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Maj Joseph Koger
Birth: Oct. 27, 1779
Death: Aug. 25, 1866

Joseph Koger and his first wife, Abigail, owned a two story home built on the Stagecoach Road (now known as Wire Rd.) which was the main route from Charleston, SC, to Augusta, GA, in the late 1700's and early 1800's. He and his wife opened their home as an Inn along the stagecoach road for travelers. He became an officer in the militia of South Carolina during the American Revolution where he served as the rank of Captain under General Francis Marion and later became a Major. He served as a member of SC House of Representatives (1806-1812) and SC Senate (1818-1838). He also served as the Sheriff of Colleton County, SC (1813-1817). Joseph and his family moved to Mississippi in 1838. At this time, he gave his slaves their choice of going with him or receiving their freedom. After the death of his first wife, Abigail Koger, he married his second wife, Mary Murray Koger. Written by the late Merle Koger Berry, Reevesville, SC


The Koger - Murray - Carroll House
by Peggy Murray Phalen
Updated by Peggy, August 2012

The Koger-Murray-Carroll House is located on the Wire Road near Grover, South Carolina. The road (an old Indian trail) was used in the early days as a stagecoach road as well as a main route for visitors and residents between Charleston and inland towns and settlements. It was called the road to Orangeburg on the Mills Atlas of 1820. The exact date of construction of the house is unknown but new research has shown that the house has been in place since at least 1793 and probably was constructed beginning in the mid 1780's.

Originally it was thought that Joseph Koger, Jr. was the original owner but new findings reveal that Thomas Ferguson owned the property as early as 1775 and upon his death in 1786 it was sold to David Campbell. At this time it appears that David Campbell had the home built on the plantation along with three other homes for slaves and a large barn. A plat of the property surveyed for John Milhous, Jr. dated 1793 shows all of the buildings present and in the deed of transfer from David Campbell to John Milhous, Jr. for a sum of four hundred pounds sterling includes the plantation or tract of land containing one thousand two hundred and three acres (more or less) together with houses, outhouses, ways, water, water courses, paths, passages, trees, fences and easements.

John Milhous, Jr. was a millwright as was his father who owned the saw mills three miles up the road at Cattle Creek. John Milhous, Jr. married Abigail Sleigh and at the time of his death in 1797 had two children with a third unborn. All of his children died between his death in 1797 and 1802. He left the plantation house and property to his children, Elizabeth and John and to his unborn child he left property that he had in the Orangebugh District near Barnwell that was left to him by his father John Milhous, Sr. He also made provisions for his wife Abigail to live in the plantation house until her death. With the untimely deaths of the children, Abigail inherited the entire plantation and when she married Joseph Koger in March of 1802 made provisions in their marriage settlement that the property would go to him upon her death. Joseph Koger and Abigail Sleigh Milhous married in 1802 and had they had four children. Abigail died 17 June 1812 and was buried near the Koger House in what was probably the Milhous Cemetery. No markers remain but it is known that a cemetery existed there in the 1970's.

Joseph Koger, Jr. married again in September of 1812 to Mary Murray daughter of William Murray and Martha McQuillan Murray of nearby Grover (then known as Murray's Crossroads). They lived in the home until 1838 when he became disenfranchised with politics in the district and moved to Mississippi. He sold the house to John Soule Murray, a brother-in-law. John Soule did not live long after purchasing the home. He died in 1844 at which time the home was sold to John May the proprietor of May's Ferry just up the road from the plantation.

John May sold the home to Chancellor James Parsons Carroll for a winter home. He lived in Aiken, South Carolina. In November 1900 the house was sold by Lewis E. Parler to Mattie A. Hartzog. The acreage accompanying the house had been divided and was now down to just a 100 acres. Subsequent owners have been identified as R.D. Canaday, Henry Allen Westerndorf, and then the Fitzhugh Sweatman family in 1946. The house was donated to the Upper Dorchester County Historical Society in 2004 and restoration was completed in 2009.

The house was constructed of black cypress and is in the Georgian style with Federal-era features such as the mantels. Many unique features exist from the original construction such as the wainscoting in the two front rooms on the first floor made of pine faux finished graining to replicate oak paneling (a symbol of status). Writing exists in the upstairs bedroom on the window trimming from the 1850's. The handmade butt hinges supports the doors which are from the Federal period. The staircase is as sturdy today as it was when it was constructed. One of the chimney's at one time had 1794 written on it which probably was when the house was completed.

This old home is truly a one of a kind and is one that would be worthwhile anyone's time to visit. There are so many unique construction features to see that have not been mentioned.


Journal of the Senate, of the State of Mississippi, At a Called Session, October 1866, Jackson, Miss.: J. J. Shannon & Co., State Printers, 1866, Pps. 147 - 148.

