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4-6-02 The Murder of Pappy Daniell, My Great-Grandfather of Oconee County

Pappy lived in the homeplace on what is now known as Cliff Dawson Road in Oconee County.   This is where Mama Hassie (Hassie Browning Daniell Dawson, his daughter and my grandmother) grew up and lived most of her life.



April 6, 2002


The Murder of Pappy Daniell, My Great-Grandfather


By Wendell Dawson


My great-grandfather, Young Henderson Daniell, (1849 – 1904) has always held a fascination for  me.   I am sure that some of it came from growing up in the home where he lived when he was murdered in Winder in 1904 while attending a church conference.  I understood that he was a delegate from the Watkinsville Christian Church.  His youngest daughter Nellie Daniell Jones, then about 15, was with him. 


Young Henderson Daniell (Pappy) was the son of Josiah Daniell who owned land and lived on the Daniells Bridge Road where Lake Wellbrook Subdivision is currently located.   Josiah was a descendant of William Daniell, a Revolutionary War Soldier, whose house is located in Founders Grove on Daniells Bridge Road.  William was the grandson of Robert Daniell, Colonial Governor of North Carolina and South Carolina.  Robert is buried at St Phillips Church in Charleston, S. C.  William and Young Henderson (along with many other Daniells) are buried at Mars Hill Church in Oconee County.


Pappy lived in the homeplace on what is now known as Cliff Dawson Road in Oconee County.   This is  where Mama Hassie (Hassie Browning Daniell Dawson, his daughter and my grandmother) grew up and lived most of her life. It is also where Daddy (Rayford Dawson and his brothers and sisters) grew up and Daddy died.  My brothers, sisters and I also grew up there (as did many more descendants- and there are hundreds)  As a child my brothers and sisters and I found an old trunk in the loft of the old smokehouse.  The trunk contained a man’s dress clothes including a white shirt with a ruffled front.  There was a bullet hole and bloodstains.  You can bet that questions poured forth!


Family legend led me to understand that Pappy owned a considerable amount of land; and that he was shot and killed by a disgruntled relative over a tract of land he had bought on the Mars Hill Road- the farm later owned by Fred Wayne and Jean Dickens and where Jean Dickens currently lives.  In my early law career I checked his file in the Oconee County probate records.   He owned around 700 acres of land at the time of his death.  It was in the vicinity of the homeplace and other Daniell Land lying between the Daniell’s Bridge Rd  and Butler’s Crossing and the Mars Hill Road.


Growing up, I remember Uncle Josiah Daniell, his son, talking about the murder with some bitterness.  Mama Hassie never did talk much about it.  Cousin Pearl Montgomery, on Wellbrook Road, also talked about it and what a shame it was that “Uncle Young” was murdered and the person who did it did not go to prison.  Daddy once told some of us that his Mama said the  shooter was a Mason and that some fellow Masons came to the aid of the shooter who was 65 years of age and in bad health.


Earlier this year I did some Library research at UGA and learned more about the circumstances of his death.  A cousin, Julie Daniell Phlegar, provided a picture of Pappy, the original of which is owned by her Uncle, James Dewit Daniell, of Wilson, N. C., who is also a grandson of Pappy.


While some myth has been dispelled and more facts are known, there still remains a fascination with Pappy and the murder and what eventually happened to the man who shot Pappy and saddened the lives of his wife, Mammy, and all of his children.


At the time of the murder, Barrow County did not exist.  It was formed in 1914 from Walton, Gwinnett and Jackson.   The shooting occurred in the Gwinnett portion of Winder and the shooter, C. Dawson Burnett, was a cousin of Pappy according to reports in the Athens Banner. 


