Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wednesday's Child: John Everett Cornwell

Washington Post
November 6, 1954

Canova, Va., Boy, 13, Dies of Polio

John Everett Cornw[e]ll, 13, of Canova, Va., near Manassas, died Thursday of bulbar polio in Children's Hospital, it was reported yesterday.

The boy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Everett Cornwell, entered the hospital only a few hours before his death.  A diagnosis of polio was made upon his admission and he was operated on immediately.

Besides his parents, he is survived by a brother, Charles, and four sisters, Edith Mae, Margy, Margaret, and Martha.  Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Woodbine Baptist Church, Canova, with burial in the church cemetery.

Meanwhile, the District Health department reported the incidence of Washington's seventy-seventh polio case of the season--that of an 11-year old girl whose home is in the 1300 block of Peabody st. nw.

Onset of the disease was October 31 and she was admitted to Children's Hospital Tuesday with a diagnosis of bulbar polio.  There were 59 cases in the District at this time last year.

~ ~ ~ ~

Children's National Hospital in Washington DC devotes itself to a high standard of care for children and leads the quest to cure childhood's most devastating diseases.  To DONATE to this worthy institution, please go HERE.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: George W. and Sarah J. Retzer

Woodbine Church Cemetery, Independent Hill, VA
(photo by C. Lynn)
Co. D 8th Ind.
Vet Vol.
1834 - 1923

His Wife
1839 - 1919

~ ~ ~

Baltimore Sun (Maryland)
June 16, 1922*

GEORGE W. RETZER, 83 years old a Union veteran of the Civil War, died yesterday at the Maryland General Hospital after an illness of a month from infirmities of age.  He was born in Lancaster county, Pa. but had been a farmer at Independent Hill Va. for 20 years.  He retired three years ago and since that time had made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Josephine R. Graeff, 1206 West Lexington Street.

Mr. Retzer is survived by another daughter, Mrs. Robert C. Linton, of Independent Hill, two sons, William W. Retzer of Herndon, Va. and George Perry Retzer, of Vienna, 19 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Manassas Journal
June 23, 1922

--Mr. and Mrs. G. P. Retzer, of Vienna, were in Manassas last Saturday, having been called here to attend the funeral of Mr. Retzer's father, G. W. Retzer, who died in Baltimore Thursday of last week, and whose remains were brought to this town and interred in Woodbine cemetery.

*Although the obituary for George W. Retzer is dated June 1922, his headstone is erroneously dated 1923.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Prince William County Items: June 19, 1875

Alexandria Gazette
June 19, 1875

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY ITEMS. -- A dog case was tried on Monday last, and decided in favor of the defendant.  Justice Whiting decided that if a person puts poison in his own poultry yard at night, for the purpose of killing the vermin that had been in the habit of killing his poultry, and a neighbor's dog happened to be the victim, he was not responsible for the loss, or value of the dog.  He therefore gave judgment against the plaintiff for costs.

At the next term of the County Court an overseer for each road presinct [sic] will be appointed, and we understand that Judge Nicol has intimated that he intends seeing that each overseer does his duty, and those failing to do so will have to give way to some one who will.

The colored boy, Edward Stewart Trott, pronounced insane by a jury of the County Court, at the June term, was conveyed to the Central (colored) Insane Asylum at Richmond, on Monday last, by Mr. A. F. Woodyard, the jailor, accompanied by Mr. Matt. Woodyard.

The repairs to the county jail, just completed by Mr. A. F. Woodyard, renders the building more suitable for its purposes than it has been since its erection.  Each cell is now furnished with a flue.

Mr. Peter T. Weedon, who lost five sheep by the ravages of dogs a few weeks ago, had more killed and several others badly damaged on Sunday night last.

Mr. T. M. Houchens, formerly of Alexandria, has established himself in the business of harness making in Manassas.

~ Manassas Gazette

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Church Record Sunday: Deed: Lynn to Trustees of Woodbine Baptist Church

Levi C. Lynn and Edna A. Lynn to Trustees of Woodbine Baptist Church
Deed Book 30, pgs 207-208
25 May 1875

