John Rinewalt

Full name

John Rinewalt

Presence at Shimer


Presence on Earth



Seminary period trustee

John Rinewalt (1807? - 1863) was an early backer of Shimer College during the early Seminary period, and one of the earliest and most influential settlers in Mount Carroll. An investor in the Emmert & Halderman mill, he was instrumental in overcoming the crisis of 1857, and settled a portion of the Seminary's outstanding debts in exchange for a scholarship for his son, John Miller Rinewalt.[1]

Before moving west in 1842, Rinewalt built and operated mills at Phoenixville and Norristown, Pennsylvania. While operating the "Moore Hall mill" at Phoenixville, he and his first wife Catharine Pennypacker are recorded as having assisted in the flight of fugitive ex-slaves along the Underground Railroad.[2] In Norristown, in addition to milling he engaged in the silk trade,[3] and was in the real estate business with Nathaniel Halderman.[4]

Rinewalt was one of the founding members of the First Baptist Church in Mount Carroll, in 1853, which Frances Shimer and Cindarella Gregory would join in 1854.[5] He had made the connection to J.V. Allison to travel west from Pennsylvania to lead the congregation.

Shimer connectionsEdit


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