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05-19-02 - The WILLIAM DANIELL HOUSE In OCONEE COUNTY

 

The William Daniell House  

C 1790

Oconee County, Georgia
 


On this site, it is believed that William Daniell (1743-1840) built a home for his wife, Mary (Polly) Melton, in 1790.  William Daniell served in the Revolutionary War under Col Elijah Clarke and participated in the Battles of Kettle Creek and King’s Mountain and other engagements. William Daniell was born November 25, 1743, in Hanover County, North Carolina (later Brunswick County).  

William Daniell was the son of John Daniell (born March 29, 1707, in Charleston, S.C.) and Sarah Raven (born 1716 in Charlestown, S. C.).   William Daniell was the grandson of Robert Daniell (born in 1646 in Cardigan County, Wales) Robert Daniell sailed from Plymouth, England, in August 1669, for America with a fleet of three ships.   Robert served King William in his Wars by Land and Sea. 

Robert Daniell served as the Colonial Governor of North Carolina from 1703 -1705.  He also served as Colonial Governor of South Carolina from April 25, 1716 until April 30, 1717.  Robert Daniell died May 1, 1718, and is buried at St. Phillips Church, 142 Church St., Charleston, S.C..  A memorial tablet stands on the wall at back of St. Phillips Church.  

King George II organized the Colony of Georgia as a Royal Province and granted “Head Rights†to each new settler of Georgia Territory.  William Daniell was deeded 200 acres in Wilkes County, Georgia, in November 1773.  On March 7, 1775, William Daniell was granted 300 acres on Little River in St. Paul’s Parrish, called Wrightsboro, Georgia.   In 1775, William Daniell signed the Wrightsboro Protest..  He served in the Revolutionary War under Col. Elijah Clarke.   

In 1784, William Daniell received 287 1/2 acres in Franklin County, Georgia.  This site is believed to be a part of that grant. Franklin County was created Feb 25, 1784, from Cherokee cession of May 31, 1783 and Creek cession of November 1, 1783. William Daniell served as a Representative from Washington, Wilkes County, Georgia, when the Constitution of the State was ratified in 1786.  

In 1790, he built a new home for his 17 year old bride, Mary (Polly) Melton, on Barber Creek in Jackson County, later Clarke County, and now Oconee County.  He joined Mars Hill Church in 1802, founded  1799, located a short distance across Barber Creek to the North.   William Daniell had 13 children by his wife, Polly.  He had 11 children by his first wife, Rachel, and two of his sons, James and Thomas, served in the Revolution. 

A family legend has it that when William Daniell was 90 years of age, he called in all his children and their families to spend two weeks with him at this site.  They came in covered wagons with their bedding.  Each day they had beef, hogs, turkeys.  He had a large playground on the creek bottoms which were under fence.  He would lay down one corner of the fence for the children to pass through and then he would put the fence up and then jump over it like a “young buckâ€.  

William Daniell died September 5, 1840, almost 97 years old.  His will was probated  on October 5, 1840, and is recorded  in Clarke County.  He is buried at the nearby Mars Hill Baptist Church Cemetery.  On September 19, 1937, the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a tombstone at the gravesite recognizing Daniell as a Revolutionary War Soldier. (The last name is misspelled on the tombstone) 

The house was placed on the National Historic Register in the 1950s through the efforts and research of long-time resident and owner, Mary Kinne.   The house site was purchased by Ray and Stephanie Goff in 1999 to be restored and leased to Oconee County as an  Historic Site.  It is believed to be the oldest standing house in Oconee County.

 


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