Rev 11: 10/28/2009


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The Dillards attended Cassville Baptist Church, one of three churches in Cassville spared when Sherman torched the town Nov 5, 1864. Bricks were made in Cassville.


Marjor Lemuel Dillard married four times and fathered 13 or 14 children. Most of the following was recorded in his family Bible:

1. Jane Bowland, m. Jan 3, 1821, d. Sep 27, 1823
  • Mary Frances, b. Dec 23, 1822, m. Jacob Epting, moved to MS
2. Mary "Polly" Bonds, b. Aug 14, 1807, m. Dec 23, 1824, d. Jun 11, 1843, buried Hurricane Baptist Church Cemetery, Laurens County SC
  • Nancy Elizabeth, b Nov 17, 1826, d. Nov 25, 1836
  • Charlotte Ann, b. Jul 28, 1828
  • Thomas Bonds, b. Sep 13, 1829
  • Rebecca King, b. Jan 8, 1832
  • Serene Jane, b. Jan 3, 1834, m. William L. Rowland, d. Jun 2, 1898, buried Woffords Crossroads Baptist Church Cemetery, Bartow County GA
  • Kezia Pennington Simes, b. Aug 7, 1835, m. William Perry Fain Nov 23, 1852
  • John Woodruff b. Dec 12, 1837, m. Eliza C. Blalock in 1867
  • James Mannon(sp?) b. Aug 17, 1840, m. Margaret Loughridge in 1866, first sheriff of Lee County, MS, d. ?, buried at Birmingham Ridge Cemetery near Tupelo, MS
  • Lemuel Smith, b. Jun 10, 1843, enlisted May 1, 1862 for three years at Cass Station, GA as a private in the 1st GA Cavalry, Co. G, later Co. I, "Capt. Leak's Co., Col. Morrison's Regiment," Confederate States Army
3. Martha Lofton Dalrymple Dillard, b. Nov 12, 1803, m. Oct 6, 1844, d. Feb 3, 1869
  • Laura Lavinia, b. Dec 10, 1845, d. Jun 6, 1853, buried Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Bartow County GA
  • William Heston, b. Feb 15, 1848
  • Sarah, b. 1849
4. Martha E. Collins, b. about 1855, m. Nov 28, 1877, d.?
  • John Thomas, b. Dec 31, 1878, m. Minnie Collins Dec 19, 1896, d. Jun 6, 1942, buried in Murray County GA

Lem's Vitals & Pedigree

-- b. Dec 25, 1801 Laurens District, SC, son of John Dillard (b. abt 1780 VA, d. 1823 Laurens Co. SC) and Elizabeth Pearson (b. Feb 6, 1784, Union County SC, d. Feb 14, 1841, buried Cassville Cemetery, Cass County (now Bartow) GA).

Grave site of Lemuel's mother, Elizabeth, located at the crest of the hill looking west in Old Cassville Cemetery, Bartow County GA
memory of
Mrs Elizabeth Dillard
who departed this
life March the 7th AD
1841 aged 57 years
and 21 days.
Sleep on my loving mother sleep.
___ ______ shall they memory keep.
But deep

6. Major Lemuel Dillard, son of John Dillard and Elizabeth Pearson;
5. John Dillard, son of Samuel Dillard and Ann Hutchings;
4. Samuel Dillard, son of George Dillard and Pricilla Major;
3. George Dillard, son of Edward Dillard and ?
2. Edward Dillard, son of ...
1. Immigrant George Dillard.

Famous Family Connections

The family has historically excelled in merchandising. Descendants of Lemuel's brother, Simeon, established Dillard's department store. Descendants of Lemuel's sister, Serena, established Magic Market Convenience Stores, which thrived in the southeast during the 70s and 80s.

Eulogy / Obituary

The Free Press, Cartersville, GA, Thursday Morning, Dec 27, 1883

Major Lemuel Dillard was born in Laurens District, S. C., Dec 25th, 1801, and died at his residence in Bartow county, Georgia, to which state he removed in November, 1849, December 12th, A. D., 1883. He was 48 years old when he became a citizen of this state, and had he lived until the 25th of December, 1883, he would have been eighty two years old.

About forty-two years ago he became a member of the Baptist church, in whose communion he lived until the day of his death. Thus has passed away from our midst a gentleman widely known and highly appreciated and loved by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Always kind and gentle in his manners, warmly attached to his many friends, and beloved by his numerous descendants. He has left behind him a void not easily repaired.

