Saturday, July 30, 2016

Newspaper Tidbit: PWCo Items - July 3, 187

Alexandria Gazette
3 July 1871

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY [from the Manassas Gazette] -- The County Seal of Prince William county, which disappeared during the war, was recovered on Tuesday last, by Mr. Lawrence Cole, in Alexandria.  Mr. C. did not know who possessed it, as he received it through the hands of a third party.

The new brick depot of the O.A.&M. Railroad has been completed and is a credit, alike to the energetic and capable General Superintendent of the road, and to the village of Manassas.

One day last week some one on entering the Clerk's office at Brentsville was surprised at seeing a large black snake resting in one of the corners of the room near the ceiling. It is needless to say that his snakeship did not remain long in that position.

A lady while gathering blackberries near Brentsville last week, made a very narrow escape from the bite of a copper head moccasin. Fortunately she saw it just as it was coiled to strike, and it was dispatched before it could do any harm.

An effort is being made to induce the O.A.&M. R.R. Co. to put a train on their road to carry milk, produce, and local travel early in the day and to return at night.

On Saturday last while some of our farmers were congregated in the store of Mr. F. J. Cannon, two of them became engaged in wrestling, and one of them, named Henry Payne, falling heavily against the counter, broke two of his ribs.

Mr. Homer who recently purchased in the vicinity of Greenwich, met with a painful and dangerous accident on Thursday last. He was going through a gate and while leading his horse through, the animal took fright, and starting to run, caught Mr. H., between one of the wheels and the gate post, inflicting severe injuries.

~ ~ ~ 

[I love reading the local items that go beyond "news," providing snapshots of lives, personalities, and lore.  They help to flesh out the images of our ancestors.  As an example, through this particular news article I learned that my 3rd great grandfather, Lawrence Cole, was responsible for recovering the "lost" PWCo seal "through the hands of a third party."  I can't help but wonder how my grandfather became an intermediary and the circumstances leading up to the exchange that lead to the seal's recovery. ~cgl]

Monday, July 25, 2016

Amanuensis Monday: Will: Richard Vanpelt

Prince William County Will Book Q, pg. 148

I Richard Vanpelt of the County of Prince William and State of Virginia knowing the uncertainty of human life and being of sound and disposing mind revoking all others do make this my last will and testament in the following form and words to wit. It is my will and desire that my wife Polly Vanpelt shall inherit all my estate both real and personal should she survive me and to enjoy the same during her natural life and after the death of my wife Polly it is my wish that my whole estate be sold, except my servant Daniel and two thirds of the proceeds of such sale to be paid to my grandson Joseph Vanpelt, and the other third to be paid over to my daughter Ellen German or her legal heirs. It is my will and desire that my servant Daniel shall be set free after the death of myself and my wife. Given under my hand and seal this 18th day of September 1851.

Richard Vanpelt {seal}

Signed and sealed in presence of

Jas. D. Tennille
T. A. Smith
Edward Harding

At a court held for Prince William on the 2d day of May 1856

This last will and testament of Richard Vanpelt deceased was proved according to law, by the oaths of James D. Tennille, Thomas A. Smith and Edward Harding witnesses thereto, and is ordered to be recorded, and there being no executor named in the said Will and Polly Vanpelt having relinquished in writing her right to the administration on the said descendants estate in favor of Thomas A. Smith, and on the motion of the said Thomas A. Smith who made oath, and together written L. Carter his security, entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of one thousand eight hundred dollars, conditioned as the law directs, certificate is granted the said Thomas A. Smith for obtaining letters of administration on the said descendant’s estate, with his will aforesaid annexed in due form.

