Return to First Page ARKANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY, Volume 26(Spring 1967), p. 21
Yell's anxiety was not put to rest until February 25, 1835, when he received his commission in Little Rock. Dated January 20, it specified that his judgeship would begin March 3 and run for four years unless revoked by the President (38). Yell accepted the appointment on February 25 and immediately broke the news to the Little Rock papers. Both the Advocate and the Times expressed approval of Yell's appointment and predicted that he would discharge his responsibilities with satisfaction to all the people (39).
Yell had always been concerned with providing for his family, and soon after coming to the territory in 1834, he purchased an eighty acre tract of land on which to build his home, Waxhaws. The site commanded a beautiful view of the little town of Fayetteville, and it was not long until the four-room frame house was almost completed (40). In addition to the main building, Yell also built two smaller houses. One served as a law office and the other as a guest room. The three buildings were supposedly the only buildings in Fayetteville at the time which were painted white (41). Yell was very fond of his home and, in the years that followed, was always anxious to return to Waxhaws.
After Yell's appointment as judge was made official, he went immediately to Tennessee to gather his family and move them to Arkansas. They arrived in Fayetteville early in the spring of 1835. In late September Nancy became ill; she died October 7, 1835, and was buried in a family plot near Waxhaws (42). Yell was now faced with the responsibility of the care of their four children: Dewitt Clinton, aged seven; Jane, five; Elizabeth, three; and Artemesia, who was little over a year old (43).
(38) Carter, Territorial Papers, XXI, 1014-1015.
(39) Advocate, February 27, 1835; Little Rock (Arkansas) Times, February 28, 1835.
(40) Bryan Walker, "The Home of Archibald Yell, Arkansas' First Congressman and Second Governor," Arkansas Flashback, XI (August, 1961), 67; Charles Hillman Brough, "Historical Homes," Publications of the Arkansas Historical Association, I (Little Rock, 1906), 299.
(41) Brough, "Historic Homes" Publications, I, 299.
(42) Advocate, October 23, 1835; Jacoway, First Ladies, 67; East, "Three Wives," Gazette, March 28, 1945.
(43) The birthdates of the children are given in a pension claim after Yell's death in compiled military service record of Yell, National Archives.