Kin of Johnson County founder honored

Sarah Ruddell Davis, daughter of Revolutionary War soldier Archibald Ruddle, was honored on October 28, 2012, by the members of James Ross Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, Shawnee, KS. On a crisp, clear fall day, a plaque was dedicated to her memory in the Shawnee Methodist Mission Cemetery, in Fairway, Kansas. Several Kansas State DAR officers attended along with regents and members from ten DAR chapters. The Monticello and Delaware Crossing Sons of the American Revolution chapters provided a Color Guard and Drums of Freedom. Sarah, born October 15, 1768, died May 15, 1865, was held prisoner by Shawnee Indians after a raid in Kentucky in 1780, until the end of the war. She married a fellow former captive, Thomas Davis. One of their children, Sarah Davis, married Rev. Thomas Johnson, a Methodist preacher for whom Johnson County, Kansas is named, and who founded the Old Shawnee Mission. Sarah came to live with her daughter and son-in-law and found many Shawnees she had known when in captivity. They had become attached to her and were pleased to have her with them here. Knowing the Shawnee language, she was of much help at the Mission. Anne Barbour, past regent of the James Ross chapter, discovered that Sarah was buried in the cemetery, but not commemorated. Anne spearheaded the drive to have the plaque approved by the Kansas Historical society and dedicated to Sarah.

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