Charles Rucker, Who Left for the West 53 Years Ago, Visits Old Home Again for First Time.
Ashland Daily Independent
9 December 1938
By Bill Vass
"Go West Young Man" must have rung in the ears of Charles Rucker 19, in the spring of 1886, for go
west he did and he was one of the few who remained there. Coming back from the West after an absence
of fifty-three years Mr. Rucker, now 73, is visiting his brother J. Watt Rucker of 618 Thirteenth Street
and other relatives and former friends in this locality, none of whom he has seen for more than half a
In March 24, 1886 Mr. Rucker left his home on Davis Run near here, for what was then as Mr. Rucker
so expertly expressed the highest ambition of any young man's life. From Davis Run Mr. Rucker went to
Greenup and in the dusky gloom of late evening looked for his last time for more than half a centry at
the familiar landscape slowly fading from sight as the steam boat on which he was riding rounded a bend
in the river and headed towards the distant magic land of the West.
Mr Rucker left the boat at Cincinnati, Ohio though, in preference for a train, the fastest and most
modern mode of transportation at that time. After jostling across the flat, open plains of the Middle
West, Mr. Rucker left the train at Hard Lake, Minnesota, a small town situated fifty miles west of
Minneapolis. In Minnesota Mr. Rucker spent a year and a half going to schoool and from that time on until
he left that state he spent practically all his time in the mercantile business. At Hard Lake he attained
fame for his excellent baseball playing and he relates interesting tales of baseball fifty years ago.
In 1901, after fifteen years of happy living in Minnesota, he moved to North Dakota where he settled
on a homestead and stayed to prove his claim. Mr. Rucker stated that in the summer he lived on his claim
and in the winter when it became too cold to work in the open he worked in a store at a nearby town. Mr.
Rucker stayed in North Dakota for ten years before the lure of new places tempted him to leave his homestead.
For several years after that Mr. Rucker said, "I travelled all the roads between Toronto, Canada and
Chicago, Illinois. Finally I again became tired of traveling and purchased some merchandise in Chicago
and opened a store near Wood Mountain in Saskatchewan, Canada. That didn't last long though for fire came
along and left nothing but ashes where my store had been." After that Mr. Rucker turned to farming in Canada
near the United States border.
Today Mr Rucker still works on his farm of several hundred acres on which he raises a large herd of
cattle and a herd of thoroughbred horses. "Canada is mighty fine country," says Mr. Rucker, "but I still
keep track of everything that goes on in the United States.
"My wife and I are enjoying this trip very much," stated Mr. Rucker as he was questioned about the
effects of such a long journey. "We had a pleasant trip down here and enjoyed the modern and easy going
comfort that lasted throughout the trip."
"Since we have made this one trip," Mr. Rucker went on, "we are going to make more of them and
intend to make year trips here and to Washington, DC."
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