Prince Edward County, Virginia: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Prince Edward County, Virginia
Seal of Prince Edward County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Prince Edward County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Seat Farmville
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

354 sq mi (917 km²)

1 sq mi (3 km²), 0.31%
Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

19,720
57/sq mi (22/km²)
Founded 1754
Website www.co.prince-edward.va.us

Prince Edward County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2000 census, the population was 19,720. Its county seat is Farmville[1].

Contents

History

Advertisements

Origin, Worsham, Farmville

Prince Edward County, Virginia was formed in the Virginia Colony in 1754 from Amelia County. It was named for Prince Edward, son of Frederick, Prince of Wales and younger brother of George III of the United Kingdom.

The original county seat housed the courthouse and was called Prince Edward Courthouse; it is now the village of Worsham.

Near the headwaters of the Appomattox River, the Town of Farmville was formed in 1798, and was incorporated in 1912. The county seat was moved from Worsham to Farmville in 1871.

Railroads

In the 1850s, the Southside Railroad between Petersburg and Lynchburg was built through Farmville between Burkeville and Pamplin City. The route, which was subsidized by a contribution from Farmville, required an expensive crossing of the Appomattox River slightly downstream which became known as the High Bridge.

The Southside Railroad was heavily damaged during the American Civil War. The High Bridge played a key role during Confederate General Robert E. Lee's final retreat from Petersburg to Appomattox Courthouse, where the surrender to Union General Ulysses S. Grant took place in April, 1865.

After the Civil War, under the leadership of former Confederate General William "Billy" Mahone, the Southside Railroad was rebuilt, and in 1870, was combined with the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad and the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad to form Mahone's Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio Railroad (AM&O), which stretched 400 miles across the southern tier of Virginia from Norfolk on Hampton Roads to Bristol. After the Financial Panic of 1873, the AM&O fell into default on its debt, and was purchased in the early 1880s by new owners who renamed it the Norfolk and Western (N&W). In 1982, it became part of the current Norfolk Southern Railway system. Due to the high cost of maintaining the High Bridge over the Appomattox River, the line through Farmville was downgraded and eventually abandoned, in favor of the Farmville Belt Line, which had been built on a more direct line between Burkeville and Pamplin City as had originally been envisioned in the planning for the Southside Railroad.

Another railroad formerly served Farmville. In the late 19th century, the narrow gauge Farmville and Powhatan Railroad was built from Farmville through Cumberland County, Powhatan County, and Chesterfield County to reach Bermuda Hundred on the navigable portion of the James River near its confluence with the Appomattox River at City Point. It was later renamed the Tidewater and Western Railroad, but was dismantled in the early 20th century.

Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County is the source of Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, a case incorporated into Brown v. Board of Education which ultimately resulted in the desegregation of public schools in the U.S. Among the fives cases decided under Brown, it was the only one initiated by students themselves, after they walked out in 1951 to protest overcrowding and poor conditions at their school under Jim Crow laws.

The all-black R.R. Moton High School, named after Robert Russa Moton, a noted educator from neighboring Amelia County, did not have a gymnasium, cafeteria, or teachers' restrooms. Due to overcrowding, three plywood buildings had been erected and some students had to take classes in an immobile school bus parked outside. Teachers and students did not have desks or blackboards, The school's requests for additional funds were denied by the all-white school board. On Monday, April 23, 1951, Barbara Johns, the sixteen-year-old niece of Reverend Vernon Johns, led students who staged a walkout protesting the conditions. [2] The NAACP took up their case, however, only when the students—by a one vote margin—agreed to seek an integrated school rather than improved conditions at their black school. Then, Howard University-trained attorneys Spotswood W. Robinson and Oliver Hill filed suit.

In Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, a state court rejected the suit, agreeing with defense attorney T. Justin Moore that Virginia was vigorously equalizing black and white schools. The state verdict was appealed to the U.S. District Court, which ruled for the plaintiffs, a decision the school district and the state appealed. Subsequently, it was one of five incorporated into Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark case which in 1954 overturned school segregation in the United States.

