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J.H. Booton, likely while a student, at Roanoke College.

John Heiskell Booton was born in Luray, October 19, 1874, the son of Elder John Kaylor Booton and Emily Lauck Booton. Following basic schooling, and serving as captain of the cadet corps at Luray Military Institute, Booton attended Roanoke College and received his bachelors and masters degrees. He later taught in the public school system in Buchanan County and then served as principal of Luray High School.

In 1902, Booton married Pearl Roller.

Among the founders of the Summers-Koontz Camp No. 490, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Booton was elected as camp historian in 1904 and was likely one of the few camp members to serve until the camp’s disbanding in 1931.

Named division superintendent of schools in Page County in 1909, Booton served in that capacity through 1925. He then became one of the organizers of Luray College and served as its first president. Named judge of the Page County Juvenile and Domestic Relations court in 1925, Booton became Virginia’s first trial justice in 1932, and was credited with inaugurating the accounting and record system used throughout the Commonwealth well into the 1960s. According to his obituary, “Judge Booton won a reputation for many of his decisions as a judge. He was a stern advocate of law observance. He studied law while serving as judge and passed the Virginia’s state bar examination in 1934. He retired as a Trial Justice in 1956.”

In addition to a long career in the legal system, Judge Booton was also known as a prolific poet and published volumes of poems as early as 1911. He was listed in the “Who’s Who” in those years as his writing gained wide recognition.

Judge Booton died while sitting in his chair at home on Court Street, at 6:45 p.m. on Friday, 26 August 1960. He was likely the last founding member of the Summers-Koontz Camp. Last rites were held at Mt. Carmel Primitive Baptist Church with burial following at Green Hill Cemetery.

=>John Heiskell Booton Find-a-Grave Page (offsite)


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