Darius Runkle

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 452-453, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Darius Runkle was born in Champagne county, Ohio, February 10, 1813. He was the son of William and Mary (Pence) Runkle. William was born in Virginia and went to Ohio in an early day, following his trade of tanner until about 1850, when he came to Illinois, rented a farm in Morgan county and lived there until the close of the war. He then came to near where his son now lives, and died, aged eighty-four. His wife, also born in Virginia, died at the same place, aged eighty-six. The Runkles came from Germany, and the grandparents of Darius lost their parents on the trip over to this country.
  Darius is one of ten children, four of whom are yet living. He remained at home until twenty-one years of age, working at the tanning business and farming. He had very limited schooling and is entirely a self-made man. After he was twenty-one years old he worked for $10 a month for two years and then clerked for a brother-in-law in a general store in Sidney, Ohio, for two years more. He then started for Illinois, coming to Beardstown, and then walked over to Doddsville, wading two miles in water. This was in the spring of 1837, and he came to take charge of Samuel Dodd's general store. He continued in that for a year and one-half, and during that time entered eighty acres which later he sold and then bought 160 acres of wild land where he now lives. He also bought another eighty acres in the timber. In the fall of 1838, he returned to Ohio and remained with his father working in the tan yard for two years, and then came back here and commenced improving his farm. He broke forty acres, built a story-and-a-half house, and on October 12, 1840, he married Ann Maria Walker, who was born in Adams county, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Andrew Walker of Adams county, Pennsylvania, who came here in 1840, and settled on Mr. Dodd's farm. Mrs. Runkle was one of nine children. Mr. and Mrs. Runkle have ten living children. The sons are: James J., William, Charles W., Joseph C. and Stephen A.; and the daughters: Mary A., Laura, Liny and Clara J. Mary A. had two sons and four daughters: Clara J. two daughters and two sons; both the mothers are deceased.
  After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Runkle moved into the log house he had built, and remained there until 1866, and then moved into his present fine home, which is one of the best in McDonough, having cost $10,000 and being first class in every particular. Mr. Runkle has built four or five different times where his sons live, and has bought three farms with houses upon them. He commenced with $990, and had to borrow $10 to enter his first eighty acres. He now has 3,000 acres of land, 970 in Schuyler county and 1,940 in McDonough county, and he has given each son a fine farm. He makes a specialty of fine stock, and has been engaged in various kinds of business during his life. In 1841 he bought a stock of goods, and was a merchant for two or three years, and was Postmaster in 1843-‘44; he also kept a stage. He was Supervisor of School Boards for years, and he with two others built the first schoolhouse in this district, and it also served as a church. He also loaned money to build a pioneer mill and tried to get a railroad through this section. He has helped many a deserving and worthy object. His wife has been a church member ever since their marriage, being one of the first to take an active interest in church and Sunday school work in the place. She was very active in everything tending toward the building of churches and schools, and was a most worthy companion to as public-spirited man as Mr. Runkle. Mr. Runkle can count his friends by the number of his acquaintances and his enemies are now known. He treats every one well, and the deserving are never turned away without help and words of cheer. Politically he has always affiliated with the Whig and Republican parties. He voted first for Henry Clay, and at the birth of the Republican party voted for Fillmore. He is very well satisfied with Republican principles.

Back to bios

© 2001- 2008 Sara Hemp
Copyright © 1999-2008 to Genealogy Trails' Schuyler County, Illinois host & each Contributor
All rights reserved