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September 23, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

Payne’s Landing, Part II

In March of 1959, Buckingham County historian Lulie Patteson published an article in Charlottesville’s Daily Progress detailing the history of Payne’s Landing, located 23 miles north of Buckingham County’s courthouse. In 1874, the tract was bounded by the lands of Robert Bolling, Putney, James F. Hamner, Dr. Gantt, John L. Harris’ Estate (Snowden), and W.H. and L. Nicholas.

Click here to catch up: Payne’s Landing, Part I

Relying on memories passed down in the Payne family, Lulie Patteson makes several puzzling statements, including this one:  “. . . [F]amily history states that the great tract of land was purchased from a man named Sam Allen and that Allen’s slaves remained on the plantation when the Payne family took possession.”

Since Nathan T. Payne did not acquire Winfrey’s Tract until after 1871 (and may not have taken possession of it until 1874), any African Americans working or living on the farm had long been emancipated.  It is possible, though, that former slaves remained where they had previously lived, working for Payne or others in the neighborhood.

Miss Patteson’s next detail, while charming, is equally confusing: “. . . Payne’s Landing was doing a bang up business in shipping before the Civil War. N. T. Payne had two canal freight boats of his own (one descendant in or near his 90s says the names of these two boats were ‘Maude’ and ‘Johnson’).”

Today, documents which were not easily accessible to Lulie Patteson help establish a different chronology of Nathan Payne’s residences and businesses. With the passage of time, I suspect two locations (possibly even two spots called “Payne’s Landing”) became conflated. Indeed, Payne may have operated freight boats prior to the Civil War though likely not from what was once Winfrey’s Tract.

In 1870, Nathan T. Payne, a 45-year-old lumber dealer, was enumerated in Buckingham County’s James River District, indicating that he was not yet occupying Winfrey’s Tract, which lay in Buckingham’s Slate River District. Payne’s status as a “dealer” easily could have included shipping. Additionally, the 1870 Industrial Census for Buckingham County lists N. T. Payne as the operator of a grist mill and a steam saw mill, both in James River District. By 1880, he was enumerated in Slate River District, indicating his move to Winfrey’s Tract — the place that Lulie Patteson would know as Payne’s Landing.

Coming Next: Payne’s Landing, Part III

September 21, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

Available Now: “Buckingham Burials, Vol 5”

Courtesy Historic Buckingham

I’m delighted to announce that a fifth volume of Buckingham Burials is now available from Historic Buckingham.

If you live near Buckingham, copies are for sale at the Adams Museum.

You can also purchase the book by mail from Historic Buckingham. 

Members: $10.00, plus $5.00 postage

Non-members: $15.00, plus $5.00 postage

Send your check to: Historic Buckingham Inc., P. O. Box 152, Buckingham, VA 23921.

Follow this link for more books available from Historic Buckingham: Our Store

If you aren’t already a member, consider joining: Membership Information

Lastly, a hardy thank you from Slate River Ramblings to all who contributed to this series over many, many years.

September 16, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

Payne’s Landing, Part I

Lulie Patteson
Courtesy Gordon G. Ragland, Jr., Maxey/Patteson Family Collection

In March of 1959, Buckingham County historian Lulie Patteson published an article in Charlottesville’s Daily Progress entitled, “Payne’s Landing Disappeared from the Contemporary Scene.” As always Miss Patteson’s description of this once bustling community in northern Buckingham County is colorful and engaging. The article begins:

Payne’s Landing on the James River in Buckingham County was once a canal boat dock and a busy outlet of a huge plantation. Not a vestige of its business activities of 100 years ago remains. It is identified by a railroad siding built at a later date and now discontinued.

Large plantations along the James and its tributaries shipped and received much freight at various landings in canal boat days. It eventually led to almost every farm having its private Landing — such as Bolling Landing, Brown’s Landing, etc.

Crowning a stately hill rising from the south bank of the James is a dilapidated residence which belonged to those whose lives were spent there and who gave Payne’s Landing its name.

Just when this plantation (said to have been one of the largest in Virginia) came into possession of N. T. Payne is not clear. The records of Buckingham County were destroyed in a fire just after the surrender of the South in the Civil War. All deeds vanished.

