The first large landowner in the area which is now Danville, Virginia was Col. William Wynne. On 26 March 1748, he entered for 400 acres near an old cabin below the fork of Rutledges Creek. At this time this area was a part of Lunenburg County. Wynne later consolidated his land into a large tract of 1,810 on 30 June 1760. He and his sons acquired other land adjoining for a total of more than 3,500 acres which stretched from the area of downtown Danville to the North Carolina border.
The fork referred to is probably the one near the old road shown below. William Wynne built a water-powered grist mill above that fork and on the old pioneer road to North Carolina. This mill is mentioned in a road survey in 1754, indicating that the mill was built and operating at that early date. At that time this area was a part of Halifax since 1752 and in Lunenburg before 1746. The mill application has not been found. Col. Wynne lived near the mill and the mansion on this map may be his old homeplace. Using this map and following the old roadbed to the creek we found remnants of the 12″ x 12″ wooden sill which was under the earthern dam to prevent the water from washing underneath. At a 45 degree angle are planks nailed to this sill. On the north side we found the wings of the dam and a sunken place nearby which was probably where the waterwheel was located.
On the south side is a high cliff. The road south east by the mill and down the creek where it crossed near the fork and continued to the top fo the hill, then into North Carolina. Just before entering Caswell County, the road forked. The east fork went acros Hogan’s Creek, where Azariah Graves Walters built Walters Mill about 1840, about the time he bought this mill. Since records cease about that time for the old Wynne mill, Walters may have used some of the machinery in his North Carolina mill.
William Travis was born about 1746 and settled in southern Pittsylvania County, Virginia. In 1782, he lived on 109 acres on the waters of Rutledges Creek (Pumpkin Creek) in what is now Danville, Virginia. In 1784, he received a land grant for 300 acres which included the land on which he lived.
William Travis land grant, left of center on N.C. line, 1784
This is an 1870s map of the road from Danville to Caswell Courthouse
- In 1806, William Travis, Sr. gave a part of his 300-acre land grant to his sons. William Travis, Jr. received 75 acres along the state line and John Travis received 77 acres.
- Descendants of William Travis, Sr. remained on the land. In 1883, George A. Travis sold Suiter M. Coleman of Caswell County, North Carolina 84 acres on the waters of Pumpkin Creek, Penick’s Branch and on the Danville and Yanceyville Road. The land adjoined Mrs. Susan M. Price.
- The Suiter Coleman house was at the crest of the hill on the east side of the Yanceyville Road about where the U.S. 29 bypass was built. This tract “on the plank road” was part of the estate of John W. Travis, which was purchased by George A Travis in 1868.
- We do not know the father of Suiter Coleman. In 1860, at age five, he is living in the household of Josias Travis, age 23. Sallie Travis appears to be his mother.
In 1900, Sallie is 72 years old and gives her birth in May of 1828. Suiter was born in December of 1854 and wife Isabel in July 1842. He is listed as a widow and had only one child (Suiter) who is living.
William Travis died in 1814.
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