Mary Draper Ingles was born in Radford, Virginia, in 1732. She was a descendant of Radford pioneers William and Mary Draper. William Ingles, a fellow Virginian, and Mary were married in 1750; they settled in Radford and raised their family there.
Several Virginians, including Mary and her family, were captured by Shawnee warriors in 1755 during the French and Indian War. Mary was transferred to the present-day state of Ohio and held there for several months together with a number of other inmates. Despite being separated from her family and going through a lot of pain, Mary was able to flee and return to Radford.
Mary became well-known in Radford very soon as a result of her audacity and determination. She received a great deal of adoration for her bravery and tenacity, and her tale was remembered for years.
In order to erect a monument honoring Mary’s bravery, the Mary Draper Ingles Monument Association was founded in the late 1800s. The memorial, which was formally dedicated in 1906, still stands as a testament to Mary’s perseverance and strength.
Following the erection of the memorial, Radford continued to commemorate Mary’s life. A neighborhood school was dedicated in her honor in the 1920s, and a historical marker was erected close to the location of her former home in the 1960s.
Mary Draper Ingles is regarded as a hero and a significant figure in Radford’s history today. Her legacy is celebrated through several events and remembrances, and her narrative is shared to local schools and tourists.
Radford is proud to be the home of Mary Draper Ingles, and her story is an integral part of the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.