WAITING AT THE RIVER,
The Story of James A and Mariah Ethridge Reddell.
By Evelyn Flood
Would like to write this story about the James Anderson and
Mariah Ethridge Reddell family, basing the title on Bud Phillips
story "Waiting At The River" which he published in his book
"Buffalo Tales",printed in 1978.
The author gave me his permission some time ago to use his stories
in my articles.
He told this sentimental story and I will add my researched Reddell
family information as I know it.
The name is also spelled Riddell or Riddle.
James Anderson Reddell is the great grandfather of Bud Phillips
who is a Kinfolk.
James Anderson Reddell was born in 1823 in Giles County, Tennessee.
His father was William Reddell and his mother was Nancy Cook.
James married MARIAH ETHRIDGE on 9 Jan 1845 in Lawrence County,
Tennessee. Mariah Ethridge's parents were Mathew Ethridge and Mary Greenhaw, an
aristocratic and wealthy family of Lawrence County, Tennessee.
Mariah's sister Rebecca Ethridge married Ephriam B Greenhaw;
my Flood children are descended from Rebecca Ethridge and her son
George W Greenhaw.
(See the EPHRIAM B GREENHAW STORY on my web site.
James and Mariah Ethridge Reddell's children were:
(1) MARY JANE REDDELL born 30 March 1846 in Lawrence County,
(2) SARAH E "Bet" REDDELL born 1848 also in Lawrence County.
(3) NANCY ELLEN REDDELL born 27 Sept 1850 in Lawrence County.
Sometime after this date the family moved to Newton County,Arkansas.
Their fourth child was:
(4)TENNESSEE REDDELL born 25 Sept 1852 in Arkansas.
The fifth child,
(5)MARGARET MARIAH REDDELL ,was born 27 Dec 1855 in Arkansas.
(6)CALVIN C REDDELL was born 24 Nov 1856 in Arkansas.
They bought land from Jeremiah and Margaret Smith on 5 Nov 1858 for
$485, SE l/4 Section 4, Township 15North, Range 21 West. on Riddle
Ford near mouth of Brasel Creek in Newton County,Arkansas.
A seventh child,
(7) JAMES DODSON REDDELL was born 9 March 1859 in Arkansas.
The eighth child,
(8)ARMINTA "Minta" REDDELL was born in 1861 in Arkansas.
It was a happy home there above the Reddell Ford at the mouth of
Mariah had adjusted well to a rugged frontier life and was doing a
fine job of rearing a large number of children.Though the sun long
shined bright on their Little Buffalo River farm, the time came when
dark war clouds began to gather over the land--the dreadful Civil War
descended on Arkansas. Jim Reddell was a lover of peace but his
loyalty to the Union soon caused him to enlist in the Federal Army in
Co. D, 2nd Arkansas Cavalry on 2 February 1864.
The day he left for service he bade his wife and children farewell,
then spurred his horse on toward the Buffalo River crossing near his
home. He suddenly stopped, looked for a long moment at the rolling
river before him and then back toward his sorrowing wife, who was
leaning over the yard gate, watching his departure.
"Don't worry Mariah," he called back to her, "I won't be gone very
long. I"ll be coming back across the river someday".
With those words he was gone.
Mariah gave birth to their ninth and last child(who would never see
(9)WILLIAM ANDERSON REDDELL on 11 Feb 1864 .
Thru the time ahead, Mariah often comforted herself with Jim's
" I'll be coming back across the river someday".
In March of 1864 a rider came slowly across the river and up to the
Reddell home, bearing the news that Jim had died of a fever at
Springfield, Missouri on the 13th of March 1864.
I, the writer of this story, have visited Jim's grave in the National
Cemetery at Springfield, Missouri twice. He is buried in the Arkansas
Section near the flagpole,not far from the grave of Nathaniel Flood
who also died of dysentery in the Union Service at Springfield,
Missouri.Nathaniel Flood was our great-great-great grandfather.
For some reason Mariah did not accept Jim's death and sometimes,
working with the family in the fields at home, she would look toward
the river and repeat aloud the parting words of her husband. Or when
snow lay heavy on the beautiful Ozark hills and mountains, she would
look into the roaring fire and with a gleam in her eyes would assure
the children with these words: "Jim will be coming back across the
The widow Mariah Ethridge Reddell and her family lived on in the
Little Buffalo Valley for several years after the Civil War.
Nancy Ellen Reddell married JOHN PHILLIPS on 8 October 1868 there in
Sarah E"Bet"Reddell married SOLOMON SKAGGS on 15 April 1868.
Mary Jane Reddell married JOHN BRASEL on 1 December 1870.
Tennessee Reddell married WILLIAM PHILLIPS on 5 March 1871.
NOTE: Tennessee Reddell and William Phillips are Bud Phillips'
Margaret Mariah Reddell married NATHANIEL HOLT on 12 March 1874.
In 1875 Mariah Ethridge Reddell moved by wagon to Bosque County,
Texas where she lived in or near Valley Mills.
Daughter(8) Arminta Reddell died about 1877 of typhoid fever and is
either buried at Tom Pool Cemetery in Valley Mills, Texas or in the
Union Hill Cemetery in Newton County,Arkansas.
Son Calvin C Reddell married ANNIE ELIZABETH THOMAS on 24January 1880
in Bosque County,Texas.
