The Railroader’s House

In the fall of 1966, the railroader “bought a house and road it home“, or at least that’s how he described it. Dad, Mom, my brother Larry and I lived on Route 460, west of Bluefield, VA when Virginia DOT upgraded the highway to accommodate 4-lanes of traffic. In doing so, the state purchased many homes/land along the south side of the old 2-lane road for their right of way. Those homes were then sold at auction and the winner of the auction had to move the houses to another location. I remember Bob Chapman from Bank of Tazewell County purchases two or three homes and relocated them just west of Bailey Switch. Three more, including a quaint rock house were relocated to an area west of Shawver’s store.

The railroader purchased this small frame house that once stood across from the White Kitchen Skating Rink. The best I can remember, dad paid about $400 for the home. Other expenses included of course, moving the building, building a foundation and basement on the new lot, and all the additional expense of plumbing/wiring, etc. All in all, the way we see it today – that was a great deal!

Buddy's house Sunset News News-Observer, Friday Sept 2, 1966

The area’s afternoon newspaper (yes, we had two newspapers in those days) the Sunset News ran a feature story on the event and published this image. Dad always got a kick out of saying, “I bought a house and rode it home”. He literally did. I remember (age 12) seeing him on top of the house as they moved down the road. He and several other men had sticks in their hands to lift the power lines out of the way. They held the lines high while walking the length of the house as the house on a big wheeled truck moved slowly west on 460.

Mom was pleased to finally have a house of her own.

The 1946 Wreck of N&W’s Pride & Joy – The Powhatan Arrow

The Railroader, L.W. Buckland, Jr., recounted to me his relationship with the tragedy many years ago and kept a copy of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that reported the accident. As dad told me the story, it was with heart-felt words and with a look in his eyes that he knew he had been saved from death on that dreadful day in 1946. There is no doubt in my mind, and I believe he absolutely understood, that it was by divine intervention that he was not a part of the crew onboard Engine #604 the Powhatan Arrow the day it wrecked in Powhatan, WV.

As a young fireman on the Norfolk & Western Railway,  Dad said that he had been working this run from the extra board while the regular Fireman, Beecher Lawson was marked off on vacation. On the day of this accident, the fireman marked back up for his regular assignment as fireman on the prestigious passenger train, relieving  L.W. from the job and back to the fireman’s extra board.

Copy of PowhatanArrow689A      BUCKLAND  LW_jr_RR

The Powhatan Arrow made it’s maiden voyage in April of 1946, just two months prior to this accident. Steam engine crews enjoyed the speeds they could attain on those engines and as is no surprise, the cause of the accident was listed a “excessive speed on a curve”. The second picture is of the railroader in later years and an enginemen on a diesel.

According to: (source-Bramwell,WV) Two Bluefield railroad men were killed and two others injured in this Norfolk and Western train wreck at Powhatan, West Virginia, 18 miles west of Bluefield, WV. Engineer Grover C. “Nap” Roberts and fireman Beecher Lawson were killed when the eastbound crack stream-liner “Powhatan Arrow” left the tracks…Eleven passengers were hurt in the wreck. This deluxe train was eastbound from Cincinnati, OH to Norfolk, VA. Several thousand people from Mercer and McDowell counties were attracted to the wreck. It was reported that automobiles lined both sides of the highway for more than a half mile. The “Powhatan Arrow” had made it’s maiden run on 27 April, 1946.

Powhatan Arrow June 12 1946

       Photos by United States C & C Co. and furnished by Kermit Blizzard, BHS Class ’46 

OFFICIAL REPORT (source – E.L. “Diz” Harris)

File Number 2997  Railroad NORFOLK & WESTERN RAILWAY  Date 06/12/1946  Location POWHATAN, WV.  Accident Type D.





Railroad: Norfolk and Western

Date: June 12, 1946

Location: Powhatan, West Virginia

Kind of accident: Derailment

Train involved: Passenger

Train number: 26

Engine number: 604

Consist: 7 Cars

Estimated speed: Approximately 55 m. p. h.

Operation: Timetable, train orders and automatic block-signal system

Track: Double 12 degrees 54’curve; 1.254 percent ascending grade eastward

Weather: Raining

Time: 3:18 p.m.

