Caswell County Genealogy
 

Share Print Bookmark
Shirley, Lewis

Shirley, Lewis

Male Abt 1785 - 1867  (~ 82 years)

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Shirley, Lewis 
    Birth Abt 1785  Madison County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Reference Number 47118 
    Death 1867  Collin County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Burial Melissa Cemetery, Melissa, Collin County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I46225  Caswell County
    Last Modified 13 Oct 2023 

    Mother Shirley, Delilah,   b. Abt 1768 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F49548  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Broaddus, Elizabeth Harris,   b. 1791   d. 28 Aug 1828 (Age 37 years) 
    Marriage 1807  Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Shirley, Jane Broaddus,   b. 1809   d. 1882 (Age 73 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
     2. Shirley, Elizabeth Matilda,   b. 13 Aug 1827, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 1922, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 94 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
    Family ID F49549  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 13 Oct 2023 

    Family 2 Kellar, Paulina,   b. Abt 1810   d. 1891, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 81 years) 
    Marriage 12 Jul 1830  Oldham County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Shirley, Anna,   b. 1846   d. 1927 (Age 81 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
    Family ID F49550  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 13 Oct 2023 

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBirth - Abt 1785 - Madison County, Virginia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - 1807 - Virginia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - 1867 - Collin County, Texas Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Eagle Oil on Canvas by James Ward 1809
    Eagle Oil on Canvas by James Ward 1809

    Documents
    Elijah Graves vs. Lewis Shirley Lawsuit #1
    Elijah Graves vs. Lewis Shirley Lawsuit #1
    Elijah Graves vs. Lewis Shirley Lawsuit #2
    Elijah Graves vs. Lewis Shirley Lawsuit #2
    Elijah Graves vs. Lewis Shirley Lawsuit #3
    Elijah Graves vs. Lewis Shirley Lawsuit #3
    Elijah Graves vs. Lewis Shirley Lawsuit #4
    Elijah Graves vs. Lewis Shirley Lawsuit #4
    Elijah Graves vs. Lewis Shirley Lawsuit #5
    Elijah Graves vs. Lewis Shirley Lawsuit #5
    Elijah Graves vs. Lewis Shirley Lawsuit #6
    Elijah Graves vs. Lewis Shirley Lawsuit #6

    Headstones
    Lewis Shirley Grave Marker
    Lewis Shirley Grave Marker

    Newspapers
    Imported Horse Eagle, Milton Intelligencer, 2 Apr 1819
    Hyco Academy, John H. Hinton. Richmond Enquirer (Richmond, VA), 29 January 1818

  • Notes 
    • Lewis Shirley/Sherley

      Lewis Shirley Grave Marker

      Eagle Oil on Canvas by James Ward 1809

      Imported Horse Eagle, Milton Intelligencer, 2 Apr 1819

      (for larger image, click on photograph)
      _______________

      Find A Grave

      Shirley Family Association
      _______________

      The Red House Tavern near Semora, owned by Lewis Sherley, was another popular center for horse racing. Sherley advertised in the "Milton Intelligencer" of May 6, 1819, that he had purchased "the celebrated Imported Horse EAGLE" and that he would be let to mares at Red House at $50 the season. "And as to a race horse," he said, "England never produced his equal in his day, which may be seen by reference to the English stud book, in my possession, together with his blood and numerous performances." * The account book for Red House Tavern contains entries that suggest the kind of entertainment dispensed there. Guests sometimes rented space at the tavern and gave balls. Other guests stayed for many days at a time consuming large quantities of cider, brandy, and whiskey. Glasses of toddy and julips appear often in the accounts. An extra fee was charged for oysters, and "dinners during the races" were more expensive than at other times; sometimes dinner was even served at the track. Ordinarily dinner might be forty to fifty cents, but at the track it would be $2.00. Many account book entries include a charge for the guest's horse, and occasionally during the season the book records that Sherley lent cash to his patrons. It was not unusual for many regular customers to charge drinks on an average of seven different days a month, but sometimes names appear up to eighteen days out of a month. Whiskey was the drink most often consumed, and it was not unusual for up to eight drinks or gills to be charged to a man in one day.

      * By 1825 Sherley had moved to Kentucky where he raised thoroughbred horses. Afterwards he went on to Texas where it has been said he introduced thoroughbreds.

