OF JAMES H. RULE
Saturday evening, March 17th, at about 8 o’clock, the soul of one of our best known citizens, Mr. James H. Rule took it departure from the frail tenement of clay which confined its, and quickly the news was spread abroad, “he is dead.” After a brief illness from inflammation of the lungs, paralysis of the brain set in, and his sufferings were ended and he was at rest.
James Henry Rule was born in Springport, Cayuga Co., New York, June 26th, 1828. When he was 4 years old his parents, John H. and Deborah Rule, moved to Norwalk with their family, and here the subject of this sketch passed his boyhood days, attending school, and participating in all the social events of the village. He is remembered, by the few companions of those happy days who remain, as a frank, openhearted, exemplary and upright young man, foremost in every movement and general favorite.
In 1845, when seventeen years old he went into the Experiment office to learn the printer’s trade, becoming an inmate of the family of the late Mr. J. M. Farr, who at time owned the Experiment. Mastering the mysteries of the “art preservative,” he started out for himself in 1851, going to Milan, which was then a thriving village, and assuming control of the Milan Free Press. Six months of Milan seem to have been enough for him, for in the fall of 1851, we find him in Auburn, N.Y., a skillful compositor in a large law publishing house. After a time he drifted westward again, becoming assistant foreman of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, then as now the leading exponent of democratic principles on the “Reserve.”
Here he became acquainted with Mr. W. W. Redfield, who was at that time a compositor on the same paper, and the friendship then formed has only now been broken by the icy hand of death. Determining to cast in their lot together, the two young men came to Norwalk in 1854, and bought the Experiment from Mr. Farr, forming the well known firm of Redfield & Rule.
With the exception of a few years during and immediately after the war, Mr. Rule has since been identified with the Experiment office, and, whether as proprietor or employee always taking the greatest interest in the office, and in fact, in all persons and everything pertaining to the “craft.”
He always had a kind work for everybody, and young men, especially young printers were often indebted to him for words of counsel and advice. The writer can recall many instances of his kindness of heart and fatherly interest that will never be forgotten.
Mr. Rule was always a democrat and labored earnestly and unceasingly for the success of his chosen party; but he commanded the respect and esteem of men of all parties and his warm friends were not bound party ties.
As a fraternity man he was a charter member of Huron Lodge No. 87, I.O.O.F., as always remained a leading and working member of the order. He was also a prominent member of the Masonic body.
In his family relations he was kind and indulgent husband and father. He was twice married, his first wife Sarah Jane Smith, sister of Mrs. T. B. Strong, living but six months. His second wife, Mary A. Wilkinson, who survives him, is a daughter of Samuel Wilkinson; two sons and a daughter also remain to mourn his loss.
In religious belief, thought not a member of any church he inclined to Universalism and from the church of that denomination in _____(unreadable) city the last sad rites over his remains be held on this, Tuesday, morning, Mar. 20th, at 10 o’clock. Peace to his ashes!
Submitted by: Kay Doss