About Minerva Jane Atchley
Birth: May 7, 1831
Death: Dec. 19, 1924
Minerva Jane(Bolles)Atchley,oldest child of Reuben and Susan(Lowery)Bolles,was engaged by the Federal goverment during the Civil War to carry dispatches from Lebanon to Springfield,Rolla and Jefferson City. She owned a stallion that only she could ride.One time she tied her petticoat over his ears so he couldn't hear the rebel soldiers nearby and give away her presence. Minerva Jane Bolles was born May 15,1831 in Summer CO.,KY.She married David Brown in 1846,he died in 1854,leaving her with three sons to raise. She came to Missouri with her parents in 1855 and settled on a farm in the Candock neighborhood. She married Francis M.Atchley on Aug.25,1862 and four children were born to them.Francis died in 1871 and a daughter,Louellen,died in 1873 at age 2. Funeral services were held at the Christian Church conducted by Rev.M.T.Lomenick and burial was in Atchley Cemetery. She leaves two sons,Nando and John,as well as several granchildren,30 great-granchildren and one great-great-grandchild Three sons preceded her in death,Samuel Brown 8/6/1902,Reuben 2/12/1920 and Daniel Nov.1924;one daughter,Susan Stidham on Nov.11,1909 She was on of the oldest women in the county,just a few months short of 94 and had enjoyed unusual health and energy until the last year.
The following was sent to me by Mrs. Albert Mizer of Lebanon: Minerva Jane Bolles Brown was a widow with 3 small sons during the Civil War. She lived in Laclede Co Mo. Her neighbor was Lillard Vernon, son of Col Miles Vernon. Jane was a superb horsewoman and was engaged by the Federal government to carry dispatches from Lebanon which at that time was occupied by the Federal troops, to Springfield, Rolla and Jefferson City. She owned a valuable stallion which reports say could be controlled by no one but Jane. She was quite fearless and had several narrow escapes from capture as she carried the dispatches. Col Vernon was a slave holder and had brought his family and slaves here some time before the Civil War. Shortly before the war began he took his family and slaves and went South where he and his sons except Lillard joined the Confederate Army. Lillard remained loyal to the Union. he stayed on the home place to care for it. This is located on Goodwin Hollow and at one time consisted of several hundred acres which were worked by the slaves. One night some rebel soldiers were encamped in the Vernon barnyard. They were en route to the Battle of Wilson's Creek near Springfield. (The Battle of Wilson's Creek took place on Aug 10, 1861) Lillard overheard some of them discussing going to Jane's home the next day, capturing and hanging her. He quietly slipped out of the house, evaded the sentinel, risking his own neck and in his stocking feet walked to Jane's home where all the family had retired not knowing of the rebels so close by. Calling softly to Jane, Lillard told her not to be afraid that he was a friend. Cautiously he told her what he had heard and helped her hide the stallion and her livestock in a thicket in a sink hole. Then Lillard returned home the way he had come, in his stocking feet. Jane remained all night with her livestock. In the morning she heard the rebel soldiers coming, so did the horse, fearing he might whinny and betray them, Jane unbuttoned her Lindsay petticoat, slipped out of it and tied down the horse's ears so that he could not hear the other horses. Not finding Jane or her livestock the rebels went on their way to the battle. Afterwards Jane was Married to Francis Marion Atchley. They were the parents of Nando Atchley whom many Laclede Co residents remember for his beautiful singing voice. Jane and Frank are buried in the well kept Atchley cemetery in the Candock neighborhood. Col Miles Vernon later returned to Mo and died at Rolla. He and his wife Ann Atchley are buried in the Vernon Cemetery on the Old Vernon homestead just northwest of Lebanon. other relatives are buried there too. In one corner are the unmarked groves of some of the Vernon slaves.