Dr. James D. Rumph. – This prominent physician and surgeon of Perote, Bullock county, Ala., was born in Orangeburg district, S. C., in 1810, a son of John, a native of the same place. John Rumph passed his entire life in his native district, and was a very successful planter. Although a man of somewhat limited education; owing to the sparsely settled condition of the country in his early days, he was a voracious reader and became a very influential man in his district and reared a large family.
Gen. Jacob Rumph, the father of John, was born in Charleston district, S. C., and died in Orangeburg district. He was a captain in the Revolutionary war and led a company all through the prolonged and heroic struggle in Colonel Thompson’s regiment of Gen. Marion’s corps, enduring many hardships and privations. At one time he had a fierce encounter with the notorious tory, Bill Cunningham, but bore himself courageously and came out of the conflict with but a slight wound in the forehead. His bravery won him his reward, and at the close of the war he was made a brigadier-general. The father of the general came to America from Germany in early colonial times, and ended his days in South Carolina. Louis Gholston, the maternal grandfather of Dr. J. S. Rumph, was also a German who came to America in colonial times and also passed away in South Carolina. He was a farmer and a man who held the confidence of his fellow-citizens, who placed him in many positions of public trust and emolument. His two sons, John and Louis served throughout the Revolutionary war, one with the rank of colonel.
Dr. James D. Rumph having well prepared himself for a medical education was graduated March 9, 1836, from the South Carolina Medical college at Charleston. He practiced his profession with marked success in his native district until 1854, when he came to Alabama and settled near Mount Andrew, Barbour county, where his wife was stricken by death the year following. This lady, a cousin of her husband, was a native of Orangeburg district, S. C., born in 1820. She bore the maiden name of Caroline M. Rumph, and was a daughter of Christian Herresberger Rumph, a brother of John Rumph, heretofore alluded to, a native of Orangeburg district and an itinerant Methodist preacher of great local renown. Dr. Rumph married a second wife and continued his practice in Barbour county until 1882, when he removed to Perote, where he contented himself with a moderate neighborhood practice, having already gained a handsome competency and having had an uninterrupted call for his services for over fifty years, and having won for himself an enduring name among his fellow-practitioners. He was once counselor of the Charleston, (S. C.) Medical association, and for some years surgeon of the Fifteenth South Carolina militia; he was also a volunteer for the Florida war of 1836, but his services were declined. He was always a stanch democrat, an ardent Methodist, and was universally recognized as a man of erudition and as a genial gentleman.
Of the four sons and four daughters born to Dr. Rumph, the eldest is the Hon. Christian Wilber Rumph, who was born in Orangeburg district, S. C., August 13, 1843, and at the age of eleven years, was brought by his parents to Alabama. He received a first-class academic education, chiefly at Perote, and February 13, 1861, joined company B, First Alabama infantry, known as the Perote Guards. His first military service was at Pensacola, Fla., in the various attacks and bombardments of Fort Pickens. At the close of his term of one year’s enlistment, he joined company B, Fifty-first Alabama cavalry, as sergeant, under Gen. John T. Morgan (now United States senator), and operated in Kentucky and Tennessee, fighting at Nashville, Murfreesboro (where he was slightly wounded) and the raid up the Cumberland river, where several gunboats were captured from the enemy. At Shelbyville, Tenn., Mr. Rumph was taken prisoner, June 27, 1863, and for a short time was confined in the penitentiary at Nashville, whence he was removed to Camp Chase and a few months later to Fort Delaware, where he was detained a long time, suffering much privation, and finally was taken to Point Lookout; there he was exchanged after a few months, and February 22, 1864, rejoined his company at Columbia, S. C. He was subsequently engaged in several skirmishes and also took part in the battle of Bentonville; following this, his regiment started for the trans-Mississippi department, but at Augusta, Ga., the news of Lee’s surrender came to hand and the troops were disbanded. Mr. Rumph, after his discharge and after peace had resumed its sway, settled down to planting in Barbour county, and on December 17, 1873, married Miss Alberta, daughter of Charles D. and Eliza (Crossley) Laney. Mr. Crossley was a native of North Carolina and Mrs. Crossley of Alabama. The former came to Alabama when a young man, and was a prosperous merchant at Eufaula, where he died; the latter is still living. Mrs. Rumph was born and educated at Eufaula, and is now the mother of eight children. Since his marriage, Mr. Rumph has resided at Perote, engaged most successfully in the mercantile business, and also in planting, being the owner of 4,000 acres of fertile land, all the result of his well directed efforts. He is quite popular in the community, and has served his fellow-citizens as a justice of the peace, and from 1878 to 1882 in the state senate, where he served on the committees of temperance, finance and Federal relations. He is active in the democratic party and has several times been its delegate to state conventions, and for some years has been chairman of the Bullock county democratic executive committee. He is a member of Missouri lodge No. 146, F. & A. M.; at Perote, and of the I. O. G. T., while his wife is a devout member of the Methodist church.
Langdon Leslie Rumph, another son of the doctor, died at Pensacola in 1861, a private in the First Alabama volunteers; a third son, Dr. James D. Jr., died about 1882; he served all through the late war in Davidson’s cavalry, and after the close took one course in medicine at Philadelphia and eventually graduated from the university of Louisiana. A fourth son, John Melvin Rumph, died about the year 1882. Margaret Mary Rumph, the doctor’s eldest daughter, is the wife of Newton Cochran, of Rome, Ga., and the doctor’s youngest daughter is married to E. R. Haslin of Perote.