John Riley Arrick/Orrick
And Minerva Viola Harrison

Last updated Apr 26, 2008


John Riley Arrick and Minerva Viola Harrison
Click for larger view

The Story Behind this Picture

After years of research, Randy Arrick gave his Father Leonard William a computer and internet connection. The very first inquiry that Leonard posted resulted in a response from Ron Stricklin and this picture. Ron is descended from Minerva's sister Caledonia Harrison.

This is the only known picture of John Riley Arrick. It has his and Minerva's name on the back. This Tintype was easy to produce an relatively cheap in the 1800s. The image has been mirrored digitally to correct the original.

The picture is of very poor quality but is a family treasure and Leonard put it on the front cover of the genealogy books he made for his sons and family. The original was then lost, then found in an hidden trunk at Ron's Aunt's house in KY in 2008. Thank you Ron for this incredible gift!

We are also told by Debbie, wife of Buddy Travis Arrick, that John Riley's grandson (also named John Riley) pointed out that Minerva's right hand is covered because it was either missing or deformed. We don't know if this was a birth defect or from an accident. Her Father, James A. Harrison ran a saw mill in Hardin Co, TN when she was young.

Notice Minerva has a ring on her left-hand index finger. This, along with the clothing, points to this being a wedding picture. They were married in 1884. Further research indicates this photo might have been taken at the East Hotel on the square in Savannah, TN (Hardin Co).


John Riley Arrick was youngest son of John and Margaret Orrick of Warren Co. TN. John married Minerva Viola Harrison in TN in 1884, moved Kaufman Co. TX, and had 2 sons who perpetuated the Arrick name, mostly in Texas. They also had 2 daughters, and one infant who died.

John died or otherwise vanished around 1907, and Minerva remarried to J.R. Alphin.

Name: John Riley Arrick (Really Orrick)
Father: John Orrick (1827-1862), died from wounds at Shiloh
Mother: Margaret/Peggy Qualls (1830-1906)
Born: Mar 1861 or 1862 in Warren Co. TN
Married: Minerva Viola Harrison (1867-1926) Picture, 27 Nov 1884 in Hardin Co, TN Cert
    Leonard L., B 1890, Married Ellie Mae Thomasson, D. 1942 in Abliene TX
    Infant, ?-1892, buried at Blackland/Sanders, Kaufman, TX
    Mary Lee, B 1893, Married J.G. Nall, D. 4 Sep 1959 in Lubbock, TX
    Claude Harrison, B 1899, Married Jewell Hartgraves, D. 1969 in Big Spring, TX
    Pauline Ethel, B 1903, Married Roscoe Ashley, D. 1973 in Houston, Buried in Baton Rouge, LA
Career: Farmer and possibly a saw mill worker in Hardin Co. TN
Died: Probably Between Aug 1906 - Mar 1907 - Not found in Kaufman Co death records. Help!
Buried: Unknown - Help! possibly Blackland cemetery near Crandall, TX in Kaufman Co.
Obit: Unknown - Help!


Unanswered Questions

Where is he buried????? Blackland Cemetery in Kaufman county??

Is there an obituary?

Are there any pictures?

Why does Minerva's death certificate say MARRIED and James R. Alphin's death certificate say WIDOW when Minerva dies 2 years after him. Minerva and Alphin are not shown together in the 1920 census and are not buried together. Did they split up without a formal divorce? Alphin's obit does not even mention her.

If you have the answer, please Email me.


Minerva Viola Harrison


The spelling "Minerva" is used in many documents, but her tombstone and death certificate shows "Manerva".

Father: James A. Harrison (1827-1899)
Mother: Susan Smith (1833-1894)
Second marriage: James Raliegh Alphin, Kaufman Co. TX, Mar 31, 1907 Certificate
Born: Jun 17 1867 in Hardin Co. TN
Died: 21 May 1926 in Abilene TX, Certificate of Death
Cause: Chronic Nephritis
Buried: Cedar Hills Cemetery, Abilene TX, grave picture

    Abilene Reporter News - May 23, 1926
    Mrs. M. Alphin 58, Dies Fridey Night After Long Illness.

