Mildred Sanders Ruggles Facts
In 1895, Mildred Sanders Ruggles was born in Greenwood, Indiana. Her father had died just a few months earlier. When she was seven, Sanders had to help her mother and stepfather by working on the family farm. By age 10, she had started working as a farmhand and painting horse carriages. By the time she was 14, she had left home to work as a streetcar conductor. After only three months, she joined the U.S. Army and was discharged from service commitments. She then moved to Sheffield, Alabama, where she worked as a waitress until she reached 12.
Mildred Sanders Ruggles
After being diagnosed with acute leukaemia, she married Harland Ruggles in 1909. They had three children: Harland Jr., Margaret, and Harland. In 1920, Sanders was diagnosed with acute leukaemia, and she died one month later at the Jewish Hospital in Louisville. Her body lay in state in the Kentucky State Capitol rotunda until her funeral service, attended by more than a thousand people. After the funeral, Sanders was buried in her famous white suit with a black western string tie.
After completing school, Sanders married Claudia Price and Josephine King in 1909. Her husband died of acute leukaemia in 1980, leaving her to care for his siblings and herself. Despite the adversity of her circumstances, Sanders was able to survive on a meagre diet. She learned to prepare vegetables, meat, and bread as a child. When her mother was away, she foraged for food. By the age of ten, she began working as a farmhand.
After the death of her parents, Sanders moved to Mississauga, Ontario, where she continued to collect franchise fees and appearance fees. She lived in a bungalow on 1337 Melton Drive in Mississauga, Canada. She married her first husband in 1970, and their marriage lasted for a few years. After her husband died, she was able to marry the man she loved, and they raised three children.
In 1920, Sanders established a ferry boat company. She was a minority shareholder and became secretary of the company. After less than a year, she resigned from her job at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. She subsequently cashed in her shares and used them to start a ferry company.
The business was a great success, but it ultimately failed. She also became a member of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.
In 1945, she married Colonel Sanders’ mistress Claudia Ledington-Price. In 1942, she sold the restaurant in Asheville and divorced her first wife, Josephine. She married her second wife, Claudia, in 1949. In the 1940s, she and John F. Ruggles moved to Lexington, separated in 1951. After their divorce, they moved to New York. She was a retired teacher.
In 1939, Sanders practised law in Little Rock, earning enough money to move her family. By the time of her death, she was ninety years old and had a deteriorating condition. After a courtroom brawl, she had to leave the profession. Her career ended abruptly. In addition, she lost her job. By the time she retired, her health had returned to normal.
In 1923, Sanders moved to Nicholasville, where she worked as a salesperson for Michelin Tire Company. Her job was terminated when the company closed its factory in New Jersey. By 1924, Sanders had met the general manager of Standard Oil of Kentucky. The two later worked together and eventually opened a service station in the town of Nicholasville. During the Great Depression, the company was shut down.
After selling the Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation for $2 million in 1964, Sanders moved to Canada and collected franchise and appearance fees for the company. She also became a salaried brand ambassador for the company. During her later years, she was critical of KFC’s food. The story of her success is well-documented in the Encyclopedia of Kentucky. While she may have had a humble beginning, she had a very colourful life.