Joseph Koger
Sixteenth Day
Tuesday, January 22, 1867

Mr. Lyles, by leave, offered the following resolution:

RESOLVED, That the Senate has heard with profound regret of the death of Hon. Joseph Koger, a former member of this body. He was justly styled the "Father of the Mississippi Senate," whose patriotic virtues had endeared him to the people of the State; which was adopted.

On motion of Mr. Napier, the following tribute of respect, made by Mr. Lyles, upon introducting the resolution, was ordered to be spread upon the Journal:

Mr. President:

Since the last regular session of the Legislature, one of the saddest misfortunes recorded in the annals of the district I represent, has befallen its people, in the death of Hon. Joseph Koger. As he was my predecessor in the Senate of Mississippi, it devolves upon me, at once, as a duty and pleasure, to pay a passing tribute to the memory of one both worthy and illustrious. The mutations of time bring lamentable changes to all; scarcely could be found one among us, whos life has not know a single sorrow -- nay, been darkened with many sorrows; and, as personal griefs are apt to be selfish and obtrusive, we shrine them in our hearts. But, when one who has performed a numberless acts of kindness, and liberality; one who has rendered himself and truly a public benefactor, devoting his life to the service of his fellow-creatures, passes away, we feel that we have a right to morn, and offer to each other that tender sympathy which falls like healing balm upon the wounded spirit. Hence I, upon whose unworthy shoulders has fallen this mantle of this great and good man, come before you reverently to speak of him, and with all humility.

Mississippi, whose interest he served so long and faithfully, was not his native State, but the home of his adoption. He was born in Colleton district, South Carolina, October 27, 1779. To him, then, we see was accorded more than the three-score and ten years, which cromprise the alloted period of existence. He was not cut off in the plentitude of his strength and the glory of his manhood, but as one of those who "went about doing good," was spared until his locks were hoary, his footsteps tottering, and the nobile spirit prepared for translation to the peaceful abode of the God in whom he believed, and in whose worship was his delight.

A youthful and stalward Carolinian, always a staunch advocate of right, 1812 found him captain of the first company that marched to the defence of Carolina. He served throughout the war, in a highly creditable manner, thereby envincing the patriotic ordor which glowed within his breast. He returned, and to his military renown were added civil distinctions; which the people he had defended and protected gladly bestowed; and for twenty years, he was a member of, and ornament to, the Senate and House of Representatives of South Carolina. He came to our State in 1838, and while belonging to the body I now address, the following resolution was offered and unanimously adopted: "Resolved, by the Senate, that in the person of the Senator from Noxubee, we realize all that is ennobling in the human heart; his great goodness, his uniform kindness and liberality, his unremitting attention to the duties of his station, all point to him as an example, worth of the emulation of every citizen of Mississippi; and render him worthy of the appellation of Father of the Senate of the State of Mississippi.

I knew him for more than a quarter of a century, and knew him ever as one of the best men. His political status was always clearly defined; he was a States Rights man. He believed, having come among us, that he belonged to Mississippi, and never falsified his professions. But when war's "dread alarm" again sounded, grown old in the service of his country, he gave to her his only son, one who laid aside the ecclesicstical gown for the warrior's armor, and now fills a nameless grave before Murfreesboro. He gave his grandsons, all, to the cause of Southern Independence, and having witnessed the termination of the recent sanguinary contest, he was gathered to his father's; dying as he had lived, a patriot and a Christian.


Notwithstanding Major/Senator Koger's reputed offer of freedom to his slaves in South Carolina in 1838, his "numberless acts of kindness and liberality," his "service to his fellow creatures," his life as a "Christian," etc., it must also be noted that the 1860 U.S. Census Slave Schedules show he still owned 41 male and 39 female slaves, a total of 80 fellow human beings.

Family links: 
  Joseph Koger (1749 - 1835)
  Mary A. Tibets Cook Koger (1754 - 1824)
  Abigail Sligh Koger (1769 - 1812)*
  Mary Murray Koger (1790 - 1872)*
  Infant Son Koger*
  Alfred James Koger (1802 - 1803)*
  George Washington Koger (1815 - 1819)*
  Margaret Ann Koger Dixon (1823 - 1905)*
  Marcia Elvira Koger (1829 - 1831)*
*Calculated relationship
Soule Chapel Cemetery
Noxubee County
Mississippi, USA
GPS (lat/lon): 33.17625, -88.62704
Maintained by: RKogerS
Originally Created by: meet Virginia
Record added: Apr 01, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35433306
Maj Joseph Koger
Added by: kenagy
Maj Joseph Koger
Added by: kenagy
Maj Joseph Koger
Added by: RKogerS
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In Memory of the Koger and Murray families.
- Margaret Hamby
 Added: Feb. 29, 2016

- meet Virginia
 Added: Sep. 6, 2012
This page is sponsored by: RKogerS

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