Volume 3, Issue 1, December 1996
• William Thomas Riddle – Tory or Patriot?
• John Paul Riddle – Pioneer Aviator
• Who Is Michael Riddle?
• More Descendants of Benjamin Tyre Riddle Found
• Additional Descendants of William Riddle
• Grandson of Alice Riddle Visits
• Update of Riddles Of Stokes County, NC WEB Page
• Become a Part of Pensacola’s History Book
• Zane Douglas Riddle
• Pensacola Cemetery
William Thomas Riddle – Tory or Patriot?
You will recall the sad story about William Thomas Riddle published in our article Captain Riddle Hanged in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, on page 1 of the June 1996, Riddle Newsletter. In that story there seemed to be little doubt that Captain Riddle was a loyalist and a Tory leader. He and his group conducted raids into North Carolina during the later part of the Revolutionary War. As with every disagreement, there is another side to be examined before one casts a vote or sits in judgment.
For generations, the descendants of William Thomas Riddle and "Happy" Roberts Riddle recounted the story that William was a patriot soldier in the Revolutionary War. He fought with "the Swamp Fox," Francis Marion, in South Carolina and Georgia and was captured by the British. Along with other patriots, he was hanged in Augusta, Georgia. I became extremely interested in the William the Patriot story after I heard it from his descendant’s Rebecca Wennermark of New Palestine, Indiana, and Jim Riddle of Dallas, Texas. My first thought was that there must be two William Riddles, one hanged in North Carolina and the other hanged in Georgia. I then instituted my own search to see what I could uncover in support of William the Patriot or in support of William the Tory. Jim Riddle of Dallas is continuing his search for additional facts pertaining to this story. We are informing each other of our progress by e-mail.
I will not bore you with references to all the specific source information that I have found but rather give you a summary. Anyone interested in specific references please contact me.
In short, most of the information located supported the William the Tory legend. Dr. Lyman Copeland Draper’s book, Kings Mountain and Its Heroes, published in 1881, related much of the same information published in the June 1996 Riddle Newsletter. Dr. Draper interviewed, and collected letters from veterans of the Revolutionary War. The University of Chicago microfilmed these records and they are referred to as the Draper Manuscript Collection. These microfilm records are available at many research libraries. John Preston Arthur, in his book A History of Watauga County, North Carolina, published in 1915, draws on the work done by Dr. Draper. Arthur gives three different versions of how and where William died, but all versions agree that he was a Tory and was killed by members of the American militia in May, 1781. Arthur questions the story of Captain William Riddle’s being hanged at Wilkesboro by Col. Benjamin Cleveland.
I did find one reference that could support the William the Patriot story. In the book From Savannah to Yorktown – The American Revolution In The South, by Henry Lumpkin, published by the University of South Carolina Press, 1981, on page 267, the following account is related:
Elijah Clark and a number of patriots attacked the British-held McKay’s Trading Post near Augusta, Georgia, on September 14 - 18, 1780. The post was defended by Colonel Thomas Brown and his loyalists along with a detachment of Cherokee Warriors. Brown, who was wounded in the action, took revenge by hanging some of the American prisoners captured in the attack and turning the remainder over to the Indians who tortured them to death. (The article did not give the names of the American prisoners or any other details.)
It was my hope that if a Riddle was among the American prisoners then that would add support to the claim that William was a patriot. Jim Riddle of Dallas contacted an individual in Houston who gave the following:
During the Battle of Augusta, in the stairwell of a house in Augusta, the British and perhaps a number of Tories, hanged 13 American prisoners for treason against the King. It has been called the Old White House at 1822 Broad Street. It was built in 1750 and it is Augusta’s oldest house. It has also been called the Ezekiel House. It is a two and one-half story clapboard house with a wide porch across the front with windows and chimneys at both ends. It could have been white, cream, or beige in color.