Massive Resistance: the only school district in the U.S. to close for 5 years

In 1956, the Virginia General Assembly passed a series of laws to implement Massive Resistance, a policy promoted by the Byrd Organization led by former Virginia governor and U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd to avoid compliance with the Supreme Court decision in Brown.

One of the new Massive Resistance laws created a program of "tuition grants" which could be given to students so they could attend a private school of their choice. In practice, this meant state support of all-white schools that appeared as a response to forced integration. These newly formed schools became known as the "segregation academies".

As a result of the Brown decision, and changes in Virginia laws, in 1959 the Board of Supervisors for Prince Edward County refused to appropriate any funds at all for the County School Board, effectively closing all public schools rather than integrate them. Prince Edward County Public Schools remained closed for five years. Prince Edward County was the only school district in the country to resort to such extreme measures. In 1963, federal courts ordered the public schools to open. When the Supreme Court agreed in 1964, county and state supervisors gave in rather than risk prison, and public schools were reopened. [3]

During the interruption in access to Prince Edward County's public schools, the Prince Edward Foundation was created. It founded a series of private schools to educate only the county's white children. These schools were supported by the tuition grants from the state and tax credits from the county. Collectively they became known as "Prince Edward Academy", one of Virginia's "segregation academies". Prince Edward Academy operated as the de facto school system and enrolled K-12 students at a number of facilities throughout the county.

From 1959 to 1964, black students in Prince Edward County had to go to school elsewhere or forgo their education altogether. Some got schooling by living with relatives in nearby communities or at makeshift schools the community created in church basements. Others were educated out of state with funds raised by groups such as the Society of Friends. In 1963–64, the NAACP-sponsored Prince Edward Free School picked up some of the slack. But some pupils missed part or all of their education for five years. This group has been called the "Lost Generation" of Prince Edward County's youth.

When the public schools finally reopened in 1964, they were fully integrated. Historians mark that event as the end of Massive Resistance in Virginia.[3]

Queens College's "Freedom Summer" Involvement

Between 1963-64, students from Queens College New York ventured south to Prince Edward County during their “Freedom Summer” Program. These students served as teachers to the many African-American children who had been denied an education as well as participated in “Operation Catch-up,” the summer school program taught by these volunteers in order to prepare the students for when the schools reopened. Many of the students spent the summers in the homes of many prominent Prince Edward African-Americans using local churches as school houses during the week.

In October 2009, the Moton Museum hosted a reunion for those involved in the summer of 1963, many of which had not returned to Prince Edward County in over 40 years, yet lives were forever changed by their experiences.[4]

Public education since 1964

In modern times, Prince Edward County Public Schools now operates single Elementary, Middle, and High Schools for all students, regardless of race. They are:

Private education since 1964

Even after the re-opening of the public schools, Prince Edward Academy remained segregated. Many of the segregation academies in Virginia eventually closed; others changed their missions and eliminated discriminatory policies. Some yielded on integration only after the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revoked the tax-free status of non-profit discriminatory private schools. Prince Edward Academy was one of the latter and lost its tax-exempt status in 1978. In 1986, the school began to accept all students regardless of race or ethnicity. It was renamed the Fuqua School in 1992.

Robert Russa Moton Museum

The former R.R. Moton High School building in Farmville has been recognized as a nationally significant community landmark. In 1998, it was designated a National Historic Landmark. It now houses the Robert Russa Moton Museum, a center for the study of civil rights in education.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 354 square miles (916 km²), of which, 353 square miles (914 km²) of it is land and 1 square miles (3 km²) of it (0.31%) is water. Most of the county's streams drain into the Appomattox River, a tributary of the James River, but in the southeastern corner of the county, streams drain via the Nottoway River into the Chowan River and thence into Albemarle Sound in North Carolina. The highest point in the county is the top of Leighs Mountain at 714 feet above sea level [1].

