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January 21, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

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

Well Water School. Courtesy Carole Jensen.

Need to catch up? Click here to begin the series: Buckingham County Crimes: The Murder of Meade Hanes, Part I

 

Who was Mott Glover?

Less than two months before the murder, Mott Glover had participated in a school entertainment in Well Water, Buckingham County. Remarkably, an announcement about the event was printed in Richmond’s Times-Dispatch.

The commencement exercises of the Well Water public school took place on Friday evening, March 14, the teachers of the school, Miss Annie Floyd and Miss Ella Patterson, having charge of program. A large number of visitors were present, and the entertainment was opened with the chorus by the school, after which little Albert Maley delivered an address of welcome. There was a comedy sketch by Misses Cora Ola and Mary Agee and Messrs. Dewey, Ashby Maley and Ellyson Rush, and a recitation by little Melvin Eldridge. This was followed by a drama entitled, “Our Awful Aunt,” those taking part in the play being Miss Ella Patteson, Misses Pauline Patteson, Osie Agee, Helen Novell, Mott Glover, Rolfe Rush, Oscar, Augrey, Lenonard Maley and Buford Patteson. Six small girls took part in a butterfly drill, and others taking part in recitations and tableaux were Miss Inez Eldridge, Miss Ola Agee, Miss Thelma Agee and Rolfe Rush. The exercises were concluded with a chorus by the school and a farewell address by Charles Maley.

In 1910, Mott Glover was living in Slate River District with his parents, Charles and Anne Glover, and his younger brother, Cory. The census records that Mott was twenty-eight years old. He was about thirty years old when the murder was committed.

The fact that he appeared in “Our Awful Aunt” indicates that Mott Glover was included in community actives and behaved in a socially acceptable manner . . . at least in March, 1913.

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

January 14, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

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

Well Water, Virginia. Postal Map, 1896.

In the spring of 1913 a shocking murder took place near Well Water in Buckingham County, Virginia. On May 5, Mott Robertson Glover shot and killed Meade Hanes. The following day, the news was reported in Richmond under the headline: “Confesses Crime And Surrenders: Mott Robertson Glover Tells Officers Of Shooting Meade Hanes.”

A short article introduced readers of Richmond’s Times-Dispatch to a story that they would follow well into the summer. Details were sketchy and this report, sent from Buckingham, was printed on May 6:

Mott Robertson Glover came here this afternoon [Buckingham Court House] and stated that he had shot Meade Hanes in a field on the Hanes farm. Young Hanes is a boy about sixteen years old, and son of Supervisor J. B. Hanes. Mr. Glover gave himself up to the officers of the law and was placed in jail. He made no statement as to why he committed the deed, but it is current rumor here that Glover and young Hanes were pleased with the same young woman. Mr. Glover is a son of Charles L. Glover, of this county, and the nephew of R. G. Robertson, of Lynchburg. Sen. Hanes Gale (sic) has been employed as counsel for defense.*

There was a large crowd here in attendance at the good roads meeting, but there was so much excitement caused by the shooting that the meeting broke up at once.

*Sen. Sands Gayle.

This report, though brief, was essentially accurate and would be repeated and elaborated in many articles to follow.

Over the coming weeks, Slate River Ramblings readers have the opportunity to experience this lengthy and tragic story just as it unfolded in 1913. Here’s hoping it will capture your interest as it did mine.

Coming Next: Buckingham County Crimes: The Murder of Meade Hanes, Part II

January 7, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part VI

Howard Martin removing the slate roof at Locust Dale. Courtesy Mercedes Ludlow.

Need to catch up?  Click here: Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part I

The photo above was taken in about 2009. According to Mercedes Ludlow, “This is the west side of the home. My dad is working removing the slate roof. There was a chimney on this side and on the east side.”

A land plat dated 1974 shows a section of the divided Brooks farm.  Mercedes’ family owned tract 7. The old house sat right in the middle of their property. The graveyard was located behind it, on an adjacent tract.

Mercedes recalls that the house stood until 2011. She explained, “The slate on one side had fallen from the roof and the water damaged the home on that end. My father was concerned about the weight of the slate roof and removed it.”

Eventually, carpenter Albert Miller disassembled the house, using pieces in the construction in his own home. At the time, Miller noted that he had never seen a house built like Locust Dale. The timbers were labeled with Roman numerals, or carpenter’s assembly marks, often used in timbered homes. There must have been something unusual about them for Mr. Miller to comment.

