Francis Marion Nicoles and Jenaluska Holipeter Nicoles  
Francis Marion Nicoles and Mary J. "Jennie" (Holipeter) Nicoles
(Parents of Isadora Nicoles Dix (Granny Dix) and Etta Nicoles Handshaw/Browning)
Francis Marion Nicoles Mary Jeniluska/Jenniluska/"Jenie"/Jane (Holipeter) Nicoles2
Born: May 31 18401, near Dayton, Cass County, Ohio  Born:  November 6, 1841, Covington,  OH3, near Dayton
Married:  September 8, 1863 in Miami County, Indiana
Died: May 27, 1924, Montgomery AL Died:  August 18,1907, Macon GA
Buried: Riverside Cemetery, Macon GA  Buried:  Riverside Cemetery, Macon GA 

Had two daughters

Etta Nicoles Hanshaw/Browning Isadora Nicoles Dix
Born:  18?? born near Plymouth, (Marshall County) Indiana Born:  January 7, 1870 near Plymouth, Indiana
Died:  ??/??/1956 (?), Macoupin County, IL Died:  March 29, 1951, Robinson Springs AL
Buried:  Buried:  Riverside Cemetery, Macon GA 

1.  May 31 1841 given as FMN's DoB from Etta's letter.  On his grave 1840 is inscribed as his DoB.  The 1840 date also agrees with his army discharge that states that he was 24 years old in 1864.

2. Notes about Mary J. Holipeter's name: 
All of those places we see the name Jeniluska/Jenniluska, is either where I wrote it, or someone else, has quoted what I sent.  As I wrote in our Nicoles-Holipeter page:  "I haven't found "Jeniluska" or "Jenniluska" written anywhere." 

The closest we've come to independent corroboration is a reference to "Mary J." or "Mary 'Jane' ".   One place it's "G. Hollopeter".  It's easy to see how the census enumerators might struggled with this, thinking that her name was Ginny.  She had a niece named "Jennie", but I still haven't found the full name anywhere else.   Where, you may ask, did I come up with the name Jeniluska/Jenniluska?  My grandfather, Ralph F. Whigham, told me that one day.  Nelle Dix's middle initial was "J", but I haven't found what it stands for -- only guessing.  

I was beginning to think that I had a false memory of  hearing the name of, you know who, I've been using.  After all, I only heard it once and that was 45 years ago.  I searched my hard drive for all of the variants of  Jeniluska/Jenniluska/Jennie/Jenie and could find no independent corroboration.  I had already done this for the Web using Google, with no results.  Today, I started going through my Dix/Nicoles file box.  I came across a book of prepared forms for family history, that my mother made notes in.  She had made three separate references to, uh, Mrs. F. M. Nicoles.  To wit: 

  • page 12, "Jenaluska (Jennie) Holipeter" 
  • page 16, "Jennie Luska Holipeter" 
  • page 30, Jeniluska Holipeter (Jennie) 
So, I may still be crazy, but I feel a little better knowing that I didn't fabricate the name(s) out of whole cloth.  Unless it was a wholly made-up name, the only other connection that I can think of would be Cherokee chief Junaluska, who was probably in the news in 1841 when she was born.  But this is a huge stretch. 

3.  "Covington Co. Ohio" is from her gravestone at Riverside Cemetery.  "Near Dayton" is from Etta's letter to Nelle.  The problem is that there is no Covington County in Ohio.  There IS a community named Covington, near Dayton, just up the road from Troy Ohio, in Miami County.  Let's go with that for now.

Francis Marion Nicoles and Mary Jeniluska/Jenniluska "Jennie" (Holipeter) Nicoles
Photo submitted by Lyn Smith Simonton

Francis Marion Nicoles
(Caption written by Ruth Dix Whigham)

Photo submitted by Russell Dix Whigham



Mary Jeniluska/Jenniluska "Jennie" (Holipeter) Nicoles

Photo submitted by Lyn Smith Simonton 

Both of these photos are on the same size and same kind of metal plate.  Note that the top corners of Jennie's photo have been trimmed as are the same corners of FMB's to fit under the oval mat.  This suggests that the photos were made at the same time and were once part of a matched set.

