Historical Figure of the Week

Arba R. Packard was originally from Massachusetts, but lived for many years at Glenmore in White Oak, Stafford County, Virginia. Arba held a number of public positions in Stafford County. In 1868, he was overseer of the road “from the Public Road near New Hope Church to the White Oak road along the lands of J. Stone, George P. King, A. R. Packard and others. That same year year, Arba and his wife, Frances Rebecca Elkins (c.1813-1887), donated one acre upon which New Hope Methodist Church was built. In 1872, he was appointed one of the commissioners of the Free Bridge between Falmouth and Fredericksburg. From 1872 to 1874, he was Overseer of the Poor for Falmouth Township. In 1887, a newspaper noticed announced that Arba was making superior quality brooms from broom corn grown on his farm. The writer stated, “One of these brooms will be sent to Uncle Sam on inauguration day.” Both Arba and Rebecca Packard are buried at New Hope Methodist Church.

William S. Monteith lived near and was a member of Bethel Baptist Church. He held a a few public offices in Stafford County, Virginia, but made his living as a farmer and fisherman. He was a constable for the Falmouth District in 1885 and 1886. William was also Deputy Clerk of Court in 1885. In April 1903, William S. Monteith carried to Fredericksburg “a lot of fish and terrapins to the market here to-day, in which were several diamond back terrapins, which are not often seen in this market. They are in great demand in Washington and Baltimore, where the dish made from them is considered a rare delicacy. These diamond backs were caught in Potomac Creek in a net with fish” (Times Dispatch, Apr. 2, 1903). William was the brother of Amos K. Monteith and died of Bright’s disease (kidney failure).

Amos K. Monteith (1840-1910)was the son of Thomas Monteith (1811-1858) and Nancy Limerick.  During the War Between the States, he served with the 9th Virginia Cavalry.  In 1868, Amos married the widow Sarah Eliza (Rowe) Jones, the daughter of John G. Rowe and Nancy McGuire.  In 1877, Monteith was overseer of the road for an unspecified section.  By 1882, he was overseer “from White Oak run to the run ab Babcock’s hill.”

In 1889, Amos was arrested and harged with taking money from a letter.  The newspaper reported, “Upon information lodged yesterday through Commonwealth’s Attorney W. S. White, of Stafford, Officer Robinson arrested Mr. Amiss Monteith, of Stafford, charged with abstracting $84.73 from a letter belonging to Mr. James Bloxton, of that county.  When arrested the prisoner was at the R. F. & P. depot, on his way to Washington, and denied the charge.  He was taken to the Mayor’s Office, and telegrams sent to Stuart & Co. of Washington, who is claimed to have sent the money, but at the hour of going to press nothing had been heard, and the prisoner is still in custody.  William A. Little, Jr., Esq., has been retained as counsel for the accused.”

George Easom Monroe (1855-1906) was the son of William A. Monroe (c.1823-after 1880) of Stafford County, Virginia.  In 1877 he married Mary Thomas Downs (1853-1943), the daughter of Thomas William Downs (c.1825-1880) and Amanda Ellen Smith (c.1834-c.1868).  George E. Monroe lived at Cedar Hedge in the heart of Stafford’s gold mines between Warrenton Road (U. S. Route 17) and the Rappahannock River.  He was Overseer of the Poor for Hartwood District from 1889 to at least 1895.  George served on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors from 1897 to 1898.  He was buried at his home.  Cedar Hedge farm has been lost to the development of Stafford Estates subdivision, though the family cemetery and the house ruin survives.

Travers Daniel Moncure (1811-1886) was the son of John Moncure, III (1772-1822) of Clermont, Stafford County, Virginia.  Travers was born on that farm, but later resided at Oakwood, a 150-acre tract on Meadow Branch in Wide Water.  His home was near the old Brent’s Mill that drew its power from Meadow Branch.  Travers D. Moncure was a Commissioner of the Revenue for Stafford County from at least 1841 to 1850.  He was a justice of the peace from at least 1840 to 1852.

John Ridout McGregor (1829-1900) was the son of Alrick Mortimer McGregor (born 1810) of Prince George’s County, Maryland.  John married his first cousin, Mary Eliza McGregor (1831-1916).  In the mid-1850s, John R. McGregor was operating a “Paint and Oil Store” in Washington, DC.  Here he sold such items as window glass, camphene, spirit gas, sperm, solar, and lard oil lamps, clocks, brushes, ornaments, girandoles, window shades, etc.  He and Mary Eliza moved to Stafford County, Virginia in 1858 and Mary’s father purchased for them Concord, a farm on Aquia Creek.  War erupted shortly thereafter and John served briefly as a lieutenant in the Stafford Guards, Capt. Bruce’s company of the 47th Virginia Infantry.  Considerable circumstantial evidence suggests that he may have been part of the Confederate Secret Service.  In 1865, John R. McGregor was appointed one of three commissioners tasked “to Reorganize Counties under the Restored Government of Virginia.”  The other two commissioners were Joseph B. Ficklen and John H. Skinker.  This was an interesting combination given McGregor’s  Confederate leanings.  J. B. Ficklen, while claiming to have been a Unionist, seems to have played both sides of the controversy.  John H. Skinker was a devout supporter of the Union.  One obituary said of John R. McGregor, “He served gallantly in the Confederate army, and after the war was for some years employed in the Treasury  Department at Washington.”  Another obituary stated that John worked at the Treasury Department “till the advent of President Hayes.  When he lost his position, he returned, and has resided here to the date of his death.”  When John left his job at the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, he was given an old wooden banjo clock that remains in the family.