However, family history states that the great tract of land was purchased from a man named Sam Allen.

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As is often the case, oral history is less than accurate but can be peppered with clues to follow.  Clearly, Lulie Patteson understood that Nathan T. Payne had acquired this property before 1869 when Buckingham County’s courthouse burned. However, research concerning Peter Field Jefferson and my kinsman James Harris reveals another story.

Samuel Allen, remembered by the Payne family, was the son-in-law of James Harris, who owned considerable land in this section of Buckingham. At the time of Allen’s death on November 15, 1871, he was likely managing what was then known as “Winfrey’s Tract” and later became known as “Payne’s.”

James Harris had purchased this 2,285 acre plantation from Peter Field Jefferson in October of 1858. While large by Buckingham County standards, it was far from “one of the largest in Virginia.” On November 22, 1871, Harris sold the farm to Nathan T. Payne for $13,000, however, in a complicated settlement, the deed was not transferred until 1874, two years after James Harris’ death.

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For more about Peter Field Jefferson’s purchase of the Winfrey Tract, consult my book Peter Field Jefferson: Dark Prince of Scottsville and Lost Jeffersons.

Coming Next: Payne’s Landing, Part II

September 9, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County, 1913, Part IV

The bridge at Scottsville, Virginia.  Courtesy Raymon Thacker.

Need to catch up? Click here: Buckingham County, 1913, Part I

The lengthy article published in the September 8, 1913 issue of Richmond’s Times-Dispatch concluded with miscellaneous news from Buckingham County.

Real estate dealers are anticipating quite a demand on the part of Westerners for farms in this county this fall and winter, and are pressing to advertise especially for this class of settlers. The long, hot summer in the West, with a long drought, has served to bring forth many inquiries from farmers in the West as to the prices of lands in Virginia, where the temperatures this summer were comparatively low and seasons excellent.

Circuit Court convenes at Buckingham next week, with Judge Hundley probably back in his old place, he having largely recovered from his recent indisposition. A number of criminal cases, involving colored people, will come up either for trial or for some kind of disposition. There is the usual amount of chancery and other litigation to be disposed of.

People in this section are much interested in the proposition to bridge James River at Columbia. It is thought the scheme will be carried out without trouble, as to bridges within recent years have been built from Buckingham soil to the north side of the river, the bridges at Scottsville and Howardsville, both tremendously advantageous to both Buckingham and Albemarle Counties. These two bridges, together with the railroad bridge at Bremo Bluff, upon which all kinds of traffic is allowed, and the county bridge at Winginia, make an almost perfect connection of Buckingham County with the railroad on the northern side of the river.

Readers will recall that, due to illness, Judge Hundley was not involved in the case concerning the murder of Meade Hanes. Click here to learn more about his life and work: EXTRA: Judge George Jefferson Hundley

Click here to learn more about bridges connecting Buckingham and Albemarle counties: Buckingham County to Scottsville: A Bridge to Scottsville

September 2, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County, 1913, Part III

Dillwyn Station.  Photo by Joanne Yeck.

Need to catch up? Click here: Buckingham County, 1913, Part I

In addition to the report concerning the opening of Buckingham County schools, the September 8, 1913 issue of Richmond’s Times-Dispatch covered farming news and, of particular interest, the establishment of a county fair in Dillwyn.

Farmers and others throughout this section are showing much interest in the first county fair, which will be held in Dillwyn next month. A meeting of the fair association was held at the Odd Fellows’ Hall, in Dillwyn, on Saturday afternoon, and much business was transacted. It is generally believed that the fair will be the most important and interesting gathering ever held in Buckingham County. Already there is promise of a fine exhibit of every kind of live stock and country produce, and the cities and manufacturers promise to exhibit much in the way of machinery and manufactured products of all kinds.

This week will be known as tobacco harvest week throughout this section. Already tremendous crops of the weed have been harvested in the southern end of the county and in Appomattox and Prince Edward Counties. In the northern end of Buckingham the crop this year is exceptional in most respects, both in size and quality. A record crop in every respect will be harvested.

