"RHEA SETTLER SAMUEL FITZGERALD ONE OF CITY'S 'FIRST 53 CITIZENS'
Chattanooga Free Press, September 24, 1994, page 7
by John Wilson
"Samuel Fitzgerald was one of Chattanooga's 'first 53 citizens.' His father, the pioneer William Fitzgerald,
is buried in a graveyard at the Honors Golf Course in Ooltewah.
William and Samuel Fitzgerald were apparently descended from George Fitzgerald, who was living in
Virginia in July of 1779 when he enlisted to fight in the Revolution. He fought against the British and
Tories at Ninety Six and Eutaw and was discharged at Salisbury, N.C., on Feb. 1, 1781. George Fitzgerald,
who was born in 1739, made his way after the war to Franklin County, Ga.
William Fitzgerald and some of his kinsmen left Franklin County and settled near the Tennessee River in
Rhea County. William, Anderson and Andrew Fitzgerald had tracts near Tavenor Masoner. Margaret
Fitzgerald, daughter of William Fitzgerald, became Masoner's second wife.
William Fitzgerald about 1840 settled at Ooltewah in the section that later was taken off as James County.
He was living there near where a lake is located at Hiawatha Estates when he died of dropsy on March 5,
1850. His widow, Eda Dobbs Fitzgerald, lived until about the time of the Civil War.
Samuel Fitzgerald, who was born about 1804, married Nancy Blankenship in 1828 in Franklin County, GA.
He was one of the early investors in Chattanooga as well as the village of Cottonport near Washington in
Rhea County. Apparently, Samuel Fitzgerald joined his relatives in the West soon after his father's death.
His children included Rounse, Eglatine, Clementine, William, John and George. Another daughter, Mary
Tennessee, married David Stewart Stokes. A son, Will Stokes, was a leading Chattanooga photographer for
Another son of Samuel Fitzgerald was named Hiram Douglas after a well-known preacher at Ooltewah.
Hiram D. Fitzgerald stayed in Chattanooga and was a lieutenant on the police department at the time of the
cholera and yellow fever epidemics. Then he was chief of the fire department. He married Maggie
Vineyard. When Hiram died in 1918, he was termed "the last member of a large family. His parents were
pioneers who lived among the Indians." His daughter, Carlia May, married W.A. Degler and they lived on
Other children of William Fitzgerald included Mary, Nasa, William Jr. and Woodson. Mary Fitzgerald had
a son, Nasa A. Fitzgerald, who was killed on March 26, 1907, when he was hit by a train.
Willaim Fitzgerald Jr. occupied his parents' old home at Ooltewah. He married Angeline Denny, whose
sister, Nancy, married Woodson Fitzgerald. The children of William Jr. included Elijah, Angeline who
married a Jones, Savannah who married a Hixson, and Robert Henry. Another daughter, Emily, married A.
Taylor Roy. Elijah and his wife, Cecile Miller, had a son, Frank, and daughter, Dorothy, who was a
schoolteacher. Robert H. F Fitzgerald also taught school and was chairman of the deacon board at the
Shepherd Baptist Church.
He died in 1933 after collapsing while in the procession for the funeral of his cousin, William A.
Woodson Fitzgerald was featured in one James County publication as a 'progressive citizen, a strong
believer in education, and a member of the Baptist church.' He had 137 acres on the Georgetown and
Ringgold Road two miles south of Ooltewah and was a farmer and stock raiser.
During the Civil War Woodson Fitzgerald fought for the South with Company F of the 36th Tennessee
Infantry. He was wounded during the second day of the fighting at Chickamauga with a minie ball passingthrough the upper part of his right leg, shattering two bones. His wife was able to reach him at Green's Lake
and take him home in an ox cart.
His children included William Augustus, R.A., Eli B., Jennie, Thomas, Mary, Hiram Douglas and Margaret
M. William A. Fitzgerald married Sarah Catherine Chapman, and their children included Elbert Lawrence,
Robert L., Tavner Herbert, Addie, Inester, William Garrett and Nancy A.
Some of the descendants of the Baptist minister Archibald Fitzgerald also lived in the vicinity of Ooltewah.
Archibald was from South Carolina, but he was living on the Duck River in West Tennessee when his son,
Asa, was born in 1809.
