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October 29, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

The Claiborne Sisters


Rosa Kathryn Claiborne and Mary Elva Claiborne, Courtesy Ed Ayres

Traditionally, weddings are  welcome copy for local papers.  On May 2, 1898, The Farmville Herald ran this charming story, first printed by the Appomattox and Buckingham Times, covering the marriage of Elva Claiborne and Thomas A. Braughan.

“While Spanish and American ships are firing on big guns abroad, cupid with his tiny darts is making havoc with hearts at home. The scene at White Hall today (April 28th), was one of the happiest ever witnessed in Buckingham.” There were three marriages [in] one day.  Mr. Thomas A. Braughan, of Sheppards, and Miss Elva Claiborne, of Gravel Hill, were united by Rev. W.E. Grant, at the home of the bride, at two o’clock, PM.  After the marriage ceremony, an elaborate dinner was served to the bridal party and in the afternoon Mr. Braughan and his bride, accompanied by several friends, drove to the residence of Mrs. Braughan, the mother of the groom, where an informal reception was held.  Mr. Braughan is a well-known citizen of our county and we congratulate him for having won for his bride one of the most attractive and charming young ladies of her community.  We wish much happiness for them.

Nearly two years later, on April 13, 1900, The Times (Richmond, Virginia) printed this announcement for sister Rosa Kate’s wedding:


Miss Claiborne the Bride of Mr. C.H. Agee.

WHITE HALL, VA, April 12 – Special

Quite a pretty wedding was solemnized at the Methodist Episcopal Church here yesterday, the contracting parties being Miss Rosa Kate Claiborne, the daughter of Mr. T.S. Claiborne, and Mr. C.H. Agee, a prosperous farmer of Gravel Hill. The bride was attired in a gray traveling dress while the groom wore the conventional black.

To the strains of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, rendered by Mr. W. A. Moss, the bride, accompanied by her sister, Miss Garnett Claiborne, bridesmaid, and the groom by Mr. Henry Nuckols, best man, came down the aisles of the church and met under an arch of evergreen.  The Rev. W.E. Grant performed the wedding ceremony.

Immediately after the marriage, the bridal party drove to the home of the groom, where they were entertained.

Recently, Rosa’s great-nephew recalled: “I’m not sure how old I was when Aunt Rosa died, but I do remember her wringing a chicken’s head off to prepare for dinner one time when we were visiting!  She was quite elegant and lovely – good bones!”

One of the Agees’ daughters was Rosa Garnett, who took after the lovely Claiborne women and became a fieldworker for the Virginia Historical Inventory.  See Rosa Garnett (Agee) Williams.


Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne Yeck / Oct 29 2013 1:43 pm

    I agree. Isn’t it great to be able to compare the photos! Note that Rosa Kate is Garnett’s mother.

  2. Lynn F. / Oct 29 2013 1:39 pm

    Garnett Agee Williams definitely favors her aunt, Rosa Kate.

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