Jan 01
Albert (Douw) Fonda (1844-1928); Anthony Phillip Fonda (1878-1935); Douglas Cadwallader Fonda (1896-1977); Dee Virgil Fondy (1924-1999); Jane Seymour Fonda (1937-)
Albert (Douw) Fonda (1844-1928) Sources: Century Farms of New York State

Albert Fonda was born and raised on the Fonda Farm, in Mohawk Township, just outside of the Village of Fonda. After his twelfth birthday, he attended the district school near his home only during the winter and early spring of the three following years. He was needed as his father’s helper on the Fonda Farm. Nevertheless his active brain spurred him to avail himself of the information contained in the newspapers and periodicals of his era. He never lost interest in current events whether at local, state, national or international level.

Fonda Farm, Mohawk, NY - 1859

Deeply interested in government, he did not choose to hold office but preferred to sponsor and participate in most projects designed to benefit the farmers of his community and county. Gifted mechanically, he was the first person in his area to own and operate a steam engine which moved under its own power and motivated such labor-saving devices as the threshing machine, rye-rubber, corn husker, or sawmill. It moved its own water-tank, often also, one of the machines. Frequently a strong team of horses, widely known as “Dick”, a bay and “Charlie”, almost white, hauled a machine from farm to farm, not only in the immediate vicinity of the Fonda Farm, but in adjacent and rather distant ones.

A staunch Republican, Albert was disqualified from military service during the Civil War because he had lost the sight of his left eye during an attack of diphtheria during the epidemic of 1860. Later in 1889, while using his equipment to husk a neighbor’s corn, he lost his left hand and nearly died of septicemia. A second amputation removed the lower arm just below the elbow. Despite such handicaps, his was a useful life until early in his 83rd year. He and his wife made every effort to educate their children, assisting them through high school and college and as much as possible when each embarked upon his or her career. Both he and his wife died at Fonda Farm. They are buried, as were their parents, brothers and certain sisters in the Evergreen Cemetery, near Fonda, New York.

His son, Albert Dow Fonda (1893-1962), also became a farmer, but he first attended Cornell University Agriculture College, graduating in 1917. Then, with WWI in progress, he enlisted in the U.S. Marines right after college graduation. He was assigned to the Key West, Florida, flight training school; however the war ended prior to completion. Albert then worked in a New Jersey Creamery until a logging accident partially disabled his father, thereupon he returned home to help on the farm. He continued with a successful farming career, taking after his father who had a farm machinery dealership. He also believed strongly in education, sending his children to (better) neighboring Johnstown schools and supporting them all in college educations; later helped foster the Fonda-Fultonville Centralized School, crusading against local rivalries.

Crops and Dairy Cattle

State of New York; Executive Chamber

CITATION – In 1642 Jellis Douwse Fonda emigrated from Holland and settled in America near Rensselaer. In the course of the centuries his descendants migrated westward into the Mohawk Valley giving their name to the Village of Fonda, which is now the County Seat of Montgomery, County, One of them, Douw Fonda was killed on his farm during an Indian raid in the Revolution and he now lives in history as “Douw, the Patriot”.

Not far from Old Johnson Hall, country seat of the great explorer and proconsul, Sir William Johnson, is a charming old farmhouse dignified and serene, mellowed by the passing of more than one hundred years. It is the home of Albert Douw Fonda, direct lineal descendant of Jellis Douwse Fonda, as well as of Douw, the Patriot. With his wife, Helen Clark Fonda, and his sister Miss Cornelia D. Fonda, Albert Douw Fonda operates a farm which is rightly one of the prides of the County, indeed of the Mohawk Valley.

On one hundred and thirty-five acres of crop land the Fondas own an enviable herd of registered Ayrshire cattle, with two thousand laying hens. It is in every sense a modern farm operated according to the best modern canons of scientific agricultural efficiency. Their son, Albert Granville Fonda, is an undergraduate of Cornell University. Two daughters have gone out into the world. The entire family – father, mother and children, as well as the sister, Cornelia Fonda – hold university degrees.

It is my p1easure and privilege as Governor of New York to welcome the Fonda family to the Honorable Order of Century Farmers.

(signature) Thomas E. Dewey (embossed state seal)

Fonda Farm, Town of Mohawk, New York, 1962

Century Farms (1847-1947) Booklet

The New World story of the Fondas begins in 1642 in the days of the Dutch occupancy of New Netherlands when Jellis Douwse Fonda came from Holland and settled near Rensselaer. He was succeeded by a son, Douw Jellis and a grandson born near Schenectady in 1700. This baby was baptized “Douw” according to the ritual of the Dutch Reformed Church to which his descendants still belong. When he was more than 50 years old Douw Fonda trekked westward up the Mohawk Valley into new country and here on land now encircled by the track of the Fonda Fairgrounds he built his home. With the outbreak of the Revolution thousands of colonists, loyal to the Crown, fled to Canada.

