GEORGE S. FITZGERALD
GEORGE S. FITZGERALD, son of John and Jane (Spratlen) Fitzgerald natives of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, was born 10 November 1824 in Stokes County, North Carolina. He returned to Pittsylvania County when about twelve years old. His mother died about 1828 and his father married again in 1831. Then before 1835, his father died. In 1834/35 Walter Fitzgerald, his uncle in Danville, VA, was named legal guardian for George and six of his siblings.
George S. Fitzgerald, the eighth child of ten, married Sarah B. Pritchett 12 December 1849, in Danville, Virginia, signed for by the mother of the bride, Eliza M. Pritchett. Rev. Samuel J. Spotts performed the ceremony and signed as bondsman. Sarah, the daughter of Joshua and Elizabeth (Inge) Pritchett of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, was born 7 February 1829. Her sister, Julie Pritchett, was the wife of Rev. Samuel J. Spotts.
In 1857 George and Sarah and their four young children, ranging in ages From one to six, were among those forming a wagon train to make a new home in Texas. Others in this group were many of the families making up the membership of Virginia Point Methodist Episcopal Church, and most were related to Sarah by blood or marriage.
George settled his family on a farm near Ambrose, not far from Red River and began farming. Upon awaking one morning and putting his feet to the floor only to find them covered with water, George decided to move his family to higher ground. He bought more land about three miles north of Bells, and began cutting oak trees that grew on his land for timber for his new home.
George and Sarah's children, when they came to Texas, were John A. born 6 April 1851; Mollie Inge born 19 December 1852, our ancestor; Eliza M. born 29 October 1854; and Minnie R. born 14 November 1856. On 30 May 1859, Sallie Fannie, their last child, was born. The following December 10, 1859, Sarah died. Family word-of-mouth said that she just never got over the birth of Sallie, but 1860 Texas Mortality Schedule says that she died of typhoid fever.
Fannie D. Pritchett, Sarah's older sister, became George S. Fitzgerald's
second wife and stepmother to his five children. In 1861, George joined the Confederate Army as a private in Company H of the Chickasaw Battalion, but was soon transferred to the ordnance department where he served until the end of the conflict.
By the time George returned from the war, the logs were seasoned and he began the construction of the home. The entire framework was of oak with hand hewn logs put together with pegs. The main house was two stories high with a portico over the front east entrance. A one-story wing extended west framing the kitchen and dining area. A twelve-foot hall divided the twenty by twenty foot rooms on the south and the north. The hall and one room had hand planed pine wainscoting; and the other room was completely paneled in red pine,also hand planed. The paneling ran horizontally, rather than vertically.
The upper floor made up of two completely separate sleeping quarters. A solid partition ran the entire length of this floor. Two stairways led to the second floor; one to the girls room, and another to the boys and hired hands' quarters. The floors were of one by six lumber, which came from Jefferson County. There were brick chimneys on both the north and south sides of the house. The fireplaces were designed to burn huge logs and were very wide. A six-foot walk led to the house with cedar trees on either side. These trees stood for many years.
George Fitzgerald made many beautiful pieces of furniture to fill his home as the years went by. His occupation was farmer and stockman, but he excelled in carpentry and furniture making.
The Texas Historical Foundation presented an Official Texas Medallion for this Fitzgerald house 26 April 1970. It had been moved from the original site to Thompson Heights, Lake Texoma, and restored by Dr. and Mrs. Maurice
Weisberg. Later there was a fire. It has now been moved to the Grayson County Frontier Village, Loy Lake, Denison, Texas; and has been restored again and furnished as part of the historical displays. The George S. Fitzgerald Bible has been rebound and placed in the Frontier Village.
George was very active in the Virginia Point Methodist Episcopal Church South. He was a good father to his children, but was most strict with them.
George's only son, John A. Fitzgerald, married 4 November 1875, Maggie Bradford. He died of appendicitis one week later and left no descendants.He is buried beside his father at Virginia Point Cemetery.
Mollie Inge Fitzgerald, our ancestor, married George Dugan Frederick
Whiting on her nineteenth birthday, 19 December 1870. They were the parents of eight children. Mollie died 6 May 1939 in Denison, Texas. George Whiting died 6 January 1932, and both are buried at Bells, Texas.
Eliza M. Fitzgerald married John Palmore 25 January 1877. John and Eliza resided in Ravenna, Texas, where he was a merchant. They were the parents of four children: Sallie Fannie, Pearl, Virginia and John. Eliza died in 1908, and is buried at Virginia Point Cemetery along with her first husband and some of their children. Eliza Palmore married second a Mr. Fowler.
Minnie R. Fitzgerald and Amos Templeton were married 26 November 1874 and lived on George's old homeplace. They were the parents of three children: John M., Claud F., and Clara. Only Clara reached adulthood. Minnie died 15 April 1893. Amos and Minnie Templeton and their sons are buried at Virginia Point Cemetery.
Sallie Fitzgerald married Charles W. Bryant of Whitewright on
15 December 1881. They were parents of eight children: Monroe, Albert,
Alberta, Fannie, Willie, George Fitzgerald (Fitz), Marvin and Charles. Sallie Fitzgerald Bryant died 6 October 1933. She and her husband are buried in Whitewright, Texas.
In 1880 George Fitzgerald was elected County Commissioner and served until 1884. George, a staunch supporter of the Farmer's Alliance, was a good farmer and stockman. He died 7 August 1891. On 6 September 1897, Fannie, his second wife died. George is buried beside his son, John, and his two wives at Virginia Point Church Cemetery, north of Savoy, TX.
George and his first wife, Sarah, left many descendants, but all were
through their daughters.
Compiled by: Lora B. Tindall
RESOURCE LOG: Biographical Souvenir of the State of Texas 1889 F.A. Battey &
Co. PP 294-95; Whiting/Fitzgerald Family Bibles; Grayson County Land Deeds;
Early Grayson Co., TX, Marriage Records; Early Fannin Co. TX, Marriage Records; Virginia Point Methodist Church Cemetery Gravestone Readings; Bells, Texas, Cemetery Gravestone readings; 1680 Morality Schedule of TX, p 84; Newsletter, Grayson Co., TX, Historical Survey Committee, Jan/Feb/Mar 1970; Grayson Co. TX, Census; Old letters from relatives dated 1876,1818,1872; Marriage Records of Pittsylvania Co., VA; Tombstone readings VA Point and Bells, TX; Obituaries; Program from Fitzgerald home Official TX Historical Medallion Presentation 26 Apr 1970; Virginia Point Methodist Church newspaper articles; History of Grayson Co., TX, Grayson Co. Frontier Village, Inc. (1979) Vol. 1 PP 301-303