Friday, May 31, 2013

Judge William Dubberly-The Squire of Glennville

Judge William Dubberly-The Squire of Glennville

By Dylan Edward Mulligan

One of the most well-known figures in the history of Glennville is William "Squire" Dubberly, my great-great-great grandfather. Born in Tattnall County November 22, 1827, he was the son of Joseph and Holland Anderson Dubberly. Joseph (1788 - 1855), a veteran of the War of 1812, was one of the original settlers of Philadelphia (now Glennville) in the 1820s. Joseph's father was Tattnall County pioneer and Revolutionary War veteran John Dubberly, who settled in Tattnall County after its creation in 1801.

The Dubberlys settled at the village of Philadelphia, which sprang up around the intersection of two important roads-the Reidsville - Johnston Station (Ludowici) Road and the Hencart Road, which wound its way from present-day Richmond Hill to present-day Hawkinsville, and was an important trade route into the Creek nation.

The earliest settlers were Reverend Seth Knight (1795 - 1853) and Elijah Padgett, who received land grants in the 1820s. They were immediately followed by Joseph Dubberly, John J. Baxter, Asa Barnard, Hardy DeLoach, Joshua Groover, Dempsey Griffin, and Gideon Poppell. Seth Knight was one of the most prominent citizens of the area, serving as Treasurer of Tattnall County and a justice of the inferior court. In 1845, he built a plantation house (now known as the Knight - Dubberly House) facing the intersection at Philadelphia. His large plantation comprised of some 700 acres, the chief crops being Sea Island cotton and rice.

Philadelphia continued to see growth throughout the 1800s. A milestone in the town's history was 1857, which saw the establishment of Philadelphia Baptist Church (now First Baptist Church) whose first pastor was Reverend Hopkin Padgett, who married William Dubberly's sister, Mary Ann. It was during this era of prosperity that William was raised. The happiness was not to last, however, as the clouds of war loomed on the horizon.

At the Secession Convention at Milledgeville in 1861, Tattnall County's delegates Benjamin Brewton and Henry Solomon Strickland voted against secession; however, the subsequent War for Southern Independence brought much hardship to Philadelphia as young men marched off to battle. As the war raged on, the Confederate lines gradually became exhausted, until there was nothing standing between General William Sherman's army and Savannah. The citizens of Philadelphia could do nothing but wait for the true horror of war to come home. They would not have to wait long.

On December 14, 1864, a band of Sherman's army under Colonel Smith Atkins forced their way across the Canoochee River at Taylor's Creek and invaded Liberty and Tattnall Counties. The Yankee invaders forded Beards Creek and marched into defenseless Philadelphia, where they camped in the front yard of the Knight - Dubberly House. On or about December 15, the troops awoke and awaited orders from Colonel Atkins. As they had already done much damage in other parts of the county, Philadelphia seemed fit for the torch. Before ordering the destruction of the plantation and the surrounding village, Colonel Atkins entered the deserted house, where he discovered a Masonic emblem displayed on the mantel. He had received orders from General Sherman not to lay a hand on any property belonging to Masons, as Sherman himself belonged to the brotherhood. Atkins begrudgingly ordered his troops to leave the village, claiming that there wasn't much worth burning there anyway. Despite his orders, some renegade troops had already ransacked part of the property, doing no significant damage. And thus, the Knight - Dubberly House was the savior of the village.

On December 15, 1868, on the fourth anniversary of the sparing of Philadelphia, the old Knight house came under new ownership-that of William Dubberly. With most of the founding fathers of Philadelphia dead, the burden of leadership passed to William, who had by this time been elected justice of the peace. A constable was selected, and law and order came to town. Judge Dubberly used his home as a courthouse and held court there regularly until his death. Because he was the central authority in the town, Dubberly earned the nickname "Squire," which denoted a lower-ranking nobleman or, in his case, a justice of the peace.
Knight-Duberly House c. 1905

