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Last updated: 23 May 2022


Surnames beginning with the letter R


EDGAR S RANDALL, a loyal Iowan, is known publisher of Spencer and for more than twenty years his name has figured prominently in business circles of this locality. He was born July 29, 1870, in Washington county, Iowa, and is of Irish lineage. His parents, William S. and Mary C. (Boden) Randall, were both natives of Ohio. The latter was born March 28, 1845, in Morgan county, and the father's birth occurred in Trumbull county on September 4, 1840. He was an adherent of the republican party and loyally defended the Stars and Stripes during the Civil war, serving for four and a half years as a member of Company C. Eighth Iowa Infantry. Mr. Randall was educated in Fairfield, Nebraska, to which the family moved when he was a child of three, and in 1896, when twenty-six years of age, he arrived in Sidney, Iowa. He located at Spencer in 1904 and is now at the head of a prosperous publishing business. He has a comprehensive understanding of everything pertaining to this line of activity and his well equipped plant enables him to turn out high-grade work. On October 19, 1904, Mr. Randall was married in Sidney, Iowa, to Miss Daisy Wilson, a daughter of N. C. and Elizabeth (Sproul) Wilson, the former a native of Ireland, while the latter was born in the state of Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Randall have a son, Kenneth R., who is a student at the Nebraska State University, situated in Lincoln. Mrs. Randall was born July 7, 1873, in Scott county, Iowa, and is connected with the P. E. O. Mr. Randall is a Knight Templar Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. He belongs to the Spencer Commercial Club and is also identified with the Clay County Fair Association. He is allied with the republican party and his life is governed by the teachings of the Methodist church. He has ever been actuated by a strong desire to serve his community and is highly esteemed by the citizens of Spencer.



JOHN W. RANKIN was born on the 11th of June, 1823, and was a native of the State of Pennsylvania. He was a graduate of Washington College and after teaching a few years, studied law, was admitted to the bar and began practice in Wooster in partnership with Judge Sloan. He came to Iowa in 1848, locating at Keokuk, where he practiced his profession. In April, 1857, he was appointed judge of the First Judicial District to fill a vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Judge Ralph P. Lowe. In October of the same year he was elected to the State Senate on the Republican ticket for a term of four years. At the beginning of the War of the Rebellion he was appointed Quartermaster of United Stares Volunteers. In the winter of 1861-2 he was authorized to raise a regiment of volunteers and in a little more than a month had enlisted a regiment, which was mustered into the service as the Seventeenth Iowa Infantry. Rankin was commissioned by Governor Kirkwood of the regiment and it at once entered the service. Colonel Rankin was wounded at the Battle of Iuka and resigned in September, 1862.

LEVI B. RAYMOND, soldier, journalist and politician, was born in Allegany County, New York, on the 3d of July, 1836. His parents removed to Wisconsin where he spent his boyhood years acquiring an education at Beloit College. He learned the printer's trade and came to Iowa in 1864, locating at Hampton. Mr. Raymond became editor and publisher of the Hampton Recorder in 1867 and, with the exception of four years, from 1872 to 1876, has continued to publish that paper up to the close of the Nineteenth Century. During this period of four years Mr. Raymond was instrumental in establishing weekly papers in the northwest portion of the State. The new towns desiring newspapers, Mr. Raymond, pioneerlike, undertook to supply the demand. The papers established by Mr. Raymond from 1872 to 1875 were the Sheldon Mail, Cherokee Leader, Sioux County Herald, O'Brien Pioneer, Newell Mirror and Doon Republican. Colonel Raymond has been superintendent of schools, a trustee of the Clsrinda Insane Asylum, also of the Soldiers' Home at Marshalltown, where he was instrumental in establishing the cottage system whereby the wives and widows might receive the benefits of that institution as well as the disabled and infirm Union soldiers. He has been an active Republican during his entire residence in Iowa, having served as a delegate in thirty-three Stare Conventions and was chairman of the Republican committee of Franklin County for thirteen years. From 1883 to 1886 he was Special Examiner of the United States Pension Department and postmaster of Hampton from 1889 to 1894. He served two years on the Republican State Central Committee. Before coming to Iowa and when a young man, Mr. Raymond was in the Union army, serving as sergeant in the Sixth Wisconsin Infantry. He was for fifteen years a member of the Iowa National Guard, serving in all grades up to and including the rank of Lieutenant-colonel.

DAVID W. REED                                  (from the book, University Recruits, by D W Reed)

third Captain of Company C, was born in Cortland, N. Y., April 2, 1841, removed to Iowa in 1855, enlisted in University Recruits September 15, 1861, was wounded and left on the field at Shiloh.  Elected 2d Lieutenant April 1, 1863; 1st Lieutenant December 14, 1863; Captain January 25, 1865; Major by brevet April 9, 1865, and Major of Regiment November 21, 1865.  He served as Acting Adjutant of the Regiment during the year 1864 including the battles of Tupelo and Nashville, and as Acting Major at Spanish Fort.  Served on Court Martial at Selma, Ala., from May 29, 1865, to July 6, 1865, when he was appointed on General L. F. Hubbard's staff as Inspecter of 2d Brigade McArthur's Division, and served as such until the muster out of Hubbard's Brigade September 7, 1865.  He commanded Garrison at Center, Ala., and Post of Blue Mountain, until December 24, 1865, and was mustered out ith his regiment January 20, 1866.