This deed made this twenty fifth day of May in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy five between LEVI C. LYNN and EDNA A. LYNN his wife of the first part and LEVI C. LYNN, JOHN H. RENOE, GEORGE W. LOWE, CHARLES W. TEASDALE and AYLETT NICOL Trustees of the second part.  Witnesseth, that in consideration of the sum of Five dollars the said LEVI C. LYNN and Edna A. Lynn do grant unto the said Trustees herein before named with general warranty all that certain lot of land lying in Coles Magisterial District, Prince William County Virginia and bounded and described as follows.  Beginning at the corner of Mrs. MARY SULLIVAN’s land on the Post road from Manassas to Beulah, thence along said road southerly 70 yards to a stone, thence westerly parallel to Mrs. SULLIVAN’s line 70 yards to a stone, thence northerly with the road 70 yards to Mrs. SULLIVAN’s line, and thence easterly along Mrs. SULLIVAN’s line to the beginning, containing about one acre.  In Trust nevertheless, that the said Trustees will hold said property for the use and benefit of the Baptist Church (commonly called the “New School”) and that they will allow the proper authorities of said Church to use it for the worship of God in accordance with the customs and regulations of said Church and the laws of Virginia:  The being those confirmed by the Circuit Court of Prince William at the May Term thereof for the said church known as the “Woodbine” Baptist Church, said property to revert to the grantors or their heirs if it ceases to be used for the purposes expressed in the deed.

The said parties of the first part covenant that they have the right to convey said land to the grantees that they have done no act to encumber the said land: that the grantees shall have quiet possession of the said land, free of all encumbrances, and that the parties of the first part will execute such further assurances of the said land as may be required.

L. C. LYNN  {Seal}

State of Virginia, County of Prince William, to wit:

I, GEO. C. ROUND, Notary Public for the County aforesaid, in the state of Virginia do certify that LEVI C. LYNN whose name is signed to the within writing bearing date on the 25th day of May 1875 has acknowledged the same before me in my County aforesaid.  Given under my hand this 25 day of May 1875.

GEO. C. ROUND, Notary Public
Pr. Wm. Co. Va.

State of Virginia, County of Prince William, to wit:

I, GEO. C. ROUND, Notary Public for the County of Prince William in the state of Virginia, do certify that EDNA A. LYNN the wife of LEVI C. LYNN whose names are signed to the within writing bearing date on the 25 day of May 1875, personally appeared before me in the County aforesaid, and being examined by me privately and apart from her husband and having the writing aforesaid fully explained to her, she the said EDNA A. LYNN acknowledged the said writing to be her act, and declared that she had willingly executed the same and does not wish to retract it.  Given under my hand this 25 day of May 1875.

GEO. C. ROUND, Notary Public, Pr. Wm. Co. Va.

In Prince William County Court June 8th 1875

This deed from LYNN & wife to Trustees of “Woodbine” Baptist Church with certificates annexed was presented to the Court and ordered to be recorded.



Saturday, April 26, 2014

May Events at PWCo Historic Sites

May is:
Opening Day for Historic Preservation Sites
National Historic Preservation Month
A Great Time to Join us for Wonderful Program Offerings

Ben Lomond, Brentsville Courthouse and Rippon Lodge will be open for regular tours beginning May 1st at 11am.  Site are open Thursday – Monday from 11am-4pm.  If you have questions or would like to arrange a tour for large groups please call the site. 

May 10, 11, 24, 25
Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park Tours
11am-3pm; Tours leave on the hour – donations encouraged.
Bristoe Station Battlefield staff and volunteers will provide guided tours of the hallowed grounds that contain camps, cemeteries, and battlefields. Learn about Camp jones and the two battles that took place in 1862 and 1863. Tours begin on the hour and depart from the kiosk in the parking lot on Iron Brigade Unit Avenue. The last tour leaves at 3PM. Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Insect repellant is encouraged. No pets please. Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, located off of Iron Brigade Unit Ave., Bristow, VA. 703-366-3049.

May 3
Junior Girl Scout Gardening Badge Program
9am-11am; $5 per Scout
Junior Girl Scouts can earn all of the requirements for the Gardening Badge while helping us plant the vegetable garden for spring.  Program will run rain or shine.  Please dress to be outside and get dirty.  Scouts are encouraged to bring their own gardening gloves.  Scout leaders will need to purchase the badges on their own.  Reservations are required and space is limited. 
Rippon Lodge Historic Site 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192, 703-499-9812.

May 3
Arlington Cemetery Tour
$80 per person, lunch included, reservations required
Tour Americas most hallowed ground on this all-day tour that will explore the history of Arlington from the early days when it was a shrine to George Washington through its founding as a national cemetery during America’s bloodiest conflict. The tour will include a tour of Robert E. Lee’s Arlington House and a driving tour that will highlight some of the notable burials within the cemetery. Along the way you will learn about lesser-known aspects of Arlington’s history such as Freedman’s Village, where former slaves experienced their first taste of freedom.  For reservations, call Ben Lomond Historic Site at 703-367-7872.