Revolutionary Battles

Among these Tories were the Johnson’s, who had a manorial home at Johnstown, not far away. In the Mohawk Valley, there were some who allied themselves with the Johnson’s, but the majority were true to the American cause. Among these were Douw Fonda and his three sons, John, Jellis and Adam, staunch patriots all, Jellis a Captain while Adam served as a Lieutenant Colonel under General Nicholas Herkimer at the bloody Battle of Oriskany near Utica in 1777. This battle prevented the British General St. Leger from giving expected relief to Burgoyne at Saratoga.

On May 27, 1780, occurred the raid which rendered Sir John Johnson infamous when he led a raiding party of Indians and Tories against his former neighbors. The 80-year old Douw Fonda was one of the victims, tomahawked by a Mohawk whom he had once befriended but who wanted the $8 bounty the British paid for a scalp. Adam Fonda was also seized and taken to Canada with 5 Fonda slaves and his house was burned. After the war Adam returned and built a house which is still standing in the village of Fonda. Jellis became a judge in Tryon County and was serving in the Legislature when he died. Adam’s son Henry who served as a captain in the War of 1812 had twin sons called Henry Douw and Douw Henry. Douw Henry, the father of Albert Fonda whose son is the present owner, built the farm home between 1842-50. Now on this farm is the ninth generation of the family in America; the seventh on these historic acres. (Issued January 22, 1947)

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Anthony Phillip Fonda (1878-1935) Sources: Centennial History of Missouri

Anthony Fonda made a most creditable record as a farmer, as a lawyer and particularly as a citizen whose devotion to the welfare of the great majority is a recognized fact. A resident of Independence, he was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, his parents being Anthony Phillip and Laura D. (Wier) Fonda, the former a native of the state of New York and the latter of New Jersey. His parents became acquainted and were married in Leavenworth, Kansas. The father conducted the first wholesale grocery in Kansas City, which place was then known as Port Fonda. He was a veteran of the Civil war, having served in the Union Army, enlisting in Michigan as a member of a regiment of that state. In the course of the war, he (the father) was captured by his own brother, Cornelius Jesse Fonda, who was with the Confederate forces, and who later died in the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky.

Avondale Farm, Clay County, Missouri

A. P. Fonda (the son) acquired his early education in the public schools of Kansas City, Missouri, following the removal of the family from Leavenworth, and later attended the Marmaduke Military Academy at Sweet Springs, Missouri. He next became a student in the Case School of Applied Sciences at Cleveland, Ohio, and afterward attended Union College at Schenectady, New York. About this time the Spanish-American war began and he attempted to join the army but because of some physical defects was refused. He therefore represented the Jacob Dold Packing Company of Buffalo, New York, and Kansas City, Missouri, in Cuba, and following the close of hostilities Mr. Fonda purchased a farm called Avondale, in Clay county, a tract of eighty acres, for which he paid ten hundred and sixty dollars. He cultivated and improved this farm for a period of three years, largely raising lima beans and sweet potatoes. When thus engaged he studied law in the offices of Leo Bock and Judge J. V. C. Carnes and in 1903 was admitted to the bar. About this time he sold his eighty acre farm for three hundred dollars per acre. In the year of his admission to the bar he was appointed claim agent of the P. & K. C. Railway Company, which position he filled for about eighteen months and then concentrated his efforts and attention upon the land and real estate business, specializing in taxes.

In 1916, Mr. Fonda joined the National Security League, a pro-war political activism group, and had the credit of capturing the first German spy that was secured in this country. This was Antone Havercamp, who was caught in the rear of the criminal court building of Kansas City and who had in his possession about three and a half bushels of bomb parts. Through the efforts of Mr. Fonda he was incarcerated at Fort Riley. (see Clippings for more details) Mr. Fonda was the chairman of the United States labor board of Jackson county, Missouri, and was also United States food commissioner for the county. He was a most active worker in support of the government throughout the war period. He had charge of the Liberty loan drive for Independence and raised four hundred and ten thousand dollars, this being twenty thousand dollars above the quota. The entire expense of the drive, including the raising of this amount, was only seventy dollars and thirty-five cents.

