Summers County WV
The Lilly Family Biography


Source: Transcribed from the "History of Summers County", pub. 1906
by James H. Miller

Transcribed for Genealogy Trails by Andrea Stawski Pack

-- Pages 462 through 472 --

In the year 1640, Cecil Calvert, a younger brother of the Second Lord Baltimore, brought about 300 colonists from England, and settled at St. Mary's. From some of the descendants of this colony originated the largest family now in Summers County, viz., the Lilly family.
About the years 1696 to 1702 was born in what is now the State of Maryland a family of three brothers, of whom went to what is now the State of Georgia, and the other two crossed the Alleghenies. One settled on the Kanawha River below where Charleston now stands, and the other, whose name was Robert Lilly, settled in what is now Summers County, on Bluestone River, about four miles from its junction with the New River, on a bottom now owned and occupied by Joseph Lilly ("Curly Joe"), one of his numerous decendants. This was about the years 1740 to 1750.
Robert Lilly married a lady whose maiden name was Moody and to them were born four sons, who together with his wife, came and settled with him. The names of these sons were Thomas, Edmond, Robert and William.
Robert Lilly, one of these sons, died on Guyan River about the year 1828, at the age of 108 years.
Edmond Lilly lived and died at a very advanced age here in this county, the date not known. He was the father of Rev. Joseph Lilly, who was an honored minister of the Primitive Baptist Church. He also had a twin brother named Edmond. James and Jonathan were also twins. John Lilly, who died from the bite of a rattlesnake; Robert, Washington, who lived and died on Mountain Creek; Elijah, who spent his days on the great Flat Top Mountains; and William, known as "Dr. Bill," who lived near Glade Creek, in Summers County.
The family of Joseph Lilly consists of the following: Anderson, deceased: Hugh, who was the father of Mrs. T. B. Barker, of Beech Run; Alexander, known as "Alex the Jockey"; Joseph, known as "Blind Joe"; Jonathan K. ex-deputy sheriff of Mercer County; Isaac, deceased; Henry Lee, deceased; Edmond, Russell and Thompson, deceased; as well as several daughters, among whom are Mrs. John Roles, now living near Forest Hill, and Margaret, the first wife of Robert W. Lilly.
The sons of Jonathan were Samuel S., Remley, Rufus, Ballard P., John E., and Jonathan S. Lilly, known as "Togger," several of whom are living near Ellison P. O., in Summers County.
The sons of Washington, known as "Kinney," are James, John, Daniel and Henry, as well as several daughters.
The sons of Elijah are Wm. H. , known as "Hickory Bill"; Preston, Thomas, James, known as Jerusalem Jim"; Russell, Naaman, Joseph and Lee H..
William ("Dr. Bill") had quite a large family. Their names I am now available to give. These, the family of Edmond, all lived to a ripe old age, and from them many of the Lillys of Summers, Mercer and Raleigh trace their lineage.
From Thomas decended the following: Thomas Lilly, his oldest son, who married Delilah Payne, of Tazewell County, Virginia, and settled on Bluestone River, seven miles from its mouth. He was the father of Levi Lilly, Thomas Lilly (who is the father of the present county superintendent of schools of Summers County), Geo. W. Lilly, Josiah Lilly ('Dick"), Robert Lilly known as "Shooting Bob," and Austin Lilly, the father of ex-county superintendent of Summers County: J. F. Lilly, known as "Tess," and several daughters. Thomas Lilly died in 1884 at the age of 82.
The next, William Lilly, known as "Taliancher Bill," was the father of Lewis Lilly, known as "Bolley Lewis" and William Lilly, known as "Preacher Will." Bolley Lewis is the father of Simeon Lilly and John Lilly, ex-county superintendent of Mercer County and is known as "John Bolley."
The next Robert Lilly, known as "Bearwallow Bob," who also married a Payne, reared a large family and died in 1883, where he first settled, on the Bench of Bluestone, in Summers County. His family consists of the following: William, known as "Billy Bearwallow"; Washington, now of Wyoming County, and James M., known as "Jim Cute" (who is the father of J. J. Lilly, known as "Cud"); Robert, also living in Wyoming County; Pleasant H., now deceased, and several daughters, the oldest of whom, Julia, married Joseph Meador, and Sallie, who married Henley Farley, a member of a very large family of Farleys now living in Pipestem.
William Lilly, the fourth son of Robert, the first settler, was the father of Ameger Lilly, about whom nothing is known. Robert known as "Fighting Bob," was in Louisiana when last heard from. Andrew Lilly, known as "Sock Head Andy"; Tollison Lilly, the father of James W., and Geo. A. Lilly, now living on Little Wolf Creek; George Lilly, deceased, (never married); William S. Lilly, known as "Shoemaker Bill," ex-sheriff of Summers County, father of Green Lilly; Joseph Lilly, known as "Curly Joe," ex-member of the county court, and James Lilly known as "Grinning Jim."
Of the sons of Edmond Lilly one was Robert Lilly, known as "Squire Bob," who married Mary Cadle, and settled near the mouth of Bluestone. To them were born the following sons: David Lilly who died in Kansas not long since; Captain Jonathan Lilly, who died about 1902; R. C. Lilly, known as "Miller Bob," who died near Spanishburg, in Mercer County, about 1904; Dr. J. A. Lilly, now living at Jumping Branch; Thomas Lilly know as "Squire Tom"; Josephus Lilly, deceased, and Samuel D. Lilly, known as "Devil Sam," now living near Dunn's, W.Va., as well as several daughters, among whom are Julia who married M. C. Barker, and Rebecca, who married Levi M. Neely, Sr., who is the father of L. M. Neely, Jr., the present assessor of Summers County. Also from this came Thomas Lilly, the son of Robert (the first settler), were the following other children, viz., Pleasant John , Turner, Joshua and Daniel.