Casualties: 2 killed; 27 injured

Cause: Excessive speed on curve






July 31, 1946.


Accident at Powhatan, W. Va., on June 12, 1946, caused by excessive speed on a curve,


PATTERSON, Commissioner:


On June 12, 1946, there was a derailment of a passenger train on the Norfolk and Western Railway at Powhatan, W. Va. which resulted in the death of 2 train-service employees, and the injury of 23 passengers, 3 dining-car employees and 1 train-service employee. Diagram Inv. No. 2997 Norfolk and Western Railway Powhatan, W. Va. June 12, 1946. Location of Accident and Method of Operation: This accident occurred on that part of the Pocahontas Division extending between Williamson and Bluefield, W. Va., 99.57 miles, a double-track line, equipped with an overhead catenary system for the electric propulsion of trains. In the vicinity of the point of accident trains moving with the current of traffic are operated by timetable, train orders and an automatic block-signal system. The accident occurred on the eastward main track 79.12 miles east of Williamson; at a point 757 feet west of the station at Powhatan. From the west there are, in succession, a tangent 1,220 feet in length, an 8 degrees 53’curve to the left 1,103 feet, a tangent 430 feet, a 4 degrees 02’curve to the right 800 feet, a tangent 425 feet and a 12 degrees 54’curve to the right 220 feet to the point of accident and 535 feet eastward. The grads for east-hound trains varies between 1.175 percent and 1.036 percent ascending 4,000 feet, then it is, successively, practically level 800 feet, 1.325 percent ascending 800 feet arid 1.254 percent ascending 1,093 feet to the point of accident and 200 feet eastward. In the vicinity of the point of accident a siding lies between the main tracks. The west siding-switch is 443 feet east of the point of derailment. On the curve on which the accident occurred, the track structure consists of 131-pound rail, 39 feet in length, laid new in 1944 on an average of 22 treated ties to the rail length. It is fully tie plated with double shoulder tie-plates, double spiked, provided with 6-hole angle bars equipped with joint springs, and an average of 9 rail anchors per rail length, and is ballasted with crushed stone to a depth of 24 inches. The maximum super elevation on the curve was 5 inches, and the gage varied between 4 feet 8-1/2 inches and 4 feet 8-7/8 inches. At the point of derailment the super elevation was 5 inches and the gage was 4 feet 8-3/4 inches.

The maximum authorized speed for passenger trains on the curve involved is 35 miles per hour. A speed-limit sign bearing the numerals 35/28 is located immediately south of the south rail of the eastward main track, at a point 1,067 feet west of the west end of this curve. On tangent track the maximum authorized speed for passenger trains is 40 miles per hour.

Description of Accident

No. 26, an east-bound first-class passenger train, consisted of steam engine 604, a 4-8-4 type, three coaches, one dining car, and three coaches, in the order named. All cars were of steel construction. This train passed Eckman, the last open office, 4 miles west of Powhatan, at 3:12 p.m., 9 minutes late, and while it was moving at a speed estimated to have been approximately 55 miles per hour the engine and the first two cars were derailed.

The engine and tender stopped on their left sides on the westward main track and practically in line with it, with the front end of the engine 373 feet east of the point of derailment. The first car became detached from the tender and stopped with the front end against the near end of the tender, and leaned to the north at an angle of about 45 degrees. The second car, remaining coupled to the first and third cars, stopped practically upright on the roadbed, and at an angle of about 15 degrees to the track. The engine and tender were badly damaged, and the first two cars were considerably damaged,

It was raining at the time of the accident, which occurred about 3:18 p.m.