From the Miami County Indiana Marriage Records: . Note that here "Hollipeter is spelled with two "l"s and "Nichals" is a variant of Nicoles. I haven't found "Jeniluska" or "Jenniluska" written anywhere.  These are my best guesses at what has been passed down as oral history.
Hollipeter Jacob M (Mary J's brother) M E Nicoles no date C 1 131
Hollipeter Mary Jane F M  Sept 8 1863 C 3 190 
Hollipeter William  (Mary J's brother) R Chronister Dec 4 1856 C 2 344 
Nichals Francis Mary J. Hollipeter Sept 8 1863 C 3 190 
In spite of the spelling variance between the two entries for this marriage,  I think these are our folks.  Note that there are two Hollipeter-Nicoles marriages. 

Did the Hollipeter brother & sister marry the Nicoles brother & sister?  Looks like it!
BRIDE                   GROOM                    DATE OF MARRIAGE   BOOK   PAGE
Nicoles Mariah   Jacob M.Hollipeter   (???)                                   C- 1       131 
<> for Nichals/Nicoles
<>  for Hollipeter/Holipeter 

Almost a year after the wedding FMN served from August 19 through December 29, 1864 in the Union Army in Colorado.

Descendants of Matthias Hollopeter
excerpt from

3  William Hollopeter  1790 - 1833
              4  John Hollopeter  1813 - 1841  [Their father]
                  5  William Hollopeter  1834 -
                      6  Andrew Jackson Hollipeter  1860 -
                          7  Lizzie Hollipeter 
                      6  Charles E. Hollipeter  1861 -
                      6  Walter Hollipeter  1873 -
                      6  Jennie Gertrude Hollipeter  1865 -
                  5  Jacob Hollipeter  1836 - +Unknown Nicoles 
                      6  Arthur Hollipeter  1862 -
                      6  Violette Ann Hollipeter  1864 -
                      6  Edward E. Hollipeter  1870 -
                      6  Francis E. Hollipeter  1872 -
                          7  Mollie Ruth Hollipeter 
                  5  G. Hollopeter  1840 - +Unknown Nicoles 

[The year should be 1841,and perhaps the census enumerator assumed "Jennie" was spelled with a "G" (Ginny),  but "wed to" is right and the brothers match with Mary J.]

Hollopeter Connections

In her letter on the family history, Etta didn't give Jennie's mother's first name, only that her maiden name was Murray. The Samuel Murray listed (in the link above) had 5 wives (m1-m5) as described in Etta's letter. If he's the same Samuel Murray, he's "Uncle Sam", the brother of Jennie Holipeter's birth mother, a Murray, whose first name was (until now) unknown to us. Farther down the list of Murrays (Samuel is #3) is:

7 Catharine [Murray] [Mary J. Hollopeter's birth mother]
m 12 Oct 1833 
Miami County OH

John Hollopeter  [Mary J. Hollopeter's birth father]
b 1813 York County PA, d 1841 
Miami County OH
s/o William Hollopeter &

This seems to be a perfect fit. Jennie's father, John Hollopeter, (1813 -1841) according to the information in the The Hollopeter Family Record, was the son of William Hollopeter and who married Catharine Murray on October 12, 1833 in Miami County OH. It would certainly appear that Jennie's parents were John Hollopeter and Catharine (Murray) Hollopeter.

1860 Indiana Census
(About the second screen down -- first listing of generation "5")

Name Age Gender
Pl. of Birth 
County Township Page Ancestry Image #  Notes
Holipeter, William 24 M OH Miami Pipe Creek 289 287
Hollopeter, Mary J. 20 F OH Miami Pipe Creek 298 296 w/ Allen &
Hetty Stewart
Jacob Hollipeter would have been 26 years old in 1860, but is not listed here.  The "Allen and Hetty Stewart" reference in the notes agrees with Etta's letter (below).

