Ancestral Family Topic 12

 12   Joseph Lynwood Vaughan (1858-1944)
Pedigree Chart 06

Joseph Lynwood Vaughan, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, Joseph Lynwood Vaughan might describe his life as follows.

I was born in Nottoway County 23 March 1858, just a few years before the Civil War. Since none of my three older sisters lived beyond their teens, our doctor prescribed regular exercise for me. So I took up fox hunting, then the “sport of kings,” and was eventually recognized as one of the finest fox hunters in Virginia. An article about me in the Richmond Times-Dispatch called me “the uncrowned king of fox hunters.”
I was 21 years old when I married Ida Byrd Hillsman 3 December 1879 and we were parents of 11 children we reared at our home, the historic “Forest Grove” north of Burkeville.
In 1912 I became commissioner of revenue for two Nottoway districts and in 1928 was elected commissioner for the whole county, serving until my retirement in 1744. Mr. Cummins, author of Nottoway County, Virginia, was kind enough to write, “It is quite safe to say that Mr. Vaughan (Uncle Joe) was one of the most popular and best liked men ever to serve the county in any capacity.” 
I survived to age 86, obviously outliving my doctor’s expectations.

In 1922 Joe divided his farm into 3 parts. James got a portion and Holmes got about 70 acres near Highway 360. Joe divided the other farm where Claudia lived among the sisters, Claudia, Mary, and Claire, and gave $1,000 to Joe Leigh, who lived in Durham, N.C.

Stories about Byrd
About 1929 Joe and Byrd decided to have the house remodeled, including taking down the stair case and putting it across the back from the large living room, the way it was when the house was first built. The workers were there removing the steps and landing when Ida Byrd wanted some bed clothes from upstairs. So, she went up and loaded her arms full of quilts and blankets. Forgetting the new steps, she took her old route and stepped off into space, landing 12 feet below on all the bed clothes. She laid laughing for so long that the men thought she was crying and was badly injured. Finally, one man got up the courage to see how she was. Much to his surprise she got up, unharmed, and walked away, still laughing. The bed clothes had saved her.
A few months later, she suffered a very bad heart attack and was sure she was going to die. Although a local doctor was treating her, she called, Dr. William Porter, to come the 50 miles from Richmond to check on her. Dr. Porter was the son of Ida Byrd’s cousin, Lelia A. Hillsman, and the grandson of Dr. John Albert Hillsman Jr., who was then serving as the Chair of the Department of Medicine of the Medical College of Virginia. Claire went for him and took him back to Richmond. He assured Ida Byrd that her doctor was treating her professionally and she was out in a short time. Ida Byrd’s blood pressure was always high and often she was seen pouring water over her head and body.

Byrd and the fireplace
One day Joe left the house, cautioning Byrd not to add any wood to the fireplace for fear she would fall in it. Nevertheless, he stayed away longer than he planned. When Byrd got cold, she turned over a small, oblong trash can on the hearth and sat on it. The trash can collapsed dropping her on the hot coals. She sat there laughing until it occurred to her that her clothes might catch fire, so she rolled over on the rug, put the fire out, and got up.
Although an avid fox hunter, Joe would occasionally take his gun and go for a rabbit. Coming home wet one day, he took his hunting jacket off and hung it around the side of the electric cook stove, turning on a burner. Ida Byrd happened through the kitchen just as the coat burned down to the pockets filled with shells.

