A Bit of Town History

Bedford, Virginia

"Worlds Best Little Town"

by

Thomas A. Markham

markm19353@embarqmail.com

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"Little Darling Pal of Mine"

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Town_of_Liberty_Painting.JPG (60961 bytes)

A Painting of Liberty, Virginia in 1855

 

Peaks of Otter Winter.JPG (60235 bytes)

PeaksofOtter1928.JPG (36093 bytes)

Peaks of Otter in Winter

Peaks of Otter 1928

Situated in the western part of the Piedmont plain., about    seven miles from the scenic Peaks of Otter  Bedford   has had a long, proud history. Over the years its name has been altered several times. First called "Liberty" when it was founded in 1782, it became known as "Bedford City" during the boom of 1890. In 1912, when all hope of Bedford developing into a  large industrial center had faded, "City" was dropped, only to be in­corporated in the name again in 1968,   when by action of the town council, it became known as the "City of Bedford".

Col.Wm.Callaway.JPG (27359 bytes)The story of how the town of Liberty got its start is an interesting one. When New London, which served as the  county seat until 1782, became a part of the newly formed Campbell County, Bedford was forced to look for a new site. William Callaway, Jr. was asked to make a survey of the county in order to locate the new court house as near   the center as possible.

OldClerksOffice.JPG (51813 bytes)While the Court was at New London the Clerks Office was used by Jimmy Steptoe, who was Clerk of the Court at that time, and many interesting stories are written about this era.

 

More About New London

In the meantime an offer of a hundred acres land along what was known as Bramblett's Road  was made by  Joseph Fuqua and William Downey. A committee, consisting of    William Mead, William Leftwich, William Trigg, Henry Buford, and James Buford, was asked to  examine the land to determine its suitability and re­port to the court by July 23, 1782. The report being favorable, James Buford was asked to make a contract for the building of a courthouse, prison, and stocks. Accordingly, a courthouse 20' by 30' with a twelve-foot pitch and a chimney of thick dirt or stone was erected in a   grove of oaks on the site of the present Bulletin-Democrat building, and the First Court was held on August 25, 1782.

A Report on Joseph Fuqua