POYTHRESS-L ArchivesArchiver > POYTHRESS > 1998-12 > 0914974282
From: Charles Neal <>
Subject: Newport News
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 18:31:22 -0500
Don't know if you subscribe to the Southside Virginia List or not, but this
obituary for Parke Rouse, one of Virginia's finest men, included a website
for the Daily Press newspaper, which covers Newport News. The site listed
below takes one directly to their historical archives, where I searched on
"Poythress" and came up with 3 articles (from 1991, 1992, and 1993) all of
which mention Poythress, and all 3 of which were indeed written by Parke
The main site for the newspaper, which has local news of the area, &
current obits & lots of other info, is at:
Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
> > >
Park Rouse died last year. You can read some of his columns online in the
history section of the Daily Press website:
The following obituary ran in the Daily Press:
Date: Thursday, March 6, 1997
Source: By WILL MOLINEUX Daily Press
Copyright DAILY PRESS
PARKE ROUSE: 1915-1997 A VIRGINIA GENTLEMAN
Parke Shepherd Rouse Jr., who through his writings did much to keep
fresh the history of Virginia, died in his sleep in his home in
Williamsburg early Wednesday. He would have been 82 in July.
Mr. Rouse - who never lived far from the James River - was a
newspaperman whose passion for Virginia's past is expressed in 22 books and
countless articles and columns published in periodicals, including the
While his interest encompassed colonial times as well as contemporary
events, he was fond of focusing on vignettes and anecdotes. He was a
celebrated raconteur who relished reciting the history that he had been
taught and telling of the life experiences he remembered. For him, history
was personal, but something personal that was meant to be shared.
As a historian, Mr. Rouse spent scant time analyzing the sweep of
events, but frequently took the occasion to bemoan the passing of gentler
days. He had the manner of a Southern gentleman; he was unfailingly polite,
even when his
memory was challenged.
Mr. Rouse was born in Smithfield, grew up in Newport News, lived in
Richmond immediately before and after World War II and moved to
Williamsburg in 1953, and oversaw the state's celebration of the 350th
anniversary of the settlement at Jamestown and administered the state park
now known as the Jamestown Settlement.
While he was active in promoting the landmarks of Virginia as tourist
attractions, his primary interest was in preserving the Virginia story -
the noble feats of patriots and planters, of militiamen and craftsmen, of
revolutionaries and rebels, of college professors and clergymen.
One of Mr. Rouse's first histories, "Endless Harbour," is the story of
Newport News. The centennial history of the city which came out late last
year, which he co-authored, was his last published work. He edited the
diary of George Benjamin West, one of the pioneers of Newport News. He
wrote a biography of James Blair, the founder and first president of The
College of William and Mary, and a history of the President's House at W&M.
His book on the Great Wagon Road, by which settlers from Pennsylvania came
to western Virginia, is used as a high school textbook. Many of his more
recent books are collections of columns he wrote for the Daily Press.
Mr. Rouse, observed Guy Friddell, a columnist with The Virginian-Pilot,
explained Virginians to themselves. And he did it, Friddell said, "with
grace and good humor."
Dorothy Rouse-Bottom, a distant cousin and former editor of the Daily
Press, said Mr. Rouse saw the history of the Peninsula "through a loving
eye" and "wrote always with a kind of sweetness that endeared us to our own
Rouse-Bottom enlisted Mr. Rouse to write his column, "Old Virginia," which
has appeared in the Sunday Outlook section for more than 15 years. Mr.
Rouse wrote occasional feature articles for the newspaper before his column
Parke Rouse was the son of an old Virginia family. The Rouses first
settled on the Northern Neck and John Rouse, Parke Rouse's grandfather,
moved from King and Queen County with his brother to Isle of Wight County
after the Civil War and there was a cabinetmaker. Parke Shepherd Rouse Sr.
and his wife, Pauline Dashiell Rouse, moved to Newport News when Parke Jr.
Mr. Rouse, who often recalled boyhood days in his Daily Press column,
was graduated from Newport News High School. He received a bachelor's
degree in 1937 from Washington and Lee University, where he was inducted
in Phi Beta Kappa, the honorary scholarship fraternity, and into Omicron
Delta Kappa, the honorary leadership fraternity. He was a reporter for The
Times-Herald, the afternoon newspaper in Newport News, for three years and
a general and political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
For four wartime years he was a naval officer and saw action in the
invasions of Sicily, Salerno and Saipan. Later he served on Guam on the
staff of Adm. Chester Nimitz, commander in chief of the Pacific Theater.
