3324 Gaston Farm Road – Gastons Exit to Brazil
City Directories and History: Historic Gaston farm house and complex, constructed prior to the Civil War. It became the home of William Newton Gaston and his wife, Mary McCullough Baskin – Gaston who raised their children here. Three of their children: Rosa Perry Gaston – Strait, Mrs. Theodore Quantz and Joseph Gaston all moved to Rock Hill and built homes adjoining each other along Oakland Avenue and College Avenue.
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WILLIAM NEWTON AND MARY MCCULLOUGH BASKIN GASTON
William Newton Gaston, son of Joseph A. and Elizabeth Wylie Gaston, was born January 20, 1839 near the banks of Fishing Creek. He spent his boyhood days in the Pleasant Grove Methodist Church community where he attended an academy sufficiently to get a fair education. He was a farmer and tilled the soil until his death, except for the years interrupted by the war.
Designated Lieutenant in Co. A. 6th S.C. Reg. C.S.A., he served with his brother John Porter Gaston. A letter William wrote to his father from Petersburg, Virginia, October 29, 1864, vividly recounts skirmishes with Grant’s army. William also kept a diary of his war experiences. Unfortunately, only the last page has survived, recording his imprisonment off the Virginia coast aboard a prison steamer where he was given three days rations of bacon and hard tack before being disembarked at Newport News. On June 25th and 26th, he recounts that the officer in command of the prison was Col. Bamberg of the 5th Maryland Regiment. On June 28th the North and South Carolina troops were discharged. William arrived home July 3, 1865.
William was soon working the land again and thinking of a stable domestic arrangement after so many years of living in tents and trenches. He married Mary McCullough Baskin, daughter of William Baskin, and kins person to Alexander Hamilton Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States. Mary was a very attractive and refined lady. Born July 29, 1839, she married William on February 13, 1866, in a ceremony performed by the Reverend J.H. Saye at Fishing Creek
Eight children were born to William and Mary: Anna, Lottie Blair who married a Mr. Steel, Rosa Perry who married Dr. W.F. Strait, Elizabeth Wells who married William Pinkney Neely, Ethel Victoria who married a Mr. T. Quantz, Joseph who married Jane Owings, Dr. John Newton who married Mary Patton, and William Wylie who married Susan Annie Hicklin.
William Newton died November 17, 1907. Mary died January 27, 1918 and is buried next to her husband under an obelisk at Pleasant Grove Methodist Church.”
The Record reported on April 13, 1908 – “Haddon Mitchell, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Mitchell of this city, broke his leg. He works at the Steele Mineral Springs Bottling works. He feel from a wagon while making a delivery of a load of crates to Lando. He was taken to the home of Dr. J.N. Gaston for treatment. Later Mr. Woods Steele went down and brought him home in a surrey.”
(Information in part from: Chester County Heritage Book, Vol. I, Edt. by Collins – Knox, Published by the Chester Co Hist. Society – Jostens Printing, 1982)
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