by Rhonda Robertson
Emory L. Hamilton, born April 10, 1913 in Wise County and christened Emory Lee; he was the son of Jessee and Sarah Baldwin Hamilton. His love of history began at the feet of his
parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents listening to stories of his ancestors told around the fireplaces and porches of Wise County. Emory was a descendant of the earliest of pioneer families having settled on the frontiers of Southwest Virginia.
He often told of himself and his younger brother, J. B., studying by candlelight in the loft of their old log house in the community known as Hamilton Town. They poked holes in the daubing in the walls and roof so they could lie in their beds beneath feather ticks and look at the stars glinting in the dark sky. Beautiful as this was there was a drawback, and he laughingly told that in winter the snow would sift down through the openings and softly fall on them, making them keep their heads under the cover all night because they didn’t dare tell their parents what they had done.
James Taylor Adams was a prolific writer, a folklorist and a preserver of Appalachian culture. He wrote thousands of articles for magazines and newspapers of which only a few have been collected.
Elihu Jasper Sutherland was a man of so great achievement and versatility that he scarcely requires an introduction. A native of Dickenson County, and son of William Beauregard and Eliza Counts Sutherland, he grew up in the Frying Pan section.
Bonnie Sage Ball was a charter member who has served in many capacities. She has contributed many articles for its annual publication, has done extensive research on families and events of historical significance, and has compiled and published several family histories, including those on the Sage and Ball families. She wrote “The Melungeons – Their Origin and Kin.” She grew up among them in Lee County, Va. and adjoining Hancock County, Tenn.
A native of Lee county, she was the daughter of John C. and Henrietta (Browning) Wynn of Jonesville. She was a person of many talents and tireless energy.
Rita Elizabeth (Kennedy) Sutton was born March 13, 1906 in the community of Imboden, near Appalachia, Virginia. Later, her name was changed to Rita Jo, for a favorite character in “Little Women.” The daughter of Benjamin F. and Rosa R. Kennedy, she spent most of her life in Dickenson county. She was an avid reader and brilliant scholar.