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Family Bios



March 4, 2013


THOMAS CHRISTOPHER RIDDELL - born in 1843 in either Attala Co., MS. or Choctaw Co., MS. and he died in 1902. This researcher always thought that Thomas C was buried in Choctaw Co., MS. but saw a listing of Sandy Bayou Cemetery in Drew, Sunflower Co., MS. indicating that he might be buried in this cemetery.  Thomas was the son of John Allen King Riddell and his second wife, Mary Carolyn Atkins.

Thomas C at the age of seven appears with his parents and siblings on the 1850 Choctaw Co., MS. Census. His siblings were: Joseph, age 4 (1846) who lived and is buried in Drew, Sunflower County, MS.; John, age 2 (1848); and half-sister, America Ann Montgomery Riddell, age seventeen (1833), the only child born to John Allen King Riddell and his first wife, Susan Tanner. In 1860, Thomas was still at home with his parents and living in Pigeon Roost, Choctaw Co., MS. and was attending school.

Thomas served sometime during 1861-1865 in the Civil War. He was a Private in Co. E, 31st Mississippi Infantry for the Confederate Army. He married Mary Jane Calcote on Feb 11, 1864 in Choctaw Co., MS. This may have been after he served in the Civil War but is not known as of this writing.

Mary Jane Calcote Riddell was born in 1843 in Attala Co., MS., the daughter of James O. Calcote and Julia (Maiden name unknown) Terry Calcote. She died in 1900 and maybe buried Choctaw Co., MS. or another possibility would be in Sandy Bayou Cemetery in Drew, Sunflower Co., MS., if for some reason they had come to Sunflower Co., to live with one of their sons, in their final days. Final resting place is unknown by this compiler.

In August 1870, Thomas and Mary Jane were living in Greensborough, Choctaw Co., MS. where they were farming. Thomas held real estate valued at $240 and his Personal Property was valued at $372.  Living in their household were three of their children and three of Mary Jane’s siblings.  

On Mar 2, 1876, Thomas and Mary Jane deeded forty acres to Allen Spencer White Philley. Allen had married Thomas’ half-sister, America Riddell. The land was sold for $400. On Dec 15, 1876, Thomas and wife deeded forty acres to John L. Riddell, who was a brother of Thomas. The deed was recorded in Jan 1877 in Choctaw Co. Warranty Deed Book A, Page 259.

By the 1880 Choctaw Co., MS. Census, Thomas and Mary Jane, both age 37 (1843), had nine children: Sidney, Joseph A., James W. O., Mary A. H., John A., Margaret E. F., George T. S., Susan L., and Julia C., living in their household.

On Apr 6, 1886, J. L. Riddell deeded one hundred twenty acres of land in Choctaw Co., MS. to Thomas C. and his wife, M. J. for a sum of $700.

Some of the known history of Thomas and Mary Jane’s children, some of whom migrated to Drew and other parts of Sunflower County, will establish the connection of the Riddell family to other Sunflower County   families who are buried in the Sandy Bayou Cemetery and the Drew City Cemetery such as: Brock, McCafferty, Standefer, Segler (Sigler), and others.

1.       SIDNEY CRUISE RIDDELL – born Dec 5, 1864 in Choctaw Co., MS. and died Aug 1891 and is buried in Bluff Springs Cemetery in Choctaw Co. Sidney married Eliza Jane Brock on Nov 30, 1885.

2.       JOSEPH ALEXANDER RIDDELL – born Jul 11, 1866 in Choctaw Co., MS. and died Dec 4, 1943 in Drew, Sunflower Co., MS. and is buried in the Sandy Bayou Cemetery on Dwiggins Road. According to the “History of Webster Co., MS., in 1889, Joseph was farming in the Village of Drew. On Sep 23, 1899, Joseph was one of the signers of the incorporation charter of the Town of Drew, Sunflower Co., MS.  In Oct 1900, Joseph married Martha Drucilla McCafferty, daughter of Isaac McCafferty and Lucinda Rains. On Oct 6, 1908, Joseph was elected Town Marshall of Drew. During 1910 – 1912, Joseph was living in Moorhead, Sunflower Co., MS. From Jan 1917 to Nov 1920, he served as Marshall in Drew. On Jan 22, 1920 Drew Village, Sunflower County, Joseph was fifty three years old, owned a home with no mortgage, could read and write, and was serving as Town Marshall. In his household were his wife, “Mattie”, child, Gladys, age 10 (1910) and his father-in-law, Isaac McCafferty.  From Apr 1924 to Jan 1927, Joseph again served as Marshall of Drew. On Apr 1930 census, Joseph was living in Indianola, age 62 with a daughter and no wife in household as Mattie had died in 1922. He was serving as Jailer and Deputy Sheriff. From Jan 1939 thru Jan 1941, he served as Marshall in Drew. From 1940 – 1943, Joe served as a guard at Parchman State Penitentiary in Parchman, MS. Joseph appears on the 1940 Drew, Sunflower Co., MS. census at age 72, with second wife, Hettie Dunaway Riddell who was 51 (1889). Joseph died on Dec 4, 1943 and the informant on Joe’s Death Certificate was his brother, Dr. T. M. Riddell of Shaw, MS. The cause of death was cancer of the stomach which he had endured for eighteen years. In July 1943, when my father, John D Henson, died and was buried in Drew City Cemetery, our family had lunch at Uncle Joe and Aunt Hettie’s home in Drew.

