Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Nelson/Speiden (1901)

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
31 October 1901

Miss Effie Lee Nelson, daughter of Mr. Edwin Nelson of Manassas, Va., and Mr. Albert Speiden of Washington were married last evening in the Baptist Church, Manassas, by the Rev. Dr. Charles H. Waters, assisted by Drs. Athey and Trainham.  The bride was escorted to the altar by her  brother, Mr. James E. Nelson, and attended by her cousin, Miss Nellie B. Nelson, while Mr. William L. Speiden attended the groom.  Miss Florence E. Herrell presided at the organ.  The ushers were Messrs. John H. Nelson, Frank R. Simpson, C. Paul Nelson, Cuthbert S. Speiden, Frank L. Slaymaker and Thomas L. Speiden.  After a reception and entertainment at the residence of the bride's parents Mr. and Mrs. Speiden left for Niagara and other parts north.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Lulu Lewis Lynn (1904)

Sudley Methodist Church Cemetery

In Memory Of


Daughter of

L. C. & H. T. 


Nov. 13, 1884

Jan. 27, 1904

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
27 January 1904

The remains of Miss Lulu Lewis Lynn, whose death occurred this morning at Sibley Hospital in Washington, will be forwarded tomorrow from the residence of Mr. William Demaine on King street to Sudley, Prince William county, for interment.  The deceased was nineteen years of age, and was the daughter of Mr. Lewis Lynn of Prince William.

[Lulu Lewis Lynn was the daughter of Lewis Craig and Hanna J. (Bonham) Lynn. ~cgl]

Travel Tuesday: John Corbin

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
16 November 1901


His Horses Also Killed and Wagon Demolished 

Alexandria, Va., November 16, 1901 -- While driving across the track of the Southern railroad yesterday afternoon at Manassas, Mr. John Corbin, a well-known resident of that place, was struck by a southbound passenger train and instantly killed.  The wagon in which the unfortunate man was seated was demolished and the horses were also killed.  The accident occurred just to the south of the station at that place as passenger train No. 11 was pulling out.  The train had not reached a high rate of speed, but it is thought that Mr. Corbin did not see or hear its approach.  His wife and several children survive him.  He was a prominent farmer of Prince William county.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday's Obituary/Church Record Sunday: 100 Years Ago Today...

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
28 December 1914


Funeral of Preacher of Primitive Baptist Church Held Saturday

Manassas, Va, December 28 -- Elder Joseph N. Badger, seventy-six years old, a preacher of the Primitive Baptist Church, died Wednesday night at his home in Manassas.  Funeral services were held Saturday at the Mount Zion Primitive Baptist Church, Loudoun county.  He was a native of Maine, but had lived in Virginia nearly forty years.  He is survived by his wife, who was before her marriage, Miss Margaret Hunton of Virginia; three children of his first marriage Miss Nellie Badger of Philadelphia, Gilbert J. Badger of Rome, Ga., and Herbert J. Badger of Newark, N.J.  and a sister, Mrs. Sarah Curtis of Brunswick, Me.

The funeral of P. L. Stevens of Nokesville, who died Wednesday, was held Friday from his late residence.  Rev. L. R. Markwood of the Methodist Church officiating.  Interment was made at Gainesville.  The deceased was fifty-seven years old and came to this country several years ago from the Province of Quebec.  He leaves his wife, Mrs. L. .B. Stevens, and four daughters, W. H. Burke, Mrs. Lily Whitmer and Mrs. Robert Robertson, all of the Nokesville neighborhood, and Mrs. Ella Martin of Manassas.

Thomas Flannery, eighty-eight years old, who died Tuesday at his home near Bristow, following a slight attack of pneumonia, was  buried in Wilmington, Del.  He leaves a daughter, Mrs. Edward Devlin, who lives near St. Edith Academy, Bristow, and two sons, Edward and John Flannery of Washington.

[Thomas Flannery is buried in Cathedral Cemetery, Wilmington, DE. ~cgl]

Monday, December 22, 2014

Military Monday: 24 Prince William Men to be Inducted

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
December 23, 1942

24 Prince William Men to Be Inducted Monday

Manassas, Va., Dec. 23 -- Twenty-four Prince William County men have been ordered to report to Charlottesville for induction into the Army Monday, the Prince William Selective Service Board announced today.

