Historical Figure of the Week

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.

Charles L. Kennedy (1846-1933) was the son of Thomas A. Kennedy and was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia.  In 1871, he married Mary T. Schooler (1835-1904), the daughter of Thomas E. Schooler (c.1787-1861) of Stafford County, Virginia.  His second wife was Sarah J. Armstrong (c.1863-1953).  Charles lived on or near the Warrenton Road and not far from its junction with Poplar Road (Route 616).  He was Sheriff of Stafford when Charles A. Morganfield and Charles J. Searcey robbed the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac train near Aquia Creek.  One of the most famous train robberies in American history, it was covered by  newspapers all across the United States.  The trial was held at Stafford Courthouse.  In 1875, Charles L. Kennedy was one of the overseers of the road for Hartwood Township.  He was a member of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors from 1881 to 1886 and served as county sheriff from 1887 to at least 1897.  During the early 1900s, Charles was a licensed auctioneer.

Thomas H. Johnson (1823-1903) married Enfield Honey (c.1829-1889), the daughter of George Honey (died after 1843) of Stafford County, Virginia.  In 1855, Thomas was overseer of the road “from Falmouth and Warrenton Roads one mile above Falmouth to Potomac Run.”  He served as a constable for the Hartwood District from at least 1870 to 1884 and was constable for the Aquia District from 1885 to 1886.  During the War Between the States, Thomas H. Johnson served with the 9th Virginia Cavalry.  In April 1900, the Stafford Court relieved him from paying the capitation tax and county levy due to physical infirmity.  The following month, the county court approved his application for a $30 pension.

Dr. Elliott Thompson Jett (1869-1940) was the son of Elliott Berryman Jett (1840-1882) and Mary Elizabeth Sullivan of Falmouth.  He graduated from the University of Virginia and did post-graduate work in North Carolina and New York City.  He never married and lived in his parents’ home in Falmouth with a bachelor brother and two sisters.  Edward practiced medicine on the ground floor of the house and the entrance to his office was via a door below the main level.  This building is now occupied by Gordon Gay’s law office.  The logs from what’s known today as Hobby School were stored for an unknown number of years in Dr. Jett’s barn behind the house.  In the 1930s, these were pulled from the barn and reassembled to make the little log structure now standing to the immediate north  of Union Church.  Exactly where the log building stood originally isn’t known, but Dr. Jett allowed the logs to be stored in his barn for many years and the oral history is that George Washington attended classes in the building.  In 1900, Dr. Elliott T. Jett was a member of the Stafford County Board of Health.

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.