3.       JAMES WILLIAM OWEN RIDDELL - born Jun 1868 in Choctaw Co., MS. and died Jun 1948 in Drew, Sunflower Co. James was buried Jun 25, 1948 in Drew City Cemetery. In 1880 James was twelve years old and living with parents in Choctaw County and was working on the farm. On Jun 1900 Census, James is age 31 (1868), married nine years to Mary Frances “Fannie” Lee. Their children were Ruby, James, and Floy. In Nov 1917 the Bank of Drew was chartered and J. W. Riddell was a large stockholder according to Marie Hemphill’s book – “Faith Fevers and Floods”. The capital in this bank increased in 1919 while Theodore Bilbo was Governor of Mississippi and J. W. Riddell was the signer of the document. James was also co-owner of Parks and Riddell Drug Store & Telephone Exchange located at 1900 Main Street in Drew. The 1920 Sunflower County census shows James W., age 51 (1869); second wife, Mildred Harris, age 24 (1896) whom he had married in 1916; and son, George Samuel, age 18 (1902) who was attending college in Starkville. James died in 1948. His death certificate indicates that he had lived in Drew since 1900. He died of acute congestive heart failure and chronic myocarditis. The informant on his death certificate was his son, George Samuel Riddell. I think, without a doubt, that this son was named for James brother, George Thomas Samuel Riddell.

4.       MARY ANN HAMILTON RIDDELL – born Aug 1870 in Choctaw Co., MS. and died May 1900. On the 1880 Choctaw County census, Mary Ann was ten years old and living with her parents. On  Apr 30, 1895 she married James Leslie Standifer in Sunflower County.

5.       JOHN ALLEN RIDDELL – born around 1872 in Choctaw Co., MS. and appears on the 1880 Choctaw County census as John A., age 8 (1872) living with parents. No other known data on John as of this writing.

6.       GEORGE THOMAS SAMUEL RIDDELL – born Nov 29, 1873 in Choctaw County and died Oct 29, 1966 in Greenville, Washington Co., MS. He is buried in Drew City Cemetery in Block Q, a family plot with eight graves. In Jun 1880, Sam, as he was called, I was age five and living with parents. This compiler celebrated many birthdays with this Grandfather, and we always were told his birth date was 1873. On Sep 23, 1899, Drew, Sunflower County, MS. became a chartered village and Sam Riddell was one of the one hundred fifty signers of the charter. On Mar 14, 1900 Sam married Amanda Brock in Sunflower County. Amanda is also buried in Lot Q of the Drew City Cemetery. On the 1900 Sunflower County census, John Harvey Riddell was living in the T. S. Riddell household. John Harvey was a cousin to Sam. In 1902, T. S. Riddell served as a Marshall in Drew. On 1910 Sunflower County census, Thomas S. Riddell was thirty two years old and had been married ten years. On the Sep 1918 WW I Draft Registration, Thomas Samuel Riddell lived at Rt. 2, Box 55, Doddsville, Sunflower Co., MS. He was self-employed as a farmer and his nearest relative was Imanda Riddell.  On 1920 Washington Co., MS. Census T. S. Riddell was forty-six, a cotton farmer with a wife and five children in household. Thomas and Amanda birthed ten children: Mary Virginia (Mae) Riddell Anderson who lived for many years in Sunflower, MS.; Ord Morton Riddell who died in 1931 in Indianola, Sunflower Co., MS.;  Lucretia Riddell Bennett, Samuel Lloyd Riddell who is buried in Drew City Cemetery ; Charles Riddell; Ruth Lee Riddell Henson who is buried in the Drew City Cemetery; James Franklin Riddell; Amanda LaVerne Riddell Lindsay Lybarger Jennings with whom Sam later lived; and Joseph Edward Riddell.  On 1930 Sunflower Co., MS. Census, Samuel was age fifty-seven and married thirty-six years, (married in 1900 according to his marriage certificate) cotton farmer and three children remaining in household. In 1939 Sam was diagnosed with cancer of the tear duct and in the 1950’s both eyes were removed.  On 1940 Lamont, Bolivar Co., MS. Census, Thomas is age sixty-five, living in same house as in 1935. Sam’s wife, Amanda, age 61, with one son and one daughter were also in the household. Sam’s granddaughter, Wanda Henson Carlton was born in this house in 1937. The story has often been told that the Doctor who delivered this grandchild was intoxicated and had it not been for Sam, the child would have died.   Mar 1950 saw Sam and Amanda celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary at 209 Fulton Street in Greenville, Washington Co., MS. Their living children, 24 living grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren gathered to celebrate with them. In 1960, a United Press International article stated that a dedicated Democrat was the only person to vote in the Stockyard voting precinct in Washington County. Though the article did not identify Sam, his family knows it was him. His Oct 1966 Death Certificate states cause of death as basal cell carcinoma of face with extensive invasion of orbit base of brain and naspharynx for which he had been treated for over twenty years. At the time of his funeral, Sam’s children were living in Greenville, MS., Haddonfield, N.J., Winterville, MS. and Mrs. Mae Anderson, who lived on land bordering the curve of Hiway 49 as it goes thru Sunflower, MS.

