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History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Nicholas J. Rusch

NICHOLAS J. RUSCH was born in Holstein, Germany, in 1822. He received a liberal education and taught school several years. In 1847 he emigrated to America and located on a farm near Davenport, Iowa, He was a young man of fine ability and studious habits and soon acquired a knowledge of the language, laws and institutions of his adopted country. A Republican in politics he was an influential leader among the German Americans. In 1857 he was nominated by the Republicans of Scott County for State Senator and was elected by a large majority. He attained prominence in the session of 1858 as a Senator and in 1859 was nominated by the Republican State Convention for Lieutenant-Governor on the ticket with Samuel J. Kirkwood. After a campaign of unusual vigor they were elected. Lieutenant-Governor Rusch presided with dignity and ability over the Senate during the regular session of 1860 and the war session of 1861 but was not a candidate for reëlection. In May, 1860, he was appointed by Governor Kirkwood Commissioner of Immigration and served two years with great efficiency. In 1862 Governor Rusch was appointed to a position in the Commissary Department of the military service in the Civil War, with the rank of captain. In 1864 he died in the service at Vicksburg, Mississippi, at the age of forty-two.