The family moved to Indiana, but later returned to Tennessee. Asa Fitzgerald went in the Baptist pulpit in
1851. He married Judith Warren of Indiana, then in 1874 he married Margaret Whittle, a native of Sevier
Several of Asa's sons fought on the Union side. Archibald, Eli B. and Squire joined William Clift's outfit at
Huntsville, Ala. John F. , who was later county jailkeeper, was with Company B of the First Tennessee
William H. Fitzgerald , the only son of Asa by his second wife, became a prominent minister and at one
time pastored the First Baptist Church of Asheville, N.C. Later Dr. Fitzgerald was a missionary to Indians
at Cherokee, N.C.
Archibald Fitzgerald was born in 1834 in Indiana. He married Susan Mary Melvina Baker and they lived at
the railroad stop at Howardsville near Apison. Their children were Eli A. "Dump" who married Susan
Garner, Mary Jane who died of typhoid fever in 1880, Squier, Henry Harrison who married Ida Kelley,
Evandil who died as an infant, and Callie who was a popular music teacher. Another son, William Luther,
married Kate Alexander. Their daughter, Evandil, married Claude Howell and lives in Chattanooga.
Elijah, another son of Archibald and Susan Fitzgerald, married Annie McGee. Their daughter, Mabel,
married Jack Cornutt. The children of his son, Otto, still living are Lou, Archie and Ruth Buckner. Lou
Fitzgerald is a longtime major league baseball scout. Archie Fitzgerald is vice chairman of Cleveland Bank
and Trust Co.
The Fitzgerald Cemetery in 1938 was 'in the woods with very bad roads leading to it, and the cemetery
itself is much neglected and overgrown.' The cemetery is now beside the splendidly manicured 17th green
of the Honors Course."
BOYDS PAID 50 CENTS – $2 AN ACRE FOR OOLTEWAH LAND IN EARLY 1800s
Alexander Boyd settled in the vicinity of Ooltewah before the Indian removal, purchasing his land near
White Oak Mountain for as little as a quarter an acre. Several of his grandchildren fought for the
The Boyds apparently went from Scotland to Pennsylvania and to frontier Tennessee just after the
Revolution. Alexander Boyd was born about 1784. Hugh Boyd, who was born about 1788 and
accompanied him to Ooltewah, was apparently his brother. William and Elliott Hodge Boyd may have
been brothers also.
The Boyds made their way to Jackson and Hall counties in Georgia – probably attracted by the land
lotteries. Alexander Boyd was married in Jackson County to Margaret McCarroll in 1808. One Georgia
deed that same year is from William Boyd Sr. to Hugh Boyd for and adjoining the lines of William and
Alexander Boyd.Some of these Boyds made their way to Bledsoe County about 1818. William and Elliott Hodge Boyd
stayed there, while Alexander and Hugh moved to Hamilton County about 1836.
Hugh Boyd’s wife was Mary. Their daughter, Cynthia, was born in Georgia. The other children included
W. L., John William, James, Hugh A. and Elizabeth. Another daughter, Sarah, married Jonathan Acuff.
Alexander Boyd’s youngest daughter, Matilda, was born in Georgia in 1809. She married William Phelps
and they lived in Sequatchie County. The other children included Mary who married john S. rains, John
Hodge who married Mahala Bush, Clarinda who married Winston Pollard, Elliott Green who married
Nicey A Nowlin, Nehemiah Wade who married Susan McCombs, Taylor, William and Margaret who
married John B. Acuff.
Alexander Boyd had grants of 80, 160 and 80 acres on the road known later as Ooltewah-Ringgold Road.
He paid $2 per acre for the 160 acres and 50 cents per acre for the last 80 acre grant.
Some of the Boyd family ventured west by wagon train I the 1850s, including the Rains and Acuff families
and Elliott, Taylor and Nehemiah Boyd. Most went to Denton County, Texas, while the Acuffs settled at
Logan County, Ark. Nehemiah Boyd died soon after the arrival in Texas, but Susan McCombs Boyd lived
to be the county’s oldest resident.
John Hodge Boyd volunteered at Ross’s landing in November 1837 to assist in the war in Florida against
the Seminoles and he was a second lieutenant when he was mustered out at Baton Rouge the following
May. He also served as a constable. However, he died at a young age in 1844, leaving his wife with three
sons and a daughter, Mary Elizabeth who married Thomas J. Seagle.
At the outbreak of the war, the John H. Boyd sons – Francis Marion, Alexander H. and John H. Jr. – all
volunteered for the Southern cause. Alexander, who was in Co. B of Carter’s 1st Tenn. Cavalry, died Dec.