I contacted cousin Shirley Riddle Wilmoth in North Augusta, South Carolina and requested what she could discover about the Old White House and any information concerning William Riddle’s being a patriot. (For information on Shirley, see the article in this newsletter, Additional Descendants of William Riddle.) After extensive research dealing with the Old White House matter, she returned a large amount of information she had collected.
First was a copy of a guide published in 1951 by the Augusta Chamber of Commerce called Augusta Yesterday and Today. On pages 28 through 30 was the story about Col. Elijah Clarke and a small band of patriots and their attack on the White House at 1822 Broad Street. The British Colonel Thomas Brown was defending the house and was near the point of surrender. British Colonel Cruger arrived with reinforcements and forced Clark to retreat, leaving 29 of his men behind. By order of Colonel Brown, 13 were hanged and 16 given to the Indians to torture to death. (Looks like we might have some support for the William the Patriot story if we could learn the names of the hanged men.)
Next were copies of numerous pages from the book, Georgia’s Roster of the Revolution compiled by Lucian Lamar Knight. This is a listing of men who served in the American Revolution from Georgia or settled in Georgia at the time of certification. On page 148 we find RIDDLE, WILLIAM. Certificate of Samuel Jack, Col. March 13, 1784. Petitioner prays 250 acres in Washington Co. Warrant 739. (Is this more support for William the Patriot? If he was hanged by the British at the White House, why is he asking for land in Washington County? This must be another William Riddle.)
The next item was a copy of a few pages from General Sherman’s Girl Friend and Other Stories About Augusta by Edward J. Cashin. Cousin Shirley said in her e-mail that Dr. Cashin was a semi-retired professor from Augusta College. He was the "expert" on the battle between the American Col. Elijah Clarke and the British Col. Thomas Brown at the Mackay Trading Post or the White House. In Chapter 5, The House That Hoodwinked Us, Dr. Cashin drives a stake into the heart of the story that this 1822 Broad Street house "White House," was the Mackay House or Trading Post. Apparently most of Georgia and the rest of the world had for several generations accepted the house on Broad Street as the hanging place for the 13 patriots.
Ezekiel Harris, a tobacco merchant in 1797, built the house at 1822 Broad Street "White House." It was discovered that the good folks of Georgia, including Dr. Cashin, were hoodwinked. The Governor of Georgia denounced the house as a fraud. Dr. Cashin says that it was Lord Cornwallis who ordered the 13 patriots hanged and it was not Brown that enforced the order but another officer. The 13 men were hanged because it was the standing penalty for men who had previously surrendered and sworn not to again fight.
Mary E.V. Hill (I’ll get to who she is in a minute) sent a fax of a paper she had written called Possible Hanging Of William Riddle In Augusta, Georgia. In that paper, Mary cites several versions of the hanging story by noted Georgia historians. Edward McCrady in his book The History of South Carolina in The Revolution 1775-1780, gave the names of 8 of the 13 hanged. The names are Captain Ashby, Henry Duke, John Burgamy, Scott Reeden, Jordan Ricketson, ?___ Darling, and two young Glass brothers, ages 15 and 17. Riddle was not among those identified. Until the identification of the remaining 5, the jury is still out on whether William Riddle was hanged by the British.
Earlier I mentioned that Jim Riddle of Dallas and I had an ongoing dialogue about the William Thomas Riddle story. Jim is a great-great-great-great grandson of William Thomas by the way of Isaac (son), James G. (grandson), Levi (great-grandson), James I. (great-great-grandson) and James I. (great-great-great-grandson.) He was born and raised in Houston and now lives in Dallas. It was Jim who introduced me to Mary Hill.
Mary E.V. Hill is presently an instructor and cataloger at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. She became interested in the William Thomas Riddle story after she heard it from her neighbors, Chauncey and Bertha Riddle in Provo, Utah. Chauncey Riddle is a great-great-great-great grandson of William.
Mary was working on her master’s degree in library science and employed as a reference librarian at the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University. Chauncey and Bertha hired Mary to do professional research into the William Thomas Riddle saga. Mary has graciously and generously shared the fruits of her research with us who find the William Thomas Riddle story fascinating.