Corn is still maintaining its uniform condition of excellence. Farmers are saying the crop is by far the best ever known in this county. Some of the older people are comparing this year with the year of the surrender, 1865, when, apparently providentially, the crops were better than had ever been known.

While the apple and peach crops suffered an “off year,” there is enough fruit in the section for ordinary purposes and uses. Such apples as the trees bear are excellent in most respects.

Young apple orchards which have recently been planted in the section are flourishing. One orchard of a thousand trees, which was planted last fall by the dynamite process, shows a death rate of less than 1 per cent, not as many as a dozen trees of the thousand have died.

While this report from Arvonia contains many superlatives, the tidbit about the harvest of 1865 is particularly interesting, especially the fact that, in 1913, the oldest residents of the county still remembered the bounty after the surrender.

Coming next: Buckingham County, 1913, Part IV

August 26, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County, 1913, Part II

Hanes Chapel. Courtesy Historic Buckingham.

Need to catch up? Click here: Buckingham County, 1913, Part I

The September, 1913 article sent from Arvonia and published in Richmond’s Times-Dispatch continued its update on education in the county:

Prof. Harry T. Turner will be principal of the St. Andrews School, with Miss Mabel Swoope as assistant. In Marshall District, Miss Sallie Hanes will teach the Hanes Chapel School; Miss Minna Ehrhardt, of Powhatan County, the Alpha School, and Miss Bessie Virginia Mason, of Sussex County, the Penlan School. Misses Sallie and Cora Wood will again assume charge of the Texas Graded School, in James River District.

The Dillwyn High School will not open till September 22, with Professor James Alexander Hanna, a graduate of Washington and Lee University, as principal. The Buckingham High School will open on September 15, with Professor Warwick as principal, and three assistants, as usual, Miss Lily Alleen Shepard, of Cumberland County, will teach the River School.

Miss Marguerite Dunnavant of Enonville will teach the New Canton School, and Miss Ethel Tatum, the school at Snotty’s Gate. In Francisco District, Miss May Woody will teach the Andersonville School, and Miss Graham Trent, the Hooper School.

… Mrs. Robert FuQua (sic), of New Canton, will teach music in the Arvonia High School the coming session. She has already enrolled a considerable number of pupils in her classes. A room in the new building has been set apart for the special use of piano music.

In addition to having this useful list of teachers and principals, the newspaper article provides us with a list of schools operating in the county in 1913.

It is interesting to note that many teachers were hired from outside Buckingham County. Sallie B. Hanes is likely the aunt of Meade Hanes. You can read more about the family here:

Buckingham County Crimes: The Murder of Meade Hanes, Part III

Coming next: Buckingham County, 1913, Part III

August 19, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County, 1913, Part I

Axtell Academy. Courtesy Historic Buckingham.

In the Fall of 1913, when Buckingham County was engrossed in the murder of Meade Hanes, a county fair took place in Dillwyn.


Click here to learn more about the case: Buckingham County Crimes: The Murder of Meade Hanes, Part I

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This unusually lengthy article in Richmond’s Times-Dispatch provides a snapshot of everyday life in the county, beginning with a discussion of teachers.

Arvonia, Va., September 7. — A number of teachers have within the past few days been elected various school positions in Buckingham County. The principalship of the Arvonia High School is as yet undetermined, with an appointment in view. The assistant teachers will be Miss Clarice Bersch, teacher of the first and second high school grades; Miss Lula Spencer, teacher of sixth and seventh grades; Miss Minnie Butler, third, fourth and fifth grades; Miss Callie G. Woody, first and second grades.

Miss Agnes White has been elected principal of the Gold Hill School, with Miss Mary G. Hardiman as assistant. Miss Virginia Broaddus, of Bagby, Caroline County, is principal of the Malone School, on the line of Maysville and Francisco Districts. Miss Fannie Miller will be principal of the Axtell School, which this year will be run as a graded school.

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Schools are a favorite subject at Slate River Ramblings.

Was the Axtell graded school of 1913 held in the old Axtell Academy building?

Click here to learn more about Axtell Academy:

Buckingham Schools: Axtell Academy

Buckingham Schools: Axtell Academy Closes

You can learn more about the Malone school here: Buckingham Schools: Malone School

Coming next: Buckingham County, 1913, Part II

August 12, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County: The Christian Family Cemetery

Photo courtesy Catherine Ankrom Glover Levering.