The group includes:

Lyons, George K.
O'Neil, Glen Garth
Dodson, Harry A.
Cebula, John
Herrick, Paul Steve
Coppage, Eppa C.
Duritza, George W.
Davis, Oliver E. 
Maxfield, Owen D.
Reid, Robert S. 
Purcell, Rue W. 
Shelton, Hunter
Riley, John C. 
Tyson, Woodrow L. 
Shelton, Ernest L. 
Beverley, E. P. Jr.
Jenkins, William
Ennis, Albert L.
Pearson, Walter M.
Reedy, Clifford F. 
Miller, Vivian
Liming, Clinton W.
Smith, Palmer Jr.
May, Clifford H.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday's Obituary: Simon Cornwell (1931)

Manassas Journal
March 12, 1931


The funeral of Simon Cornwell, aged 23, who met his death in an auto accident on the Baltimore Boulevard Tuesday night, will take place tomorrow at the Woodbine church.

Mr. Cornwell is the son of Mr. Ep Cornwell, who formerly ran the Manassas Ice Plant, but who now resides in Washington.  Young Cornwell was operating a private taxicab.

It is stated that Mr. Cornwell dozed while at the wheel, thus meeting his death in a resultant collision.

The Evening Star (Washington, DC)
March 10, 1931


Pair Identified as Silas Cornwell and Norman Pulliam in Hospital--Quiz Started

Baltimore, Md., March 10--Two Washingtonians were seriously injured today when a taxicab in which they were riding was in a collision with a touring car on the Belair road near Kingsville, Md.

When extricated from the wrecked taxicab by State Policeman George Fauth and several motorists, the two men were unconscious.  Patrolman Fauth rendered first aid to the victims of the crash pending the arrival of the Cockeysville ambulance.

The injured were taken to the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where they were tentatively identified as Norman Pulliam and Silas Cornwell, both of Washington.  Cards in Cornwell's pocket indicated that he was licensed to operate a taxi.  Physicians said that Cornwell had a probable fractured skull and Pulliam was believed to have been injured internally.

Police later learned that Cornwell lives at 337 C street northwest.  Pulliam is said to live at 1919 Calvert street northwest.  They are believed to have been returning from Philadelphia when the crash occurred. 

State police began an investigation of the accident.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Will: John Plant (1808)

Prince William County Will Book I, pg. 3414
10 Nov 1808; proved 5 Dec 1808

In the name of God Amen I JOHN PLANT of County of Prince William and State of Virginia being sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory knowing it is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hand of Almighty God that gave it and my body I recommend to the Earth to buried in decent Christian bureal at the discretion of my Executrix nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God and as touching such worldly estate wharewith it has pleased God to bless me in this life.  I devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form.  First I give and bequeath to MARY PLANT my loving wife al my estate real and personal for and during her life and at her death to be equally divided between my two daughters GRAYSON and SARAH to them and their heirs forever.  I constitute my loving wife MARY PLANT my sole Exetrix of this my last will and testament.  In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this tenth day of November in the year 1808.




At a Court held for Prince William County Decemr. 5th 1808

This last will and testament of JOHN PLANT decd was presented to the Court by MARY PLANT the Executrix therein named who made oath to the same according to law and being proved by the oaths of ZACHARIAH WARD and DAVID JOHNSTON is ordered to be recorded and the said Executrix having performed what is usual in such cases certificate is granted her for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday's Obituary: Elizabeth "Bettie" Leachman

The Evening Star (Washington, DC)
October 24, 1901

The funeral of Mrs. Bettie Leachman, whose death occurred yesterday at the home of her husband, Mr. J. Thomas Leachman, near Wellington, Prince William county, will take place tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock.  The interment will be made at Cedar Grove cemetery.  Mrs. Leachman was seventy-eight years of age and is survived by a family.  She was well known in this city.

