Tuesday, July 3, 2018

My Patriot Forefathers by Darline Dunagan Scruggs

During the 1830’s my ancestor’s continued to be actively engaged in the building and establishing of Hall County Georgia. It had been sixty years since Joshua Dunagan and his brother Joseph Dunagan (my fifth great grandfather) had brought the first group of settlers into what is now known as Hall County Georgia. The site of their settlement was located near present day Gillsville and was known as Stonethrow. It was a remote frontier located in hostile Indian Territory and even though it has grown and prospered in those sixty years it still remained a remote area that required much from those who lived here during the 1830’s.

The occupation and livelihood of most of its population was chiefly agricultural. Life was hard and laborious work was required to survive and prosper. Social life was largely limited to church and church related social events. Occasional special events would find themselves on the calendar from time to time.

One such special event of the year was the celebration and observance of Independence Day. Hall County citizens gathered to enjoy good food, good company, and hear political speeches orated by the citizens and special guest. The first Fourth of July celebration recorded in Hall County was in the year 1833. The celebration began at the square at 11 o’clock with a procession headed by Major General Bates, his staff, and the officers of the day. They were escorted by the Gainesville Hussars to the Baptist Church where the many citizens were gathered. Reverend Parks addressed the group, followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence by David C. Neal, Esq., after which an oration was given by Mr. James W. Jones.

The celebration continued into the afternoon with much of the activity held at the Limestone Springs. Limestone Springs was located at what we know today as the intersection of Green Street Circle and Thompson Bridge Road (named so because of the original covered bridges built by Andrew Thompson’s sons).
The dinner, which was prepared by Mr. Joseph Frederick, was enjoyed by the Gentlemen at the Springs. Presiding over the program was a Mr. Rueben Thornton and his assistant Madison R. Mitchel. Formal toasts were offered followed by volunteer toasts from the gathered guest.

There were many “Volunteer Toasts” given that day but for purpose of interest, I am only quoting those pertaining to the Dunagan family.

“By Joseph Dunnagan Esq. – ‘May that patriotism that animated the Heroes of the Revolution be perpetuated in the hearts of their descendants, and may peace and good will abound among every portion of our Citizens, from Main [sic] to Misourie [sic].’ “
“By Joseph Dunnagan Esq. – ‘The protective system; originally advocated by some Southern men, and now strange to tell, the same men are the foremost to advocate unconstitutional measures to get rid of.’ “.
“By Mr. B. Dunnagan – ‘Detested be every…pendant such as the palmetto flag, with all that rally round them, but let all true hearted Americans rally round our star spangle banner emblem of our Union, and long may it wave o’er the land of the free and home of the brave.’ “.

The Independence Day festivities were the spotlight of the political season, the following account is of the 1840 celebration in Hall County Georgia. The celebration began that morning with an assemblage of the citizens at the Court House and a walk to the Academy Spring, where they heard a reading of the Declaration of Independence by Joseph Dunagan and a speech by T. C. Hackett. Keeping with tradition, they partook of an appetizing meal prepared by Wiley Sledge. The preset toasts were once again delivered followed by the volunteer toasts. As said before, many toasts were given that day, but I will quote those only from the Dunagan family.

“By James McClesky [husband of Anna Dunagan], a revolutionary war soldier, May the Lord, with the breath of his mouth, destroy that evil spirit that is now about to enter into the hearts of some of the offspring of our noble soldiers, who fought and bled under the flag of the U.S. and declared themselves independent of Great Britain on this ever memorable day.”
“By James McCleskey – Georgia; On the first Monday in November, she will load her big gun with Democratic principles, wadded with Republicanism, and leveling it at Federalism, will blow Wm. H. Harrison sky high.”
“By Benjamin Dunagan – Maj. Croghan; who so bravely defended Fort Stevenson, contrary to orders of cowardly commander. May he ever be esteemed by the American people as a hero and patriot.”
“By Jas. R. Dunagan – A strict construction of Federal constitution is the sheet anchor of this Government.”

The Dunagan’s of Hall County Georgia have been actively involved in the community and its government since their arrival here in the 1790’s. That tradition continues even today. Callier Daniel ‘Danny’  Dunagan, the third great grandson of the aforementioned Joseph Dunagan resides today  as mayor of Gainesville. Sandra Dunagan Deal, wife of Governor Nathan Deal and the third great granddaughter of the aforementioned Joseph, is the honored First Lady of Georgia.

