The Golladay Family in Mississippi
Golladay Hall in Grenada was built circa 1850
The Golladay family in Mississippi was established when two sons of Isaac Golladay and Elizabeth Shall of Lebanon, Tennessee moved to Grenada. George S. Golladay and his brother Robert H. Golladay both were lawyers. Before the Civil War, Robert moved to Coffeeville in Yalobusha County.
THE GOLLADAY PLANTATION AT GRENADA BEFORE THE CIVIL WARGeorge owned a cotton plantation with 350 acres of improved land and 1200 acres of unimproved land. While the Golladay family was away visiting Tennessee, letters written to them from Grenada give some information about this plantation:
Grenada, 06 Jul 1858
"I rode over your plantation on yesterday. I had been over parts of the crop before. But not over the whole until yesterday evening. I think your prospects for both corn and cotton is as fine as you could wish for. We have had very warm weather - hot nights - which has improved the cotton very much. We have had plenty of rain.."
- from letter written by C. H. Guy (Martha Golladay's stepfather
The majority of African-Americans with a Golladay/Golliday surname can trace their roots back to this plantation.
Mr. Dougherty was the overseer of Golladay plantation in 1858. The 1860 census shows a young man named James in this role on 21 July 1860. But he may have been a temporary fill-in. George's brother Sam had visited Grenada earlier in the summer. Sam remembered that George had been going down to the farm to check on things during Sam's visit because there was no manager. Sam inquired in a letter (dated 06 August 1860) as to whether or not George had found a new overseer for the plantation.
The plantation house where George and Martha Golladay lived still exists and is a historic attraction of Grenada. It is located at 501 Margin Street and is not far from the Yalobusha River. It can be viewed from the road, but it is privately owned and is not open to the public.
The house has been called different names by the town locals over the years based on the family that was living in the house. So at different times, it has been called the Lake house or Barbee house, who were descendants of the Golladay family. The house was vacant and in a state of disrepair when Junius and Adelaide Townes bought it in the 1950's. They restored the house and it was known as the Townes House while they lived there. Next it was called the Bondurant house. The Mississippi Architect referred to the house in 1976 as the Townes-Golladay House.
When the King family purchased this house, Laurie King decided to formally name the house in the tradition of the houses in Natchez, Mississippi, where the houses are named for the original owners or called the name that the house was originally named. So the name Golladay Hall was chosen to establish the historical significance of this grand antebellum home that was built by the Golladay family and who entertained such visitors as U. S. President James K. Polk and Confederate President Jefferson Davis in this house.
In 1854, George purchased twenty apple trees and five pear trees for his farm. The apples were of the following varieties: (1) Red June (2) Early Pennock (3) Gravenstein (4) Hop (4) Lucy's Russet and (5) Clark's Pearmain. Vegetables were grown in a garden at the house in town and watermelons as well:
Grenada, 20 August 1858
"Your sage, pepper, butterbeans, and snaps have been gathered sometime. I had your turnips and radishes sown in the garden last week."
- from letter written by Eliza Guy (Martha Golladay's mother)
George showed his wisdom by getting out of debt early in 1860 and owning his plantation outright. During the war and aftermath, no doubt he was very fortunate to be in a debt-free position and able to keep Golladay Hall in the family.
DURING THE WAR:
Among the interesting items told to us by Miss Lida Owens about the Lakes and Golladays were these: that Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, standing on the balcony of the Golladay (later Lake) mansion in 1862 reviewed the troops passing thru Grenada going west.
The Grenada County Weekly (Thursday, March 18, 1954)
There was one deadly incident at Golladay Hall that apparently happened while George was away:
Sam Golladay, then a 13 year old boy, killed a Yankee prowler thru the door, and that the bullet hole is still there in the door.
The Grenada County Weekly (Thursday, March 18, 1954)
George had health problems during the war. This letter written from Jackson asks about George. Apparently he stopped to see his cousin while heading south on a trip, but did not make a stop on his return trip:
AFTER THE WAR:
The old way of life was "gone with the wind." Martha died in 1866 and George then moved away from Grenada. George died in 1872
George and Martha's daughter
Davidella and her husband George Lake remained to live in Golladay Hall. George Lake earned his living as a dry goods merchant.
Many years later, a tragedy occurred when Davidella's daughter Minnie was savagely attacked in Golladay Hall.
THE MURDER OF MINNIE BARBEE IN GOLLADAY HALL
Minnie Barbee was the last descendant of George Shall Golladay to live in Golladay Hall. Her husband H. B. Barbee had died and she lived alone in the house when she was brutally murdered in 1932. Her death is the subject of a book published in 2004 called "Golladay Hall, The Barbee/Lake Family Murder" by Betty A. Hinson.
In 1954, Golladay Hall was sold out of the family when Golladay Lake, the grandson of George Shall Golladay, died.