May 3
Flowers for Mom; A Flower Arranging Workshop
1pm; $35 per person or $50 for two 
Make a gift for Mom or yourself.  Bring Mom and spend the afternoon together.  Join Dr Elaine Davis, member of the Washington National Cathedral Flower Guild as she guides you through making an arrangement of your own to take home.  Bring your own scissors or pruners.  All other supplies will be provided.  Outdoor program please dress for the weather.  Not appropriate for children under the age of 12.  Reservation required. 
Rippon Lodge Historic Site 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192, 703-499-9812.

May 8          
Lecture: The 1846 War with Mexico
7p.m.: Free, donations accepted
The Mexican-American War (1846-1848) marked the first U.S. armed conflict chiefly fought on foreign soil.  It pitted a politically divided and militarily unprepared Mexico against the expansionist-minded United States.  A border skirmish along the Rio Grande started the fighting and it was followed by a series of U.S. victories.  Young officers like U.S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jackson, and others who would later lead armies against one another in the Civil War had their first combat experience in Mexico.  Join historian Ron Mayer for an overview of this historic period using maps, illustrations, and pictures to help explain the who, what, when, and why of the conflict.
Old Manassas Courthouse, 9248 Lee Avenue, Manassas VA, 703-792-4754

May 9
Rippon Lodge Family Night at the Movies
8pm; FREE
Bring a blanket and the family for a family friendly movie classic on the lawn.  Movie admission is free.  Popcorn and snacks available for sale.  House tours available from 6-8pm. Movie cancelled in the event of rain.  Please call for more details. 
Rippon Lodge Historic Site 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192, 703-499-

May 10-11       
Mother's Day Tours at all Prince William County HPD Sites
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.; $5.00 per person, free for children under six, MOTHERS FREE
In honor of Mother's Day, all mothers that visit Rippon Lodge on Mother's Day weekend will experience a complimentary tour of the site.  If your mom likes history or some stories that would give television drama a run for their money, treat Mom to a visit of Ben Lomond Historic Site, Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre or Rippon Lodge Historic Site.

May 10                                                                                                                                                                           
Potomac River Blockade Boat Tour                                                                                            
$40.00 per person, 10am-1pm, includes lunch, reservations required.                                      
Cruise along the Potomac River shoreline and view sites that were critical to the Confederate successful blockade of Washington D.C. from September 1861 through March 1862.  The cruise will include the preserved batteries at Freestone Point and Possum Nose, as well as Evansport and Shipping Point.  Tours include lunch and departs from Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge.  For reservations call 703-792-4754

May 17
Joseph McGill Slave Quarter Project
11am-4 pm; $7 per person, children six and under free
Since 2000 Mr. Joseph McGill, Jr. of the National Trust of Historic Preservation has traveled all across the county sleeping in and interpreting original slave quarters to raise awareness for these priceless buildings.  Ben Lomond Historic Site is pleased to announce that Mr. McGill will include the original slave quarters to his project.  Mr. McGill will be on site to discuss his project as well as costumed historians to interpret enslaved life in Prince William County prior to the Civil War.
Ben Lomond Historic Site, 10321 Sudley Manor Dr., Manassas, VA 703-367-7872.

May 22
Lecture: August 24, 1814 Washington in Flames
7p.m.: Free, donations accepted
America’s new capital built along the Potomac River in the middle of swampland and forests seemed to many an unlikely target for an enemy invasion.  They were wrong.  Even though there were warnings of an impending attack, the government was unprepared for the disaster of August 24, 1814.  The destruction by British forces of the nation’s capital was a very small part of the War of 1812, but it’s significance to the country was tremendous.  The torching of Washington rallied the people. Join author and historian, Carole L. Herrick, for a detailed look into the events of August 1814. Mrs. Herrick will have copies of her book available for sale.
Old Manassas Courthouse, 9248 Lee Avenue, Manassas VA, 703-792-4754

May 24
Ben Lomond Antique Rose Garden and Tea
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.; $30.00 per person
Celebrate the arrival of spring by spending a wonderful afternoon in the antique rose garden at Ben Lomond enjoying historic tea.  Price of admission includes tea, light refreshments, and a special talk about roses and spring flowers in one of the largest antique rose garden in the Washington D.C. metro area.  Reservations required. Spaces are limited and will fill up fast.  The main house will be open to tours after tea. Ben Lomond Historic Site, 10321 Sudley Manor Dr., Manassas, VA 703-367-7872.