Catching a German Spy - 1916

In Independence, in 1910, Mr. Fonda was married to Miss Corm Homan (Cora Hanington), a representative of a farming family of Carroll county, Missouri, and they had one daughter, Nadine. Their religious faith was that of the Baptist church and Mr. Fonda’s Christianity was a part of his daily life, being manifest in all of his relations with his fellowmen. He was interested in the welfare of the youth of the country and was the president of the Boy Scouts organization of Independence. He greatly enjoys being with the boys, frequently had them at his home and goes with them on all the trips which they take. His political allegiance was given to the democratic party. He was a man of unquestioned loyalty to any cause which he believes to be right. He had made a remarkable record as food commissioner, in which his activities have shown that he had labored untiringly for the interests of the people. He had fought hard against measures that have been put over in Washington and a few more such men as Mr. Fonda would have been able to save millions to the people of the United States. He wrote in the plainest terms to the food administration at the capital that they were allowing the people to be robbed of millions by the sugar trust and they sent a man on from Washington to see him about the matter. He refused to take back what he wrote and dared them to remove him from office as food commissioner. The righteousness and justice of his course are indicated in the fact that he was retained in the position.

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Douglas Cadwallader Fonda (1896-1977) Sources: New York Times

New York Athletic Club

Douglas Fonda – Banker, Sportsman, Manufacturing Executive; born in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York; moved to Orange, Essex County, New Jersey before 1910. In 1923, while driving his car in Brooklyn, Douglas was nearly killed by a two-car elevated train which fell on the hood of his car, just after he slammed on the brakes and jumped out. He helped pull a dozen people out of the train compartment to safety before police arrived.

Banker & Executive

He was a Polo Player with the New York Athletic Club, one of three horsemen who represented New York and Brooklyn at the first Intercity Indoor Polo Tournament in Chicago in 1924, having the maximum individual handicap of six points. He was winner of numerous amateur outboard Motor Boat Regattas in the 1930′s on the Potomac River and Lake Geneva, attaining National Champion status in 1937.

A notable member of high society, his second marriage to Verna Hoover ended in a highly-publicized divorce in 1951. Douglas founded the Fonda Gage Company, manufacturer of oil well equipment and was President of the Whaling and Marine Manuscripts Archive in Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1971.

“New Jersey Banker Scores Double Win” by Dan Craig; Washington Post, Saturday, Sept. 25, 1937

Under sunny skies, America’s outboard stars from East and West met yesterday in a brilliant contest of nerve and skill that saw Douglas Fonda, of Orange, N.J., and pretty Mrs. Mary Daller, of Chester, Pa., score spectacular victories to headline the first power events of the President’s Cup Regatta.

Speedboat National Champion - 1937

Thrills and spills were the order of the day for 10,000 who lined the flag-bedecked Hains Point seawall and perched atop half a hundred yachts that flanked the course. Fonda, 42-year-old industrial banker, who for the last two years had spent his weekends on the water relaxing, while rolling up the greatest number of points in the history of the outboard racing game, paced the field in classes A and C. Piloting Miss Ricochet, Fonda made a runaway of the Class A amateur event, first start of the day, and later was tied up with Bob Watkins, of Hoquiam, Wash., each holding 700 points when the noise subsided in the Class C division. Fonda and Bob Watkins were tied in the Class C amateur, and Dick Neal, of Kansas City, cleaned up in the professional ranks, amassing 800 points to Harrison’s 525. More than 100,000 persons are expected to jam Hains Point today and Sunday to see the big inboard boats take to the course off Hains Point in the President’s Cup race, feature of the regatta, the American speedboat championships, the 225-cubic inch hydroplane free-for-all, the All-American Sweepstakes, and the mile trials.

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Dee Virgil Fondy (1924-1999) Sources: Baseball Reference

Former Dodger Dee Fondy Dies

Redlands, Calif. (AP) – August 23, 1999 – Dee Fondy, who played for the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds and was the last player to bat in Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, died Thursday of cancer. He was 74. Fondy, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year, died at Plymouth Village retirement center, said his youngest son, Joe Fondy. “Dee Fondy was one of my favorite people,” baseball commissioner Bud Selig said. “He had a great sense of humor. He and I used to kid each other a lot.”

Chicago Cubs - 1951-57

Fondy grounded out for the last out at Ebbets Field in Pittsburgh’s 2-0 loss to the Dodgers on Sept. 24, 1957. The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles the following year. He hit .286 with 1,000 hits in eight seasons in the majors. Following his playing career, Fondy worked as a scout and front office official for the New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers. “I ran into Willie Mays once and he said, ‘I’ve still got the bruises from the tags your dad used to give me. He was a hard-nosed player,’” recalled his son, Joe Fondy, a freelance cameraman who has covered major league games.

