Josiah Rinebarger, an intelligent, enterprising, and well-to-do agriculturist, of Jo Daviess County, has a fine farm, well developed, on section 17, Berreman Township, of which he has been a resident for more than thirty years. He is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Dauphin County, Oct. 14, 1829. His parents, Michael and Susan (Miller) Rinebarger were natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Germany. After their marriage they lived for some years in the Keystone State, but in 1834 removed to Ohio and located in Wayne County. Twenty years later they established themselves in Wyandot County, the same State, and made that their permanent home; Mr. Rinebarger died there in 1888. His wife had preceded him to the grave, she having died in 1874, while visiting friends in Pennsylvania. They had a family of twelve children--John, Jane, Harriet, Mary, Leander, Thomas, George, William, Nancy, Henry, Lavina, and another child who died in infancy. Jane married Benjamin Ziegler, of Wayne County, Ohio, now a farmer of Stephenson County, Ill., and they have four children - Josiah, William, George, and Katie. Harriet is the widow of David Martin, of Carroll County, Ill., who died of camp-fever during the war, leaving her with two children, Belle and Carrie. Mary married David Spoon, a farmer of Wy-andot County, Ohio, and they had six children, five of whom are living - Ellsworth, George, Melvin, Essie, Olive; Rosella, deceased.
Leander, an artist in Hardin County, Ohio; Thomas, a farmer in Wayne County, Iowa, married a Southern lady, and they have four children; George is a freighter in Colorado; William, a farmer in Iowa, married Mary Spoon, and they have two children; Nancy died in Iowa; Henry, a farmer in Pottawatomie County, Kan., married Amelia Coats, of Wyandot County, Ohio, and they have seven children.
The subject of this sketch spent the first five years of his life in his native State then coming to Wayne County, Ohio, with his parents, was there educated and reared to manhood. His inclinations led him to choose the occupation of farming, and his shrewd foresight influenced him to seek the Prairie State as the most advantageous, in regard to fertility of soil and moderate price of land, in which to establish himself. Therefore, in 1857, he came directly to Jo Daviess County, and located in Berreman Township, which then presented a wild appearance compared with the thrifty place of today. Mr. Rinebarger's means were limited, but his strong and willing hands found ready employment as a farm laborer, and by his diligence and prudent management he was enabled to buy 120 acres of land, of which fifteen acres had been broken. He built a small frame house, and at once commenced work on his farm. With characteristic energy he steadily plied himself to its improvement, and in time added more land, and erected commodious and substantial buildings, so that he now has a pleasant homestead of 340 acres, well improved and adapted to his business of general farming. He pays much attention to stock-raising and has large herds of stock of all kinds. He is a fine example to the rising generation of what may be accomplished by perseverance, integrity, and honest dealings; his present prosperity being due entirely to his own efforts. In politics he is a stanch Republican, always faithfully aiding his party at the polls. In township affairs he is always interested, and has served as Commissioner nine years. As a worthy member of the Church of God, in which he has held tile office of Deacon for four years, he tries in his daily life to exemplify its teaching.
The maiden name of the wife of our subject was Elizabeth Mader. She was born in Union County, Pa., Sept. 7, 1838, and when five years of age came with her parents to Jo Daviess County. She was here reared to womanhood, and remained under the parental roof until her marriage with our subject, Nov. 12, 1857. Mr. and Mrs. Rinebarger have five children, of whom the following is the record: Susan J., born Dec. 11, 1858; Eveline R., July 11, 1860; Mary Ellen, June 18, 1865; Carrie Belie, Oct. 28, 1872; Dolly Ray, an adopted daughter, born March 10, 1874; Odessa May, born April 14, 1879. Susan married George Krise, a farmer and stock-raiser of Jo Daviess County, and they have five children--Oscar, Edward, Jesse, Daisy, William R.; Eveline married John Beal, of Germany, now a farmer in Stephenson County, Ill., and they have one child, Dessie Mabel; Mary Ellen married Douglas Tiffany, of Berreman Township, a physician and surgeon in Keokuk County, Iowa, and they have one child, Roscoe C.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Jo Daviess Co., IL (1889)