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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


RICHARD RUBLE. In noting the career of the representative men of Morgan County, he with whose name we introduce this sketch cannot properly be omitted. Within its limits he was born July 16, 1826, and here have centered his closest interests. While watching the growth and development of Central Illinois, he has practically "grown up with the country," and in his labors of thirty years or more has contributed largely to the growth and prosperity of his township. He is practically a self-made man, having received only limited advantages in his youth, acquiring his book learning in the primitive log cabin with its puncheon floor and desks and seats made of slabs. The system of instruction in those days was in keeping with the architecture of the building - far inferior to that enjoyed by the present generation. Those times, however, with their arduous labors and unavoidable duties, had the effect to develop an admirable class of men - men who form the bone and sinew of all well regulated society. Not only were they courageous, physically, but they possessed the moral courage which looked with contempt upon a mean act, and made the best good of the community an interest almost equal with their own.

Our subject is the offspring of a good family, being the son of Jesse Ruble, who was born in East Tennessee in 1798, and came to this county in 1820. He first located on a piece of land, which he improved and sold to John Green, then entered 160 acres from the Government, and commencing another homestead, added by degrees to his real estate until he became the owner of 520 acres of land. Finally selling this also, he purchased the farm now owned and occupied by his son, our subject, and later disposing of this also, removed to Sangamon County. There he purchased a farm of 200 acres or more and spent the remainder of his life, passing away Aug. 1, 1871.

The mother of our subject was in her girlhood Miss Mary Matthews, and Richard and Jacob were the only children born of this union. Jesse Ruble married for his second wife Catherine Robertson, who was born in Scotland and died in 1837. They had one daughter, Catherine, who became the wife of Thomas Wilcox, of Sangamon County. They are now living on a farm in this county, and are the parents of ten children, two of whom are deceased. This lady died, and Mr. Ruble was married the third time to Miss Mary Butler, of Sangamon County, who became the mother of one child and is now deceased, together with the child.

Upon coming to this county Jesse Ruble found a wild, uncultivated waste, with the cabins of the settlers few and far between. He carried the surveyor's chain when the city of Jacksonville was laid out. Before coming to the West he had served in the War of 1812, and later was the only man in this county able to drill the militia at the general muster customary at intervals all over the United States. He also served in the Black Hawk War under Gen. Taylor, and received a Colonel's commission. The people of this region endured many hardships in the early days, and frequently were greatly troubled to obtain enough provisions. Mr. Ruble was a very public-spirited and benevolent man, and would frequently take his ox team and go to the river bottoms on hunting excursions for honey and bees wax, which the Government land officers, then located at St. Louis, Mo., accepted in payment for land and debts, as there was no money in circulation in this county at the time.

The subject of this sketch was first married in 1849, to Miss Lucy D. Harris, who was born in 1828, and whose parents came from Middle Tennessee in 1843. She departed this life at the old homestead in November, 1863, after having become the mother of one child, a son, John A., who is now living in Kansas; he married Miss Mary Reger, of Sangamon County; and they have three children - Charles, John and Lorenzo. Mr. Ruble contracted a second marriage with Miss Sarah Jane Smetters, of Sangamon County, and whose parents came to this county in 1843, when she was quite young. The seven children of this union were named respectively: Mary Ellen, Milton, Andrew J., George, Henry, Sarah Jane, and Samuel. Mary Ellen is the wife of Harvey Sorrels, who is farming in the vicinity of New Berlin, Sangamon County. The other children remain at home with their parents.

Mr. Ruble commenced in life at the foot of the ladder, employed as a farm laborer. He then herded cattle for two years, and next began operations on rented land, working in this way for six years. At the expiration of this time he purchased a part of the land which constitutes his present farm. He now has 720 acres, the whole of which is under a good state of cultivation and improved with good buildings. The industry with which he has labored, and the good judgment with which he has managed cannot be better realized than by glancing over his valuable country estate, and noting the fact of the large outlay of time, labor and money which have brought it to its present condition.

In July, 1864, Mr. Ruble met with a serious accident by falling seventy-four and a half feet from a bee tree, form which he sustained what at first appeared to be almost fatal injuries; and on account of this, and being afflicted with rheumatism, he has been obliged to abandon in a great measure his active labors. His rare faculties as a manager, however, fully supply the place of brawn and muscle, and he is still competent to superintend the operations of his large farm. He usually feeds about 100 head of cattle annually for the Chicago market, and also the same number of swine. He keeps about forty-two head of horses and mules, and from these two industries alone realizes handsome profits.

Politically, Mr. Ruble uniformly votes the Republican ticket, and although not belonging to any church organization, he endeavors to make it the rule of his life to do unto his neighbors as he would be done by. A man needs no better recommendation than the good will of his neighbors, and this Mr. Ruble possesses in a marked degree. He has made for himself an enviable record both as a man and a citizen, and is one of those who will be kindly remembered long after he has departed hence.

Jacob Ruble, the younger of the two children born to the mother of our subject, married a Miss Kingsbury, of Iowa, and is a resident of Labette County, Kan. As a boy he took kindly to his book, acquired a good education, and now follows the profession of a teacher; he has no children.

1889 Index
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