May we always remember the great men from whom we came and do honor to them as they did us. I pay tribute to my forefathers and those whom have fought, served, and labored to build and preserve this great nation of ours.

Joseph Dunagan – He came into Georgia about 1790 and built Dunagan or Donnegan Station in old Franklin County Georgia. A leader among the settlers, he and his brother Joshua lead the settlers into Indian territory where they established the first settlement known as Stonethrow.

Ezekiel Dunagan – A pioneer and founding settler of Hall County, Georgia and a veteran of the War of 1812. Ezekiel served as a spy during the war and his name can be found on the roster hanging in the Georgia State Archives.

Joseph Ellis Dunagan – “Old Constitution” a Georgia State Senator representing Hall County for 23 years and a valiant and staunch defender of the Constitutions of the United States and Georgia.

John Franklin Dunagan – A Civil War Veteran who was also taken prisoner during the war.

Joseph Alexander Dunagan – Born in 1862 while his father was fighting in the Civil War, he was too old to fight in WWI. He came from patriotic men and he raised patriot men.

Lester Commie Dunagan – A proud American who was a veteran of WWI

Lester Commie Dunagan Jr. – My father, who fought bravely in WWII and continued his service to his country for the remainder of his life. Serving as First Sergeant in the Georgia National Guard till retirement, serving as Commander of the Paul E Bolding Post of the American Legion and serving as State Commander of the Georgia American Legion, he was the most patriotic man I have ever known.

Matthew L. Scruggs- Continuing the tradition is my son who served in the United States Air Force and the Air National Guard with a tour in Iraq. His service left him disabled and hero always in my book.

This is just one line of the great defenders of freedom from which I descend. I am honored to be able to trace my roots back to the beginning of our Great Nation and say those were my ancestors. It is to them and men like them that we owe our freedom!

*Information on the Fourth of July Celebration was taken from newspaper microfilm found in the Hall County Library and was transcribed as written.*

Saturday, June 16, 2018

GO WEST YOUNG MAN Stephen Wallace Dunagan

Stephen Wallace Dunagan (1880-1947) was the grandson of Captain Stephen Reid Dunagan (1827-1894), and Eliza Ann Turk Wood (1829-1894). Stephen Reid Dunagan was the son of Ezekiel Dunagan and his second wife Margaret "Peggy" Wallace Dunagan, born in Hall County, Georgia. After Ezekiel died in 1836, Peggy Dunagan, as she was called, moved to Alabama with her 6 children. When the Civil War broke out, Stephen Reid Dunagan was given a commission as a Calvary officer with the CSA, 4th Alabama Calvary, Company B. He was 33 years old. When the war ended Captain Stephen Reid Dunagan decided to move his family from Alabama west, first to Texas, and later to New Mexico and the Arizona Territory.

His son Lorenzo Dow Dunagan (1848-1924), is Stephen Wallace Dunagan's father. Lorenzo Dow Dunagan married Mary Ann Davis (1855-1883).

This is Stephen Wallace Dunagan and his second wife Callie Kate Spaw (1888-1986). He was married briefly to Anna Lena Daniels in 1904 but had no children. He married Callie Kate Spaw in 1908 in Duncan, Graham County, Arizona Territory.

They had 8 children:
George Lee Dunagan
Homer Willis Dunagan
Oscar Warren Dunagan
Vera Eula Dunagan
Maude Etta Dunagan
Stephen Wallace Dunagan
Houston Elery Dunagan
Paul Termin "Buddy" Dunagan

The photos I have posted came from Peggy Dunagan McBride whose father was Homer Willis Dunagan shown below:

Homer shown with his boys, Willis, Stewart and Jimmie. Homer was a real cowboy of the west.

This photo was taken circa 1940 and shows L-R Callie Kate Spaw Dunagan, Stephen Wallace Dunagan, Homer Willis Dunagan(top row with hat) and below him is Stephen Wallace Dunagan , Jr., Vera and Maude Dunagan and on end is Oscar Dunagan. L-R on the ground is George Dunagan, Willis Dunagan, Houston Dunagan, and Stewart Dunagan. I look at Oscar and George Dunagan and I see a strong resemblance of my father, George Jeter Dunagan, in his younger days.

