Historical Figure of the Week

John Catesby Edrington (1800-1879)

John Catesby Edrington (1800-1879) was the son of John Catesby Edrington (1775-1820) and Sarah Porter Stone (1769-1816).  The younger John married his cousin, Elizabeth Hawkins Stone (1810-1891), the daughter of Hawkins Stone (1748-1810) and Elizabeth Burroughs (dead by 1833) of Stafford.  John resided at Myrtle Grove on the north side of Aquia Creek where he had a store, a fishery, wharf, and a freestone quarry.  The 1830 census listed John with 42 slaves who were likely employed on the Myrtle Grove plantation, and at the store, fishery, and quarry.  During the War of 1812, John C. Edrington served as a captain in charge of a light infantry company in the 45th regiment of Virginia militia (Stafford County).

John Norton Dishman (1863-1951)

John Norton Dishman (1863-1951) was the son of African American Armistead Dishman (c.1837-1903) who lived on part of the old Potomac Silk Farm just east of Brooke.  John married Mary A. Pool (1873-1954).  For a number of years he managed the Brooke Pickle Factory and ran a store next to it.  When the company that owned the pickle factory moved their operations to Caroline County, John went there and worked as manger.  He subsequently returned to Stafford.  John donated the land for Mt. Hope Baptist Church and was actively involved with this church for some six decades.  He and Mary are buried at Mt. Hope.

Susan King Davis (c.1804-after 1888)

Susan King Davis (c.1804-after 1888) was the daughter of Mary (Brown) King (died 1845) of Stafford.  She married Bailis Davis (c.1809-1857) who fished on Aquia Creek.  A newspaper notice stated, "Mrs. D. is 87 years of age, and has a wonderful memory.  She remembers seeing the British shipping going up the Potomac in the war of 1812-14, when Washington was burned by the British troops."  At the time of this article Susan was residing with her nephew, Edward E. Crismond (Fredericksburg Star, Dec. 1, 1888).

George Curtis (1767-1844)

George Curtis (1767-1844) was the son of George Curtis, Sr. (1730:35-c.1806) and Elizabeth Jett, the daughter of Peter Jett and Rebecca Bowen.  George, Jr. married first c.1792 Mary McIlhaney.  He married secondly in 1804 Jemima Payne (died c.1869), the daughter of Francis Payne and Susannah Jett.  George and Jemima were buried at their home, Green Meadows, located off Poplar Road (Route 616) in the Hartwood area of Stafford.  Part of this later became Seven Lakes subdivision and had once been part of the old Carter plantation called Ludlow.  George was a veteran of the War of 1812.

Robert Crutcher (c.1773-1829)

Robert Crutcher (c.1773-1829) was the son of Hugh Crutcher (c.1739-1779) and Frances Coleman of Culpeper County and the grandson of Thomas Crutcher, Sr. (c.1695-1786).  In 1809 Robert married Tarissa Hamble Phillips (1783-1853), the daughter of Col. William Phillips (1744-1797) and Elizabeth Anne Fowke (1747-c.1829) of Traveler's Rest, Stafford County.  Tarissa eventually moved to Warrenton and is buried in the city cemetery there.  In 1800 Robert was a lieutenant in Hancock Eustace's company of the 45th regiment of Virginia militia; in 1801 he was a captain, and from 1812-1814 was a major.  During the early 1800s, Robert  Crutcher served as a magistrate for Stafford.

Thomas Whiting Cowne (1784-1857)

Thomas Whiting Cowne (1784-1857) was the son of Robert Cowne (c.1756-1829) and Sarah Whiting of Culpeper.  His first wife was Martha H. Buchanan (died 1818).  In 1820 he married Susan Latham (born 1787) of Fauquier.  Thomas W. Cowne was a merchant in Falmouth.  He also operated a school in Falmouth and offered courses such as reading, spelling, penmanship, grammar, geography, history, arithmetic, bookkeeping, and Latin.  Tuition was $20 per student (Virginia Herald, Dec. 11, 1816).

John Travers Cooke (1755-1819)

Col. John Travers Cooke (1755-1819) was the son of Travers Cooke (1730-1759) and Mary Doniphan.  He lived at West Farm, which adjoined Clifton and Dipple in upper Wide Water on the Potomac River.  For much of the eighteenth century a ferry operated from Cooke's Bar at West Farm across the Potomac River to the Maryland shore.  In the 1780s John served as a magistrate in Stafford.  He was actively engaged in the quarry business on Aquia Creek and owned at least two freestone quarries there.  In partnership with Daniel Carroll Brent (1759-1815) of Richland, he operated a store in Brent's Mill.  He was also in the lumber/timber business with his son, George Mason Cooke (1792-1866).  John married Mary Thomson Mason (1762-1806), the daughter of his neighbor, Thomson Mason (1733-1785) of Chappawamsic Farm.  She was the granddaughter of George Mason (1725-1792) of Gunston… Continue reading

Gen. George Mason Cooke (1792-1866)

George Mason Cooke (1792-1866) was the son of Col. John Travers Cooke (1755-1819) and Mary Thomson Mason (1762-1806) of West Farm in Wide Water.  George shared business dealings with his father in farming, timbering, fishing, and freestone quarrying on Aquia Creek.  In 1818/19 he built Chelsea, a fine frame home in Wide Water.  Part of this is now occupied by Chelsea Manor subdivision on Wide Water Road (Route 611).  His name first appeared in the records of the 45th regiment of Virginia militia (Stafford County) in 1812 when he was listed as an ensign.  By 1815 he was a major and by 1819 was colonel of the 45th.  In 1829 he was listed as brigadier general.  George suffered from financial difficulties, tried his hand at managing a gold mine in Goochland County, and finally returned to Stafford where he lived at Woodford… Continue reading

Dr. Valentine Yelverton Conway (1803-1881)

Dr. Valentine Yelverton Conway (1803-1881) was the son of John Moncure Conway (1779-1864) and Catherine Storke Peyton (1786-1865).  John M. Conway was clerk of the Stafford Court for nearly fifty years.  In 1824 Valentine Y. Conway married his first cousin, Mary Catherine Washington Henry (1806-1890), the daughter of Edward Hugh Henry (c.1781-1815) and Elizabeth Washington Peyton (died 1823).  Mary Catherine was also the great granddaughter of Patrick Henry.  During the 1840s, Valentine was Surveyor General of Florida and Lake Conway there was named for him. Upon returning to Stafford, V. Y. Conway resided at Cabin Hill near Stafford Courthouse and he provided medical care to Stafford residents for many years.  During the War Between the States, Dr. Conway was a surgeon for the Confederate forces.  While camped near Stafford Courthouse Union troops burned his house, which stood about… Continue reading

Thomas Barrett Conway (1779-1825)

Thomas Barrett Conway (1779-1825) was the illegitimate son of Ketura Barret (1746-1794) and Thomas Conaway of Stafford.  His name at birth was Thomas Conway Barret, but he later changed this to Thomas Barrett Conway.  Thomas inherited one of the freestone quarries at Rock Rimmon on Aquia Creek.  He ran this for many years, though he lived for some while at Ryefield in Goochland County.  In the 1820s Thomas supplied freestone for use at the University of Virginia.  In 1813 he married Eliza Newton (1797-1814), the daughter of Isaac Newton (c.1745-1838) of Little Falls in lower Stafford County.  She died at age 18 just ten weeks after giving birth to her only child and is buried in Richmond,  Virginia.  Thomas was buried with his mother and several other relatives at Rock Rimmon.