a farmer in Germany, where he died full of years and honors.
Peter Reimers became a man while still dwelling in his native land where he received such education as the families' affairs permitted and where he was trained to a farming career. Born in Germany March 26, 1846, it was not until 1873 that he crossed the ocean to find his home in this land of opportunity. Landing in the city of New York he did not remain in the east, but hastened through to Rochester, Minnesota, where he was employed for four months. His next move was to go to Clinton County, Iowa, where he worked out until 1876. Then Ida County became his home and there he lived until 1893. That year he bought a farm in Lyon County, on which he settled at once, and there he is to be found at the present time, enjoying the fruits of well spent years and happy in the respect of his neighbors.
Mr. Reimers was married December 16, 1875 to Miss Mary Peters who was born in Germany May 11, 1851. Three of their children are living, and four have died. Hugo, Amanda and Eddie are those who are living. Eddie was born in Lyon County; Hugo is a native of Clinton County; and Amanda was born in Ida County.
The subject of this narrative is a Democrat. He has worked hard and managed well, so that now he owns a fine estate consisting of one hundred and sixty acres, which is nearly all under high cultivation. The farm buildings are very good, and the farm grove is better than the average. Mr. Reimers is a veteran of the Great War between France and Germany. He was a German soldier throughout the entire struggle, and at its close received an honorable discharge. He was once severely wounded in the arm.
L.A. Reynolds is one of the bright and progressive business men who have done so much to make the village of Doon known far and wide as a most desirable trading point, where goods, fair treatment and honest prices can be secured by all. He came to Doon in January, 1897, where he purchased the harness store and good will of J.B. Eiler, who had come to this point some eighteen years of age and established a very successful harness trade.
Before this advent in Doon Mr. Reynolds had been located at Inwood, where, in company with his brother, he had built up a considerable trade in this line. There he had learned the trade, and is regarded as master of its every detail.
Mr. Reynolds was born near Lindon station, in Wisconsin, August 17, 1871, where he was reared on a farm, and where he remained until 1892, when he came into Iowa and sought a home in Lyon county, where as already noted he learned the harness trade in Inwood. Since his location in Doon he has united with the Knights of Pythias, Lodge 351. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, Camp No. 2916, and the Mystic Toilers, Lodge No. 178, both of Doon. In these fraternal associations he is both active and efficient, and has built up for himself a wide circle of friends.
Mr. Reynolds was married in 1896 to Miss Maggie, a daughter of John Perigo, a well known farmer. They are the happy parents of one child, Edna.
Charles Reynolds, father of L.A., is still living in Wisconsin. The maiden name of the mother of L.A. Reynolds was Betsie Webster, and her living children are as follows: William W., who is a harness maker in Doon; James S., who lives in Arkansas, where he is employed in the mines; James, who is a harness maker and lives in Wisconsin; Bert, a farmer in Wisconsin; George, a farmer in Wisconsin; Etta, married, and lives in Wisconsin; Maggie, married and lives in Wisconsin; Laura is also married, and lives in Wisconsin.
Mr. Reynolds, in connection with his harness trade, in which he handles both hand made and machine goods, has purchased a machine for stitching tugs, and he thinks the product is better than the purely hand-made goods. He also does shoe repairing in his shop.
RICE, HENRY D. (Deceased)
Henry D. Rice and his estimable wife made the Bonnie Doon Hotel one of the principal establishments of the kind in the northwest.
Henry D. Rice was born in Cambridge, Washington County, New York, twenty-five miles from Saratoga, and thirty-five miles from Albany, August 17, 1832. His education was secured in the local schools, and in the academy in Poultney, Vermont. In 1856 he came into the far west and joined a surveying party. They tramped through the wilds as far as Pembinia, and then returned to St. Paul. The
following winter they footed it from Dubuque to St. Paul, as there were no railroads and the river was frozen. In the summer of 1857 they were again at work surveying in Minnesota. After completing the season he went back to the east, and for nine years was there engaged in farming, but in 1866 again came west, bringing his family with him, and settled for a time in Peterson, Clay County, Iowa, where he built a stone residence. The following winter he spent in O'Brien County, four miles from Peterson, and in the spring of 1868 in company with Lafayette Knight came to Lyon County, and on the site of the village of Doon, put up a cabin. Mr. Rice went back to Peterson for his family, and the following year put up the first frame house erected in this region. For the construction of this model dwelling he hauled the lumber from Sioux City, where they bought their provisions, and where for a time their mail also was delivered. The Rices entertained strangers. It is history that Mrs. Rice, who settled on the Rock River in 1870, was the first white woman on the river. After a time a railroad was finished to LeMars, and later to Sheldon, only twenty-six miles away, which seemed to them a wonderful convenient market. When a postal route and a station were established, the post office at Doon was put into the hands of Mr. and Mrs. Rice, who held it until the building of the Omaha road through Doon, when they turned it over to the agent of the road.
