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W. P. A. History of Pontotoc County, Mississippi


The CHESTERVILLE community was settled in 1830, the first families coming from South Carolina. It is now a small settlement in Lee County, but was originally in the Northeastern part of Pontotoc County.

Tom Shelton and Bill and Matt Buggs, from Alabama, blazed the trail from Chesterville settlement around 1838 by clearing small plots of wooded sections and selling to the real settlers who came in from South Carolina and Georgia around 1840.

James Wiley, son of Duncan Wiley and Sarah Martin and maternal great uncle of Mrs. Allie Adams Carruth, of Chesterville, scouting for new territory rode on horseback from Chester District, South Carolina around 1838, found this territory desirable, and rode back with the information. This resulted in the migration of his kinsmen and friends to this spot around 1840.

Duncan Wiley was born in 1780 and died in 1840; his wife, Sarah Martin Wiley, was born in 1791 and died in 1864.

Among the early settlers was William B. Lilly, a captain of the Palmetto Regiment of South Carolina, during the Mexican War, 1846 - 1847, and was awarded a gold medal (now in C. E. Lilly's possession) for distinguished service in the following and other battles: Vera Cruz, Chepultapec, Contreas, Cherabusco, Cerita de Velen.

The Adams family, who came from Georgia in 1848 and settled three miles north of Chesterville were prominent In the early development of that community. The progenitor of this family was John Adams, who was born in North Carolina in 1810. He married Sarah Winter, who was born in London, England in 1813. John Adams and his wife migrated to South Carolina in 1830, to Georgia in 1943, thence to Mississippi where he remained permanently.

The Carruths who came in the fifities settled five miles north, near Sherman, where they have remained as outstanding citizens to this day (1938).

The following families came in 1850 from South Carolina: Henry Martin, Robert Cochran, Madison and Alex Walker, Alex Barr, William Dixon, Suggs, William Ward, John Proctor, John Charles; from Alabama about the same time came the families of James Strain, John Gray, Dr. John Dozier, Judge Wiley T. Holmes, Samuel Rowan (1822 - 1900) and William Taylor Filgo from Florence Alabama; from Georgia, Drew Clark, from Tennessee George Grisham. Samuel Woodburn was a citizen from 1802 to 1860.

The Methodist church and the school were established about the same time as far back as 1886. Ralph Marlin was one of the first teachers. The Baptist church was established much later. All were built on plats donated by R. G. Lilly.

Chesterfield was incorporated in 1876, the charter procured from Governor Stone by R. G. Lilly. It is at present in possession of J. R. Strain, at Tupelo, a descendant of R. G. Lilly. It was named from the native Chester District home of the earlier settlers.(1)

(1) Mrs. Allie Adams Carruth, Belden, Miss.

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