Francis Marion Nicoles'
Union Army Discharge
Submitted by Martha Whigham Picardy

Below is the same Union Army Discharge in text format
The words in italics are written in long hand on the form.
Transcribed by Russell Dix Whigham

To All Whom It May Concern. 

Know ye, that ___Francis M. Nichols_______________a
_______private______ of Captain Thomas E. McDonald's
Company (76) Third Regiment of Colorado Cavalry, one hundred day 
volunteers who was enrolled on the nineteenth day of ____August__
one thousand eight hundred sixty four, to serve for the period of one 
hundred days, is hereby Discharged from the service of the United States, 
this ____29________ day of  ___December_____, 1864 at Denver Col-
orado  Territory  by  reason  of  expiration  of  term  of  service. 
(No objection to his being re-enlisted is known to exist.* )
Said ____Francis M. Nichols ___  was born in __Cass___
in the state of ___Indiana________ is ___twenty four___ years of age, 
____six feet ___ inches high, __light___ complexion, ___blue eyes___, 
___light___ hair, and by occupation when enrolled, a ___carpenter___
Given at Denver Colorado Territory this ______29__________ day of 
December, 1864.


* This sentence will be erased should there be anything
         in the conduct or physical contition of the soldier
         rendering him unfit for the Army.









"Cass" is the county in Indiana where FMN was born.  It is then signed by mostly illegible signatures of those in command.
In the upper left-hand corner is handwritten: [blurred ink] March 15 1865 and under that, a signature Charles ????ford and below that in a different hand Paymaster ???   What looks to be a dollar amount of $42.35 is written to the right of the graphic.  Note the misspelling of the last name here.

Francis Marion Nicoles
Mary Jenniluska "Jennie" (Holipeter) Nicoles
The caption written by Ruth Dix Whigham reads
"My Grandmother Nicoles as a young woman"
1882 or 1883 in Clarinda, Iowa

The following is a letter written by Etta (Nicoles) Hanshaw/Browning to her niece, Nelle (Dix) Smith
Scanned by Jeff Shannon from an original submitted by Alice Newman Shannon

The following is the same as the image file above, but in text format

Letter from Etta (Nicoles) Hanshaw/Browning to her niece, Nelle Dix Smith
Transcribed by Russell Dix Whigham from the original letter contributed by Alice Newman Shannon

Your great grandfather Nicoles1  was born In Virginia.  He was Scotch and English and the family name at one time was McNicoles.  His first wife’s name was Davidson and by her there were four children – Sue, Will, John, and Frank2, my father.

After her death, he married again and this time there were six children – Maria, Desdemona, Jacob, Allen, George and Adrian.

Grandfather Nicoles1 whose given name was Nathaniel3, moved to Ohio and there, near Dayton, your grandfather2 was born, May 31 1841.  Later the family came to Indiana, locating near Peru or Logansport. 

I never saw my grandfather Nicoles but your mother did.  When quite small she and our father went from Auburn Illinois to Indiana where grandfather was very sick.  He had one brother, Will, who when quite old visited in Springfield IL and met him there.

As far as I know, most of the Nicoles family were then called Campbellites (now Christian or Disciples) very strong immersionists.

Grandpa Nicoles was a small man, (I cannot ever remember ever seeing his picture) and his youngest son (your mother remembers Uncle Doc (Adrian) who lived in Chatham) was of similar stature.

Cousin Clara Welch thinks we have one other source of information and may learn more of the family.  I’ll report it if any comes to me.

Now for your grandmother, my mother.  Her maiden name was Holipeter, the father being French and she insisted the name was correctly pronounced - HOLLY-pay-ter – but when growing up was often tormented by her schoolmates making it – Holy Peter.  Her mother’s maiden name was Murray, of Pennsylvania Dutch descent, but they moved west into Ohio and your grandmother was born near Dayton, on November 6, 1841. 