With order restored after the war, Philadelphia again began experiencing growth-growth like it had not yet seen. Newer, more substantial buildings began to replace the older ones, and more settlers arrived and established farms and businesses. By 1889, there was a need for a closer post office than the one located several miles away at Matlock Plantation, so, with the help of local schoolteacher Glenn Thompson, a post office was established at Philadelphia. The name "Glennville" was selected in honor of Thompson's hard work in securing the post office. By 1894, the population and economy of Glennville made it impossible to refer to it as a village anymore. On October 6, 1894, Glennville was incorporated as a town, after a petition was signed by sixteen local citizens, including Squire Dubberly's son, Edward. The aging Squire had lived to see his village achieve the rank of town. He passed away peacefully at his home March 29, 1895. The Knight - Dubberly House, now the oldest structure in Glennville, still stands solemnly at Hilltop as a sort of memorial to its former occupants, the founding fathers of Glennville.

William Dubberly first married Mary Louise "Lanie" Kicklighter (November 1, 1828 - February 1, 1868), the daughter of Tattnall County pioneers Jesse and Luvisa Thomas Kicklighter. Jesse Kicklighter was the patriarch of one of Tattnall County's largest families, so it was only natural that his children should marry into other prominent families in the area. William and Lanie had ten children together: Edward Miles, Jesse Thomas, John Daniel, Henry Joseph, Nancy Luviney (Kennedy), our ancestor Isabelle Sophronia (Smiley), Manning Jasper, Charles Beauregard, James Jackson, and Melissa Dubberly (Easterling).

After Lanie's death, William married Mary Ellen Smiley Curry (November 10, 1832 - February 20, 1902), the daughter of Archibald and Sarah Dreggors Smiley of Liberty County. William and Mary had six children together: Sarah Jeanette (Godwin), William Archibald, Mary Temperance, Horace Columbus "Uncle Gundy," Russell Clayton, and Leila Augusta Dubberly.

                                                                                     William and Mary (Smiley) Dubberly

                                                                               Knight-Dubberly Hous 2011, photo by Dylan E Mulligan

Sources: Philadelphia to Glennville: A Backward Glance by D. Mark Baxter, Carroll L. Cowart, Joseph T. Grice, and Alec F. Thompson; Sketches of By-Gone Days by Joseph T. Grice; information from the Glennville-Tattnall Museum; local historical tradition and legends; written and oral family histories.

Previously published in The Heritage of Tattnall Co., GA - 2011 used with permission of the author

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Teresa McVeigh 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Letter written by Ira Wilson Pinholster, Sr. to Lu Amanda Pinholster 21 Feb. 1922

In 1922 Ira Wilson Pinholster, Sr. wrote his niece Lu Amanda Pinholster a letter which is the only documentation found so far that John Pinholster (Spinholster, Shinholster, Spinnosa, Espineta, Espinosa) was originally from Saint Augustine, Florida, and possibly from Minorca. LuAmanda Pinholster wrote a short family history titled "Juan Espinosa Family," in which she stated that Juan (John) came from Minorca with (Alexander) Turnbull to work in the Indigo plantations. This has been used to document many family trees. One problem is that Turnbull's original fleet of immigrants arrived in Florida in 1768 to settle his colony of New Smyrna, south of St. Augustine. John Pinholster was probably not born yet (b.abt. 1773-1775). He was probably the son of immigrants, possibly Joseph Espineta and Maria Triay from Minorca, although this has not been proven. The immigrants were not given land grants and John Pinholster probably died in Liberty County, Georgia, shortly after he received a land grant while living there (between 1824 and 1827).

Brooker Florida, February 21, 1922, [To] Miss Luamanda Pinholster, Winchester, Virginia. To My Dear Niece:
I will try and reply to your request. First Alice and the two small girls are with me, the other two are married and gone one in Ky, the other in Fla.

All the information I can give you in regards to my Grandfather is, that St. Augustine was settled by a man named Turnbull and a colony of men and in that colony my Grandfather was one of them. He laid a Spanish Grant on 120 acres land there. His Home we call it. His name was John E. Spinnosa. This name is on record in St. Augustine. This town was settled in 1565 this you know.

The next time I knew of him he went to South Carolina. There he died and was buried there.

