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Audrain County, Missouri

1884 History of Audrain County, Mo.

Loutre Township 621-674
Salt River Township 674-869

Partial Transcription submitted by Jan Botkin Therkildsen

History of Audrain County, Missouri, St. Louis Nat'l Historical Co.,  1884, > page 667-668  Loutre Township

WALTER TRATCHEL, farmer and stock  raiser.  It was nearly thirty-five years ago that Mr. Tratchel's parents,  George and Elizabeth (Swartz) Tratchel, crossed the Atlantic,  bringing their  family of children from Saxony, Germany, to the United States.

They came  direct to Ohio, locating in Washington county, where George  Tratchel, the  pater-familas, followed farming.  Walter, the subject of the present  sketch, was born in the Old County on the 26th of February 1838.  He was 
therefore partly reared in Ohio, and was brought up to the occupation of farming. 

On the outbreak of the war, in 1861, he enlisted in the 39th Ohio volunteer infantry, under Col. Groesbeck, and served in the army of Tennessee,   principally, throughout his three years' term of enlistment.  He was in most of  the important engagements in which that army participated.   Honorably discharged at the end of his term, in 1864, he became foreman of the  oil works at California, Virginia, and occupied that position until his removal  to Missouri.

In 1866, he was married in Washington, Ohio, to Miss Sarah Stumpf,  reared in  that county.  In a few weeks after his marriage, Mr. Tratchel  removed to  Missouri, and bought 160 acres of land on the Cuivre, in Audrain  county, where he
improved a farm.  Here he engaged in farming and stock  raising in a general  way, and has had good success. He has increased his possessions until he now  has a fine farm of 320 acres, all well improved.   He has just erected a large
and tastily-built barn, at a cost of about  $1,000.  Mr. and Mrs. Tratchel  have seven children: John Andrew, Nettie,  Robert, Rhoda, William, Fannie and  Sarah.  Mr. Tratchel is a member of the  Lutheran Church.

Salt River Township

History of Audrain County, Missouri, St. Louis Nat'l Historical Co., 1884, page 691-693
HON. JOSEPH B. BOTKIN, Mayor of the city of Mexico, and proprietor of the Prairie City Livery, Feed and Sales Stables.  Mr. Botkin is one of those stirring, enterprising Ohioans, so many of whom have made Missouri their home since the war, to the great benefit and advantage of this State.  He was a gallant soldier of the Union during the Rebellion and was twice taken prisoner, making good his escape, however, each time, for he had no appetite for the luxuries of the average Confederate prison-pen, and then he could see a great deal more fun with the "boys" on his own side.  Mr. Botkin was born in Clark County, of the Buckeye State, August 27, 1842, and was a son of Abraham Botkin and his wife, whose maiden name had been Sarah Wilkinson, both of old and respected Ohio families.  Mr. Botkin's father was a substantial farmer of Clark County, and J. B. spent his youth on the farm in the festive employment of following the plow, and when not at work, attending the district schools.  When the war broke out, however, soldiering seemed more desirable to him than raising corn, and accordingly he enlisted in Co. F., of the 44th Ohio Vol. Inf., in which he served for about thirty months.  He then re-enlisted, becoming a member of the 8th Ohio Cavalry, under Col. Ralph Moore, of Troy, O., a regiment that became known by the sobriquet of "the boys that fear no noise."  He followed the flag of his country, except when the "rebs": had charge of him, until it floated in triumph at Appomattox, and until he was afterwards honorably discharged.  Returning to Ohio, after the white-winged angel of peace had flapped her wings and crowed, he remained there until 1871, engaged in the quiet pursuits of honest industry; and then, having become aware of the many charms and attractions of Audrain county, in this State, he came out here to grow up with the country.  For two years he was engaged in the retail liquor business at Mexico, dishing out pure and unadulterated Democracy to all the boys at two drinks for fifteen cents a piece.  By this time he felt sufficiently "organized" to have two years of rest and fun, which, as he says himself, was equal to the value of regular quadrennial coupon-clips of Standard Oil Company stocks.  Following this, Mr. Botkin engaged in the livery business, establishing the Prairie City livery, feed, and sales stables, of which he is still proprietor.  Of course he has fine stock and the handsomest turnouts that can be shown in North-east Missouri, and being a lively, jolly fellow, he gets all the drummers' trade and everybody else's.  It goes without saying that Mr. Botkin is a favorite among the boys, and withal, he is popular among all classes, and an evidence of this fact is the position he now holds, that of mayor of the city.  A man of good business qualifications, active and energetic, and public-spirited and full of life, he makes a rare avis mayor.  It is not too much to say that he is one of the most popular mayors who ever occupied the chief executive chair of Mexico.

