Rebecca Eulelia Dodson Sayles: Sunday’s Obituary

"Lilly" Rebecca Eulelia Dodson Sayles

Born on 15 August 1856 in Regiment 22 of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, Lillie Dodson was one of ten children:  Greene, Virginia, Harvey, Henry, Dora, Molly, Adlaide, Rebecca Eulelia (Lillie), Edward, and William Rowlett (Bud).  Her parents, James H. and Sarah Jane Rowlett Dodson, farmed land just off the Boydton Road south of The City.

Mr. Dodson was a planter and slave owner.  Miss Rowlett moved with her parents from (Chesterfield County, Virginia) and settled on land adjoining the Dodson plantation.  They were united in marriage in (1844) in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.

Mr. Dodson built the old Dodson home and moved into it when Lillie was three years old, about 1859.  She said she could remember walking across from the “Old House,” climbing over the felled trees, carrying her dolls.  The house had not been completed, and as the War soon started, he never did finish it.

Mr. Dodson gave each of his children a tract of land for a homestead.  He gave the Dodson house and a certain number of acres to the three unmarried daughters, Dora, Molly and Lillie.

…Soon after moving to Virginia with his parents in 1870, Clifton Sayles paid court to Lillie Dodson (a neighbor girl).  Her parents were still living, and twas too soon after “The War between the States: ended; feelings still ran high.  For Clifton’s father, Ira Sayles, had been a Captain in the Federal Army, and Lillie’s brother, Greene Dodson, had been killed while serving in the Confederate Army; consequently Lillie’s parents did not favor the suit, and Clifton married another girl.

This wife, Anna McCullough, died sometime after the census date of 1900, and Clifton again paid court to Miss Lilly, who had remained single.

Clifton Duvall Sayles, born April 11, 1851, in Alfred, N.Y., and Rebecca Eulelia (Lillie) Dodson were united in marriage January 9, 1901 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.  Born to this union:  Anna Florette, born December 4, 1901.

At the time of her marriage, Lillie traded her share in the home with Ed, for his share, called the “Old House” tract, and she later sold it.  Ed, Dora and Molly remained single and continued to live at the Dodson home until their deaths in the 1920s (at which time the land was bequeathed to the adopted son, George Strickland.)

George …was a real son to them.  He continued to care for and look after them untill their final illnesses and deaths.  He called Ed “Master Ed” and said Aunt Dora and Aunt Molly and called their sister Aunt Lillie.  In appreciation of the love and care George bestowed on (them) Ed Dodson deeded George Ricks Strickland the old Dodson home place.

Around 1920, George Strickland drove a wagon over to the Sayles home and paid court to Florette.  They were married September 28, 1921 in the Baptist parsonage in Chase City, Virginia by the Rev. H. L. Williams.  Four sons were born to this union:  George Sidney, Clifford Ricks, Paul Warren, and Norman Scott.  The family survived the depression by returning to the Dodson farm.

At around the same time, Clifton Sayles died, leaving Lillie a widow;  she moved in with her daughter and nephew to help raise the four boys–and made certain that cookies were a regular part of their diet.

from left: Sidney, George Strickland, Paul, Florette Sayles Strickland, Norman, Clifford, Lillie Dodson Sayles

Source:  Strickland, Anna Florette.  Some Genealogical Facts of the Strickland-Sayles Family.  Chase City, VA: Handwritten, March 1976.

14 thoughts on “Rebecca Eulelia Dodson Sayles: Sunday’s Obituary

  1. oh Lordy, am I crazy to envy the inheritance of rich PA farmland? It seems much more desirable to inherit rather than to buy it.

  2. Oh, Lordy, honey. You got the wrong side of the family. THat’s my mother’s side. THIS side is the Virginia farmland. Which you have every reason to envy, as you know….
    “American by birth. Virginian by the grace of God.”

