1928 South Hill Men’s Bible Class Picture

Elva Kidd White shared these two newspaper clippings with me. The first gives the year as 1928. The second dates the picture as 1920’s, but lists all the men’s name. Elva’s father is the one marked as “grandad Kidd”. For more information about Henry Kidd, see this previous post with his WWI military picture:

Here is a transcription of this 92 year old picture:

This picture of the South Hill Methodist Church Men’s Sunday School Class in the 1920’s was turned in by Miss Delphine Hatch. Left to right are:

First row: M. M. Carver, Henry Pettus, Clifford Shaw, Charlie Crowder, and Lee Matthews.

Second row: Bennie Walker, W. H. Butterworth, Aubrey Holmes, C. E. Carver, Willie Clark and W. E. Jolly.

Third row: Dr. H. C. Coleman, Joe Taylor, _____ Tanner, R. H. Clayton, C. N. Howerton, Jack Crews, Y. M. Hodges, Tom Allen, Fletcher Bobbitt, H. F. Ledbetter.

Fourth row: Lube Matthews, Frank Mason, Lawrence Crowder, Peyton Smith, Jimmy Radcliffe, Henry Kidd, Jessie Gill, Tom Strange, Tommy Hines and H. P. Bugg

Do you know anything about the men pictured? If so please comment below. If you have any further stories or pictures about them you’d be willing to share on this website, please contact me.

Elder William Creath: Minister in Mecklenburg, Virginia

My last post was about the Susanna Clark and William B. Jones marriage record. While researching that marriage record, I found a “ministers return” record from Mecklenburg, Virginia on microfilm on FamilySearch.org. The ministers wrote up lists of marriages they had performed, and sent the lists periodically to the clerk of the court. Here is the image of the entry for Susanna Clark and William Jones.

The collection begins here (image 81 of 208), with an index at the beginning. This record collection is from the time period 1785-1854.

I looked up several of my early ancestors in this collection and found that they were married by different ministers. I’m puzzled as to why an entry for the marriage of John B. Kidd to Elizabeth Rainey isn’t in this collection. They did marry in Mecklenburg on 16 Feb 1818, but they are not found in the index. I also manually looked through the collection from 1810-1820, but did not see them. I wonder if this means they were perhaps not married by a minister, but instead by a Justice of the Peace? (When I find the answers to these questions, I will post about it.)

I wondered who this preacher or minister, William Creath was and what church he worked at. I found a booklet written by William Creath’s son, Jacob Creath. He called his father “a Calvanistic Baptist preacher.”

Here is a link to this booklet written by Jacob Creath in 1866 about his father William Creath

William Creath did not appear to have a fixed congregation, rather, he appears to have been a traveling preacher. On the ministers returns records, most of the ministers simply wrote their names at the end of the lists of the married persons, but William also wrote “Minister of the Gospel” after his name.

William Creath was the father of sixteen children! His first child was Elizabeth Roffe Creath born 4 March 1792. She died as a young child. Susanna Clark and William Jones were married in December of that same year, 1792. Jacob Creath wrote about each of his siblings, who they married and where they moved to. Letters from his father are also included in the booklet.

Jacob’s booklet tells about where William Creath preached: “Brother James B. Taylor, of Richmond, Va., in his History of the Virginian Baptist Preachers, says, on page 328: “He was, according to Semple, the means of originating the churches called Allen’s Creek and Wilson’s, and for some time supplied Malone’s–all in Mecklenburg County, Va. These churches, even though in his immediate vicinity, did not to any great extent prosper. He was in the habit of making lengthy tours through different parts of Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. For many years he was scarcely employed in any other way than as an itinerating preacher….”

Jacob Creath wrote in response to that, “My remarks on the above histories: First–Bro. Semple obtained his information from hearsay, as he was never in my father’s neighborhood–never nearer than Richmond, which was eighty miles from my father’s; and brother Semple lived below Richmond some fifty miles. Second–Allen’s Creek was twenty miles or more from my father’s, and Malone’s was six miles below my father’s house. Third–He preached for these churches occasionally; he was not their pastor. [51] His being little at home shows that he was not their regular preacher. Fourth–An itinerating preacher could not be the regular preacher of churches. Fifth–In traveling and preaching, he obeyed the command of our Saviour, “Go and preach the Gospel.” Sixth–Then he did more good by traveling, and it was more in accordance with his gift and talent…..”

