Historical Figure of the Week

James McClure Scott was the son of Dr. James McClure Scott (1760-1822) and Mildred Thompson (1755-1829) of Albemarle County, Virginia. James, Jr. was born near Ivy Depot in that county. He married Sarah Travers Lewis (1813-1891) and lived for a time at her family home, Bel-air, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. They subsequently built Little Whim on White Oak Road (Route 218) in Stafford County and moved there in 184=53. After losing a child, they decided that the water at Little Whim wasn’t good and they moved to Pine Grove, just across the Chatham Bridge from Fredericksburg. This house site seems to have beenn destroyed for construction of Woodmont Nursing Home. The present railroad tracks may also have passed over or near the house foundation. The invasion of Union troops during the Civil War forced the Scotts back to Bel-air where they spent the remainder of their lives. In 1855, James M. Scott was overseer of the road “from the old stage road leading from Aquia to Dumfries to the road leading from Aquia to the Potomac river.” His responsibility for this section of road in 1855 indicates that he was then living in northern Stafford County, possibly in Wide Water. Not long thereafter, he was residing further south. In 1859, James was overseer of the road “from the foot of James’ Hill to the stage road through Belleplains in the place of Littleton C. Fleming.”

James Wilson Schooler was the son of Thomas E. Schooler (c.1787-1861) and was born in Stafford County, Virginia. In 1850, he was living in the household of William Irvine (c.1806-1887) in the Hartwood area of the county. During the War Between the States, he served in the 30th Virginia Infantry. In 1882, he was overseer of the road “from Grayson’s Shop to Hartwood Church and from Hartwood Church to Christies.” James W. Schooler was a constable from at least 1865 to 1867. In 1915 James, then 91 years of age and “at present an inmate of the Soldiers’ Home, Richmond,” attended a Confederate reunion in Fredericksburg, Virginia where he marched in the parade. James made a habit of returning to Fredericksburg each year to enjoy the fair. He did so in 1916, celebrated his 92nd birthday while there, and the following day suffered a massive stroke. He died and was buried in the Confederate Cemetery in Fredericksburg.

Charles W. Schooler was the son of John P. Schooler (1812-1875) and Laurinda Jones (1815-1870) of Stafford County, Virginia. During the War Between the States, he served as a private in Capt. James D. Bruce’s Company of the 47th Virginia Infantry. He was a color bearer and according to his veteran’s papers “bore the colors with distinguished gallantry in every battle from Seven Pines to Chancellorsville where he was wounded through one of his legs or arms. From the time he was wounded there has been no regular color bearer to the Regt. and he a few days ago received a transfer to cavalry.” Charles married Virginia C. Watts (1848-1903). He was a constable in the Aquia Township in 1870, 1887, and 1888 and, possibly, in other years, as well. Charles employed himself as a fisherman and died at his home near Brooke. At the time of his death, he was listed in the county court records as a pauper.

Robert C. Rodgers was born in Ireland, the son of Robert Rogers (c.1780-1857) of Londonderry. Upon leaving Ireland, he landed first in Philadelphia where he took a job as a bookkeeper. Robert became a naturalized citizen around 1842 and settled in Stafford County, Virginia around 1848. The elder Robert Rogers joined his son in Stafford after his wife’s death in Ireland. The younger Robert married Mary Keith Briggs (c.1816-1895) of Stafford and ran a store on what’s now the Verizon Telephone Company’s parking lot on Warrenton Road. The Rodgers family owned the farm on which now stands Hartwood Elementary School. Both Robert and his father died in Stafford County. The Rodgers family were cousins to the Irvines who lived at nearby Hartwood. Following the War Between the States, Robert submitted a claim to the Southern Claims Commission asking to be reimbursed for $1,918 worth of wood and corn taken from his farm by the Union army. His claim was rejected. In 1865, Robert C. Rodgers was overseer of the road “from Richland Hill to D. S. Coakley’s Store.” From 1873 until at least 1881, he was registrar for the Hartwood Precinct.

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.