John B. Ruger
Mar 8, 1827 - Jan 22, 1891

Obituary from Lafayette Journal and Courier

Death of John B. Ruger

Sudden Demise of One of Lafayette's Most Honored Citizens

   A tearful family and all Lafayette mourn the death of John B. Ruger, which occurred at 2:30 o'clock this morning at his residence, corner of Seventh and Brown streets. The suddenness of the summons was a shock to all. A few knew of his illness and they were unsuspecting of death stealing away the spirit of this noble and good citizen. His staunch friend, James Murdock, was with him at 9 o'clock last night. Mr. Ruger was then sitting in a chair and talked in a cheerful manner. Mr. Murdock had visited him in the afternoon when Mr. Ruger lay in bed and was pleased to find him sitting up. This morning Mr. Murdock was roused from his slumbers by a messenger who came to tell him that Mr. Ruger was dying. Mr. Murdock hastened to the bedside of his friend, but when he arrived the spirit of John B. Ruger, a name which Lafayette loved so well, had gone with the silent majority, and had entered through the gates of Pearl into eternal happiness. Silently and peacefully the messenger bade him come, and no summons ever robbed a city of a more charitable and liberal citizen. The heart of John B. Ruger melted at distress, and he loved to give with a free and open heart. No one in need was ever turned from his door, and hundreds to whom he has let the light of his character shine are filled with sorrow to-day. He was a public-spirited citizen. Lafayette owes much to John B. Ruger. He had always taken an active part in all the undertakings to advance the city's prosperity. Numerous and liberal subscriptions he has given to various enterprises; had furthermore labored hard for the good of the city. When others became discouraged and ceased work, he would persevere, urge more and energetic action and be the one to crown the undertaking with success. As a member of the M. and M. Exchange he was one of the most enthusiastic, and his advice and counsel were always valuable. His friendship was prized by all. He rarely made an enemy, and at all times his lips were sealed from giving utterance to a word which would reflect discredit, even to those who had done him an injury. A gentleman of the perfect type, reserved but cheerful, and with a heart whose every pulsation was in harmony with the good of this world. He loved his home and family. To the latter he was a model father, and the children know better than words can describe, how his whole being was theirs, in the truest love and affection. He was a devoted husband and his vacant chair will be a memento of the form which death has robbed of the life so dear to a heart-broken wife. Tears can not measure the sadness of her heart. Alone with her sorrow she can perhaps find comfort in remembering him, and dwelling upon the innumerable tender words and acts which life permitted him to perform. As a business man he was honest in the fullest sense of the word. His every act reflected honor and honesty, and his open, frank countenance indicated the straightforwardness with which he conducted all his affairs. He was faithful to all interests, devoting all his time and study to the business matters which came into his hands, and his steadfast devotion to all interests accounts for the success he made. Throughout the State, in the mercantile portion where his wholesale establishment is so well known, his death will be deeply deplored. It was a pleasure to transact business with him. He was always courteous, considerate and obliging, and in this way won the friendship of many who never came face to face with him. During the years he was postmaster of Lafayette he conducted the office in a most satisfactory manner, and his administration received high compliment from headquarters. He was a Democrat all his life, but never allowed his political views to interfere with his regard and friendship for his fellow man. In religion he was an ardent Catholic, a member of St. Mary's church and gave liberally for the support thereof. Death was the result of asthma with which the deceased suffered for years, and added to which were stomach troubles. At 2 o'clock last night his son, George Ruger, heard him coughing. He hastened to his assistance and fearing the worst summoned Dr. Walker. Before the physician arrived Mr. Ruger was dead.

   John B. Ruger was born in Baden, Germany, March 8, 1827. His parents came to Indiana in 1833 and located in Lafayette in 1846. In 1850 he entered the baking business with his father. He removed to his present location in 1861, and in 1870 established the wholesale department. On November 24, 1850, he married in this city, Miss Louise Hebel, a native of Bavaria, Germany, who survives, together with nine children, viz: George, Charles, William, Henry and John, Mrs. Emma Simler, Mrs. Joseph Gagen, Misses Lizzie and Clara Ruger. From 1869 to 1870 Mr. Ruger served in the City Council as a member from the Fourth ward. He was also Trustee of Fairfield township and Postmaster from 1885 to 1890. Mr. Ruger was at one time a candidate for sheriff, after he was nominated disposing of his business in order that he might devote the entire time to his canvass. He was in poor health at the time and hoped by the outdoor exercise to recuperate. He was restored, and he at once repurchased his business and continued as before. Mr. Ruger was also nominated for State Senator, but declined the nomination. He was largely interested in the Lafayette Natural Gas Company, Land and Improvement Company and Merchants National Bank. Lafayette sustains a severe loss in his death, and the record of his life will forever remain a bright page in the history of the city.

   The funeral will be held at 9 o'clock Saturday morning from St. Mary's church. Interment at Greenbush cemetery.