Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Annie (Williams) Lipscomb

Alexandria Gazette
10 April 1857

At her residence in Brentsville, after a brief but severe illness, on Sunday, the 5th of April, Mrs. ANNIE LIPSCOMB. It is painful to record the death of an esteemed friend, but when that friend filled the station of a devoted mother, and a useful member of, and example to society, sad indeed, is the duty and heart rendering to think of the anguish of those from whom such a blessing has been removed. It is useless in our society to speak of the superior worth of our departed friend; her body has returned to its kindred earth, and her spirit to the God who gave it--yet she will long live in the memory of the many who loved her, and the recollection of her virtues be cherished by the friend who offers this small tribute to her memory.

[Per PWCo death records, Ann Lipscomb was the daughter of John and Jane Williams.  She died at age 57 on 3 April 1857 of pneumonia. ~cgl]

Monday, August 14, 2017

Newspaper Tidbit: First Complete County History in Manassas by W.P.A.

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
25 March 1941


Scattered Data Took Two Years to Assemble

Compiled as a Virginia Writers' Project of the Work Projects Administration, a book claimed to be the first complete history of Prince William County (Va.) was published today, under the sponsorship of the Bethlehem Good Housekeeping Club of Manassas.

Edited by Mrs. Eudora Ramsey Richardson, supervisor of Virginia Writers' Projects, the book is called "Prince William, the Story of Its People and Its Places."  It gives a detailed account of the county's history and it is expected to prove valuable as a source of reference.

Research workers delved into old records, archives and rare documents to produce the book, which contains such things as a complete list of more than 700 taxpayers in the county for the year 1783, and the roster of about 600 Prince William troops in the Confederate Army.

The object of the project is to make available in one volume the valuable scattered data on the formation and development of this county. Over 2,000 names connected with the past and present history of Prince William are mentioned in the book.

The county was formed from King George and Stafford Counties in 1731, the book states. The name was given in honor of a 10-year-old son of King George II, then monarch of England.

The narrative discloses that Prince William citizens repeatedly figured in the conflicts that marked the early history of the country. Troops from the county participated in the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Gen. Braddock's army passed through the section en route to his final encounter. In Prince William the first company of minutemen in Virginia was formed. Later the county "was proud to give to the Continental Army one of its most brilliant officers -- Gen. Henry (Light Horse Harry) Lee," father of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The book recounts the well known history of the area around Manassas, county seat of Prince William, during the War Between the States.

It notes that in the 20th century the county still includes the important Marine base and training camp at Quantico.

The newly compiled history and guide book of Prince William offers information on leading educational institutes throughout the county and lists suggested tours, including trips to remote corners and back-country sections.t

Mrs. Richardson says she had a staff of eight persons at work two years to complete the book.

H. R. Eubank and Frank A. Browning, supervisors of the project, directed the research, while John S. Widdicombe, assistant State supervisor, plotted the tours and wrote all architectural descriptions. The story of education was compiled by Margaret Meagher and Everett Anderson, and tradition collected from tombstones and records by Mrs. Susan R. Morton of Haymarket, Va.

Mrs. Richardson served on the State Board of Public Welfare for 10 years prior to 1938. She is a former national field representative of the Federation of Business and Professional Women and organizing president of the Virginia branch of the American Association of University Women.

["Prince William, the Story of Its People and Its Places" remains one of the best research books on the county.  Research copies can be found at RELIC and other Virginia libraries.  ~cgl]

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: James Peake

The Columbia Star (Columbia, SC)
14 January 1825

At his residence, in Prince William county, Virginia, on Tuesday morning, the 13th ult., Mr. James Peake, aged 89 years, 5 months, and 11 day. "The righteous have hope in his death." This declaration has been abundantly verified, in that becoming submission manifested during the tedious and protracted affliction and death of this truly amiable and good man. He had been a regular member of the Baptist church at Occoquan upwards of 50 years. He was one amongst the members who first composed the constitution of said church.  It is pleasant to reflect that he has, at all times, and under all circumstances, proved an ornament to the precious cause of Christ. He was a man of fine natural abilities; and, being adorned with the graces of the Spirit, together with an anxiety for the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom, he made a conspicuous appearance; and was eminently useful in the church of which he was a member. "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man ins peace."