      Source: When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) at 160.
      _______________

      In the May 6, 1819, edition of the "Milton [North Carolina] Intelligencer," Lewis Shirley/Sherley advertised that he had purchased "the celebrated Imported Horse EAGLE" and that Eagle would be let to mares at the Red House Tavern at $50 the season. "And as to a race horse," he said, "England never produced his equal in his day, which may be seen by reference to the English stud book, in my possession, together with his blood and numerous performances."
      _______________

      Red House Tavern

      At one time Lewis Shirley/Sherley owned the Red House Tavern near Semora, Caswell County, Carolina. The tavern ledger maintained by Shirley/Sherley 1819-1821 is housed at the North Carolina State Archives:

      Scope/Contents: Tavern Ledger
      Call Number: AB.77
      Location: R652 (Basement Stacks)
      MARS Id: 2977 (Record Group)
      Quantity: 1 Volume(s)
      _______________

      Eagle, a Celebrated Stallion
      APRIL 7, 2016 / S. AVERITT

      Lewis Sherley was a farmer, tavern owner and thoroughbred horse breeder who traveled from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, to the plateau of middle North Carolina, to the Bluegrass state of Kentucky, and finally to the prairieland of north central Texas

      My first cousin five times removed, Lewis Sherley/Shirley was born in Madison County, Virginia, circa 1785. His mother, Delilah, was a descendant of immigrants from England. It appears that Delilah was about 17 years old and unmarried when Lewis was born. Within a couple of years she married Benjamin Fleshman and bore eleven more children, but Lewis did not take the Fleshman name.

      Lewis married Elizabeth Harris Broaddus in Virginia in 1807. By 1818 they had five children, including a set of twins, and had moved to Caswell County, North Carolina. As an adjunct to his equine ventures, Lewis owned and operated the Red House Tavern near Semora, North Carolina. Semora was only five miles from the village of Milton, which was described by Tom Henderson in Plain Tales from the Country:

      Milton was a place of renown, with a far larger population than she possesses today. There was much wealth and more aristocracy. Fast horses ran on her race-track, down on the bottoms of Dan River, beautiful and well-educated women graced her parlors and private dance-rooms, and dashing, daring young gentlemen drank convivially at her numerous public saloons and played poker for high stakes in the game, in the old hotel which yet stands as a ghost of the glory it once knew, which went on continuously from New Year's Day to Christmas Eve, and then around the calendar again.

      Lewis Sherley's Red House Tavern was a popular gathering place for horse racing enthusiasts. Historian William S. Powell provided the following information in When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977:

      The account book for Red House Tavern contains entries that suggest the kind of entertainment available there. Guests sometimes rented space at the tavern and gave balls. Other guests stayed for many days at a time, consuming large quantities of cider, brandy, and whiskey. Glasses of toddy and juleps appear often in the accounts. An extra fee was charged for oysters, and "dinners during the races" were more expensive than at other times. Sometimes dinner was even served at the track. Ordinarily, dinner might be forty to fifty cents, but at the track it would be $2.00. Many account book entries include a charge for the guest's horse, and occasionally during the season the book records that Shirley lent cash to his patrons. It was not unusual for many regular customers to charge drinks on an average of seven different days a month, but sometimes names appear up to 18 days out of a month. Whiskey was the drink most often consumed, and it was not unusual for up to 8 drinks to be charged to a man in one day.

      In the May 6, 1819, edition of the "Milton [North Carolina] Intelligencer," Lewis Shirley/Sherley advertised that he had purchased "the celebrated Imported Horse EAGLE" and that Eagle would be let to mares at the Red House Tavern at $50 the season. "And as to a race horse," he said, "England never produced his equal in his day, which may be seen by reference to the English stud book, in my possession, together with his blood and numerous performances."

      [Portrait of Eagle]

      Eagle, a Celebrated Stallion - oil on canvas by James Ward, 1809

      Eagle, a bay, was foaled in 1796, sired by Volunteer out of an unnamed mare by Highflyer. The breeder was Sir Frank Standish, 3rd Baronet of Duxbury, Lancashire. Eagle was said to be one of the finest horses ever seen and "superior to any horse in England of his time." He was a full brother to Spread Eagle, winner of the 1795 Epsom Derby and half brother to Didelot, who won the 1796 Epsom Derby.

      Eagle ran for seven seasons, exclusively at Newmarket, winning a number of high-stakes matches, sweeps and other races, such as the Craven Stakes (twice), over distances up to 3 miles. He came in third in the 1799 Epsom Derby. After his racing career, Eagle entered the stud at Newmarket where he spent 1806 and 1807 in the hands of Richard Prince. From 1808 to 1811 he was at Finchley with T. Hornby Morland, who wrote in The Genealogy of the English Racehorse:

      In regard to size, grandeur and justness of foundation [Eagle] is allowed by all judges to be without exception the finest horse in this or perhaps any other kingdom; and I believe in the essential quality of speed he never has been surpassed by any horse since the time of his grandsire Eclipse; he also enjoys a most excellent constitution, having been eight years in constant training and never unsound or indisposed during the whole time. I received him from Mr. Prince in perfect health and fine condition and am happy to say he has never refused a feed of corn since that time.

