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Ancestors of Charles Henry Fonde

Generation No. 3

      4. Charles Henry Fonde, born 1826 in Washington DC or Alexandria VA?; died Oct 17, 1881 in Belmont Springs, Miss. He was the son of 8. John Philip Fonde and 9. Elizabeth Stewart. He married 5. Elizabeth R. McClester Jun 5, 1851 in Mobile, AL.

      5. Elizabeth R. McClester, born 1826 in Mittenague, MA; died Nov 12, 1853 in Mobile, AL.

Notes for Charles Henry Fonde:
Charles Henry Fonde (1) was an artist, a draftsman, an inventor, and an engineer, and this in spite of being cross-eyed and with a crippled or missing right hand. His father, John Philip Fonde, died when he was a small boy, but Charles remembered him "all dressed up with sword clanking" as a member of the Columbia Guards. He also remembered being taken to hear the great men of the day while he sat quitely beside his father as he recorded the proceedings of Congress. According to a letter written by his daughter Elizabeth, Charles Henry left home at the age of 15 or 16 and joined a panorama that was fitted out on a Mississippi river boat. His job was to help with the painting and renewing of the scenes. He ended up in New Orleans, where it is believed that his uncle Charles lived and worked. Charles Henry found a job as a teacher of art at Mandeville College on Lake Pontchartrain. He was a very large and strong man (6'6") and must have looked older than his age at the time. When the school met financial reverses and he lost this job, Charles was about 20 years old and for a time he resided with some of the "most reputable creole families of the parish of St. Tammany, and spent a year amongst the sylvan retreats of Bayou Lacombe and Bonfouca" (from obituary). He later moved to Mobile, Alabama where he married his first wife, Elizabeth McClester and had his first son, Henry. He invented and patented a dredging machine designed to deepen river channels and improve harbors. (Dredging Machine, Patent No. 10.668, March 21, 1854). Fonde's excavator or dredge was used by the city of Marseilles, France, to improve its harbor. It was also used in Nicaragua. The Civil War disrupted the income from his patent, and after the war was over he "went North only to find his patent rights invaded, and his original invention so disguised as to protect the plunderers, and after vain efforts to secure recognition of his rights, he returned to his family and the struggles of his early life." (Obituary).

  Notes for Elizabeth R. McClester:
Elizabeth McClester died very young (age 27) of TB. We have two letters she wrote; one to her husband who she called "My dear Charley", and one to her brother, Henry. The one to her husband is dated April 25, 1853, only months before she died. In the letter she describes their son Henry as teething and asks Charley about the progress on his "machine" (probably the dredge he invented). She also speaks of years of loneliness and abuse before she met her husband (implying that she may have been orphaned at a young age): " for 14 long years I was at the mercy of strangers, first here then there, getting blows and cuffs, cross words and sour looks, with no one to care for me, no one to love me.." Her brother Henry "acted nobly kindly to me and was the first that ever loved or cared for your Lizzie." She then described her love for husband: "And then I met with you and before I had an idea that you thought of me, I loved you, my Charley, as Woman never loves but once. Then came the thought that you would never love one like me. Then I was wretched, but when I found that my love was returned, I cannot describe my feelings....Oh, how happy I am with you and I feel there is years of happiness in store for us yet. You brought sunshine into my heart for I know you will always love your Lizzie."

In the same letter to Charley, Lizzie also sends her love to Camilla and Mary. After Lizzie's death, Charles Fonde married a Camilla Welch, who may be the same one mentioned in the letter. Lizzie Fonde's death is recorded in C.H. Fonde's Bible: "Died on the 12th day of November, 1853, Elizabeth R. McClester, wife of Chas. H. Fonde, aged 27 years, [born] Village of Mittenague, Mass." It is interesting that the Village of Mittenague, MA, where Lizzie was born, is very near Springfield, MA, the site of C.H. Fonde's marriage to Camilla Welch in 1855. Why were they in Springfield, Massachusetts, when he lived in Mobile and she was "of New Orleans"? Was he in New Orleans when Lizzie wrote the quoted letter? Was he up north to demonstrate his dredge?

