City Directories and History: The origins of 24 King St. are elusive because of incomplete records. The earliest documented owner of the house, Major John L. Smith, appears in the records of the Charleston County Register of Mesne Conveyances as a seller of the house only in 1853, but no records exist reflecting his purchase of the house. A map of 1850 Charleston, though, establishes the existence of a house on the site at least by that date.
Adding to the uncertainty is that a consistent pattern of house numbering was only devised in the 19th century, and early references to house numbers can be hopelessly confusing. Changes in street numbers were common throughout the 19th century, and even street names changed on a regular basis. For instance, in property tax records from the 1850s and 1870s, before lot subdivisions to the south required an adjustment in the street numbering, 24 King St. was known as 22 King St.
Fortunately, because of an early build-out date on lower King St. and based on a few nearby houses whose occupants bridged the period in question, one can assume with some degree of certainty that the numbering of lower King St. changed only once and that references to a house at 22 King St. from the earliest records do, indeed, refer to a house which at least stood in the same location as current 24 King St.
Most of the defining architectural features of the house (i.e., windows, doors, and piazzas) have been removed and replaced at least once, rendering them unhelpful in dating the house. Other features were added to the house over time. For example, the early 19th century ironwork on the front of the house was added in the late 19th century when it was removed from a bank located at 56 Broad St. Nevertheless, the construction of a Charleston single house, fronting directly on the street, with simple wooden siding is at least consistent with what one would expect of construction during the Federal period.
Assuming that the house at 24 King St. was referred to as 22 King St. before the 1850s, it would appear that the house was among many on lower King St. used as rental properties with most occupants staying only very brief periods. Although the house was originally much smaller than it is today, it was apparently a fine dwelling; early residents included solid middle class merchants and professionals.
The earliest reference to the house occurs in 1806. In both 1806 and 1807, the Charleston City Directory refers to Custom House store keeper Henry Bennett residing at 22 King St. His stay was brief, and, by 1809, vendue master (auctioneer) Robert Eason lived at the house.
No reference to the house could be found in the 1813 directory (a common problem with rental housing), but in 1819, lawyer Jacob Axon, Jr. (1794-1843) lived in the house with his widowed mother, Elizabeth. Mr. Axon was the first of several notable men to occupy the house. Despite being a man of few means and little education, he was admitted to the bar on May 3, 1817, and, during his successful career, he served as City Attorney (1826-?), Statehouse representative (1826-?), and City Recorder (1836-1842).
The house was again omitted from the 1822 directory, but at least between 1825 and 1829, widow Agnes Smith occupied the house. In earlier directories, she had been identified as a plantress, but other information about her could not be located.
Starting at least by 1835, Hugh P. Dawes was living at 22 King St. Mr. Dawes was a highly successful factor and partner in a Charleston auction house for many years. When the federal government decided to construct a new custom house in Charleston, he was made a commissioner of the building which was to be built at 200 East Bay St. From among the leaders of the project, Mr. Dawes was appointed superintendent of the building, and he was sent to Washington, D.C. in March of 1850 to present the plans which had been drawn by noted architect Edward Jones to the Secretary of the Treasury for final approval. In a stroke of bad luck, Mr. Dawes came down with a sore throat and, two days later on March 21, 1850, died in Washington. According to an obituary which appeared in the Charleston paper, the care of those persons tending to him had actually hastened his demise. No further details were reported about the circumstances of his death, but, adding insult to injury, the plans borne by Mr. Dawes were rejected by the federal government in favor of a design submitted by Ammi B. Young.
Oddly, Mr. Dawes had executed a will only a few days earlier before leaving on his trip. When his executor submitted an inventory of his estate on August 28, 1850, the list of belongings included several items of furniture and personal goods at a “house in (sic) King St.” Unfortunately, no more specific reference was given to that house.
