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For whom was Riddle Hill on Crowley's Ridge named?
The high point on Crowley's Ridge, three miles west of Malden, is known as Riddle Hill. Highway J goes over the top of the ridge in front of the former Van Tompkins home and peach orchard. This high ground was named for early members of the Riddle family who settled there in the first half of the nineteenth century. The Old Riddle Cemetery, the resting place of several of these early settlers, existed along the side of the road at the top of the hill until it was leveled in the 1970's.
The first Riddle to live on the hill was John Riddle (1828-1904). He and his wife, Joeller Beckwith Riddle (1831-1896), purchased eighty acres there on May 2, 1857. The land had previously been owned by Given and Louisiana Owens. Additional property gave John and his descendants a significant location on the top of the ridge. John moved into southeast Missouri with his parents, George and Sarah Hale Riddle, sometime in 1848. The original farmstead was southwest of Bernie on the Stoddard and Dunklin county line.
John and Joeller Riddle became prominent residents of the region, actively involved in the work of the Bethany Baptist Church. John, Joeller, and their son Robert with his wife, Safronia Jane Tompkins-Riddle, are among the first burials in the Old Riddle Cemetery.
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Last modified 07/18/2009