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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Ararat in Patrick County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

William A. Mitchell Family

 
 
William A. Mitchell Family Marker image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, July 26, 2020
1. William A. Mitchell Family Marker
Inscription.  After the Stuart family sold the Laurel Hill farm in 1859 to Robert R. Galloway and Dr. Joseph Hollingsworth, except for the possibility for a few tenant farmers, the land sat mostly idle for the next twenty years. In 1879, Samuel Hill Taylor, (1820-1892) purchased about half of what was the Stuart home-place. Samuel, a prominent business man from the area, was involved in road construction and the building of hotels in Danbury and Mt. Airy, North Carolina. He also served as clerk of superior court and at one time was sheriff of Surry County. Samuel was married to Eliza Jane Davis (1821-1900). Down through years the Stuart land was broken up and sold, and eventually owned by a number of well known families in the area by the name of Pedigo, Hatcher, Jarrell, Mitchell, Brown and Dellenback.

In 1905, Thomas Brown purchased a portion of the farm, and it was through his son, George E. ”Shug” Brown, that the J.E.B. Stuart Birthplace Preservation Trust was able to acquire seventy-one acres in 1990, which included the site of the Laurel Hill home where James Ewell Brown Stuart was born.

William A. Mitchell purchased 169 acres

William A. Mitchell Family Marker image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, July 26, 2020
2. William A. Mitchell Family Marker
of the Stuart farm about 1891, which included the site of the old William Letcher home. Much of this property, with it's fertile bottomlands, was along the Ararat River. Mitchell, whose family was from Mississippi, was born in 1838, and served in the War between the States. He surrendered with Robert E. Lee at Appomattox as a soldier with the 2nd North Carolina State Troops. When the war ended, William, and a fellow comrade walked back to Mt. Airy, North Carolina. While there, he would first meet his future wife, before heading on to Mississippi. Later, he would travel by train back to Mt. Airy and purchase plug tobacco, wagons and mules and return to his home state and sell the items. While in Mt. Airy, he would stay at the old Blue Ridge Hotel, which was owned by Samuel Hill Taylor. It was said that young Jeb Stuart also spent some time at the hotel. On William's trips, while staying at the hotel, he would continue to court and eventually marry the young lady he met after the war. The young lady was Lucy C. Taylor, (1848 -1933) the daughter of the owner of the hotel.

About 1895 William Mitchell built a large two story farmhouse on this site. Local lore believed that the Mitchell family tore down adjacent structures that may have dated to the Stuart or Letcher time and used the lumber in the construction of their home, but evidence at a later date determined that was not

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the case. The Mitchell family farmed some of the same land that William Letcher and the Stuart's had years earlier. William A. Mitchell died in 1915 and the land came into the possession of his son, John Taylor Mitchell. John, who was born in 1878, married later in life. He worked at a hardware store in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, and also ran the commissary store for a lumber operation in Kibler Valley, Virginia, that was served by the Mt. Airy and Eastern Rail Road, also known as the "Dinky". John married Lillie Smith (1893-1946) about 1918, and continued to farm his part of Laurel Hill for the next thirty-five years where he raised livestock, tobacco and wheat using a three horse team, while Lillie sold milk, butter and eggs. The Mitchell occupation came to an end when John sold the house and 169 acres to Charlie Milton Dellenback in 1949. John Taylor Mitchell died less than a year later in 1950.

(captions)
William A. Mitchell & Lucy C. Taylor
Samuel Hill Taylor & Eliza Jane Davis
John T. Mitchell & Lillie Smith

 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureIndustry & CommerceWar, US Civil.
 
Location. 36° 34.028′ N, 80° 33.312′ W. Marker is in Ararat, Virginia, in Patrick County. Marker can be reached

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from the intersection of Letcher Lane (Virginia Route 749) and Ararat Highway (Virginia Route 773), on the left when traveling west. On the grounds of the William Letcher Home Site. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ararat VA 24053, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Dellenback Family (here, next to this marker); Life after William Letcher (a few steps from this marker); William Letcher (a few steps from this marker); Elizabeth Stuart's Boxwoods (within shouting distance of this marker); Finding William Letcher's Home (within shouting distance of this marker); Stuart Well (within shouting distance of this marker); The William Letcher Grave (within shouting distance of this marker); The Grave of William Letcher (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ararat.
 
Also see . . .  Laurel Hill - Birthplace of General J.E.B. Stuart, CSA. (Submitted on December 20, 2020.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 19, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 38 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 19, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 27, 2021