      Eagle was then purchased by Walter Bell and sent to Lexington, Virginia, arriving in December of 1811. There a poster gushed, "Eagle combines more power, beauty and speed than any horse on earth, more even than human mind can imagine." In 1818 he went to North Carolina with his new owner, Lewis Sherley.

      Lewis Sherley was apparently fairly successful in his dealings concerning Eagle, as it appears he maintained ownership and took Eagle with him when the family moved to Kentucky in about 1823. They resided in Oldham County; their tenth child was born in 1826, and the racehorse Eagle died that year at the age of 30. Elizabeth bore her eleventh child in 1827 and died one year later, at the age of 36.

      Lewis was farming in Jefferson County in 1830, with 10 slaves but no wife or mother for his ten surviving children. That year he married Paulina Kellar, daughter of a Baptist preacher who had come to Oldham County from Virginia. The couple had six or more children, farming in Jefferson County on land valued at $6,000 (several million in today's dollars) before the family moved from Kentucky to Collin County, Texas, in 1854. The Sherleys located southwest of Melissa before the town was established near a spring, referred to since as Sherley Spring. Two daughters of Lewis by his first marriage to Elizabeth Broaddus also came with their husbands, and five of the children of the second marriage established homes within a radius of eight miles from the homestead. There are many interesting stories of these Sherleys, to be shared with you another day.

      Lewis died in Texas in 1867, at the age of 82; Paulina lived to be 81 and died in Texas in 1891.

      Source: "Jest Among US Two" [https://jestamongus.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/eagle-a-celebrated-stallion/; accessed 17 September 2018].
      _______________

      State of North Carolina )
      Caswell County )

      Pursuant to notice and in obedience to a commission directed to any Judge, Notary Public, or Justice of the Peace in the State of North Carolina issuing from I. W. Eurich, a Justice of the Peace for Jefferson County in the State of Kentucky, I John E. Brown, a Justice of the Peace in and for the County of Caswell, State of North Carolina, proceeded to take the deposition of Barzillai Graves at the Court House in Yanceyville on the 19th day of August 1844 to be read in evidence in a suit now pending before I. W. Eurich a Justice of the Peace in the County of Jefferson and State of Kentucky as aforesaid wherein Elijah Graves is plaintiff and Lewis Shirley is defendant.

      Barzillai Graves being first duly sworn _____ sayeth as follows. That some time in the year 1823 or [18]24 to the best of his knowledge Elijah Graves [applied] to him for a small sum of money the amount not now recollected and stated that he had an order (a verbal order this deponent believes from Lewis Shirley on this deponent for that amount) -- This deponent replyed to Elijah Graves that he would not pay the order for he held Lewis Shirley's receipt in full for all he was due _____; and for the satisfaction of the aforesaid Elijah Graves this deponent did subsequently show and exhibit to him the aforesaid receipt signed by Lewis Shirley and this deponent further sayeth that he never did pay to Elijah Graves any money for Lewis Shirley and further this deponent sayeth not.

      Barzillai Graves

      Sworn and subscribed to before me the day & year first above written.

      John E. Brown JP
      _______________

      It appears that Elijah Graves sued Lewis Shirley in a Kentucky court, possibly to collect a debt. Lewis Shirley apparently defended the claim by stating that the debt had been paid as a result of Barzillai Graves paying to Elijah Graves an amount owed by Barzillai Graves to Lewis Shirley. The Barzillai Graves deposition is to the effect that the debt to Lewis Shirley had been paid, as evidenced by a receipt from Lewis Shirley, and that Barzillai Graves paid no amount to Elijah Graves in satisfaction of the apparent Lewis Shirley indebtedness to Elijah Graves.

      The identity of this Barzillai Graves has not been determined, but he was not the well-known Reverend Barzillai Graves (1759-1827). Possibilities: (1) Barzillai Graves (1782-1850), son of John Herndon Graves and Nancy Slade (had a brother named Elijah Graves); Barzillai Graves (1802-1867), son of Solomon Graves (but believed living in Georgia in 1844); and (3) Barzillai Graves (1820-1903), son of Jeremiah Graves and Delilah S. Lea.

      John E. Brown, Justice of the Peace, is believed to be Dr. John Edmunds Brown, M.D. (1800-1846), who for many years served as a Justice in Caswell County, North Carolina. At the time, a justice of the peace would have been a member of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. This body, while serving as an inferior court of limited jurisdiction, also functioned as the county's executive branch. In 1868, the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions was replaced, with respect to its executive authority, with the Board of County Commissioners.
      _______________

      Title: Lewis Shirley
      Years: 1819-1821
      Call Number: AB.77
      Location: 3B
      MARS Id: 2977 (Record Group)
      Quantity: 1 Volume(s)
      Scope / Contents: Tavern. Ledger (day book).
      Geographical Name: Caswell County, North Carolina
      Housed: North Carolina Archives (Raleigh, North Carolina)
      _______________

      Oldham County, Kentucy, Deeds: Deed Book C, 1832-1836:

      P 340: 7 Feb 1834:

      Lewis Shirley and Paulina his wife and George W. Jeffries and Diannah his wife of Jefferson Co., to Abram H. Kellar of Macon Co., Illinois - for $648, 54 acres on waters of Harrolds creek; Beginning Corner to Yager, Corner of Souther, in Clores line.

