City Directories and History: The widespread use of local sawmills was a regular source of lumber, shavings, firewood and building materials in general for many rural communities. The S.C. Artisans Database lists over three dozen antebellum grist and sawmills operating in Laurens County, S.C. However, importantly, James, Lewis and William Powers are all listed on the Manufacturing Census of Laurens County in 1850, all important blacksmiths.
Located northwest of Laurens and four miles from the Greenville County line was a small settlement known as Powers Shop which played an important role as a shipping point for mail and supplies during the Civil War. In the late 1800’s a number of businesses and a cotton gin were established about a mile southeast of Powers Shop, a site nearer the county courthouse. The new community was named Owings in honor of a prominent member of the community who had moved from Duvall’s Crossroad. As the community grew the citizens submitted a petition requesting the establishment of a post office. When notified that there was another community in the state by the name of Owings, the inhabitants decided to use the middle name of Francis Rapley Owings and the postal department accepted this as the designation of the post office. For a number of years the railway station was known as Owings and the post office was Rapley. In time, however, the latter name was dropped and the name Owings was retained.
(Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC)
Post Offices via Elmer Parker’s S.C. Post Office History Book, 1989 states: the Powers Shop PO ran for a short time before the Civil War, 1859 / the Civil War with Lewis Powers as the Postmaster.
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