Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

Home Page


Genealogy Research and Records

HISTORY OF AMELIA COUNTY

Compiled from the notes of A. R. Hudgins


Contents Pages
1 - 6
Pages
7 - 13
Pages
14 - 20
Pages
21 - 27
Pages
28 - 34
Pages
35 - 41
Pages
42 - 47

{Page 35}

mill site.  A part of the mill foundation wall was there twenty five years ago, and some old scrap metal was there.  This mill ceased to operate about 1875.  The old mill house stood until about 1898.

I am just about sure that the stones from this mill were moved to Perrins Mill near Paineville about 1902.  The road from Paineville to Jetersville passes close to this mill site.  I feel sure that the mill was there first and roads were built to the mill which later became this public road.

A great many people convicted of petty offenses in England were transported to the American colonies and to Australia and were held in bondage and worked just as we work convicts on roads and other places now.  I read of one who was transported for stealing a pie from a baker’s cart on the street in England.  I have been informed that some of these convicted people from Great Britain were brought to that frontier county of Amelia and compelled to work building the dam for Jeters Mill, and probably worked on the mill also.  What an undertaking it must have been to build a mill away {sic} out in the wilderness when many of the parts had to be made from wood.  With very little iron and steel and only a few poorly equipped blacksmith shops a long way off.

Although this mill was not built by Jeters it was operated by them for many years.  This mill was called Grove Mill and the home of Tilmon Jeter, who owned and operated the mill.  Mill Grove was operated as a tavern for many years.  This house is now the home of Mr. Reps Jeter.  The last member of that well known and pioneer family of Jeters in Amelia County to operate this mill was Dr. Jim Jeter who was an old man in 1900.  He learned denistry {sic s/b dentistry} before the Civil War.  (He probably went to college in Baltimore).  It seems that he practiced denistry {sic s/b dentistry}.

It was in these trying times of poverty and in many cases of want and hardship that this old mill on Flatt Creek was allowed to go down. The dam is there and the canal that leads to the mill site is there to remind future generations that this is the place where many thousands of bushels of wheat and corn were ground long before the War of the Revolution, and long after.

Neals Branch Mill.  A mill was located on Neals Branch, about two miles southeast of Paineville.  This was probably as old as Woods Mill.  I have never been able to find out who built it or operated it.  It was probably a small corn mill that did not operate after 1800.  I am not sure of this.

Both ends of the dam are there and a canal leads from the south end of the high dam along a steep side of a hill and comes to an abrupt end.  No trace of a mill is to be seen.  This mill site is about two miles west of the place where Neals Branch flows into Flatt Creek.

Mr. Josephus Walthall lived on the farm that this mill was located on up to about 1905, and his family lived there for many years before his birth, but I have never heard that this was Walthall’s Mill.  I have heard that an almost grown boy named Chappell was drowned in this mill pond while tending fish traps.


{Page 36}

Clementown Mill.  A town was chertered {sic s/b chartered} to be built here in 1794.  The mill was probably built before 1794.  Marriage records show that Edward Booker married Mary Clement in 1783, and she was a daughter of Isham Clement, and Thomas Whitworth was surety.  No doubt this mill was built by this family of Clements.  It was on the Appomattox River and was a corn and four {sic s/b flour} mill, which was an important mill for many years.  I am of the opinion that it did not operate continuously up to the time it burned about 1930.  Clementown Mill was located about five or six miles northest of Paineville.  I never heard that a town was built there.  For many years it was operated by the Brezeal family.

Stoney Point Mill.  This was a corn and flour mill and was on the Appomattox River about seven or eight miles northeast {sic s/b north east} of Paineville, and about a mile and a half below the mouth of Sandy Creek.  I am of the opinion that a mill was built here in colonial times.  After the Civil War it seems that the mill was rebuilt by Dr. Richard Wood, who lived on a large farm in Amelia about two miles or less east of this mill.  I have been told that Dr. Wood was intelligent enough to foresee the coming of the Civil War and its after effects and that he sold most of his slaves, was paid for them in gold, and deposited his money in the Bank of England.  When the War was over he had money.  His neighbors (one of them my grandfather) had experience.  I have been told that a cigar factory operated at Stony Point before the Civil War.  No doubt this was true.  No other information about it.