If, indeed, the house was built as rental property, determining its builder becomes that much more difficult. One leading architectural historian has stated his belief that the house was constructed by John Laurens North. John North, the son of Edward North and Sarah Baker North, was born in Philadelphia on September 30, 1782. What connection the North family might have had with Philadelphia is unknown; the Norths had previously lived in the Eutaw community in upper Berkeley County. However, in approximately 1781, Mrs. North had been sent to Philadelphia “for some cause now unknown,” and John was born during that sojourn. Regardless of the motive behind the move north, by 1803, John L. North had returned to South Carolina with his brother Richard and had located in Charleston, South Carolina where they were living at 15 Church St. In 1805, John North was admitted to practice law.
There is some documentary evidence that the house might have been connected with John North. When land is sold, the deeds describe the metes and bounds of the property being sold by reference to those properties surrounding it. In an 1839 conveyance of the property to the immediate north (currently the location of 9 Ladson St.), the land sold was described as abutting land “formerly of Elizabeth Elliott” to the south. Elizabeth Elliott was John North’s grandmother-in-law.
On December 31, 1805, John North had married Eliza Elliott Drayton in Charleston. Her maternal grandmother was Elizabeth Elliott, from whom she might have received the King St. property. But, it was her father’s side of the family which provided ties to Charleston society. Eliza was the daughter of General Glenn Drayton (1752-1796) and Elizabeth Elliott Drayton. Her paternal grandfather was John Drayton (1713-1779), the richest man in South Carolina and certainly one of the most powerful political figures of the Colonial era; it was John Drayton who had built Drayton Hall on the Ashley River in 1740. Sadly, while Eliza could at least claim a notable pedigree, the financial impact of her family’s bloodline was probably blunted by being the third child of a third child in a time of primogeniture. Still, the couple was certainly not without means, and, if the land on King St. passed into Eliza North’s hands, the construction of a rental property by such a young, newly married couple would not be suspect.
If the Norths were owners of the property, then another fact confirming an early construction date is that in 1807, shortly after their marriage, the couple moved to the Pendleton District in current Anderson County. There, they settled at Rusticello farm, a plantation which might charitably be described as a glorified log cabin according to much later photographs. Nevertheless, the farm appears to have been a financial success. Upon the death of Mr. North in 1848, he was buried at the Episcopal Church in Pendleton, and his entire estate was left to his wife including 32 slaves.
The first documented owner of the house is Maj. John L. Smith, an officer in the United States Corps of Engineers. The deed by which he sold the house to its next owner, unfortunately, does not name the individual from whom the house had been bought, and the Charleston County real estate records do not include any references to a sale of property to Maj. Smith.
John and Eliza North had no children of their own, but, they were responsible for raising the only child of John’s sister. That niece, Sarah North Smith, married William Cuttino Smith (a cousin), and had several children including John Laurens North Smith (1832-1862). One might easily imagine that Maj. John L. Smith was that grandnephew of John Laurens North, and that he had received the property from the Norths. Unfortunately, that remains only educated speculation absent the discovery of a clearer chain of title.
The earliest physical description of the house comes from this period; the house was referred to as a two story wooden structure in the municipal tax records during Maj. Smith’s ownership and was valued at $3000. In addition, in the 1850 Bird’s Eye View map of Charleston, published in 1851, the house is shown without much detail as a two story house standing at the current location.
Maj. Smith sold the house to William Wragg Smith on April 18, 1853 for $3900 by a deed which referred to a “two story dwelling house and outbuildings thereon of wood.”
Mr. Smith had lived at 11 Legare St. earlier, but in the 1855 city directory, he was listed as an Ashley River planter residing at 22 King St. He remained as the sole occupant of the house until at least 1872. There was no mention of Mr. Smith at the address in the directories for 1874 and 1875, the year he died while in New York.
Little has been written about Mr. Smith. Like Mrs. North, he was born into a very prominent family, the son of William Loughton Smith, one time United States Congressman for South Carolina and ambassador to Portugal, and Elizabeth Wragg, a direct descendent of the wealthy landowner Joseph Wragg, for whom Wraggborough is named. In one source, Mr. Smith was described as gentleman of education and culture who contributed to the knowledge of Lowcountry botany.
Although Mr. Smith was perhaps the first owner/occupant of the house, he apparently did not see the need to modify the building to accommodate him. In 1871-1875, the City’s tax records still listed a two story wooden house with a value of $1400 and land value of $800.
