He was given the nickname of Paddy to differentiate him from other John Huddleston's, John being a favorite name among the Huddleston clan when he arrived in Kanawha Valley, West Virginia in the company of two other John Huddleston's. All of Miriam and his children grew up and lived in the valley.
Susan Ann was a great pet of her daddy's. She followed him everywhere he went. She loved to follow him about the farm and go out on the cliff to look far up and down the Valley with him. When she was but three years old, she fell sick. She cried to go up on the cliff all the time. Her daddy told her if she took her medicine he would take her there. Susan Ann died anyway and he buried her there on the cliff. John owned an old servant, Jackson. He was named that because John bought him from Stonewall Jackson's mother when she came to Ansted, West Virginia. The purchase price was $250. Jackson requested that he also be put on the cliff when he died, so even thought there wasn't much room, he was put at his master's feet. Those are the only four graves on the Cliff and the monument can be seen from the C & O Railroad, on the opposite side of the river.
Paddy inherited the old home and his mother died when he did. He was tall with a fair complexion, very straight and fine looking with a white beard. He was not a church member, but kept the Sabbath and made his servants around him do the same. He kept what was then called a "Travelers Inn" which was built by his father, Daniel. It was a well known stopping place. Its accommodations, while certainly meager so far as comfort was concerned, were all that were expected, and the rates, fixed by the courts, brought no complaints. The cost of "a warm dinner" was 16 2/3 cents, and lodging in "a good bed and clean sheets," was 8 1/3 cents. If that seemed a bit expensive one could economize by having a "cold dinner" at 10 1/2 cents, and by dispensing with such luxuries as sheets and having a bed to oneself. By sharing a bed with one or more fellow travelers, the tariff dropped to 5 1/2 cents. If one wished to eliminate all expenditures, advantage could be taken of Paddy's religiously motivated generosity. If a traveler stopped with him over Sunday, he only charged him for supper Saturday and breakfast Monday, as he never charged for anything on Sunday. Despite his reputation as a brandy maker par excellence, the liquor was used solely by the patrons, and was entirely untouched by him and his sons.
He entertained and boarded many men of note. One evening Daniel Boone, a total stranger, turned up at the Inn carrying a rifle and pack and asking for shelter. No one had the least idea who he was, but of course he was taken in the usual frontier custom. Quiet as usual and apparently tired, he went to bed soon after supper. When morning came he was gone, but his pack and rifle remained. By breakfast time he was back with the news of beaver in the river (two saplings had been gnawed down. "Well, come young man," he said to young Jared Huddleston," and I will show you how to trap beavers." They caught five the first day, and a dozen before the trapping was over.
He hunted and trapped beavers with Daniel Boone up and down the Kanawha and Gauley rivers when he was a young man. He helped make the bear traps that are in Charleston Archives which Daniel Boone gave the family who carefully preserved them. The trap was kept under a cliff on the mountain until after the war with the states when William Marsh, a grandson, gave it to the state. The beaver trap they used may be seen in the Museum at the State Capitol.
Paddy and his sons cut logs up and down the Gauley River. They would go up when the river was at flood stage and roll their logs in and let them float down where others would catch then with a canoe and tie them up to a raft afterward. That was the only transportation over the Falls.
It was on one of those trips up Gauley that Paddy Huddleston met Joseph Ruffner. He was the first Ruffner who came to this part of the State. He was on the opposite side of the River about seven miles from the mouth of the Gauley. and it was in flood stage and just rolling. Paddy watched him lead his horse down a steep place to the bank of the river. There was no trail to this point, and he didn't know how he got there, but he looked as if he meant to cross the river. Paddy expected to see him drown, if he tried to cross but Ruffner got off his horse, took down his baggage, took a short handed ax from his saddle and cut down some poles from a dry chestnut tree that had fallen against the cliff. The trunk he cut into lengths and split. He then took a rope and tied them to his horse's tail and dragged them to a place to suit him. Then he took some wrought iron spikes out of his saddlebags and nailed the timbers together in a raft. Joseph loaded all of his things on the raft, tied the raft to the horse's tail, pushed the horse into the river and started over. He guided the horse by speaking to him and got safely over. After he crossed, he pulled out the spikes, put them back in his saddlebags and made the acquaintance of Paddy and came home with him for the night. He then went about three miles down the Gauley River and five miles down the Kanawha River, where he stopped until the water went down. He then went on to Charleston, where he bought a farm and soon reared a family of ten little Ruffners.
John "Paddy" Huddleston died in 1862. The Army had cut loose near all of the boats along there, and the nearest ferry was at Cannelton, six miles below. When he died, his colored servant, Helen came on the rock opposite and called across to F A Settle and said, "Old Master is dead. Would Mr. Settle come and hold services. "Mr Settle was a class leader and no minister was in the country, as they had all gone away with the Army. It had been very dry that fall and the river was very low. F A Settle and his wife forded their horses across the river and held the funeral. Mr Settle buried him with the impressive burial service of the M E Church. All of the children went on the hill on their side of the river and looked and listened to the funeral on the cliff. Miles W Huddleston sang, "Why do we mourn departing friends or quake at death's alarms. Tis but the voice that Jesus sends to call them to his Arms."
The town of Alloy stands of the site of the Paddy Huddleston farm. Two stone chimneys are all that remains of the comfortable log house built by Paddy's father, which later became the Travelers Inn. On one of the chimneys is a bronze memorial plaque to Daniel Boone (1773-1820), a "pioneer, hunter, explorer, frontiersman, Indian fighter and pilot of civilization"18