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March 9, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County Notables: Rev. Reuben Baker Boatwright, Part III

R. B. Boatwright grave. Courtesy Boatwright Family Genealogy in America.


Need to catchup? Click here: Buckingham County Notables: Rev. Reuben Baker Boatwright, Part I


In 1915, George Braxton Taylor published Virginia Baptist Ministers: 5th Series, 1902-1914, with Supplement which includes an especially lengthy biography of Rev. R. B. Boatwright. Information about his family and his various accomplishments are sprinkled with personal stories, such as this amusing one:

It was while he lived in Southwest Virginia that once at a meeting of the New River Association, in company with Hon. J. Taylor Ellyson and Dr. W. R. L. Smith, the following incident occurred. At the home to which the trio went to spend the night there were not less than thirty or forty guests. After a long trip of a score and a half miles over the mountains they were very tired, and so no little interested as to where they were to sleep. About ten o’clock their host led them to a large room furnished with two good beds. There was a fire burning on the hearth, but, much to the dismay of the trio, before the fire there sat two women wearing long-eared bonnets and busy cooking. The women looked neither to the right nor to the left, and were silent. It was evident that they were going to stay until the victuals were cooked, no matter how long that took. After much hesitation Mr. Boatwright, feeling that the long-eared bonnets gave him a large degree of protection from observation, undressed and got into bed. His companions after a season left the room, but finally returned, when the women, seeing that they were “uncommonly modest young men,” gathered up the next day’s dinner and departed.

After leaving Marion the last time, and before his active work as a pastor ceased, Mr. Boatwright served the following churches, all of them in that general section of Eastern Virginia of which Buckingham forms a part: Peterville and Fine Creek (Middle District Association); Lyles (Albemarle Association); Cartersville, Enon, Cedar, Buckingham, Cumberland (James River Association); Mt. Hermon, Big Spring, Ivey Chapel, Morgan’s, Diamond Hill, Flint Hill (Strawberry Association). Before this he had been pastor for a year at the First Church, Bristol.

During the closing years of his life he was an invalid, and at times a great sufferer. When the end came, April 19, 1913, his wife and five children were with him, and there was peace. On a bright Sunday afternoon his body was laid to rest under the old oaks in the Buckingham churchyard, the funeral being conducted by Rev. R. W. Bagwell, who was assisted in the services by Rev. W. H. Street and Rev. C. H. Ryland.

Coming Next: Buckingham County Notables: Rev. Reuben Baker Boatwright, Part IV


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