Merced Express, Oct. 25, 1935


Mrs. Ann Elizabeth Ruddle, Who Came Across the Plains To California In A Covered Wagon in 1859, Passes Away at Age of 94 Years

Mrs. Ann Elizabeth Ruddle, Merced county’s oldest resident, both in age and in length of residence, passed away in this city last Friday afternoon at the age of 94 years, death following a long illness due to the infirmities of advanced age.

With the Rev. Douglas Ewan, pastor of the First Methodist Church, officiating, funeral services were held in the Welch & Griffin chapel Monday afternoon, and interment was in the Ruddle family plot in the Knights of Pythias cemetery. The pall-bearers were W. J. Ferrel and Ben B. Robinson of the Merced river section and A. L. Silman, James R. McHenry, W. W. Cornell and Grayson Russell.

Mrs. Ruddle was born in Jackson county, Alabama, August 25, 1841, and spent her childhood days in that State and in Missouri. In 1859, when she was eighteen years old, she accompanied her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Hardwick, and other members of the family to California, the trip, which was made across the plains in wagons, requiring six months. The family settled in the Dry Creek section near Snelling and the following year she was married to the late John Ruddle of Hopeton, who had come to California from Missouri in 1849 and who was engaged in farming and cattle-raising in the Merced river section. In the seventies Mr. and Mrs. Ruddle came to Merced, where he accepted the Presidency of the Merced Bank. After the closing of that bank in 1894 they moved back to the river and for several years he conducted the Merced River Flour Mills near Snelling which had been established by the late Lucian Curtis. In 1900 they returned to Merced to reside, and since Mr. Ruddles’s death in 1925 Mrs. Ruddle had resided at various time in Santa Cruz, Denair and Merced. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ruddle were life-long members of the Methodist Church, and the advancement of that church in this community was due largely to their efforts. Mrs. Ruddle was among those pioneer women who endured untold hardships of early days without complaint, and her memory will long be revered by her numerous friends and acquaintances who respected her for her many noble traits.

She leaves two grandsons, Garland Ruddle of Hopeton and Alan B. Ruddle of Oakland; one granddaughter, Miss Olive E. Ruddle of Berkeley; four nieces, Mrs. William Wallace of Berkeley, Mrs. Miles Wallace of Fresno, Mrs. Peter Randolph of Santa Rosa and Mrs. Dolly Little of Bakersfield, and six nephews, G. W. Hardwick of Turlock, Frand Howell of Pleasanton, Harry Howell of Sacramento and Jay, Jack and Lon Hoskins of Livingston.

Contributed by: Carol Lackey