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William A. Jelks, youngest son of James Oliver and Mary Polhill Jelks, was born in Belleville, Hamilton County, Florida, September 5, 1859. He died in Hawkinsville, Ga., February 4, 1935. This family removed to Hawkinsville soon after the close of the War Between the States. William, or “Willie,” as he was called, was educated in private schools in Pulaski County, later at Mercer and Vanderbilt Universities. He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
On leaving college, he taught in a private school in Hawkinsville for several years, and later edited the Hawkinsville paper until the business was destroyed by fire. Then he engaged in the cotton business with his brother, J. 0. Jelks, until 1888, when he moved to Oviedo, Fla., where he engaged in the mercantile business and the cultivation of his orange grove for four years. In 1892 he returned to Hawkinsville and was engaged in the cotton and fertilizer business practically the rest of his life, with the exception of one and a half years spent in Macon, Ga., and five years in Delray, Fla.
From early manhood he was a loyal, uncompromising member of the Baptist Church, having served as superintendent and teacher in Sunday school for a number of years, as deacon for twenty-five years, and as chairman of the board of deacons for more than fifteen years. He was active in all worthwhile civic and religious affairs of the community. He was a director of the Planters Bank for a number of years. His intellect was above the average, but his body was frail.
In 1885 he married Mattie Jordan, of Hawkinsville, formerly of Longstreet, daughter of George W. and Ann Rebecca (Walker) Jordan. She was a graduate of South Kentucky College at Hopkinsville, and died November 2, 1930. To this union were born four children: George Jordan Jelks, educated at North Georgia Agricultural College, married Elizabeth Harry, of Pompano, Fla., in 1919, and died in November, 1922. He was a merchant and farmer.
William Oliver Jelks, educated at Georgia Tech and Alabama Polytechnic Institute, Auburn, Ala., married Mary Peacock of Hawkinsville, in 1920. Three children were born to this union: William Vance (died in infancy), Mary Peacock, and Virginia Vance. This family now resides in Defray Beach, Fla., where “Will” is a dealer in real estate and fertilizer. W. O. Jelks volunteered in the World War, was in R. 0. T. C., Artillery, 1918-19. He was commissioned second lieutenant.
Virginia Jelks, educated at Wesleyan College, Macon, Ga., resides in Hawkinsville.
Albert Augustus Jelks, educated at Mercer University, Macon, and American School of Osteopathy, Kirksville, Mo., married Doris Onderdonk, of Syracuse, N. Y., in 1921. She was before her marriage, and is now, a member of the faculty of Wesleyan Conservatory. They have two children, Albert Augustus, Jr., and Jordan Onderdonk. This family. resides in Macon, Ga., where Dr. Jelks is practicing his profession of osteopathy. He volunteered in the World War and served overseas during 1918 and 1919 in Base Hospital 43, as sergeant.