Rockingham County, Virginia
VAGenWeb Project

A History of Rockingham County
John W. Wayland Ph.D.

Chapter X





     Rockingham County, like every other great county, is too big to be seen all at once, and too many-sided to be appreciated fully from any single view-point.  The chapters that follow present some of its manifold phases, each in its particular significance, and thus make possible a more definite estimate upon an analytical basis; all that is attempted here is a collection of a few more or less general statements, in the nature of a suggestive, though incomplete, summary.

     Rockingham to-day has 35,000 people (34,903by the census of 1910); no millionaires, very few paupers, and $1000 on the average for every man, woman, and child, white and black; 3528 farmers, and a farm for each of them; 363,042 acres of land in these farms, and 560,640 acres of land altogether; 26,435 cattle; 11,704 horses; 19,754 swine; 25,199 sheep; 2314 colonies of bees; and 236,812 head of poultry.  It also has one of the two largest hatcheries in the State.  There are seed farms for the planters, thoroughbred flocks and herds for the stockman, and nurseries for the fruit grower; there are hundreds of growing orchards, from which about 1000 carloads of apples are produced every year, not to speak of peaches, pears, cherries, plums, - or watermelons.

     There are in the county three noted summer resorts, three splendid caves, and three famous battlefields; there are abundant mineral deposits, of various kinds, including iron and coal; there are numerous spring-fed streams, affording moisture for plants and unexcelled water power; there are 40



flouring mills, (1) two large tanneries, brick kilns and lime kilns, plow factories, wood-working factories, creameries, canneries, 9 banks, and a wool mill whose products are recognized as of superior excellence at home and abroad.

     In Rockingham to-day 16 religious denominations are represented, and more than 140 Sunday-schools are operated; the churches are served by about 80 preachers and pastors, and the people at large by 34 physicians and surgeons, several of them specialists; there are 14 dentists, 27 lawyers, and about 290 educators and teachers; there is a ministers’ union, a medical society, a teachers’ association, a ladies’ memorial society, a boys’ corn club, a horticultural society, a fair for the school children, and annual horse show, a fair for mechanics and farmers, a Sundayschool association, a women’s Christian temperance union, and an anti-saloon league; there are farmers’ and stockmen’s organizations, missionary societies, insurance companies, and benevolent, fraternal, and patriotic societies almost without number.

     There is a modern hospital, with hundreds of women working for it; an orphan’s home, and an old folks’ home; there are two public almshouses, one for the county, one of the county-seat, and two court houses, one for the county, one for the nation.  There are 10 incorporated towns, several of which are lighted with electricity, and more than 30 towns and villages altogether; the rural districts, as well as the towns, are supplied with excellent telephone systems, and daily mail delivery; there are about 80 miles of railroad track, operated by four different companies, about 70 miles of macadamized road, with a growing movement for more; dozens of strong bridges spanning streams large and small, 37 postoffices, and 20 regular railroad stations.

     Rockingham has to-day a weekly newspaper 90 years old,


(1)      For information on this point I acknowledge special obligation to Messrs. John G. Yancey and W. J. Dingledine, of Harrisonburg.  Mt. Dingledine has recently published an attractive booklet giving many interesting statistics concerning Rockingham County and the town of Harrisonburg.




five printing and publishing establishments, three daily papers, and a monthly music journal that is probably the oldest in the United States; there are five or six bands and orchestras in the county, and probably more people, old and young, who can sing, and who love music, than in any other section with the same population in America.  There are 142 school buildings, including 11 high-schools, in the public school system; and besides these there are three institutions for higher education, whose combined annual enrollment reaches about 1000 students representing nearly every county in Virginia and many States outside of Virginia.

     Rockingham County to-day (1912) has the following staff of county and district officials:

            Circuit Judge – T. N. Haas.

            Clerk of Court – D. H. Lee Martz; deputies – C. H. Brunk, J. F. Blackburn

            Sheriff – E. J. Carickhoff; deputies – D. E. Croushorn, John Adams, Otho Miller, Chas. Meyerhoeffer, Lurty Koontz, R. E. Pugh, J. J. Branner, Chas. R. Fawley, W. H. Yankey, T. A. Carickhoff.

            Commonwealth’s Attorney – Chas. D. Harrison.

            Treasurer – Peter W. Reherd; deputy – Harry Way.

            Superintendent of Schools – Geo. H. Hulvey.

            Surveyor – Jos. G. Myers.

            Coroner – J. M. Biedler.


County Supervisors.

            D. N. Washington, from Ashby District.

            Brock T. White, from Central District.

            J. Newton Swank, from Linville District.

            A. M. Turner, from Plains District.

            M. H. Harrison, from Stonewall District.


Ashby District

            Justices of the Peace – J. W. Keiter, J. P. Rauhof, Homer M. Hill.

            Constable – I. N. Jones.

            Road Commissioner – A. S. Heatwole.




            Assessor – C. H. Funkhouser.

            Overseer of Poor – J. H. Simmers.

            School Trustees – D. C. Graham, C. T. Callender, J. s. Good.


Central District.

            Justices of the Peace – D. Wampler Earman, F. J. Argenbright, P. I. Derrer.

            Constable – G. R. Black.

            Road Commissioner – J. W. Sheets.

            Assessor – Frank A. Heatwole.

            Overseer of Poor – J. W. Minnich.

            School Trustees – E. J. Suter, Frank Ralston, C. A. Crenshaw.


Linville District.

            Justices of the Peace – J. C. Cooper, J. P. Howver, Joel Rinker.

            Constable – A. A. Frank.

            Road Commissioner – C. W. Dove.

            Assessor – B. F. Myers.

            Overseer of Poor – W. H. Shaver.

            School Trustees – John S. Funk, A. A. Howard, S. R. Bowman.


Plains District.

            Justices of the Peace – J. W. Pickering, Geo. A. Neff, L. P. Souder.

            Constable – T. A. Fansler.

            Road Commissioner – E.P. Myers.

            Assessor – M. Harvey Zirkle.

            Overseer of Poor – C. F. Evans.

            School Trustees – E. P. Myers, H. H. Aldhizer, J. Luther Wittig.


Stonewall District.

            Justices of the Peace – John W. May, J. A. S. Kyger, John I. Wood.




            Constable – G. W. Baugher.

            Road Commissioner – C. W. Baugher.

            Assessor – E. L. Lambert.

            Overseer of Poor – J. F. Life.

            School Trustees – A. S. Bader, A. S. Kemper, J. T. Heard.


Representatives in General Assembly.

            Senate – John Paul.

            House of Delegates – C. H. Ralston, G. N. Earman.