Joel W. Rawlinson (1822 – 1883) Mr. Rawlinson was a highly successful farmer and local businessman who often invested in railroads, commercial properties and extensively in farm land. He lived on Hampton Street in downtown Rock Hill, the corner of Hampton and Johnston – now a part of City Hall’s parking lot. His vast farmlands were west of the city and consist greatly of the area known as Rawlinson Road. In many ways, little is known of Mr. Rawlinson compared to other entrepreneurs of the period, who freely put their names on businesses. Better known that J.W. was his brother B.F. Rawlinson who operated a store in Ebenezer, built speculative houses and seemed to be visible on every corner.
The Herald reported on May 2, 1878 – “Lightening struck two large oak trees close to the front portico of the residence of Col. Joel W. Rawlinson near Ebenezer. The trees were blown apart and fragments of wood were thrown on the porch and over the house into the backyard. Thirty three window lights were shattered. Colonel Rawlinson and his wife and daughter Hattie were unhurt.”
The Rock Hill Herald reported on April 29, 1880 – “There was a fire on the plantation of Col. J.W. Rawlinson. Ami Henry, a colored lady, left her house for a time with two children in it. It caught fire and the children were lost. Colonel Rawlinson has been farming for 38 years with a large number of laborers, but has never before had a fire. The white tenants rendered all possible assistance at the time of the fire.” The Herald reported on Jan. 6, 1881 – “Col. J.W. Rawlinson has moved from his plantation to town. He has bought and now occupies the Williamson house.”
Recollections of a Yorkville Childhood: Mrs. J. S. Myers, prominent for years in civic work in Charlotte and the wife of a former very prominent citizen there, still living at an advanced age, is the subject of a feature story in The Observer by Mrs. J. A. Yarborough, which tells the connections of Mrs. Myers with Yorkville and York county. Over the mantel in her living room is a portrait of Dr. William Moore, of Yorkville, who was her grandfather. She was born in Yorkville, her father being Col. J. W. Rawlinson, aide de camp to Governor Pickens during the Civil War, and the town was filled with refugees from Charleston then, she says, and adds: “I also vividly remember the end of that tragic era when Jefferson Davis, accompanied by a detachment of cavalry, rode through the crowded streets of Yorkville, his head bowed in sorrow, as he made his way south.
“I attended school at the Yorkville Female college and afterward St. Mary’s school in Raleigh, which was established in 1842 by the Episcopal churches of the state.” Colonel William Myers, prominent philanthropist of North Carolina, was the father of her husband. He married Sophia Springs and in her ancestral home near Fort Mill, S.C. , on Nov. 1, 1847, their first child, John Springs Myers was born, and later, was to marry the girl born in Yorkville. The wife of John Springs Myers went with her husband to a plantation some miles out of Charlotte, which later became a plantation of 1,000 acres and is now Myers Park, the swank residence part of the city. She saw Charlotte grow from a town of 6,000 people to its present size and remembers the horse cars of the street railway there, and that they were sold to Rock Hill, when the line was electrified. (Information courtesy of and from: YCGHS – The Quarterly Magazine)
Click on Rawlinson for additional data on his home.
RAILROADS COME TO YORK COUNTY – Several additional facts about the rail line from Columbia to Rock Hill may be of interest to the reader. First, the men from York District who attended the convention concerning the building of a railroad from Charlotte to Columbia were Colonel W. C. Beatty, William A. Latta, John Miller Ross, Robert Gadsden McCaw, William Moore, W. Giles, J. Beatty Smith, and Joel W. Rawlinson. This initial meeting of interested parties was held at Winnsboro on May 24 and 25, 1847.
Subscribers for stock in the Charlotte and South Carolina Railroad Company on September 9 and 10, 1847, were these: Colonel W. C. Beatty, John Miller Ross, Colonel William Wright, John S. Moore, W. I. Clawson, William A. Latta, George W. Williams, Colonel Edward Avery, Harvey Hugh Drennan, Rev. Archibald Whyte, Thomas D. Spratt, James D. Spratt, A. M. White, George P. White, William E. White, and Captain John Massey.
(Along the Landsford Road, by Wm. B. White, Jr. Vol., I – 2008)
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