James Samuel Fruit was born on November 13, 1762 in the back country of Orange County North Carolina. He is the son of John Fruit and Elizabeth Pugh-Fruit
James had one leg amputated below the knee which might have happened during the time he served in the war. The Militia was formed for the protection against the Indians at that time. James served in the Revolutionary war in the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment commanded by Col. James Chambers. Neither the date of his entry nor the date of his exit is shown. James’ name appears in a list of payments from the Militia in 1778, when he was 16.
James Samuel Fruit married first wife Martha Clark about 1781 after being released from the United States Service.
Martha Clark-Fruit is the daughter of Bolling Clark and Winifred Buford-Clark. Bolling and Winifred Clark, had at least eleven children, many still undocumented, more research needs to be done on this family line.
The Clark and Fruit families lived near each other, they attended church together and the families moved from North Carolina to Christian Kentucky at the same time in 1803, and later from Kentucky to Illinois, and most importantly James Samuel Fruit named Joseph Clark and James C. Clark (Martha's brother and nephew) in his will dated 17 January 1825.
The children of James Samuel Fruit and Martha Clark-Fruit:
John Fruit m Elizabeth "Betsy" Gray (sister of Mary)
Thomas Clark Fruit m Elizabeth Thompson
Elizabeth Fruit m Samuel Walker, (Brother of John) (Husband/Wife, Second Cousins)
Enoch James Fruit m Cynthia Clark
Edmund Fruit m Mary "Polly" Gray (Sister of Elizabeth)
Alexander Fruit m 1st Polly Parsons and 2nd Rebecca Reeder
Sibella Fruit m John Walker (Brother of Samuel) (Husband/Wife, Second Cousins)
James Samuel Fruit Jr. m 1st Margaret "Peggy" Stark, 2nd Elizabeth Ashmore
Martha "Patty" Fruit m Giles Wells
James, Martha and family moved to Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky in 1803 where they bought land on Sept 10, 1805 on Pond River from William Lindley for $330.00. Martha's brothers Joseph, Jonathan, David Clark and their families were among those that moved to Kentucky at that same time.
James served as a constable for many years and became Justice of Peace in Christian County, Kentucky. "He was a strictly an honest man of great courage; would fight anything that was a good cause." (Jane Fruit-Wisco, Wisco History Book Data).
It is not known when James’ first wife died but it was after 1810 because she is listed in the 1810 Kentucky Census. She may be buried in the Boyd Cemetery near the old Fruit Farm in Kentucky or on the farm itself.
James married his second wife, Mrs. Mary Reeder (maiden name unknown) the widow of John Reeder on November 27, 1813 in Christian County Kentucky. They were married by Jonathon Clark, who was James' brother-in-law from his first marriage to Martha Clark.
* ( Jonathan Clark is the son of Bowling and Winifred Clark)
James and Mary remained in Christian County for many years and records show that he married a good many couples during those years. He and his wife followed his son, Thomas Fruit to what is now DeWitt County Illinois in 1831, his wife's son Amos from her first marriage made the move as well. James Fruit and family had settled there for three years when the year of the great snow in 1831 caused James to lose his last battle at the age of 73. James Samuel Fruit died October 9, 1834 and he lies in Turnbridge Cemetery, a mile from Kenny, Illinois, where his son Thomas and many of his descendants lived for years. James had made his last Will back on 17 January 1825 it was filed after his death in May of 1835 in DeWitt Illinois.
The oldest stone in the cemetery marks the grave of Seriah Lowrey who died in 1833. The next oldest is that of James Samuel Fruit, 1834. James' granddaughter Elizabeth Fruit (d. 17 Dec 1837) is buried with him. Elizabeth is the daughter of James' son Thomas Clark Fruit and Elizabeth Thompson.
Mary (Reeder-Fruit), James' widow died 7 September 1838 she is buried at Kincaid Cemetery in Scott County Illinois.
Note: James Samuel Fruit can be found in a book called; "SOLDIERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION BURIED IN ILLINOIS," by the Illinois State Genealogical Society, dated 1976.
Listing: FRUIT, James Samuel Born: Nov 13, 1762 in Orange County, North Carolina Died: Oct 9, 1834 Buried: Tunbridge Cemetery, Kenney, DeWitt County, Illinois.
Aged 73 y.
Shared Head Stone with Granddaughter, Elizabeth Fruit, age 2 yr 2 mo 2 da. Daug of Thomas & Elizabeth.