"The Autobiography of an Unimportant Man"
Chapter 1  Section E
by Glenn McMurry


This genealogy, together with the original "Coat of Arms of the House of Ruegger," was presented by the Harmonie Singing Club of Monroe to Edward Ruegger upon his retirement as Director of the "Maennerchor Harmonie" on January15, 1905. Originally prepared and written in German by Ferdinand Ingold of Monroe, Secretary of the Club in 1905, it traced the family history from 1300 to 1855.

Great care was taken by the Society that every detail be correct. Letters of inquiry were sent to Switzerland and Germany, asking for names and dates. Slowly the answers and data came back across the Atlantic, until finally, in 1905, the genealogy was complete.

In 1932, Carl Marty, a member of the original "Harmonie Club" and close friend of the Edward Ruegger family, translated this history into English for the present generation.

Monroe, Wisconsin
January 16, 1905

Ruegger Coat of Arms

On a shield, diagonally divided by black and gold, is the upper half of a Unicorn, with red trunkpart in interchanging color. On the helmet, arising from the black border is the Unicorn of the escutcheon. The head of the Unicorn carries a golden crown, set with gems. The colors of the Helmet are blue, black and gold. (Vol., v. 6 fol. 30, plate 33, Seibmacher.)

The Unicorn, which is similar to a deer, with unjointed feet like an elephant and the mane of a horse, has on the forehead a long twisted horn. The latter, used against poison, is the symbol of virginity, valor and lust for battle. Because the Unicorn formerly lived in the woods of Africa in great enmity with the lion, and several times conquered him, it was chosen for the coat of arms; first to recognize the valor of the Ruegger family, and second to urge them on to fight and avoid vice like poison. The Helmet signifies good linegae. The colors black and gold signify honor and long life. The fishnet in the lower field represents the occupation of the first Rueggers as hunters and fishermen on the island of Rugen.


The name Ruegger originated verbally from the old high-German, personal name "Hrodgar" (from hrod, in old northern language hrodr - sound, renown) from which came next Rogger as the family name, and after that, according to use of language, time and country, Rudiger, Rugger, Ruediger, Rueger, Rucker, Rugger and Ruegger. (See Heintze, The German Family Names, Page 146.)

The Ruggers (Rueggers) or Rueckers are an old Swabian family, which apparently had settled in Bluuthal by the thirteenth century. That the Minnesinger Heinrich von Rugge can be claimed as ancestor is an open question, as proof cannot be found.

NICOLAUS RUECKER, teacher of both branches of law, and ANDREAS RUECKER, high-secretary of the Archbishop of Mayence (Mainz) on July 25, 1545, received a letter of nobility and coat of arms from Emperor Karl V. This was lost in the disturbances of later times, and the brothers FRIEDRICH and FRANZ RUGGER reached nobility otherwise in 1620.

The first person to carry the coat of arms was MICHAEL RUECKER or RUGGER, doctor of medicine of Wiesensteig. Elected in 1534 as Rector of Tuebingen, he remained five terms in the same office, and died October 9, 1561, in Tuebingen.

DANIEL RUECKER, born on February 1, 1605 at Rotenburg on the Tauber, was Professor in Marburg. Later he was Superintendent in Aschaffenburg and Court-Chaplain to Duke Bernhard of Sachsen-Weimar, and lastly Superintendent in his home city. He died March 13, 1665, at Rotenburg on the Tauber.

FRIEDERICH RUECKER, born 1644, was Professor of Philosophy and Rector at Loebenicht. He died there February 15, 1680.

In the disturbances of the Thirty Year War the RUECKERS branched out into Switzerland (Canton Aargau), Silesia, Brandenburg and Hamburg, so that in 1685 there were only two RUECKER brothers left in Ansbach-Bayreuth. DANIEL was burgomaster of Rotehburg on the Tauber, and MICHAEL was Superintendent at Windseim. In 1689, DANIEL became imperial Councillor and, together with his brother, MICHAEL, was on September 28 of the same year (1689) elevated to nobility. DANIEL died without children and the decendants of MICHAEL, as scholars, did not make use of the nobility degree. When the principalities Ansbach and Bayreuth were ceded to Bavaria, all nobility was commanded to register their degrees on the Bavarian roll, under penalty of losing same by not doing so. The then only descendant, MICHAEL RUECKER, would not comply, and renounced his rights of nobility.

