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August 26, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County: Manteo Post Office, Part II


To catch up on the details of the murder of Curtis Branch click here: Buckingham County Murder: Manteo Killing, Part I


Slate River Ramblings reader Nancy Faxon also shared a notice from The Farmville Herald dated December 8, 1911, which covered the news of Curtis Branch’s murder. Branch was an innocent bystander to a robbery, a Confederate veteran who was acting as night watchman for the store. The article reads as follows:

DEC. 4 — There are no new developments in the horrible murder case at Manteo up to Saturday night no arrests have been made. Sheriff Williams came home after spending several days trying to find some clue to work on, without getting such information as would warrant an arrest.

It is said that there is a suspect, but nothing tangible in the way of evidence.

That the attempt at breaking the safe was the work of one not well used to opening iron Sais was vouched for by the fact that an ax was used. It is a wonder that the murderer did not burn the house and cremate the body of old Mr. Branch. It seems as if the murder was cold-blooded in the extreme when the life of an innocent old man was taken simply because he might have been an eyewitness of the attempted robbery.

The rain prevented the possibility of the blood hounds doing anything. No goods of consequence were taken out of the store and only the money out of the cash drawer was secured.

Mr. G. W. Patteson, Sr., and his son do a large mercantile business at Manteo as well as attend to the duties of postmaster, and until recently Mr. Henry Patteson lived in the house adjacent to the store and no watchman was necessary at night.

The farm adjoining the store is owned by Mr. S. P. Blanton, of Richmond who it is said will do all he can to bring the guilty person or persons to justice.

The case remains unsolved.

Special thanks to Nancy Faxon for adding these new details to the story.

Visit the Scottsville Museum website to see a photo of Curtis Branch: Confederate Veteran Reunion, 1908.

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