The engineer and the fireman were killed, and the conductor was injured. The, total weight of engine 604 in working order is 494,000 pounds, distributed as follows; Engine truck, 101,600 pounds; driving wheels, 282,000 pounds; and trailer truck, 104,400 pounds. The specified diameters of the engine-truck wheels, the driving wheels and the trailer-truck wheels are, respectively, 36, 70 and. 42 inches. The rigid wheelbase of the engine is 18 feet 9 inches long, the total length of the engine wheelbase is 47 feet 3-1/2 inches, and the total length of the engine and tender is 109 feet 2-1/4 inches. The tender is rectangular in shape and is equipped with two 6-wheel trucks. Its capacity is 20,000 gallons of water and 35 tons of coal. The weight of the tender loaded is 378,600 pounds. The center of gravity of the engine is 77 inches above the, tops of the rails and the center of gravity of the tender when fully loaded is 79 inches above the tops of the rails. The engine is provided with No. 8-ET brake, equipment and a speedometer. The journals of the engine and tender and the cars of No. 26 are provided with roller bearings. The cars of No. 26 are provided with tightlock couplers. The tender was equipped at its rear end with a type E coupler.


No. 26 was moving on a l2 degrees 54’curve to the right when the engine and the first two cars were derailed. The engine overturned to the left arid stopped 373 feet beyond the point of derailment. The maximum authorized speed for this train in the territory immediately west of this curve was 40 miles per hour, and on the curve it was 35 miles per hour.

There was no defective condition of the engine prior to the accident. There was no indication of dragging equipment, defective track, or of any obstruction having been on the track Examination of the engine after the accident disclosed that the automatic and independent brake, valves were running position, the throttle lever was in closed position, and the reverse lever was latched on the quadrant in about 25 percent cut-off position for forward motion. There was no condition found that would prevent proper application of the train, brakes. As the, train was approaching the point where the derailment occurred, the members of the train crew were in various locations throughout the cars of the train. These employees said that the cars had been riding smoothly, and they were not aware of anything being wrong until the derailment occurred. They were unable to give an accurate estimate of the speed of the train, or to give definite information as to whether a service application of the brakes was made to control the speed immediately prior to the derailment. The engineer and the fireman were killed.

The surface, alignment and gage of the track on the curve are well maintained for the maximum authorized speed of 35 miles per hour. There were no wheel narks between the rails at the point of derailment. At the point of derailment there was a flange mark which extended across the head of the high rail a distance of 6-1/2 feet. This mark probably was made by the tender when it was pulled from the track by the engine. There were numerous flange marks eastward from the point of derailment, caused by the derailment of the cars.

The road foreman of engines said that it is customary to control the speed of passenger trains on the ascending grade in the territory involved by easing off on the throttle rather than by the use of the automatic brake system. It was his opinion that when No. 26 was approaching the curve involved the throttle was open to the extent that the train was moving at a speed somewhat in excess of the maximum authorized speed for the curve, that as the engine entered the curve the engineer suddenly moved the throttle to closed position and that, since the cars were provided with tightlock couplers and the journals of the equipment were provided with roller bearings, a sudden run-in of the slack occurred between the tender and the following cars, which resulted in an increase in the speed sufficient to cause the engine to overturn on the curve. The theoretical overturning speed at the point of derailment for engine 604 was 56 miles per hour. The engine was equipped with a speedometer but no speed recording device. It appears that the train was moving at overturning speed, as the engine overturned to the outside of the curve without marking the rails, and slid on its left side to the point where it stopped. However, a speed somewhat less than 56 miles per hour combined with a run-in of slack between the tender and the cars could have caused the engine to overturn.




It is found that this accident was caused by excessive speed on a curve. Dated at Washington, D. C., this thirty-first day of July, 1946. By the Commission, Commissioner Patterson.




E. L. Harris

1718 Hamilton St.

Warren, OH 44485


Google Search: Using + , – , * and ? in genealogy searches

Here is a great tip from on of my favorite genealogy blogs! Maybe this will help you find that one elusive relative that you’ve been searching for!

Old Bones Genealogy of New England

OK, let’s continue the search for the mysterious John Smith. The previous hint initially found 228 million entries for the simple search for John Smith. That’s a few more than anyone would be prepared to search through page by page. The we pared that down using “John Smith” and further by using “John Smith ~genealogy.

So here’s the problem with “John Smith”. If John is out there on the internet with either a middle initial or a full middle name, this simple search for “John Smith” with question marks isn’t going to work to find them.

What do we do? The * and ? and other search tools are called “operators”. The * ~ and ? are all operators as well as + and -.

