Ruggles, Samuel Bulkley, 1800–1881, American public figure, b. New Milford, Conn. He was a successful lawyer in New York City, but between 1831 and 1851 gave up his practice to devote himself to public affairs. He enthusiastically promoted real-estate development in the city and was mainly responsible for the laying out of Gramercy Park, for which he gave the land, and Union Square. Ruggles promoted the new Croton water system for the city and other improvements and served as a state assemblyman. He helped to organize the Erie RR and the Union Pacific RR. As a trustee (1836–81) of Columbia College he was to a large extent responsible for the beginning of its development into a great university. Interested in international affairs, he was a delegate to the International Monetary Conference in 1867.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.