Mr. Rice built the hotel in 1880, which he named the Bonnie Doon, and was compelled ten years later to materially enlarge it by the steady increase of patronage. In 1902 he made a second addition, and retained his interests here until his death.
Mr. Rice was married August 17, 1858, to Miss Sarah, daughter of Dewey and Lorana (Shattuc) Barton. Her father was born in Bennington, Vermont, followed farming as his life occupation, and died at the age of seventy years. His father, Richard, who lived to be eighty years of age, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and came of a Welsh ancestry. Lorana Shattuc was a daughter of William and Sarah (Smith) Shattuc. He was born in England, and became a soldier in the War of 1812. Sarah Smith was a daughter of John Smith, who was a veteran of the Revolution.
Thomas Rice, the father of Henry D., was born in Connecticut in 1796 and died in 1859. His father, Roswell Rice, was born in England. Selina (Belling) Rice, the mother of Henry D., is the daughter of Ebenezer and Dollie (Danforth) Belling. Ebenezer Belling was born in Connecticut, and the history of the family is authentic back to 809. They belonged to the old puritans, and there is still in the family possession the hammer and square used in the building of the first meeting house near Boston. Dollie Danforth was the daughter of Jonathan Danforth, a soldier of the Revolution, who became a postmaster soon after the inauguration of Washington, a position he held as long as he lived.
Henry D. Rice cast his first vote for Fremont in 1856, and has since been a Republican. He was the first justice of the peace in this county, and in the early days married many couples. On one occasion he was called some twenty-five miles across the country to marry a couple. It was in the spring of the year, and Rock River was so high he had to leave his team to cross the river in a dugout, and walk the rest of the way. After the ceremony he was asked how much the charges were, and replied that the state allowed him two dollars, but the groom could pay him what more he thought fit as the journey had been especially hard. That worthy gentleman pondered a moment and then drew out a quarter from his wallet with the observation that that would pay him in addition to what the state gave him. Mr. Rice said he gave it back, and spent another day in getting home.
The Danforth family, of whom mention is made above, deserves more than passing attention. Joshua Danforth, the oldest son of Jonathan, was a lieutenant in the Continental army during the Revolution, and located on the Hudson River. At one time he was judge advocate. A Diary kept by him is now in the possession of Mrs. Fields of Minneapolis. Lydia Danforth married a Mr. Woodard, and lived in New York. The mother of Vice President Wheeler was one of her descendants. Keyes Danforth, a son of Jonathan, was born in Bellerica, June 4, 1736. Nicholas Danforth came to this country from Framlingham, England, in 1634, had three sons and three daughters. He settled in what is now Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jonathan Danforth, with his two sons, Joshua, aged sixteen, and Jonathan, aged fourteen, was in the battle of Bunker Hill, and served as MinuteMen until the close of the war. Joshua Danforth made his home in Pittsfield, where he married and remained, holding many offices and honor. President Washington made him postmaster of Pittsfield in 1784, the year the office was established. He was holding this position at the time of his death, January 30, 1837, being the oldest postmaster in length of service in the country.
The following is the genealogy of Mrs. Rice along the Danforth line: Nicholas Danforth was born in 1586, and died in 1638; Elizabeth Symmes, his wife, died in 1624. Their third son, Capt. Jonathan Danforth, was born in 1628, and died in 1712; Elizabeth Poulter, his wife, born in 1633, died in 1689. Their third child and oldest son was Ensign Jonathan Danforth, who was born in 1659, and died in 1712. His wife, Rebecca Parker, was born in 1661, and died in 1754. Their fifth child and third son, was Samuel Danforth, who was born in 1692, and died in 1742. His wife, Dorathy Shed, was born in 1691; their eighth son, and youngest of twelve children, Capt. Jonathan Danforth, was born in 1736, and died in 1802. His wife, Lydia Read, was the mother of the following family: Joshua, Jonathan, Dorathy, Lydia, and Hannah. Dorathy Danforth, who was always called Dollie, married Ebenezer Billing, and became the mother of the following children: Laura, Sophia, Danforth, Danforth (2), Selina, married Thomas Rice.
