Joseph RUFF (ROOF) 1838 Ohio - 1913 Kansas


Joseph Ruff was born on July 21 or 22*, 1838 at Logan, Hocking county, Ohio. Both his parents were born in Germany.

Logan had about 250 residents in 1825, but the Hocking Canal, a branch of the Ohio and Erie Canal, opened in 1838. Several industries prospered due to the rich mineral resources. Map

[If what they told me is correct, Hocking county (Est. 1818) has birth records only back to 1867]

*Joseph's Obit says 22nd

Joseph was raised in the Lutheran Church and confirmed in boyhood. But in early manhood, he was converted in the United Brethren Church in Circleville.

All we know of his family is that, when he passed, he left behind one sister and one half-brother, John G. Walker, in Wichita, Kansas--also one brother and two half-sisters in Ohio.

They were descendants of an old family in Germany. He retained the german spelling of his name in order not to lessen the validity of his claim to whatever estates might have been left him in Germany. Before he moved to Kansas, he heard that there was an estate left him in Germany but was never able to get it.

Marriage - Anna Marie "Mary" Coble

Joseph and Anna Marie (went by Mary) were married January 1, 1860 in Circleville, Ohio. Mary's Obit Joseph's Obit

[Jan, 2013: Picaway County, OH (740) 474-5826 - Joyce Gifford, Recorder/Jen searched marriage records from 1855-69 with name variations yet the closest match was Joseph Roof married Mary Rophel on Dec. 30, 1860 in Picaway County]

Mary was born April 17, 1839 in Logan, Hocking county, Ohio. Mary's Obit Her parents were Josephus Koble and Margaret Elizabeth Snider.

[Hocking county has birth records only back to 1867 (740) 380-2457 Jan, 2013]
[sent e-mail to local Lutheran Church re: birth records, Jan, 2013 - no luck at all - no luck anywhere].

Children - Anna & Joseph

Mary and Joseph had 7 children--two boys and a girl dying in infancy. Mary's Obit Joseph's Obit

John Andrew Roof 1

b. 1861 OH

of St. Louis, MS
William Joseph Roof b. 1866 OH

of Maize, KS or St. Louis. m. Grace Eberly

William and Grace settled at Cedar Lawn Farm in 1900.

Joseph lived with William when he died.

Wilhelmina Isadora

b. 1870 OH

d. 1971 WA

Mrs. Oliver Jones of Protection (father's obit. 1913)

Margaret b. 1875 of Goddard, KS m. Jimmy M. Alexander
Tracing Their Steps
1858: At the age of 19, Anna Marie Coble made her home with friends in Circleville, Ohio. Mary's Obit
1863: After being married, Anna and Joseph moved to Stoutsville, Fairfield county, Ohio where they would live for around 23 years. Mary's Obit
1863: Did James, Joseph and Samuel sign up in the Union Army in the summer of 1863?

1969: Stoutsville Home

1880 Census finds the Roof family in Stoutsville, Fairfield, Ohio with the two boys and the two girls. Joseph is a shoemaker.

1884: October 14, the family left Ohio for Kansas. They first settled in Kiowa County for five years then removed to Sedgwick county, where Joseph resided until he died. Joseph's Obit

Here is a picture with the house all fixed up for sale. Note the new porch. Mary's Obit

1900 Census finds Joseph Ruff a boarder at his half-brother's (John Walker) farm in Sedgwick county, Kansas. He is shown as an educated shoemaker born in Ohio in May of 1838.
"Cedar Lawn Farm": Home of Joseph and Anna Ruff near Maize, Sedgwick county, Kansas.
Sedgwick County Property (1990s)
Sedgwick County Home (1990s)

1920s--Madeline's cousin, Don Roof (Will's son) clowns around, pretending to balance Madeline's dad (Glade Eberly) and dog on one side, and Will Roof on the other.

1936 : Lulu Annetta Roof holding toddler Robert Eugene Eberly.

Standing at right : Ralph Clayton Eberly, Lulu's son and Robert's dad.

John Andrew Roof, Lulu's father, is standing on the left holding a pipe. 

