Enon Hall

Henry S. Hathaway portrait

Henry Straughan Hathaway -- Portrait in Lancaster County Court House

Painted by H. Ledyard Towle in 1961.
The portrait was presented by Henry's granddaughter, Margaret Hathaway on July 4, 1899.
Excerpt below is from "Within The Court House At Lancaster", 1976, page 37

The portraits (hanging in the Lancaster Court House) have not only made a valuable contribution to local history, but the local gallery has been a means of fostering the self respect of the counties. From the walls of the court house in Lancaster, the following faces gaze down upon us today...

Henry S. Hathaway, Member of Old Court; donated by Walter E. and Howard Hathaway.

Henry S. Hathaway, born August 2, 1826, inherited Enon Hall from his father Lawson Hathaway and his mother Elizabeth Pullen Hathaway. He spent his entire life on this estate, for which he felt the strongest attachment. Though a farmer, he had a yearning toward law. He was justice of the old County Court and for many years was Justice of the Peace. He was also treasurer of the Glebe Fund accruing to Lancaster County from the sale of Glebe lands. Most of his education was received from the Kilmarnock Academy under Mr. Lewsen Chase. He also attended Richmond College for one year. Because of his father's ill health, he left college and returned to Enon Hall, where he lived until his death on September 15, 1892.

Mr. Hathaway was a devout Christian, a regular attendant of his church, a deacon for 40 years, and clerk for 30. During the Civil War he was Captain of the Home Guard. Married twice, his first wife was Harriet Eustace Edmonds, his second, Felicia T. Dunaway.

Although he was not a lawyer, his respect for the law has been passed down to the present generation. Two of his sons, Howard and Walter, became highly respected lawyers in the county. Walter Hathaway was not only a lawyer of great ability, but also served as Commissioner of Fisheries when his close friend Westmoreland Davis was Governor. He was president of the Farmers Institute, and it has been said by many that no one excelled in public service more than Walter Hathaway.

Walter Hathaway's son (Henry Hathaway) is also a lawyer. As a young law student he was selected on two occasions as substitute Trial Judge for Lancaster and Northumberland Counties. He completed law school in 1942 and served as the Commonwealth's Attorney in Richmond County from October 1961 to December 1968. He served again from December 1970 to December 1971. Since then he has served as Commonwealth's Attorney for Northumberland County.

Henry Hathaway was the last of his family to own Enon Hall, but his love for his old home and for his family is reflected in many ways. Among the interesting antecdotes that he relates is his father's (Walter's) love of a special pet, a dog named Max Maple Mont. He says that when this special Collie died, his father had him buried outside the family grave yard at Enon Hall, and on the tomb stone the inscription reads, "The more I see of some people, the more I love my dog."

An account in "Hathaway & Lawson Families of Virginia" describes Henry Straughan Hathaway as a "loyal friend, a faithful husband, and a devoted father. He was very impulsive and quick-tempered which sometimes caused him trouble. He recieved most of education at the Kilmarnock Academy taught by Mr. Lawson Chase, a very cultured and competent teacher from Massachussetts. He went to Richard College one year, but on account of his father's death, had to come home to take charge of the estate. He was a sincere Christian, always held family prayers."

The letter below was written by Henry Straughan Hathaway to T. Spicer Curlett who represented Lancaster County in the Virginia State Legislature from 1875 - 1879 and 1885 - 1887. I found this letter in the collection of the Mary Ball Washington Museum and it seems to give a flavor of Henry's temperment:

White Stone, Va.
Oct. 25, 1887

Hon. T. S. Curlett
My Dear Sir,

I accepted your statement as strictly true, consequently; the certificate from Dr. Lewis was entirely unnecessary. I suspect that it was secured not for the purpose of establishing the fact stated in it; but to give you an opportunity to make a keen thrust at me.

You say that "some years ago a gentleman who claims to be a Christian man, abused me for aspiring to represent Lancaster Co." I do not now recollect what I said, and I may have been unecessarily harsh; but I am sure that I did not "abuse you for aspiring to represent Lancaster County." If you had been chosen by the cultivated, intelligent and refined portion of the people of your own race and color, as a candidate to represent them in the Legislature of Va. I would have thought that you were indulging a laudable ambition; but when you formed an alliance with the worst elements of society; arrayed the colored against the white race, and sought to make virtue and intelligence bow before ignorance and vice in order that you might ride into place and power I did feel a righteous indignation that possibly found vent in bitter and burning words.

Your birth, education, and social position entitled you to the respect and esteem of the best people of your adopted county; and it was a source of mortification and grief to your connections to see you "cheek by jowl" with the scum that floated down here from the sess pools of moral and political corruption of the North. The instincts of your nature have often revolted at your unhallowed associations and you have twisted and wired terribly under the smart of wounded pride.

But enough, I have no wish to stir up bitter feelings or to cultivate any other than good relations toward "all the world and the rest of mankind."

Henry's headstone

Henry's Watch

Thanks to cousin Tom Hathaway for these photos of Henry's pocket watch that came down to him through the family.

Henry's pocket watch

Henry's pocket watch

Henry's pocket watch

Tom's research indicates that the workings were made by Elgin in the 1870s or 1880s.

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