Signed originally by the Brooklyn Dodgers, Fondy came to spring training in 1949 and competed with Gil Hodges and Chuck Connors for the starting job at first base. The position was won by Hodges, and Connors eventually became a TV star in the Western series, “The Rifleman.”

Fondy played in the Dodgers’ farm system until being traded to the Cubs. He won a spot on their roster and his first major-league hit was a bases-loaded triple off St. Louis pitcher Ken Raffsenberger on April 17, 1951, in Wrigley Field. Fondy was traded to Pittsburgh in 1957, where midway through the season he led the National League with a .365 average. The next year he was traded to Cincinnati for Ted Kluszewski, a transaction mentioned by Tom Cruise’s character in the 1988 movie “Rainman.”

After his playing career, Fondy worked as a scout for the Mets and the Brewers, where he signed Paul Molitor, who went on to more than 3,000 hits. He retired from baseball in 1995 after serving as a special assistant to the Milwaukee general manager.” He was as good a judge of talent as I’ve ever known,” Selig said. “He played a great role in the development of the Brewers. I had as much faith in his baseball knowledge as anyone I know.”

Fondy, a native of Slaton, Texas, served in the Army during World War II and was part of the forces that landed on Utah Beach in Normandy in 1944, three months after D-Day. He received the Purple Heart. Fondy’s other survivors are twins Jon Fondy and Jan Cornell of Las Vegas. His wife, Jacquelyn, died last year. The funeral is Saturday in San Bernardino.

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Jane Seymour Fonda (1937-) Sources: Internet Movie Database

Actress, Writer, Model, Producer, Activist, Fitness Guru; born in New York City, daughter of legendary screen star Henry Fonda and New York socialite Frances Seymour Brokaw; sister of Peter Fonda, aunt of Bridget Fonda.

Henry, Jane & Peter Fonda

Jane was named after one of Henry VIII’s wives, Lady Jane Seymour; since coincidently, her father’s middle name was Jaynes and her mother’s maiden name was Seymour. She graduated from the Emma Willard School, Troy, NY in 1955 and Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY in 1960. Tragically, her mother committed suicide in 1950, when Jane was 12; that same year, her father married Susan Blanchard (step-daughter of Oscar Hammerstein II, and eventually wife of Richard Widmark), who became a second mother to her until 1956.

Jane has been married three times; her first husband (1965-73) was French film director Roger Vadim (b.1928-d.2000) with whom she had a daughter, Vanessa, named for Vanessa Redgrave, the well-known actor and activist member of the Workers’ Revolutionary Party. Her second husband (1973-1990) was author and politician Tom Hayden, by whom she has a son, Troy Garity, and an adopted daughter. Her third husband (1991-2001) was American cable-television tycoon, sportsman and philanthropist, Ted Turner.

Jane Fonda & Tom Hayden

She was destined early to an uncommon and influential life in the limelight. Although she initially showed little inclination to follow her father’s trade, she was prompted by Joshua Logan to appear with her father in the 1954 Omaha Community Theatre production of ‘The Country Girl’. Her interest in acting grew after meeting Lee Strasberg in 1958 and joining the Actors Studio. Her screen debut in Tall Story (1960) marked the beginning of a highly successful and respected acting career highlighted by 2 Academy Awards for her performance in Klute (1971) and Coming Home (1978) and 5 Oscar nominations for Best Actress in: They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969), Julia (1977), Morning After, The (1986) and On Golden Pond (1981) which was the only film she made with her father.

Jane Fonda & Ted Turner

Jane Fonda’s professional success contrasted with her personal life, often laden with scandal and controversy. Her appearance in several risque movies (including Barbarella, 1968) by then husband Roger Vadim was followed by what was to become Jane Fonda’s most debated and controversial period: her espousal of anti-Establishment causes and especially her anti-War activities during the Vietnam War.

She became the target of hatred from many Americans for her visit to Hanoi where she advocated opposition to the war; during this visit she acquired the nickname Hanoi Jane. Her political involvement continued with fellow activist and husband Tom Hayden in the 70s and early 80s. In 1988, Fonda apologized for her actions to the American POWs and their families. Jane continues to participate in peace activism, in particular regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In the 80′s Fonda started the aerobic exercise craze with the publication of “Jane Fonda’s Workout Book”, through which she reinvented herself in a series of workout videos. She retired from acting in 1991 after her marriage to Ted Turner. She has since divorced and has become a born-again Christian. In 2004, her name has been used as a disparaging epithet against Democratic Party presidential candidate John Kerry by Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, who called Kerry a “Jane Fonda Democrat”. Her out-of-retirement movie, Monster-in-Law (2004), will come out the same time as her autobiography, “My Life So Far” and her Workouts are re-released to DVD.

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