William B. Waddell

William Waddell

Born: October 17, 1807, in Fauquier County, Virginia

Died: April 1, 1872, in Lexington, Missouri

Married: January 1, 1829 to Susan Clark Byram

Here is a link to the genealogy of William Bradford Waddell researched and prepared by Connie Welch.

William Waddell handled the money for the business. Like William Russell, Waddell had done service as a clerk. Like Alexander Majors, he had also spent a brief time as a farmer. Unsatisfied with rural life, he opened a dry goods store. Although that business did well, Waddell longed to go West. Selling his store, Waddell moved his family to Lexington, Missouri, where he established another store and eventually became one of the major outfitters for those seeking their fortunes in the West in 1849.

Waddell was a member of the same church as William Russell. The two men became involved in several business ventures together. As the firm of Waddell and Russell, they contracted to deliver military supplies to Fort Riley in 1853. On January 1, 1855, they signed an agreement with Alexander Majors, forming Russell, Majors, and Waddell. Within five years, Russell, Majors, and Waddell had become one of the biggest freighting fims in the country, equal to the Butterfield-Wells Fargo and American Express companies.

The after years of Russell, Majors, and Waddell were clouded by disappointment, hardship, and obscurity.

Waddell's Grave Site
William Waddell's Grave Site
Waddell never engaged in any kind of business again. He continued to live in his spacious home at the corner of 13th and South Street in Lexington, but his life was not a happy one. The cross currents of Civil War swirled about him. One of his sons was killed defending a slave, his home was raided again and again, and to prove his loyalty he signed an oath of allegiance to the United States. Lawsuit after lawsuit was filed against him, his angry creditors impugned his integrity, land he owned was sold on the courthouse steps for taxes, and old friends turned against him. He died at the farm home of his daughter, Mrs. A. G. Williams on April 1, 1872, at sixty-five years of age and was buried at Lexington.

Source: Settle and Settle, Saddles and Spurs.

Pony Express Marker Centennial Marker
Pony Express Marker
Centennial Marker

Grave Marker
Waddell's marker indicates
he died on Apr 7th, not Apr 1st