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Peter Rupp


Posted By: Deborah Gilbert (email)
Date: 9/10/2016 at 16:36:39

Maxwell Book: 1883-1983

Pioneer Peter Rupp was born June 27, 1835, in Prussia, a part of Germany. He came to the United States in 1840, with his parents George and Catherine Rupp, and siblings Mary, David and Elizabeth (one child died at sea) traveling on a sailboat to Baltimore, Maryland. They settled in Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and bought land near Berlin. Private coal mines were part of almost every parcel of land. This land also had a fine spring on it. George Rupp, Sr. was a fine artisan, carpenter, miller, carver and stonemason as well as taking an interest in the government of the city of Berlin and the county of Somerset. Peter became an artisan as well as a carpenter and fine craftsman. He joined the Pennsylvania Volunteers in 1859. In June of 1864, he enlisted in the Home Guard in St. Charles, Missouri, and was transferred to the State Militia. On December 21, 1864, he enlisted in Company C, 52nd Pennsylvania Regiment, Volunteer Infantry. He was with General Sherman before his march to the sea. He served with General Grant at the time of Lee's surrender at Appomattox, Virginia. Peter walked home from Virginia to Pennsylvania arriving in Berlin in October 1865.

Peter married Lorinda Knepper (born February 25, 1839 at Berlin), at Berlin, Pennsylvania, January 21, 1864. They had three sons: William Peter, born June 5, 1865, George Peter, born October 26, 1866 and Wilson C. born March 30, 1879.

William Peter married Ada Brown and had three children: Catherine L; Claude B (married Dorothy Acheson); and Helen A. (married James Ward).

George Peter married Harriette (Hattie) Meyers and had two children: Eva I (married Claude Holt) and Fay V. (married Nelle McKee).

Wilson C. married Mary J. Davis.

In 1871, the family journeyed to the state of Kansas, where land was said to be fertile and homesteads available. However, they did not like the barren prairie and went back east to West Virginia, then Pennsylvania. That same summer they moved to Illinois. They watched the great Chicago fire from their new home.

They came to Maxwell on the railroad. They purchased a farm southeast of Maxwell and Peter and his sons, William and George, helped to build the house, barn and other structures on the farm. They also built a house for Peter and Lorinda in Maxwell. Peter Rupp built many buildings in Story County and Maxwell: barns, outbuildings, houses and buildings on the other two 80 acre farms he purchased for his sons. Peter and Lorinda often walked the mile or so from Maxwell out to George and Hattie's place northeast of Maxwell, then George would take them hom.

Peter and Lorinda brought many tools with them from Pennsylvania and Illinois which Peter and his father, George, had made. They also brought linen tablecloths and handwoven wool and linen bedspreads with dates woven into them on the corners; mostly 1800's. They brought a flax wheel, spinning wheel, many cherished tintypes, bibles, dishes and family records.

Lorinda died March 29, 1914. Peter died February 20, 1924. Both are buried in the Maxwell Cemetery.


Story Biographies maintained by Mark Christian.
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