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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Athens in Limestone County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Pleasant Hill

Home of Rev. Robert Donnell (1784-1855)

 
 
Pleasant Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, March 7, 2014
1. Pleasant Hill Marker
Front
Inscription.
Front
Built abt. 1849 by Rev. Robert Donnell, a native of North Carolina, and his second wife Clara Lindley Donnell. He was greatly inspired by the Great Spiritual Revival of 1800 and became a Presbyterian circuit rider, one of the "flaming fires," so called because of their spiritual intensity. Donnell held the first camp meeting in the settlement that became Huntsville, started new churches in North Alabama and Tennessee, and retired as minister of the Athens Cumberland Presbyterian Church. For his service and dedication, the North Alabama Presbytery was named in his honor.

After the death of Rev. Donnell in 1855, this house and surrounding acreage passed to his son James Webb Smith Donnell.

J.W.S. Donnell and his family lived here during
(Continued on other side)
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(Continued from other side)
the Civil War, even though he was wanted by the Union Army for aiding the Confederacy. In 1862, during the sacking of Athens, Federal troops camped on the house grounds, looted and damaged the house.

The Donnells lost the house through bankruptcy after the war. It served as a boarding school for boys for a time and later as the home of Athens School Superintendent, Julian Newman and his family.

In
Pleasant Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, March 7, 2014
2. Pleasant Hill Marker
Back
the 1970s, a campaign to save and restore the house was initiated by local historians and authors Christine W. Edwards and Faye A. Axford. Local citizens, businesses and Donnell descendants contributed to the restoration of this historical landmark.
 
Erected 2006 by Limestone County Historical Society and Donnell House Board.
 
Location. 34° 47.778′ N, 86° 58.084′ W. Marker is in Athens, Alabama, in Limestone County. Marker is at the intersection of South Clinton Street and East Forrest Street, on the right when traveling north on South Clinton Street. Touch for map. Marker is in front of the Donnell House, located on the grounds of Athens Middle School. Marker is at or near this postal address: 601½ S Clinton St, Athens AL 35611, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Town Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); Coleman Family (approx. 0.4 miles away); Trinity School Cistern (approx. half a mile away); Athens Big Spring Memorial Park (approx. half a mile away); Athens, Alabama (approx. half a mile away); Athens Sacked and Plundered (approx. half a
Pleasant Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, March 7, 2014
3. Pleasant Hill Marker
mile away); Courthouse and Poor Farm Fence (approx. half a mile away); Athens First Presbyterian Church (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Athens.
 
Also see . . .  Donnell House. (Submitted on March 10, 2014.)
 
Additional comments.
1. Limestone County Antebellum Trail
Pleasant Hill/Donnell House is stop number one on the Antebellum Trail, a collection of twelve historical properties (homes, churches, &c) located in Limestone County. A copy of the tour brochure can be found at www.tourathens.com
    — Submitted March 8, 2014, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama.

 
Categories. Churches, Etc.Settlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
 
Pleasant Hill image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, March 7, 2014
4. Pleasant Hill
Donnell House marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, March 7, 2014
5. Donnell House marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 8, 2014, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 515 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 8, 2014, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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