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December 29, 2016 / Joanne Yeck

The Famous Forbes Case of Buckingham County: Part LXV


A Surprise Ending

On June 21, 1905, Richmond’s The Times Dispatch printed this notice from Lynchburg, Virginia:


Married the Sheriff Who Had the Custody of Her Brother.

 Lynchburg, VA. June 20. – Miss Janie Forbes, daughter of the late John S. Forbes, is the bride of Mr. Lewis Williams, the sheriff of that county. The marriage took place some two weeks ago, but it was not made public until a day or two ago.

The bride is a sister of young Forbes, who figured in the Forbes-Wooldridge arson cases, which attracted so much attention in Buckingham county during the past year or more. She spent liberally of her means in the defense of her brother, and stuck by him through all of his troubles. During the trials she became acquainted with Sheriff Williams, who admired her devotion to her brother. From this began a courtship, which culminated in the marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Williams are now residing in a beautiful home on Slate River, Buckingham county.

While wedding bells did not exactly a ring out “all’s well that ends well,” at least, Janie Forbes, now Mrs. Lewis Williams, had a home of her own. Some years later, her husband, still Sheriff of Buckingham County, would find himself criticized by the same press that covered “The Famous Forbes Case.”

Click here for more about Sheriff Lewis Williams and his involvement with “The Outlaws of Buckingham County.”


Once again, Cousin Mary Carolyn Minton deserves many thanks for introducing me to the Forbes-Wooldridge case and I owe thanks to Margaret Thomas for her detective work searching Buckingham County’s Court Order Books. Virginia Chronicle, created at the Library of Virginia, provided most of the newspaper articles and continues to expand its wonderful collection which now includes the Appomattox and Buckingham Times.



Leave a Comment
  1. cse012014 / Dec 29 2016 10:45 am

    What an enjoyable and well-told story!

    • Joanne Yeck / Dec 29 2016 10:46 am

      Very glad you enjoyed The Famous Forbes Case!

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