Donate/Join the KBA

A Historical Chronology of the Families of the

Pritchard-Grim Farm from 1735

 

The land on which the First and Second Battles of Kernstown were fought

is rich in history. It has been farmed by only four families since 1735. Because two of

those families dominate its history...four generations of Pritchards and three generations of Grims...the farm has become known as the Pritchard-Grim Farm.

 

                                          The Hoge family                            21 years (1735-1756)

                                        The Pritchard family                   123 years (1756-1879)

                                        The Burton family                        11 years (1879-1890)

                                        The Grim family                            99 years (1890-1989)

  

THE HOGE FAMILY (1735-1756) (also spelled Hogue or Hogg)

      In 1732, William and Barbara Hoge and 7 of their 8 children, along with 16 other families, migrated from Pennsylvania to the Opequon area of Virginia. On November 12, 1735, William Hoge received a land patent for 411 acres. At the time they came to Virginia, William was 75 and Barbara was 65. Soon after receiving this grant, he built a log home on the land, where he lived with his family until his death. They donated the land for the Opequon Presbyterian Church and cemetery and by the year 1736 the first log church had been built. His grandson John was the first regular pastor.

George Hoge acquired 208 acres of the original grant in 1749.  A little over six years later, on March 1, 1756, George Hoge conveyed 206 acres to Rees Pritchard, Jr.


THE PRITCHARD FAMILY (1756-1879)

      Rees Prichard, Jr. acquired 206 acres from George Hoge on March 1, 1756. For the next 100 years, the Prichard (later Pritchard) family lived out their lives on this land well into the 19th Century, acquiring some local prominence along the way. The large house, constructed in 1854, attests to this.

      Samuel Rees Pritchard became owner of two-thirds of the farm including the brick house upon the death of his father in 1858. The remaining one-third became the property of his brother, Solomon, who died during the Civil War.

Samuel Rees Pritchard, his wife Helen Johnson Pritchard, formerly of New Jersey and a Union sympathizer, and their children occupied the house throughout the Civil War. During both of the battles fought at Kernstown, the family stayed in the cellar, while the house was used as a hospital and headquarters. The end of the Civil War saw the Pritchard family destitute.

      Samuel died in 1875. Helen and their four children were left without enough resources to stay on the property, so they sold the farm at auction in 1876. Helen and her children moved to a house on Cork Street in Winchester, where she remained until her death.

      James H. Burton purchased 205 acres of the Pritchard farm from John Miller for the sum of $10,900 on August 29, 1879.

 

THE BURTON FAMILY (1879-1890)

      Col. James Henry Burton purchased the Pritchard farm on August 29, 1879, after a lifetime of work in the manufacture of arms which took him all over the world and gained him some amount of notoriety in his time. Burton had spent his adult life working at the U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry, the Springfield Armory in Chicopee, Massachusetts, and the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield near London, England. At the beginning of the Civil War, he had been Commissioned Lt. Colonel of Ordnance in the Confederate Army by President Jefferson Davis, and on September 2, 1861, he was appointed Superintendent of Armories for the Confederacy, a post he held throughout the war.  After the war he resumed his work at the Enfield factory in Europe but illness forced his return to the U.S. and he retired to farming.  

      Burton and his third wife, Eugenia, lived on and worked the farm for 11 years. Once again illness struck and he was no longer able to continue on the farm. Col. Burton and Eugenia conveyed their 205 acre farm to Charles Henry Grim on October 18, 1890 and moved to Winchester.


THE GRIM FAMILY (1890-2000)

      Charles Henry Grim purchased 205 acres from Col. James Burton on October 18, 1890.  His grandson, Charles Hardy Grim, Jr, inherited the Farm after his father was killed by a lightning strike in 1931.  He was a prosperous farmer and orchardist. In the 1940s he acquired at auction the adjacent farm which had been bequeathed to Solomon Pritchard in 1858 bringing back together the original Pritchard farm. In 1956 he married Emily Grove of a nearby farm in Frederick County.  They had no children.  

      Upon his death in 1989, the Grim farm, which then encompassed 375 acres, was placed in trust and, in the year 2000, the Kernstown Battlefield Association acquired 315 acres.

 

THE KERNSTOWN BATTLEFIELD ASSOCIATION

      In 1989, at the death of Charles Hardy Grim, Jr, the farm consisted of 375 acres. In accordance with his will his entire estate, including the farm and the house, was left in trust with the proceeds to benefit of his wife, Emily, and other named institutions.

      In the year 2000 the Kernstown Battlefield Association reached an agreement with the trustee of the Grim estate to purchase 315 acres of the Grim Farm for nearly $4 million dollars. The KBA had already amassed $3-million toward the purchase and was able to obtain a $925,000 mortgage through the collaboration of four local banks. Through an additional combination of government grants and private funding the mortgage was completely paid off in July 2003.

      After much cleaning, repairing, and rebuilding, the Pritchard House is very much as it was 160 years ago when Helen and Samuel began their life together. Their legacy has been the promise of a prosperous future to the families that followed. Their farm will remain a working farm into the future, even while its historical legacy reveals its past.