IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

1882 Biographies
from the
History of Winneshiek and Allamakee Counties, Iowa
by W.E. Alexander; Western Publishing co.; Sioux City, Iowa; 1882

'R' surnames

All of the biographies in the Allamakee co. section of the book were transcribed by Roxanne Barth and Phyllis Peterson.
Some of the biographies, those with close ties to Allamakee co., but from the Winneshiek co. section of the book, have been transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall.

Edward Raddy, P.O. Forest Mills; farmer, section 28; owns 80 acres of land, worth $3,000; was born in Ireland in 1825, emigrated to the U.S. in 1847, and came to Rondeout, N.Y., where he stopped till the fall of 1849, when he went to New Orleans, stopping till the following spring, then came to Louisville, Ky., and shortly after to Washington Co., Ind., where he worked on the New Albany & Salem Railroad about two years. He then went to Cleveland, Ohio, remaining a short time, and thence to Illyria, where he remained about nine months; thence to Lafayette, Ind., remaining during the winter, and in the spring came via the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to McGregor, Iowa, which was in 1857. He came to Rossville, and worked for a time in the steam sawmill there, and afterwards at a sawmill on Yellow River. In the spring of 1860 he, like many others, caught the Pike's Peak fever; so he started down the Mississippi river and via Hannibal to St. Joe, Mo., and joined a company and went to Pike's Peak. He followed mining in that vicinity about two years, and then went to the Idaho mines, to Virginia City, to Helena, Mon., and the Blackfoot country, as it was called, in Washington Co., where he prospected, striking a claim which paid him about $2,000. He then concluded to return to the society of friends in old Allamakee coming via Denver and Omaha to his brother's, in this Township, in the fall of 1863. The following spring he purchased his present farm for $1,800, and commenced farming. In Feb. 1865, he was married to Miss Bridget Henry, who died in Sept., 1878, and in Sept., 1880, he was again married to Hannah Burke. His children by his first wife are Mary C., Margaret and Edward J., and by his second wife, Martin. Mrs. R. is a member of the Catholic Church. pg 530

John Ragan, P.O. Waukon. farmer, sec. 22: owns 140 acres of land valued at $35 per acre; son of George and Jemima Ragan; was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, in 1833, his parents removing to Warren County, in 1842, to Laporte County, Ind., in 1844, and from there to this county in 1855, a singular coincidence being that they left Ohio and Indiana on his birthday, the 15th of October. He married Miss Gracie Rankin in 1858. She was born in Chicago Illinois, in 1840. They have six children, Ella A., Effie J., Gracie H., George W., Annie L. and Edith A.; and have lost one son, Herbert. pg 528

James Rankin, P. O. Myron, farmer, sec. 27; owns a farm of 200 acres well improved; son of Wm. and Mary Rankin; was born in Scotland, in 1829. His father was a machinist and engineer. He emigrated with his family to he United Sates in 1832, stopping a short time in New York and Detroit, Michigan, from which latter place be came an engineer on the steamer Michigan to Chicago, Ill., it being the first steamboat that came into Chicago, which was then a very small insignificant town, situated in a quagmire. His father, being a brass founder, concluded to stop there and start a brass foundry, which he continued about ten years, then moved to a farm five miles north of Elgin, where they remained till in 1855, when they came to this township, his father locating about two miles north, and he upon his present farm. His father died in 1879. Mr. R. was married to Miss Sarah Jones in 1860. She was a native of Wales. Their children are Mary, Ida, Nettie and William. pg 528

