Two years after his marriage to Anna Yancy Eagon, whose father founded University of Virginia’s medical department, merchant William Kerr Ruddell began building a store near the busiest intersection in Glenville, West Virginia, in Gilmer County. The store began selling dry goods and household items, but as the town grew Ruddell began selling furniture, washing machines, automotive parts, farming equipment, and ready-made clothing. The store stayed open as a retail operation through the 1960s. Ruddell helped organize the Gilmer County Bank and Glenville Water & Light Company. In 1973 Ruddell’s children, Charles and Mildred, sold the building to the West Virginia State Folk Festival Inc. , which uses the store to sell local items to support the festival and to display artifacts of local culture.