Biography of Daniel B. Ratekin of Rulo

Daniel B. Ratekin, born on October 2, 1881, near Rulo, Nebraska, served as sheriff of Richardson County following his election in 1914. He was the son of William L. and Mary Ann Vaughn Ratekin, who settled in the county in 1864. Daniel grew up on the family farm and later engaged in various business and public service roles in Rulo, including assessor, school treasurer, and mayor. He moved to Falls City in 1912 to enter the automobile business before becoming sheriff. He married Minna A. LaBlanc in 1904, and they had one daughter, Mary H., born in 1905.

Daniel R Ratekin
Daniel R Ratekin

Daniel B. Ratekin, sheriff of Richardson county, former mayor of Rulo and who at the time of his election to the office of sheriff in 1914 was engaged in the automobile business at Falls City, is a native son of this county and has lived here all his life. He was born on a farm in the immediate vicinity of Rulo on October 2, 1881, a son of William L. and Mary Ann Vaughn Ratekin, natives of Ohio, who came to this county in 1864 and the latter of whom is still living at Rulo.

William L. Ratekin was born in 1834 and grew to manhood in Ohio, where he was married. During the early part of the Civil War he served as the driver of a commissary wagon in the Eastern Division and in 1864 came West and proceeded by steamer to Rulo, where he landed and where he made his permanent home, buying a tract of eighty acres of raw land a half mile west of that then bustling river town, establishing his home on the same and there he spent the remainder of his life, living to see the land for which he paid five dollars an acre increase many fold in value. A few years before his death he retired from the active labors of the farm and moved to Rulo, where he died in 1907 and where his widow is now living, she being now about seventy years of age. They were the parents of ten children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the last-born, the others being as follow: Marion, now living at McFarland,. California; Jacob, who died of mountain fever in Colorado years ago; Julia, now deceased, who was the wife of J. F. Vaughn; John, who is now living rear Delta, Colorado; Mary, wife of Frank Wilhoit, of Centralia, Kansas; Ida, wife of E. W. Coupe, of the precinct of Rulo, this county; James W., a farmer in that same precinct; William F., now a resident of California, and Minnie, wife of George Goodale, of Rulo.

Reared on the home farm in the vicinity of Rulo, Daniel B. Ratekin received his schooling in the schools of that place and remained on the farm until he was twenty-one years of age, when, in 1902, he engaged in the transfer and coal business at Rulo and after his marriage two years later established his home there. Not long after taking up his residence in Rulo Mr. Ratekin was elected assessor, a position he held for three years. He later was elected school treasurer and he also held that office for three years. In 1912 he was elected mayor of Rulo and it was during his administration that the Rulo electric light plant. said to be one of the best plants for a town of that size in the state of Nebraska, was installed. Upon the completion of his term of service as mayor Mr. Ratekin moved to Falls City and there engaged in the automobile and general garage business, as a member of the Ratekin, Wolfley & Ball Company, and was thus engaged, as manager of that concern, when he was elected sheriff of Richardson county in 1914. So satisfactory did Sheriff Ratekin’s services prove in this important public capacity that the Republicans of the county renominated him in 1916 and he was re-elected by the largest majority ever given a candidate for public office in Richardson county and is now serving his second term in the sheriff’s office, one of the most popular and painstaking officials in the court house.

It was on September 15, 1904, that Daniel B. Ratekin was united in marriage to Minna A. LaBlanc, who was born at Rulo, this county, October 27, 1885, daughter of M. J. and Mary F. (Perkins) LaBlanc, natives, re­spectively, of Canada and Missouri, and early settlers at Rulo, who were the parents of three children, one of whom died in infancy, Mrs. Ratekin having a sister, Mrs. Bessie Scott, living at Lexington, Missouri. Sheriff and Mrs. Ratekin have one child, a daughter, Mary H., born on October 27, 1905.


Edwards, Lewis C., History of Richardson County, Nebraska : Its People, Industries and Institutions, Indianapolis : B.F. Bowen, 1917.

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