Peel Family Were Early Residents and R. H. Peel was First White Child Born in County
Submitted by Martha Fant
The old Volney Peel home near Laws Hill antedates the organization of Marshall County and the incorporation of Holly Springs by several years, having been built in 1833. Volney Peel was the founder of the Peel family in Marshall County, coming here from Huntsville Alabama, in 1832 and settling near Laws Hill. He was a civil engineer and took a prominent part in organizing Marshall County.
The Peel house is thought to be the first home in Marshall County to be built of brick, and it was built of brick made and burned by slave labor on the plantation. It is located 14 miles south of Holly Springs on the Wyatte and Holly Springs road. It is one and a half stories in height, has four rooms 20 feet square and a hall 30 feet by 50 feet on the first floor, and front and back porches. All the lower floor could be thrown open to give space for the large dances that were frequently given in the home. The second story contained six bedrooms, with several dormer windows furnishing light and ventilation.
Following the custom of that day, the family burial ground was not far away. There rest the ashes of Volney Peel and many of the Peel family.
Volney Peel's sons were Dr. R. H. Peel (said to be the first white child born in Marshall County), Andrew Peel, Tom Peel, Addison Peel and Volney Peel, Jr. At the death of Volney Peel, the property went to Dr. R. H. Peel, one of the most beloved physicians who ever practiced in Marshall County. He was a surgeon throughout the Civil War in the Confederate Army.
Following the war and the freeing of the slaves, Dr. Peel deeded 140 acres of land for a home to his old carriage driver and seamstress, Spencer and Dicie Peel, who were married. Alfred Peel, another slave, was elected to the Mississippi Legislature during the Carpetbag Regime.
Dr. Peel was twice married, each wife being the daughter of B. D. Matthews of Mt. Pleasant and Holly Springs. He had one daughter, Mamie Peel, who became the wife of S. R. Crawford.
In 1874, Dr. Peel sold the home to G. W. Wright, who lived there until 1886. The Wright family consisted of G. W. Wright, wife, four sons, D. B., Emmett, Elliott, and Charles, and three daughters, Hattie, Olivia and Mitchell. During the occupancy of the Wright family, the home lost none of its former hospitality. It was still the social center for the young people, both near and from afar.
In 1886 G. W. Wright left the home and moved to Holly Springs. He sold the house to Volney Peel, Jr. in 1897. Volney Peel had four sons, Hal, Andrew, Phil and Frank, who still own the old home. For the past several years, the house, which today stands in an open field, has been unoccupied and is in a state of considerable dilapidation.
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