      Mrs. Minerva Alphin, aged 58 who lived north of the city near 
    the brick plant with her son, L. L. Arriack, died at 11:40 Friday 
    night following an extended illness.  Funeral services were
    held in the Cedar Hill cemetary at four o-clock Saturday afternoon
    conducted by Rev. J. C. Burkett.
      Mrs. Alphin, who would have been 59 years of age June 17,
    was a native of Tennessee and she had been a faithful member
    of the Baptist Church since she was fifteen, and was also a
    member of the Woodsmen Circle.
      She is survived by four children: Leonard Arriack, Abilene;
    Mrs. Mary Nall, Hamlin; Claude Arriack, Abilene; and Mrs. Ethel
    Ashley, Mineral Wells.


A's and O's in the Census

See How Orricks Became Arricks

1850 Warren County Census showing A's and O's

This shows the obvious transcription problem of A's and O's. The field worker went house-to-house collecting data. Often the name was just written as pronounced. At the end of the day, or possibly days later, the notes were written formally on the census forms. Then, decades or centuries later an operator keyed the data into a computer database. Each of these steps is a source of error.

In many cases, the name is written as 'Orrick' by the census enumerator, then keyed into the computer as 'Arrick'. In other cases, the name was entered as 'Ark' because that's how it was pronounced. It appears that more recent census names are recorded with more precision and care than those in the 1800's and before.

Ultimately, this means a search for John Riley Arrick must include names such as Orrick, Orick, Arke, Orouch, O'rourk, Orio; and possibly more bizarre variants such a Yeorick, Clark, and Horrock.


TN County History

In 1806 White county was created out of Jackson and Smith counties.
In 1807 Warren was created out of White.
In 1836 Cannon was created out of Warren and Wilson.
In 1836 Coffee was created out of Warren and Wilson.
In 1837 DeKalb was created out of Warren, Cannon and White.
In 1840 Van Buren was created out of Warren and White.
In 1844 Grundy was created out of Warren County.

TN map with counties of interest highlighted - Click for a Larger Image

District Map of Warren and surrounding counties.



Here are John Riley's parents in the census of Warren Co. TN:

Orrick, John, 23, Laborer, TN (b abt 1827)
Orrick, Margaret, 21, TN (b abt 1829)
Orrick, Sarah E., 2, TN (b abt 1848)
Orrick, James C., 2mo, TN (b about 1850)


To get an idea of the distribution of Arrick, Arick, Orrick, Orick families:

A list of all 80 Arrick in the 1850 census.
A list of all 86 Aricks in the 1850 census.
A list of all 155 Orricks in the 1850 census.
A list of all 71 Oricks in the 1850 census.

In addition to this, there are 8 Orics (mostly in KY), 41 Arks (many in NY), 10 Orecks (mostly in AL).
Not all of these are entered correctly, so the census original must be looked at to decide for each one.

There are 23 Arricks in Warren Co, TN
Warren Co. TN Census page #1 (4)
Warren Co. TN Census page #2 (8)
Warren Co. TN Census page #3 (3)
Warren Co. TN Census page #4 (5)
Warren Co. TN Census page #5 (3)

That last one is a good example of how the enumerator wrote 'A' and 'O'
He wrote 'Orrick', but the transcribers for keyed in 'Arrick'.
To complicate matters, here are 86 people with the last name 'Arick'.



Here is a list of all 53 Arricks in the 1860 census.

Here is John Riley's family in Warren Co, TN:
census page 1 at the bottom, census page 2 at the top.

Orrick, Jno., age 34
Orrick, Margaret, age 30 (b abt 1830), House Keeper
Orrick, Sarah, 12? (b abt 1848)
Orrick, James, age 9 (b abt 1851)
Orrick, Laura, age 7 (b abt 1853)
Orrick, William, age 5 (b abt 1855)
Orrick, Vilet?, age 3 (b abt 1857)
Orrick, Margaret, age 1 (b abt 1859)
All born in Tenn

Listed right after them on page 2, are 2 other Orrick households:

Orrick, Martha, 60, (b abt 1800) in KY
Orrick, Catherine, 26, (b abt 1834)
Orrick, Celia, 23, (b abt 1837)
Orrick, James, 18, (b abt 1842)
Orrick, Martha, 10, (b abt 1850)

Orrick, Nancy, 31, (b abt 1829)
Orrick, Puss (Female), age 12, (b abt 1848)
Orrick, Henry, 8, (b abt 1852) Twin
Orrick, Rosanna, 8, (b abt 1852) Twin
Orrick, John, 5, (b abt 1855)

The current theory is that Martha 60, is Allen Orrick's wife. John (Jno) was one of their many sons, and John Riley's father. Catherine, Celia, James, and Martha 10 are the children of Allen and Martha 60. Nancy is also one of the kids, but shows no husband, only kids with the Orrick name.