Young Henderson Daniell     (Pappy)

Susan Robison Daniell  (Mammy)

Young Henderson DANIELL 1849-1904

m. Susan Jane ROBISON - 1849 - 1930

1.  Thomas Chaffin DANIELL 1870-1895
          (Chaffin is a family name from our Montgomery line)
2.  Oscar DANIELL 1871-1874
3.  Lilla DANIELL 1874-1938
4.  Allie DANIELL 1876-1881
5.  Myrtle DANIELL 1877-1879
6.  Wattson DANIELL 1880-1971
          m. Hassie WIER 1885-1955
7.  Katie Bishop DANIELL 1882-1954
          m.  Alcy Pope WHITEHEAD 1878-1952
8.  Hassie Browning DANIELL 1883-1955
          m.  Royal Clifford DAWSON 1880-1949
9.  Josiah DANIELL 1885-1957
          m. Lila THORNTON
10. Nellie DANIELL 1889-1971
          m. George Jones
11. Dewitt DANIELL 1892-1974
          m. Ola Matthews 1894-1914

The Weekly Banner (Athens)
Friday Morning, October 28, 1904
Young Daniel Killed

by C. Dawson Burnett

Winder was the scene of a shocking tragedy Tuesday evening just after dark in which the participants were parties well known to hundreds of people in this city.

     Mr. Dawson Burnett, formerly a citizen of Athens, but now a resident of Winder shot and almost instantly killed Mr. Young H. Daniel, a resident of Oconee county, who was in Winder in attendance upon the District Missionary Convention of the Christian Church.

    The shooting occurred at the home of Mr. Tolbert N. Lester, who for most of his life resided in this county and who with his son saw the tragedy as it occurred. 

     From statements of Mr. Lester and his son, it appears that Daniel was unarmed at the  time of the shooting and that Burnett was the aggressor.

     The two men were cousins.  The trouble between them dated back some time to a settlement of an estate in which they were interested and the immediate dispute was in reference to a line between two plantations.

     Burnett lives in the house adjoining the home of Mr. Lester in Winder, Tuesday evening he went over to Mr. Lester’s and met Daniel there.  Daniel was sitting on the back porch with his young daughter, and Burnett and Daniel engaged in a friendly conversation for several minutes.  One remarked that he had started to go to Athens, but he had missed the train.  The other said that he was going Wednesday morning and that they could go together.  In this way the conversation seemed entirely friendly and went on for several minutes. 

     Both men got up and walked through the hall to the front porch and as they came out on the front porch, Daniel had has hands in

his front pants pockets.  Burnett halted near him and in front of him.

     Just then Burnett referred to the old dispute and wanted to know when Daniel expected to pay him for the land he had taken from him.

     Daniel replied that he had treated Burnett perfectly fairly in the settlement and did not owe him anything.

Hot words then ensued between the two men and Daniel withdrew his hands from his pockets and folded them across his stomach.

     Just then was when the firing took place.  Daniel was standing erect with his hands crossed in front of him when Burnett pulled his pistol and fired.

     The first shot was evidently fired before the pistol was raised very high and the ball entered the floor.  Then the second shot was fired and the ball entered Daniel’s right breast near the heart and passed through the lung.  Burnett walked out into the yard and walked around for several minutes.  Daniel staggered back into the house and was caught in the arms of his little girl, in which position he died in two minutes. 

     Burnett claims that when he began to talk to Daniel about the land for which he claimed he owed him, Daniel pulled his hands out of his pockets as if to shoot and that then it was that he shot to save himself.

     Burnett was taken to charge by the police authorities of Winder and was placed under guard.  The sheriff of Gwinnett county was communicated with and late Tuesday night came to Winder and carried his prisoner back to Gwinnett county jail in Lawrenceville, where he will remain until he is given his trial.

    The affair cast gloom over the entire community.  Mr. Burnett had lived for several years in Winder and had many friends.  He is about sixty-five years of age and for years has been in very bad health, suffering intensely from nervousness.  Mr. Daniel was one of the best-known men in Oconee county and was at the time of his death attending a religious convention in Winder.  The grief of his little daughter who was with him at the time of his death is pathetic in the extreme.

