In honor of the sesquicentennial of Donaldson-Bannister Farm, this column has been exploring the various families who called it home. We have looked at the Donaldson family and the Pattillo Bannister family. There are four more families who lived in the house: Roberts, Ogden, Smith and Chesnut. 

For many years, Dunwoody Preservation Trust believed the farm transferred from Lois Bannister to Charles R. Roberts briefly, and that the Roberts family never lived there. Two pieces of information came to light to clear up this misconception.

First, Carlton Renfroe, who has been in Dunwoody since 1941, shared that he used to swim in the creek pool along Vermack Road with Charlotte Roberts. The second piece of information was found by Jane Kenna in the DeKalb County Property records. She found the deed showing where the property transferred from Lois Bannister to Charles R. Roberts in 1942 and from Roberts to Henry Ogden in 1946. So, the Roberts lived there four years.

Donald Bannister Past Tense

When the Roberts family purchased Donaldson-Bannister Farm in 1942, it included a second barn and guest house on the 26 acres.

Charles Roberts was born in 1891, and Jeanette (Flossie) Goan Roberts was born in 1902. Both were born in Tennessee. Charles Roberts opened Roberts Bakery in Knoxville in the early 1920s and later sold the business to American Bakeries Company. Then, he became vice president of American Bakeries and the family moved to Georgia. They had two daughters, Peggy Jean and Charlotte.

The 1940 census shows the Roberts family living on Woodward Way in Buckhead. The 1942 deed references an exchange of property, so the Roberts exchanged their Woodward Way home for Lois Pattillo Bannister’s Dunwoody farm. 

Keller Henderson Barron moved to Dunwoody in 1941 and remembers the Roberts family well. The Hendersons lived along Tilly Milly Road near Womack Road. She was good friends with Charlotte, and her younger sister Margaret was friends with Peggy Jean Roberts. She recalls that as you entered the front door, there was a portrait of each girl hanging on either side of the hall.  

Barron attended Dunwoody Elementary School from 4th grade through 7th grade. When Charlotte Roberts moved to Dunwoody, Barron and Roberts started riding together to Atlanta where they each went to private school. Barron attended North Avenue Presbyterian School, and Roberts attended Washington Seminary. These schools later became part of The Westminster School. Both girls graduated high school in 1949.  

The two girls also swam together in the creek pool on Vermack Road and rode horses together.  

When Charles R. Roberts sold Donaldson-Bannister Farm to Henry Ogden in 1946, a listing of items being sold along with the house and property included an electric churn, washing machine, dryer, dryer wagon, coal stove, buggy and sulky, two saddle horses, two jersey cows, mule and harness, chickens and ducks.  

You can reach Valerie at pasttensedunwoody@gmail.com.

 

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