1840 Robert Neely Provine of Calhoun Co, Mississippi

Robert Neely Provine b. March 17, 1840 – d. Dec 11, 1929.

married to Nancy Chisholm Goyen b. 1840


Samuel Provine b. 1806 and Elizabeth Creekmore (Samuel F. Provine will probated in 1847:  https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99Q8-2LX8?i=69&cc=2036959&cat=238718 ,  https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9Q8-XNX6?i=138&cc=2036959&cat=240628 ).  (Guardian ppw for Elizabeth B. Provine over Robert Neely, John William, Leonidas Foster, and Nancy Jane Provine, minors – after Samuel Provine’s death abt 1847:   https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9Q8-XN5L?i=141&cc=2036959&cat=240628 ).


1) Joseph Findley Provine b. Nov 23, 1860 – d. , m. Josie V. Wright , married on Feb 10, 1885 – lived in Coffeeville, Miss.
2) John Williams Provine b. June 19, 1866 – d. 1948, m. Mary P. Sproles . married on Aug 19, 1896 –
3) Robert Foster Provine b. Nov 15, 1867 – , m. Emma Boland. Married on Sept 27, 1892.
4) Charles Calhoun Provine b. Oct 16, 1869. M. Pearl Dowell. Married Dec 19, 1990
5) George Hiram Provine b. Aug 9, 1871 m. Marguerite Thompson b. ? – d. Aug 28, 1958. Married Feb 16, 1898 in McKinney, Texas – living on farm there.
6) James Neely Provine b. June 13, 1873 m. Fannie Jones . Married on Jan 4, 1900.
7) Edgar Braxton Provine b. March 2, 1875 (no other info)
8) Oscar Tilden Provine b. July 14, 1876 d. Nov 18, 1956 in Calhoun, Miss. m. Kate Denley. Married in 1902 in Big Creek, Miss.
9) Elizabeth Mae Provine b. May 12, 1879 m. Charles Bertrand Boland


John William Provine 1841–1864
Leonidas Foster Provine 1844–1902
Nancy Jane Provine 1845–1931


Nannie Provine Robert Neely Provine

(Photos of Nancy Goyen and husband Robert N. Provine).

Nancy Goyen with Husband R N Provine and family

(Robert Neely Provine with wife Nancy Goyen Provine, and all their children – far left is Joseph Finley Provine, next to him is John William Provine).

We know from William W. Goyen’s letters that were written in the Civil War (found on his body and delivered to his wife after his death) that his sister was Nancy Goyen who married into the Provine family.  (In letter named “Nannie Provine” with her son “Joseph Findley Provine”).

Letters from W W Goyen found on body in Civil War letter May 9 1864 transcription

Letters from W W Goyen found on body in Civil War letter June 7, 1864 letter 2

(Transcription of W W Goyen letters dated May 9, 1864 and June 7, 1864.  They were found on his body after killed at Battle of Brice’s Crossroads on June 10, 1864 – Letters were taken from his pocket and delivered to his wife Sarah Bell Goyen – Originals are listed below under “Events” – difficult to read).

Information on R. N. Provine’s family:

Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi, Vol II. The Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1891.

Hon. R. N. Provine is a native-born resident of Calhoun county, Miss., his birth occurring within a few rods of where he now lives, in 1840. His parents, Samuel and Elizabeth (Creekmore) Provine, were married and settled the above place in 1839. There the father resided until his death in 1846. He was born in Tennessee in 1808, and was the son of John Provine, a native of South Carolina, who moved from his native state to Tennessee, and was one of the founders of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. The latter died in the last named state at the age of seventy years, an honored and esteemed citizen. His family consisted of five children—four sons and one daughter—all of whom lived to be grown, but all now deceased with the exception of the youngest son, who is now living in Tennessee. The latter is a retired minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and is one of its most noble and earnest workers.  The father of our subject was the eldest member of this family and was reared in Tennessee. He came to Mississippi in about 1836, settled below Grenada, and there sold goods until coming to the above place at Cole’s Creek. His marriage to Miss Creekmore occurred after coming to this state.

Mrs. Provine’s father, Dr. Creekmore, was a native of North Carolina, but moved from that state to Tennesse and thence to Mississippi, where he was among the early settlers. The country was then in a wild and unbroken state, Indians were plentiful, and Dr. Creekmore, although often warned to leave the country, continued to reside there and practiced his profession until age prevented. He was a man universally respected, and was ever ready to extend a helping hand to all in distress. He was a liberal supporter of the church, and was in favor of all Christian denominations. He was strongly opposed to secret organizations, and was a man of more than ordinary intelligence. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and for his services his second wife now draws a pension. He died in 1868, at the age of seventy-seven years, and was one of the county’s best men.

To his first marriage were born ten children—five sons and five daughters—two of his sons being killed in the war, James M., at Seven Pines, and Leonidas at a battle in Virginia. His daughter Elizabeth (Mrs. Provine), is also deceased. She was born in Tennessee in 1823, and died in the year 1866. She was a member of the Baptist church, and one of the most active and earnest workers in the same. Her father was married the second time to Miss McKelvy, of Mississippi, who is yet living on the old home place, settled by him in 1835. She is in her seventy-second year, is highly respected, and is a worthy member of the Baptist church.

