Rague, John F.

Born: 1799-03-24 New Jersey

Died: 1877-09-24 Dubuque, Iowa

Flourished: 1838-03-22 Springfield, Illinois

Rague grew up in New York City and worked there as a builder and carpenter throughout the 1820s. In 1820, he married Eliza Vandyke, and by 1836, they had relocated to Springfield, Illinois, where they joined the local Presbyterian Church. Rague was appointed the architect of the state house built in Springfield beginning in 1837, and he also served on the city's Board of Trustees in 1836. Rague designed Iowa's territorial capitol in Iowa City in 1839 and 1840, after which he moved to Milwaukee, where he designed multiple buildings and also received the commission to design several campus buildings at the University of Wisconsin. After Eliza divorced him in 1851, Rague remarried to Chestina Scales and moved to Dubuque in 1854. Despite significant success in Dubuque, Rague was financially ruined by the recession in 1857.

Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales, Tazewell County, 69:173, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Survey of Huron, Illinois; Resolution regarding Construction of the State House at Springfield; U.S. Census Office, Sixth Census of the United States (1840), Sangamon County, IL, 17; History of Sangamon County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1881), 565, 587; Arthur Peabody, "John F. Rague, Architect," Wisconsin Magazine of History 10 (Dec. 1926), 219-21; Jan Olive Nash, "Rague, John Francis," The Biographical Dictionary of Iowa (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2009), http://uipress.lib.uiowa.edu/bdi/DetailsPage.aspx?id=312; Gravestone, Linwood Cemetery, Dubuque, IA.