If John MIGHT have a middle name, here’s what you do: “John * Smith” ~genealogy. That search will return 208,000 responses, more that the 111,000…

View original post 410 more words

Who was Nannie?

I’ve been told by those in Russell County, VA…
 “if you meet a JESSEE – you’re probably related; if you meet a DAVIS – you’re probably not.

Genealogy is not for those who are gratified by the completed task because family historians are always in search of the next perfect piece to fit the puzzle. Little more than 30 years ago, after a lifetime of practically ignoring my family, I became interested in my ancestors. The journey began, as most genealogists suggest, by asking question of your parents. I discovered a good bit of first-hand information from Dad about his side of the family. Mom however, knew very little about her lineage probably because she was the eighth born in a family of ten children. Her DAVIS grandfather had passed away in 1899, long before her birth and her grandmother Nancy C. “Nannie” (Jessee) Davis passed away when her namesake, Nannie Lucille Davis, was only four. I have no pictures of Doctor Caleb Davis (1853-1899) and only the one of Nannie. (below on right)

As I began to ask questions of Mom’s sisters, my elderly aunts , I quickly learned that – like most families –  there was something to hide! Aunt Jo Ella (Davis) Mace told Mom it was not a good idea for me to start digging into our family history, “she might find a horse thief – or something.”

DAVIS Nancy C Jessee w dau Mary son Charles and wife KateWell, Aunt Jo was wrong about the horse thief, but she was right about diggin’ up a lil’ somethin’.  I discovered that my great-grandmother had 5 dear men in her life.

1) As a young girl still living at home and with her *widowed mother, Sarah Fuller Jessee (3/1833-1922) , Nannie become pregnant “out of wedlock”. She had her baby in 1871 at the age of 16. At first glance this seems to be such a shock for the days in which she lived from 1854-1925, however, the more I meet other researchers, I now know that this is not uncommon, even in those days.  We’re not too sure what happened to the young *basque, but Abner Smith (Smythe) left Russell County, VA and died in Blountville, TN.  Nannie reared her first born son, William Albert as a Jessee.

*Sanford Lea Jessee (10/23/1832-1/10/1862)
*from southern France – northern Spain region

2) On July 4, 1872, Nancy C. Jessee married Doctor Caleb Davis and less than three months later delivered their first son, Samuel A. Davis on September 26, 1872. This marriage was obvious stable for the young couple since they were parents to 12 children.

1. Samuel A. 9/26/1872
2. Jefferson Bonaparte 3/29/1874
3. Charles Henry “Keen” 7/7/1876 (WORKED ON THE N&W)
4. Mary A. 12/19/1877
5. Sarah Ellen 9/9/1878
 6. Manerva Josephine “Josie” 8/3/1881
7. David P 12/1879
8. Vance P.
 9. Asa C. “Acie” 1/7/1883 (SECTION FOREMAN ON THE N&W)
10. Ida E. 5/21/1885
11. Nannie K.
12. Polly M. abt 1886

My great-grandfather, Doctor Caleb Davis died in 1899.

3) Nannie married Joseph White on July 4, 1901. White died 3/9/1911.

4) Nannie married J.A. Elkins about 1912. Elkins died 4/13/1919.

5) Nannie married a Mr. Lowe about 1920. I have no records of Lowe, but Nannie died in Cedar Bluff, VA on February 16, 1925. I cannot find an obituary or record of her burial. Please contact me if you have either.

JOHNSON Jake & Mary Johnson (Asa Davis' sister)  DAVIS Asa  BLANKENSHIP Etta May, Gilmer, Aunt Ida Davis Blankenship (Asa's sister) WALLACE Morgan and M Josephine Davis

Above – Mary, Asa, Ida & Josie

JESSEE APrivateStanfordJessee29thVA JESSEE Sarah Sallie Fuller

Sanford Lea Jessee  and Sarah (Fuller) Jessee married in 1851 in Russell County VA.

Aunt Jo Ella (Davis) Mace 9/10/1911 – 8/25/1996

DAVIS Joella

BUCKLAND Lucille Davis  babysitting

A flood in Williamson, WV

As told by L.W. Buckland, Jr.

