David Ridgway Biography



David Ridgway’s grandfather, Captain John Ridgway, and David’s father, Private Samuel Ridgway, were both volunteers in the American Revolution from the State of South Carolina. Captain John Ridgway was killed September 3, 1781 in the Battle at Ridgway’s Fort by British Maj. William "Bloody Bill" Cunningham. Private Samuel Ridgway lived out his long life on property he received as a bounty for his Revolutionary War service which property is located in Pee Pee Township, Pike County, Ohio. Most of the Ridgway men continued to make themselves available for military service – moving west with the bourgeoning population of America. David was no exception as a Black Hawk Indian War volunteer.

From the book: HISTORY OF NEMAHA COUNTY KANSAS ( by Ralph Tennal, Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kansas 1916, pp. 472-4740) Charles Ridgway (born in Polk county, Iowa, November 30, 1854, and a son of Peter M. (son of David Ridgway) and Louisa M. (Hamlin) Ridgway, both of whose families were natives of Virginia) related that “The story of the Ridgway family begins in Virginia the early part of the 1700s where the Ridgways were a part of the Virginia cavalier class, who were initially royalist supporters in the royal colony of Virginia during the early colonial period. The Ridgways grew dissatisfied with the crown and by the time of the American Revolution many Ridgways served in the Continental Army.

From the book: Stark County, Illinois, Vol. II, HISTORY AND REMINISCENCES, FROM THE RECORDS OF OLD SETTLERS' UNION OF PRINCEVILLE AND VICINITY (Material comprised in Reports of committees on History and Reminiscences for years 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915 - Published under the auspices of Old Settlers Union of Princeville and Vicinity August. 1915 – pp. 7-12) we learn that near Chillicothe, a city on the Illinois River in Peoria County, Illinois, “at the time of the Black Hawk War a Samuel Reed came in, and he and others built the Block House near Simon Reed's. The soldiers in 1832 from that neighborhood were, Edwin S. Jones, William Wright, John Stringer, John E. Bristol, John Clifton, Hiram Cleveland, Elias Love, Jacob Moats, Lucas Root, David Ridgeway (variously spelled with and without the ‘e’ but the same person), Thomas B. and Simon Reed, Jefferson Tallifero, Linus Scoville, Minott Silliman; and others were in other commands.”

From the book: THE HISTORY OF POLK COUNTY, IOWA (1880, Union Historical Company, Birdsall, Williams & Co., pp. 349-350), it states David Ridgway settled in Polk County, Iowa in the Fall of 1845. We learn that after the removal of the Indians in the fall of 1845 a few families settled in the vicinity of Apple Grove [later called Camp township and still later, Runnells, Polk, Iowa], but not many came till the spring of 1846. “Of Camp Creek neighborhood. Elijah Canfield located to the south of Apple Grove, in what is now Camp township, in the fall of 1845. Shortly prior to the coming of Mr. Canfield, a man by the name of Patrick Kelley, long since dead, built a cabin and moved his family into it. Among others who came during the fall of 1845 were David Ridgeway and Edwin Martin. The latter was one of the first County Commissioners.”


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