A. J. McWhirter, farmer, Banks county(post-office, Harmony Grove), Ga., son of James and Desina(Fowler)McWhirter, was born in Union district, S.C., in 1835. His paternal grandfather, James McWhirter, of Irish descent, was a native of Virginia, was a farmer and a soldier in the last war with Great Britain; was with Gen. Jackson at New Orleans. Mr. McWhirter's father was born in South Carolina and in 1857 moved to Georgia and settled in Franklin county. He was a prosperous farmer, a good citizen and a prominent member of the Methodist church. His maternal grandparents were Godfey and Kissey Fowler, He was a native of South Carolina, a farmer and a soldier in the war of 1812.

Mr. McWhirter was raised on the farm and received his schooling in the old time log-house. In 1861 he enlisted in Company D, Capt. Montgomery, Sixteenth Georgia regiment. In 1862 a company of sharp-shooters was selected from a brigade; Mr. McWhirter was assigned to duty in it, and participated in very many of the bloodiest and most important battles in that unhappy conflict, among them Seven Pines, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Yorktown, Williamsburg, Savage's Station, White Oak, Malvern Hill, Boonesboro, Culpeper Court-House, Winchester, Hagerstown, Knoxville, Chickamauga, North Anna, Fisher's Hill, Middleton, Sailor's Creek, etc. He started in life without a penny but realizing that "a pound of pluck is worth a ton of luck", he went to work, made and saved what money he could until he purchased the old homestead of his wife's family. He now owns an excellently well-equipped farm of 325 acres and is enjoying an ample competency. Besides his farm he owns stock in the Harmony Grove factory, thus setting a good example to his brother farmers in the matter of encouraging the establishment of home markets for their surplus farm products.

Mr. McWhirter was married June 24, 1867, to Miss Oner(born in Franklin county in 1830), daughter of Hope and Hannie(Yeagan)Simms. He was born in Fredericksburg, Va., was a farmer and a soldier in the Seminole war. His wife was born in the Newberry district, S.C., and lived most of her life in Georgia, in which she died at the advanced age of ninety-seven years. Mr. and Mrs. McWhirter are exemplary members of the Methodist church.


Source: Memoirs of Georgia, Volume I, Southern Historical Association, 1895


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