Johann Friedrich Rima

By Steve Rima

Johann Friedrich Rima was apparently the youngest son of Johannas and Catherine Rima. I believe he was born about 1774 At New Petersburg, Tryon County, New York.

Frederick, as he was called in non-German communities, married a local girl on March 17, 1795. Her name was Maria (Polly) Bekker, daughter of Theobald and Elizabeth Bekker. Their first child was born at Herkimer and after that they seem to have moved around somewhat. The censuses seem to indicate they lived in 1810 at Sharon Town, Schoharie Co. New York. By 1814 they were at Rome, New York with his elder brothers, Jacob, George and Christian. These towns are really only 20 or so miles from each other, but it does indicate that they were probably tenant farmers.

Sometime in the late summer of 1818 they left the Rome area. Frederick took his family west to Geauga County, Ohio. They settled in the Northwest corner of Chester Township. Thomas Fuller happened upon the Rima family in 1818 and he remembers in the 1875 History of Geagua County "The neighborhood turned into a less than desireable area. Several families settled in the neighborhood of a rude cast, and the place was vulgarly known by a name now supposed to stand for no place in any world. This name gave way to Texas, and in time became known as Fullertown." I know the family was not well to do, and many of the new settlers eventually married into the Rima family.

They landed in Ohio in the fall of 1818. He built the first home in what they called Fullertown. Settlers began to arrive in the area and the Rima family welcomed them in their home until their homes were built. They built a sawmill on the river to help build homes.

In 1882 a gentleman by the name of John Curtis wrote an artical in a Newbury, Ohio newspaper and he mentioned the Frederick Rima family. In the article he tells: "Old Fred, the father of Fred the younger, was short and thickset. In his prime Fred had lifted three heavy anvils at the same time, one in either hand. "

Frederick Rima first became a land owner of record in 1823 when he bought 111 acres of farm land there in Chester Township. He was listed in the newspaper for delinquent taxes in 1824 and 1825. He lived on simple means. The tax rolls indicated that he owned only one horse and no cattle in 1824.

They remained here for over 20 years in Chester and Newbury Townships. Several of their children would marry here. About 1837 -1838 they all moved west again, this time to Stephenson County, Illinois.

In 1840 Frederick Rima was listed as between 60 and 70 years old. In 1850 his widow was listed as age 78 years old living with their daughter Catherine. Some of the family moved on after Frederick and Polly passed away. They lived in Iowa, Minnesota, Washington State, Kansas and other places. A few relatives remain at Stephenson County, Illinois. There are no family members remaining at Geauga County, Ohio. He and his wife had 54 grandchildren.

All of Frederick's family used the name Rima.