She had two brothers, Jake and Will.  When the father died, the mother, not being able to support the family, your grandmother and Uncle Jake were taken in by a childless couple, Allen and Hetty Stewart, then living near Dayton Ohio.  They were the only grandparents your mother and I ever knew.

By marriage, Grandma Stewart was related to Uncle Sam Murray, a brother of our real grandmother who later married a man by the name of Billheimer, thus our mother had a number of half brothers and sisters, whom I never saw.  (The Murrays were a marrying family)  (She married twice afterwards)  Uncle Sam Murray had five wives – no divorces – just sturdy, long-lived, he living to be over 100 years old and preaching a sermon on his 100th birthday.)

Just when these families came to Indiana I cannot say, but they seem to have remained neighbors, our parents marring there.  Your mother and I were born near Plymouth, Indiana.  The family moved to Auburn Ill. In 1871.  Grandpa and Grandma Stewart were already there having come on with a large settlement of Dunkards (more about them later).  We lived with Grandpa and Grandma for some years, and a baby brother was born – Charles Chester – who lived but six months.

Later on our father built us a large two-story house in the same yard.  After some years, he sold it, buying a home in another part of town where we lived till I was 16 years old.  Thus we had many years of association with our mother’s foster parents.  They were such quaint darling people, Grandpa being indulgent to us girls.

Grandma was rather more peppery, but I can imagine raising our mother was somewhat of a chore because of her clashing ideas. 

To understand this I must tell you of these Pennsylvania Dutch Dunkards.  They were quite different from either the Amish or Mennonites, tho having a uniform style of dress, which the Dunkards have long since discarded.  You will get some idea of the style of dress from the pictures I am sending and the faded cape.  The caps were white swiss which Grandma Stewart made all by hand – the daintiest stitches.  The uniform dress every day and Sunday was made the same – tight waist to which was attached a straight full skirt, with straight apron tied around the waist and the cape like the one I am sending you – dress, apron, and cape of the same material – for week days, black calico with small white figure or dot.  The Sunday dress was of plain black wool and the apron of black silk and quilted silk bonnet – regular sun bonnet with skirt to the shoulders.

Grandma Stewart had a round rosy face and looked so sweet in cap and dress.  With this style of dress you can see how our mother as your mother can describe her, would be rebellious.  So many of her associates dressed differently so as she grew older, she kept other clothes at her friend’s homes and would slip out and go to parties and etc. which of course displeased Grandma.  Grandpa had such soft white hair worn rather long and clear blue eyes but Grandma’s eyes were brown.  He was a great hunter and called his dog Dandy Jim.

After Grandpa’s death, Grandma lived on in Auburn with her sister and visited me twice after I married and came here to live.  Later she went to Ohio and there, died at the home of a brother.  As to the religion of the Dunkards, they were immersionists, the candidates being put under three times.  They practiced foot-washing and men and women sat on opposite sides of the church.  Every fall they held a feast – long tables out in the grove – everybody invited and all served with bowls of clear beef broth and plenty of boiled beef.  The feast followed a series of meetings, baptizings and so on.

The Dunkards were sturdy, highly respected people, the older ones speaking low German.  I have Grandma’s New Testament in German and will send it to you sometime.

Getting back to the immediate family – About 1881 we moved to Clarinda Iowa, where for a couple of years, your grandfather was in the grocery business, being engaged in the same business for some time in Auburn.

In 1884 another move down to Alabama, and I now leave the family in your mother’s hands to supply further details.  Of course I realize that all I have reminisced about is not material for your family tree but thought it might be interesting reading and I have enjoyed my journey into the past.  (As I wrote cousin Clara once, while our family never made illustrious history, to my knowledge, none of its members were ever guilty of scandalous or criminal acts).

1 Nathaniel Nicoles, Francis “Frank” Marion Nicoles’ father
A Nathaniel, Jacob and Mary Nicoles are buried in the Mays Cemetery.  I don't know if they are the same as above.

