Mar 01

AC Fonda – Charleston Stop

Anthony Cornelius Fonda (1818-1893) was the 6th of 10 children born to Cornelius Isaac and Alida VanVranken Fonda of Albany, New York.  He was baptized at the Boght Becker Reformed Dutch Church in Colonie, NY.  AC came from a family of farmers, but he took an interest in education.  In 1839 he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Latin Salutatory from Union College in Schenectady.  He may have completed graduate work as well, as he practiced law in the area for a few years.  For unknown reasons,  AC headed south to teach in Natchez, stopping in Charleston, MS overnight… and he never left.  He married Mary Kernes Worley in 1842, in Charleston and had two children; after her death, he married Delilah Catherine Howard in 1854, in Charleston and had nine children. He taught school in the Rocky Branch community; in 1853 he was appointed surveyor for Tallahatchie County. He enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1862, joining Company I (Ballentine’s Regiment) of the 2nd Partisan Rangers of MS serving as SGT. In 1882 he became the first Superintendent of Education in the county. He had an active role in organizing three Presbyterian churches in Charleston, Pine Hill and New Hope.  He died May 20 1893, near Charleston, MS and is buried in Rowland Cemetery, Tallahatchie, MS.  AC Fonda had 11 children, 31 grandchildren and 123 great grandchildren.  There is a family reunion each year in Charleston, MS.

Photos courtesy Greg Stewart.

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