By Shirley Farris Jones


John Neese was born in 1834 in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, the son of John Neese, Sr. (b. 1795, d. ?) and Catherine Shuman (b. Dec. 6, 1797 - d. Aug. 1, 1885). John Neese, Sr. was born in Schuylkill County, PA, later coming to Armstrong County, settling in Red Bank Township. He later moved to Forest County, PA where he continued farming until his death, and is buried in that county. He was a Democrat in politics. John and Catherine Shuman were the parents of :

l) Susanna (b. March 1821 - d. 1888) m. Dr. Emanuel D. Rettinger

2) George m. Polly Haines

3) Catherine (b. Dec. 20, 1827 - d. Aug. 18, 1907) m. Aaron William Holbert, Sr.

4) John (b. Mar. 17, 1834 - d. Dec. 2, 1914) m. Mary Ann Emery (b. April 8, 1843 - d. July 3, 1880)

5) Jacob (b. 1826 - d. Nov. 5, 1907) m. Susanna Emery (b. July 20, 1844 - d. 1933). Mary Ann and Susanna Emery were sisters.

6) Hetty m. Eli Haines

7) Mary m. W. R. Darrah

8) Sarah m. James Steele

9) Isaac died in infancy

10) Lydia died in infancy

11) Mary burned to death at 2 years of age

John Neese, Jr. married Mary Ann Emery, the daughter of George Emery (b. July 14, 1818 - d. May 11, 1883) and Catherine Hilliard (b. 1820 - d. 1908) in Armstrong Co, Pa and to them were born the following children:

1) George F., born Nov. 16, 1859

2) Jacob E., born Sept. 3, 1861 - d. April 23, 1939, Coffee Co, TN

3) Harvey Calvin , born May 5, 1866 - died July 3, 1920, Cripple Creek, CO

There would be one more son born in Armstrong County, Pa

4) William E., born July 19, 1867 - died Oct. 11, 1940, in Tenn. before the family relocated to Coffee County, Tennessee, the next year.

Two more brothers,

5) Arthur Monroe, born May 10, 1869 - d. May 2, 1942, Denver, Co. Married Verda Clay in Denver. They lived at 2661 Clermont St., in Denver, and they ran A. M. Neese Mercantile at 3970 Tennyson St. She died in 1947.

6) Robert S., born May 25, 1871 - died January 25, 1915, Coffee Co., TN and three sisters,

7) Kate, born April 30, 1873

8) Mattie, born May 6, 1875, married a Strawn, moved to Texas

9) Mary , born June 11, 1878 - died Jan. 18, 1952, Coffee Co., TN married Dr. John Kennerly Farris, Jr. (Grandparents of the writer.)

would follow before their Mother died on July 3, 1880, presumably in childbirth.

Along with his father-in-law, George Emery, John had served in Company M of the 2nd Pa Cavalry, 59th Volunteers. John Neese and his family came to Tennessee in 1868, along with his in-laws, George and Catherine Hillard Emery.

Family legend holds that John Neese met Dr. John Kennerly Farris, Sr. during the Civil War. John Farris, Sr., was a doctor, Co. I, 41st Tenn., CSA, and John Neese rode with the 2nd PA Cavalry. He was wounded and treated by Farris, who supposedly saved his arm. An odd but strong friendship developed between these two men of opposing sides and they kept in touch after the war, with Neese ultimately being invited to visit Farris in Coffee County in 1867. He moved south the next year. Little did they know that two decades later, the son of Dr. John K. Farris, Sr., Dr. John K. Farris, Jr., would marry John Neese’s daughter, Mary Emma. Both families appear on both the 1870 and 1880 Census Records of Coffee County, TN. It is also known that George Emery owned a farm of one hundred acres in Armstrong and Jefferson counties, PA which he sold before coming to Coffee County, Tennessee, where he purchased 125 acres, near the Prairie Plains area. Census records confirm both families existence in Coffee county in both 1870 and 1880.

After Mary Ann Emery Neese died in 1880, George lived three more years, dying in 1883, at age 68. Catherine Emery had been helping John Neese care for his children during this time, but upon his remarriage to Ann Landers, a short time later, she subsequently sold the land in Coffee County and returned to Red Bank Township in Armstrong County, PA., where she purchased 5 acres from her other son, Jacob. There would be three more children born from this second union.

Hardy, born Oct. 7, 1885

Minnie, born May 19, 1889 - d. Dec. 19, 1963 in Lebanon, TN. Married first a

Newman, second to Joe Corley.

John, born October 26, 1890

Catherine Emery

(Click on thumbnails to view full size photos)

John Neese, Company M of the 2nd Pa Cavalry, 59th Volunteers

His wife, Mary Ann Emery Neese, the first, taken prior to moving to Tennessee.

The second, taken shortly before her death in 1880.

The following pictures are of the children of John and Mary Ann Neese:

l) George

2) Jacob

3) Cal

4) Will Neese and first wife. She died in Cripple Creek and he then returned to Coffee County, TN

5) Cal and wife, Myrtle Parker - Cripple Creek, CO

6) Art and wife, Verdie Clay - Denver, CO

7) The four Neese brothers - front row- Jake and Art; back row - Cal and Will

8) Kate - married Charles Brock in Chattanooga. This is with her son, Charlie

9) Mattie - married Jim Strawn, moved to Texas

10) Mary -- married Dr. John Kennerly Farris, Jr. (She was the grandmother of this writer.)

11) Two of the children from the second marriage, Hardie and Minnie



Jacob (Jake)


Will & First Wife


Cal & Myrtle

Bio on Teller County, CO Site


Art and Verdie

Four Neese Brothers

front row- Jake and Art; back row - Cal and Will

Kate Neese & son Charlie

Mattie Neese Strawn

Mary Neese Farris

Brother and sister, Hardie and Minnie Neese, children of the second marriage.

Hand-written family records by Arthur Neese dated April 12, 1941.

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This page was last updated on -12/31/2012

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By Linda Blum-Barton