Six miles north of Malone’s church is probably right about at the Lunenburg-Mecklenburg border. I wonder if William B. Jones or Susannah Clark lived further north before they married? Or maybe they traveled several miles to be married by William Creath? Or if perhaps the minister traveled to where William and Susannah lived to marry them at their home?

Susanna Clark: married 1792

William B. Jones and Susanna were the parents of two children: James B. Jones and Zachariah Jones. They lived in Bracey and are one of the Great Creek Jones families.

I’ve seen several old published materials with Susanna’s surname listed as Clack and that she was the daughter of Moses Clack. I know that cannot be true, because Susannah the daughter of Moses Clack was married to a different man and having children in Kentucky at the same time that Susanna and William B. Jones were living in Mecklenburg. I wanted to see how Susanna’s maiden surname appeared on any record. I found their marriage bond in a digitized Mecklenburg marriage record collection on FamilySearch.org. Her surname very clearly says “Clark” and I got a nice surprise. The bondsman was Newman Dortch. I’m not sure if Newman and William Jones were merely friends and neighbors or if they were related, but their great-grandchildren (my ancestors) married.

This marriage bond is for 26 December 1792. William Jones signed his mark. On a deposition, he mentioned going to school. I have heard that some people signed a fancy mark that was their signature. I’m not seeing that on this paper, so I’m curious now.

Jones signature comparison

Dortch signature comparison

Both William and Newman’s signatures are different than on William’s marriage record. I’m curious and wonder, why? I wonder if this marriage bond is a copy for Mecklenburg court? I’ve seen a wide range of signatures in this marriage collection though. Maybe William’s signature changed? A discussion for a future post when I learn the answers.

If you would like to search the Mecklenburg collection (1771-1943) where I found this record, here is the index link.

If they went across the border to marry in North Carolina, here’s a link to that collection.

William B. Jones 1852 deposition

I haven’t found the pension records from the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812 for any of my ancestors. But, when I started looking at the pension records of other men in the community, I discovered my family gave a few depositions in those records, like this one. Until I found this deposition, the last record I had for William B. Jones was the 1850 Census. This William was married to Susannah Clark, and was the father of James B. Jones and Zachariah Jones. They lived in the area of present day Bracey, on the north side of Nellie Jones Rd.

William didn’t “sign his mark”, this is an affidavit with a seal, and the handwriting is different than the Justice of the Peace and Clerk. So I do believe this is William’s actual signature in 1852:

Here is my transcription of the deposition, followed by an image of the record.


State of Virginia

Mecklenburg County

This day William B. Jones of the County and State aforesaid aged Eighty five years personally appeared before me a justice of the peace and made oath to the following affidavit-that he was well acquainted with John Carroll of Mecklenburg County Virginia who was a soldier in the revolutionary war with Great Britain, that he enlisted in the said County and state and served for a long time in the war. I don’t know how long, but it was a considerable time- that the said John Carroll was lawfully married to Ann Crowder, both of whom are now dead- that Nancy Patterson formerly Nancy Carroll who is now about Seventy years of age and the wife of John Patterson of the County of Chatham in the State of North Carolina is a lawful Child of the said John Carroll and Ann his wife

Given under my hand this 2nd day of September 1852

William B. Jones

Mecklenburg County to wit

                This day William B. Jones subscribed and swore to the above affidavit. Given under my hand this 2nd day of September 1852.

W.T. Pennington J.P.

Virginia to wit               I Richard B. Baptist Clerk of the county court of Mecklenburg County and State aforesaid, do hereby certify that William T. Pennington who has signed his name to the above affidavit is and was at the time of signing the same an acting Justice of the peace duly commissioned & Qualified, In witness whereof I hereto set my hand and affixed the seal of the court at offices this 3rd September 1852

                                                                                                                   Richard B. Baptist

See William’s second deposition, a year later. Including his horse story adventure.