William P. Mahoney (1838-1916) was the son of William Mahorney (died 1846) and Jane Patterson (c.1814-before 1909) of King George and Stafford Counties, Virginia.  The younger William married Mary A. Riley (born c.1848).  They resided at Chappawamsic Farm, formerly owned by George Mason, III (1690-1735).  The house site is now part of the Quantico Marine Corps reservation.  Hilldrup Transfer and Storage Company occupied part of the property.  In 1881, William P. Mahoney was overseer of the road “leading from Chappawamsic Run to Stone’s Mill.”  This roughly follows modern U. S. Route 1 southward to Garrisonville Road (Route 610).

Ennever Lucas (1841-1912) was the son of Albert Gallatin Lucas (1806-1854) and Cornelia Ennever (1818-1884) of Stafford County, Virginia.  He resided at Stanstead near the I-95/U. S. Route 17 interchange.  Prior to the War Between the States, Ennever was a school teacher.  During the war, he was an orderly sergeant in Capt. Charles Green’s company of the 47th Virginia Infantry.  For many years, he served as Commissioner of the Revenue for the First District in Stafford and at the time of his death was clerk of the Hartwood School Barod and a notary public.  From 1870 to 1875, Ennever Lucas was Assessor Lands for the Hartwood Township.  He never married.  His funeral was conducted by David Shopoff (1858-1934), minister of Hartwood Presbyterian Church, and he was buried at Stanstead.  His family cemetery is now part of the parking lot at the Fredericksburg Auto Auction.

At the April, 1870 term of the Stafford County, Virginia Court, “Thomas Lowry, late Constable having inadvertently failed to give the bond required by law to have been given at the last term of this Court–It is recomended [sic] that the Governor of this State appoint him Constable there being no Constable at this term in the County.”  During the War Between the States, Thomas was a Unionist.  He went to Maryland several times to avoid the conscription officers.  While in Stafford, he lived on a rented farm about a mile from Brooke’s Station.  Thomas Lowry submitted a request to the Southern Claims Commission to be reimbursed for $484 worth of items removed from his farm by Union troops.  He was allowed only $143.  His brother, Enoch Lowry (c.1829-1910), served in the Confederate forces and settled in Spotsylvania County, Virginia after the war.

James Oscar Lee (1847-1908) was the son of William Lee (1814-1879) and Sarah H. Rowe (c.1821-1896).  A native of King George County, Virginia, James was born at White Hall and moved when a child to Willow Dale in lower Stafford County.  In 1873, he married Lucy A. Luck (1854-1931), the daughter of John M. Luck (1827-1888) and Mary Ann Rowe (1824-1902).  In 1870, James was Collector of Taxes for the Falmouth Township.  He served on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors from 1881 until his death in 1908 and was chairman for much of that time.  According to one obituary, James O. Lee was an “active and influential member of the Old School Baptist Church.”  His wife had another obituary published in the Baptist newspaper, Gospel Messenger, in which she stated that she and her husband had been baptized together at White Oak Church in April of 1879 by Elder John Clark (1804-1882).  Clark also preached at Chappawamsic Baptist Church in northern Stafford and at Union Church in Falmouth.  James O. Lee served as clerk of White Oak Church for the last 25 years of his life.  On Sept. 28, 1908, a rainy  morning, he went to harness his horse to go to the courthouse and fell from a ladder in the hay barn, breaking his back.  He never recovered and died in his sleep on October 11.  He was buried in the family cemetery at Willow Dale.

Lewis K(enneth?) Knight was the son of William Knight (before 1775-c.1830) and Glady Fritter (1780-1857).  Just prior to the outbreak of the War Between the States, Lewis was arrested for murdering his friend, Elijah A. Ennis.  He was given the option of serving in the Confederate army or being tried for murder.  He chose military service with the understanding that if he survived the war he would be free.  He did survive and he lived in Stafford for the remainder of his life.  In 1868, Lewis was overseer of the road “leading from the Wood Cutting road to the Coal Landing” and “of Coal Landing road in place of John M Stewart removed from the County.”  Lewis was buried at his home off Embrey Mill Road (Route 733) near the new Ebenezer Methodist Church.

George Phillips King (1813-1876) was the son of Samuel King (1774-1841).  He was born in Pennsylvania, but lived much of his life in the White Oak area of Stafford.  In 1845, George married Susan Warren (died 1865), the daughter of William Warren.  During the War Between the States, George was a Unionist.  He moved to Fredericksburg during that unsettled time and worked as a merchant and manufacturer of  soap and candles.  His wife was an invalid at this time.  The Union army stole a great deal from his two Stafford farms, including his steam sawmill.  After the war, George P. King asked the Southern Claims Commission to be reimbursed for $6,430 for the items taken but, despite being a proven Unionist, was allowed only $2,259.  In 1868, George P. King was overseer of the road “from the run east of Little Whim on the road from White Oak to the Chatham Bridge, in place of James Heflin.”  George was assistant marshal for the 1870 Stafford census.  He died of rheumatism.