The calm and quiet life of the country was always his, and although always taking a decided and not uninfluential interest in public affairs, yet the peaceful and independent occupation of a vigorous and successful farmer engaged his attention. At his home in the country, among its fields and fruits and flowers, in the bosom of his family, surrounded by kind, appreciating neighbors he spent his quiet and useful days until God called him from the trials of life below to the exalted glories of the life to come. A life without reproach, a death of conquering faith was his.

His death, though regretted, was not unexpected by his friends and family, and was looked for by himself with Christian patience and hopeful faith for many months before his decease. Much afflicted in person with weakening faculties, both of body and mind, he calmly awaited the summons which should call him away, and at last, when failing nature had warned him of his end, with confident, Christian faith triumphantly, he met the last enemy, and went down the valley without fear, to the beautiful city beyond.

Leaving the communion of the church militant on earth he has doubtless joined the church triumphant in heaven. We loved the man, and we love his memory. May the companionship and friendship we had with him and for him on earth be renewed in the future which awaits us all_

"Beyond this vale of tears,
There is life above;
Unmeasured by the flight of years
And all that life is love."

Lemuel Dillard died Dec 12, 1883 and is buried in Old Cassville Cemetery, Bartow County GA. The inscription on his headstone reads a devoted husband and father, a good citizen and a christian gentleman. Contributed by Louise Powell Dobbs
Sixth Generation

James Major Dillard was born about 1797 almost certainly in Laurens County SC, the son of John Dillard and Ruth Wilson. About 1835, James married a young widowed mother, Martha Lofton Dalrymple.

was born Nov 12, 1803, the daughter of William Lofton and Margaret Ryan. Her first husband, Providence Dalrymple, had died leaving her with a young daughter, Alice. The Dalrymples were "very prominent in that section of Laurens County" and early maps show that they were neighbors of the Loftons.

Martha was soon widowed again in 1838 when James died, leaving her and Alice and their daughter, Margaret, who was not yet two years old.

According to official records, James left 100 acres along Indian Creek and 21 acres known as Liberty Hill located near the border of Laurens and Newberry Counties in South Carolina. Martha’s father, William Lofton, administered his son-in-law’s will, which was filed Aug 12, 1838 in Newberry County, SC.

From Newberry County, SC Equity Records 1818-1844 Will Book M&N with Annual Returns Will Book 1 Misc Annual Returns, p173: "Martha Dillard vs Margaret Dillard and William Lofton Adm of Jas Dillard dec. Bill for partition. Filed 12 Aug 1838 James M Dillard died 1838 possessed of 100 acres on Indian Creek and 21 acres called 'Liberty Hill.' He left his widow Martha (daughter of William Lofton) and one daughter Margaret."

Just over 20 years before James is thought to have been born, Liberty Hill had been the site of a Patriot encampment during a crusade to put down resistance by die-hard British loyalists. In what historians now call the Snow Campaign, Col. Richard Richardson led 3,000 Patriot militia into the back country of north central South Carolina to recover a shipment of stolen gunpowder and discourage future insurrections.

It was mid-December of 1775 and Richardson’s troops were poorly clothed for winter weather and ill provisioned. Col. Richardson halted his troops and made camp at Liberty Hill located “about four or five miles from the Enoree River.” He rounded up a group of loyalists considered “most active against the authority of the Provincial Congress” and ordered the prisoners taken to Charleston, SC.

Snow fell for 30 hours nonstop, covering Liberty Hill and the surrounding countryside with nearly two feet by Christmas day. With the prisoners under control and the gunpowder recovered, Richardson’s troops, though suffering from exposure and frostbite, began marching back south. Two generations later, our grandfather would own this piece of back-country real estate where an impressive show of Patriot military force succeeded in keeping the king’s men in check.

Little else is known of James except that Dillard researchers say he was a "very successful merchant in Newberry, SC," and his children (who were our grandmother, Margaret, and Alice Dalrymple, Martha's daughter from a previous marriage) were paid his share of his mother, Ruth Wilson's, estate.

At the time of James’ death, records show that several other Dillards lived in Newberry, SC including Lemuel Dillard and his wife, Mary Bonds Dillard. Lemuel’s colorful life, and the important role he played in our Dillard history, is well documented. Lemuel would marry James' widow, Martha, a little over a year after his second wife dies, and become the only father our grandmother, Margaret, ever knew.

