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JOHN U. RICKENBACHER
The subject of this brief biographical notice, John U. Rickenbacher, sheriff-elect of Franklin county, was born in Canton Bossel, Switzerland, November 30, 1822. His parents, Jacob and Elizabeth Rickenbacher, were farmers; but as they did not desire their son to follow their own calling, he was apprenticed, at the age of fifteen years to a tailor with whom he remained eight years.
In 1846 he emigrated to America, landing in New York August 13. On the sixth of October, the same year, he came to Columbus, where he has lived ever since, with the exception of the time he was with the United States army, in Mexico. He enlisted in the spring of 1847, in company B, of the Fourth regiment, Ohio volunteer infantry, and remained in the service until honorably discharged, after the declaration of peace in July, 1848. He was in the engagements at Homaudla, Pueobla, and Atlisco. He enlisted as a private and was promoted to the position of sergeant.
On the close of the Mexican war Mr. Rickenbacher returned immediately to Columbus, and resumed work at his trade. He was employed as a journeyman tailor three years, by N. Burgle, and nine years by H. Coit and Company. After the expiration of the latter term he went into partnership with C. Hertenstein, with whom he remained for six and a half years, and severed the connection in 1866, only to engage in the same business--merchant tailoring--alone.
Politically, Mr. Rickenbacher was an independent voter, until the candidacy of John C. Fremont, when he became affiliated with the party of which he has ever since been an adherent and supporter. He was a strong Union man during the civil war, [and] did much to help the cause, and but for circumstances, too strong to be overcome, would have been found in the fighting ranks. Although having a warm interest in the success of those principles which he deemed right, he took no very active part in politics until 1872, when he was elected councilman from the Fifth ward. His term expired in 1874, and he was re-elected, serving two years more. In the spring of 1877 he was elected police commissioner, for a term of four years, but resigned his office when he accepted the nomination for the sheriffalty [sic.]. The Republicans of Franklin county paid him the deserved compliment of this nomination, at the convention held August 1, 1879, and he was elected October 14th following.
The subject of this sketch was married, December 6, 1848, to Miss Elizabeth Christina Schafer. The offspring who blessed this union were: Franklina (deceased); William, who is a resident of Mifflin township; Caroline (Shrader); Albert and John M., who are living in Columbus.
About the time he was married Mr. Rickenbacher became a member of the German Lutheran church, and in later years of the Evangelical church, of which he is on of the leading supporters.
Mr. Rickenbacher in his public and private relations has had the warmest regard and highest respect of all with whom he has come in contact. He is a man of simple, quiet tastes, carefull and conscientious in business affairs, and of absolutely unsullied reputation and character. His successful career has been and is, equally illustrative of the worth of honest, manly, personal endeavor, and of the beneficent effects of a Republican form of government, in which the foreigner and the native born, the wealthy and those of humbler condition, have the same opportunities of social or business advancement, and of political preferment.
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