The History and Development of Competition: The Original Part of the Town of Chatham — Located in the Center of Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Introduction by Langhorne Jones, Jr. Published by the Pittsylvania Historical Society. 32pp. 5.5 x 8.5 inches. Softcover, saddle stitched. Mitchells Publications Catalog #PHS008.
Note: This book is no longer available from Mitchells.
This little book details the establishment of Pittsylvania County's present courthouse town, beginning in 1777. The book discusses the 1807 controversy over the courthouse location, which resulted in the town's being officially named “Competition” until it gained its present name of Chatham in 1852. The history, ownership, and development of the town's original twelve lots are followed up into the mid-twentieth-century. Numerous names of individuals, families, and businesses are included.
Judge Langhorne Jones, Sr., was born on the Ides of March 1902 in Chatham, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, on the same night the business district of the town burned. Therefore his birthday was remembered by all. (See “The Chatham Fire of 1902 and the Birth of Langhorne Jones.”) He was the first child of John Martin and Mary Emma Whitehead Jones, both born of parents from old Pittsylvania County families.
His early education began in the back yard of his parents' home in Chatham in a private school taught by Miss Elmire Starbuck, who had also taught President Taft. Later he enrolled in Chatham Training School (now Hargrave Military Academy) and then attended Hampden-Sydney College and the University of Virginia School of Law. He began law practice in 1926 in Chatham and continued for 31 years prior to his appointment to the judgeship of the 22nd Circuit Court in 1957. Judge Jones sat on the bench for 16 years until he retired in 1973, and afterwards as needed for five additional years. He took pride in the fact that none of his decisions was ever overturned by the Virginia State Supreme Court.
He served in many professional, church, and civic offices, and as a member of Virginia's House of Delegates (1932-1933).
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