Monday, August 9, 2010

A Civil War Courtship--The Tale of John Rose

(from the May 2010 Update)

By Leslie K. Drummond

THREE of my great-great-grandfathers who lived in Kershaw County fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War: Gaillard Percival, Rev. Brown C. Ross and John Warren Rose. This story concerns John Rose, the youngest of the three.

John, born in 1848, was the son of John H. Rose, who owned Rose Plantation and Rose’s Mill Pond in the now-Clemson Road area of Columbia. He was one of ten children and a very young man when the Civil War began.
When he was 15, John became interested in a young girl, Mary Elizabeth Watts, known to the family as Mary Ella, who also lived in the area. Unfortunately, another young local man named Henry was also interested in her and they became rival suitors.

By 1864, one of John’s older brothers had been fighting for the CSA for several years and an uncle was killed at Gettysburg. The battles continued, and relatives and friends were wounded or killed. John became determined to join, even though he was only 15 years old.

In March of 1864, John secretly went to Columbia, and lying about his age, enlisted in Company C, 12th Regiment, SC Volunteers. This company was originally known as Gregg’s Brigade and later as McGowan’s Brigade. Although John didn’t realize it at the time, his rival Henry also enlisted in this company.

Company C was leaving for Virginia and both John and Henry made a farewell visit to Mary. She gave Henry a picture of herself to take with him, and she gave John her ring.

Arriving in Virginia that spring, Company C was engaged in terrible battles. Among them were the Battle of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Courthouse in May, and Cold Harbor and the Petersburg Siege in June. More battles followed in the fall of the year and somehow John escaped being injured.

While the company was moving to another location, John and Henry found themselves in the same boat crossing a river. Henry took out Mary’s picture and showed it to the other soldiers in the boat. A sudden gust of wind whipped the picture out of his hand and the men watched as Mary’s likeness went floating off.

Henry then turned to the other men and announced that if anyone wanted to jump in after it, they were welcome to keep it. Hearing this, John immediately dived in the water and retrieved the picture. Now he had both Mary’s ring and her photograph.

John turned 16 in August, and in October, after the 1st Battle of Pegram’s Farm, his lie about his age caught up with him. His father was anxious and worried about him and asked that he be released from duty.
The superior officers agreed and family legend says John’s father traveled to Virginia to bring him home. His company muster roll reads, “Discharged, having enlisted without his father’s consent, Oct. 12, 1864, he being underage.”

John returned to Kershaw County and married Mary a couple of years later. He became a successful landowner and farmer, and together he and Mary raised six children. They had been married over 50 years at the time of her death in 1920; John lived until 1932.

Along with many of their descendants, John is buried by his Mary’s side in Union Baptist Church in Elgin.
This tradition was one of the stories handed down through generations that inspired the author, a Camden native and resident, to embark on family research.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fighting Loves

By Joan Inabinet
Kershaw County Historical Society Update May 2009

A short distance east off of Flat Rock Road, and about a mile and a half north of the memorial battleground of the Battle of Camden, a granite memorial marks the site of the family burying ground of “James Love of Granny’s Quarter, Revolutionary Soldier.”

Reprinted below is an excerpt of a nineteenth-century biographical sketch of James Love’s grandson, Dr. William Abram Love (later of Atlanta). The account reveals that family experiences during the Revolution in Kershaw County continued to be related for many years thereafter. The account also provides additional glimpses of local interest.

The sketch, published in Dr. Love’s lifetime, is excerpted from Memoirs of Georgia, Vol.I (“Fulton County Sketches”), published in Atlanta by the Southern Historical Association in 1895:

"DR. WILLIAM ABRAM LOVE, one of the oldest and best-known physicians in the state of Georgia, has lived in Atlanta nearly a quarter of a century. With the spirit and the blood of the old English cavaliers coursing through his veins, he has ever been a man of action and decided character, keeping the same even to his old age.

