PETER RINNER, farmer and stock-raiser, section 23, Madison Township, was born in Germany, near the river Rhine, November 14, 1831. His father, Peter Rinner, came with his family to America in 1836, and settled at Lockport, Ohio, where he died nine weeks after his arrival. Our subject, on the death of his father, was taken by David Stiffler, of Beaver Dam, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, by whom he was reared to agricultural pursuits. He entered the United States army during the Mexican war when in his sixteenth year, under Scott, and was at the battles of St. Augustine, wounded at Cherebusco, Mellina, Del Ray, Chapultepac, and at the taking of Mexico. He reentered the United States service in 1850, and spent two and a half years in teaching recruits. He then entered the cavalry of the Second United States dragoons in 1855, remaining in the service till February, 1864, when he was discharged as Second lieutenant. During the late civil war he participated in the battles of First Bull Run, after which battle he carried the first white flag to the rebel army. Williamsport, battle of the Wilderness, the seven days fight on the peninsula, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Culpeper, and others of minor importance. Before the war of the Rebellion he was engaged in fighting with Indians in Utah, and while there part of the time his company had but two ounces of flour for each man for their daily allowance, and for a while they lived on nettles cooked as greens. He served his country as a soldier fifteen years and eight months. Mr. Rinner came to Iowa in 1864, locating at Des Moines, where he remained till 1871. He then came to Clarke County, where he has since followed farming and stock-raising on his present farm, where he has 126 acres of well-improved land. He began life a poor boy, but his habits of industry and economy have been crowned with success, he having acquired his present fine property by his own efforts. Mr. Rinner was married January 14, 1874, to Diantha Gray, a daughter of William Gray, of Rush County, Kansas. They have had six children, four still living – Franklin P., Margaret E., George L. and Katherine D. Mr. Rinner still has in his possession his old sword which was given him by General Pleasanton.
SOURCE: Biographical and Historical Record of Clarke County, Iowa, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1886 p. 341