Car wrecks
It was about 1932 that Byrd, aged 62, decided to learn to drive a car, which in those days required no permit and no driving tests. Joe Vaughan never learned to drive a car, always driving a horse hitched to a sulky. A few years later when the county required drivers’ permits, Byrd got one.
One day not long after the fire, when Byrd was about seventy, she drove Joe to the courthouse where he worked. On the way back to Crewe to pick up her granddaughter, she found herself behind a large truck, which would creep up the hills and speed down. In a hurry, she decided to pass the truck. At 85 miles per hour, the car began to weave. Realizing that she had lost control of the car, Byrd laid down on the seat. The car veered off the road to the left, careened through a thick stand of trees, and came to rest right side up.
The truck driver, watching in his rear-view mirror, saw the car tilting left and right before leaving the road. When he got to the car, he did not think anyone could be alive. The roof rested on the top of the car seat and the steering column had gone through the back of the front seat. He saw Byrd laying in the car and asked her if she were hurt. She said “Don’t touch me. You know I wanted to pass you and you wouldn’t let me. Now don’t touch me.” The driver did get her out of the car and into his truck. Although he wanted to take her to a doctor, she insisted on going to her daughter’s house. She was not hurt except a slight injury to her pelvic bone.
Since Byrd’s injury kept her from getting in a car for a while, she gradually began to walk more. Byrd’s family was concerned about her driving a car again, particularly at her age. Since her driver’s permit had expired, the family agreed that no one would help her renew it. One day they saw her coming up the street to her daughter’s house where she was recuperating, waving a paper and calling, “I got it, I got it.” They said, “What have you got, Mama?” She responded, “I heard you all plotting to keep me from driving so I got my permit.”
In 1938, after she recovered, Byrd was driving in the snow on a country road, with daughter Claudia beside her. They had bought several dozen eggs and were on their way home. The car had the battery under the front seat. Somehow the car slid from the road and flipped over spilling the battery acid on them. Fortunately, the eggs broke all over them counteracting the effects of the acid. Although her injuries were serious, Ida Byrd told the men who came to help them to turn the car back over and she would drive it back home.
One night Byrd and Joe went to see her brother Dr. Marshall Ligon Hillsman, who was visiting nearby. As they neared home, in the bright moonlight, she took an old road, which went through a gully, instead of the new one, turning the car over onto the driver’s side. Joe managed to push open the heavy door and climb out, but could not get Byrd out. He walked to Holmes and Sarah’s house for help and they got her out of the car.

Joe’s stories
Joe loved to tell stories, especially hunt stories. He also loved to write poems and recite them, mostly about the proliferating family. He liked jokes, too. One day during World War II, he stopped by Holmes’ and announced, “Well, old Hitler’s dead.” This surprised everyone. Then he laughed and said, “Yeah, Byrd hit him with the car this morning.” Joe had named his dogs Hitler and Mussolini.

Virginia’s one-man fox hunt club
Three generations of fox hunters were indebted to Joe Vaughan for their knowledge of this “sport of kings.” The following article from the 9 Dec. 1934, Richmond Times-Dispatch highlighted Joe Vaughan’s fox hunting prowess.

Commissioner Joseph Vaughan of Nottoway Scorns Red Coat
and Silk ‘Topper’ Togs; Rides for Love Of Sport and Not for Style,
With Ear Attuned to Music of Pack
“There’s music in the air” says Commissioner Joseph L. Vaughan of Nottoway County, “these days when the fox horn blasts the early morn and the yelp of the pack guides a fleet-mounted rider to where Reynard is at bay.”
And Commissioner Vaughan ought to know for, man and boy, for 61 years, he has chased Br’er Fox up hill and down dale to the tune of his own pack of dogs and in a manner all his own.
Virginia’s un-crowned king of Fox hunters is still chasing Reynard though he is also chasing his seventy-seventh birthday anniversary, and he certainly is convincing when he says he does it for the “love of the sport” and not because it is “the smart thing.”
No hunt club counts “Joe” Vaughan upon its roster (perchance there are those who might like to, after scanning his record of “brushes”) for this Nottoway official is a one-man club. He is his own “master of the hounds” in a very true sense since he is an expert trainer of fox hounds; is his own “whipper-in,” and flicks a long cowhide whip lash dexterously and with a final pistol-like “snap!” No “official huntsman” is needed, either, for Joe Vaughan knows his Virginia foxes and proceeds regularly to outfox them.
There was a time not so many years ago, friends of Mr. Vaughan aver, when fence nor barrier, rivers nor briars daunted the horsemanship of this veteran huntsman. Today, however, as his only concession to Father Time, Mr. Vaughan hunts by automobile, that is he transports his dogs in the turtleback compartment of a smart little roadster and enters the fields with them at chosen points in the more conventional manner.
“The highways are so unsafe these days to take a pack of dogs over, that I use my car to get them around,” he explains. “I usually have a mount or two with me that I can use or send one of my boys in on. But I hunt for the meat not for the style of the thing.”

