R.H. Hope (1818-1890) Dr. Robert Hervey Hope was the first doctor in the village of Rock Hill. He came in 1859 and practiced for 39 years. He was from Mecklenburg County, and attended medical school at Charleston. He married Amelia Jane McFadden of Chester County.
The Charleston News and Courier stated in June of 1890 – “Hope and Company do a very large drug business. Their store is situated near the railroad, and is one of the best drug stores in the upper section of the state. Dr. Hope, the senior member of the firm, is one of the oldest practicing physicians, and was the first to settle in Rock Hill.”
The Herald on April 10, 1901 reported – “Mr. S.F. Langley and wife, came to Rock Hill from Chester about two weeks ago and took rooms in the old R.H. Hope house in the eastern part of the city. He became sick and was found to have smallpox. Mr. Langley and his wife were taken yesterday to the smallpox hospital in the Blackjacks, two miles south of town.”
The Wm. B. White Collection housed at WU Pettus Archives has a note by Mr. White stating: “Dr. A.J. Peay, has recently purchased the premises formerly occupied by Dr. R.H. Hope, tenders his services as a practicing physician to the community.” March 30 ___
“About where Stonewall Street and White join, there was in the antebellum days a large two-story frame house there — the residence of Rock Hill’s principal physician, Dr. Robert H. Hope. There are still a few very large trees that mark the spot where the Hope house once stood. The Wesleyan Church occupies a portion of the property there.” [Robbins – White History Tour]
The Herald reported on April 18, 1903 – “Mr. Ward Albertson, the new cashier at the Bank of Rock Hill and his wife have taken room with Mr. and Mrs. R.H. Hope.” (Unclear if this is the same location.)
ERECTING THE MONUMENT: Dr. Hope was not only the healer of sick bodies but a wise counselor and steadfast friend to his people. A friend to the poor, he sought neither fame nor fortune. He had an erect frame, a dignified and courteous manner, and walked with a quick step. His old white horse and buggy were familiar sights on the streets of the village and the rough country roads. When he died hi June, 1890, the week following his funeral was hardly spent before the women of Rock Hill had formed an association to collect funds for the erection of a monument to his memory. Mrs. (Dr.) S. Blake, Mrs. William Whyte, Mrs. S. L. Reid, and Mrs. L. M. Davis were the leaders in this undertaking. Their proposal met with instant and generous support, and today in Laurelwood at his grave stands a handsome marble shaft reflecting the devotion of the women for this “beloved physician.” His funeral procession was one of the longest ever seen in York County; and as it wound itself to the graveside, all the bells in the town were tolled. “No man ever went down to the grave in more universal mourning, or carried with him more of the love and affection of any people.” Said one of the present-day matrons jokingly, “He borned most of us!” Dr. Hope’s nephew, Dr. Thomas Allison Crawford, became his associate in the later years and continued the work after the old doctor died. (Information from: The City Without Cobwebs – Douglas S. Brown, 1953)
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Shortly after his death, the women of Rock Hill and surrounding areas began to collect money for his monument. They erected the impressive obelisk in appreciation for his long service, especially during the Civil War, when most of the men were in service and Dr. Hope provided faithful care and protection.
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