Here is a list of all 55 Arricks in the 1870 census.

The 1870 census was a problem. Many pages for Warren county are very dim, some completely unreadable. I went through the originals at and the microfilm at the local library - both are dim. Then, our cousin Ron Stricklin found the Arricks next door in Grundy county - census page at the bottom.

The 'Ark' pronunciation is typical for this time period.

Arke, Pegy, 50 (1820), cannot read/write -- this is Margaret
Arke, Bettie, 20 (1850), cannot read/write -- This is Sarah Elizabeth
Arke, Laura, 18 (1852)
Arke, James, 17 (1853)
Arke, Calaway (male), 15 (1855) -- Is this William?
Arke, Louise, (female), 12 (1858) -- Is this Elizabeth Violet?
Arke, John, 10 (1860) -- Is this John Riley?
Arke, Frances or Fannie, 9 (1861)

Jones, William, 50 (1820), farmer
is listed below them in the same house. At this time, Margaret(Peggy), was married to William B. Nunley, but he is not found, or the census taker wrote Jones instead of Nunley. Why Margaret is shown still as Arke while she was clearly married to Nunley per the Pension application remains a mystery.

Questions remain about Calaway - is it a mistranslation of William?; Louise - is this really Elizabeth Violet?; and Frances/Fannie.



Here is a list of all 77 Arricks in the 1880 census.

Here is the Arrick family in Coffee Co, TN - June 1880 Census at the bottom.

Arrick, Margaret, age 51 (b abt 1829), House Keeper, WIDOWED
Arrick, S. E. (F), age 32 (b abt 1848), at Home - Sarah Elizabeth
Arrick, E. V (F), age 19 (b abt 1861), at Home - Elizabeth Violet
Arrick, John R, age 17 (b abt 1863), Farm Labor - John Riley
Arrick, Fany, (F), age 12 (b abt 1868), at Home
Arrick, Lori or Lou, (F) age 3 (b abt 1877)
All born in Tenn, mother and father born in Tenn

Questions remain about who Fany is and Lori/Lou.

Here is Minevra's family in Hardin Co, TN
James A. Harrison 53
Susan Harrison 50
Martha J. Harrison 35
Amanda Harrison 20
Albert R. Harrison 19
Minerva Harrison 16 <-------
Caldonia Harrison 13


1884 Marriage of John Riley Arrick and Minerva Viola Harrison

Click for larger view J. R. Arrick Married Minerva Viola Harrison in Hardin Co, TN
Nov 27, 1884
H.S. Kendall, seal
Reuben East, J.P.

This document is kept by Dorothy (John Riley's granddaughter) in Houston.

H.S. Kendall was 19 in 1880 and lived with his father in Savannah, TN where he managed a Hotel.

Reuben East was also living in Savannah and his daughter ran the Savannah Courier newspaper. Reuben and wife Harriet ran the East House Hotel in the center of town on the South side of the town square. This is probably where John Riley was married.

Researcher Henry E. Williams provided this picture of the East Hotel around 1897, just before it was torn down.


Virtually all of the 1890 census and special schedules were lost by fire, water, and human distruction.



Here is John Riley Arrick's family in Kaufman Co, TX, Precinct 2, Forney, June 15, 1900
Census page 1 at bottom, Census page 2 at top showing Claude.

Arrick, Johny, Head, b Mar 1863 in TN, 37, married 16 years, Farmer, can read/write, renting
Arrick, Minerva, Wife, b June 1867 in TN, 32, married for 16 years, 4 children, 3 living
Arrick, Leonard, Son, b Sept 1888 in TX, 11, at school
Arrick, Mary, Daughter, b Nov 1889 in TX, 10, at school
Arrick, Claude, Son, b. Aug 1898 in TX, 2


Kaufman Co Tax Records

John Riley is shown in the Kaufman Co. Tax records from 1893 to 1906.
The library did not have microfilm before 1893 but he was likely there back to 1885 or so.

Here is the image of the 1900 Kaufman Co Tax page showing John Riley. His name is spelled with one R. but in the other years it is with 2 Rs. Notice George Washington Alphin is nearby. J.R. Alphin, Minerva's second husband, did not move to Kaufman until 1904.

Here is the 1906 and 1907 Tax rolls showing Alphin and Arrick.
Arrick is missing in 1907.
J.R. Alphin is in both of these.
G.W. Alphin is listed above in both.
And in 07 there appears an R.A. Alphin.

