Seeking information on the parentage, family, and career of William E. Holley (ca. 1808 – ca. 1858) who was a missionary/teacher to Choctaw Indian tribes and later a prominent Presbyterian minister in and around Carroll Co., Mississippi. William was a contemporary and possible associate of Rev. Stephen Foreman (1807-1881), well known minister and leader in the Cherokee Nation.
William E. Holley was born Tennessee and was a student at the Maryville College Seminary near Knoxville, TN in the early 1830s. He is enumerated in the 1840 Carroll Co., MS census and probably lived/taught near Irwin/Middleton just west of Winona. By 1850, William had moved north to near present day Grenada, MS in then Yalobusha County. In 1853, he purchased land in Sec 24, T25N, R2E Tallahatchie Co. near present day Charleston MS.
William continued his ministry with the Presbyterian Church until at least late 1856, but his wife is listed as a widow in the 1860-70 censuses of Lafayette Co., MS (Paris-Oxford).
William’s wife Elizabeth (1813 – aft. 1870) was from Vermont, and they had six daughters: Elizabeth (b. 1838); Ellen C. (b. 1842), Theresa (b. 1844); Sarah G. (b. 1846); Arthusa (b. 1849), and O.R. (b. 1853). After being widowed, Elizabeth was a music teacher.
It is possible that William is somehow related to the families of James Holly (b. NC ca. 1790 – d. MS aft. 1850) who was an 1840-50 resident of Yalobusha Co., MS and/or Henry Holley (b. TN ca. 1821 – d. aft. 1860) who was an 1850 resident of Carroll Co., MS and whose family ended up in Tarrant Co., TX.