Kenosha County Biographical Sketches

Kenosha County Biographical Sketches



GEORGE W. READ (deceased); born in New York State Ju1y 26, 1831; came to Wisconsin at an early age, locating at Kenosha, where he followed the business of sailing; was the owner of three vessels, and commanded them until within two years of his death; died Jan. 16, 1876. Married in 1867, Miss Jennie Read, a native of Jefferson Co., New York State; they have two, boys -Fred, age 11 years; Harry, age 6 years. Members of the Methodist Church.

WILLIAM E. REED, dealer in watches, jewelry and fancy goods born March 24,1834, in Oswego, N. Y.; went to Cincinnati, Ohio, in the spring of 1846, where he learned his business; went to New Orleans about 1850; to California in 1851, where he worked in the gold diggings, sometimes getting out from four to five and one-half pounds of the precious metal per day for months at a time; his claim was located on the Durrigen Flat at Downeyville, on Yuba River; afterward he had one at Yankee Jim's, on the American River; he returned to Cincinnati in 1855, and came to Kenosha in November of that year, when he established himself in business; was burnt out March 20, 1869, and then built the store he now occupies; Mr. Reed keeps on hand the fittest assortment of silverware in the city, superintends a millinery department in the same store; they are agents for the White sewing machines. He assisted in raising Co. G, 1st Wis. V. I., the first to offer service to the Government from Wisconsin, and was Lieutenant of the same, but was unable to go into the army on account of urgent business and other private matters; he now holds a Captain's commission in that company; he also served in the Provost Marshal's office during the war. Married Elizabeth A. Bridgman, of Plymouth, England July 2, 1861. He was Alderman of Kenosha for ten years, consecutively; President of the Council for several years, acting for the Mayor in his absence, Mr. Reed belongs to Lodge No. 47, Chapter No. 3, Masons; Lodge No. 49, I. O. O. F., and to the Knights of Honor. Mrs. Reed is a member of the Episcopal church, which Mr. R. attends.

HON. FREDERICK ROBINSON, was born in Church Stretton, Shropshire, England, March 11, 1844, and is the ninth and youngest child of John and Elizabeth Taylor Robinson; he was educated at a private school, be delicate health prevented very arduous application to study; at the age of 16, he was apprenticed to the drug business, and after five years devoted to acquiring his profession, he came to the United States, landing in New York in the spring of 1845; the following year he removed Chicago; remained there a short time, then came to Kenosha, where he passed the winter; the following spring, he made a tour of investigation with a view of establishing himself, but found no place he liked so well as Kenosha, where, in the autumn of 1847, he finally commenced business. Mr. Robinson is a public-spirited citizen, and is honored with the respect and confidence of the people. He served as Alderman of the city of Kenosha in 1852, 1858 and 1868; he was Chief Engineer of the Fire Department in 1850, 1860 and 1872; Chairman of the County Board in 1868; Mayor of the city in 1862, 1863 and 1869; member of the State Legislature in 1872 and 1876, and President of the County Agricultural Society in 1877. In 1867, he purchased a one-third interest in the Whitaker Engine and Skein Co., of Kenosha; he is owner of a farm of 160 acres adjoining the city, to which he gives a good deal of personal attention. He married, on the 3d of October, 1852, Miss Ann Bertholf, a native of Illinois; they have had fourteen children. seven are living - Alma Elizabeth, Richard Taylor, Ida Ann, Emma Eliza, Maria Louisa, Frederick, Jr., and Harry Bertholf.

HENRY M. ROGERS, books and stationery; born in Tompkins Co., N. Y., in 1827; came West and located in Illinois, in 1835; in 1866, came to Kenosha and engaged in printing; in 1867, entered the book and stationery business, in Mr. Johnson's store; in 1869, he started in business as stationer and book-dealer; in 1872, became local reporter for the Kenosha Telegraph; in 1873, clerk in Kenosha Post Office; in 1875, re-entered the book and stationery business, and is at present engaged at the latter.

NICHOLAS ROHR, foreman Gottfredsen & Son's brewery; born Oct. 16, 1823, in Germany; came to Wisconsin in 1852, locating at Kenosha; in 1856, commenced work for Gottfredsen & Son, and remained with them until 1862, when he worked in Muntzenberger's brewery for eight years; in 1870, he returned to Gottfredsen & Son, taking charge of the brewery and malt-house. Married, in 1851, Miss Mary Orth, a native of Germany; they have had nine children, four daughters and five sons; two daughters and two sons died in Kenosha; Fredrick William, the second eldest son, is studying for a physician in Chicago. The family are members of the Catholic Church.


