History of Virginia - John Benjamin Dey

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New River Notes — Complete

January 21, 2014

After about two years of work we have completed a major upgrade to New River Notes. On January 21, 2014 we switched in the last of the updated files and final page revisions.

In January 2013 we introduced the new site layout but because there were many pages left to do there was a big red Under Construction on the front page. A year later we've finished all of the pages that were on the original site. Construction is complete. We have a great looking site full of material to help you in your research and possibly entertain you.

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New River Notes

January 6, 2013

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new river valley mapNew River Notes was originally launched in 1998 by Jeffrey C. Weaver providing New River Valley researchers with a new wealth of information and that tradition is continued today by the Grayson County, Virginia Heritage Foundation, Inc.

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John Benjamin Dey

JOHN BENJAMIN DEY. Of the tremendous tonnage of fruit and vegetable trucks that originate each year in Tidewater, Virginia, John Benjamin Dey, of Princess Anne County, is the largest individual producer. He is proprietor of Broad Bay, located four miles from Oceana, and he also has a fine winter home in Norfolk.

Mr. Dey was born at Princess Anne County, January 24, 1874, son of Benjamin S. and Elizabeth Frances (Mercer) Dey, both now deceased, his father being a native of Currituck County, North Carolina, and his mother of Princess Anne County. Benjamin S. Dey was also a farmer and trucker, and died in 1879, at the early age of twenty-eight.

After the death of his father John Benjamin Dey was taken to Norfolk, where he acquired his public school education. He has been a leader in the truck industry of this part of Virginia since he was twenty-one years of age. Broad Bay farm contains over three hundred acres, and is regarded as a model in equipment, facilities, system and also in its profitable management. Mr. Dey has never hesitated to improve methods and lighten labor by the introduction of modern implements and machinery, and the result is that his farm contains some of the best equipment found on tiny truck farm in the state. He has a number of tenant houses. On this farm he produces thousands of crates annually of spinach, kale, cabbage and cucumbers and other garden truck grown for the markets of Eastern United States. The land on his farm is a part of an original grant from King Charles I to Lemuel Cornish, one of the first settlers of Princess Anne County. Mr. Dey's residence is the second oldest in Princess Anne County still standing. Part of the house was built in 1640 with brick brought from England and the rest of the building is more than a hundred years old.

A successful business man in Princess Anne County, Mr. Dey has likewise taken an active part in civic and community affairs. He is the supervisor of Lynnhaven District, and is chairman of the Board of Road Commissioners of the county. He is an active member of the Epworth Methodist Episcopal Church, South, of Norfolk, and he spends the winter months in that city. He married Miss Ora Lee Melbon, who was born and reared in Princess Anne County. The Malbons are a prominent family of that section. She is a daughter of W. T. Malbon, a prominent farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Dey have one son, John F. Dey.