June 15th was a beautiful day for a family reunion at Donaldson-Bannister Farm. Around 90 descendants of William J. Donaldson came to the Dunwoody farm for the reunion, traveling from Georgia, Texas, Alabama and South Carolina. Some were meeting cousins for the very first time.
Ninety-three-year old Fred Donaldson and wife Irene Adams Donaldson were the first to arrive for the reunion. Fred Donaldson is a grandchild of William J. Donaldson and is the last child born at the farm. He is the youngest of six siblings whose parents were Will Donaldson and Nellie Collett Donaldson. Irene Adams Donaldson grew up on a farm along what is now Dunwoody Club Drive.
Freda Williams, daughter of Fred and Irene Donaldson, presented a history of William J. Donaldson to the family. Descendants from each of William J. Donaldson’s three marriages attended the reunion. Donaldson’s wives were Nutty L. Reeve, Sara A. Power and Martha Adeline Adams. His first and second wives died at a young age. Donaldson and Millie Adams bought land from Martha’s father, Jesse Adams, and built a home on that land, now known as Donaldson-Bannister Farm.
Family members Frank Hart, Dennis Robbins and Michael Williams stopped at Prospect Cemetery in Chamblee following the reunion to lay a stone for Byron A. Donaldson, who died in 1932 in an accident involving a City of Atlanta truck. The gravesite was unmarked.
The family had a pot-luck lunch and enjoyed visiting with relatives while looking around the beautiful rehabilitated Donaldson-Bannister Farm. The farm is owned by the city of Dunwoody as part of the Parks and Recreation Division and is managed by Dunwoody Preservation Trust.