Henry D. Rice was the son of Thomas Rice, and Selina Billing. Thomas Rice was the son of Roswell Rice, who was born March 31, 1769, dying in 1849, and of Mary Nye, who died in 1796. Roswell Rice was the son of Thomas and Thankful (Eldredge) Rice; the father was born September 1, 1745, dying in 1833. Thomas Rice was the son of Daniel and Lydia (Royer) Rice. He was a twin brother with John Rice. The fifth in descent from William Brewster is Abigail Smith.
RINIKER, SAMUEL DAMBERT
Samuel Dambert Riniker was born on the 22nd day of February, 1868, on a farm in Liberty township, Jefferson county, Iowa. He was the sixth of nine children born to Jacob and Madeline Riniker, who had located in that county in the year 1854.
Jacob Riniker, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born the 1st day of April, 1823, in Canton Aagau, Switzerland; and his mother was born in France in the year 1831. His parents were married early in 1853, sailed for America, and landed at Castle Garden, in New York City, thirty-five days after their departure from the mother country.
Samuel Dambert Riniker
Shortly after their arrival in New York, they started for the far West, sojourning about one year at Canton, Ohio. With team and wagon they faced the dangers and hardships, encountered by pioneers, in crossing the prairies of Indiana and Illinois and arrived at Fairfield, in Jefferson county, Iowa, late in the year 1854. In a log house, on a forty-acre tract, which was purchased shortly after their arrival, Mr. Riniker was born. His parents sent him to the district school, in the neighborhood, and later to the public school in the town of Libertyville, which was but one mile from his home. He worked on the farm and attended school until he was eighteen years of age, when he secured a contract to teach a country school in the neighborhood.
In 1888, he entered Parsons College, at Fairfield, where he remained until 1893, teaching and pursuing his studies alternately. During the time he was connected with the college as a student he held the principalship of the schools at Libertyville and Batavia, in the same county. As a member of Orio Literary Society, he developed considerable ability as a public speaker, and won the declamatory prize at the annual commencement exercises against all competitors. Young Riniker early took an interest in politics, and as president of the College Republican Club, made a number of Republican speeches in the campaigns of 1888 and 1892. In April, 1893, he became a member of the class of '94, in the State University of Iowa, taking special work in history, economics and politics. Becoming a member of Irving Institute, that organization selected him as president of the Inter-Society Debating League.
In the oratorical contest held at the University for the selection of delegates to attend the Inter-State contest he delivered an oration on "The Federal Convention," and was selected by the judges as a delegate to go to the Inter-State convention held at Madison, Wisconsin, that year.
During his last year in the university he carried double work, taking senior collegiate and junior law studies, finishing his college career in the spring of 1894. Finding himself with but a few dollars in his pocket, and those borrowed from a classmate, he was obliged to take up any employment he could find, and took up canvassing, which he pursued until the 18th of November, of the same year. With a small amount of money, saved from the past summer's work, he landed in Rock Rapids, Iowa, and secured permission from the law firm of Parsons & Van Wagenen to read law for one year in their office. Passing a successful examination before the supreme court, he was admitted to practice on the 2nd day of October, 1895. The firm of Parsons & Van Wagenen having been dissolved in June of that year he formed a partnership with J.M. Parsons, under the firm name of Parsons & Riniker, with which firm he has been connected ever since. An enthusiastic Republican, he has been more or less active in politics during his residence in the county, however, being a candidate but two times, in the ten years of his residence: once for the office of district judge, and once for county attorney, being successful in the latter, the Democrats failing to nominate any candidate to run against him. In the spring of 1899, he was elected mayor of Rock Rapids by an overwhelming majority, refusing to be a candidate for a second term; however, accepting a nomination for councilman in the spring of 1904, to which office he was elected and has ever since been a member of that body. In the summer of 1895 he became acquainted with Mary Britton Campbell, of Marshalltown, Iowa, at that time a student in Iowa College at Grinnell, Iowa. The acquaintance and friendship extended over a period of several years, finally ripening into love, and they were married October 15, 1902. His success at the bar of the county has been marked by more than ordinary ability; and augurs well for a bright future. He is a good lawyer, loyal friend and worthy citizen.
