Rudolph Minger

(February 4, 1841 - September 3, 1897)
Rudolph Minger|b. Feb 4, 1841\nd. Sep 3, 1897|p778.htm|Johann Ulrich Minger|b. Jun 15, 1800\nd. Oct 22, 1863|p597.htm|Anna Maria Hofer|b. Oct 22, 1797\nd. Oct 4, 1881|p598.htm|Bendicht Minger|b. Jul 6, 1770\nd. May 15, 1829|p676.htm|Barbara Wanner|b. Jan 21, 1776\nd. Nov 16, 1811|p677.htm|Jakob Hofer|b. Sep 13, 1754\nd. Apr 7, 1841|p854.htm|Barbara Kassermann|d. Aug 12, 1810|p855.htm|

Relationship=Great-granduncle of Rev. Don Emmet (Sr.) Smith.

Rudolph Minger appeared in the as head of household.2 He was born on February 4, 1841 in Mulchi, Canton Berne, Switzerland, son of Johann Ulrich Minger and Anna Maria Hofer,, (date shown on baptism certificate).1

Rudolph Minger Rudolph was the youngest of nine children. Records of his birth date vary; the 4th of February 1841 is the date recorded on his baptism certificate in the possession of his great granddaughter, Clara Frommelt, Guttenberg, Iowa. Rudolph was baptized in the church at Messen, Switzerland on 21 Feb 1841.

One of his sponsors was his father's brother, Bendicht Minger of Mulchi; the name of another sponsor, although difficult to read, appears to be his mother's sister's husband, Johannes Bartschi. Other pertinent information on the baptism certificate states that Johannes Minger (father of Rudolph) was the son of Bendicht of Mulchi and that Anna Hofer (mother of Rudolph) was the daughter of Jakob of Limpach. The certificate is dated 3 March 1845 which was the year the Mingers left Switzerland for America. Rudolph was then four years old. We can believe that he was one of the little ones who rode on the oxcart when his family crossed the country of France to reach the seacoast.

The Minger family settled on a farm near New Philadelphia, Ohio. In the 1850 Tuscarawas County, Ohio census Rudolph is listed as being nine years old and that he had been attending school. An entry dated 21 April 1853 in an old book (now in the possession of Reuben White, Guttenberg) reads, "Reudolfel Minger, working one day on the railroad." Rudolph was then twelve years old. In 1856, at the age of 15, Rudolph and his family left Ohio and moved to Guttenberg, Iowa where Rudolph was confirmed three years later in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. In the 1860 Clayton County, Iowa census he is listed as a farm laborer and living at home, which was on Section 32 in Jefferson Township.

Rudolph enlisted as a private in the Civil War on 2 October 1862 at Dubuque, Iowa in Company D, 27th Infantry Regiment of Iowa Volunteers. (his brother-in-law John Anderegg was in the same company.) At the time of his enlistment Rudolph was 21 years of age, 5 feet 7 inches tall, and had blue eyes, black hair and a light complexion. In September 1863 during the Company's march from Durvells Bluff, Clarendon, Arkansas on the White River towards Little Rock, Arkansas, Rudolph showed the effects of exposure connected with service in the field.

In a letter signed by the First Lieutenant of the 27th Infantry the following is written:

"Rheumatism troubled him (Rudolph) to such an extent that he had finally to be transferred temporarily to the so-called Pioneer Corps of our Brigade; thus he could fill the position of a soldier without being liable to Picket daily and similar exposures to the weather. I remember distinctly that I urged him repeatedly to use the ambulance but in vain. He endeavored to struggle along. The same spirit he evinced shortly afterwards when he asked to be permitted to rejoin his Regiment considering himself sufficiently strong again to march, but again he had over estimated himself, when our Regiment marched on to Tupelo, Missouri in July 1864. He had to be ordered again to the Pioneer Corps, not being able to endure the march. To be properly understood, I will say here, that as a Pioneer he had frequent chances to ride on Wagons and preferred this to going into a Hospital."

Rudolph was mustered out of the Civil War on 12 December 1865 in Mobile, Alabama. His record stated that he was engaged in the capture of Little Rock, Arkansas on 10 September 1863; Ft. Devussy, Louisiana on 14 March 1864; Old Oaks, Louisana on 18 May 1864 and Lake Chicot, Arkansas on 6 June 1864. He was accountable for one knapsack, one haversack and one canteen.

During the time that Rudolph had been in the Civil War, he wrote a letter to his brother Benjamin and although this letter was saved through the many years, it is unknown where it is at the present.

Following his return from the Civil War, Rudolph (known as "Rud") continued to farm and about one year later when he was 25 years old he was married on Christmas Day, 1866, to Elisabeth Ann Walker. Rudolph and Elisabeth Ann had two daughters, Marietta (Ette) and Harriet Elisabeth (Hattie).