Charlie Lee Clark-WWII veteran

Charlie Lee Clark was the son of George Clark and Blanche Woodard. Charlie was born in Richford, New York, but was raised in Halifax County, Virginia. Charlie married Rosa Drewery Dortch, who was known by her friends and family as Drew Dortch. (Her brother, Robert Leonard Dortch was the previous veteran spotlight on this website.) Relatives told me that Eugene Dortch who was listed in records as the son of Charles Dortch and Rosa Perkinson (Drew’s parents), was really the son of Charlie Clark and Drew Dortch. Drew and Charles were not married when Eugene was born, so he was adopted by Drew’s parents. Eugene and Drew were raised in Mecklenburg, Virginia. I’m not sure if Charlie ever lived in Mecklenburg or how he and Drew knew each other. On the 1930 Census, Charlie is living with his parents in Halifax county, VA, listed as single, and Drew is with her parents in Mecklenburg, VA, listed as single. I first see them together (noted as married) on the 1935 Richmond City directory. On the 1940 Census, Eugene was living with his parents at 3112 Elwood Avenue. I found a 1940 “for rent” ad in the Richmond Times Dispatch Newspaper for this Ellwood Avenue house . Listed as 7 rooms, $40.00 per month. Charlie and Drew rented this home for decades! Between 1935 and 1939 Charles and Drew are listed on city directories at 2 different apartments on South 3rd street. Charlie lived at this Ellwood Ave home from 1940 until his death in 1960. Drew is believed to have stayed in this same home until her death in 1980. This home is in the area of Carytown. It’s near museums and monuments. It’s also not far from Maymont, where I believe this picture of Charlie (above) was taken; near the waterfall and Italian gardens. Link to see Maymont info: https://maymont.org/visit/

The Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA) 9 Jun 1945

Charlie was in his mid 30’s when he joined the Navy during WWII. Charlie survived his ship being sunk by the Japanese in the Pacific Ocean. He would have been 39 years old at the time of this event! Before and after the war, Charlie worked for Dupont.

Charlie and Drew’s tombstone are the two front tombstones in this picture. This cemetery is the Richmond National Cemetery, in Henrico, Virginia. On Charlie’s military papers (not pictured in this post), under physical descriptions and markings, the record says: tattoo Left tricep, in horseshoe “R. D. D”. (His wife’s initials)

Pictures of Charlie and his family are from Jamie Malagorski and Aggie Reynolds. Virginia Oakley Shutt and Mary Walker (Drew’s cousins & friends) also talked to me about Drew and Charlie back in 2002-2003.

Robert Leonard Dortch-WWII veteran

Robert Leonard Dortch was in the Army during WWII. I’m told he went more by his middle name of Leonard. His registration card says he was 5 feet, 8 inches tall, 165 pounds, blue eyes, black hair and dark complexion. After the war, Leonard lived in Norfolk for awhile. While married to Virginia Johnson, he ran a restaurant with her in Norfolk.

These pictures (below) are believed to be soon after Leonard married Virginia (Dec 1953). He wanted to introduce his bride to his friends and show her where he grew up. These pictures were most likely taken in Forkesville, where these people who are pictured lived. The first picture is Leonard with his wife Virginia Johnson, and Annie Burton Wright. The second picture is (left to right), Ida Lee White, her sister, Leonard, Grady Clary’s wife, Annie Burton Wright and Grady Clary. Leonard was also married to Patricia Morse. And he had a relationship in high school and later in life with Ida White. Leonard had 4 children. One child with Patricia and 3 children with Virginia.

Leonard was the son of Charles Dortch and Rosa Lee Perkinson. Leonard’s father was an alcoholic, and his brother David died in an accident of a still catching on fire. When WWII started, only his mother and sister Drew were still living. His father and 2 brothers had died. His mother died in 1945. His sister Drew Dortch, (the wife of Charlie Clark ) was on his registration card as next of kin.

Leonard was one of the first people I started asking about on my early visits to Mecklenburg; asking if people knew where he lived or anything about his family. I’m a descendant of Charles’ sister, Theresa India Dortch. Leonard’s parents and brothers were buried in the Perkinson, Smelley, Walker family cemetery off Country Club Rd. Drew was buried by her husband in a veteran cemetery in Richmond. I met Ray Hines who told me he was good friends with Leonard. Ray told me he was at Leonard’s funeral and the burial was at Crestview in 1988. He also helped me ID some of the people in the pictures. I’m told Charles Dortch had a farm off Route 1. (Or highway 1), and that Leonard was raised there.

Jamie Malagorski shared with me all the pictures in this post.