John G. Ratcliffe, civil engineer, surveyor and bridge builder, was born in West Virginia in 1844, came with his parents to Allamakee County in 1858. Here he helped till the soil and educated himself as a civil engineer. In 1867 he was married to Miss Kate Adams, then of Winneshiek County, but a native of La Fayette, Ind. She died in the spring of 1869. In the fall of 1870 he married Miss Emma Knapp, of Woodstock, Ill. In 1872 he published a map of Allamakee County. In 1873 he purchased an interest in the Village Creek Woolen Mills, and resided at that place until the spring of 1878, during which time-in the spring of 1875--the property was destroyed by fire; but was soon rebuilt, and is now owned by Howard, Carrolls & Ratcliffe. He then removed to his present place of residence, located in the west part of town, where he owns 40 acres. Mr. R. has for years made a study of the geological and physical features of the county, and has written and preserved much of its history. The children are John J., Mary A, Benj. W., Belle and Ruby K. pg 526

B. P. Raymond, P. O. Waukon, farmer, sec. 35; son of John and Christine Raymond; was born in Trumbull Co., Ohio, in 1847. His parents moved to this county in 1852, locating upon the farm upon which he now resides, he being one of eight children, Edwin J., Wm. S., David B., John B., Ebenezer D., Atalissa M., and Harriet L. His father was a native of Connecticut, his mother of Ohio. His father died in January 1878; his mother lives with him on a part of the homestead of 240 acres, which he now owns. He was united in marriage to Miss Isabella Ross in 1881. She is a native of this Co. and the daughter of H. G. Ross. pg 528-529

David W. Reed, postmaster, Waukon; was born in Cortland, N. Y., April 2, 1841. Came to Iowa with his parents in April, 1855, to Center Township, this Co., where his father, John Reed, purchased a farm on sec. 31, at one time owning 400 acres, of which one eighty is still owned by the subject of this sketch. In the fall of 1859 he began attending the Upper Iowa University at Fayette, and from there in the fall of 1861, he enlisted as private in Co. C, 12th Iowa Vol. Infantry, and followed the fortunes of that regiment during the war, being in all its engagements except those of the Red River expedition. By a wound received at Shiloh, at the time of the last attack made by the rebels Sunday afternoon, he escaped capture, with his regiment, but was left in the field in the rebel lines until they were driven back Monday afternoon. In April 1863 he was promoted to the 2d lieutenancy, and was commissioned 1st Lieut. Dec. 14th following. From the spring of 1864 to Jan. 21, 1865, he was acting adjutant of the regiment, (and during which time he had a horse shot from under him at Tupelo), and at the latter date received a commission as captain of his company. The following spring was commissioned major by brevet in U. S. Volunteers, for gallant and meritorious services at the siege of Spanish Fort, to date from April 8 of that year--'65--which brevet was recommended by Maj. Gens. A. J. Smith and E.R.S. Canby, and Col. W. R. Marshall, of the 7th Minn., (afterward Governor of that State), commanding the brigade. Nov. 2, 1865 he was commissioned major of the 12th regiment; meanwhile he had acted as field officer--major--from the time of his commission as captain until his assignment as inspector on the staff of Gen. Hubbard. Was mustered out with the regiment at Memphis, Jan. 20, 1856; but afterwards was commissioned major by brevet for gallant, faithful and meritorious services during the war to date from muster out. In the spring of 1856, Major Reed entered the law office of L. E. Fellows, at Lansing, and was admitted to the bar in 1868. During this time he was deputy revenue collector for this county, under Col. D. B. Henderson, of Dubuque. In the fall of 1868 he was elected to the office of County Recorder, and by four successive reelections was kept in that position during the period of ten years, until Jan. 1, 1879. May 20, 1879, he was commissioned postmaster at Waukon, assuming the duties of the office July 1st. Upon entering the Recorder's office in 1869, he began the compilation of a set of abstracts of records and today possesses the only set in existence of great value. Mr. Reed was married Sept. 20, 1866, to Miss Ellen E. Manson, and has three children living, viz: Minnie A., Milton E. and Gertrude M.; having lost two, Maud and Leonard. pg 531-532

W.C. Reed, farmer, Hesper tp.; was born in the province of Quebec, Canada, in 1835, and in 1843 came to the U.S. His parents located in Rock Co., Wis., remaining there until 1850; then came to Allamakee Co. He bought the farm he resides on in 1861. It was partially improved, and is now thoroughly so, and all under fence, with good residence, barns, etc., and well stocked. Mr. Reed is a member of the I.O.O.F. He was married in 1859 at Waukon, to Miss Phebe Knights; they have nine children, William H., Edgar, Franklyn, Charles, Isaac, Jesse, Emma, Ernest, Elsie. Bertie died in Dec. 1880, at four years of age. pg. 624, Winneshiek co. bios.