In April 1977, Buddy was working on a train that had laid over in Williamson, West Virginia. There was a flood in the coal fields which trapped the train and its crew for four days, from Sunday night until Wednesday morning. The crew was stranded on the 3rd floor of the 10-story Mountaineer Hotel. Flood waters were 20 feet deep in the street and on 2nd Avenue the water was up to the 2nd story of the hotel. Beside the hotel was the Chamber of Commerce where there is/was a coal carved statue of an Indian. All of that was under water.

Buddy and some of his crew found mesh wire from an antenna on the roof and got 2×4’s to make fishing nets. They caught items floating in front of the hotel. In fact, they fished out food in cans and plastic, enough to feed 90 people during the stay. Crew members fished out beer, whiskey and cigarettes. Carlton Whitley, brakeman on the job, even fished out a tire that fit his truck. (Dad fished out some metal lawn chairs that Mom still uses on her front porch.)

When the water subsided, the men waded out with garbage bags on their legs and made it to the Salvation Army, setup in the school.

Microwave (?) phone systems had just gone into effect. Buddy heard Supt. Stephens on the phone and spoke with him – resulting in Robert Buckland coming to Williamson to pick up the crew.

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I have had a couple of inquiries about the DAUGHERTY line and although I don’t have a huge amount of documentation, I’ll share what I have. Here is the pedigree chart from my line. (I’ll add a better image soon)

I do have a connection with Daugherty researcher with well documented records. I’ll share links and contact information  here if I obtain approval.
Daugherty to MJD pedigree

[Letcher -Houston Family.FTW] source (RS)

The James, William and Nancy are uncle/aunt to your John L, not brothers and sister.  They are brothers and sister to the father of John L., John Dougherty that married Hannah Letcher.

John that married Hannah Letcher; James that married ELizabeth Hamilton; William that married Ruth Towson and Nancy Ann that married Jacob Leese; were brothers and sister, having traveled from Strabane, Co. Tyrone, N/ Ireland prior to 1791 to Delaware, Maryland and ultimately into Virginia.

John Dougherty:

From Rockbridge County Records:


Extracts from the records of Rockbridge County, VA:
Rockbridge County to Wit.
John Dougherty & William Dougherty come before me & made oath that Ann Dougherty, their sister
who is about to intermarry with Jacob Leese is above the age of twenty one years of their own
knowledge, & that there is no fraud or —–sion practiced, or about to be practiced in order to obtain a license for said intended marriage. Given under my hand this 10th day of November 1802
A. Reid C.R.C.


David A. Daugherty & Nancy L. (Moore) Daugherty are my 2nd great grand uncle and aunt.

DAUGHERTY David_Daugherty_brother_to_Mary_Jane_Daughtery_Gregory

I uncovered some of my Daugherty connection in an old scrapbook of newspaper clippings obits, marriage announcements, calling cards etc. that belonged to my Grandmother Buckland. Fortunately, or by divine intervention it was preserved instead of being tossed into the trash. My dad (the railroader) kept the old scrapbook after his mother’s death in 1960, and I received it after he passed away in 1993. Above all, this is one of my most treasured possessions. It would not have been of interest to most anyone else in the family, but it has opened the door to discovering my roots unknown to any living relatives.

Dad and I tried to find the old Marrs Cemetery in Falls Mills, Virginia, but to no avail. However a good many years later, my two brothers agreed upon my insistence that we try again. And we succeeded.  The once sacred ground was being used as a horse pasture and probably by now, the animals have nearly destroyed the headstones forever loosing placement of the community’s deceased. (a rant for another day).

MARRS - Daugherty David MARRS - Daugherty Nannie L. Daugherty 1836-1918

There lies, David A. Daugherty 1836-1904 and his beloved wife Nannie Lane Moore Daugherty 1836-1918. (I understand that Nannie was related to Captain James  Moore – who was massacred, along with much of his family in Abbs Valley, Virginia.)

From a page of Mary Jane Davidson’s scrapbook below, we read her great uncle’s obit.

