Terre Haute Twp.
Walnut Grove Twp. pg. 320-321
Among the remarkably successful men of Illinois, none have achieved more signal success than the Hon. David Rankin, of Henderson county. He was born in 1826, In Sullivan county, Indiana, and when he was ten years of age, his parents removed to what is now Henderson county, then Warren. Here Mr. Rankin passed his early youth and manhood. At that time the educational advantages afforded by the schools were of a very primitive nature. Yet from the school of poverty with its teacher experience, young Rankin seems to have gained the practical wisdom that surpasses all mere book learning. Mr. Rankin began life for himself breaking prairie, buying his ox-teams on credit. Starting in this humble way, he planned to have eighty acres of land. Soon he earned this. Then an opportunity offered for him to buy two quarter-sections at $200 each. Soon after buying them the two farms increased rapidly in value. From that time Mr. Rankin began to buy land, and since that time has added to his lands, until he now has over 25,000 acres of land in Iowa,Missouri, and Illinois. In Missouri alone he has this year (1882) over 20,000 acres of corn. Annually on his farm he feeds from 500 to 600 head of cattle. In addition to this, Mr. Rankin has the controlling interest of 7,000 cattle in the North Platte range in Nebraska. He has done much in the way of improving horses and cattle, importing both from England and Scotland. Annually he breeds about 100 fine grades of Herefords. Both in acreage and value of produce Mr. Rankin's farms surpass the celebrated Dalrymple farm in the Red Rive wheat country. In 1881 he employed 180 men who worked teams, and in the spring he used sixty corn planters. Beginning with nothing, by the most untiring industry Mr. Rankin has accumulated property valued at $1,000,000. All this, too, has been made, not from speculaltion, but dug from the soil, and added to the country's wealth. Nor has he bought up farms from poorer men, but the most of his land has been purchased when waste and wild, and then made valuable by cultivation and improvement. Mr. Rankin is one of the few men who have made money but not enemies. Some of his men who have gained from their start in life have paid him the compliment of saying he "never did a hired man a wrong." In the fall of 1873 Mr. Rankin was elected to the state legislature, where he made so good a record as to lead to his being returned to the twenty-ninth general assembly, where he served as a useful member and conscientious legislator. On the 21st of March, 1850, Mr. Rankin was married to Miss Sarah Thompson, daughter of Adam and Jane Thompson. Mrs. Rankin died on December 28, 1878. Three of the six children born of this marriage are dead, namely, the two eldest, Elizabeth and Melinda, and the youngest, Joseph R.. Of the three living, Viola N. is now the wife of J. F. Hanna. Mr. Rankin's two sons, John A. and William F., are also married, the former to Miss Hattie Arms and the latter to Miss Elizabeth Marshall. On January 4, 1880, Mr. Rankin was married a second time, his wife's name having been Mrs. Elizabeth Gowdy. He now resides on his old farm in Walnut Grove township, where he has a most elegant home, which is richly furnished. Here Mr. Rankin spends his time when not away looking after his business interests, which are augmented by his duties both in the First National Bank of Monmouth, of which he is president, as well as in two private banks, in which he has the controlling interest. In spite of all his vast and varied duties, Mr. Rankin has kept his name unsullied and his reputation for strick honesty untarnished. There is no one who is a better example as to business life and principles for young men to follow than Mr. Rankin. System, method, order and industry, have been the secret of his success, and these will always win respect and confidence everywhere and will always retain them. Mr. Rankin may well be proud of his success and reputation, and Henderson county may well be proud to number Mr. Rankin as one of its citizens.
William C. Rice was born July 9, 1815, In Greenup county, Kentucky, whither his parents had moved from their native county of Rockingham, Virginia, about the year 1807. On the banks of the Ohio and big Sandy rivers, his earliest childhood was spent, until the spring of 1820, when (his father having been drowned in the Ohio, in March 1815) his mother removed with her six children to Christian county, Kentucky, by flat-boat on the Ohio, that being the usual and almost the only mode of traveling at that time. Here in Christian county he spent his youth, working on his mother's farm during the summer months, and in the winter attending one of the traditional log cabin school houses, for which kind of educational institution Kentucky and other southwestern states have become famous. Having attended these schools several years, he entered the Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Seminary, at that time under the principalship of James D. Rumsey, the branches of higher mathematics, trigonometry, surveying, etc. About this time the so-called "Illinois fever" struck Kentucky with its full force, and in company with several others he left his native state for the then new country of Illinois, arriving in Warren county (now Henderson) in the spring of 1835, being at that time nineteen years old. After living here about a year, during which time he revisited Kentucky, he spent two years in southern Iowa, (at that time a part of the territory of Wisconsin and known as Van Buren county), occupied in surveying, having obtained from Gen. Henry Dodge, the territorial governor of Wisconsin, an appointment as district surveyor of Van Buren county in December, 1837. Iowa, at that time, was mostly in the possession of the Indians, there being few settlements of white men except those along the river, at Dubuque, Fort Madison, etc., and at Burlington, then the territorial capital of Wisconsin and known as the "Flint Hills." While thus engaged in surveying he became acquainted with the chiefs Black Hawk, Keokuk, and Wapello, the last two of whom lived near the sites of the towns which now bear their names.
