Tombstone Tuesday–Fred and Mary Ruck

Tombstone of Fred & Mary Ruck, Zion Cemetery, Orlando, Oklahoma. Photo courtesy of Joyce Layman.

This is the tombstone of Fred and Mary Ruck, located in Zion Cemetery, about 2½ miles west of Orlando, in Logan County, Oklahoma. The gravestone is inscribed: RUCK, Mary, Nov 4, 1861-Feb 23, 1956; Fred, Aug 5 1860-Apr 10, 1924.

Johann Friedrich “Fred” Rueck was the fourth child of my great-great-grandparents, Jacob and Regina (Gross) Rueck. He was also the brother of my great-grandmother, Christine (Rueck) Miller.  Mary was the daughter of Michael and Eva (Maurer) Prollock.

Fred changed the spelling of his surname from Rueck to Ruck sometime before 1900.

Fred Ruck’s Obituary:

Fred Ruck was born in Steinback, Württemberg, Germany, August 5, 1860. He died at his home near Orlando, Oklahoma, at 3 p.m. April 10th, 1924, age 63 years, 8 months and 5 days.

He came to America with his parents in 1880 and settled in Ohio. He moved to Kansas in 1884 and was united in marriage to Mary Prollock the same year. To this union was born seven children, two of these preceding him in death.

In 1891 the family moved to Oklahoma and settled on a farm near Orlando, where he made his home until he departed this life.

Mr. Ruck was converted under the labors of Bro. Nannings and remained a true believer in Jesus Christ throughout his life. He was always ready and willing to give a helping hand at all times.

He leaves to mourn his departure a wife and five children, namely, Mrs. Katie Wait of Sawyer, Frank Ruck of El Dorado, Kansas, Mrs. Lena Frey, Fred and Marie Ruck of Orlando, also 11 grandchildren, four brothers and three sisters and host of relatives and friends. He endured his suffering patiently until the death angel called to his eternal reward. Mr. Ruck will be greatly missed by his many friends, having lived in this community for 33 years. He was a loving husband, father and friend. (Orlando Clipper, 18 April 1924)

Mary (Prollock) Ruck’s obituary:

Rites for Mrs. Mary Ruck, 94, pioneer of the Orlando community, will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in the United Evangelical Church at Orlando, Rev. E.A. Pauli officiate. Burial will be in Zion Cemetery, west of Orlando. Smith Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Mrs. Ruck died Thursday morning at the home of her daughter Mrs. Lena Fry in Mulhall. In addition to Mrs. Frey, she is survived by two sons, Frank Ruck of Eldorado, Kansas, and Fred Ruck of Orlando and one other daughter, Mrs. Marie Scott of Orlando, 12 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. In 1883 she came to America and settled in Clay Center, Kansas. One year later she married Fred Ruck and they lived there until 1889, when they moved to Orlando, Oklahoma. (from an unidentified newspaper)

According to family information Fred and Mary knew each other in Germany and planned to marry each other later.

Fred & Mary (Prollock) Ruck, Frank & Katie.

Fred and Mary (Prollock) were living in Orlando, Logan County, Oklahoma, when they were enumerated in the 1900 census. Fred was 39 years of age and Mary 38. They were both born in Germany. At that time they had four children: Katie, 16; Frank, 14; Lena, 10; Fred, 6. Katie and Frank were born in Kansas while Lena and Fred were born in Oklahoma. This census shows that the couple had been married for sixteen years and that Fred immigrated in 1880 and was naturalized. Fred was a farmer who owned his farm without a mortgage. (1900 US census, Orlando, Logan, Oklahoma, T623_1339:6B, ED 144)

Fred and Mary had five children that lived to adulthood: Frank (1886-1965), Katie (1888-1947), Lena (1890-1975), Fred Jr (1893-1977), and Marie (1903-1982).

I have a copy of a letter written by Lena (Ruck) Dupy, granddaughter of Fred and Mary Ruck. She also lived in Oklahoma. The letter was written to my great-aunt Clara (Miller) Reef in 1995 and gives a little family history. I will share the letter sometime.

I want to thank my distant cousins Joyce Layman and Vic Keyes for giving me most of the above information as well as the tombstone photo. I recently met Joyce and Vic on-line.

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