Reuben Gordon

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Portrait photograph of Reuben Gordon, taken by Rufus W. Holsinger at an unknown date. Reproduced from Vinegar Hill Magazine.

Reuben Gordon (1884 – October 1, 1949) was a Black citizen of Albemarle County in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries whose portrait photograph forms a part of the Holsinger Studio Collection. Gordon was born and died in the Greenwood district of western Albemarle County, was a life-long horseman.


Gordon was born in the Greenwood district of Albemarle County in 1884. He was able to read and write and was a life-long horseman. He worked as the stable boss on Blue Ridge Farm for around 40 years (having previously served as a stable hand and coachman) under his original employers Randolph and Blanche Ortman and continued to work there even after Randolph's death.

In 1911, Gordon married Elizabeth "Lizzie" Davenport (c.18751973), who worked as a housemaid (possibly for the Ortman family). The couple never had children. At an unknown date, Gordon had his portrait photograph taken by Rufus W. Holsinger, with this picture later forming a part of the Holsinger Studio Collection. He also registered for the draft during both World War I and World War II.

Gordon died in Greenwood on October 1, 1949 and was buried in the church cemetery at Yancey Mills.[1] According to his obituary in the Daily Progress, he was survived by a sister and a brother, the Reverend George L. Gordon of Greenwood.