May 24
Brentsville Car Show
11am- 4pm, $10 per person, children free under six
Join the Brentsville community for a day filled with fun for all ages.  Come see antique cars and trucks in a truly historic setting.  Clubs include the Quantico Marauders and many more.  Tours of the historic buildings will be given throughout the day with family friendly games and activities.
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre 12229 Bristow Rd., Bristow, Va. 703-365-7895

May 25
Historic Sundays at Brentsville Union Church
11am- 12pm FREE
Brentsville Union Church was built in 1870 and served the Brentsville community for over 100 years.  Today the country church has been restored and serves as a glimpse into life of the 19th century.  Come learn about the practices of faith that were once held here and how important churches were to society and local communities.  Program conducted in partnership with Historic Faith Ministries, a non-profit living history organization focusing on Victorian period customs and spirituality.  Program begins at 11a.m.and is FREE to the public.  Tours offered after the program for $5.00.
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre 12229 Bristow Rd., Bristow, Va. 703-365-7895

May 31, 2013                                                                                                                                            
Wildlife Walk at Bristoe Station Battlefield 
9am – 11am; $5 per person                                                                                                                        
Bristoe Station Battlefield is home to a complex meadow ecosystem.  Join outdoor experts on a guided walk of the battlefield.  Learn about the beneficial wildlife especially the birds and butterflies that call this ecosystem home.  Learn to identify the plants that these birds and butterflies need for food and shelter.  Bring binoculars. The tour departs from the kiosk in the parking lot at Iron Brigade Unit Ave and 10th Alabama Way.  Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather.  No pets please.  Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, The parking lot is located off of Iron Brigade Unit Ave Bristow, VA. 703-366-3049.

For More Information on Historic Preservation in Prince William County including; rentals, summer camps, and volunteering please contact
703-792-4754 or via email at

Or on Facebook at or on Twitter @PWHPF

Friday, April 25, 2014

Newspaper Tidbit: Pastor Writes from Kentucky (1920)

Manassas Journal
February 6, 1920
Page 8


Rev. Mr. Rixey, Now at Theological Seminary, Recalls Prince William Days

The Journal is in receipt of an interesting letter from Rev. R. P. Rixey, of Fredericksburg, a former Prince William pastor, who is now at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville, Ky.:

“You may be surprised that news from your paper reaches to this city of 250,000 in far off Kentucky, 700 miles from Manassas.  Some mutual friend sent me a clipping from a late copy of The Journal with the letter you published from Rev. R. T. Hayes, of Pendleton, Va., telling of his work in Louisa county.

The reading of that letter brought back a flood of memories of about five years ago when I was the pastor of Woodbine and Bellehaven churches in Prince William county, and Brother Hayes was debating the question of giving up his position with the Standard Oil Company to enter the ministry.  I have never had cause to regret the fact that I then urged him to make the sacrifice needed and concecrate [sic] his life to so noble a calling.  I saw him take his departure shortly for Louisville, Ky., to make the preparation he needed.  I saw him two years later when he returned and began his good work in Louisa county.  I have helped him there two years in special meetings at one of the churches.

So much impressed was I with the intellectual and other help he had secured at the Seminary, that I made up my mind that I wanted the same.  It is seldom a man of my age, who enters the ministry as late in life as I did, ever goes to a Seminary.  However, I resigned my two churches and came last October for special work, and have greatly enjoyed the course of study.

I am by far the oldest man at the Seminary this year, but have no difficulty keeping up with the young men in my studies and have successfully passed all examinations.

I wish more of our older men would come here for preparation for this work.

My mind runs back over the past five years, and it seems but a short time since I enjoyed the hospitality of the homes I shall never forget; and the names Woodbine, Independent Hill and Bellhaven will never be forgotten.  The kindness and consideration of the people, in view of my imperfect work, will be to me always a source of gratitude and wonder.

Such names as Hayes, Hill, Cornwell, Smith, Russell, Luck, Merrill, Tubbs, Donohue, Wolfenden, Lynn, Storke, Lowe, Wine, Wright, Abel and many others, too numerous to mention, will live with me so long as memory lasts.  I wonder if Mrs. Sam Lowe remembers that little homemade rug she gave me!  It is on my floor in far off Kentucky, and I see it as I write this letter.  Considerably worn now, but still in use.  Mrs. Donohoe and her sisters loaded down my buggy many times with good things for my folks at home.  So did others, who were church members.  I refer to Mrs. Sam Lowe and Mrs. Donohoe and her sisters specially, because they were not members of my churches, which made their kindness the more remarkable.