RIPLEY, EUGENE W.
Eugene W. Ripley, whose farm home is in section 28, Grant township, is one of the few original homesteaders of Lyon county, who are still living on the land secured by them in their first entry. He was born in Cooperstown, New York, March 31, 1842, and was the second child and oldest son born to Noah W. and Julia (Loveland) Ripley. The father was a shoemaker, while the son, Eugene W., was mostly employed as a farm help until the breaking out of the Civil war. In May, 1861, the son enlisted in Company F, Thirty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, for two years' service. The first engagement in which he participated was that known as Balll's Bluff, and then he passed through the Peninsular campaign, having a hand in such battles as the first and second battles of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and other fierce and bloody struggles. When the term of two years had expired, Mr. Ripley returned, but soon reenlisted, becoming a member of Company C, Second Regiment New York Veteran Cavalry. Here he first engaged in struggle with the enemy at the capture of Mobile, being under command of General Steele. Throughout he had a record of fourteen set battles and many skirmishes that in other wars would be "battles," and happily to say, returned uninjured.
After the war Mr. Ripley started on the overland route for California, going as far as Missouri, where he stopped for two years, and engaged in farming, going back in the interim for a wife in his native state. At the end of this time her health failed, and they returned to New York. In March, 1871, Mr. Ripley came to Lyon county and he ks known as the first permanent settler of Grant township. He built a sod house, and wrote his wife he was building a house of Iowa brick. Imagine her feelings when she was driven up to a sod house 12 by 13 feet in dimensions, with a dirt floor and a sod fireplace. These were gloomy days for the wives, many tears of homesickness watered the fertile plains of Iowa.
A yoke of steers and a wagon were his stock in trade. He raised corn and vegetables on the sod for the first winter. The grasshopper period was a dark time for the inmates of the little sod house, for they became very destitute despite Mr. Ripley's best efforts at teaming and other work as it could be found. The little shanty was almost a hotel, so popular a stopping place did it become.
In the winter of 1872, while gone with a yoke of oxen for provisions at Beloit, forty miles away, Mr. Ripley was caught in a blizzard,, and came near losing his life. For five hours he fought against the storm, and finally reached the Sanderson farm, where he was taken in and cared for. Mr. Ripley had a friend with him, and as they found the mistress of the house alone and out of fuel, despite their exhausted condition they made haste to furnish a new supply. Two days passed before it was possible for them to proceed home.
Mr. Ripley is a member of the Methodist church, and a staunch Republican. He was married in 1867 to Miss Julia Teeter, and to their union were born eight children: Grant E., Charles R., Mattie J. (deceased), Arthur W., Edward and Fred, twins (Edward deceased), Minnie J. and Gracie.
Mrs. Ripley, who has a most entertaining store of reminiscences of the old times, relates the following blizzard story of a lost Irishman:
During the winter of 1872 and 1873 she and her brother were alone in the little shanty, which was all but buried in the deep snows of that winter. It was almost bed time when they were startled by a noise as of some animal scratching and thumping near the door. The door was thrown open, but little could be seen except a huge bank of snow almost filling the doorway. Sounds of deep breathing, grunts and a few strange noises were heard. Then a most grotesque apparition was thrust into the doorway by his companion, sliding in feet foremost and bringing with him a great quantity of snow, came a son of the Emerald Isle. Hatless, with his long red hair sticking straight up, his clothes filled with snow, he lay on the floor, wholly helpless, a pitiful object yet comical in his sad plight. His companion followed and then it was learned that the two had been wandering for hours. The Irishman, who was not warmly clothed, had given up, and been dragged along by his companion. By chance they had come across the little prairie home where they received hospitable treatment. This was the welcome given to all strangers in those good old neighborly times.
ROACH EDWIN CLAY
Edwin Clay Roach, lawyer, or Rock Rapids, Iowa, is the son of Rev. James Porter Roach and Jane Cassell. His paternal ancestors emigrated originally from Ireland to France and thence to America, while those on his mother's side came direct from Germany. His father was a prominent minister of the Gospel.