OBITUARY Daugherty David 1836-1904

Interestingly, there is an additional clue to another relative previously unknown, Virginia’s Civil War Governor, John Letcher.

In Grandmother’s clipping below we read kind words apparently said by Reverend Daugherty proclaimed at the funeral of a dearly departed.

WORDS Daugherty David A

OBITUARY Unrelated David A Daughtery Minister

The precious glued papers of the book revealed the obit of  Mrs. M.J. Gregory, grandmother to Mary Jane Davidson and for whom she was named. Mary Jane Gregory (Daugherty) 1826-1897) was David Daugherty’s sister, both children of John L. Daugherty (1799-1868) and Nancy Ward (b. abt. 1802). MJ & David had two other siblings, Isaac W. Daugherty (1828-1850) and George C. Daugherty (1829-1800).

Mary Jane Daugherty married Daniel Parham Gregory on July 22, 1851.

Nancy Ward (daughter of  Virginia pioneer David Ward) married John L. Daugherty/Dougherty October 6, 1825. They are my 3rd great grandparents.

OBITUARY Gregory Mary Jane (Daugherty) 1826-1897

The Daniel Gregory Cemetery is  LOCATED ON RT 61, OPPOSITE CHESTNUT GROVE CHRISTIAN CHURCH AT SHAWVERS MILL. (Daniel P. Gregory, Footstone for his wife MJG, Daniel’s mother, Elizabeth H. Gregory, Nehemiah Findley, Nancy J.E. Cundiff, Robert J. Kidd, Footstone, EPG) (Photo by Judy Llamas)


Isaac Daugherty is buried at the Jeffersonville Cemetery in Tazewell, Virginia. His headstone was broken and propped up against another, so the exact location is not known. To date, I do not know more about brother George C. Daugherty.



Moving on a flatcar?

Circa 1890’s, this old pie safe could probably tell a story or two if it could talk. Made of poplar wood and put together with wrought nails, the old piece has two tin punched doors and a top drawer. The primitive treasure was handmade in Russell County, VA. My grandparents, Asa C. Davis *(1883-1962) and Altha R. Brooks ** (1884-1980) received it from Asa’s uncle John Henry Jessee (1860-1921 pictured below w/hat) when they when to housekeeping in 1902. 2013-06-14 08.19.04

JESSEE John Henry    DAVIS AC Altha's husband    Altha Rudolph Brooks

My grandparents were married August 20, 1902 in Bristol, TN. Sometime between 1909 and 1911, Asa, Roadway Foreman for the Norfolk & Western Railway, was transferred from Russell County to Tazewell County VA. It really was only a short distance from Cleveland to Tazewell, but in those days, it would have been difficult to move an entire household. With only 3 children at the time, Asa and Altha loaded all their worldly belongings onto an N&W flatcar and moved to Tazewell. The primitive, hand-me-down pie safe was carried along in the move.

DAVIS Altha, Asa, 3 kids

As a child, I remember Grandmaw Davis having this junky piece of furniture on her little screened in back porch in Tazewell. A few years before her death in 1980, she had my mom and dad take it from her house to their house. She wanted me to have it. It is a treasure that I cherish because I think of my sweet grandmother every time I look at it.

Find out how Gramaw got her big toe cut off by a train –

*   DAVIS asa davis RR crew    DAVIS Asa & Section Crew 2    DAVIS Asa


Tazewell, Jan 31 – When A.C. Davis comes in from his day’s work as section foreman on the Tazewell Section today his final official act will be to lock the tool house over which he has had control since 1909 and turn the key over to a successor.  Having reached the allotted three score and ten years, he will enter a well earned retirement.

Acie was born on Mill Creek in Russell County near Cleveland, a son of D.C. and Nancy (Jessee) Davis, and attended the Glade Hollow Elementary School finishing the 7th grade.

He entered the employ of the Norfolk & Western Railway Company as a section hand in 1905, and in 1907 received promotion to foreman.  After a couple of years on the Cleveland Section he was transferred to Tazewell where he has served continuously since.

He is familiarly known as “Casey” having acquired the nickname some 35 years ago, when he emerged from a blinding snowstorm in a cloud of steam from a parked engine on the Tazewell Yard, only a few minutes after a train had passed, with a large pump knot on his forehead, and so added that he was unable to give an understandable account.