"Dr. Love, the only child of William and Sarah (Childers) Love, was born May 16, 1824, in that historic place, Camden, Kershaw district, S.C. His grandparents and his father were residents of that vicinity in colonial days and suffered much at the hands of the British and the tories during the revolutionary war.

"Indeed, though a mere boy at the time Dr. Love’s father, for the sake of freedom and his loyalty to the colonial cause for which his father fought, carried a withered arm all his after life.

"It was through the cruelty of the tories that he suffered most. The facts are: He was captured one day while riding a very fine horse, when, after being deprived of his mount, he was bound hand and foot to the back of an old, worn-out army mule. The mule was then turned loose to graze in a desolate wood, and here after three days of intense pain, the exhausted, but patriotic boy was found by his friends. Little wonder that to this day Dr. Love despises and scorns the name and memory of tory.

"Notwithstanding the suffering thus endured by the elder William Love, he grew to a noble manhood and because of his affliction was most carefully educated, after which, for the greater part of a long life he held high positions of public trust in his native state.

"By the death of his father, Feb. 17, 1825, and the second marriage of his mother, William Abram Love became the special care of his grandmother Childers. This grandmother, previous to her marriage was Miss Sarah King, a daughter of that sturdy revolutionary soldier on whose property was fought and for whose honor was named that fateful and famous encounter known in history as the battle of King’s mountain. The daughter of this soldier inherited the stern and sturdy characteristics of her revolutionary father, with all his vigilance and high sense of honor and justice.
So the life of her young charge was closely guarded, but the thrilling accounts of his adventures in childhood, which he often relates to his children and grandchildren stamp him as a character of strong individuality, even in early youth.

"In his boyhood Dr. Love attended the schools of Camden and afterward Russell Place academy, but at a very early age he chose his life’s work and when twelve years old, with a view to the study of medicine, he entered the [Camden] drug store of Dr. George Reynolds, continuing his other studies under private tutors. Later, as a regular medical student, he was for four years under the preceptorship of Drs. E.H. Anderson, senior and junior, then of Camden, S.C., the latter now in Kirkwood, Miss.

"In 1844 Dr. Love entered the medical department of the university of Pennsylvania…July, 1846, he came to Georgia...In 1871 he was elected to the chair of physiology in the Atlanta Medical college…He is now (1894) senior professor and president of the faculty…."

Dr. Love’s obituary in the Atlanta Journal Jan. 22, 1898, also includes reference to his family background in the Revolution:

"DR. WM. ABRAM LOVE, 74, prominent physician of state and leading writer of nation on Masonry, died at home, 237 Whitehall St. Atlanta, Jan. 22…Dr. Love was born in Camden, S.C., of Wm. Love, and wife Sarah born of Abraham Childers, Lancaster Co. [Note: Before formation of Kershaw County, the area was part of Lancaster County.] Wm. entered the Revolution while a mere boy, and suffered great cruelties at hands of Tory captors. While Wm. A. was employed in local drugstore, he read medicine under Dr. E.H. Anderson and in 1846 took M.D. at University of Pennsylvania….”

Clearly, the events of the Revolution were held of great importance to be retold in succeeding generations. A number of local families are kin to or descend from the “fighting Loves” or other area patriots. Readers with information about other Kershaw County area patriots are invited to share with us!

Rural Community Identifier—the Post Office

by Harvey S. Teal
Kershaw County Historical Society Update May 2009

In my youth during the Depression, World War II, and later, members of my family made occasional visits to the Cassatt Post Office to mail a letter or buy stamps. As a general rule, however, we relied on Mr. Rozier for stamps and other mail needs.

He was our R.F.D. carrier who delivered mail to or picked up mail at our mail box on his R.R.D. route. The Cassatt Post Office also had a few P.O. boxes rented primarily by a few individuals in the village.

When I first remember the Cassatt Post Office in the early 1930s, it sat adjacent to the present post office on ground now occupied by the raconteur and owner of the Hard Times Café, H.C. Robinson.

