Troy Green Chastain

Updated
06-26-09



Chastain AmphitheaterTroy Green Chastain was a Fulton County, Georgia Commissioner from 1938 to 1942. During his tenure he envisioned and promoted the development of a large recreational park just north of Atlanta. The park was named Troy G. Chastain Memorial Park after the commissioner died in 1945. It is now part of the City of Atlanta and is the most well known Chastain place name in America.

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Troy Green Chastain, Fulton County Commissioner
Green Berry Chastain
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Troy Green Chastain (Nov 7, 1883-Aug 25, 1945)
Fulton County Commissioner from 1938 to 1942

Chastain Park

Chastain AmphitheaterChastain Park is a favorite spot for Georgians in the Atlanta area. Many special events are held at the Chastain Amphitheater. The park is named for Troy Green Chastain, who worked hard to shape the dream for the park. The following excerpt is from a lengthy article on the history of Chastain Park. The full article is found at the Chastain Conservancy.

Chastain Park is the largest and one of the most popular parks in the city of Atlanta, used for a variety of recreational and cultural activities. It is the centerpiece of the vision of former County Commissioner Troy Chastain for the development of North Fulton County in the early 1940's. It was through the efforts of Chastain, his fellow commissioners and local business leaders that the Park was created and it remains very similar to the purpose envisioned more than 50 years ago.

Chastain was interested in building an amphitheater in the Park. Thomas P. Glen, then President of the Trust Co. Bank, paid the expenses for the Commissioners Chastain and Charlie Brow and Judge Eugene Gunby to visit amphitheater facilities in Richmond, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Daytona, Louisville and Chicago. The Chastain amphitheater is built in a natural bowl area and its design is similar to the facility in Richmond visited by the Atlanta group. The amphitheater opened on June 20, 1944.

Originally named North Fulton Park, Chastain Park was dedicated to the memory of Troy Green Chastain on September 25, 1946. Chastain was a member of the Fulton County Commission from 1938 to 1942 when the majority of the Park was developed. Chastain Park came under the ownership of the city of Atlanta as part of the 1952 Plan of Improvement, annexing much of North Fulton County into the city limits.

Troy Chastain owned property adjacent to Chastain Park where he built a cabin. He suffered a heart attack in 1942 and died three years later on August 25, 1945. The Fulton County Commission voted to name the Park in his honor and officially dedicated it in September 1946. He is buried in Clarksville Memorial Cemetery, Habersham County, Georgia. His wife, Lillian Burns, died December 1, 1973.

Family and Genealogy

Troy Green's parents were Witt T. Chastain and Katie Wynn. Witt's parents were Green Berry Chastain and Nancy A. Croft. Troy was closely related to a number of other notable Chastains.

The link to Pierre Chastain below is compiled from several sources including (6-9) the Charles Cooper genealogy, My Fallen Nuts. We have not yet confirmed this link to Pierre, but William was born in South Carolina in 1810 and died in Cobb County, Georgia. This is consistent with the Chastain migration to Georgia from South Carolina beginning in the 1820s. His lineage is:

  1. Pierre Chastain
  2. Peter Chastain, Jr.
  3. John "Ten Shilling Bell" Chastain
  4. Abner (1764-?)
  5. William (1785-?)
  6. William (1810-1865)
  7. Green Berry (1835-1910)
  8. Witt T. (1858-1922)
  9. Troy Green (1883-1945)
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Green Berry Chastain

Green Berry Chastain was Troy Green Chastain's grandfather. Pierre Chastain and His Descendants shows that Green Berry (spelled there as Greenberry or Greenbury) was born January 2, 1835 in Union County, South Carolina. This was at the beginning of the large migration of Chastains from South Carolina to north Georgia. He married, first, Nancy Todd Craft in Georgia in 1855 and, secondly, Nancy A. Thompson in Alabama in 1897. Jean Jilmary Chastain Clowers, a descendant, tells us that Green Berry moved to Alabama in the 1880s. Green Berry died October 11, 1910. Green Berry Chastain's descendants include a number of notable Chastains. Much of the information in this section is contributed by Jean Jilmary Chastain Clowers and Susan Coker, augmented by genealogical data from My Fallen Nuts.

Emory Winn Chastain

Chastain Central has been searching for the namesake of the major thoroughfare in Atlanta -- Chastain Road. All our leads were dead ends, until we heard from Emory Winn Chastain's daughter Susan Coker in 2009. Susan informed us that her grandparents, Emory Winn and Donnah Chastain owned the Chastain Family Farm in Kennesaw, Georgia, including 110 acres of land along the Chastain Road, I-75, I-575 corridor. The Chastains gave birth to ten of their eleven children in that farmhouse. After Emory's death in 1964 (or 1965), Donnah sold the property and the right of way to have I-75 access at that point. Chastain Road was named after the Chastain farm which stood on the land for many years.

Emory was born November 4, 1896 and died September 17 (or 16), 1964 (or 1965). He is buried in the Gresham Cemetery in Noonday, Cobb County, Georgia. Emory married Donna Jean York January 6, 1923. She was born April 18, 1906 in Cobb County, Georgia, the daughter of William George York and Anna Rhea McCleskey. Emory and Donnah had eleven children together.

Emory Winn Chastain and Troy Green Chastain are brothers, so their lineage from Pierre is identical.

William Leroy Chastain

William Leroy Chastain is another grandson of Green Berry Chastain. He was born August 23, 1893 Ironaton, Talladega County, Alabama and died September 27, 1939 at Ironaton, Talladega County, Alabama. He was Talladega County Commissioner in the 1930s. Chastain Road in Talladega, Alabama is named for him, and several Chastain descendants still live on that road.

William Leroy's father was William Sidney Chastain born October 8, 1869 in Georgia; died May 11, 1924 at Ironaton, Talladega County, Alabama. Jean Jilmary Chastain Clowers states that he too moved to Alabama in the 1880s, probably with his father, Green Berry Chastain. William Sidney married Anna Rosa Terry November 23, 1892 in Talladega County, Alabama. She was born September 1, 1874 in Ironaton, Talladega County, Alabama; died August 18, 1967 in Winterboro, Talladega County, Alabama.

William Leroy Chastain's lineage is:

  1. Pierre Chastain
  2. Peter Chastain, Jr.
  3. John "Ten Shilling Bell" Chastain
  4. Abner (1764-?)
  5. William (1785-?)
  6. William (1810-1865)
  7. Green Berry (1835-1910)
  8. William Sidney (1869-1924)
  9. William Leroy (1893-1939)

Second Lieutenant Joseph Justin Chastain, Jr.

Another of William Sidney Chastain's sons is Joseph Justin Chastain, Sr., and among Joseph Justin's sons is Second Lieutenant Joseph Justin Chastain, Jr. who served in the Alabama Air National Guard with future president, George W. Bush - or did he? Amid claims and counterclaims regarding whether George Bush served his time in the Alabama Air National Guard 187th at Dannelly Air Base in 1972, The New York Times interviewed sixteen retired officers, pilots, and senior enlisted men who served at that time. Each one said that he simply could not recall seeing Mr. Bush. Joseph Chastain, a second lieutenant and supervisor in the supply squadron remarked, "I feel quite certain I would have remembered if he had worked with me." His comment is printed on the back dust cover of the book, Unfit Commander by Glenn W. Smith, 2004. Joseph Justin Chastain, Jr. is brother to Jean Jilmary Chastain Clowers.

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