Historical Figure of the Week
Beverley W. Irvine was the son of William Irvine (c.1806-1887) of Stafford County, Virginia. The Irvine family resided at Hartwood, the lovely brick home still standing on the southwest side of Warrenton Road (U. S. Route 17) near Hartwood Presbyterian Church. Beverley married Betty Lucas Bullard (1835-1891), the daughter of Richard Woolfolk Bullard. After the close of the War Between the States, he taught school for many years. In 1870, Beverley served as Collector of Taxes for the Hartwood Township. In 1907, he was secretary of the Hartwood Telephone Company. On June 19, 1909, the Stafford County Court adjudged Beverley insane and sent him to Western State Hospital.
Elias A(llen?) W(aller?) Hore was the son of Walter Hore (1781-1858) and Margaret E. Combs (c.1784-1859) of Stafford County, Virginia. He was a merchant and fisherman. In 1870, he purchased the old Dipple plantation located at the junction of Chappawamsic Creek and the Potomac River. Here he operated a seine fishery and probably a store, though the long suffered from financial problems. Elias seems never to have married. In 1871, a newspaper announced, “E. A. W. Hore, of Stafford county, Va., will be absent from the State a few months on business. A letter will reach him at San Francisco, California” (Alexandria Gazette, July 25, 1871). Elias was very involved in Stafford County affairs and held a variety of public offices. He was a deputy sheriff in 1843 and 1853 and possibly other years, as well. He served as sheriff from at least 1859 to 1868. In 1860, Elias was overseer of the road “from Withers Waller’s gate to E. A. W. Hore’s gate.” In 1862, he served as Crier of Elections for the Stafford Courthouse Precinct. For a number of years, he was crier of the county and circuit courts and in 1864 and 1865 was named Salt Agent for Stafford.
Dade Hooe (c.1808-1881) was the son of Dade Hooe (1757-1837) and Nancy James (c.1760-1833:37) and was born in Prince William County. From his aunt, he inherited a large tract of land that includes what are now the sites of the Log Cabin Restaurant, the Stafford Regional Jail, and the Route 630/Interstate 95 interchange. By Hannah/Henrietta Greenhow (c.1822-1887), one of his aunt’s slaves, Dade had a large family. This was just one of several interracial families in nineteenth century Stafford County. In 1865, Dade Hooe was overseer of the road “from Stafford Court House to Accakeek run.” He served as one of the county election officers during the 1870s. The site of the Hooe/Greenhow home seems to have been destroyed by construction of Interstate 95 in the 1960s. A number of the Greenhow descendants remain in Stafford today.
Alexander Morson Green (1827-1904) was the son of industrialist Duff Green (179201854) and Eliza Ann Payne (1806-1876) of Falmouth, Virginia. Alexander was never interested in business or industry and just wanted to farm. With the help of his father, Alexander purchased Berry Hill and Shepherd’s Green on Potomac Creek upstream from Belle Plains. He also owned property on the north side of Potomac Creek just west of old Potomac Church and near Brooke. There’s some evidence suggesting that he resided for some years near Brooke in Stafford County, Virginia. In 1851, he was overseer of the road “from Potomac Church to first ford at Ferneyhough’s farm.” In 1858 he was overseer of the road “from Potomac Run to Hopewell Meeting House.” In 1853, Alexander M. Green was captain of the “Potomac Church” company of the 45th regiment of Virginia militia. He had a large family by his slave, Nancy Ross (c.1839-1924), who is buried with some of her family on the outskirts of Brooke. During the War Between the States, Alexander served with the 9th Virginia Cavalry. He died at Effingham in Prince William County, Virginia, the home of his nephew, Allen Howison Green (c.1868-1928) and was buried there.