The remainder of the children by the Doctor’s first marriage are: Hiram C., William R., H. C. (resides in Texas), Mrs. Nancy E. Martin (resides near the home place), Mrs. Sarah G. Simpson (near by), Mrs. Mary F. Bryant (resides at Grenada), Millinium (wife of Dr. West of Grenada), and Robert (who died at the home place after the war).

After his marriage Mr. Provine resided on the home place, and carried on farming until his death, as above stated, in 1846. He was a member of the Baptist church. At his death he left a wife and four children, of whom R. N. is the eldest. John W. enlisted in the Forty-eighth Mississippi regiment in the army of north Virginia, and was killed at the battle of Spottsylvania, Va., on the 12th of May, 1864. Foster is a merchant of Coffeeville, Miss. (see sketch), and Nancy J. (wife of I. C. Steele) resides in Banner, Calhoun county. The mother continued to reside on the home place until 1857, when she was married to Mr. T. A. Mitchell, who located in Pittsboro, Miss., where they resided until the war, after which they returned to the home place in Calhoun county, and there she died soon after. Mr. Mitchell died in 1888.

R. N. Provine passed his youthful days on the home place, and as he was but a boy six years old when his father died, a great prospective responsibility rested on his shoulders, he being the eldest child. He was married at the age of twenty years to Mrs. Nancy Goyen, a native of Alabama, in Pickens county, born 1840. She was left an orphan at an early age, was reared by her brothers and sisters, and received her education in the common schools.

To Mr. and Mrs. Provine have been born nine children—eight sons and one daughter: J. Finley was educated at Oxford university, Miss., and the Nashville university, and is now engaged in merchandising at Coffeeville, Miss; John W. is now in Germany, taking a special course in chemistry (in 1888 and 1889 he was assistant professor of chemistry at Oxford, Miss., where he was educated and where he was appointed to the position. He always stood at the head of his classes, and is an unusually bright young man); Robert F. also attended the University of Oxford, and is also well educated (he is now engaged in merchandising at Big Creek, Miss.); Charles graduated at Oxford in 1890, was well advanced in his classes, and is now taking law courses in Austin, Tex.; George H. is in the junior class at Oxford; James M. is now in the sophomore year in the same institution; Edgar, in the preparatory department; Oscar T. is at home taking lessons under his brother, preparatory for the university; and Lizzie May, attending Lancaster Female college at Oxford. Mr. and Mrs. Provine are rearing an orphan, Emma McMahan; though not taking their name she is treated in all respects as one of their own children.

They have taken great pains to educate their family, and before sending their children away to school Mr. Provine erected a school building, employed a teacher, and had school ten months every year. This school he kept up until 1890, making it free to all the poor of his neighborhood. He has been very successful as a planter and merchant, and assists liberally in all public enterprises for the good of the county.

During the late war he enlisted in company F, Twenty-ninth Mississippi regiment volunteer infantry, and served from 1862 until the close of the war. He was in the battles of Murfreesboro and Chickamauga, and was slightly wounded at the battle of Lookout Mountain, where he was captured. He was sent to Johnson’s island, and there remained until the surrender. He was in command of a company all the time of his service, and held the commission of first lieutenant. When not in command of his company he was in command of some other, taking charge of a company of sharpshooters at one time. When peace was declared he left Johnson’s island, returned to the home place, and met his wife and child, whom he had not seen since August, 1862.

In speaking of it, Mr. Provine says, “That day was the happiest day of my life.” After the war Mr. Provine had very little left, but eighty acres of land, and on this he laid the foundation of his present fortune. He is now the owner of four thousand five hundred acres of choice land, and has about fourteen hundred acres under cultivation, lying along Yalobusha river. This he has well stocked, and under a fine state of cultivation. In 1868 he had one store at Cole’s Creek, and an interest in one at Coffeeville, Miss. He is now one of the leading merchants of the county. Mrs. Provine and all her children are members of the Baptist church, and liberal supporters of the same. In politics Mr. Provine is a democrat, and represented Calhoun county, Miss., in the legislature in 1882 and 1883.

L. F. Provine is the senior member of the firm of Provine Bros. & Co., Coffeeville Miss., and occupies a conspicuous position in the business circles of Yalobusha county, where he was born in 1844. He is a son of Samuel F. and Elizabeth (Creekmore) Provine, natives of Tennessee. The father was born in 1808, and was the son of John Provine, a native of Kentucky, who was a son of John Provine, a native of North Carolina. His father was also named John, and he emigrated from Ireland to America, although he was descended from a family of French Huguenots. The grandfather was a minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian church. He was married in Tennessee to Nancy Calhoun, whose family had been early settlers in that state. To them were born five children—four sons and one daughter.

