Miscellaneous News Items from Local Newspapers

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, July 3, 1873.
Submitted by:  Bea. Adams King

 DUBLIN, Swate, Ireland
October the 2

Dear Neffea:  I haven't sint ye a letter since the last time I wrote till ye, because we have moved from our former place of living.  I don't know where a letter is to find ye; but I know with pleasure take up my pen to inform you of the death of yer own uncle Kilpatrick, who died very suddenly last week of a lingerin illness of six wakes.  The poor man was in violent convulsions the whole time of his illness, lying perfectly quiet alle the while, and spachless intirely, talking incoherently, and crying for water.  I had no opportunity of informin' ye of his death sooner, except I wrote to you by the last post, which wint two days before his death.  I am at a great loss to tell what his death was occasioned by, but I fear it was by his sickness.  
He niver was well two days together the whole time of his confinement;  but be that as it may, as soon as he had breathed his last the doctor gave up all hopes of his recovery.  I needn't tell ye anything about his age, for ye know that in May next, he would have been twenty-five years ould, lacking ten months an' had he lived till that time, he would have been six months dead.  
His property is very considerable; it devolves upon his next kin, who is dead some time since, so that I expect it will be equally devided between us and them dear Larry, ye'll get two-thirds of the whole, and ye know he had a fine estate, which ye know was sold to pay his debts, and the remainder on the horse race.  But it was the opinion of all the ladies present that he would have won the race, if the horse he run against hadn't been so fast; bad luck to the baste.  But poor sowl, he'll not ate or drink more; and now, Larry, ye have no relashen in the world, except meself and yer two cousins that were killed in the war.  But I can't dwell on the subject, but will sale this letter with black-salein' wax, and put on yer uncle's coat of arms.  
So I beg ye not brake the sale, when you open the letter until three or four days after you receive it.  By that time ye will be ready for the mournful tidings.
Your ould swateheart mary sends her love till ye, unbeknownst to me.  When the bearer of this arrives in Hamilton, ax him for the letter, and if he don't know which one it is, tell him it's the one that spakes of yer uncle's death, and saled in black.

Your affectionate aunt,
Judy O'Halligan
To Larry O'Halligan

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, May 21, 1874.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

 AN AGED PILGRIM - We met the other day at Drakes Branch, an old gentleman by the name of Fowler, who had just arrived from Athens, Ga.  He was born in this county, in the vicinity of Reese's church, in 1799.  He left this section seventy years ago, and this is his first visit to the place of his nativity.  The companions of his early youth-where are they?  He informed us that his only business was to see his early home once more.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, March 19, 1874.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

 COAL, OR WHAT? - Operations were commenced last fall on the estate of Col. H.A. Carrington, for the digging of a well.  The work has been accomplished by Mr. McNemarra under great difficulties.  About 75 feet depth has already been reached, but as yet no water.  At a depth of about 60 feet, a hard substance, resembling a species of slate sometimes found overlying coal was reached, and hopes have been entertained that a deposit of that mineral might be found.  The result is somewhat anxiously awaited.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, February 13, 1890.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

 INFORMATION WANTED - We have received a letter from Miss Tabitha Page, of Memphis, Scotland Co., Missouri, asking information of some of her relatives, believed to be in this vicinity.  She supposed some of them might be subscribers of the GAZETTE.  We believe we have no one of that name on our books.  She is anxious to hear of "Uncle Robert Page, Aunt Susan Ann Jones and Aunt Harriet, who was not married when the last letter was received from Uncle Robert, stating grandma's death.  Papa died soon after.  We want to hear from father's people.  Mother has been dead seven years in July.  Four of Jas. T. Page's children are living."
We publish this extract from the letter, that if any of the relatives are in this vicinity, they may communicate with the writer at Memphis, Mo.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, November 12, 1878.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

John Bradley, caught in an attempt to rob Judge H.H. Marshall's room at the Exchange Hotel, has been sentenced to five years in the penitentiary.  Col. W.M. Roberts has accepted a commission from Dom Pedro for the improvements of the rivers of Brazil.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, December 18, 1873.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

The Indians made a raid on the Neuces river, on the 11th, and killed twenty-four persons, mostly sheepherders.
Reports from Boston of Monday represent the condition of Prof. Agassiz as being very critical.  His disease is softening the brain.
The Petersburg News states there is great scarcity of labor in Sussex county.  The colored people refuse to work, though offer 75 cents and $1 a day.  
A gentleman from North Carolina in search of hands succeeding in getting two.  And this, when so many are said to be suffering.
The sentence of Marshal Bazine, at first condemned to death, has been commuted to imprisonment for life at the island of St. Ma? off Cannes.
Hon. Daniel Nelson, Ex-Justice of the Supreme Court of New York, died while sitting in his chair, on the 12th.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, December 11, 1873.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

Dr. Oscar P. Little, charged with murder of his brother, after a protracted trial, has been found guilty of murder in the second degree, and sentenced to the penitentiary for seven years.
Two deaf mutes, Mr. Frank Jenkins and Miss Fannie McKennie, were married at the Asylum at Staunton on the 3d inst.
Maj. John A. Harmon has been appointed postmaster at Staunton in place of Mr. Sears, resigned.
The president and other officers of the Pittsburg Savings Bank are charged with a conspiracy to defraud the depositors and stockholders.  They are said to have loaned the money to themselves.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, December 11, 1873.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

Plymouth Church, of which Beecher is pastor, has been called to account by some of her sister churches for alleged irregularities of discipline, growing out of the Beecher scandal.  Mr. Beecher and his church are indignant at this interference with the independency of the churches.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, December 18, 1873.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King 