JOSEPH R. REED was born in Ashland County, Ohio, March 12, 1835. He was educated at Hayesville Academy, studied law and was admitted to the bar and, in 1857, came to Iowa, locating at Adel where he practiced his profession. When the Civil War began he helped to organize the second Battery of Light Artillery in which he served to the close of the war. In 1865 he was elected to the Senate from the Twenty-first District composed of the counties of Madison, Adair, Guthrie and Dallas. He served four years and in 1872 was chosen judge of the District Court where he served twelve years until he was elected on the Republican ticket Judge of the Supreme Court. He was Chief Justice in 1889 and resigned that place to accept a nomination for Congress in the Ninth District. Judge Reed was elected, serving one term. In 1891, upon the establishment of the Count of Private Land Claims, Judge Reed was appointed by President Harrison Chief Justice of the Court.

HUGH T. REID was born in Union County, Indiana, on the 8th of October, 1811. He received a liberal education, graduating from Indiana College in 1837. He studied law, was admitted to the bar and removed to Keokuk in 1843, where he began practice. Soon after the beginning of the Civil War he began to enlist volunteers for a new regiment. In February, 1863, the Fifteenth Regiment was organized and Reid was appointed colonel. His regiment arrived on the field of Shiloh after the battle had begun and was at once hurried into the thickest of the fight. It made a gallant struggle but was overborne by numbers and finally forced to retreat, losing nearly two hundred men. Upon the recommendation of General Grant, Colonel Reid was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General soon after the battle. He served until the spring of 1864, when he resigned. He was for many years engaged in building the Des Moines Valley Railroad from Keokuk to Fort Dodge.


E. P. REILLY One of the most prominent figures in the live stock business in Sioux City is Edward P. Reilly, of the firm of Reilly & Sullivan, live stock dealers, and president of the Traders Live Stock Exchange. He is a native son of Iowa, born in Harrison county, on the 2d of July, 1866, his parents being Joseph W. and Margaret (Long) Reilly, the former born at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, while the latter was a native of County Kilkenny, Ireland. In boyhood the father ran away from home with a companion to enlist in the Mexican war. His chum succeeded in enlisting but he was not accepted because of his age. After the war he came up the Missouri river to Kanesville, where he arrived in 1849 and early in the '50s he continued his journey to Sioux City. On the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted and was still in the army at the time of his marriage, in 1864. After his discharge from the army he and his wife came to the Missouri valley, settling on a farm in Harrison county, where he resided to the time of his death. Edward P. Reilly attended the public schools, though the greater part of his education has been secured in the hard school of experience. He remained on the home farm until nineteen years of age, when in 1885 he rented a farm in Woodbury county, which he operated on his own account for fourteen years. In 1899 he came to Sioux City and began trading in live stock, in which he was so successful that in 1906 he formed a partnership with William Sullivan, under the firm name of Reilly & Sullivan, and they have continued in business to the present time, dealing mainly in "stockers" and "feeders." They have prospered to a very gratifying degree and are regarded as one of the leading livestock trading firms in this city. Mr. Reilly was honored by election to the presidency of the Traders Live Stock Exchange, which position he is now holding for his twelfth year, and he has served twenty-two years as a member of the board of directors of the Sioux City Live Stock Exchange. He is also one of five members of the National Live Stock Exchange practice commission, appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Wallace, the other members of the commission being, Howard Gore, then assistant secretary of agriculture, and now governor of the West Virginia; Everett Brown, of Chicago; Thomas Cross, of Chicago; and William O. Tagg, of Omaha. Mr. Reilly is a member of Sioux City Lodge, No. 112, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and Epiphany Council, No. 743, Knights of Columbus. He is a communicant of Epiphany Cathedral Roman Catholic church, to which he gives liberal support. He takes an interest in public affairs and has served two years as a member of the city council. No worthy cause ever appeals to him in vain, for he is essentially public spirited, lending his influence to any measure which promises to be of material benefit to the community. For these reasons, as well as for his friendly manner, he is well deserving of the esteem which is accorded him throughout the city in which he lives.

ROBERT C. REINIGER is a native of Seneca County, Ohio, where he was born April 12, 1835. He was reared on his father's farm and attended district school. At the age of seventeen he began the study of law at Tiffin, at the same time taking a college course. He was admitted to the bar in 1856 and the following year came west and located at Charles City in Floyd County, Iowa, where he formed a partnership with his brother in the practice of law. In 1861 Mr. Reiniger enlisted in Company B, Seventh Iowa Volunteers and became first lieutenant. He participated in the battles of Belmont, Forts Henry and Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, Iuka and was in the campaign against Atlanta. He was promoted to captain in 1862. He was appointed by Governor Merrill in 1870 judge of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit and served by reelections until 1884. In 1885 he was elected to the State Senate for the district composed of the counties of Floyd and Chickasaw, serving in the Twenty-first, Twenty-second and by reelection in the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth General Assemblies where he was one of the most influential members. Mr. Reiniger was one of the few public officials who refused to compromise himself by the acceptance of railroad passes during his continuance in the public service.

ELLIOTT W. RICE, a brother of General Samuel A. Rice, was born on the 16th of November, 1835, at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He was a graduate of Franklin College, Ohio, and took the law course at the Albany Law School. In 1855 he came to Iowa and entered into partnership with his brother in the practice of law at Oskaloosa. At the beginning of the Civil War he enlisted as a private in the Seventh Iowa Volunteers and rose rapidly through successive promotions to the rank of colonel and upon the promotion of Lauman to Brigadier-General, Rice succeeded him in command of the Seventh Regiment. At the Battle of Belmont the command of the regiment devolved upon Rice at the most critical period of the conflict and his superb gallantry won him his promotion. He was in the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Iuka and Corinth. Colonel Rice commanded a brigade in Sherman's march to the sea and on the 29th of June, 1864, he was promoted to Brigadier-General.