[Elizabeth "Bettie" Leachman is listed in the 1900 federal census in the Manassas District with her husband, J[ohn] Thomas Leachman, daughter Katie, and sister Ann E. Dickerson.  She was born in July 1823. Bettie and Thomas Leachman were the parents of Roberta Leachman, who married Lewis C. Lynn.  Contrary to the obituary, Mrs. Leachman is buried in Leeds Episcopal Church Cemetery, Fauquier County, beside her husband.  ~cgl]

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friend of Friends Friday: Will: Thomas Oliver (1796)

Prince William County Will Book H, pg. 165
25 Feb 1796; proved 9 Mar 1796

In the name of God Amen, I THOMAS OLIVER of the town of Dumfries and County of Prince William and State of Virginia being in imperfect health, but of sound mind and memory do make and declare this my last will and testament in manner and form following, after all my just debts are paid.  Imprimis I give and bequeath to HENRY PERRY all my property in Philadelphia one hundred pounds to be paid out of this Estate when he becomes of age.

2nd.  I give fifty pounds to ADAM COOKE.

3rd  I give to HARREY NOEL my negro girl named BETSY.

4th  I give all the rest of my property real and personal to my wife RACHEL OLIVER.

I constitute and appoint my friends Mr. TIMOTHY BRUNDIGE and WILLOUGHBY TEBBS Executors to this my last will and testament this 25th day of Febry 1746.


Signed, Sealed and acknowledged published and declared this as and for my last will and testament in presence of


At a Court continued and held for Prince William County the 9th day of March 1796.

This last will and testament of THOMAS OLIVER was presented to the Court by TIMOTHY BRUNDIGE and WILLOUGHBY TEBBS the Executors therein named who renounced the burthen of the Execution thereof and the same being proved by the oaths of GEORGE GRAHAM, JOHN SPINCE, and JAMES ESPEZ the witnesses thereto it was ordered to be recorded.



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Hibbs/Wenrich

Richmond Times Dispatch
May 21, 1903


Mr. Walter F. Hibbs and Miss Wenrich Married at Manassas

MANASSAS, VA., May 20. -- A pretty wedding was solemnized at 10 o'clock this morning at the German Lutheran Church when Miss Mary Katie Ann Wenrich became the bride of Mr. Walter F. Hibbs, the Rev. Mr. Grossman officiating.  Mr. Remsberg presided at the piano and beautifully rendered the music for the occasion.

The church was prettily decorated with wild flowers and potted plants.

The ushers were:  O. D. Waters and Wilson Wenrich, brother to the bride.  Mr. J. Jenkyn Davies was best man, and Miss Bessie Goode, of Hagerstown, Md., maid of honor.

Mr. Hibbs and his best man were preceded to the altar by the ushers and followed by the bride with her maid.  The ceremony which is a pretty one was performed in a very impressing manner.

Mr. and Mrs. Hibbs left this morning for Reading, Pa., and after their return to Manassas they will be at home to their friends.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Military Monday: Testimony at Trial of Gen. Fitz John Porter

New Orleans Item (New Orleans, LA)
July 17, 1878


During the trial of Gen. Fitz John Porter at West Point, Thursday, Mr. John S. Leachman, of Groveton, Prince William county, was recalled and closely examined as to the supposed route of Capt. Pope bearing the 4:30 order from Gen. Pope to Gen. Porter, commanding the latter to move against the enemy.  It was charged in the proceedings of the court martial that the order reached Porter at five o'clock p.m.  The latter stoutly avers that it did not get into his hands till between six and seven p.m.

The testimony of Mr. Leachman, who had been a resident in the locality for fifty years, shows that it was a physical impossibility for Capt. Pope to go over the rout.e  Witness supposed he did go in less than an hour and a half, which would make his arrival at Porter's headquarters not before 6 p. m. providing the order was handed to him at the precise time it was dated, and he rode at the utmost speed.