In 1838 he returned to Henderson county (then a part of Warren, Illinois, and has lived here ever since. Being elected first county surveyor of Henderson county at its separation from Warren, in April, 1841, he discharged the duties of this office until the winter of the same year, when he went to Macomb, Illinois, where, for the two following winters, he read law in the office of Cyrus Walker, then one of the prominent lawyers of the Illinois and Iowa bars. Having obtained license to practice law in 1843, he returned to Henderson county, and in August of the same year was elected probate justice, and in November, 1849, county judge. Elected by whigs, or "anti-Nebraska" party, he went, in 1854, as the representative of the fortieth district (Henderson and Warren counties) to the legislature, at which Trumbull was elected to the United States senate, over Lincoln and Shields, although Lincoln was really the first choice of the majority of the anti-Nebraska party. Being returned to the legislature in 1858, on the same ticket, he was present at the election of Stephen A. Douglas, over Lincoln, to the senate of the United States.
Upon the expiration of this office he returned to Henderson county and resumed the practice of law, and in 1873 was elected county judge, which office he now (1882) holds, being re-elected in 1877. Politically Judge Rice was always a whig until the practical dissolution of this old party, when he became an anti-Nebraska man, and when the necessities of the times gave birth to the republican party, he, in common with most of the old anti-Nebraska men, joined the new political organization, in which he has always remained constant. In May 1844, he married Mary M., daughter of Cyrus Walker, of Macomb, by whom he had four children, the oldest two of whom died in infancy, and in 1872, his first wife having died in 1871, he married Mrs. Salina Hopkins.
Judge Richard W. Richey, the first child of Andrew and Polly (West) Richey, was born in Charlton, Saratoga county, New York, November 22, 1802. His father was a native of Cambridge, New York, and his mother of Connecticut. His father dying when he, Richard, was quite young, the lad received but little schooling. However, his spare time at home was well occupied in reading good books. He early worked at tanning and carpentering. When eighteen years old he went to Cambridge, where he engaged in tanning and currying business. In 1823 he married Miss Nellie Green, at Cambridge, and about the year following moved to Lake village, East Greenwich, New York, where he became foreman in a manufacturing establishment. There his wife died. She was the mother of five children. In 1840 Mr. Richey married Agnes Green in Ohio and that same year emigrated to Henderson county (then Warren county), Illinois, and settled at Walnut Grove. He bought eighty acres of land on which he built a log cabin 18 X 50, three apartments and a story and half high. It still stands. He added to his farm and also to his dwelling. It was during the Mormon disturbances at Nauvoo that Mr. Richey was summoned by Gov. Ford, of Illinois, to raise a company to assist in preserving peace. He had already raised and partly drilled a company of militia at Olena. But leaving all, he visited the governor at Nauvoo, who requested him to take command of the militia there, as the officer then commanding wished to be relieved. However, this officer concluding to remain at his duty, Mr. Richey, after witnessing the Mormon atrocities, returned home. In 1854, he was elected county judge. He then made his home in Oquawka, that he might better attend to legal duty. With the exception of four years, he held this responsible position till 1875. He was elected squire at his country home and also in Oquawka. He has served on the board of trustees of Oquawka. In 1856 he buried his companion. In 1857 he married Mrs. Cornelia (Day) Moir. Mrs. Richey is a very early resident of Oquawka, having made her home here in 1833, as the wife of Alexis Phelps. Late years Mr. Richey has superintended his farm, but is retired from other business. In politics has been a life long democrat. He has been an elder in the Presbyterian church for many years. His life has been an active one worthy of emulation. His former wifes, the Greens, were cousins to the Beveridges, of whom ex-Gov. Beveridge is one.
