History of the Board of Supervisors

From its creation in 1734, Orange County was governed by the County Court, appointed by the Governor until 1852, and elected thereafter. Under the new state constitution of 1870, the legislative powers of the County Court were transferred to a Board of Supervisors. Elected from four magisterial districts (Madison, Taylor, Barbour, and Gordon), the first Board of Supervisors took office on September 5, 1870. A fifth district (Spotswood) was created in 1963, and the names of election districts were changed to numbers in 1991.

This history of the members and Chairmen of the Board was compiled by R. Mark Johnson from the official minutes of the Board located in the Orange County Circuit Court Clerk's Office.  As of 2024, Johnson also authored each of the individual biographies.

The following individuals have served as members of the Orange County Board of Supervisors since 1870.  The listed year indicates the year when the person first took office. An asterisk denotes service as Chairman.

Click an image below to enlarge the image and read more about the supervisor.

NOTE: This project to compile photographs of each Board member is a work in progress.  To share a photograph or provide information on the whereabouts of a photograph not currently shown, please contact Alyson Simpson, Chief Deputy Clerk to the Board, by email or at (540) 672-3313.

Benjamin J. Barbour – 1870

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Philip B. Jones – 1870 *

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Richard P. Graves – 1870 *

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Caldwell C. Buckner – 1870

Caldwell Calhoun Buckner

John C. Willis – 1871 *

John Churchill Willis

William F. Brooking – 1873

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Eustace Terrill – 1874

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Robert B. Gibson – 1874

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John M. Shipp – 1877 *

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Frank Cowherd – 1878

Frank Cowherd

William J. Stevens – 1879

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Nathan T. Bartley – 1883

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William T. B. Frazer – 1887

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Thomas J. Almond – 1889 *

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Charles D. Hubbard – 1893

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Charles C. Talliaferro – 1894 *

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Richard O. Eddins – 1895

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Walker W. Sanford – 1895 *

Walker W. Sanford

James C. Graves – 1897

James Conway Graves

Franklin W. Clark – 1897

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William G. Buckner – 1901 *

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James H. Ellis – 1904

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Robert S. Ellis – 1906

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Edward J. Woodville – 1910

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Thomas K. Row – 1915

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Harry E. Sanford – 1917

Harry Estell Sanford

William V. Bowers – 1920 *

William Vernon Bowers

Goree E. Waugh – 1920 *

Goree Edward Waugh

Thomas A. Almond – 1920 *

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William L. Utz – 1924 *

William Lee Utz

Edward E. Wambersie – 1924 *

Edward Ernest Wambersie

Richard S. Knighton – 1928 *

Richard Spencer Knighton

William N. Green – 1932

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Erasmus Armentrout – 1934 *

Erasmus Wilson Armentrout

William T. Green – 1935

William Thomas Green

Marcellus D. Douglas – 1936

Marcellus Dabney Douglas

Charles A. Utz – 1940 *

Charles Ashton Utz

Marion G. Coiner – 1940

Marion Gilbert Coiner

Leslie M. Acree – 1943

Leslie Merrick Acree

James T. Payne – 1944

James T. Payne

William T. Woolfolk – 1947

William Thomas Woolfolk

James S. Carpenter – 1948

James Saunders Carpenter

Alfred T. Burruss – 1948

Alfred Burruss

R. Monroe Waugh – 1948 *

Robert Monroe Waugh

Robert C. Brooks – 1952

Robert Carlton Brooks

Richard L. Sanford – 1956 *

Richard Lewis Sanford

William M. Yager – 1956

William Michael Yager

R. Lindsay Gordon III – 1964 *

Reuben Lindsay Gordon III

Ashby R. Downer – 1964

Ashby Rudolph Downer

Elbert W. Brown – 1968

Elbert William Brown

Ewart C. Hooper – 1972

Ewart C. Hooper

Coleman C. Colvin – 1975

Coleman Clarke Colvin

Robert C. Edwards – 1976

Robert C. Edwards

Arthur T. Wood – 1978

Arthur Tellie Wood

R. Duff Green – 1979 *

Robert Duff Green

Howard F. Lohr – 1979

Howard Franklin Lohr

Robert J. Schwartz – 1980 *

Robert J. Schwartz

Richard O. Blount – 1984

Richard O. Blount

William G. Roberts – 1984

William Gilmore Roberts

Arlene E. Baker – 1988

Arlene Ernestine Baker

John M. Nolan – 1992

John Masters Nolan

V. Rea Jones – 1992 *

Vernon Rea Jones

Grover C. Wilson Jr. – 1992 *

Grover Cleveland Wilson Jr.

Richard D. Wallace – 1996 *

Richard D. Wallace

Clement L. Dodson – 1996 *

Clement L. Dodson

R. Mark Johnson – 1996 *

R. Mark Johnson

Richard K. Wilkinson – 2000

Richard K. Wilkinson

Roderic H. Slayton – 2000 *

Roderic H. Slayton

Thomas E. Graves – 2004

Thomas E. Graves

Teri L. Pace – 2006

Teri L. Pace

Lee H. Frame – 2008 *

Lee H. Frame

S. Teel Goodwin – 2008 *

S. Teel Goodwin

Zack Burkett – 2008

Zack Burkett

Shannon C. Abbs – 2010

Shannon C. Abbs

James K. White – 2012 *

James K. White

James P. Crozier – 2014 *

James P. Crozier

Keith F. Marshall – 2021

Keith F. Marshall

Crystal D. Hale – 2023

Portrait of Supervisor Crystal D. Hale

J. Bryan Nicol – 2023

Portrait of Supervisor J. Bryan Nicol

Ed M. Van Hoven – 2024

Portrait of Supervisor Ed Van Hoven