The present Cassatt Post Office building was constructed in the early 1960s by Joe Cooper, the Cassatt railroad depot agent for many years. The service window, the post office boxes, and the oak woodwork framing them were removed from the old post office and installed into the new post office.

On a recent trip to the Hard Times Café for lunch, I was photographed inside the front lobby of the post office. It looks much like it did 60-70 years ago.

After the present post office building was completed and occupied, Joe Cooper removed the old post office building to a spot about three miles up the Providence Church Road to Robinson Town. He located the building on a pond he had constructed and added a porch on its front overlooking the pond.

The pond and building changed hands some years ago. When I visited the site recently, the pond had partially died up and the old post office building sat empty and deserted. The photograph below showed its condition on that visit.

I reflected on my visit that it was in this building that my brother, J.R. Teal, arranged his mail for delivery on this R.F.D. route out of Cassatt. It was also to this building that my letters from Italy in 1946-47 to my future wife were delivered, and letters from her to me were sent. Likewise thousands of other letters to and from all of us at Cassatt to loved ones during World War II came through this building.

This building had the word “Cassatt” emblazoned on its front, a word that gave our community its name, identity, and distinction. The present Cassatt Post Office continues to be the identifier of our community, our “home place.”

Thirty-four small post offices were created and operated between the Civil War and World War I (1865-1917) to serve the rural, sparsely populated areas of the county. All but five of the post offices have now been closed due to population shifts and transportation and technology advances.Of these remaining five post offices, Bethune and Elgin (formerly Blaney) now serve incorporated towns. Lugoff, not a town, serves an area not now sparsely populated.

Of those 34 post offices originally created and the five remaining, only Cassatt and Westville continue to serve rural and sparsely populated county areas.

Work of the Kershaw County Historical Society

By Fred Ogburn
Kershaw County Historical Society Update October 2009

Since it was established in 1954 by local history buffs, the Kershaw County Historical Society (KCHS) has promoted the preservation and transmission of county history by publishing books and pamphlets, conducting educational programs, identifying historic sites and buildings, and holding conservation easements on historical properties.


The society has published 33 books and pamphlets, including early 19th century census reports and local cemetery surveys, considered to be invaluable for genealogical research. The classic two-volume Historic Camden by Kirkland and Kennedy, which details the history of Camden from colonial times to the late-19th century "Grand Hotel" era, has been maintained in print.

More recent publications include full-color coffee table books Camden Homes and Heritage and The Decorative Arts of Camden and Kershaw County, SC, both written by the late Ethel Wylly Sweet, as well as shorter pamphlets on a wide variety of county historical subjects.

The University of South Carolina Press will publish an in-depth history of Kershaw County, the first book to encompass the full-length history of the entire county.

As KCHS president Peggy Ogburn said, "The history of Camden has been thoroughly documented, and rightly so, but we felt there was a need for a new publication that would also cover the smaller towns and rural parts of our county. We are thrilled that our long-awaited book project will soon become a reality."

The book is expected to be in print in late 2010. Authors Joan and Glen Inabinet of Camden are retired Kershaw County school teachers, professional historians, and past presidents of the Society.


KCHS members receive Update, a quarterly newsletter with articles on local history, written by Society members.

The newsletter also provides information concerning upcoming educational programs and events. The Society recently completed a very successful 2008-09 program year, with program attendance and participation at record levels.

From October 2008 to May 2009 the KCHS presented five programs for members and the general public:

· A foray into county cultural history with a celebration of the life and art of Kershaw County native Jak Smyrl. · A guided driving tour of historic sites in the Boykin community (Part 1).
· A presentation on the old Wateree Canal, a 19th-century public works project on the west bank of the Wateree River, held at the historic Ebenezer Methodist Church in Lugoff.
· A second guided driving tour of historic sites in the Boykin community (Part 2).
· A history of Mather Academy and its mission to educate African-American children, featuring comments from alumni, including U.S. Congress-man and Democratic Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.
The Boykin tours and the Wateree Canal program held at the Ebenezer Church in Lugoff followed on the heels of KCHS events held in Bethune and in Elgin during the 2007-08 program year.

