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February 20, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: Dr. Bryce McClellan Pratt


In 1866, after the Surrender at Appomattox and before the courthouse fire in Buckingham County, Dr. Bryce McClellan Pratt was appointed County Clerk of Buckingham County, Virginia by the occupying military.

Born in Maine, Dr. Pratt was already a long time resident of the county.  He graduated from Jefferson Medical College (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) in 1844, settled in Buckingham that same year, and married Emeline Frances Trent on April 13, 1848.  Rev. J. H. Fitzgerald officiated at “Clay Bank.”

In about 1872, he and his family left for the west, eventually settling in Bentonville, Arkansas.  Like many Buckingham families, his financial troubles deepened following the Civil War.

In January 1871, Nicholas Flood Bocock filed suit against Dr. Pratt in the Buckingham County Court.  The physician declared bankruptcy and his farm, “Buffalo,” was sold at public auction.  The announcement read in Richmond’s The Daily State Journal:





By virtue of an order of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, dated August 27th, 1872, I will sell as assignee of Bryce M. Pratt, bankrupt, on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24th, in front of the United States Court-House, in the city of Richmond, at 3 P.M., that valuable tract of land containing a tract of land containing 786 ACRES, in Buckingham county, Va., with Dwelling-House, School-House, Office, Barns, Carriage-House, and Ice-House on same, all in good repair. 

This land is adapted to grain, grass, tobacco, &c.  This land will be sold in lots or parcels to suit purchasers.

TERMS-One-third cash; balance on a credit of six and twelve months, the purchaser to give notes for the deferred payments, interest added, title retained by the assignee until said notes are paid.  

Wm. B. Matthews, Assignee.

Sept. 3d, 1872.

Does a Slate River Ramblings reader know which school house sat on the Pratt property?

Many thanks to Mary Carolyn Mitton for this information about her great-great grandfather, one time Clerk of Buckingham County.

Coming Next: Buckingham Houses: Buffalo

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