ELKIN — Two Surry County residents who died in the early 1900s are being honored today with a new gravesite marker.
A dedication ceremony for a historical marker and two stones is being held at 4 p.m. for Stephen G. Venable and his wife Kizzie Jones Venable on Baker Road, near the site of the Venables’ homeplace.
Mr. Venable was born in June of 1835 in Surry County and was very involved in county government and public office.
According to the historical marker erected at the Venables’ new gravesite, 125 yards south of the old house site, Mr. Venable served as a farmer; school teacher at Venable School; tax collector; Census enumerator in 1880; postmaster in 1880 at Venable Post Office; member and chairman of the Board of County Commissioners; member and chairman of the Board of Education; constable and justice of the peace; Surry County sheriff for five terms from 1882 through 1893; captain of the Surry Militia in Nixon’s Area during the Civil War; and a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1893-95.
Mrs. Venable was the mother of 10 children and served as postmaster of Venable Post Office from 1887 to 1897.
Descendants and friends of the family have worked for some time to research the information needed for the historical marker and the dedication ceremony.
Helping in research were Emily Southard, a “community historian;” Carole Bruce, great-granddaughter; Vernon Medley, Bessie’s Chapel community; Cleve Haymore, Crossroads community; Teresa Smith, Register of Deeds office; Jennifer Crouse, Register of Deeds office; and Marion Venable, Surry Community College.
The on-site erection of the memorial was handled by Jack Luffman, Billy Smith, Rex Melton, Gary Snow, Jimmy Gammons, Chris Laster and Tracy Holder.
Much of the planning and research for the memorial was taken on by Jack Luffman and Billy Smith.
In the program for today’s dedication, a piece from the “Biography of the State Officers and Members of the General Assembly of North Carolina, 1893,” reads, “He was raised on the farm and has engaged in agriculture, and received a limited education — mainly at Rockford. ... At the Democratic County Convention last fall, when a strong candidate was necessary for victory, the Sheriff was nominated for the House, and was elected over his opponents by 317 votes, leading the entire ticket. Having had much experience in public affairs, he makes a first-class Representative, and is giving faithful service on the following committees: Finance, and Salaries and Fees.”
Other involved in today’s program include Sam Dobbins, a great-grandson; a Stanley family representative; Vernon Medley with period banjo music; Joe Howlett with Surry County Sons of the Confederacy; and a Salute with Arms from the Yadkin County Sons of the Confederacy.
Mr. Venable died in 1902, and Mrs. Venable died in 1907.
For more information and to view pictures of the new memorial site, visit www.cemeterycensus.com/nc/surr/index.htm and look for 250 Venable, Stephen G. Family Graveyard.