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December 16, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

1898: News From Allens Level


Appomattox and Buckingham Times. Courtesy Library of Virginia.


In 1898, the Appomattox and Buckingham Times printed a letter to the Editor sent from Allens Level in Buckingham County. Signed with the penname, Conservative, the letter began:

Mr. Editor—Dear Sir: As I have never seen anything in the columns of your paper from this office, I decided to write a few items that might be interesting to some of your subscribers as reading matter—this section is between Buckingham C. H., and White Hall and is commonly called Darby Town. However we are none the worst people because we live in Darby Town. Our church here is somewhat on the advance—we have preaching once a month by Rev. Jno. Spencer and also prayer meeting each Sabbath with good attendance. We also have probably as good mail facilities at this office as any in the county off from the railroad, our mail contractors for supplying this office are diligent in performing their duties and Mr. Maxie (sic), of Well Water, who supplies us with mail from Dillwyn daily, generally delivers it here in about 30 minutes after it has been distributed at that office.

Miss Garrett our efficient postmistress is always found obliging and accommodating in the discharge of her postoffice duties. She has been postmistress here for a number of years—ever since the office was established, and probably will be for a long time to come, unless she should change her name to Mrs. which is some times the talk here.

Our church will soon be undergoing some repairs and unless all signs fail we will have, some day, a very good house of worship.

We admire the enterprise and energy put forth by our White Hall friends and neighbors, and they have our best wishes for the success of the upbuilding of the village and community at large; we also congratulate the new married couples.

We also feel very kind toward our courthouse neighbors, and friends and wish them much prosperity and success, and have nothing but kind feelings for all do not desire the misfortune of any. . . .

With success to the TIMES, I will close for the present.



If a Slate River Ramblings reader knows more about Allens Level or Darby Town and the people who lived in that neighborhood, please comment below.

For more about Rev. John Spencer, click here:

Buckingham Notables: Rev. John J. Spencer, Part I



Leave a Comment
  1. Teresa Hintz / Feb 2 2020 3:35 pm

    According to the book “Genealogy. in part, of Stephen and William Garrett of Buckingham County, Va.”, the post office at Allens Level was named for Allen Garrett, and was kept by his daughter Mildred as late as 1916. As Mildred Garrett was born in 1843, she would have been about 55 when this correspondence was written. A little long in the tooth to be changing your name to Mrs., but never say never!

    • Joanne Yeck / Feb 2 2020 3:37 pm

      Thanks, Teresa. I never considered that the Allen was someone’s first name!


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