Peter Reiser, farmer, P.O. Lansing, was born in Switzerland in 1838. He came to Iowa when he was 14 years of age. In 1862 he purchased his father's old homestead, and now has a farm of 280 acres well improved. He married in 1862 Catharine Marti, and they have six children, John H., George W., Julius E., Emma, Barbara and Philip. pg 531

C. A. Renzenhausen, dealer in general merchandise at Watson, Clayton Co.; also carries on a farm in company with his father. He was born in Lawrence Co., Ohio, in 1853, came to Iowa in 1863. His father is C. R. Renzenhausen, a native of Germany. pg 531

Julius Rieth, son of the late John Rieth, was born in Dubuque, Io., in 1856, and was brought by the family to Lansing in 1857. Here he was bred to a mercantile life in his father's store. In 1877 he purchased the business and has since continued the same. pg 531

Tollef O. Rikansrud, P.O. Elon; born in Norway, September 13, 1823; came to the United States in 1855, coming to Allamakee Co. He married Miss Ragnild Oldstatter, in Dec. 1861. She was also born in 1823 in Norway; they have four children, Ole T., Sven, Olous and Engebreth. Mr. R. has taken special interest in educating his children, having sent Ole T. and Engebreth to the Lutheran College at Decorah three years. Ole T. has taught a district school two terms and designs to attend the State Normal School at Cedar Falls the ensuing fall. Mr. R. owns 120 acres in his home farm and 90 acres elsewhere. He is a member of the Lutheran Church. pg 529

A. E. Robbins, druggist, one of Allamakee's early settlers and prominent business men, was born in Wyoming Co, N.Y., in 1838, came west with his parents in 1855 and settled at Columbus. In 1864 he became a partner of the firm of J. Goodykoontz & Co., of Waukon, and was engaged as such about one year. He then associated his brother, F. H. Robbins, as partner, purchased his former partner's interest, and continued a drug and grocery business under the firm name of Robbins Bros. until 1881, at which time F. H. Robbins withdrew from business. The building now occupied by A. E. Robbins, was erected by Robbins Bros. in 1869, and is the oldest brick block in Waukon. Mr. Robbins has always been an active worker for the Republican party, took a very active part in securing the county seat at Waukon, and was one of the prime movers in building the W. & M. R. R., and when completed served as vice-president about two years. He was married in 1865 to Naoma M. Goodykoontz, and now has three sons. His father, Alvin Robbins, a blacksmith by trade, a native of Vt., who was married in the state of N.Y. to Miss Temperance Sloam, and in 1865 settled at Columbus, Allamakee Co., where he died in July 1856, leaving a wife (since deceased), four sons and one daughter. pg 526-527

F. H. Robbins, insurance. The subject of this sketch has figured prominently in the business and public enterprises of Allamakee County for many years. He was born in Wyoming Co., N.Y., in 1840, and in 1855 came west with his parents, first settling at Columbus, Allamakee County. In 1862 he enlisted in Co. I, 27th Inf., and served three years, when he was mustered out as 2d Lieut. April 1, 1866, he engaged in business with his brother, A. E. Robbins, with whom he continued until March 20, 1881. Mr. Robbins was actively engaged in the building of the W. & M. railroad, and is an earnest worker for the Republican Party. He was married April 14, 1867, to Miss Althea A. Pottle, daughter of W. R. and Almeda A. Pottle, and now has two children, Jessie F. and Matal S. Mr. R. is a member of the A.F. & A. M., A.O.U.W. and I.L.O.H. pg 526

