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Joseph Bowden Neely, Sr

Allsbrook, Horry County, South Carolina, USA
Death 6 Nov 1928 (aged 39)
Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, USA
Burial Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, USA
Plot Section L, Plot 355, Space 6
Memorial ID 5058450 · View Source
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Born in the Finklea/Allsbrook/Bayboro area of Horry County, South Carolina on Sunday, November 11, 1888, Joseph Bowden Neely, Sr. was the oldest of five and only surviving son of Joseph E. Neely and Sharlotte Ada Sarvis Neely. (His draft card lists his birth year as 1887.) He had blue eyes, light brown hair, and was of medium height. He was named "Joseph" for his father and "Bowden" for his mother's brother, Bowden Sarvis, who died in a sawmill fire. Joseph Bowden Neely, Sr. married Nettie Donnie King Neely (Riley) sometime after 1910 probably in Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina, and they moved to Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia where, ultimately, in 1927 he opened his own business selling Indian motorcycles. They had met around 1910 while working at the Dillon, Dillon County, South Carolina cotton mill.

In 1916 they were living in Savannah at 411 Berrien. In 1917 they moved to 524 West York Street in Savannah. At the time Bowden worked at Kavanaugh and Company in Savannah and later for a motorcycle supply company. Sometime between 1917 and 1920 he went from being called "Bowden" to being called "Joe.," while between 1916 and 1917 "Donnie" began calling herself "Nettie.". So Bowden and Donnie became Joe and Nettie. He received his draft notice for World War I the day the war ended which was also his birthday. While living at 524 West York Street in Savannah, they had twin sons in 1920 who died in infancy. Later two surviving sons, Joseph Bowden Neely, Jr. (born at 524 West York Street) and James Robert Neely, Sr. (born at 309 East 35th Street), were born. In 1925 and 1926 the Neelys lived at 315 York Street in Savannah. By 1927 they lived at 309 35th Street in Savannah. They had three grandchildren, James Robert Neely, Jr., John Michael Neely, and Sharlotte Neely Donnelly; six great-grandchildren; and several great-great-grandchildren.

Joe died at home in Savannah on November 6, 1928 at age 39 of secondary sarcoma of the liver. His cancer had earlier manifested itself in one of his eyes which was removed to try to stop the spread of the disease. He is buried in the Neely family plot at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah. His white casket has dirty handprints left by his then five-year-old son Joe. His ancestry is Irish, French, English, and--through the Sarvis surname--coastal Carolina Native American, probably Lumbee.

Thanks to his wife Nettie King Neely Riley and his son Joe Neely for so much of this information. Any errors, however, are mine alone. Please go to the "edit" link on this site with any corrections or additions.

Family Members


  • Created by: Sharlotte Neely Donnelly
  • Added: 15 Sep 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5058450
  • MB
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Joseph Bowden Neely, Sr (11 Nov 1888–6 Nov 1928), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5058450, citing Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by Sharlotte Neely Donnelly (contributor 19199118) .