Adjacent Counties

Demographics

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 19,720 people, 6,561 households, and 4,271 families residing in the county. The population density was 56 people per square mile (22/km²). There were 7,527 housing units at an average density of 21 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 62.17% White, 35.82% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.55% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 0.95% from two or more races. 0.94% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,561 households out of which 29.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.50% were married couples living together, 14.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.90% were non-families. 28.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county, the population was spread out with 20.20% under the age of 18, 23.50% from 18 to 24, 22.50% from 25 to 44, 19.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 95.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,301, and the median income for a family was $38,509. Males had a median income of $29,487 versus $21,659 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,510.

Poverty

Prince Edward County, VA has a high percentage of poverty. About 14.6 percent of families and 18.9 percent of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.4 percent of those under age 18 and 15.9 percent of those ages 65 and over. Persons below poverty in the year of 2007 were 20.3 percent compared to only 9.9 percent of Virginia. This is a huge difference and it shows the amount of economic distress that is occurring in Prince Edward County. Individuals are experiencing poverty no matter their ethnicity. Native Americans accounted for an enormous rate of 71.8 percent in 2000. Also, there is a relatively large amount of children between the ages of 12 and 17. This age group accounts for 27 percent. Income and Poverty in Prince Edward County, Virginia

Unemployment

Unemployment has been a major influence on the high levels of poverty. With the economy hitting an all time low, it has caused many jobs to either shut down or downsize. Unemployment accounted for 10.3 percent in Prince Edward County compared to only 7.2 in all of Virginia. Recovery Tracker Individuals who have lost their jobs are unable to support and provide for their families. This causes many to have to leave their homes and live on the streets or in shelters in the community. Organizations like HOPE, who assist individuals in finding jobs within their surrounding area, are working hard to aid people suffering from poverty.

Assisting Those in Poverty

People, Programs, and Organizations are stretching out their hands to help those that are in need. Former Governor Tim Kaine has been working hard on figuring out how to decline poverty percentages. He has recently implemented a Poverty Reduction Taskforce to help with this mission.[6] Habitat for Humanity has been helping individuals in poverty for a number of years. They are ensuring that each family/individual has a shelter over their heads by providing them a place to live. Programs like TANF and Food Stamps also aid families that are poverty-stricken.

Localities

Towns

Census-designated place

Other places

Notable Facts

External Links

Prince Edward County, Virginia official website:

Farmville, Virginia Directory of business, government & private organizations:

References

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:vaMOCnXgDsIJ:www.virginialawreview.org/content/pdfs/90/1667.pdf+Prince+Edward+County+Lost+Generation&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us
  3. ^ a b Albertis S. Harrison Jr., 88, Dies; Led Virginia as Segregation Fell - New York Times
  4. ^ http://www.motonmuseum.org/Media/2009Articles/September142009/tabid/211/Default.aspx
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  6. ^ http://www.appomattoxnews.com/2009/governor-kaine-announces-creation-of-poverty-reduction-task-force.html
  7. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Marquis Who's Who. 1967.  

Coordinates: 37°13′N 78°26′W / 37.22°N 78.44°W / 37.22; -78.44


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

This article requires significantly more historical detail on the particular phases of this location's historical development. The ideal article for a place will give the reader a feel for what it was like to live at that location at the time their relatives were alive there..
Please help to improve this page yourself if you can..
Prince Edward County, Virginia
Seal of Prince Edward County, Virginia
Map
File:Map of Virginia highlighting Prince Edward County.png
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the USA highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded 1754
Seat Farmville
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

916 km² (354 mi²)
 sq mi ( km²)
3 km² (1 mi²), 0.31%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

19,720
22/km² 
Website: co.prince-edward.va.us

Prince Edward County is a county located in the U.S. state — officially, "Commonwealth" — of Virginia. As of the 2000 census, the population was 19,720. Its county seat is Farmville6.

