Martin Dawson (1772-1835, aged 63) was a prominent scholar, magistrate, and financial advisor to Thomas Jefferson. Upon Dawson’s death, a large portion of the Bellair land was willed to UVA, which in turn sold it and utilized the funds to build the Rotunda annex, as well as six student dormitories now known as Dawson’s Row.
To Lane High School students...an annual scholarship award was setup in November 1940 in memory of Martin Dawson, in the sum of $15,000 invested with the Virginia State Board of Education. The income from which $50.00 is to be paid annually to the student with the most interest in cultural activities. The scholarship was funded by philanthropy Paul Goodloe McIntire (1860–1952).
In November 1940, philanthropy Paul Goodloe McIntire funded an annual scholarship award in memory of Martin Dawson, in the sum of $15,000 invested with the Virginia State Board of Education. "To Lane High School students... The income from which $50.00 is to be paid annually to the student with the most interest in cultural activities."
- McIntire retired from active business about 1918 and returned to Charlottesville, where he became interested in public school education and in the dissemination of cultural education for his fellow citizens, trying to provide for them the advantages lacking in his community in his youth. Over a period of years, beginning in 1917 and concluding in 1941, Paul Goodloe McIntire made gifts to the County of Albemarle, to the City of Charlottesville and to the University of Virginia in excess of $1.2 million dollars, of which $175,700.00 was gifted to the schools of Albemarle County.
Dawson was the youngest of nine children of John and Sarah Carroll Dawson. He was born at the family home near Faber's Mills in Nelson County, not far from the Albemarle County line. When he came of age, he moved to Milton, in Albemarle County, and became connected with Brown, Rives, & Company. After amassing a considerable fortune, he moved his business from Milton to Scottsville. From 1808 until his death, Dawson was a county magistrate. He was also one of the first school commissioners in Albemarle County. He never married.
Later life, death, will
Dawson provided for the largest private donation to the University up to that time in his will.
In 1817, Dawson bought Bellair farm.
Dawson helped found the Albemarle Educational Commission, supported the establishment of the University of Virginia, three academies in Nelson and Albemarle counties.
By the 13th paragraph of his will, Martin Dawson, provided the following: “I hereby direct my executors (if not before purchased) to purchase ten acres of land where my father, mother and other relative are buried in the County of Nelson, to be forever held and know by the name of ‘John Dawson and Family Graveyard,’ and where (with?) a sufficient quantity of the same for the said object well enclosed with durable stone wall, in which it is my wish that my remains be decently interred.” Alumni Bulletin of the University of Virginia, by Charles A. Graves, 1918.
- Dawson's Row - On the western side of the ground of the University of Virginia, seven buildings, used as dormitories for students, climb up, in the wide arc of a circle, the slope extending from Parsonage to Monroe’s Hill. This is Dawson’s Row.
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- Web. [ The Gifts of Paul Goodloe McIntire], James Collier Marshall, Albemarle Historic Society, April 30, 1958, retrieved August 14, 2019.
- Web. Martin Dawson, Douglas Evans, "Jefferson's Neighbors," Monticello Research Report, Research & Education: Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia, 1995, retrieved August 14, 2019.