Pleasant Lilly had four sons-Hiram, John, William, known as "Ground Hog Bill," and Christopher. John had one son, whose name is John, and known as "Pence John," living on the Bench of Bluestone. Turner had several sons; not much is known of their family.
Joshua had one son, William David. Daniel had only one son, whose name was Daniel.
It is an interesting fact to note that Robert Lilly, the first Lilly west of the Alleghenies, died in 1810 at the ripe old age of 114 years, and his wife died in 1807, at the age of 111 years.
The first relationship between the Lilly and Meador families was occasioned by the marriage of Josiah Meador, one of the first, if not the first, minister west of the mountains, marrying a daughter of the elder Robert Lilly; and since that time they have married and intermarried, until their histories in many cases blend very closely together.
This Rev. Josiah Meador was the father of Green Meador, who settled, lived and died at the mouth of Little Bluestone River.
John Lilly, the son of Edmond Lilly was the father of the following children: Wilson, Lewis, John, known as "Gentleman John"; William H., known as "One Arm Bill," and one daughter, who married a Cook, and who is the father of Harvey Cook, ex-sheriff of Raleigh County.
William Lilly was the father of the following children, viz., Andrew Lewis, now living near Jumping Branch; Perry, Wilson, John H., known as "Barlow John," and two other brothers, who went West, and died in 1884 and 1886; as well as several daughters.
To Lewis Lilly was born the following children, viz., Joshua, now living near Jumping Branch; Dayton, who married Miss Sarah Ellison, and lives in Mercer County; R. P., deceased; J. A., Edmond and Robert, known as "Kansas Bob," all living in Summers.
John ("Gentleman John") had no children, although married twice.
William H. ("One Arm Bill") had the following children: John P., Jackson, Hugh, Hamilton and George. This entire family is living near Jumping Branch. He also had two daughters, one of whom married W. H. Dunbar, and now lives near Foss, this county.
James Lilly, and his twin brother Jonathan, were sons of Edmond Lilly. James had the following children: John W., known as "Big John"; William, known as "Limber Bill" (the father of James L. and Thomas W. and Mrs. S. L. Deeds, of Madam's Creek); James, known as "Beaver Jim""; Lewis, Harman, Green W. and G. T. Lilly, Known as "Tanner," all of whom live near Cave Ridge, in this county. He also had two daughters, Mrs. A. J. Martin and Mrs. Emily Hogan.
To Edmond Lilly, the twin brother of Rev. Joseph Lilly, was born the following: Allen, known as "One Eyed Allen"; James, known as "Shady Jim," who now lives in Oklahoma, and is the father of C. H. Lilly, near Elk Knob; John R., of Hinton, and P. G. Lilly, known as "Pet," of Raleigh County. He also had three daughter-Mrs. Albert Farley, of Kansas, and Mrs. Prince, of Beckley. The third daughter is now dead. John, Hence, now in Indiana, and perhaps there are some others, but as they are out of the county, we are unable to reach them.
It may be interesting to know that in Summers County there are 285 tax-paying Lillys, to say nothing of the numerous children and ladies who are not on the tax rolls. A conservative estimate would be no less than 1,450 in the county, to say nothing of this numerous family outside the limits of the county and in adjoining counties, all originating from only one family. Hence the impossibility of giving anything like a biographical sketch of all this family. It has been the aim of the writer to give only such part of the history that any one desiring may trace his lineage for several generations, and keep in touch with the family history, and enlarge upon special branches.
As noted on another page, the Rev. Josiah Meador, who married a daughter of the elder Robert Lilly, was probably the first Baptist minister in this part of the county, and to him is probably due the honor of organizing the first church, which is known as the "Old Bluestone Church." It was organized in a grove two miles above the mouth of Little Bluestone, prior to 1800. Later an old log church was erected where Squire John H. Lilly now lives, and at which church the people assembled monthly for divine worship, and from the mouth of good ministers, such as the Rev. Josiah Meador, Elder Matthew Ellison, Rufus Pack and others, heard and partook of the bread of life, and prepared themselves for the future life.
Here many of the Lilly family worshiped, lived, died and are laid to rest in the old Bluestone churchyard, to await the sound of the last trumpet.
In the latter part of the last century at the old church was reorganized, and was moved to Jumping Branch, where the record of the old church may still be found. From this old Bluestone Church has emanated many new churches, among which is the old Rocky Mount Church at Pipestem, which was organized by Elder M. Ellison, soon after the late war.
Recently another church has been organized where the old church met, and a neat new church edifice has been erected, with a thriving membership, composed in part of the decendants of the old Bluestone Church, which calls to mind very forcibly the lines of Knox, in which he says:
For we are the same our fathers have been;
We see the same sights our fathers have seen;
We drink the same stream, we see the same sun,
And run the same race our fathers have run.

