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Thomas W. Riddle, a farmer, was born 1825 in Tennessee, probably in Old Hardin County, now McNairy County. He was the son of Charles Riddle and Nancy Harmon. He died in Arp, Texas, and is buried in the Mason Cemetery (no marker), Smith County. He married Mary Ann Green of North Carolina about 1845 they were then in Tishomingo County, Mississippi.

Between 1848 and 1850 Thomas moved his family by caravan to Texas, traveling with other members of his wife's family. The Greens came from England, where the Green family originated. Thomas settled between Grand Saline and Canton, Texas, where the Sabine Creek ran into the Saline River. He homesteaded enough land to give each of his children 75 acres, keeping 75 for himself.

According to family history, James B. Riddle, one of Thomas' sons, was about seven weeks old when the trip to Texas began. At one point on the trip the family thought he was dead and a colporter (traveling minister) just happened to be going by. He stopped and worked with the baby but he was finally given up as dead. However as the Minister sat up with the baby that night, he detected life and again worked with the baby, traveling all the way to Texas caring for him. Young James lived to be a grown man and later had a family of his own. One of his descendents, Mrs. Lola (E. 0.) Parker, lives in Tyler. (1978)

Thomas Riddle's granddaughter, Pauline Riddle, remembers his little trunk that he kept under his bed. In it he kept the best apples that she had ever eaten. She also remembers going fishing with him, and the first fish caught was cooked over a little fire. With it they had a piece of corn­bread which he carried in his hip pocket. He would walk from their home to his old home for water in the well in his yard to make coffee. This water tasted strongly of sulphur and he was sure it made the best coffee in the world.

Thomas and Mary Riddle had nine children as follows:

  • 1. Lucinda Riddle, born 27 August 1847; Mississippi; died 30 October 1937; buried Mason Cemetery, Smith Co, Texas; married Jeff D. Hill, 19 December 1875, Smith Co, Texas. Jeff was born11 March 1849, died 26 Sep 1936, buried Mason Cemetery, Smith Co, Texas.
  • 2. James B. Riddle, born ca 1849, Mississippi, married Elisha Roberson, , daughter of James Roberson and Polly Lavina Lutes, 31 Aug 1871, Smith Co, Texas
  • 3. Milbrey Joannah Riddle, born ca 1849, Mississippi, marred James Hatten.
  • 4. Elizabeth Riddle, born ca 1854, Texas, married James Horton, son of Jefferson Horton and Catherine Ikerd.
  • 5. Martha (Mattie) Francis Riddle, born 7 Dec. 1856; Texas, died 3 January 1929, Tecumseh, OK. married 1. R. W. Musslewhite, 18 Jan 1877, 2. William Wallace Ray.
  • 6. Charles Riddle, born ca 1858, died young.
  • 7. David Riddle, born 11 Apr. 1861, died 1942. He was a Baptist preacher, married Rosa Lame.
  • 8. Thomas Riddle, born ca 1865, Texas married 1. Minnie ?, 2. Ethel ?.
  • 9. Mary Elizabeth (Sophis) Riddle, born 10 Mar. 1867, Texas died 21 April 1946, Texas; married Davis White, August 1883.

Contributed by Phil Hill, Rt. 7, Box 743, Tyler, Texas 75707 - Published in the East Texas Family Records, Volume II, Number 1, Spring 1978. Used with the permission of the East Texas Genealogical Society, 2002

Additional information added from:

Marriage Records of Smith County, Texas 1846-1899 (Tyler, Texas: East Texas Genealogical Society, 1979)

Cemetery Records of Smith County, Texas, Vol. IV, Southeast Quarter (Tyler, Texas: East Texas Genealogical Society, 1986) Mason Cemetery

Smith Co, Texas, Federal Census - Thomas W. Riddle - 1850 - 1860 - 1870


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