Contents

History

Origin, Worsham, Farmville

Prince Edward County, Virginia was formed in the Virginia Colony in 1754 from Amelia County. It was named for Prince Edward Augustus, son of Frederick and younger brother of George III of the United Kingdom.

The original county seat and courthouse was located in the village of Worsham.

Near the headwaters of the Appomattox River, the Town of Farmville was formed in 1798, and was incorporated in 1912. The county seat was moved from Worsham to Farmville in 1871.

Railroads

In the 1850s, the South Side Railroad between Petersburg and Lynchburg was built through Farmville between Burkeville and Pamplin City. The route, which was subsidized by a contribution from Farmville, required an expensive crossing of the Appomattox River slightly downstream which became known as the High Bridge.

The South Side Railroad was heavily damaged during the American Civil War. The High Bridge played a key role during Confederate General Robert E. Lee's final retreat from Petersburg to Appomattox Courthouse, where the surrender to Union General Ulysses S. Grant took place in April, 1865.

After the Civil War, under the leadership of former Confederate General William "Billy" Mahone, the South Side Railroad was rebuilt, and in 1870, was combined with the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad and the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad to form Mahone's Atlantic (AM&O), which stretched 400 miles across the southern tier of Virginia from Norfolk on Hampton Roads to Bristol. After the Financial Panic of 1873, the AM&O fell into default on its debt, and was purchased in the early 1880s by new owners who renamed it the Norfolk and Western (N&W). In 1982, it became part of the current Norfolk Southern Railway system. Due to the high cost of maintaining the High Bridge over the Appomattox River, the line through Farmville was downgraded and eventually abandoned, in favor of the Farmville Belt Line, which had been built on a more direct line between Burkeville and Pamplin City as had originally been envisioned in the planning for the South Side Railroad.

Another railroad formerly served Farmville. In the late 19th century, the narrow gauge Farmville and Powhatan Railroad was built from Farmville through Cumberland County, Powhatan County, and Chesterfield County to reach Bermuda Hundred on the navigable portion of the James River near its confluence with the Appomattox River at City Point. It was later renamed the Tidewater and Western Railroad, but was dismantled in the early 20th century.

Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County is the source of Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, a case incorporated into Brown v. Board of Education which ultimately resulted in the desegregation of public schools in the U.S. Among the fives cases decided under Brown, it was the only one initiated by students themselves, after they walked out in 1951 to protest overcrowding and poor conditions at their school under Jim Crow laws.

The all-black R.R. Moton High School, named after Robert Russa Moton, a noted educator from neighboring Amelia County, did not have a gymnasium, cafeteria, or teachers' restrooms. Due to overcrowding, three plywood buildings had been erected and some students had to take classes in an immobile school bus parked outside. Teachers and students did not have desks or blackboards, The school's requests for additional funds were denied by the all-white school board. On Monday, April 23, 1951, Barbara Johns, the sixteen-year-old niece of Reverend Vernon Johns, led students who staged a walkout protesting the conditions. [1] The NAACP took up their case, however, only when the students—by a one vote margin—agreed to seek an integrated school rather than improved conditions at their black school. Then, Howard University-trained attorneys Spotswood W. Robinson and Oliver Hill filed suit.

In Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, a state court rejected the suit, agreeing with defense attorney T. Justin Moore that Virginia was vigorously equalizing black and white schools. The state verdict was appealed to the U.S. District Court, which ruled for the plaintiffs, a decision the school district and the state appealed. Subsequently, it was one of five incorporated into Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark case which in 1954 overturned school segregation in the United States.

Massive Resistance: the only school district in the U.S. to close for 5 years

In 1956, the Virginia General Assembly passed a series of laws to implement Massive Resistance, a policy promoted by the Byrd Organization led by former Virginia governor and U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd to avoid compliance with the Supreme Court decision in Brown.

