The Tales of a Blair Family    

William & Isabelle McNeillIsabelle Crawford Knox was born October 15, 1852 in Abbeville, South Carolina, the sixth child of David and Nancy Blair Knox.  On April 16, 1874, she married William McNeill. William had a mill along the Savannah River in Mt. Carmel, where grain and corn were ground.  The couple had five children.

Dr. Robert John McNeill was born December 3, 1874 in Abbeville and married Estelle Anderson on February 21, 1907 in Danburg, Georgia.  Estelle, or "Stelle" as she was called, was born on July 18, 1842, the daughter of John L. and Fannie Heard Anderson.  The couple settled in Danburg, Georgia and Stelle was quite proud of their spanish-style home.  She planted huge yukka plants in the front yard.  Dr. McNeill had one of the few automobiles in town and made house calls in those days.  He could be heard traveling around town as he whistled through his teeth.  They had two children, Frances Isabelle and Robert John McNeill, Jr.

Thomas Campbell McNeill was born on September 9, 1876, the second child.  He married Jane McClendon and they settled in Jacksonville, FL.

Annie Isabelle McNeill arrived third, born June 24, 1878.  She married Benjamin G. Cade October 31, 1894 in Mt. Carmel.  Benjamin was born on July 22, 1879 in Wilkes County Georgia, and the couple made their home in Washington, Georgia.  They had four children: Sallie Julia, William Isabelle, and Mary Cade. The only boy, Drury died young.

Mary Jane McNeill was born April 23, 1880.  She married Linus Weyman Dickerson in November 1905.  They had three children: William Harwell, who died young, Mary Elizabeth, and L. Weyman Dickerson Jr.

The last child to arrive was Nora Blair McNeill, born on March 22, 1882. She married a Mr. McNelty and died in Florida of pneumonia. They had no children.

Isabelle Crawford Knox McNeill died on December 26, 1883, only a year after the birth of her last child. William took a second wife on December 21, 1884, Frances O. Palmer.  Five additional children were born to him and are listed in his will as W. W. McNeill, Rosa McNeill Boles, Frank Palmer McNeill, Eva Grave McNeill Cochran, and Joseph Donald McNeill.  William died Novemer 15, 1922.  He is buried with both wives in Abbeville's Sharon United Methodist Church Cemetery.

by Nancy Knox Schaffer, 1998