History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/John W. Rankin
JOHN W. RANKIN was born on the 11th of June, 1823, and was a native of the State of Pennsylvania. He was a graduate of Washington College and after teaching a few years, studied law, was admitted to the bar and began practice in Wooster in partnership with Judge Sloan. He came to Iowa in 1848, locating at Keokuk, where he practiced his profession. In April, 1857, he was appointed judge of the First Judicial District to fill a vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Judge Ralph P. Lowe. In October of the same year he was elected to the State Senate on the Republican ticket for a term of four years. At the beginning of the War of the Rebellion he was appointed Quartermaster of United States Volunteers. In the winter of 1861-2 he was authorized to raise a regiment of volunteers and in a little more than a month had enlisted a regiment, which was mustered into the service as the Seventeenth Iowa Infantry. Rankin was commissioned by Governor Kirkwood colonel of the regiment and it at once entered the service. Colonel Rankin was wounded at the Battle of Iuka and resigned in September, 1862.