One of the oldest citizens of the county is a man with a record. He is a farmer, and has a reputation for being a man of considerable bravery. He has acted as special officer in a number of criminal cases, one of which we recollect was in a case where he held a capias against Jack Bragg, who was accused of some infraction of the law, and who had been evading it for a long time. He was accused of selling liquor without a license. Mr. Lilly took the capias and got after him, and undertook to arrest him. Suspicioning something Bragg took to his heels. Coming to the Big Bluestone River, he jumped in and swam across, although it was in midwinter, the river up and mush ice floating, making his escape. He is now a peaceable citizen of the county, and has been engaged as an assistant deputy marshal for quite a while in the arrest of moonshiners.
Robert W. Lilly, who is known as "Shootin' Bob," shot what was at the time thought to be a deputy marshal, but was George W. Shrewsbury, sometimes known as Lilly. Lilly, however, miraculously recovered. He was shot in the body, in the Jumping Branch country, and is still living. He was a Union soldier during the war, and draws a considerable pension from the United States for his services in that army. Lilly was never tried for the shooting until about fifteen years afterwards, when the witnesses were discovered, and he was tried, and was acquitted. His son Naamon lives near Hinton, in Jumping Branch. His grandfather, T. J. Lilly, is a constable now of Jumping Branch. Lilly, and aforesaid Shrewsbury (Solesberry) shot Josiah Lilly, and was acquitted, as there was no desire to prosecute him.

This lady was born on Big Bluestone, on the 17th of February 1815, and raised at the mouth of Pipestem, then Giles County, Virginia. Her father's name was Matthew Pack, who owned one hundred and twenty-five acres around the mouth of that river. Her grandfather's name was Samuel Pack, who came to that country with a man by the name of Gatliffe, who was from France. Samuel Pack settled on Brush Creek, where he died. Her mother was a Moody, her grandmother Pack being a Farley, who lived to be 108 years old. Mrs. Frances Lilly is now living, and remembers seeing many Indians after there were no more hostilities between them and the whites. They would come to Samuel Pack's, her grandfather's, and say they were on their way to Washington City. There they would get drunk, and Pack would give them liquor to see them dance and shoot their bows and arrows. They would put up dimes to be shot at, and when they hit them they would get the dime. The Indian women didn't get drunk. The Indians claimed to come up New River from near the Ohio, and passed on up Brush Creek once a year. They passed up the river on the opposite side from where Alderson Pack lived, on New River. They wore feathers and other things in their hair. In the early days of her recollection the country was thinly settled, and the settlers would go twelve and fifteen miles to a log-rolling, starting before daylight and taking their guns, killing deer, bear, panthers, wolves, and other wild animals, and return home after supper. The country was then full of all kinds of these and other wild animals. She helped to kill them in her young days. Their clothes were all made of flax and hemp, and they had no mails or postoffices. She tells of a preacher by the name of Lorenzo Dow, who visited this region, and how he ran the hunter outlaws out of the country, who came there hunting and helped themselves to the settlers' property.
Mrs. Lilly is now ninety-one years of age, and resides with her kinsman and son-in-law, Squire John E. C. L. Hatcher, of Jumping Branch. Her mind is as active and bright as ever, and she made us these statements from her own lips. She was the mother of Mrs. Hatcher.


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