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May 18, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Towns: Dillwyn


Twenty years ago, this month, the enthusiastic members of the Town of Dillwyn Historic Committee produced “A Pictorial History of the Town of Dillwyn, Virginia.”

Located just north of Highway 60, the Town of Dillwyn has roots in a spot originally called Rosney, a “small industrial center” which contained a post office, a general store, the Rosney Mining Company, and Rosney Iron and Lumber Co.  Highway 15 runs through the town, north to New Canton and the James River, south to Farmville.  See the detail map: Central Buckingham County.

For many years, Dillwyn was also known as White Hall or Whitehall. By 1881, and perhaps before, Dillwyn was the official post office for the town we know today. Robert B. Allen was postmaster, followed by Dillwyn Smith in February of 1882. Joshua Davis succeeded him and, in August of 1893, Hamden M. White became postmaster.

Is he H.M. White, one of the two men behind the name White Hall?

During 2012, Dillwyn celebrated its 100th anniversary and tidbits of its history appeared in the Buckingham Beacon.  You can find them online at Fluvanna Review.

Martha Louis’ introductory article appeared in the February-March 2012 issue.


Leave a Comment
  1. Louise Davis Hume / May 18 2013 6:08 pm

    Before the town of Dilwyn was established, the Dilwyn Post Office was in the store of my great-grandfather, Joshua Davis (1828-1898) . He emmigrated from Cornwall, England in 1848. A tin miner in Cornwall, he worked at Gold Hill, NC before coming to Buckingham gold mines in 1850. His brother was John Davis of New Canton. He married Mary Eliza Guthrie and they lived on the North Point farm inherited from her father which was on the creek that flowed out of the Morrow ? Gold Mine and on the old road from New Canton to B. Court house. The store was built onto the log house (later covered in clapboard). In 1881 The Post Office was opened in Joshua Davis’ Store. He was only appointed postmaster twice – 1883 and 1889. (As he was a Republican, he lost the appointment during Cleaveland’s administration.) He named the PO, Dilwyn, but I’m fairly sure that it wasn’t, as some maintain, the name any home in Wales. In Wales Dilwyn is not a place name and His family had mined tin in Cornwall for generations. I think Dilwyn Smith worked in the store and Joshua thought the Welsh name would be a good one for the P O. The picture in M. Pennigton’s book is view from the cemetery on hill behind the house and shows the kitchen shedroom on the back.
    I have a photo taken in 1959 that shows the front of the house and the depression to the right where my father told me the store (and PO) burned down many years before. The road went by close to the front porch, but was later moved to south side of RR. When they moved the P O up to the railroad it was near the stores of Mr. White and Mr. Hall the name of the town was White Hall, but the P O was still Dilwyn. So after a while the town name was changed to match the P O.

    I am related to many of the families mentioned in Slateriver ramblings. Joshua and Eliza Davis had 11 children; all but 3 married into neighboring families – Apperson, Shepherd(2), LeSueur(2), Harris, and Baird. Also connected to Capt Robert Miller whose wife, Eugenia White was first married to my grandmother’s uncle, Richard Anderson Bryant who died in 1862. Capt Miller was his commanding officer and consoled the widow.

    • Joanne Yeck / May 18 2013 6:26 pm


      Many thanks for this detailed description of the early post office at Dillwyn and some of your family connections. Many readers of Slate River Ramblings do not see the comments. I’d like to repeat your information in a post, if that is okay with you. Also, if you have a digital copy of the 1959 photo, it would be a nice addition to the post. You can reach me directly at

      • Louise / May 18 2013 8:25 pm

        Of course you may use the informati

      • Joanne Yeck / May 19 2013 8:08 am


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