The Georgia case of Parsons, Speaker of the House of Representatives, against Judge Busteed, for illegal imprisonment, has resulted in a verdict for Parsons of $10,000.
The impeachment of Judge Mahood, of the Roanoke circuit, for drunkenness, is demanded in some of the papers.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, June 11, 1874.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

The suit of Dr. Kloeber against the Va. Fire and Marine Ins. Co., for $3,000 insurance has been decided against the Company.
Mr. Couch, of Buchanan, has fallen heir to $210,000 by the death of an uncle in England.  He is said to have become very popular in his county.
From the same source, Mr. Wm. Anderson of Lynchburg receives $100,000.
Wm. Jennings, a soldier of the war of 1812, died on the 4th inst., near Burkeville, aged 85 years.
The suit brought by the heirs-in-law of the estate of John H. Johnson, on the will which gave the bulk of the property to Thos. S. Bocock, was decided in Appomattox Circuit Court, in favor of Mr. Bocock.
John E. Thompson, president of the Pennsylvania Central R.R., died on the 28th ult.  Thos. Scott has been elected to succeed him.
Edward Taylor, a postal clerk on the route between Washington and Lynchburg has been arrested for robbing the mails.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, June 18, 1874.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

The trial of Mrs. S.M. Allen at Staunton for the murder of her husband by poisoning, has resulted in a verdict of acquittal.
The Judiciary Committee have decided to impeach Judge Busteed, of Alabama.
The estate of the late J.E. Thompson, President of the Pennsylvania Central R.R., is valued at two millions.  He bequeathed a large sum for the education and maintenance of female orphans of such employees as had been killed in the discharge of their duties.
By decision of Judge Graham, the larceny indictment against Gov. Moses is quashed.
The Secretary of war received intelligence on the 8th of the death of his only son, at Keokuk, Iowa.
The Halifax Record chronicles the departure of Col. W.W. Wood for permanent residence in St. Louis.
The Danville Times states that the house of D.T. Lanier, near Chatham, was recently entered and robbed of $2,150 in greenbacks, gold, shot gun and apparel.  Mr. L. slept near the window, and thinks chloroform was administered in his sleep.
Major Edmondson, on the way to Richmond, the other day, with some convicts, recognized on the cars a man named Henry Smith, charged with attempt to throw one of the Virginia and Tennessee trains from the track, but who had hitherto eluded arrest.  He was promptly secured in Richmond.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, June 25, 1874.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

Thirty-two of the officials of the State of South Carolina have been convicted or indicted for crime.
Judge R.W. Walker died at Huntsville, Ala., on the 15t inst.
Jefferson Davis has returned from Europe and gone South.
A tornado recently passed over Powhatan, uprooting trees and doing considerable damage.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, July 2, 1874.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

A man named Foster, formerly of Roanoke, was recently fatally shot at Somerset, Ky., by a man named Mercer, formerly a Methodist preacher.  Mercer had a difficulty with a man named Clark, and Foster remonstrated with him upon which he shot him.
An altercation occurred in the streets of Richmond, on Wednesday last, between Hon. J.A. Smith and Mr. A. Washburn.  It originated in the allusion at Washington to the granite contracts.
The late Boydton papers give an account of the hanging of Tisdale, who was "baptized" by a colored M.E. preacher on his way to the gallows, and there listened to his own funeral sermon.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, July 2, 1874.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

Rev. Mr. Shriver and his wife, residing at Locust Bottom, Botetourt county, were killed by lightning on the 25th ult.
N.E. Davis, the oldest Mason in Virginia, died at Danville on the 24th ult.  He was a native of Lunenburg.
Col. J.C. Burch, Comptroller of the State Treasury of Tennessee has sued the Nashville Banner for libel, claiming $50,000 damages.  The Banner has sued Col. Burch and other owners of the Union and American for $60,000.
Capt. Orlando Smith, a well known lawyer of Staunton, recently died at that place.  He was a native of Lunenburg county.
The Lynchburg Republican chronicles the death of Capt. John H. Richardson, for some years conductor on the Va. Cen. and Cheas. and Ohio R.R.
Evans, the murderer of Holburt, in Illinois, was taken from Carrolton jail and hanged by a disguised party.
The widow of Audubon, the naturalist, died at Kelleysville, Ky., on the 19th ult., at the age of 88 years.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, January 27, 1927.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

According to information received in this office our good friend, Mr. E.C. Newcomb during the recent snow went hunting.  It is said he tracked 42 squirrels to one hollow tree and in order to break all former records, he sat down in the snow and waited until every squirrel came out.  He took deliberate aim at all those squirrels, and let go - no he did not get all of the 42 - he missed! Clark Paulett did not tell us this

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, February 10, 1927
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

If what we hear is true, we advise Emmet Newcomb to change his "brand."  
Emmet, according to information received in this office, went fishing during the spring-like days of the past few days and caught two small tadpoles, and is telling everybody he sees that he caught two carp that weighed 7 and 8 pounds each. If E.C. really thought these tadpoles were fish we advise him to change his brand.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, February 17, 1927.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