This reflects the Society’s renewed commitment to expanding its reach and focus beyond Camden to encompass the people and history of the entire county.

Ogburn commented, "Just as the Inabinets’ new book will focus on the history of the entire county, and not just Camden, we are committed to a similar countywide program focus as well. Camden’s historical significance will continue to be a major emphasis, but our small towns and rural areas have rich histories of their own, and we will make every effort to be a county historical society, just as our name suggests."


The Society has in recent years installed historical markers related to the Battle of Hobkirk’s Hill, which took place in Camden during the American Revolution. They are responsible for the markers for the self-guided driving tour of Camden’s antebellum homes.

The KCHS is currently working to have historical markers erected to commemorate several of the county’s lesser-known historic sites, including Cary’s Fort, Tiller’s Ferry, and Clermont (Rugeley’s Fort).


A recent focus for the KCHS, and one which should become even more important in years to come, is their effort to secure easements to protect significant historic properties from subdivision and development. The Society currently holds two preservation easements, one for Horsebranch Hall on Kirkwood Lane in Camden (Bragg and Kathy Comer, owners), and the other for Holly Hedge on Greene Street in Camden (Ben and Pam Schreiner, owners). Under the terms of the easements, the property cannot be subdivided for development, and this agreement is binding on future owners of those properties.

Ogburn stated in regard to the easements, "These agreements appeal to property owners who recognize the enduring historical significance of those properties. They consider the ownership of such a property to be a public trust, and want to protect them from development by future owners. Perspective buyers would be made aware that an easement exists and that the property is protected from further subdivision, so everything is out in the open and clearly understood by all parties before such a sale takes place."


The society is especially proud of the restoration and preservation of a very unique building, the Bonds Conway House, which serves as the society’s headquarters and also as a small museum. This charming cottage was built around 1812 by Bonds Conway, believed to be the first black man on record to have purchased his freedom in Kershaw County. (It is believed that he lived in this house; at his death it was left to one of his children.)

Originally located on York Street, the Bonds Conway House had been condemned and slated for destruction when it was purchased and moved by the society in 1977. Now located at 811 Fair St., behind the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County, many of the original architectural details have been preserved, including original floors and framing. Two years ago the Camden Historic Landmarks Commission honored the Kershaw County Historical Society with an award for "Sustained Integrity and Authenticity of a Historic Building."


The Kershaw County Historical Society welcomes new members, with various membership levels ranging from Student to Life Memberships.

For information concerning membership, visits to the Society’s office in the Bonds Conway house, or purchasing society publications, you may find more information online, or email us, or write, or phone and leave a message! Our website is

Fred Ogburn’s article recently appeared in the "In Your Backyard" supplement of the Camden Chronicle-Independent.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Then and Now: Glimpses in the News

Gathered by Joan and Glen Inabinet
in the writing of the History of Kershaw County

Interest in the 2008 Pegasus Ball at historic Holly Hedge before the Carolina Cup in Camden suggests that readers will be intrigued by a sensational event that occurred at that same residence during the March 28, 1936, running of the popular steeplechase event.

May 1, 1936, The Camden Chronicle claimed an exclusive scoop on the following story, asserting the newspaper had been cooperating to keep the event quiet during police investigation:

“The largest jewelry theft ever to occur in North or South Carolina was perpetuated at Camden March 28 during steeplechase races, when clever crooks invaded Holly Hedge, the spacious winter estate of Mrs. Ernest L. Woodward, socialite and sportswoman, and escaped with valuables worth approximately a quarter of a million dollars…

“Working in absolute secrecy, crack detectives from New York, Miami, and elsewhere were enlisted…

“The burglary…occurred during the Carolina Cup races while Mr. and Mrs. Woodward were absent from their home. The crooks, believed to be nationally known jewel thieves, entered…while only one caretaker was on the premises, and removed the jewelry box from the dresser drawer in a room on the second floor…

“Residents at Camden… positively identified the pictures of several nationally known jewelry thieves…seen there March 28.”