Prior to the Civil War, Joel and Sarah Rice moved from Union County, Ohio, to Clayton County, Iowa, with their children: George, James, Caroline (“Cal”), Robert, Marshall and Tero. Also moving were five cousins of the Rice children (Fortner, Darius, John, Sterling and Squire Mather) and their neighbor, James Bethard, who, after moving, married Caroline Rice.

During the election campaign of 1860 many in the South threatened to secede if Lincoln were elected President but the Clayton County Journal said it would never happen: “Indeed! because a majority of the voters of the United States are in favor of a certain man and invest him with the highest office in their gift, the Union is to be dissolved! Ridiculous! Is there a sensible, an unprejudiced man, in the State of Iowa who believes this? Bah! No one anticipates such a result. This cry was invented only to frighten the people into voting for the Democratic candidate.” Lincoln was elected and Southern states did secede but the Journal still wasn’t worried and said, “if war they want, war they shall have. We hope however our readers will not become too excited over this, because it is not worth while. There are men enough in Pennsylvania alone to subdue South Carolina without the aid of Iowa volunteers.”

On April 12, 1861, Confederate cannon fired on Fort Sumter in the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina. War followed and George Rice was one who answered the call for volunteers. Born on March 29, 1836, in Franklinton, Ohio, he enlisted at Castalia, Iowa, on September 9, 1861, in what would be Company I of the 9th regiment of Iowa’s volunteer infantry with William Vandever, then a member of Congress, as Colonel. Enlisting with him on the 9th were his cousins Squire and Sterling Mather.

The last of the regiment’s ten companies was mustered into service on September 24th and two days later they boarded steamboats in Dubuque and left for war. At Benton Barracks in St. Louis, they received their arms and equipment and men were trained in the ways of the military. On bi-monthly Company Muster Rolls, George was marked “present” through the end of the year and on February 28, 1862, was shown as being detached from duty and serving as a nurse. On April 30th he was “sick in hospital” but by June 30th he was “present” and he remained present during the balance of 1862 and the spring of 1863 during which time the regiment fought at Chickasaw Bayou in Mississippi and was engaged in a movement against Arkansas Post.

In the spring of 1863 General Grant organized a large army for the purpose of capturing the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg.  From Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana, 30,000 men walked slowly south along muddy roads, across plantations, over bayous and through swamps. The 13th Corps with James Rice, John Mather and Jim Bethard was followed by the 15th Corps with George, Squire and Sterling. Jim Bethard was one of many who became sick during the march and was left behind on the Ashwood plantation while others continued south.

On April 30, 1863, the 13th Corps began crossing from Disharoon’s Plantation in Louisiana to the Bruinsburg landing in Mississippi while the 15th Corps was continuing its march west of the river. Still recuperating at Ashwood, Jim wrote to Cal and said the 9th Iowa had passed Ashwood on May 5th “and I saw all three of the boys George and Sterling are as rugged as bears.” On the 6th, George was detached from regular duty and assigned to a Pioneer Corps, a corps usually composed of soldiers temporarily released from regular duty. Pioneers cleared roads, erected bridges, built breastworks and dug trenches and other structures. 

By the middle of June, the 9th and 21st Iowa were on the siege line around the rear of Vicksburg, Jim had rejoined his regiment and men kept their heads down while visiting friends in other regiments. On June 15th Jim told Cal, “George Rice had the diehera so that he could not come with Squire yesterday.” On the 19th George’s cousin, John Mather, died from chronic diarrhea and congestive chills and two days later Jim again wrote to Cal. “I commenced writing yesterday but George Rice came and stood with us all day so I laid my letter aside until this evening. The boys of the 9th are well with the exception of the diehrears which is a very common complaint here.”

George continued his service with the Pioneer Corps throughout the balance of the siege that ended with Vicksburg’s surrender on July 4th. His cousin, Squire Mather, had become ill and was granted a furlough to go home to recuperate but on September 26th he died in Lansing. Another of George’s cousins, Darius Mather, was serving with the 27th Iowa when he died of erysipelas while being treated in a Vicksburg hospital.

From Matagorda Island on May 1, 1864, Jim again wrote to Cal and said, “I understand that the small pox is in McGregor but I hope it will not get into your family. I can’t believe,” he said, “that Squier ever had any such disease for I saw him and George both several times last summer.” 

While Jim was now in Texas, George was still in the Pioneer Corps and present on June 30th at Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia. On September 4th, General Sherman announced the “complete reduction and occupation of Atlanta” and a few days later, George and Squire wrote to Jim from East Point. “They were well and in high spirits rejoicing over the final triumph of their long and wearisome campaign,” said Jim. “I suppose George is at home before this time or will be before this reaches you as he told us in his letter to address him hereafter at McGregor Iowa.” George was not yet in Iowa but he was discharged from the military on the 24th and on October 30th Jim was able to write, “I am glad to hear that George has got home all right I suppose he feels like a man just released from bondage he will probably be a little lonesome for a while but as times are good there he will certainly be able to find employment.”

On November 5, 1865, George married twenty-one-year-old Martha Payne in the village of Frankville in Winneshiek County. They had at least three children: Joel, Minnie and Carrie.

On July 28, 1866, Congress adopted a law increasing the $100 bounty originally paid to enlistees to $200. Three months later, still giving his address as Frankville, George signed an application seeking the additional bounty.

George died in Otisville (now Dows), Iowa, on March 1, 1878, and was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Morgan Township. Martha remained in the township and on July 3, 1880, married William Corbin but nineteen years later they divorced. 

Martha did not remarry but on October 3, 1916, at age seventy-two, applied for a remarried widow’s pension pursuant to an act of Congress adopted the previous month. Witnesses to her application were her daughter (Minnie Rice Parkman) and daughter-in-law (Luella Rice) who had married Joel. 

