GHENT IN 1850

   

 At this time the area was a wilderness of Virginia timber and a hunting ground with a few cleared fields for farming and cattle raising. Elijah Lilly was born in 1808, a son of Edmond and Edith  (Meador) Lilly. He married Sallie Cale and they settled on a farm near Flat Top, which is now called Ghent. He was one of the justices of the peace appointed by the Governor of Virginia for Raleigh County at its formation in January 23, 1850.

It is probably the same Elijah Lilly that is recorded in the Raleigh County, Virginia Census which listed 1,765 people in 1850 as found by 28-year- old Prince. He made the count in his travels of the county in that year. The head of the household was given first, followed by all those whether related or not, who were living at his home when Prince visited it. The following was listed for Elijah Lilly: LILLY, Elijah, 42, farmer; Sarah, 42; Isabella, 23; William, 19; Cadle, 65 (North Carolina): Nanner Lilly, 5; Joseph Lilly,2.

The names in this census correspond with the names in the Lilly Family History except for Sarah which is listed as Sallie Cadle.Elijah and Sallie are recorded in the Lilly Family History as having nine children: Isabel J., William H. ( Hickory Bill ), James W. (Jerusalem Jim), Thomas E., Russell, Preston, Joseph, Naaman W., Melinda, Lee H., Conner and Martha VanBuren.Thomas E. Lilly, born December 2, 1833, (son of Elijah and Sallie Lilly) married first to Mary Akers, and had two daughters, Sally Ann who married Robin Lilly, Adaline Lilly who married Ervin Lilly. 

Tom's second wife was Sarah Abagail Turner and they were the parents of Dora who married George Sweeney, Hubbard Lilly who married Jane Lilly, Mary who married Oley McGennis, Londa who Married Annie Shanks, Everette Lilly who married Annie Smith, Byrd Lilly who married Celia Jane  Lilly, Sarah who married Tom Moye and Chester Bennett, and Isabelle who married Amos Epperley.

When one of the neighbors died Tom would make a wooden coffin, narrow on each end, and covered it with black material lined inside with white cloth. Tom donated property for the Tom Lilly Cemetery where both he and his wife are buried. The cemetery is located on a hill between the former homes of Tom and his brother, Naaman W. on the old Tiles- Fayette-Kanawha Turnpike.

Tom was also the founder of the Tom Lilly School, Donating property for the school and helped with the construction. The school was located at the  Bonnie Roark now place.    

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