Small references to the incident in later years indicate the theft went unsolved. The city, with press generally cooperating, tried to avoid negative publicity that would reflect unfavorably on the community and possibly turn away wealthy tourists.

The widely attended 2008 charrette to find a vision for the future of Camden suggests a look at efforts in other changing times. The interval between the end of World War II and the mid-century development of industrialization lasted several challenging years. Some of the ways the business district prepared for growth proved counter-productive; others, helpful.

Camden businesses at the time closed by custom each Wednesday afternoon, and by law all day on Sunday. In 1947 the Camden Merchants Association voted to observe Labor Day for the first time, and to do so by closing their businesses for the day. (Some citizens believed it “public spirited” for businesses to close when the town was involved in a community activity, and “money grubbing” to stay open at such times.)

Expecting a growing number of downtown customers, Camden City Council in 1946 tried to plan for parking needs by ordering 400 meters to be installed on Broad Street from Walnut south to York, on DeKalb Street from Lyttleton to Church, and on Rutledge Street from Lyttleton to Church. Enforcement began during the Christmas shopping season, and in the first few days over 50 vehicles were tagged and fined for overtime parking. The public was less than enthusiastic.

Before long Camden had to consider new meters because the current ones often malfunctioned and required “frequent servicing and replacements.” Police Chief Alva Rush sternly warned against stuffing meters with bubble gum or paper wads, but vandalism remained a problem. Within two years, more than 50 percent of the meters were defective. Their condition antagonized the public and made enforcement difficult.

In mid-1948 the city had to crack down on double-parking and parking in the center of the streets. Even delivery trucks were told to “angle park,” like it or not.

By fall citizens who owned vacant lots and space at the rear of buildings had been persuaded to come to the rescue of downtown frustration. In September city workmen prepared parking lots in Camden’s business section for owners who allowed their free use for off-street parking.

Weather extremes in 2008 recall several extremes six decades ago in 1948. In February downtown Camden was blanketed with two inches of snow. Rain, snow, sleet, and ice forced schools throughout the county to close early on a Monday and remain closed through Thursday.
Hailstorms ripped through several sections of the county in June. In Boykin, damages on the State Farm totaled $100,000, with 120 acres of cotton being stripped clean. In the Cassatt area, one farmer lost 100 acres of watermelons, while several suffered serious damage to cotton and tobacco. In Liberty Hill major damage was to cotton.

During summer, county residents suffered from “awful heat,” rising over 100 degrees in late August. Higher-than-normal temperatures continued through the winter. That season proved the warmest one since winter 1906, according to the local weather bureau.

Nearly 10 inches of rain fell during the month of November. One deluge that brought the Wateree River out of its banks caused the Seaboard to detour trains for two days when the steel trestle “was moved six and a half inches out of line downstream by raging flood waters.”

Reported sightings of a Lizard Man in 2008 bring to mind other bizarre claims. January 1948 a local man reported he saw a flaming plane go down but no evidence was discovered. The absence of physical evidence led to speculation that the man saw a “flying saucer” since reports of such unidentified objects had been made in many areas of the country, including one in Charlotte. Citizens here saw another strange object in the sky in July. The object, also seen in a number of other places, “might have been a meteor.”

Elections always evoke political interests. In the post-World War II era, most of the sentiment found in the local press was supportive of states’ rights and segregation. Occasionally, a divergent opinion was voiced as evidenced by the following April 17, 1948, letter to the Camden Chronicle signed John Knox Tibbits:

“Your editorial of March 5, advocating a new political party ‘Dedicated to state’s rights, segregation of races, and the preservation of principles which have made this great country what it is today’ calls for comment both by Christians and by true Americans.

“The great story of America is that any man, of whatever race or color, has an opportunity here to make good and to enjoy the full rights of citizenship.

“The basic principles for community living are the Golden Rule and justice, or, in common parlance, kindliness and fair-play.

“We all believe in state’s rights, but we deny the right of any man, or community, to do wrong by interfering with the rights of others.

