Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sunday's Obituary: William Randolph Spittle

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA)
29 May 1914


Randolph Spittle, Well Known Carpenter of This City, Passes Away Last Night

William Randolph Spittle, who had for many years been a resident of this city, died at the residence of his son, Elmer L. Spittle, 320 south Pitt St., early last night.

The deceased was a carpenter by occupation, and a native of Prince William County. He served in the Confederate army three years, during which time he was one of Colonel Mosby's men. He is survived by two sons, Lloyd E. and Elmer L. Spittle. His funeral will take place at 4 o'clock Sunday afternoon.

(William Randolph Spittle is buried in Presbyterian Cemetery, Alexandria, VA.)

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Obituary: Dr. Powell Bradley

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
25 August 1898


Dr. Powell Bradley Dies After Effects of a Fall


The Victim a Member of a Prominent Virginia Family


Dr. Powell M. Bradley of Gainesville, Prince William county, Virginia, died at the Emergency Hospital at 4 o'clock this morning from injuries received seven hours earlier by falling into the cellar of the Hotel Johnson, 13th and E streets northwest. Dr. Bradley has been a guest at the hotel since June 30, and was believed to be entirely familiar with the arrangement of the house. Last night about 9:30 o'clock he passed out through the bar, evidently bound for the gentlemen's wash room at the back of it. This wash room is really a passageway supplied with wash basins on one side. Just beyond these is a small door opening inward and leading by a steep ladder-like flight of steps to the cellar where the wines and liquors of the hotel are stored.

Dr. Bradley entered the wash room in question and evidently walked through the door, as a few minutes later he was found lying in the cellar unconscious. He had fallen had first and struck upon a bear box at the foot of the stairs. It was at first believed he was merely stunned, as a slight cut on his chin was the only injury noticeable.

The Ambulance Summoned

Policeman Lyda, however, who heard of the affair, summoned the Emergency Hospital ambulance, and the injured man was conveyed to that institution, where it required only a brief examination to show that his hurts were fatal.

There was a compound fracture of the skull, extending from its base upward for several inches, with radiated fractures extending outward. The brain had been crushed in and a clot formed from the hemorrhage. The operation of trephining was performed, but Dr. Bradley did not recover consciousness, dying at the hour stated.

Dr. Bradley was about thirty years of age, and belonged to the well-known Virginia family of that name, which has prominent and influential branches in nearby Maryland. He was a man of means, and among his possessions was the Meadow farm, a famous Prince William estate.  He was formerly United States customs inspector at Panama. His relatives were notified last night of the accident, and this morning of the death.

Coronor's Certificate

Acting Coroner Glazebrook gave a certificate of accidental death, and the body was removed to Barker's undertaking establishment to await the coming of the dead man's relatives.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Friend of Friends Friday: Inventory of Moses Davis (1811) (partial)

Inventory of Moses Davis [partial - enslaved peoples only]
PWCo Will Book K
pg. 82

In Obedience to an order of Prince William County Court dated the 4th day of February 1811 to us directed we the undersigned have repared to the plantation of the late Moses Davis and being first sworn have Inventory'd and appraised all the Estate of sd. Davis that were presented to our view by his Executrix, to Wit:

To one Negro man named Dennis 28 years old $400
To one Negro man named Sharper 38 years old $350
To one Negro Woman named Susan 24 years old $300
To one Negro Woman named Easter 28 years old $275
To one Boy named Adam 7 years old afflicted $50
To one Girl named Moggy 5 years old $120
To one Boy named Sandy 3 years old $80
To one Girl named Mary 3 years old $100
To one Child named Petty 3 months old $40

... As witness our hand this 16th Feby 1811

Jno. Kincheloe
William Hixson
Basil Brawner

Monday, November 4, 2019

Will: William Mount (1816)

Will of William Mount
PWCo Will Book K
pg. 541

I William Mount of the State of Virginia in the county of Prince William being weak now in health, but perfectly sound in memory do make this last Will and Testament, revoking all other that may be formerly made.

