Columbia possesses one of the first requisites for success, a public spirited mayor, Frederick G. Rapp, the incumbent of that office now serving upon his second term and having made a record for efficiency which is indeed pleasant for all concerned. In the business world he is known as a particularly successful insurance and real estate man, representing some of the most important companies. He is also known as an educator and for eighteen years directed the “young idea' in the public schools of Monroe county. In truth, his services were such as to make it a matter of general regret when he entered a new line of endeavor.

Mr. Rapp is a native son of the state and is very loyal to all its institutions. He was born in Central City, December 6, 1871, and is of German extraction, his father, the Rev. John T. Rapp, having been born in 1835 in Germany, At the age of thirty years he came to the land of the stars and stripes. He had prepared for the ministry of the Evangelical church in his native country and upon coming here he located at Nashville, Illinois, and was minister of the Evangelical church for the space of five years. He then removed to Central City and Centralia, having congregations in both places. He was married to a young countrywoman to whom he had been betrothed in Germany,— Miss Mary Scherbart - his fiancee joining him in Nashville, Illinois, where the marriage took place. To their union five children were born, Frederick G. being the third in order of birth. Martha, now Mrs. Heineman, of St. Louis, and the subject alone survive. Rev. Mr. Rapp spent the remainder of his life in Centralia, his demise occurring in 1876, when Frederick was a lad only five years of age. He was well known and very generally respected and his untimely death was a matter of deep regret in many quarters. He was a fluent speaker, possessing, in truth, the gift of oratory which was exceedingly useful to him in his good work. His widow, who still survives, making her home in St. Louis, was a second time married, becoming the wife of Benjamin Findling, a teacher in the parochial schools of the Evangelical church. The family subsequently removed from Central City to Waterloo where Mr. Findling had been engaged as principal of the Evangelical school, and there they resided until 1888, when they went to St. Louis, where the step-father had accepted the principalship of St. Matthew's school and remained in such capacity until his death, in 1909.


The earliest childhood of Frederick G. Rapp was passed in Central City, the removal to Waterloo, as previously mentioned, having been just following his mother's marriage. He was educated in the parochial and public schools of Monroe county and was graduated from the high school at Waterloo in the year 1888. Then removing with the family to St. Louis, he became a teacher in St. Mathew's school, of which his step-father was principal. He remained in that city until 1890, when he came to Monroe county and, having successfully passed the examination which made, him eligible to teach in the public schools, embarked in this work and for eighteen consecutive years taught in the schools. He was conscientious and enlightened in his methods and in this as in all else to which he has put his hand he was successful, the community ever congratulating itself upon the possession of instructors of his type. However, in 1908 he severed his, connection with pedagogical affairs and entered the real estate and insurance business, in which he is now engaged. He has built up a large and constantly growing business and is district agent for several fire and life insurance companies.

Mr. Rapp entered upon his career in the mayoralty in 1909 and is now serving his second term. He has given the town a clean, strong administration and has done much towards bringing about a number of things conducing to the general welfare. He was, for instance, instrumental in securing the electric line from St. Louis to Waterloo, and he is in all things thoroughly progressive. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and is also affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Eastern Star. He is very loyal to the best interests of Columbia; he purchased the land upon which is located the waterworks and electric light plant; he is busy with plans for an extensive waterworks and sewerage system, and is very proud of the fact that Columbia has the finest streets and sidewalks in Monroe county. In addition to his other public services he is also secretary of the school board. He is indeed one of the most prominent of Columbia's residents and assuredly is one of its most valuable citizens.

Mr. Rapp laid the foundations of a happy household and congenial life companionship when, on April 26, 1896, he was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Snyder, daughter of H. Snyder, of this place. They share their delightful home with two children, Viola and Walter. Mr. Rapp is Republican in politics, having given his support to the “Grand Old Party” since his earliest voting days.

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