Family Stories

James Lewis Neal Biography

from Mercer County, Kentucky – Biographies

James Lewis Neal was born December 22, 1832, in Jessamine County, and in 1866 removed to Mercer County, locating on the Harrodsburg and Munday’s Landing Pike, five miles north of Harrodsburg, where he has since resided.  His father, David Neal, was born in 1807, in Jessamine County, and still owns the old family homestead; was formerly a farmer; lost twelve or more slaves through the late war; is a member of the Christian Church, and now resides in Lexington.  He is the son of George Neal, a native of Virginia, who enlisted in the Revolution and remained until the close of the struggle, when he immediately came to Bryant’s Station, in Kentucky.  He was a farmer, a Baptist, a Whig, and died about 1838.  February 15, 1785, he married Elizabeth, daughter of Col. Manoah Singleton, whom he first met in the fort at Bryant’s Station.  It was she who blew the conch shell, to warn the men when the Indians attacked the fort, and the conch is still kept as a souvenir in the family.  Their offspring were James, Elijah and George, soldiers in the war of 1812; Creath, Jesse, John, Mary (Hughes) and David.  David married, in 1825, Rebecca A., daughter of James and Elizabeth Elmore, of Jessamine County, born in 1809, died May 18, 1884, and from their union sprang Mary, James L., Lenis A. (Farra) and Susan M. (Headly).  June 5, 1866, James L. Neal was united in married with Miss Sue Helm, daughter of David W. and Sarah M. (Withers) Thompson, of Mercer County (born July 17, 1842), but from this union there has been no issue.  David W. Thompson was born February 29, 1816, and died November 20, 1865.  Sarah M. (Withers) Thompson was born June 2, 1820, and died November 5, 1862.  James L. Neal is a farmer and stock raiser, and owns 287 acres of highly improved lands.  He has acted four years as master of the State Grange of Kentucky, is an elder in the Christian Church, a member of the I. O. O. F., and in politics a Democrat.

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