Friday, November 2, 2012

Runals, Frank A. and Eli

Eli G. Runals
(Photo Courtesy:  Kenosha County Historical Society, Inc.)

Runals House
(Photo Courtesy: Kenosha County Historical Society, Inc.)

Runals House (hotel located on corner of Main Street and Wisconsin Street)
(Photo Courtesy: Kenosha County Historical Society, Inc.)

(Source:  Minnie Ozanne "My Memories"

Mrs. Eli G. Runals
(Photo Courtesy: Kenosha County Historical Society, Inc.)

Frank A. Runals

"Frank A. Runals well deserves representation in this volume as he is one of the leading citizens of Somers Township, Kenosha  County, and a representative of a family which has been prominently connected with the history of Southeastern Wisconsin since an early day.
He now resides on Section 25, where he owns a desirable property.  He was born in the City of Kenosha, March 7, 1853, and is the son of Eli G. Runals, who was born in New York in 1814.  When a small lad his father was left an orphan and thus thrown upon his own resources.  He learned the hatter's trade and with an uncle carried on a successful business in that line in the Empire State for a few years.
The year 1840 witnessed his arrival in Southport, Wisconsin here he soon engaged in business.  He was a wide-awake business man, public spirited and progressive and did much for the city.  He erected a number of business houses, including a hotel known as the Runals House, which was located where the Grant House now stands, and there engaged in the hotel business for a few years.  With other public enterprises he was connected.  He was one of the original members and was elected President of the Kenosha County Bank, one of the leading moneyed institutions of the county.
In 1857 he purchased the farm on which our subject now resides and greatly improved the place.  He set out an extensive orchard, containing excellent varieties of all kinds of fruit, and for four years successfully engaged in agriculture, when in 1864 he returned to the City.  About seven years later he again removed to his farm and spent his remaining days.
In 1864 Mr. Runals became engaged in the oil business at Pitt Hole City, Pa., which he carried on successfully for four years and then became a member of a wholesale hardware store in New York City, with which he was connected for three years.  He also owned and dealt largely in lands in Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska and other Western States.  He met with some reverses but was generally successful, and whether he made or lost in his ventures, went ahead just the same.  Reverses never discouraged him but rather stimulated him to renewed and greater effort.  In early life Mr. Runals was a Democrat but on the breaking out of the late war became a Republican.  A strong advocate of temperance principles, he afterwards identified himself with the Prohibition party but was never a politician in the sense of office-seeking.  Fair and honest in all his dealings, he won the confidence and respect of those with whom he came in contact and his death, which occurred November 7, 1890, was deeply mourned by many friends.
Mrs. Runals still survives her husband and is now living in Chicago.  In her maidenhood she was Miss Helen Charill Murray, a daughter of Eli Murray, and in her native State, New York, she was educated and grew to womanhood.  Frank A. Runals is their only son and the second of three children.  Ida Belle, the older sister, after acquiring a liberal education became the wife of Charles Weyl, of Chicago, and died in 1871.  The younger sister, Lily, was educated in Kenosha and Cleveland, Ohio, and possesses musical talent of a high order obtained at New York and Chicago.  The takes an active interest in the work of temperance.
Our subject, after attending the schools of Kenosha pursued his studies in Racine College and in the Ypsilanti Normal School.  Returning to his father's farm he devoted his time and attention to stock raising and agricultural pursuits, making this occupation his life work.
As a companion of life's journal he chose Miss Carrie Warburton Stryker, their union being celebrated in Kenosha, October 27, 1881.  A native of that city, the lady was there reared and educated.  She is the daughter of the late James M. Stryker, one of the most enterprising and prominent business men of Kenosha in its early days.  For many years he was connected with its leading interests; in later years being engaged in business in Chicago, where he died in 1887.  His wife still survives him and resides in Chicago.  Her maiden name was Ellen M. Brooks, daughter of Hon. John A. Brooks, of Michigan.
Mr. and Mrs. Runals began their domestic life upon the old homestead where they have since resided and their union has been blessed with four children - Frank A., Ida Belle, Ellen Eugenie Stryker and Helen Charill.
In politics Mr. Runals is a Republican on questions of national importance, but in local elections supports the men whom he thinks will best fill the office.  He has ever been an advocate of temperance principles.  Educational, moral and social interests find in him a friend, and among the best citizens of Kenosha County should be numbered Frank A. Runals, whose sterling worth well entitled him to representation in this volume."
(Source:  Portrait and Biographical Album of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Lake City Publishing Co., 1892, Chicago)

Partial 1861  Map of Somers Township
Section 25
160 E.G. Runals parcel

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