7.       MARGARET ELIZABETH FLORENCE RIDDELL – born May 1875 in Choctaw Co., MS. and died April 1900 in Sunflower Co., MS. She was married Dec 1896 to Lee Andrew (Leander) Segler in Choctaw Co., MS. On 1880 census, Margaret E. F. was living with her parents. She is buried in Sandy Bayou Cemetery in Drew.

8.       SUSAN LUCRETIA RIDDELL – born around 1878 in Choctaw Co., MS. and died in 1896. She appears on the 1880 Choctaw Co., MS. Census as age 2 (1878).

9.       JULIA CAROLINE RIDDELL – born Feb 1880 in Choctaw Co., MS. I believe that Julia Caroline was named for her paternal grandmother, Mary Caroline Atkins Riddell and her maternal grandmother, Julia (Terry) Calcote Riddell. Believe she must have died as a child, as have found no other information on her.

10.   CICERO WESLEY LEE RIDDELL – born Nov 1882 in MS. and died Feb 4, 1909 in Drew, Sunflower County, MS. He is buried in Drew City Cemetery. He was married to Maude (?)Watkins/Watson.

11.   TOBIAS HUGH MIDDLETON (?Mildred?) RIDDELL – born Feb 1884 in Choctaw Co., MS. and died Feb 27, 1971 in Greenville, Washington Co., MS. Tobe, as he was known, is buried in Hickory Grove Cemetery in Inverness, Sunflower Co., MS. He married Mabel Claire Metcalf. On Tobe’s 1918 WW I Draft Registration, he is living in Dublin, Coahoma Co., MS. and is a practicing physician. This registration is signed ‘Tobe Mildred Riddell’. In 1920 he is living in Leflore Co., MS. and is listed as the manager of a farm with a wife and two children. On 1930 Census he is living in Swiftown, Leflore Co., MS. Newspaper articles in the Delta Democrat Times of Greenville, Washington County, MS. shows as follows: Dec 1945 – “Dr. T. M. Riddell, one of football boys, attended Shaw homecoming”. We assume this means he was the attending physician of the football team. In Jan 1946 – ‘ new offices of Dr. T. M. Riddell are almost ready’. 1948 – ‘Dr. T. M. Riddell served as President of Shaw Rotary Club’. At a date not recorded, one of the newspaper articles showed that Dr. Tobe Riddell celebrated fifty years in the practice of medicine in Shaw, Bolivar Co., MS. Tobe’s obituary in Feb 1971 showed that he was a graduate of A&M College (now Mississippi State University) and a graduate of Memphis Hospital Medical College (now University of Tennessee School of Medicine). He was survived by wife, son, two daughters, 10 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

12.   ANNA RIDDELL – no data known of this child

As you have read, this data was compiled by Wanda Henson Carlton, who as a child and adult lived with her Grandfather, George Thomas Samuel Riddell. This data was compiled through available records, word of mouth, and from other cousins to make up this history of this family. Many of the children of Thomas Christopher Riddell and Mary Jane Calcote Riddell are buried in the Drew, Sunflower County area either in Drew City Cemetery or in Sandy Bayou Cemetery.

If errors are found, please notify the compiler and she will correct her records so to avoid any future errors being printed.               
ANDA HENSON CARLTON – 600 Aberdeen Dr. – Lafayette, LA. 70508

                                                                                E-Mail: wjclac@cox.net

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