The Herald reported on March 7, 1917 – “Unable to withstand pressure from the raging waters of the Catawba River, six sections of the Southern Railway bridge at Catawba Junction were swept away today.”
City Directories and History: Simpson’s Store at Catawba was an important economic and social site in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Yorkville Enquirer reported on Oct. 10, 1888 – “On Sept. 28, the gin house of Mr. John B. Cornwell of Catawba Township burned.”
The Yorkville Enquirer reported on Oct. 8, 1890 – “Dr. Hill has lumber on the ground for building a drugstore at Catawba Junction.”
The Yorkville Enquirer reported on July 29, 1891 – “At Catawba Junction, Ms. Sally Wylie has had her home painted. Mr. H.M. Linberger has had his residence completed and will move in within the next month. He is also completing a new livery and feed station. The cornerstone of the ARP church was laid last week and the building is expected to be ready in August.”
August 24, 1895: The Post Office at Catawba was broken into last Saturday night and robbed of about $3.50 in coppers, 75 cents in stamps and other articles. The same night the chicken roost of Mr. Sep Massey was visited by the same thief. – Rock Hill Herald
March 16, 1896: Monday night fire destroyed the store occupied by J.M. Simpson at Catawba Junction. The building also housed the Post Office. Nothing was saved except the Post Office books. – Rock Hill Herald
The RH Herald reported on Aug. 2, 1899 – “The state railroad commission states that the Seaboard Airline System will build a passenger station at Catawba Junction.”
The Herald on April 1, 1903 reported – “The house of J.A. Allen near Catawba was destroyed Monday night by fire along with its contents. Mr. Allen is a poor man and hard working farmer and the loose will be heavy for him. There was no insurance.”
The Yorkville Enquirer of Feb. 2, 1917 stated Mr. J.M. Simpson had the misfortune to lose his store to fire.
November 29, 1929: W.B. Simpson, well known merchant and citizen of Catawba, has received the commission as Postmaster, succeeding J.H. Caldwell. – Rock Hill Herald
On May 2, 1942 the Herald reported – “Mr. and Mrs. Charles Crosby have purchased the Plyler home at Catawba and are remodeling it prior to moving in.”
Mr. Paul Gettys contributed, “I received a phone call from Lurline Simpson Mears. She is the grand daughter of Mr. Will Simpson who ran the store at Catawba Junction. Her father was W.L. Simpson, who worked for the railroad, and her mother was Adeline Williams, the sister of Wade Williams, of Rock Hill.
She said she has a large collection of materials on Catawba…. She stated, she was a child when her family moved to Rock Hill. They lived on East Main Street near the Gettys house. She often visited her grandparents at Catawba. She remembers when the Roddey/Gettys home burned in 1943. She was staying with the Glasscock girls in Lesslie. In the middle of the night the phone rang and Jack and Bob were called to help fight the fire. She could see the glow in the night from the fire. She also said, that Will Simpson would open the store on Sunday morning for people to get their mail and pick up their Observer. On his way to church, he would always drop an Observer off at the Gettys house, leaving it on the porch for John.”
The Herald reported on April 16, 1898, “On Monday night fire destroyed the store occupied by J.M. Simpson at Catawba Junction, which also housed the post office. Nothing was saved but the post office books.”
From the Rock Hill Herald, March 4, 1903:
Mr. H. C. Simpson, the well-known apiarian at Catawba Junction, was in town Monday and remembered to call and renew his subscription to The Herald.
Mr. Simpson has been in the bee business since 1880 and has had a great deal of experience in that very interesting industry. He related as a peculiar circumstance the fact that last year he took from his 145 hives an average of 11 pounds from the stands, while the year before the average was 29 pounds, and in 1900 the average was 45 pounds. Last year was the lowest yield in ten, though not as small as he has known. The yield one season a number of years ago was only four pounds to the hive, while in another year he has received a return of as much as an average of 60.
Mr. Simpson thinks the conditions in winter has much to do with the yield of honey – he believes that a winter with long continued rains will affect vegetation so as to warrant a rich supply, and a dry winter the reverse effect. Though the weather conditions at time of flow of nectar has the greater influence, provided the winter weather has been favorable.