I hope when I get back to my home in Fredericksburg next June to have the pleasure of a visit to these churches again and a chance to persecute each of them at least once, with a sermon.”

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Those Places Thursday: Woodbine Baptist Church

Okay, I confess.  I'm a little biased when it comes to Woodbine Church and its adjacent cemetery.  As mentioned in my blog post on Easter, the land was given for the New-School Baptist Church in 1875 by an ancestor of mine, Levi C. Lynn*, who may also have been one of its first pastors.

Woodbine Church is active to this day, with Sunday services at 10:30 a.m.  The original 1875 "little church" is available for special occasions.

Woodbine Church as it was in the early 1980's
(photo from the Virginia Historic Lands Survey Report)

 The original Woodbine Baptist Church, a frame, single-room building built in 1875, was restored in 1973.

Original Woodbine Baptist Church (1875) in 1973, before Restoration

Woodbine Baptist Church (the "Little Church")  in 2014
(photo by C.Lynn)
(photo by C.Lynn)

*Apparently, Levi was a busy man.  He was the first schoolmaster of Woodbine School, a one-room school  just down the road from the church that he founded.  There is some speculation that the little community of Woodbine in Independent Hill was named for Levi's home and farm, which was named -- can you guess? -- Woodbine!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wednesday's Child: Marie L. Wheaton

Manassas Journal
January 23, 1920

Marie L. Wheaton, two-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Wheaton, died of bronchial pneumonia Saturday at her home near Blooms.  Prayers were offered at the house by the Rev. DeForest Wade and interment was made in the cemetery at Woodbine Baptist Church, where the burial service was conducted by Rev. J. A. Golihew.  Surviving members of the family, in addition to her parents, are a brother, Gordon, and five sisters, Gertrude, Ollie, Margaret, Estelle and Madgie Ovella.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Gorden Wilson Wheaton

Woodbine Church Cemetery, Independent Hill, Virginia
(photo by C. Lynn)

Feb. 10, 1908
July 12, 1940

Gone But Not Forgotten

Gorden (also spelled Gordon) Wheaton was the son of George W. and Millie L. Wheaton, who are also buried at Woodbine Church Cemetery.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Church Record Sunday: Woodbine Baptist Church

Woodbine Baptist Church (now Woodbine Family Worship Center) has served the spiritual needs of its congregation in Independent Hill, Coles Magisterial District, since May of 1875. 

Woodbine Baptist Church (1875)
(photo by C.Lynn)
There are currently two churches on site – the original frame, one-room church built in 1875 (the “Little Church”) and the present-day church built in the 1950s to replace it.  The Little Church was moved to the southwest corner of the cemetery lot in the early 1960s.  In 1973, spearheaded by Mrs. Mabel Carter, Ray Wood, and Gene Wells* (a 14 year old parishioner), the congregation raised enough funding to restore the Little Church.  It stands there to this day and remains in use for special occasions, like this morning’s Easter Sunrise Service.

Levi C. Lynn, son of Benson Lynn and his first wife, Emily Norman, donated the original land for the church in 1875 (PWCo Deed Book 30, pg. 207).  He served as one of the original Trustees, along with Deacon Sidney F. Teasdale, John H. Renoe, George W. Lowe, Charles W. Teasdale, and Aylett Nicol.  Over the years there has been some debate as to whether Levi Lynn also served as a Pastor at the New-School Baptist church that he founded.  On its 100th anniversary celebration, the original Bible was returned and donated to Woodbine, where it remained on display for many years.  The Bible’s dedication page strongly implies that Levi did, indeed, serve as its Pastor.

This Bible presented to L. C. Lynn by Willie
H. Flanders of Philadelphia for the use of
Woodbine Church & the Sabbath School
(attached thereto) as a token of approval
and regard.

October 30, 1875

*This industrious teenager, who according to a 1973 newspaper article “repainted the nameplate sign that swung over the door of the old church, proclaiming for all ‘Woodbine Baptist Church, 1875’” is still part of its congregation.  Today, 41 years later, Gene Wells serves as Woodbine’s Senior Pastor. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sibling Saturday: Howard and Dorothy Lynn

At first glance, it might be easy to think that the photo above is of two little girls.  This is the only photo I have of my father and his sister as children.  Howard Moore Lynn (b. 1927) and sister Dorothy Jean Lynn (b. 1925) were the only children of Earl Lynn (a native of Independent Hill) and Anna Bell Walton.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friend of Friends Friday: Slave Not for Sale

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
June 23, 1873


In the office of the Recorder of Deeds, this morning, the following paper -- a relic of the olden time -- was found:

District of Columbia, Washington county, to wit:  I have removed from Prince William county to the city of Washington one negro man, named Vincent, which negro man I have brought for my use, and not for sale.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal, this eleventh day of February, A.D. 1819.  [Signed]  George Mackey, [Seal].

