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Prospect, Virginia, according to Clarence Bradshaw's History of Prince Edward County, Virginia from its Earliest Settlements through its Establishment in 1754 to its Bicentennial Year
St. James A.M.E. Church
Prospect United Methodist Church
Peaks Baptist Church
Olive Branch United Methodist Church
Bethpeor Baptist Church
Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church
Glenn Memorial Baptisit Church
is a small village on the western side of Prince Edward County. Once
it had several general stores, a farmers’ supply store, a high school and
elementary school, a cannery, a doctor, an attorney, a hotel, and a railroad
depot that served the surrounding agricultural area. This community
is rich in the history of agriculture, religious organizations, education,
As early as 1802, there is mention of a store operated by Robert Venable near the community of Prospect.
Mail routes traveled through Prospect as early as 1826 with a route running from Prince Edward Courthouse (Worsham) via Prospect to Concord once a week. In 1838 bids were accepted for a four-and-one-half year mail route from 1839 to 1843 to run from Farmville via Prospect, Walkers Church, Spout Spring, Concord, to Lynchburg for three times a week.
In 1840, there were ten post offices listed in Prince Edward: Marble Hill, Sandy River Church, Midway Inn, Farmville, Walkers Church, Prospect, Prince Edward Courthouse, Burkeville, Jamestown, and Clover Hill.
Trains carried the mail after the Richmond and Danville and Southside Railroads built through Prince Edward.
People were not accustomed to getting their each day, but it is reported in Bradshaw’s History of Prince Edward County Virginia that Thomas T. Tredway, representative to the House of Delegates, would send a boy to Prospect to get his mail three times a week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
In the 1850's, Southside Railroad had water tanks at Marrowbone Creek between Rice and Moran, at Farmville, at Tuggle, and at Prospect. Also since the fuel tenders were small, at the same water-tank stations, the railroad had contracts with local people to furnish wood, cut to the correct lengths.
In 1897, Norfolk & Western maintained telegraph offices at Moran, Rice, High Bridge, Farmville, Tuggle, Prospect and Elam to stop trains when there were others on the same tracks.
In the mid-1800's, there are records referring to the extensive orchards with new varieties of apples, pears, peaches, and grapes being developed in the Prospect area. Among the farms mentioned were the following: George Gillespie on Falling Creek, Nancy Woodson at Brooklyn, Stephen Harvey, James Venable at Forest Green, Mercer Blackwell, Henry J. Venable, and Spring Hill Nursery of Venable and Garden.
Physicians who worked out of Prospect were Dr. Merrit B. Allen in the 1840's and Dr. J. F. Alsop in the early 1900's.
In the post-Civil War era, Charles E. Glenn of Prospect operated a singing school for both instruction and social affairs.
In 1883, records show that Prospect had a graded school with two teachers and 42 students with M. R. Crawley as principal. In 1887-1888, J. P. Glenn is listed as principal of a school near the community.
County records show that in 1906-1907 Buffalo district planned to add a third room to the two-room school building in Prospect and open a high school there. Citizens wanted to support the idea of district high schools and formed the School Improvement League of Prospect with R. J. Carter as president.
Beginning with 1922 and for the next five years, all white one-two-three room schools were consolidated into six district high schools–Farmville, Prospect, Darlington Heights, Worsham, Green Bay and Rice.
In 1923, the Virginia General Assembly authorized the Prince Edward School Board to borrow $15,000 to build a school at Prospect and the county Board of Supervisors to levy a tax to pay the interest and to create a sinking fund for the retirement of bonds to build such a school. In 1924 that building was erected.
In fall of 1941, the county further consolidated its high schools. Rice and Prospect went together with Farmville High School and Darlington Heights consolidated with Worsham.
The Prospect school building burned in 1946 and was rebuilt serving as an elementary school until the closing of the county schools in 1959.
Electricity came to Farmville in the 1890's with the Farmville Electric Light, Heat, and Power Company. In 1921 the Farmville Town Council approved furnishing electricity to Prospect provided a line would be built. B. T. Taylor organized the Prospect Light and Power Company to construct the lines. On May 19, 1923, at 4:15 p.m. power was turned on to the Prospect line.
The people of the Prospect area have had a strong religious community. Revival preachers, such as Rev. Samuel Harris and Rev. John Early, provided the earliest inspirations in the late 1700's and early 1800's.
As early as 1773, the Appomattox Baptist Church (Rocks) reconstituted in Prince Edward at Peaks meetinghouse on land of Richard Peak. Rev. John McLeroy was the first minister.
In the Buffaloe community, west of Prospect, there is evidence of Presbyterian worship as far back as 1739. Rev. Richard Sankey bought land in 1761 for a meetinghouse.
In 1820, Prospect Church acquired land from Robert Venable. The trustees were Charles Venable, William Johnson, David Anderson, Jesse Bradley, and Samuel Venable. The Methodist Episcopal Church used this meetinghouse until it burned in 1860. The site of the church is in the present Prospect Cemetery. The present Methodist church was built in 1859.
In 1814, a Methodist congregation built a log meetinghouse three and a half miles east of Jonna Gray’s land, which is west of Prospect. In 1829, the Olive Branch congregation bought the meetinghouse land from Benjamin and Mary W. Boatwright. The trustees of this church were Rev. William Johnson, Rev. James McNeal, Edwin Gray, Thomas Andrews, Joel Elam, John C. Owen, Charles W. Wilkerson, James Martin and Charles Venable. A new church was built on the present site in 1859.
In 1869, a group of African Methodist Episcopalians acquired land from William M. Jenkins a mile west of Prospect Depot for the construction of a house of worship. Trustees were James Bruce, Henry Woodson, and Emmanuel Walker. Matthew Walthall was the minister. In 1881, the church acquired land in the village of Prospect from James D. and Amanda Crawley. In 1889, trustees of the church purchased land from John R. Wilson and W. M. Gilliam for a parsonnage and a church next to the railroad track. In 1909, E. S. Taylor, W. R. Taylor and Alma A. Taylor deeded to Emanuel Walker, L. Watkins, Benjamin J. Brown, Henry Lee, H. Fleshman, John Ellis, and Landon Woodson (trustees) land adjacent to the A. M. E. Church parsonage on which to build the structure for St. James A. M. E. Church.
In 1911, Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church was organized. Land for the church was deeded from R. A. and Sudie H. Davis to trustees A. C. Allen, W. S. Garden, and J. S. Moore.
In the Five Forks area, the Baptist held services for member of the Spring Creek congregation. The land for Bethpeor Church was conveyed from J. S. Harris to the trustees C. O. Harris and G. W. Gilliam. The church was formally constituted in 1912. Rev. W. A. Peasron was the first pastor.
Glenn Memorial Baptist Church was first built on land donated by Lucy W. Glenn. The church was an outgrowth of the efforts of its first pastor Rev. C. Edward Burrell of Farmville. Some of its first members came from Mathews Church in Hixsburg. Original trustees were Hunter Wilkerson, Thomas H. Coleman, and Robert A. Brisentine.
- compiled by Edwina
-source Bradshaw, Herbert Clarence History of Prince Edward County, Virginia from its Earliest Settlements through its Establishment in 1754 to its Bicentennial Year 1955.
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