First, I desire that all my just debts be paid out of my personal Estate. Secondly, I desire that all my children may have an equal share from the income of my Estate applied to the education of them seperately as their ages may require it in paying the tuition of them. Thirdly, I desire that the whole of my Estate may be kept together untill the youngest child may arrive of age. Fourthly, on my youngest child arriving at the age of twenty one years, or my youngest surviving child, my Estate both real & personal I desire may be sold to the highest bidder and the net amount thereof to be divided equally among all my children & wife. Fifthly, I desire that should any one of my sons become industrious and carefull managing man that the Estate may be taken out of the hands of the administrators at any time the county court of Prince William may deem it safe to Trust him with it, and place it in the hands of my aforesaid discribed sons.  Sixthly and lastly, I do appoint John Hutchison and Reubin Hutchison my sole Executors of this my last will and testament made this thirteenth day of April eighteen hundred and sixteen.  Given from under my hand in the presence of

W. J. Washington
Wm. Green
Wm Tyler

                                                            William Mount

At a court of quarterly sessions held for Prince William county June 3, 1816.

This last will and testament of William Mount dec'd was presented to the court and being proved by the oath of Washington J. Washington is ordered to be certified. And at a court of Quarterly sessions held for said county August 5, 1861 - This said last will and testament of William Mount dec'd was fully proved by the oath of William Green and ordered to be recorded. And at a court held for said county October 7th 1816, Reubin Hutchison one of the Executors named in the last will and testament of William Mount dec'd by a writing under his hand renounced the burthen of the Execution thereof, which writing is admitted to record and likewise John Hutchison one of the Executors named in the last will and testament of William Mount dec'd came into cour and renounced the burthen of the execution thereof, and administration with the will annexed of the Estate of William Mount dec'd is granted to John Hutchison he having taken the oath prescribed and entered into and acknowledged a bond with security according to law. It appearing to the court tha tit is the wish of the widow of said Mount that the said Hutchison should *qualify as aforesaid. 

Phil. D. Dawe  Cl Cur

*[margin note]  December Court 1822 Hutchison letter of Admin. revoked & letters of admin or being [?] with the will annexed grantor to Jas. Mount.  Teste, P. D. Dawe C.C.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sunday's Obituary: Richard A. Sinclair

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
22 February 1904


Death of Richard A. Sinclair

Alexandria, VA.  February 22, 1904

Mr. Richard Alexander Sinclair died Sunday morning after a lingering illness at the Alexandria Hospital.  He was a native of Brentsville, Prince William county, but removed to this city in 1853 and was appointed deputy clerk of the courts by the late Benjamin B. Berry, who was then clerk. At the lose of the civil war Mr. Sinclair was elected clerk of the county court, holding this position several years.  Mr. Sinclair studied law and was admitted to the bar, but for some years past he had not engaged in active practice.  Hew was unmarried and was about seventy-five years old. The body was forwarded this morning to his old home in Prince William county for interment.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

PWHPF: November 2019 Events

November 2019
November Events and Programs
The grounds of the historic sites are open daily from dawn until dusk and the sites are open for tours during special events and by appointment. Call (703) 792-4754 to schedule your tour day.
Upcoming Events at
12229 Bristow Road, Bristow, VA 20136
(703) 365-7895
Paranormal 101 & Overnight In The Brentsville Jail
Nov. 2–3 | 7pm–8am | $70 | Ages 10+
Brentsville has a diverse history from being a County seat for Prince William County to being a quiet town. Today, many local residents claim that the site haunted by spirits from the past. Brentsville Court-house Historic Centre is partnering with East Coast Research and Investigation of the Paranormal (ECRIP) to host a paranormal seminar and investigation at Brentsville. Participants will first learn about various theories and current techniques of investigation. Afterwards, participants will work alongside members of ECRIP in a paranormal investi-gation. The seminar will run from 7-8:30p and the investigation will be held from 9p-12a. After the investigation, settle in for the night in the Brentsville Jail and sleep in the same space you searched for para-normal activity. Light breakfast refreshments included. Reservations are required for space is limited.

