Historical Figure of the Week

Jefferson Spindle (c.1804-1861)

Jefferson Spindle (c.1804-1861) was the son of William Spindle (1774-1836) and Elizabeth Alsop of Spotsylvania County, Virginia.  He married Maria A. Tackett (c.1810-1883), the daughter of Charles Tackett, Sr. (c.1780-1834) and Ann Barber (born 1801) of Stafford County.  Jefferson assisted his father-in-law with the Mill Farm Seminary, a school that Tackett had started in 1818 at Tackett's Mills.  The two organizers of this school were Tackett and his father-in-law, William Barber (1787-1881).  Jefferson Spindle also served as postmaster of the Tackett's Mill Post Office from 1841 to 1846.  In 1846 Spindle purchased the old Washington plantation, Windsor Forest, from Charles Prosser Moncure (1819-1886).  Here he established his own school.  This was one of two farms by this name in Stafford, this one now being part of the Marine Corps reservation.  Jefferson was a magistrate in Stafford from at least 1847 to 1852.

William Skinker

William Skinker was an African American and a blacksmith by trade.  He lived in Stafford County, Virginia though the location of his home is unknown.  In 1821-1822 he was paid for making staples to repair a house on Aquia Creek.  He was the son of Martin Skinker (died before 1826).

Samuel Hampson Skinker (1785-1856)

Samuel Hampson Skinker (1785-1856) was the son of William Skinker (1738-1812) and Mary (Sells) Powlett (c.1745-1798) and the nephew of Thomas Skinker (1722-1802).  Around 1776 Thomas Skinker purchased 1,021 acres in Stafford from Charles Carter (1738-1796).  Part of this tract became known as Oakley and passed to Samuel H. Skinker.  The fine old frame house, located on the west side of Poplar Road (Route 616) and in the corner formed by the intersection of this road and Shackelford's Well Road (Route 754), collapsed in 2003.  Part of the farm is now occupied by a housing subdivision called Oakley Reserve.  Samuel Skinker married Margaret Wilson Julian (died 1863), the only daughter of Dr. John Julian of Fredericksburg.  Samuel devised Oakley to his unmarried daughters, Louisa Virginia Knox Skinker (1828-1886) and Lucy E. Scott Skinker (1807-1896), and to his son, John Howard Skinker (1814-1867).  Samuel… Continue reading

John Howard Skinker (1814-1867)

John Howard Skinker (1814-1867) was the son of Samuel Hampson (1785-1856) and Margaret Wilson Julian (c.1784-1863).  Samuel devised his Stafford plantation, Oakley, to John Howard and to Samuel's unmarried daughters, Louisa Virginia Knox Skinker (1828-1886) and Lucy E. Scott Skinker (1807-1896).  Early in his life, John studied law, medicine, and divinity, though he never practiced the latter two.  He served as a justice in Stafford and as an editor of a newspaper in Warrenton.  During the War Between the states, John H. Skinker supported the Union and was an outcast amongst his kinsmen.  He served as a lieutenant colonel under Gen. Marsena Patrick.  After the war, he practiced law in  Washington and died unmarried.

Rodham P. Shelkett (1822-1899)

Rodham P. Shelkett (1822-1899) was the son of John Shelkett (1793-1857) and Nancy Stark (1786-1834) of Stafford County, Virginia.  The Shelketts lived in northern Stafford on a farm called Locust Grove.  This is now part of the Quantico Marine Corps reservation.  While the Shelkett family had a grist mill near their home, they supported themselves primarily by farming.  Rodham Shelkett married Virginia Lulu Daffan (1833-1875).  He died of cancer.

Thomas Seddon (1779-1831)

Thomas Seddon (1779-1831) was the son of John Seddon (c.1735-c.1812) of Stafford County, Virginia.  Early in his life, Thomas was a merchant in Falmouth.  His home there stood on the north side of Washington Street very near the bridge over Falls Run.  Later, he moved to Fredericksburg where he became the cashier of the Farmers Bank of Virginia.  His father divided his Potomac Run plantation, called Oakland, between Thomas and his sister, Nancy Seddon (c.1769-1854).  Nancy, who never married, seems to have inherited the house.  This tract stretched from Glencairne northward to include the Crane's Corner area as well as much of the land around the site of Potomac SMC Mulch Company.  Thomas was a magistrate in Stafford from at least 1806 to 1810.  His obituary stated that he was "remarkable for great strength and rapidity of mind; clear-sighted and penetrating in… Continue reading

John Seddon (1826-1863)

John Seddon (1826-1863) was the son of Thomas Seddon (1779-1831) of Stafford County, Virginia.  John lived at Snowden on the Rappahannock River east of Fredericksburg, having purchased the property in 1847 from the Morson family.  During the War Between the States, Union troops sailing up the Rappahannock may have thought the farm belonged to John's brother, James A Seddon (1815-1880), Secretary of War for the Confederacy.  The soldiers ordered the family out of the house and then opened fire, burning the elegant brick house to the ground as the family watched helplessly.  John Seddon was a  magistrate in Stafford County from at least 1852 to 1860.

Thomas Cropper Scott (1791-1857)

Thomas Cropper Scott (1791-1857) was the only son of Ann Taylor (died c.1838) and an unknown Scott.  Ann married secondly Joseph Browne (died 1806).  Thomas was a merchant in Falmouth and resided at Clearview.  He operated a store on the corner of Washington and Cambridge Streets and had another store on White Ridge road, which is now that part of Garrisonville Road as it enters Fauquier County.  Thomas married Mary Lucinda Seddon (died 1846), the daughter of Thomas Seddon (1779-1831) of Stafford County.  The 1830 census listed Thomas C. Scott with 18 slaves.  In 1843 he paid taxes on 7 slaves, 5 horses, 1 metal clock, 1 "common silver watch," 353 acres in Stafford, and 15 lots in the town of Falmouth.  Thomas C. Scott was a veteran of the War of 1812 and owned land in Kentucky as well as in Prince William and Stafford Counties.

John P. Schooler (1812-1875)

John P. Schooler (1812-1875) was the son of Abner Schooler (1774-after 1870) of Stafford.  His middle name may have been Peyton.  John lived at Orchard Field on the south side of Aquia Creek and conducted the Gourds Fishery nearby.  He married Laurinda Jones (1815-1874) of Stafford.

John Savage (1706-c.1743)

John Savage (1706-c.1743) was one of the surveyors chosen in 1736 to ascertain the boundaries of the Northern Neck Proprietary.  My mid-October of that year, then party of surveyors and their assistants were deep inside the Virginia wilderness and were short of food.  Col. William Byrd wrote that the party was "almost reduced to the hard necessity of cutting up the most useless person among them, Mr. Savage, in order to support and save the lives of the rest."  Byrd was noted for his sense of humor, presumably writing the statement in that vain.  John Savage owned a good deal of land in what's now the Marine Corps reservation in northern Stafford County.  He was the official surveyor of Stafford from at least 1723 to 1731.