At length the time for the organization of the county had arrived. On October 30, 1745, Governor Gooch issued “a Commission of the Peace,” naming the first magistrates for the county, viz: James Patton, John Lewis, John Buchanan, George Robinson, Peter Scholl, James Bell, Robert Campbell, John Brown, Robert Poage, John Pickens, Thomas Lewis, Hugh Thompson, Robert Cunningham, John Tinla (Finley?), Richard Woods, John Christian, Robert Craven, James Kerr, Adam Dickinson, Andrew Pickens, and John Anderson—in all twenty-one.
At the same time, the Governor issued a commission to James Patton as sheriff of the county. John Madison was appointed clerk of the county court by “commission under the hand and seal of Thomas Nelson, Esq. Secretary of Virginia,” and Thomas Lewis was commissioned surveyor of the county by “William Dawson, president, and the masters of the college of William and Mary.”
In anticipation of the organization, William Beverley, the patentee, had erected a court-house on his land, and at the southwest corner of the present court-house lot. On the day the commissions to the county officers were issued at Williamsburg, Beverley wrote from the same place to the justices of Augusta, informing them that he had erected the house referred to at his “mill place,” and would before spring make a deed for the “house and two acres of land about the same to the use of the county to build their prison, stocks, etc., on.” It will be observed that nothing was said about Staunton as the county-seat. There were doubtless some dwellings and other houses here, but the spot was then only known as Beverley’s “Mill Place.”
The building erected by Mr. Beverley is described in a “presentment” by the Grand Jury, May 21, 1748. It was “thirty-eight feet three inches long, and eighteen feet three inches wide in the clear, built with logs hewed on both sides, not layed close, some of the cracks between the logs quite open, four or five inches wide and four or five feet long, and some stopped with chunks and clay, but not quite close, two small holes cut for windows, but no glass or shutters to them; the inside not furnished nor fitting for his Majesty’s Judicatory to sit.” Signed, Wm. Christian, Foreman.
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Edited Annals of Augusta County,Virginia, from 1726 to 1871 copyright © 2006-2015 by EagleRidge Technologies, Inc..