Editor Charlotte Gazette:  In the last week's issue of the Charlotte Gazette you published an item about me entitled "Little Fishes" which intimated either that I was under the influence of what you see fit to term "my brand" or that I was a phenomenal liar or both.
As a matter of fact the entire item was a falsehood out of the whole cloth and not only had I not made any such statement as you attributed to me I had not even been fishing.
While I realize that this was intended as a joke it is not the first time that such items have been published about me and a sense of decency, and fitness ought to make you realize that a joke may be carried to the point that it ceases to be a joke and does harm.  I had hoped that you would realize that without any action on my part.  Not only is the last mentioned article untrue but there was not a modicum of truth in any of the articles.  I have no fear that those who know me well will misunderstand but those who do not, probably will gather a false impression unless this practice is discontinued.
Inasmuch as a sense of humor prompted you to publish the above mentioned article prominently on your front page I hope that an equal sense of fairness will prompt you to publish this as prominently.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Charlotte Court House, VA, Thursday, January 8, 1874.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

 RARE GAME - On Saturday last, Messrs. S.P. Daniel and Thos. Adams started a deer while engaged in a fox hunt.  The run was on Ward's fork to the fork of the road near Mrs. Donald's, thence by Mrs. Lewis' to Wallace creek, thence to Hermon church, then turning near to Henry Edmunds, and then straight to the river near Dr. Edmund's residence.
The hunters supposed they were running a fox until they reached Jas. Jackson's where they inquired of a lad if he had seen the dogs after a fox.  He stated that he had seen the dogs, but they were not after a fox; but larger animal, with a big bunch in his head.  The dogs, it seems came up with the deer near Henry Edmunds, but as it was the first time they had followed such game, the creature escaped them, and finally gained the river.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Charlotte Court House, VA, Thursday, January 8, 1874.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

 BIG PORKER - Mr. L.C. Dunnavant, near this place, recently slaughtered a fine hog fourteen months and seven days old, which weighed when dressed 369 pounds.  He says let old Kentuck beat that, if it can.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Charlotte Court House, Thursday, April 9, 1874.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

 RARA AVIS - Mr. J.B. Dupey, whose residence is near the County Line X Roads, informed us the other day that he saw near his dwelling one day last week a white robin.  This be considered a very unusual species of the feathery tribe.  For ourself, we are not sufficiently an ornithologist to judge whether it is a solecism.  Perhaps some of our readers may know whether white robins are often seen.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Charlotte Court House, VA, Thursday, May 7, 1874.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

 PERSONAL - Capt. David Rice, of Jackson, Tenn., is now on a visit to his daughter, Mrs. A.A. Wilbon, of this village.  He reports the wheat crop of Tenn., to be magnificent, both for the number of acres sown, and its general appearance.  Farming operations are generally backward.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Charlotte Court House, VA, Thursday, April 23, 1874.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

 A CONTRAST - We find in the last number of the North Alabama Reporter, a letter from its editor, Col. D.R. Hundley, now on a trip North, which contains some matters worthy of notice.  We, who become familiarized to the dilapidation and ruin around us, can scarcely imagine how unpleasantly our forlorn aspect strikes the eye of a stranger.  We have no heart to paint the picture as it has appeared to us, and as we know it appears to others.  We shall let the Col. speak for himself:
"All the way from Chattanooga to Lynchburg presents a pleasing aspect of thrift and plenty.  It does one's heart good to behold clean and well-kept fences, neat farm houses, slick and fat cattle and hogs and everywhere orchards glorious in their white and purple blossoms greet the eye.  In the field white men are seen almost the only laborers, and around the depots are very few loafers, and in consequence the grogshops do not greatly abound.  It is not a little singular that dram drinking, idleness and poverty seem always to go hand in hand.
I shall remain in Virginia a week or ten days, visiting relations and friends.  When I leave here it will be for the tobacco belt of Virginia, where I will once more begin to find tumble-down fences, fields of broom sedge, villages in decay, where the rum seller thrives on the general ruin around him.  
The contrast between the grass growing, stock-raising portions of Virginia and East Tennessee and those portions of the South devoted to tobacco and cotton, is full of significance.  It is a study complete with wholesome instruction.  Every portion of the South that can be devoted to grass and stock, ought to be devoted at as early day as possible.  This will give more suitable labor for the tobacco and cotton fields, at the same time it will offer an inducement to some of our young men to go to work in a way congenial to their tastes, instead of spending half their time lounging around village groggeries, and the other half hunting foxes or birds; they will be studying the American stock periodicals, and the journals especially devoted to agriculture one-half their time, while the other half will be devoted to the perfecting of the knowledge thus acquired by practical experiments from being drawn in society, will thus become useful and worthy artisans, helping to build up their country in a way to insure the prosperity of all."

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Charlotte Court House, VA, Thursday, May 14, 1874.
Submitted by:  Bea. Adams King 

INFORMATION WANTED - Green Gregory, colored, of this village is very anxious to ascertain the present whereabouts of his brother Edward, who in April of last year was at work on the railroad at Memphis, Tenn.  Any information respecting him will be most gratefully received.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, January 17, 1946.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

F.X. Barksdale, Randoph, has been given the privilege of the exclusive use of the name "Morotoch" as a herd name in registering his purebred Holstein-Friesian cattle, announces The Holstein-Friesian Association of America.
Nearly 775 prefixes were reserved for breeders by the Association in 1945.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, July 25, 1946.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