I am writing of this mill at Stony Point although it was not in Amelia County but on the Cumberland side of the River.  This mill was not as large as Clementown Mill.  Stony Point Mill was destroyed by fire about 1931.  These two pioneer mills have very probably gone forever.  Not much chance of either of them being rebuilt.  Thad Davis was the last owner of Stony Point Mill.

Wileys Mill  Wileys Mill was a water operated corn mill located on Mill Creek about two miles northwest of Paineville.  I have heard that it was built by Tilmon Jeter and have heard it was built by John Wiley.  I am not sure which report was right.  For a long time it was operated by the Wiley family.  The older people called it Wiley’s Mill long about {sic} 1900.

Henry Thompson owned and operated it about 1880, when it was burned.  The report was that a negro woman got angry with Thompson and burned his mill.  It was rebuilt and a little later was bought by Mr. Sam Perrin, of Amelia, who was then a prosperous cotton farmer of Mississippi.  Later it became the property of Mr. Eddie Perrin, who operated it many years as a corn mill.

About 1902 this mill was enlarged and became a flour mill also.  A steam engine was installed for motive power, which also ran a sawmill alongside the mill.  It was not much of a success as a flour mill, although it operated up to about 1910.  A newcomer to Amelia named Dennison then owned it, and it was operated as a corn mill to about 1917 by a colored man, Thomas Waddell.  About this time the large (about 17 foot diameter) wooden overshot water wheel fell to pieces, and this  was the end.


{Page 37}

As stated before, the mill stones from Jeters mill on Flatt Creek were installed in Perrins mill about 1{8}02.  This mill is now (1942) just an old wreck, decayed and abandoned and overgrown with bushes.  This was not as old as some of the other mills, was probably built about 1800.  The exact date is not known by me.

It seems that these mills of Amelia could not survive in competition in a fast moving world.  Much that is interesting to the student of history was connected with these picturesque old mills, such as this one that served so long and so well and passed on.  The dam of this mill backed water for almost a mile, and what a wonderful mill pond it was.  We boys had such a grand time bathing in it and fishing in it.  We used to haul ice from it that was as much as five and a half inches thick.  White people and negroes used it to baptise {sic s/b baptize} in, and two boats floated on it.

A man named Sumner bought this mill farm and while there he cut the dam about the middle in order to farm the land that was under water.  I have been told that a great roaring flood of water went down the creek into Stocks Creek and into Appomattox River.  The forebay or patcock was at the east end of this dam.  A spillway was at the west end.

I am informed that this mill could grind about 20 bushels or more of corn in a ten hour day.  Mill toll was one-eighth.

Chaffins Mill  This mill was on the same creek that Wileys Mill was on, and was not more than a mile down the creek.  I have seen this mill site only once.  A part of the dam is there and the canal that runs along the western slope of the creek, for a considerable ways, below the dam.

This was an old mill, probably much older than Wiley's.  I do not know when it was built or when it ceased to operate.  I feel sure it was just a corn mill and went down along about 1800.  I am not sure of the date.  Records show that Chaffins lived in Amelia in 1794, and in 1811 Joshua Chaffins name was on Jeters Shop ledger.

I have been told that there was a mill on this same creek below Chaffins mill.  I never was able to find out about it.  I have never seen the place it was.  An old mill was located somewhere near Paineville, Munfords (Mumvords) Mill, but I am not sure where the exact location was.  I don't know when it was built or when it ceased to operate.  Three mill sites on the same creek in a distance of not more than two miles is unusual.  Probably, as one went down, another was built.

Farmers Mill  This corn mill was on a creek that flowed into Flat Creek about three miles or more west of Jetersville, Virginia.  I know very little of this mill.  I have never been there.  I think it was an old mill.  To the best of my information it ceased to operate in 1907.

Morrisette's Mill.  I have the history of this old mill from Mr. Morrisette written in December 1941.  It was built in 1766 by a man named Motley. Then it was owned by Gills.  The it was owned by Gills and Hillsman.  Then it was owned by R. H. Walton.  Mr. Morrisette bought it in 1913.  This is a flour and


{Page 38}

corn mill and is still in operation now. (1942)  It is on a creek, I think it is Sailor Creek.  An engine is installed here to be used when the water is too low to be used.