History of Audrain County, Missouri, St. Louis Nat'l Historical Co., 1884, page 711-712
JAMES CLACHER, of Clacher & Ruloff, dealers in hardware, stoves, tin-ware and cutlery; the leading manufacturers of farm and spring wagons, carriages and buggies, threshing and harvesting machinery, and all other implements used on the farm; also manufacturers of tin and copperware, etc., etc., Mexico.  Connected with their business (and their establishment is one of the prominent houses in this line in Mexico), is a tin-shop department, which Mr. Clacher as a part of his duties in the firm superintends.  He, himself, is a practical tinner, and has worked at the trade from early manhood.  He is, perhaps, one of the most thorough and experienced tinners and hardware men in the county.  Mr. Clacher is a native of Scotland, born in Glasgow, June 15, 1844.  His father, William Clacher, was a confectioner by trade and followed that with success for many years.  Mr. Clacher's mother was a Miss Sarah Weirn.  In 1869 the family immigrated to America, and settled at Patterson, New Jersey.  There James, the subject of this sketch, who had learned the tinner's trade at Glasgow, in his native country, worked at his trade for a short time, and then came to Missouri, stopping first at St. Louis, and subsequently coming on to Mexico.  Here he worked with Blivin and Dutcher for about six years, and in 1876 he engaged in business for himself.  A short time afterwards, and during the same year, Mr.  Ruloff became his partner, and they have since continued the business together.  In Mr. Ruloff's sketch we have spoken of the prominence to which their house has attained among the business establishments of Mexico, and it is, therefore, hardly necessary to add here that they have built up one of the most successful houses in their line of the city.  They are both men of character and industry, who have made what they have by their own energy and intelligence, and having come up gradually in the world, it goes without saying that their business will continue to prove, as it has done heretofore, one of the influential factors in the mercantile prosperity of Mexico.  They keep the best classes of goods and sell them at prices which give them nothing to fear from competition.  They so deal with their customers that their patrons can never complain of unfair treatment either in the quality of goods or prices charged, and they cannot, therefore, help increasing their trade as the country develops and custom multiplies.  On the 27th of February, 1863, Mr. Clacher was married to Miss Hannah D. McCrindee, originally of Scotland.  They have nine children:  Margaret, Sarah, Hannah, James, Jane, David, Mary, William, and Jacob.  Mr. C. is a member of Mexico Lodge, No. 26, A.F. and A.M.

History of Audrain County, Missouri, St. Louis Nat'l Historical Co., 1884, page 830-831

JACOB RULOFF, of Clacher & Ruloff, dealers in hardware, stoves, tin-ware and cutlery, also in the leading manufacture of farm and spring wagons, carriages and buggies, repairing and mowing machinery and farm implements of all kinds; also, manufactureres of tin and copper-ware, etc., etc., Mexico.  Mr. Ruloff is a native of Germany, born in Prussia, August 25, 1822, and was a son of Jacob, Sr., and Anna (Gallo) Ruloff, the father also a native of Germany, but the mother born and reared across in France.  Mr. Ruloff's early youth was spent in his native country, where he attended the native parochial schools.  In 1834, however, his parents came to America, and located at Winchester, Va.  Jacob grew up at that place, and when nineteen years of age came to St. Louis, Mo., where he was engaged in different lines of employment up to 1860.  After this he began farming in Callaway County, and followed it with success for fifteen years. In 1875 Mr. Ruloff came to Mexico, Audrain county, and the following year commenced the hardware business at Mexico, by associating himself with Mr. Clacher, his present partner, and they established their present business.  Both are energetic, thorough-going business men, and keep a good stock of goods constantly on hand in the lines indicated above.  They make it a motto to deal fairly with their customers, and thus secure and retain the confidence of the public.  They have a good trade, which is steadily increasing.  In 1844, Mr. Ruloff was married to Miss Anna M. Andries, of St. Louis, but originally of Germany.  They have seven children:  John M., George A., Barbara, Ellen, Katie, Emma and Fannie.  John, the eldest, is engaged in business in St. Louis; Katie and Emma are married, and reside in that city; but Barbara is married to a commercial traveler, and lives in Chicago.  Mrs. Ruloff was principally reared in this country, and is a lady of many estimable qualities.  She has shown herself a faithful wife and devoted mother, and is much esteemed by her neighbors and acquaintances.

Hon. Joseph B Botkin

James Clacher

Jacob Ruloff

Walter Tratcher