City Directories and History: (R.T. May Home), 1908 – J. A. Neely, 1917 – A. A. McKeown, 1922/23 – A.A. McKeown, 1936 – Thomas C. Amond, Leroy M. Dozier, Clarence E. Gaffney, 1963 – NA
Historically this was the May home (Arabell F. May), which was a very handsome dwelling constructed in the early 1870’s next to Dr. Tom Crawford’s house. For a little while, his partner, Dr. Wm. Francis (Frank) Strait and his family resided here. While living here, their oldest child, Rosa B. Strait – Guess was born.
“Next north to the Crawford house (opposite the Starr house) was a most appealing cottage with a large, well-proportioned stoop featuring square columns. This house was built about 1872 by John C. Hoke on speculation. It was purchased and occupied by Mrs. Arabella (Fewell) May, grandmother of Mrs. James E. Parker (“Miss Annie Belle”), Mr. Charlie May, Miss Mary May (who married a Mr. Duff);···· and Miss Blanche May (who also married a Mr. Duff). While the house was being rented by its next owner, John Alexander Neely, to Dr. and Mrs. W. Frank Strait, Rosa Baskin Strait, their oldest child, was born there on May 12, 1892.” [Robbins – White Tour Booklet]
The Rock Hill Herald reported on July 5, 1899 – “On the death of John C. Hoke, at his residence near the Catawba River. He is buried at Laurelwood Cemetery. He came from NC some years ago and built several houses in Rock Hill.”
The Herald on Feb. 21, 1903 reported, “Mr. C.S. May’s residence was saved from fire by the furious barking of his dog in the night. This awakened Mr. May, who found the house full of smoke. He awakened his uncle, S.T. Frew , living next door, together they located the fire and put it out.”
The Rock Hill Record on Feb. 22, 1912 contained an ad announcing the purchase of the Cash Market at 147 East Main St., by John A. Neely, who has worked there for some time. It will now be known as Neely’s Market and will sell the very best of meats.
Rosa Baskin Strait was born in what had formerly been the residence of Mrs. Arabella (Fewell) May, widow of William S. May, antebellum sheriff of York District, S. C. The house was built about 1872-73 by John C. Hoke, on speculation. It was an attractive white frame cottage with a number of interesting architectural details. Mrs. May’s son R. Thomas May owned the adjoining property on the south. When Rosa B. Strait was born, the house and lot belonged to John A. Neely. Courtesy of the YCGHS—June 1998 (R. Thomas May and wife, Laura Frew, had these children: (1) Mary, who married J. C. H. Duff; (2) Annie Belle, who married James E. Parker; and (3) Charles May.)
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