John Wesley Stipe was born in 1841 on 09 June in Palmetto, Fulton County, Georgia, USA as son of John Stipe and his wife Emily nee Smith. John Wesleys great-grandfather, Johann Christ Steup, was a native of Germany and his story can be read here (in german). On Nov 08 1860 he married his first wife Arminda G. Parker and had at least three children with her.
In April 1862 John Wesley mustered into the Confederate States Army as a private in Company C, 35th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry. He was apparently captured twice, once at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, after which he was released as part of a prisoner exchange; and again at Petersburg, Virginia on April 2, 1865. After cessation of hostilities, he was released at Point Lookout, Maryland, on June 19, 1865.
1868 he was licensed to preach by the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He served as a circuit pastor throughout north Georgia. His appointments include Jonesboro, Carrollton, Lawrenceville, Roswell, and Dahlonega, where he served as Presiding Elder from 1876-1878.
In 1874 he married his second wife, Margaret Abigail Evans and had at least also three children with her.
Shortly before his retirement from the ministry in 1912, he married a widow, Mary Ellen Robbins, and settled in the Ben Hill community outside Atlanta where he farmed until his death on February 2, 1917.
Following are the last will of John Wesley:
My property is worth about three thousand dollars, consisting in a house and lot at 196 Kimball St. Atlanta Ga., and some money invested, library, and some Little household goods. I direct that my wife, Mrs. Ellen Stipe shall have the use of the house and lot if she survives me, for a home during her lifetime, or widowhood, or if I exchange the house for another she shall have the use of that, and that she receive during her lifetime or widowhood the income of all my property, provided that none of the capital be consumed, provided that at my death she receive $300 for a years support.
I direct that if she should marry after my death that the estate belonging to me at once be divided between the heirs, said Ellen Stipe receiving five twenty fifths of the whole net estate, which is a childs part.
I direct that if at her marriage, or at her death, according to the above directions, the property shall be divided as follows: If at her death, and she be without issue, that Carl Stipe and Chas Wesley Stipe, sons of my son Dr. C. E. Stipe, deceased, receive eight twenty- fifths of the whole net estate, or if either should be deceased and without children: That J. W. Stipe Jr. or his children in case he is deceased without children, eight twenty-fifths. Provided that if Carl Stipe and Chas Wesley Stipe be deceased and without children the eight twenty-fifths belonging to them go to J. W. Stipe Jr. or his children in case of his death: providing that said J. W. Stipe Jr. and his children be dead and without children, that their eight twenty-fifths go to Carl Stipe and Chas Wesley Stipe or either of them in case of the death of the other. That four and one half twenty fifths goto my daughter Mrs J. P. Walker of Bartow County, or her daughter Mary Bessie provided her mother is dead and that the remaining four and one half twenty fifths go to Mrs F. R. Walker of Bartow County, or her children in case she is dead. Etc.
I hereby appoint said Mrs. Ellen Stipe to be my Executrix to carry out the terms of this will as far as she can during her lifetime and that she may do so. I authorise her to sell any of my property real or personal belongings publicly or privately without the order from the Court of Ordinary or any other Court and in case the Estate has to be distributed at her death, or the maturity of her issue when they become of age, I appoint said J. W. Stipe Jr. as executor with the same power granted to said Ellen Stipe.
(signed) J. W. Stipe
Feb 2 1909