      Signature: Lewis Sherley, Paulina Sherley, Geo. W. Jeffries, Dianna Jeffries
      _______________

      Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com: accessed 17 September 2018), memorial page for Lewis Shirley (1785-1867), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6611033, citing Melissa Cemetery, Melissa,Collin County,Texas, USA;Maintained by Richard Hollis (contributor 46868975).
      _______________

      "The Virginia Race Horse, FLORIZEL, Unquestionably the best Stallion on the continent, and was always able to distance any nag that ever started against him, and is the sire of more Race Horses than any other in the United States -- busily commenced his Season at the Red-House in Caswell County, North-Carolina, ten miles below the Courthouse and thirty miles north of Hillsborough. For further particulars, gentlemen can have reference to his handbills, which are in circulation."

      William Ball,
      Lewis Shirley

      March 20. [1817]

      Weekly Raleigh Register (Raleigh, NC), 9 May 1817.
      _______________

      Dallas, Texas

      PUBLIC SALE: On the 15th of October next, I will sell at public outcry, on credit of 6 months with good security the following described property, to-wit: A fine stable horse, thoroughbred, known as Kentucky and 2 young stallions and some fine fillies of the dame stock. Also, Canadian stable horse, Prophet with other good stock horses; about 20 head of stock cattle; 35 head sheep; some farming utensils, etc. The sale to be at the late residence of Louis Shirley.

      PAULINA SHIRLEY
      August 31, 1867
      _______________

      Caswell County, North Carolina
      Deed Book S

      Page 160: Alexander Gordon of Caswell County to Lewis Shirley of same, for $7,363, 368.15 acres on the east side of Country Line Creek whereon Gordon lives adjacent to Phoebe Boulton, John Vanhook, William Moore, Joseph McGehee, Josiah Samuel. 28 March 1818. Wintesses: William Mageehee, John C. Rogers, John Johnston.

      Page 162: Kendall Baswell and Betsy Baswell his wife to Lewis Shirley of Caswell County, for $1,000, 50 acres on Dan River adjacent to Melinda Stokes, crossing the Milton Road. 14 March 1818. Witnesses: Mumford Stanfield, William McGehee.

      Deed Book T

      Pages 11-12: Lewis Shirley of Caswell County to Joseph McGehee of Person County, for $3,240, 162 acres on Country Line Creek adjacent Ragsdale old mill place, William Irvine. 14 May 1818. Witnesses: James Rainey, R. M. Sanders [Saunders].

      Page 276: Lewis Shirley of Caswell County to Solomon Graves and Jeremiah Lea, for $5,000, 206 acres on Country Line Creek adjacent William Irvine, William Moore, Joseph McGehee. 22 April 1819. Witnesses: Warner Williams, A. G. Garner [?]

      Pages 302-303: Deed of Trust -- Lewis Shirley of Caswell County to William McGehee of Person County and Joseph McGehee who are bound to Kendal Barksdale as security for Lewis Shirley for $1, 50 acres adjacent to Richard Ogilby, Durrett Richards, being the tract purchased from Barksdale 6 July 1820. Witness: John E. Lewis.

      Deed Book V

      Page 476: Lewis Shirley of Caswell County releases and quit claims forever to Kendle Basdell of Caswell County to all right, claim to 50 acres purchased of him it being the legacy left his wife Elizabeth Stokes now Basdell by her deceased father Masie Stokes on Stokes Mill Creek. 27 February 1822. Witnesses: George A. Connally, Charles Willson, George M. Penn.

      Page 49: Whereas William Hanes of Louisa County, Virginia, did devise to Mary Broaddus for her natural life slaves Sarah and her five children, Hester, Eliza, Frank, Henry, William, also Lydia, Selia, Maria, James, and Ned with their increase to be equally divided among the four children of William Broaddus deceased -- Mary Broaddus, one of the children of William Broaddus gives to Robert Broaddus right to take immediate possession of said negroes. The said Polly (Mary) is at her option to live with Lewis Shirley or with the said Robert Broaddus, who must maintain her free. 5 September 1816. Witnesses: Joe McGehee, John Grider. Proved October Court 1820.

      Source: Caswell County North Carolina Deed Books 1817-1840 Abstracts, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1992).