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday's Child: Kenworth Brandt

Manassas Journal
November 28, 1913


Kenworth Brandt, Youthful Son of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. D. Brandt, Passes Away

Early on Wednesday morning, the angel of death entered "Bonnie View," the country home of Mr. and Mrs. George D. Brandt, and bore to the heavenly rest the youthful spirit of little Kenworth, their only son, who had known but eight summers of this life.

The funeral will be held at 1:30 o'clock this afternoon in Asbury Methodist church, and the little body will be laid to rest in the cemetery near town.  The pastor, Rev. J. E. Slick, will conduct the service.

Mr. and Mrs. Brandt are tendered the sympathy of the community in their bereavement.  Though a newcomer the little boy had won a place in the hearts of his young companions.  May the little sister's grief be assuaged by the affectionate interest of her friends.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Military Monday: Called to Service

Manassas Journal
October 18, 1918


The following men have been called to go to Fort Caswell, Southport, N.C., on October 21:

Harvey Woodyard, Bristow
Owen Edw. Dove, Manassas
H. A. Hammill, Woodbridge
Clayton Liming, Joplin
Archy Ruel Milstead, Hoadley
Carroll M. Edwards, alternate, Gainesville

Sunday, April 13, 2014

PWCo Items: Canova (1919)

Manassas Journal
October 17, 1919


Rev. J. A. Golihew, of Washington, pastor of the Baptist Church, has moved with his family to this community. 

Owing to the inclement weather, no services were held at Woodbine Church on Sunday.  Sunday School will be held next Sunday at 11 a.m.

Many from this community attended an oyster supper at Independent Hill Friday evening.

Mr. Clifford Lowe, of Washington, spent the week-end with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. R. Lowe.

Mr. W. H. Cornwell visited friends at Marshall during the week.

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Farquhar, of Washington, spent last week at the home of Mr. and Mrs. S. R. Lowe and visited friends in this community.

Mrs. George Purcell and her daughter, Miss Evelyn Purcell, went to Washington Sunday and will make their home in the city for the present.

Mr. T. M. Russell and family motored to Manassas Monday afternoon.

Mr. A. C. Storke passed through Canova Friday, en route to Independent Hill, where he spent the weekend with his mother, Mr.s George Copen.

Mr. I. J. Breeden, of Washington, recently visited at his former home here.

Mr. Joseph Lowe motored to Manassas Monday.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Will: James Dalton (1812)

Prince William County Will Book K, pg. 144
21 July 1811; proved 3 Feb 1812

I give and bequeath to my grand daughter KATHY CASH (the oldest child of my daughter ELIZABETH LEE) my negro man BEN and all the money that may now or hereafter may be due me by bond note or otherwise but if the said KATY CASH dies before she arrives at the age of twenty one or marries then and in that case I desire that my property of every kind may be divided equally between my four daughters RACHEL DUNSFORD, CHARITY MARTIN, ANNA DUNNINGTON and ELIZABETH LEE – I appoint my friend REDWOOD EVANS Executor of this my last & testament.  In Witness whereof I do hereunto set my hand & affix my seal this twenty first day of July eighteen hundred and eleven.

The words may be interlined before signing.


Signed sealed & acknowledged in the presence of us


At a Court held for Prince William County February 3rd 1812.

This last will and testament of JAMES DALTON decd. was presented to the Court by REDWOOD EVANS the Executor therein named who made oath to the same according to law and the said will being proved by the oaths of CHARITY BOHANNON and ANN REEDS is ordered to be recorded and the said REDWOOD EVANS having taken the oath of an Executor and performed what is usual in such cases certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Newspaper Tidbit: PWCO Items (June 16, 1875)

Alexandria Gazette
June 12, 1875

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY ITEMS. -- The June term of the County Court held its session this week.  Judge Nicol presiding.  Most of the term was occupied in bonding and qualifying the lately elected county and district officers.  The collectors returned their delinquent lists for the year 1875, which were examined by the court, corrected and certified to the auditor of public accounts.  Several deeds were admitted to record, and quite a number of orders were entered for the refunding of taxes for erroneous assessments.  The colored man who has been in jail for some time charged with an attempt to burn M. W. H. Dogan's barn was adjudged a lunatic and ordered to be sent to an insane asylum.

