City Directories and History: Wyoming – An article featured in the Evening Herald Newspaper by Elizabeth Reed
Few old homes in this section are as interesting as “Wyoming”, ancestral home of the Pride family, located about 10 miles from Rock Hill, just off the Rock Hill-Lancaster highway.
The majestic home situated on a natural rise, after a century of storms and stresses, still appeals to the visitor.
In those days before the War Between The States, when the clouds of war were mere flecks of haze on the horizon, P.L.J. [Frederick Lafayette Jones Price], Pride was building for (a) time when he erected the mansion that somehow over the years came to be known as “Wyoming.”
With slave labor the huge red bricks that form the four stately chimneys were fashioned. With slave labor the heavy beams and timbers that form the foundation and framework were hewn. With slave labor the board were sawed and placed.
But the most skilled artisans of the area were called in for the long hard hours of labor that went into the delicate and abundant hand carving on the façade of the house, on the mantles, on the windows and elsewhere in the home.
The graceful fan-shaped panels are repeated in the front entrance, the gables, in the hall and in the openings between the main downstairs rooms. The delicate fan shaped carvings is seen on the eight mantels that are to be found in the rooms, both upstairs and downstairs.
F.L. J. Pride was the great grand-father of William Pride, Allen and John Simpson. Their mother, Mrs. W. R. Simpson, known of the early history, but when she died a great deal of the knowledge of the house and its early days passed always.
The builder of the home was the grandfather of the late Mrs. E.E. Poag who lived in the home for a short period when a small child. Mrs. Mary McFadden is also a descendant of the Pride family.
Ernest G. Crosby at Fort Lawn says that his grandfather bought the place soon after the death of Mr. Pride. He lived there, and his children after him, for 50 or 60 years. In the lifetime of W. B. Crosby, father of Ernest G. the long lane leading to the house was bordered with locust on the one side and mimosas on the other. He was heard that the flower garden was 12 acres in size. [Both Mr. White and I each feel this was a misprint and the gardens were 1.2 acres.]
Mr. Crosby says that all the lumber for the house was hauled by wagon from the lower part of the state. The stone steps (tremendous ones) were hewn by the same workmen who constructed the canal at Landsford. [Hauling timbers by wagon from the Low-Country was virtually impossible at that early data.]
Mr. Crosby has heard that before the big house was built the Pride family lived 500 yards back of the present home. Early members of the family were buried on a bluff above Green’s Creek.
The late Dr. G. W. Hill, father of Mrs. P. A. Thomas of Rock Hill boarded with the Crosby family when he first set up his practice of medicine.
Mr. and Mrs. T. L. Simpson, present owners of the house, says that on a clear night the lights of Rock Hill, Lancaster, Chester, Charlotte and of many smaller centers can be clearly seen from the home. With an abundance of building sites, Col. Pride would pick the best.
“Wyoming” was planned along traditional Colonial lines with wide hall bisecting the house squarely. Two tremendous rooms each with its own large fireplaces, are to be found on either side of the hall with smaller shed rooms at the back of the house. Upstairs the same general floor plan is seen and on the third floor are two dome-shaped plastered rooms with a wide hall.
Only on the third floor were any closets or storage space allowed. There, where the ceiling sloped to less than a man’s height, storage closet were enclosed.
The handmade brick chimneys show definite weathering on the east side of the house. Evidence that inferior clay might have been used in the chimneys on this side of the house is shown by the fact that deep pits on bricks go up a distance on the chimney and then stop. Everything at “Wyoming” is tremendous: just as the proportions are larger than average at Springstein. The front door is at least one third larger and heavier than any modern door. Inside the doors and windows are much heavier and larger than those built today.
At the base of each window plate is delicate hand carving. Plaster of Paris in a hand molded design forms the molding in the downstairs rooms.
Due to space limitations several paragraphs of this article were eliminated.
R&R NOTES and COMMENTS BY WBF: Wm. B. White, Jr., has written, “As nearly as can be determined, Wyoming was erected in 1813-14. We know that the eldest child of F. L. T. Pride was born in the house in the year 1814.” He goes on to say in a recent letter, “the Prides and Joneses were of English stock and never lived in Pennsylvania.” Parts of the eliminated article had suggested the family had migrated from the state.
In March of 1939, my cousin Mr. Frank Guess, a young reporter for The Evening Herald, took an early interest in the house. He stated, “The Low-Country doesn’t have a monopoly on fine Colonial homes. Some admirable examples of the older Southern architecture exist among the rock-studded clay hills of York and Chester counties… One of the finest of the early homes in this section is Wyoming.” I too agree that it is one of the finest standing homes that remain from that period. However, I find it highly doubtful that he, the owner, owned or had access to sufficiently trained slaves to have completed any of the necessary work for this impressive dwelling. As Mr. White has apply stated, “the most outstanding feature of Wyoming was those four magnificent brick chimneys, the finest I have ever seen… masterpieces of the brick mason’s art.”
These magnificent houses were not built by slaves from the farm but rather well trained masons who were versed in building chimneys of massive proportions. Overall, this dwelling is a fine example of artisans of the first class, expressing their best efforts on one of the region’s finest early 19th century dwellings. Mrs. Reed has clearly and correctly implied, the home was far larger than many of the Upcountry dwellings of the period. The double chimneys, large plastered rooms, double Greek revival porches, fan light windows, and more make this an extremely fine piece of craftsmanship. However, by no means was it alone. Hundreds of equally prestigious dwellings dotted the Upcountry prior to the Civil War. It is through neglect and misunderstanding of their merit, that 20th century Carolinians have allowed their demise.