Col. Charles Marshall, a lawyer of Baltimore, and who was an aide-de-camp for Gen. Lee, of the Confederate army, in 1862, was sworn.  He said that twelve Confederate brigades marched through Thoroughfare Gap on the 28th, and one on the morning of the 29th.  About half-past nine the advance was near Groveton.  Then witness located the position of the Confederate troops, and said that as late as two p. m. Gen. Stewart reported that Gen. Jones' right was being threatened, and Gen. Wilcox was ordered to go to his supper.  Later in the afternoon, Hood was attached, and Wilcox was sent back.  The troops threatening Jones appeared to be coming along the Manassas and Gainesville road, and six brigades had to be kept there to watch them.

This was considered important evidence for Porter, as it was his command that threatened the Confederates, and thus it is claimed he acted discreetly, and held the Confederates in check, preventing them from carrying out an intended general attack that day.

Witness stated that he had in his hand Lee's original report of the second Bull Run battle.  He said Gen. Lee did not make an attach on the 29th for the reason that Longstreet advised against it.  This witness also denied previously that there was a general battle on the 29th, as indicated in Pope's dispatch.  There was some artillery firing, and Hood had a severe fight, but it did not become general.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friend of Friends Friday: Will: Thomas Green (1825)

Prince William County Will Book M, pg 229
08 Nov 1824; proved 03 Jan 1825

In the name of God Amen I THOMAS GREEN being sick of body but of perfect mind and memory and calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die do make ordain constitute & appoint this my last will and testament and first of all I recommend my soul into the hands of Almighty God & my body to the earth to be buried in decent burial & as touching my earthly goods, I dispose of in the following manner.  In the first place I give and bequeath to my beloved son THOMPSON GREEN negroes DICK, NAT & SANDY.  In the second place my will & desire is that Mr. NATHAN HAISLIP whom I appoint as my Executor shall retain in his hands of my estate so much as shall be a sufficient support for my daughter BETSY GREEN during her life and then to return to my son & daughter THOMPSON & POLLY GREEN and lastly I give and bequeath to my son THOMPSON GREEN & my daughter POLLY GREEN the whole of the residue of property of every discription both real & personal to be equally divided between them.  In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this 8th November 1824.



At a Court held for Prince William County January 3d 1825.

This last will and testament of THOMAS GREEN decd. was presented to the Court and being proved by the oath of WILLIAM P. DUNNINGTON is ordered to be certified and at a court held for said County February the 7th 1825.  This last will and testament of THOMAS GREEN decd. was fully proved by the oath of WILLIAM THORNBERRY & admitted to record.

Teste, P. D. DAWE

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Events: December Programs at PWCo Historic Sites

December 6
A Visit From Santa at Williams Ordinary
Saturday Santa from 10a.m. - 4p.m. 
Pictures with Santa: $5.00 for 4x6 or $10.00 for 8x10
In December of 1862, artist Thomas Nast made one of the first known illustrations of Santa Claus. Santa was shown giving gifts to soldiers in the field at Fredericksburg, Virginia during the American Civil War.  This year, Santa will dust off that old suit he wore back then and make an appearance at Williams Ordinary in Dumfries.
Guests can make old-time holiday decorations and Pomander balls with citrus fruit and cloves for their trees at home.
Williams Ordinary, 17674 Main St., Dumfries, VA 22026. 703-792-4754.

December 7
Santa Comes to Rippon Lodge
Noon-3pm; $2 per child
Santa Claus will be visiting Rippon Lodge on Sunday afternoon.  Learn about Christmas traditions of the past.  Be on your best behavior so he will have you on the nice list.  Bring your wish list for him.  Parents will be given special “Things Santa Should Know” cards upon arrival.  Bring your camera for pictures!  Dress for the weather some activities are outside. 
Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192, 703-499-9812.

December 7
Holiday on the Home Front – WWII Christmas Candle Tours 
5 pm-8pm; $5 per person, children under 6 free
Its 1943 and World War II is in full swing.  What was Christmas like for Wade and Dessie Ellis at their Rippon Lodge home?  WWII artifacts and decorations will be on display throughout the house.  Listen to a holiday fireside chat with FDR or a Bob Hope Special.  Try your hand at making ornaments using what materials were on hand due to rationing. 
Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192, 703-499-9812.

