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December 20, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County Murder: Manteo Killing, Part III

Buckingham County Postal Map, 1916.

In 1911, Curtis N. Branch was murdered in Buckingham County. Click here to catch up:

Buckingham County Murder: Manteo Killing, Part I

The cast of characters in the murder of Curtis Branch now includes the victim, the unknown assailant, William White (who discovered the body), D. W. Patteson (rural mail carrier), and George W. Patteson (store owner and postmaster). Consulting the 1910 census, taken the year before the killing, resulted in the following information:

Curtis Branch, age 71, lived in James River District with his wife and adult son, Charles Branch. Extended members of the Branch family lived nearby.

George W. Patteson, merchant, age 66, likewise lived in the James River District with his wife and four children.

William White is likely William H. White, age 52, who also resided in the James River District with his wife and worked as a “grader” for the railroad.

As yet, D. W. Patteson has not been located on the 1910 or 1920 census. Perhaps, there was a misprint in his initials.


The article in the Staunton Spectator and Vindicator went on to note that recently there had been other disturbances in the Manteo area. On July 18, 1911, the station at Manteo had been robbed of between $12 and $20. Shortly after this break-in, the home of a ferryman near Manteo was burglarized and burned. Fortunately the ferryman was not at home or, as the journalist suggested, there might have been another murder. Were these incidents connected? Would the murderer of Curtis Branch be found?

Coming next: Buckingham County Murder: Manteo Killing, Part IV




Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne Yeck / Dec 29 2018 1:36 pm


    Many thanks for adding this information to the post mentioning David W. Patteson. Hopefully, another Slate River Ramblings reading can add even more.


  2. Edna Barney / Dec 29 2018 11:31 am

    I believe the ‘David W PATTESON’ age 56, on the 1920 Census of Buckingham (James River) is the same D W PATTESON mentioned above. He was living at ‘Glenmore Buckingham CH Road.’ On the 1910 Census of same, he is ‘David PATTERSON,’ age 46. He and his wife and children are classified as Mulatto. His occupation on both censuses is farmer. ‘David W. PATTESON’ age 17, is on the 1880 Census of Buckingham County with his parents, Burle and Ann PATTESON, the entire family classified as Black.

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