C. A. Robey, P. O. Rossville; farmer, section 32; son of Hezekiah and Caroline Robey; was born Sept. 27th, 1844, in Monongahela Co., West Va., immigrated with his parents to this county in the spring of 1855 locating in Franklin Township the following fall, where his mother still resides. In Feb. 1864, he enlisted in Co. K. 1st Io. Cav. Their service was mostly skirmishing in the southwest. He served under A.J. Smith and Gen. Custer; was mustered out in the spring of 1866, returned home and was married May 13th, to Miss Isabel M. Dunn, daughter of William Dunn, and moved to his present farm of 106 acres, valued at $20 per acre. Their children are Ella W., Angie L., Harvey E., Mary E., Edward, William D. and Albert. They have lost one child, Carrie M. Mr. R. has served his township as assessor, Township clerk and is at present justice of the peace. pg 530

Althearis J. Rodgers, contractor and builder, was born in Canada in 1841. Removed to Waukegan, Ill., in 1843, and in October 1856, came thence to Waukon, which has since been his home. October 1, 1861, he enlisted as private in Co. B. 12th Iowa, Vols. and followed the fortunes of war with that veteran regiment until it was mustered out in Jan., 1866. Was Commissary Sergeant previous to and during their six months imprisonment in southern prison pens, following the battle of Shiloh. Was at various times detailed as clerk at regimental, brigade, and division headquarters; also served as clerk at court-martial, which duties, however, could not prevent his being with his company in the many hard fought battles in which they participated. In 1864, while at Mobile, he was promoted to Sergt. Major of the regiment. Upon returning from the war Mr. Rogers was employed in a cabinet shop in Waukon, but shortly after bought out his employer and conducted the business about two years, when he disposed of it to take up his present occupation, and there are few if any of Waukon's substantially built business blocks which do not show his supervision. His clerical abilities have called him to frequent service of that character in civil life also, and besides the secretaryship of various orders and associations, he served several years as Makee Township clerk, many years as secretary of the Waukon School Board, and secretary of the Allamakee County Agricultural Society six years in succession, in which last two positions he is still retained. Upon the organization of a company of State militia in the spring of 1878, Mr. R. was made 2d Sergt. thereof, and in the following fall was elected captain, which position he held until he was elected major of the 4th regiment, I. N. G., in the summer of 1881. Mr. Rodgers was married in 1866 to Miss Ella I. Pratt, and they have had two children: Ada M., died in 1879, aged 8 years; and Guy A., born May 20, 1880. pg 527

John Roffman, P.O. Forest Mill; farmer, section 12; owns 145 acres of land. Valued at $18 per acre. He was born in Prussia, in 1835; immigrated to the United States in 1871, coming in a sail vessel and being three months on the ocean and nearly starved, about 300 emigrants being on the vessel. He first located in Northern Mich., near Lake Superior, where he was engaged in burning charcoal for a smelting company. In 1874 he came to Allamakee Co., Iowa, locating on the land he now owns. He was married in Prussia, in 1861, to Minnie Blenk. They have eight children, Bertha, Ella, Frank, Anna, John, Ida, Jane and Henry, and have lost one son, Albert, who died in Prussia. pg 530-531

Albert Rosa is a son of A. P. Rosa (deceased), who was a native of N. Y., married Rachel Patterson, and in 1848 came to Iowa. In 1851 he settled in Franklin Township, and proved a very successful farmer, accumulating a very large amount of land. His wife died in 1871 leaving seven sons and two daughters. He died in 1877. Albert, who is the subject of this sketch, is the youngest of the children. He was born in the State of N.Y. in 1853, and came with his parents to Iowa, and in 1877 was married to Mary E. Schwartz. She died in April 1880. In the fall of 1880 Mr. Rosa located at Waukon, and has since been dealing in grain. pg 526

