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November 9, 2015 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Iron Manufacturing Company

SRR_1857_Buckingham Iron Manufacturing Co

The attempt to sell the Buckingham Iron Manufacturing Company in December of 1840 apparently failed to take place or an acceptable bid was not offered. In January of 1841, another advertisement appeared in the Richmond newspapers. This time, George H. Matthews, Trustee proposed the sale for February 4th at Bear Garden Furnace and itemized some of the additional property associated with the operation: “36 mules and horses, 6 waggons, and several carts, all the implements of every description, a large quantity of mould boards and other castings. Also about 100 Tons Pig Metal, and a large number of Patterns, &c.”

Something or somebody again stopped the sale. In July of 1841, Edward W. Sims, President of Buckingham Iron Manufacturing Company, ran this notice in the Richmond newspapers:


A MEETING of the above Company will take place at the Office of the Company, on THURSDAY, the 22nd July instant. The peculiar state of affairs of this Company makes it very important that there should be a full meeting.

Eventually, the Buckingham County Chancery Case, Robert O. Dueson [?] and others vs The Buckingham Iron Manufacturing Company and others, kept the sale of this valuable property in limbo for years. The Court judged that the company’s many debts be met and demanded an accounting from George H. Mathews, Trustee. The Court also inquired as to whether or not the property should be sold altogether or in parcels. Indeed, during the 1840s, two parcels were sold.

Sixteen years later, in December of 1857, the Buckingham Iron Manufacturing Company was once again on the auction block. By then, Edward W. Sims had removed to Ca Ira, Cumberland County, where he operated a store.

In 1860, Samuel Williams bought 3,504 acres once owned by Sims and the Buckingham Iron Manufacturing Company. It was described as being on Phelps Creek, at Bear Garden Furnace, 25 miles northeast of the courthouse.

By 1870, Edward Sims and his family were living in Missouri, far from the financial mess he had helped create in Buckingham County.

What was the “peculiar state of affairs” which surrounded the sale of the company?

How did Samuel Williams use the land?

If a Slate River Ramblings reader knows more about these complications concerning the Buckingham Iron Manufacturing Company, please comment.


Leave a Comment
  1. Christian Martin / Nov 10 2015 1:45 am

    Dear Joanne:

    Googling “Bear Garden Furnace” brings up some interesting references from various books and other sources…

    Christian Martin

    • Joanne Yeck / Nov 10 2015 7:16 am

      Thanks! I will investigate. Joanne

  2. Pat murray / Nov 9 2015 5:23 pm

    Thanks Joanne. Really interesting Patrick Murray SAR Nat’l No. 94310

    • Joanne Yeck / Nov 11 2015 10:35 am

      Thank you, Pat!

  3. Joanne Yeck / Nov 9 2015 11:48 am

    Thanks, Beth!

  4. Beth Leggieri / Nov 9 2015 11:36 am

    Joanne, thank you for your excellent continued research into the business records of Edward Walton Sims and consequences for Buckingham County. Son Thomas B. Sims is recorded in the September 1863 Draft Registration Records for Miami, Saline County, Missouri, placing the Sims family removal from Virginia earlier than the 1870 census records.

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