The Golladay family in Tennessee

Confederate monument Confederate statue in Lebanon - note the name of Edward Golladay on the 5th row from the top

The Golladay family in Tennessee was established at Lebanon in Wilson County. The patriarch of this branch of the family was Isaac Golladay, who moved from Maryland to Lebanon in 1816.

Isaac and his descendants are the most prominent of all the Golladay families. Isaac was a friend of the American frontier hero Sam Houston. Two of Isaac's son's were elected to the U.S. Congress.

Of Isaac's ten children, four were still living in Tennessee at the start of the Civil War:

1. Samuel Golladay - a merchant living with his sister Carrie

2. Frederick W. Golladay - a farmer in Wilson County. He was also appointed postmaster on April 5, 1855.

3. Carrie M. Golladay- married to Thomas J. Stratton. Her sons Samuel, Golladay, and James fought for the Confederacy.

4. Edward Isaac Golladay - a Lieutenant Colonel in the Confederate army

Isaac had four other children still living at the onset of the Civil War. Two of his sons had moved to Mississippi, one son lived just across the state border in Kentucky, and one daughter had moved to Kansas. Two other children had died young.

This was written in a letter during the summer just before the outbreak of Civil War concerning the dry growing season in Tennessee:

"It still continues hot and dry about Lebanon. The gardens and fields are burnt up. I expect man and beast to suffer here for the want of something to eat. It is a gloomy prospect for the future. Some of our country people have already gone to Illinois to buy corn and flour anticipating a hard and distressing time of it."

Sam Golladay on 08 Aug 1860


Jacob Shall Golladay invested in the Decatur Furnace near Clifton. It was an iron furnace, which converted iron ore into pig iron. The furnace was initially owned by the firm of Watkins, Golladay & Company. This partnership was dissolved on 10 November 1854 when Jacob and Archer Cheatham bought William Watkins's share of the company. It was then renamed as Golladay, Cheatham & Company. Approximately fifteen slaves worked at the furnace "including an Engineer, a Bricklayer and Blacksmith — all good coaling and ore-bank hands." (1)

An economic recession began in 1856 and was followed by the Panic of 1857. By 30 December 1857, Decatur Furnace had been shutdown because of financial difficulties and its assets had to be sold off.

Lt. Commander LeRoy Fitch commanded two Union gunboats that patrolled the Tennessee River in early 1863. In his summary report written on 17 March 1863, he listed the "Decatur, iron furnace" as on the left bank of the river. Apparently Decatur Furnace was still abandoned at this time. He did note that the town of Clifton had been burned in February.(2)

(1) The Clarksville Chronicle, 08 January 1858
(2) Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies, Series I - Volume 24, page 60

Photos of Decatur Furnace

This page last updated on January 31, 2012