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1st Lt. Richard Rucker – Browns Grove Cemetery, Burdett, Pawnee County, Kansas

1st Lt. Richard Rucker – Browns Grove Cemetery, Burdett, Pawnee County, Kansas

Pvt. Richard Rucker enlisted in Co. K 7th IL Infantry on April 25, 1861, where he served for three months. His second enlistment was with Co. I 32nd IL, where he was promoted to 2nd lieutenant a year later. Upon his honorable discharge at the war's end, Richard was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. During his four years of service, 1st Lt. Rucker suffered "three gunshot wounds in his leg and inflammatory rheumatism. He received a monthly pension of $18.00."1

Richard J. Rucker was born in Macoupin County, Illinois, on July 1, 1840. His first marriage was to Emma Hudson in 1859, and the union produced one son, Clarence. However, the couple divorced during the war, leaving Clarence with relatives until Richard returned.

When Richard returned, he married Margaret Virginia Lee on March 23, 1868. Unfortunately, their first child, Ruby, died at two months old. However, Clarence lived with them, and in 1870, another son, Chauncey, was born. Hoping the drier climate would help Margaret's health, the family of four boarded a train for western Kansas. They arrived in 1878 and settled in the northeast corner of Hodgeman County in Marena Township, just on the border with Pawnee County.

Richard began the constru

ction of a dugout that would serve as their first home. Unfortunately, Margaret's health had deteriorated so much that she died from tuberculosis on September 15, 1884, at thirty-nine. Her remains were buried in Browns GroveCemetery but later returned to Illinois, where she was reinterred in Elmwood Cemetery in Litchfield, Illinois, with her daughter Ruby.

Richard sold his farm in 1900 and moved into Larned. Along with his injuries in the war and several strokes, which left him paralyzed, he fell into a deep depression and committed suicide. He was buried in Browns Grove Cemetery.

1 Kansas, U.S., Enrollment of Civil War Veterans, 1889 for RJ Rucker

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