As more and more time passed, she signed additional affidavits, submitted a copy of her divorce decree, mailed supportive affidavits signed by George’s brothers, James and Robert, and had an assistant cashier of the State Bank inquire as to the status of her application. Eventually, she hired attorneys in Washington, D.C., but still the pension office wasn’t satisfied. It had records for “George Rice” and for “George S. Rice” and on March 26, 1918, said it wanted to know her husband’s height when he enlisted fifty-seven years earlier, his occupation and his residence and whether he had any scars at the time, and it wanted a tracing of his signature.

Nothing more was done and on October 5, 1919, Martha died. She was buried next to George in Mount Hope Cemetery. 

~Submitted by Carl F Ingwalson

During the 1850s, many Northerners were moving father west. Iowa advertised in eastern newspapers and in 1854 published a book, “Iowa As It Is,” that described the state, its benefits and the procedures for homesteading. Fortner Mather, was a Methodist Episcopal minister when he left Union County, Ohio, and moved to Clayton County, Iowa, to try to raise a congregation. Before long he was followed by his four brothers. The Mathers were related to the Rice family. Joel and Sarah Rice decided they too would move their family to Clayton County but, before leaving, their daughter, Caroline, told a neighbor, Jim Bethard, that she was moving. Jim and Caroline (known as “Cal” to her friends) were “sweet on each other” and he soon followed her to Iowa where they were married.
During the presidential campaign of 1860, many Southerners threatened to secede if Abraham Lincoln was elected, but the Clayton County Journal discounted the threat: “Bah! No one anticipates such a result,” it said. “This cry was invented only to frighten the people into voting for the Democratic candidate. Divide the Union! The people of the United States are not prepared to do any such thing.” But Lincoln was elected, Southern states did secede and war followed, but still the Journal wasn’t concerned. “There are men enough in Pennsylvania alone to subdue South Carolina without the aid of Iowa volunteers,” it told readers. As casualties escalated, more volunteers were needed. Jim Rice (Robert’s brother), John Mather (Robert’s cousin) and Jim Bethard (Robert’s brother-in-law) joined the 21st Iowa Infantry. Darius Mather joined the 27th Infantry and Daniel Mather joined the 40th Infantry while Sterling and Squire Mather joined the state’s 9th Infantry as did Robert’s brother, George Rice.
On September 30, 1863, nineteen-year-old Robert enlisted in Iowa’s 9th regiment of volunteer cavalry where he was soon promoted to Saddler Sergeant. Cal wrote to her husband and Jim replied, “I think Bob has done a good job in getting into the army as a saddler.”
Throughout the war the brothers and cousins and families tried to keep in touch, but Jim was in Louisiana when he asked Cal, “tell me in your next how to direct a letter to Bob and also how to direct to George.”
Robert’s cavalry regiment saw extended service in Missouri and Arkansas, but communications were difficult as they were often on the move as detachments from the regiment scouted Confederate movements along the White River and the Little Red River. In June, 1864, Jim told Cal, “we have never got a letter from Bob since he enlisted.” By October, Jim was at St. Charles, Arkansas, when he told Cal, “I saw some of the boys that belong to the 9th Iowa cavalry last Friday; I inquired about Robert but none of them new him; the regt is at Brownsville Ark” where it arrived in September and “all supplies were received and forwarded. Quarters for the men and stables for the horses were constructed.” Robert was with his regiment while Jim was at DeValls Bluff on the White River when he told Cal, “the 9th cavalry is at Brownsville 25 miles from here.”
Detachments from Robert’s regiment continued their scouting expeditions along the White River and the Little Red, monitored movements of Confederate General Price and guarded government transports near Lewisburg. In another letter, Jim told Cal that on November 21st his regiment “received orders to be ready to embark at ten Jim Rice had gone out to Brownsville the day before to see Bob and would not be back until Tuesday evening but owing to the boat that we were to go on having broke her wheel we did not embark until about ten-o-clock at night and while we were waiting on shore Jim came and Robert with him he had a pass for three days and we would have had a pleasant visit I was only with him a few minutes til we had to go on board we tried to get him to go on board with us but he was afraid of being carried off and would not the boat moved up to town and lay there until Thursday morning Bob came up on Wednesday morning and staid with us until the train left for Brownsville about eight o-clock in the morning he looks well and says he is contented but he wants to get out of Steels department he is tiered of Arkansas.”
Despite his wishes, Robert’s cavalry remained in Arkansas. On April 11, 1865, they learned that Lee’s army had surrendered in Virginia two days earlier and then soon received word that Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated on the 15th. On June 11th, with the war practically at an end, they marched from Brownsville to Lewisburg and during the next several months worked to restrain “the lawless element,” garrison various posts in the area, protect civilians from outlaws and help restore civil governments. On February 16, 1866, an order from department headquarters directed that they move to Little Rock. There, on February 28, 1866, Robert was discharged from the military.
While he was gone his parents had moved to Sigourney in Keokuk County. There, in December 1866, he and Henrietta Butler were married in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Their five children included Joel who was born in 1867 but died in infancy, Edward in 1870, Catherine in 1872, Sarah in 1874 and Clarence in 1880.
Like most veterans, Robert applied for an invalid pension. In his 1890 application, he said he was partially disabled from performing manual labor due to heart disease and piles contracted in the service. His application was supported in an affidavit by John Jessup and Zachariah Harned, two of his former comrades. The pension office sent a circular to the War Department that confirmed Robert’s service and on July 8, 1891, he was examined by a board of pension surgeons in Sigourney. The surgeons agreed he was partially disabled from earning his subsistence by manual labor and a pension of $12.00 monthly, payable quarterly through the Des Moines Pension Agency, was approved. Robert’s father died in 1892 and his mother in 1906. Both were buried in Sigourney’s Pleasant Grove Cemetery.
A new pension act was approved by Congress on May 11, 1912, and, only eight days later, Robert applied. Again, his application was approved and a certificate was mailed entitling him to $17.00. monthly effective May 22, 1912, when his application was received. In 1914, he applied again and this time he was approved for an age-based pension of $23.00, an amount increased to $30.00 in 1919.
Henrietta, died on November 15, 1917, and, like Robert’s parents, was buried in Pleasant Grove Cemetery.
In 1918, a private bill was approved authorizing an increase to $40.00 but Robert elected, instead, to receive the same amount under a bill enacted that June so he would be eligible for further age-based increases. When a new act became effective on May 1, 1920, Robert applied but, on May 23rd, he died. Members of the G.A.R. participated at his funeral where the Sons of Veterans served as pallbearers. Robert, like Henrietta and his parents, is buried in Pleasant Grove Cemetery.
An obituary said Robert had worked as a stockbroker and was ill for many months prior to his death. He was survived by his four children.
~Submitted by Carl F Ingwalson


