Biographical Sketch of Dr. John Smith Waddle

August 12, 1849 – July 11, 1929


John Smith Waddle was born August 12, 1849 in Haywood County, Tennessee, joining the farming family of Archibald and Martha Waddle and siblings Mary Jane, Joseph Kelso and Nancy Ann.  He was to be soon joined by another six siblings, James Montgomery, Milton Marcus, Emma Augusta, Elizabeth Cornelia, Henrietta Polk and Martha Elizabeth.  In the 1860 U. S. Census when John S. was age 11, the family had relocated to Carouse, Hempstead County, Arkansas.  John S. received his early education in the common schools of Haywood and Hempstead counties.  In 1876 he enrolled in the University of Louisville Medical Department, graduating in 1878.  Upon returning to Arkansas, he and Robert Alice Ghormley were married in Nevada County, Arkansas on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1879.  They were to become the parents of five children, Claude Bernard, George Washington, Edna A., Lillian and Jessie Mason.  In the 1880 U. S. Census they were living in Albany, Nevada County where John’s occupation was physician, having been licensed that same year.  In the 1900 and 1910 census John and Robert Alice’s address was DeRoane, Hempstead county.  Robert Alice died in 1918 after a long marriage of 39 years. In the 1920 census Dr. Waddle’s daughter, son-in-law and grandson were in the home with him at Hope Ward 1, Hempstead county.

For 50 years Dr. John Smith Waddle practiced medicine in the Nevada-Hempstead county area.  “For many years, he was an active practitioner, giving up his work only when forced to take to his bed.  Dr. Waddle was, perhaps, one of the best known men in southwest Arkansas.  He was honored and respected by all who knew him and many there will be who will feel a keen sense of personal loss in his passing.  He died at his home after an illness of five months, heart trouble and the infirmities of old age being cause of death.  Funeral services were held at Harmony Methodist church at Sutton, with burial in Harmony cemetery.”1


Hope Star, July 12, 1929


John T. Mitchell, BBA

May 20, 2023