[More about James Peake and the Occoquan Baptist Church can be found Here in RELIC's online digital collection. ~cgl]

Friday, August 11, 2017

Crime & Punishment: Brentsville Jail Break: John Wordier

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, Va)
4 December 1855

BROKE JAIL -- John Wordier, who had been committed to the jail of Prince William County, Va., by the warrant of a Justice of the peace, on a charge of horse stealing, broke jail on Saturday, the 1st instant, at Brentsville.  His flight was not discovered till after dark. The jailor took the night train of cars on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, at Bristoe station, and went up the line to Colvin's where he got off and remained, until the train returned to that place, where he resumed his pursuit by taking the cars to Alexandria, thinking it probable that his late prisoner might come on the train at some intervening station.  When the cars reached Union Mills, they were stopped to take on a supply of wood, and the fugitive came into the cars where the jailor was, and on seeing that he was recognized, tried to escape by leaving the cars in haste, but the jailor pursued and arrested him on the platform, took him into the cars and brought him to this city, intending to return with him on the morning train to Prince William, and place him again in jail.  After arriving in Alexandria, the jailor took his prisoner to S. Catt's tavern, at West End, where he intended to stay until the cars were ready to leave in the morning, and about 5 1/2 o'clock, A.M., the captive again escaped, and could not be found.  The jailor gave notice to the police that the thief was at large in the vicinity of this city.

The Daily Express (Petersburg, Va)
6 December 1855

John Wordier, a horse thief made his escape from the jail of Prince William county on the 1st inst. He was subsequently arrested in the cars by the jailor and taken to Alexandria, but managed to get away again and is now at large.

[John Wordier was eventually caught.  In March 1856 he was again sentenced to jail for "grand larceny and lunacy."  Interesting that the jailor is never named in either newspaper report (which was very likely a relief to him!) ~cgl]

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wedding Wednesday: Abel/Leary

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
28 May 1889

MARRIAGE LICENSES -- Marriage licenses have been issued by the clerk of the court to

Wm. J. Kenney and Mary E. Hager;
W. H. Spriggs and Roberta Bryan;
George Dean and Johanna Taylor;
John Murray and Rebecca Thomas;
W. H. Johnson and Mary L. Moreland;
C. W. Richardson and Amy E. Small;
Moses F. Smallwood and Alice Pinkwood;
Chas. Watts, of Charles county, Md., and Anna Ross;
Chas. Duvall Decker and Effie Miranda Bennett;
Wallace W. Abel, of Prince William county, Va., and Edith G. Leary of Fredericksburg, Va.; 
Charles Bell and Fannie Carlton;
Charles A. Lasalle of Chicago, Ill., and Lizzie B. Litchfield;
Henry B. Chapman and Mary Alice Jones.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Mary M. (Harrison) Jordan

Alexandria Gazette
4 March 1861

On the 12th of February, at "Fairmount Mills," near Culpeper Court House, the residence of her son-in-law, MR. Wm. C. Nalls, Mrs. MARY M. JORDAN, in the 76th year of her age. Mrs. Jordan was the twin sister of Mr. B. E. Harrison, and was born in Prince William County, where she resided until 1848, when she removed to her son's, in Fauquier county, and from thence to "Fairmount Mills," to be with, and taken care of by, her daughter, Mrs. Nalls.  She was, and has been for man years, a member of the Baptist Church, and though in her last illness she was racked by pain, she retained a rational mind to the last, and expressed her full confidence in the faith and assurance of her profession.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Newspaper Tidbit: PWCo Items

Alexandria Gazette
19 October 1874

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY ITEMS -- [From the Manassas Gazette]

The Circuit Court met on Monday, Judge James Keith presiding, Geo. W. Larkin esq., Commonwealth attorney. When the grand jury had been sworn Judge Keith charged them as follows. That they should "bring to notice all breaches of the peace," on which the good order of society depended; "all murders, assaults and batteries, burglaries, and violations of the internal revenue laws." On motion of James M. Love esq., M. H. Wells esq. of Fairfax C. H. was admitted to practice at this court. In the case of Commonwealth against L. N. Fewell, councel for defence, Judge Nicol, stated that he was not ready for trial on consequence of the absence of important witnesses. This case was again continued. There were about seventy-five decrees and orders entered in Chancery and a large number of common law cases disposed of.

As Mr. A. D. Wroe of the lower part of the county, and Mr. Samuel H. Jones, his brother-in-law, of Brook's Stations, Stafford county, were driving into Brentsville on Monday, their team became frightened at the noise of a flock of geese and shying, upset the vehicle, throwing the two gentlemen out and hurting them severely, though not seriously.

Wm. H. Pinn a colored man who has heretofore acted with the radical party in this county made a speech at Brentsville on Monday last, in which he scored radicalism pretty severely, and the Hon. James B. Sener particularly. He advised the colored people not to disgrace themselves by voting for Sener.