Henry Fitzhugh (1818-1883) was the son of George Fitzhugh (1784-1881) and Sarah Battaile Dade (1787-1862) of Milton, Culpeper County, Virginia. He married Jane Elizabeth Downman (1817-1881), the daughter of Joseph Ball Downman (1787-c.1818) of Lancaster County, Virginia. From her father Jane inherited 726 acres in Stafford County, Virginia. This land is located on what is now U. S. Route 3 east of Fredericksburg. After his marriage to Jane, Henry built a fine brick home on the tract and called it Sherwood Forest. Following the War Between the States, Henry submitted a claim to the Southern Claims Commission asking to be reimbursed for $65,415.50 worth of hogs, sheep, and other commodities taken from him by the Union army. He was granted $21,810.
John F. Farmer (1843-1929) was born in Caroline County, Virginia. He married Mary E. Deshazo (1850-1939) and lived in the White Oak area of Stafford County, Virginia. He called his farm Potomac View. In 1910, a friendly rivalry between local farmers produced the following notice in the Free Lance newspaper of Oct. 8, 1910, “To the Free Lance. I am invited by Mr. R[obert] V[inton] Suttle, of King George county, to go back home and get another stalk of corn. When Mr. Suttle can produce a stalk that measures 10 feet 8 inches from the ground to the end of the ear, I will talk to him. My stalk was grown without fertilizer. I challenge all this part of North America. There is no ear mentioned on Mr. Suttle’s stalk. I hold the belt without a rival. John F. Farmer.” Farmer died in 1929.
Asbury Watson Evans (1836-1910) was the son of John R. Evans (c.1799-1873) and was born in Charles County, Maryland. He lived near Onville in Stafford County, Virginia. During the War Between the States, Asbury served with the 9th Virginia Cavalry. In May of 1900, the Stafford Court approved his application for a $15 pension for his Confederate service. Asbury W. Evans was a member of Ebenezer Methodist Church in Onville and was the brother of John A. Evans (1832-1921) of Stafford. Asbury’s daughter, Miss Hettie Evans (1876-1955), was postmistress at Onville Post Office in Stafford. Asbury was very involved in Stafford County affairs. In 1869, he was a Commissioner of the Roads in the county. He served as a trustee for the Aquia School District and was Superintendent of the Poor in 1883. In 1888 Asbury was Deputy Treasurer for Stafford County.
Thomas Alexander Slaughter Doniphan (1813-1869) was born in King George County, Virginia, the son of Joel T. Doniphan and Alice S. Slaughter. While living in Stafford County, Virginia in 1834 he served as a deputy sheriff. By 1839, Thomas A. S. Doniphan was residing in Natchez, Mississippi where he employed himself as a merchant.
Frederick Dent (1848-1918) was often called “Fed” or “Federal” Dent. He was the son of Scott Dent (c.1820-1874) and Sophie Guy of Stafford County, Virginia. Frederick married Sarah E. Knight (1840-1918), the daughter of Lewis K. Knight (c.1820-1893). He partnered with his brother-in-law, Capt. Wesley Knight (1846-1937), in the timber business, the shipping for which was conducted from Coal Landing on Aquia Creek. For a number of years, Frederick Dent and his wife lived very close to the new Ebenezer Methodist Church on Eustace Road (Route 751). Here they conducted the “Hard Corner Bargain House,” which was a tiny general merchandise store. Sarah (Knight) Dent served as an uncertified doctor treating ailments and injuries in her neighborhood. In 1889, Frederick Dent was overseer “of Coal Landing Road.”
Walter E. Corson (c.1849-1924) lived on the Washington Farm (now Ferry Farm) in Stafford County, Virginia. In May 1903, “lightning struck and set fire to a large new barn on the Corson Farm, in Stafford county, just across the Rappahannock River from the lower end of [Fredericksburg]. In a short while the barn with its contents, consisting of feed, agricultural implements and several head of cattle and hogs was destroyed…The Corson farm was at one time the home of George Washington” (Times Dispatch, May 26, 1903). Several members of the Corson family lived in Stafford during the late nineteenth century, including Benjamin Franklin Corson (1843-1894) and John D. Corson (c.1818-1887). Walter E. Corson was an overseer of the road for Falmouth District in 1889. He moved to Washingotn, DC several years before his death. Water was buried in Muncy, Pennsylvania where he had family.
