Son of George and Mary Riddle, was born August 21, 1793, in Maryland. His father was of Scotch-Irish descent, and his mother was a native of Maryland, and of Welsh descent. His father died and was buried on Crow's Island, when the subject of this sketch was but ten years old; and at the age of sixteen he came into Fayette, county, Pennsylvania, and engaged to serve an apprenticeship at blacksmithing, with a Mr. Peter Herdsack, for a term of five years. But a short time before the expiration of said term, and in the fall of 1812, the Ruffner, Zimmer, and Copus assassination on the Black fork of Mohican took place, by the Indians.
Volunteers from western Pennsylvania were called out to defend the border settlers in Ohio. He entered the service as one of the volunteers, for a term of six months, under General Robert Crooks, and passed over the territory now constituting Ashland and Richland counties, en route for Upper Sandusky; was at all the principal points along the rivers and lakes, from Fort Meigs, on the Maumee, to Toledo, Detroit and Cleveland, under General Harrison. He became acquainted with Col. Richard M. Johnston, of Kentucky; and was finally detailed to take charge of the sick on Put-in-Bay and South Bass islands, where he remained most of the time for which he had enlisted.
He stood by and saw James Bird shot for deserting Perry’s fleet; and in the spring of 1813 he returned to Fayette county, Pennsylvania, worked at his trade, and in the fall, September 11, 1814, married Miss Barbara Ann Franks, daughter of George and Abigail Franks, of Fayette county, Pennsylvania. The result of said marriage was eleven children, nine sons and two daughters. George W., was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, June 5, 1815; Aaron, born in same county, February 10, 1817. And in the spring of 1818, he removed with his little family to Applecreek, Wayne County, Ohio, at which place his daughter Abigail was born, December 31, 1818. And in the spring of 1820, he located on eighty acres of military school land, four miles northeast of Ashland, then Uniontown, on the Cleveland road, it being then in Richland county, and there he erected his little log cabin in which to live, surrounded by a dense forest of tall oak and hickory, as well as beech and maple. And in the fall of the same year, November 28, 1820, his son, Samuel was born. Then Michael, jr., born October 28, 1822; John R., born April 12,1824; Jacob, born January 12, 1826; Cornelius, born December 8, 1827; Jesse, born August 3, 1830; Mary Ann, born January 9, 1832; and William Patterson, born October 31, 1834; of these, Jacob, Jesse, Cornelius, Aaron, and Mary Ann are dead.
Aaron married Miss Delia Ann Alexander, February 15, 1838, who died August 17, of the same year. George W., married Miss Ruth Alexander, October 23, 1838, who also died, May 31, 1839; George’s second marriage, to Miss Jane Scott, March 31,1842, by whom he has eleven children—John S., dead; Sarah, Cornelius F., Ira A., Jane Irene, dead; Samantha Ann, Sophia S., Eliza E., Rebecca A., Flora and Dora, twins. Of these Samantha Ann, Sophia S., and Eliza E., are school teachers. Aaron’s second marriage was with Miss Elizabeth McCammon, November 1,1843. They have had four children—three boys and one girl: Marshall W., dead; Almon G., dead; Judson B., in the far west; and Lucy Jane, school teacher, wife of Joseph Welch, a farmer. Aaron died November 17,1851, aged thirty-four years nine months and seven days. Abigail remains single.
Samuel married Miss Margaret Dally, of Mohicanville, November 16,1843. The result of said marriage was nine children, three boys and six girls.
Michael, jr., married Miss Catharine Hatfield, of Doylestown, Ohio, February 1,1849. Result of marriage, six children, two boys and four girls.Mary Ann was married to James A. Hazlett, and had seven children, three boys and four girls; Willie, dead; John, Ellie, Ettie, Lucy, Phoenie, and James Franklin.
William Patterson married Kate D. Stents, December 10, 1861, and has three children—Orwell, Emma, and Norman. Two of his sons, Samuel and Michael, turned their attention somewhat to the subject of education, and attended the Ashland academy, under the superintendence of the Fultons and Lorin Andrews. After teaching school each several terms, the former turned his attention to the study and practice of medicine; the latter, to the ministry of the Gospel. The other members of the family are farmers, and live on and near the old homestead.
Mr. Riddle was noted for his habits of industry, economy, and self-reliance. He was an excellent farmer, and experimented largely in choice varieties of fruits, and is believed to have manufactured the first wine in Montgomery Township, from the catawba grape. In his earlier years he was an active member of the Baptist church; he and his wife were baptized by Elder John Rigdon, who was then a pioneer preacher, living in Clearcreek township, Richland county; but when Alexander Campbell began to publish his views of church doctrine and government, in what was called the Christian Baptist, first published in 1823, Mr. Riddle embraced the doctrine of the Disciples, and assisted Mr. Rigdon and others in organizing a church in Ashland. Many years, however, before the little church-house was built which stands on Orange street, of which he was one of the original trustees, he opened his own house for public worship; he made it the home of all the old pioneer preachers, as they passed through from place to place; and not infrequently they held protracted meetings at his house. He entertained on many occasions from forty to fifty people at a time, giving largely of his means to support the ministers, besides. He was for a long time the only elder of the church, but in after years, others were appointed to assist him.
He unfortunately received a mortal injury in a fall from an apple tree, October 28, 1857, from which he expired in a few hours, aged sixty-four years two months and twenty-seven days. His wife died June 15, 1880, aged sixty-seven years five months and seven days.
He was a life-long Democrat, of the Jeffersonian and Andrew Jackson school, and was never known to vary his vote in any case.
contributed and transcibed by Russ Shopbell email@example.com