Here is a little more support for the William the Patriot story. In 1777, a William Ridel takes oath of allegiance to the American cause in Montgomery County, Virginia, in Captain Cox’s company. A William Ridley from Surry County, North Carolina, fights for the American cause from November 10, 1778, to August 10, 1779. On August 13, 1792, this William Ridley is listed as deceased and William T. Lewis received his pension rights. This is the same William T. Lewis that received land that was confiscated from the loyalist James Roberts, the father of William Riddle’s wife, Happy Roberts Riddle.
After August 1779, William the Patriot may have lost faith in the American cause and became William the Tory. Mary Hill points out in her research papers, few of us today view the American Revolution as a civil war. It truly was neighbor against neighbor, brother against brother, and son against father. Was William the Patriot disillusioned with the actions of his leaders and switch sides to become William the Tory? Perhaps he was influenced by his wife, Happy Roberts, and her father, James Roberts.
If one assumes that Captain William Thomas Riddle was killed in Wilkes County, North Carolina, along with his father-in-law, Col. James Roberts, in May 1781, then the rest of the events seem logical. The court records of Montgomery County, Virginia, indicates that on April 3, 1782, a Hoppi (Happy) Riddle requests the return of a cow that was confiscated by Captain William Love. Happy Riddle is trying to provide for herself and her seven children. The court agreed with Happy and ordered Love to return the cow or pay the sum of five pounds in Specie. On May 8, 1782, the court of Montgomery County, Virginia, ordered that James Riddle, orphan of William Riddle, be bound to James McCorkle, and John Riddle, orphan of William Riddle, be bound to James Newell.
McCorkle and Newell were ordered to "learn them to read, write, and cypher as far as the rule of three and to pay them the sum of twenty pounds when they arrived at the age of twenty one years." Harriet "Happy" Roberts married William Ingram, a loyalist and friend of her deceased husband William Riddle. William Ingram acquires land in Hawkins County, Tennessee, in 1783. She, her children, and perhaps other members of her family move to Tennessee. Happy died shortly there after near Rogersville, Hawkins County, Tennessee. Her children were raised by James Roberts, Jr., who was believed to be her brother.
A possible explanation of how the story began of William the Patriot, being hanged by the British is given by Mary Hill in her research paper, Possible Hanging Of William Riddle In Augusta, Georgia. After the American Colonel Elijah Clarke and his remaining men were driven off by the British at Mackay’s Trading Post, they traveled upcountry to Little River and dispersed for a few days.
When they reassembled, they found 400 women and children trying to escape Tories who were ravaging the upcountry of Georgia. To move them out of harm’s way, Clark and his men escorted the refugees to Watauga Valley in what is now Tennessee. Clark and his men were returning to Georgia when the British attempted to intercept them. This instigated the Battle of King’s Mountain. No doubt the Georgia refugees knew and repeated the story of the patriots’ being hanged by the British at Augusta.
I am sure that the event was a topic of conversation some three years later when Happy and her family moved to Tennessee. It is easy to understand how Happy and her family may have used the British hanging of William Riddle to protect themselves from the Tory label. As they had discovered in Virginia, and North Carolina, to be branded a Tory could be dangerous even after the war. It was not until 1991, some two hundred and ten years after his death, that the descendants of William Thomas Riddle realized that he may have been a Tory.
Was William a patriot or Tory? Maybe he was both.
John Paul Riddle – Pioneer Aviator
By Michael Riddle
It’s funny how little incidents in one’s life can open the door and bring forth a wealth of new experiences. This past summer I enrolled in an Internet class at the local community college. I was not so much seeking knowledge, but rather the ability to surf the Internet at super speeds thanks the college’s T1 line connection to the "net." One evening with nothing better to do, I initiated a search on the word "riddle." This brought me to Kevin Riddle’s, The Riddles of Stokes County, North Carolina Web Page and I discovered two generations of ancestors that I never thought I would find.