     The remains of Mr. Daniel were brought through Athens yesterday morning from Winder and were carried to the home near Watkinsville where the funeral will be held this morning. 




The Banner  (Athens)
Friday Morning, February 3, 1905


For Mr. C. Dawson Burnett, Who is in Jail at Lawrenceville Charged With Murder

     An application for bail in the case of the state vs. C. Dawson Burnett, charged with the murder of Young H. Daniel, was to have been heard at Russell, GA, Monday night, but on account of the prosecutor in the case not having been notified, the application was not heard by Judge Russell.

     The hearing on the application was set by the court for next Monday night at Jefferson, as the regular session of Jackson Superior Court will then be in session.

     Mr. Burnett’s counsel, Messrs. Geo. C. Thomas and C.H. Brand, will ask bail on a number of grounds and as the old man is in desperate health, a strong plea will be made for his release on proper bail.

     The case will be tried in Lawrenceville during the session of Gwinnett Superior court next month.

The Banner  (Athens)
Friday Morning, February 24, 1905


Jail Life Telling Terribly on the Old Man Charged with Murder

     The friends of Mr. C.D. Burnett, will learn with sorrow that he was stricken with paralysis Sunday morning.

     The Gwinnett Journal has the following to say:

     Sunday morning Mr. C.D. Burnett, who is in the county jail charged with killing Young Daniel, at  Winder, was stricken

with paralysis and he was not able to speak for some time.

     Dr. M.T. Johnson and Dr. A.M.M. Winn were summoned and did all in their power to relieve the old gentleman.

     His life was not endangered solely from the paralysis, but he is in a bad condition anyway, and unless his is tried at a pretty early date the chances are that he will stand trial in a court before the great Judge before who we shall all sooner or later be tried.

     From the number of lawyers employed in this case, it will evidently be a pretty interesting trial.

     There is a Solicitor Tribbel, Green & Nix and Hon. John R. Cooper on the side of the state and Hon. C.H. Brand and Hon. Geo. C. Thomas for the defendant.

     On account of his bad health Sheriff Martin has shown him every possible favor and on this account the old fellow has help up pretty well.

The Banner (Athens)
Friday Morning, April 7, 1905

An Application in the Case of C.D. Burnett was Argued at Russell Before The Judge
  The second application for bail in the case of the prisoner, C.D. Burnett, charged with the murder of Young H. Daniel has been made and argued.
  The application was argued Monday before Judge Richard B. Russell, at Russell, GA.  The arguments were lengthly on both sides of the case and occupied almost all the day.(FOR BAIL cont’d)Judge Russell reserved his decision in the case, but will render it within the next few days.
    The attorneys for the defense are making a strong effort to secure the release of the defendant on bail, while the state is very strenuously opposing the motion to allow bail.

The Banner (Athens)

Friday Morning, April 14, 1905




When it Was Made Known That Bond Had Been Granted Husband.


     Joe P. Austin, the Journal man, and Mrs. C.D. Burnett accompanied Sheriff Martin to Mr. C.D. Burnett’s room Saturday morning when the announcement was made that Judge Russell had granted him the privilege of release on a $,000 bail.  Mrs. Burnett shouted, “Thank God My Prayers Have Been Answered.”  By this time the sheriff and the prisoner had each other with arms around their necks both crying.  Mr. Austin was off in one corner of the room weeping and the writer was doing his part.  It was a most affective scene.

     Hon. C.H. Brand came over Monday afternoon with a bond worth $00,000 to be approved by N.S. Robinson.  There was one well known citizen of Athens worth at least $5,000 on the bond.

     The clerk approved the bond after investigating the surety and the prisoner was carried to Tuesday morning’s train on a litter and reached his home in Winder a few minutes later where he is being cared for by his family.

     Mr. Brand’s splendid work in this case shows that he is as equally proficient in defending one as he has proven himself to be as a prosecutor.

  --Gwinnett Journal