Charles J Rusler
Charles J Rusler was born August 10,1849 in Baden, Germany to Joseph and Mary Anna Rusler. In about 1850 his father sailed to America. After working his way to Illinois, Joseph worked on farms until he had saved enough to send for his family. Sophia, Michael, Charles and their mother (probably Margaret, Joseph’s second wife) came to Illinois. After 15 years of renting they were finally able to buy a farm in Ogle County, Illinois. Charles married Diena Calkins, daughter of Cornelius and Maria (Chambers) Calkins on December 12, 1873 in Ogle County. She was born August 3, 1854 in Illinois.
In the spring of 1874, the young Rusler couple moved to York County, Nebraska. The grasshoppers destroyed his first crop in 1874 and there were many other hardships for the young pioneers but through perseverance and hard work by 1921 he owned 840 acres. Charles and Diena didn’t have any children but Diena’s niece Minnie Burton lived with them for many years. The History of York published in 1921 said that Charles was a Catholic but in his will, dated July 16, 1930 he left a trust of $20,000 to Council Church. His will also specifies an inheritance worth about $4,000 each (or land) to each of his siblings if they were alive or their descendants if they are not. The only sibling who did not get a piece of the inheritance besides his sister Susan, who died with no children, was George who lived in Oklahoma – for him he forgave him his debts and mortgage.
Charles died April 12, 1930 in York, Nebraska. His wife, Diena had died March 23, 1926.
Although Charles didn’t leave any direct descendants he was the wealthiest of the Rusler children, a true Nebraska pioneer and he left a good treasure of genealogical information in his will.
sources: 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 census Ancestry.com, findagrave.com, History of York 1921, York Compendium of Biography 1899, Charles Rusler’s will.