A slightly different incident occurred when I was a young boy. My father was raised in the mountains of Kentucky, but had settled in upstate New York, by the time I was born. In 1960, when I was about six years old, we moved to Florida, for a one and one-half year period. One day a neighbor came by and gave my mother a tag that they had found in their lawn. It was a flight tag from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical School up the coast in Daytona Beach.
Since we were the only Riddles in the neighborhood, obviously the tag must have something to do with us. In a way it did. My dad recalled his father’s first cousin, John Paul Riddle. He believed John Paul had been involved in starting the school. So my mother mailed off the tag with a short note, and soon enough we had a reply from John Paul Riddle of Coral Gables, Florida. He did remember his roots in the hills of Kentucky, even though he was no longer associated with the school that bore his name.
John Paul Riddle came of age in the 1920s, having grown up in Pike County, Kentucky. He tried to enter the Army’s flying corps, but couldn’t get in because there were no openings at the time. He was placed in a service mechanic school instead. "I spent a year learning airplanes," John Paul said, "and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. When I started taking planes into the air, I knew everything that made them tick. If something went wrong, I knew what it was and generally could fix it. I had a feeling for planes and a realization that everyone who takes a plane off the ground should knew what he’s doing." Finally an opening came and he was off to Arcadia, Florida as a flying cadet.
After his stint in the army, John Paul joined the corps of early barn-stormers who carried the thrill of flying to the countryside. As the story goes, one day he was flying from Pikeville, Kentucky, to Cincinnati when he ran out of gas and landed in a polo field, instantly attracting a curious crowd.
Once refueled, he started taking folks up for rides, making a quick $150. Once he reached his destination, he met and formed a partnership with T. Higbee Embry that formed the Embry-Riddle Company. They handled sales, airline work, instruction and carried air mail. They bid on and won the government mail contract route from Cincinnati to Chicago. Soon they were also carrying mail from Cincinnati to Cleveland, Cleveland to Dallas and Chicago to Atlanta.
The company was incorporated within two years as the Aviation Company of Delaware, later known as AVCO. In 1929, they sold out to American Airlines and the company that T. Higbee Embry and John Paul Riddle founded became the first unit of what we know as American Airlines.
Having a keen interest in helping others learn the art of flying, John Paul moved his base of operation to Florida. Here a civilian pilot training program was begun in conjunction with the University of Miami. On the strength of this program he won a military contract, re-opened Carlstrom Field in Arcadia and the Riddle Aeronautical Institute was formed on March 22, 1941. Eventually there would be three flight schools in Florida, and one in Tennessee, training thousands of pilots from the United States and Britain during the height of World War II.
Vicki Hall & John Paul Riddle
John Paul was a close friend of General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold and the general had recommended Riddle Airlines to President Franklin Roosevelt as the contractor for the pressing need of trained pilots. After a short meeting at the White House, the deal was done. Eventually, he also started a technical school of aviation for the Brazilian Air Ministry in San Paulo.
John Paul lived the life of the rich and famous throughout the 1940s. Still young he became a tycoon in the air freight business. He had a palatial estate on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, globe-trotted with Howard Hughes and dined with the Prince of Wales. He also had a penthouse in Rio and belonged to country clubs from Long Island to Miami, keeping furnishings and clothes as each stop. He was a man who never needed to travel with a suitcase.
In 1965, the flight school moved to Daytona Beach and was renamed Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. A second campus has since been added in Arizona. John Paul’s flying time was severely curtailed in the 1950s after suffering heart trouble. He retired in the early 1960s and his relationship with the school had also diminished at that time, though he frequently visited the school and spoke with the students of the University.
He often returned to his native Pikeville, Kentucky, to visit with his family and friends. John Paul’s father, T.M. Riddle, was an early Pike County educator and one-time postmaster of Pikeville. His sister, Bessie Riddle Arnold, served as Pike County Court Clerk from 1932 until her death in 1962.