Red coat, silk “toppers” and a score of assistants are things that Mr. Vaughan never considered necessary adjuncts to a good fox hunt.
And, down there in Nottoway County, is rivalry keen among the “unattached” fox hunters? Although all concede that the “Commish” is far and away the best of the “pack,” there are many who take keen relish in baiting the veteran’s prejudices as to dogs or methods or results even, just to hear him spin his yarns that back up his assertions.
For instance there is the story of a friend of Mr. Vaughan’s, himself a star free-lancer in the ranks of Reynard’s enemies, who wrote the county official several letters detailing the superior breed of his dogs to the commissioner’s long established favorites, the Walker.
“Well, sir, one day we met up out on the field,” reminisces “Joe.” “I had a few of my pack along, and I was pretty eager to see them work in company with those dogs that he had written such high praise of in his letters.
“’Where are your dogs?’ I kept asking my friend, and he would say they were over there or there but I never could catch a glimpse of one. Finally he admitted that he didn’t have any such dogs and had just written the letters to me for a joke, and to see what I’d do.”
Mr. Vaughan puts his faith in the so-called “Walker” breed of fox hound and has raised many packs and has hunted many dogs. His dog tales are unforgettable sagas of the courage, sagacity and loyalty of the hunting canine.

“Did you hear the story of the origin of the Walker dog?” he asks suddenly. “It is one of the things old Virginia has to be proud of, for they are the best fox dogs that ever sniffed a cold trail.
“Listen! it was in those drab days after the war when few of the families of the South had enough worldly material left to properly educate their youths. One family, that of old Dr. Walker, did, and young Walker was sent away to prepare for a teaching career. It took the last reserves of the family but a teacher the lad became, and then in a few years he was able to lay up something extra. With the love of the out-of-doors bred in him it was natural when he had few of these dollars ticked away that he should think of getting a horse. A fine saddle horse he wanted and so he commissioned one of the traveling drovers to watch out for such an animal.
“The drover did, and on his return from a tour of Tennessee and Kentucky stopped at Walker’s and reported. He said that he had found just such an animal as his client had described but had not bought it because the owner asked $200 for it, a high price for even a good horse then.
“Walker listened and then said he would be willing to pay $200 for his horse if it was as the drover described. The man assured him it was and gave him the name of the owner. ‘You go down there by railroad and get the horse and I’ll not charge you anything for finding it,’ he told the young teacher.
“So Walker went after his mount, bought it and was riding it home when he noticed two small puppies following him. He tried driving them off, shooing them away, but they followed close upon the heels of Walker’s new horse. As he ate his lunch he fed the pups the scraps and when he reached home he gave the two dogs to his Negro retainer.
“Later the old colored man told his employer how the puppies could outdistance his best “red” fox hounds, and how they never left a trail once it was picked up. The “tall” stories the old Negro told excited Walker and at last he declared he was going out and see for himself if the yarns were true.
“That night he did go out, and watched the strange white hounds pick up a trail. The veteran black and tans worked ahead but the spotted pups always seemed to lead. The rider kept close for nearly three hours before the dogs working faster and faster got out of sight and away. At last, tired out, the master went home and to bed, but not to sleep for most of the night he admitted afterwards he had his head out of the window listening to the music of those pups still on the chase.
“In the morning he took his fast horse and went out and found the pups, thoroughly convinced that he had a wonderful strain of hunting dog.”

“It wasn’t long after this that he met another fox hunter in the woods, a man who was a staunch believer in the old order of things - that fox hounds were black and tan and any other color couldn’t be a fox hound. Walker told of his dogs’ prowess and was promptly scoffed at.
“Aroused, he offered to show the caliber of his pups and set them down with the so-called “red” aristocrats of his neighbor’s pack. Soon away they went on a hot trail. But—the white dogs took the lead. It couldn’t be, declared the old-timer, who couldn’t believe his eyes. Back and forth, in and out, around and around the dogs raced on the track of Reynard, each time they came in sight it was the Walker dogs that were ahead. And as the chase lengthened, so lengthened the space between the Walker dogs and their rivals.
“Finally the only returners were the fox and the white dogs. A brisk gallop took Walker to the scene of the final spurt, and fight, but the old-timer lagged behind and later Walker met him walking.
“’Why are you walking, my friend?’ asked the astonished teacher.
“’Well, it is like this,’ said the disgruntled fox veteran. ‘After seeing what your white dogs did to the cream of my pack, I called them in and as each arrived I shot him as a worthless no-good hound dog. Then my horse broke his shoulder falling into a ditch and I had to shoot it. So I’m walking, and I’d like to buy some of your dogs.’”