Mr. Simpson sells nine tenths of his honey in Rock Hill. His greatest return was in 1900, when he received 4,000 pounds, and that was nearly all sold in Rock Hill at an average of about 11 ¼ cents per pound. He is an enthusiast on the subject of bee culture and in this country is an authority on the subject.
“What I think of most is how the history of Catawba Junction has all but faded.
I spent the first six years of my life living there and then the next 30 visiting there but each visit become sad that it was disappearing. Of course my memories began at “Simpson’s Mercantile and Transfer Store” operated first by Great Grandfather Henry Simpson and then my Grandfather William B. Simpson. The business centered around the general store and “running” transfer of people from the Seaboard Railway Depot to Rock Hill in order to connect to Charlotte and points north to New York City. The Southern Railroad intersected but the 2 were not connected – that being mostly Rock Hill to Camden I believe (needs more clarification). There were at least 3 additional stores (7/11 type): Ford’s, J.T. Faris, and John Sparks. All sold gasoline out
front, then candy, groceries, “feed”. In the late 1920’s, the U.S. Post Office was then located in Simpson’s (previously I think in Caldwell’s store but I don’t remember anything about it since I wasn’t alive. Joe Faris, currently of Catawba knows some of the history since his grandfather was owner of the Faris store which I believe he had moved to the back of his property. Sadly, as you know, on my last visit to Catawba in 2013, I was saddened to see the abandoned appearance of Simpson’s Store which we sold in the 1970’s and I lost track. There were a number of homes, families, a school and white & black churches there. I only know of maybe four people who would be descendants of “The Junction” who still live in or near Catawba, a few large homes being kept up but that’s about it.
As always, my interest has been in the above along with my family home i Rock Hill on East Main from 1942 – 1984 and we have exchanged info on that.
I recently enjoyed Herald article of Friedheim home on E. Main since my father took me to visit Mr. “Dolph” (Friedheim) when he became ill. I remember thinking I needed to whisper:) Sophie F. Beers did a great job of recalling so much about the “museum” I always thought it was.” Information written and contributed by – Lurline Simpson Umenhofer, 3.12.15
The Herald reported on Nov. 29, 1888 that petitions have been forwarded to the Post Office Dept. in Washington for the establishment of post offices on the 3 CCC railroad at Lessley’s (Lesslie), four miles east of Rock Hill, and at Catawba Junction.
The Herald reported on Jan. 17, 1889 – “That a post office has been established at Catawba Junction on the 3 CCC railroad. The name of the office is Catawba. Mrs. Sallie P. Wylie has been appointed postmaster. On Feb. 14th, the PO was opened for the first time.”
The Herald reported on Feb. 21, 1889 – “Gaston and Williams, of Black’s are building a store house at Catawba Junction and expect to begin business this spring.” Also on April 25, 1889 – “Gaston and Williams has opened their new store with a nice line of good.”
Further information and articles are available by clicking the More Information link found under the picture column – including a 1910 map of the area.
The granddaughter of the original owner recently wrote, upset the old store was being demolished; “It was opened around 1900 as far as I know or a few years earlier by my great-grandfather Henry Calvin Simpson. My grandfather William Blair Simpson dropped out of Erskine college in 1904 to go to Charlotte with his roommate to work in the new store being opened by a “Mr. Wm. Henry Belk” who was seeking young men to staff his store. My grandfather worked there 2 years and came home to begin his lifetime of running the Simpson Store w/his parents. He later became the postmaster when the government asked to locate a Catawba Post Office and FDR appointed my grandfather as postmaster.”
Also, – “Truth be known, I think my great-grandmother Sallie Wylie Simpson tended the store while my great-grandfather tended his bees – he was a well-known beekeeper (so I always heard) and actually wrote a book on beekeeping. Since my husband is a retired librarian, I should have him trace somehow to see if the book was ever copyrighted – I never saw it but remember seeing the old beehives in the backyard at the home.” Lurline Simpson Umenhofer, 11. 2016
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