Contributed by Wanda Ridge. 2018

The Ridge family were early settlers in Hampton Twp., in Monroe County, Arkansas, which later became part of Lee County.

Samuel W. Ridge first appeared as head of the house in the 1830 Hardeman Co., TN census. His marriage to Nancy Musgrave is recorded in Hardeman Co. as 3 October, 1829. The Tippah Co., MS tax rolls list him in 1838 so we know he was in Tippah Co. at least two years before the 1840 census.

Samuel Ridge and his family were in Hampton Twp., Monroe County, Arkansas, by 1848 and were in the 1850 census there. Both he and his son Thomas Q. bought several parcels of land in the area. The 1850 Agriculture Census, Monroe Co., Arkansas, Hampton Twp., shows Samuel W. Ridge with 45 acres improved land and 130 acres unimproved, value of land 200, value of equipment 20, 4 milch cows, 3 work oxen, 6 other cattle, 45 swine, value of livestock 156, 350 bushels Indian corn.

Nancy Musgrave Ridge died December 28, 1853 in Hampton Township, Monroe Co., AR and was buried in Prospect Cemetery. Grave marker reads Nancy Ridge, wife of S. W. Ridge, d. Dec. 28, 1853 Age 39 years, 5 mo 7 da. Family members recorded the grave marker about 1970. It was broken and flat on the ground. The pieces could not be located in later visits to the cemetery.

The oldest son coming to Arkansas with Sam William and Nancy Musgrave Ridge was Thomas Q. (Quim) Ridge. Thomas Q. married Sarah Jones in Monroe County in 1851. They had two children, Sam William II and Nancy Ridge. Family story is that Sarah Jones Ridge and Nancy were on a horse, and were jumped by a panther when Nancy was a baby. The mother died as a result of the fall, and Nancy was crippled with a broken back as a result.

In the early 1860’s Sam William and Thomas Q. sold their land in Monroe County in preparation of going to Powhatan, Lawrence Co., Arkansas. No other records have been found for this Samuel William Ridge.

T. Q. Ridge entered the Confederate Army. Muster rolls show a T. Q. Ridge in Co. I, 8th Arkansas Cavalry. Probate records dated 5 December 1865 for a Thomas Q. Ridge were found in Lawrence County. Inferred death year was about 1865, and inferred death place was Arkansas. Family legend: "Sam William and Nancy were left orphans because of the War." This leads the family to believe that Thomas Q. was killed in the Civil War. Their mother was already deceased. There are several probate records for T. Q. Ridge in Lawrence Co.

Sam William II and Nancy were left in Monroe County when their father and grandfather went to Powhatan. They were raised by the Ingrams and Curtises, “their own aunts and uncles”. Nancy married John Young, had no children of her own, but helped raise John’s children by a previous marriage. Nancy died about 1910 and was buried in Prospect Cemetery.

Sam William Ridge II married Maria Ophelia "Beanie" Neely, daughter of John G. Neely and Elizabeth Jane Ingram, on January 19, 1875. Sam William Ridge and Beanie Neely had Willis Burt “Mann”, twins Audie Bell and Ora Bell, and Charlie. Both Ora Bell and Charlie died young. Ophelia Neely died 15 Oct 1889 and was buried in Prospect Cemetery. In March 1890, Sam William married again. He married Alice Sefronia Scott, daughter of Alexander Monroe Scott and Margaret L. Rinehart. They had three children: Mamie, Estella and Quim. Alice Sefronia died in March 1900, and is buried in Hawkins Chapel with her parents. Baby Quim died by age 2 from the croup and is buried in Prospect Cemetery.

Sam William Ridge II was born 20 October, 1853, and died 28 January, 1916. He was buried in Prospect Cemetery. Both Sam William and Willis Burt “Mann” Ridge were born in the Moro area and lived and farmed there all their lives.

(Submitter; There has always been a question about the name “Quim” in this family. Research finds that Nancy Musgraves Ridge had a brother named Quimby and Nancy’s father Thomas is said to have married a daughter of Jonas Quimby. There were other Quimbys in the area where Samuel W. and Nancy married. It is reasonable to think that Thomas Q. or Thomas Quim Ridge would have been named Thomas Quimby, although no proof has been found.

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