Mr. Roach was born in Abington, Knox county, Illinois, December 31, 1850, but moved to Iowa when he was a boy, and has since resided in that state.
He was educated at Oskaloosa College and the Iowa State University, graduating from the law department of the latter institution in 1875 with the degree of LL.B. In June of the same years he was admitted to the bar at Iowa City. He practiced his profession in Jasper county from the time of his admission until 1882, when he moved to Lyon county, where he formed a partnership with J.W. Ramsey.
In 1898 in connection with Mr. Ramsey and F.L. Sutter, he organized the Iowa Savings Bank at Rock Rapids, now one of the substantial savings institutions of the state.
As a Republican Mr. Roach has been active in politics for many years. He has been a delegate to every Republican state convention since 1885, and in 1896 was a delegate to the National Republican convention at St. Louis. He was a member of the Iowa house of Representatives in the Twenty-first and Twenty-second General Assemblies, and was chairman of the judiciary committee in the House of the Twenty-second General Assembly. He is a member of the Lodge, Chapter, and Commander of the Masonic Fraternity, a public spirited citizen, and thoroughly identified with every important object which has the welfare of the community at heart. Mr. Roach was married December 31, 1875 to Mary A. Ramsey of Jasper county, and they have four children: Lorin J., Lena, Rollin E. and Paul.
ROGERS, EDWARD D.
Edward D. Rogers is a successful farmer whose home is in the township of Doon, Lyon County, and whose honorable and useful career as a high minded and independent agriculturist shows him a good citizen and a faithful husband and father, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1845. His father, Patrick Rogers, was born in Ireland and about 1830 came to this country with his wife and one child, settling in the western part of Ohio. Seventeen years later the family removed to Dubuque, Iowa, where they lived some years and then removed to Clayton County.
Mr. Rogers grew to manhood in Clayton County, where he was bred to farm work and given somewhat limited opportunities for schooling. At one time he attended school in a log house, and walked two miles for that purpose. He remained at home until he reached the age of twenty-five years, when he started out for himself as a blacksmith, and followed that trade in Elkader, Lansing, and at other points in Allamakee and McGregor Counties.
In 1869 Mr. Rogers and Miss Della Hutchins were married. She was born in Pennsylvania and came of English and Scotch parentage. Before her marriage she was a successful schoolteacher in Clayton County where her parents were old settlers, and where she was reared to womanhood. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers are the parents of a family of eleven living children: Michael, Edward, Annie, Mary, Emmet, Theodore, Frank, LeRoy, Nora, Stella and James. Fannie, the fifth child in order of birth, is dead.
Soon after marriage Mr. Rogers began farming in Clayton County, a vocation for which his experiences as a youth and at home had peculiarly fitted him. Although he had to confront many obstacles and do a vast work, he built up a fine place of four hundred and forty acres, all but forty of which he had in cultivation. The forty being reserved for its natural timber.
In 1892 Mr. Rogers came into Lyon County and bought the north half of section 19, Doon Township. This place was gradually opened up and improved by him until 1898 it became the home of Mr. Rogers and his family. Here he had a house, 16 by 26 feet, two stories in height, with an addition 16 by 20 and 12 by 12, a barn, 40 by 52, a granary 18 by 32, a wagon shed 18 by 32, cattle sheds, and corn cribs as the farm requires. There is on this place also a splendid grove, and the beginnings of a fruit orchard. Mr. Rogers has put his Clayton County farm into the hands of his two oldest sons for operation, and they are meeting with fine success. At home Mr. Rogers is devoting himself both to stock and grain farming, and along both lines meeting with substantial profit. He is regarded as a sound and practical businessman, and is widely known as a landed proprietor, owning in addition to his Iowa property a large tract of land in Wilkins County, Minnesota. In political matters he is a Democrat, but is not a working politician in any sense, preferring to care for his farming interests, and devotes himself to his own land.
ROSS, AUGUST G.F.
Mr. Ross, a popular general merchant of Little Rock, Lyon County, has an established business of eleven years' standing, and carries a stock consisting of groceries, boots and shoes, dry goods, clothing, and an extensive line of queensware. He was born in Schleswig, Holstein, Germany, February 22, 1870, the fourth member of a family of eleven children born to August and Anna (Peters) Ross. He completed a business course in the old country, uniting with his studies work in a dry goods store. A line which he followed for several years after his school days had ended, whereby he acquired an intimate knowledge of the business, a knowledge that has stood him well in hand in after years.