Mercedes’ father, Howard Martin, also observed that under some of the numerals, dates were carved in the beams. He recalled one beam was dated 1716.

Did Locust Grove contain salvage from former dwellings in Buckingham County? Was the entire house moved and reassembled sometime before the Brooks family purchased the farm?

~

The Miller Home. Courtesy Anna Miller.

 ~

On August 10, 1864, Vincent R. Brooks, Sr. married Maria Susanna Agee in Buckingham Co, Virginia, making all of his descendants my distant Agee cousins. Years ago, while searching for clues to my Agee line, I met with Ruby Mae (Agee) Agee in her home in greater Richmond. She kindly shared her memories and photos with me.

Many thanks also go to Mercedes Ludlow for contacting me and adding significantly to the history of Locust Dale. She warmly recalls her home as “the most peaceful and restorative place.”

And, as always, thanks to Jeremy Winfrey for his work on land deeds and the Brooks family cemetery.

Mrs. Susie Putney and Miss Mattie Brooks at Locust Dale, 1930.  Courtesy Ruby Agee.

December 31, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part V

 Brooks Family Cemetery. Buckingham County, Virginia. Courtesy Jeremy Winfrey

 

Need to catch up?  Click here: Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part I

In addition to her survey of the house, Elizabeth McCraw recorded information about the cemetery on the property, writing:

There is an old graveyard on the place about half a mile from the house. This is overgrown with vines and periwinkle. Four or five graves are marked with slight slabs. Some of these are so weathered that it is impossible to read the inscriptions. Only three could be read which are as follows;

Reid Brooks

Died July 7, 1842.

 

Erected to the memory of

Catherine Brooks Nuckols

Died June 16, 1847

Departed this life in the 30th year of her age.

 

Emeline Ayers Brooks

Died Nov 26, 1922

In the 78th year of her age.

~

Emeline Marshall (Ayres) Brooks was the wife of Vincent Reid Brooks, Jr.  Born on January 22, 1843 in Buckingham County, in 1850, she was a student at Humanity Hall, the noted school operated by Elijah G. Hanes. She was enumerated there again in 1860. She married Brooks on August 10, 1864. Land taxes indicate that Vincent R. Brooks owned property on Rocky and Green creeks.

~

When Mercedes Ludlow was growing up at Locust Dale, roughly 45 acres of the farm had been divided in such a way that the cemetery and house were no longer in the same tract. Mercedes recalled additional graves, which Jeremy Winfrey has recorded for Find-A-Grave, including this comment:

Vincent Reid Brooks Sr bought this property in 1804, and it remained in the hands of descendants well into the 20th century. There are multiple generations buried in this rather large cemetery, located about 50 yards behind a home. In a lightly wooded area, covered in periwinkle, there are three rows of graves. At least 26 graves are present, possibly more. There are only six marked burials, the rest are field stones and blank slate markers.

Click here to read Jeremy Winfrey’s survey: Vincent Reid Brooks Cemetery

~

For more about Humanity Hall, consult the archives at Slate River Ramblings and my book,

“At a Place Called Buckingham,” Volume Two.

Coming Next: Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part VI

 

December 24, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part IV

Thomas M. Agee. Courtesy Ruby Agee.

Need to catch up?  Click here: Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part I

The Brooks and Agee family were long intertwined at Locust Dale.  Slate River Ramblings follower Jeremy Winfrey offered this brief family history:

Vincent Reid Brooks Sr. (1781-1842), son of William Wilson Brooks (1742-1825) and Mary Gilliam, married Maria Susannah Agee, a daughter of Revolutionary soldier Jacob Agee (1756-1837) and Elizabeth Garrett (1763-1829) of Buckingham County, Va. Jacob was a son of James Agee Sr and Maria Ford (Faure), the first Agee couple to settle in Buckingham. In 1805, Vincent Reid Brooks bought approximately 200 acres from Agee, as well as the adjacent acres from James Ramsey, which included the dwelling house.

According to Jeremy, the couple had eleven children!

By 1900, Thomas M. “Merry” Agee, his wife Elizabeth G. “Lizzie” (Brooks), and their three children were living at Locust Dale with the Brooks family.  Merry Agee was the half-brother of my ancestor, John T. L. Woodson, and likely was helping his widowed mother-in-law manage the farm. The Agees were married in Buckingham County on November 18, 1887 and, in 1907, moved to Richmond, Virginia.  Sometime before 1910, they were joined by Lizzie’s siblings, Emma and Sidney L. Brooks, who had taught school in Buckingham.

