Maj. William T. Sutherlin’s family buried in North Danville 1843+

When the town of North Danville established the North Danville Cemetery in 1878, the land was purchased from W. A Baugh and Mrs. A. M. Keen.  The Keen land was “already being used as a cemetery.”  Thomas Jackson Lee was a former mayor and a member of that committee.  When he died suddenly on October 8, 1887, his widow had a large stone mausoleum constructed between the oldest graves and Claiborne Street.  Mrs. Lee donated additional land and the cemetery became known as Leemont in honor of T. J. Lee. 

The following inscriptions are on four sides of each of the three markers seen here.  T. J. Lee is buried in the square in the background.  The houses on on the western side of Claiborne Street. The square here, east of Lee’s mausoleum, appears to contain the oldest graves in the cemetery.  Nathaniel Green Sutherlin, who was born on July 11, 1836, died on February 9, 1843 and is buried in that square. 


His father George Sanders Sutherlin (b April 7, 1796 d July 111, 1856) and his mother Polly Starlings Norman Sutherlin (b November 1, 1794 d May 8, 1860) were buried there before the Civil War began. 

Another son of George and Polly, Maj. William Thomas Sutherlin, was deeply involved in the Confederate war effort.  He opened his house on Main Street to Confederate President Jefferson Davis in April of 1865.  He was a visitor at the Sutherlin home for a week before he received word of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. 

The large top oblelisk top piece is toppled in front of this inscription for Geo. S. Sutherlin.


A family cemetery is usually located near the home place.  It is likely, that George S. Sutherlin’s house was near the cemetery on what is now Claiborne Street.  After Polly S. Sutherlin died in 1860, the heirs sold the 236-acre tract which included the cemetery to a daughter and sister of the boys in the small family cemetery. The sale price was $5,000.   Living heirs are named in a deed dated July 20, 1860:  “(1) William T. Sutherlin and wife Jane E., (2) John M. Sutherlin and wife Leanah, and (3) Dearman W. Pace and wife Paula (Purlina Lane Sutherlin b June 6, 1824). 

The large tract, which Matthew Bates Hodnett and wife Narcissa Adeline Sutherlin Hodnett bought from the estate, extended across North Main Street where the Hodnetts lived.  The Hodnett’s and their children are also buried in the Sutherlin square. 

Another brother buried in the Sutherlin square is George Haskins Sutherlin, who was born on November 28, 1826.  He was a second lieutenant in Co. E, 38th Virginia Infantry Regiment. 


Lieutenant George H. Sutherlin died in Richmond, Virginia on December 13, 1861.  Company E of Danville was commanded by Capt Joseph Robert Cabell.  The company’s motto was “Victory of Death!.”  Cabell rose to the rank of colonel before he was wounded at Gettysburg in July 1863.  He was killed at the Battle of Chester Station on May 10, 1864 while leading a charge against the enemy.  My great grandfather, Reuben B. Ricketts (1830-1891), was in Company E and present with the company at Gettysburg and many other battles.  He survived the war and operated stores on the Franklin Turnpike at Design and Pleasant Gap.  The marker was placed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans Cabell-Graves Camp of Danville, Virginia.

The two tall obelisks in the foreground of the top photograph, with the Lee Mausoleum in the background, are members of the family of Naressa Adeline Sutherlin and family.  Narcessa was a daughter of George H. and Polly Norman.  Her husband Matthew Bates Hodnett and some of their children are buried here.


Narcessa A. Sutherlin Hodnet was born Aug 15, 1820 and died Oct 1, 1888

Narcessa A. Sutherlin Hodnet was born Aug 15, 1820 and died Oct 1, 1888 

Narcessa A. Sutherlin Hodnet was born Aug 15, 1820 and died Oct 1, 1888 Matthew Bates Hodnett was born May 15, 1818 and died Sep. 21, 1883.  He was a son of Ayers and Nancy D. Bates.

Narcessa A. Sutherlin Hodnet was born Aug 15, 1820 and died Oct 1, 1888 Matthew Bates Hodnett was born May 15, 1818 and died Sep. 21, 1883.  He was a son of Ayers and Nancy D. Bates.

George Sutherlin Sr.(III) has this 365-acre tract surveyed on October 17, 1798.  Beaver Pond Branch, at the norther part of the tract heds up at the present Nor Dan Shopping Center and Majoy Court near the Franklin Turnpike. It appears that this road led from the area of Woodrow Wilson School to Keen’s Mill (Wendell Scott Blvd.)  Keen’s Mill was located on Beaver Pond Branch.  At right are two branches of Fall Creek.  These and the other two spring branches all flow into Dan River.  This tract included the George S. Sutherlin family graveyard which is discusssed here.  This land was a land grant dated 3 March 1755 to Robert Walton, deceased.  Apparently Walton died before he received the grant.  This tract was relatively small compared to the large grants on the eat and west which surrounded this tract.  On the west was a grant of 9,600 acres dated 4 March 1755 to Charles Clay of Chesterfield County. 


This tract, west of Walton’s 1755 grant, stretched more than seven miles from Dan River to White Oak Mountain at Pleasant Gap. 

On the west was the home tract of the famous Baptist preacher Samuel Harris. The road near his lines is now North Main Street.  He added to his 5,000-acre grant dated 27 April 1748.  When he died in 1799, he tract which was surveyed contained 6,592 acres.  This tract, along Fall Creek, began at the “Old Ninety Seven” Station near the Franklin Turnpike down to the area of West James Street and Richmond Boulevard.  Surveying has never been an exact science.  The lines were surveyed by different surveyors at different times with inprecise directions.  Although some of the lines do not match exactly, many early surveys were very accurate and match up well with modern land features.

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