John Paul spent his later years in Coral Gables, Florida. In the 1970s a ramp was constructed on the campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for the university’s airplane fleet. It was dedicated with a unique ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 19, 1974. Both the students and faculty watched in awe as none other than a 72-year-old John Paul Riddle taxied a Cessna 172 through the ribbon on the ramp!
John Paul passed away in April of 1989 at the age of 87. His name and legacy live on at the campuses that bear his name. There have been many titans in the development and growth of the aviation industry though the years. However, few will be remembered for their contributions as was John Paul Riddle.
Who Is Michael Riddle?
Michael Riddle is a descendant of Tyre Riddle, brother of our ancestor, John W. Riddle, Sr. Michael is a fifth great-grandson of Tyre, and was born and raised in Utica, New York. He attended Eastern Kentucky University earning a Bachelors degree in Broadcasting in 1977. He worked in radio for a year and then returned to school earning a Masters degree in Radio/TV/Film in 1979.
Michael has worked as a producer/director for TV stations in Utica, New York, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Buffalo, New York. He is currently program/operations manager for WITN-TV. WITN-TV is the NBC affiliate for the Greenville-New Bern-Washington, North Carolina, TV market. Michael married Tracy Jekel in 1980 and they have three children, Jonathan, Jeremy and Katy. They currently live in Greenville, North Carolina. See his article, John Paul Riddle – Pioneer Aviator.
More Descendants of Benjamin Tyre Riddle Found
Those who have a copy of my Riddle book, Some More Riddles of North Carolina, will know that most of the descendants of Benjamin Tyre Riddle (page III-2-4) have been identified. These descendants include many in the 8th, or present generation. Benjamin was the son of John W. Riddle, Sr., ancestor of most of the Riddles in Western North Carolina. Benjamin had 5 daughters and 6 sons. About 1300 individuals are identified as being descendants of, or related by marriage, to Benjamin Tyre Riddle. However, 2 of his children, Mary and John, (page III-3-6) have been exceptions.
There has been very little recorded about Mary, born circa 1830. There has been no record found of her marriage or death. Nancy is the name of John's wife and we also know the name of his 5 children but little else. A deed recorded April 11, 1874, stated that John and his wife Nancy sold 200 acres of land on Laurel Branch, Pensacola, Yancey County, North Carolina, to B. (Benjamin) B. (Britton) Riddle, my great-grandfather. I assume that after John sold his land to Benjamin he moved from Yancey to another county or state.
In April 1996, I received a letter from a student at Western Carolina University who was majoring in American History. He stated that his name was Shawn Gaddis and he had read my article, John Riddle – Pioneer Settler, in the book, Heritage of the Toe River Valley. He also said that he was a descendant of Benjamin Tyre Riddle. Over the next few months, Shawn and I exchanged several letters. Thanks to Shawn we have added more than 30 names of descendants and those related by marriage to the Benjamin Tyre Riddle family. John Riddle, son of Benjamin T., married Nancy McKinney and they had 7 children:
• Mary Jane Riddle married John Allen
• Robert Henry Riddle married Jane Case
• Charles McKinley Riddle married Maggie McKinney
• Littie or Lillie Riddle married Tom Case
• Martha C. Riddle married William Davis
• William Lester Riddle married Dovie Lou Carver
• Roberta Ann Riddle married Solomon Henry Davis
It appears that I was partially right in assuming that John and his family moved out of Yancey County after he sold his land. He moved to Madison County in the late 1860s and by 1880 we find him in Transylvania County. John’s 3rd child, Charles McKinley Riddle is Shawn’s great-great grandfather. Charles and his wife Maggie had 8 children and made their home in Madison County.
Charles and Maggie’s 1st child, James Arthur married Mary McClure and are Shawn’s great-grandparents. James and Mary had 4 children all born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. Their last child, Glenn William Riddle, is Shawn’s grandfather, who married Wilma Fox of Asheville, North Carolina and they had 4 children. Their last child Patricia Gail Riddle, Shawn’s mother, married Dewey Estes Gaddis. So now you know the identity and origin of Shawn (William Estes Shawn) Gaddis. Just a minute. There is more to this story.
