Waddell's Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1726 to 1871


consolidated under the name of the National Valley Bank of Staunton, John Echols, President, and M. Harvey Effinger, Cashier, succeeded by Thomas A. Bledsoe. Capital $200,000. The Augusta National Bank, of Staunton, was organized in 1875—Hugh W. Sheffey, President, and N. P. Catlett, Cashier. Capital at first, $50,000, but soon increased to $100,000.




During the time over which we have passed in the course of our Annals, one generation of men after another has flitted by “like shadows o’er the plain.” “The fathers, where are they?” Old houses, too, and nearly all the ancient works of man, have been rapidly disappearing. It is only here and there that a structure associated with the early times of the county remains.

But some objects in and around Staunton have remained the same year after year, substantially unchanged and unchangeable. These old hills, who does not love them? The pioneer settlers in Beverley’s Manor saw them as we see them now, and no “native to the manor born” can ever behold or think of them without feelings of almost filial affection. The dwellers in level countries cannot appreciate many parts of the book of Psalms. When they read of “the mountains round about Jerusalem,” no chord in their heart vibrates; and those other words, “I will lift up my eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help,” so pleasant to us, excite no emotion in them.

Pre-eminent among our Staunton hills stand Bessy Bell and Mary Gray. We prefer the original Scotch spelling and pronunciation of the former name. “Betsy,” as people call it now, is harsh and crabbed, but “Bessy” “is soft as is Apollo’s lute.”

As far as we know there is nothing remarkable in the structure or products of the two hills. We presume the soil continues to produce annual crops of huckleberries and chincapins, as it did in days of yore. One of the former products of that region, however, has long since disappeared. Seventy or eighty years ago the boys and girls who went there for berries and nuts returned with an ample supply of ticks, the little insects now quite unknown in this part of the country.

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