PETER RUSTEMEYER, M. D. It is with pleasure that we trace the history of this prominent resident of Calhoun County through the principal events of his past life. At present a resident of Crater Precinct our subject is prospering, enjoying the comforts of life and that which is better than silver or gold — the esteem and confidence of his fellow-men who realize the worth of his character, the extent of his mental attainments and the good which he has accomplished.
Dr. Rustemeyer is the only child of Anthony and Sophia Rustemeyer, natives of Germany, and in the kingdom of Prussia his own eyes opened to the light, May 6, 1836. He attended the public schools until he was about fourteen years of age, then entered the Brilon University, pursuing his studies there three years. He next became a student in the college at Paderborn and during the ensuing six years devoted himself assiduously to the higher branches, including the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French and German tongues, preparing himself for the priesthood. He completed the University course in 1860 and at once came to America, taking passage on a steamer July 27 and landing in New York seventeen days later.
Dr. Rustemeyer came direct to Alton, Ill., where for some time he was busied in seminary studies, preparing for his ordination which took place in April, 1861. He was then appointed assistant pastor of St. Boniface Church at Quincy and officiated in that capacity two years. Subsequently he became the regular pastor of the Catholic Church at Paderborn, St. Clair County, and was then transferred to Brussels, Calhoun County, being in charge of St. Mary's Church for two years. We next find Dr. Rustemeyer transferred to Fayetteville, St. Clair County, and a year later placed in charge of the church at Beardstown, where he remained a year. He then returned to Brussels where he officiated some five years. He became recognized as an able expounder of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church and an earnest worker in the upbuilding of the membership.
While discharging his duties as a member of the priesthood Dr. Rustemeyer devoted considerable time for a number of years to the study of medicine, for which he had a very decided taste. He at length entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons, of St. Louis, Mo., pursued the required course of study there a year, then spent an equal length of time in the Homeopathic Medical College in the same city. He was graduated from the latter institution, and returning to Calhoun County located in Crater Precinct and began the practice of the medical profession. After practicing here for a time he removed to St. Clair County, but in a short time returned to old Calhoun, and has devoted himself principally to his professional labors. He enjoys a good practice and the reputation of a well-read and skillful physician. His home is on section 29, where he owns one hundred and sixty acres of land and is surrounded by the pleasantness and quiet attractive to one of his tastes and studious nature.
Dr. Rustemeyer is a fine linguist and a gentleman of ripe scholarship, a deep thinker and a close student. He entertains broad and liberal views on matters pertaining to government, is independent in polities and public-spirited in his interest in worthy movements. The biographer found him to be a cultured, social and entertaining gentleman in whose society the time passed rapidly and agreeably. In 1875 and 1876 Dr. Rustemeyer took an active part in the old Catholic movement in Germany and Switzerland, and afterward came back to America on leave of absence to look after his real estate, and liking this climate better he adopted the profession of physician and has since resided here.
Extracted 16 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 411-412
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