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John William Ruggaber, secretary, treasurer and manager of the Racine Electric Company, was born on the 26th of July, 1882, in the city of Racine, his parents being Joseph and Theresa (Brick) Ruggaber, the former a native of Ottawa, Illinois, while the latter was also born in Racine. The Ruggaber family was early established in this section of the state and as the name indicates they come of German ancestry. The father, Joseph Ruggaber, died in the year 1894, but the mother still survives. They had a family of four sons: Frank, John W., Ed and Albert, all of whom are yet living.
John William Ruggaber obtained a public school education while spending his youthful days under the parental roof. He was early trained to habits of industry and from boyhood days has depended largely upon his own resources for a living. He first secured employment in the plating works of William Brown and afterward occupied a position in the Bee Bee Bicycle Works. Still later he was with the Racine Wagon & Carriage Company and afterward with the J. W. Spence Jewelry Manufacturing Company. He has occupied positions in various departments of the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company with which he remained for seven years, spending five years in the boiler works, while later he was for two years with the Case Plow Works. All these different connections have brought him broad experience, resulting in increased skill and ability. Entering the service of the Standard Electric Works he was made assistant foreman of the assembling department for a few months and later was given charge of the assembling department. He became associated with the Hamilton-Beach Company on its organization and remained with that company for two years, having charge of the assembling department. At the end of that time he became one of the organizers of the Racine Electric Company, of which he was made secretary, treasurer and manager, and he has since been the active head of this business, mention of which is made above.
On the 29th of May, 1904, Mr. Ruggaber was married to Miss Lucy Cook, of Racine, a daughter of Theodore and Margaret Cook, and they now have five children: Lucile, Leon, Kermet, Louis and Lavern. The family is communicants of St. Patrick’s church. In politics Mr. Ruggaber maintains an independent attitude when casting a local ballot but at national elections favors the Republican Party. He has membership with the Fraternal Order of Eagles and with the United Commercial Travelers. There have been no unusual chapters in his life’s record; his career has been an orderly progression, consistent in its advance and ruled by that sound judgment which takes into consideration needs and opportunities as well as individual capability.