JOHN RUF, JR. A worthy representative of the native-born citizens of Carlyle, Illinois, John Ruf, Jr., is well known in the newspaper world, and as editor of the Union Banner, is devoting all his thought and energy to making that journal bright, newsy, readable and clean. He was born January 12, 1879, in Carlyle, and is the third in direct line of descent to bear the name of John Ruf.
His paternal grandfather, John Ruf, the first, was born in Germany, and was there bred and married. In 1852, soon after the death of his wife, Elizabeth Ruf, he immigrated with his family to America, locating in Saint Louis, Missouri, where he was variously occupied for a few years. Coming to Illinois in 1863, he was a resident of Waterloo until 1878, when he returned to his old home in Germany, where he lived until his death, two years later. He reared four children, of whom his son John, the next in line of descent, was the second child.
John Ruf, second, or senior, as he now is, was born November 26, 1842, in Braunlingen, Baden, Germany, and in the eleventh year of his age came with his father to the United States. After acquiring a practical education in private schools at Saint Louis he learned the printer's trade, which he followed for seven years, from 1862 until 1869. Going then to California, he worked at his trade a short time, but not content there returned to Missouri. In 1873 he located in Carlyle, Illinois, and for three years was employed on the Clinton County Pioneer. In 1876 he established the Southern Illinois Zeitung, a weekly German paper, and managed it a number of years. In 1886 he purchased a half interest in the Union Banner, which had been established a few years earlier by the late J. M. Peterson, whose widow retained the other half interest in the paper. In 1888 John Ruf, Sr., bought out Mrs. Peterson's share in the paper, and has since had entire control of the plant. He is a stanch Republican in politics, and during the Civil war was a warm supporter of the Union. In the spring of 1861 he was enrolled in Company A, Second Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and served until being mustered out with his regiment in August, 1861.
John Ruf, Sr., married, in 1875, Josephine Hubert, a daughter of Jacob Hubert, who emigrated from Lorraine, France, his native city, in 1844, to Illinois, becoming one of the pioneer settlers of Clinton county. Eleven children were born of their union, namely: Josephine; Edwin Jacob, deceased; John, Jr.; Harry, deceased; Elsa; Martha, wife of W. P. Hinkel; Ernest; Hubert, deceased; Paul and Brunoe, twins, deceased; and Leo. Fraternally John Ruf, Sr., is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; of the Modern Woodmen of America, and of the Grand Army of the Republic.
John Ruf, Jr., was educated in the public schools of Carlyle, where he was well drilled in the rudimentary branches of knowledge. Inheriting a love for journalism, he entered his father's printing office in 1896, and in course of time mastered the mechanical details of the printer's trade. He subsequently served with ability in different capacities, and since the illness of his father has assumed the assistant editor's chair, which he is
filling successfully. The Union Banner, an interesting and newsy paper, is Republican in politics, and under the efficient management of Mr. Ruf enjoys the largest circulation of any paper in Clinton county.
Mr. Ruf is free from domestic cares and tribulations, never having become a benedict, but he has led a busy and useful life, and being a man of liberal views, energetic and progressive, he is held in high esteem as a man and a citizen. He is an enthusiastic musician, playing the cornet and the clarinet, and is a member of the American Federation of Musicians. Fraternally Mr. Ruf belongs to the Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons and to the Mutual Protective League.