Historical Figure of the Week

Theophilus Reed seems to have been born in either New York or Pennsylvania. He came to Falmouth, Stafford County, Virginia in 1806 and from then until 1822 was engaged in the milling business with Robert Dunbar (c.1745-1831). In 1837, he was Assistant Flour Inspector in Falmouth. He also worked at various times for William C. Beale and for the firm of Brooke & Ficklen, another Falmouth milling concern. Theophilus married Elizabeth Hanna in New York. They left Stafford and moved to Kentucky and then on to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Edgar H. Randall was the son of Aquilla Randall (c.1816-1900:1910) who had moved to Stafford County, Virginia from Maryland. Edgar was a carpenter as well as a surveyor. He also served as principal of Ebenezer School in Garrisonville (closed c.1890). Waller S. Gill (1871-1947) was his assistant at the school. From 1886 through 1918, Edgar H. Randall served as Surveyor of Stafford County. He married Sudie V. Gill (1857-1946) and lived in the white frame house at 1202 Mountain View Road (Route 627) just east of Byram’s Market. Both Edgar and Sudie are buried at the old Ebenezer Methodist Church cemetery near Onville. During the mid-eighteenth century, the Accokeek Iron Company mined iron ore from various places in the Mountain View area. A large mine pit survives in the woods behind E. H. Randall’s house.

Abraham Primmer (1811-1896) was a native of Chemung County, New York. After moving to Stafford around 1854, he lived at Bellair, an old Fitzhugh plantation on Leeland Road (Route 625). This was known more recently as the Walnut Farm. The house tract of this farm is now occupied by Leeland Station subdivision and Primmer House Road runs right through the old dwelling site. Abraham was the son of Peter Primmer and Pheoba Barnum (1784-1875) of New York. He married Elizabeth A. “Libby” Carter (1824-1888), the daughter of Johnson Carter, also from Chemung County and another transplant to Stafford. Johnson resided at Bellmeade, just north of Falmouth and across U. S. Route 1 from Glencairne. In 1856, Abraham Primmer was overseer of the road “from the corner of Peyton’s (formerly) now Roy’s fence on the road from Hopewell to Falmouth to the Potomac Creek road at the corner of Mrs. Coalter’s fence.” In 1861, he was listed in Stafford court records as overseer of the road “from the mouth of Cox’s Lane to the old Stage Road from Fredericksburg to Potomac Creek.” During the Civil War, Abraham was a Unionist.

Little is known of James A. Pollard’s personal life. He married Mary E. Douglas (born c.1835) and in 1859 was overseer of an unspecified section of road in Stafford. His obituary reads, “Mr. James Austin Pollard, aged 73 years, died at the home of his son, William T. Pollard, in Falmouth, Sunday, after a protracted illness, of complicated disease. He was a native of Stafford and served in the Confederate army. Several years ago, he moved to Glasgow, in Rockbridge county, and had charge of a large hotel built there in boom times. Later he returned to Falmouth. He is survived by one son, Mr. Wm. T. Pollard, and two daughters, Mrs. M. K. Lowery, of Brooke, and Miss Berta Pollard. His wife died several years ago while he was in Rockbridge and was buried in Lynchburg. Funeral services will take place from Union church in Falmouth Tuesday evening at 3 o’clock, conducted by Rev. Decatur Edwards. Interment in the cemetery there” (Free Lance, Dec. 19, 1905).

Silem Frederick Gustavus Phillips, who went by the name of Gusty, was the son of Col. William Phillips (1744-1797) and Elizabeth Ann Fowke (1747-c.1829) of Stafford County, Virginia. Gusty never married and resided with his two sisters on his father’s Traveler’s Rest farm, which is now included in the Marine Corps reservation. He was buried with several of his family members in the Warrenton City (Virginia) Cemetery. In 1835, Silem F. G. Phillips was overseer of an unspecified section of road in Stafford.

Simeon C. Peyton was the son of Thomas Peyton (1790-1864) and Sarah Maddox (1794-1877) of Stafford County, Virginia. He married Roxanna T. Chinn (1836-1898). He was known locally as Sim Peyton and was involved in a number of business ventures, including cutting timber. Sim spent his winters in Fredericksburg where he operated a wood and coal yard as well as a livery and was “prepared to accommodate [the public] at all hours with hacks, buggies or saddle horses, at the shortest notice and on reasonable terms.” He also kept a wood yard at or near Belle Plains. One of the local newspapers carried a notice of a fire that destroyed some of his wood: “Heavy loss of Cord Wood – We regret to learn that Mr. Simeon Peyton, of Stafford County, had from eight hundred to a thousand cords of wood destroyed by fire, on Friday last. The wood was cut on Belle Plain farm, in the vicinity of Potomac creek, ready to be forwarded to Washington city market. An old colored man was burning corn-stalks in the vicinity, when the fire was communicated to the cord wood. Mr. Peyton had an insurance of $1000 on the wood, which is better than nothing, but his loss is still heavy.” Simeon’s house at Locust Grove survives and is still occupied as a dwelling. Sim Peyton held a variety of positions in Stafford County. In 1850, he was an overseer of the road “from the corner of William Warren’s land to the Lower Ferry on the Rappahannock River.” He was a Commissioner of Roads for Falmouth Township in 1875 and served on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors from 1875 to 1881.

Charles Peyton (1761-1845) was the son of Evan Peyton (c.1727-c.1781) of Stafford County, Virginia. Charles served in the American Revolution, possibly in Gwathmey’s Virginians of the 10th Continental line. In 1834, Charles was an overseer of the road in Stafford. The name of his wife is unknown, but he had issue: James Peyton (c.1801-after 1851), Ann Peyton (c.1802-1866), and Valentine Peyton (c.1805-c.1852). Valentine’s wife divorced him and he died in the Insane Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia. Ann Peyton and her husband, Gustavus Limbrick (1797-1866), were murdered in their home in Stafford. This branch of the Peyton family lived at Woodlawn on Deacon Road (Route 607). Woodlawn subdivision not occupies part of their farm.

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.