Chapman's Mill  This was a small corn mill, built probably about 1890, by William Chapman.  It was on a fork of Sandy Creek near Deatonville.  It seems that it ceased to operate about 1903.  The farm on which this mill was built was before that time, the farm of John Johnson, who was the father of my grandmother.  All of his children were born and raised there.

About the time the Civil War started the second and third largest flour mills in the country were in Richmond.  These were the Gallego Mills and the Haxall Mills.  One of these could grind one hundred and ninety thousand barrels of flour a year, and the other one hundred and sixty thousand barrels.  The flour from these mills was world famous, especially suited to tropical countries.

Link Lockettes Mill  I have been informed by Mr. Billy Farley of Amelia who is now 82 years of age, that this mill was on Little Sailors Creek.  It was patronized by my great grandfather, John Johnson, who lived not far from it on Sandy Creek.  Mr. Farley says it ceased to operate about 1885.  The dam remained a long time after this and was washed away in a flood about 1900.  The Lockett families and the Johnson family were neighbors and friendly.  The owner of the mill was probably named Lincoln Lockett.  (John Johnson's father was Richard Johnson, who wrote his will in December 1817.  This will was witnessed and signed by Herndon Green, John Lockett and James Lockett.)

I think this was a flour and corn mill, but I am not sure of this.  It could have been only a corn mill.  I have heard Uncle Jack Johnson say he was taken to this mill by his father and it was the first mill he ever saw.

Bridgeforths Mill  This is a very old mill, and is in operation now (1942).  It is located on Beaver Pond Creek in the eastern part of Amelia.  For many years it was operated by the Bridgeforth family and for many years by the Archer family.  It was a flour and corn mill.  My wife's father, Robert C. Elliot, operated this mill from 1909 to about 1919.

A member of our Johnson family named Joel and a Miss Bridgeforth were drowned in this mill pond while skating on it about 1901.  This was a very sad accident.  These young people were not grown.  Joel was a son of Leonidas (called "Bose") Johnson. {SSS Note -- Bessie Mottley compiled a record of the descendants of Benjamin Bailey.  In this record, she states that on 28 Feb 1918, Joel Allen Johnson (b. 23 Jan 1881) drowned while trying to rescue his sister, Mary Michael Johnson Boisseau (b. 10 Nov 1882 - d. 28 Feb 1918), wife of Robert Bridgforth Boisseau.  Joel and Mary had a brother named Leonidas Parker Johnson (b. 27 Jun 1885), and other siblings.  They were the children of Thomas Edward Johnson (20 Jul 1846 - 6 Jun 1919) and Elizabeth Spencer Rowlett (12 Sep 1851 - 6 Jun 1926). }  (Note:  Roller mills were first put in operation in Virginia bout {sic} 1870.  Up tot hat time stones were used to grind grain, both wheat and corn).

Cotton Factory  A cotton factory was located about two miles east by southeast of Paineville on a small creek that runs east.  I am not sure when it was built.  (Probably about 1850.  It must have been only a small factory.  It was on a small creek that did not furnish much waterpower.  Parts of a dam are there now.  I have been told that this factory was owned and operated by a man named Ford.  Mr. Howell Davis, who was born at this place about 1860, told me that when a boy he helped to take down this old factory building.  I am of the opinion that it ceased to operate before 1860.


{Page 39}

Except during the Civil War and during or right after World War I, cotton has never been raised in any quantity about Paineville, so far as I have any knowledge of.  It was out of the cotton growing section, which was probably one reason it was not a success and did not operate long.  I wish I could give more details o{f} this factory.

I was informed by Mr. Howell Davis that a silk mill was built here by a man named Simmons, and operated by him.  It is certain that silk worms were raised here.

Where were these mills?  It is very difficult, if not impossibly, to be sure where these old mills were located.  This old Amelia County order book only informs us that they were on such a creek and on the lands or name of owner is given, and the name of the person or persons whose lands will be covered by the mill pond.

The early Colonial Church in Virginia

When Amelia was formed in 1734 there was only one parish and this was Raleigh Parish.  After the population of this parish and county had increased greatly or in 1748 Nottoway Parish was cut off from Raleigh Parish.  The year after this division of Raleigh Parish into Nottoway and Raleigh Parishes the "Church of England" or the established church which was the Episcopal Church, commenced to build a large church at a place now called Paineville.  The writer of this was born and raised in Paineville, but is unable to say which was built first, the church or the village.  (A full History of the Paineville Church will follow later.)

