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Brentsville in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Brentsville – Clerks’ Office

 
 
Brentsville – Clerks’ Office Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., September 26, 2007
1. Brentsville – Clerks’ Office Marker
Inscription. Built by 1822 with the Courthouse and Jail, the Clerk’s Office was located here. The three buildings created a symmetrical design within the Public Lot. The Clerk’s Office was built to be “…26 feet by 16; pitch 18 feet; walls of the foundation 2 feet thick and of stone; those above 22 ½ inches of brick; scantling of good oak and to be covered with slate”. * This building was meant to be fireproof. Legal business was usually conducted inside the Clerk’s Office or in local taverns rather than the Courthouse.
Palladium of Liberty, Vol IV no. 25, September 1820, Warrenton, VA

(caption for lower, left picture)Phillip Devereaux Dawe served as the Clerk of the Prince William County Court from 1813 until he died in May, 1832. Numerous court documents from this period display Dawe’s elegant handwriting.
Like all other Clerks of the Court, Dawe was a County resident and was paid from the fees he collected for various services.
(Photograph) Courtesy of the Prince William County Office of the Clerk of Circuit Court

(caption for upper, center picture) This drawing illustrates how the Clerk’s Office may have appeared.  Sketch by Ray Goodrow.

Clerk of the Court

The
Brentsville – Clerks’ Office Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., September 26, 2007
2. Brentsville – Clerks’ Office Marker
The One-Room School is to the left. The ca. 1822 Courthouse is in the background.
County Clerk was one of the few Court members trained in law. His knowledge was essential to County Justices. The Clerk and his assistance recorded Courthouse business. In the early 19th century, the Clerk was elected by the County Magistrates and served until they voted to remove him.

Effects of the Civil War

During the Civil War, the Clerk’s Office was destroyed by armies passing through Brentsville. Many of the County’s records were lost or destroyed. After the war, local houses served as Clerk’s Offices until the Clerk moved into the Courthouse. The Brentsville School was built over part of the Clerk’s Office foundation in 1928.

(caption for lower, right picture) John Keys and William Keys and all the rest of your Keyses – if you are any relations of mine you had better keep shady at least – till this “cruel war is over”
Right:
Federal soldiers certainly perused County documents when they were in Brentsville. William F. Keys of Co. K, 143rd Pennsylvania Volunteers, could not resist commenting on cases involving local Keyses. On April 21, 1864, he wrote the above words in the 1834 – 1861 Minute Book.
 
Erected 2007 by Prince William County and the
Conceptual Illustration of the ca. 1822 Clerk’s Office image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., September 26, 2007
3. Conceptual Illustration of the ca. 1822 Clerk’s Office
This drawing illustrates how the Clerk’s Office may have appeared.
Sketch by Ray Goodrow.
Friends of Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre.
 
Location. 38° 41.383′ N, 77° 30.025′ W. Marker is in Brentsville, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker is on Bristow Road (County Route 806), on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12235 Bristow Road, Bristow VA 20136, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 12 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Brentsville – Tavern Square (a few steps from this marker); Brentsville - One-Room School (a few steps from this marker); Brentsville - The Public Lot (a few steps from this marker); Brentsville –Tavern Cellar (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville – Outbuildings (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville – The Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville – 1822 Tavern Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville - County Jail (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville - County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Brentsville (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville - The Gallows (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Brentsville.
 
More about this marker. Prince William County and the Friends of Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre added several markers in May 2007. The 1822 Tavern Site marker is near the One-Room School.
 
Categories. Colonial EraSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 972 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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