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An obituary for Stanley Ruggles

The owners of the home at 918 Atlantic Street provided the following article to me when they listed it for sale. They had obtained it locally while researching their house. I’m not sure if the original article that is quoted in the story was published as an obituary locally in the Milford Times or in the Rochester Era, which is the paper that the author of the story apparently worked for at the time.

Stanley Ruggles

One of the most courageous and admirable citizens that Milford produced was Stanley Ruggles, the only son of Elizur Ruggles, Milford’s first settle and his second wife, Mehetibel Stratton Ruggles. Upon his death in 1910 Truman Fox, editor of the Rochester Era and the second son of Dr. D.A.B.C. (“Alphabet”) Fox, wrote the following account:

“About two weeks ago there died in Milford, this county, a man who, though terribly deformed and crippled from birth, had proved himself a hero in the battle of life and who though so badly handicapped, fought single-handed and alone the warfare of life, only giving up when worn out with the vicissitudes and hard knocks of an unfeeling world.

“Stanley Ruggles was born in 1851 in Milford, a son of one of the pioneer farmers of that town. Young Ruggles was born an almost helpless cripple, but he had an indomitable will and unflinching courage. He early determined to have an education, and through the biting cold of winter and the scorching sun of summer he swung himself on his crutches to the old Milford school house, and the writer, who in the winter of 1871-2 was a school mate, well remembers the intentness with which Stanley pursued his studies, and he was always well towards the head of his classes. After leaving school he went into business, and for several years conducted a little knitting concern in Milford, but without any great success.

For along time we lost sight of him, until one day several years ago he put in an appearance at out office looking for work. He applied at the Western Knitting Mills and was set to work on a knitting machine, but his infirmities prevented his holding it long, and he went on his way. He then went into the rug business for himself at Pontiac, always brave, always anxious to do for himself. He was quite ingenious and made a large three-wheeled chair out of gas pipe and discarded bicycle wheels, in which he propelled himself about and as long ands his health permitted did considerable business.

He visited Rochester on several occasions in his unique vehicle attracting considerable attention and taking numerous orders for rugs. He kept up until a few weeks ago when he went to the home of his only surviving sister out of a large family, sick unto death. He was tenderly cared for until the end came. He had fought a fight under great odds. Did he lose out?

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