Mansions of Elk Garden
The Stuart Family
Leads to Politics
The pioneer generation was not yet dead before Elk Garden had
developed into a classic anti-bellum plantation society. The
most prominent families were the Smiths, the Prices, and the
Hendricks. Thomas Price, and his brother Richard, probably owned
the greatest acreage, which involved both current Rosedale and
much of the land west of State Highway 80.
The family of Col. Henry Smith owned Smithfield, north of the
western intersection of State 80 and US 19.
Their greatest acreage was, however, to the north of
House and Barn Mountain along the Clinch River, and technically
not part of Elk Garden.
David and William Priest were either brothers or nephews of the
surnames were spelled ‘Preec’, or similar variations, in
Pennsylvania, where they all came from.
The Priests settled between Richard and Thomas Price.
What is now Webb Mountain was once Priest’s Mountain.
The Price family wound up with the Priest’s land.
Thomas Hendricks, whose wife was Sarah Vanhook, sister to
Samuel, and his sons and grandsons not only developed a
significant plantation economy but also had a gristmill, general
store, and post office. As the mid-19th century approached there
were approximately 7000 white people in Russell County, and
approximately 700 slaves. Even the large plantation owners owned
no more than a dozen slaves. There was a large population of
white tenant farmers, who mostly lived in Corn Valley toward the
Loop, and which by inference performed much of the farming for
those large landowners.
Obvious signs of significant wealth were soon to appear. Before
the Civil War three elegant plantation houses were built in a
five mile stretch from Rosedale to Hendricks.
Richard (1750 or 1764-1803) and Thomas, Jr. (1761-1804)
Price were brothers born in Culpeper, Virginia, but of
Another genealogy has them being born in Philadelphia.
Both moved in to the Elk Garden community around the time
of the American Revolution. At some point in time Richard got
the settlement right at the current intersection of state 80
going north from US 19 toward Honaker. It appears, however, that
Alexander Scott had already acquired a grant for this tract of
land (LO O-547), both claimants surveying in 1783. In 1783
Richard Price surveyed out a preemption warrant for LO 0–561.
What this means is that the Commonwealth of Virginia gave him
rights to this land to compensate him for the settlement right
that he had to relinquish due to that prior claim.
Continued, Page 12