In 1923, sisters Mattie and Emma still owned 134 acres, which included the dwelling house at Locust Dale.

1923 plat.  Courtesy Jeremy Winfrey.

Born on February 28, 1869, Martha Walker “Mattie” Brooks remained in Buckingham County and died in 1934 of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was just shy of sixty-five and may still have been teaching school. Her sister, Emma, reported her death and, on February 10, 1934, Mattie was buried at home at Locust Dale.

Martha W. Brooks, gravestone.  Courtesy Jeremy Winfrey.

Emma Brooks died in 1966 and was buried in Richmond, Virginia.

Emma Vincent Brooks, gravestone. Courtesy Jeremy Winfrey.

 

Coming Next: Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part V

December 17, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part III

Dwelling house at Locust Dale, 1930.  Courtesy Ruby Agee.

 

Need to catch up?  Click here: Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part I

In 1799, when Locust Dale was sold to James Ramsey, Peter Guerrant, Jr. (1737-1819) was likely the owner. By 1813/1814, Pierre Guerrant, Jr. was a non-resident of Buckingham County. He died in Kentucky in 1819. He also had a son called Peter, who might have owned or resided on the Locust Dale property.

The land left to Peter Guerrant, Jr. by his father was described as “lying and being on Hunts Creek, one of the branches of Slate River,” which is the rough location of Locust Dale.

Ramsey did not own the property long and it was the Brooks family, beginning with Vincent Reid Brooks, who would become the long time owners of Locust Dale and the historic house. In 1937, when Elizabeth McCraw surveyed the property for the Virginia Historical Inventory, she described the house as follows:

Just back from the highway in a grove of locust trees is the story and a half house. A narrow flagstone walk leads from the front gate to the house. The unpainted beaded weatherboarding on the house is noticeable as one approaches. Through a one story porch one enters a large front room which is about twenty square feet. The side walls are ceiled with planks fourteen inches wide. The ceiling is unfinished, that is, the sleepers are left showing. The ceiling is twelve feet high. From a small hall in the back of the house a narrow cased-in stairway leads to the second floor. The two rooms here are half story ones, lighted by gable windows. On several of the six panel doors the original hand latches are to be seen.

Mrs. McCraw continued, “The present owner says she always understood from her father V. R. Brooks, Jr., that the house was built by either Guerrant or Ramsey. The house is about as it was when her grandfather bought it from Ramsey in 1804.”

~

As with so many early Virginia families, names were often repeated by the Guerrants. This line included several men named Pierre or Peter. Can anyone knowledgeable about the Guerrant family further untangle these Peters? I descend from Magelene (Guerrant) Moseley, daughter of Pierre Guerrant Sr. and his wife, Magdalene Trabue, and am particularly curious!

Coming Next: Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part IV

December 12, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

Happy Anniversary Slate River Ramblings

My grandmother, Minnie Garland (Harris) Sanger, born in Buckingham County, Virginia.

 

This week, Slate River Ramblings celebrates its eighth anniversary.

Thanks to all of you — over 780 enthusiastic followers — for your continuing interest in the history of Buckingham County, Virginia.

As many of you know, the Slate River Ramblings archive is a rich depository of Buckingham County gold. As of December 2020, there are over 1,050 posts and nearly 3,300 comments by thoughtful readers.

To explore the archives just enter your favorite topic or surnames in the search box.

If you aren’t already familiar with my books, click on the titles at the top of this page or on the covers on the right to learn more. Titles from Slate River Press are always available online at Braughler Books.

My newest book, Peter Jefferson’s Snowdon: A History of Settlement at the Horseshoe Bend, is available at Amazon.

Please invite your family and friends to join us as we continue to ramble through Buckingham County’s history. More to come in 2021!

December 10, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part II

Mattie Brooks stands by a locust tree at Locust Dale, 1930. Courtesy Ruby Agee.

Need to catch up?  Click here: Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part I

In 1937, Elizabeth McCraw surveyed Locust Dale for the Virginia Historical Inventory, recording the fact that it sat on land once owned by Peter Guerrant, which he sold to James Ramsey in 1799.

