On Monday morning, May 1, Hon. George McDuffie Blake, age 85, one of Louisa’s oldest and best known citizens, died at his apartment home at the Hotel Patrick Henry in Louisa. Although a shock to his many friends throughout the county and state, his death was not unexpected as he had been in poor health for several months.
Mr. Blake was a native of Mathews County, born there on February 10, 1859, a son of the late John Henry and Emily Lumpkin Blake, members of distinguished Virginia families. In 1882, he married the former Miss Emma T. Walters, of Richmond, who survives with a daughter, Mrs. Emmett D. Cottrell, also of Richmond, and one granddaughter, Miss Ann Cottrell, of Richmond and Washington, a member of the Washington bureau of the New York Herald-Tribune.
Before coming to Louisa, Mr. Blake lived for many years in Richmond, where he was engaged in the mercantile business and active in political and business circles. He was a member of the Richmond City Council, the Democratic Committee, a charter member of the Retail Merchants Association and leader in many civic and business affairs. The family moved to Louisa about 25 years ago and lived at “The Elms,” in Green Springs. Mr. Blake was postmaster at Meltons, and later moved to Louisa where he engaged in the insurance and real estate business, being active in the latter until his last illness. One of the larger transactions, which he recently handled, was the sale of approximately 1,500 acres of Green Springs farmland, owned by the Parrish estate, to Hon. H. H. Walton.
Mr. Blake was Editor and Publisher of The Central Virginian for over 16 years until its sale to the present owner in 1940. He was deeply interested in newspaper work, especially the weekly hometown papers, and contributed much to the growth and influence of the weekly press in this section of the state. He was an active leader in local business and political affairs for over a quarter of a century and was Justice of the Peace for the Louisa District for many years, several times Mayor of Louisa and held positions at various times in the local Democratic party organization. He was a lifelong Democrat and a staunch supporter of the present administration.
Funeral services were held from St. James Episcopal Church in Louisa at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, conducted by the Rector A. Campbell Tucker, with interment in the family section of Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. Active pallbearers were Dr. Jos. W. Baker, W. Earle Crank, R. E. Trice, Jr., R. Kent Woolfolk, J. Gerald Purcell and Bruce V. Boxley. Honorary pallbearers were P. B. Porter, Dr. H. S. Daniel, Hon. H. H. Walton, J. M. Thomas, W. D. Chiles, C. E. Hester, J. S. Purcell and S. B. Henson.
Reprinted from the Thursday, May 4, 1944 edition of The Central Virginian.