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December 9, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: Elijah Hanes

Buckingham County: Humanity Hall Academy

Humanity Hall. Courtesy Historic Buckingham.

In 1958, Buckingham County’s beloved historian Lulie Patteson published her article “Elijah Hanes set Lofty Standards,” in Charlottesville’s Daily Progress.

She begins by describing Elijah Hanes’ arrival in Buckingham County to tutor for the Brown family, who lived at Physic Springs. Hanes married a Miss Baughn of Hanover County and started a family in Buckingham. Later he bought property not far from Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute and established his own school, Humanity Hall Academy.*

The entire Hanes family was engaged in education. Miss Patteson wrote, “Col. Hanes had as instructors, among others, his two sons, Maj. Garland Hanes and James Hanes. When Major Garland Hanes married Miss Elizabeth Blackwell, daughter of Dr. J. C. Blackwell, president of Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute, another teacher was added to the faculty. Later, Miss Josie Blackwell, sister of Mrs. Maj. Hanes, also taught in the school.”

Patteson found the academy’s name apt. “The school seems to have been appropriately named, for there are many graduates from Humanity Hall Academy who rendered special services to humanity, such as ministers, teachers, lawyers and doctors, as well as in humbler, but no less necessary, work.”

Patteson goes on to explain that Elijah Haynes was a deeply religious man. As there was no church convenient to Humanity Hall, he and others constructed Hanes Chapel, located about a mile northeast of the academy, at what was then called Stony Point. Later, the original chapel was moved to the Hanes farm and a new building constructed about a half mile east of the school.

By 1958, traces of the once prestigious school had disappeared in the Buckingham landscape. Patteson writes, “The dormitories and classrooms are all gone. Only the mansion and an old office building beside it remain. The sole reminder of the site of the dormitories is a grave with a heavy stone slab over it. Here lies a young man named Clarke, from Madison County, who it is said was visiting one of Col. Hanes’s daughters when he had taken ill of fever. After lingering sometime he died and was interred here.”

To learn much more about Elijah Hanes, Humanity Hall Academy, and Hanes Chapel please search the archive at Slate River Ramblings and consult “Elijah G. Hanes and Humanity Hall Academy” in my book, “At a Place Called Buckingham,” Volume Two.

“At a Place Called Buckingham,” Volume Two is currently discounted online at Braughler Books.

* Elijah Hanes came to Buckingham from Hanover County, where he may or may not have married a Miss Braughn. Once in Buckingham, he boarded with the Brown family and eventually married Garland Brown’s daughter, Mary Jarman, on December 2, 1824. Did Lulie Patteson confuse Brown and Baughn? Why would she note specifically that Miss Baughn was from Hanover County? Did Hanes marry twice? If a Slate River Ramblings reader knows more about Miss Baughn, please comment.


Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne Yeck / Dec 14 2021 3:19 pm

    I’m posting this replay for Harry Holman.

    Dear Mr. Brown,

    I am very interested to learn of the first marriage of Col. Hanes. This helps explain the connection between the Holmans and Haneses, which eventually led up to the sale of “Humanity Hall” to them in 1848. It now appears to me that the Holman heirs to this property were not only first cousins to Col. Hanes’ third wife; but, evidently, they were first cousins to his first wife, as well. Their father, William Holman Esq., married Jane Ayres in September of 1807. She was the daughter of Col. Nathan and Mary Leake Ayres and a sister to Rev. John Ayres. To further add to their connection, Jane Ayres Holman was a sister-in-law to Elizabeth Bransford Ayres–who was evidently close kin to Col. Hanes’ second wife.

    According to the Ayres genealogy by Nellie F. Ayres, published in 1965, Rev. John Ayres and wife lived at “Edge Hill,” located on Slate River, about three miles north-east of “Humanity Hall.” The property descended through the family to a grandson, James Nathan Ayres–“Cousin Jimmy,” who’s buried there. In my earliest memory, the property was owned by his descendant Nancy Gary, who was the last member of the family to live there.