Mr. Smith died in New York on March 14, 1875 without children, and his executrix (who appears to have been his ex-wife), Mary F. Hedley, on September 22, 1875, brought suit against several members of the Smith family seeking the sale of certain real estate including Mr. Smith’s house on King St. The case was heard in June 1876, and the sheriff was ordered to sell the property at public auction. The house was sold for $1675 on October 2, 1876 to Patrick O’Donnell.
Mr. O’Donnell was a very successful and prolific contractor whose projects include 14 Lamboll St., 8 Legare St., 10 Legare St., and St. Luke’s Episcopal (now the New Tabernacle Fourth Baptist Church at 22 Elizabeth St.). Of course, his most famous project was his eponymous house at 21 King St.
It seems unlikely that Mr. O’Connell occupied the house; rather, he probably returned the house to its original rental purposes. Throughout this period, Mr. O’Donnell appears to have been living across the street at 19 King St.
Following the death of Mr. O’Donnell in 1882, his executor sold the house to Isaac Mazyck for $2800 on July 12, 1887. The sharp run-up in price is some suggestion that the Victorian modifications to the house, including the enclosure of the piazza, addition of the third floor, and installation of two-over-two sashes took place during Mr. O’Donnell’s ownership. Mr. O’Donnell’s position as a contractor certainly reinforces that suspicion.
The 1888 Sanborn Insurance Map for King St. shows that the house bought by Isaac Mazyck had assumed its current configuration with a three story main body and a two story rear section. In addition, the map shows the two-story piazzas running the full length of the house. In the rear of the house was a small one story building marked 27 ½ of unknown purpose. The main house, by that time, had been renumbered and was clearly referred to as 24 King St.
One might suspect that the purchase of 24 King St. was underwritten by Isaac’s father, William St. Julian Mazyck, since Isaac, a 22 year old clerk, would unlikely have been able to afford the house. In addition, despite having been purchased in the name of Isaac, the house was actually used as the home of his parents and siblings. The Mazyck family moved to the house from around the corner at 3 Smith’s Lane (now Lamboll St.) by 1888 when the house was home to planter William St. Julian Mazyck; his wife, Anne Wyche Taylor Mazyck; and his children, Eliza T. Mazyck, Isaac Mazyck, and William Mazyck. Another son, civil engineer St. Julian Mazyck, was listed as living at 28 King St., although that reference might have been an error in the directory.
William St. J. Mazyck, born March 17, 1827, was a fifth generation removed from Isaac Mazyck, an early and important Huguenot founder of the colony. As a young man, he had joined his father’s business Mazyck & Son, cotton and rice factors. However, after the Civil War, he had begun rice cultivation on Hagley Plantation in Georgetown, an pursuit he continued until 1887. He sold Hagley Plantation to the Atlantic Coast Lumber Co. in 1901, and died shortly thereafter on December 20, 1901, still a resident of 24 King St.
On September 25, 1891, Isaac Mazyck, who for many years had served as a bookkeeper for the First National Bank, conveyed a one-half interest in the house to his brother William, an officer with the Equitable Fire Insurance Co. for $5500. William had moved to 56 Montague St. with his wife Henrietta and family, and Isaac soon left 24 King St. with Julia Rose Rhett Mazyck (1854-1933) whom he married in 1893, to move to 161 Tradd St. The rest of the family, William St. J., Ann, civil engineer St. Julian, and Eliza T. Mazyck (1850-1924) all stayed on at 24 King St.
Starting in 1913, the Mazycks began an unusual housing arrangement with the arrival of Leon S. and Anna Brux who moved to 24 King St. from 6 Water St. Mr. Brux owned H.B. Brux Co., his family’s stationary and tinware shop at 185 East Bay St. While renting portions of large houses to other families was not at all odd, the relationship of these families was atypical. When Isaac Mazyck died on January 29, 1915, he left his interest in the house to his wife, Julia. On March 24, 1915, Julia Mazyck and William Mazyck sold the house to Mrs. Anna Brux. Again, the sale to a family which had been renting a house is not especially noteworthy, but, despite having sold the house, the Mazycks remained in the house in a role reversal. Ann Mazyck died on May 9, 1916, still living at 24 King St. Her children Eliza and St. Julian remained at 24 King St. until at least 1919.
