August J. Reifel and his Family
Not too often can be repeated the life history of one who has lived so honorable and useful a life and attained to such distinction in his profession as has August J. Reifel, the present superintendent of the Brookville schools. Well disciplined in mind, maintaining a vantage point from which life has presented itself in correction proportions, guided and guarded by the most inviolable principles of integrity and honor, such a man could not prove other than a force for good in whatever relation of life he may have been placed.
August J. Reifel started in as a teacher in the public schools of Franklin County when only sixteen years of age, and his whole career since that time has been devoted to this noble profession. As a teacher in the district schools, as county superintendent and as city superindentendent he has acquitted himslef in such a way as to reflect credit upon himself and give satisfaction to the people of this county.
Mr. Reifel, the son of Conrad and Louisa (Sommer - birth name) (Koerner - adoptive name) Reifel, was born in Peppertown, Franklin County, Indiana, February 22, 1875. His parents, who were natives of Germany, reared a family of ten children: Charles G. Riefel of Brookville; Emma Reifel, the wife of John Becky of Cincinnati, Ohio; Caroline Reifel who is living at the old home place in Peppertown; William J. Reifel of Cleveland, Ohio; August J. Riefel of Brookville, Indiana; Louis H. Reifel of Fowler, Indiana; Herman T. Reifel living in Minnesotap; Louise, wife of G. W. Hyde, of Brookville; and two who died in infancy.
Conrad Reifel, the father of Superintendent Reifel, received his schooling in Germany, and came to America with his parents, George Reifel and wife [Margaret], when he was about fifteen years of age. The family located in Franklin County immediately after coming to this country and have made this their home since 1859. The paternal grandparents of August J. Reifel spent the remainder of their days in this country, where they reared their family of five children: Philip Reifel, Conrad Reifel, David Reifel, Jacob Reifel, and Christina.
His mother, Louisa, was reared in the home of John Koerner. She always inspired her children to loftier and higher ideals. The success of the children depended much upon the mother as well as the father.
August J. Reifel was reared on his father's farm in Salt Creek township, and received his elementary education in the district schools of his home neighborhood. His first professional school training was received in the Franklin County Normal at Brookville, and when only sixteen years of age he started out as a teacher in the district schools. By the time he was twenty-four years of age he had taught several terms and completed the course in the State Normal School at Terre Haute, Indiana. For the past sixteen years he has been engaged either as a teacher or as superintendent of the Franklin County schools, serving in the latter position for seven years and six months. He has spent some time as a student in the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in order to qualify himself better for his chosen life work. He resigned the superintendency of Franklin County in order to become superintendent of the Brookville schools, and has now held this position for the past five years. As an educator he ranks high among those of the state and has all of the necessary qualifications which go to make the successful man.
August J. Reifel was married on Christmas Day, 1902, to Lenore Jaques, a daughter of Harvey S. and Martha (Stout) Jaques, and to this union have been born two daughters, Ruth J. and Mary Helen.
Mr. Reifel and his family are earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Brookville and take a warm interest in its various activities.
Mrs. Reifel was born in this county, as was her mother, while her father was a native of Ohio. Mrs. Reifel is one of the six living children born to her parents, the others being Albert Jaques, Lyde Jaques, Rose Jaques, Edna Jaques, and Fred Jaques.
Mr. Reifel is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons and the Knights of Pythias at Brookville, and also of the Independent Order of Odd Fellow, holding membership in the latter lodge at Mixersville. Since assuming the responsible position he now holds, Mr. Reifel has increased the efficiency of the schools of Brookville and placed them on a plane where they will rank with the best of the state. Although now only in the early prime of life he already has achieved success in his chosen profession, but not satisfied with past results, is pressing forward to higher ideals.
August J. Reifel and his Family
By Charles W. Niehaus
From The Reifel Family 1780 - 1982, Published 1982
August, like his older brother Charles, was "born for educational endeavors." For most of his life, August taught in the public schools of Franklin County, Indiana. At age 16 he began he teaching career. Later on in life, he became Superintendent of the Brookville Public Schools.
In 1915, he completed and published a compiled 1,475-page History of Franklin County, Indiana. So far this book has gone through 2 editions. This history of the county focuses on family histories, and is treasured by families all around the world that had some connection with the early Franklin County. Today August J. Reifel is known as "the father of family history in Franklin County, Indiana" to thousands of descendants.
In 1928, August began a term of service as Superintendent of Schools for the public schools of Gas City, Indiana. He later returned to Brookville. In all, he was a prominent educator in Indiana for 60 years.
August and Lenore Jacques married in 1902 when he was 27 and she was 28. They had two daughters, Ruth Reifel and Mary Helen Reifel.