Van Buren Jolly James Lewis Jolley, Sr. and his son James, Jr., were early settlers of Covington County, having come by wagon train from the Old Pendleton District in South Carolina in 1828.

James, Sr. was married to Elizabeth Duckworth, daughter of Benjamin Duckworth. James, Sr.'s date of death and place of burial are not recorded, but it is believed he may have been buried on family property near Williamsburg. Elizabeth was a founding member of Leaf River Baptist Church near Seminary in 1829 and she is buried in the cemetery.

James, Jr. was married to Elizabeth Speed, daughter of William Wages Speed, who was wagon master on their move from South Carolina. He was very active in county affairs, having served as sheriff and county treasurer for a number of years and also as postmaster at Williamsburg for one year. About 1849 James, Jr. moved to Attala County, Mississippi and from there to New Harmony, Indiana in 1853.

Both Jolleys were members of Olive Branch Masonic Lodge at Williamsburg.

The Family Letters

The first letter is from James Jolley, Sr. written in 1861 to his brother-in-law, William Lawrence Speed, back in Covington County.

The second letter is from James, Jr.'s son, Van Buren Jolley, written in 1897 to his sister, Mary, recounting what he remembered about their life in Covington County.

The third letter is a handwritten letter from Van Buren Jolley to his sister, Mary, in the early 1900's.

A very special thanks to Charles Dawkins for sharing these family letters and photos with us.
All Jolley Family letters, documents and photos courtesy of Charles Dawkins. Copyright protected.

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This page was last updated on 02 April 2007.