Boyds Were In Hamilton County At An Early Date; Several Fought With The Confederacy

Friday, December 1, 2017 - by John Wilson
Alexander Boyd settled about four miles south of Ooltewah before the Indian removal, purchasing
his land near White Oak Mountain for as little as a quarter an acre. Several of his grandchildren
fought for the Confederacy.

The Boyds apparently went from Scotland to Pennsylvania and to frontier Tennessee just after the Revolution. Alexander Boyd was born about 1784. Hugh Boyd, who was born about 1788 and accompanied him to Ooltewah, was apparently his brother.
William and Elliott Hodge Boyd may have been brothers also. The Boyds made their way to Jackson and Hall counties in Georgia - probably attracted by the land lotteries. Alexander Boyd was married in Jackson County to Margaret McCarroll in 1808. One Georgia deed that same year is from William Boyd Sr. to Hugh Boyd for land adjoining the lines of William and Alexander Boyd. Some of these Boyds made their way to Bledsoe County about 1818. William and Elliott Hodge Boyd stayed there, while Alexander and Hugh moved to Hamilton County about 1836. Hugh had lived for a time in Atlanta.

Hugh Boyd's wife was Mary. Their children included Cynthia, W.L., John William, James Harrison, Hugh A. and Elizabeth. Another daughter, Sarah, married Jonathan Acuff.

John William, who was born in 1826, married Mary Ann Acuff in 1848. He enlisted Jan. 6, 1863, with Co. F. of the 35th Tennessee Infantry. John William Acuff died at Tullahoma, apparently from pneumonia, April 18, 1863. He was buried at Tullahoma with other Civil War soldiers. His children were Margaret Caroline, William Perry, Serepta A., Richard Worth, Selecta Adaline, Samuel Green, Jonathan, John Hugh and Robert Franklin. William Perry Boyd married Sally Burke and John Hugh Boyd married Cora Dantzler. Robert Franklin Boyd, a house painter in East Chattanooga, married Mattie Paul. Their children included Charles Hugh who married Melba Smith, Chester Worth who married Ruby Hall, Robbie Adaline who married Jay Hall, Minnie Ella who married Clifford Gault, and Joseph William who married Roberta Woodall.

In 1860, the brothers James Harrison and Hugh A. were living side by side at Harrison. Hugh A., who was born in Atlanta Aug. 24, 1830, was a constable. He married Sarah McKinney. Hugh A. enlisted with Bird’s Rangers, then he transferred on Oct. 18, 1862, at Varnell Station, Ga., to the 35th Tennessee Infantry. He was reported sick at a hospital in Ringgold in April 1863 and was still sick when the unit was in camp near Tyner Station in July. His children included Viola Alverta, John W., Daniel K., Joseph and Walter. Viola married Thomas R. Standifer, youngest of the 16 children of Leroy and Mary Moore Standifer. They acquired the log Standifer homestead and farmed the place with the help of their nine children. Hugh A. was living with the Thomas Standifers when he died Aug. 7, 1909. Joseph was living in Highland Park and Walter in Ridgedale.   

James Harrison Alexander, son of Hugh and Mary, married Elizabeth Angelina Blair Their children included Hannah, Columbus, Alice, Samuel and Nancy Tennessee. Another son, James Alexander, was born in 1861. Nancy Tennessee married John Theodore McSpadden in Catoosa County. James Alexander Boyd became a minister, pastoring at Dalton, Ga., and elsewhere. He was married four times. His first wife was Elizabeth Bayless.

 Alexander Boyd's youngest daughter, Matilda, was born in Georgia in 1809. She married William Phelps and they lived in Sequatchie County. The other children included Mary who married John S. Rains, John Hodge who married Mahala Bush, Clarinda who married Winston Pollard, Elliott Green who married Nicey A. Nowlin, Nehemiah Wade who married Susan McCombs, Taylor, William and Margaret who married John B. Acuff.

Alexander Boyd had grants of 80, 160 and 80 acres on the road known later as Ooltewah-
Ringgold Road. He paid $2 per acre for the 160 acres and 50 cents per acre for the last 80-acre
grant.

Some of the Boyd family ventured west by wagon train in the 1850s, including the Rains and Acuff families and Elliott, Taylor and Nehemiah Boyd. Most went to Denton County, Texas, while the Acuffs settled at Logan County, Ark. Nehemiah Boyd died soon after the arrival in Texas, but Susan McCombs Boyd lived to be the county's oldest resident.