Bartlett Scott, an industrious colored man, who does most of the well dig[g]ing in this vicinity, in attempting to descend into a well by a rope on Wednesday at Mrs. Hooe's, missed his hold and fell to the bottom, a distance of thirty-five feet.  Three feet of water in the well broke the force of the fall, but gave him a most sudden and unexpected plunge bath.

The country is overrun with drummers of every conceivable grade, and we have no doubt that a large number of them are unlicensed.

~ Manassas Gazette

[Anyone else trying to visualize a "country overrun with drummers?"  ~cgl]

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

PUBLIC NOTICE: County Requests Information about Identity of Cemetery

Several weeks ago I was contacted by representatives of the Prince William Public Works and the Coles District Volunteer Fire and Rescue Station regarding a small, abandoned cemetery beside the Fire House.  The County is trying to determine the identity of those who may be buried within the cemetery and, if possible, if there are any living descendants.

Unlike the Lynn Cemetery on the 12th High School construction site, this cemetery was never "lost."  Once upon a time, it even had an engraved tombstone that definitively named one of those buried therein.  The stone read:

To the Memory of
Chas. E. Norman
Was born May 22, 1814
Departed this life
Oct. 8, 1855
Aged 41 yrs, 4 mos, 16 days

Somewhere along the way, the stone was removed and relocated to Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery in Loudoun County -- presumably by a descendant.   The other graves remained behind, marked by simple quartz field stones.  No names.  No dates.  No identities.

Charles Edward Norman, Sr. was a magistrate and a merchant in PWCo.  He married Mary Frances Lynn, the daughter of Benson Lynn.  Yes, that's right -- yet another cemetery with a Lynn connection.  Not too surprising, really.  The Lynn clan owned quite a lot of farmland in Independent Hill in the mid-1800's.  But are those resting in this cemetery Lynn/Norman kin -- or another family altogether?


Prince William Public Works and the Coles District Volunteer Fire and Rescue Station have posted a Notice on the PWCo Government's website seeking the Public's help.  Anyone with information about the identity of the cemetery is asked to contact Matthew Corneliussen (703-792-5296) or Lou Ann Dorrier (703-792-6674).

Following is the full text, with a link to the Prince William County Government website:

There’s an abandoned cemetery near the Coles District Volunteer Fire and Rescue Station with graves that have been left unmarked over time, and the Prince William Public Works Department needs help in identifying who might be buried there.

“First and foremost, what we want to do is identify who’s in the cemetery,” said Matthew Corneliussen, an engineer with the Facilities Construction Management division of the County’s Public Works Department. “We’re just looking to find family members of people who may be buried there.”

From the gravestones that remain at the cemetery, Public Works officials have determined that they are looking for people who might know anything about the Norman or Tinsill families in particular, or anyone who might know something about the graveyard generally. “We’re sort of putting a call out for anybody who knows any information about the cemetery,” Corneliussen said. “Through courthouse records and genealogy records, there’s potential that there may be additional families. That’s why we’re hoping that if anyone knows anything about it, they’ll come forward and share that information with us.”

The little graveyard with 12 to 14 graves isn’t unknown to people, Corneliussen said. The Prince William Historic Commission examined and documented the site about 20 years ago. There are a few headstones and footstones to attest to some of the burial plots, but indentations in the ground indicate that there are also other graves in the cemetery.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Matthew Corneliussen at 703-792-5296 or Lou Ann Dorrier at 703-792-6674.

The cemetery is located near the site where the new Coles District Volunteer Fire and Rescue Station is scheduled to be completed by late 2015.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Current Affairs: Virginia House Bill 997 APPROVED!

In an earlier post, I mentioned that one of the most positive things to come out of the turmoil caused by the discovery and subsequent removal of the graves at the PWCo 12th High School construction site was Delegate Richard L. Anderson's House Bill #997 ("Proceedings for the Removal and Relocation of Human Remains").  

In summary, HB 997 "strengthens the requirements for disinterment and relocation of human remains from a cemetery or graveyard by the landowner by requiring the institution of legal proceedings, heightened notice requirements to any heirs or descendants, and notice to the Department of Historic Resources and any local historical commission or organization."

I am pleased to report that the Bill passed both House and Senate, and the Governor has signed HB 997 into Virginia law!  