The departure of the Mazycks did not end the use of the house for rental income. At least by 1927, Mrs. Eloise Fechtig was renting part of the house and would stay on until at least 1934. In 1938, the apartment was rented to Ball Supply Company (a hardware store located at 377 King St.) president Isaac and Jamie Ball. Other parts of the property were also put to utilitarian purposes; during the early 20th century Mr. Brux kept a draft horse which he used for making deliveries for his business on the property, suggesting that one of the small buildings which had been shown on the Sanborn maps might have been a simple stable.
Anna Brux died on December 16, 1943 and was buried at Magnolia Cemetery, leaving her husband Leon S. Brux and her son, Leon Brux, Jr. as her heirs. Widower Leon Brux, Sr., former city council alderman (1907-1911), director of the Miners & Merchants Bank, and County Health Department inspector died not long after on June 1, 1944. Longtime Cameron & Barkley employee Leon Sebastian Brux, Jr. (1913-1959) inherited the house from his father and conveyed it to his wife, Helen Barbot Brux, on November 9, 1948.
Helen Barbot de Brux (1915-1998), a librarian at Ashley Hall, resumed use of her husband’s family’s traditional name after her husband’s death on May 5, 1959. She continued renting an apartment at the house. Most renters appear to have been short term occupants of the apartment, but a few stayed longer. Information in City Directories reveals that renters included: widow Mrs. Melissa W. Dunn (1950-1951), medical technician Mrs. Eleanor R. Black (1958-1961); IRS auditor Mrs. Elizabeth D. Raley (1968-1969); MUSC office worker Elizabeth H. Mills (1970-1972); Banker’s Trust employee J.B. Drake, Jr. and his wife, elementary school teacher Sally Drake (1975); Citadel instructor Lee P. and Ruby Hutchinson (1976-1992); Henry Hux and Karen Sherrille (1994); C. Winsor (1996); and Robert Thornhill (1997). In addition to the renters, her son, Leon de Brux, III and his family returned to the house in 1989.
During the de Bruxes’ ownership, the house continued to evolve, as Mrs. de Brux was permitted to enclose a portion of the rear porch by the Charleston Board of Architectural Review in April 1976. Also, at some point during the 20th century, two small storage buildings were erected at the rear of the property according to mid-century Sanborn maps.
Helen de Brux died on February 21, 1998, and on February 3, 1999, her heirs Anna Gray de Brux Prior; Leon B. de Brux, III; Joseph Cart de Brux; and Sumter Francis de Brux, sold the house to David D. and Ann F. Silliman for $675,000. It was during their ownership that the house was largely returned to a 19th century appearance. In the summer of 1999, with the assistance of Mr. Randolph Martz, Charleston’s premiere classical architect, the two-over-two windows were replaced with nine-over-nine sashes. In addition, and more importantly, the second floor piazza was reopened. When the piazza was restored, traditional columns replaced the fluted columns on the first floor and an Eastlake style hood was removed from the front door. Well-regarded contractor specializing in historic properties, Happy Finucan, performed much of the work on the house and even occupied the home himself briefly in 2000.
The current owners, Buck Investments, Limited Partnership and Suzanne Buck acquired the house from the Sillimans on June 15, 2001 for $1,637,500. Ms. Buck became an owner of 5% upon paying her proportionate share of the cost.
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 Alston Deas, The Early Ironwork of Charleston, pages 80-81 (1941).
 John Belton O’Neall, Biographical Sketches of the Bench and Bar of South Carolina, Vol. 1, page 338 (1859).
 In 1840, Samuel Corrie, a wheelwright, was listed in the city directory as an occupant of 22 King St., but that might have been an error. That same year, Mr. Dawes was listed as residing on King St., but no house number was given. It is possible that the reference to Mr. Corrie was meant to refer to King St. Road, which was then the name used to refer to upper King St., a more likely location for a blue collar worker.