That, according to this authority on dogs and foxes is the way the famous Walker breed won its first fame, and Mr. Vaughan has always been loyal to that kind of dog.
“Why shouldn’t I?” he asks. “My present pack has put their teeth into 39 grey foxes and three red ones, which is a record I like to think about. They’re a fine bunch of dogs are Saint and Sinner, Siren and Queen, Mac and Billy and Jethro, too.”
Mr. Vaughan has about 16 dogs now.
“Those three reds represented some thrilling chases,” he continues, “for the red fox is harder to catch than the more common grey. He runs straighter, scorning the subterfuges his lighter colored brother employees, and he fights quicker and harder, too. The red fox will fight before he is cornered, but the grey fox waits until the last chance has been run out.”
Other visual distinctions which cluster around the Vaughan banner in the field, are the running down and the capture of a wild turkey hen on horseback, the cutting down of two birds on the wing with his whip, and the capture of another bare-handed.

Fox Hunting with Walter Watson
Judge Walter A. Watson, the author of Notes on Southside Virginia, described in his diary several hunts with Joe Vaughan. 

Diary of Judge Walter A. Watson

March 13, 1897
Joe Vaughan, Henry Hillsman and I jump a grey south of Bethel Church and after hard chase by Farley’s and Burfoot Hurt’s and Bob Holt’s, of some one and a half hours, catch on battlefield of Saylers Creek under a big chestnut oak, said to be the corner tree between Amelia, Prince Edward and Nottoway, a short distance from, and n.w. of, Swep. Marshall’s.

January 23, 1899
Fox hunt with Dick Crannis, Tom Sowers, Claiborne Wilson, Buck Morgan, Leon and Joe Vaughan. Jump at Wooten’s; run to old Burkeville and lose.

September 19, 1902
Rose at four and joined “Joe Red” Vaughan at Mrs. Bouldin’s to hunt Flat Creek. We went through Beverley Gill’s by New London out to Sailors Creek - the battlefield portion - and got there by sunrise, then we turned through Overton’s (J.M. Hillsman’s), Foster’s old field, Farley’s, crossing Sandy Creek at road leading from Deatonsville to Jamestown, thence through W.B. Chapman’s (Meadows), Rucker’s, Oranges, and about twelve o’clock raised a grey in the low grounds at Nat Carter’s immediately on the creek bank (Sandys Creek) below where the road crosses leading from Shepherd’s Shop to Providence Church. He made a small run, something like twenty minutes and was put to his end on the road leading from John Robertson’s to Stony Point at Mrs. Oranges.

January 31, 1910
Calva and I go out with Joe Vaughan hunting down Namozine Road. Jump deer in “Barebones,” upper end near “Ingleside,” ran down the country through Cardwell’s and Joe Vaughan’s’ crossed the road at Buck Jones’ and thence through Bob Bland’s (Billy Hastings’ and Jack Welch’s) and down Little Creek. Got some of the dogs back at “Somerset,” where we raised a fox but lost him.

Calva was Judge Watson’s brother, Calva Hamlett Watson. “Ingleside” was the home of Robert Fitzgerald Ward “Somerset,” on the Namozine Road, had been the home of Capt. James N. Fletcher
Overton’s (J.M. Hillsman’s) was the “Hillsman House,” then the home of James Moses Overton Hillsman, Joe Vaughan’s father-in-law.
They say Joe Vaughan had red hair and we presume this was why Judge Watson called him “Joe Red” Vaughan.

Census records
Joseph, Ida Byrd, and 8 of 9 children were residing in Haytokah District, Nottoway County, in 1900,  but only James, Arthur H., Claire, Nicholas, and 9-year-old Margie remained in the household in 1910.  By the Census of 1930, only granddaughter Jane Phelps was living with Joe and Ida. 

