RUDD FAMILY AT CANNELTON


One of the most important families in the first half-century of Cannelton history (1847-1899) is hardly to be found in local records or tradition -- that of Rudd. The simple explanation for this is that the Rudd family was represented in the distaff line of three families: Judge Elisha Mills Huntington (Susan Mary Rudd), Hamilton Smith (Louise Rudd) and John James Key (Harriet Rudd). The one surviving brother of these three sisters, Christopher Rudd, was a resident of Cannelton for a short time in the late 1850s, possibly serving as Prosecuting Attorney for the Court of Common Pleas between 3 March and 6 August 1857; he died in California on 4 November 1861.

In addition to the practice of perpetuating the maiden name of the mother in naming some of the children of these three sisters, the name of Rudd was made a small part of Cannelton history extended to 1928 in the person of the second daughter of Owen and Anastasia Sanders Tevlin: Louise Rudd Tevlin (27 June 1859-28 October 1928). Owen Tevlin also named his son, Owen Palmer Tevlin, after a son of Louise Rudd Smith, Joseph Palmer Smith.

Dr. Christopher A. Rudd and Ann Benoist Palmer were married in Springfield, Ky., in 1816. His family came from Catholic Maryland; her parents were Henry and ---- Caldwell Palmer from Charleston, SC. The date of Dr. Rudds death has not been learned; Ann Palmer Rudd was still living at the time of the death of her son, Christopher, in 1861.

Their eldest surviving daughter, Susan Mary, born on 8 January 1820 at Springfield, married ---- Fitzhugh in the late 1830s. Huntington's 1850 census record lists Anna C., 11 years of age. This could easily be the daughter of Susan Mary and ---- Fitzhugh. The so-far unidentified Fitzhugh died around 1840 for Widow Susan Mary Fitzhugh married Elisha Mills Huntington on 3 November 1841.

Thomas DeLaHunt published in June 1927 in The Indiana Magazine of History a 10-generation outline of the Huntington family from 1578. A brother of E.M. Huntington's Grandfather Eliphalet Huntington, Samuel Huntington, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Elisha M. Huntington was born 27 March 1806 at Butternuts in Otsego County, NY, the 9th of 10 children of Nathaniel and Mary Corning Huntington. He was named after an uncle with whom he lived until 1820 at Canandaigen, NY, after the death of his father in 1815. He read law for 2 years until moving to Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1822 with his older brother, Nathaniel. He continued reading law and was admitted to the bar in 1827.

In 1829 he was appointed Prosecuting Attorney for the Circuit Court. In 1831 he began 4 years in the State Legislature. He then served as Circuit Judge until April 1841 when he was appointed Commissioner of the General Land Office. When Judge Jesse L. Holman of the Federal District Court of Indiana died in May 1842, President John Tyler appointed Judge Huntington to the office; he served until his death.

Although Judge and Mrs. Huntington resided at Terre Haute until 1848, at least 2 of their 4 children born by then were born in Kentucky, possibly at the Rudd home in Springfield. Robert Palmer Huntington was born in Kentucky 7 September 1842. He and his cousin (or, possibly, step-cousin - see below), Joseph Rudd Key (b. 1844/5) were the first two pupils to be enrolled at St. Meinrad in late April 1854, 4 1/2 months after the death of Susan Mary Huntington on 3 December 1853.

In 1866 at Louisville, Ky., Robert P. Huntington married Alice Ford (born 1848, Louisville). Her father was James Coleman Ford (1798, near Lexington,Ky. - 12 October 1881, Rhinebeck, NY), son of William Ford from Virginia; her mother was Mary J. Trimble Ford, daughter of Judge Robert Trimble of Bourbon County, KY. The Fords were married in 1830. In 1835 they removed to Louisville, Ky., residing on Broadway until the late 1870s. From 1848 Ford owned large portions of both the American Cannel Coal Company and of the Cotton Mill along with cotton plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana, the Galt house, Louisville Water Co. and L&N Railroad.

Robert and Alice Ford Huntington resided at Cannelton and Hawesville during the 1870s. Their 2 sons, Ford (1868) and Robert P., Jr. (1869), were born in Kentucky, whether at Hawesville or Louisville not determined here. In Cannelton in 1867 he was appointed guardian for his 2 sisters, Louise and Gertrude. This guardianship was brief since Louise became 21 on 24 December 1867 and Gertrude on 8 September 1869. In 1871 Robert was supervisor of the American Cannel Coal Company mine in Hancock County, Ky.

By 1880 the Robert Huntington family permanently relocated to the Rhinebeck, NY, area. Huntington retained his position as Secretary of the Coal Company. His brother-in-law, Robert T. Ford, had succeeded his father as President of the company from the mid-1870s. Whether the Huntingtons moved to an estate separate from that of the Fords is uncertain. An estate of John Jacob Astor was also in the neighborhood.

Robert P. Huntington, Jr., married Helen Dinsmore. They were parents of 3 children: Helen, Robert P. III and Alice. Helen married Vincent Astor; Alice married Charles H. Marshall.

The death notice for Alice Ford Huntington printed in the Louisville Courier Journal on Thursday, Christmas Day, 1919, provides a large amount of information on this family.

Mrs. Huntington, Native of This City, Dead in New York -- Grandmother of Mrs. Vincent Astor was 76 Years old (Special to the Courier-Journal)

New York, Dec. 24. -- Mrs. Alice Ford Huntington, grandmother of Mrs. Vincent Astor, died at her home at 42 East Eighteenth Street Tuesday. Mrs. Huntington was 76 years old and had made her home in New York City for forty years.

