Victor Amelius Letorey Home
near Wartburg, TN
 from old glass plate negative

>From "The History of Tennessee", Goodspeed Publishing<

Victor Letorey, one of the most progressive and enterprising farmers in Tennessee, was born in New Orleans, January 26 , 1839, being the eldest of five children born to John B. ( Letorey) and Euphrosyne (Conand). The former was a native of Burgundy, France. He came to America a poor boy, but by energy and economy accumulated sufficient money to engage in sugar planting, in which business he accumulated a large fortune.
In 1853, in order that he might properly educate his family, he moved to Paris, and from that time to his death, in 1875, France was his permanent residence. His wife is still living at the age of sixty-eight years. Victor, the subject of this sketch, received a liberal education. After completing a literary course, he served for about three years as sub-assistant to Pedigo, the renowned chemist in the government laboratories, and also took a complete course in pharmacy. In 1866 he returned to New Orleans, and erected a seltzer water manufactory, which proved a decided success until competition drove him from the business. Meanwhile, he spent summers with his family in Morgan County (Tennessee), and, being delighted with the climate and magnificent scenery, he decided to make it his permanent home. He purchased 100 acres of land about one and one-half miles east of Wartburg, to which he has since added 700 acres. It was entirely covered by a forest, and Mr. Letorey had had no experience whatever with farming, but in the short space of fifteen years he has converted this tract into one of the best improved farms in East Tennessee. In doing this he has spared neither labor nor expense, and has done a work of incalculable value to the agricultural interests of the State, and especially of the Cumberland Plateau. He has devoted the greater portion of his time to experiments in grape culture and wine making, and has demonstrated that wines equal to the best in Europe can be made in this section. His experiments in the breeding of cattle have also proved of great value.
On June 11, 1868, Mr. Letorey was united in marriage with PAULINE DEBLIEUX, a native of New Orleans, and a descendant of one of the nobility of Southern France.
To them have been born eight children, four of whom are living; they are Victor Jr., born in 1873; Dennis, born in 1876; Honorene, born in 1878, and Octavius , born in 1880.
Two of the sons married Wiley women. Octave August Letorey married Mary Virigina Wiley and Dennis E Letorey married Lucy Ellen Wiley. Lucy's dad was William Boyd Hicks Wiley who died 1919 in Oliver Springs.


Aside from the Lutheran and reformed churches there was an attempt to establish a Catholic Church at Wartburg.  The sponsor of this move was a certa in Amelius LeTory.  In 1879 a lot was purchased and a building
erected.  T his Church was located on Court Street between Maiden lane and erected.  Th is Church was located on Court Street between Maiden lane and Kingston St.( 52)  It does not appear that the effort to establish a
Catholic Church w as very successful for soon after the erection of a church building it w as destroyed through some unknown cause.(53)  Those known to have been of the Catholic faith tare as follows:  Victor LeTory, Amelius LeTory, Amelius Letorey, Amelia Debleux, Julia Therese Deblieux, Louis Martz, Ralph B'Ary, Rosanna Kuhn, Sebastian Sistare, Nancy Sistare, John Redman, Anton Grier, and Joseph G. Gschwend.(54)

This is what the area looks like now. Taken Oct. 2012

I went for a drive today and wound up in Morgan County where I drove by Letorey Road to see where the old Letorey mansion was located. The view I have here is close, but not the correct angle. If you look at the top photo about midway up on the left you can see the hill where I believe that mansion was located. This valley is still very beautiful and an area that Morgan County should be proud of. The moutain ridge in the background has not really changed over the last 100 years.  [ Wesley Lee, 10/25/2012]

Photo and family history courtesy of Ralph Wesley Lee and others.

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