SAMUEL A. RICE was born in Cattaraugus County, New York, on the 27th of January, 1828. His boyhood was spent in Pennsylvania and Ohio. He graduated at the seminary at Wheeling, Virginia, and the State University of Ohio. He took two years' instruction in a law school and in 1850 located at Fairfield, Iowa, where he opened a law office. In 1852 he removed to Okaloosa and entered into partnership with E. W. Eastman, where a large practice was built up. In 1856 Mr. Rice was a delegate to the famous convention at Iowa City which organized the Republican party to Iowa and was the Republican candidate for Attorney-General. He was elected and reelected for a second term in 1858, serving four years. In August, 1862, Mr. Rice was appointed colonel of the Thirty-third Iowa Infantry and soon after entered upon active military duties in the War of the Rebellion. He commanded a brigade in the Battle of Helena and was promoted to Brigadier-General. His command was in General Steele's expedition through Arkansas and Louisiana in 1864 and during the retreat did excellent service at the Battle of Jenkins Ferry, where General Rice was mortally wounded. He was taken home where he died on the 6th of July, 1864, greatly lamented by the people of Iowa.




A. M. Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa Volume IV, THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc., Chicago and New York, 1931

MARIA M. ROBERTS, dean of Iowa State College at Ames, has distinguished herself by rare gifts as an administrator and educator. She is also a scientist, and it was her attainments as a mathematical scholar that brought her to the Iowa State College faculty.

Miss Roberts is a native of Ohio, born at Dunlap, and represents a family of culture that left its impress on the early traditions of the state. She is a daughter of Benjamin F. Roberts, who came from Connecticut to Iowa in 1857, traveling by train as far as Iowa City and then walked, guiding the ox teams that hauled wagons containing household goods, women and children. He and seven brothers settled on adjacent farms in Harrison County, Iowa. He was engaged in farming there until 1908, when he removed to Ames and spent his last years in the college community, where he died in 1921. He was a Union soldier; in Company C of the Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. It was shortly after his discharge at the close of the war that he married Ellen Rogers, who had come to Iowa from Michigan in 1860. She was one of the early school teachers of Harrison County. The father and mother of Benjamin F. Roberts established in Harrison County in 1861 the Farmers Wives Society, which was probably the first woman's club in the state. Dean Roberts has one brother, O. W. Roberts, who was born in Harrison County, attended high school at Dunlap, and graduated from Iowa State College, and is now head of the weather bureau at Bismark, North Dakota.

Maria M. Roberts attended the common and high schools of Dunlap, Iowa, graduated from high school in 1884, and in 1890 took the Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State College at Ames. The following year she taught at Des Moines and in 1891 returned to Ames as an instructor in mathematics in the State College. Besides her many years of work as teacher of mathematics Dean Roberts is known among mathematicians for her contributions as joint author with Julia T. Colbert on the text book on Analytic Geometry, published in 1918 by John Wiley & Son, and now used as a text book by many of the leading institutions of the country, including the state universities of Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska. Miss Roberts is a member of the American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America.

Her special gifts in work of administration caused Miss Roberts a number of years ago to be appointed vice dean, and on the death of Dean Stanton, in 1920, she was made acting dean, and a year later was given her present title as dean of Junior College at Iowa State College. She now has fifteen faculty assistants besides several secretaries and stenographers, and has full charge of all the scholastic work of the freshman and sophomore years, with a more or less general supervision of the activities of 2,500 students. Dean Roberts has done graduate work in Columbia, Cornell and Chicago universities, and is a member of many learned and civic organizations. She is a member of Chapter 99 of P. E. O., also of Pi Beta Phi Sorority and a member of the Congregational Church.

~Transcribed by Debbie Clough Gerischer

ROBERTS, BENJAMIN S was born in Manchester, Vermont, on the 18th of November, 1810. He graduated at the Military Academy at West Point in 1835, and was commissioned a second lieutenant. In 1839 he resigned and became chief engineer of a railroad company and later was Assistant State Geologist for New York. He finally studied law and in 1844 located at Fort Madison, Iowa, where he practiced law. When the Mexican War began in 1846 he returned to the service and was appointed first lieutenant in a regiment of mounted riflemen. Mr. Roberts greatly distinguished himself in the campaign of General Scott against the City of Mexico. He led the advance into the city and with his own hands raised the American flag over the ancient palace of the Montezumas. At the close of the war he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the regular army. In 1849 the Iowa Legislature bestowed upon him a sword of honor for his gallant services during the war. When the Civil War began Colonel Roberts was in command of the southern district of New Mexico, where he routed the Confederate army and saved the Territory to the Union. In 1862 he was promoted to Brigadier-General and became Inspector-General of General Pop's army in Virginia. In June, 1863, he was assigned to the command of the Department of Iowa with headquarters at Davenport. He served with distinguished ability to the close of the war.


