LOST AND FOUND department…Please help Roberta


by Roberta Whiddon Childs

Lost: One Depot.  Last seen in Newville.  If seen, please contact Roberta W. Childs.

The Abbeville Southern Railroad came through Wells Station in 1893.  It ran from Grimes through Headland, Wells Station (Newville), Capps Station, and Murphy Station to Abbeville.  Mr. James Christopher Dunn became the railroad agent at Wells Station Depot in 1919.  Although the name of the town, Wells, had been changed to Newville in 1903, the depot remained Wells Station.  It is most commonly referred to as The Newville Depot.

Mr. Dunn was born in 1879 and died in 1960.  He retired in 1951 when the Atlantic Coast Line closed the Depot.  He had worked there for 32 years.  He married Miss Carry Terry and they had one child, Rose Holmes Dunn Whiddon.  Mr. and Mrs. Dunn had a beautiful home on the west side of Newville.  Mr. Dunn was a deacon in the Newville Baptist Church, a member of the Brown Cross roads Masonic Lodge and Woodmen of the World.  Mrs. Dunn was a homemaker and maintained beautiful flower gardens around their home.  They are buried in the Newville Baptist Church Cemetery.

Can you help?  I know there was a depot there because I lived across the railroad tracks from it.  I walked by the depot every day as I walked to school for 12 years.  Until I was six years old, I remember watching the trains stop and leave.  I stood in my front yard, waved to the engineers and the engineers always blew their horn and waved back.  There is not a picture of the Depot at Newville that I can find.  I have talked with the people who lived in Newville, railroad officials, and railroad enthusiasts.  I have searched on line, looked through books and talked with Dr. L. L. Whiddon, Mr. Dunn’s grandson in Dallas, Texas.  Mr. T.Larry Smith, the Official Henry County Historian and Vice President of the HCHG, has searched for a picture of the Newville Depot.  He asked me if I was sure there was a depot in Newville!  He was teasing me because we know the depot was there.

If you have a picture of the depot in Newville, would you please send me a copy?  If you have ever seen one, would you tell me where I can find it?  The “long search” goes on.  Please help.