Volume One: Introduction (revised Oct 1, 2015) summarizes the history of Conklin village from its start when settled around 1810 by Reuben Settle, Jr. who with other white farmers cut the hamlet out of trees well before it had any official name.
Settle purchased 142 acres along today’s Braddock Road, known in historical times as Colchester Road. The rural community of Conklin is thought to have stretched from a point between Elk Lick Road and Gum Spring Road on the west side (Route 659) to a few blocks south on Bull Run Post Office Road (Route 621), then east to accommodate land owned by the African-American Allen family. It ran north along Elk Lick road to the Elk Lick Bridge over present day South Riding golf course, just south of the ‘Town Hall” complex in South Riding. Today, the traditional junction of Elk Lick with Braddock is called First Frost.
The study introduces the evolution of the community from a mostly white village to one more known in modern times for its African-American residents. Also introduced are major historical locations such as Prosperity Baptist Church (started by Jennie Dean) and its cemetery, the Conklin Colored School, the sites of the first two post offices in the area, the Conklin Cemetery and the Hampton Brewer cemetery.
Many original records were used in the study, including a tiny roll of tax records from the 19th century belonging to Hampton Brewer. These proved invaluable not only because tax receipts from that era are rare; but also because the material had been written on, providing information about the Allen family.