Marvin A. Gill
Marvin A. Gill was born on the family estate, Providence View Farm,
on August 15, 1886, near Miskimon, Northumberland County, Virginia. His
parents were Zacceus Riley Gill, who died in 1895, and Nancy Lee (McLamar)
Davis, who died February 26, 1919.
His wife and lifelong companion was Lola Irene Dunaway. The Gills had
two children, Charlotte and Barbara, who both followed their father's
deep interest in medicine and became registered nurses.
Marvin A. Gill served in the infantry in France in World War I. During
his service he was exposed to poison gas and then, advised by doctors
to seek an outdoor occupation, he returned to Miskimon to care for the
family farm. A man of many talents, he sang, played violin, piano and
organ. He was a skilled surveyor and mail carrier and served as an enumerator
for the 1920 census. He was a graduate of Sadler's Bryan & Stratton
Business College in Baltimore, Maryland.
As a professional who took photographs of persons in the Northern Neck
and Middlesex County from about 1906 to 1917, he did far more than snap
pictures. The beautiful 16"x20" studio portraits reveal an artistic
skill when compared to the original snapshots.
Marvin A. Gill had a severe stroke but continued to run the farm using
a walking plow for the furrows for 50 acres. His family raised hay, corn,
soybeans, wheat, oats, clover, cows, horses, chickens and hogs. He was
originally a member of Smyrna United Methodist Church. When it closed,
he attended Heathsville United Methodist briefly, but then became active
at Providence Baptist Church. The beautiful view of this church from his
home inspired the name for the family estate.
His wife, Lola, was born in Lara, Virginia, and enjoyed working in
a sewing firm in Baltimore until her marriage to Marvin. They moved to
his family farm. She worked hard as a farmer's wife in the days before
running water and electricity, and taught at one-room schools in Northumberland
County. She survived her husband by many years and was active as a Sunday
school teacher at Providence Baptist Church.