City Directories and History: 1908 – W.H. Hope, Rock Hill City Hall, Rock Hill Fire Department, Supt. of Street, Recorder’s Office, 1917 (#115 – Same location) – Rock Hill City Hall, B. Kestermann (Tailor)
FIRE DAMAGES THE YORK COUNTY COURTHOUSE
The Yorkville Enquirer on November 23, 1892 carried a series of articles on a major fire on Monday, November 21 that heavily damaged the York County Courthouse and threatened the rest of the downtown area. Information in the newspaper is summarized here. Following is the list of the African American Fire Brigade from Rock Hill which traveled to Yorkville to fight the fire: Henry Adams, Dick King, Tom Mills, Horace Clinton, R. B. Edwards, Wm. Rawlinson, George Pickett, George Campbell, Will Caldwell, Wm. Groin, Jack Knox, John Smith, George Watts, and Bill McKnight. Information on this article compiled and written by Paul M. Gettys – 2020
The RH Herald reported on May 6, 1880 – “The Yellow Jackets, the colored fire company of Rock Hill is held in high regard by the white citizens. The company always responds promptly to fires. Two members Thomas Meachem and Silos Hawkins were injured while hurrying to a fire on April 25th. The RH Hook and Ladder Club passed a resolution sympathizing with these two men.”
On June 19, 1889 the Yorkville Enquirer reported – “Kimball and Heath, prop., of the livery stable in Rock Hill, have sold to the Wilmington Fire Department an elegant pair of horses for which they received $650.”
The Yorkville Enquirer of March 15, 1893 stated “Representative of the Enquirer was in Rock Hill and spoke with S.T. Frew, engineer of the Rock Hill Fire Department. He showed the fire engine, The Marion Jones, a #5 Silsby, with a capacity with 400 gallons of water a minute. The water comes from three cisterns, and this limits the areas which can be protected.”
The Herald reported on Jan. 15, 1896 – Mr. J.D. Scruggs, the City Clerk, has procured the necessary signals and is willing to record the weather reports here. It seems that the weather service needs to recognize Rock Hill on their list of dispatches. And on Feb. 12, after much perseverance, J.D. Scuggs has succeeded in getting the weather reports for Rock Hill. Hereafter, the flags will be displayed daily on the bell tower.”
The Herald reported on June 3, 1896 – “Rock Hill City Council awarded a contract for the brick and woodwork of the new guard house to A.D. Holler, in the amount of $742. The building will be of brick, one story, twenty – forty feet with six iron cages.”
The Herald reported on Sept. 2, 1896 – “The new guard house has been completed. It includes a guard room for prisoners with six cells, another room for storage of the city hearse and the hook and ladder trucks. And a third room assembly space for the colored fire company.”
The Herald reported on Nov. 11, 1896 – “The Iredell Orchestra has new members. The current orchestra is composted of: Prof. Wade R. Brown, Director, Ms. Steely, Student at Winthrop College, Ms. Semour, a violin instructor at Winthrop College, and Capt. Iredell Jones are all first violins; E. E. Poag and W. H. Hefner are second violins; R. H. Hope and Dr. W. R. Simpson are cornets; Sidney Freidheim – baritone ; Prof. J. Porter Hollis, of the city school is clarinet.
The Herald reported on Dec. 19, 1896 – “The Yellow Jacket Hook and Ladder Company, colored, has disbanded, the cause of this action being that they are debarred from voting at municipal elections on account of the new State constitution. The Yellow Jackets have served quiet faithfully, but we think their retirement is a mistake.”
The Rock Hill City Hall has always been located on Hampton Street. First it was just off East Main and held all municipal services in one location. Rock Hill City Managers include: John G. Barnwell (1915-1919), E.R. Treverton (1919-1921), W.P. Goodman (1921-1933), T.C. Marshall (1933 – 1939), J.J. Rauch (1939 – 1947), F.A. Jacocks (1948 – 1950), W.M. Kennedy (1951 – 1964), Max Holland (1965 – 1979), Joe Lanford (1979 – 1993), J. Russell Allen (1993 – 2001), Carey Smith (2002 – 2010), David Vehaun (2010 – Present) *** See individual listings for many of the city manager on individual pages on R&R.
The Rock Hill Journal reported on Dec. 7, 1901 (a part of a long ongoing fight with the Fire Chief, Mr. S.T. Frew, being paraphrased information on the Rock Hill African American fire dept. ), – “the African American team should also be looked after. At present this is a undisciplined organization, due to a lack of promised equipment. This can be developed into a splendid organization, African Americans make fine fireman, with the proper sort of encouragement.”
The Herald reported on April 4, 1903 – “E.L. Mobley has accepted a position with Kimball and Heath.”
The Herald reported on Sept. 17, 1905 – “Work on the municipal building is proceeding. The fire department will occupy the first floor. The fire dept. expects to buy a pair of fine trained horses to be used entirely for the hose wagon.”
The RH Record reported on July 18, 1907 – “The tower which held the fire alarm on Railroad Ave., has been torn down and is being rebuilt at the NW corner of city hall.”
The SC Architects: 1885 – 1935, Wells and Dalton, 1992 reported, “The City Fire Dept. House was constructed in 1905 at a cost of $8,500. and the city municipal building at a cost of $5140. both by Avery Carter of the Firm of Carter and Pringle.”
The SC Architects: 1885-1935 Wells & Dalton, 1992 attributed the remodeling of this building to architect, Nat Gaillard Walker in 1915.
The Rock Hill Record reported on April 8, 1904 – That Chief of Police, Mr. U.C. Partlow has purchased a fine saddle horse which will be quite a help and convenience to him in making his rounds over the City.”
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