LEANDER RICHTMEYER, farmer, Sec. 17; P.O. Pleasant Prairie; born March 26, 1833, in New York; worked as a carpenter there; came to Wisconsin in 1854, stopped in Kenosha three months, then went to Sauk Co., Wis., and worked as a carpenter and nillwright for ten years; came to Pleasant Prairie in 1864, and went to farming; bought his farm of 127 acres, in 1868, and raises all kinds of grain and stock, making a specialty of dairy work. For about three months, during the war, worked for the Government as carpenter at Little Rock, Ark. Married Miss Eliza Seamen, of Sauk Co., Wis., Jan. 1, 1857.

JOSEPH RODDEL, farmer, Sec. 13; P.O. Kenosha; born Nov. 3, 1832, in Cambridgeshire, England; came to America in the spring of 1841, and stopped some time in New York State; moved to Huron Co., Ohio; lived there two years, and came to Pleasant Prairie about 1846; settled on his farm of 240 acres in the spring of 1864, and raises grain and stock of all kinds. He was District Clerk of schools for six years.


CHRISTIAN RAPP, farmer, Sec. 6; P.O. Kenosha; born in Germany in 1821, and came to America in 1855; stopped in Pennsylvania until 1858, when he came to Kenosha Co., where he settled on the farm he now occupies. He married; has had three children, two of whom are still living. He is owner of thirty acres of land.

DANIEL W. REASE, farmer, Sec 4; P.O. Somers; born in Cortland Co., N.Y., in 1837; his father, James Rease, came to Wisconsin in 1839; returned East, and, in 1840, brought his family and settled in what is now Somers, Kenosha Co.; he engaged in farming until the death of this wife in 1846, when he engaged in sign and house painting in Kenosha until 1861, when he went to California, where he now resides, leaving Daniel to manage the farm; Daniel also went to California, but only remained a year, when he returned to his farm where he is at present. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. He married, in Cortland Co., in January 1865, Miss Maria A. Brooks, a native of Cortland Co., N.Y.; has three children - Calyton B., born April 9, 1866; Harvey V., Feb 28 1873; Edith M., Jan. 21, 1877.

SAMUEL T. RICE, farmer, Sec. 30; P.O. Kenosha; born in Warren Co., N.Y., in 1817; came West and located in Kenosha Co. in 1841, and engaged in building, which he followed for a number of years; he held the office of Road Commissioner at the time of the change from Territorial to State Government; was also Town Clerk and Assessor; in 1848, he was appointed Postmaster at Kenosha, holding that office up to 1856. He married, in May 1842, Miss Matilda Judd, a native of Tompkins Co., N.Y.; has five children; Orville A., the eldest, enlisted during the rebellion in the 1st Wis. V.I.; was transferred to 21st; participated with his regiment in all battles , and was with Gen. Sherman on his famous march to the sea; he was lost, during the latter part of the war.


None with the letter "R"


PHILLIPP REIDENBACH, farmer, Sec. 13, P.O. Kenosha; born in Prussia in 1824; came to America in 1846, and, in 1854, to Wisconsin, locating in Paris, where he engaged in farming, which he has followed until the present time. He is a member of the German Lutheran Church. Married, in the city of New York, in 1849, Miss Mary Baumbauer, a native of Germany, who died in April, 1850, having had one child that died in infancy. Mr. Reidenbach married again, in the city of New York, in 1852, Miss Catherine Danflinger, a native of Germany; they have one child - Carrie, born Jan. 5, 1853. He is owner of eighty-five acres.


MRS. CATHERINE RILEY, farmer, Sec. 14; P.O. Brighton; she was born in County Meath, Ireland. Her maiden name was Catherine Simons. Married, in New York City, October, 1841, Mr. Hugh Riley; born in County Meath, Ireland, in 1797. Shortly after marriage, they came to Brighton Township, where he located and engaged at farming, which occupation he industriously followed up to within a few months of his death, in December, 1876. He had accumulated a valuable property. They had five children - Mary, born Oct. 25, 1842; Richard, Nov. 4, 1844 (died in September, 1861); Margaret, Oct. 4, 1846; Anna, April 20, 1849; James, Sept. 15, 1852. They own 115 acres of fertile land in Brighton, with commodious barns and a comfortable house. Mrs. Riley has been a member of the Brighton Roman Catholic Church ever since its organization, and her husband was on of the foremost in the organization and building of the Church.