December 13
Brentsville Holiday Concerts
Site Open 5pm to 8pm; Concert begins at 6pm; FREE
Join the Brentsville community Saturday evening for a Holiday concert filled with seasonal music performed by the Brentsville District High School Choir at the beautiful and historic Brentsville Union Church. Enjoy hot cider and cookies by a warm bonfire.
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre 12229 Bristow Rd., Bristow, Va. 703-365-7895.

December 13
Enslaved Holiday
5pm- 7pm, $7 per person, six and under free
Take a candle lit tour of the main house and slave quarter to learn how the enslaved community celebrated the holidays and how they resisted the institution that kept them enslaved. Living history vignettes will allow some of the enslaved workers at Ben Lomond to come to life, giving you a unique perspective into this period of American history.   Ben Lomond Historic Site, 10321 Sudley Manor Dr., Manassas, VA 703-367-7872.

For more information on Prince William County Historic Preservation please visit or call 703-792-4754.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Newspaper Tidbit: PWCo Items (1874)

Alexandria Gazette
May 25, 1874

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY ITEMS. [From the Manassas Gazette]

The County Board of Supervisors met on Monday, for the purpose of providing for putting in force the act of the General Assembly for the protection of sheep by a tax on dogs.  It was ordered that the Assessors in the several Townships list all dogs within their several Districts issuing licenses to keep the same, to the owner at a uniform tax of fifty cents per dog; also that whenever the owner of any sheep shall become satisfied that any portion of his flock has been killed or seriously injured  by [d]ogs, he shall apply to the Supervisors or some Justice of his Township, who shall at once proceed to view the sheep so killed or seriously injured, and ascertain what the amount of damage is which has been sustained  by the owner of the sheep and give him a certificate therefor.  The Board agreed that the bounty of forty cents on gray fox scalps, and a bounty of sixty cents on red fox scalps shall be paid out of the dog tax to take effect on and after the 18th day of May.

During the thunderstorm on Saturday last, a large locust tree, in Mr. John T. Leachman's front yard was struck by lightning, tearing it into fragments and throwing the debris on and over the house.  Several members of Mr. Leachman's family were very much shocked.  So great was the shock that articles in the house were thrown down.  The rain was very heavy in that section, raising the streams unusually high, and washing away water gaps fencing & c.  Lightning also struck a tree near the house of Mr. Mankins, a quarter of a mile outside the village, and severely stunned his daughter.

Mr. Samuel Allen, one of the most enterprising citizens of this county, was accidentally killed on Thursday last.  He was at his steam saw mill, on the farm of Mr. John H. Kirby near Independent Hill, and about 4 o'clock in the evening was struck in the stomach with a slab which had be caught by the great saw and thrown from it with tremendous violence.  After undergoing intence [sic] suffering for 14 hours he died at 6 o'clock.

A dog having all the symptoms of hydrophobia was shot by M. F. W. Oakey on Tuesday.  It is rumored that several dogs have been bitten, and it s said the dog was bitten some time since by a dog supposed to be mad, which was killed at the time.

Frank Cole a colored laborer working at the new Presbyterian church in Manassas, while helping to carry a large stone up the gang way on Monday last, fell to the ground a distance of fifteen feet, severely spraining one of his ankles, and receiving other injuries, not however serious.

After the thunder storm on Saturday last, several persons in this community discovered floating on the surface of the water in their rain barrels, a substance which on inspection proved to be a deposit of brimstone.

Mr. F. W. Hutchins has sold to Mr. Thurman of Germanton, Pa., one hundred acres of land near Manassas, improved by a frame dwelling and tolerable out buildings, for $3,000.

The friends of Mr. W. W. Davis will be glad to learn that he is recovering from the severe injuries [h]e received several weeks ago, by being struck to the ground by his horse.

The water in the well of one of our citizens has become so strongly impregnated with coal oil that the family have been compelled to discontinue its use.

We regret to announce the serious illness of Mr. Leonard Lywood, one of our  most useful and highly respected English residents.

The concert at the M. E. Church on Thursday evening the 15th inst., was a most delightful entertainment.