Martin Ruter    


Martin Ruter was born in Charlton, Massachussetts on 3 April 1785. His Father, Job Ruter, was a blacksmith. The Ruter family, originally of Baptist persuasion, removed to Vermont in 1793, but joined with the Methodists at Corinth sometime after 1798. Martin had early religious feelings (from the age of three), and decided to commit his life to religion at the age of fourteen.

While studying at Bradford, Vermont, he boarded with a Mrs Margaret Peckett [
Appleton] who was a sometime bandmate of Mary Bosanquet [at Leytonstone or Cross Hall?]. Mrs Peckett 'was a true mother in Israel to Martin, whom she advised and encouraged in his religious experience and duty'Smith, 1915:122).

Ruter married Sybil Robertson of New Hampshire in June 1805 and they had two children. Mrs Ruter died in 1808, following which Martin remarried to Ruth Young with whom he had eight children.

Ruter became an itinerant preacher and missionary, ordained by Bishop Francis Asbury in 1805. He published several works, and was the founder of the Western Book Concern of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Smith, 1915:127). He died  16 May 1838, and several preachers memorialized him in sermons between May and July.

References: John O. Gross, Martin Ruter: Pioneer in Methodist Education (Nashville: Board of Education of the Methodist Church, 1956); Ernest Ashton Smith, Martin Ruter (New York: Methodist Book Concern, 1915).

Article contributed by David R. Wilson
Martin Ruter
Portrait reprinted here from Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly (1909); The same portrait was printed in Ernest Ashton Smith, Martin Ruter (New York: Methodist Book Concern, 1915), frontis.

Copyright © 2010 David R. Wilson. All rights reserved. Created and maintained by David R. Wilson.
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