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Below is a family biography included in The History of Franklin County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Hon. Rudolph Hirzel, judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Missouri, and a resident of Washington, Mo., was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, in December, 1845, and is the son of Otto and Rosa (Tritschler) Hirzel, natives of Germany, born in 1812 and 1820, respectively. The father was a government officer until 1848, when he took part in the Revolution and afterward became a tiller of the soil. He died in 1878. His wife is yet living and resides in her native country. Of seven children born to this worthy couple five lived to be grown, and Rudolph is the third. He was educated in the public schools of Switzerland and the high schools of Germany. He also attended the agricultural schools one year. In September, 1865, he left his native country and emigrated to the United States. He worked nine months on a farm in the State of New York and passed the summer of 1866 in raising tobacco in Connecticut. In the fall he came West and began farming in Gasconade County, and later engaged in teaching and followed that profession at times until 1871. He also, during his teaching, became correspondent for the county paper at Hermann. Judge Hirzel was by this time anxious for a better education, and, accordingly, in 1867, he entered the Central Wesleyan College at Warrenton, Mo. He attended this school as his means would permit, and in 1871 he graduated with the degree of A. B. He then began editing the Hermann Volksblatt, and continued at this six months. He also taught one term of school afterward. In 1870 he began the study of law and in 1872 read law in Jefferson City, with Messrs. Lay & Belch, and was admitted to the bar in December. In April, 1873, he located at Hermann, Mo., opened an office and began his practice, and at the same time he married Miss Matilda Nasse, a native of Hermann, born in 1850, and the daughter of Dr. August Nasse. The fruits of this union were two children: Otto and Cora. In 1874 the Judge was elected prosecuting attorney, and in 1876 was re-elected and served four years. In 1879 he moved to St. Louis, and practiced law there until 1884, when he came to Washington. In the fall of 1886 he was elected as judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit for six years, and is now serving his term. This judicial circuit comprises the counties of Franklin, Osage, Gasconade and Maries. In his political views, Judge Hirzel is a Republican, casting his first presidential vote for U. S. Grant in 1872. He is a leader in his party, an able debater, and a man of ability and understanding.

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This family biography is one of 305 biographies included in The History of Franklin County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Franklin County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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