2 Francis Marion Nicoles, Granny Dix’s and Etta Hanshaw Browning’s father

3 Nichols, Nathaniel  married Davidson, Elizabeth  Sep 20, 1830


We have only the roughest of timelines for our Nicoles line:

Both girls were born near Plymouth,(Marshall County) Indiana.  January 7, 1870 for Issie, No DoB for Etta
Moved to Auburn IL in 1871
About 1881 moved to Clarinda, Iowa
Moved to Alabama in 1884
Moved to Macon GA (with Bert & Issie?)
Burried in Macon

From Ruth Dix Whigham's Red Photo Album

Etta and Issie Nicoles
Auburn, Illinois

This enhanced image was made from an almost totaly dark 5x7 tin photograph, with the above caption taped to the back.  It's apparent after some digital manipulation, that the photograph had spent some time in an oval frame.  The two individual 2x3 photographs below, were obviously made at the same time as the one above.  They are also on tin, but in much better condition.

From Ruth Dix Whigham's Red Photo Album
Etta and Issie Nicoles
Auburn, Illinois

Etta Nicoles, Auburn Ill
(This photo is on a metal plate)
From Ruth Dix's Red Photo Album

Issie Nicoles, Auburn Ill
(This photo is on a metal plate)
Photo submitted by Frances Dix Chapman

From Ruth Dix Whigham's Red Photo Album
"Etta Nicoles and Rallie Hurlbut, Clarinda IA  (No date)

Rallie may have been Etta's roommate at Alabama Conference Female College, Tuskegee AL.

We have very little specific information on the Nicoles family during this period.  Etta mentioned that the family moved to Alabama in 1884 and we have some evidence that both Etta and Issie attended Tuskegee Female College /Alabama Conference Female College, Tuskegee AL (now Huntingdon College in Montgomery), and that they were in Brewton AL in 1886 when Issie and Bert met, and we know that they were married in 1886. 

Here, the path diverges.  You can continue below for a little more on the Nicoles line, or connect to the Albert Sidney Dix page, at the time when they were in Brewton, and Bert and Issie begin their life together.

Isadora Nicoles in 1887
Photo submitted by Alice Newman Shannon

Francis Marion (Grandpa) Nicoles,
Photo submitted by Alice Newman Shannon

Photo submitted by Lyn Smith Simonton
1016 Alabama Street.  Date, city, and state unknown.

Lyn wrote:

...  I found some more old pictures, one being a picture of an old house with what appears to be an iron fence around it, but maybe wooden. There are two people standing in front of the house (or sitting on the walls on either side of the front steps) who might be our Grandfather and Grandmother Nicoles (the figures are small as the photographer seemed to be mainly taking a picture of the house and hard to tell). Anyway, written on the back of the picture, which appears to have been torn out of an album, is 1016 Ala. St. Was a house at 1016 Alabama Street one of our family homes? I would assume it was in Montgomery. Just wondered if you were familiar with this address, or if you could search it out? 
And I replied:
This is a new address for me.  There is an Alabama St. in Montgomery but, today it's only eight blocks long now, and it's been like that since I was born in St. Margaret's Hospital (in what would have been the 900 block) in 1945. Can you tell their approximate ages from the photo?  Do you think it was after the girls left home?  I don't think Grandmother Nicoles ever lived in Montgomery.
So, where is/was this house?  I'm more than a little fuzzy on the Nicoles timeline, but it's something like: 
1884 Moved to Alabama from Clarinda, Iowa
1886 Lived in Brewton AL 
1907 Grandmother Nicoles died at age 66, and buried in Macon 

At least we have an upper limit on the date (1907) when this photograph was made.  Lyn has looked for this house in Macon.  There is an Alabama St. in Macon, but nothing resembling this house exists today.  At some point, Grandpa and Grandmother Nicoles moved to Macon, presumably to be near Granny Dix and ASD, but we don't know when they left Brewton. 