Mr. Rouse returned to the Times-Dispatch in 1946 and was an editorial
writer and assistant to Virginius Dabney, the historian who was editorial
page editor. In 1948 he was named Sunday editor, a post he held until 1950
joined the staff of the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce. In 1953 he came
to Williamsburg to accept an appointment as director of publications for
Colonial Williamsburg, and a year later was named executive director of the
350th Anniversary Celebration Commission. As such, he worked with the late
Del. Lewis A. McMurran Jr. of Newport News to arrange for the visit to the
United States of Queen Elizabeth II and other events associated with the
year-long Jamestown Festival of 1957.
Mr. Rouse was executive director of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation,
the state agency which managed Jamestown Festival Park (since renamed
Jamestown Settlement) and the Yorktown Victory Center. He retired from that
He was executive director of the Virginia Independence Bicentennial
Commission, which directed a years-long observance that ended in 1981.
The governor of Virginia named Mr. Rouse a Virginia Laureate for his
contributions to preserving Virginia's heritage.
In later years Mr. Rouse and his wife, Betsy, traveled extensively,
making many trips overseas. And he wrote travel articles for newspapers and
magazines. He and his wife had been scheduled to leave Williamsburg
for a trip to Florida and a cruise up the Inland Waterway.
Mr. Rouse was active in the civic life of Williamsburg, as well as
historical societies. He was past governor of the Jamestowne Society, past
president of the Williamsburg Rotary Club, past President of the
Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Williamsburg
Community Council, past vice president of the Williamsburg Community
Hospital, past president of the Williamsburg-James City County United Fund.
He was a member of the Middle Plantation Club. He was a past member of the
Washington and Lee alumni board.
He was a member of Bruton Parish Church where he served on the vestry
and was a former senior warden.
Rouse is survived by his wife, Elizabeth "Betsy" Gayle Rouse; two
daughters, Elizabeth Marshall Rouse McClure of Norfolk and Sarah Dashiell
Rouse Sheehan of Washington, D.C.; a son, Parke Shepherd Rouse III of
Raphine; and a brother, Randolph D. Rouse of Washington, D.C.
A private burial service will be held in the family cemetery in
Smithfield and a memorial service will be conducted at 3 p.m. Saturday in
Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg.
The family requests no flowers. In recognition of Mr. Rouse's
contributions to Virginia history, friends may wish to make tax deductible
gifts to The Parke Rouse Virginia History Fund, c/o City of Williamsburg
300th Anniversary Commission, Trist McConnell, chair; 401 Lafayette St.,
Williamsburg 23185-3617, to promote continuing interest in the
BIBLIOGRAPHY Books by Parke Rouse * They Gave Us Freedom, 1951
* The City That Turned Back Time: Colonial Williamsburg's First 25
* Williamsburg in Color, 1953
* Virginia: The English Heritage in America, 1966
* Planters and Pioneers: Life in Colonial Virginia, 1968
* Below The James Lies Dixie: Smithfield and Southside Virginia, 1968
* Endless Harbor: The Story of Newport News, 1969
* Richmond in Color, 1978
* Tidewater Virginia in Color, 1968
* James Blair of Virginia, 1971
* Roll, Chesapeake, Roll: Chronicles of The Great Bay, 1972
* Cows on The Campus: Williamsburg in Bygone Years, 1973
* The Great Wagon Road from Philadelphia to The South, 1973
* Virginia: A Pictorial History, 1975
* When The Yankees Came: Civil War and Reconstruction on The Virginia
Peninsula; The Diary of George Benjamin West, 1839-1917, 1977
* A House for a President: 250 Years on The Campus of William and Mary,
* Living By Design: Leslie Cheek and The Arts, 1985
* The Good Old Days in Hampton and Newport News, 1986
* Remembering Williamsburg: A Sentimental Journey Through Three
* The James: Where a Nation Began, 1990
* Along Virginia's Golden Shores: Glimpses of Tidewater Life, 1994
* An Old Fashioned Christmas in Virginia, 1995
* We Happy WASPs: Virginia in The Days of Jim Crow and Harry Byrd, 1996
* Newport News: A Centennial History (with John V. Quarstein), 1996
|Newport News by Charles Neal <>|