Dear Editor:
Recently you unjustly accused President A.F. Whitney of the Brotherhood of Railroad trainmen of threatening to use 74 million dollars deposited in the Brotherhood treasury in an effort to defeat President Truman.
For your information, President Whitney never made this statement and we members of the Brotherhood are in full possession of the facts.  Mr. Whitney said that the Brotherhood had 47 million dollars to use for paying insurance claims, benefits, and promoting the welfare of the members.
Mr. Whitney did say that 2 and one-half million dollars of this money could be used to defeat Truman but that it wasn't necessary since he was defeating himself by his own actions.
It is a sickening and outrageous habit of many newspapers to print lies and from these lies to weave evil nets with which to ensnare the American people.
You wisely refrain from saying that railroad men did not have reason for complaint.  We did.  But you turn your stream of invective not on railroad management which refused to do anything to eliminate intolerable working conditions, not on Government which stood idly by until a strike was called, but on the workers.  The millions of American people also had a responsibility to the people in Europe.  Railroad management, which refused to do anything to eliminate intolerable working conditions; not on Government, which stood idly by until a strike was called, but on the workers.  The millions of American people also had a responsibility to insure that attempts to remove the intolerable working conditions were not stymied to the point where workers felt it necessary to strike.  Did you, as an Editor of a responsible newspaper, think of your obligation to inform public opinions that refusal to insist upon improvement in working conditions would result in tying up thousands of tons of food in the shape of perishable loaded in cars on sidings?
No, you ignored your duty to the public, you ignored your responsibility as an Editor.  You remained silent while injustice rode the rail lines of the country and stepped in to swell the shout raised by management that the worker must always pay and pay and pay.
Railroad trainmen trust their President.  They know that when all the pressure of the "bought-out" press and Government was brought to bear on him he refused to sell his members down the river.  The strike was called at the demand of 98 per cent of railroad trainsmen.  President Whitney was responding to the demand of his members for action.
Reading your columns, I can say that you have no faith in Democracy, no will to see justice triumph.  You have merely added one more voice to the pack of jackels howling at and ready to pounce on men who have been knocked down and then kicked.
The reasons for which railroad trainmen went on strike still exist.  If you want to do a service to your country instead of promoting Fascism, print something about the intolerable working conditions of railroad men.  If you don't know anything about them, ask any trainmen; he'll tell you!
Sincerely yours,
O.D. Dickerson

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, July 18, 1946.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

Mr. B.E. Bailey, Southern Railway agent at Drakes Branch sold a hog the other day that weighted 655 pounds.  Mr. Bailey received $131 for the hog.  If you can beat it, we would like to know!

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA, Thursday, June 27, 1946.
Submitted by
:  Bea. Adams King

LYNCHBURG, June 20 - Miss Dorothy Booth, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Richard Booth, of Lynchburg, has been appointed surgical artist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
Miss Booth studied at New Pork School of Fine and Applied Arts trained at Mayo Clinic, then served eight years as surgical artist at Stuart Circle Hospital, Richmond.  She has illustrated books on general surgery and cancer.
She will sketch delicate aspects of operations and complete the paintings later in a studio.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, February 8, 1940
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

News Notes:  (Taken from The Charlotte Gazette 54 years ago)

March 11, 1886 - Captain A.J. Terry was in Washington, D.C. last week
J.B. Lee has established a steam saw and grist mill at Drakes Branch.
The Gazette acknowledges the courtesy of a pass on the steamer "Jean" between Staunton Bridge and Brookneal, and a polite invitation from I.J. Overby, her owner.
Mrs. Wm. H. Smith is on a visit to the family of her father in North Carolina.
We acknowledge the receipt of an invitation from Dr. W.E. Proctor, Jr., to attend the 79th commencement of the University of Maryland.  Mr. Proctor is completing a course of dentistry there.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, February 28, 1940
Submitted By: 
Bea Adams King
Old Charlotte  (Taken from the Gazette files of 54 years ago)

Notes from Rough Creek

July 3, 1886 - We rejoice to know that our old friend and teacher, Mrs. L.W. Smith, is on her way home from Tennessee.  She is now at her son-in-law's Mr. C.C. Shelton, in Pittsylvania County.  A warm welcome awaits her here.  Whilst we are glad to know that Bristol people appreciate her labors as a teacher, it is felt that Charlotte has the best claim to her services.
Miss Myrtie Roach has been teaching a private school at Mr. White's, recently, from Pittsylvania, since the close of her public school.  She has made warm friends.
The advent of Mr. White and family to our community is hailed as an acquisition.  Would that Pittsylvania would send us more of such neighbors.
Miss Hamlett has had a large and flourishing school in this village.  She has been very punctual in attendance, and by her winning manners has secured the love of pupils and patrons. The school closed with public exercises this month.
Mrs. D.H. White has suffered from poison oak, and the application of strong bluestone wash.  During her illness she received the kind attention and sympathy of many friends.
This lady has a silk quilt, which she offers for sale at $10, $5 of which will be given to the family of our deceased pastor, Rev. E.S. Taylor.
We are glad to know that Miss Nettie North, who has been quite sick, is convalescent.
Messrs. Hamlett and Holloway, who are in the Drug business at Clover, have been visiting friends in this vicinity.
Roach White, who has suffered long from inflammatory rheumatism, is now able to substitute a cane for crutches, though he will be crippled for life.  The tedium of long confinement has been relieved by the sympathy and kindness of friends and neighbors, especially the families of Messrs. Adams, Andrews, and Dr. Snell.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, February 28, 1940
Submitted By: 
Bea Adams King
Old Charlotte  (Taken from the Gazette files of 54 years ago)