Henry Rowzee Conway (1825-1863) was the son of John Moncure Conway (1779-1864), clerk of the Stafford County and Circuit Courts. Henry married Elizabeth Griffin Chinn, the daughter of John Leroy Chinn (1795-1854) of Lancaster County, Virginia. John M. Conway had owned the rather large Garrard tract situated on the east side of U. S. Route 1 and bounded on the north and south by Hope road (Route 687) and Old Potomac Church Road. The present Stafford Hospital occupied part of this tract. Henry L. Conway predeceased his father who devised to Henry’s heirs the house in which he had resided “and called ‘The Cottage’ with the grounds and appurtenances.” The site of Henry’s cottage seems now to be occupied by the house formerly used by Albert H. Jacoby as a law office. It is located at 1311 Courthouse Road and across this road from Covenant Funeral Home. Henry R. Conway served as Deputy Clerk of Court in Stafford County, Virginia from at least 1842 to 1851, working under his father. From 1852 until his death in 1863, he was Clerk of Court for Stafford.
Kendrick Bowers Combs (c.1857-1912) was the son of David Wickliffe Combs (1816-1889) of Stafford County, Virginia. In 1882 Kendrick married Delsey F. Briggs (1864-1941), the daughter of Winnie B. Briggs. Kendrick operated a sawmill in Stafford. On Aug. 16, 1880, he conveyed to George M. Weedon, trustee, his “sawmill, carriages & fixtures,” log carrier, oxen, and chains to secure a debt of $437.50 due the Cooper Manufacturing Company. This company made steam engines. Kendrick B. Combs served as Commissioner of the Revenue in Stafford from 1882 through 1894. In 1910, he claimed a Homestead exemption listing fifty acres near Tackett’s Mills, 2 horses, 1 colt, 3 cattle, 2 hogs, 15 barrels of corn, “fodder, blades, shucks, and hay,” and an assortment of household and kitchen furniture. He died at the age of 55 from an overdose of laudanum.
Richard Arthur Cloe (1868-1953) was the son of William S. Cloe (1832-1919) and Hannah Katherine Stark (1842-1884) of Stafford County, Virginia. He lived in northern Stafford on a farm called Anchorage and near Stafford Store. After the U. S. government condemned his farm for the expansion of the Quantico Marine Corps base in 1942, Richard A. Cloe moved to Falmouth. He served on the school board for 33 years and was a mail contractor for 12 years.
Albert Clift (c.1813-1890) was the son of Fielding Clift (c.1772-1856) and Sallie Elkins of Stafford County, Virginia. In 1850, Albert paid taxes on 200 acres on Accokeek Run. In 1865, he was appointed one of the committee “to Care for Citizens Made Needy by the War.” In 1871, he was appointed to the original Board of Commissioners of the Free Bridge (now Falmouth Bridge) that was tasked with building a new bridge over the Rappahannock River. Albert Clift served on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors from 1873 through 1884, during which time he was chairman. An interesting entry concerning Albert Clift appeared in the Stafford court minutes of Sept. 22, 1885. Albert had been “charged with a grave capital felony, we deem it but an act of justice to the accused–whose fame and happiness are deeply implicated in such a prosecution–to enter of record, not only the discharge of the accused from further trial, the charge being wholly unsustained, but that in our opinion nothing has been proved upon the trial of the cause which should impair the high standing of Mr. Clift, in the County of his Nativity and where he has always resided, as a citizen of great moral worth and integrity.”
John Clark (1804-1882) was born on Clark’s Mountain in Orange County, Virginia. In addition to being a widely known and respected Baptist preacher, Clark was also a publisher, writer, and editor, as well as a millwright, engineer, bridge builder, carpenter, machinist, and fabricator of agricultural implements. He rebuilt the Chatham Bridge after it washed out in 1826. Clark preached extensively throughout the region, including at Chappawamsic and White Oak Baptist Churches in Stafford and at Union Church in Falmouth, Virginia. John Clark was a Commissioner of Elections for Tolson’s Mill Precinct in 1850 and at that time was residing in the northern part of Stafford County.
