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Board of County Supervisors’ history is rich

PWBOCS History1.jpg

Old black-and-white photos from the 1966 Prince William County Annual Report show the Prince William Board of County Supervisors and citizens who attended the board meetings. Courtesy photo.

We see their names: on signs, in newspapers and elsewhere. They are the elected representatives of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors who oversee the county government.

Every four years Prince William County residents can elect Board of County supervisors. Currently, the eight-member board overseeing seven magisterial districts consists of Corey A. Stewart, chairman at-large; Maureen S. Caddigan, vice chair and Potomac District; W.S. Wally Covington III, Brentsville District; Martin E. Nohe, Coles District; John T. Stirrup Jr., Gainesville District; John D. Jenkins, Neabsco District; Michael C. May, Occoquan District and Frank J. Principi, Woodbridge District.

Tish Como, librarian in the Ruth E. Lloyd Information Center (RELIC) Room at Bull Run Regional Library in Manassas extensively researched the board’s history; she wrote an article in one of RELIC’s publications about its history. In an April 2004 issue of “Prince William Reliquary,” Como’s study said the Board was established by the Virginia Constitution of 1869. In 1870, members were elected every May by townships to take office in July. There was only one annual mandatory meeting held the first Monday in December, but the board could meet at other times.

For almost 100 years, from 1870 to 1967, there were six magisterial districts: Brentsville, Coles, Dumfries, Gainesville, Manassas and Occoquan. Those first county supervisors in 1870 were Joseph B. Reid (1870-75), Brentsville; William M. Lynn (1870-72), Coles; John W. Chapman (70), Dumfries (now Potomac); A.H. Johnson (1870), Gainesville; Francis M. Lewis (1870-79), Manassas and Burr Glasscock (1870), Occoquan.

In February 1967, a seventh district was created. Francis M. Coffey was appointed supervisor of the new Neabsco Magisterial District when new boundary lines were drawn due to increasing population. 

Read the full story in the Oct. 14 issue of the Bull Run Observer.

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