The Resource W.W. LaPrade and Brothers records

W.W. LaPrade and Brothers records

W.W. LaPrade and Brothers records, 1803-2001
W.W. LaPrade and Brothers records
Inclusive dates
  • Records, 1803-2001 (bulk 1900-1970) of W. W. LaPrade and Brothers, certified engineers and surveyors in Chesterfield County, Virginia. The company surveyed land mainly in Chesterfield and Henrico Counties and Richmond, Virginia, although many other Virginia counties are also included. The collection consists of computation books, field books and diaries, and plats and surveys prepared by LaPrade for various companies and land owners
  • Series I-V: The bulk of the collection are the plats and property surveys (single, multi-lots, and subdivisions) and consist mostly of mid to late twentieth century material, although throughout the collection a small number of nineteenth century surveys can be found. The collection was housed in either filing cabinets (Vertical files Series I-IV) or map cases (Oversize surveys Series V) and was maintained in its original order. Because of the nature in which the records were kept the researcher must consult BOTH the Vertical files and the Oversize surveys series to find all LaPrade records for any specific location. There is much overlap between these two main series. The collection is not organized chronologically so researchers looking for a specific survey must look in all boxes relating to the specific County and District
  • To access the Vertical files series, LaPrade Brothers maintained Index Keys for Chesterfield and Henrico Counties (by magesterial district) and Richmond, Virginia (by district imposed by LaPrade). Chesterfield County districts include Bermuda, Clover Hill, Dale, Manchester, Matoaca, and Midlothian. Henrico County districts include Brookland, Fairfield, Three Chopt, Tuckahoe, and Varina. Richmond is categorized by districts imposed by LaPrade. Researchers must know the County and District for the specific area they are researching. In the case of Richmond there are two Index Keys for the city. (The index keys can be viewed online by clicking on the Index keys link above.)
  • Once the researcher knows the County and District, they must consult the LaPrade Index Keys for that County and District. Each District has been further subdivided by a file numbering system created by the company (i.e. Henrico County, Varina District 2 or Richmond H-22). Researchers must find the specific street area on the Index Key to locate the file number. Once the file number has been obtained the researcher can consult the Vertical series (Boxes 1-43). The Other Counties and Cities Vertical files series do not have index keys and are arranged alphabetically county and then within by folder title
  • Similarly the Oversize survey series (Boxes 67-175) is arranged by County and District although it is not further subdivided by Index Keys like the Vertical files series. Researchers only need to know the County and District (or Richmond) to view these records. Because many boxes may exist for a certain County and District, researchers might need to consult several boxes to find materials
  • Due to redistricting many of the locations have changed districts, therefore researchers might have to look in several boxes to find all surveys pertaining to a district. Noted in the container listing is not only the current district name but also former ones. For example the container listing might note Chesterfield County, Dale district (also includes former Bermuda, Manchester, and Matoaca districts). An attempt was made to include detailed information in the container listing for these boxes
  • Series VI- IX: Include the files of Ernest W. Brooks, Foster and Miller, Thornton L. Mullins, and Carl Watkins, surveyors who either worked for or their files were obtained by LaPrade. The bulk of the plats and surveys were for land in Chesterfield and Henrico Counties and Richmond. The largest series are the files of Ernest W. Brooks and consists of 7 boxes of plats and surveys of Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico Counties and Richmond, Virginia. Also included are a small number of plats for land in Amelia, Caroline, Charles City, Essex, Gloucester, Goochland, King and Queen, New Kent, Powhatan, and York Counties. The Oversize Series (Series V) also includes surveys of Ernest W. Brooks and W. S. Hinton (boxes 93-95). The files of Carl Watkins contain clippings, brochures, newsletters, and reports on a variety of subjects. These files do not contain any plats or surveys. All the records were maintained in their original order
  • Series X-XII: Includes field books/diaries, computation books, and volumes. The field books and diaries contain the raw field data and sketches that were used to create the plats and surveys. The computation books contain the surveyors' mathematical calculations for jobs using data that they gathered in the field books. Also included are three plat books created by LaPrade
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • The LaPrade family were long time residents of Chesterfield County and served for many years as county surveyors. William LaPrade (1767-1817) was appointed Chesterfield County surveyor in 1801, serving until his death in 1817 when his son, David LaPrade (b. 1799) became surveyor. The job passed on to David's son, Joseph Edgar (1845-1903), and then to Joseph Edgar's sons, David Flournoy (1872-1955), Joseph E. (1876-1945), William Waverly (1878-1952) and Benjamin Watkins (1885-1965). Around 1912 the brothers Benjamin W., Joseph E., and William W. formed the partnership of W. W. LaPrade and Brothers.
  • David Flournoy LaPrade (1872-1955) was married to Grace Eva Moseley (b. 1877) and had five children: Grace Agnes (b. 1905), David Flournoy (b. 1907), Nettie Mildred, Edmond Moseley (b. 1911), and Ann Augusta. He served as the city engineer for Manchester and later Richmond, when the city was annexed in 1910, until his retirement in 1951.
  • Benjamin W. LaPrade attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute, graduating in 1909 with a degree in electrical engineering. In March 1912 he joined his father's firm in partnership with his brothers, William Waverly and Joseph. He married Francis Elizabeth James (b. 1889) 30 August 1917 in Washington, D.C. From 1917 to 1919 he served as a captain with the Army Corps of Engineering in Panama, returning to LaPrade after the war. In 1955 C. R. Johnson and C.A. Watkins Jr. became partners in the company, along with Joseph LaPrade Jr. and a grand-nephew David.
  • William Waverly LaPrade attended Virginia Military Institute, graduating in 1904. He continued to remain at VPI to teach math until 1907 when he started work the family surveying company of LaPrade. In 1920 he married Evelyn Byrd Warwick. After World War I, he served with the Quartermaster Corps, Virginia National Guard. In 1940 he was assigned to duty as state procurement officer and retired with the rank of general in 1946.
Cataloging source
W.W. LaPrade and Brothers records
  • For a detailed scope and content note, series description, and historical background note please refer to the finding aid, which is available online and in the repository
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
Governing access note
There are no access restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
  • Foster and Miller
  • Foster and Miller
  • Newlon, Claranell
Organization method
Organized into the following series: I. Chesterfield County Vertical files; II. Henrico County Vertical files; III. Richmond Vertical files; IV. Other Counties and Cities Vertical files; V. Oversize surveys; VI. Ernest W. Brooks Vertical files; VII. Foster and Miller Vertical files; VIII. Thornton L. Mullins Vertical files; IX. Carl Watkins Vertical files; X. Field Books/Diaries; XII. Computation Books; XIII. Volumes.
Type of unit
cu. ft. (381 boxes)

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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