Patricia Gail Riddle, Shawn’s mother is a talented writer and poet. She was born and raised in the Asheville area near Weaverville, North Carolina. Writing is simple and natural to her and she has been doing it all her life. She has published numerous poems and short stories. Her recent book, Battered But Not Broken, published by Judson Press, is doing well and listed by Ingram’s Catalog, one of the largest book distributors in the US. Battered But Not Broken deals with domestic violence and the church. As a result of her book, she was interviewed by the Family Channel’s 700 Club in October.
The following poem, written in 1983 is about Patricia’s mother, Wilma Fox Riddle. It was published byThe Wayah Review, an Appalachian poetry magazine based in Kentucky. The North Carolina Poet Laureate awarded it the state poetry award.
Staring into the warped mirror,
Brushing your hair one hundred strokes,
No matter what.
Coal dust under your nails.
Lady Esther cold cream for the
Coal dust in your pours.
Somewhere within those cardboard walls
Was a clock with a hungry mouth.
It ticked of opera houses and cottages.
You hid the clock beneath a pillow
to close its hungry mouth.
But the clock won its resting place
Beside the stove.
An opera glass at your slender feet.
The next poem is based on a story related by Glenn Riddle, Patricia’s father. He swore it was true until the day he died. Glenn was around 14 or 15 years old when this occurred. He wanted to go coon hunting with a friend, but it was Sunday and his mother warned him not to miss the Sunday evening church service.
He went coon hunting anyway, and while he was hunting, the dog struck on a scent and soon sounded like he had treed something. As the boys approached the tree, they saw the dog standing on its hind legs, mouth foaming, with eyes red and shining. The boys became frightened and climbed another tree. The dog, while growling and snarling, repeatedly circled the tree where the boys were hanging from a limb.
Glenn later swore he could hear chains rattling as the dog circled. The limb on which the boys were hanging began to creak as if it was about to break. At that moment the dog stumbled off into the night and they quickly ran home. The next day Glenn told his mother, who never doubted it being true. They say Glenn never again missed church.
DRIVING DOWN ON SPRING CREEK, REMEMBERING
The story of your boyhood,
the hunting trip on Sunday.
Your mama said, don’t do it son,
don’t miss the Lord’s revival.
And she didn’t bat an eye next day
when you broke down and told her
of clanging chains
of fang-like teeth,
the tree would barely hold you.
Old devil rides these magic streams
like grandma tried to tell you.
His laughter pierces through the air
driving down on Spring Creek,
Additional Descendants of William Riddle
William Riddle was a son of our forefather, John W. Riddle, Sr. The research indicates that William was the oldest child of John. He was born in what is now Stokes County, North Carolina, circa 1793. In my Riddle book on page III-2-3, I wrote that he married Priscilla Hensley about 1812. Later information confirms that Priscilla’s surname was not Hensley but was Renfroe. It appears that Priscilla "Pressie" Renfroe, was born in Yancey County, North Carolina, about 1795.
Five children of William and Priscilla's have been identified but one daughter remains unnamed. They had two sons, Marvel and James W. Marvel was born on March 15, 1825 and married Rachel, "Granny Riddle" Austin, born July 26, 1819. Granny Riddle lived to be 109 years old and thought to be the oldest person alive in North Carolina, prior to her death in 1928. (See Riddle Newsletter, Vol. 2, Issue 1, December 1995.) William lived in the Cane River valley near what today is Pensacola, North Carolina.
He served as a guide for Professor Elisha Mitchell, who is noted for his exploration of Western North Carolina. Mitchell concluded that Black Dome (Mt. Mitchell) is the highest peak in the eastern United States. William Riddle and his son were in the search party hunting for Mitchell after his fatal trip to Mt. Mitchell in 1857. "Big Tom" Wilson, the famous bear hunter, actually located Mitchell’s body.