A parish was a church subdivision division {sic} of a county and contained one or more churches and ministers.  It will be shown in this history that the church then had many powers and privileges and responsibilities which it does not have now.

In these early days a person had to contribute to the church whether or not he wanted to.  He did not pay in money but in tobacco.  He was assessed so many pounds of tobacco a year.  This amount of tobacco varied from year to year.  The ministers were paid in tobacco also, and furnished a place to live which was called a "Glebe."  Many details of these payments in tobacco will be given later.  There were no poorhouses then.  The parishes and the church had to look after the poor and the indigent orphans and widows and sometimes the sick.  The church operated ferries, and buried some of the dead.  It did many other things. Here is an interesting example of what the church was called to do.

Date 1720, Bristol Parish, which is now Amelia or Nottoway County.  It is ordered and Mr. Luis Green, church warden, is hereby empowered by this vestry to attach and "Seese" so much of the estate of John E. Ellis, Jr. to the value of three thousand pounds of tobacco and cost and make returns to the vestry.


{Page 40}

Note:  John Ellis, Jr. refused to pay a doctors bill for attending his son who had a broken leg.  The church employed a Dr. Jos. Irby and paid him two thousand pounds of tobacco for attending to this son of John Ellis, Jr.  The son's name was also John Ellis.  This is the only record of which the writer is aware in which the church levied on the seized private property.

History of Old Paineville Church

When I was a boy at Paineville people used to wonder when the old church was built, but none of them knew.  Years later I read in Bishop Mead's {sic s/b Meade's} book "Old Virginia Churches and Homes" that it was built in 1749 or 1750 at a place since called Paineville.

There was a grave yard just south of the church, but tobacco and other crops grew where the cemetery used to be, and I never saw any sign of a grave or a grave stone there.  A very large oak tree stood about 150 feet south of the west end of the church up to about 1893, when it was sawed down.  This was probably in the cemetery.

I have heard my grandmother say a three day debate was held in this old church between Dr. Thomas and Alexander Campbell.  I have heard from another source that Dr. Thomas was completely crushed in the debate.  Later {on} he published his denominational paper in Paineville.  At the time of this debate the Campbellite Church split off from the Thomsite Church.  Campbellite Church since has been called Christian Church.

Some thought that a corner stone of the church should contain some relics of interest.  Nothing of this nature was ever found so far as I ever heard, anyone say.  Not all churches have cornerstones.  It seems this one did not.

Immediately after the Civil War the old church was used as a school house.  Miss Bessie Tuttle was the first public school teacher there.  Her brother, Ben Tuttle also taught school there.

A brilliant young medical doctor, Moses Fort Thomas Evans, commenced to practice medicine at Paineville about 1843. He was from South Carolina, was educated for a doctor in Philadelphia.  His first wife, who was from Philadelphia, was a Miss Tuttle or Stockton.

The old church was used as a place of worship a part of the time and from time to time up to about 1885, Bishop Meade says that about the last one to conduct a Sunday School and Church there was Bishop Chevers.  He gave it up after about two years.  I have been informed that Reverend Wilkins preached here about 1880 during a revival.

For many years this church was used as a wheel wright {sic s/b wheelwright} and coffin shop by Mr. Charles Selden Seay.  Exact dates not know.  Probably from about 1884 to 1912.

It was a frame building, weatherboarded {sic s/b weather boarded}.  It had a shingle roof, that leaked.  Mr. Seay's sons, Ernest and Hugh, singled the eastern half of the


{Page 41}

north side of the roof about 1899.  At this time it contained no benches or pulpit and a few window glasses.  Most of the windows were planked up.  It was supported on a brick wall, but parts of the wall had been removed, or had been built with open spaces in it.  Average height of floor from ground was about two feet or a little more.

The side walls were lathed and plastered, but most of the plaster had come off.  Shop forged nails fastened the lathes on.  East end of ceiling was lath, the west end was boards.  A broad double door was in the west end, a door was in the south side and a narrow door was in the north side, and probably twelve windows.

