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December 6, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Mystery: Mrs. Cabell’s Library and Axtell Academy


Axtell Academy, Courtesy Historic Buckingham

Thanks to the great-granddaughter and great nieces of Meta (Logan) Cabell, the mystery of the origins of Mrs. Cabell’s Library is solved.

The collection of over 3,000 books, donated to the Buckingham County Library c. 1898, came from Axtell Academy, established by Meta’s father, General T.M. Logan, who likely provided the books for the school library.

According to The Courthouse Burned (Book II), by Margaret A. Pennington and Lorna S. Scott, Axtell Academy was located at the Logan farm, Algoma, near Howardsville.  The Academy building was completed in 1892. Professor Irving Sale, a graduate of the University of Virginia, taught the basics, as well as Latin and French.  His wife taught music, drama, and some of the elementary subjects.  The first commencement was held on June 3, 1893.

An article in Charlottesville’s The Daily Progress (September 1, 1960) proclaimed: “Axtell Academy once showplace of early education in Buckingham.”  The Academy’s glory was, however, apparently fairly short-lived and Meta (Logan) Cabell donated its library to Buckingham County c. 1898.

Still to be solved: When Polk Miller gave his benefit concert (November 12, 1901) for the Buckingham County Library, where was the library housing Mrs. Cabell’s gift?


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  1. PATRICK MURRAY / Dec 6 2013 2:14 pm

    Joanne, I note you mention Book 2 THE COURT HOUSE BURNED BOOK. Are these books available in any library or for sale. My COCKE-PYLE family was in Buckingham Co.. census 1820 & 1830. By 1840 family in IN. I am sure that George T. Pyle was married Buckingham Co. ca 1823 to Nancy Gordon. George T. Pyle parents were George & Elizabeth Cocke, she of the noted Cocke family of Henrico Co. VA. Trying to find the parents of Nancy GORDON.


    SAR Nat’l #94310

    • Joanne Yeck / Dec 6 2013 2:51 pm

      Patrick, Two volumes of “The Courthouse Burned” are available from Historic Buckingham. Follow this link for more information:

      However, these book focus on buildings rather than families. Other source might be more useful for you.


  2. Joanne Yeck / Dec 6 2013 9:19 am

    Thank you, Nancy.

  3. Nancy Baldwin / Dec 6 2013 9:16 am

    So glad you are gathering all this information, otherwise, it would remain a mystery forever, Thank you.


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