James W. Riddle, son of William and Priscilla Renfroe Riddle, was born about 1832. He and his spouse, Nancy had at least 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls. Little is known about the children except Carlo (Charles) B. Riddle, born in 1855. We reported in the Riddle Newsletter about adding a few more cousins to the descendants of the William, James W., and Carlo Riddle families. (See Vol. 2, Issue 1, December 1995, More Descendants of William Riddle (1793–1856) Identified.)
In that article I wrote about meeting and taking a trip with Dixie Riddle, the daughter of George Riddle, son of Carlo. Early this spring I received an e-mail message from Shirley Riddle Wilmoth in North Augusta, South Carolina, who wrote that George Riddle was her great-grandfather. She had seen the Riddles Of Stokes County, North Carolina WEB Page on the Internet. George had a son named Oscar and after Oscar was born, George married Lulu Boone. Lulu’s family opposed the marriage because George had not married Oscar’s mother. George and Lulu raised Oscar as well as 4 of their own children, 3 girls and a boy. Oscar is Shirley’s grandfather.
Oscar married Bessie Deyton and they had 5 children, including Troy who is Shirley’s father. Troy married Lois Frady. Troy and Lois moved to the Richmond, Virginia, area shortly after the start of World War II. Here they had 5 children. Shirley was born and raised in Richmond where she married James Wilmoth. Shirley and Jim have 1 son, James Adrian Wilmoth who was born in Richmond and is now in the Air Force. Through Shirley’s efforts we have been able to add about 40 more William Riddle descendants. As I mentioned in the William Thomas Riddle – Tory or Patriot story in this issue, Shirley has been of tremendous help in trying to solve the William the Tory or Patriot puzzle.
Grandson of Alice Riddle Visits North Carolina
The owners of The Riddles of Stokes Co., North Carolina (page III-4-10) will remember my writing about the lovely little book, Not A Shabby One, written by Elizabeth Wilson Ray. Elizabeth is the spouse of Lew Ray and daughter-in-law of Alice Riddle. Alice was born in 1873 and was the daughter of Robert and Sophronia Riddle. She married Zeb Ray, son of "Little Garrett" and Margaret Ray.
Zeb and Alice lived near the Cane River in Pensacola and bore 3 sons, Samuel "Lew," Robert "Bob," Henry Lee "Red," and a daughter Sue. They lived in Pensacola and Burnsville until 1918. Alice suffered with asthma for many years, so Zeb moved his family to Colorado in an effort to improve the health of Alice. Zeb and Alice’s family returned to North Carolina, via a 14-day automobile trip after enduring drought, grasshoppers, hail, and floods in Colorado.
The next spring, Alice again became ill and returned permanently to Colorado. As she and her extended family gathered around the Thanksgiving table many years later, she looked around with pride and began counting the present family members. She finished counting heads and declared, "Look at all of this big family; all of them, and not a shabby one in the bunch."
You can imagine my surprise when I got a phone call from a gentleman who declared he was Arthur Ray, grandson of Alice Riddle. Thinking for a second I asked. Do you mean Alice, Not a Shabby OneRiddle? He responded yes and he was visiting North Carolina, and would like to meet me. Given directions to my home, he shortly appeared at my front door. I invited him in and told him how happy I was to meet another cousin.
He recounted that he had retired, lived in California, and was in North Carolina, as part of a volunteer disaster relief team. In addition to his volunteer work in North Carolina, he was doing a little visiting. He gave me the names of his children and granddaughter as he is also interested in genealogy. I enjoyed Art’s visit and as my Riddle/Ray cousins can see, we may end up with more Rays in my Riddle book than Riddles.