Oquawka Twp. Pg. 123-225
Hon. Hiram Rose, the subject of these memoirs is another example of success as a crown for self effort and upright life. His notes would be incomplete without brief reference to his parents. His father, Jeremiah Rose, was born in Charlestown, Maine, and there spent most of his life. When yet a youth he enlisted in the revolutionary war. He was married to Miss Sarah Snow, daughter of the well known Dr. Snow, of Maine. Four sons and four daughters were born to them and raised in Charlestown. the sons became vigorous, useful men. Moses became a member of the legislature and state senator. He also occupied other positions of trust. He died December 31, 1880. Hiram was the second son. Joseph was a successful farmer. He was killed by a falling tree. Elbridge filled several local positions of public trust. The daughters were intelligent, industrious educators. They were Polly, Abigail, Pathia, and Abigail dying, the name was given to the youngest daughter, who is now Mrs. Rev. Calvin Millet. Mrs. (Snow) Rose, was a woman of noble character. She died in 1842, of cancer. When her husband and boys were drafted into the Aroostock war, Hiram said to his mother, "Mother, how will you get along without us?" She replied, "God bless you, go and do your duty to your country and come home like men." No tears were shed. Jeremiah Rose continued at Charlestown. About twenty miles from Charlestown, and three miles east of Bangor, is the old Rose Place, so named from the fact that the father and two brothers of Jeremiah were there drowned in the Penobscot river. In October, 1854, Mr. Rose thought to visit his son Hiram, at Oquawka, Illinois. Although about ninety years of age, he made the trip. He remained with his son in Oquawka till his death, January 23, 1856. He was buried in Oquawka cemetery. Hiram Rose, to whose memory these notes are prepared, and whose portrait is in this work, was born in Charlestown, Main, January 6, 1807. At the age of fourteen years he was apprenticed to learn the trade of blacksmithing. Possessing but a frail constitution, he was obliged to abandon his trade at the age of nineteen. His father being a poor man, Hiram's education was limited to that gained at home. But under this disadvantage he and his brothers pushed on to success. At the age of twenty-four he engaged in mercantile pursuits. One year later he located at Newport, Maine, where, in company with the Hon. Fred. Ray,. he carried on merchandising and lumbering. In 1850 Mr. rose made a trip west, coming by stage from Chicago to Galesburg. The railroad question was at that time incubating and Mr. Rose was requested to speak in its favor. He delivered railroad speeches at requested to speak in its favor. He delivered railroad speeches at Galesburg and other places. In 1851 he settled in Oquawka, Illinois, where, in company with his old partner, Mr. Fred. Ray, he engaged in the lumber business. They also became proprietors of the Pioneer Hotel. After embarking in business here, he was tendered a promising position in the railroad company, but declined. He continued his business. At the end of three years Mr. Rose closed his hotel business and became engaged in the land business, which proved a successful undertaking. After several years he devoted his time to the improvement of a 290 acre farm, which was left as a support for those who had aided him in his labors. Mr. Rose never devoted himself altogether to himself, but lived also for others. July 23, 1841, he was commissioned by the governor of Maine, colonel of the 4th reg., 1st Brig., 8th Div., Maine militia. September 17, 1842, was promoted to Brigadier General, 1st. Brig., 8th Div. March 29, 1844, again promoted Major General of the 8th Div. In 184304 he represented the 10th district in the Maine state senate. November 22, 1845, he was appointed postmaster of Newport, Penobscot county, Maine. After his removal to Illinois he was appointed by Maine as commissioner for Illinois. In Henderson county he made many friends, who chose him in 1857, to represent them in the state senate in the twentieth general assemble. There he labored to secure the charter for the proposed railroad to Oquawka. At home he was connected with the city government. But active lives must cease as well as those more plodding. Mr. Rose succumbed to death's call February 1, 1879.
At the age of twenty-one years he was converted and united with the Baptist church. A year afterward he became a member of the masonic fraternity. In Oquawka he was a charter member of the masonic lodge. He died leaving many friends and a loving wife and five adopted children. He was laid to rest by the side of his father, in Oquawka cemetery. His marriage took place first in Newport, when twenty-two years old, to Miss Parthena Miles, of Newport. She died in 1854, of cholera, in Oquawka. Mr. Rose was married May 6, 1855, to Miss Hannah Main, of Newport, Maine. She is a daughter of William and Betsy (Snow) Main. William Main was a native of Rochester, New Hampshire, and his wife, Betsy Snow, was a daughter of Dr. Stephen Snow, of Maine. both died in Maine. Dr. Snow, the grandfather of Mrs. Rose, lived to be 102 years old, dying on the evening on his birthday. He was very widely known. Mrs. Rose was born April 8, 1877, aged forty-eight years; Frances Merrill, now Mrs. James Staples, of St. Cloud, Minnesota; Mary Rise, who died November 20, 1868; Lizzie Rise, now Mrs. Winfield McCullom, of Burlington, Iowa; and Agnes M. Hart, now living with Mrs. Rose. All the children adopted Mr. Rose's name.