Taken in on the east side of the one-car garage at Glade and Lulu Eberly's farm at 13th and the Cowskin Creek which at that time was considered near Maize, Sedgwick county, Kansas.  Farm is now inside Wichita city limits.

Before 1950: Taken on the front porch of the house on Cedar Lawn Farm on 21st street

Will Ruff & Grace Eberly

Grace's brother Glade Eberly, married Lulu Roof, Will's Ruff's niece. 

Madeline is the daughter of  Glade and Lulu (Roof) Eberly. Her married name is Presnal and we called her Aunt Toots. 

Will Ruff always spelled his name Roof. This is the same man sitting with Grace on the front porch above.  

The jackrabbit hunt (l-r): Will Mayer, a friend of Madeline's uncle: Uncle Will Ruff, sitting: her father, Glade Eberly, sitting;and Grampa Samuel Eberly.


Mary died on May 18, 1898 near Maize at 59 years old. Funeral services at Janesburg Church, May 21, 1898, Interment in Janesburg Cemetery. Mary's Obit Joseph's Obit

Joseph died on February 4, 1913, at the age of 74, at the home of his son, W. G. [Wm. Joseph & Grace?] Roof, ten miles northwest of Wichita of Bright's Disease. He had been ill for over 2 years. Joseph's Obit

[DEATH CERTS? -neither one listed in KN death index]

He and Anna are buried at Jamesburg Cemetery near Maize, Sedgwick County, Kansas.

Anna was an earnest member of the United Brethren Church at Maize, and bore her afflictions with patience and christian fortitude. Death was robbed of its victory by her expression of willingness and resignation, calmly awaiting the call of the Lord to go with Him to her home "not made with hand, eternal in the heavens." She leaves a sorrowing husband, children, grandchildren and a host of friends who morn her loss. Mary's Obit

Of Joseph, it may be truly said he believed God: for his faith was always child-like and unwavering. He suffered very much during his last years but he spoke continually of the time when he should be at home with God in the peace and painlessness of heaven. All of his life long he had studied about heaven and talked of its blessing so his funeral seemed not a time of mourning but one of victory. At the hour of his entrance into "rest that remaineth to the people of God" he made religion the theme of his conversation and the unit of his life.


Well-known clerk at Tapps store dies at son's home northwest of city.

Joseph Ruff, age 74, died at the home of his son, W. G. Roof, ten miles northwest of Wichita Wednesday morning of Brights Disease. He has been ill over 2 years. Mr. Ruff came to Sedgwick County in 1884 from Fairfield Co., Ohio. Until two years ago, he was employed as a clerk in Tapps grocery store on North Main Street.

Mr. Ruff was a descendant of an old family in Germany and he retained the german spelling of his name in order not to lessen the validity of his claim to whatever estates might have been left him in Germany. He refused to change the spelling of Roof. Before he moved to Kansas, he heard that there was an estate left him in Germany but was never able to get it.

He is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Oliver Jones of Protection and Mrs. J. M. Alexander of Goddard. Two sons, W. J. Roof and John Roof of St. Louis. One sister in Wichita. one brother and two half-sisters in Ohio and one half-brother, John G. Walker of Wichita.

Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon from the sons home at 2:00 P.M. Interments will be made in Jamesburg Cemetery.


by Bruce L. Lee

The Jamesburg Cemetery is not in Maize, Kansas.  It has been inside the Wichita city limits since ~ 1960 but prior to that was just in the country.  Jamesburg was at the intersection of 21st north and 119th west just down the road from Cedar Lawn farm and the Eberly Farm. The cemetery is located on Tyler Road between 13th and 21st streets. 

The town and the cemetery were about 2 1/2 miles apart.  My Grandfather and his siblings graduated the 8th grade from Jamesburg School and then went to Maize for high school.  Cedar Lawn Farm was east of Jamesburg and the Eberly farm was west of Jamesburg. 

Cedar Lawn farm--when Joseph died-- was 10 miles northwest of Wichita. It is now inside the Wichita city limits.  Nothing of the Jamesburg town exists today.

1 Bruce L. Lee of Kansas-the g-g-grandson of John Andrew Roof
  Josh Ruff 614-769-2449 Was his Joshua Roof/Ruff Alexander's brother?