The Evening Herald printed a photo of the James Spratt White home on East White Street in January 1940 and asked if anyone could provide information on the “Mystery House.” James S. White replied, and his answer was printed in the paper on January 20, 1940.
“The house was built by my grandmother, Mrs. Ann Hutchison White, about 75 years ago when some of her friends from the country wanted to move to Rock Hill and there were not enough residences to accommodate all who wished to make Rock Hill their home. Somehow people have always wanted to move to Rock Hill. (Note, Dr. Edwards built the house and it was sold to the Whites on Nov. 13, 1880.)
After being rented to two families, the Curetons and the Dunlaps, this property was given to my father, the late Rev. James Spratt White. It was there my happy childhood days were spent. There we four children, George, Caroline, James and William, rode bicycles around the box borders in the old formal garden, played croquet and picked roses, violets and Johnny Jump-Ups to our hearts’ content.
This old house, built of hand-hewn timbers, was one of the first along the road, afterward named White Street in honor of the Whites.
Shortly after moving into the house, the late Mr. J. H. Miller, then a little country boy from Chester County, came to live with us and went to work for J. M. Ivy and Company. Afterward he was cashier at First National Bank. At the time of his death, he was cashier of the Roddey General Agency of the Equitable Life Assurance Society.
One of the upstairs rooms was used as a school room. Miss Florida Bynum was our teacher. There were no schools in Rock Hill then. As most good-looking teachers do, Miss Florida got married. That broke up our school. She married Mr. Charlie Betts who was clerking for W.L. Roddey and Company.
Father and mother always enjoyed having visitors, especially the preachers. One visit that impressed me as a child was a visit made by the late Rev. James H. Thornwell, D. D.
Jas. S. White – P.S. This is the house that was torn down to make way for the new A and P Super-Service Store on White Street.”
City Directories and History: 1908 – Vacant, 1913 & 1917 & 1920 & 1926 – J.B. Davis, 1946 – A & P Food Stores, 1963 – A & P Food Stores
Mary E. White, J. S. White, A. H. White and Addie R. White sold a one-acre lot in 1869 to Dr. Elijah Hyatt Edwards for $500. The frontage was 116.16 ft and the depth was 376.20 ft. The next year, 1870, he built an attractive two-story frame residence on the lot and at once set about planting an elaborate boxwood garden in the front yard. Doctor Edwards came to Rock Hill in 1869 and practiced medicine there until 1880. He also operated a drug
store in Rock Hill. His wife was Harriet Elizabeth Roddey (1835-1912), daughter of David Roddey, Jr., and his wife, Isabel Craig. She was a first cousin of Captain W. L. Roddey, Jr. Doctor Edwards was born in 1833 and died in 1901. After leaving Rock Hill, he and his family took up residence in Due West, S. C., where they were active in the work of the Due West A. R. P. Church and of Erskine College. He and Mrs. Edwards sold their Rock Hill home to the Reverend James Spratt White on November 13, 1880, for $1,600. He was the son of Mrs. Ann H. White.
The Rock Hill Record on April 22, 1907 – “Offering the home for sale..it would make an excellent business property. The house has frontage of 121 ft., and 278 ft. deep. The dwelling has ten rooms and a large yard with a wood house, chicken house, a good well, a two room servants house, and a barn with a feed room, carriage room, three stalls and loft. Also for sale are four vacant lots on the corner of Oakland Ave., and two lots on the rear facing Oakland Avenue.”
Mr. White and his family lived there until the 1890’s. Mrs. White was born Caroline C. Dudley in Americus, Georgia. She was a granddaughter of the distinguished Georgia statesman, William Harris Crawford. Mr. and Mrs. White erected several other structures on the lot on White Street, including a windmill, which made it possible for them to have running water in the house, a luxury not often encountered in those days. (The W. L. Roddeys also had a windmill behind their house on Main Street.) The White home, formerly belonging to Edwards, became a showplace in Rock Hill. The house, even though built in the Victorian Age, had simple, pleasing lines. A broad porch ran across the front of the dwelling, supported by squared columns. The boxwood garden stretched all the way across the lot and out to the public street. The writer has a vague recollection of having seen the house when he was but a child; and, too, he remembered when the house was razed and an A & P grocery store with parking lot occupied the entire lot.
[Information provided via Along the Land’s Ford Road – Vol. I, 2008 by William B. White, Jr.]
Click on the More Information > link found below the picture column for additional data and image of the
The Yorkville Enquirer reported on May 6, 1891 – “Mr. Louis Sherfesee has moved to the residence of the late James S. White.”
The Rock Hill Record reported on May 23, 1907 – “There was an auction of the J.S. White Home, music was by the Highland Park Bank, and lemonade and ice cream were served. Lot #5 sold to S.C. Byers of Bethesda, Lots 3 & 4 to Rev. W.H. Airail, Lot #2 to W.B. Wilson, Esq., Lots 6 & 7 to Ed Fewell and the house was purchased by a syndicate of J.R. Barron, T.M. Whisonant, W.W. Boyce, C.W.F. Spencer, and the auctioneer Mr. J.E. Poag. The syndicate then bought lots 3, 4 and 5 from the original purchasers and so by this purchase their holding front on both White Street and Oakland Avenue.”
The RH Record reported on June 13, 1907 – “There has been as serious fire at the home of Mr. J.M. Cherry. The fire started in the garret and the upper portion of the home is heavily damaged.” The paper also stated on June 27, 1907 that Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Cherry are occupying the old James S. White residence on White Street since their misfortune of burned out.”
The Rock Hill Record reported on Dec. 12, 1907 – “Mrs. L. C. Vaughn has moved from N. Wilson Street to the James S. White house on East White Street.”
The Herald reported Oct. 17, 1939 – “That the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P), will lease a large lot on East White Street opposite the city fire department to build a new superstore. The Building will be 75″ by 100″ and they will also lease the adjacent lot for parking. The contract has been given to J.E. Healan and the store is to open by the first of the year. The A&P has two other stores in Rock Hill.”
The Herald reported on Jan. 17, 1940 – “The new A&P low price self service supermarket will open tomorrow at 143 East White Street. The store has just been completed and fronts White Street across from Longshore Motor Company. A large parking place has been provided. Frank Courtney, who has been manager of the Main Street store, will manage the new store. The Trade Street Store will be closed.”
area along East White Street in the circa 1950’s. The red arrow points to Rock Hill’s landmark the old Rock Hill Depot. The A & P grocery store is clearly viewed on the photograph to the right.
James S. White, Jr. – RH Photographer
Mr. White was in a financial and social position to have the leisure time to photograph many sections of downtown Rock Hill. Though many of his early images have gone undocumented, it has often been the case, that it is his bicycle, in a corner of the image that has been his signature. Note the images below:
Click here to visit his gravesite on the Laurelwood Cemetery Tour.Click on the More Information > link found below the picture column for additional data. Click HOME to return to the numbered site tour of Rock Hill’s downtown.
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