Below is a photo of Jimmie Dunagan, another son of Homer Willis Dunagan. Jimmie worked in the movies in Hollywood, mostly as a stunt man. He mostly performed in Western Movies along side John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and the Death Valley series with Ronald Reagan and High Chaparell TV serices. I learned from Peggy, his sister, Jimmie died in a car accident at the early age of 48. Their brother Willis was also killed in a car accident.

Peggy Dunagan McBride sent me this photo of her maternal grandfather, George Spaw, Callie Kate Spaw's father. He is the one behind the wheel. The old west was a rough and tumble place.

In 1902 there were already a lot of Dunagan family in the wild west area of Duncan Arizona. This is not a good photo but it shows a great number of  Dunagans gathering for a Birthday/Anniversary. Peggy has included a name chart on those in attendance.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ezekiel Dunagan and Lydia Ann Brown Dunagan by Darlene Dunagan Scruggs

Ezekiel Dunagan is my fourth great-grandfather. Ezekiel was born in 1770, according to family Bible records, in Pendleton, South Carolina. His father Joseph was given a land grant for 200 acres near the Curahee Mountain in Georgia and it is then that the first Dunagan’s came into Georgia. Later Joseph along with his brother Joshua Dunagan, incorrectly transcribed in some Hall County records as ‘Joshua Darnigan’, lead the first group of settlers into what is now known as east Hall County Georgia. They were followed by Ezekiel and his brother leading the second group of settlers to the Joshua Dunagan’s settlement. After Joshua’s death, it became known as the Joseph Dunagan settlement. It is in the same area that we find the grave of Ezekiel and Lydia. Through the years, nature had taken over the cemetery and many graves have been lost. Thanks to those Dunagan’s who still live on the land that Ezekiel owned, we never lost the location of his grave site. It was a long time dream of mine to restore and mark the graves of my grandparents for present and future generations. Along with my cousins, we made this possible. The new tombstone was recently placed on the site. Thanks to each of you who contributed your time and money to make this possible.

Location: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=34.301254,-83.718795&num=1&t=h&z=20

Following Joseph by Darlene Dunagan Scruggs

Joseph Dunagan was born the son of Thomas and Sarah Dunagan in Orange County North Carolina in or around the year 1740. The summation of my research. is as follows:

According to George Dunagan, whose researches I trust more than anyone else, Thomas and Sarah Came to America in the 1730’s, they bought land in Orange County North Carolina in 1748. It is in Orange County, North Carolina that Joseph was born. There is record of Joseph serving on the Grand Jury at Hillsboro in 1763. George said that in “the same year he was known to be in South Carolina looking for a place to settle”. He purchased 150 acres on the Pendleton side of the Saluda River in 1768 and in 1769 he purchased another 150 acres adjoining his land. George said, “This is where he raised his family”. So this must be the birthplace of Ezekiel.

George does make mention of the Dunagan’s in Surry County as being an ‘Uncle John’ (not the same as John, the brother of this Joseph) whose son John Jr and of David who was his brother John’s son. He wrote in his notes that Joseph, Joshua, and Thomas served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. I have found Revolutionary War Records for Joseph’s brothers, however, I have not found them for Joseph.

I have found Joseph listed in 1790 census in Pendleton South Carolina. Listed in the house were 3 males under 16 and 2 over 16 and 4 females. We know that he did have at least 6 sons and 3 or more daughters but the daughter’s names are not known. I also have record of Joseph Dunagin in the U.S. Census Reconstructed Records for Franklin County Georgia, for the residence year of 1790, however household remarks on the record has a date listed for a petition given by the Governor as 11 November 1793. He must have first come into Georgia in 1790 since we find him listed in both censuses.

We know that he and others applied for land grants. Records, authenticated by the Georgia State Archives, prove that an order was given on 6 February 1792 to give Joseph Dunagan head rights for 200 acres in Franklin County, Georgia. He was given the land warrant on 1 January 1793. His brother Thomas was also given 100 acres in Franklin County, Georgia.

