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Claus Ruus papers

Identifier: MsC1238

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Scope and Contents

Letters and documents of Claus Ruus. These materials are arranged chronologically and placed in a 3 ring, box.


  • Creation: 1849-1906

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections & Archives as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

One of the energetic and successful agriculturists of Clinton county is Claus C. Ruus. He was born May 5, 1836, in the village of Apenrade, Schleswig, then a part of Denmark. Our subject was the son of Claus A. and Margarita (Hoeck) Ruus, life-long residents of that place. The father of our subject was a ship carpenter by trade, which occupation he followed up to the time of his death. Mr. Ruus received his early education in the village of his nativity, attending school until about the age of fourteen, when he started to learn the trade of cabinet maker. This occupation he followed until nineteen years of age, when he embarked at Hamburg on a sailing vessel, and after a pleasant trip of several weeks he landed in New York in the month of October, 1856. From there he came direct to Brookfield township, Clinton county, Iowa. Here he pursued his former occupation, that of carpentering, doing whatever odd jobs came under his notice. Being of a frugal turn of mind, he saved his money, and in a short time he was able to invest in a small tract of land. He was engaged in the cultivation and improvement of this place till the breaking out of the Civil war in 1861. On August 24th of that year he enlisted at Maquoketa in Company L, Second Iowa Cavalry, being mustered into the service at Davenport, and at this place he was honorably discharged on October 3, 1864. This regiment saw considerable active service and participated in a number of important engagements. Mr. Ruus was taken prisoner while en route with his regiment on a transportation train, and was held a prisoner for a short time.

After the close of the war he returned home and resumed the occupation of farming. On the second day of March, 1865, he was united in marriage with Miss Martha Teskey, a native of Ireland and a daughter of Christopher Teskey, a farmer who came to Iowa at an early date.

The first land purchase made by our subject comprised one hundred acres of raw prairie land with no improvements whatever. With characteristic energy that has marked his career throughout his private and public life, he began the improvement and cultivation of this land, building thereon a residence, barns and other outbuildings so necessary to a well-conducted farm. By economy and rare business instinct he has been able to add from time to time as his fortune advanced until he now owns two hundred acres of highly cultivated land in this county and two hundred and sixty acres in Sac and Jackson counties. As an agriculturist he has been pre-eminently successful, and with the exception of twelve years spent in the lumber business at Elwood, this has been his life’s occupation.

To our subject and his wife have been born six children, all of whom are living, namely: Ida T., wife of William H. Irwin, a resident farmer of Sac county; Lena L., wife of A. N. Newbey, a farmer of Sac county; Marguerita, wife of C. M. Hutson, a traveling salesman of Quincy, Illinois; Gertrude A., wife of A. J. Erwin, a resident farmer of Sac county; Frederick J., who married Clara Leinbaugh, is now in charge of the home farm; and the youngest, C. C., is unmarried.

Mr. Ruus as a man has ever stood high in the estimation of his associates in the community. In politics he is a Republican, and has been elected to the office of supervisor for four different terms, which he has creditably filled. The wife of our subject departed this life November 8, 1900, and is interred in the Elwood cemetery. She was an earnest and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Source: "The 1901 Biographical Record of Clinton Co., Iowa, Illustrated" published: Chicago : S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1901. Biographical source


1 Linear Feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



This collection is made up of crop reports and letters from Claus C. Ruus before, during, and after the Civil War.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)