City Directories and History: This is a collection of random papers digitized on behalf of the Fairfield County Museum in 2015, pertaining to the Kennedy Store. This
large store, not to be confused with the Durham’s store, was on the corner of East Main and Church Streets in the heart of what was then a prosperous Blackstock Community. (Additional information contributed from numerous other R&R contributors.)
The Rock Hill Record reported on March 22, 1909 – “A fire at Blackstock on Friday (March 19), it destroyed the store room owned by Mrs. N.E. Faulkner, and the store and stock of goods of W.S. Douglas, all of which were totally destroyed. The room occupied by the Citizens Bank was badly damaged with the roof removed to fight the fire. The store occupied by the Kennedy Mercantile Co., caught fire, but heroic work of the bucket brigade extinguished the flames. It is believed the fire broke out in the Faulkner store with was vacant.”
Additional links: Durham’s Store
Reminiscences of Blackstock, S. C.
Near if not on the very spot where the depot now stands was a wood shop run by Joe Fullerton, in which was made and repaired spinning wheels. I remember visiting it in 1849 with my mother, and how wonderful it appeared to me. Whatever became of Fullerton, or his factory I don’t remember.
The land in and around Blackstock formerly belonged to J. Walker, and was sold by him to David Hemphill, father of the late Mrs. Margaret Gaston. In 1852 it was sold by the Hemphills to George Hooper and by Hooper to Thomas Boulware. In 1849 and ’50 the railroad was graded through this place. The contract for the part running through Blackstock was given Dr. J. L. Douglas, who did the work by slave labor from his own plantation under Hugh Bruce as overseer. The road was completed to Blackstock about the first of July, 1851. When the first passenger train ran that far the whole country for miles gathered around it for a general inspection. When one old lady leading a small boy by the hand got opposite the engine the engineer gave two loud blows of the whistle. The boy jerked loose from the old lady and made for the tall timbers. She followed calling, ‘stop John, stop John’. The crowd took up the call, ‘stop, John’, and for a while all interest was directed to the race. John was never overtaken. Shortly after the completion of the railroad to this place DeVaga and DeGraffenreid of Chester opened a store in a wooden building where the Durham Mercantile Company is now doing business. D. Fant ran the business for them. In about one year DeVaga and DeGraffenreid sold out to D. Fant and Henry Pratt, who did business under the name of Fant and Pratt.
George Hooper who owned all the land continuous to the railroad station opened up a barroom, not far from Fant and Pratt’s store. This was the occasion of much row-dying and fighting, as drunk men have always been the same. On the elevation near where Mr. Sigmon’s barn is located, Hiram Steele built and ran a carriage factory. He built up a large business. Afterwards he moved it to the John Mackorel place. In 1856 George Hooper sold out all his real estate. He sold it to T. M. Boulware who moved to Blackstock and made his home there. Soon after Fant and Pratt closed out their store and Hiram Steele moved his carriage factory. The only thing left of the place was the railroad depot and Boulware’s home and it continued thus until after the Civil War. Up to this time there was neither church or school in the place. Hiram Steele being a devout Methodist had the circuit riders of that day and time preach once a week at his factory, generally on Wednesday evening.
A. C. Elder ran a large high school at the Jack Morrison place. Mr. Steele organized a lodge of the Sons of Temperance, which somewhat counteracted the influence of Hooper’s barroom. One young man who was fond of imbibing determined to change his manner of life, joined one night, the next morning in relating his experience to a fried, remarked, Sam I saw the grandest sight of my life last night, fifty grown men sitting in a row with white gloves and aprons on, and all sober.’ The war came on and the lodge was broken up. I had intended when I commenced this to give an account of some of the people that lived around in the early part of the nineteenth century whose names are forgotten or unheard of by the present generation, but find it will take up too much of your space. (Signed) S. B. Lathan
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