Looking back: Council to fill seat

Published 10:52 am Friday, November 15, 2013

by Clyde Parker

EDITOR’S NOTE: Looking Back features past articles from The Tidewater News with commentary by local historian Clyde Parker.

November 15, 1963

James Paul Councill, Jr., a resident of Hunterdale and owner of Councill Plant Farms, defeated opponents Dr. Norval Nuckols and Winston Browne in last week’s election for the seat on the Southampton County Board of Supervisors that was previously held by the late John M. Camp.

After the election, Councill said “I am really impressed with the voter turn-out. It shows good active participation in government. I feel the people thought a lot about this and I appreciate their confidence in me. I will do everything possible to justify that confidence.”


Over in Isle of Wight County, William M. Camp, Jr. defeated incumbent Fred Bailey of Windsor for the Windsor District seat on the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors, ending Bailey’s two-term tenure.

Camp owns Holliknoll Farms. He is a nationally and internationally recognized breeder of race horses.

Wednesday morning, Camp commented, “I certainly appreciate the support of the folks that backed me. I’ll try to do a good job. I want to push for new industry. Industry and the need for vocational training in county schools are the most important things facing us,” he said.



Russell Darden, a registered amateur archeologist who is employed at Union Bag-Camp Paper Corp., as an IBM operator, and Professor Howard A. McCord of Richmond, a professional archeologist, have found proof that civilization existed centuries ago in Southampton County. They have uncovered an ancient burial ground on the banks of the Nottoway River near the present day Handsom community, dating back to 7,000 BC. They have named it the “Hand Site”.

At the site, which is located on Union Bag-Camp property, Darden’s party uncovered many arrowheads and spearheads of white and muddy quartz and flint; banner stones, used to balance arrow and spear shafts; clay bowls, bone hairpins and stone needles used by the women; and celt stones, smoothed down on one side, which were used to skin animals, remove meat from hides, and soften leather.

Evidence of a pre-historic existence in Southampton County lies with the discovery of something called chert stones, a multi-colored rock of gray-blue, white burgundy and yellow, which evolved when the earth cooled and time first began. And, those kind of stones for which Darden and McCord will be searching when they pursue another burial site elsewhere in the region, is going to be the key in identifying and proving much broader pre-historic development along the Nottoway River in Southampton and Sussex Counties.

Assisting Darden and McCord in the search for artifacts were many local volunteers. Joe Stutts, Norman Hale, Mary Hancock, William Hancock, Lina Harcum, J. D. Harcum, Irving Beale, Durwood Vaughan and Lefty Gregory were among the group of people who volunteered at various times to scrape and sift through soil in search of things from the distant past.

Darden has quite a large collection of Indian relics dating to various points in time. He has some 300 year old human bones. Among them are skull and leg bones which are believed to be those of a Nottoway Indian – Southampton’s own tribe.

The Nottoways were fierce people, believed to have been part of the Iroquois tribe located in an area now known as New York State, one of America’s most warring tribes. It is theorized that the Nottoways migrated south after a quarrel with the mother tribe. In later years, they returned north to their native stamping grounds.

Darden has been interested in history and archeology since the finding of his first arrowhead as a boy on his grandfather’s farm in Wake County, NC. “Back then,” Darden said, “that arrowhead meant no more to me than a curious piece of stone made by some Indian who lived perhaps when my great-grandfather was just a boy.” “Now, with my increased knowledge, that very arrowhead carries my mind and awareness back centuries in time.”

In college, the love of history grew stronger in Darden; he chose to major in the subject at George Washington University in Washington, DC.


A long-time rivalry was continued last Friday night when the Southampton High School Indians and the Franklin High School Broncos met each other on the football field at Southampton. Franklin was given a 13 to 0 lead in the first half. Then, in the second half of the game, Southampton came back to tie up the game.

The final score was 13-13. It was the first tie game in the nine year history of the competition between the two schools.

CLYDE PARKER is a retired human resources manager for the former Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of the Southampton County Historical Society. His email address is cpjeep99@yahoo.com