Jackson County

Biography - John Frederick Rausch

JOHN FREDERICK RAUSCH, who is foreman of the car department of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad at Murphysboro, and also Chief of the fire company of that road, is a native of the Buckeye State. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, December 5, 1851, and is a son of John F. and Matilda (Lentsch) Rausch. The parents were both natives of Germany. The paternal grandfather carried on a feed store and engaged in teaming in that country and also in Cincinnati, after his emigration to America.

The father of our subject was reared in Cincinnati, and followed the same business as his father. He was a member of the Union Fire Engine & Hose Company, and was a stalwart and active man, but in 1853 was stricken with cholera and soon died. Mrs. Rausch came to the United States with her parents during her girlhood, the family locating in Evansville, Ind., and later in Louisville, Ky. After the death of her first husband, she became the wife of Joseph Loesch, who died in 1862. They had one child, now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Rausch had two children, the daughter being Mrs. Elizabeth Boyer, of Louisville, Ky.

At the age of four years, John F. went with his mother to Louisville. In 1863, he was serving as bartender when Colonel Kingsley, who came in to get a drink, intrusted $1,000 to his care. On his return for the money the Colonel said, "Young man, you shall have a better job," and he was made messenger under Capt. J. G. Klink and Col. J. R. Delvechio in Louisville, receiving $50 per month and his board. This position he held until the close of the war. One day while out on an expedition he was confronted by Sue Munday, who called halt, but Mr. Rausch whipped up his horse and at length made his escape. Later he saw his pursuer hung.

After the war, our subject served a four years' apprenticeship as car builder with Colonel Delvechio, President of the Market Street Railroad, and then became foreman of the shops, which position he filled until the company sold out. He was then with the Ohio Falls Car Works at Jeffersonville, Ind., for two years, and afterwards served as car builder at Louisville for the Paducah Railroad. In 1880, he went to East St. Louis and was placed in charge of the shops of the St. Louis & Cairo Railroad, and continued as foreman after the purchase of that road by the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. In the fall of 1889, when the shops were built at Murphysboro, he was made foreman at this place and has had entire charge since, with about forty men under him. He understands every department of the business, and his practical knowledge well fits him for the responsible position.

Mr. Rausch was one of the organizers of the Mobile & Ohio Fire Company, and by Mr. Clarke was appointed Chief. This company won the first prize at Jonesboro and Carbondale. It was organized for the preservation of railroad property, but also acts as a fire company for the city. Our subject has now been foreman of car shops for eighteen years, which fact indicates a faithful service and is a record of which he may well be proud.

In Louisville, Ky., in 1873, Mr. Rausch wedded Miss Anne Kesler, a native of Germany, who came to this country in 1865. They have eight children: Christina A., Julius C, Bettie L., Ida M., John F., Freida D., Charles H. and Annie W. Mr. Rausch joined the Masonic fraternity in Hardin County, Ky., and now belongs to Murphysboro Lodge No. 498, A. F. & A. M. He also holds membership with the Lutheran Church. In politics he is a Democrat, and was one of the organizers of the Gill Guards, of which he was elected President. He is also the composer of the Gill campaign song.

Extracted 31 Jul 2020 by Norma Hass from 1894 Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry, and Monroe Counties, Illinois, pages 647-648.

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