GIFFORD S. ROBINSON was born on the 28th of May, 1843, in Tazewell County, Illinois. He spent two years in the State Normal University, then took a two-year course in the Law Department of Washington University at St. Louis. He taught three years, a portion of the time in the Preparatory Department of the University. In August, 1862, he enlisted a a private in the One Hundred Fifteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry and served in several of the great battles of the war, among which were Franklin and Chickamauga, where he was severely wounded and discharged from the service in consequence. He came to Iowa in 1870, locating at Storm Lake in Buena Vista County where he entered upon the practice of law. Mr. Robinson was soon after chosen mayor of the town and in 1875 was elected to the House of the Sixteenth General Assembly to represent the seventy-first District, consisting of the counties of Buena Vista, Pocahontas, Palo Alto and Emmet. Becoming widely known as a legislator of unusual ability in the fall of 1881 he was nominated by the Republican Convention of the district composed of the counties of Woodbury, Plymouth, Sioux, Lyon, Cherokee and Buena Vista for State Senator. He was elected, serving six years with marked ability. In the spring of 1887 he was appointed Railroad Commissioner by Governor Larrabee, but declined. At the Republican State Convention in the summer of 1887, he was nominated for Judge of the Supreme Court and elected in October. He became Chief Justice in 1892 and at the close of his term was reelected. he retired in January, 1900, removed to Sioux City and resumed the practice of law. But he was not long left in private life, for in February of the same year he was appointed by Governor Shaw member of the State Board of Control for six years. Judge Robinson was a lecturer before the Law Department of the State University, from 1890 to 1900. In June, 1895, the State University conferred upon him the degree of LL.D.




A Narrative History of The People of Iowa with SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY, BUSINESS, ETC. by EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M.  Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa Volume IV, THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc., Chicago and New York, 1931

ABRAHAM H. ROGERS, who is living retired in the City of Oskaloosa, judicial center of Mahaska County, was born and reared in this county, is a representative of one of its very early pioneer families, and here he so ordered his course during his many years of identification with farm industry as to gain the substantial success and prosperity that enable him to pass the gracious evening of his life in well earned retirement and under conditions that are in every way benignant. The family name has been honorably and prominently linked with the annals of Iowa history during a period of more than eighty years.

Abraham H. Rodgers was born on the pioneer home farm of his parents in Springcreek township, Mahaska County, October 11, 1846, and is a son of Daniel and Sarah E. (Comstock) Rodgers, who here reclaimed from the virgin prairie the productive farm that was their place of abode until their death, they having contributed their quota to civic and industrial progress in Mahaska County and their names merit enduring place on the roster of the honored pioneers of the Hawkeye State.

Abraham H. Rodgers was reared to the sturdy discipline of the pioneer farm, and in the meanwhile profited by the advantages of the common schools of the locality and period. It is interesting to record that in the rural school he attended in his youth his two sons later prosecuted their studies under the preceptorship of the same teacher who had there been the instructor of their father many years previously.

Mr. Rodgers was a lad of about fifteen years at the inception of the Civil war, and before its close he was able to give expression to his youthful patriotism by enlisting for service in defence of the nation's integrity. In 1864 he enlisted as a member of Company I, Forty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and with this command he continued in active service until the close of the
war, he having been with his regiment in Arkansas when he received his honorable discharge in the early summer of 1865. He has ever retained deep interest in his old comrades, whose ranks grow less day by day and year by year, and has signalized this by his appreciative affiliation with Phil Kearney Post No. 40, Grand Army of the Republic, at Oskaloosa, where also he maintains
affiliation with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

After the close of his military career Mr. Rodgers resumed his active association with farm industry in his native county. He became the owner of a fine farm estate of 200 acres five miles northeast of Oskaloosa, and there he staged his activities as a progressive representative of general farm enterprise until he retired and established his home in the City of Oskaloosa, where he owns and occupies an attractive residence at 328 North D Street, he still retaining possession of his farm property. The political allegiance of Mr. Rodgers is given to the Republican party, and he has ever been loyal and public-spirited in his civic attitude. While on the farm he served as a member of the school board of his district and also held various township offices. He and his wife are zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as was also his first wife.

In 1874 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Rodgers and Miss Mary Josephine Millice, of Warsaw, Indiana, and at their home in Oskaloosa her death occurred January 31, 1922, after their companionship had covered a period of nearly half a century. Of the children of this union the eldest is Deuward, who is one of the representative farmers of Mahaska County, the maiden name of his wife having been Maude Glasscock and their children being Bernice, Blance and
Floyd. Harry Wilkins Rodgers, the second son, is likewise a progressive farmer in his native county. He married Miss Annis Buckner, and they have three daughters, Beulah, Wilmer and Lorena, the eldest daughter, Miss Beulah, having won in 1928 the Iowa State prize in canning and this having gained to her a free trip to Europe, James D., youngest of the sons and a successful farmer in Mahaska County, married Miss Lena Melchur, and their three children are
sons, Harry, Roy And James D., Jr. As loyal and progressive citizens all three sons are well upholding the honors of the family name and are representatives of the third generation of the family in Mahaska County.