According to a Virginia Historical Inventory survey written by Rosa G. Williams in 1937, the Christian Family Cemetery is located ¾ miles northwest of Katrine, Virginia, on Route #648, about .3 miles east of the highway. It sits behind the house known today as Bond Hundred.

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For more about Bond Hundred, click here: Buckingham Houses: Bond Hundred

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According to Mrs. Williams, the cemetery was established in 1815 by the Christian family. In 1937, she noted that it was still beautifully maintained by Christian descendants. Enclosed by an iron fence, the cemetery contained many lovely flowers and shrubs. One broken slate marker read, “A. C. C., Born 1815, Died 1890.” It was believed to mark the grave of Charles Christian.

The informant for the survey was Mrs. Belle Crews of Katrine, Virginia, who then owned the land which contained the cemetery.

Rosa Williams did not mention the stone which marks Charles L. Glover’s grave and notes his service in the C.S.A.  C. L. Glover was the father of Mott Glover, who murdered Meade Hanes in 1913.

Photo courtesy Catherine Ankrom Glover Levering.

To learn more about the fate of Mott Glover, click here: Buckingham County Crimes: The Murder of Meade Hanes, Part I

August 5, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Houses: Bond Hundred

Bond Hundred, 2009. Courtesy Catherine Ankrom Glover Levering.

Bond Hundred, located near Katrine in Buckingham County, was originally the property of the prominent Christian family. 

A description of the house in The Courthouse Burned, Book I begins, “Bond Hundred is believed to have been built in the early 19th century by Charles L. Christian, a wealthy land owner and planter, who is said to have given the land for Trinity Methodist Church in Buckingham.”

Later in the 19th century, the house became home to the Charles L. Glover family. On March 1, 1862, Glover volunteered to serve in the Army of Northern Virginia. Following the war, Charles Lindorf Glover (1841-1922) married Elizabeth Anne Christian (1848-1920) on November 2, 1870 and the couple made the Christian family house their home. The many children who grew up there included Mott Robertson Glover, the man responsible for the tragic death of Meade Hanes in 1913.

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Click here to read the details of Mott Glover’s shooting of Meade Hanes: Buckingham County Crimes: The Murder of Meade Hanes, Part I

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The entry in The Courthouse Burned continues:

Bond Hundred is a three story brick house. The roof, basement floors, and hearths are all of Buckingham slate. The bricks were molded on the plantation and then laid in Flemish bond style. The rooms are large and their wide windows provide views of both the Blue Ridge and Willis Mountains. Over the front door, written in Gaelic, is the motto of Bond Hundred: “Cead Mile Failte”, meaning: “One Hundred Thousand Welcomes”. After the Civil War the house fell on hard times. Acreage was sold off, outbuildings decayed, and the main house was used as a barn.

Many once prosperous Buckingham County families “fell on hard times” following the Civil War.  Apparently, the Glover family was no exception. 

In 1913, while covering the murder of Meade Hanes, the Richmond Times-Dispatch noted that Mott Glover came from the best of families. The newspaper called his father, Charles L. Glover, “a man of the highest type,” stating that Glover’s children had married into “some of the most prominent families in the county.”

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In the early 1950s, then owners Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Makelim embarked on the restoration of this beautiful house, using the original plans and materials whenever possible. The Makelims gave the house its present name. Bond was Mrs. Makelim’s maiden name and, by the mid-20th century, only 100 acres remained of the original 5,000 acre tract.

Coming next: The Christian Family Cemetery

August 3, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

Happy Anniversary Slate River Press

This month, Slate River Press celebrates its 10th anniversary. The press’ publications include four books about Buckingham County, Virginia and the Jefferson family.

Click here to learn more: Slate River Press

All Slate River Press titles are available online at Braughler Books.

To mark this milestone, The Jefferson Brothers is currently discounted there. Save $10.00 off the list price.

“At a Place Called Buckingham,” Volume Two is also on sale. Save $5.00.

Many thanks to all of you who have been loyal readers over the last decade!