The girders (that supported the ceiling) were about two feet apart, but the outside cornice as {sic s/b was} so constructed as to cause one to think that these girders were not over about fifteen inches apart or less.  Apparently the girders ends projected and were neatly boxed in under the eaves.

I will estimate the size of this church as 62 feet long, east to west; 28 feet wide, north to south; 15 feet high or more, the ceiling.

In November 1900, two men in a top buggy (one horse) came to Paineville with a phonograph or talking machine and a crowd of probably sixty or more people paid ten cents each to hear this machine talk and sing.  Mr. Charles Seay fixed benches of boards in the south western corner of the old church and the talking machine was placed near the middle of the church not far from the south wall.  The audience faced west.  We heard our first talking machine then.  One piece played was "Turkey scratching in the straw".  Another was "Get out of the way of the girls, boys, and give them room or they will crack you on the head with the butt end of a broom".  The owners of the machine were good business men.  They started a voting contest at five cents a vote for the prettiest girl and a contest for the most popular girl.  Some young men spent all they had to vote as mant {sic s/b many} times as he could get the money to pay.  Some of the girls voted for were:  Miss Mollie Orange, Miss Clara Wingo, and Miss Estelle Perrin.  This was the only audience of any size that the author ever knew to assemble in this old church.  A part of the money taken in was given to the local (Union) Sunday School.  The old church was lighted by kerosene oil lamps furnished by people who lived near.  The room was too large and open, and people less than twenty feet away could scarcely hear the machine, which had a large horn shaped much like a morning glory bloom.  This machine used "cylinder" records.

A middle aged man named LeTellier, who had lived on a farm near Paineville came by there about 1900 doing photographic work.  He took a picture of this, old church with Mr. Seay standing in a door.  This picture was given to Mr. and Mrs. Seay.  Mr. C. S. Seay died suddenly in 1914.  The picture was given to Mrs. James P. Wingo.  It is now in the home of her son, Clifton C. Wingo.  I believe this is the only picture in existence of the old church.  I am not sure of this.

This church as {sic s/b was} also called Chincopin {sic s/b Chincapin} or Chinquepin {sic s/b Chinquapin} church.  A chincopin {sic s/b Chincapin} is a nut very much like a chesnut {sic s/b chestnut}, but smaller.  Many of them grow on bushes about Paineville.


Contents Pages
1 - 6
Pages
7 - 13
Pages
14 - 20
Pages
21 - 27
Pages
28 - 34
Pages
35 - 41
Pages
42 - 47

Source: Booklet on file at the Virginia State Library Archives, #F 232 A54 H76.
Transcription by Susan Shields Sasek, 9 Feb 2004.


If you would like link to this site, please link to the home page as the names and/or location of the pages may change as the site grows.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Most of the information, images, etc. on this web site is NOT public domain -- it is placed here to help other genealogists with their personal research use only. The data and images are copyrighted either by myself, the submitter, or the source. NO PORTION of any of this web site may be copied, recopied onto any web site (or any part thereof) for any purpose; cached, redistributed, included or used in any format for public, commercial or profitable purpose without written permission of the copyright owner for each instance.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am not necessarily related to or researching a person or family just because the name is on this site. I include items to help other researchers, and the site includes a substantial amount of information that other reseachers have generously sent to be shared with others. I believe that in addition to the quest to get information, genealogists and family historians should equally do something that they can to share information to further the research and knowledge of others. Please support and help free genealogy prosper by sharing your records and/or research -- if you can't put it online, find someone who can.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My sincere thanks to my "genealogical angels" -- all of the special people who have helped me in my genealogy research and those who have generously sent me their research and records to be shared with others. Please see the contributors page to view some of their names.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Always be sure to document your sources fully whenever possible -- genealogical information without sources is considered unreliable. And please give proper research credit to those to whom it belongs (you wouldn't want your work plagiarized by others would you?). Please remember to use the information you find on this site (and the internet in general) as a research aide -- I cannot verify the accuracy of the information.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hope you find something within this web site to help you in your research. I add information to the site as I transcribe or scan more records, or as they are shared with me by others -- it's always a work in progress

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Visit RootsWeb This is a Genealogy site. Real Genealogy - Not Just Links


Search Entire Site Site News & Updates Visitors & Queries Contributors Links Contact Page

Page Updated on: 6 Jan 2006 Page Visitors: c. Susan Shields Sasek