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July 28, 2022 / Joanne Yeck

The Maxey Family of Buckingham County, Part VII: Tragic Buckingham County Fire, 1907

Appomattox and Buckingham Times. Courtesy Virginia Chronicle.

Need to catch up? Click here: The Maxey Family of Buckingham County, Part I

In 1937, Elizabeth McCraw reported in her survey of “Aspen Grove” that the original Royal Land Grant to the Maxey homeplace was lost in a fire. The informants recalled was that it was destroyed some years earlier when a family house near Aspen Grove burned.

This was likely the home of Robert M. Agee who married Nannie Lee Maxey. The story of the tragic fire was printed on April 9, 1907 in Richmond’s Times Dispatch and Evening Journal, where it was front page news.  On April 10, 1907, the Appomattox and Buckingham Times printed the following account:

“Buckingham Horror: Daughter Burned with Residence and Contents”

News has just reached here of the horrible tragedy which occurred near here, early Sunday morning, when the home of Mr. Robert M. Agee was totally destroyed by fire and his young daughter, a handsome girl sixteen years of age, was burned completely to ashes. The rest of the family barely escaped with their lives.

The home of Mr. Agee is situated near Well Water, not far from Sharon Church about seven or eight miles from this place. Saturday night up to a late hour there was company at the house. After the company left the family retired as usual, and at about two o’clock in the morning Mr. Agee awoke and found the house in flames, the fire having reached his room. He quickly awoke his wife and took her out and then rushed into an adjoining room and aroused his two grown sons, who rushed out of the house after having all the hair singed from their head.

Mr. Agee then rushed upstairs where his daughter, Miss Georgia, was sleeping, as were also three smaller children. He grasped two of the children, one under his arm, awoke Miss Georgia and told her to bring the other child. The young lady followed her father to the head of the steps, pushing the child in front of her and then was met by a sheet of flame.

She called to her father that she could not come and fell to the floor. The child escaped after having been singed. Dennis Agee, one of the boys who had first rushed out of the house, attempted to climb in the window but was prevented by his father. Just then the roof fell in and the body of the girl went down in the flames . . . .

Mr. and Mrs. Agee and six of the seven children were at this time out in the snow and sleet which was nearly two inches deep upon the ground with nothing upon them except their night garments, watching the fire destroy their home and consume the body of their young daughter.

Mrs. Agee, almost beside herself, again entered the dwelling, but was again dragged out by her husband.

They went to the home of Mr. Thos. Maxey, a good half-mile away, and were nearly frozen before reaching there. . . . Mr. Agee lost everything, and there was not a cent of insurance upon the building.

Following this tragic event, the Agee family reestablished themselves. The children married and had families of their own. Robert M. Agee died in Richmond, Virginia in 1937 and his wife, Nannie Lee, survived him, dying in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1942.

Nannie Lee (Maxey) Agee


Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne Yeck / Jul 29 2022 6:30 am

    Nannie Lee certainly had presence.

  2. kellvnp / Jul 28 2022 10:13 am

    Such a sad story. The photograph of Nannie Lee Agee is incredible.

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