27, 1861, from a wound he received at Mill Springs, KY. F. M. and John H. Jr. survived their service with
Co. K of the 43rd Tenn. Infantry, which was organized at Ooltewah. John H. Jr. married Rebecca Rogers in
1866. Francis M. Boyd was a justice of the peace after the war.
Some of the sons of Hugh Boyd also marched away with the Confederate troops. John W. joined Co. F of
the 35th Tenn. Infantry, enlisting Jan. 6, 1863, at Chattanooga. He died at a camp near Tullahoma on April
18 – apparently from pneumonia. He was 37. He had married Mary Ann Acuff in 1848. their children
were Margaret Caroline, William Perry, Selecta Adaline, Richard Worth, Letitia, Samuel Green, Jonathan,
John Hugh and Robert Franklin. William Perry Boyd married Sally Burke and John Hugh Boyd married
Cora Dantzler. Robert Franklin Boyd, a house painter in East Chattanooga, married Mattie Paul. Their
children included Charles Hugh who married Melba Smith, Chester Worth who married Ruby Hall, Robbie
Adaline who married Jay Hall, Minnie Ella who married Clifford Gault, and Joseph William who married
Hugh A., who was a constable at Harrison before the war, was in “bird’s Rangers” in the cavalry, then he
joined Co. F. of the 35th Tenn. at Varnell Station, Ga., Oct. 18, 1862. He was later listed as sick when the
unit was camped at Tyner Station. Hugh A. was at the home of his daughter, Mrs. T. R. Standifer, in James
County when he die din 1909. His sons were listed as Joseph W. of Highland Park and Walter of
Alexander Boyd died at the close of the war. Margaret McCarroll Boyd had died in the 1850s.
Elliott G. Boyd died in 1855 at age 34, leaving a large family. Nicey Nowlin Boyd passed away three years
later at age 40. The orphaned children included the twins Samuel Houston and Mary Jane, John Harmon,
Martha Matilda, Monroe Catlett, Anderson LaFayette and Jesse Wade. Another son, Columbus Nowlin,
had died as a baby. John Harmon died in 1859 when he was 15.
Samuel H. Boyd married Rebecca Jane Poe just prior to the war, and Martha Matilda married John Mattson
Poe. Mary Jane married James Taylor.Samuel H. Boyd also was a Confederate adherent. On one of his infrequent visits home, he was seen by a
Union soldier, who followed him into the Boyd house. Samuel climbed into the loft to hide and the Union
soldier was going after him when Jane Poe Boyd hit the pursuing soldier across his shoulders with a heavy
shovel, causing him to retreat.
Samuel H. Boyd, who was a carpenter and contractor, moved his family into Chattanooga on Gilmer
(Eight) Street in the 1880s. He died at age 45. Rebecca Jane Poe Boyd lived until 1919.
The Samuel H. Boyd children included Martha Eleanor “Ellen” who married James Montgomery, Joseph
Sherman who married Nettie Crabtree and moved to Missouri, James Benjamin who married Nannie
Hixson, Larkin, Jesse Wade, Charles Houston who married Delia Johnson, Jenny May who married James
Melrose Millen, and Cora Belle who married Leo John Duffy. Samuel Green died as a small child just
after the war. Larkin died when he was 18 and Jesse Wade when he was 23. Larkin and Jesse Wade are
buried with their parents at Forest Hills Cemetery.
James Benjamin Boyd was a master marble worker and was one of the few men who could build a winding
marble staircase. His projects included the Elmira, NY, post office, buildings at Cornell University, the
First National Bank at Fort Payne, the Pink Palace in Memphis and the Vanderbilt mansion at Asheville.
His Chattanooga work included the Post Office Building, the Auditorium, the Hamilton and American
Banks, the Read House and the steps of the Jewish Synagogue. He received 5 per letter for his work on the
Illinois monument at Chickamauga Park.
His younger brother, Charles Houston Boyd, was another master marble worker. His first big job was the
Hogshead Apartments on Georgia Avenue. He later operated the Chattanooga Stone and Marble Co. He
also worked on the Biltmore House, and he remembered Mrs. Vanderbilt coming outside and chatting with
There was another Alexander Boyd here, who earlier resided at Knoxville. He died in 1867. His daughter,
Eliz Ann, married Robert L. McNabb.
Many of these Boyds were apparently buried at the Pollard Cemetery at Ooltewah, which was at the old
Alexander Boyd place.
Joyce Duffy Graves wrote a book on the Boyd and Poe families
Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - by John Wilson
More info added on by Christopher Dahl
Dempsey Tyner was one of Hamilton County's earliest settlers. John S. Tyner, the founder of Tynersville, formed a company to fight for the Confederacy. But the Tyners had disappeared from the county by the end of the Civil War.
