City Directories and History: The historic crossing on the Broad River north of the current Irene Bridge was known as Smith’s Ford. It was an ancient crossing, once used by travelers, traders, and troops. The old Smith house remains on a knob overlooking the river bottoms along the Broad River. The home has been remodeled and extensively altered over the years. However, a number of original features remain including interior walls, mantels, staircase, roots cellar and logs.
One of the historic features which remains in use in the 21st century is the large cellar used for storage of food products.
The balance of the outbuildings and other facilities around the main house were primarily salvaged from other locations and saved on the Hamrick’s farm.
The Rock Hill Record reported on May 10, 1909 – “The commissioners of York and Cherokee Counties have awarded a contract for a new steel bridge over the Broad River at Smith’s Ford to Mr. C.K. Chreiburg representing the Roanoke Bridge Company for $9,000.” (This bridge was not constructed.)
From the Western York County Gazetteer: SMITH’S FORD – The first we hear of this ford on Broad River is just before the Revolutionary War at which time Samuel Watson was a “receiver of rice” at Smith’s Ford. During the Revolution, Patriot Colonel Charles McDowell often used Smith’s Ford as a campsite. A Post Office was established in 1826 that continued to the Civil War; the Postmaster was Joseph G. Smith.
SMITH TOWN – Located on the old Smith Plantation near Smith’s Ford. There was a store and school here which was operated by members of the Smith family for those that lived on and near the large farm. The Smith’s had two sons that were very protected by their mother. They went to school accompanied by a Negro bodyguard. Mrs. Smith became so anxious about the boys having to cross a creek when it was swollen, her husband, John, purchased the Moorhead house in Hickory Grove and moved his family there near the school. Mrs. Smith, always over cautious, would not allow her sons to sleep upstairs, fearing a fire might tap them without an exit.
SMITH’S HOME – In December 1870, Dr. Samuel Aven Smith, moved to set up his practice in the Bullock’s Creek area where he found “little competition and a flowing practice.” His home was located only about one-half mile north of Bullock’s Creek Presbyterian Church on present-day Hoodtown Road. The present home of Tommy Cranford sits on the exact location previously a small tenant farm house stood on the site.
SMITH’S OLD FIELD – A drilling ground for the North and South Battalions of Western York County, near the home of N. P. Kennedy at Blairsville.
YORK COUNTY MEN IN 34TII REGT., STATE RESERVES
(The July 29, 1863 issue of The Yorkville Enquirer listed York County volunteers for the state reserves, sometimes called the “Senior Reserves,” who were men not subject to the draft but looked upon as a home guard in case of invasion of the state. Most of the men were in their 40s and 50s. The company was organized just three days after major Confederate losses at Gettysburg and Vicksburg.)
Roster of Company organized at Smith’s Old Field, July 7, 1863, in the 34th Regiment, S. C. M.
Officers – John T. Lowry, Captain; J. W. Moore, 1st Lieut.; J. M. M. Cain, 2nd Lieut.; Wm. Howell, 3rd. Lieut. Privates: Wm. Armstrong, W. N. Ashe, Robt. Allison, Wm. Bradford, Jackson Brown, R. G. Bratton, Hugh Burris, A. Bigger, John Barber, M. R. Bird, Alfred Craven, Robert Caldwell, William Carson, Sherrod Childers, Harvey Caston, M. S. Crow, W. H. Carroll, J. H. Dickson, T. Dover, Robt. Davidson, John Dover, James Donald, W. G. Dowdle, T. J. Eccles, Jonathan Edwards, W. M. Enloe, Leroy Ferguson, E. A. Falls, E. W. Falls, O. A. Faris, J. E. Floyd, E. G. Feemster, William Givens, Alfred Gardner, James Gardner, Wm. Gardner, C. C. Gwin, W. H Good, Alex. Galloway, J. W. A. Hartness, Thos. Harten, A. M. Henry, James Hampton, W. L. Hopson, A. W. Holt, Allen Huske, Dr. L. A. Hill, Lewis Hambright, Gilbreth Hambright, W. E. Hill, Andrew Heafner (Hafner), Andrew Hays, S. J. Kuykendal, James S. Lewis, James G. Lindsay, Thomas Lominack, Andrew Love, Robt. S. Lathem, A. F. Love, J. E. Love, J. B. Lowry, John McCants, J. M. Moore, Moses Martin, W. H. McDaniel, O. N. McCarter, C. L. H. McCarter, Joel McCarter, Jonathan Moore, William Moss, Isaac W. Moore, John Moss, A. J. Martin, T. K. Mickle, John McCarley, R. F. McLure, W. N. Parish, L. L. Packard, Robt. Peterson, J. Pursley, Spencer Pruitt, J. R. Patrick, W. H. Quinn, Robt. Robeson, Wm. Robeson, A. E. Robeson, Lewis Ramsey, W. J. Rainey, Alfred Stilwell, David Scoggins, W. B. Steele, J. Stewart, McCluney Smith, J. D. Smarr, Benjamin Tolbert, Wm. Whisonant, J. W. Whitesides, Henry Watson, Jos. G. Webber, J. Willis White, V. B. Wilson, G. R. Whisonant, Hamilton Wilson. Information from and courtesy of the YCGHS Magazine – March 1993
GRIST VISITS CEMETERIES IN THE HICKORY GROVE AREA – (Copied from A. M. Grist’s column, “Just A-Rolling Along the Way in the Yorkville Enquirer,” October 2, 1931. Grist was editor of the Yorkville Enquirer.)
