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Grave Sites & Death Notices

Submitted 9 Mar 1999 by: Michael E. Lee and Adelaide D. Lee 1922 Quarry Road Lynchburg, Virginia 24503
Followed by Ownership record of “Old Bagby Place”
Richard Davenport purchased several tracts of land on Cub and Long Creeks in the late 1700’s and is the first person who can be identified as the owner of the property commonly referred to today as the Old Bagby Place. It is on part of this property that the Davenport-Lee-North family cemetery is located. The Davenports were reported to be among the earliest families in the Red House area and Richard was one of its most prominent members serving in the Revolutionary War, as Sheriff of Charlotte County and in the House of Delegates. County records also mention him owning mills on Long Creek. A very interesting account of his military service exists in an 1832 pension application. Richard Davenport’s daughter, Catherine F. Davenport, married Putnam North in 1825. Richard died on May 7, 1833 and in his will directed that his executors, son Martin W. Davenport and son-in-law Putnam North, divide and sell the land on Cub and Long Creeks for the benefit of his heirs. The reason for him selling the land rather than simply giving parcels to each of his heirs may have been that most of the heirs were living in other states and that there was no practical way to divide the land between them. The land was divided and sold as follows: Putnam North 544 acres $ 1,500.00 DB 22-183 & DB 23-81 William J. Wheeler 380 acres $ 1,520.00 DB 21-64 Abe North 329 acres $ 822.50 DB 23-80 Martin Hancock 328 acres $ 984.00 DB 21-65 John W. Marshall 156 acres $ 624.00 DB 21-98. Deeds refer to Putnam’s 544 acres as being the “home tract” and mention that the 329 acre tract, called the “northwest tract”, joined it. County records also show that in 1841 Putnam purchased the 329 acre tract that Abe North originally purchased and that, in 1844, he sold the 544 acre tract to Samuel Scott. The 329 acre tract is located on the headwaters of Long Creek. It was on this tract that the North’s and their two children, Franklin R. North and Mary Elizabeth Lee, would live the remainder of their lives. The 544 acre tract remained on Charlotte County tax books until Appomattox County was erected in 1845 at which time it was transferred to the new county and was continued under the same description. The land was carried this way until 1858 when it was purchased by David M. Bagby from Samuel Scott’s estate. At that time, the quantity was corrected in the tax records to reflect that the actual acreage was 389 acres. From 1858 to 1873 the tract contained 389 acres. In 1874, Bagby sold off 170 acres to J.R. Franklin. The residual was carried as 219 acres until 1898 when Bagby gave it to Nathan Scruggs in exchange for Scruggs’ taking care of him. Scruggs sold it to C.W.Jones in 1906. Jones sold it to Payne in 1954. Payne sold it to John T. Hunter in 1962. Today, the property is carried on county tax books in two tracts, 145 acres and 74 acres each with the notation “Bagby” as a description. It is owned by the children of John T. Hunter. Deed book references are included in a table that follows. The cemetery is located off of a private farm road on State Rt. 638. The farm road crosses Long Creek then passes the abandoned farm house of Clinton Cawthorn and the ruins of Long Creek School where it enters upon the Old Bagby Place. The road crosses the Old Bagby Place through a field and goes to a gate from where the cemetery is located to the left, down the fence line about two hundred yards away in the midst several large cedar trees. The cemetery was probably started by either the Davenports prior to Richard’s death in 1833 or by Putnam and Catherine North during the years that they lived there. Most likely, their parents, young children or slaves would have been the first people buried there. Having buried loved ones there, the North’s and their descendants continued to use the cemetery as their family burial ground after they had moved to their new farm. It is interesting to note that David M. Bagby, for whom the place is named, and his wife Jane, who by previous marriage was related to Putnam’s son-in-law H.W.Lee, were not buried there. They both are buried in the Conner family cemetery which is currently owned by the O’Brien family and is located near the old Appomattox Courthouse. Jane Conner Lee was Bagby’s second wife and it is likely that his first wife and possibly any small children died prior to his purchasing the property and were buried elsewhere. The cemetery on the Old Bagby Place contains about thirty graves which are all marked by field stones without inscriptions. There are the remains of an iron fence which probably separated the graves of different family groups. There are a couple of very large cedar trees and, in some places, periwinkle ground cover. Part of the cemetery may have been damaged during land clearing operations in previous years. In addition to the Davenport’s and North’s ownership of the land, three clues help identify this site as the burial ground for the Davenport, Lee and North families. First, Putnam North purchased the 329 acre tract in 1841 and was living there, along with the families of both his son and daughter, when both he and his wife and at least two small grandchildren died. No cemetery has been found on that tract. Second, Putnam and Catherine North were married in1825 but not listed as a separate household in the 1830 census. This was probably because they were living with Richard Davenport. Their two children were born in 1826 and 1835. The gap of nine years would suggest that they probably had other children who died at a young age while living on the 544 acre “home tract”. Third, the newspaper obituary of Martin P. Lee, a son of Henry W. Lee and Putnam’s grandson, says that he was buried in the family burial ground on the Old Bagby Place. While largely speculative, it is likely that many of the following people would be among those buried in this cemetery: Richard Davenport 1750 - 1833 Putnam North 1796 - 1866/1870 Catherine F. Davenport North 1796 - 1868 Benjamin Davenport 1783 - 1854 Franklin R. North 1835 - 1891 Anna North 1845 - Rosa North 1880 - 1880 Nannie North 1875 - Henry W. Lee 1822 - 1903 Mary Elizabeth North Lee 1826 - 1880 Mary Catherine Lee 1846 - 1853 Edward Johnson Lee 1862 - 1863 Martin P. Lee 1848 - 1918 Identified by obituary Julia Lee 1853 - Richard Henry Lee 1858 - 1930 Cordelia Cheatham Lee 1865 - 1888 1st Wife of Richard Henry Lee unnamed infant 1888 - 1888 Ada F. Mann Lee 1874 - 1943 2nd Wife of Richard Henry Lee Buried at Central Baptist Church Ownership record of “Old Bagby Place” 1837 Charlotte DB 22-81 & DB 22-183 Heirs of Richard Davenport to Putnam and Catherine F. North 544 acres 1844 Charlotte DB 25-133 Putnam and Catherine F. North to Samuel Scott 544 acres 1858 Appomattox Land Book Samuel Scott’s estate to David M. Bagby. Quantity corrected to 389 acres. Deed books for this period were lost in the courthouse fire of 1892 1874 Appomattox Land Book 170 acres off to J. R. Franklin Residual carried as 219 acres. Deed books for this period were lost in the courthouse fire of 1892 1898 Appomattox DB 5-130 David M. Bagby to Nathan Scott 219 acres 1906 Appomattox DB 8-435 Nathan Scott to C. W. Jones 219 acres 1954 Appomattox DB 61-174 Jones heirs to Payne 219 acres 1962 Appomattox DB 75-321 Payne to John T. Hunter 219 acres 1982 Appomattox DB 151-554 Hunter to Hunter 145 acres 1989 Appomattox DB 181-717 Hunter to Hunter 74 acres.  RETURN TO THE CHARLOTTE COUNTY VAGENWEB HOME PAGE