Mormon Ridge Log Cabin - Historical Site
1482 Mormon Ridge, Albion. The Log Cabin is located 6 miles northwest of Albion.
The historical LOG CABIN of northwest Marshall County may help you learn, remember, and reflect upon a time when pioneer families struggled to settle the “new” land.
William C. Ruddick was the original owner and builder of the cabin. It is believed to have been built in 1856. According to Bangor Township records that began in 1859, Ruddick owned 200 acres of land, 5 parcels of 40-acres each, that extended west from the Iowa River and to the top of the ridge.
William C. Ruddick and his wife Absillet were both from Indiana – William from Jackson County and his wife from Bartholomew County. They arrived in Marshall County in 1856. The 1860 census records indicate William was 38 years old, his wife was 36. They had a daughter Mary, age 11, a son William P. who was 9 and an eight month old son Isaac. Another son, Jesse, was born a few years later. In 1869 the Ruddick family had increased their possessions to nine cattle, two horses, two and a half mules, twenty sheep, ten swine, two vehicles, and other taxable items worth $50. His total worth was $1,870.
When William C. Ruddick died in 1871, he left the land to his minor sons Isaac and Jesse. They kept the property until 1895 when it was transferred to E.F. Sutton. Abstract records indicate that Robert and James Winter held title from 1896 to 1905. Ed and Harvey Howard were owners from 1905 – 1931. However, they may not have lived there themselves. Renters in the cabin were Ernest Wilson and Harriet Alice (Landon) Coleman from 1921-1929. The land was placed on public auction on April 24, 1931. E.W. (Ed) Hall purchased the land in May and held it until the late 1940s. Renters George and Elaine Schaper lived in the cabin from1943 – 1949. Ed Hall sold most of the farm to Dr. French in 1949, however the cabin and 30 acres were sold to C.B. and Rosie Hobson. The Hobsons sold the land the same year to Albert and Wilma Farland. The Farlands lived there from August 11, 1949 through July 1985. The cabin was vacant after that.
Through many decades the cabin had been added on to and sided so that its original log structure was hidden.
In the summer of 1989 the log cabin was “rediscovered”. The restoration work was a cooperative venture. The 16’ x 20’ cabin was donated to the Marshall County Conservation Board (MCCB) by Marvin and Joann Thomas. In November 1989, the MCCB and Marshall County Historical Society began plans for renovation and preservation of the cabin.
Royal and Paula Young donated a nearby one-half acre tract of land for the The MCCB worked on the cabin to replace a few logs, establish a new limestone foundation, make and install a new roof, doors, porch, windows and shutters and with assistance from Eagle Scout candidate Mark Lamer re-chink all spaces between logs. Native trees were planted and a split rail fence was installed next to a small public parking area in 1994.
The log cabin is not furnished. It is usually locked but appointments can be made by organized groups for an “open house”. Call the MCCB at 641-752-5490 for information.
Map of Mormon Ridge Log Cabin: