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John Mathias Rummel
Born April 19, 1828


John Mathias Rummel, second son of George P. and Mary Stouffer Rummel, was born in Adams county, Pennsylvania, April 19, 1828. Seven years after his birth, in 1835, the father moved his family to Richland county, Ohio, locating in Worthington township, where John M. Rummel remained until 1846, with the exception of three summers, living with his five brothers and one sister. The latter was the youngest, and he was second in order of birth, having one brother older.
In the fall of 1846 Mr. Rummel went to Mansfield, Ohio, to learn the tanning business, at a time when the town had but one railroad, the New York & Sandusky. It was at Mansfield that he saw his first train of cars drawn by an engine and curious it looked to the country-bred lad. He remained with the firm of Lake & Hooker until November, 1848, when they dissolved their business. The following spring Mr. Rummel embarked in a tannery business for himself with R. W. Hazlett and they remained together until the fall of 1853. In the meanwhile he had lost his mother, on February 26, 1849, after an illness of but a few days, and he had devoted some time to assisting his father on the farm.
On July 26, 1853, Mr. Rummel married Margaret Ann McConkie, the oldest daughter of John and Margaret (Watts) McConkie, born in Richland county, Ohio, August 13, 1832. John McConkie was born September 13, 1800, in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, and married Margaret Watts, January 4, 1827. She was born near New Lisbon, Ohio, April 20, 1808. They had nine children, namely: Thomas, who is deceased; Margaret Ann, who married John Rummel; Sarah Jane, who married Jonathan Easterly; Catherine, who married Calvin Hazlett; Samuel, who is deceased; James, who is the sixth in order of birth; and Mary Ellen, who is also deceased; Harriet, who married William Robinson; and Hannah, who married John D. Frink.
From the time of his marriage, Mr. Rummel began preparing for his removal to Iowa, being greatly attracted to this state. He sold his stock in the tanyard and by September 1, 1853, had an outfit consisting of a span of horses, a wagon and a few boxes of necessities. In company with his wife and his brother Andrew he set out for what was then considered the far west, September 20, 1853. With them were John and William Moffitt, John Law, R. W. Hazlett and several others, it being the custom to travel in bands for protection and company. They came through Indiana, crossed the Mississippi River on a ferry-boat and landed in Rome, now Olin, Iowa, October 15, 1853.
On May 29, 1854, occurred the birth of their first child, Mary C., who is now the wife of C. W. B. Derr, of Anamosa, and seven others were later born, they being: John Albert, who lives at Lebanon, Missouri; Oliver Clark, who resides at Baxter Springs, Kansas; George Franklin, who lives at Chicago; David Sher man, who makes his home in Olin; Ella May, who died September 22, 1869; Fannie Rosetta, who married Wilbur Starry of Olin; and Margaret Jane, who lives at home. There are now five grandchildren in the family: George Franklin Derr, Ella Mabel Rummel, Roscoe Renne Rummel, Clarice Bernice Starry and Marguerite Rummel Starry.
A memorable event in the Rummel family was the celebration of the golden wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Rummel at their home in Olin, July 26, 1903. Seventy-eight near relatives attended the reception and assisted in making happy the two who had lived together for so long. Unfortunately in less than three years afterward the earthly ties that bound them were severed, when on Monday morning, April 9, 1906, Mr. Rummel breathed his last, and passed peacefully away to the God whose service he had entered on February 18, 1848, when he was converted in the old Methodist church at Mansfield, later joining that denomination and remaining true to its teachings for over half a century. At the time of his demise he lacked but ten days of the seventy-eighth anniversary of his birth. Mr. Rummel left three brothers, George W., Josiah and David, and his widow, children and grandchildren as well as a wide circle of friends to mourn his loss. His other brothers were Andrew, who died March 27, 1905, and Jacob, who died October 11, 1900. The sister, Nancy Jane died near Olin, June 19, 1861. Prior to his demise, Jacob Rummel completed a very valuable genealogy of the Rummel family, dating it back to John Rummel, May 30, 1774.
The subject of this review lived on his farm until March 15, 1894, when he retired to Olin, locating in the home now occupied by Mrs. Rummel and there the remaining years of his happy life were spent. He was a man of careful habit, possessing a somewhat retiring disposition, unquestionable integrity, a benevolent spirit and a most sacred devotion to his family. He always treated his brothers with exceptionable kindness. Mr. Rummel was a great lover of God's house and all His people of whatever name or faith and was punctual in his attendance upon the services. While true to the teachings of the Methodist church, in 1857 he united with the United Brethren denomination on account of there being no church of his faith in his locality. This class was organized by Samuel Easterly in a schoolhouse south of Olin, and afterward formed the St. John class. Later when he removed to Olin, Mr. Rummel transferred his membership to the United Brethren class of this place, with which communion he remained until his death.
"And thus the noble of this life
Are bidding us adieu!
To join the faithful gone before,
And beckon us there too."

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 86.

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