Scott County Historical Society
Scott County, Virginia
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Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia  
Publication No. 38 - 2004

Estil Cemetery

by Wayne G. McConnell

Estil Cemetery is the final resting place of great leaders from 1815 to 2004.

Estil Cemetery was started in the earliest days of Gate City when it was known as Winfield. Most of those buried there during this time are unknown. Those graves in the old part of the cemetery are marked with only field stones.

The earliest writing on a readable tombstone is for Joseph T. Draper, died December 12, 1814, 10 years and one month and 21 days old, son of Joseph and E.C. Draper.

It certainly was in use during the days of Estilville which was from 1817 forward. Stones for James M. Draper, died October 23, 1817, three years, eight months old, son of J. and E.C. Draper, Mary Hester Herron, died November 8,1826, age three years, five months, 21 days, daughter of E.K. and Mede E. Herron bear this evidence.

An uneducated guess: The Draper Family and the Herren/Herron Family were probably owners of the plot of land which was laid out to be the Estil Cemetery, and it was probably called by one of those two family names until it became the land of Judge Estil, or Judge Ayers. Another uneducated guess would be, the before-mentioned family names were the Methodist families of Winfield, Estillville and Gate City. The First Methodist Church remembered by anyone, was located at the Southeast comer of Estil Cemetery in Gate City. An unedu­cated guess is the best we can use until further research in court­houses uncovers accurate information. The records being kept by the Estil Cemetery overseers were destroyed by a fire in the office of the lawyer for the Estil Cemetery Trust. The fire happened in the 1960s.

Walking through this historic cemetery compares to taking a short course in Scott County history. Its beauty is also something worth seeing. Old stones with much writing and elaborate ornamentation. Important doctors, lawyers, judges, merchants, sheriffs, soldiers and politicians who served in the Methodist Church and in their commu­nity. Just to name a few:

Rufus Adolphus Ayers, May 20, 1849-May 14, 1926, Boy Soldier of the Confederacy; Attorney General 'Of Virginia 1885-1890, Member of VA Convention 1901, Pioneer in Industrial Development SW VA.

Colonel Henry A. Morrison, Feb. 5, 181l-Feb. 22, 1892, sustained and comforted by his faith in Christ. He approached his grave like one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him and lied down to pleasant dreams.

Judge Henry S. Kane Morrison, son of Co!' Henry Addison and Louisa Kane Morrison, born
Estillville June 12, 1846 - died Nov. 9,
1899.  "He did justly, loved mercy" and walked humbly with God.

Drs. Edward George Watts 1905-1997; Dr. L. R. Horton 1861-1913; Dr. Edwin Meredith Corns 1886-1969; Colonel James Shoemaker, noted namesake of Shoemaker College; Sheriff Beverly J. Broadwater and Sheriff W. C. R. Strong; Gate City Mayor James Hopkins McConnell; Major Sylvester Patton McConnell, County Court Clerk and Treasurer of Scott County; Lawyer Robert Floyd McConnell, Businessmen Henry Kane, Cowan Carter, Samuel Walton Coleman, George B. Darter, James Albert Counts, Charles C. Johnson, John Gilley, John W. Wood, Walter Ramey, Elija Minnich, Robert Stewart, James L. Agree, Allen S. Grogan, James V. Draper, William Patton Hilton, Ephraim Falin, M. T. Hash, Robert M. Alley, Patrick Henry Nickels, E. A. Hoge, W. L. Beverly,  W. W. Nickels, James R Richmond, John A. Edmonds, John M. Johnson, Henry Richmond, George M. Edmonds, Elbert G. Quillin, Everett Watson, Preston Mann, William Douglas Davidson, W. A. Stewart, and Nathan Stair are a few of the notable names found in this cemetery.

This research has just skimmed the surface of what needs to be done. Would you agree more should be done? Would you also agree, this beautiful cemetery deserves to be preserved? Therefore, surely you will join me in pledging our help to the Trustees of Estil Cem­etery.

Original Trustee Gate City Methodist Church. Present day Trust­ees of Estil Cemetery are: Bill Draper, Tucker Coleman, Judy Hash Dishner, Marion Boatright Pendleton, R.J. Broadwater, Chuck Pendleton and Sharon Waldo.

Should anyone take up the challenge of finding the correct history of Estil Cemetery, clues will surely be found in the Russell County Courthouse and Scott County Courthouse in records and deeds of:

James and Peggy Davidson in 1824. Also a search of the land trans­fers of Rufus Ayers, James V. Draper, E. K. Herren/Herron and a few of those prominent names listed on the tombstones in the cemetery.

 

Home ] Up ] 5-Confederates ] Kilgore Ft. House ] Catholicism ] Rafting ] Long Hunters ] Dr. McConnell ] Spartan Band ] Hanging Sheriffs ] W.D. Smith ] Frontier Forts ] Chief Benge ] James Boone ] Old Mills ] Whites Forge ] Whiteforge Post Office ] Samuel Smith ] James Shoemaker ] Jane and Polly ] Indian Missionary ] Patrick Porter ] Phillips Killing ] Boone Trail ] Stoney Creek Baptist ] Methodism ] Daniel Boone ] [ Estil Cemetery ] Scott Co. Names ] Confederate Soldiers ] Drayton Hale ] Reids Normal School ] Dr. N. Stallard ] Indian Forays ]