News Notes

R.B. Berkley, Esq. and W.P. Dupuy, of Farmville, were among visitors at Court Monday.
We learn that T.M. Jones, near Mossingford has "led the shipping tobacco market of Richmond on 23rd. ult."  He got $14.00.
It was our privilege recently to spend a night at the hospitable home of our venerable fellow citizen, P.B. Sublett.  He is now in his 82d. year, yet enjoys the vigor and activity of 50 years.
We understand that Misses Ingraham and Dodson, of Halifax, are about to open a millinery establishment at the Brick Hotel, in this village.
The public school in this village, taught by Mrs. E.D. Guthrie, closed Friday of last week.  The exercises were enlivened by recitations, etc.  And refreshments were served, that were highly enjoyed by the scholars.
Mr. Reuben Dickens, an aged resident of Madisonville, died suddenly last week.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, February 28, 1940
Submitted By: 
Bea Adams King
Old Charlotte  (Taken from the Gazette files of 54 years ago)

Notes from Rolling Hill

The deepest sympathy is here felt for the parents of Miss Lizzie Pugh, who died at Madisonville, July 8.
Miss Edna Harvey, of Danville, and Lottie Ford, of Rough Creek, are visiting their uncle, B.P. Harvey.
Mrs. R.S. Cocke, now residing in Lynchburg, is also on a visit at her fathers, B.P. Harvey.
Miss Zuilkla Mallory, of Richmond, is at present visiting the family of L.H. Hammersly.
Miss Susie Harvey and Lottie Ford, design to spend part of the summer with friends at Meherrin Depot.  They expect to attend the Lynchburg Centennial.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, April 4, 1940
Submitted By:  Bea Adams Knig
Old Charlotte  (Taken from the Gazette files of 54 years ago)

Notes From Madisonville

August 5, 1886 - Clinton H. Ford, who has been here on vacation from Virginia Military Institute, was unexpectedly called back to Lexington, on special duty.
G.C. Hannah, of Wilson, N.C., is visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Hannah.
Miss Annie E. Marshall, who graduated at Charlotte Fr. Institute, will teach this fall.
Misses Lena and Marie Hannah visited friends at Smithville during August.
Miss Bessie W. Ford, who graduated at Staunton Female Institute, in June, will teach at "High Hill", in September.
Frank S. Jennings, we learn designs to take a trip north this fall, "in search of a mule."
Milton Stevenson, of New Your, is visiting relatives at "High Hill."
Walter S. Pugh, returns to Blacksburg in September.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette. Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, February 22, 1940
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King
Old Charlotte (Taken from the Gazette fills of 54 years ago)

News Notes

May 6, 1886 - Phillip A. Bruce, Esq. of Baltimore, is now on a visit to his father at Coles Ferry.
Captain Thomas Watkins, of Halifax, has been spending a short time with the family of Maj. R.V. Gaines.
William Gregory and wife, of Otsego County, New York, who have been visiting Mr. W.S. Gregory, near this village, left for their northern home last week.
Miss Virginia Berry, who has been teaching school in Appomattox, has returned to her home in this place.
Miss Mollie Chaffin, of Drakes Branch, has some very fine bees for sale.  
We were gratified to meet with Col. T.M.R. Talcott, Gen. Manager of Mobile and Ohio R.R. last week.  He made a brief visit to his father-in-law, J.B. McPhail, Esq.

Public School

The public school in this village in charge of Mrs. E.D. Guthrie, as teacher, number 26 pupils.  The second month had an average attendance of 22.15; the third month closed last Friday with average attendance of 20.25.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, April 4, 1940
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King
Old Charlotte  (Taken from the Gazette files of 54 years ago)

Rolling Hill Jottings

I am seated in the sight of the place where Salem Church once stood.  It was moved about the year 1827, sixty years ago.  Old people have told me about witnessing baptizing in the ford of Cub Creek, and how bed quilts were hung across the fence corners to make a dressing room for the ladies, after they were baptized.  An old lady says she used to peep through the rails at them.  Large congregations were in attendance under the ministry of Rev. John Rutherford, who was beloved by all denominations, and when he visited the neighborhood, years afterwards, he visited all alike.
The young ladies of Lynchburg, who were visiting here have left for OLD CHARLOTTE G-2 vRMjkM.. school, at the "burg", and the young folks miss them sadly, but hope for their return next year.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Smithville, Va., Thursday, December 14, 1899
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

Drakes Branch Items
J.L. Payne has arrived from South Carolina, where he has been dealing in bright tobacco, and will be regularly on the market here.
C.C. Gaines, president of Eastman College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., is on a visit to his father, Maj. R.V. Gaines.
Rev. Mr. Marks has been assigned to this M.E. circuit to succeed Rev. A.B. Sharpe.  His members will extend him a hearty welcome.
Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Scott were made the happy parents of a bouncing boy on Nov. 26th. They have the congratulations of many friends.
Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Vaughan, of Rices, were visiting Mrs. B.S. Faris last week.
Rev. Mr. Hugh Henry, of Briery, preached in the Presbyterian church here yesterday.
J.L. Putney was in Farmville on business several days last week.
Willie Haynie, of Danville, was visiting his brother, J.H. Haynie, Sunday, Dec. 4, 1899.
(The above items were received too late for publication last week.  ED.)

