City Directories and History: 1917 – Mrs. J. R. D. Smith, 1922 – J.W. Williford, R.S. Fewell, 1946 – Robert S. Fewell, 1963 – Town
House Motel, 1975 – Red Coach Motor Inn, Peddler Steak House
The Herald reported on Jan. 8 and 11th, 1896 -“Dr. W. A. Pressly, has secured Capt. A.E. Smith’s former home on East White Street and he and his mother and two sisters will live there. His sisters are Mrs. Hislop and Ms. Madge Pressly of Kings Mountain.” The Herald further reports on Feb. 1, 1896 – “Capt. A.E. Smith has added to the comforts of his new home on Main St., by the addition of a well, 125 ft in depth. “
“Across Spruce Street from the Ruffs lived Capt. and Mrs. A. E. Smith. He was a veteran of the C.S.A. and she was the founder of a number of Rock Hill’s clubs, notably the Rock Hill Music Club (organized in 1914). In later years, after the death of the Smiths, the house was owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. J. Alex Williford. A motel occupies the lot today.”
The Herald reported on July 20, 1895 – “That Capt. A.E. Smith has let a contract to William Mitchell to build a dwelling on the east side of Main Street on the corner lot, southeast of the residence of Mr. A.F. Ruff. The house will be of modern design of eleven rooms.”
The Herald reported on Sept. 25, 1907 – “J. M. Deas, a contractor of Charlotte, has located in Rock Hill. He already has four contracts for new houses, two on Hampton Street for Mr. S.T. Frew, a two story house on East Main for Dr. C.M. Kuykendale, and the residence of R.A. Beall of East Main. Mr. Deas can be found at the home of Capt. A.E. Smith.
The RH Record reported on April 23, 1908 – “The Record Editor visited the RH Broom Works. There capacity is 100 dz brooms per day, including regular broom, whist brooms, and hearth brooms. The plant is in a three story building. There is a basement for storing broom corn and a brick warehouse where the finished stock is kept, including a shipping department. Capt. Smith says, business is good and includes some mail order business. Most brooms are sold to customers in S.C.”
The Herald reported on July 18, 1919 – “That the following homes are for sale. East Main Street – Mrs. A.E. Smith home ($10,000.), Saluda and Johnston – Burton Massey home ($8,000.), College Avenue – E.J. Cunningham home ($4,500.) Saluda and State – a five room house ($3250.), 231 West White Street ($2310.) 420 State Street ($2,100.) , 247 West Main Street – seven room ($1,800.), 225 West White Street, $1,275.), 227 West White Street ($1,050.) and Buena Vista Street ($1,100.)”
At the corner of Spruce Street, where the Red Coach Inn once stood, was the Fewell House, then next door the house of Dr. Roy Sumner. These two houses filled the short block between Spruce Street and Gladstone Court. – Unidentified R&R contributor.
Additional links: The Smith – Fewell Store on Main Street
The McElwee Store ledger stated in 1915 that Alex E. Smith, and wife Janie, “farmer” live at this address and are customers at the store.
Of Captain A. E. Smith, of Scotch descent, we know that he was one of the early merchants of Rock Hill. In the early years he served as Intendant-Mayor-without pay, and for several terms he was secretary and treasurer of the city schools. During the war, Captain Smith served as one of Stonewall Jackson’s scouts and was one of the group of soldiers who shot Jackson by mistake when the General had ridden down the road in the gathering darkness on the day of one of the greatest Confederate victories – Chancellorsville. Smith never ceased to grieve about his part in this great tragedy, for he, like all of Jackson’s men, idolized him. Captain Smith was also present at the fatal shooting of General A. P. Hill near Petersburg, and often related his experience at that time. General Hill, he said, came down the public road and stopped and inquired of him as to the movements of the enemy. The young scout informed him that the Federals had broken the line and were pushing on toward the Appomattox River. Upon hearing this disastrous news, General Hill plunged forward to join the main body of his corps, when the enemy fired and killed him instantly.
Captain Smith always believed that he was the last man to hear the voice of General Hill, who fell only a few yards from where he was stationed. These and other experiences in battle left a deep mark upon Captain Smith. In fact, shortly before he died, he seemed to have his thoughts upon those days, for once he exclaimed, “I must get on to the front!”
Captain Smith died in 1917, and Rock Hill lost one of its most useful servants. (Information from: The City Without Cobwebs – Douglas S. Brown, 1953)
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