City Directories and History: 1908 – Laura Biggar (Biggar’s Boarding House), Mr. Julian Weinburg (Jeweler – Boarder), 1917 – Margaret Kimbrell, 1920 – Mrs. M.S. Kimbrell, W.H. Whisonant, M.A. Whisonant, 1926 – W.G. Duncan (Boarding), 1936 – Crowder S. Camp (Boarding), 1946 – City Police Department, 1963 – Same
The old Kimbrell’s Boarding house was razed to make room for the third location of the newest Fire and Police Departments in Rock Hill. Originally, the fire dept., had been located along the railroad on what was then, North Trade Street. It was moved later to the RH City Hall building on Hampton Street.
“Opposite Mrs. Kimbrell’s house stood the residence lot of the Rev. J. Spratt White. The house itself was two stories in height, with a porch across the front, supported by square columns. There was a large and beautiful boxwood garden in the front yard of this house. Also on the lot were Mr. White’s little study, with elaborate trim work, and a windmill, which made it possible for the Whites to have running water in the house itself. This site was later occupied by the A. & P. store and the A. & P. parking lot.” [Robbins – White Tour History]
East White Street was one of the areas of downtown Rock Hill that began developing as a mixed residential and commercial area shortly after the Civil War. At the turn of the century it remained a strong residential area but by the mid 20th century had changed to an extended arm of the Rock Hill municipal complex featuring the police and fire department buildings.
Early Officers of the Hook and Ladder Company were: Capt. E. A. Hutchinson, Capt. Iredell Jones, W. M. McCully, M. D. Steele, H. H. McCosh, Chas. E. Cobb, S. G. Keesler, J. H. Witherspoon (surgeon).
The Herald reported on June 4, 1902 – That an order has been place for shirts, caps and belts for the colored fire dept. and expected delivery before June 16th.
The Rock Hill Record reported on Sept. 5, 1907 – “Mr. Julian Weinburg of Camden, S.C., inspector of watches on the Rock Hill Div. of the Southern Railroad, will shortly move to this city and will open an office on Railroad Avenue in the room now occupied by the shooting gallery.”
The Rock Hill Herald reported in Oct. 1968 in an article about a fire exercise at #127 Johnston Street, reported on the hiring of the first two African American fireman. They were Larry G. Davis of Flint Hill St., and Ernest H. Settles of Washington Ct. Both are graduates of Emmett Scott High School. Davis served in the Marine Corp., and is a former employee of the Aragon Mill and Rhea-Warner Clothing. Settles was previously employed by the Rock Hill Finishing and Printing Company. Fire Chief E.W. Cole reported that the history of the Fire Dept. shows that in 1880 the RH Hook and Ladder Co., a city volunteer fire dept., voted to organize a volunteer negro company of thirty men.
Also see the THREAD LINKS below for additional information on the Kimbrell’s Boarding House which was part of the lot used to build the Fire Department.
At the time of the Sanborn Survey in 1905, this property was used as a local boarding house.
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GALLERY OF POLICE CHIEFS – Courtesy of the Aiton Collection
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