“It is plain to most of us that to condemn a race as a race to an inferior position involves great wrong to many individuals , and is as un-American as it is un-Christian.”

The writer was a retired Episcopal minister living in Camden.

February celebrations of African American history have a long tradition.

Browning Home/Mather Academy celebrated its 60th anniversary Feb. 16-23, 1947. Amelia Boykin, the first graduate of “the Model Home,” as it was then called, gave the main address to begin the week-long celebration. The festivities gave special honors to parents of the school’s early pupils and displayed memorabilia of its past.

That spring an Allen University choral group sang at a Mather fundraiser for Negro Boy Scouts in Camden and Kershaw County. They hoped to establish a camp in the Central South Carolina Council.

In February 1948, as a climax to their observance of National Negro History Week, Columbia attorney Harold R. Boulware spoke to Mather’s faculty and student body on the topic of civil rights. (Boulware and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall were among the plaintiff’s attorneys in the Briggs v. Elliott case that was part of the landmark Brown case decided in the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954.)

Mather’s commemoration of Negro History Week in February 1949 consisted of student participation in various contests and several programs at chapel hour. Johnson C. Smith University president H. Liston spoke on race relations.

That spring Mather student Roosevelt Jackson won first place in the Palmetto Scholastic Press Association for his article, “Larry Doby was a Matherite.”

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Bethune Observer

Early in the past century, Bethune, S.C., had its own newspaper, copies of which give glimpses of daily life in Kershaw County’s smallest town, located in the fork of the Lynches River.

The Bethune Observer, c.1913-1923, reported the local news longer than its predecessor, the town’s first newspaper, The Bethune Enterprise, c. 1900-1902.

Both were edited and printed by the wheelchair-bound J.E. Gardner, assisted by his wife, the former Margaret M. Barnes.

In the late 1990s, Carol McNaughton, then employed at the Camden Archives, collected and printed for private sale a publication Bits and Pieces from "The Bethune Observer."

McNaughton states: “The Bethune Observer shows the ordinary life and times of businesses, rural farm families and the early part of the century...[W]e see the lifestyle changes taking place within this time frame.

“You can vision the line up of stores on Main Street giving the community a variety of goods to enliven their everyday lives. The railroad plays a vital part of daily transportation bringing people from other parts of South Carolina and distances beyond, to vacation at the Big Springs Resort, visit family and friends and gives the local residents an opportunity to reach beyond their small town to link with the rest of the world.”

McNaughton’s work, along with newspaper samples given us by Harvey Teal, provide the following excerpts:

9 JULY 1914 Issue
Big Spring News
This promises to be one of, if not the best season in the history of Big Springs, so many are visiting here that never were here before.

Quite a number were registered at the hotel the past week, among whom were: Mr. and Mrs. M.L. Raley, Mt Croghan; Mr. and Mrs. L.E. Lee, Angelus, Mr. and Mrs. Naiford, Lydia; Mr. R.H. Burns, North Carolina; Misses Shaw and McLaurin, Hartsville; Misses Rabon, Camden; Messrs. Carter, Denham, McLeod and Byrd, Hartsville; Mr. and Mrs. W.M. Miller, Jefferson...

The dance on last Wednesday evening was quite a success. Comstock’s orchestra furnished the music, and dancers and onlookers enjoyed to the fullest the dancing and music.

Sandy Grove Dots
There was a large crowd from this section at the Big Spring on the Fourth. We regret to say, however, there was considerable disorder and drinking there on that occasion. This should not be allowed, and we are glad to state this conduct will be cut out in the future, so the management says...

There will be a game of baseball next Saturday afternoon between Sandy Grove and Tiller’s Ferry on the latter’s grounds. The game promises to be interesting...

We were shown a jar of peaches Tuesday morning at the store of Mr. H.W. Northcutt that was put up in August, 1888, by his mother. The peaches are still in perfect state of preservation and can be seen at Mr. Northcutt’s store...