Update Of Riddles Of Stokes County, NC WEB Page
In the Riddle Newsletter, Vol. 2, Issue 2, June 1996 we announced that Kevin Riddle, of Leesburg, Florida, had developed a Riddle WEB Page on the Internet World Wide Web (WWW.) It is with some sadness that we report that Kevin has moved to Japan. We will miss him but still stay in touch by e-mail. I would like to report that Jim Hartung in Maryland, has graciously agreed to take over our Riddle WEB Page.
Jim, as readers of the newsletter know, is the Riddle Newsletter’s technical editor. In addition to working on the Riddle Newsletter, Jim has developed and is maintaining the Riddles Of Stokes County North Carolina WEB Page. The Riddle WEB Page contains much of the same information as Kevin’s original page. However, Jim has added a lot of new information and graphics.
The purpose of the page is to post the latest information dealing with the descendants of John, Tyre, and Randolph Riddle. In addition to the these updates, there is information about contacting other Riddle Researchers, issues of the Riddle Newsletter, how to order the Riddle Reunion Recipes Cookbook, and other genealogy sites on the WWW. Accessing the web page may be accomplished two ways.
First you can set your web browser URL address to: http://jimsgenealogy.net. This will call up Jim’s Genealogy Page. In addition to Riddle genealogy Jim is also interested in the Hartungs and related families mostly from Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Under "Current Projects," click on The Stokes County, North Carolina Riddle Family Origins. This will take you to the Riddle WEB Page.
You can also go directly to The Riddles of Stokes Co., North Carolina WEB Page by addressing your web browser to: The Riddles of Stokes Co., NC.
Become Part of Pensacola’s History Book
A group of individuals, chaired by Bob Wilson met on October 4, 1996 at the historic Laurel Branch Baptist Church in Pensacola to discuss developing a book about Pensacola and its history. Attending the meeting was Bob Wilson, Ben Wilson, Frances Higgins, Ray Miller, Junior Robertson, Betty Robertson, and myself, Richard Riddle. Several others were invited but were unable to attend.
The group discussed topics that they would like to see included in the book. Some of the topics were the early settlers and land owners, how the residents earned their income, the early churches, schools, logging, railroads, local customs, superstitions, home heath remedies, and numerous others. It is hoped that enough information can be developed to give a chronological history of Pensacola from roughly 1700 to the present.
This history would be interspersed with pictures, interesting folk lore, humorous anecdotes, and educational material to interest all generations. You can be a part of this effort. If you know a good story about Pensacola or it’s people and would like to see it included in the book please contact me or one of the group named above. We will meet again in the spring to finalize the plans.
Zane Douglas Riddle (1926–1996)
We would like to extend our condolences to Kevin Riddle on the untimely death of his brother Zane. Along with Kevin, Zane is survived by a his wife Marjorie, sister Rita Baldridge, son Larry and two grandchildren.
In the June 1995 Issue of the Riddle Newsletter I wrote an article about the historic cemeteries located on the mountainside behind what was at one time the Pensacola Elementary School and is now Ray Miller's Country Cablevision Inc. facility. These cemeteries have been used by Pensacola area residents for about 150 years. In 1995, a committee was formed to restore these cemeteries. As reported by Kirby Ray Whitaker in her Ray Family Newsletter, the Committee has been busy. The Pensacola Community Cemetery has a new look. A new road has been built from the Pensacola road along the side of the hill to the top, and down to Junior Robertson's old family home on Cattail Creek. As reported by Kirby, "Walter and Howard Riddle performed a near miracle in removing trees and brush from many of the graves and even repaired some of the old broken headstones. Members of the Pensacola Community Cemetery Committee are as follows:
Ray Miller, Chairman, Linda Griffith, Secretary/Treasurer, Ben Wilson (who owned the land used,) Junior Robertson, Walter Howard Richard Riddle, Lee Roy Brown and Bob Wilson.
For those who would like to see this restoration process continue, send your contribution to:
Pensacola Community Cemetery Committee
C/O Linda Griffith, Sec./Trea.,
Country Cablevision, Inc.,
1000 Pensacola Road, Burnsville, NC 28714