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August 16, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County, 1908: Part V


Occasionally the 19th century news of Buckingham and Appomattox counties crossed over. After all, the territory was once all Buckingham County. In the December 1908 issue of the Appomattox and Buckingham Times, one article mentioned several Buckingham-Appomattox families. Can a Slate River Ramblings reader familiar with Appomattox help identify any of those mentioned?

An Old Resident Visits Us — News from Hubard.

Well Mr. Editor I want to tell the readers of the Times about my trip through old Appomattox.

On the 5th Saturday I assisted New Hope church. There were so many vacant seats that it made me feel sad. I met with many of my old friends. I also met with Bro. Davis and Bro. Harris, of Buckingham, which made me feel at home.

After morning service there was a bountiful dinner served after which I drove to the surrender ground, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. M. R. Reynolds and children and Mrs. M. E. Decker, of Rockbridge. We drove from the surrender grounds to Appomattox, where I met many old friends. I tell you, they were all smiles, and so was I. I also found the editor in his office, attending to his own business. Well I forgot, I went down to Purdum & Caldwell’s and there I found Miss Maud, who reminded me of our friend Mr. P. R. Wooldridge. Many other friends I saw, but I have not the space to mention them. I was advised then to drive to the new school building, which I thought was grand, with many other improvements around your town since I left the county.

During the time I was in the county I visited several homes around Wildway, there I was made sad again seeing the vacant seats that were once filled. I found the same hospitality in those christian homes as it was in the past.

Now I must tell you the news of this neighborhood.

There was a large congregation at Mt. Tabor the 1st Sunday expecting to hear the new preacher, Mr. Valliant, but he failed to come, but we were glad to say that people did not wait. They had a nice prayer meeting and returned home.

Mr. Geo Bolton, who has been sick for some time is improving.

Mrs. Chas Turner, who has been sick for several days is improving, under the skillful care of Dr. Morris.

Mrs. Susan Harris has returned home after a long visit to her daughter, Mrs. Roberts, of Roanoke.

Mrs. Albert Ragland returned home Saturday from the slate quarry.

Mrs. W. O. Ragland is still ill at this writing.

Mr. Alic Stinson and wife are visiting their parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Ragland.

Mrs. Eugene Spencer is no better.

What has become of the Andersonville correspondent? We would like to hear from him, also the writer of West Buckingham. They some interesting letters.

I forgot to state that our neighborhood was made lively Saturday by a fox chase. They captured him after about six hours run.

A loss for posterity, this colorful correspondence is unsigned.

Coming next: Buckingham County, 1908: Part VI

August 13, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County, 1908: Part IV

Correspondence from Buckingham County printed in the December 1908 issue of the Appomattox and Buckingham Times featured notices about the Hopper and Fones families:

Mr. Charles Hopper, Jr., will move to a farm near Fredericksburg with the beginning of the new year, accompanied by his family and also his father, Mr. C. Y. Hooper. They will be greatly missed when they leave the county, however Mr. Hooper is not burning any bridges behind him by selling the old home place.

News of the Fones family was startling:

Mr. W. A. Fones, who was so unfortunate as to [lose] his house and contents by fire last week, is a good citizen and has the sympathy of the entire community. It is not known exactly how the fire started, but it seems to [have] caught from the inside of the house and had gained such headway when the flames were discovered that but few thing[s] were saved. Mr. Fones made a narrow escape of being burned himself in his effort to save something out of his home. Mr. Robert Fones was there and his twin babies were promptly rescued and carried a distance from the house and placed on a bed tick and covered up with a mattress or tick that had been saved. Mr. Fones and his family went to the home of a neighbor—Mr. George Holman. Ms. Nora Sheppard, who was boarding in the house by heroic effort managed to save her trunk which she dragged out after her when she left the room. Kind friends made up a purse at Dillwyn for the sufferers and many more kindnesses will be extended by the good people of this county.

Coming next: Buckingham County, 1908: Part V

August 9, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County, 1908: Part III

In December of 1908, the Appomattox and Buckingham Times printed lengthy correspondence from Buckingham County, including news of deaths and illness.

The sad intelligence of the death of one of her brothers has come to Mrs. Dr. Morris and she has gone to Charlotte, her old home county to attend the burial.

Mrs. W. E. Pratt, who was so painfully hurt by a fall in Lynchburg, continues to improve that she is not able to work yet.

The many friends of Hon. E. W. Hubard regret to learn of his indisposition and hope that the surgical operation he went to Richmond to undergo may result in his restoration to health. He was accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Hubbard. Later—Mr. W. J. Hubard has come home and reports his brother is doing well but two more operations will have to be made to cure him.

For much more about E. W. Hubard, click here: Buckingham Notables: Edmund Wilcox Hubard

Coming next: Buckingham County, 1908: Part IV

August 6, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County, 1908: Part II

Photo by Joanne L. Yeck

In December of 1908, the Appomattox and Buckingham Times printed lengthy correspondence from Buckingham County, including news of the successful tobacco market.