The Fourth was a very quiet day in Bethune. A large crowd went to Big Spring, and several attended the big celebration at Kershaw.

Town Officers
J.M.Clyburn Intendent
L.W. West Clerk
J.A. Shaw Chief of Police

6 AUGUST 1914 Issue
Local and Personal

A barbeque and four games of baseball will be pulled off at this place by the colored people on Saturday...

During the thunder shower on Monday afternoon three fine mules which belonged to Lee County chaingang were killed by lightning. The gang were working the public road near Kelly’s Bridge when the mules were killed.

Encampment Planned
Company G, Second Infantry, South Carolina National Guard, will encamp for two weeks at Big Springs, beginning August 25...the men will receive pay during the encampment.

Sunday School Convention
The 36th annual Sunday School convention for Kershaw County will be held at Sandy Grove church...Go to stay for every session, as the people of Sandy Grove will certainly take care of you. J.C. Humphries, President.

[On the two-day program: Rev. J.C. Davis, P.B. Fields, Prof. A.L. Humphries, F.F. Whilden, Alvo Humphries, W.L. McDowell, Rev. C.B. Smith, W.A. Harrelson, A.J. Beattie, Henry A. Wise, and T.B. Humphries.]

Hotel Advertisements
Big Springs Hotel, now open and the fare excellent. Large crowds suffering with rheumatism or stomach troubles are being benefited. Good bathing, boating, dancing and other amusements. Ask your [railroad] agent for cheap rate ticket.

King’s Hotel, Bethune--Rates $2.00 per day

More Local Ads, Features
Carter and Padgett Undertakers [colored and white]
H.W. Northcutt--New Home Sewing Machines
L.P. Carter--Colt’s Acetylene Generators
J.A. Stone--Insurance
McBee Auto Repair Shop (J.B.Bolin)--Practial Auto Mechanic
Bethune Drug Co.--Dodson’s Liver Tone for 50 cents
G.S. King--General Mechandise, Pumps and Fittings
The Peoples Grocery--Next to railroad track, Bethune
WANTED--To rent or buy a two-horse farm near Bethune

Seaboard Railroad Schedule
[Four separate Northbound trains arrived daily in Bethune--two in the morning at 7:22 and 9:35 a.m.; and two later ones at 5:43 and 8:25 p.m.

Also four separate Southbound trains arrived daily in Bethune--two in the morning at 9:35 and 10:05 a.m.; and two later ones at 6:08 and 10:43 p.m.]

24 AUGUST 1916 Issue
Local and Personal
The box party which was to have been held at the residence of Mr. D.W. Horton above town last night for the benefit ofthe Cedar Creek Sunday School, was postponed on account of threatening weather...

The Woodmen and Junior Orders at Timrod had a banquet at the Timrod school house Saturday night. Judge M.L. Smith and Mr. C.W. Birchmore, of Camden, came out and delivered addresses. Mess. S.T. Gardner and J.E. Copeland accompanied Judge Smith and Mr. Birchmore to Timrod.

Mr. and Mrs. M.M. Johnson spent Sunday night at the home of the former’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. H.T. Johmson, at Shamrock. Mr. Johnson was formerly a citizen of Jefferson, where he was prominently identified with municipal and civic affairs for several years. He has moved to Camden, where he expects to reside. Murdock Johnson is a young lawyer with bright prospects and we predict for him a splendid future.

1 FEBRUARY 1917 Issue
Bethea Lectures
Hon. Andrew J. Bethea, Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, will deliver a lecture in the Bethune high school auditorium tomorrow (Friday) night. Mr. Bethea’s subject will be an account of his peace trip to Europe. This lecture has been delivered in a number of towns in the State during the past year and has been favorably received wherever heard. Admission free

Mr. D.M. Kirkley, of Kershaw R.F.D., was in town Saturday afternoon with a petition praying the citizens of Buffalo township to protest against... a 3-mill tax to improve and maintain the public roads of this township. Quite a number of people...signed the petition.

