One of the highest tributes that could be paid Mr. Rupe, and one in which the writer feels assured all his friends and fellow citizens would acquiesce, is that no one would associate with him a thought unworthy of a true Christian gentleman. He is the very soul of honor, unselfish generosity and integrity.
John B. Rupe is a son of the Reverend Samuel Rupe, who was a resident of Sumptions Prairie, St. Joseph county, Indiana, for over forty years, and was one of St. Joseph county's sturdy pioneers. He died in June, 1885, in the seventy-eighth year of his age. He had been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church since his boyhood and was a preacher of local note. He was an honest, upright, Christian man, greatly esteemed by his fellow citizens. Samuel Rupe was born in Ashe county, North Carolina, April 4, 1808. He emigrated with his parents to the state of Indiana and settled in Wayne county in 1812. When he had attained his majority he located in St. Joseph county, where he lived and labored all the eventful years of his life. Reverend Rupe was converted at the age of eighteen years and received his first license to preach from the distinguished preacher, Reverend James Armstrong, at a quarterly meeting held in a barn near the town of Goshen, Indiana.
Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Rupe have been interested witnesses to the development of Cloud county since its early settlement, and are a part of its history, both pioneer and modern. They are editors and proprietors of the Clyde Herald, which entered upon its first volume in the city of Clyde, Thursday, May 9, 1879, and, since the consolidation of the Empire and Blade, is the oldest newspaper in Cloud county. J.B. Rupe & Company assumed the proprietorship of the Herald in November, 1883, and under their management it has developed into one of the best and most reliable papers issued in Cloud county. It advocates the politics of the Republican party and the principles of prohibition. It makes a bold and fearless stand for the principles of right and vigorously defends them. It is a clean paper and receives as it so justly deserves a large share of the public patronage.
The American Economist, a paper devoted to the protection of American labor and industries, often publishes clippings from the Clyde Herald. In its issue of May 3, 1901, the following is noted: "Since the Dingley tariff has been built, our exports have so enormously increased as to become alarming to foreign nations." And again, "Europe had the new scare about getting its share of trade under Cleveland, but it is McKinley that is playing hob with her." "Oh, some say hogs were seven cents once under Cleveland, but will you please remember that this was under his first administration. See?"
Mrs. Rupe is a woman of fine business qualifications and one of the main spokes the wheel that runs the Herald office, and the paper owes much of its success to her energy and ability. Mr. and Mrs. Rupe are among the earliest and most historical characters of the county. The author uses the word character, for that suits the action to the word and Dickens would have reveled in some of their distinguished qualities as material for one of his famous novels. He would have immortalized them.
The following biographical sketch accompained with the pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Rupe appeared in an issue of The Kansan September 28, 1899, and is well worthy of space in these columns:
HON. JOHN B. RUPE. and MRS. MARY L. RUPE.
"Two of the quaintest characters in the newspaper work of Kansas are the subjects of this sketch. They are Mr. and Mrs. John B. Rupe, editors and proprietors of the Clyde Herald. Why do we say quaint? Because there is no other paper in the state like the Clyde Herald. So we are going to say something about them in connection with the splendid pictures of them which we print. They will be surprised, we are sure, to see this, and it will take them some time to guess where we got their excellent photographs.
"John B. Rupe was born April 27, 1834, in St. Joseph county, Indiana, near South Bend. In his youth he taught school a spell and studied law at odd times and was admitted to the bar of that state some time in the early 'fifties. The Pike's Peak fever got a good grip on him and took him across the plains, and he was mining in a Colorado gold camp when the war of the Rebellion broke out. He enlisted in Company L, Second Colorado. He was first sergeant of his company. At the close of the war Mr. Rupe came to Kansas with his brother, Frank, and settled on a claim on Elk creek, and has lived on the farm and at Clyde ever since. In the fall of 1866 he was chosen to represent the county (then Shirley) in the state legislature. During this session it was Mr. Rupe who had the name of the county changed to Cloud, in honor of Colonel W.F. Cloud, of the Second Kansas Regiment. Mr. Rupe contended then, and always has since, that the county was first named after a woman of unsavory character Jane Shirley. Mr. Rupe was the first representative the county had in the legislature.