She was born in Louisville, and was the daughter of James Coleman Ford, cotton planter. In 1866 she married Robert P. Huntington, then a Lieutenant in the United States army, at Louisville. Mr. Huntington died about twenty Years ago.

Mrs. Huntington was a patron of the opera and attended the Metropolitan Opera house regularly. She was largely interested in charitable work and was associated with the Board of Directors of Bellevue Hospital. She leaves two sons, Ford Huntington and Robert P. Huntington. Mrs. Charles H. Marshall is another granddaughter.

She had a home in Rhinebeck, NY., and burial will be there. The funeral will be Friday at Grace Church chantry, Broadway and Tenth Street.

Judge E. M. and Susan Huntington's second child, Mary St. Clair, was born 13 August 1844 and died 13 October 1845, location not known.

Mary Louise (24 December 1846 at Terre Haute) married William F. Coleman. She died at Louisville in early January 1873.

Gertrude Huntington (8 September 1848, Kentucky) married James Russell Bunce from Connecticut around 1870. He purchased Dwight Newcomb's "Oak Hall" on Front Street between Willow Cottage and the Phoenix Hotel on 26 September 1871. From here he conducted a small-scale banking service in 1872 - 1874. He also operated a small chair factory in the stone building at Hafele and First Streets (the Ballard Smith building later known as John Heck's barn).

On 10 June 1872 James Russell Bunce, Jr., was born. Their second son, Elisha Mills Huntington Bunce, was born 11 February 1874. Both boys died in 1874, the elder around 18 March and the infant on 24 June. A daughter, Alice Huntington Bunce, was born 6 June 1875. She was to marry Charles Gordon Allen in Washington, D.C. in the mid-1890s. James R. Bunce died around December 1875.

On 31 May 1880 Widow Gertrude H. Bunce married Widower Heber J. May. He had been born in Pike County, Illinois, 28 November 1846, a son of David and Rebecca VanWinkle May. They returned to Cannelton around 1852 after having been absent from Perry County for 15 years. After tutoring by the Episcopalian minister, Rev. W. L. Githens, and reading law with Charles H. Mason, he was admitted to the bar around 1866. He served as Cannelton town attorney in 1867.

He taught school in 1867 and assisted the school examiner in the county in 1868 and 1869. He was active in administering the week-long Teachers Institute in August 1867, September 1868 and in 1869.

Around early 1870 he married Margaret M. Mayhall (b. 1847), daughter of William D. and Jane Ann Withrow Mayhall of Hawesville. They resided in Evansville in 1872 and '73; he engaged in the practice of law. On 1 December 1873 he purchased The Tell City Commercial, conducting it as a Democratic paper. He sold the paper on 1 January 1876 to William P. Knight, son of William and Lydia Webb Knight of Cannelton. After selling the paper he continued the practice of law, serving as Tell City town attorney in 1877. On 18 September 1876 Margaret Mayhall May died at Tell City and was buried in Hawesville.

After the marriage in 1880 of Heber May and Gertrude Bunce they resided at Oak Hall in Cannelton. He served as a town trustee in 1881 and in November 1881 he became a director of the American Cannel Coal Company replacing the deceased James C. Ford. He was elected to 2 terms in the Indiana Senate: 1883-1885 and 1885-1887. However, he resigned the office in 1886 to take the post of Assistant Attorney-General of the United States under Augustus H. Garland in Cleveland's first administration. When that ended in 1889 he and Garland formed a law partnership before the Court of Claims at Washington, D.C.

Two sons were born to Heber and Gertrude May in Cannelton: Heber Huntington May on 26 March 1881 and Robert Harold May on 30 December 1881 (?). According to DeLaHunt, one of them survived to adulthood, living with his widowed mother in Washington working as a journalist. Heber May died suddenly on Monday, 25 January 1915, at the age of 68.

On 11 November 1847 Judge E. M. Huntington purchased nearly 700 acres of the Fulton Tract and immediately built Mistletoe Lodge near the site of the later Tell City depot. His last 2 children were born here: Christopher Rudd (11 July 1850) and Harriet Key (21 March 1852). The daughter died within the year in December 1852. No further mention of the son has been found.

Judge Huntington continued his service on the Federal Bench earning general acclaim for his careful interpretation of the law. In 2 cases in 1850 involving the same parties with different points of law in each case, he found for one party in the first case. In the second he set aside the jury's verdict in favor of the opposing party and ordered a new trial. After a continuance and a hung jury, Huntington was unable to preside at the further trying of the matter. Federal District Judge Levitt from Ohio presided. He agreed with the jury's verdict for the same opposing party. Some unprecedented legal points were at issue and this final verdict was questioned by several attorneys of the time who agreed with Huntington's rejection of the verdict on points of law.

Huntington resided at Mistletoe Lodge for 4 years after the death of Susan Mary Rudd Huntington on 3 December 1853. At least 3 (4 if Christopher Rudd was alive at the time) of his children, Robert, Louise and Gertrude, were with him. He sold his Fulton Tract holdings to the Swiss Colonization Society by the end of 1857 and moved to Terre Haute in mid-March 1858, continuing as Federal Judge of the District of Indiana.

On 25 May 1862 he was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church at Terre Haute by Father Bede O'Connor who had served at Cannelton between January and October 1854.

Judge Huntington had become afflicted with some form of respiratory ailment and moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, in the latter part of 1862 in search of a climate in which breathing would be easier for him. He died there on 26 October 1862 at 56 years of age; he was buried at Terre Haute.