John Baytop Cary

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Daily Press
January 14, 1898

News of Richmond
Colonel John B. Cary Passes Away
Sketch of His Career

(Special to the Daily Press)
Richmond, VA-Jan. 13-Colonel John B. Cary, one of the best known citizens of Richmond, died at 4:05 o’clock this morning.  He was nearly 80 years of age.

John Batops Cary was born about seventy-eight years ago at “Cely’s”, the homestead of the Cary family, in Elizabeth City County, not far from Hampton. He was one of a family of four boys-Robert, John B., Richard Miles and Gill Armistead Cary-all of whom are now dead except Richard Miles Cary, who at present resides at Mobile, AL.

His youth was spent in Elizabeth City County, where he began his education at local schools.  When quite young, he went to William and Mary College and in 1836 he graduated with high honors, and returned to his father’s home.

It was some years after Colonel Cary’s graduation in 1836 from historic old William and Mary that his active business lie began and continued without cessation until his eyes closed f(unlegible) upon the scenes of earth.

It was in 1847 that he went to Hampton and assumed charge as principal of the Hampton academy, destined under his care, to become in after years the most famous military school in the South.

This historic academy, of which Col. Cary was the last principal, was founded about 1642 of which the October number of the William and Mary College quarterly gives the following admirable account in an article entitled “Education in Colonial Virginia.”

“Benjamin Syms, of Virginia, left the first legacy by a resident of the (illegible) plantation for the promotion of education.  By his will, made February 12, 1664-65, he gave two hundred on the Poquoson, a small river enters the Chesapeake Bay, a mile or less below the mouth of York River, with the milk and increate of the cows for the education and instruction of the children of the adjoining parishes of Elizabeth City and Kiquoten.

“In March, 1642-43, the Virginia Assembly gave a solemn sanction to Syms’ will.  In 1647, a few years we hear from an early writer that the school house had been erected, and the number of pupils greatly increased.  This school was soon succeeded by another. Thomas Eaton, on March ?, 1634, patented 250 acres at the head of the Back River for the benefit of education.  Both schools were undoubtedly in operation at the time when (illegible) uttered his much quoted (illegible) about the free schools of Virginia.

“After the revolution the two (illegible) lost their efficiency for a time; under the changed state of affairs, the ministers and church wardens and even the justices, doubted the (illegible) succession as incorporators. At (illegible) in 1805, the schools were incorporated in one as the Hampton Academy and aided by new constitutions, conducted for many years as a prosperous  institution for the benefit of the children of Elizabeth City, Poquoson and (illegible) counties.

“It was as the head, then of the famous old school that Col. Cary took his place as the last principal (illegible) and continued in that position until 18?2, when the fund of $10,000 (illegible) for the support of the Hampton Academy, was associated with the (illegible) school system adopted for the (illegible).”

“Thus the old school went out (illegible), but in his stead arose (illegible) which won even greater renowned the Hampton Military Academy, founded by Col. Cary.”

The prospectors for coal have (illegible) struck a paying vein in one of the mines near Midlothian.  Recently (illegible) Deninni, of the anthrac(?) section of Pennyslvania, purchased the old mine in Chesterfield county, near the village of Midlothian. He put a force of hands at work to hunt for a vein of paying quality and quantity. For some time they did not meet with success, and a few days before Christmas the superintendent became disheartened at his ill luck, as he had only been able to strike veins of four feet. When the owner made his appearance, he was displeased at the action taken by his foreman and put the hands to work again immediately.  It has proven that his action was fortunate for him.  On Saturday last the men succeeded in finding a vein of twenty-two feet. The owner is very much pleased with this find and will begin at once to work the mine to its utmost capacity.

This will not only be a paying investment to the owner, but it will give employment to a great number of people in that section, who have been idle for some time past.  At one time a quantity of coal was shipped from Midlothian to Richmond and other points by the water route on the James River.

Mr. George W. Williams was found on the banks of the canal in Manchester this morning about 7:40 o’clock by Messrs. George H. Burress and B. B. Johnson, two employees of the Southern Railway Shops. When found he was dead and apparently had been in the same position as when found for several hours.

The deceased left his home Tuesday night to pay a visit to his wife’s mother, who lives in Powhatan County.  He left there yesterday and last night took supper with his employer at his home at Moseley’s Junction.  He then said he would take the train for home. It was due here at 6:20 last night, but as it was late it did not arrive until 9:05 o’clock, some think the man got off the train from the northern side, and instead of going to his home he went in the direction of the canal and there he fell down the embankment and was drowned in swift current.  Others think he was murdered. His death is a mystery so far, and no one knows how it occurred.

The Citizen’s Exchange Bank was organized (illegible) with a capital stock of $200,000, half being used in the purchase of the stock of the old bank, and the rest subscribed in cash. The stock was all underwritten by a syndicate organized by John L. Williams & sons. Mr. William M. Habliston is president of the new bank.

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