Into The Woods Tour 
Nov. 9 | 11am–12pm | $5  | Ages 5+
Nov. 9 | 1–2pm | $5 | Ages 5+
For Native American Heritage Month in November, join us for a walk along a nature trail as we
rediscover Prince William as a colonial frontier. “Into The Woods” explores the mystical power the woods held over both the Europeans and Eastern Woodland indigenous peoples of the American continent in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Learn how mutual fear and respect for the endless forests dictated complicated rituals and delicate treaties that were mediat-ed by a wide range of characters, the go-betweens and negotiators that thrived in this dark, formidable wilderness.
Upcoming Events at
4870 Lightner Road, Haymarket, VA
(703) 792-4754
Historic Bushy Park Lecture
Nov. 2 | 11am–12:30pm | FREE EVENT | Ages 10+ 
Get a behind the scenes look of Prince William County’s newest “old” building. Built in the 1790s, Bushy Park contains over 200 years of both local and national history. Learn about the site’s amazing history from the Colonial through Civil War eras and about the restoration of the building.
Upcoming Events at
15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192
(703) 499-9812
Early Days Of Prince William 
Nov. 2 | 11am–4pm | $5 | Ages 5+ 
Rippon Lodge, one of the County’s oldest homes, welcomes you to Early Days of Prince William County. Experience living history demonstrations, from Colonial life and military encampments from various conflicts, such as the American Revolution, to the Native American cultures that once inhabited the area. Tours of the historic house, games and crafts for children and adults, included throughout the day.
Upcoming Event at
15125 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA 22191
(703) 499-9812
Native Americans Of Prince William Walking Tour
Nov. 23 | 11am–12pm | FREE EVENT| Ages 5+
Nov. 23 | 1–2pm | FREE EVENT | Ages 5+
Before Europeans came to the land that is now known Prince William County, the Doeg Nation inhabited the local region. For Native Ameri-can Heritage Month, join us as we rediscover the Algonquian nation that lived and thrived here in Prince William County and what happened to them European Settlement.
Historic Preservation Spotlight

Rippon Lodge Historic Site
Wade and Dessie Ellis, who were the owners of Rippon Lodge from 1923 until 1952 always made sure that Rippon Lodge was a bright, cheery place for the holidays. On Thanksgiving Day 1941, Dessie Chase Ellise wrote: "A bright and beautiful day. Warm-Thanksgiving Day! But every day is that to us!" We are working hard to make sure that Rippon Lodge Historic Site is festive place to be as we decorate the site for the holidays! We hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving and we hope to see you all weekends in December for Holidays Through the Ages at Rippon Lodge!

15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192
(703) 499-9812

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sunday's Obituary: Andrew Murtaugh (1854)

Spirit of Jefferson (Charlestown, WV)
8 August 1854


We deeply regret to learn that a sad and serious casualty occurred at "Yorkshire" Prince William County, Va., on Thursday, the 20th instant. A party of men, consisting of Frank McMann, Andrew Thomas, James Murtaugh, and Charles Mulholland, all residents of this county, were engaged in digging a well for Wilmer McLean, esq. and on the day in question a blast was made and before the smoke had evaporated one of the party (McMann) descended, but finding some difficulty in breathing he attempted to make his way out and when near the top he fell to the bottom, cutting and bruising himself quite severely.  Andrew Murtaugh immediately descended to his assistance, but he too was overpowered by the gas and fell; a third one who went down shared the same fate. A bucket was then filled with straw, fired, and let down, after which Mr. Mulholland descended, and he succeded in fastening them to a rope by which means they were drawn up.  Mr. Andrew Murtaugh died on Thursday night; but we are glad to learn that the others are rapidly recovering.