"He was married to Mrs. Mary L. Smith, May 27, 1867. Mrs. Rupe's name was Mary L. Morley. She was born at Pristolville, Ashtabula county, Ohio, September 8, 1844. She came to Kansas with her parents in the spring of 1864. The family settled on a claim about three miles east of the present site of Clyde. She married Andrew W. Smith, December 4, 1864. Mr. Smith was killed by Indians, on White Rock creek, near the Jewell county line, in the fall of 1866. Only one child came to bless this union - Owen C. Smith, who is in the employ of C.F. Armstrong, the creamery man. As before stated, she was married to Mr. Rupe, May 27, 1867, and it seems to us a more happily wedded pair never lived to bless each other. To Mr. and Mrs. Rupe four children have been born, three of whom are living: Louella V., wife of William McCarty, a farmer of Elk township; they are the parents of seven children, viz: Winnie, Dessie, Leo, Auberon, Ivan, Lauren and Gerald. The second daughter, Aldaretta A., is the wife of William Wellman, a rural route mail carrier of Gallatin, Missouri; they are the parents of four daughters: Zella, Opal, Crystal and India. Frank, the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Rupe, is a rural mail carrier and assists in the office very materially. He is married to Norva, a daughter of Marion Winter, of Clyde. Isetta died in infancy.
"Mr. and Mrs. Rupe lived on a farm, within a half mile of Clyde until 1884, when the Herald was bought from I.S. Paradis, who had established it in 1878. Since the Rupes have owned it, it has never missed an issue or been a day late - it is as sure to come out on Wednesday as the sun to rise that day, so long as they are responsible for its publication and physically able to get it out. For be it known that no outsiders are permitted to touch their vile hands to such a sacred family affair as the Herald. Mrs. Rupe, diminutive little body that she is, does all the typesetting, making up and locking the forms ready for press. She is a rapid type-setter and accurate. Of course she learned the trade in the Herald office. The office is located in the rear rooms of their cozy but unpretentious residence, some little distance from the rush and bustle of the business houses, so that the Herald is a part and parcel of the Rupe household and home. Mrs. Rupe is so small of stature that she must needs stand on a box or sit on a high stool to put the types to clicking in her printer's stick; but she is a nervous, energetic little woman and seems never to be tired, and we have never yet seen her cross. The editor, our friend, John B., is of phlegmatic mould. He takes life easy and philosophically. He has one corner devoted to the sanctum, and in that corner, or, in summer time, out in front of the office door in the shade of a friendly box-elder, you'll surely find him, reading, writing or perhaps dozing a bit.
"Both are earnest and enthusiastic members of the State Editorial Association and the North-Central Kansas Editorial Association, and Mrs. Rupe is the treasurer of the Woman's Press Association of Kansas. None are more welcome at the association meetings, none would be more missed were they to stay away. The Herald, it is true, is not what one might term a great newspaper. It has a monotonous, uneventful, placid existence, providing a sustenance to its owners that might be better, yet they are content with what they have and thankful it is no worse. The editorial tone call not well be charged with being sensational - yet fireworks can be easily set in motion thereabouts if anything should be said to John B. in derogation of McKinley, the Republican party, or the Methodist Episcopal church. McKinley should take a fit to set a match to the White House, or plow the lawn in front of it, Rupe would weave a story in praise of his foresight in forestalling some evil design of the Populist party. Floods, cyclones, or earthquakes have no terrors for John Rupe, so long as the Republican party doesn't burst up and the conference sends a good Methodist preacher to the church at Clyde. Drouths do not derange Rupe's happiness, near so much as the defeat of a Republican candidate on the day of election. It makes no difference what the planks in the platform say, nor whom the convention designates to stand on the platform, they can bank for a certainty on one vote in Elk township for the Republican ticket. Aside from the extreme radicalism of our friend on these few points, the Herald is a strong supporter of good morals, adopts no subterfuge for policy sake and is outspoken at all times. Their printing office is a bit out of date, as good country printing offices go these days, but they do not whine because it is no better. The financial returns from their investment and their labor is not what one would desire, but they do not complain. Keeping well abreast of the times by much reading, enjoying fairly good health because of plenty of work to do, and blessed with contentment as a crowning glory for all, they are enjoying life's sunset midst the scenes that bring memories of sanguinary hopes and more youthful days. May they live long to bless mankind with their living lesson of contentment and, loving devotion as husband and wife, is the wish of the Kansan."
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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