Popular legend has it that William Mahone (1826-1895), builder of the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad (now Norfolk Southern), and his cultured wife, Otelia Butler Mahone (1837-1911), who had been raised in Smithfield, traveled along the newly completed Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad naming stations. Otelia was reading Ivanhoe a book written by Sir Walter Scott. From his historical Scottish novels, Otelia chose the place names of Windsor, Waverly and Wakefield.
Otelia Mahone is said to have tapped the Scottish Clan "McIvor" for the name of Ivor. Later, when they could not agree, it is said that they became even more creative, and invented a new word in honor of their "dispute", which is how the tiny community of Disputanta was named. The N&P railroad was completed in 1858.
William Mahone was born in Southampton County, in the tiny community of Monroe, which was located on the Nottoway River about 8 miles south of present-day Courtland. He attended Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and trained as a civil engineer. After building the N&P railroad, became a Major General in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, while his wife Otelia served as a nurse in Richmond. Mahone headed the state's Readjuster Party after the War and later was elected as a Senator in the United States Congress. A large portion of U.S. Highway 460 between Petersburg and Suffolk is named in honor of William Mahone.
Ivor is the hometown of the famed federal agent, Joseph A. Casey, who made "Burning of the Woolies" a tradition at Virginia Military Institute.
There were 135 households out of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.2% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.9% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.78.
In the town the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 27.5% from 45 to 64, and 21.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $34,583, and the median income for a family was $44,688. Males had a median income of $40,938 versus $18,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,033. About 4.4% of families and 5.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.7% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.