Many thanks to Delegate Anderson, his staff, and all those behind the scenes who contributed to the drafting and support of HB 997!

An Act to amend and reenact §§ 57-36 and 57-38.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to cemeteries; procedure for the removal and relocation of human remains.
[H 997]

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §§ 57-36 and 57-38.1 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 57-36. Abandoned graveyards may be condemned; removal of bodies.

A. When a graveyard, wholly or partly within any county, city, or town, has been abandoned, or is unused and neglected by the owners, and such graveyard is necessary, in whole or in part, for public purposes, authorized by the charter of such city or town, or by the general statutes providing for the government of counties, cities, and towns, such county, city, or town may acquire title to such burying ground by condemnation proceedings, to be instituted and conducted in the manner and mode prescribed in the statutes providing for the exercise of the power of eminent domain by counties, cities, and towns. The locality may continue to maintain all or a portion of the burying ground as a graveyard.

B. The court taking jurisdiction of the case may, in its discretion, require the county, city, or town to acquire the whole burying ground, in which event the county, city, or town may use such part thereof as may be necessary for its purposes and sell the residue. The court, however, shall direct that the remains interred in such graveyard, if possible so to do, be removed to some repository used and maintained as a cemetery.

C. Should any county, city, or town, having acquired by any means land on which an abandoned graveyard is located, including lands acquired in accordance with § 22.1-126.1 for educational purposes, initiate plans to use that land for purposes other than to maintain the graveyard, such county, city, or town shall, prior to completion of said plans, develop and engage in active public notice and participation regarding efforts to avoid adverse impacts to the graveyard or to remove the remains interred in such graveyard to an alternative repository. Such public notice and participation shall include, at minimum, publication of at least one notice in a local newspaper of general circulation, notice posted at the site of the graveyard, and notice to and consultation with any historic preservation or other such commission, as well as area historical and genealogical societies, and at least one public hearing. The locality shall make a good faith effort to identify and contact living descendants of the persons buried in the graveyard, if known. In addition, the locality is encouraged to post such notice on the Internet, including appropriate websites and through the use of social media, and to consult with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Having given all public comment due consideration, the county, city, or town is encouraged first to adjust plans to maintain the graveyard as part of the larger land use plan or, if that is not feasible, to request permission to proceed with removal through the court or through the Virginia Department of Historic Resources should archaeological removal be appropriate. In any event, any removal of remains should be given all due care and respect, as should the selection of and reburial in another cemetery. This requirement for public notice, consultation, consideration of comments, and following due process for removal of human remains shall apply in cases where the presence of an abandoned graveyard is discovered during either the planning or construction phases of a project.

D. Any county, city, or town that has acquired by any means land on which an abandoned cemetery or gravesite of Virginians held as slaves at the time of their deaths is located shall notify the Virginia Department of Historic Resources of the location of such cemetery or gravesite. The Department shall record the location of the cemetery or gravesite. A listing of the locations of all abandoned cemeteries and gravesites of Virginians held as slaves at the time of their deaths that have been provided to the Department shall be maintained by the Department as a public record.

§ 57-38.1. Proceedings by landowner for removal of remains from abandoned family graveyard.

The owner of any land on which is located an abandoned family graveyard, and there has been no reservation of rights in such graveyard, or when the beneficiaries of any reservations of rights desire to waive such rights, and in which no body has been interred for twenty-five years may file a bill in equity in the circuit court of the county or in the circuit or corporation court wherein such land is located for the purpose of having the remains interred in such graveyard removed to some more suitable repository. To such bill all persons in interest, known or unknown, other than the plaintiffs shall be duly made defendants. If any of such parties be unknown, publication shall be had the plaintiffs shall undertake active, good faith efforts to locate interested parties including, at a minimum, publication of at least one notice in a local newspaper of general circulation, notice posted at the site of the graveyard, and notice to and consultation with any historic preservation or other such commission, as well as area historical and genealogical societies. In addition, the plaintiff is encouraged to post such notice on the Internet, including appropriate websites and through the use of social media, and to consult with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Upon the case being properly matured for hearing, and proof being made of the propriety of the removal, the court may order the removal made and the remains properly deposited in another place, at the expense of the petitioner. Such removal and reinterment shall be done with due care and decency.

In determining the question of removal the court shall consider the historical significance of such graveyard and shall consider as well the wishes of the parties concerned so far as they are brought to its knowledge, including the desire of any beneficiaries of any reservation of rights to waive such reservation of rights in favor of removal, and so considering shall exercise a sound discretion in granting or refusing the relief prayed for.