Of the Silesian RUECKERS, STANISLAUS, born December 17, 1649, in the village of Giehren near Friedberg on the Queis, was widenly known through his humanitarian help to the poor. He was tax-director in Berlin, and died April 14, 1734. DANIEL RUECKER was born January 14, 1692, in Berlin, and was preacher from 1729 to 1768 at the St. Michaels Church in Hamburg. He died October 24, 1773. SIEGMUND RUEGER, a Theologian and Philosopher, was born on September 29, 1716, in Berlin and died June 1, 1764.

The branch that came to Switzerland, using the special term RUEGGER, settled in the towns of Lenzburg and Zofingen, prospering especially in Oftringen. A son of this branch, JOHANN JACOB RUEGGER, emigrated to the United States of America, State of Wisconsin, Monroe, and founded the RUEGGER family in America. His ancestors, the RUEGGER family belonging to the branch who settled in Switzerland, are listed below:

HANS ULRICH RUEGGER, born in 1705, married VERENA KUNZ, who was born in Britnau in 1706. To them were born two sons GEORGE RUEGGER, born in 1729, and HANS JACOB RUEGGER, born in 1730.

HANS JACOB RUEGGER married SUSANNA WASMER, was born in 1732, and they were the parents of one son, HANS JACOB RUEGGER, JR., born in 1769.

HANS JACOB RUEGGER, JR., married VERENA SCHEUERMANN, born in Safenwyl, 1768. To this union were born eight children, two sons and six daughters, as follows:

ANNA, born, 1796.

MARIA, born, 1798; died, 1798.

ANNA MARIA, born, 1799.

JOHANN JACOB RUEGGER, born February 1, 1801; died December 21, 1867. [The father of Edward Ruegger, born October 18, 1836, died April 12, 1916, for whom this family history was gathered and to whom it was presented.]

VERENA, born, 1803.

JOHANES, born, 1804.


ROSINA, born 1809; died 1811.

It is believed that this family of children were all born in Oftringen, Canton Aargau, in the same place where the father, HANS JACOB RUEGGER, was born.

[Thus, HANS ULRICH RUEGGER (1705) and VERENA (KUNZ) RUEGGER (1706) were the great, great grandparents of Edward Ruegger,]

In Rothrist, Gemeinde Niederwyl, Canton Aargau, JOHANN JACOB RUEGGER was schoolmaster for over 25 years. Before coming to America in 1854, he married Anna Pluess, and to this union, six children were born in Switzerland:
MARIANNA, born July 24, 1834; died February 6, 1883 at Monroe, Wisconsin. Married Fred Asmus.

EDWARD, born October 18, 1836; died April 12, 1916, at Monroe, Wisconsin; married Sophia Schober, 1861; married Louisa Pfeiffer, 1888.
[He is the one for which this geneology was prepared]

IDA, born November 12, 1838; died October 31, 1910, at Alhambra, Illinois; married Nicholas Ochs.

TRAUGOTT, born August 7, 1841; died May 10, 1852, at Niederwyl, Switzerland.

PAULINA, born February 13, 1850; died December 31, 1932, at Monroe, Wisconsin; married Emanuel Weissmiller; married A. G. Putnam.

AMALIA, born March 22, 1853, and at present (1940) lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; married Valentine Mattern.

This was the family, as children, that JOHANN JACOB RUEGGER brought with him to America. He was the first person to hold a German service in Monroe. After a congregation was organized, he served as the first German minister for several years, preaching in the public schoolhouse by permission of the school board. He preached, baptized, and held funerals. JOHANN JACOB RUEGGER died December 21, 1867, at the age of sixty-six years, ten months and twenty days.

EDWARD RUEGGER, son of J. J. RUEGGER, came to America with his parents and family in 1854, leaving Switzerland on July 29. For a short time, the family lived in Buffalo, New York. The family moved west, and arrived in Monroe, Wisconsin, July 3, 1855, where EDWARD RUEGGER resided until death, April 12, 1916. During the Civil War, he volunteered and enlisted in September 1861, in the Ninth Regiment, Vol. Inf. He was commissioned to recruit a Swiss company in Green County, was made second lieutenant, advanced to first lieutenant, and was made Captain. He served as Captain for two years and eight months. His time of service was three years and three months. He was a member of O.F. Pinney Post, Smith Lodge No. 31, F. & A.M., I.O.O.F. No 72, Esther Rebekah Lodge, Charter Member of Concordia Lodge No. 124, I.O.O.F. Germania, A.O.U.W., Captain Monroe Fire Department, Hook and Ladder Company, Turner Hall Society, Sharp-shooters Society, Chairman Dem. County Committee. Sheriff of Green County, Alderman and Justice of the Peace of the city of Monroe, one of the founders of the Swiss Maennerchor "Harmonie" in 1891, and their director for many years.

