Hij is getrouwd met (1) Mary Jane Kittrell in het jaar 1846 te Wayne County, Missouri, hij was toen 22 jaar oud.
CONFEDERATE MISSOURI TROOPS
12th Regiment, Missouri Infantry
12th Infantry Regiment [also called 3rd and White's 9th Regiment] was organized during the winter of 1863-1864. It was attached to Parson's, S.P. Burns', and C.S. Mitchell's Brigade, Trans-Mississippi Department, and was active in Louisiana and Arkansas. The unit lost 4 killed and 10 wounded at Pleasant Hill <http://www2.cr.nps.gov/abpp/battles/la019.htm> and had 1 killed and 2 wounded at Jenkins' Ferry <http://www2.cr.nps.gov/abpp/battles/ar016.htm>. It was included in the surrender on June 2, 1865. The field officers were Colonel Willis M. Ponder, Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Holmes, and Major R.C. Berryman.
GOODSPEED'S BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL MEMOIRS
OF NORTHEASTERN ARKANSAS
M through R
Col. W. M. Ponder, farmer and proprietor of saw-mill, was born in Hickman County, Tenn., October 12, 1823. His father was Amos Ponder, of Georgia, one of the early settlers of Tennessee, moving to that State in the year 1800, and subsequently to Southeast Missouri, where he died, in 1868, in his seventy-fourth year. Col. Ponder's mother was Miss Nancy Dudley, of Tennessee, in which State she met and was married to his father. They were the parents of nine children, four of whom are still living. Mrs. Ponder died in the year 1879, aged about seventy-two years. The Colonel was reared on a farm in Tennessee, and received a somewhat limited education in his boyhood days, on account of the scarcity of schools in that section of the State. He applied himself to farm work until he reached his twenty-fourth year, when his father then moved to Missouri. Here he commenced farming and merchandising, and also dealing in produce and stock, shipping the latter to the New Orleans market in flatboats. He continued in this business some four or five years, and was then elected clerk of the circuit, county and probate courts, of Ripley County, Mo., which office he filled creditably for six years. He was formerly assessor for one or two terms in that county. After his term was finished in the court, he began farming and milling on quite an extensive scale, and was rapidly approaching the highest pinnacle of success in his business, when the dreadful news of war came to his ears. He left his interests and enlisted in the Ninth Regiment, Missouri State Guards, under Col. Lowe, of Gen, Jeff Thompson's brigade. His first battle was at Fredericktown, Mo., where he lost several relatives and friends in the fight. Subsequently he entered the Confederate army, where his bravery and knowledge of the tactics of war pushed him rapidly to the front, being promoted from sergeant through the different grades to colonel. He held that rank and commanded the Seventh Missouri Infantry in the Confederate army and served until the surrender at Shreveport, La., about the 25th of June, 1865. After peace had been declared he came to Arkansas and bought 200 acres of land, a couple of miles from the present town of Walnut Ridge. He then went to work with a vim and energy that were truly heroic, considering the fact that he was bare-footed at the time, and did not even have so much as a bed or a chair for his habitation. Two years later his perseverance began to tell, and success was slowly but surely coming over the horizon of his adversity. He commenced merchandising and farming, and in connection with these operated saw-mills and a cotton-gin, and in 1873 he came to Walnut Ridge, and bought some of the land on which the present town site is situated. He also laid off the town of Doniphan, Mo., and was the first man to build a cabin, and sold the first yard of calico in that place. He remained in Walnut Ridge for ten years, and also laid off the town site of that place on his arrival in 1873. He built the first residence in [p.813] Walnut Ridge, and was instrumental in securing the location for the Eastern district court-house, and also largely assisted in the erection of the Presbyterian and Methodist Episcopal Churches. He is a member of the Masonic order and is a Royal Arch Mason, and also the ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church. The Colonel was first married, in 1846, to Miss Mary Kittrell, of Southeast Missouri, and has had two children, one surviving, Nancy S., widow of Thomas Minton, of Walnut Ridge. Mrs. Ponder died in April, 1856, and he afterward married, in April, 1857, Miss Susan Hudspeth, of Missouri. Two children were born to them, both of them dying since. His wife died in January, 1862, and he was again married, this time to Miss Mary Montgomery, of Virginia. Six children were the result of this marriage, of whom five are living: Andrew, Harry Lee, George W., Edgar F. and Susan. Col. Ponder increased his farm of 200 acres to 2,600, and is also president of the Walnut Ridge & Hoxie Street Car Company. He is one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of Lawrence County; is a Democrat in politics, and in 1882-83 represented his county in the State legislature, and was county judge in 1873-74.