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September 9, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County Houses: Ivy Hill, Part IV


Fontaine-Dabney Account. Courtesy L. D. Phaup.

Click here to catch up: Buckingham County Houses: Ivy Hill, Part I

Beyond collections held in institutions, Buckingham County treasures can pop up on Ebay. That’s where Slate River Ramblings reader L. D. Phaup found a surviving account between Walter L. Fontaine and a man named Robert Kelso Dabney, who likely operated a business out of New Canton, Buckingham County.

L. D. Phaup believes that Dabney may not have lived in Buckingham County but operated a business there. He shared the following with me:

I believe this business was located in New Canton, Virginia, as a number of the individuals mentioned [in the accounts] are in the 1820 Census and because of the proximity to Virginia Mills located on the Slate River and the processing of freight charges believed to be bateau shipments on the James River. The document includes a listing of purchases made by Fontaine, items being picked up on his behalf, freight charges being processed and charged to his account for the shipment of tobacco packed in hogsheads, and wheat shipped by the bushel. . . .

Familiar Buckingham names, including Bagby and Pleasants are mentioned in the accounts.

Courtesy L. D. Phaup.

L. D. Phaup also prepared this biography of Dabney:

ROBERT KELSO DABNEY (1787-1867) was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia in 1787 to John and Ann Harris Dabney. The location of his birthplace was near Walker’s Church and was referred to as the Heritage. Family records indicate that Robert’s father owned a large tract of land in Prince Edward County and had a large family (12 children). Many of these children reached maturity and moved away to Kentucky, Louisiana, Georgia, and North Carolina. Some of the children settled in Buckingham, and Prince Edward, Virginia. One son, Cornelius Dabney died in the war of 1812.

Robert started his career as a stock boy in Cumberland Courthouse, Virginia and over a period of time had establishments located in Cumberland Courthouse, New Canton, Richmond and Oxford, North Carolina. Robert K. Dabney was first married to Jamima G. Woodson born 1797 at Rosebank in Cumberland County. She was the daughter of Capt. Charles Woodson. Robert and Jamima had two children Robert K. Dabney, Jr. born September 16, 1816, and Ann Smith Dabney born May 20, 1820, and died in infancy. Robert’s wife Jamima died February 26, 1821, and was survived by her husband and son. When Jamima died the son went to live with his grandparents and he died at the age of 12.

Robert Kelso Dabney remarried a Lucy Ann Pope, the daughter of Capt. William Pope and Ann Woodson Pope of Powhatan County. Robert K. and Ann resided at her homeplace Montpelier Plantation in Powhatan County, Virginia. They had three sons as follows:

William Pope Dabney 1829-1894

Charles W. Dabney 1831-1834

Robert Dabney 1833-1876

In 1858 Robert K. Dabney built another home in Powhatan County on the Montpelier Plantation property (1300 acres) and named this home Elmington. This home is an Italian Style. Records indicate it was not completed before his death. Robert K. Dabney is believed to be buried next to his wife at the family cemetery at Montpelier.

Does a Slate River Ramblings reader know more about Robert K. Dabney’s business dealings in Buckingham County? If so, please comment below.

Special thanks to L. D. Phaup who encouraged me to write about Ivy Hill and Walter L. Fontaine.

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