I thought someone might be interested in this. JA Waddell was my 2gr grandfather.
Copied from clipping from the Pine Bluff Commercial (13 January 1946) Original in my possession.
Veteran of Civil War
Dies at 98
Judge J.A. Waddell, pioneer of Southeast Arkansas, prominent in all phases of civic and community activities of earlier days died at 4:45 yesterday afternoon at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Minnie E. Hayes, 2701 West Barraque, at the age of 98 years, nine months and 12 days.
Survivors are one daughter, Mrs. Minnie E. Hayes; one son, W.A. Waddell of Benton’ 16 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren and one great, great-grandchild.
The remains will be at the south Funeral Home until funeral time, announcement of which will be made later.
Judge Waddell would have been 99 years old next April 1.
He was a Confederate soldier at the age of 17, and for 70 years was a leader in the political, business, religious and civic life of Grant county. There he served as ruling elder of the Cumberland Presbyterian church for 69 years.
As a Confederate soldier he spend 13 months in the army, without shooting anybody, and without having anybody shooting me, as he often declared.
He served Grant county in various capacities – school teacher, school trustee, justice of the peace, tac assessor, deputy sheriff, county judge, mayor of Sheridan, postmaster at Ain. He also farmed, was in the mercantile business, and for a time was in the insurance and nursery business.
Judge Waddell, or Uncle Alex, as he was affectionately known to many friends in Grant and adjoining counties, was born near Kosciusco, Miss., as he put it, “about daylight” on April 1, 1847.
He was a son of Rev. Elam and Margaret Waddell. His father was a Cumberland Presbyterian preacher for 45 years. His parents were natives of Tennessee. His mother was a daughter of Thomas Campbell.
Soon after their marriage Judge Waddell’s parents moved to a farm on Pailey Creek in Attala county, Mississippi, about nine miles from Kosciusco. There he and eight brothers and five sisters were born.
In 1859 Preacher Waddell sold his farm in Mississippi and brought his family to Arkansas, settling in the western part of what was then Jefferson County, now Grant County. Judge Waddell was twelve years old at the time.
When Alex Waddell was 17 years of age, 18 months before Lee’s surrender, he joined the Confederate forces. His brother Joe, died on a Georgia battlefield.
He was ordained a ruling elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian church at old Camp Creek in Grant county in 1866 at the age of 19. He served his church in that capacity since, on many occasions filling the minister’s place in various ways.
In 1867 and 1868 Alex Waddell attended county schools in his community and worked on farms during his vacation and on Saturdays. He often worked for 50 cents per day and frequently cut and split rails for 50 cents per hundred.
His mother died August 15 1869.
Just before Christmas of that year Judge Waddell was married to a young woman he had met at a protracted meeting and whom he declares was ‘the prettiest girl I had ever seen or have seen since,” and a short time later they moved to a farm which the young husband had bought on a credit.
The place had no improvements except two log cabins, one 16X18 and the other 12 X14. The smaller cabin was the kitchen and dining room. Judge Waddell said that there was not a rafter in either house nor a foot of sawed lumber. The houses were very crude but became a home.
The young couple began housekeeping with a “handful of furniture.” Their other worldly goods consisted of a pony, a yoke of oxen, two milk cows, given to Mrs. Waddell by her father, two pigs, two dogs and a few chickens.
“It was not much,” the judge once told, adding “but we rolled up our sleeves and backed our ears and went to work and for 41 years we labored together there, gaining a little each year.
Here their nine children were born and reared and her they learned to work.
1n 1870 Judge Waddell was elected a trustee under the free school system. Two years later he was the first teacher of a free school in what is now Hardin community in Jefferson County, and taught school in Jefferson and Grant counties for five years.
He also was elected justice of the peace in his township in 1870 and was again elected J.P. in 1875 and served until 1886 when he was elected tax assessor of Grant county. His father died in April 1832.
He was re-elected for two terms and in 1892 was appointed deputy under Sherriff E.B. Toler in Grant County.
In 1894 he was elected county and probate judge, was re-elected in 1896 and served until 1898.
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