    Harry S. Holman

    • Keith Brown / Dec 14 2021 11:06 pm

      I have looked at parts of the book, Ayres genealogy by Nellie F. Ayres, published in 1965, and have filled in holes with information I had on my Browns and who they married. Mariah Ford Ayres’ brother, Ambrose Ford (Married Mary Brown daughter of Benajah Brown) died young leaving two children: Addison Ford (mentioned in will of Benajah Brown as a grandson) and Ambrose Ford. Addison died young. Ambrose Ford, Jr. was styled as Ambrose Ford, Esq. Hope this helps.

    • Keith Brown / Dec 27 2021 10:05 pm

      Harry, I found a little more information on the Ayres family in my Brown records.
      Catherine “Katie” “Cathasine” Cave Brown
      m. 1st Ambrose Ford
      m. 2nd James Nathan Ayres, son of Nathan Ayres and grandson son of Matthias Ayres who received a grant on Sept. 10, 1755 for 2,000 acres in Albermarle Co. Virginia (this land was later located in Buckingham County, Virginia) on Hatcher’s Creek.

      Keith Brown

  2. Joanne Yeck / Dec 11 2021 5:04 am

    Thanks, Keith, for adding what you know about the marriages of Elijah Hanes. Mrs. Baughn remains a mystery.

  3. Keith Brown / Dec 9 2021 8:40 pm

    Elijah Hanes married one of the daughters of Capt. Garland Brown and Martha “Patsy” Bransford, named Mary Jarman Brown.

    • Joanne Yeck / Dec 10 2021 4:49 am


      Many thanks for your comment. When Elijah Hanes came to Buckingham County, he boarded with the Brown family and did indeed married Mary Jarman Brown.

      Did Lulie Patteson confuse Brown and Baughn? Or did Hanes marry twice? He came to Buckingham from Hanover County, where he may have studied at another school called Humanity Hall.

      In “Elijah G. Hanes and Humanity Hall Academy,” I questioned Lulie’s information in a footnote and should have questioned it again here. I have amended the original post.

      Thanks, again, for reminding me about this detail.


      • Keith Brown / Dec 10 2021 10:06 pm

        Joanne this is what I have on Col. Elijah Hanes (Haines, Haynes.) He married 3 times. His first wife was Martha Ayres who died without issue prior to November 25, 1824, the date he married Mary Jarman Brown the daughter of Garland and Martha Brown. Martha Ayres was a daughter of Rev. “Parson Jack” John B. Ayres and his second wife Elizabeth Bransford one of Garland’s adjoining neighbors located east of Garland’s Physic Springs. Martha Ayres was a niece of Garland Brown and Martha (BRANSON) Brown. Garland Brown’s brother-in-law and sister-in-law were the Rev. “Parson” John B. Ayres and his second wife Elizabeth Bransford who was a sister of Martha (BRANSFORD) Brown. Col. Elijah Hanes second marriage was to Mary Jarman Brown. After Mary died Col. Ayres married his first wife’s sister named Judith Leake Ayres which marriage produced no children. Keith

  4. Harry Stuart Holman / Dec 9 2021 12:19 pm

    Dear Reader,

    This lovely spot is now the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Stokes of Lynchburg and “Humanity Hall.” The house and office were most tastefully restored and decorated with period antiques.

    The oldest part of the house (the story-and-a-half part) dates back to about 1760, and it is probably one of the oldest structures in the county. This was the residence of Jacques Faure. The part visible in the sketch was the construction of William Holman, Esq., who died at “Humanity Hall” in 1823. His heirs sold the property to Col. Hanes in 1848.

    Descendants of Col. Hanes would include the family of Elijah Hanes of Dillwyn, Virginia.

    • Joanne Yeck / Dec 9 2021 2:56 pm


      Thanks, as always, for adding your comment to the post. Humanity Hall is indeed a lovely spot!


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