Terre Haute Twp. pg. 437
R. W. RUBERTS, subject of this sketch, is a native of Morgan County, Illinois, born in 1834, and son of MILTON B. and ANN (MATTHEWS) RUBERTS, both of Kentucky. The father lived in his native state till he was 17 years old, when he came to Illinois. In 1827 he was called out by the governor to defend the lead mines in the north part of the state at Galena against the Indians. On his way back in 1832 he marked his claim by sticking up a spoon in North Henderson. He made three campaigns during the years 1827, 1831 and 1832. He was at Rock Island when Blackhawk was taken prisoner. He is by occupation a farmer. He now lives in McDonough County. He was twice married. His first wife, Ann (Matthews), died in 1842. He now lives with his second wife, SARAH A TERRY. R. W. was reared on the farm. He has always followed farming. In 1866 he married MARY J. CONNOR, of Ohio, born in 1841, daughter of JAMES and NANCY CONNOR, the former of Virginia, the latter of Maryland, and went to Ohio when young with her parents. She was a member of the Christian church. R.W. Ruberts has by this marriage four children: Emma L., Edward H., Bessie R., and Jenny 0. He moved to La Salle County with his parents in 1835, and remained there till 1854 or 1855, then in 1858 to near Raritan, Henderson County, where he remained till the breaking out of the war in 1861, when he enlisted in Capt. Dallom's company, raised at Oquawka. The captain was promoted to the office of major of the 10th Ill. and the company lost its place in that regiment. Then a part went to Earl, La Salle County, and was recruited by Capt. Hudson and made a part of the 53rd Ill Vols, in which Mr. Ruperts was first corporal. He recruited his company four times from this and adjoining counties. He was in the following battles: Shiloh, Corinth. He then marched to Memphis and Iuca, where he was wounded in the hip. He was taken prisoner at Holly Spring, where he was in the hospital and paroled, and was exchanged: then in the siege of Vicksburg, then at Jackson, and was wounded in the hand, and came home on veteran furlough. He returned and was under Gen. Blair and joined Sherman at Atlanta, and continued with the army till Sherman reached Savannah, when his time expired and he returned home. He was 28 miles from camp with a party of 800 men when they were attacked by 14,000 rebels and made their way back to camp in about seven hours, fighting all the time. He was present when McPherson was killed at Atlanta, and where they had to defend themselves on both sides of the breastworks, having been surrounded. He was detailed after the battle of Shiloh with a company of nine men to bury dead rebels, and to collect their wounded, and worked three days and nights without rest.
Oquawka Twp. pg. 129-130
Dr. Samuel H. Ruple, the fifth child in a family of twelve children, was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, July 19, 1818. His father, James Ruple, was a native of New Jersey, and when four years old was brought by his parents to the keystone state. He was a carpenter and machinist by trade. He was of some political prominence, receiving the appointment of clerk of the courts from Gov. Shultz, of Pennsylvania. He served in this capacity fourteen years. He married Diana Goodrich in Washington, Pennsylvania, and there, their children were born and their own deaths occurred. Both were members of the Baptist church, he having been church clerk over forty years. He was first lieutenant in the war of 1812. Gen. Jackson frequently passed though Washington. At such times Mr. Ruple was chairman of committee on reception. Samuel H. Ruple busied his early years in the common school, as much as a weekly constitution would permit. He entered Washington College in 1840. Part of his time was occupied in teaching. His course of study at college was irregular on account of poor health. He, however, pursued the study of the languages and science. September 24, 1851, the honorary degree of master of arts was conferred upon him by Washington College. He already had received a call to the professorship of languages in a new military college at Tulip, Dallas county, Arkansas. Sickness, however, prevented the acceptance. He spent three years as principal of the public schools of Washington: also held similar positions in other towns. In 1856 he traveled in Pennsylvania nd Kentucky as lecturing and financial agent of the American Bible Union. His own poor health induced him to study medicine for his own benefit. He read with several different physicians, the principal of whom was Dr. Walter, who died at Monmouth, Illinois, a short time since. He also attended lectures irregularly at the Jefferson, and the Pennsylvania, also for a short time at the Ohio Medical College, of Cincinnati. For awhile he practiced medicine in his native state. In 1839 he located in Oquawka, where he has followed his profession with success. He has always been an active member of the Baptist church: was ordained a Baptist minister by the Washington (Pennsylvania) congregation. Here his services were very valuable in church and Sunday- school. Politically Dr. Ruple was raised a democrat, but the firing on Fort Sumter caused him to reflect and change his policy; he has since been a strong republican. Dr. Ruple was married in 1847 to Sarah J. Parkinson, a native of West Virginia. Five children have been born to them. W. C. Ruple, M. D., son of the above, was born May 8, 1849, in Washington, Pennsylvania. He received a common school education and graduated in medicine from the Keokuk Medical College in 1878. He also studied dentistry in Oquawka. He practiced medicine for a short time, but, preferring dentistry, gives most of his time to that department of practice. He was married October 3, 1877, to Etta Ziegler, daughter of J. H. Ziegler, of Oquawka. She was born in Oquawka in 1858. Her people settled in Oquawka in 1854.