Isaac Washington "Ike" Arledge

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Isaac Washington "Ike" Arledge

Birthdate: (52)
Birthplace: Rutherford Co, TN; moved to Falls Co, TX (near Waco); listed in 1900 census of Cannon Co, TN in HH of Alex Inglis; came to TX between 1908-1910; WWI Draft Reg; 1920 HOH Falls Co, TX census
Death: April 03, 1938 (52)
Bur. Chilton Cem, Falls Co, TX
Immediate Family:

Son of Isaac Hassell Arledge and Eliza M. Akers
Husband of Lela Ophia Harrell
Father of Brownie Arledge; Harold or Harrell Cling Arledge; Tommie J. Arledge; Rueal Young Arledge; Isaac Morgan Arledge and 3 others
Brother of Henry or Andrew Arledge; Thomas Calvin "Jack" Arledge; Elizabeth "Betsy" J. Arledge; James "Jimmie" Alexander Arledge; Jessie Nathaniel Eagleton Arledge and 3 others

Managed by: Pam Wilson, Curator-on-hiatus
Last Updated:

About Isaac Washington "Ike" Arledge

Notes from research files of Pam Wilson <>:

1900 TN census:

Arledge, Ike (white) b. Mar/1886 age 14 bp: TN ED:23/2/28 Cannon Co TN

        Enumerated with  Alex S. Inglis
        relationship to above: servant
  • Ike is a servant to Inglis

WWI Draft Reg 1 Sept 1918

Isaac Washington Arledge

RFD 3 Chilton, Falls Co TX

Age 33 March 14 1886


Lela Arledge

Med ht med build gray eyes red hair

Lost one eye

1920 Texas Soundex Arledge

Falls Co TX

Arledge, Isaac 33 wm TN V 60--81--10--2

 Lela     30  TN  wife
 Ruel    s  11 TN
 Morgan   s. 9  TX
 Harrell    s    7  TX
 James Brown   s  3  6/12  TX
 Weldon   s  1  1/12  TX
 Arledge, Jess  (brother)  38  TN


Born 14 March 1886 in Woodbury, Tennessee

Died 3 April 1938 in Chilton, Texas

By Petronella Arledge 26 July 1995

Isaac (Ike) Washington Arledge, my father-in-law, was a giant of a man even though his height, of five foot seven inches, was a bit below average. During his short life, he was called upon to be a leader and to serve as the back-bone of his family. His shoulders were unusually broad both in measurement and in holding the burdens of others. He was an energetic, conscientious worker who labored long hours in order to support his family.

At an early age, he learned what it was like to put in a full day's work. When the 1900 census was taken, Ike was listed with a family other than his own. As a lad of fourteen, he was living with S. Alex Inglis in Cannon County, Tennessee. His relationship to Mr. Inglis was registered as a servant. My speculation is that Ike was working on his farm while boarding with the family. We know little about Ike's parents, because they died at an early age. His father Isaac Hassell Arledge died in 1902 when Ike was only sixteen. In 1908, his mother Eliza M. Akers Arledge died four months after Ike married Lela Ophia Harrell. Ike was well aware of the meaning of grief and sadness. He lost a brother Henry who was fourteen years of age, a sister Betty who was only five, and a sister Mary who was a baby of one year.

In all, Ike was one of nine children. One brother Jesse Nathaniel Eagleton Arledge was four years older than Ike but was never as responsible or settled. After their parents were gone, Ike was left with the responsibility of four younger brothers and sisters: Lillian age nineteen; Jack age sixteen; Bill age thirteen; and Jimmie age eleven. At age twenty two, Ike had a new wife, a baby on the way, and four adolescent siblings to provide for.The following year, Ike was faced with a family problem that forced him to make a move. Ike brought them all from Tennessee to Texas

Not only did Ike play a big part in raising his brothers and sisters, he had eight children of his own. The first six children were boys, and then two girls came along. The daughters were disciplined by Lela, but Ike raised the boys without sparing the rod. He marched them to the barn when disciplinary action was in order. My husband Tommie and his brothers have often mentioned that when corporal punishment was forth-coming, they always hoped he wouldn't use his hands on their backside. They wished instead for a razor strap or hickory limb because "Papa" was known for his big hands. During his lifetime, Ike could avoid fights just by putting up his "dukes."

Usually, Ike used other means instead of brute strength in his dealings with others. He had to use diplomacy, psychology, and an awful lot of patience to manage eight children. Raising six consecutive boys was no easy task, but if problems arose, Ike faced them head on. One day the sheriff drove over to Ike's place with some disturbing information. Sensing trouble when he saw the police car drive up, Ike met the sheriff in the front yard. After a greeting, the sheriff asked, "Ike, I understand that your two older boys, Rueal and Morgan, are running a still and selling their products. You know that boot-legging is unlawful. Are you going to break-up that operation or should I do it?"

Ike was stunned because he knew nothing about the illegal actions of his sons. He told the sheriff, "Don't worry, I will investigate; and if anything like that is going on, I will take care of it." After some detective work, Ike discovered that the teenagers had learned to make home brew. They had set up their brewery in a vacant shed quite a ways from the house. Every thing was well planned by the young entrepreneurs. They chose a place close to a spring of water so they could easily rinse out empty beer and soda pop bottles for their freshly made brew. Sterilization did not seem to be part of their game plan. They bought themselves a capping device so that they could recap their second-hand, filled bottles. On Saturday night, they took their products to the nearby towns of Rosebud and Lott to bootleg their wares. Their undoing occurred when someone became ill on the green beer and snitched to the sheriff. Ike broke up the still as if he were a zealous temperance leader and dealt with the boys in a way that led them to believe that they had better take up some other kind of business.

