"History of Crawford and Clark Counties, Illinois" edited by William Henry Perrin, Chicago: O. L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers, Lakeside Building. 1883 Biographical Sketches pp253-4 (Bourbon Co)
RUDDELL BROTHERS, druggists, etc., Robinson. Had Dickens written his Nicholas Nickleby in Robinson, it would have been evident that he took his characters of Cheeryble Brothers from the subjects of this sketch, barring the facts that the Cheerybles were old men and twins. Zalmon and J. D. Ruddell (the subjects) are descended from that old pioneer stock of Ruddells, of Bourbon Co., Ky., for whom Ruddell Station in that county was named, an early settlement several times attacked by Indians in the early days of the "Dark and Bloody Ground." The subjects are sons of George and Martha (Neal) Ruddell, natives of Kentucky, who emigrated to Crawford County [Illinois] in 1853, locating in LaMotte Township. Mr Ruddell purchased an excellent farm there of some 800 acres of land. He was a soldier of the war of 1812, an honorable man and a good citizen, and died September 25, 1855. Zalmon Ruddell was born February 9, 1847, and J. D. Ruddell was born March 11, 1849, both in Kentucky, emigrating with their parents to Illinois in 1853, as above. They were brought up on the farm, attending the common schools of the neighborhood. In 1868, both entered college, attending the same number of terms, and after leaving school engaging in the drug business together, 17 May 1872, at Merom, Ind., and remaining there till 1877, when they removed to Robinson, Ill., continuing in the drug business there till 1878, when they also engaged in the furniture and undertaking business, and have since conducted the three branches of business with success, their annual receipts amounting to $15, 000 or $20, 0000. They have indeed proved veritable Cheeryble Brothers. The only thing in which they have materially diverged from each other was, Zalmon, in 1864, enlisted in Company C, of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for one year, J. D. being too young at the time to enter the army. Zalmon served until the close of the war, when he was discharged. He was married April 1, 1873, in Sullivan Co., Ind., to Miss Carrie French, granddaughter of Gen. French of Revolutionary fame. They have three children, viz.: Ruth Pearl, Frank and Burel. J. D. was married November 24, 1881, to Miss Ettie Updyke, a daughter of Hon. William Updyke. The Ruddell brothers are enterprising merchants of Robinson, and do a large and profitable business, amounting to some $15,000 annually. In November, 1881, Zalmon was unanimously elected Captain of Company E, Eighth Regiment Illinois National Guards, a position his experience in the late war eminently qualifies him to fill. Martha (Neal) Ruddell, mother of the Ruddell brothers, subjects of the sketch, and whose portrait appears in this volume, was born in Boone County, Ky., December 25, 1805. She was married to George Ruddell in August 1825. George, with his young wife, moved to Grant County, Ky., and settled in the unbroken wilderness, where they toiled amid hardships and danger, converting their wilderness home into a comfortable and profitable farm. In 1853, with her husband, she removed to Illinois, settling in LaMotte Township, in Crawford County. In 1855, the grim messenger of death deprived her of her husband and protector, leaving her with a large family of small children to educate and train for the duties of life, which duty she has performed nobly, the subjects of the sketch being the youngest of her charge. She is a faithful and devoted Christian. She joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in childhood.