I did not doubt that Henry and Julius McNeely were brothers, but here is proof-positive: Julius died widowed, childless and intestate, and his sole heirs were Henry’s children.“Jule” McNeely’s thin estate file, opened in 1913 in Rowan County Superior Court, is devoted to the distribution of his tiny plot of farmland to John, Luther, Emma, Addie, Carrie, Ed, Litha, Janie, Lizzie and Minnie McNeely as tenants in common. When Addie died in the middle of matters, a guardian was appointed for her children, “Ardenia” [actually, Ardeanur], 14, and James Smith, 9. At issue: “Beginning at a stone on D.S. Cowan’s line, and runs S. two degrees W 7.10 chains to a stone thence; N. 85 degrees W. 3.50 chains to a stone, thence; N. 2 degrees E. 6.50 chains to a stone on Cowan’s line, thence; E. to the beginning, containing two and a half acres more or less.” “The above land is the old Jule McNeely place, lying just east of Mount Ulla in Rowan County, and” — despite its tininess — “is a very desirable lot.” The heirs’ attorney petitioned for the sale of the lot, noting that it was too small to be advantageously divided or to justify continued possession by so many heirs, all of whom lived in Iredell County except Emma and her husband Ervin Houser of Bayonne, New Jersey. The petition was granted, and at auction on April 21, 1917, Carrie’s husband Lon W. Colvert placed the highest bid at $80.
[Sidenote: Before I found this file, I did not know that (1) Lizzie McNeely was first married to Watt Kilpatrick; (2) when Addie McNeely Smith died; or (3) Lon Colvert owned property in Rowan County, much less property that had belonged to his wife’s late uncle.]