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Lunenburg County was established on May 1, 1746, from Brunswick County. The county is named for the former Duchy of Brunswick-Lünenburg in Germany, because one of the titles also carried by Britain's Hanoverian kings was Duke of Brunswick-Lünenburg. It is nicknamed "The Old Free State" because during the buildup of the Civil War, it let Virginia know the county would break off if the state did not join The Confederacy.
In 1760 Taylor purchased three adjoining tracts of land in Lunenburg County totaling 827 acres (3.35 km2). Taylor soon became one of the county's leading citizens, representing Lunenburg in the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1765 until 1768. In that capacity, Taylor voted in 1765 to support statesman Patrick Henry's Virginia Resolves in 1765. Taylor served as County Clerk for 51 years (1763-1814).
During much of the American Civil War, the family of Missionary Bishop Henry C. Lay lived in Lunenberg County, where Mrs. Lay (the former Eliza Withers Atkinson) grew up. Both of Bishop Lay's brothers served as Confederate colonels, and Mrs. Lay's uncle, Thomas Atkinson was bishop of North Carolina.
(Lunenburg County Rd; joins SR 49 and becomes Courthouse Rd; Court St and Main St in Victoria; K-V Rd; Main St and S Broad St in Kenbridge, Blackstone Rd)
(Falls Rd; joins SR 40 in Victoria and becomes Main St; Courthouse Rd
(E 5th Ave; S Hill Rd; Dundas Rd)
(E 5th Ave; S Hill Rd)
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,146 people, 4,998 households, and 3,383 families residing in the county. The population density was 30 people per square mile (12/km2). There were 5,736 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 59.12% White, 38.58% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. 1.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,998 households, out of which 27.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.50% were married couples living together, 13.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.30% were non-families. 28.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 21.30% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 25.80% from 45 to 64, and 16.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 113.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $27,899, and the median income for a family was $34,302. Males had a median income of $26,496 versus $20,237 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,951. About 14.90% of families and 20.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.30% of those under age 18 and 22.80% of those age 65 or over.
Lunenburg County Public Schools operates the following schools:
Kenbridge Elementary School- Kenbridge, VA
Victoria Elementary School- Victoria, VA
Lunenburg Middle School- Victoria, VA
Central High School- Victoria, VA
There are no private or independent schools in Lunenburg County, and no colleges or universities are located there. Kenston Forest School in Nottoway County, approximately 20 minutes away, offers the closest K-12 private education available to Lunenburg County residents.
Alfred L. Cralle, born in the county, became an inventor and businessman in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is best remembered for inventing the lever-operated ice cream scoop in 1897.
Anthony Davis, an NFL football player, currently for the New Orleans Saints (beginning 2009). From Lunenburg County, he attended Central High School in Victoria, Virginia.
Richard Ellis, born and raised in Lunenburg County, settled in Alabama where he was a member of Alabama's Constitutional Convention in 1818 and an Associate Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court (1819-1826).
James Greene Hardy, a county native, was elected Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, serving from 1855 to 1856.
John A. Murrell (1806?-1844), born in the county, bandit, known for the Mystic Clan or Mystic Confederacy and Murrell Insurrection Conspiracy
Verner Moore White (1863-1923), born in the county, was a noted landscape and portrait artist.
Thomas C. Wright, Jr. Member of House of Delegates (2001-present) Lifelong resident of Victoria, VA
Sheriff A. B. Shackleton, who served as Head Sheriff of Lunenburg County from 1903 to 1955. At the time of his retirement, Sheriff Shackleton was not only the oldest active *Sheriff in the United States, but also remains the longest-serving Sheriff in history.
Sheriff Arthur Townsend Jr, the first African American sheriff of the county elected in 2006 is still the current Sheriff of the county.
^At his death in 1820, a Richmond newspaper noted in its obituary of William Taylor that he was the last man known to be alive who had heard Patrick Henry's famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech in the Virginia House of Burgesses.