|The Wynne-Russell homeplace
is located on Wynne-Russell Road, directly
off Highway 29 (Lawrenceville Highway), near the intersection of Indian
Trail-Lilburn Road. It is owned by the City of Lilburn.
Thomas Wynne was born December 19, 1788 in Sussex County,
In Greenville, South Carolina, he married January 9, 1816, Mary Prince
Benson. Thomas Wynne died in Lilburn, Gwinnett County, Georgia on
August 20, 1839. She died July 18, 1866.
The following is the article that appeared in the Lilburn City Guide of 1988:
"The Thomas Wynne House, long known as the Wynne-Russell House, was built in the 1820s by Mary (Prince Benson) and Thomas Wynne and is reported to be the oldest pioneer home in Lilburn with important historical significance. [Note: according to a Wynne family genealogy, home was built 1838]
"The Wynne Plantation was a large one, between 400 and 600 acres. Thomas Wynne served in the War of 1812 and his father and his wife's father and grandfather all served with the colonists in the Revolutionary War.
"Wynne died at age 50 in 1839, and his wife and nine children and 10 slaves farmed the area until Mary Wynne died a year after the Civil War.
"Mary Wynne was a remarkable pioneer woman to attempt this on such a large plantation with nine children under 18 years of age. The stamina, will and fortitude of Mary Wynne is evident in her successive generations.
One of their sons, James Wynne, died in the service to the Confederacy. A daughter married Joseph Nesbitt, son of William Nesbitt, the first sheriff of Gwinnett County.
"Their daughter, Emily Harriett Wynne, married James Washington Smith and moved to Decatur. The Smiths are credited with the donation of land for the Rock Springs Presbyterian Church that stood on what is now Rock Springs Road and Piedmont Road.
"The Smith's son, William, married Mary Ella Mason and in 1888 the legendary "Miss Tullie Smith" was born of this union.
"The old Smith landmark has been restored by the Atlanta Historical Society in honor of Miss Tullie Smith as the last descendant to actually reside in the 1830 Smith homestead for her unselfish community work and her determination ot hold the land though alone, and her determination to interest people in the development of Decatur."
"When Mary Wynne died, her son, Robert Reed Wynne, and his wife, Martha Ann (Russell) inherited the house and continued to live there where their 12 children were born. In 1878, they moved to College Park and sold the house to Nathan Russell, Martha Ann's younger brother and son of James Russell, designer of Fairview Presbyterian Church in nearby Lawrenceville during 1878.
"After the death of Nathan Russell, his son, George Allen Russell, and his wife, Mary, lived in the house. "Miss Mary" Russell lived in the house until 1971, when she died at the age of 97.
"Architecturally, the Wynne-Russell House is a good example of the Georgia farm homes of that era. Originally there were no interior dividing walls, each story being one large room broken only by the stairway.
"The kitchen, a small building to itself, stood away from the house as a fire safety precaution. The house has three arched fireplaces, a style not used much after the 1820s and the bricks are handmade from the Georgia red clay.
"The roof is
The fieldstone and red clay brick chimneys were set and made by the
and the random width planked floors and blown glass window panes are
of the farm houses of the area. Certain portions of the house
added as late as 1884, including the L-shaped kitchen and front porch."
CHILDREN OF MARY AND THOMAS WYNNE
2. John Benson Wynne, born December 24, 1817
3. Thomas Mike Wynne, born April 20, 1819
4. William Benson Wynne, born October 2, 1820
5. Robert Reed Wynne, born January 29, 1822;
married Martha Ann Russell,
daughter of James Russell
6. Evaline Benson Wynne, born September 27, 1823
7. Mary Catherine, born December 24, 1824
8. Matthew W. Wynne, born April, 1827
9. Charles G. Wynne, born February 5, 1829; died in New York July 23, 1873
- buried at Wynne-Russell House
10. Emily Harriett Wynne, born September 27, 1830
11. Amanda Benson Wynne, born April 24, 1832
12. Martha Jane Wynne, born April 24, 1834
13. Mary S. Wynne, born November 23, 1838
14. James D. Wynne, born April 7, 1838; died 1862 in
Confederate army-buried at Wynne-Russell House
Photographs taken 1999. The cemetery was reburied and remarked in 1985.
The only original cemetery marker is the one pictured below, and it is not intact.
ORIGINAL DIVIDED STONE
Photograph of the Wynne Russell House in 1975 before renovation, at the Georgia Department of Archives and History, "Vanishing Georgia" Collection:
History of Gwinnett County, Georgia, Vol III, by Marvin Nash Worth, copyright 1994
Lilburn City Guide, 1988
This file was contributed for use by the Gwinnett County
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