One of the new Massive Resistance laws created a program of "tuition grants" which could be given to students so they could attend a private school of their choice. In practice, this meant support of all-white schools that appeared as a response to forced integration, and these newly formed schools became known as the "segregation academies."

As a result of the Brown decision, and changes in Virginia laws, in 1959 the Board of Supervisors for Prince Edward County refused to appropriate any funds for the County School Board at all, effectively closing all public schools rather than integrate them. Prince Edward County Public Schools remained closed for five years. Prince Edward County was the only school district in the country to resort to such extreme measures. In 1963, schools were ordered to open, and when the Supreme Court agreed in 1964, the supervisors gave in rather than risk prison, and public schools were reopened. [2]

During the interruption in access to Prince Edward County's public schools, a new entity, the Prince Edward Foundation, created a series of private schools to educate only the county's white children. These schools were supported by the tuition grants from the state and tax credits from the county, and collectively became known as "Prince Edward Academy", one of Virginia's "segregation academies." Prince Edward Academy operated as the de facto school system, enrolling K-12 students at a number of facilities throughout the county.

From 1959 to 1964, black students in Prince Edward County had to go to school elsewhere or forgo their education altogether. Some got schooling with relatives in nearby communities or at makeshift schools in church basements. Others were educated out of state by groups such as the Society of Friends. In 1963–64, the NAACP-sponsored Prince Edward Free School picked up some of the slack. But some pupils missed part or all of their education for five years. This group has been called the "Lost Generation" of Prince Edward County's youth.

In 1963, schools were ordered to open, and when the Supreme Court agreed in 1964, the supervisors gave in rather than risk prison, and public schools were reopened. [3] When the public schools finally reopened in 1964, they were fully integrated. Historians mark that event as the end of Massive Resistance in Virginia.

Public education since 1964

In modern times, Prince Edward County Public Schools now operates single Elementary, Middle, and High Schools for all students, regardless of race. They are:

Private education since 1964

Even after the re-opening of the public schools, Prince Edward Academy remained segregated. Many of the segregation academies in Virginia eventually closed; others changed their missions, and eliminated discriminatory policies, many only after the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revoked the tax-free status of non-profit discriminatory private schools. Prince Edward Academy was one of these, losing its tax-exempt status in 1978. In 1986, it accepted black students. It was renamed the Fuqua School in 1992.

Robert Russa Moton Museum

The former R.R. Moton High School building in Farmville is now a community landmark. In 1998, it was named a National Historic Site, and it now houses the Robert Russa Moton Museum, a center for the study of civil rights in education.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 916 km² (354 mi²). 914 km² (353 mi²) of it is land and 3 km² (1 mi²) of it (0.31%) is water. Most of the county's streams drain into the Appomattox River, a tributary of the James River, but in the southeastern corner of the county, streams drain via the Nottoway River into the Chowan River and thence into Albemarle Sound in North Carolina. The highest point in the county is the top of Leighs Mountain at 714 feet above sea level [1] .

Demographics

As of the census2 of 2000, there were 19,720 people, 6,561 households, and 4,271 families residing in the county. The population density was 22/km² (56/mi²). There were 7,527 housing units at an average density of 8/km² (21/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 62.17% White, 35.82% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.55% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 0.95% from two or more races. 0.94% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,561 households out of which 29.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.50% were married couples living together, 14.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.90% were non-families. 28.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county, the population was spread out with 20.20% under the age of 18, 23.50% from 18 to 24, 22.50% from 25 to 44, 19.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 95.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,301, and the median income for a family was $38,509. Males had a median income of $29,487 versus $21,659 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,510. About 14.60% of families and 18.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.40% of those under age 18 and 15.90% of those age 65 or over.

Localities

Town

Census-designated place

Other places

Notable Facts

References


This article uses material from the "Prince Edward County, Virginia" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message