Thursday, June 22, 2006

Franklin Winfield Page - Enslaved man who "broke" the horse Traveller

Franklin Winfield Page
Yet another important figure in Greenbrier County history is Frank Page. He was born on 11/2/1845 and died on 11/22/1901 or 1908. He is recognized as being the man who "broke" a horse named the Big Gray/Jeff Davis. The Big Gray's/Jeff Davis' name was later changed to "Traveller" when he was purchased by General Robert E. Lee. Traveller became a very famous horse. He outlived General Lee and was in his funeral procession.
Frank Page was married to (1) Nancy Gardner (2) Sarah Freeman & (3) Julia Truss. In the 1870 census he gives his occupation as "glove maker". In 1880 he is working on a farm. At the end of his life he was a custodian for the school system.
He can also be found in:
-- West Virginia Death Certificate (DC) # 19836 as the father of Harriet Olive Page.
-- the Perkins Family History (which contains a photograph)
-- the Journal of the GHS, Vol 7, #5, 2003 & Vol 7, #6, 2004, p. 13 & 14 (A Colt Named Jeff Davis) & p. 29 (Frank Winfield Page)
-- the book CIVIL WAR IN GREENBRIER COUNTY by Tim McKinney
-- Confederate Veteran Magazine (1909), Vol 15, p. 548 &
-- Dr. Montgomery's papers at the GHS

My greatgrandmother was Mary Alice Kelly Knight. Her brother was Samuel Kelly. Samuel Kelly married the daughter of Frank Page. Some of my information about him was gained from
conversations/interviews with his granddaughter, Harriet Olive Kelly Miller Williams (my grandmother's first cousin, who is now deceased). It was this granddaughter who called the horse the "Big Grey".

Sarah Freeman Page was the second wife of Franklin Winfield Page. She was born on 10/9/1859 and she died on 10/14/1894. She was the daughter of James & Malinda Freeman. She is buried at the Old Colored Cemetery in Lewisburg. A picture of her can be found in the Perkins Family History. She appears as the mother of the decedent, Harriet Olive Page, on WV Death Certificate # 19836.

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