By the time Lemuel and Martha married, he already had 10 children from two previous marriages. Martha would give him two or three more children and would not be his last wife.
Lemuel fathered children until he was almost 80 years old. When his last child was born his eldest had just turned 56

It's almost a certainty that our grandfather, James, and Lemuel knew each other and probably knew they were related, but very likely didn't know exactly how; in fact, they probably shared the same great, great grandfather, Edward Dillard.

James, Lemuel, and their families may have been quite close. Although Dillards in America have named a lot of children "James," it's still worthy of note that in 1840, two years following the death of our grandfather, Lemuel and his wife, Mary, name their new baby James. Three years later, Mary died the day after giving birth to Lemuel Smith Dillard.

Lemuel and Martha married Oct 6, 1844, and in late 1849 packed up all those children and left Newberry, SC for Cass (later Bartow) County GA. Almost certainly accompanying the family were the 29 slaves listed as belonging to Lemuel in the 1850 Cass County Slave Census. Though 22 of the slaves were female and 17 were young children, just comparing total numbers alone, Lemuel was one of the wealthiest men in a county of more than 10,000 whites. The total value of his property was recorded as $3,000 or $85,325 in 2008 U.S. dollars.

Rediscovered in late 2005, Lemuel Dillard's family bible recorded his third marriage to our grandmother, Martha Lofton Dalrymple Dillard. Contributed by Louise Powell Dobbs

The family settled in the Grassdale Community on property known as the Gibbons place about four miles northeast of Cassville. Surviving records show Lemuel bought property in Cass County as early as 1838, and his mother, Elizabeth, and sister, Serena, were living there as early as 1840.

In the 1850 census, Lemuel is a 48-year-old farmer, Martha is listed as 47, and Margaret is 14 and attending school. Other children in the household include Rebecca 18, Serena 16, John 12, James 10, Lemuel 7, Laura 4, and Sarah, one year. A "Margaret Dalrimple", age 19, is also listed. This is probably Alice Dalrymple, Martha's eldest daughter from her first marriage.

According to Lemuel's family Bible, the listing of Sarah in the 1850 census poses a problem. She's not listed among the otherwise duly recorded births in the family Bible, but a son, William Heston, born Feb 15, 1848 is. However, he's not listed in the 1850 census. In the 1860 census, only Lemuel S., age 16, is listed as still at home. No further record of either Sarah or William has surfaced.

Tragically, Laura died Jun 6, 1853 at age nine and is buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery near the family farm. Our grandmother, Martha, who died Feb 3, 1869, is also buried there.

The History of Bartow Formerly Cass County GA, published in 1939, shows Lemuel as "Maj. Lemuel Dillard," implying that he held the military rank. The book also lists Lemuel as Margaret's father. Both assertions are incorrect. His name was actually Major Lemuel Dillard. Early Laurens County, SC Dillard and Major families were neighbors, their children married, and the names intertwine for several generations. One Major descendant reports the Dillard name appears in his family and believes the two families emigrated together from Virginia. Major
Lemuel Dillard's great-grandmother was Pricilla Major and our grandfather was named James Major Dillard. Throw in the James Dillard of Laurens, SC (researchers have nicknamed him "Laurens James"), who achieved the military rank of major during the Revolutionary War, and things tend to get confusing. And don't forget the Lofton's, Martha's family. A Major family researcher illustrates just how close they all may have been when he reported that the "...old Major homestead was on Indian Creek, just north of Lofton's branch...on the county line between today's Laurens and Newberry counties."

Children of Martha Lofton and Providence Dalrymple:
1. Alice b. 1831

Children of James Major Dillard
and Martha Lofton Dalrymple:

1. Margaret b. Sep 30, 1836, m. Samuel LaFayette Pittard Nov 10, 1858, d. Dec 14, 1922, buried Cassville Cemetery, Bartow County GA.

Children of Martha Lofton Dalrymple Dillard
and Major Lemuel Dillard:

1. Laura b. Dec 10, 1846, d. Jun 6, 1853, buried Mt. Zion Church Cemetery, Bartow (formerly Cass) County, GA.

2. William Heston b. Feb 15, 1848

3. Sarah b. 1849