America was just a baby in 1780. The frontier had been
made available to settle. The Wilderness was everything west of Virginia. A
group of Virginian’s wanted to go west. Captain Stephen Ruddell was one to settle in
Kentucky. He moved to Kentucky about the same time the Boones did. Daniel
Boone and Capt. Ruddell were friends.
The brave frontiersmen where mostly of fine Scot-Irish blood. They were known for
their bravery as well as their intelligence. The One attribute they held was the
spirit of Freedom that their forefathers had bred into them.
Stephen Ruddell with his family settled an area in Kentucky that became know as
Ruddell’s Station. It was a fort only 20 miles from Boones Station. This was
just over the Virginia line about 40 miles.
The first 3 years of the settlement was peaceful. The 200 or so people were enjoying
prosperity. Capt. Ruddell was taking part but never forgot his roll as protector of
1784 brought disaster to the Station. The three Girty brothers were hired by an
English General as mercenaries. The Girty Brothers were Native Americans from the
Detroit tribe. They were SAVAGES. They captured Ruddell’s station showing
no mercy. The brothers massacred all but 18 people. These 18 were taken to
Detroit to be held captives by the Natives.
The 18 were Capt. Stephen’s family. Three years later, Capt Ruddell and his
wife were released. The other 16 remained captive. The youngest son of Capt.
Ruddell’s was Stephen Jr. He was held prisoner for 12 years.
The Ruddell’s returned back to Virginia. Mrs. Ruddell had been brutally
violated by the natives. She was in complete terror of returning to Kentucky.
Capt. Ruddell wanted to protect his wife, therefore returning her to Northern Virginia.
When Stephen Jr. was finally released, he returned home with many traits of the Natives
that held him captive for 12 years. His two sisters had been released as well.
One had returned home heavy with child. She was carrying a native’s
child. She did give birth to the child and raised it.
Capt. Ruddell was awarded a large amount of land for his service to America. Stephen
Jr. went on to be a great statesman. The Ruddell’s survived the massacre. They
did continue to honor those who did not survive.
The Ruddells are pioneers of Virginia and Kentucky. The origin of the name is
Scottish, Riddell. You can find them in the history of West Virginia and Kentucky.