Tyners are said to go back to England, where they lived near the Tyne River.The relatively rare name of "Tyner," or "Tiner," appears in America as early as 1681, with Nicholas Tyner and, although the family appears most often in neighboring Northampton, Bertie, and Dobbs counties, in Chowan County in 1699. In 1699 he sold 400 acres that he “lately purchased of Thomas Hoskinse” on the Chowan River. Nicholas Tyner Jr., of Isle of Wight County, received several hundred acres in Chowan County from his father, Nicholas Tyner Sr. In 1716, he sold 450 acres of this property, including “all the houses, gardens, orchards, etc.”An Asa Tyner appears on a 1771 tax record in nearby Bute County, North Carolina as a free person of color, which indicates Native American or African American ancestry. A Mulatto family of Dempseys also lived in Bertie County although Dempsey was a common given surname among mixed Indian and white families. The name was sometimes spelled Tynes. A descendant said they were known in England as “shipbuilders and boisterous beer drinkers.”
Dempsey Tyner was born in Chowan County on Aug. 4, 1755, and was the son of William and Elizabeth Tyner. Dempsey moved to Edgefield District, S.C., along with some of his relatives. Harris Tyner died at Abbeville in 1844. William Tyner also moved to this section of South Carolina. He died in 1778. Dempsey Tyner joined the Patriot army while at Abbeville. Tyners fought for the King's Cause at Ninety Six, South Carolina as Loyalists or Tories in 1775. As a member of the South Carolina Patriot militia, Dempsey Tyner, would have served between 1776 and 1782, often as a scout and spy. He fought at the battle of Kettle Creek, Long Cane, and Eutaw Springs as a Whig (rebel) but, also in 1780, he fought as a member of the King's restored colonial militia at King's Mountain, South Carolina. His campaigns even included fighting Cherokees. As Patriot, Tory, or neither, he may have been conscripted. One can imagine, due to lack of exact documentation, that Dempsey lived his private life and spent his time as a scout/spy in the American Revolution as black, red, or white depending upon the situation where he found himself. After his Revolutionary War service, he moved to Jackson County, Ga., then he pushed on to Roane County, Tenn. He then moved to Hamilton County.
Dempsey Tyner's wife was Obedience “Biddy” Sevier. His sons apparently included John, Hiram, Reuben Jackson, Jackson, Jesse, Nathan, Lewis, Sevier and William H. John was born in 1789 and married Rachel Rider, who was born in 1793 in South Carolina. A daughter, Emaline, was born in Rhea County in 1821. She married Isaac K. Burkhart, who was also from Rhea County. John Tyner died in 1850. Sevier and William Tyner of Hamilton County served in the fighting against the Seminole Indians in Florida in 1837-38. Reuben Jackson Tyner was in the Mexican War. He had married Jenny Carter at Roane County in 1811. Jackson Tyner married Mary Spivey at Putnam County, Ga., in 1826. William Tyner lived from about 1818 to 1861. His first wife was Lucy Ann. His second wife was Catherine Brigmon, whom he married at Walker County, Ga., in 1846.
Reuben Jackson Tyner helped build the little log schoolhouse in Chattanooga at Fifth and Lookout streets. A daughter was Martha Tyner Papineau. Her daughter, Mrs. Minnie E. Fanning, lived on Battery Place.
Some of the Tyners married into the Indian tribes, and the wife of Dempsey Tyner was apparently from the Cherokees. A number of Tyner descendants later filed claims with the government for funds going to those with Indian ancestors. Dempsey and Lewis Tyner in 1821 in Hamilton County witnessed a deed from William Brown of the Cherokee Nation to John Cornett for property about a mile below the mouth
of North Chickamauga Creek.
Dempsey Tyner died in Meriwether County, Georgia, on October 13, 1842, likely while living with Jackson Tyner, one of his many children. Ironically, he died only a short distance from where John Stuart Tyner, later founder of Tyner Station, would live and marry nine years later and where J. S. Tyner's widow would marry John D. Gillespie in 1889.
Many of the Tyners eventually went to the Indian lands. Jesse Tyner married a Chickasaw woman and lived with her tribe in the West. Lewis Tyner was born about 1800. He acquired several tracts in Hamilton County, including one from Samuel Williams “near Williams' mill.” At the time of the 1850 census, he was still in Hamilton County with his wife, Mary, and their children, Lewis, Mary, Francis and Jessa. Francis Tyner Kirksey was living in Fort Payne, Ala., in 1908 when she wrote, “I claim Cherokee Indian blood. I have always been told this by my folks. I claim this through my father (Lewis Tyner). He lived in Hamilton County, Tenn. I do not know if my father knew the Indian language, but he may have. My father was a farmer.” Lewis Tyner left the East in 1850, and he died in Oklahoma in 1882.