By scanning the original photo, I was able to glean some details not obvious in Lyn's image.   It appears to be a recently completed house.  The boards at the street serve as "curbs" on the unpaved street.  The gated fence does appear to be wooden. 

Protective frames around the young trees implies recent landscaping.  Grandpa Nicoles is holding a book prominently.  It looks like they're dressed-up and posed for the photo and the book was more than just a coincidence.  The trees in the background appear to be pine trees.  There are utility poles on the street behind the house.  The single crossarm on the poles implies either powerlines or a recent addition to the telephone lines in the area.  There are gutters and downspouts.  Venetian blinds are in the windows.  There is no grass in the yard.

The couple appears to be in their advanced years, so I'm still leaning toward Macon as the location.

Enlarged images of Grandmother and grandpa Nicoles from the photo of the house

Macon Weekly Telegraph, August 19, 1907

Submitted by Eugenia B. Hobday

Mrs. F. M. Nicoles 
Died Yesterday
She was known throughtout
state for her charitable 
deeds -- Funeral Today.

Mrs. F. M. Nicoles, aged 66 years, died yesterday morning at 5:45 o'clock at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Albert S. Dix, of the Georgia Industrial Home, after an illness of several weeks.

Mrs. Nicoles was known throughout the statefor her charitable deeds, and her death is greatly regretted by the Christian people of Georgia.  She was a consistant member of the Christian church.

She is survived by her husband and by two daughters, Mrs. A. S. Dix of Macon, and Mrs. C. T. Hanshaw of Illinois.

The funeral cortege will leave the residence this afternoon at 4 o'clock and the funeral services will be held at Riverside cemetery where the interment will occur.  The Rev. E. C. Dargan will officiate at the service.

Transcribed by Russell Whigham

Macon Weekly Telegraph, August 20, 1907

Submitted by Eugenia B. Hobday

Mrs. Nicoles Buried Yesterday Afternoon

The funeral services of Mrs. F. M. Nicoles who died Sunday, were held yesterday afternoon from the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Albert S. Dix, conducted by Rev. E. C. Dargan.  Interment was in Riverside cemetery.
Transcribed by Russell Whigham

We're not sure if the Nicoles were living with the Dixes at the Georgia Industrial Home, or if Granny Dix was just caring MJN in her last days.

Three years later, when Albert died, and the family had to leave their home, Grandpa Nicoles went to Montgomery with Granny Dix and the kids.


 From Ruth Dix Whigham's "Little Black Photo Album"
Francis Marion (Grandpa) Nicoles, age 79, 1920,
Granny Dix's Father
This is at 12 Marshall Street, Montgomery AL

Sister Etta

Photograph submitted by Lyn Simonton

Etta Nicoles, date unknown but the Illinois location of the studio
suggests that it was before 1884, when they moved to Alabama

Etta Nicoles in 1887

photo submitted by Martha Whigham Picardy

"Our home on the corner in Palmyra, where my three children were born,
lived and died.  Frank is standing on chair. Mr. Hanshaw and I are in the
yard. I am holding our little girl, Gladys. Russell is not yet born. The
father also died here in 1909."

The photographer's seal in the middle says:

                        W. F Farrow,
                   811 Kansas Ave
                   Topeka  -   Kansas
                View   Photographer

Note in my (MWP) handwriting says: Granny Dix's sister, Etta, married Mr.
C.T. Hanshaw.  This was her house in Palmyra, Ill.

Etta Nicoles Handshaw and family

enlarged from a photo supplied by Martha Whigham Picardy

 Etta (Nicoles) Handshaw/Browning

Isadora (Nicoles) Dix

Photograph submitted by Lyn Simonton

Sisters, Etta (Nicoles) Hanshaw/Browning and Isadora (Nicoles) Dix
“May, 1924”, “Aunt Etta and Granny Dix” at 12 Marshall St., Montgomery AL

Etta Browning

Photograph submitted by Frances (Dix) Chapman