A hill about a mile south of the village of Greenville, on the main road from Staunton to Lexington, is called “Staley’s Hill,” from a tragedy which occurred there at sometime near the year 1800. Several children going to school one morning, saw a traveler on horseback moving northward, who was overtaken by a man walking and carrying a gun. The two proceeded together for a while, and then the footman fell behind and deliberately shot and killed the other. Taken the traveler’s saddlebags and mounting his horse, the murderer fled, and was never heard of afterwards. The victim proved to be a merchant from East Tennessee, named Staley, who was going to Baltimore to purchase goods.
The Southern Historical Magazine for August, 1892, contains an article by the Rev. William T. Price, entitled “Pioneer History,” from which we obtained most of the following facts in regard to Jacob Warwick and his family.
The father of Jacob Warwick came to Augusta county from Williamsburg probably about the year 1740. He was a Lieutenant in the service of the British Government, and was employed in surveying and locating land grants in Augusta. His Christian name is not given, but we find a deed on record, from James Gay to John Warwick, dated March 21, 1759, and presume that the grantee was the same as Lieutenant Warwick, so called. According to the article referred to, he married Elizabeth Dunlap, who lived near the present village of Middlebrook; but another account says his wife was a Miss Gay. He obtained for himself a tract of land called Dunmore, in the present county of Pocahontas, then a part of Augusta. After the birth of four children,—Charles, Elizabeth, Jacob and John—and settling his family on the Dunmore estate [at the great risk of being murdered by Indians,] Lieut. Warwick concluded to visit England. He was never heard of after his departure, and being given up for dead, his widow subsequently married Robert Sitlington. In the mean while she had managed to have the Dunmore estate settled upon her son, Jacob. It is said that Joseph Bell became the guardian of Jacob and John Warwick, but of this there is no record proof. Nor, as far as the archives of August show, was there any administration on the estate of Lieut. Warwick.
Jacob Warwick married a Miss Vance, daughter of Col. John Vance of North Carolina. For a number of years he lived at Dunmore, and there all his children were born. Afterwards he removed to land he had acquired in what is now Bath county. He was a man of great enterprise and considerable wealth in land and cattle. But he seems to have been unambitious, and during his life held no conspicuous
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Edited Annals of Augusta County,Virginia, from 1726 to 1871 copyright © 2006-2017 by EagleRidge Technologies, Inc..