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Smithville, Va., Thursday, December 14, 1899
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

Keysville Notes
Mrs. R.T. Priddy and Mr. Edgar Priddy have returned from a pleasant visit to Roxboro, N.C.
Mrs. C.W. Fowler has gone to Spencer, N.C., after a visit to her father, Mr. J.E. Eubank.
Mrs. E. Stanley Jeffress, of Danville, is on a visit to her mother, Mrs. M.E. Osborne.
Mr. R.J. Gaulding has gone to Richmond for the winter.
Mr. Aubrey Bailey, who has been at home on a visit, has returned to Norfolk.
Mrs. R.E. Atwelll has just returned from a delightful visit to friends in Alexandria and Washington.
Mrs. F.H. Gregory is on a visit to her old home at Milton, N.C.
Maj. J.W. Morton is in Florida.
Rev. George Vest preached at the Episcopal church here on Sunday.
Mrs. John Garnett has returned from a visit to her mother at Clover.
Miss Bettie Calhoun is visiting Mrs. J.W. Morton.
The people generally are very much pleased that Rev. Mr. Franklin was returned to the Methodist church here.
Miss Daisy Garland has returned from Crewe, where she attended the marriage of Miss Lockett to Mr. Ferguson, of Bristol, Tenn.
Messrs. P.H. Osborne and J.M. McCargo were in Danville on business last week.
Mr. J.E. Eubank was in Danville attending U.S. Court.
Mr. Floyd Locke, who lived in Keysville until recently, was married in Lynchburg last Wednesday to Miss Ogburn, of that city.
Mr. E.S. Fitzgerald made a flying visit to his home at Pelham, N.C., last week.
Dr. A.S. Priddy spend Sunday at home.
Dec. 11, 1899.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Smithville, VA., Thursday, June 25, 1874.
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

For the Charlotte Gazette
NEAR SHILOH, Charlotte Co., Va.,
January 20th, 1874
Mr. EDITOR: Never having seen anything in your valuable paper from this immediate section, allow me to trespass on your columns for only a few lines.
The people are busy planting tobacco.  A few have finished, and owing to the scarcity of plants, the crop will be a small one.  All hands, from what I have seen, are knee deep in grass in their corn fields.  Harvesting has also commenced.  So you see we have plenty of work.  Yes, too much, unless we had more reliable labor.  It is very difficult to get any labor down here, and what we do get is very trifling.  The wheat crop will hardly be an average one in this neighborhood.  Oats rather inferior, and the corn crop -- well, when I find it out of grass, will write you more about it.
I saw Miss --, one of the most lovely daughters of your village, making a bill at R.J. Gaulding's, a few days since.  How is this for Drakes?  She not only made an impression with the merchants, but left the writer of this almost void of his -- well, I won't say; but really do wish I had some business to attend to at Smithville.

Newspaper:  The Charlotte Gazette
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

Submitted by Ellen Wagstaff
Mother of 12 Should Know
Widow Discusses Rearing of Children
By Hamilton Crockford
Times Dispatch Staff Writer
RED OAK, Sept. 13 -- First there was Lois, then Luck, then Marshall also a girl, then Hunter, Jr., Mary, James, Joseph, Clayton, Harriet, John, Grayson, Norman.
Mrs. Hattie Clayton Wagstaff is the mother of 12 children.  All are living, grown, and making their way.
She is also a Gold Star mother.  When she and Hunter R. Wagstaff, a widower, were married, he had a 6 year old boy, she said.  Her stepson was killed when the Germans blew up a Navy tanker in World War I; he was buried at sea.
She is a widow.  Her husband died in 1938, she said.  She lives three miles east of here on a farm just over inside Mecklenburg County.
She was married Jan. 27, 1906, nearly 50 years ago.  She'll be 69 October 3, she says.
The children: All five girls live away; three are married, including the eldest, who taught school and now runs a tourist court: the single daughters have good jobs.  Five boys farm; James is a du Pont employee; John a car salesman in South Hill. He and four of the five farming sons live at home, unmarried -- "all good-looking and looking for a woman with plenty of money," he explained.
Aside from such a record, any woman who is willing to tell her age, and also has 12 children, ought to be good for some pointers on this life. Mrs. Wagstaff is ?? Christian woman, a friend called her ??? was asked for a few, on raising children.
She was too wise to get herself pinned down very close.  She wouldn't part with anything until the boys started kidding her.  She smiled.
Raising 12 wasn't easy, she conceded.  Still she made that pilgrimage to Europe arranged for Gold Star mother's in 1931  Some of her girls were old enough to cook by then.
Lost Hand in Shredder
When the first ones were growing up, though, there wasn't any high school near, for one thing.  The Wagstaffs sent four daughters to Blackstone college for Girls, and the eldest went on to graduate at The University of Virginia.
They couldn't hop in a car and drive to Blackstone.  The folks drove them in the buggy to Chase City and there took the train.
Wagstaff lost his hand in a shredder in 1933.  And there was a depression.
How pay for the youngsters' schooling?  "I used to raise a lot of turkeys," she said.  "I had $300 worth one time...."
And Joe went off to VPI in 1937, and was there in 1938 through the Fall -- "But when his father died, he said, "Mama, you can't send the boys to high school if I stay in college."  So he came home and farmed, she reported.  And he put up the first milking parlor in the State, they said, and the farm experts brought classes in from all over to see it.
Jim, Joe, Clayton and John all joined the Navy in World War II.  The Korean war took Grayson and Norman.  All six saw foreign service, and all six got back, Grayson from Heartbreak Ridge, and all unscathed, she said.
Some Coincidence:
"But mothers can get some mighty foolish ideas," she confided.  She saw a battle casualty picture in a magazine. She knew one sailor was John.  She went to Chase City to get the Red Cross to make inquiries:  "I decided I'd better get some money out of bank if there was any cost.  I was at the window to draw it -- John put his hand on my shoulder.  He'd just got to the States again.
As for any other advice to mothers, well, Hattie Wagstaff laughed.  "At church one night the pastor asked me to say something about the children.  I just said, "They come cheaper by the dozen.  I don't know anything good about them, but they're all mine."  Then she relented "I think they're all mighty good."
John offered to fill in for mothers.  "They need to use a little more hickory grease than they use now," he allowed.  Said he: "I used a little bit. Not too much."  Said he: "The butter paddle used to be the trick."  Said she: "He set the straw stack afire.  That's the only time I whipped him.
"Mr. Wagstaff said I spoiled them too much.  I'd tell him there was a difference between spoiling and love...
"I took them to Sunday school and taught them the Bible.  (One grandson is studying to be a preacher.)...
"I still get mad at'em sometimes," she owned, though.  Helps too, she said.
There was perhaps one other little secret: Those seven boys--yes, she said, "They tease me right rough sometimes.:  But Hattie Wagstaff can let them have it right back.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Smithville, VA., Thursday, September 5, 1901
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