Before 1750, Peter Guerrant, Sr. owned extensive land in the section of Albemarle County that would become Buckingham County.  In 1749, he wrote his last will which was transcribed for the Virginia Historical Inventory by Rosa G. Williams in 1937. A copy of the will was in the possession of Mrs. Florence Pratt, who lived in the village of Buckingham. Mrs. Williams noted that the Pratt house sat on the north side of Highway 60, between the Presbyterian Church and the Methodist parsonage. Mrs. Williams’ transcription reads as follows:

In the name of God, Amen. I peter Guerrant of the Parish of King William being in health of body and of sound and disposing mind and memory, praise be Almighty God for the same, but considering the uncertainty of human life, do make this my last will and testament in manner following: that is to say, my just debts being paid first and satisfied.

Item: I give and bequeath to my eldest son John Guerrant Four hundred acres of land, lying on Joshua’s Creek, one of the branches of Slate River in Albemarle County (Now Buckingham), for him and his heirs forever, I also give him, my son John Guerrant, a horse colt called Jockey and my Philadelphia saddle, for him and his heirs forever.

Item: I give and bequeath unto my son Peter Guerrant, four hundred acres of land lying and being on Hunts Creek, one of the branches of Slate River in Albemarle County (Now Buckingham), for him and his heirs forever. I also give my son Peter Guerrant one feather bed and furniture for him and his heirs forever.

Item: I give and bequeath to my son Daniel Guerrant four hundred acres of land joining on his brothers John Guerrant’s line, it being part of an order of council for six hundred acres of land on Joshua’s Creek, one of the branches of Slate River in Albemarle County (Now Buckingham) for him and his heirs forever. I also give my son Daniel Guerrant one negro boy named Caesar, for him and his heirs forever.

Item: I give and bequeath unto my daughter Jane Guerrant two hundred acres of land it being part of the order of council for six hundred acres of land lying and being on Joshua’s Creek, one of the branches of the Slate River in Albemarle County (Now Buckingham) for her and her heirs forever.

Item: If in any case my beloved wife Magdalene Guerrant should happen to be now with child, and it should happen to be a boy, I give him thirty five pounds current money, to be laid out of my personal estate, for him and his heirs forever, if it should happen that my beloved wife is with child of a daughter, my will is that I give her fifteen pounds current money, for her and her heirs forever.

Item: I leave to my beloved wife Magdalene Guerrant the use of the plantation I now live on, with the use of three negroes, Tom, Sarah and Moll during her natural life, and my will is that my beloved wife shall have the use of all the negroes, during the time of her widowhood, Caesar only excepted which is before given to my son Daniel Guerrant but in case that it should happen that there be not movable estate enough to satisfy the legacies before given, my will is that Betty be sold by way of outcry to satisfy the afore given legacies.

Item: My will is that after my beloved wife Magdalene’s decease, that all the negroes and all the plantation I now live on be sold by way of out cry and the money be equally divided among my beloved children who will be living at that time.

Item: I do constitute and ordain my well beloved wife Magdalene Guerrant to be the whole and sole executrix of this my last will and testament. In witness whereof, I have hereto set my hand and fixed my seal, this third day of December, One Thousand Seven hundred and Forty Nine.

Peter Guerrant (Seal)

Pronounced, Signed and Sealed in the presence of William, Sally, Peter, Daniel and Richard Pemberton.

Note: King William Parish was in Cumberland County (1749-1777) and Powhatan County (1777-present).

~

Apparently, Peter Guerrant, Sr. lived and died in Goochland/Cumberland County, making it unlikely that he built the house that became Locust Dale. Did Locust Dale eventually sit on the land left to Peter Guerrant, Jr.?  Was he the builder?

~

The following items, included in other transcriptions of Peter Guerrant’s will, were omitted by Rosa Williams, presumably because the land involved was not in Buckingham County:

Item: I give unto my daughter Esther Guerrant Two hundred acres of land on Collier’s line–it being part of the four hundred acres of land on Mountain Creek in Amelia County, for her and her heirs forever. I also give my daughter Esther Guerrant the other new bed, with what furniture there is to it, and a rug, and two cows and calves for her and her heirs forever, and two pounds of current money, and the two cows and calves to be delivered when she shall attain the age of twenty-one years or married.

Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Magdalene Guerrant the other two hundred acres of land on Mountain Creek in Amelia County, it being the other part of the four hundred acres, for her and her heirs forever. I also give my daughter Magdalene Guerrant the sun of five pounds Current money to be paid out of my personal estate and two cows and calves, to be delivered after she shall attain the age of twenty-one years or married.

… I also give my daughter Jane Guerrant, the sum of Five pounds Current money, to be paid out of my personal estate, and two cows and calves, to be delivered after she shall attain the age of twenty-one years or married.

Item: I give and bequeath unto my daughter Judith Guerrant, the sum of fifteen pounds Current money for her and her heirs forever.

It is always fascinating to see the varied inheritances of sons and daughters!

Coming Next: Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part III

December 3, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part I

Mercedes Ludlow in the doorway at Locust Dale, 1983. Courtesy Mercedes Ludlow.

 

Recently, I was contacted by Mercedes Ludlow who grew up on Penlan Road, Arvonia, Buckingham County. The house she was born in was thought to be built in the 1700s and sat on land once owned by Peter Guerrant. When her parents purchased the property, it was known as the old Brooks farm and the house came with a rich oral history and a nearby cemetery. The Brooks family called it Locust Dale.

The early deeds to property were lost in the 1869 Buckingham County courthouse fire. So, in 1937, when Elizabeth McGraw surveyed Locust Dale for the Virginia Historical Inventory, she based her deed history on collective memory and documents preserved in the Brooks family. Her informant, Miss Emma Brooks of Diana Mills, was the current owner and granddaughter of the previous owner V. R. Brooks. In 1804, he had purchased the place from a James Ramsey, who presumably bought it from Peter Guerrant.

Mrs. McCraw recorded the very specific date of 1799 for the construction house, however, one Brooks family notation suggests that the house may have been built much earlier – about 1730.

Mrs. McCraw wrote these details:

This old looking house was owned in 1799 by Peter Guerrant. How long he lived here or if he built the house is not known. An old land plat in the possession of the present owner shows that Peter Guerrant sold the place to James Ramsey, May 16, 1799. Another paper or deed shows that James Ramsey sold the place to V. R. Brooks, December 22, 1804. The third paper dated 1842 transfers the property to V. R. Brooks, Jr. whose heirs now live here. There is no recorded deed, as the children still live here.

~

Note: This property should not be confused with the Peter Guerrant house, which is still standing and believe to be constructed circa 1835. Click here to learn more: The Peter Guerrant House

Coming Next: Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part II

November 26, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County: Norvell Family Cemetery

Norvell Family Cemetery. Courtesy Jeremy Winfrey.

The Norvell family cemetery has been documented and described by Jeremy Winfrey. His post at Find-A-Grave reads as follows:

William Brown Norvell Jr Family cemetery – Sharps Creek, Buckingham County, Va

There are only two stones present, as well as several field stones and obvious depressions. There is evidence of ten graves. Enclosed by an old, fallen, iron fence the area is large enough to support even more burials, although no evidence remains. It sits in a pine stand, and is somewhat overgrown.

The cemetery is situated in the western portion of what was once a rather large tract of Norvell property between present day SR 622 and SR 671. This line of Norvells resided on this tract since approximately 1830. William Brown Norvell Jr resided along Sharps Creek until his death in 1850. On the east side of the property there is an old home which still stands, whose brick portion dates to 1840s. This was the home of Thomas Benton Norvell. It is probable that there was, however, an older home on the west side of the property, ca 1800. William Jr lived on Sharps Creek. By 1850, both William Jr and Sr were deceased, and their property was split up among the heirs. William Jr’s widow and children all received Sharps Creek lands. Thomas B Norvell ultimately took over the 1840 home on the east side of the property about 1865, following the death of his mother. He raised his family there until his death in 1897.

It is important to note that the cemetery is quite far away from the still standing 1840 home, about a 30 minute walk. However, the present day property owner said there were traces of an old structure about 100+ yards away from the cemetery, when his family bought the property in the 1960s. An earlier generation’s home, would explain why Thomas and Mary were buried so far away from their house. William Jr and Elizabeth Toney Norvell probably lived in the home close to the cemetery and are buried there, probably in the two graves in the east corner.

J. Winfrey- 2019

~

Click here for more about the burials in the William Brown Norvell Jr Family Cemetery.

To read more about the Norvell Family, click here: Buckingham County’s Norvell House Revisited, Part I