THOMAS P. RUTLEDGE, deceased, was for years a well-known citizen of Ogle County, one who to know was to love and esteem. He was born February 1, 1810, in New York City, and was a son of Robert and Mary (Lurvey) Rutledge, the former a native of Ireland, born April 27, 1782, and the latter in New York state, April 14, 1783. In his youth Robert Rutledge emigrated to the United States, where he formed the acquaintance of Mary Lurvey, and in New York city they were united in marriage. From that city they emigrated to Canada, where he purchased two hundred acres of land and engaged in agricultural pursuits. There their family of ten children were born, and in that country the parents remained until 1841, when they came to Ogle County, Illinois, locating in Oregon Township, Mr. Rutledge entering and purchasing six hundred and forty acres of wild land and again engaging in farming. Robert Rutledge was a benevolent, kind and freehearted man, and his house was always open to the weary traveler. No one was turned from his door, and he was always willing to assist those in distress. The new comer from the far east was made to feel that he was welcome, and he would render any assistance in his power to help him obtain land and gain for himself a home. He was an earnest and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church and was an active worker in that body. His wife was also a member of that body, and both delighted in the service of the Lord’s house. He was a great bible student, that book being his constant companion. His death occurred December 9, 1862, and that of his wife June 13, 1864, both, passing to their reward while residing in Oregon township.
The subject of this sketch was the eldest in the family. He grew to manhood in Canada, and received such an education as the common schools of that day afforded. He was reared to farm life and made farming his life work. He was married in Toronto, Canada, February 14, 1832, to Miss Elizabeth Foster, a native of Ireland, born July 26, 1814, and daughter of Christopher and Catherine Foster, both of whom were natives of the same country. By this union thirteen children were born, seven of whom are now living. All were born in Canada. Mary died at the age of one year. Robert married Melissa Smith, and died August 18, 1894, at Storm Lake, Iowa. Foster married Caroline Hart, and they reside in Storm Lake, Iowa. Frances married J. F. Hawthorn, and they reside in Oregon Township, where they are engaged in farming. John enlisted in the Seventy-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served under General Thomas until the close of the war. He married Mrs. Lucy Goodhue, but both are now deceased. William married Clara Blood, and after her decease he married Maggie Fitch. He died at Council Bluffs, Iowa, August 3, 1891. Catherine married Edward Crewell, and they now reside in Orange, California, where he is engaged in fruit growing. Charlotte [Rutledge] married Captain Spencer Smith, and they live near Van Horn, Benton County, Iowa, where he is engaged in farming. Thomas S. died in Rockvale township, Ogle county, at the age of sixteen years. Elizabeth married Samuel G. Walker, and they reside in Butler, Missouri. Hester A. finished her education at Mt. Morris College, and for some years was a successful teacher in Ogle county, and later in Buena Vista county, Iowa. She died July 1, 1893, at Battle Creek, Michigan. Emily is engaged in teaching in Ogle county. She is the owner of a good farm in Buena Vista county, Iowa. Edward married Fanny Riesdorf, and they reside in Browns Valley, Minnesota. He is a land owner and county surveyor.
Selling his farm in Canada in the fall of 1855, Mr. Rutledge came to Ogle County, and in the fall of that year settled in Rockvale Township, where he bought a farm of three hundred acres and again engaged in farming. It did not take but a little while for him to gather around himself a host of warm-hearted friends, because he was a man of generous impulse, ever ready to do a favor. At the age of nineteen years he united with the Methodist Episcopal Church and was ever afterwards one of the faithful workers in that body. A friend of education, he was one of the first to establish a school in his Canadian home, and after his removal to Ogle county he assisted in establishing one of the first schools in his neighborhood. He was a great reader and kept himself well informed on current events, and was never at a loss to express himself. A strong temperance man, he advocated the principles of total abstinence, and lived up to his professions. For about ten years prior to his death, which occurred April 7, 1879, in the city of Oregon, he was in ill health. His wife, who was also a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, died in Oregon August 29, 1875, and both were laid to rest in Rock River View Cemetery at that place.
Biographical Record of Ogle County, Illinois, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, IL, 1899