This is to certify that my wife, Mrs. Lavinia Gaines, has deserted my residence; notice is hereby given that I will pay no bills of her contracting, or be responsible for any bills or debts made by her.
Peapack, N.J., August 7, 1901

Newspaper:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, January 28, 1932
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

When Grandpa Was A Little Boy

"Grandpa, tell us something about when you was a little boy."  This request I suppose has been made of every grandpa, and doubtless it will continue to be made as long as time endures.  Often have I taken the children and grandchildren upon my knees and have gone back to "Civil War" times and dicussed (discussed) with them my experiences as a boy on the old farm in Southern Virginia on the Staunton River in old Charlotte County where I was born.
Naturally they were more interested in stories of the old mammies and uncles and the little negro boys than in anything else.  To tell them "about when I was a little boy" and leave out the little negro boys who were my plawmates (playmates) would be like, an attempt to enact the play of Hamlet with Hamlet left out.
Well, there were ten children in our family, and in those days kids were turned over for watching and safe keeping to the old mammies, who without exception looked after them with the tenderest care and affection.  Of course we had to "have ourselves and not forget our breedin", when they were around; but we would often leave them, and run off with the little negro boys, each of us having his own special playmate, and when well out of sight, what mischief we could not find to do is not worth mentioning.
During the fall, winter and spring months we had to go to school and of course, this greatly interfered winth  (with) our plans, as there was little time left during the short days for play and mischief making.  But late in the afternoon when milking time came, down to the cowpen, (cuppen as it was called) we would go and after milking was over, and the calves had been securely shut up in the large enclosure made for that purpose, each boy would select a calf and then the test came as to whether he was man enough to ride him around the pen. Of course there was much hurrahing when one of us was thrown by his calf, and it rarely occurred that a successful trip all the way round was made.  There was one negro boy, however, Nathan, who was much more expert than any of the rest of us, who was as active as a circus rider, and he was looked up to by all of us as a perfect hero.  When he mounted the biggest and meanest calf all gave way to him and looked on in wonder as the calf would rush madly around the pen.
The boy would lie almost flat to the calf's back with his arms around its neck, and his feet in the flanks tickling the calf, and their capers were much like the nigger and the show mule at Robinson's Circus, till the calf would run into a fence corner and stop.  This fun was generally kept up until we had to quit and go to supper.  At supper my brother and I would steal as many biscuits as we could to pay the little negro boys for some special favor they had done for us; the biggest always were given to our circus rider.  Later I will tell what happened to me in connection with the stealing of an unusually large number of biscuits.
At this point let me tell of my experience with my calf.  Each boy had his own calf, which he tried to manage and ride.  Now, my calf, a fine bull-calf, was said to resemble me in appearance.  He had a big head and what they called bald-headed, because of the fact that he had a large white face, the white extending up well over the crown of his head.  This gave him the bald appearance.  As my head was quite large for a boy of my size, the negro boys said "we was jes alike, bofe bald-headed."  My last experience with this calf, which was named after me, was quite serious at the time but later appeared amusing.  I had been in the habit of going up to the calf, although warned not to do so, and rubbing my forehead against his.  This the calf took kindly until one evening as I attempted to go through with the usual performance he came at me like a billy goat and butted me squarely in the forehead and knocked me out.  I was taken to the house and put to bed, and carefully nursed for several days until I was permitted to walk around again.
As soon as released down I went to the 'cuppen" to take a look at my calf.  I found Nathan sitting on the fence.  He had just penned the calves. I looked for my calf but did not see him.  Then I asked Nathan where my calf was.  He began to grin, and asked me how I had liked "dat veal I had been eatin" while I was in bed?"  He said "y'all dun eat dat calf half up."  "Look dar," said he, pointing to the cow shed.  There carefully stretched out was my calf's hide.  Thus ended my experience with calves.
Later the boys used to say "dat dey had hern tell o' de boy dat the calf run over."  From that day also they dubbed me "bull-headed," as it was a bull calf that butted me over.  It is said that a nick-name will stick to you as long as you live, and, for some reason not clear to me, I have been known as "bull-headed" down to this good day.
After supper during the winter months we spent a little time studying our lessons, but the most of the nights till bedtime each of us had his little school, and our negro playmates were diligently taught to spell and read.  At first I held school in Uncle Robert's room.  Now I will say that Uncle Robert was absolute boss of the place when my father was away from home, which was very often as (being a lawyer) he attended all courts in the nearby counties as well as the higher courts in Richmond.  Uncle Robert allowed no trifling around him, and he looked out with keen interest when school started.  The negro hero above referred to was oie (one) of my scholars and my special pet.  When I called the school to order I selected him to be questioned first.  I asked him, "Nathan, do you know your letters?"  He answered, "Naw, I don't know B from bull-foot."
Promptly  Uncled (Uncle) Robert slapped him over, and said, "you gotta show respeck for de schoolmastah."  We had order in the school after that and I felt mighty proud; but we concluded it would be better not to meet in Uncle Robert's room afterwards, so we decided to use a vacant room in the old John Randolph part of our home which was rarely occupied.
