SOUTHALL -- Amid the wintry scene of the churchyard, the ground enveloped in deep snow, while the sun shone softly, a very large gathering of friends assembled on the afternoon of February 15 at Amelia for the burial of one of that town's most respected citizens, GERVAS HENRY SOUTHALL, son of the late William D. Southall, of that county.
Mr. Southall was born at Mannboro, in Amelia County, on July 25, 1834, and died on February 14, 1914, in the eightieth year of his age. His father was postmaster at Mannboro many years ago. Mr. Southall moved to Amelia Courthouse in 1853, and was, therefore, the oldest inhabitant of the place, both in years and length of residence. He engaged in mercantile pursuits for several years, and began keeping the post-office there about 1870, and with the exception of two years during President Arthur's administration, he held the post-office there till June 20, 1912, a period of about forty-three years.
Every Republican President but one had sanctioned his commission, though during the last ten years of his life he was incapacitated for active service. The duties of the office were ably performed by his daughter, Miss Sadie A. Southall, whose work was always so satisfactory to the postal department that her father was not removed even by changing administrations, till the office became a presidential office, and, under the regulations, had to be held by one who could render personal attention, and on June 5, 1913, his daughter succeeded him by appointment of President Wilson.
Mr. Southall was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and also of Amelia Lodge, No. 101, A., F & A. M. His funeral rites were performed at the cemetery, his lodge taking part, and were assisted also by Dr. Joseph W. Eggleston, past grand master of the State, an old friend of Mr. Southall's.
He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Minne B. Southall, and daughters, Mrs. Ira. H. Butler and Mrs. R. C. Jones, of Richmond; Mrs. George Myers, of Washington, D. C.; Mrs. Robert L. Jordan, of Radford, Va.; Miss Sadie A. Southall, of Amelia, and sons, Hafford C. Southall, of Annapolis, Md., and Gervas H. Southall, of Amelia; also his sisters, Mrs. L. L. Marks, of Petersburg; Mrs. Sallie Wheary, of Zuni, Va., and his brother H. C. Southall, of Petersburg, Va., and two half-sisters, Mrs. Nettie Kidd, of Petersburg, and Mrs. Claude Harold, of Norfolk, Va.
Source: My great aunt Virginia Frankland Butler had this clipping (from newspaper clipping, no name of newspaper), and I obtained a photocopy of it through her son after her death. Transcribed by Susan Shields Sasek.
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