James Jones Dolliver Everly was born in Aug. 1875 in Herring near Kingwood, Preston County, WV, the son of Absalom and Sarah (Carroll) Everly.
He was named for the well-known clergyman and circuit-rider, Rev. James J. Dolliver, whom the family knew and admired in the years before a relocation to Iowa. A native of New York, Dolliver was "a Methodist preacher in the mountain region of West Virginia, and famous in his time as a pulpit orator," said the 1918 book Iowa: Its History and Its Foremost Citizens. Another publication, the Christian Advocate, once said that Dolliver was "an old-fashioned, shouting Methodist preacher. For a long term of years he sang, prayed, and praised the Lord all through the valleys and over the mountains of Western Virginia."
Little is known about our James' life. He attended school and could both read and write. He appears to have remained a bachelor during his 29 years of living.
At the age of 24, in 1900, he resided in the farm home of his widowed father in the Morgan District of Morgantown, Monongalia County, WV. He earned a living at that time as a teamster.
Sadly, James contracted diabetes in young manhood, a disease which eventually claimed his life.
The 1923 History of West Virginia, Old and New states that he "died February 1, 1905 in Monongalia County [WV]." But a closer search of West Virginia death indexes reveals that James actually died on Feb. 3, 1904, in Monongalia County, where he was a farmer and unmarried. In the record, his name is given as "J.J.D. Everly" and his age as 29 at death.
He passed away in his father's residence in the South Park section of Morgantown. In an obituary, a Preston County newspaper reported that:
A large crowd of friends and relatives attended the services, among them quite a number from this county, as the family formerly resided in Preston and lived at one time in the Fairfax Manor property near Kingwood.... He had been in poor health for some time before his death but was only bed-fast two or three days, as he was over here visiting his brothers and returned hom on Sunday before his death. The trip and exposure hastened his demise as he was badly exhausted upon his return home and at once took to his bed.