Can You Believe It?? A Check for over $2 Million Dollars!!


Well, not exactly.  The check was for a mere $129,886.56 that Jena Cuthbert (J. C.) Collier received for his cotton in 1918.  According to the website Dollar Times, in today’s money (2016) it would amount to $2,242,439.31!!  And, the tax rate in 1918 was only 12%.  Imagine how much Uncle Sam would get today!

All that was to get your attention.  More on the “big check” in a later post.  This post should have been entitled “Jena Cuthbert and Jessie Stephens Collier, The Early Years.”

Jena Cuthbert Collier was born in 1866.  Here is a tintype of him at age 6.

Jena Cuthbert Collier, age 6


Here are two portraits of J. C., both made in 1884, when he turned 18 – perhaps the year he was graduating from Gordon Institute in Barnesville, Georgia.

Jena Cuthbert Collier, January 1884
Jena Cuthbert Collier, November 1884

The following tintype was probably made about the same time.  J. C. is the tall young man in the back.



Jena Cuthbert Collier married Jessie Stephens..  Here is a tintype of Jessie as a child,



and one of her as a young lady, exact date is unknown.



Jessie was the daughter of Roswell Americus Stephens, an officer in the Confederate Army.  She was a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.  In this portrait of young Jessie Stephens, the Southern Cross of Honor adorns her neck.


Jena and Jessie were married in 1888.  The following note, passed during their courtship, in keeping with the time and place elegantly captures the proper reply to a suitor’s request.  The date on the note is May 1, 1887.




Closeup of JC Collier’s Fob

Comments (6)

  • Thanks Glen,

    These are great pictures of the past of our people..
    Just a thought, wonder how they accumulated so much wealth for the times.
    This was mostly done during reconstruction period. Amazing !!!

  • J. C. Collier was truly a remarkable person. Born at the end of the War between the States, he was able to recognize opportunities when they arose and also to mold events and situations to his advantage. More to come on this man and his family!

  • Dear Cousin Glen,
    Can you enlarge JC Collier’s fob in the picture? I am curious if it is a Confederate medal of his father’s or a scholarship metal he might have won. Great pictures.
    Elaine Collier Neal

    • Elaine,
      You have an excellent idea. I still have the original picture so I re-scanned just the portion you asked about and inserted it above. I can see nothing more in looking at the original with a hand lens. Let us know if you see anything revealing.

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