Henry G. Chesley was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia the son of William S. Chesley (1815-1860) and Mary Ann Ferneyhough (c.1818-1853). At the outset of the War Between the States, he joined the Fredericksburg Artillery, also known as Braxton’s Battery. According to his obituary, “He enlisted at its origin, served in it throughout the bloody conflict, and was at Appomattox Courthouse at the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee…Mr. Chesley is credited with having ires that gun which history says killed General [John] Reynolds of the Union forces, when he came out with his staff to reconnoiter the position.” In 1869, Henry G. Chesley was overseer of the road “from the lower ford on the Potomac run, to Claiborne’s run in place of James E. Berry who has removed from the neighborhood.” He was one of the Free Bridge Commissioners from at least 1884 to 1887 during which time he served as treasurer. Henry G. Chesley later owned what is now known as Potomac Run Farm near the landfill in Stafford County, Virginia. He married Mary Susan Ferneyhough (1845-1913).
Charles James Chartters (1853-1931) was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia and later moved to Stafford County. He was the son of Thomas R. Chartters (1821-1862) and Julia Decartro Chancellor (1825-1904). In 1892 Charles married Ella Morrison (1859-1912). During the years he lived in Spotsylvania, Charles J. Chartters was a member of Wilderness Baptist Church. He later joined Berea Baptist Church in Stafford. Charles was one of the Assessors of Lands for Stafford from 1889 to 1890 and from 1899 to 1900. He also served as a school trustee for the Hartwood School District from at least 1905 to 1920. Charles J. Chartters lived at Cherry Grove, now a Del Webb subdivision on Sanford Drive (Route 670) in Stafford County.
Thompson S. Briggs (1860-1910) was the son of James McDonald Briggs (1822-1900) and Louisa Marshall Smith (1828-1888) of Stafford County, Virginia. He lived at Hampstead on Poplar Road (Route 616) and was a successful cattle farmer in Stafford. From 1897 through 1898, he represented Rock Hill District on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors. During the early years of the twentieth century, Thompson was in partnership with Abraham Mott Stewart (1868-1965) in a sawmill, lumber business, and store near the present Hartwood Post Office. Their bill head stated that they were “Manufacturers of all Kinds Rough Lumber.” Thompson S. Briggs died at home in 1910.
Addison Borst (c.1837-1882) was the son of Peter I. Borst of New York. Some years prior to the War Between the States, Addison and his brother moved from New York to Page County, Virginia. Both were Southern sympathizers. During the war, Addison served with the 10th Virginia Infantry, having enlisted at Luray, Virginia. He spent much of the war in the hospital, was imprisoned in Elmira, New York, and was exchanged in October 1864. By 1870, he was a resident of King George County, Virginia. Addison was the uncle of Cornelia Rebecca Borst (1880-1949) who married Dr. John Churchill Gordon (1871-1949) of Albemarle and Stafford Counties. Addison married Bettie Garnett Taliaferro (1829-1895), the daughter of James Garnett Taliaferro (c.1772-1840) of King George. In 1870 the Commonwealth of Virginia established the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction. This was a state-level appointment and the counties selected their own Superintendent of Schools. From 1870 to 1872 Addison Borst was responsible for the schools in both Stafford and King George Counties.
James Edward Berry (1836-1913) was the son of Richard Berry (c.1807-1867) and Sarah Payne (c.1810-1880). In 1860 James married Mildred J. Bowler (born 1836). During the War Between the States, he served with the Fredericksburg Artillery. After the war, James E. Berry was a bridge keeper and railroad watchman. In 1867 he was overseer of the road “from the lower ford on Potomac Run to Claiborns [sic] Run in place of John Anthony who has removed from the neighborhood.” In May 1900, the Stafford County court approved his application for a $15 pension. James died at Leeland in Stafford