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October 23, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: Lucy Scruggs, Part IV

Lee Scruggs, Death Record

Click here to catch up: Buckingham Notables: Lucy Scruggs, Part I


In 1958, Lucy (Reese) Scruggs was the subject of a touching profile in Charlottesville’s Daily Progress.  Boyce Loving honored the former slave who was soon to be 104 years old.

In the interview, Lucy Scruggs was quick to admit that her life had been hard and she would not like to live it over again. While her emancipation from slavery had improved things a little, she felt her life had not improved significantly. She had lived through the first and second World Wars, and hoped never to see another. During the Civil War she had struggled to “keep body and soul together,” food and clothing being scarce.

She did not care for modern times. Automobiles were “all right,” however, she showed no great enthusiasm for riding in them. She enjoyed church services and listening to hymns on the radio, though, regular radio programming was of no interest to her. She had never gone to a motion picture theater and had no plans to do so.

She recalled with amusement, her innocent youth:

She said a rainbow appeared in the sky and her mother told her that, if she went to the foot of the rainbow, she would find a pot of gold. She said she started out on a run and “I run till they had to come and hunt for me,” she concluded. At this, she threw back her head and laughed, “fit to kill.”

In recent years her white neighbors have been “mighty good” to her, Aunt Lucy said. She mentioned Mrs. Mildred Beazeley, at whose home this interview took place, and Mrs. Mamie Childress, of Bremo Bluff. She said they had given her food, brought her wood, sewed for her, and performed other acts of kindness.

Aunt Lucy has the gentility and good breeding of another age and is “quality.” It was a pleasant experience to chat with her and to hear her give a first-hand narration of conditions and incidents about one ordinarily only can read. The writer’s parting wish was that “the Lord’ll let” Aunt Lucy live till Christmas morning—and far beyond that date. She is a credit to her race (or any race, for that matter) and her community will suffer a real loss when “she joins the saints,” as she hopes to do. Aunt Lucy is one of the fast vanishing tribe, the more’s the pity. God bless her.

It is good to know that Lucy Scruggs had kind neighbors and devoted children. To date her death record remains elusive. There’s a good chance, though, that she lived until Christmas Day in 1958.


Leave a Comment
  1. Tom Almquist / Oct 23 2017 9:42 am

    Aunt Lucy lived to be 110, she died in a hospital in Prince Edward. I will forward a copy of her death certificate if I can find the correct link to do that. Or, email me an email address to forward it to.

    Tom Almquist

    • Joanne Yeck / Oct 23 2017 12:27 pm

      Tom, Many thanks for searching out Aunt Lucy’s death record. I found it and will make it Thursday’s post. Thanks for adding to the story! Joanne

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