A couple of years ago Mr. Gaines Brown of Yorkville dropped into my office and . . . [asked] if I had visited or ever heard of the “Smith,” “Darwin,” and “Patsy Leech” graveyards in Western York county. I hadn’t heard of any there and I was ail interest ” — About 2:30 o’clock we rolled up and stopped at the home of Mr. Tom Smith of Hickory Grove. I had decided to ask him to go along as a pilot to the Smith cemetery, which is only about 75 yards back of the old Smith homestead on the Smith’s Ford road. . . . We started out on the Irene Bridge road, Mr. Jeff McKown . . . joined us to ride out as far as his place on the Smith’s Ford road. We left him at his home. Directly we passed John Cobb’s molasses factory. I wanted to see the mill in operation, but John and his helper, Ernest Traylor, had other work that day, probably hauling cane to the mill….
After a little we reached the Smith place, but incidentally we had crossed two streams getting there. The first is called Means branch, and here’s an interesting story as to that stream and its name. Mr. Smith says that tradition has it that years ago a man named Means lived up that branch and that the common grass that we know as “Means grass” or “Johnson grass” got its names from that man Means. The next stream is “Guion Moore creek. According to Mr. Smith in the long ago that stream got its name from on Guion Moore who lived on its waters. In later days the name has been twisted into “Grandma” creek………..
I began to follow Mr. Smith about as he pointed out the several tombstones and I began deciphering the inscriptions. There was the grave of John Smith, who died in 1808 at the age of 80 years. Then right together and both of them encased in a concrete box-shaped mound with proper markers were the graves of Daniel Cicero Jefferies, son of Samuel and Araminda Jefferies, who died Jan. 1869, aged 13 years, and that of James E. Jefferies (a brother) born May 17, 1853, and died Dec. 20, 1863. This little lad, according to Mr. Smith suffocated while playing in a pile of cotton seed. He dug a tunnel in the seed and it caved in on him and he was dead when found, from suffocation. Then there was the grave of Mrs. Sarah Smith, wife of Daniel Smith, a daughter of John Jefferies who died Dec. 20, 1873, aged 18 years. Beside this was the tomb of Daniel Smith evidently the husband of Sarah Smith. He died Sept. 25, 1840, aged 61 years. There was a marker inscribed as follows: “Sacred to the Memory of Amanda W. Smith, who was born in E. Tennessee, W. County born Nov. 10, 1810. Dec”d. Dec 7, 1828 in the 20th year of her age.” There are some 40 or 50 more graves in that cemetery, enclosed with a wire fence…. It has now been a good many years since any burials have been in that graveyard.
Turning back we drove out to the Irene Bridge road. This Smith place is on the old Smith’s Ford road to Broad River. The old ferry is abandoned now. Except in the early morning it cannot be forded any more. In the early morning, between 6 and 8 o’clock, the water there is so low that an automobile may be driven across the river there, so I was told. … .we got back to the bridge road and stopped at Unity Baptist church to give the cemetery there a look over …. The oldest marker we found carried the inscription of being “Sacred to the Memory of Francis Logan, who died Oct. 15th 1820, aged 18 years, 10 months. Among others noted was a marker to Abraham Cobbs, who died Oct. 2, 1839, and another to “Sarah Cobbs, who died June 8th 1848, aged 36 years, 5 months, 3 days,” Away off to one corner, at the outer edge of the graveyard and right near the road we found a marker made of concrete and bearing this inscription: “Tom Harris was hanged March 29, 1907, aged 28.” Tom Harris was hanged in the county jail at Gaffney, following his conviction for the murder of a Cherokee county woman____
Passing down the road we passed the home of Dan Lattimore, perhaps one of the best known fox hunters in the county.. . . Then on to the place of Tom Mitchell…. Across the field was a molasses making place. . . There were goobers, cane, sweet potatoes, corn and other things intended for foodstuffs; along with several acres of cotton, near to the road. Then came the home of John Cobb, and Will Buice and W. Beaty Wilkerson …. We presently passed the homes of Bob Stephenson and James Strain, who is son of the late James L. Strain, once a correspondent of the Enquirer, who dated his letters from Etta Jane, then in Union county near Salem Presbyterian church. (Information courtesy of and from: YCGHS – The Quarterly Magazine)
Open the MORE INFORMATION link (found under the primary picture), to view an enlargeable, 1896 Postal Map of York County, S.C.
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