JOHN S. REYNOLDS, farmer, Secs. 16 and 17; P.O. Bassett's Station; born Sept. 21, 1822, in Cambridge, Washington Co., N.Y.; settled in Kenosha Co. September, 1848; owns 454 acres of land. Married, on 31st March, 1857, Miss Elizabeth Coon, daughter of Sylvester Coon, of Randall; she was born 27th of May, 1832; had six children - Mary, born March 8, 1858; John, Jan 28, 1860; Everette, Oct. 19, 1861; Alice L., Feb. 14, 1867; Sarah E., Aug. 25, 1869; Eugene, March 13, 1872. Members of the Baptist Church.

LEWIS ROBERTSON, farmer, Secs. 15 and 16; P.O. Bassett's Station; born Feb. 16, 1811, in Washington Co., N.Y.; always followed farming; settled in Kenosha Co. June 1, 1842; owns 160 acres of land. Married, Jan. 1, 1839, Miss Jane Ann Reynolds, daughter of D.J. Reynolds, of Washington Co., N.Y.; she was born April 26, 1817; had five children - three boys and two girls - John Henry, born Oct. 13, 1839; Mary E., Nov 19, 1845; Franklin L., Oct. 3, 1847; George Washington, March 5, 1852; Sara L., Oct. 7, 1854. Mr. L. Robertson held the offices of Commissioner and Justice of the Peace ten years.


None with the letter "R"


CHARLES RASCH, farmer, Sec. 35; P.O. Slade's Corner; was born in Germany in 1836; came to Wisconsin in 1856. Married in 1868; his wife was born in Germany; they have four children; Mr. and Mrs. R. are members of the Lutheran Church. Mr. Rasch owns 120 acres of land.

JOHN RUNKEL, farmer, Sec. 35; P.O. Wheatland; born in the Grand Duchy of Hesse, Germany, in August, 1819; learned the trade of wagon-making, which business he followed in different parts of Europe; in 1835, went to Baden, Germany, where he worked until 1838, then went to France, where he worked at his trade until 1839, then started for Switzerland; was employed at his trade there till 1840; then went to Constance, France, where he took up his business till 1841; then traveled through Tyrol to Vienna, Austria; lived there a few months; he next went to Hungary, where he remained only a short time when he returned, in 1842, to his home in Germany; in July, 1840, he came to Burlington, Wis., where he worked at carpentering till 1844; in 1844, bought a farm of eighty acres in Burlington, Township; he never lived on it, but made some good improvements there. Married in Wheatland, March, 1845, Miss Theresa Eberhardt, who was born in Prussia in 1827. They have had eleven children, eight are living - Augusta, born in October, 1847; Theresa, August, 1851; Henry, September, 1855; Louisa, April, 1858; Sophia, May, 1861; Emma, March, 1863; Julia, September, 1865; Clara May, 1867. Mr. Runkel has held the office of Treasurer of the School Board in District No. 1, Wheatland, for four years; in the spring of 1873, he was elected Supervisor, and re-elected every successive year till 1878; Mr. Runkel has led a very industrious life; he owns 160 acres of land in Section 35, where he is living; also owns seventy -three acres in Sec. 12, Brighton Township; thirty-three acres in Section 2, Wheatland; altogether, he owns 266 acres of fine land, well improved. Members of the Wheatland German Presbyterian Church.

JOHN P. RUNKEL, farmer, Secs. 1 and 2; P.O. Fox River Station; born on the left bank of the Rhine, between the cities of Bingen and Mentz, in Germany, Oct. 7, 1827; he is the son of Anthony and Susan Runkel; his father was born in Germany in 1788; in 1805, he went as a substitute in the army for his brother under General Bonaparte, under whom he served gallantly; during their service in Russia, the soldiers suffered severe exposure to the extreme frost; many of them had their limbs severely frost-bitten, of whom he was one; other soldiers were frozen to death. He married in Germany, in 1819, Miss Susan Karcher, who was born in Germany in 1790; they had six children; four are living - Barbara, born in October, 1824, married Frank Seibing; Margaret, born in 1825, married John Cull; Agnes, born in 1831, married William Cull; and John P. They came to Wisconsin with their parents in August, 1841, who located and bought a farm, on which they lived until their death. Then John P. married in Wheatland, Miss Mary Reidtbrock, who was born in Germany in 1837; they have had six children; four are living - Frederick, Amelia, Emma and Henry. Mr. Runkel has industriously followed farming ever since his arrival in the county; by good management and strict attention to business he has accumulated a good property. He owns 500 acres of fine land in two farms; both are very well improved; in 1878, he built a new house, in which he is living.

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