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tioned his integrity. In the discharge of his duties even slander dared not charge him with betrayal of public trust for private advantage.
Born and raised a gentleman of rare wit and humor, his anecdotes were clean; his opponent, even in debate, feeling the force of the blow, never failed to understand there was no venom in the stroke. Always brave, honest, courteous and genial, winning the admiration of all, as boy, soldier, lawyer and judge, of him it was always true that those loved him best that knew him best.
WILLIS B. SMITH.
Since its last ammual meeting this Association is called upon to mourn the loss of its oldest and one of its most honorable members, John Page, who died at his home, Oakland, in the county of Hanover, at a ripe old age, on October 30, 1901.
Major Page, as he was known to his brethren of the Bar and the community generally, for nearly forty years of his life, was a son of Francis Page and Susan Nelson, and was born in Hanover county April 26, 1821, and was, therefore, at his death, in his eighty-first year of age.
. In his early boyhood he attended Bishop Meade's school, in Frederick county, Va., and was at Bristol College along with his fond friend, the late Judge W. S. Barton. He afterwards taught at the Episcopal High School, near Alexandria, and read law with Henry Winter Davis in that city. Thereafter, he graduated in the law at the
. University of Virginia, under that eminent jurist and instructor, Judge Tucker, having among his classmates John Randolph Tucker, Colonel John Thornton and others, who afterwards became distinguished members of the profession. Returning to his home, in Hanover, he was married to his cousin, Elizabeth Burwell Nelson, and practiced successfully his profession in the courts of Hanover and the adjoining counties until the beginning of the Civil War, in 1861, when he promptly enlisted as a private in the “Patrick Henry Rifles,” among the first troops that went forward in defense of their State, and served in that line of duty until after the first campaign of the war, when he was appointed, with the rank of captain, and was afterwards promoted to that of major, on the staff of his brother-in-law, General W. X. Pendleton, who afterwards became General Lee's chief of artillery. In this latter position, Major Page served gallantly until the close of the war. From Appomattox, he returned to his old home to take up his chosen profession, and again became a familiar figure at the old historic courthouse and upon the hustings, and well maintained himself as a lawyer beside his able and distinguished brethren who were regular practitioners before and after the war at the Hanover Bar. Among these were John A. Meredith, James Lyons, C. G. Griswold, John B. Young, W. W. Crump, Alex. H. Holladay, William R. Winn, E. W. Morris, Chastaine White and William R. Aylett, all of whom he survived.
For four years he was the attorney for the Commonwealth in Hanover, and performed the duties of this office, as he did those of every other trust committed to him, faithfully and well. He was proud of his profession, and honored and respected his brethren at the Bar, and was especially kind to the young practitioner. Though firm in his convictions, and to a marked degree fearless, he sought to be just and fair as an advocate, and becomingly respected, at all times, the opinions and feelings of others. Being of a nervous and impulsive temperament and quick at repartee, he was often heard to make curt, and sometimes sarcastic, remarks about the conduct or ideas of others, but they were devoid of malice or a purpose to wound the feelings of anyone, and served only, as they were intended, to amuse his hearers, whether a victim of his wit and humor or not, for he was well known to be of a genial, kindly nature, which, together with his many excellent qualities of head and heart, drew to him hosts of friends.
While in his association with his brethren at the Bar, and his fellow citizens upon the hustings, he was always attractive and companionable.. Major Page was perhaps at his best in the sacred precincts of his home. There he was ever tender and devoted to his family, and there he and his accomplished wife dispensed hospitality in the entertainment of their friends after the manner of the good old days of this Commonwealth, when she became famous for the hospitality of her citizens. To that home the poor constantly came for help, and it may be
safely said that none was ever turned away empty-handed. Those in affliction in the community always had the sympathy of the family at Oakland, and if anything could be done for their relief or comfort, it never went undone. To such an extent was this the case that when Major Page passed away there was sorrow in the humblest home in that community, and when his body was laid to rest at the Old Fork church, of which church he was a member and a faithful worker in the cause of Christianity for many years, the outpouring of his neighbors, regardless of class, afforded abundant testimony that he was greatly esteemed and beloved by all the people of the locality in which he had spent his entire life, with the exception of the period through which he served his State in war.
His widow and three sons, two of them honorable members of this Association, and the other a clergyman greatly beloved and of high standing in the Episcopal church, survive him. At the first term of the County Court of Hanover county after his death, a meeting of the Bar, largely attended by citizens of the county, adopted appropriate resolutions, giving expression to the high esteem in which the deceased was held by the Bar and the people generally, and of the sympathy they bore to his family in their sorrow, which resolutions were made a part of the records of the county. Upon the first roll of the membership of this Association appears the name of our departed brother, and from the organization of this brotherhood, in 1888, until deprived of the privilege by impaired health and wasted strength, he never failed to attend its annual meeting. None took greater interest in the Association than he did, and none believed more implicitly than he that the Association would accomplish great good by the influence it would wield over the members of our profession throughout the State. Old age gradually deprived him of his strength, and to this enfeebled condition was added, some months prior to his end, a broken limb, which rendered him a helpless invalid; yet, with cheerfulness, patience and submission, he awaited his final summons, which he well knew was soon to come; and, with a religious faith, firm and unshaken, he looked forward to the sunset of his
life, not as the coming of an endless night, but as the dawn of a brighter and endless day of peace and rest. Thus, calm
, and resigned, surrounded by an affectionate family and devoted friends, our distinguished brother and ever faithful friend, passed to his reward, and the memory of him will be cherished by us all, but most in the hearts of those of us who knew him best.
R. H. CARDWELL.