Rapps Family

About the Rapps Family

A Necessary Young Man

Michael Rapps was one of about fifteen young men who crossed the Oregon Trail in the 1855 wagon Train with Dr. Keil and did a lot of the heavy clearing of the settlement at Aurora during the colony’s first years in Oregon.  Rapp remembered that every gang of four was required to cut down a tree before breakfast, unless there happened to be no meat on hand, in which case they were expected to kill a deer.

A Love That Outlived Keil

Michael Rapps married Mary Schuele in 1879. Aileen Snyder said in a 1986 interview that William Keil would not allow Michael to marry Mary so they went together for many years, and married after Keil died.

Birdie Cole distinctly recalled Michael Rapps snow white curly locks and dignified bearing.  He and Aunt Mary had long loved each she had been told.

A Tale of Two Sisters

Michael’s sister Margaret Rapps was the head cook at the Aurora Colony Hotel for over forty years. She was the main boss of a crew that included Elizabeth Zimmerman, Rosina Stauffer, and Louisa Stauffer Voght.

Catherine Rapps was overseer of the Lower House—the boarding house for the older men.


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