Joe’s and Byrd’s death
Joe died at “Forest Grove” Tuesday, 9 Oct. 1944 at 9:30 a.m. following an illness of several weeks and Ida Byrd died at the home of her daughter Lucy in Crewe, Va., 6 April 1945.
Jane (Phelps) Borum administered both estates. Records show Joe and Byrd had owned a 1940 Buick valued at $400 and that each child inherited $2,300. Since Claudia was dead, Jane distributed $288 to each of her children. After he sold the farm, Lynwood H. Wilson, the attorney, sent each child an additional $1,481.

Descendants of Joseph Lynwood Vaughan
Information about the children of Joseph Lynwood Vaughan, their descendants, and allied families previously found at is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 Claudia Gertrude (Vaughan) Phelps (1880-1942),  
Emma Gertrude Vaughan,   
Charles Waldron Phelps,  
Katherine Byrd Phelps,  Rudolph Berger Johnson,  
Beverly Kay Johnson,  Walter Edward McManaway,  
Joseph Nelson Phelps,  Hettie Florence Byers,  
Sandra Marie Phelps,  Martin Edward Smith,  
Mary Anne Phelps,  Aubrey Jackson Pitman,  Ellis Jackson Pitman,  
Linda Anne Pitman,  Richard Lloyd Mitchell,  
Lucy Jane Phelps,  Willie Witt Borum Jr.,  
Beverly Anne Borum,  Stephen Cannon Nowell III,  
Joseph Witt Borum,  Virginia Ernestine Bridgeman,  
Robert Lee Borum,  Dorothy Daille Pritchard,  
Sarah Jane Borum,  Richard Perry Nicholas III,  
Hilda Alice Phelps,  Kenneth Allen Wing,  
Charles Waldron Phelps,  
Lillian Blanche Phelps,  Frank Kohne Jones,  Harry Monroe Jones,  
Barbara Rea Jones,  Bert Allen Rome,  
Charles Christy Jones,  Brenda Kay Large,  
Lois Gertrude Phelps,  Richard Holman,  H. Forest Kimball,  
 Elva Claire Vaughan (1882-1887),  
Pattie Elva Vaughan,   
 James Henry Vaughan (1884-1968),  
Lucy Garbee Craddock,  
Carrie Louise Vaughan,  Theadore Eugene Bloomer,  N. Monroe Bloomer,  Emily Louise Bowles,  
Emily Louise Bloomer,  Clarence Aubrey Booth,  
Clarence Aubrey Booth,  
Rhonda R. Booth,  
James Eugene Bloomer, Ph.D.,  Alice Catherine Carrico,  
Joseph Monroe Bloomer,  Jane Ferran Mylum,  Oswald Hodges Mylum,  Eva Meyers,  
Joseph Matthew Bloomer,  
Elizabeth Meyers Bloomer,  
Lucy Byrd Vaughan,  Joseph Teibel Schmierer,  
Joseph Teibel Schmierer,  Frances Jane Massie,  Archie Massie,  Rose —,  
Philip Vaughan Schmierer,  
Sadie Rebecca Vaughan,  Clarence Conner Dunford,  Amanda Conner,  Frank Burton Dunford,  
James Jackson Dunford,  Nancy Elizabeth Morgan,  Col. Vern E. Morgan,  
Clarence Conner Dunford,  Dreama Averhart,  
Lucy Rebecca Dunford,  Mark Price,  Diego John Serge II,  
Corrina Josephine Vaughan,  
Frank Lee Thompson,  Harry Lee Thompson,  
Terri Lynn Thompson,  Tony Lombardi,  Ron Butler,  
Sheri Lee Thompson,  Danny DePaola,  
Bettina Ann Thompson,  Michael R. Long,  
 Joseph Leigh Vaughan (1886-1982),  
Emily Jeffress Borum,  Emily Frances Jeffress,   William Albert Borum,  
Emily Jeffress Vaughan,  Capt. Norman Bernard Cotter,  
Norman David Cotter,  Doris Williams,  
Joseph Leigh Cotter,  
Douglas Vaughan Cotter,  
Joseph Lynwood Vaughan,  
 Lucy Rebecca (Vaughan) Wilson (1888-1976),  
Joseph Henry Wilson,  
Lynwood H. Wilson,  Jean Carrigan,  
Joseph Carrigan Wilson,  
