Jim Hearp was a blacksmith and a tombstone maker in Dry Fork, Virginia, near the turn of the last century. (At least one of his tombstones had on it, “Dun Died”.) He also owned a large farm that included the Dry Fork gold mines. He was known for being religious and also the stingiest man in Dry Fork.
My uncle Rob told me the story that Jim Hearp's neighbor Hopson Thomas (better known as “Hop”) had a long sickness which put him in a tough spot regarding feeding his family. Jim came to visit him, and just before he left he asked Hop if he could do anything for him. Hop said, “Yes, I would appreciate it if you could let me have a barrel of flour until I am able to work.” Jim said, “Oh, I didn't mean that — I meant about praying for you!”
Hop and his family lived in a small shotgun house on a farm that joined Jim's farm. The house did not have any windows and Daddy told me that no matter how cold it was the front door was always open. Hop was the community banjo player for the square dances that used to be held weekly in someone's house on Saturday night. He also helped to keep the moonshiners in business.
Along the Dry Fork Road
Clement: History of Pittsylvania County
Fitzgerald: Pittsylvania: Homes and People of the Past
Hurt: Eighteenth Century Landmarks of Pittsylvania County
Hurt: An Intimate History of the American Revolution in Pittsylvania County
Dodson: Footprints from the Old Survey Books
Byrd: Histories of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina
Melton: Pittsylvania's Eighteenth-Century Grist Mills
Melton: Pittsylvania's Nineteenth-Century Grist Mills
Melton: Thirty-Nine Lashes, Well Laid On
Melton: Pittsylvania County's Historic Courthouse
Jones: Tales About People in a Small Town
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Copyright © 2005 S. Dail Yeatts.