Ruff, Johann Frederick

(Johann) Frederick Ruff was born 7 February 1830 in Badaleben, Germany, not too far from Magdeburg, the son of Johann H. and Maria (Miehe) Ruff. He was educated at the University of Berlin and came to America in 1852 to study for the Lutheran ministry in Perry County, Missouri. He met his future wife, Charlotte Posner, and her parents, brothers, and sister on the ship. On 15 December 1857, they married in Waldenburg, Michigan.
Charlotte was born 9 November 1838, in Waldenburg, Germany. They had eleven children of which eight reached adulthood. In chronological order they were: Frederick, Martin, John, Henry, Mary, Johanna, Theodore, Emma, Magalena, Carl, and Edward.
Rev. John Ruff was the first pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Bloomington, Illinois, serving there from 1858 to 1860. Suffering a severe throat ailment and hoping the less humid climate would help his problem, he accepted a call to Mequon, Wisconsin, where he served for about six years. Finding no relief there, he accepted a call to Immanuel Church, Waldenburg, Michigan, where his in-laws lived. At this time the Synod asked him to go to Germany to seek out and recruit more students for the ministry, thinking the sea voyage would prove helpful. Feeling better upon his return, he was called to St. Peter's Lutheran Church, St. Clair, Michigan, in 1869. Shortly after, he started a mission station in Port Huron that became Trinity Lutheran Church. On 2 April 1881, he died from stomach cancer.
Pastor Ruff's son, John F. Ruff married Anna Otter and ran a creamery in Port Huron. Their children were Lydia, Albert, Walter and Oscar. Albert was confirmed in 1912 and ordained in 1923 and later served as pastor of Trinity's daughter congregation, Our Savior's Lutheran Church, which was established in 1920.