Peter Rosa, farmer, Frankville tp.; one of the leading and most prominent citizens in the Co.; was born in Ulster Co., N.Y., April 17, 1831; his parents moved shortly after to near Auburn, Cayuga Co., N.Y.; farmed there, and moved in 1847 to Clayton Co., Io., where they farmed three seasons, and in March, 1850, came to Winneshiek Co. and bought school lands. Peter took up a claim and opened the same, as well as helping his father, Abraham E. Rosa, with his farm, being about 1,000 acres, which he divided between his seven sons. He died August 12, 1877; his wife, Rachel Rosa, died June 19, 1871. The farm on which Peter Rosa resides is one of the handsomest and most attractive in that part of the county; is on Sec. 28, and is thoroughly improved. The residence is the finest farm residence in the neighborhood, is gothic in style of architecture, and cost over $3,000; is surrounded by a handsome garden, orchard and lawn, in which Mrs. Rosa takes especial pride, everything being the pricture of neatness. With its neat and luxuriant surroundings, this is indeed a model country home. The farm is well stocked with a fine herd of good grade cattle, nine head of horses and a large drove of fine hogs. Mr. R. has filled the office of justice of the peace several years in the tp., and is a member of the Maonic order, Frankville Lodge. He was married Dec. 10, 1867, at Postville, Allamakee Co., to Cassindina Webster; they have one son, Webbie. pg 627, Winneshiek co. bios.

O. A. Ross, P.O. Rossville; farmer, section 25; son of Moses A. and Isabella Ross, was born in 1834, in Fayette Co., Pa., and came to this county in 1853, being among the pioneers of the Township. In August 1862 he enlisted in Co. I., 27th Io. Infty, his first service being up to Fort Snelling, afterwards in the Indian country a short time, when the Company was taken to Cairo, Ill., and thence to Jackson, Tenn., where he was discharged for disability in January, 1863, after which he returned home, and the following year, 1864, was married to Miss Louisa A. M. Blumm, a native Germany. Their children are Harry A., Emily G. and Gilmore. Mr. R. has served his Township as trustee, is also a member of the I.O.O.F. He also owns a farm of 160 acres, worth $35 per acre, being pleasantly and comfortably situated adjoining the village of Rossville. pg 529

Jacob Rupp, sec. 17, P.O. Waukon; owns a farm of 240 acres, well improved and worth $40 per acre. He was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, in 1833. In October, 1853, he shipped on board the sail vessel Harmonia, from Havre for New York, where after a long and dangerous voyage they arrived in New York in the February following, having been eighty days on the water on account of severe storms, and narrowly escaping shipwreck. He came on the same year to Monroe County, N.Y., and hired out to a farmer, for whom he worked eleven years and in 1865 rented a farm for one year, clearing $1,500. Thinking that would enable him to purchase a home in the west, in the spring of 1866 he came to Allamakee County, Iowa, and purchased a part of the farm he still owns. He was married to Miss Mary Nagle in 1868. She was also a native of Germany. They have eight children Mary, Jacob, Louisa, Frank. Edward, Martha, Bertie and Sophia. Mr. R. is a member of the German Reformed Church. pg 529

Richard Ryan, P.O. Waukon, farmer, sec. 9; owns a farm of 360 acres valued at $15 per acre. He was born in 1818 in County Tipperary, Ireland, where he remained till 1840, when he crossed the briny ocean to seek a new home in the far west. He first engaged at farm work in Massachusetts for three years, then went to Union Village, Connecticut, where he engaged in a factory for a firm, Bartholomew & Warkison, for whom he worked nine years, after which he came to Cattaraugus Co., New York, remaining about a year, when he went to Dunkirk and engaged in railroading for about two years. He then came to Dubuque, Iowa, and engaged at the same business and quarrying stone for a couple of years, after which he came on to his present farm in 1856 and commenced improving it, having purchased a quarter section of it in 1848. He married Miss Mary Fogerty of Boston in 1840. They have seven children, Richard, Timothy, John, Henry, Thomas, Margaret, and an adopted daughter, Mary. Mr. R. is one of the enterprising and thorouh-going farmers of his Township, and is a member of the Catholic Church. pg 528


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