(16) Roswell King, Sr.

Roswell, Georgia, was named for Roswell King Sr., who established the town in North Georgia before Atlanta was even a settlement. He came from Windsor, Connecticut, founded by Puritans from Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1635, to be supervisor of the plantations of Pierce Butler in McIntosh County, Georgia, in 1787. He married Catherine Barrington, daughter of Josiah and Sara William Barrington, whose plantation at Seville Bluff on the Altamaha River was the site of Fort Barrington before the Revolutionary War.


Roswell King Sr. was commissioned by the Bank of Dar­ien, of which he was a stockholder, to establish a branch of the’ bank at Auroria, Georgia, in 1829 after gold was dis­covered in that area. He did not establish the bank, but he did acquire a large tract of land at the mouth of Vickery Creek on a bluff overlooking the Chattahoochee River where he built Roswell.


Barrington King, King’s oldest son, married Catherine Margaret Esther Nephew of McIntosh County. He was, therefore, related by marriage to the West families of Westfield Plantation in Liberty County, the progenitor of whom settled in Liberty County before the South Carolina people built Midway Church. Barrington King and his father formed a company and built cloth mills on Vickery Creek. His father built a colonial home in Roswell he called Primrose Cottage, and Barrington King built Barrington Hall during the period 1840-1842.


An amazing series of deaths and marriages occurred in Liberty County during the early years of the nineteenth century which affected Roswell, Georgia.


John Elliott Sr. was one of Liberty County’s earliest settlers. John Elliott Jr. was a colonel in the Georgia Militia, and married Rebecca Maxwell. It was through that marriage that he acquired Laurel Grove Plantation at Hesters Bluff on the Isle of Wight. It was there that John Elliott III was reared to manhood.


John Elliott III married Esther Dunwody, daughter of James Dunwody , a medical doctor, and one of the wealthiest and most social gentlemen in Liberty County. Their daugh­ter, Esther Amarantha Elliott, married James Stephen Bulloch, a wealthy businessman of Savannah, Georgia, and a plantation owner in liberty County. He was the grandson of Archibald Bulloch, first president of the Georgia Council of Safety. They had one son, James Dunwody Bulloch.


Jane Bulloch, sister of James Stephen Bulloch, married John Dunwody , son of James Dunwody. They, too, had a plantation in Liberty County.


When Esther Dunwody Elliott died, John Elliott III married Martha Stewart, daughter of Daniel Stewart, one of the most respected men in Liberty County. Their children were Susan, Georgia, and Daniel Elliott. After John Elliott III and his daughter, Esther Amarantha Elliott Bulloch, both died, James Stephen Bulloch married Martha Stewart Elliott. Their children were Irvine Stephen, Anna, Martha (“Mittie”), and Charles Irvine Bulloch.


John and Jane Dunwody, James Stephen and Martha Bulloch, and other socially prominent people in Liberty County, relocated in Roswell, Georgia. James Stephen Bulloch built a colonial home he named Bulloch Hall. It was there that his daughter, Martha (“Mittie”) Bulloch was married to Theodore Roosevelt Sr., of New York, New York. Their children were Theodore Roosevelt Jr. who became President of the U.S., Anna Roosevelt, Corinne Roosevelt, and Elliott Roosevelt, father of Eleanor Roosevelt, who mar­ried her fifth cousin once removed, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was President of the U.S. from 1933 until his death in ’45.


Roswell King Jr. remained in Liberty County, but spent many of his summers in a home he built in Connecticut. Four of his children, Roswell III, Fred, Clarence, and Bayard, were members of the Liberty Independent Troop during the Civil War.


Roswell King III married Catherine Ashmead of Philadel­phia, Pennsylvania, in 1860. They resided in Liberty County after the Civil War and had six children. He also had several children by a black woman who lived near his plantation. He died in 1911 and is buried in Midway Church cemetery near the graves of his parents, his sister, and his wife.


Catherine Barrington King remained in McIntosh County, Georgia, when her husband, Roswell King Sr., went north to found Roswell, Georgia. She died in Savannah, Georgia, without ever seeing the town he settled, and is buried in a two-grave, walled cemetery at The Ridge near Darien, Georgia.


The homes built by James Stephen Bulloch and Barring­ton King in Roswell, Georgia, were not destroyed during the Civil War. They were in 1984 open for public tours conducted by a civic organization in conjunction with the City of Ros­well, Georgia.