Friday, February 10, 2017

Sepia Saturday: Jolletts in the News

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

This week’s Sepia Saturday photo is of a sales clerk behind the counter of a shell shop, but what caught my eye was the sign in the cabinet.  The pointing hand is much like the one in this photo:

Jollett sign Greene County, VA

The sign points folks driving along the Amicus Road in Greene County, Virginia to the home of Logan Jollett, grandson of Burton Lewis Jollett. The home has been in the Jollett family for at least three generations, the land probably even longer.

Fredericksburg Free Lance 1 March 1904
Burton Lewis was the oldest child of my 2X great-grandparents James Franklin Jollett and Lucy Ann Shiflett. He was named for his grandfathers Burton Shiflett and Fielding Lewis Jollett. Burton Lewis grew up to be a significant figure in Greene County. For many years he was Justice of the Peace. He also was elected as a delegate to the Republican conventions.

The Jolletts were often in the news, not just for political reasons, but also social. The Greene County Record and Greene County Register were both 4-page publications that included world and national news on the front page and agricultural matters on the last page. In the middle were local news and ads. The local section covered personal news of anyone and everyone in the surrounding vicinity – illness, deaths, marriages, and who was visiting, even when those visits were within the same community. Yes, big news.

In 1904 Burton Lewis’s children made the social column when they visited their grandfather James Franklin Jollett, just across the mountain: Chas. Roberts and wife, C. C. [Chester Clarence] Jollett, Misses Fleta and Blanch Jollett and Master B. L. [Burton Lewis Lloyd] Jollett went to Harriston, Augusta County, Saturday to visit James F. Jollett for a few days. We wish them a happy journey.

A couple years later Fleta Jollett made the news again spending the winter with the family of Charles D. Wyant in Rockingham County.

Harrisonburg Daily News Record
30 Nov 1909

A story that appeared in the social pages February 1, 1923 was about Burton Lewis’s visit with his sister Leanna Knight, who lived just a couple miles away. According to the Greene County Record, “the whole family enjoyed his visit very much indeed, especially the boys hearing their uncle tell about one of the guide posts of his life – promptness – and the way young people of today should do and act.”  

As adults, Burton Lewis’s children were still the topics of interest for the social columns. Lewis Jollett and his children even made the news in nearby Harrisonburg:
Harrisonburg Daily News Record
5 Sep 1923

Harrisonburg Daily News Record
22 Sep 1924

Harrisonburg Daily News Record
4 Dec 1928

As a teenager, Logan, Lewis’s son, made the news when his high school drama troupe won first place in a one-act competition and he won a personal award as best actor.

Richmond Times Dispatch
15 Dec 1940

With such interesting and inspiring goings-on among the Jolletts, who would not want a wooden hand pointing the way to the home of such an accomplished family???

To see what else is in store, I’ve pointed the way to Sepia Saturday.

© 2017, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. Isn't it great to find so many news articles about ancestors?! And it's so much easier now with OCR. Is the hand sign still on the fence, or ++ your or does someone else in your family have it? I think it would be a great "heirloom."

  2. A rather clever take on the prompt. And interesting too. Good show!

  3. A great link to the theme image. And I love the newspaper extracts - it seems that the content of the papers was more "real" if not more interesting back in those days. A long visit by a relative would pass untold in these modern times.

  4. How wonderful that a visit and stay with relatives was actually newsworthy. Love the sign.

  5. I LOVE the social notes in the old newspapers from the Gardiner, Maine you a true sense of community, doesn't it? Great post -- will keep an eye out for one of those talented Jollets...

  6. I have never participated in Sepia Saturday, but I love how you take those photos and find a connection! And, I love newspapers and all the little social stories.

  7. Great connection with the hand pointing. I enjoyed hearing about the visits of the Jolletts of yore. They sure knew how to enjoy being in the public eye.

  8. I remember when folk art was less "art" and more real folk. It used to be common to see rural houses decorated with colorful handmade charms. It made it easy for people to recognize places in the years before road signs and house numbers.

  9. You have eagle eyes - even after you pointed it out I had trouble finding the sign in the cabinet.

  10. You are great at picking out something different to write about. It seems rather an odd-shaped hand in the prompt photo, but you had a great match. All those reports of who was visiting are certainly a thing of the past, from a simpler time!