R&R’s data collected from the early 19th century from York and Chester counties, shows there was a mechanic, a 19th century term for house framer, living on the Catawba River in 1810. There were also three brick manufacturers, forty-three carpenters, twelve masons, and dozens of milling operations capable of producing the lumber and finished needs of this highly prized piece of architecture. As a young man, I had the pleasure of touring the house but I would now relish the opportunity to re-visit the home with an eye towards examining its’ hewn frame, foundations, windows, and crawl spaces. The house has many tales to tell and I would love to explore them fully. I question whether the dwelling was all built in 1813-14 or were there subsequent additions and alterations?
R&R deeply appreciates the input from: Frank Guess, Elizabeth Reed, William B. White, and Paul Gettys. They too appreciate the refinement of Wyoming as do so many but unfortunately in 2017, the house is in very poor condition.
CADWALLADER JONES PRIDE of Wyoming Plantation, Chester District, S. C., was born Aug. 15, 1828, the son of Frederick Lafayette Jones Pride and wife, Amaryllis Sitgreaves. It must be noted here that both F. L. J. Pride and his son Cadwallader Jones Pride were born Joneses. They assumed the name Pride at the request of their uncle, Halcott Briggs Pride, who died childless. Wishing for the name to live on, he requested his Jones relatives to make Pride their surname, in return for which kindness he promised to will them his estate at death.
As mentioned above, the Prides, Greens, Davies, and Sitgreaveses all moved from Halifax, N. C., to the Catawba River region in 1813. The Greens built Rose Hill, and F. L. T. Pride built Wyoming on the land adjoining Rose Hill on the east. As nearly as can be determined, Wyoming was erected in 1813-14. We know that the eldest child of F. L. T. Pride was born in the house in the year 1814. The majestic old house still stands today (2003) and is still in a remarkably good state of preservation. The property is no longer in family hands.
Issue of F. L. J. Pride and wife, Amaryllis Sitgreaves:
I. Martha Cobb Pride. Born at Wyoming in April, 1814. She married Dr. Thomas Hunt of New Orleans.
II. Halcott Jones Pride. Born Apr. 17, 1817, at Wyoming. He married Julia Beckham in 1859 and died in 1891, leaving issue:
A. Halcott Pride.
B. Amaryllis Pride. She married Edgar E. Poag of Rock Hill, S. C. Issue:
1. Halcott Poag.
2. Edgar E. Poag, Jr.
III. John Sitgreaves Pride, M. D. He married Phoebe McClure of Chester in 1859 and died in 1866, leaving one son, who died early.
IV. Cadwallader Jones Pride. Born Aug. 15, 1828, at Wyoming. Died Jan. 5, 1904, at Rock Hill, S. C. He was United States Commissioner at Rock Hill for twenty-eight years, Supervisor of the Federal Census of 1890 for York County, and postmaster at Rock Hill (1892-1896 and 1900-1904). Interestingly enough, E. E. Poag was postmaster at Rock Hill for two terms (1896-1900 and 1904-1916).
On Apr. 24, 1851, he was married to his cousin Amelia Sitgreaves, daughter of Col. John S. Sitgreaves, Jr. She was born on Jan. 1, 1829, and died at Rock Hill on Oct. 27, 1895. Her husband, Colonel Pride, died on Jan. 5, 1904. Issue:
A. Frederick J. Pride. Died unmarried.
B. John Sitgreaves Pride.
C. Allen deSaussure Pride.
D. Cadwallader J. Pride, Jr. Married on July 5, 1899, to Kate C. Rowley of Greenville, S. C.
E. Arthur Love Pride. Married Etta Gaines in April, 1892. Died Oct., 1892.
F. Junius Atmore Pride. Married Nov. 11, 1893, to Martha Lillard.
G. Anna Ross Pride. Born Aug. 3, 1871. Died Feb. 4, 1944. Married on Apr. 14, 1896, to William Robinson Simpson, D.D.S. Born June 14, 1868. Died Oct. 3, 1924.
N.B.: F. L. J. Pride had these siblings: Halcott J. Pride, Cadwallader J. Pride, and Lucy Pride Jones, who married Maj. Allen Jones Green.
Judge John S. Sitgreaves, member of the Continental Congress and Federal District Judge of North Carolina, died in Halifax in 1800. He married Martha, widow of James W. Green and daughter of Gen. Allen Jones. Issue:
I. Col. John Samuel Sitgreaves, Jr. Born May 1, 1799. Died in November, 1868, at Asheland, the Pride home near Rock Hill, S. C. He was twice married: first to Anna Moore Love, born 1797 and died in 1849; and second to Elizabeth J. Suber. Issue by first wife:
A. John Sitgreaves. Born c.1820. Died s.p.
B. Amelia Love Sitgreaves. Born Jan. 1, 1829. Died Oct. 27, 1895. Married Col. Cadwallader J. Pride of Rock Hill. They were first cousins.
C. Frederick A. Sitgreaves. Born c.1833. Married Martha (―Mattie‖) White. Issue:
1. Mary E. Sitgreaves. Married Isaac Joseph McFadden. Issue:
a. Frederick Sitgreaves McFadden of Rock Hill, S. C.
D. Osceola Sitgreaves. Born c.1834-35. Married in 1854 to Edmonia Broyles. Issue:
1. Edwin Sitgreaves. Married in 1884 to Centilla Martin. Born 1857. Issue:
a. Anna Love Sitgreaves. Born Laurens, S. C. Married Hon. Edgar Allan Brown, president of the Senate of South Carolina. He was a native of Barnwell, S. C.
E. Junius Alexander Sitgreaves. Born c.1837. Married Beverly Rudd.
II. Amaryllis Sitgreaves of North Carolina. Married Col. Frederick Lafayette Jones Pride, who built Wyoming in Chester District, S. C., in 1813.
Information courtesy of the Along the Land’s Ford Road, Vol. II, Wm. B. White, Jr. – 2008
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