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Samuel Rugg lives again!

August 19, 2011

RUGGS RE-ENACTED—Samuel Rugg, the founder of Decatur, and his wife Susannah are being re-enacted for the city's 175th anniversary celebration by Michael and RoxyAnn Casper of Decatur. Michael Casper is a retired elementary school principal here. Their vintage-looking clothes were designed by Pendy Selking of rural Decatur. (Photo provided)

    Samuel Rugg lives again!
    The man who founded Decatur in 1836, the same year that Adams County was created, is being brought back to life by Michael Casper, a retired elementary school principal here, while one of Rugg's three wives, Susannah, is being recreated by Casper's wife, RoxyAnn.
    The longtime Decatur residents are giving historical presentations to third-grade students in the North Adams school district as well as those at St. Joseph Catholic School and St. Peter-Immanuel Lutheran School.
    They gave their program at St. Joe on Thursday, are in North Adams Schools today, and will visit SPI on Monday.
    The information for the presentations came from research done by Louise Wolpert, the adult services librarian at the Decatur branch of the Adams Public Library System, who located relatives of Rugg in New York; Chicago; St. Louis; Cincinnati; Huntsville, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee; and Harve, Montana.
    In their public appearances as the Ruggs, the Caspers wear clothes designed by Pendy Selking of rural Decatur to look like those from the middle of the 19th century, the decade of the 1840s.
    The only definite photograph of Samuel Rugg is from the period 1854-60 when he was involved in local politics, so Casper is basing his appearance on that picture.
    A monument to Samuel Rugg will be dedicated at 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 28, on the front lawn of the Decatur Chamber of Commerce office, 125 E. Monroe St., beside the Wendell Macklin Memorial Bridge over the St. Marys River.
    Among those attending will be several relatives of the Ruggs, including a great-great-great-granddaughter.

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