City Directories and History: “Staggers, William of “Murray’s Ferry” plantation. Born 1780 (S.C.) ; married Susan A. Gamble (1809-Mar. 12, 1838) ; died Aug., 1862. Church: Presbyterian. Slaves: 168 (Williamsburg District).”
The Last Foray, C. Gaston Davidson, SC Press – 1971
“Murray’s Ferry is designated as enemy battleground in Governor John Rutledge’s letter of March 24 and 26, 1780, reprinted in SCH&G,“Our Intelligence from below is that the enemy had crossed Murray’s ferry the day before yesterday (abt. 85 miles from hence) on the march hither.” The letter was written from Camden. XVII, No. 4 (October 1916), p. 136: “Gen. Huger purposes sending Caswells to Haly’s Ferry on Pedee in No. Carolina — and Buford’s to Charlotte.”
“The great majority of the inhabitants belonged to one of these three churches. However, the French Huguenots who settled along the Santee belonged to the Church of England although they worshipped for a while in their native tongue. Probably, as early as 1730, these Huguenots had established two Chapels of Ease in the Santee country. One of these was located several miles north of Lenud’s Ferry on the road to Brittons Ferry. Another was established in “Murrays Ole Field” near Murray’s Ferry.16 17The Williamsburg Church in Kingstree had noted extreme growth in the 1770’s due to the influx of recent arrivals from Ireland, and the church was enlarged. Due to the large number of late arrivals, this group had eventually gained control of the church. The Reverend Samuel Kennedy, a native of Ireland, had been sent to the Williamsburg Church in 1783, but his doctrinal teachings were not of the strict Scotch Calvinistic type that the descendants of the early settlers held to. These heretical views so outraged the minority, composed of the Witherspoons, Friersons, Flemings, McBrides, and others of their kin, that they decided they had rather “destroy what their fathers had built and consecrated with many prayers, rather than suffer it to be desecrated by the preachings of one who denied the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Other Episcopalians on the Santee further west worshipped at St. Mark’s, created as a parish separate from the Prince Frederick’s in 1757.”
“Moncks Corner, the county seat of Berkeley County, started as a crossroads community where the road from Charleston to St. Stephen and Murray’s Ferry on the Santee crossed the road from Stony Landing on the Cooper River to the Congarees (now greater Columbia). This community is named for Thomas Monck, about whom very little is known. He was a merchant in Charles Town and married twice: first to Joanna, daughter of the then Lt. Gov. Thomas Broughton; second to Mary, the daughter of former Gov. Sir Nathaniel Johnson. In 1747 he died, leaving as his only heirs Joanna (daughter by his first wife) and Mary, his second wife. Four hundred acres of Mitton Plantation went to the second wife, who sold it to William Keith. The remaining 600 acres went to his daughter Joanna, who married John Dawson in 1760.
John Dawson moved up from Charles Town and lived on the plantation. Shortly thereafter he opened a general store on the comer of his late father-in-law, Thomas Monck’s land. It is said that there was a trading post here as far back as 1738. In 1760 a magazine was established here to facilitate the moving of troops from Charleston to the Cherokee Country.
Simeon Theus is said to have opened the first store here in 1738. Other stores were: Neufville and Anderson (1756), Thomas White and John Dawson (1759), Dawson and Dudley (1763), Dawson and Walter (1765), and Thomas and John Giles (1777). In 1780 Col. Tarleton defeated the American cavalry under General Isaac Huger at Moncks Comer. Various other battles were fought in this vicinity. There were three known taverns in Moncks Comer, the most famous of which was Martin’s Tavern established prior to the Revolution. Another tavern was Doyle’s, which was located on the east side of present Highway 52, at its junction with Highway 17-A. There was a race track here as early as 1749. There may have been a small Methodist or Baptist church here in the early part of the 1800’s. If so, it was located on the east side of Highway 52, between the Berkeley County REA building and a small section of woods, for there is a broken tombstone lying there to the memory of Ellinor McDonnald, the only daughter of William McDonnald who died June 1819. There used to be a monument to one of the Gadsden family in the same place. In 1816 Moncks Comer had a post office. With the building of the Santee Canal and the age of the railroads arriving, Moncks Comer declined to almost nothing. When the Northwestern railroad was built a mile away, the town (or what was left of it) moved near the station.”
Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC
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