Rudolph Riep

Rudolph Riep

Rudolph John Adolph Riep
6 March 1882 – 21 May 1916 (aged 34)

Rudolph was born in Chicago to German immigrant parents and was one of only four siblings of ten to survive childhood. His father worked at a lumber yard in the early years after arriving in the US, but eventually he became a foreman (unclear where) and in later years worked for the railroad, and the census records indicate he did well, owning the family home free and clear. In these years before an expectation of retirement, however, we find him still hard at work on the railroad in his 70s.

At the age of 18 (on the 1900 census) Rudolph is listed as working as a knitter at a knitting factory; by 1910, he has married and moved up to working as a foreman in the same industry. He and wife Mary Poinkney, who was five years his junior, married in 1906, but had no children. A few years after his death, she remarried to a recently-widowed man, but sadly her only child with her second husband died in childbirth.

Of all Rudolph’s siblings, only the youngest Charles would outlive their parents who lived into their eighties. It’s impossible to imagine the tragedy of burying nine children, but as I’m finding in the records especially concerning immigrant familes around the turn of the 19th century, it was not uncommon for parents to lose many children to the point it was a question asked of mothers on both the 1900 and 1910 censuses.

Rudolph, John, and their parents are buried in this family plot with Rudolph’s inscription having pride of place and only his portrait remains mostly intact. Their older sister Anna and Charles are buried with their spouses elsewhere in Concordia. It is unclear where the rest of their siblings are buried, but I hope they are nearby.

RIP Riep Family

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