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COVINGTON HOME NEAR ELAM
The four-generation Covington farm came to the Covington family from George Carter, Howard Julian Covington's great-great-grandfather.
The front portion of the house was built in 1808 by George Carter. It was a timber and brick story and a half structure consisting of a dirt floor cellar, a main floor and a second floor, with two large fireplace chimneys on the east and west side of the house.
In 1872 when Julian's great-grandfather, Martin H. Covington, married George Carter's daughter, Martha E. Carter, she was deeded the house. Martin was born in 1849, son of Henry and Mary Carwile Covington in Charlotte County. He and other brothers came to Prince Edward County soon after the Civil War.
Martin H. and Martha E. Covington had five children -Izana, Rebecca, Cora (born 1875), George Henry and Mary E.
Martha E. Covington died October 10, 1887. Martin H. Covington died January 15, 1928. They are both buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery located just west of the house.
When George Henry Covington married Susie Payne Abbitt of Appomattox County, he told Martin that he wanted to make some changes to the house. He added weatherboarding to the outside of the house and sealing boards to the interior. In 1923, he added a dining room and kitchen to the rear of the house.
Susie Abbitt Covington was born January 4, 1880 and died March 8, 1945, from a goiter. George Henry Covington died February 5, 1954. They are both buried in the family cemetery. They had three children -Patti F., Lula Payne (both died in infancy), and George Abbitt Covington.
George Abbitt Covington married Hilda Frances Abbitt in 1935. Hilda Frances (daughter of George Raleigh Abbitt and Geneva Turns [Torrence] Abbitt) was born January 21, 1916.
Hilda died October 30, 1979, from a stroke. George Abbitt, born August 20, 1912, died February 26, 1994, from complications associated with a series of mini-strokes. Both are buried in the family cemetery.
George Abbitt and Hilda had three children -George Abbitt Covington, Jr. (died at birth), Howard Julian Covington, and Hilda Eugenia Covington.
Julian Covington married Edwina Ann Miles of Northampton County, VA. As a young man, Julian worked in Farmville as a carpenter's helper, a tractor parts man, and a taxi but he soon returned to the Covington farm to be a full-time farmer.
Julian and Edwina Covington currently operate the family farm, which they call Sleepy Hollow Acres. She is a retired teacher from the Appomattox County Public Schools. They have recently published Tobacco Rows in Prince Edward County, memoirs of their years in tobacco farming. (429 words) Submitted by Julian and Edwina Covington.
VIRGINIA L. AND CHARLIE LOUIS JONES, JR.
Charlie Louis Jones, Jr., better know as C.L., was born September 19, 1917, in Dinwiddie County. He was the son of Charlie Louis Jones, Sr. (1881-1960), and Willie Vivian Steger (1891-1970). He had two brothers, Garland Franklin (1919-1987) and Ray Steger (7-31-1924 -living) and one sister, Mary Charlotte (11-1-1921 -living). They grew up on the family farm located on the Nottoway-Dinwiddie County line on Highway 460. They attended elementary school at Wilsons and graduated from Midway High School.
C.L. furthered his education at Smithdeal-Massey Business School in Richmond and went to work in Hopewell. In March 1941 he was drafted into the U.S. Army and was in service for about five years attaining the rank of Starr Sergeant. During WWII, he was in England and France, and when the war ended, he was near Berlin, Germany. After the war, he returned to the family farm.
On June 28, 1947, he married Virginia Lockett Morris at her home on Dutchtown Road near Burkeville in Nottoway County. He continued farming with his father, raising tobacco and beef cattle, and Virginia taught at Midway School for two years, then at Blackstone for three years. In Nov., 1951, C.L. and Virginia bought a farm in Prince Edward County, know as the Poorhouse Farm. C.L. increased the number of cattle and started a dairy farm. C.L. and Virginia had two sons, William Garnett (Billy), (9-8-1954) and Robert Morris (Bobby), (5-5-1959). Both boys graduated from Prince Edward Academy. Billy then graduated from the University of Richmond an from Virginia Commonwealth University Medical School and became a Family Practice physician in Brookneal, VA. Billy married Carolyn Moring of Burkeville at Farmville U.M. Church December 28, 1978. They have two daughters, Mary Catherine (12-28-1980), who is now in Medical School; and Anne Morris (5-25-1983) who is preparing to become a Physical Therapist.
Bobby is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in Dairy Science. He returned to the home farm and operates the dairy. He serves on the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors, the Planning Commission, the Board of Directors of American Dairy Association of Virginia, and the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association.
C.L. was very active in community activities and enjoyed people. In his youth, he enjoyed social gatherings and dancing. Food was a specialty and he enjoyed it so much. He was active in Sharon Baptist Church on Green Bay Road at Rice, VA, serving as Sunday School Superintendent for a number of years and on the Board of Deacons. He was also on the Prince Edward School Board for nineteen years. He passed away February 12, 1998. (434 words) Submitted by Virginia M. Jones, Rice, VA 23966.
CHURCHES, CLUBS AND
BRIERY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
John Caldwell, a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian, brought a colony of Presbyterian settlers to Charlotte County in 1738, and was the means of bringing others to Prince Edward and Campbell Counties.
In 1742-43, the Rev. William Robinson, an evangelist, was sent by the Presbytery of New Castle, to visit the Presbyterian settlements in the Valley of the Shenandoah, and on the south side of the James River.
In his "Sketches of Virginia," Foote says, "Briery, as a church, was organized by the Rev. Robert Henry in 1755." Hampden-Sydney College had from its beginning in 1776, close relations with Briery. Its first president, Rev. Samuel Stanhope Smith, was installed pastor of Briery Church his first year at the college.
Mr. Douglas says in his history, "That the first house of worship was built about 1760. This was not far from the site on which the second building erected in 1824 now stands." The present building is thought to have been designed by the Rev. R.L. Dabney, D.D., who ministered to the church in 1856-58.
The first sessional meeting recorded was held May 30, 1803. Probably the first meeting of Presbytery at Briery was the spring meeting of Hanover Presbytery in 1790. It met there also in 1791, 1793 and in 1794.
Several neighboring churches have added largely to their membership from Briery. Her members have helped to found several churches in the area, among them are Bethlehem in 1828, Douglas in 1875, Meherrin in 1892, Keysville in 1905, and in 1934 Mt. Harmony Methodist Church.
In 1980 the Briery and the Keysville congregations voted to merge the two churches, retaining the name of Briery for the new united church. (277 words) Submitted by Barb Metcalf.
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