Marriage Notes for Charles Fonde and Elizabeth McClester:
Recorded in C.H. Fonde's Bible: "On the 5th of June 1851, in this city of Mobile, by the Rev. Mr. Milbourne, Chas. H. Fonde to Miss Elizabeth R. McClester.
Child of Charles Fonde and Elizabeth McClester is:
  2 i.   Henry Fonde, born Apr 28, 1852 in Mobile, AL; died Nov 28, 1914 in Knoxville, TN; married (1) Lula Redwood Oct 21, 1879 in Mobile, AL; married (2) Alice Broun Nov 13, 1888 in Mobile, AL.

      6. Seaman Deas Broun, born Jun 18, 1831 in Charleston, S.C.; died Mar 17, 1889 in Mobile, AL. He was the son of 12. Archibald Broun, Jr. and 13. Ann Harleston. He married 7. Sarah Reynolds Oct 10, 1855 in Selma, AL.

      7. Sarah Reynolds, born Oct 23, 1836 in McMinnville, TN; died Jan 21, 1921 in Mobile, AL. She was the daughter of 14. Elisha Reynolds and 15. Nancy Petty.

Notes for Seaman Deas Broun:
Seaman Deas Broun was brought to Mobile in December 1833 by his parents. He was a Civil Engineer and Cotton Broker. He surveyed the route of the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad from the Gulf Coast to Jackson, Miss., and also surveyed the route of a railroad from Mobile to Meridian, Miss. According to his daughter, Alice Broun, he had dark red hair (auburn).

  Notes for Sarah Reynolds:
Sarah Reynolds was known throughout her life as Sally. After her husband's death Sarah Reynolds Broun operated a purchasing agency in Mobile for ladies' apparel and dry goods.

Children of Seaman Broun and Sarah Reynolds are:
  i.   Caroline Somers Broun, born Mar 6, 1857 in Montevallo, AL; died Feb 9, 1933 in Mobile, AL, not married.
  ii.   Olney Harleston Broun, born Nov 5, 1858 in Selma, AL; died Dec 21, 1945; married (1) Emma Cade Prince May 23, 1881; born Mar 3, 1860; died Jun 30, 1889; married (2) Lula Roland Abt. 1890.
  iii.   Mary Minter Broun, born Jul 17, 1860 in Shelby Springs, AL; died Mar 30, 1951 in Mobile, AL; married John Alston Kimbrough Jan 28, 1886 in Mobile, AL; born Aug 13, 1856; died Jun 26, 1896.
  iv.   Ella Broun, born Jul 29, 1862 in Clarke Co., Miss.; died Mar 1, 1931 in Mobile, AL, Never married.
  3 v.   Alice Broun, born Nov 6, 1864 in Clark Co., Miss.; died Nov 4, 1950 in Knoxville, TN; married Henry Fonde Nov 13, 1888 in Mobile, AL.
  vi.   Elizabeth Reynolds Broun, born Nov 5, 1866 in Butler Co., Alabama; died Oct 8, 1873.
  vii.   Florence Broun, born Sep 26, 1868 in Butler Co., AL; died Jan 17, 1887 in Mobile, AL. Not married.
  viii.   Nancy Reynolds Broun, born Feb 12, 1871 in Clarke Co., Miss.; died Aug 22, 1922 in Washington, D.C. Not married.
  ix.   Rosa Deas Broun, born Feb 22, 1876 in Mobile Co., AL; died Nov 13, 1961 in Brooksville, Miss; married Frederick Hugh Hairston Apr 24, 1902; born Jan 21, 1876; died Jun 28, 1968 in Columbus, Miss. (Buried).
  x.   Eugenie Deas Broun, born Jun 30, 1877 in Mobile, AL; died Nov 2, 1932 in Mobile, AL; married Stephen Mallory LeBaron; died Unknown.
  xi.   James Harleston Broun, born Mar 23, 1879; died Nov 18, 1967; married (1) Bertha Eleanor Dudley Jun 25, 1902; married (2) Joanna Aurelia McCaughan Sep 4, 1924.
  xii.   Seaman Deas Broun, Jr., born Jan 31, 1882; died Jul 21, 1967; married Edna Virginia DuPont Jan 7, 1907.

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