When the local newspaper came out a few days later, an item contributed in humorous vein was given of the incident, closing with a parody on the then popular song, “Casey Jones” in which a phantom engine was introduced to raise the knot and he was quoted as saying he heard the engineer say to the fireman, “Pour in the Water and Shovel in the Coal Stick Your Head Out the Window and Watch the Drivers Roll”.

Davis has enjoyed a wide popularity among his fellow workers and railway officials, and has the reputation of being one of the most efficient men in the track department, a statement supported in the fact that he has been the recipient of first prize on his roadmaster’s division at the annual track inspection 26 times, second prize six times and third prize three times, which sets a record on the entire system.

He was married first to Miss Altha Brooks, of Cleveland, Va. and they have ten children.  The daughters are:  Mrs. W.G. Carbaugh, Akron, O., Mrs. V.G. Jordan, Bristol, Tenn., Mrs. Forrest Mace, North Tazewell, Mrs. Foster Mundy, Mullins, W. Va., Mrs. L.W. Buckland, Falls Mills and Mrs. B.M. Hall, Baltimore, Md.  The four sons are Lacy and Holly, both of Akron, O., Vaden and Leman, North Tazewell.

His second marriage was to Miss Ocie Bennett in 1937 and they have a daughter, Acie Kathleen.

Davis purchased a restaurant in North Tazewell and will devote his time to its operation.

His fraternal affiliation is with the Knights of Pythias.

**   A R Davis    Altha    DAVIS Altha 5


Mrs. Altha R. Davis, 96, of North Tazewell, Va., was dead on arrival at a Tazewell hospital Tuesday evening of natural causes.

Born in Russell County, Va., she was a daughter of the late William and Mary Sutherland Brooks.  She was a member of the First Assembly of God Church in North Tazewell.

Surviving are five daughters, Mrs. Al (Lillian) Berman of Abingdon, Va., Mrs. N.F. (Joella) Mace and Mrs. C.F.(Russell) Mundy, both of North Tazewell, Mrs. L.W.(Lucille) Buckland of Bluefield, Va., and Mrs. Ralph (Elizabeth) Clevy of Vincennes, Ind;  four sons, Lacy Davis and Hollie Davis, both of Akron, Ohio, Vaden Davis and Leman Davis, both of North Tazewell;  two sisters, Mrs. Gene (Effie) Owens and Mrs. Kathleen Dye, both of Lebanon, Va.;  sixteen grandchildren, several great grandchildren and several great great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be conducted today at 2:30 at Peery and St. Clair Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. William Sadler officiating.  Burial will follow in Maplewood Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Paul Bales, Buddy Herald, B.C. Peek, Jimmy Dawson, Jeff Davis, James Mullins and Ronald Davidson.

DAVIS Grace Lillian JoElla Altha Russell Asa Hollie Lacey


Russell County is located in the far southwestern part of Virginia. In 1738 the area now contained in Russell County was formed as a part of Augusta County. Between the years 1769 and 1785 it was contained in Botetourt, Fincastle and Washington Counties. Russell County was formed in 1786 from Washington County. The area which became Russell County contained about 3000 square miles or 1.9 million acres. The boundary lines extended northward from Clinch Mountain to Cumberland Gap on the Kentucky border and eastward to a point near present Bluefield, Virginia. In 1790, the population of the county was 3,338, which included 190 slaves.

Other counties were then formed from Russell County. In 1793 Lee County was formed. In 1799, Tazewell County. In 1815 Scott County was formed from a portion of Russell and Lee Counties. In 1855 Wise County was formed and in 1858 Buchanan County was formed. In 1880, Dickenson County was formed from a portion of Wise and Buchanan Counties.

By 1858, Russell County had been reduced to an area of 483 square miles or 309,120 acres. The crest of Clinch Mountain is currently the southern border. Sandy Ridge is the northern. Clinch River meanders down near the center of the county from Mill Creek at the Tazewell County line to St. Paul in Wise County. The county seat is in Lebanon.

remembering the railroader on Father’s Day

Here’s wishing all the railroad Dad’s and all fathers a very Happy Father’s Day! On this day, I remember my own father.