The Observer, 50 cents, a year, in advance.

25 MAY 1922 Issue
Local and Personal
The new post office building will probably be completed by Saturday next and occupied early next week.

C.C. Horton, manager of the Bethune Hotel, is visiting relatives at Kershaw, Heath Springs and Lancaster...

A game of baseball was played at Heath Springs last Friday afternoon between Bethune and Heath Springs, high school teams...

The business houses are urged to close their places of business for one hour every day, from 11 to 12, and attend services at the Methodist Church...

Quite a crowd from this section attended the Confederate Reunion in Darlington last week.

New Jewelry Store
The Edgeworth Jewelry Co., Corbett Edgeworth, manager, opened a new jewelry store here on Tuesday.

Mr. Edgeworth is well known here, having resided in Bethune for a number of years, and is an expert jeweler...
10 AUGUST 1922 Issue
Local and Personal
Saturday last was a big day with the colored folks in this vicinty. There was a picnic and three baseball games at the Josey Spring, about 7 miles below here.

Big Day at Big Spring
Next Saturday, Aug. 12, will be a big day at Big Spring. A general basket picnic and barbeque will be held and a large crowd is expected to be present.

The candidates for state offices have accepted an invitation to be present and this will be an added attraction for the visitors. The speaking will begin at 10 o’clock, and last until about 5 o’clock, if necessary, giving the candidates ample time to present their claims...A big time promised to all.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Early Settlement in the Area Now Kershaw County

Sample article from the Society's January 2008 Update newsletter.
Excerpts from Area Research

In Winter 1969 and Winter 1970 Camdenite Hope Boykin was author of a two-part article in the distinguished scholarly periodical Names in South Carolina, edited by Dr. Claude Henry Neuffer, University of South Carolina. Readers may want to find the complete work online.

Part I by Boykin, describing early settlement in Lower Kershaw County, begins:

“The southern part of Kershaw County is steeped in history, having lands which were granted as early as 1733. For the most part this land below Camden and on both sides of the Wateree River, continues in the traditional use of the past, being primarily an agricultural area. Large farms and timbered swamps prevail, and in some cases one may still find the same property lines which appear on plats over 100 years old.

“The western side of the river has had perhaps undergone greater changes than the eastern side as the original families such as the Englishes, Brisbanes, Dobys, Spears, and Ogilvies has long since become extinct in the area. While there are still large tracts of land here, they are related only by mutual property lines and the pattern of living has greatly changed over the years.

“On the other hand, life on the eastern side of the river remains strongly linked with the past. Much of the land has passed from generation to generation. This area is divided into three communities.

“The first below Camden is Mulberry, named thus as it surrounds Mulberry Plantation. Charlotte Thompson, which is perhaps the fastest growing area, is named after an old school, which in turn was named for one of Camden’s most beloved citizens. Finally there is Boykin, named for the family which settled there and is still inhabited by many descendants of that clan….”

Part II by Boykin, discussing Upper Kershaw County, begins:

“Deep within the reaches of northwest Kershaw County lie the headwaters of ten creeks, along the banks of which are sites spanning nearly 250 years of history.

“This country, bemoaned by [Rev. Charles] Woodmason in 1768 as backwards, uncivilized and worse, was strongly patriotic during the Revolution and produced many fine leaders of Kershaw County. It remained mainly agricultural and timber producing and is laced by three roads, which generally follow their original lines.

“The Beaver Creek Road, running from Camden through Liberty Hill and into Lancaster County, was one of the earliest routes in the county. It gains its name from the creek over which it passes. The road now known as the Flat Rock Road was earlier known as the Waxhaw Road or the Great Road to Lancaster. This was the first northern route from Camden, used first by Indians, they a stage road until the late nineteenth century. Between these roads lies the Graham Road, doubtlessly named for an early settler….”

The author, now Hope Cooper, is widely known today as the director of the National Steeplechase Museum in Camden. Earlier in her career, she worked with the Camden District Heritage Foundation, which surveyed the county area to document its early settlement.