Saturday, July 22, 2017

David McFall Born and Reared in Augusta, Virginia

Today I’d like to write about 3rd Great Grandfather David McFall. He was born about 1819 in Augusta Co., Virginia, a son of Thomas McFall and Nancy Hall. He married Catherine Todd July 28, 1842, and they became the parents of Margaret Jane, Hamilton B., James Addison, Stuart B., and David Chambers McFall. David McFall died March 20, 1854, 35 years old.

Thanks to the Augusta Historical Society and Anne E. Kidd’s obituary excerpts, I learned David was a member of the International Order of Odd Fellows at Mt. Solon, Augusta Co., Virginia.

     Mr. David McFall, a worthy member of Mt. Solon Lodge, I. O. O. F. died at his residence in Mt. Solon on Thursday last. (29 March 1854)
     Tributes of Respect. Mt. Solon Lodge No. 110 I. O. O. F. Mt. Sidney Lodge No. 119 (12 April 1854)
     David McFall died in the village of Mt. Solon, in this county . . . the 22nd of March, leaving a fond wife and five infant children . . . his parentage was poor but respectable . . . born and reared in Augusta. (10 May 1854)
     The funeral of Capt. David McFall will be preached on the second Sabbath in August . . . at the Methodist Church in Mt. Solon, by Rev. R. D. Chambers. (26 July 1854)
                        [Augusta Historical Bulletin, Vol. 17, Fall 1981, No. 2
                         Obituaries, Staunton Newspapers, by Anne C. Kidd]

Earlier in the week, I explored Google Books looking for my 3rd Great Grandfather’s association with the group. The search led me to page 673 of “Proceedings Grand Lodge of Virginia, 1837-1859, I. O. O. F.” published in Richmond, Virginia by Macfarlane & Fergusson:


You’ll find Grandfather among the Mt. Solon brothers petitioning a lodge for their community.

Anne C. Kidd’s notes referred to Great Grandfather as Capt. David McFall. How did he come by that rank? After changing my search parameters at Google Books, I found a 4 line snippet telling how Capt. McFall read the Declaration of Independence in front of a holiday crowd. The title of the book “Life Under Four Flags in North River Basin of Virginia” mentions the North River which runs along Mt. Solon.

The author of the work, C. E. May, published his book in 1903. McClure Press out of Verona, Virginia reprinted Clarence Edward May’s edition in 1976.

Librarians have always been good to me. I’d like to express my gratitude to Doug from the Augusta County Library in Fishersville, Virginia and thank him for sending me the pages I needed from C. E.  May’s book. What a genealogical treat to read how Great Grandfather celebrated July 4th in 1849. Mr. May captured the essence of the day when he wrote:

            “Mt. Solon demonstrated its importance as a community center in 1849 by staging a July 4th celebration which featured a military review, a parade, addresses and a banquet followed by toasts. First, the Mt. Solon Artillery, commanded by Captain David McFall and escorted by the Mt. Crawford Band, marched a short distance from town where they were met by the Mt. Solon Cavalry. Artillery Captain McFall welcomed the cavalry in an address, and Cavalry Captain J. N. Erwin responded appropriately. The cavalry was then escorted into town.
            A procession of the military and citizens was then formed under the direction of Captain Joseph F. Hottle, marshal of the day. This procession proceeded to a grove near the town. Arriving in the grove, Dr. C. Rush Harris, president of the day, called the holiday crowd to order; whereupon, Captain McFall read the Declaration of Independence. Then Chapman Johnson, Esquire, of Staunton delivered an address remembered more for its length than its content. It was an hour and a half long.
            After Mr. Johnson’s address, the procession reformed and marched to the house of Reuben Bryan, Esquire, where a sumptuous meal was spread for all. Following the meal, many toasts were drunk, all of which lauded the heroes of the Revolution, the signers of the Declaration of Independence, the framers of the constitution, the union of states, the army and navy, the early heroes of the Republic, an unfettered press and the ladies—“God bless ‘em!” This celebration ended late in the afternoon; and the participants went home replete with rich food, strong whiskey and fervid oratory. Besides Dr. Rush, the organizers of the celebration were David Griffith, Daniel M. Harden and J. Howell Blakemore.”
                        [Source: Life Under Four Flags in North River Basin of Virginia, 2nd edition 1976, Clarence Edward May; McClure Press; pages 331-332]

Page 333 let me know Great Grandfather belonged to the Mt. Solon Methodist Episcopal Church joining in 1854.

More details emerged about his I. O. O. F. membership on page 335, and I quote the author:

            “IOOF Lodge, number 110, was organized in Mt. Solon about the same time as the Masonic Lodge or earlier. Captain David McFall was noble grand of the Lodge in 1854, the year in which he died. Funeral services for him were conducted in the Mt. Solon Methodist Episcopal Church by the Reverend R. D. Chambers the second Sunday in August. His personal property, including a storehouse, was sold August 23, 1854, by John Erwin and Preston Todd, his executors. The second floor of the storehouse was the Mt. Solon IOOF meeting hall.”
                        [Source: Life Under Four Flags in North River Basin of Virginia, 2nd edition 1976, Clarence Edward May; McClure Press; page 335]

Do you have a McFall connection? Let me hear from you.

My Line
3rd Great Grandfather David McFall and wife Catherine Todd
2nd Great Grandfather James Addison McFall and wife Radie Maria Harman
Great Grandmother Flora Belle McFall and husband Daniel Franklin Joseph
Grandfather James McFall Joseph and wife Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father

David McFall's Ancestry

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