In 1888 in company with a younger brother the subject of this writing came to the United States and found employment in the dry goods store at Hawarden, Iowa, which was run by an uncle. After six months, despite the fact that he had never made a study of English, he had become so proficient in it, that he was put in charge of a store at Alcester, South Dakota, where he did all the buying and kept all the accounts. For two years he was engaged at this point and then spent a year in Sioux City, Iowa, with T.S. Martin & Co., after which he went back to Aleester to take the management of a three-room store owned by F. Raastad & Co.
In the spring of 1894 Mr. Ross came to Little Rock and purchased the old Fisher building, there he went into business, Smith & Ross being the original firm, with Mr. Ross in charge. Five years ago Mr. Ross became sole proprietor. At the present time the volume of his business is so great that he employs four clerks. In politics he is a Republican, and in religion a member of the Lutheran Reformed Church. He is now serving his third term as a member of the village council, and is also on the school board.
Mr. Ross was married in 1893 to Miss Emma Klee, and this happy union has been blessed by the birth of three children, Florence, Hobart and Irma. They have a comfortable home in the village, and are regarded as among the best people of the town.
C.Ross, a leading merchant and prominent business man of Doon Lyon County, was born in the province of Schleswig-Holstein,
Germany, in 1868, and spent the earlier years of his life at home with his parents, where he attended school and made those provisions of knowledge and character that have counted so much for him in after years. When he was fifteen years old he came to the United States, and secured a position as clerk by his attention to business and care for details made his services of value to his employers, so that he was retained in his first place five years. In his second position he remained three years, a situation in Sioux City as clerk in an exclusive dry goods store. In 1901, on the money he had saved by his frugal habits, he was able to take a trip to his old German home to see his parents and to lay fresh colors on the pictures of old friends and scenery of his boyhood days. He spent the summer in his native land making extended trips to various quarters and forming a more accurate idea of that great empire.
When Mr. Ross returned to Doon he was able to purchase an interest in the leading general store of that place. It was under the firm name of Bailey and Ross, which in 1892 became Peters and Ross, and in 1896 was changed to Ross and Company. In 1900 the store passed into the hands of Mr. Ross alone, and he has since done business under his own name. During all these years his trade has gradually increased until now it amounts to thirty or forty thousand dollars a year, and he is the sole proprietor. His is the largest stock in the city, and for its proper handling he has constructed a large double store which is the pride of the county. This building was necessary in answer to the demand his successful trade makes upon him.
Cornelius Ross Family
Mr. Ross was married in 1894 to Miss Mary Rudloff, a daughter of William Rudloff, who was born in Prussia. Mr. and Mrs. Ross are
happy parents of a bright and interesting family of six children: Lorena, Mildred, Lillie, Cornelius, Henry and Mary. Mr. Ross and his family are associated with the German Lutheran church. He is a charter member of Lodge 356, Knights of Pythias, of Doon. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, of which he is banker. In the Modern Brotherhood of America he is an active member. Mr. Ross is a Democrat and at the present time holds the position of president of the school board. He is president and treasurer of the Doon mutual Telephone Company.
His parents were born in Germany, where the father was a merchant. They had a family of eight children and as quickly as they reached maturity he would assist them to cross the ocean. Mr. C. Ross was the second son to come to the United States. In 1900, father, mother and all that were left crossed to this country, and are making a home in this land of liberty and peach. A portrait of Mr. Ross will be found elsewhere in this volume.
THE RUDLOFF BROTHERS
Rudloff Brothers is a well known firm, doing business in George, Lyon county, handling grain, live stock, coal, lumber, and all kinds of building material, and in the comparatively brief time is has been before the public it has won more than its full share of the general traffic. Before opening up at George, its members were at Lester, where they operated under the name of Rudloff and Meier, dealing in lumber, coal and other commodities suitable to the local market. In 1899 the brothers came to George, and purchased their present large business interests of F. J. Edmunds & Company. Their elevator, which was brought at about this time, is one of the largest in this part of the state, and has a capacity of more than twenty thousand bushels. It was erected in 1888.
