Stephen "Big Fish" Ruddell


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Stephen "Big Fish" Ruddell 1

  • Born: 1768
  • Died: 1840 at age 72

   Other names for Stephen were Big Fish Ruddell, Sinnanatha Ruddell and Stephen "Sinnanatha" Ruddell.

  Research Notes:

From "Stephen Ruddell and Tecumseh" at

"Rev. Stephen Ruddell, was a native of Culpepper County, Va., and was born in 1768. He was the son of Isaac Ruddell, who also was born in Virginia and moved his family to Kentucky, settling in Bourbon County, where he built what is still known as Ruddell's Mills. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and a Captain in a Kentucky company against the Indians. The mother of our subject was in her maiden days Susan David, and was a native of Culpepper County, born in 1780. Her father, William David, emigrated from Germany to Virginia, later moved to Kentucky and settled in Bourbon County.

"In 1780, during a fight between the whites and Indians, the Ruddells were in a fort at Ruddell Martin Station and the Indians captured the whole party. They took Capt. Isaac to Canada, and the rest to the Big Miami River, and kept them among the Shawnees and Delawares until all were redeemed, except two boys, the father of our subject and a younger brother. Stephen Ruddell lived with the Indians for fifteen years, and then returned home, married, and afterward went back and remained several years preaching among them. He moved from Kentucky to Pike County, Mo., in 1817 and settled on a farm there, but in 1823 he sold out and came to Illinois and made a home on section 18, Ursa Township. Very few families were there at that time, and the distance resembled the present miles between towns. At the time of his death, in 1840, he left four children by his third marriage and three by a former one. Our subject and two sisters by the third marriage --- Mrs. Susannah Grimes, of Dixie, Wash., and Mrs. Mary E. Jordan, of Pleasantville, Iowa are the only survivors. Stephen Ruddell joined the Baptist Church at an early day, but later became a preacher in the Christian denomination. He established the first Christian Church in Ursa Township, and continued his ministry for thirty-five years. He was a Whig in politics."


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