Mrs. Luly L. Nelson Biography

Source: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi, Volume II Chicago:  The Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1891.

Mrs. Luly L. Nelson, widow of Samuel Nelson, formerly a planter of Issaquena county, Miss., was born in this county on the farm where she now resides, and is the daughter of Zach and Martha (Bowie) Leatherman. Zach Leatherman was born in Mississippi in 1813, and like his father and grandfather before him was a wealthy planter and a slaveowner. He moved to Issaquena county in 1836, resided on Dunbarder plantation and managed the same for Mr. Dunbar for a number of years. He then bought the farm on which Mrs. Nelson now resides, which then consisted of five hundred and twenty one acres, but which has since been added to until it now numbers fifteen hundred acres with seven hundred acres improved. It is now one of the handsomest plantations on the river. During the late war Mr. Leatherman practiced medicine and continued this for a few years  afterward in Arkansas, where he made his home during those troublesome times. His death occurred in 1883, but his wife still survives. After his death she married Captain Burns, of Canada. By her first marriage she became the mother of three children, only Mrs. Nelson now living. One child died in infancy and the other, James B., received his final summons in January 1891. Mrs. Nelson's paternal grandfather, Samuel Leatherman, was a native of Mississippi, and her great -grandfather was a native of the Keystone state, having emigrated to Mississippi when it was French territory. Her maternal grandparents, John J. and America (Watkins) Bowie were natives of Louisiana and Mississippi respectively. The Bowie family was originally from Scotland, three brothers of that name having emigrated from that country to this at a very early period. One settled in Maryland, the other two in North Carolina, and the branch of the family of which Mrs. Nelson is a descendant came from the last named state. She is a relative of ex-Governor Bowie of Maryland, and is also a grand-niece of Col. James Bowie, after whom the world-famed Bowie knife was called, and who was one of the most wonderful men of his day. He was a brother of her grandfather Bowie. Mrs. Nelson was married to Samuel Nelson in 1873. He was a native of Tennessee, and was the son of Samuel Nelson, Sr., who was a soldier in the War of 1812. The elder Nelson moved to Mississippi at an early day and was quite prominent in the early settlement of Issaquena county. Samuel Nelson, Jr., served with distinction as a scout in the Confederate army during the Civil war and afterward became one of the prominent young planters of the county. He filled the office of levee commissioner and was holding that position at the time of his death, which occurred in 1883, at the age of forty-four years. By his marriage he became the father of one child, J. Howard Nelson, who is attending school in Memphis, Tennessee. Previous to this marriage Mr. Nelson had married a Miss Emma Holden of Thibodeaux, La., whose parents came from the Buckeye state. The fruits of this union were four children, three living: Emma H.N., wife of W.B. Wilmans, of Dallas, Texas; Samuel, of the Marchants' National bank, at Vicksburg, and William P., who resides in Greenville, Miss. Mr. Nelson was a member of the Kngihts of Pythias, Hay's Landing, lodge No. 16, was the first chancellor commander of the lodge, and the first member of the same to die. Mrs. Nelson is an intelligent and cultured lady and a very interesting conversationalist. She resides on her fine plantation near Arcadia, and uses excellent judgement in its management.



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