© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014

Last updated June, 2013

John Baker Reding was the half-brother of Iredell Reding and was also the half-brother of Iredell’s first wife, Martha (Patsy Hallum.) The reason for this unusual state of affairs is that Iredell’s father, Robert Reding, married Patsy’s mother, Mrs. Nancy Baker Hallum, and had children by her. It was a second marriage for both.

John Baker Reding was the uncle of George W. Reding. He was the brother of Nancy Baker Reding Malone Conn, wife of John L. Conn. He was the uncle of Thomas Monroe Malone and of Henderson F. Malone. And interestingly, he was my double great-great-great-great-half-uncle.

He was born 5 March 1817 in Tennessee, probably in Davidson County. His mother died in childbirth with triplets, some say on 30 September 1818, and is buried in what is now Cheatham County.

He moved with his father to Fayette County, Tennessee, before 1830, and became a ward of his brother Iredell Reding upon the death of his father.

By 1837, he was living in Texas with Iredell and second wife and family. He was a signer of a petition to form Houston County from Nacogdoches on 22 April 1837, at which time he was probably living in Mustang Prairie.

Shortly afterwards, he moved to Montgomery County with Iredell, and the Redings all settled in Danville. John was a man of some wealth and patented several land grants, and also purchased several tracts of land. By 1850 his real estate was worth over $3,000, and he was living with his brother, Iredell. At the time of the 1860 census, he owned four slaves.

John B. Reding joined the San Jacinto Masonic Lodge 106 and was listed as a Master Mason in 1857.

He joined Danville Mounted Riflemen and was listed on the muster roll of February 14, 1862 as a private. On March 29th, he enlisted in Second Texas Lancers, which became Company B 24th Regiment Texas Cavalry, under Captain Wooldridge. He gave his age as forty-five. He had to travel fifty miles to the place of rendezvous, Camp Carter at Hempstead. No value was recorded for his horse and equipment.

John mustered with the other men of his company at Camp Carter at Hempstead on April 28th. But a notation on the muster roll of August 31st states that he was discharged on July 28th. There is no note as to why he was discharged, but it was likely because of illness. At the time of his discharge, the men were stationed at Camp Holmes at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and many were ill.

He returned to Montgomery County, and on 28th August 1863, he enlisted in Company A of the Seventeenth Brigade Texas Militia under Captain Evans. According to muster roll abstracts at the Texas State Archives, he was stationed at Camp San Jacinto near Huntsville.

Muster Roll Card, Texas Archives

In the latter part of 1863, he enlisted again, this time in the Fourth Regiment, Texas State Troops. His muster card in the Compiled Service Records shows that his named appeared on an affidavit of men belonging to the organization who were over forty-five years of age. The affidavit was signed at “Camp in the field near the mouth of Caney [Creek], Texas, February 1, 1864.” His age was shown as forty-six.

In 1865, John signed the amnesty oath in preparation for becoming a voter. This was a Reconstruction requirement for men who served the Confederacy in any way. The amnesty list is bound in the marriage books of Montgomery County.

John was living alone in 1870, his occupation listed as mechanic.

On 16 January 1872, at age fifty-five, he was married in Montgomery County to Eliza J. Cheshire. Eliza was thirty-one years old, born in Georgia. She was the daughter of Richard Jesse Cheshire and Matilda Dunham. She was the aunt of Jefferson P. and Reuben Childers. In May of 1875, John deeded to her for $1.00, “for love and for support and maintenance of her children born of her by me,” four hundred and forty acres in the William Ware League. In August, he deeded her his headright grant of two hundred and forty acres in Clay County in exchange for a horse, some hogs, and a stock of meat.

He had two children by Eliza, Nannie Grace and Iredell. John died on the 27th of October 1877 in Montgomery County, presumably in Danville.

John Baker Reding marker, Shepherd Hill Cemetery

John is buried in a plot by himself, to the west of the Reding/Collard plot, at Shepherd Hill Cemetery near the original town site of Danville. The marker appears to be a government marker, and was probably placed in the early 1900s. Click on the link above to view John's page on the Shepard Hill Cemetery website.

Eliza married Thomas J. Gibson (1856-1896) on 7 September 1880, and after his death, she applied for a Confederate widow’s pension based on John Reding’s service. She was a resident of Huntsville, Walker County, at this time.

A deposition was filed by a former member of the 24th, Peter T. Sandel.

She received pension #36622, beginning on March 1, 1920.

Eliza died in 12 June 1932 at age ninety. She is buried in the Willis Cemetery in Montgomery County, next to T. J. Gibson.

The above biography was condensed from my family files; sources include county and census records, Montgomery County cemetery records, pension records in the Texas State Archives, the Compiled Service Records, and Reding family papers and Bibles.

For further information and records of all Confederate soldiers of Montgomery County, Texas, as well as histories of the regiments they served in, see Montgomery County, Texas, CSA by Frank M. Johnson. The book may be purchased by visiting Frank's website at or by contacting Frank at

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