Scott County Historical
Scott County, Virginia
Estil Cemetery is the final resting place of great leaders from 1815 to
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
Judge Henry S. Kane Morrison, son of Co!' Henry Addison and Louisa Kane
Edward George Watts 1905-1997; Dr. L. R. Horton 1861-1913; Dr. Edwin
Meredith Corns 1886-1969;
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.