Teste, P. D. Lipscomb, clk

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Spence / Dunnington / Harrison

Charleston Courier (South Carolina)
1 June 1829

In Dumfries, Virginia, on the 18th ult. Dr. Jno. Spence, in the 61st year of his age. Dr. S. was born in Scotland, and came to America 40 years ago. He left his native country at an advanced stage of pulmonary disease, which was entirely removed by the sea voyage, and the change of climate. He had completed a classical course of study in the University of Edinburgh, and continued four years as a student in that famous school of medicine, under the tuition of Cullen, Black, Hope and others. He came to America a finely educated classical and medical scholar, and settled in Dumfries, where he has always resided.

Alexandria Gazette
17 June 1841

At Dumfries, Virginia, on the 6th instant, Edward J. Spence, Esq., in the 27th year of his age.  Mr. S. was a son of the late Dr. John Spence, and possesed eminently qualities, endearing to his numerous friends.

Alexandria Gazette
3 December 1841

At her residence, near Dumfries, Va., on Saturday, the 27th inst. Mrs. Elizabeth Dunnington, in the 52d year of her age. In the death of this estimable woman, her relatives and friends have met with a sad bereavement.

Richmond Whig (Va)
30 December 1842

At the place of her residence, in the county of Culpeper, on the 17th instant, Mrs. Sarah Harrison, widow of the late Rev. Thomas Harrison, formerly of Prince William county, Virginia, in the 90th year of her age. Much might be truly said in praise of the life and character of this most pious and excellent lady; but, to those who knew her it would be unnecessary -- to those who did not, useless.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Will: James Vowles (1871)

PWCo Will Book S, page 118

December 8th 1871. In the name of God amen being in my right mind I do make this my last will and testament.  First I give and bequeath unto Mary Ann Priest my farm known by the name of Right farm containing 148 acres. Also $150 Dollars to be paid at my death, and after all my just debts and other expenses are paid, the balance of my property I give unto my sister Dolly or her airs forever. And I do leave Richard D. Vowls of Danial my Executor of my estate. Given under my hand this 8th day of December 1871.

James [x his mark] Vowles

Thos. W. Reeves
James W. Fairfax
Uriah J. Fairfax

At a court held for Prince William County on Monday the 6th day of January 1873. The last will and testament of James Vowles decd. was this day presented to the court by Richard D. Vowles the Executor therein named & being proved by the oath of James W. Fairfax and Uriah J. Fairfax subscribing witnesses thereto was ordered to be recorded and the said Richard D. Vowles announced the ___ of the execution of the said will.

Teste, L. A. Davis clk.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Kate (Sinclair) Latimer

Free Lance Star (Fredericksburg, VA)
30 March 1901

Mrs. Kate Latimer, who died in Prince William county Monday, was buried at the Manassas cemetery Wednesday.  She was the only daughter of M. B. Sinclair, for many years clerk of the courts of Prince William county.


Church Record Sunday: Dumfries Episcopal Church

Evening Star (DC)
29 July 1916

All-day services will be held tomorrow in the Episcopal Church at Dumfries, Va., in commemoration of the 164th anniversary of church life in Prince William county. The present edifice rests upon stones which formed a part of the foundation for the church erected upon the same site in 1752. The churchyard surrounding the little chapel is the last resting place of ancestors of men and women whose names, it is pointed out, are a part of Virginia history, in literature, and in the affairs of church and state.

The little village of Dumfries, early in the seventeenth century one of the foremost seaport towns in Virginia, is now situated at the head of the Quanitco creek, where navigation is impossible for even a small canoe. The oldest inhabitant directs the visitor to the spot where once stood the tobacco houses where English traders bought the weed recommended by Sir Walter Raleigh, the bank of Dumfries, where reposed the wealth of Virginians of colonial days, the old mill which converted Virginia grain into flour for ocean trade, or the old Dumfries theater, where colonial society thronged to see the latest product of the English stage.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Madness Monday: Maggie Compton Perkey Clore

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
21 October 1946


Manassas, Va., Oct. 21 -- A Manassas man, arguing with his daughter about being sent to the county almshouse, shot her to death and then killed himself yesterday, Sheriff J. P. Kerlin reported.