Son James Dodson Reddell married EDDIE DENNIS McFADDEN on
11 June 1882 in Bosque County,Texas and the last child,
William Anderson Reddell---
the son who never saw his father----married ARTIE MESSIE JONE on
16 August 1885 in Bosque County,Texas.
Oftentimes, thru those long and hot Texas nights, Mariah would have
reoccurring dreams of being back on the Buffalo and seeing Jim coming
back across the river. And when staying with her daughter
Mary Jane Reddell Brasel(Mrs. John Brasel)back in Arkansas on the
old Reddell farm, she would spend long hours sitting on the porch and
looking across the river, thinking of that long-ago parting and promise.
In the late 1890's Mariah went back to Bosque County,Texas and while
visiting there became very ill, but thru her long days of suffering
she still cherished hopes of returning to the old home farm on Little
Buffalo. Once, when delirious with fever during that illness, she had
muttered that she must get back home for Jim would soon be coming
back across the river and she wanted to be there when he came home.
Mariah recovered from that illness to make the trip back to Arkansas;
her son-in-law John Phillips ( living in Johnson County at the time)
went to Texas and the two came back to Arkansas by train.She spent
several weeks at the Phillips' home before returning to Little
Buffalo.Sam Phillips (the youngest Phillips child)pulled himself up
to her legs and stood holding her, not wanting her to go.
Her last winter was spent there on her old home place at the mouth of
Brasel Creek above Jasper. Once, on a snowy day she sat dozing by the
fireside. "It's about time for Jim to come back across the river",
she muttered and dozed on.
The spring of 1896 came and once again the hills and mountains of the
Litle Buffalo country were dotted with white dogwood and the
beautiful redbud trees. Everywhere new life was springing up again.
But as abundant life unfolded all thru the hill country,
Mariah Ethridge Reddell became mortally ill.
On a bright and balmy spring day she lay dying. A doctor was called
from nearby Jasper. A little later he came riding across the Little
Buffalo near the old Reddell home. From her bed near a window, the
old Civil War Widow, thru fast fading eyes, saw the approach of a
horse and rider. Her face brightened, her eyes opened wide and a
peaceful smile formed on her lips.
"Jim's coming back across the river," she sighed in a faint but
excited voice, and then was gone.
(I cried when reading this part)
It is believed she is buried in the Union Hill Cemetery in Newton
County in the Brasel Row.
Mary Jane Reddell and John R Brasel had many children.
Mary Jane died 7 April 1932 and is buried in the Union Hill Cemetery,
Sarah E "Bet"Skaggs died in 1915 in Pittsburg County,Oklahoma
and is buried at Hartshorne Cemetery there.
Nancy Ellen Phillips died 23 March 1940 and is buried at Ft.Douglas
Cemetery in Johnson County,Arkansas.
Tennessee Phillips died on 23 August 1910 and is also buried at
Ft Douglas Cemetery in Johnson County,Arkansas.
Margaret Mariah Reddell Holt died 18 January 1923 at Hog Creek,
Calvin C Reddell died on 19 Nov 1929 at Hamlin, Jones County,Texas.
James Dodson Reddell died in September 1909 in Taylor County,Texas
with burial at McBee Cemetery at Ovalo,Texas.
William Anderson Reddell died on 13 January 1923, Bosque County,
Texas with burial at Mosheim, Valley Mills Cemetery.
Mariah Ethridges brothers and sisters were:
Rebecca Greenhaw,(Flood connection)
Franklin Ethridge, Alfred Ethridge, Sarah Ethridge Reddell,
William Henry Ethridge, Marthena Persilla Ethridge Hendrix and
Mary Ethridge Greenhaw.
James Anderson Reddell's brothers and sister were:
Robert Allen Reddell
Charlton D Reddell.
James'father, William Reddell married a second time to ANNA RACKLEY
and their children were:
i:David Vincent Reddell born 1836(it should be noted here that
David Vincent Reddell married first to ELIZABETH CRINER and secondly
to Sallie Greenhaw McCutcheon, daughter of George W Greenhaw
(another way the Flood family is related to the Reddell family).
(William Reddell children continued)
ii:Martha Emeline Reddell Pruett born 1838,
iii:Mary E Reddell Sexton born 1842 and
iv:James K Polk Reddell born 1845.
v:I have record of a Barbara Henshaw born 1840 in Tennessee
(on the 1870 Newton County,Arkansas census with son John Henshaw)
listed with the Anna Rackley Reddell family who I believe was a
William Reddell and Anna Rackley daughter??
James Anderson Reddell's mother Nancy Cook Reddell had remarried to
Nancy was in Carroll County,Arkansas, Upper Osage Township in 1840.
In 1850 Nancy and family were in Searcy County,Arkansas, Tomahawk
Nancy Cook Reddell Faught had the following FAUGHT children:
i:Martin Z Faught,
ii: Nancy Jane Faught,
iii: Martha M Faught,
iv:Thomas Jefferson Faught,
vi:William C Faught,
vii:Mary Elizabeth Faught.
So these Faught children would be half brothers and sisters to
James Anderson Reddell.
Nancy Cook Reddell Faught died in 1890 and is buried at the Deer
Cemetery, Newton County,Arkansas.
Published in the Newton County Times on 25 October 1998
6 Apr 2017