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Judge Reuben Ashford Finnell
Birth: Oct. 22, 1826
Shenandoah County
Virginia, USA
Death: 1915
Warren County
Virginia, USA

Reuben Ashford Finnell was the grandson of Revolutionary War soldier Reuben Finnell of Culpeper County, VA, and the son of Reuben Ellis Finnell of Warren County, VA.

As a young man, Reuben sailed around the Horn for the Washington territory. In 1853 he received a land grant of 160 acres in what is now Bonney Lake, Washington. When the Indians became agitated over the treaty which confined them to reservations, Reuben joined the Territorial militia in October 1855. His cabin and barn that he built on the creek were burned. The area where he lived was later called Finnell's Prairie. Over the years, the spelling of the creek name evolved into Fennel Creek. In 1864, the land was purchased by William Barton Kelley and became known as Kelley Farm.

By July 1856 Reuben had returned to his home state of Virginia, where he married Annie Stinson of Warren County, VA, later that same year.

In September 1863, Reuben enlisted in the Confederate army. In the spring of 1864, his unit (White's 41st VA Battalion) merged with the newly-formed 23rd VA Cavalry Regiment. As part of Imboden's brigade, the 23rd fought in the Shenandoah Valley at the battles of New Market (May 1864), Fisher's Hill (Sep 1864), and Cedar Creek (Oct 1864). At Fisher's Hill, Sheridan's army launched a surprise attack on Early's unanchored left flank. The 23rd Virginia troopers -- part of a command known as the Buttermilk Rangers -- were caught up in the resulting retreat, victims of Early's unwise decision to use his cavalry as dismounted infantry.

Paroled in Winchester, VA, in May 1865, Sergeant Finnell was listed as being 39 years old, 6 feet tall, with a dark complexion, dark hair, and hazel eyes.

After the Civil War, Reuben became a Warren County judge. In the 1870s and 1880s, he published a political newspaper, "The Readjuster," supporting the progressive Readjuster movement in Virginia, which, among other things, sought to increase public education for both white and black citizens.

Reuben was also very active in the Methodist church in Front Royal. He wrote on religious matters, including a monograph on the Book of Revelations. In an 1892 letter to a nephew, Finnell described the happiness of his earthly home "where my children and friends are always welcome" but said he looked forward to "a happiness that will be more lasting than time" [Source: Arthur Finnell, "Loose Branches & Roots"].

Reuben and his wife lived in Bentonville, south of Front Royal, where his wife's family, the Stinsons, owned land. They had ten children together. After Annie died in 1887, Reuben married 48-year old Phebe S. Holden, the daughter of Joseph and Nancy Holden of Herndon, Fairfax County, VA.

Reuben Finnell died in 1915 at the age of 89. His daughter, Mrs. Charles (Mary) Pritchard, the most senior member of the local UDC chapter, was instrumental in having a plaque dedicated to her father in the Confederate museum in downtown Front Royal.

Reuben Ashford Finnell is buried a few paces away from the Mosby monument in Prospect Hill Cemetery.

After Reuben's death, Phebe Holden Finnell lived with her brother Thomas Holden and his family at "Elsinore" (7301 Ordway Court, Centreville, VA) until her death in 1925.

Family links: 
  Reuben Ellis Finnell (1790 - 1843)
  Vienna Russell Finnell (1798 - 1868)
  Annie Stinson Finnell (1836 - 1887)
  Phebe Holden Finnell (1841 - 1925)
  Jos. H. Finnell (1860 - 1885)*
  Mary Vienna Finnell Pritchard (1862 - 1955)*
  Annie Elizabeth Finnell (1865 - 1935)*
  John Stinson Finnell (1871 - 1958)*
  Zora Berta Finnell (1876 - 1953)*
  Warren Finnell (1819 - 1831)*
  Reuben Ashford Finnell (1826 - 1915)
*Calculated relationship
Prospect Hill Cemetery
Front Royal
Warren County
Virginia, USA
Maintained by: DVF
Originally Created by: Marie & Dale V.
Record added: Oct 15, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 22210698
Judge Reuben Ashford Finnell
Added by: DVF
Judge Reuben Ashford Finnell
Added by: DVF
Judge Reuben Ashford Finnell
Added by: Marie & Dale V.
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- Heather from VA
 Added: Jun. 27, 2009
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