 Charleston Courier, March 23, 1850 at page 2, col. 3.
 Charleston Courier, March 26, 1850 at page 2, col. 6.
 Beatrice St. J. Ravenel, Architects of Charleston, page 209 (1945).
 Robert Stockton, Information for Guides of Historic Charleston, South Carolina, page 285 (1984).
 The contents of a family Bible have been transcribed and are available for review at .
 Richard W. Simpson, History of Old Pendleton District with a Genealogy of the Leading Families of the District, page 73 (1978).
 Charleston City Directory of 1803.
 John Belton O’Neall, Biographical Sketches of the Bench and Bar of South Carolina, vol. 2, page 602 (1859).
 Charleston County Deed A11, page 185.
 Emily H. Taylor, “The Draytons of South Carolina and Philadelphia” in Publications of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Vol. VIII, No. 1 at pages 9-10 (March 1921).
 Virginia Alexander et al., Pendleton District and Anderson County, S.C. Wills, Estates, Inventories, Tax Returns and Census Records, page 272 (1980).
 John L. Smith was killed during the Battle of Seven Pines in Virginia on May 31, 1862.
 Charleston County Deed A13, page 33.
 Mr. Smith was listed as the owner and occupant of the house in the Charleston census of 1861, and he was listed at the house in the directories of 1867, 1869, and 1872.
 Henry A.M. Smith, “The Baronies of South Carolina” in South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 9 at page 87 (1910).
 The precipitous decline in the value of the house from the 1850s might be ascribed to the intervening War, and not to any real change to the house.
 Henry A.M. Smith, “The Baronies of South Carolina” in South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 9 at page 87 (1910); Charleston County Probate Records, Book P, page 133.
 Charleston County Deed G16, page 135.
 Charleston News & Courier, April 2, 1882 at page 4, col. 2; Jonathan Poston, The Buildings of Charleston at pages 227, 237, 241, 242 (1997).
 As an aside, it should be noted that much of what is reported about Patrick O’Donnell and his Italianate showpiece at 21 King St. has no basis in fact. It is a popular, but unfounded, story that he built the house to win the fickle heart of a finance and squandered his money on the house. In fact, he only began the house in 1857 at which point he was already 50 years old. While Mr. O’Donnell worked on the house in fits and did not complete it until about 1865, the intercession of the Civil War should earn him some slack. The house did not take 20 years to build, as some wags report, and its construction did not bankrupt Mr. O’Donnell. In fact, he died with what the newspaper described as a “fortune” of about $10,000. The house is not without some unusual history, though. After completion, the house was never rented or occupied as a residence during Mr. O’Donnell’s remaining 15 years despite the fact that he lived next door at 19 King St. Charleston News & Courier, April 2, 1882 at page 4, col. 2.
 Charleston County Deed K20, page 621.
 The numbering of the outbuilding is perhaps somehow connected to the fact that 24 King St. originally backed up to 27 Meeting St.
 Charleston News & Courier, December 20, 1901, at page 10, col. 2.
 Suzanne Cameron Linder, Historical Atlas o the Rice Plantations of Georgetown County and the Santee River, at page 110 (2001).
 Charleston News & Courier, September 1, 1933, at page 9, col. 8.
 Charleston County Deed H21, page 187.
 Barnwell Rhett Heyward, “The Descendants of Col. William Rhett, of South Carolina” in South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 4, at page 122 (1903).
 Charleston County Deed H26, page 302.
 Betty Brenner, The Old Codgers’ Charleston Address Book 1900-1999, at ___ (2002).
 Charleston News & Courier, December 17, 1943, at page 2, col. 3.
 Charleston News & Courier, June 1, 1944, at page 2, col. 5.
 Charleston News & Courier, May 6, 1959, at page 13A, col. 4.
 Charleston County Deed S49, page 575.
 City of Charleston, Board of Architectural Review, File on 24 King St.
 Charleston County Deed O319, page 678.
 City of Charleston, Board of Architectural Review, File on 24 King St.
 Charleston County Deed K374, page 577.
[Researched and written by Kevin Eberle, 2003]
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