If you want any further information you write the clerk of court at St. Augustine and you may get more information.

All are well as far as I know. I am conplaining all the time from headache. Hope you keep well.

Your uncle as ever,
I. W. Pinholster, Sr.

John Spinholster Land Grant 1824 Georgia

John Spinholster was given a land grant of 250 acres by the Governor of Georgia 5 May 1824 in what was then Early County, Georgia (at that time all of Southwest, GA--see note below). At the time of the grant, it says that he was living in Liberty County, Georgia.

John Pinholster's name is variously spelled Pinholster, Shinholster, Spinholster. It is said to be an Anglicized version of his possibly Minorcan name, which may have been Espineta (Minorcan) or Espinosa (Spanish version).

179 State of Georgia

By His Excellency George M. Troup Governor and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of this State, and of the Militia thereof.

To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting:

Know Ye, That in Pursuance of the several acts of the General Assembly of this State, passed the 15th day of December 1818, and the 16th day of December 1819, for making distribution of the land lately acquired of the Creek and Cherokee Nation of Indians, and forming the counties of Early, Irwin, Applin, Walton, Gwinette, Hall, Habersham, and Rabun, in this State, I have Given and Granted,and by these presents in the name and behalf of this State, do give and grant unto

John Spinholster of Liberty County his heirs and assigns forever, all that tract or lot of land containing Two hundred and fifty acres, situate, lying and being in the Eighteenth District Early county in the said State, which said tract or lot of land is known and distinguished in the plan of said district by the Number Two Hundred and Thirty Two having such shape, form and marks as appear by a plat of the same hereunto annexed; to Have and To Hold the said tract or lot of land, together with all and singular the rights, members and appurtenances thereof, whatsoever, unto the said

John Spinholster his heirs and assigns, to his and Theirs own proper use, benefit and behoof forever in fee simple, Given, under my hand and the Great Seal of the said State, this Fifth day of May in the year eighteen hundred and Twenty four and of the Independence of the United States of America the Forty Eighth

Signed by his Excellency the Governor the

5th day of May 1824 G.M.Troup

E.H. Pierce S.E.D.

Registered 5th day of May 1824
Originally Early County encompassed all of southwest Georgia, about 3,770 square miles. Ten counties (Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Decatur, Dougherty, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, and Thomas) were created in whole or in part from the original boundaries of Early County, reducing its size to its current 511.2 square miles. Today, Early County's boundaries are the Chattahoochee River and Alabama to the west, Clay and Calhoun counties to the north, Baker County to the east, and Miller and Seminole counties to the south.

James McVeigh property sale 1867

Georgia Newspaper Clippings: Tattnall County Extracts (1812-1891), by Tad Evans, self published, May 1998, Savannah, GA, p. 181

Wednesday, Dec. 11, 1867

Georgia, Tattnall County: John O. Wilkes, Sheriff, files to sell property of James McVeigh to satisfy a fi fa in favor of A. H. Smith

Definition: fi·e·ri fa·ci·as [fahy-uh-rahy fey-shee-as] noun, law. a writ commanding a sheriff to levy and sell as much of a debtor's property as is necessary to satisfy a creditor's claim against the debtor. Abbreviation: FI. FA., fi. fa.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

James Pinholster Kite name change before 1828

James Kite (b. c. 1805 SC) was born James Pinholster (or Spinholster), son of John Pinholster (or Spinholster, possibly name changed from Juan Espinosa or Espineta) and Delilah Kite. The family story about James Pinholster Kite's name change is that about 1850 he got into trouble when he killed a man who was stealing a horse. His kin in Florida (he had Uncles there--William and Bob Green) sent him word to come to them. He moved to Florida and changed his last name to Kite, his mother's maiden name. The move would have been after his marriage to Caroline Padgett, 31 Jan 1850 in Tatnall County, Georgia (as James Kite) and before the 29 October 1850 Columbia County, Florida Census (listed as James Kite). The name change would have happened before his marriage to Caroline Boils (as James Kite, License 29 Mar 1828).

Teresa McVeigh 18 May 2013
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