Police listed the father as Thomas Lawson Compton, 65. His daughter, who had been twice married, was Mrs. Maggie Compton Perkey Clore.

Sheriff Kerlin said the father protested plans of his daughter to send him to the almshouse and fired two shots, striking her in and near the heart, and then shot himself through the head. The shooting occurred in the daughter's home on the Centerville road near here. Her two sons by a former marriage, aged 3 and 10, witnessed the shooting the sheriff said.

Beside her sons, Mrs. Clore is survived by her husband, a railroad employee and a daughter, Mrs. Mike Papa.

Dr. E. H. Marsteller, Prince William County coroner, issued certificates of homicide and suicide.

[The death certificate for Maggie Compton Perkey Clore notes her burial to be at Cannon Branch Cemetery in Manassas, VA. ~cgl]

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Thomas Owen Taylor

Sun (Baltimore, MD)
28 January 1911


Prominent Manassas Citizen Expires Suddenly at Home

Manassas, Va., Jan. 27. - Mr. Thomas Owen Taylor, a retired merchant, and former Mayor of Manassas for several successive terms, died of apoplexy at his home here late last night.

Mr. Taylor, who had been in feeble health for some time, left his home shortly before 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon for a walk to the post office.  After proceeding about half a block he turned back, reentered his home and, within a few moments, was stricken with apoplexy while seated in a chair. He never regained consciousness, dying seven hours later.

Former Mayor Taylor was the son of the late Joseph D. and Francis Housean Taylor, of upper Prince William county, Virginia. He was born October 12, 1834. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was in Texas and joined the Fifth Texas Infantry. Coming to Virginia with his command, he was in the battles of Seven Pines, the Wilderness and the Seven Days' fight around Richmond. Later he was a surgeon's assistant in Chimborazo Hospital, Richmond.

In 1868 he married Miss Anna Mary Smith of Baltimore. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Alfred Al Curtis, later Bishop Curtis, in Mount Calvary Protestant Episcopal Church.

He is survived by his wife and six children - Mrs. Alice A. Hutchinson, of Loudoun county, Virginia; Mr. T. Ramsay Taylor, of Norfolk; Miss Anna Selina Taylor, Mrs. Robert M. Weir and Mrs. C. Armistead Sinclair, of Manassas, and Mr. B. Conway Taylor, of Baltimore.

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 o'clock tomorrow at Trinity Episcopal Church and burial will be in the Manassas cemetery.

The pallbearers will be Dr. C. R. C. Johnson, Messrs. George C. Round, G. Raymond Radcliffe, H. F. Button, and W. Parker Wilson.

A s a mark of respect the public schools of Manassas were closed this afternoon.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Madness Monday: Smith / Cash / Davis / Dawson

Alexandria Gazette
12 November 1859

We are credibly informed that a letter was received from New York State on Thursday, by a gentleman in Prince William County, stating that Gerritt Smith has not put himself nor been put into an insane asylum, but has disappeared from his home, and is supposed to have gone to Canada.

Alexandria Gazette
5 December 1867

MAGISTRATES' OFFICE. -- Sidney Cash, a colored woman, about twenty-one or two years of age, born in Prince William county, Va., was examined yesterday evening at the jail, before Justices Beach, Summers and Colton, by Drs. A. W. K. Andrews and Wm. Gibson, on the charge of lunacy.  The charge was sustained, and arrangements at once instituted to secure her admission into the asylum at Staunton.

Daily National Republican (DC)
7 June 1871

SUICIDE - A man named Charles A. Davis, supposed to be insane, committed suicide by hanging himself from the limb of a tree with his suspender, near his home on the road between Brentsville and Dumfries, Prince William county, Virginia, on Saturday last. When found his feet were touching the ground.

Alexandria Gazette
17 May 1873

James Dawson employed at Dodds, carding mills, in Prince William county, and a man of family, is said to have become insane.