The 1906 Roll shows a completion date of Sept 19, 1906.
But I don't know if that tells us WHEN he was alive.
If we knew, then we could narrow the window on his death since Minerva remarries Mar 31, 1907.


Terrell State Hospital

Since there are thousands of graves at the Terrell State Hospital, I decided to write them to see if John Riley was listed. Their response was negative.


1907 Minerva Marries James Raleigh Alphin

Kaufman Co. TX
Mar 31, 1907
Rev. W.W. Adams, Forney, TX

We are pretty certain there are not any children to this marriage.

First Baptist Church of Forney Church Records shows admission of J.R. Alphin and wife (probably Amy Ann Tyler) in July of 1904, and dismission of J.R. Alphin and wife (probably Minerva) May 1912.

This picture is the Forney TX Woodmen of the World around 1910. It is possible that J.R. Alphin and G.W. Alphin are in this picture. It is thought that the 4th from the left is Leonard L. Arrick.

J.R. Alphin's Obit does not mention Minerva, only his first wife Amy Tyler and children.

    July 23, 1924 - Death of J. R. (Grandpa) Alphin

      Grandpa Alphin died last Sunday at the home of his daughter,
    Mrs. Joe Weatherford, near Elm Grove.  He had been in ill health
    for some time and the end was not unexpected.
      J. R. Alphin was born November 6, 1857 and at the time of his
    death was 66 years, 8 months, and 14 days old.  He was married
    March 19, 1876 to Miss Amy Tyler in Randolph County, Arkansas.
    Nine children were born to this union three of whom survive: R.
    A. Alphin of this community, (White Hall), Mrs. J. L. Weatherford
    of Elm Grove, and Mrs. Olive Broadway of Pocahontas, Arkansas.
      Mr. Alphin moved to Texas in 1904.  He joined the Missionary
    Baptist Church at the age of 16.  He was a devoted father, a
    strict Christian and a loyal member of the Farm Labor Union.
    Buried Monday, 11 o'clock, Elm Grove, Rev. Grizzle, Pastor.



Here is Minerva and her new husband James R. Alphin in Dallas Census page
They are mistakenly written and transcribed as Alfin.

Alfin, James R, Head, 51, b in AR
Alfin, Minerva B, Wife, 43, b in TN - Middle initial should be V=Viola
Alfin, Leonard L, Son, 19, b in TX
Alfin, Mary R, Daughter, 17, b in TX - Mary Lee
Alfin, Claude H, Son, 11, b in TX
Alfin, Nannie E, Daughter, 7, b in TX - Ethel Pauline



Here is Minerva Alphin living with Son-in-Law Roscoe and Ethel N. and their son Haney L. in Parker Co, TX - Census Page


Minerva's Events

1867 - Born in Hardin Co, TN
1870 - Census - Harrision family can not be found
1880 - Census - Hardin Co, TN with parents
1900 - Census - Kaufman Co, TX with John Riley and children
1906 - Tax records - John Riley Arrick shown
1910 - Census - John Riley Arrick gone, Minerva in Dallas TX with J.R. Alphin and children
1912, May 24 - First Baptist Church of Forney Record - letter of dismission
Jun 1917 - Leonard L's WW1 Draft Reg says supporting Mother and Sister in Abilene
Sep 1918 - Claude's WW1 Draft Reg says Minerva in Pocahontas AR (Alphin is from there)
I wonder if this was an error and was simply the last known location Claude had of his mother.
1920 - Census - Parker Co, TX Living with Pauline Ashley and her kids
1924 - J.R. Alphin died, no mention of Minerva in his obit.
1926 - Buried in Taylor Co (Abilene), TX


Legend of the Shotgun

This story is speculation.

Above my father's (Leonard William Arrick) fireplace in North Richland Hills, TX is a shotgun made by Western Arms Co. It's an inexpensive, 16? gauge, single barrel shotgun.

The story goes that this shotgun was purchased mail-order or through a department store in Kaufman Co, TX (possibly Forney) and given to the oldest son Leonard L. Arrick on his birthday. Something happened and the gun was only fired once. This gun and it's mysterious history was passed down to his son, Leonard W. Leonard W. always wondered if there was some sort of accident involving this gun. Could there have been a hunting accident that contributed to the early and unspoken demise of John Riley Arrick? John Riley likely died between Aug 1906 and Mar 1907 according to tax records. Sep 2, 1906 was Leonard L's 16th birthday.

Picture #2 of Shotgun
Picture #3 of Shotgun



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