Erma Rebecca Wilson,  Nathaniel Joseph Terry,  
Janet Wilson Terry,  
Della Ruth Wilson,  Henry Booth,  Williams Reynolds Transue,  
Jacqueline Transue,  
Eldred Berton Fowler,  William Gaston Fowler,  Anne Cooke,  
Maydell Josephine Wilson,  Thomas Whiteford Kilpatrick Jr.,  
Helen Byrd Kilpatrick,  John Robert Chappell,  
Thomas Wilson Kilpatrick,  
Evelyn Claire Wilson,  Murphy Anderson,  
Mary Elizabeth Wilson,  Maurice Ray Haynes,  
Dorothy Byrd Wilson,  Edwin H. Steele,  
Rita Sonja Steele,  Prince Pass,  
Rebecca Lee Steele,  Ronald W. Shoffner,  
Mildred Wilson,  H.L. Nelson,  
Joseph Forest Wilson,  Louise Mastrucco,  
John B. Wilson,  Eleanor Braun,  
Hillsman Vaughan Wilson,  Nancy Green,  Steuart Gantt,  
Jean Wilson,  Don Hyatt,  
 Mary Elizabeth (Vaughan) Noble (1890-1982),  
Charles Irving Noble,  
Joseph Povall Noble,  Lillian Ellington,  
Beverly Irving Noble,  James Hersey Wick,  
Eleanor Byrd Noble,  Pendelton McGuire Jackson,  
Eleanor Noble Jackson,  
Elizabeth Turner Jackson,  Leonard F. Redford,  
Pendleton McGuire Jackson,  Carol Pereira,  
Virginia Dayre Noble,  Bennie Millard Dearing,  Stanley Thomas Vaughan,  
Agatha Jo Dearing,  John Marshall Smith,  
Charles Irving Noble,  Dollie Ranson,  
Sandra Louise Noble,  Wilbur Lee Asal,  
Charles Irving Noble III,  Donna Kay Noblin,  
Elva Mae Noble,  Dr. Samuel Benjamin Judy,  
William Irving Judy,  Sharron Farmer,  
Jess Noble Judy,  Kathleen Donahue,  
Janelle Judy,  Keith Hamlett Langford,  
Samuel Benjamin Judy,  Cynthia Marie King,  
Burns Vaughan Noble,  Ruth Wallace,  
Burns Vaughan Noble,  
 Holmes Arthur Vaughan (1892-1951),  
Isaac Holmes,   
 Corinna Claire (Vaughan) Warren (1894-1992),  
Marjorie Corinna Gertrude Vaughan,   O. Melvin Warren,  
Betty Claire Warren,  James Keiffer Wilson Jr.,  
James Keiffer Wilson III,  
Beverly Elizabeth Wilson,  
Kristen Leigh Wilson,  
 Nicholas Hillsman Vaughan (1897-1928),  
 Charles Blanton Vaughan (1898-1899),  
 Marjorie Byrd (Vaughan) Burton (1900-1966),  
Marjorie Corinna Gertrude Vaughan,   J. Edward Burton,  
Alice Vaughan Burton,  Henry Warriner Chappell,  
Shirley Jean Chappell,  Stephen Philip Mace,  
Henry Warriner Chappell,  Kathleen Marie Dietz,  
Robyn Ann Chappell,  
Jean Fay Burton,  James Ferdinand Mann,  
Harold Frederick Mann,  Darleen Carol Koenig,  Deborah South Sommers,  
Robert Burton Mann,  Beulah Lee Lambert,  Pamela Jean Sauter,  
William Arthur Mann,  Sandra Lee Hepner,  
Thomas Clyde Mann,  Linda Wuechner,  
Alice Fay Mann,  

This family topic includes the following notable individuals.
Soldiers of colonial and American wars
Joseph Nelson Phelps - World War II Norman Bernard Cotter - World War II
Nicholas Hillsman Vaughan - World War I  

This topic, which represents .3% of all the family history material at, includes 35 citations and the names of 224 individuals.
Virginians - The Family History of John W. Pritchett
Copyright © 2001-2006, John W. Pritchett. All rights reserved.
Civil War Soldiers from Brunswick County, Virginia 
  • 1,140 family histories
  • 744 pages
  • 35,000-name index
  • Attractively bound
  • Military histories
  • Index of church cemeteries
  • Confederate veterans photo
  • More...