Next we find records indicating that a general order was given by Major General Elijah Clark that a Block House be erected on the Dunagan land near the Currahee Mountain dated 2 January 1793. Again we find records concerning the building of the Block House dated 30 April 1794. Then in the years of 1800, 1802, 1803, we find Joseph Dunagan in the Franklin County Georgia tax census. Another record is found in 1807 for J Dunnigan. Often the name is spelled ‘Dunnigan’ throughout the census.

It is said the Joseph traveled to Tennessee where he spent some time before traveling on to Madison County, Illinois to visit his sons Isaiah and Ande who had moved there from Georgia. George said “It is said he traveled some west of the Mississippi River. He left Georgia in the early part of 1805 but died in the latter part and was buried across the river from St. Louis, Missouri in St. Clair County, Illinois.”

So perhaps the J. Dunnigan of the 1807 census is not Joseph Dunagan, which means that he is last documented in Georgia in 1803.

A Letter From James Reid Dunagan to R C Wood 1895 by Darlene Dunagan Scruggs

James Reid Dunagan was the youngest son of Ezekiel and Lydia Ann Brown Dunagan. He was born March 21, 1821 in east Hall County, Georgia. He lived on the land that his grandfather and father had settled in the late 1790’s and it was there that he died on May 22, 1900. He is buried at Dunagan Chapel’s, a church he helped establish.  The land was donated for the building of Dunagan’s Chapel and a community school. Dunagan’s Chapel has remained a thriving viable church since 1889.  Many of James’s descendants remain on this land today. It is because on his branch that much of our history has been passed on to us. I am counting on the James Reid Dunagan descendants to help us learn more about their progenitor.

The following is a transcription of a letter found in “The Wood Family Papers”.

July the 10th 1895
Mr. R C WOOD dear sir
by the request of Mr. WELCHEL I write you a few lines he stated that you wanted to
no what had becom of all the BUFFINGTONs and MARTINs and DUNAGANs the
Old set of the DUNAGANs is all Ded except my self & cister BETSEY EBERHART
BRO JEF & cister JANE McCLESKEY is living yet they ar in Texas the balance of
them is ded to I have heard the Old set of the BUFFENGTONs is all dead & a number
of the yonge set is dead WILLIAM BUFFINGTON & several of his family is
dead his wife dide be fore he did TOM & BERRIAN & JOHN ar living on the old
place yet last monday we buried old Mrs LANGFORD I think she was a bout 88 year
SPENCER MARTIN & his Brother JON ar all dead all the Old set of GILMERs is
dead Little Bull as he is cawld is living yet his wife dide a bout 10 days ago Uncle
MOSE BRYAND and wife is ded WM BRYANT & BEN BRYANT is dead AMES
BRYANT is living yet he is a bout 85 years old and his wife is living yet old man
LEWIS JONES & JACEY MORRIS and their wives ar all dead in fact all the old cittersons
that was living hear when you left is dead. DAVID MARTIN & ELISHA WILLIAMS
ar both living yet thrue the Murcy of the good Lord I have been speard. I am
now turnd in my 75th year I have good helth EVALINE my wifes helth is not very
good I was glad to hear from Mr WELCHEL that you was living. you write to me
and if there is any thin perticuler you want no I write it to you I have one daughter
living in Ala MARGARETT WATS__ they live in Jackson County Ala. I have 9 mor
children close round me all groan and all married but 3. I dont no what else to
write to you so I will close if we never meat on earth I expect to meat you in Heaven
your Truley
Jas. R. Dunagan
P. S. Durect you leters to
Hall County
[Jef – possibly Thomas Jefferson McCluskey b 1833, son of Isabella Rhea McCleskey McCluskey & Miles

Dunagan Land Warrants in Georgia by Darlene Dunagan Scruggs

As stated previously in “Following Joseph” Joseph Dunagan was given a Land Warrant for 200 acres of land in Franklin County Georgia. The order was given on February 6, 1792 and on January 1, 1793 he received the warrant. His brother Thomas received a warrant for 100 acres in Franklin County Georgia. The date on this warrant is written 23 January but the year is missing.
We also find land warrants issued in Hall County Georgia to Benjamin Dunagan and Isaiah Dunagan. Benjamin was given 250 acres in East Hall County near the North Oconee River 3 May 1853. Isaiah’s warrant was dated 4 July 1854 but the acreage is unreadable.