Ruff/ Erbele Family Collection Photographs,
2011.25 & 2012.18

Erbele and Ruff family photographs, circa 1880- 1942. Twenty-four images. Seven images are available below, and the rest are available on DSpace (see link below). Photographs courtesy of Dianne (Meland) Gemelli and Merrlyn (Ruff) Meland, 19 August 2011 & 15 August 2012.

Ruff/ Erbele Family Photograph Collection on the NDSU Institutional Repository (DSpace)

Dianne (Meland) Gemelli is a descendent of the Erbele family, which can be traced back to Jerg Erbelin, who died in Germany in 1603. According to “The Erbele Family History: 1801-1984,” the name Erbele translates to “a small heir,” or landowner. Jacob Friedrich Erbele was born in 1801 in Stuttgart, Germany, and settled in Dennewitz, Bessarabia in 1813 with his family. One of his sons, Johan Martin Erbele, was born in 1836 in Teplitz, South Russia. He and his wife, Elizabeth (Weber), had eight children. Johan was determined to give his children the best available opportunities in education, and one of his sons, Johan Martin Erbele II, came to the United States in 1885, landing in New York City. He and his family journeyed overland to Yankton, Dakota Territory, later South Dakota, before settling in Lehr, North Dakota. Johan Martin Erbele II and his wife, Maria, had two sons, Jacob and Henry. Erbele died in 1900 and is buried in Lehr. His descendants continue to live throughout the United States. (Source “The Erbele Family History: 1801-1984” by Roy Erbele and Martha Erbele Slaughter, 2002.)

Images courtesy of Ruff/ Erbele Family Collection, 2011.25 & 2012.18, Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries.


Inscribed "Ed Ruff's grandparents." Circa 1895..


Elizabeth (Weber) Erbele. Accompanying notes states "Grandma Pauline Erbele, Ruff's grandmother, Andreas Erbele Sr.'s mom." Circa 1925.


Black and white portrait. Subjects unidentified. Circa 1900.


Wedding portrait of Ed and Pauline Ruff, 1927


Portait of Ed and Pauline Ruff, circa 1965-1970


Portrait of Andreas and Rosina Erbele on their 50th wedding anniversary. Dated 1942.


Charcoal and chalk enhanced portrait of Johan Martin and Elizabeth (Weber) Erbele. Circa 1880.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller