Biography of John Tollett, Sr.


John Tollett, Sr. was born 1758, in Montgomery County, Virginia, near the Natural Bridge.  He was raised by foster parents, John and Betsey McIntosh.  Beginning with the war years, John Tollett’s life is well documented.  In 1777, he took the Oath of Allegiance sworn of Captain Joseph Cloyd’s Company of the Virginia Militia on Oct. 10, 1777.

In 1784, John married Margaret Brown of Augusta County, Virginia.  They then moved to Wilkes County, Georgia.  General Elbert granted him 1200 acres and they accumulated more.  John and Margaret then moved back to Virginia and had seven children, all being born in Montgomery County, Virginia.

John Tollett was a builder and a leader of men.  He owned land in both Virginia and Georgia.  All three of his sons were surveyors.  John was a Methodist preacher and a builder of churches.  He built the second church in Georgia and was one of seven preachers who built the first church in the Missouri Territory.

In 1803, when Bledsoe County, Tennessee was formed, he was sent there to set up the new government.  Tollett was one of three men who were the first Commissioners.  The entire family pulled up stakes and moved to the Sequatchie Valley, above where the town of Litton, in Bledsoe County is located.  They were among the first few settlers in the Valley.

Around 1818, John Tollett, Sr. with his wife and all his children, pulled up stakes again and moved on to the west into the newly formed Missouri Territory.  Once again they became involved in surveying and settling a wilderness, starting and building new churches and getting new governments formed and organized.

The impact of this family in establishing law and order in the new land was tremendous.  At least three of the sons became Federal Magistrates.

John Tollett, Sr. and his family once again moved to Old Miller County, Arkansas which later became Red River County, Texas.  He died in 1824 at the age of sixty-six and is buried in an unmarked grave on the home place in the northern part of Red River County.  His wife, Margaret Brown Tollett died in 1844 and is buried in Red River County.  Several descendents of John Tollett have joined the DAR over the years.