In recent years, two albums containing the portraits that once hung on the old courthouse walls have been on display in that building. John H. Gwathmey describes these portraits in his book entitled, "Twelve Virginia Counties, Where the Western Migration Began," printed in 1937. For Gloucester County under the heading "Courtroom, County Shrine," he states, "In the courtroom are forty-eight portraits and seven tablets, and it is among the most interesting interiors in Virginia." He continues by listing the forty-eight portraits that were hanging on those walls. These names match those given to the portraits now included in the albums, with the exception of Major John W. Puller, Edwin Broaddus and Benjamin A. Rowe, whose portraits are missing. This is supported by the fact that two numbers, 30 and 44, are missing from the albums the third portrait was probably replaced by the well known sketch of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson on their horses. It is assumed that numbers 49 through 52 were added to the wall or albums after 1937, when Mr. Gwathmey's book was printed.
After years of public handling of the two albums, the portraits were damaged to various degrees. To preserve these originals and recover the photographic record for history, L. Roane Hunt and Roger C. Davis have photographed and edited each page of the albums.
More recently, the Gloucester Board of Supervisors decided to continue this tradition by creating a third album for additional honorees, and criteria for nominations were established. Persons who have served Gloucester County with distinction for a period of 25 years or more are eligible to be nominated. Persons shall be nominated posthumously. Nominations are open to all residents of Gloucester County and include appointed or elected officials and volunteers.
Further information about these personages, contact the Gloucester County Historical Committee.