When Rudolph was about 31 years old he and his family moved into the town of Guttenberg. A year later Rudolph applied for a War Pension. The pension paper stated that he was then 5 feet 8 1/2 inches tall and had grey hair. His severe rheumatism in the left thigh and leg, due to exposure in the Civil War, had become chronic and he could walk only with the aid of a cane.

The home in which Rudolph and his family lived in Guttenberg was built in 1859 and is now on the Historic Walking Tour of Guttenberg. The address of the home is 11 Schiller Street. Of German architecture, it is 2 1/2 stories high with a tin standing seam roof. It was built of limestone rock from a quarry near the town. Rudolph was in the hardware, hotel and tavern business. A patron's directory dated 1886 lists, "Rudolph Minger, Proprietor of Sample Room".

It is said that the family not only lived in their home on Schiller street, but also ran a hotel in it and had a tavern in the basement. Rudolph was in the hardware store business with Will Kords, their store being located where the present Kuempel and Lake Hardware store now stands.

Clara Frommelt remembers visiting Rudolph's daughter, Etta (Minger) Beutel, who lived in this home on Schiller Street. Clara has in her possession the sugar bowl which Rudolph's mother, Anna Maria (Hofer) Minger, brought with her from Switzerland.

Rudolph and Elisabeth Minger's family bible is now in the home Elizabeth (White) Peterson, granddaughter of Rudolph's older brother Johann. These words are inscribed in beautiful handwriting in the bible --

"Rudolph Minger was born in Switzerland, town of Muelchi, Canton of Bern, on the 14th day of February 1841.

Ann E. Walker was born on the 14th day of Feby 1844 in Wisconsin, town of Cassville, Grant County, married on the 25th day of December 1866 in Clayton
County, Iowa".

Rudolph lived until 3 September 1897 when he died in his home in Guttenberg at age 56 from cirrhosis of the liver. His widow, Elisabeth Ann, lived until 1917 when she died at age 73. They are both interred in the City Cemetery in Guttenberg.1

Rudolph married Elisabeth Ann Walker on December 25, 1866, in Millville Township, Clayton County, Iowa, by the Justice of the Peace, Vincent Harrison.1

On December 21, 1890, his daughter, Harriet, married William Kords.1

Rudolph died on Friday, September 3, 1897 at home at 7:30 in the evening in Guttenberg, Clayton County, Iowa. He was 56 years old.1 He was laid to rest on September 6, 1897 in the Guttenberg City Cemetery lot 348 in Guttenberg, Clayton County, Iowa.1

His obituary in the Guttenberg Press, Guttenberg, Clayton County, Iowa, on September 8, 1897, reads --

Rudolph Minger

Friday evening, at 7:30, at his home in this city, of cirrhosis of the liver, Rudolph Minger, aged 55 years, 6 months and 29 days.

Rudolph Minger was born in Muelchi, Canton Barren, Switzerland, February 4, 1842. When four years of age, with his parents, he came to the United States, locating in Ohio, where they lived until 1856, when they moved to this county, purchasing a farm near Colesburg. In response to his country's call for volunteers, Rud, as he was familiarly called, enlisted October 15, 1862, in Co. D., 27th Iowa infantry, where he served with distinction until Dec. 26, 1865, when he was honorably mustered out.

December 25, 1866 deceased was united in marriage to Miss Anna E. Walker, of this county, who with two daughters, Etta, Mrs. Gus Beutel and Hattie, Mrs. Wm. Kords, all left to mourn the loss of a kind and loving husband and father.

About ten years ago Mr Minger left farm and came to Guttenberg where with Jacob Falkenbainer he embarked in the hardware business, and later, for a short time he was in business with Jacob Kauffmann. Seven years ago Wm. Kords purchased an interest in the business and since then the firm name has been Minger & Kords.

Mr Minger was a good-natured, jovial companion, a generous giver, charitably inclined where charity was deserved and as honest and straightforward as it was possible for a man to be. In fact he possessed all the qualities of one of natures most noble men. He was loved and respected by all who knew him.

The funeral services were held Monday afternoon, under the auspices of the G.A.R. post of this city, which he was a member assisted by W.C. Lewis, and remains interred in the Guttenberg cemetery. A large concourse of relatives and friends were present to pay their last respects to an old friend and neighbor.

Children of Rudolph Minger and Elisabeth Ann Walker


  1. [S25] Mae (Brown) Siemers, Edith (Brown) Lenarz and Ruth (Brown) Rohrwsser, The Minger Family History, A Book of Memory (Publish Date: March 1984). Hereinafter cited as Minger Family Book.
  2. [S204] Homer Donnan, 43, Millville Farmer, Dies Thursday - by Mrs. Bertha Thompson, Unidentified Newspaper, Millville, Iowa. Hereinafter cited as Obituary - Donnan, Homer.

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