Here I will tell you something of the old home.  In 1853, just twenty years after the death of John Randolphof Roanoke, his executor sold Roanoke and all the personal property at public auction. My father bought the Roanoke plantation and much of the personality, including books, china, tables, desks, chairs, etc.  He at once moved from Richmond and built a large home for the large family which was coming.  Much has been written by various historians about the houses in which John Randolph lived at Roanoke.  They have been described as miserable log huts, etc.
I will give an idea now of Roanoke at the time of its purchase by my father and in the condition in which it was left by Randolph.  There were two houses, the winter house and the summer house.  The winter house was a log building, but what is known as a block house.  The logs were hewn and so closely jointed that the walls presented the appearance of having been planed carefully and smoothly.  No warmer or more comfortable one-room house could have been built.  This house was one and a half stories high, and so substantial that when my father built, it was preserved and added to forming a part of our house, and was thoroughly comfortable.
When our home was destroyed by fire on the 6th day of April, 1879, my 23rd birthday anniversary, all the rest of the large house of ten rooms were completely destroyed before the old Randolph part, built of logs, was consumed by the flames.
The summer house was of frame: two rooms and an ante-room between, with two upper half story rooms.  In one of these upper rooms John Randolph kept a crazy kinsman confined; and the negroes, small and large, always believed "dat room hanted."
Living with the negroes as we did we also became very superstitious and fully believed many a weird story of seeing "sperrits and ghoses" in and around the premises.  The room in which the lunatic had been confined was used by my mother and father as what we used to call a "lumber room."  Every manner of thing that could at that time be thought of, when not used, was stored away in that room.  Old pieces of glass and china, and short lengths of chains, along with walnuts and hickory nuts the children would gather and store away for winter.  The nuts attracted rats and flying squirrels that cut holes into the walls and carried in the nuts.
Well, the first night the school held in the room below this lumber room.  After all had come to order and study began, there was a strange rattling of chains and broken china etc. overhead; the wind at the same time moaned and there was a general disturbance up-stairs.  Nathan rose and said, "Dat's old Jack Randall and dat crazy man a-fussin' up dar.  Y'all ken stay here if you wants to but I gwin lef right now."  The school was promptly dismissed and never again was called to order in "dat hanted house."
When the big house was filled with visitors, as it often was, we boys were required to stay in the Randolph house; but we did not rest quietly. The least noise that was unusual was at once thought to be the moving of the :"ghoses or sperrits" and my brother and I would sit up for hours at the time wondering and wondering.  To add to this cause of annoyance to us boys, it was well known that during the life time of John Randolph a strange woman in white was often seen wandering around the place.  Some of the old citizens, honest and reliable, testified to having seen her going to and from Randolph's home.  Now the negroes insisted "dat she aint nuvver stopped comin'."  Sometimes a negro boy would rush into the house terror-stricken and cry out "dat 'oman in white is out dar in de yard."  Randolph was buried in the yard, and one of our best citizens positively stated time and again that that strange woman riding astride on horseback had been seen to visit the grave of Randolph often during the twenty years between the date of his death and 1853.  The grave had a large white stone at the head and a gray stone at the foot.  In playing at night, as we often did out in the yard at "fox and hounds" or "fox and warner," the dare would often by (be) given to any boy who pretended not to believe in "ghoses" to go by himself and sit on the headstone at the grave.  I do not now remember that any boy was ever bold enough to do so.  Even to this day, although Randolph's remains were removed in December, 1879, to Richmond, ninety miles away, boys are always careful how they hang around the spot where he was buried, and invariably, I am told, do they look back as they pass near the grave.
Now, down on the plantation, a mile away from the "great house," as the negroes called the home, John Randolph's negroes were buried near a large spreading elm.  The negroes, old and young, thirty years after the last had been buried there, always said that "old Jack Randall had buried some of his niggers alive, and dat amost any night you could hear 'em moaing out dar in de buryin' groun'."  My brother and I were asked by several older negroes to go with them one night, after supper and "see if we couldn't hear dem niggers moanin' in de grave yard."  We consented to go.  It was a dark cloudy night.  The wind was blowing, and the negroes declared it "wus de very kin' o' night to hear 'em moan'." The public road was near the grave yard and we cautiously concluded to stay in the middle of the road.  When we reached the nearest spot to the elm tree we halted and as the wind would rise and fall a weird ghostly sound could be distinctly discerned.  The negroes thought it advisable to leave at once, and if I mistake not, my brother and I led the gang back to the house in double-quick time and we were very positive in our endorsement of the negroes' statements that moans were distinctly heard.  An investigation was ordered and the overseer went out one night to dispose the big tales we had been telling.  To his amazement, and I think terror, the moaning was even more distressing than we had reported it, and the overseer rapidly returned home, leaving thet (that) investigation for some might (night) in the future.
Some time after that a man was bold enough to go out and stand in the grave yard under the tree, but he took ohis (took his) gun with him. When the wind started up the moaning began.  Upon examination it was found that two limbs of the tree crossed, the one resting on the other. When the wind arose the upper limb swayed backward and forward, and the friction caused the sound which had so long been believed to be the "maonin' o' Jack Randall's niggers."
This discovery satisfied some, but the old negroes went to their graves believing to their last days that "Jack Randall buried niggers alive, and dat dey moaned out dar, and dat you could hear 'em most any night ef you want afeared to stay out dar in de grave yard long "nuf by yourself."
(To be continued)