Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Family History Writing Challenge - The Huddleston Inn

This is day 23 of The Family History Writing Challenge.  I think my mind is a little fried.  I haven't been able to think of any interesting way to tell another story.  I know there are many, many stories left to tell.  Why am I having such a hard time trying to figure out where to start?  So tonight I am going to write an old story that goes back a few generations. I will be writing about my first cousin 4X removed.  

 John Huddleson was born December 10, 1807, in Guilford County, North Carolina to Jonathon and Phoebe Gardner Huddleston.  When John was young his Quaker parents were unhappy with slavery in the south.  They decided to leave North Carolina and come to Indiana.  They arrived in Union County, Indiana in the fall of 1815.  His father ran a pioneer store southeast of Liberty, Indiana, and was said to have kept a station of the Underground Railroad.

In 1821, John and his family moved to the area of Dublin and Cambridge City, in Wayne County, Indiana.  The lived on property on the south side of National Road.   John married Susannah Moyer on March 4, 1830 in Union County, Indiana. 

John's father deeded some property to John and he started building his home.  John made the bricks on the farm to build his house.  He built a magnificent three story house that would be used for a stop along the National Highway for travelers to stay and get meals.

People came for miles to see this house as John was building it.  Once the house was completed it became a place for pioneers who were heading west to find food and shelter.  Men driving hogs and cattle that were to be shipped by the Whitewater Canal to Cincinnati would stop for the night.  The home was known as the Huddleston Inn or the Huddleston House.  It is a historic landmark today.

Many travelers went down the old National Road.  The road had low swampy areas and travelers were often stuck.  John would bring out his horses and pull them out.  One of the travelers that he pulled out was President Martin Van Buren.  The president asked him if he knew who he was helping and John told him it didn't matter, he would help anyone out.

John operated his inn for many years.  He died at the age of 72, on August 29, 1877, after being kicked by a horse.  His wife continued to live in the home until her death many years later.  Her son, Henry, purchased the farm.  The inn was in family hands until it was sold in 1933.

My son and I made a trip down to see the Huddleston Inn last summer.  The inn is only open on Fridays now, so we were unable to go in.  We did get to walk around the property and spend time at the graveyard.  John, his father and mother, and many other Huddleston family members are buried there.


  1. Betty, this is an interesting and excellent story. It's nice to know the beginnings of a historic inn. Pretty sad about John's death tho. I bet once you got going with the writing it came easily, and the photos added so much to it. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Barbara. It is a place I knew about, just didn't know I had a connection until last summer. It's amazing what you find when you start researching. Now my grandsons will have a lifelong connection to their family history, when they study it in Indiana history they will be more interested.