The second marriage of Mr. Rodgers occurred June 7, 1923, when he wedded Mrs. Mary (Roenspiess) Moore, widow of J. C. Moore, she having had by her first marriage one son, Leo Moore, who is deceased and whose widow, Mrs. Mary (Griffin) Moore, and their one child, Leo, Jr., reside in the City of Fort Dodge. Mrs. Rodgers is the popular chatelaine of the attractive home in Oskaloosa.

~Transcribed by Debbie Clough Gerischer




A. M. Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa Volume IV, THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc. Chicago and New York 1931

THOMAS J. ROGERS, a retired citizen of Moulton, has lived a long and interesting career. One fact that makes him distinguished among the present generation is that he is a surviving veteran of the Union army of the Civil war. His home has been in Appanoose County for over three-quarters of a century.

He was nine years of age when his parents moved to Appanoose County in 1850. Mr. Rogers was born in Pike County, Illinois, September 26, 1841, son of Thomas J. and Phoebe (Shinn) Rogers. Thomas J. Rogers, Sr., who was born in North Carolina, in 1810 moved across the Mississippi River and bought land in Appanoose County in 1850. He was for a number of years a merchant, and helped organize one of the first Methodist churches in Appanoose County. His wife, Phoebe Shinn, was born in Ohio, in 1817.

Thomas J. Rogers grew up on an Iowa farm, had the advantages of the schools of that day, which were still of a pioneer character, and in 1861, when he was twenty years of age, he went across the state line and enlisted in Company H. of the Second Missouri Cavalry. He ranked as a master sergeant. His regiment was employed in general scouting duty over Northern Missouri and he participated in the fight at Kirksville and in several other engagements. He received his honorable discharge at Saint Louis in 1865 and soon returned to Appanoose County. Mr. Rogers' business career was devoted to farming and stock raising. For over sixty years, a record for continuous service seldom equaled, he was engaged in farming and the raising of blooded sheep and cattle. Since 1919 he has had his home in the town of Moulton. All who know him respect him for his integrity of character and his worth and standing as a citizen.
He has for many years been a member of W. A. Clarke Post No. 434 of the the Republic and has been on the pension rolls of the Government for his army service. His family are active in the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Mr. Rogers married, in June, 1865, Sarah M. Willet. She lived only a few months after her marriage. In 1869 Mr. Rogers married Lovena Miller, who was born in Unionville, Iowa, and as a young woman taught school in that state. She passed away October 19, 1929, after they had been married for sixty years. Twelve children were born to them, and ten of them are still living. There are also forty-five grandchildren and forty-eight great-grandchildren. The oldest of the children is Mrs. Clementine Ransom, and her four children are Lou, Thomas, Velta, and Roland. The son James G., now deceased, left five children, Garret A., Thomas A., Vera, Grace and Esther. Mrs. Ann Blosser, who lives at Moulton, has two children, Roger and Claudia. Mrs. Martha Murdy, of Albia, Iowa, is the mother of seven children, Lester, Theodore, Louemma, Mildred, Ellen, Wendle and Enid. Mrs. Alda Richardson, whose home is at Saint Cloud, Florida, also has seven children, Thane, Charles, Eva, Victor, Lou, Theodore and Alda. Mrs. Laura Cox, of Orlando, Florida, has seven children, named Rolla, Hobart, Madaline, Geneva, Justice, Wilma and Carlos. Frank M., who occupies the old farm homestead in Appanoose County, is the father of five children, Thomas, Georgia and Virginia, twins, Hazel and James. Mrs. Mina Swartz, who lives at Moulton, has three children, Mary Elizabeth, William F. and Margaret. Georgia and Virginia are twin daughters. Georgia is the wife of Dr. Earl Frank, of Shelbyville, Tennessee, and their children are Stuart and Rogers M. Virginia married Earl French and lives at Alhambra, California, her two children being William and Robert. Chester Rogers, the youngest of the family, lives at Ontario, Canada, and has a daughter, Isabel.

~Transcribed by Debbie Clough Gerischer

HENRY H. ROSS, was born in Livingston County, Missouri, near Chillicothe, August 11, 1840, the eldest son of Thomas and Martha (McMILLIAN) ROSS, who are of Scotch descent, the father born in Ohio and the mother in Kentucky. The mother of our subject went to Illinois when seventeen years of age, where she was married, and soon after went with her husband to Missouri where he followed the teacher's profession. In 1849 they moved to Wapello County, Iowa, and the year 1859, came to Ringgold County, where the father followed his profession being among the first school-teachers of Mount Ayr. He is still living in Ringgold County. The parents of our subject had a family of thirteen children, of whom only five - four sons and one daughter - survive.

Henry H. ROSS passed his youth in Wapello County, Iowa, where he attended the district schools. He came to Ringgold County, Iowa, in 1859, and attended school at Osceola till the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion, when he enlisted [August 18, 1861] in Company M, Third Iowa Cavalry, and was in the Western department [serving as a 2nd Sergeant]. He was captured at the battle of Pea Ridge, but was soon after exchanged. He was mustered out of the service in August [9], 1865, at Davenport, Iowa, after serving his country faithfully for four years.

He then returned to Mt. Ayr, where he taught school for thirty-six months. In 1867 he was elected county superintendent of schools.

He was married in 1867 to Miss Mary DOZE, daughter of Peter DOZE, one of the early settlers of Ringgold County. They have two children living - Minnie and Eunice McCLINTOCK.