John Hodge Boyd volunteered at Ross's Landing in November 1837 to assist in the war in Florida against the Seminoles and he was a second lieutenant when he was mustered out at Baton Rouge the following May. He also served as a constable. However, he died at a young age in 1844, leaving his wife with three sons and a daughter, Mary Elizabeth, who married Thomas J. Seagle. John Hodge Boyd was buried at the Boyd Cemetery that also was a burial ground for Indians and other early settlers. 

At the outbreak of the war, the John H. Boyd sons - Francis Marion, Alexander H. and John H. Jr. - all volunteered for the Southern cause. Alexander, who was in Co. B of Carter's 1st Tenn. Cavalry, died Dec. 27, 1861, from a wound he received at Mill Springs, Ky. F.M. and John H. Jr. enlisted Nov. 10, 1862, with Co. K of the 43rd Tennessee Infantry at Ooltewah. They were captured at Vicksburg July 4, 1863. John H. Jr. took the oath of allegiance at Ooltewah in 1864. He married Rebecca Rogers in 1866. Their children included Martha H., Mary, Sarah, Alexander and John. Mahala Bush Boyd lived her latter days with the John Hodge Boyd Jr. family.  John H. Jr. was a widower still living near Ooltewah at the time of the 1910 census. Francis M. Boyd was a justice of the peace after the war. His wife was Luthena, and their children included Martha M. and James M. 

The pioneer Alexander Boyd died at the close of the war. Margaret McCarroll Boyd had died in the 1850s.

Elliott G. Boyd died in 1855 at age 34, leaving a large family. Nicey Nowlin Boyd passed away
three years later at age 40. The orphaned children included the twins Samuel Houston and Mary Jane, John Harmon, Martha Matilda, Monroe Catlett, Anderson LaFayette and Jesse Wade. Another son, Columbus Nowlin, had died as a baby. John Harmon died in 1859 when he was 15.

Samuel H. Boyd married Rebecca Jane Poe just prior to the war, and Martha Matilda married John Mattson Poe. Mary Jane married James Taylor. At the start of the war, she was left to oversee the younger children. At one time she hid a side of meat in a crib in the barn - covered with cotton seeds - so the soldiers could not find it. On another occasion, she struggled with a soldier over a bedspread that had been woven by her mother. The cherished sheet was torn in two pieces. Samuel H. Boyd also was a Confederate adherent. On one of his infrequent visits home, he was seen by a Union soldier, who followed him into the Boyd house. Samuel climbed into the loft to hide and the Union soldier was going after him when Jane Poe Boyd hit the pursuing soldier across his shoulders with a heavy shovel, causing him to retreat. Several of the younger brothers of Samuel H.
Boyd went to Denton County, Tex. Monroe Boyd married there, but he returned to Hamilton County with his children, William and Jeptha, when his wife died.

Samuel H. Boyd, who was a carpenter and contractor, moved his family into Chattanooga on Gilmer (Eighth) Street in the 1880s. He died of a stomach ailment in 1887 at age 45. Rebecca Jane Poe Boyd lived until 1919. The Samuel H. Boyd children included Martha Eleanor "Ellen'' who married James Montgomery, Joseph Sherman who married Nettie Crabtree and moved to Missouri, James Benjamin who married Nannie Hixson, Larkin, Jesse Wade, Charles Houston who married Delia Johnson, Jenny May who married James Melrose Millen, and Cora Belle who married Leo John Duffy. Samuel Green died as a small child during the Civil War and George Anderson died as a child
just after the war. Larkin died when he was 18 and Jesse Wade when he was 23. Larkin and Jesse Wade are buried with their parents at Forest Hills Cemetery. James Benjamin Boyd was a master marble worker and was one of the few workmen who could build a winding marble staircase. His projects included the Elmira, N.Y., post office, buildings at Cornell University, the First National Bank at Fort Payne, the Pink Palace in Memphis and the Vanderbilt mansion at Asheville. His Chattanooga work included the Post Office Building, the Auditorium, the Hamilton and American banks, the Read House and the steps of the Jewish Synagogue. He received $5 per letter for his work on the Illinois monument at Chickamauga Park. His younger brother, Charles Houston Boyd, was another master marble worker. His first big job was the Hogshead Apartments on Georgia Avenue. He later operated the Chattanooga Stone and Marble Company. He also worked on the Biltmore House, and he remembered Mrs. Vanderbilt coming outside and chatting with him.

There was another Alexander Boyd here, who earlier resided at Knoxville. He died in 1867. His daughter, Eliza Ann, married Robert L. McNabb.

Many of these Boyds were apparently buried at the Pollard Cemetery at Ooltewah, which was
at the old Alexander Boyd place.

Joyce Duffy Graves wrote a book on the Boyd and Poe families.



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