  3. Hi. I just ran across this wonderful history. I descend from the Hudson’s of Chase City. They lived next to the Dodson’s long ago. Have you ran across any Hudson info during your searches? I’m trying to find the old family cemetery that is somewhere near Butcher’s Creek. Thanks, Dawn

    • Hi, Dawn! Glad you stopped by! I haven’t read anything about the Hudson family, that I know of, but will certainly reread what I have just in case I missed that name. Do you have a date for when your family and mine were neighbors? Do you have any stories about the area, the town at that time?
      I have been eager to look for the family cemetery along Hunter’s Lane, but don’t really know how to go about finding it. I would love to hear your ideas.

  4. Kay – My Family is from Chase City, grandfather (Stephen Dodson) is buried at Woodland. I have been looking for his father and mother. His father (my great grandfather) is Harvey Laird Dodson 1850-1925. Not sure if related, but if so, do you know where he is buried ? 1st wife was Molly E. Hardy who passed around 1896 and 2nd wife was Betty Sue Cox.

    • Hi, Sharon! Thanks for leaving a comment!
      Yes, we are related! Harvey Laird Dodson was my great-grand uncle, and, according to another Dodson cousin, Harvey is buried with his first wife, Mollie E, in the one of the Dodson Cemeteries. I believe the resource he used was a directory of all the county’s cemeteries. The cemetery is located on the north side of hwy. 797 off hwy. 92 south near Butchers Creek bridge from Chase City.
      Happy hunting!

    • Sharon / Kay – I purchased some property outside of Chase City and there is a small cemetery in the back where Harvey & Mollie are buried along with several unmarked graves.

      • Mike, thanks for stopping by and sharing this information! Are there any building remnants on your property? I wish I knew who was buried in the unmarked graves. I wonder which family plot contains the remains of my great-granmother?!?

  5. Kay, There is an old tobacco drying barn next to the cemetery, my guess is from the 1940-50’s. I believe the foundation to the homestead that is pictured on your site was located on the property behind us, but sadly that has recently been logged. My wife has always wondered about the origins of the cemetery, so she is very excited to see all of your information. We plan to do some clean-up this fall, so if any additional information surfaces we’ll drop you a line.

  6. Mike and Kay – this is great news. Mike – Thank you for the information. I would love to come down to see the cemetery, if that is ok with you. It sounds like that is my great grandparents. It may not be this year, but I really do want to visit the site.
    We visited Chase City in Sept of 2014 and rode thru the entire county incl the area called Dodson Corner. If it is ok with Kay, I am including my email address. (, so please email me so I have a way to contact you, if its ok for me to contact you later to plan a visit. Thanks again, Sharon (Dodson) Longest

    • I am ecstatic about this interaction we’ve got going!! Wild!! I will have to get going on my Dodson posts, which you both will find interesting. The will of James Henry Dodson may shed light on how Harvey came to own that particular plot. Please keep me in your loop, Sharon, at http://www.dkaysdays (at) gmail (dot) com!!!

      • Mike Brown – if you are still keeping in touch with this blog, please send me your current email address. I imagine your new home is built in Chase City. Wanted to stay in touch, since we last visited in 2015. Thanks, Sharon (Dodson) Longest

  7. My name is David Christopher Dodson. What a pleasure it was to run across this wonderful read. I am in the process of doing my family tree. My grandfather is Guy Victor Dodson,born 1900 in Fayette,Guin,Marion County Alabama.He was laid to rest in Creek County,Kelleyville,Oklahoma in 1996 I have gotten to Enoch Dodson,father of Nimrod Madden Dodson,born 1796. He died in 1862. He was buried in the Dodson Memorial area of the cemetery in Marion County Alabama. Enoch is my great times 8 grandfather and Elizabeth his mate. I would love to hear from any of those who have any History from stories to pictures. I would be more than happy to give my information and photos that I can email or send in text. I have compiled what I and my immediate family feel to be a treasure. There is a great story about a man by the last name of Reeves involved with Nimrods story and I am searching for more information on him. Please respond if you have or anyone would like to share anything. I would be more than happy to do likewise. Thanks again for this treasure.
    Happy Holidays to all,
    Dave C.Dodson

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