City Directories and History: ca. 1910 – D. E. Finley, 1958 – Clyde-Ora Inn, Clyde B. Smith, Gilbert Lakey, 1966 – Clyde-Ora Inn
GRIST VISITS OLD YORK COUNTY HOMES – (Editor A. M. Grist of the Yorkville Enquirer wrote a column he titled “Just A-Rolling Along the Way in My Green Chevrolet.” This one appeared October 27,1933.)
The Rock Hill Herald reported on Jan. 1, 1910 – “Finley and Miller, is a new law firm with the Hon. D.E. Finely and Hudson Miller, Esq. as partners. Miller had previously been with Hart and Miller and Finley formerly was with Finley and Jennings.”
The Yorkville Enquirer reported on Feb. 20, 1917 that “Contractor W.T. Beamguard is making good progress on the erection of a number of additional houses at at the Cannon Mill. Each house will be painted a different color.
It is some strange bits of information that I run across occasionally and in most unexpected places. As far back as I can remember there was a large frame dwelling some eight or nine rooms and two stories, that stood on the lot now occupied by the Cannon residence on North Main street, next to the Witherspoon property. This house stood right on the street line with a front porch, rather narrow, the length of the front of the building. To the north was a small yard and in it stood a number of cedar trees. Te entrance to the porch was from a gate on the street and steps at the south end of it. This residence at that time was occupied by Rev. Roberts E. Johnson, who was rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal of Yorkville at that time. He died there. And another person I remember who died in that house either before or after the passing of Rev. Johnson, was Miss Sue Edwards a school teacher in Yorkville, who lived with the Johnson family.
After Rev. Johnson died and his family moved out, the house came into the possession of the late John F. Oates, then a merchant here in partnership with the late John J. Hunter. Later the late D. Edward Finley bought the place and resided there for a good many years. Then he tore it down an built a large residence on the lot and from that time on the old house passed out of my ken.
A pivotal house, originally the Finley family home site, the present house is the third to occupy this location. When David E. Finley became a U.S. Congressman, he built a Greek Revival home to replace the house his family had lived in for generations. J. Ross Cannon of the Cannon Mills family (# 105) traded houses with the Finley family and built the present house in 1923. It features Georgian detailing.
Indiana limestone was carved on the site for much of the architectural detailing and for the window surrounds and cartouche over the front entry doors. The fine wainscoting, mantels, crown moldings, stair balustrades and risers, French doors, and surrounds in all the main rooms received seventeen coats of paint. The Italian painters used pumice finish. The house was purchased in 1943 by Clyde B. and Ora Gettys Smith and was restored and operated for more than a decade as the Clyde-Ora Inn. A Dr. Mitchel Star Magnolia tree, one of the oldest and largest of this species in the country, stands in the front garden area to the left of the house. Owner-occupants are Mr. & Mrs. Clyde O. Smith.
This fine home was another of the many dwellings built by Rock Hill architect, Mr. Julian S. Starr (Mr. Starr was a prolific builder – architect who constructed numerous buildings throughout the greater Rock Hill area), in the area for the Finley family in 1911.
[Courtesy of the Yorkville Historical Society – 2002]
*** Note the 1910 Sanborn Map shows only a small frame dwelling on this lot which would have been that of the “old” Finley home that appears to have sat up against the road. The 1958 City Directory also lists Sara M. Whitehead as living at 111 N. Congress Street but this is not the currently address and she was not at the Clyde-Ora Inn.
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