It is a matter of congratulation that the Dillwyn tobacco market has afforded such good prices for tobacco as were paid there last week. The prices seem to have been better than those reported from any market in the State and it is to be hoped that the prices may continue good and that a home market may be built up there that will save the long haul over bad roads to other markets. I for one will take pleasure in giving the market a trial, and from the list of farmers who have patronized this market it seems that some of the very best planters in the country have already sold there. There is no doubt that the fact that the bulk of the tobacco crop has been sold in Farmville for many years, but the bulk of what is now in the hands of planters will go to Dillwyn if the prices are up there, and down in Farmville.

Coming next: Buckingham County, 1908: Part III

August 2, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County, 1908: Part I

In December 1908, the Appomattox and Buckingham Times reported on Buckingham County’s participation in the Jamestown Exhibition of 1907:

I am requested by Mr. J. H. Noble, who had charge of the Buckingham exhibits to be sent to Jamestown to say that the perishable exhibits were either sold or given away and that the mineral exhibits were distributed among real estate men in Virginia and elsewhere. Some samples were sent to one of the departments at Washington. A nice lot went to Commissioner Koiner, of Richmond. Mr. Clement, the editor and owner of this paper was given an order for a lot of mineral samples and this distribution seems to have been better than having been sent back here.

The following question was also raised:

[Correspondent] Quoit has already touched on, and stuck his probe into some of the questions asked, namely: Who paid the freight to Newport News—money spent on cutting up the courthouse and Jamestown exhibits.

Click here for more about the Jamestown Ter-Centennial Exposition of 1907 published in Encyclopedia Virginia.

Coming next: Buckingham County, 1908: Part II

July 30, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County Mystery

In early 1859, the advertisement above was published by John A. Shackleford of New Canton, Buckingham County, Virginia.

In it, he promoted his New Canton Hotel, convenient to James River and to persons traveling to Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute. To date, no more has been found about the establishment.

What follows attempts to decipher a faint, illegible clipping:


JOHN A. SHACKLEFORD having purchased this property respectfully informes the public that is now open for their reception and accommodation.

He intends by strict attention to business to [earn] a share of the public patronage.

He will also keep horses and buggies, and a hack for Hire.


New Canton, April 9, 1858

Does a Slate River Ramblings reader recognize the New Canton Hotel? If so please comment below.



July 26, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Scottsville: Tragic Suicide


In February of 1925, the Richmond Times-Dispatch printed the shocking story of a Scottsville banker, Englishman Jacinto V. Pereira, who committed suicide by leaping from an upper story porch at the Traveler’s Rest Inn, one of Scottsville’s hotels. Friends speculated that he was depressed, particularly over a litigation brought against him by attorney Frank C. Moon, who had died the previous month. The lawsuit stretched back to 1916 and a judgment had finally been rendered in favor of Moon, who was awarded $4,000. Surely, there was a connection between moon’s death and Pereira’s despair.

The article reported that Moon had died in Amherst County.

Frank Moon’s obituary was published in the newspaper on January 17, 1925:

FORMER SENATOR DIES. Frank C. Moon, Prominent Lynchburg Lawyer, Expires.

For more, including a beautiful photo of J. V. Pereira, visit Scottsville Museum’s website:

Jacinto V. Pereira, Bank President.

If a Slate River Ramblings reader knows more about the relationship between Pereira and Moon, please comment.

July 23, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notable: Frank C. Moon


In January 1925, Richmond’s Times-Dispatch ran a brief obituary for Buckingham-born Frank C. Moon, who lived above at Snowden and in Lynchburg:


Frank C. Moon, Prominent Lynchburg Lawyer, Expires.

[By Associated Press.]

Lynchburg, VA. Jan. 16—Frank C. Moon, 67, attorney-at-law, well known in central Virginia, formerly State Senator from Fluvanna County, who maintained his offices here of late years, died at noon today after several months of illness here. While clerk to a congressional committee some years ago, Mr. Moon codified the laws of Alaska. He was a Baptist and brother of Dr. Schuyler B. Moon, of Richmond. His body will be taken Saturday to Scottsville, where he formerly lived, for burial.

For more about Frank C. Moon search his name in the box to the right. Enjoy the results!

July 21, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Book News: Virginia Genealogical Society

Many thanks to Debbie Harvey, editor of “The Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter” (July-August 2018), for publishing my essay, “Virginia Gentry Gone Wrong,” which highlights the tragic results of multiple generations of cousin marriage in the Randolph-Jefferson-Lewis lines.

If you aren’t already a member of VGS and enjoying its wonderful resources, please visit the Society’s website and explore!

Virginia Genealogical Society

For much, much more about the complicated lives of Randolph Jefferson’s descendants and kinfolk, consult: Peter Field Jefferson: Dark Prince of Scottsville & Lost Jeffersons.


July 19, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute, 1857

Buckingham County’s Female Collegiate Institute is a favorite subject at Slate River Ramblings. The county is deservedly proud of its early commitment to the education of women.

The advertisement above from 1857 lists the talented faculty offering a wide range of courses to young ladies from Buckingham County and across Virginia. Beyond the basics of English, the classics, and modern languages, a variety of “accomplishments” were taught including: piano or guitar, voice, drawing and two kinds of needlework, as well as Grecian painting.

Grecian painting? Can a Slate River Ramblings reader elaborate on this art style of the mid-nineteenth century? Hint: It may refer to “Academic Realism.”

For much more about Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute, consult “At a Place called Buckingham,” (Volume 1).