Samuel And Ann Wolf Were Early Ooltewah Settlers; Gave Name To Wolftever Creek

Sunday, January 14, 2018 - by John Wilson

The Wolf family gave their name to Ooltewah's main creek. In the Civil War, the family mainly sided with the Union.

In Indian times, the large stream that meanders northwestwardly from Apison was called Ooltewah Creek. An Indian village was located where the creek emptied into the Tennessee River at Harrison. In 1840, just two years after the Indian removal, Samuel and Ann P. Wolf acquired 100 acres on Ooltewah Creek for $1,000 from John H. Torbett. It was "above the mill on the south side with all the privileges of the creek." The Wolfs had other transactions with Torbett at the same time.

For $1,000, they sold him the slaves Peggy, 19; Eliza Jane, 3, and Sarah Elizabeth, 18 months. They also sold Torbett the slave Jackson, 3, for $300. Though Samuel and Ann Wolf had only a brief sojourn in Ooltewah, the creek was afterward known as Wolftever Creek.

The Wolfs were from McMinn County, where Jeremiah Wolf had settled prior to the removal.
Jeremiah Wolf earlier had been at Washington County, Va. He moved his large family to Bradley County six miles from Cleveland in the mid-1830s. Jeremiah Wolf died about 1840, leaving his widow, Margaret. The children of Jeremiah and Margaret Wolf apparently included Samuel,
David, George Washington, William, James Madison, Anna, Francis Marion, Frances, Meredith, John W. and Isaac. David and his wife, Hulda, and William and his wife, Nancy, resided in
Bradley County.

George Washington Wolf, who was born in 1812, married Elizabeth and they moved to the Ooltewah area. When Elizabeth died about the end of the Civil War, he took the much-younger Malinda as his second wife. The children of G.W. Wolf by his first wife included Jeremiah M., Sarah J. Avarella, Margaret E., Nancy Ann, William Thomas, Isaac F., George Washington Jr. and Jesse R. By his second wife, he had James L., Julia and Jackson - the latter of whom was born after his
father had passed 70. Nancy Ann Wolf married Jesse Andrew Green, son of Isaac and Caroline
Green, in 1878.

Jeremiah M. Wolf enlisted Sept. 20, 1862, in Co. F of the 35th Tennessee Infantry at Chattanooga. After leaving this Confederate unit, he enlisted with the Union in the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry at Nashville in February of 1864 and was promoted to corporal. David Wolf, son of William and Nancy Wolf, joined the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry when he was 18. He was reported missing in action on July 30, 1864, and later turned up in a Confederate prison. He was paroled at Charleston, S.C., on Dec. 22, 1864, but he died in a Union hospital at Annapolis, Md., on Christmas Eve of 1864. George W. Wolf, a son of David and Hulda Wolf, was first with the Confederacy's 36th Tennessee Infantry. Later, he was in the Union's Fourth Tennessee Cavalry and also was captured near Newnan, Ga. He was discharged April 28, 1865, at Jacksonville, Fla., then was allowed to go home on June 21, 1865, after reporting to Camp Chase, Md. He was a blacksmith and gunsmith like several other
members of the family. John Wolf, another son of David Wolf, was in the Fourth Tennessee
Cavalry and spent time sick in a hospital at Memphis.

Jeremiah M. Wolf married the widow Isabella Thomas Berryhill in 1870. His wife in 1880 is given as Telila J. His children included Mary E., Leonard A., George M., LaFayette J., William H. and Lawrence P. Leonard A. and George M. Wolf were dealers in fresh meat, ice, coal, groceries, tinware and candies at Ooltewah. Wolf & Wolf featured "a splendid delivery service."  

James Madison Wolf and his wife, Malissa, made their home in Bradley County near the McDonald community. James M. Wolf lived until 1911 when he was 91. His children included Mrs. E.H. Mallette of Highland Park and Mrs. J.C. Lee of Texas. In Bradley County were Mrs. F.A. Johnson, Mrs. B.A. Hainey, Mrs. Robert Lee, Mrs. C.W. Johnston, James and William.

Francis Marion Wolf followed the trade of blacksmith. His first wife was Elizabeth. Like his brother, he also took a much-younger second wife, Martha. The Francis M. Wolfs also lived near Ooltewah. He died in 1915.

Meredith Wolf was born in 1833 in McMinn County. When he was a boy he would sometimes go into Chattanooga at a time when Market Street was known for its sticky, muddy holes. The family raised corn and wheat, and most of this product went into Ringgold. He helped build portions of the railroad between Chattanooga and Cleveland. When Meredith Wolf was 21, he and a brother-in-law made a journey in a one-horse wagon to visit his sister, who had married and moved to New Haven, Ill. While there he became famous as a rifle shot and won many competitions. A vaunted shooter wagered a slave that he could outshoot Meredith Wolf. They both hit the head of a tack at 10 paces 12 times in a row. Wolf hit it the 13th time, but the local man missed. Wolf then won the slave. 

Meredith Wolf first was with the 36th Tennessee Infantry of the Confederacy, then he fought with the Fifth Mounted Infantry for the Union. He was engaged in several battles and suffered only one wound on his elbow. Meredith Wolf married Elizabeth Selvidge, and he learned the trades of gunsmith and locksmith from her father. He was U.S. marshal in Bradley County, then he opened a gunsmith and locksmith shop in Dalton, Ga. He moved to Chattanooga in 1881 and had his shop where the First National Bank Bank was later located at Eighth and Broad. He later married the much-younger Martha. The Meredith Wolfs lived on Bennett Avenue in Highland Park. 

The children of Meredith Wolfe are given in 1880 as William, Isaac, John, Merida, Mary J., Mattie P., Ella F. and Flora B. At the time of his death they are given as W.R. and James Ephraim of Chattanooga, Frank and John of Cleveland, Mrs. Zeb Griggs of Johnson City and Mrs. John Scruggs of Chattanooga. Meredith Wolf died in 1930 at the age of 96. He had been known as Merida in his younger days, but later many Chattanoogans affectionately called him "Dad."

John W. Wolf, who had been born about 1835 and fought for the Union, was living on Anderson Avenue in Chattanooga when he died in 1913. His wife was Mary and his sons were J.W. and Tony.

The youngest son of Jeremiah and Margaret Wolf was Isaac, who married Jane T. Davis,
daughter of Wesley Davis and the part-Indian Nellie Reed. Their large family included John W., Francis M., Margaret Z., William D., James L., Walter, Luther, Madison, Samuel J., Warner and Arthur.

Guy Richard ""Ricky'' Wolfe Jr. of Hixson has been researching the family. Later members of the family added an "e' to the name. Ricky Wolfe descends from Guy R. Wolfe Sr. and from Erby
Guy Wolfe, who married Edith Cross. Erby Guy Wolfe was one of the children of James L. Wolf
and Mary Groves. Other children of James L. Wolf included Mae, Pearl, John Wesley, Myrtle,
Lattimore, Jessie who died when she was 15, and William and Hubert who died as children
during the flu epidemic of 1917.

At the time the waters of Chickamauga Lake inundated the old town of Harrison, the mouth
of Wolftever Creek was converted to an embayment.


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