This is a continuation of the story of Good and Walton vs Jollett Chancery Cause of 1860.
Like so many young men in the early 1800s, Fielding Jollett was destined to become a farmer. For whatever reason, when he came “of age,” he moved away from the family home in Greene County, crossing the mountain by way of Swift Run Gap along what is now the famed Skyline Drive into Rockingham County.
|Today the road from Greene County |
crossing the mountain is a series of winding curves.
I wonder how long the trip took by horse and wagon.
In 1822, Fielding married Ann Stoutemire/Stoutamoyer, daughter of Jacob and Barbara Orebaugh Stoutemire/Stoutamoyer. Most likely they lived with her parents or close by. In 1824, with their first child on the way, Fielding purchased 2 acres and 24 poles of land that partially bordered his in-laws’ property.
Two acres did not a farm make, but apparently that was the extent of Fielding’s land holdings for some time. He likely earned his living as a laborer on other farms, perhaps even in his father-in-law’s employ.
|This is not Fielding Jollett's land,|
but it is the right neighborhood.
photo courtesy of Lois Emswiler
In 1837, Fielding and Mary Ann sold some land they had inherited upon the death of her father, John Armentrout. How much land and how much money passed hands is uncertain since the original deed was among the Rockingham County documents burned during the Civil War. Fragments of the deed were recovered and re-recorded in 1884.
Perhaps Fielding had an entrepreneurial spirit that made him dream of becoming an important farmer and land owner. He did not sit on that money very long. That same year, he purchased 66 acres along Naked Creek from Joseph Mauzy, county surveyor, merchant and post master.
|Again, this is not Fielding's property,|
but this is the area where he lived and raised his family.
And it's the kind of view he was privileged to enjoy every day.
No wonder he bought land there.
However, two short years later, Fielding and Mary Ann sold the same 66 acres back to Mauzy for $400. I have to wonder whether Fielding just couldn’t make a go of it there or if he had improved the farm to the extent that he could sell it at a profit. And why would Joseph Mauzy want it back?
There are no answers, but another possibility is that Fielding had his eye on a bigger prize. In 1849 Fielding and Mary Ann purchased 300 acres in Page County from George and Susan Conrad. (NOTE: the area along Naked Creek straddles Rockingham and Page counties, so it appears likely that the Jolletts were living in the same area they had always lived.)
If trouble hadn’t begun earlier, maybe this is when Fielding’s financial troubles began because in just a few short years, he was woefully in debt.