Coastal Georgia Biographies
R. FENDIG, merchant, is a native of Bavaria, Germany, was born in 1836, and is a son of Benjamin and Nancy (Abraham) Fendig, the former a native of Germany. These parents had several children, three of whom are deceased. Our subject emigrated to America in 1854. He went first to Hartford, Conn., for two years, thence to Macon, Ga., in which State and in Alabama he resided and did business six years, and in 1862 removed to New York, dodging the rebel forces on the way. He was in business at Chicago until 1870, when he came to Rensselaer and became a partner with Mr. Leopold, and afterward began general mercantile business on his own account. Mr. Fendig was married in Milwaukee to Miss Ruble, from which union descended five children—Tillie, Benjamin, Albert, Louis and Samuel. Mr. Fendig has been successful, although utterly without means after coming to the United States. He is Treasurer of a Masonic Lodge, and has been School Trustee. He is a liberal, enterprising man, and greatly esteemed in the community.
GALE, Hoyt Willoughby
HOYT W. GALE—Insurance interests of importance are under
the capable direction of Hoyt W. Gale, a Cleveland business man whose
success is based upon close application and broad experience in this line of
commercial activity. A product of the south, he was born in Valdosta, Georgia,
December 17, 1875, but his parents, Alvan Davis and Amanda (Hoyt) Gale,
were natives of New Hampshire, whence they removed to Georgia about 1842, when
the former was nineteen and the latter sixteen years of age, and were married in
New Hampshire. The mother of Hoyt W. Gale was a second cousin of
President Grover Cleveland and a distant relative of Moses Cleaveland,
the founder of the city of Cleveland. Alvan Davis Gale served as a
chemist for the Southern Army in the Civil war. As a young man he took up
contracting and while engaged in that business was a student of medicine and of
dentistry. Preferring a professional career, he abandoned the work of a builder
to become a dentist and practiced in various parts of Georgia, finally locating
at Brunswick, where both he and his wife passed away.
McDONALD, Alexander & Jesse Campbell (1797-1879 & 1835-)
REMINISCENCES OF THE MCDONALD & CAMPBELL FAMILIES
My first recollection of your father,
Alexander McDonald, was about the year 1822. He had come over from
McIntosh County where he had resided from his youth, and where perhaps he was
born, and was managing a farm for Rev. Wm. McWhin, a few miles below
Sunbury, Liberty Co. I was residing with my father on his plantation on the
Col’s Island, and Alexander McDonald was in the habit of visiting
us. He was then a widower with one child, Elizabeth, having lost his
first wife (a Miss Dean I think she was) before he left McIntosh
County. He was not the religious man and was unstable in his habits. He
remained in Liberty only one or two years when he returned to McIntosh and took
charge of the Indianton plantation on Harris Neck, owned by two English ladies
who had an agent in Savannah, Joseph Cumming, by whom your father
was employed. As the agent had unlimited confidence in him, he managed that
farm without interruption and with great success. His reputation as a farmer
increased to such extent that he soon had the management of two or three other
neighboring plantations, beside running a farm of his own, and was making money
rapidly. He was a man of sound judgment, great energy, and indomitable
McDonald & Campbell families, Pg. 2
Jesse Campbell, your grandfather,
on the mother’s side was a descendant in a direct line of the Campbell
Clan of Scotland so distinguished in the days of Wallace, and
immortalized by the ballad “The Campbells are Coming” &c. He was the
youngest of three brothers, sons of Col. Campbell a cavalry
officer in the British Army during the Revolutionary war. Of his older
brothers, one died in Florida, on the St. John River where he was a large stock
drover; the other died in Henry County in this state. The latter had a son,
Rev. Robert Campbell a Presbyterian minister of much
distinction in Miss., two of whose sons (Robert and James) married
daughters of Judge Sharkie of that state and were officers of high
standing in Gen. Joe Johnston’s army during the late war
(The Civil War) James died in a Yankee prison but Robert was
living at last accounts and stands high as any lawyer in that state. He is a
splendid specimen of humanity. My recollection is that your grandfather,
Jesse Campbell, was born in South Carolina, but at the age of fifteen
was living with his stepfather in McIntosh County. His sister had married
Capt. Wm. Harris, a prominent citizen of that county and a
member of the Legislature, who owned the place on Harris’ Neck known as “The
Grove” from a large orange grove on his premises. At that early age he ran away
from his step-father with his mother’s consent, taking with him a gun which had
belonged to his father, and a negro girl Kate who rightfully belonged to
him, and made his way to the residence of his brother-in-law Capt.
Harris. I have often heard him tell, with much gusto, how his step-father
went in pursuit of him and Kate next morning and how Capt.
Harris met him at the gate, and advised him that he and his wife had had no
agency in getting the fugitives to come to them, that they were in the house and
that he was welcome to take them with him, provided he could induce them to go
without using harsh means, but that he would not stand by and see Jesse
treated with violence in the presence of his sister. He warned him however that
the boy vowed that he never would return to him, that he was armed, and said he
would shoot him if he attempted to interfere with him or with Kate. He
came, in a great rage, to the front door where he was met by a boy with a gun,
smooth-bore cocked and at his shoulder ready to fire. He went around to the
back door where the same demonstration awaited him (Kate had taken refuge
upstairs and was terribly frightened). Seeing the old man(?) was hacked(?), he
warned him to leave and never interfere with him again at risk of his life,
which he did greatly to the amusement of Capt. Harris and wife.
