By Charles Cooper
Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week.
The other day I received an email at the Herald from Tracee Baddley, a senior engineer with U.S. Xpress in Chattanooga, Tenn. Since he also included a phone number, I called him and learned he was the son of Russell Baddley. He is also the grandson of Guy Baddley, long time custodian at Water Valley High school, who was the youngest brother of Papa Badley. We agreed to stay in touch and I hope we can meet some day.
This got me to thinking about how the entire Badley/Baddley clan sprang from a lonely little 11 year-old orphan named Elijah Badley, Jr., who lived in the town of Fenton, Staffordshire, England. He ran away to follow an older cousin who was being taken to America.
Elijah Badley, also known as Squire, had moved from that town about 1840 to come to this country to follow his trade of pottery maker. He had tried Iowa and Illinois before finally settling in Water Valley and opening a jug and churn factory.
He returned to England to bring back a young relative and the 11-year-old Elijah Jr. begged to go with him, but he was thought to be too young. They were nearing the dock to board the ship when they looked up and saw this little boy running toward them. He had run away and was smart enough not to let his presence be known until it was too late to send him back. So they had no choice but to take him along.
After serving in the Confederate Army he married Mary Page and raised four sons and four daughters and became a prosperous farmer. He gave each of his children a farm when they married to give them a start in life. He retired as a highly respected citizen and moved to a home which is still standing on what is now Boyd Street. He could frequently be seen riding his favorite saddle horse to town. He died in August 1914 and is buried in Oak Hill.
So you see, Tracee, we are all here because of a lonely little boy who didn’t want to be left behind.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, Tn 38101 and have a great week.