"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