Dr. Edwin A. Jelks, eldest son of James Oliver and Mary Polhill Jelks, was born in Hawkinsville, Ga., October 1, 1836. He was educated at Mercer University, graduated at Medical College, Charleston, S. C., and at Jefferson College, Philadelphia, Pa. He was one of the earliest settlers of Quitman, buying the first lot sold in the town.
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In the War Between the States he enlisted in Company C, Twenty-sixth Georgia Regiment, becoming a part of Stonewall Jackson’s famous corps. It is said he was the ablest surgeon that Georgia furnished to the Confederate military service. He was on the field during the Seven Days’ Battle, was at Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, and Fredericksburg, surrendering at Appomattox.
After the war, he resumed the practice of his profession at Quitman, in which he was most successful, and was also interested in orange culture in Florida. He was prominent in the business world and in his church. As an elder in the Presbyterian Church, he was faithful to his trust.
He married Constance Atkinson in 1863 in Camden County, Georgia. They became the parents of Bessie (deceased), Josie Jelks Denmark and Edwin, pharmacist (deceased).
His second wife was Janie Sinclair, Quitman, Ga.
After a useful life he died July 28, 1909, in Quitman, Ga., and was considered the most beloved and distinguished citizen of the town and county.