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Mary Leroy Rives Poston Portrait
Posted by: Jack Leath (ID *****4869) Date: November 22, 2010 at 10:59:26
  of 1260

There is a portrait of her owned by the Waco Historical Foundation, Waco, TX. Circa 1863.

Mary LeRoy Rives was born 6 Aug 1847 in Fayette County, Tennessee, the Tennessee county just north of Marshall County, Mississippi. There is some evidence she may have been born in Marshall County, Mississippi. She was the daughter of Thomas W. Rives and Martha L. Houston who were married 29 May 1843 in Marshall County, Mississippi.

Her father, Thomas W. Rives, was a farmer, probably a cotten farmer, and by 1860 was one of the wealthiest men in Fayette County, Tennessee. He may also have owned some farming property in Shelby County, Tennessee, the county immediately west of Fayette County. Most of his wealth was gone after the civil war. Mary LeRoy Rives’ mother died when Mary was around ten years of age. Mary continued to live with her father and her step-mother, Virginia.

On 23 Dec 1869, Mary LeRoy Rives married David Hamill Poston in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee. David Hamill Poston and his father and brothers were prominent lawyers in Memphis, and the family is chronicled in Goodspeed’s History of Shelby County, 1887.

Mary LeRoy Rives and David Hamill Poston had four children: son William King, born 1871; daughter Mary Louise, born 1873; daughter Anna Rives, born 1876; and son Hamill, born 1878. David Hamill Poston was murdered in Memphis in 1891 by another lawyer with whom Poston had had a long-standing legal dispute. His murderer was sentenced to death, but in a controversial decision, the Governor commuted the sentence to life in prison.

Mary LeRoy Rives Poston, whose nickname was Mollie, died 8 Oct 1879 at the age of 32 of consumption. She most likely died in Memphis, but there is some evidence that she may have died in Greene County, Tennessee. In reference to her death in Memphis, the attending physician was Dr. R. B. Maury, her brother-in-law.

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