Tombstone Tuesday–Fred & Mary Ruck

Fred & Mary Ruck, Zion Cemetery, Logan County, Oklahoma. (submitted photo)

Fred & Mary Ruck, Zion Cemetery, Logan County, Oklahoma. (photo courtesy of Joyce Layman)

This is the tombstone of Fred and Mary Ruck, located in Zion Cemetery, Orlando, Logan County, Oklahoma. The marker is inscribed:

Nov. 4, 1861
Feb. 23, 1956

Aug. 5, 1860
Apr. 10, 1924


Johann Fredrick Rueck was the fourth of twelve children born to Jacob and Maria Regina (Gross) Rueck, born in Steinbach, Oberamt Crailsheim, Württemberg, on 5 August 1860.

Fred immigrated to America with his family in about 1880. The Ruecks lived near Schumm, in Van Wert County, Ohio, for a couple of years. Most of the family then moved to Oregon, except Fred and his sister Christena. Christena married Jacob Miller and they resided in Mercer County. They were my great-grandparents. Christena’s brother Fred was my great-granduncle.

Fred left Van Wert County and went to Chicago, where he worked as a butcher for a short time. In 1884 he traveled westward to Kansas and changed the spelling of his surname from Rueck to Ruck.

While in Kansas he met and married Mary Prollock.

Fred & Mary (Prollock) Ruck, 1905. (photo courtesy of Joyce Layman)

Fred & Mary (Prollock) Ruck, 1905. (photo courtesy of Joyce Layman)

Mary was born to Michael and Eva Prollock on 4 November 1861 in Germany. She immigrated with her family in 1883 and they settled in Clay Center, Kansas. A year later, in 1884, she and Fred married. Fred and Mary lived in Kansas about six years before moving to Orlando, Oklahoma, in about 1890.

Fred homesteaded 160 acres of land in the Oklahoma Territory, located in the southeast quarter of Section 9, Township 19 North of Range two West of the Indian Meridian in the Oklahoma Territory. His homestead certificate is dated 26 December 1896.

Fred Ruck Homestead Cert. No. 2384, Oklahoma Territory, 1896. (courtesy of Joyce Layman)

Fred Ruck Homestead Cert. No. 2384, Oklahoma Territory, 1896. (photo courtesy of Joyce Layman)

They lived the rest of their lives on their Oklahoma farm.

Fred Ruck Sr. farm, Logan Co., Oklahoma. (photo courtesy of Joyce Layman)

Fred Ruck Sr. farm, Logan Co., Oklahoma. (photo courtesy of Joyce Layman)

Fred Ruck was known as the local veterinarian in the Orlando area and was elected Logan County road-overseer during 1892, 1896, 1898, 1900, and as trustee in 1912, 1914, and 1916.

Fred Ruck died at his home near Orlando at 3 p.m. 10 April 1924 at the age of 63 years, 8 months and 5 days.

Mary was a charter member of the Zion Evangelical Church west of Orlando and attended services in the Dierolf home before the church was erected. She was the oldest member of the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Orlando, which later became the Methodist Church.

Mary died at the home of her daughter Lena Frey on 23 February 1956. Mary had been bed-fast for twelve days before her death. [1]

Fred Ruck Sr Children: Fred Jr, Frank, Lena, Katie. (photo courtesy of Joyce Layman)

Fred Ruck Sr Children (c1900): Fred Jr, Frank, Lena, Katie. (photo courtesy of Joyce Layman)

Died at home at 3 P.M.
Fred Ruck, born at Steinbach Wuertemberg, Germany, August 5, 1860, died at his home near Orlando, Oklahoma, at 3p.m. April 10th 1924, aged 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 a 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. [2]

Fred Sr with granddaughter Mildred. (photo courtesy of Joyce Layman)

Fred Sr with granddaughter Mildred. (photo courtesy of Joyce Layman)

Rites Slated Sunday For Mrs. Mary Ruck
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 will officiate and 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 Frey in Mulhall. In addition to Mrs. Frey, she is survived by two sons, Frank Ruck of Eldorado, Kan., and Fred Ruck of Orlando; and one other Daughter Mrs. Marie Scott of Orlando, 17 grandchildren, 40 great grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren.

Fred & Mary (Prollock) Ruck with Frank & Katie, c1889.  (Karen's photo collection)

Fred & Mary (Prollock) Ruck, with Frank & Katie. (Karen’s photo collection)

Fred and Mary (Prollock) Ruck had 7 children:
“Frank” Fred (1886-1965) married Lena Woelhof
Katie Regina (1888-1947) married Arthur Pierce Wait
Lena Ester (1890-1975) married Samuel G. Frey
John “Fred Jr” (1894-1977) married Gladys Izola Brown
Marie (1903-1982) married Jesse “Emmett” Scott
A son and a daughter died in infancy.

The 1900 US census indicates that Katie and Frank Ruck were born in Kansas, Katie in 1884 [sic] and Frank in 1886. Children Lena and Fred Jr were born in Oklahoma, Lena in 1889 and Fred Jr in 1893. The census also indicates that Fred and Mary had been married 16 years. [3]

Fred Ruck Sr family, seated: Mary, Marie, Fred Sr; standing: Katie, Fred Jr, Frank, Lena. (photo courtesy of Joyce Layman)

Fred Ruck Sr family, c1911, seated: Mary (Prollock), Marie, Fred Sr; standing: Katie, Fred Jr, Frank, Lena. (photo courtesy of Joyce Layman)

Thank you to Fred’s great-granddaughter Joyce for supplying the photos and most of the information about Fred and his family.


[1] From notes taken at Mary (Prollock) Ruck’s funeral, 27 February 1956, notes taken by E. A. Pauli for Mary’s daughter Marie (Ruck) Scott, who was deaf.

[2] Orlando Clipper, Orlando Oklahoma, 18 April 1924.

[3] 1900 U.S. Census, Orlando, Logan County, Oklahoma, ED 144, p. 6B, dwelling 114, family 116, Fred Ruck; digital images by subscription, ( : accessed 2 June 2014), from FHL microfilm 1241339, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1339.


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    • Marcia Machin Annan on July 2, 2019 at 7:44 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Karen – I was so happy to find this post! Fred and Mary would be my Great Great Great Aunt and Uncle via the Prollock side. Mary was my Great grandfather’s (Fred Grater) Aunt. I also subscribed to your blog and look forward to catching up on the past posts! P.S. I currently live in Stillwater, Oklahoma which is about 20 minutes from Orlando, OK and had just visited the Zion Cemetery and the town of Orlando when I came home and discovered your blog when searching the internet! 🙂

    1. Yes! We are distant relatives! So happy that you found Karen’s Chatt and I hope you find the information interesting and helpful. And please let me know of any additions or corrections in the Rueck/Ruck family. I would love to hear from you!

    • Marcia Machin Annan on July 12, 2019 at 12:04 pm
    • Reply

    In your post you said that the rest of the Rueck family moved on to Oregon. Do you think they are related to the current Oregon State University Head Womens Basketball Coach Scott Rueck? (Scott Michael Rueck b. 18 Jul 1969 in Hillsboro, Oregon)

    1. I do not know, but I would say there is a good possibility he is a descendant and distant relative, especially since the Rueck surname is rather unusual. Not only did my great-great-grandfather Jacob Rueck settle in Oregon, but he had other Rueck relatives who settled there. There is probably a connection somewhere, but without knowing Scott Michael Rueck’s lineage I could not say for certain. Thanks for writing!

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