Sarah Elizabeth Tyner, who was born in 1848 in Yorkville in Gibson County, Tenn., married Luke Levander Davenport of Marion County at Nashville in 1868. He was a Confederate soldier. She lived her latter years in Hamilton County.
John S. Tyner, a grandson of Dempsey Tyner, grew up in the vicinity of Macon, Ga. As a young man in the 1850s he came to Hamilton County. He acquired several tracts near the county seat of Harrison, including a lot near the Varnell store and the “double stables.” His largest purchase occurred in 1859 when he bought 60 acres from Joseph Yarnell. This community was given the name of Tynersville in John Tyner's honor
in 1858. It got its own post office on Feb. 1, 1860, with Washington Evans serving as the first postmaster. The name was shortened to Tyner by postal officials on Sept. 13, 1860, but many residents continued to refer to it by the original name. By this time, John S. Tyner was the only Tyner remaining in Hamilton County. He and his wife, S.C. Tyner, were living with their sons, Norwood and Charles, at Tynersville. It was also known as Tyner's Station since it was a stop on the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad. John S. Tyner was an engineer.
When the war broke out, John S. Tyner followed the family tradition by volunteering. He recruited members of 2nd Co. K of the First Confederate Cavalry at Tynersville, Harrison and Ooltewah. John Tyner was chosen the unit's captain. Several months after the company was formed, Capt. Tyner applied to Gen. P.T. Beauregard for an engineer position at Charleston. He proposed that he dismount his company and bring it to the coast where Beauregard was then in command. Supporting his request was Col. Alfred Colquitt, commander of the Sixth Georgia Infantry. He said Capt. Tyner “comes with the highest recommendation as an engineer and a man of integrity.” Instead, 2nd Co. K remained in the Western theater, fighting at Shiloh and Corinth, then Perryville and back home at Chickamauga. J.S. Tyner was later assigned to special duty for the engineering department of Joseph S. Wheeler's cavalry. His unit was detached as “Tyner's Sappers and Miners” providing engineering services for the famous cavalry raider. During his time with Wheeler he was an explosive expert and map maker. Capt. Tyner was on leave in Troup County, Ga., then he was assigned to special duty with Gen. John Bell Hood during the invasion of Tennessee in November 1864. He was paroled at Gainesville, Ala., on May 12, 1865.
James Sevier Tyner was another Confederate soldier from Hamilton County, and he may have been a younger brother of John S. Tyner. James S. Tyner enlisted with Co. I of the 19th Tennessee Infantry at Knoxville on June 6, 1861 . However, he was discharged the following July 23 at Vicksburg on account of his young age. He was only 15 at the time of his enlistment, having been born Feb. 15, 1847 at Ross Landing. While with the army, he was a drummer boy. James S. Tyner had developed malarial fever in the Mississippi bottoms, and he was very ill on his way back to Hamilton County. He had to have someone take care of him for about two months. Then he went to Nashville, where he took up steamboating. At the age of 27 he became a steamboat captain, operating packets on the Cumberland and Ohio rivers. He continued the river life until “old age made him stop” about 1925. He died July 4, 1935, at the age of 88.
John S. Tyner did not return to Tynersville after the war. In his absence, his property was sold at public auction in 1867. It was first taken by James A. Rhea and later fell into the hands of A.G.W. Puckett. The store that had been operated by Lafayette Varnell at Tynersville was continued until after the war. Then N.L. Rawlings operated a store there, and H.J. Springfield & Bro. had a grocery and saloon. Foster Carper had a tannery at Tynersville, and G.W. House ran a campground. The Pleasant Grove Academy was established at the campground site. By 1907, Tyner was large enough to have its own high school. In its early years, many of the students reached the school by wagon. During the school day, the animals that pulled the wagons were housed in a barn. It stood on the campus of Tyner High School until 1957. The federal government in the early 1940s pinpointed Tyner for a huge defense plant producing TNT. About 300 families lost their homes when the government acquired over 6,000 acres centering around the old Tynersville. Tyner lost its tiny train depot in 1961 and its post office was discontinued in 1972. A few Tyners who moved here from North Carolina and from Georgia are now local residents.