City Directories and History: The area around Antioch Methodist Church was a strong farming community of a dozen or so families including the Bates, Dunlap, Ligon, Neely, Scoggins, Roach, Percival, Kidd, and Hollis families to name a few. These are some of their homes as recorded in 1992 by the Historic Survey Team recording older homes throughout York County, S.C.
Farming in this area was made difficult by the “black jack” soil composition as well as the number of large rocks found throughout much of the area. Until the discovered in the 1880’s by Mr. London, that the soil needed potash to be productive, the area was largely unproductive because the crops “rusted” a term for not fully maturing. (See R&R site 1102 Falls Rd., for details.) Through determination and hard work these families never the less, sustained a rural life style for generations and built a community which is bordered by the Odgen and Bethesda areas. Historically, two of the larger land owners on the edge of what was the Antioch-Ogden communities were not from the area originally but acquired properties in the early 20th century included the Friedheim and Williams families. The Williams family owned the Rambo Mansion at the corner of Rambo Road and the Saluda Road. The Friedheim family rented their properties to the Roach and Strait families for decades. It is therefore, difficult in many respects to separate the Antioch and Ogden communities which were heavily intertwined socially and economically.
In May of 2014, R&R Co-Founder visited with long-term community resident, the Rev. Donald Scoggins, to learn more about the area and the homes, families, and history of the community. He provided a rich history of stories surrounding the area and much of this information is provided as captions under the appropriate images or below.
Several of the comments he provided are:
1) The old Jonathan Newman McElwee – Deas Mill on Fishing Creek was owned by his Grandfather Mr. Levy Deas who had originally owned the Deas Grocery Store in Rock Hill. He also worked as the yard foreman at the Blue Buckle Mill in Rock Hill prior to moving to Rambo Road to operate the mill. Rev. Scoggins recalls his mother stating she (Niven Deas) and a friend who lived on the Rambo property across the street, Thelma Porter, often stomped cotton into the baling press at the mill complex.
[Another words, using hydroponic power provided from the turbine mill, cotton was not only ginning but also pressed into bales at the mill. It also provided a hammer mill for feed stock.] Besides operating the grocery, Levy Deas was known for making taffy candy which was sold at his store. His grandson, also stated that his grandfather had planted many of the historic Willow Oaks which surrounded the Northside Community in Rock Hill. The Deas lived at 503 Hutchison Street in Rock Hill where the 1922-23 City Directory list him as a carpenter working for the Blue Buckle Mill, married to Mittie Deas.
Western York County Historian, Mr. J.L. West writes in his article about 1879-80: “The county was seeing more mechanization in July, when J. N. McElwee installed a turbine water wheel at his Bullock’s Creek mill, and a new bolting cloth machine. The mills were under supervision of Joseph Wood, a miller with 30 years experience. The following November Newton Whitesides, the 18 year old son of Major T. P. Whitesides, broke his leg while operating the bolting machine. McElwee’s competitors, the Herndon Brothers, were upgrading their mill as well. Joseph Herndon installed a turbine water wheel at their mill on Turkey Creek. The brothers were agents for the Farrar Turbine Water wheel.”
2) Moving the Scoggins House – When his grandfather, John Scoggins moved to the current Scoggin’s farm there was an old two story house in which they resided for many years until he constructed a new modern 1910’s Folk Victorian cottage similar to the Hollis house. Wanting to construct his new home on the site of the older building, he simply moved the old existing structure across what is in 2014, Odgen Road, to a new location. He used large wooden sled runners, mules and a pulley system to drag the house about 800′ from one location to the other – taking a lunch break in the middle of the day and leaving the house in the road while they did so. The old “original” two story home was demolished in about 2005. The new Scoggins home stood proudly on the southeastern side of the farm for approximately one hundred years until it too was razed. The old home became known as the resident of Ed Workman.
3) Historically, there is little difference between the rural Antioch and Odgen communities. But it was Ogden which provided conveniences and access to the larger region due to the railroad stop. The Ogden area therefore could boast of the C.E. Strait Store at the crossing, the Odgen School, the Odgen Methodist Church and access to markets. It was therefore, natural that John Scoggins, who would have found it difficult to haul building supplies ten miles south, from Rock Hill via wagon, had them shipped to Odgen’s depot at which point he could more easily haul them to the building site of his new home.
***Antioch was also the location of a Post Office from 1846-1860 with Rufus H. Whisenant – Post Master. (S.C. Postal History by H.S. Teal, 1989)
Also see the Hutchison Family site on R&R, for additional information, on their ownership of local property and interaction with the Deas Mill.
Also see individual listings for many of these sites on R&R as well as the More Information > link.
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