Roxy, this is one of the articles. More to follow.
To: African American Roots afirgeneas@MsState.Edu
Subject: BEDELL_CRITTENDED Family
Date: Fir, 2 Oct 1998 01:46:43 -0500 (CDT)
Ozar’kin, Vol. V, No. 1, Spring 1983
By: Mrs. Ora E. Logan
Editor’s note: Mrs. Ora Elizabeth LOGAN is the daughter of Alberta Northcutt
ELLIS and a ggrandaughter of George and Eliza (Bedell) CRITTENDEN.
David Hudson BEDELL and his father David BEDELL, who had been a soldier in the American Revolution, arrived in Green County, Missouri, in January 2834. They came by covered wagon from Baird’s Forge in Burke County, North Carolina and settled in the vicinity of Ebenezer, about 10 miles north of Springfield. The wife of David Hudson BEDELL was Marina WALLIS whose family also settled in that area. The Bedell and Wallis families homesteaded many acres north of, and including, Crystal Cave, and became prosperous farmers.
Leanah BEDELL, a family slave, accompanied the Bedells to Missouri. Leanah was thought to have been born ine latter part of 1818 in North Carolina. She had nine children: Julia Ann, born January 26, 1839; Betsy Lucretia, born February 5, 1841; Nathan Greene, born January 12, 1843; Logan Henderson, born February 9, 1845; James Monroe, born November 19., 1846; William Hiram, born April 16, 1849; Millie Narcissa, born March 8, 1851; Eliza Katherine, born April 22, 1853; and Enos Hildon, born March 30, 1856. The slave children of Leanah were given the surname “BEDELL” as it was customary for slaves to have the name of their masters.
As the black Bedell children grew, they farmed and worked alongside the white Bedell and Wallis families and became a close knit unit. The group built a log church (Old Salem Methodist) and both black and white worshipped together.
By the time the Civil War broke out the Bedell and Wallis families had accumulated a large portion of north Green County. One of the Bedells was known to say that an aunt took some of the black Bedells to Fayetteville during the Civil War to keep them from being forced into the Union Army. However, it was reported that Logan BEDELL was involved in the battle at Wilson’s Creek, south of Springfield.
Following the death of David Hudson Bedell, April 7, 1869, the Bedells found it necessary to divide their property, including slaves. The family members decided to sell the slaves within the family to keep them together, with the exception of Julia Ann who was sold and shipped to Texas. Some descendants of Julia are reported to be living in the Fort Worth - Dallas area. (There are conflicting stories as to why Julia was sold. )
Details of the slave sale are as follows: Marina BEDELL, widow of said David H. BEDELL< chose to take as her dower slaves Leanah and Nathan, at their valuation, being $1,550, leaving a balance of $5, 850 to be divided among their heirs as follows:
Allotted to Myra E. Wallis: girl Betsy age 16 $1,150
To Sarah L. Alsup: boy Logan age 15 1,050
To Mellissa girl Lisa age 7 650
To Mahion L. Bedell boy James age 13 950
To Allen L. Bedell boy William Hiram age 11 850
To Matilda girl Narcissa age 9 700
To Charles W. Bedell boy Enos age 4 500
All the above slaves owners were children of David H. Bedell and Marina Wallis Bedell and all of the slaves were kept within the Wallis-Bedell families, except Julia, who was not included in the sale. Those receiving slaves of a higher value were to pay the other heirs so all would have equal value.
George CRITTENDEN, am 18 year old runaway slave born in Izard County, Arkansas, volunteered for the Union Army in Springfield, Mo. He was a cook for the troops during the battle of Wilson’s Creek. George was a close ferend of the RAY family whose house was on the battlefield and in later years members of the Ray family visited George’s family and brought in rabbits, quail and chickens to sell.
After being discharged from the army, George CRITTENDEN, met Eliza BEDELL on the Springfield public square. George and Eliza began a courtship which culminated in their marriage in the late 1860’s. They moved to Springfield, where George worked as a coachman for the Fellows Wagon Factory until he retired.
During the late 1800’s there was a large population of blacks in Springfield and many were involved in various businesses and occupations. After the 1906 Easter Sunday lynching of three blacks, many left their homes and never returned. The Crittenden and Bedell families were among the few who remained.
The Crittendens were among the original founders of Pitts Chapel Methodist Church, now located at Benton and Tampa.
George was prosperous and well respected in the community. By 1920, he owned four houses in the 700 block of North Sherman Street. The family lost all of those houses, except the original home place at 723 N. Sherman, when the FHA came into existence; there was confusion regarding proof of payment and no receipts could be found. George and Eliza had nine children; Lou, Stella, Effie, Orthro, Jess, Margie, Thomas, Ora and Roy.