Vanik S. Eaddy, Ph. D.

The Eaddy and Bartell families have intermarried numerous times beginning with Edward Drake Eaddy who married Mary Bartell the daughter of Jacob Bartell and Mary Stone.   Jacob Bartell must have been a superb craftsman and teacher.  This became evident in the lives of his sons who kept meticulous diaries and were known to possess skills including silversmithing, blacksmithing, gunsmithing, watch making, carpentry, coffin making, phlebotomy, farming, cobblering, soldiering, and numerous other pursuits.  The best known of his sons was William Bartell who married Senea Stone.   He was an exceptionally talented person and was a traveling craftsman who was multi-talented as evidenced by entries in his diary which was maintained for more than 30 years of his life.  He recorded short phrases about events, people, and places wherever he traveled.  His daily descriptions detailed an amazing list of crafts and trades mastered by this most unusual man.

He repaired watches, clocks, guns, bells, steel traps, and anything made of metal.  He tailored clothes for the men and boys.  He made shoes from leather he tanned.  He made jewelry, violins, rifles, coffins, canoes, flats, and weaving looms.  He built water mills for milling grain, cotton gins, and homes.  He designed and built furniture.  When his neighbors and family were sick, he performed phlebotomy (bleeding).

William Bartell served as Commissioner of Roads, an important duty which included responsibility for building and maintaining roads and bridges.  He was also charged with maintaining the creek channels for water traffic, primarily canoes and flats.  His signature is frequently found on wills and other legal documents.

He was present at numerous social events including visits to the sick, weddings, burials, dances, log rollings, corn huskings, sporting events, church meetings, hunting trips, fishing trips, and meetings of the Militia in which he rose to the rank of Captain.  His travels were extensive and includes many places known today and may others which may no longer be located.

Evidence is still available, even as recently as 2001, of the superb craftsmanship of William Bartell.  Mr. Chris Hirsch of Houston, Texas reported that in the early 1980's he had purchased a flintlock longrifle from a gun collector in Houston, Texas.  The rifle has a small silver plate inlayed in the barrel that is engraved, "WILLIAM BARTELL 1850".  He learned from reading the "Bartell Journals" that Bartell began making his "Little Rifle" in 1847 and that it was completed in 1850.  Bartell writes of putting the patchbox and the catch spring in place.  These items are all found on the rifle.  The journals reveal that Bartell "refreshened out" or re-cut the bore about 1856-1857.  He also described "facing the steel" on the rifle and the frizzen shows evidence of having been refaced.  Finally, Bartell reported taking the rifle to a shooting match; but, it is unknown whether or not he won anything.

Pictures of William Bartell's "Little Rifle" were provided courtesy of Mr. Chris Hirsch of Houston, Texas who is a descendant of John Foster, one of the original 300 Stephen F. Austin settlers in Texas.



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