Mr. ROSS was elected county surveyor, and served as such four years. In 1879 he was elected to the same office, holding the position the four years following. He was elected county auditor in the fall of 1885, which office he still holds, to the entire satisfaction of his constituents. Mr. ROSS is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

NOTE: Henry H. ROSS died on September 3, 1917, Mount Ayr, Iowa, with interment at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Henry's grandfather Thomas ROSS, Sr. was born in Delaware in April of 1776, and died in April of 1864, Mount Ayr, Iowa, with interment at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Iowa. Henry's grandmother was Susannah (HOLLAND) ROSS.

Henry's father Thomas ROSS, Jr. was born in 1816, and died in 1901. Henry's mother, Martha Ann (McMILLIAN) ROSS was born in Scott County, Kentucky November 19, 1821, and died in Mount Ayr, Iowa, on September 12, 1888. Thomas and Martha were interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Iowa.

Mary's father Peter Doze was the first elected sheriff of Ringgold County.

Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, p. 361, 1887.
American Civil War Soldiers Database,
WPA Graves Survey
from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, p. 361

~Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2009


JOHN N. W. RUMPLE was born near Fostoria, Ohio, March 4, 1841. In 1853 he came to Iowa in an emigrant wagon, taking up his residence on a farm near Geneva Bluffs, Iowa County. He attended the district school and in 1857 entered Ashland Academy in Wapello County. Later he continued his studies in Western College and the Normal Department of the State University, teaching meanwhile to defray his expenses in college. In 1861 he enlisted in Company H, Second Iowa Cavalry as a private, remaining in the service until 1865 when he was mustered out a captain. He participated in the battles of Island Number Ten, New Madrid, Corinth, Iuka, Grierson's Raid, Tupelo, Nashville and many minor engagements. Returning from the army Captain Rumple entered the law office of Hon. H. M. Martin of Marengo and was admitted to the bar in 1867. He was elected to the State Senate of the adjourned session of 1873, and served by reelections in the Fifteenth, Sixteenth and Seventeenth General Assemblies. For six years he was a member of the Board of Regents of the State University and was also one of the curators of the State Historical Society. In 1900 he was elected Representative in Congress from the Second District and declined reelection on account of failing health. He died in Chicago in January, 1903.


NICHOLAS J. RUSCH was born in Holstein, Germany, in 1822. He received a liberal education and taught school several years. In 1847 he emigrated to America and located on a farm near Davenport, Iowa. He was a young man of fine ability and studious habits and soon acquired a knowledge of the language, laws and institutions of his adopted country. A Republican in politics he was an influential leader among the German Americans. In 1857 he was nominated by the Republicans of Scott County for State Senator and was elected by a large majority. He attained prominence in the session of 1858 as a Senator and in 1859 was nominated by the Republican State Convention for Lieutenant-Governor on the ticket with Samuel J. Kirkwood. After a campaign of unusual vigor they were elected. Lieutenant-Governor Rusch presided with dignity and ability over the Senate during the regular session of 1860 and the war session of 1861 but was not a candidate for reelection. In May, 1860, he was appointed by Governor Kirkwood Commissioner of Immigration and served two years with great efficiency. In 1862 Governor Rusch was appointed to a position in the Commissary Department of the military service in the Civil War, with the rank of captain. In 1864 he died in the service of Vicksburg, Mississippi, at the age of forty-two.



Charles RUSSELL, one of the oldest settlers in Ringgold County, is now living retired in Goshen, Iowa, his farm of eighty-seven acres on section 17, Jefferson Township, being carried on by tenants. He is a native of London, England, born July 16, 1826, a son of Thomas and Charlotte RUSSELL. In March, 1849, he came to America, sailing from Liverpool and landing at New Orleans the following month. He proceeded from New Orleans to Cincinnati, Ohio, and
from there to Miami County, where he lived about five years. In 1854 he came to Iowa and settled on a farm in Ringgold County, and has since been identified with all the enterprises of interest of benefit to the county.

After the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion he enlisted in defense of his adopted country, and was assigned to Company G, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. He served three years, participating in several severe engagements, among others being the battles at Mobile, and Little Rock. He was mustered out at New Orleans, and after his return home again engaged in agricultural pursuits.

Mr. RUSSELL was married in Iowa, to Mary KASTEEL, of Ohio, who was born in Clarke County, of that State, January 15, 1812, a daughter of Joab and Carry HARKESTER. To them was born but one child, a daughter - Martha, born January 11, 1852. She married John BLAKESTEY, and January 12, 1873, died leaving an infant daughter - Eva, who was born January 6, 1873, and has always had her home with her granparents.

NOTE: Charles A. RUSSEL died at the age of 71 years, 3 months on October 17, 1897. Mary (KASTELL) RUSSELL died at the age of 82 years, 10 months and 21 days on December 6, 1894. Charles and Mary were interred at Union Cemetery, Diagonal, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, p. 300, 1887.
WPA Graves Survey

~Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2009

DAVID RYAN is a native of Hebron, New York, where he was born on March 15, 1840. His parents removed to Jasper County, Iowa, in 1857, and there the son received his education. In 1859 he entered Central University which he left to enlist in the Eighth Iowa Infantry. He was commissioned first lieutenant and served with his command in every engagement until 1865. His regiment participated in the desperate conflict at the "Hornet's Nest" in the Battle of Shiloh, where Lieutenant Ryan was taken prisoner. He experienced the horrors of Libby prison as well as Montgomery and Macon. After being exchanged he was promoted to captain of Company E, and participated in the siege and battles of Vicksburg. In 1864 he was appointed colonel of the Second Regiment of Enrolled Militia of Tennessee. In 1865 Colonel Ryan was elected Representative of the House of the Eleventh General Assembly. He had graduated at the Iowa Law School after leaving the army, and entered upon the practice of his profession. In 1886 he was elected judge of the Sixth Judicial District, serving in that position for three terms.