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October 17, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Rosa “Garnett” (Agee) Williams


Rosa Garnett (Agee) Williams, Photo Courtesy Ed Ayres

Rosa Garnett (Agee) Williams, who wrote many of the Buckingham County entries for the WPA’s Virginia Historical Survey, was the daughter of Cornelius “Hamilton” Agee and Rosa Kate Claiborne. The Hamilton Agee family lived at Gravel Hill, near Buckingham Collegiate Female Institute.

Garnett married Fred Williams, the son of Samuel and Callie (Duncan) Williams. Garnett and Fred had one son and two grandchildren.  The family lived above their store in Dillwyn.  According to “A Pictorial History of the Town of Dillwyn, Virginia,” it was dubbed Agee and Williams Store and was operated by Fred Williams and his brother-in-law, Hamilton “Hambone” Agee.  Later in life, Garnett resided in an apartment at Sprouses Corner.

Slate River Ramblings reader, Kathy Bailey Clark, Garnett’s great niece, recalls:

I used to visit them with my grandfather, Frank Agee. When Hwy 15 expanded, they sold the store and moved in to take care of her father, C. Hamilton Agee, and cousin Meg.  Garnett was in her nineties when she died in a nursing home in Farmville where her sister, Mary (Agee) Stone, also resided.

One of Garnett Williams’ younger cousins remembers that she attended the Methodist woman’s college at Blackstone, Virginia.

Can a Slate River Ramblings reader confirm this? 


Leave a Comment
  1. Dave Duncan / Oct 17 2013 11:44 am

    Fred Oberton Williams, husband of Rosa Garnett Agee, was my second cousin (twice removed.) His parents were Samuel Edward Williams and Mary Caswell (Callie) Duncan. Mary was the daughter of Stephen Ayres Duncan and Sarah Elizabeth Duncan (representing two separate Duncan lines… one from Buckingham County and the other from Amherst County.) Sarah Elizabeth Duncan’s brother, William Henry Duncan, was my gg-grandfather and he married Eliza Jane Duncan (sister of Stephen Ayres Duncan.) I am researching the two Duncan lines to see if they connect further back. One note I have from Ruby Talley Smith concerning the Agee House… Rosa inherited it from her father and she was the fifth generation of family to own the house.

    • Lynn F. / Oct 17 2013 11:54 am

      Dave, please email me at treebranches (at) verizon (dot) net, I am Garnett’s 1st cousin 2xR, would love to exchange genealogy info! Thanks, Lynn

    • Joanne Yeck / Oct 17 2013 11:57 am

      Thanks, Dave.

  2. Lynn F. / Oct 17 2013 11:27 am

    The 1940 census shows Garnett living with her parents, along with her husband and son, and on it she lists her highest grade completed as 3rd year high school. This is not conclusive that she “never” attended college — she may very well have attended classes there. It does indicate that she probably did not complete any substantial class hours. Hope this is helpful and doesn’t just “muddy the waters!”

    • Joanne Yeck / Oct 17 2013 11:59 am

      Lynn, At that time, Virginia high schools only went to the 11th grade, so three years of high school would indicate that Garnett finished high school. I agree, it is not conclusive data. Joanne

  3. onestitchatatime / Oct 17 2013 10:25 am

    I like the picture. She looks very determined.

    • Joanne Yeck / Oct 17 2013 12:00 pm

      I agree. Very determined and very direct.

  4. Linda Zablatnik / Oct 17 2013 9:19 am

    Do you know anything about the Tall House on Slate River. owned by james and Jordan Taylor. Jordan lived to be 100 years old. There is a cemetery on the property and one cousin crawled through the bushes and saw some stones but couldn’t get through the bushes. Linda

    • Joanne Yeck / Oct 17 2013 9:21 am

      Linda, I’m not familiar with Tall House; however, it’s going on my list of houses to watch for…..


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