Jacob Rudloff, the father of the energetic brothers at George, was a weaver in Thuringen, Germany, and removed to this country in 1868, landing in Baltimore on the 2d day of August of that year. For eight years he made his home in Cook county, Illinois, thence he spent the remaining years of his life, dying in 1902, at the age of seventy-eight years. His widow is still living, and has her home in Ida Grove. She is now in her seventy-eighth year.
John Christoph Rudloff, the grandfather of the George Rudloffs, was a soldier in the old Napoleonic wars, and served in the army from 1806 to 1815, and did duty before Paris in the last year of his service. He rose to the rank of corporal, and died in 1865 at the age of seventy-two years.
Jacob Rudloff had the following family: George W., a farmer in South Dakota; Anna and Caroline, deceased; Elizabeth, widow of Henry Kramer, has her home in Cherokee; Ferdinand and John C., of whom mention is made later; Casper A., and Martha are dead.
FERDINAND RUDLOFF was born in Germany, September 29, 1854, and at the age of fourteen years came to this country in company with his parents and other members of the family. For eight years he worked at the lumber business in Chicago, and in 1876 he came to Iowa where he bought land and for eight years was engaged in farming. In 1885 he located on a farm in Lyon county, where he remained until 1899, when he helped form the firm of Rudloff & Meier, at Lester. The same years the firm became Rudloff Brothers & Meier, the last-named gentleman retiring in 1902.
Mr. Rudloff has been a Democrat, and has help various local offices, being town trustee, and town assessor for nine years, school director for ten years, and secretary of the school board eight years. He is now a member of the George Council, and has long been regarded as a man of character and weight.
Extensive landed interests give him a standing among the leading real estate owners of the county. He has a half section of land in Wheeler township, which he located in 1885, and on which he worked the starting of the coal and lumber business at Lester.
Mr. Rutloff was married December 28, 1880, to Miss Christina Neckel, the oldest daughter of Hans and Wilhelmina (Koop) Neckel, both of whom were born in Germany. Mrs. Rudloff was born in Germany, April 10, 1863, and accompanied her parents in their removal to this country in 1880. They settled in Crawford county, Iowa, where her father, who was a laborer in the old country, made his home for five years, and then settled in Wheeler township, Lyon county, where he is now leading a retired life. His wife died in 1899, at the age of sixty years.
To the union of Mr. Rudloff and Miss Neckel were born the following children: Anna, the wife of C. B. Rezelts, a farmer of Wheeler township, and now working the farm of his father-in-law; Clara, at home; William, deceased; the others are at home.- Hulda, Emily, Ida, Lydia, and Ella.
JOHN CHRISTOPH RUDLOFF, JR., the other member of this enterprising firm, was born in Germany, January 2, 1857, and was only twelve years of age when he came with his parents to this country. Until he became a member of the Rudloff Brothers & Meier firm he was always a farmer, remaining at home with his father on the family homestead until he bought a farm for himself. This he still owns and has it now in the hands of a trusty tenant.
Mr. John C. Rudloff was married to Miss Amalia Onnen in 1885. She was born in Germany, October, 30, 1865, a daughter of Henry and Elise (Harms) Onnen, and died in 1894. To this union were born the following children: Albrecht, Louise, Erwin, Arthur, deceased, and Walter. The Onnen family came to the United States in 1871, and for a time was located near Sterling, Illinois, where the husband and father worked as a laborer. He later removed to Ida county, and yet again to Lyon county, where he located on a farm in Cleveland township in 1885.
Mr. Rudloff contracted a second marriage, December 21, 1902, when Miss Etta Claassen became his wife. She was born in Germany, and is a daughter of John M. and Maria (Ubbringa) Claassen, both of whom were born in Germany. Mr. Claassen is a farmer, and sought a home in this country in 1893, settling first in Illinois, not far from Peoria, and in 1898 coming to Lyon county where he still lives in Wheeler township. To Mr. and Mrs. Rudloff have come two children: Clarence and Laurine.
Mr. Rudloff, like his brother, is a life-long Democrat, and has been called by his community to fill various local positions of trust and honor. He was assessor of the township for one term, and filled a vacancy for the constable one year. For nine years he was town trustee. The brothers both belong to the German Lutheran church. In the matter of fraternal insurance they carry membership in the Modern Woodmen of America and the Modern Brotherhood of America.
Webization by Kermit Kittleson - Aug. 2006