He made his home with them for years, until he married Miss Jane C.
Dunn in 1797.
McDonald & Campbell families, Pg. 3
Your mother was above medium height, rather
slender in form, of as perfect a figure as can well be imagined. She had a
wealth of bright glossy hair, which curled naturally and fell in ringlets on her
snow white shoulders. Full of humor and animated in conversation she was the
life of every circle in which she entered. She had a splendid voice which was
highly cultivated and was often used in song for the gratification of friends.
This was especially the case after she became pious, which was in her early
womanhood. In social and public worship her services were in great demand and
were always rendered with delight and to the edification of those who enjoyed
them. She lived to be the mother of only three children, the youngest of which
died in early infancy. Her death was from consumption, in the fall of 1834.
Her mother died of the same disease in 1824.
McDonald & Campbell families, Pg. 4
Soon after the War, your grandfather settled his plantation known as Oak Grove on Col’s Island where his wife died in 1824 just after the Great Hurricane, and where he died about a year thereafter. He never made a public profession of religion but his friends had hopes that he was prepared for death.
Written on back of this document is the following note:
Above is an exact copy of this document, the original of which is in the possession of J. Campbell McDonald’s daughter Mrs. E.T. McMillan, Fort Valley, Ga.
Sent in Governor Treutlen Chapter. Fort Valley, Ga. Feb. 1932
McKINNON, William Boston Jr.
In 2008 I received an email from one William Boston McKinnon, Jr. (a.k.a. Billy) about his family history. Without knowing me from Adam’s housecat he invited me into his home and into his life.
I wasn’t familiar with Billy’s personal life or his family history other than in the genealogical sense but upon our first meeting, we just clicked and were friends. I visited him at home several times in the few short years we were acquainted, helping him with family history projects, computer “lessons”, and figuring out the functions of his camera while applying it to the computer. He learned of my passion for local history and books, so one day paid me for my services with books. One day I made the mistake of telling him how I always wanted a Boston Terrier; my next payment for lessons was, you guessed it, a Boston Terrier. I learned to keep my mouth shut after that.
Billy’s death went unnoticed by me for several reasons; one being that I was only friends with him and his wife so no one could tell me, I certainly wouldn’t expect a call from a grieving widow telling me of her husband’s death; another, I work so much and don’t keep up with local news or any newspapers so I never even saw an obituary. I learned of his death from the only mutual acquaintance we shared, and this was nearly two months after his passing.
While I have many anecdotes, what I remember the most about Billy was his friendliness, his approachability on anything, and his warmth of hospitality; a true southern gentleman. He was born William Boston McKinnon, Jr. on 30 September 1935 in Milledgeville, Baldwin, Georgia to parents W.B. McKinnon, Sr. and Mary Ethelyn Nightingale (names synonymous with southern history). He was one of only three children and lived most of his life in Savannah with his mother; his father having passed when Billy was only 13 years old. A very interesting item in his collection of family memorabilia was a letter concerning the appraisal of a portrait in the family; while this was not unusual in and of itself, the appraiser was. The letter was written by a friend of Billy’s mother and local antique dealer, Jim Williams, immortalized in the book and subsequent movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
According to various online obituaries, Billy graduated from the Hun Prep School in Princeton, New Jersey then on to the University of Georgia where he majored in business administration obtaining a bachelor’s degree that he took to a firm in New York City. He entered the United States Naval Reserve in 1953 and served until 1961 after which he removed from New York and came home to Georgia settling in Atlanta working as a stockbroker; a profession he just did not seem suited for.
A wife and family soon followed but his happiness at work was dissipating. Billy just wasn’t suited for the life of a stock broker. Using his wife’s family connections, he was pointed in a new career direction in the way of a little restaurant on Bourbon Street in New Orleans called Galatoire’s. He worked without pay for the first few months, learning the ins and outs of the “food biz”, and soon became a master of Cajun and Creole cuisines.
Taking this knowledge and his newfound passion for cooking, Billy came back to Atlanta and opened his own restaurant in 1972 called McKinnon’s Louisiane which is still in operation today offering a fine dining atmosphere, which was lacking at that time in Atlanta, and down home Louisiana cooking at its best.
Billy “retired” to Darien, McIntosh, Georgia where he and his wife made a home with their two little dogs overlooking the marsh and Sapelo Island. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and former member of the National Restaurant Association, the American Institute of Wine and Food, the International Association of Cooking Professionals, the Pickwick Club of New Orleans, the Oglethorpe Club of Savannah, and the Savannah Yacht and Country Club.
On Tuesday, 15 June 2010, while visiting at his mountain home, Billy suffered a major heart attack and died instantly; he was interred in Palmetto Cemetery in Brunswick, Glynn, Georgia.
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