News from The Courant American

The Courant American
Cartersville, Georgia
November 19, 1891, page 1
Transcribed by:  

Millions Involved.
Cartersville People Heirs In an English Fortune.
The Great Edwards Estate.
Strange Chapter of Family History—The Edwards Settlers in South Carolina and Other States and Their Descendants.

The News, of Greenville, S. C., in a recent issue has an article, given below, in which is given a direct and authorized statement of the case of the Edwards estate.

Mrs. Lula Lyon, the estimable wife of Capt. T. J. Lyon, of this city, her children and the children of the late Mr. Henry Tumlin, are the Georgia heirs of the estate, and this fact will render the article interesting to the readers of this paper. Mrs. Lyon is a great great grand daughter of Mrs. Frankie Wickliffe and a niece of John and Henry Stokes, mentioned in connection with the estate. The article is as follows:

Inasmuch as the Edwards estate has found its way into print in this city, I venture to give what I conceive to be the present status. First, however, I will tell you how and what South Carolina people are interested. From considerable correspondence on the subject with parties concerned in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas, besides evidences collected from the libraries of late John W. Stokes, Esq., and his father’s, I am able to give the following facts:

Some time prior to 1769 three Edwards brothers and sister came from England to this country. Two of the brothers, Thomas and William, and a sister Miss Frankie, first settled in Virginia, near now where Culpepper court house is situated. Robert settled in New York. About the year 1791 Thomas and his sister came to South Carolina, this county. William settled in North Carolina a few years later. It seems that Robert differed with his brothers regarding political matters during English and American troubles and became much offended with them. Leased his real estate in New York for ninety-nine years and returned to his native country and there died some years after. The condition of the lease was that at the expiration of the ninety-nine years the property was to revert to the estate with all the improvements thereon. Robert was never married. The property leased was twenty-five (25) acres, on which portions of Broadway and Wall streets are located, and my correspondents tell me is estimated to be worth three hundred millions or more. Thomas settled on South Tiger river and there raised a large family, and some of his descendants now reside in the same locality, however most of them went west many years before our civil war. Miss Frankey married a Wickliffe and settled in this city on the lot where the United States house is now located. She (Mrs. Wickliffe) had two children only, a son and a daughter. The son William was post master here for years, the daughter Miss Lucy married John J. Stokes, father of John W. Stokes, Esq., lately deceased, T. Henry Stokes who is yet living and resides in this county, Mrs. Dr. Manning Austin, deceased, and Mrs. Frankey Benson deceased, also deceased. There were other children by this marriage, but only the above reside in this State. The others went West. The lease expired in 1888 and some of the kindred soon thereafter commenced an investigation and found sixty one volumes of the records of the New York city covering the period of the lease and many sub-leases, transfers, &c., had been purloined—detectives were put to work, attorneys employed and rewards offered for evidence of the missing records, and recent developments show that Robert Edwards, the lessor, had his lease recorded in England also, which accounts for the present agitation. Mrs. Wesley Gilreath, of this city is a great grand daughter of the William who settled in North Carolina, Judge Isaac Wickliffe, of Walhalla, is a grand son of Mrs. Frankey Wickliffe. Much more could be written on the subject, but as the kindred in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia will soon go into an organization it is not now deemed important. The western branches have all united to form a society at Pine Bluff Ark. There has also been a society organized at Washington, D. C., and now actively at work. The South Carolina chain is so thoroughly established that all concerned admit it, hence the inactivity here.---J. M. Sullivan


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