The father of our subject was the eldest child. He was reared near Lebanon, Tenn., and received his education in the common schools. He remained under the paternal roof until he was twenty-five years of age, and then came to Natchez, Miss. In 1837 he came to Yalobusha county, and invested in lands. He was engaged in farming, and also dealt in real estate to a large extent, owning lands in Chickasaw and Calhoun counties. He was a stanch whig, and member of the Baptist church. His death occurred in 1846, in December. His wife was born in 1823, and was a daughter of Robert W. Creekmore, an early settler of this county. He was born in Virginia in 1795, and was a soldier in the War of 1812. He came to Tennessee from Virginia, and was there married to Nancy McGowen, of Virginia. They settled in Tallahatchie county, Miss., and in 1835 they came to Yalobusha county, where they passed the remainder of their days. Mrs. Creekmore died in 1856.

To them were born ten children, all of whom lived to be grown. Mrs. Provine died in 1866. She was married a second time to Thomas A. Mitchell, of Mississippi, but no children were born of this union. The result of the first marriage was four children, all of whom lived to maturity: Robert N., a partner of the firm of Provine Bros. & Co., is a large planter in Calhoun county, and a prominent citizen; John W., was killed in the battle of the Wilderness, Virginia, leaving a wife and two daughters; Nancy J., is the wife of I. C. Steele, and resides in Calhoun county;

L. F., passed his youth in Calhoun and Yalobusha counties, and obtained his education in the common schools. In 1861, when there was a call for men to go to the defense of the country, he forsook all his private interests, and enlisted in company C, Blythe’s battalion, which was afterward known as Blythe’s regiment. The most important engagements in which he participated were Shiloh, Murfreesboro, and Missionary Ridge. He was flagbearer after the battle of Shiloh, and was in many skirmishes around Corinth.

He was paroled in North Carolina, and then returned to Pittsboro, Calhoun county, where he engaged in the more peaceful pursuits of mercantile life. One year later he came to Coffeeville, remaining there until 1872. He then went back to Calhoun county, resuming the same business, and in 1878 he came to Coffeeville again. The firm is one of the most substantial in the state, and does an annual business of $70,000. They pay cash for everything they buy, but never refuse credit to good men.

Mr. Provine was married to Miss Ada P. Barker, a daughter of William and Isabella (Harris) Barker, natives of North Carolina. They came to Mississippi about the year 1840, and there reared a family of six children, of whom Mrs. Provine is the youngest. Mr. and Mrs. Provine are the parents of ten children: Kate, Broxton B., Finley, Pearl, Sallie M., Alline, Robert F. and Frank P. The other two died in infancy. The parents are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and are zealous, active workers.
Mr. Provine is a member of the Knights of Honor. Politically he affiliates with the democratic party. He is a typical Mississippi gentleman, has excellent business qualifications, and is in every way worthy of the high regard in which he is held.


1850 US Census in Yalobusha Co w Robert N Provine

1850 US Census in Yalobusha Co w Robert N Provine

1860 US Census in Calhoun Co Miss w Robert and Nancy Provine

1860 US Census in Calhoun Co Miss w Robert and Nancy Provine

1870 US Census in Calhoun Co Miss w Robt Provine family

1870 US Census in Calhoun Co Miss w Robt Provine family

1900 US Census in Calhoun Co Miss w Robt and Nancy Provine

1900 US Census in Calhoun Co Miss w Robt and Nancy Provine

1910 US Census in Calhoun Co Miss w Robt Provine and Nancy

1910 US Census in Calhoun Co Miss w Robt Provine and Nancy

1920 US Census in Calhoun Co Miss w Robt and Nancy Provine

1920 US Census in Calhoun Co Miss w Robt and Nancy Provine

Obituary of Capt. R. N. Provine: 

Capt. R. N. Provine.

On December 11, 1929, Capt. Robert Neely Provine, one of the most prominent and highly- respected citizens of Calhoun County, Miss., departed this life. He was born eighty-nine years ago, March 17, 1840, near the spot where he died, in the Cole’s Creek community, and had lived on the same farm all of his long and useful life. On November 1, 1860, he was married to Miss Nancy Goyen, a member of one of the most prominent families of the county. A large family, of six sons and a daughter, was reared by this splendid couple, all of whom became distinguished citizens.

Captain Provine enlisted in the Confederate service at the outbreak of the war in the sixties and was in many of the hard-fought battles of the Southern army. He was a member of Company F, 29th Mississippi Regiment, Walthall’s Division. He made one of the best soldiers of his command. True and loyal always to the cause of the South. He was also loyal and true in his life as a citizen. He held positions of honor and trust in his county. He was at one time a distinguished member of the Mississippi Legislature from Calhoun County. He was also a practical and successful farmer. He came out of the war penniless, but by hard work and careful management, he amassed a modest fortune, consisting mainly of his vast acres of land in Calhoun and Grenada Counties. He was active in body and mind unto the end, looking after his large farm in person as long as he lived.

Many years ago he united with the Shiloh Baptist Church, where he was a loved and useful member until death called him hence. When the final hour came he was ready to, answer to the “last roll call,” and his body was carried to the Shiloh Cemetery and tenderly laid to rest beside his beloved companion, there to awaittheresurrectionof the just.

[By R. L. Breland, Coffeeville, Miss.]

Find a Grave for Robert Neely Provine:  http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=142216794

Find a Grave for Nancy Chisholm Goyen Provine:  http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=142217050

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