The education of his children was important to Ike; and to do his part, he served on the school board at one time. That proved to be embarrassing when he received word of mis-behavior on the part of some of his kids. As he was returning home in a wagon from the gin, he passed the school. Two of his boys, Tommie and Weldon, were engaged in a major fight with some other students on the playground. In the middle of fists flying, Ike brought the mules to a standstill and climbed down from the wagon. Tommie and Weldon were astonished when "Papa" showed up to break-up the fight. He promised the two boys that he would deal with them when they got home. Tommie and Weldon got a double-dose for their indiscretions because they received a paddling at school first.

In addition to the heavy load that he carried at home, neighbors sometimes relied on him for counseling when trouble arose. Although Ike's formal education was limited, he was a master psychologist. Dude, a man who lived nearby, often imbibed too heavily in the booze. At times his family suffered greatly, because he invariably engaged in irrational acts while he was drunk. One day, one of Dude's boys ran across the field to get Ike for help. Breathlessly, Dude's boy explained, "Mr. Ike, come quick! Papa is standing on the rim of the well. He says he is going to jump in. Mama and Grandma are holding on to him."

Ike had been summoned by his neighbors before, and he did not run over to Dude's at break-neck speed. As he arrived, a pitiful sight was before his eyes. Dude's wife and mother were crying and begging him not to jump into the well as they held onto his legs with all their might. Ike strolled up to the well and took hold of the women by their arms. He slowly led the frightened ladies away from the well leaving Dude still standing on the rim. He turned around and started giving Dude instructions: "Don't worry Dude! I've got a hold of them now. You can go ahead and jump!" Dude bounded down sheepishly from the rim of the well, and walked into the house. Ike tipped his hat to the women and headed for home.

Besides the stress that Ike suffered throughout his life, he also dealt with physical problems. While toiling on one of his many laborious jobs, he was working with lime and inadvertently got some into one of his eyes. The results were disastrous. The caustic substance destroyed the eye, leaving him partially blind for the rest of his life. Ike's kids sometimes preferred to be on his blind side. That usually occurred when they wanted to engage in some kind of mischief. Morgan, who was the second child, always sat next to Ike at the table. Curiosity over-came him on one occasion, and he decided to find out for sure if "Papa" was totally blind in his bad eye. Morgan slowly moved his index finger horizontally in front of the bad eye. Ike sensed that something was in front of his face and quickly turned his head towards Morgan. He unintentionally poked his finger in Ike's good eye; and for a short time, he was blind in both eyes. Morgan hurriedly disappeared until Ike cooled off and regained the sight in his good eye.

Besides the visual disability, Ike had other major health problems. Early in life, he suffered from hypertension for which medical science had not developed any successful treatment. When his blood pressure was high, he endured un-relenting headaches. My husband Tommie was rubbing his father's head when Ike suffered a fatal stroke at the age of fifty-two.

His family questioned why he was taken at such an early age. Small children who needed a father were left behind. Probably, more than one reason was involved. Maybe the long lasting burdens that were heaped on Ike were partly responsible. More than likely, the lack of good medical care played the bigger part in his early death. Of his eight children, seven developed some kind of vascular disease, which leads one to believe that heredity might have been one of the culprits.

Losing Ike almost destroyed Lela; her hair turned gray almost over-night. She was completely devastated, because he was her main-stay. Not only did he provide the financial needs, he did the shopping for groceries, clothes, and other necessities. He also handled the purse-strings, so Lela knew little about managing money. She survived for twelve more years and carried on with the help of her older children. My husband Tommie was sixteen, Bonnie was thirteen, and baby Jo was nine. The older boys, Rueal, Morgan, Harold, Brownie, and Weldon were old enough to fend for themselves. Rueal sacrificed his own personal life by staying on with his mother and helping her raise and provide for the younger ones.

When I think of the things concerning his family that Ike missed while on this earth, I feel as if he was deprived of some of the good things of life. He was able to see his first grandchild Jerry Wayne who was born seven months before he died, but he never got to meet the other ten grandchildren or any of his children's spouses. I, for one, missed out by not knowing my father-in-law. I would have liked Ike.

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Isaac Washington "Ike" Arledge's Timeline

March 14, 1886
Rutherford Co, TN; moved to Falls Co, TX (near Waco); listed in 1900 census of Cannon Co, TN in HH of Alex Inglis; came to TX between 1908-1910; WWI Draft Reg; 1920 HOH Falls Co, TX census
August 20, 1908
Age 22
Cannon Co, TN; no children
February 19, 1910
Age 23
Falls Co, TX
January 31, 1912
Age 25
Falls Co, TX; served in WWII in England
July 24, 1916
Age 30
Chilton, Falls Co, TX
December 25, 1918
Age 32
Chilton, Falls Co, TX
February 14, 1922
Age 35
Chilton, Falls Co, TX; served in US Army WWII 1942-1946; cryptographer, served in Philippines
February 25, 1930
Age 43
Chilton, Falls Co, TX