By trade he was a wagon-maker, and as such associated with his father and Andrew Lanz. After the Civil War he purchased the hotel in Monroe, known as The United States House, which he later sold to Louis Schuetze, Sr. Later he was engaged in retail grocery and wholesale cheese business.

In the late seventies he purchased a farm in the Town of Clarno near Monroe. He and his family lived there until 1896, when they moved permanently to Monroe. He retired from his office of Justice of the Peace and from his insurance business in 1908, after serving thirteen years as Justice of Peace. He revisited his native country, Switzerland, in 1908, after an absence of fifty-four years.

EDWARD RUEGGER was married on November 4, 1861, to Sophia Schober, who died August 17, 1888. They were parents of eleven children:

IDA, born April 25, 1864, married Joseph Marion Deal. Lives in Burrton, Kansas

[Note: The family record of Ida, updated in 1999, will be found at the end of this genealogy]

Infant girl, born September 6, 1865; died September 8, 1865.

EDWARD J., born September 1, 1866; married Rose Disch; died March 13, 1916, in Waldenburg, Arkansas.

THEODORE, born March 11, 1868; married Freida Renick; died March 28, 1914, in Waldenburg, Arkansas.

ANNA, born March 9, 1870. Died May 11, 1872.

OTTO S., born April 3, 1872. Married Mattye Renick. Lives in Waldenberg, Arkansas.

SOPHIA L., born August 12, 1874. Married William Schuetze. Lived in Monroe, Wisconsin. (Died Dec 25, 1979)

ALMA G., born September 27, 1877. Lives in Monroe, Wisconsin.

MOLLIE, born December 12, 1879. Died May 21, 1884.

LOUIS E., born February 27, 1882. Married Balbina Elmer. Died July 28, 1936, in Park Falls, Wisconsin .

LAURA E., born November 28, 1886. Married Edward Swim. Lives in Fruita, Colorado.

EDWARD RUEGGER was married on December 18, 1888, to Louisa W. Pfeiffer, of Monroe, Wisconsin. To that union, two children were born.

CARL H., born January 6, 1890. Married Marjorie Reiser after his first wife, Mabel Keyes, died. Lives in Beloit, Wisconsin.

LILLIE MAY, born February 2, 1892. Died August 1, 1899.


Ida Margaret Ruegger's updated family record added to this genealogy in 1999

IDA MARGARET RUEGGER, born April 24, 1864, in Monroe, WI; died December 6, 1959, at Burton, KS; married March 15, 1883 to Joseph Marion Deal, born March 3, 1862, in Monroe, WI; died March 14, 1933, at Burrton, KS. To this union, six children were born: EDWARD FRANKLIN DEAL, born January 6, 1884; died January 16, 1972 at Burrton, KS; married Hattie Elizabeth Haddock, born March 24, 1901; died May 6, 1942. To this union, three children were born:

VERGA BETH DEAL, born November 8, 1926

EDWARD CHARLES DEAL, born September 27, 1928

JAY DUANE DEAL, born May 15, 1930.

FLOYD DEAL, born 1886, died in infancy, buried Rock Rapids, IA

BONNIE SADIE DEAL, born July 19, 1888; died September 19, 1973, in Maryland; married November 1, 19911, to Frederick Earl McMurry, Sr., born July 11, 1887, died July 27, 1967 in Hutchinson, KS. The McMurry family cemetery plots are at Fairview Cemetery, Reno County, KS. To this union three children were born. All were born in the farm home south of Hutrchinson, KS.

FREDERICK Earl, Jr. McMURRY, born December 8, 1912, died June 10, 1969
HELEN MARGARET McMURRY, born December 3, 1915, died October 11, 1927.

GLENN DEAL McMURRY, born August 16, 1917.

NELLE MAY DEAL, born July 18, 1891; died December 18, 1979, at Burrton, KS; married September 2, 1914, to George Shaw, born March 4, 1892; died September, 1941. To this union three children were born.
  THEODORE DEAL SHAW, born August 5, 1917; died July 29, 1988, in Deer Run DeShea Hills, TN

EUGENE BRYAN SHAW, born October 25, 1923; died March 12, 1983, in Burrton, KS

JOSEPH MARION SHAW, born September 6, 1926

JOSEPH MARION DEAL, born September 6, 1901; died May 2, 1969, in Newton, KS; married Elsie Coberly, born May 6, 1900; died June 10, 1957.

LEO LENY DEAL, born Nov 26, 1906; died Mar 25, 1969 at Veteran's Hospital, Wichita, KS, buried at Burrton, KS