Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wallis Simpson's life in Fauquier discussed

Fauquier County Public Library is hosting a lecture on Wallis Warfield Simpson, a one-time Fauquier resident for whom England's King Edward VIII abdicated his throne in 1936.

The free lecture, presented by John T. Toler and sponsored by the library and the Fauquier Heritage Institute, is slated for 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct.19, in the John Barton Payne Building.

Many people in Fauquier County got to know Simpson when she was living at the Warren Green Hotel in Warrenton in the late 1920s while awaiting finalization of her divorce from her first husband.

Toler, of Broad Run, is a 1965 graduate of Fauquier High School and a 1969 graduate of the University of Virginia, where he studied English Literature and U.S. History. In the 1970s, he served in Company C, the Virginia Army National Guard unit that was a direct descendant of the Warrenton Rifles. Later he served as an officer in the Virginia Defense Force, which traces its roots to the Virginia Protective Force of World War II.

In addition to writings during his lengthy local newspaper career, Toler has researched and written about many different aspects of Fauquier County's history. He is particularly interested in the county's military history and in learning more about the many legendary characters in Fauquier County.

Toler is one of the authors of the soon-to-be-published Fauquier County history book to be published in 2009. He is also rewriting and adding to an historical piece on the Warrenton Branch Railroad and has worked as a consultant to the John Singleton Mosby Foundation.
The lecture is part of a series on American history sponsored by the library and the Fauquier Heritage Institute.