Larkin Watson Buckland, known to most as “Buddy” was born in Bluefield, West Virginia, Mercer County (10-8-1915) and resided his early years at 1505 Highland Avenue.  He retired from the Norfolk and Western Railroad (1-24-1980) as an engineer after 40 years of service. Beginning his railroading career by hauling Troup Trains during World War II on Pennsylvania Railroad (10-12-1940), Dad later transferred to his beloved Norfolk & Western (12-3-1942). He was previously a coal miner;  a barber, attending Kel-Roe Barber College on High Street in Columbus, Ohio.

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Dad’s mother,  Mary Jane Davidson said that L.W.Sr.’s name was Larkin Watson “Haynes” Buckland.  Thus, she passed the name on to one of Dad’s twin sisters, “Margrette Haynes Buckland”  and then to Larkin Watson Haynes Buckland, Jr. and subsequently to a grandson “Ellis Haynes”. The Haynes name was dropped, but Larkin has a namesake in his great-grandson William Larkin who was born on Dad’s birthday!
BUCKLAND LW JR Age 19    BUCKLAND LW Jr Buddy 1   BUCKLAND School Boy Buddy

Dad (1) Age 19
(2) at Barber School in Columbus, OH
(3) in an elementary school group picture

How has family history changed you???

yes, it’s true!

The Personal Quest of a Genealogy Fanatic

I saw this question posted on the Family Search Facebook page a couple days ago…and it’s still got me thinking.  Were they really asking us to reply to it? Or were they hoping to just get us thinking?  Well…it did both for me.  I almost immediately replied to their question….“Its given me a sense of self. A way to find out a deeper meaning of who I really am.”.  But the more I think about it….it goes so much deeper than that.

I used to think I knew who I was.  But I think I’m still finding that out.  I am not just me anymore, but a combination of two people who’s DNA and family history were merged together to create me.  I am my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and on and on.  Every new person I find occupies another part of my life and my history.  I…

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“I lift up my eyes to the mountains…”

Just down the road from where I grew up, a woman named Jenny lives in the house of her childhood. She is an amazing photographer of birds, flowers, family and of our mountain. Throughout the year she posts pictures of our beautiful East River Mountain on Facebook, and I love to see those images.  Since Mom still lives about 1/4 mile away in a house facing this spectacular sight, I have Jenny’s birds-eye view (even though I’m 700 miles away) and know what the weather is like for Mom that day.
This morning Jenny posted a scripture and a message. I hope it inspires you as much as it did me. Thank you Jenny!
‘I look outside every morning to the same beautiful view my ancestors have seen before me. I say this scripture, that for generations has meant so much to my family,  from Psalm 121:1-2: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
This devotion really touched my heart and soul. Thank you Rev. Ray.’
Jenny Parris Akers East River Mountain 2013
The traveler app…roaches a distant mountain and all of it is in view. From a distance one might believe that it is easy to climb. The view is different at the foot of that same mountain. There all thoughts of an easy expedition vanish: it is tall, steep and deep. Step inside it’s forest door and the mountain becomes alive with character of sights, sounds and smell. It’s breeze touches you as though it was breathing an invitation to climb and explore the unsearchable ways of its creator.
The weary travelers of old would look out at the distant road they had to walk to get home. There were mountains and valleys to cross and go through. The trip would be with hot days and dark nights. They would travel together, no one should walk alone. There was no turning back; they would journey forward toward a better land; and they would find strength for the journey in a question and an answer.
The question came as they lifted their eyes to view the hilly path before them: “Where does my help come from?” The answer was (and is) always the same. “My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121)
Don’t give up when the way seems impossible. Ask the question and affirm the answer, then keep walking. We get to the top of each mountain by walking with God. The view is always different from the top then it was at the foot. From there you can see where you are going and where you have been. You also see something else: That God is high and lifted up, faithful, and greatly to be praised.
Grace and Peace,   Rev Ray

Rev. Raymond Amos
First United Methodist Church
Elizabethton, TN