HOPEWELL, THE FAMOUS SING ALONG
HOPE’S FORD: Located on Bullocks Creek just below the mouth of Clark’s Fork.
HOPEWELL: This old farming community is located near or south of the intersection of Beaverdam Road and Hopewell Road. Its first post office was established in the business of J. S. Henderson 24 March 1816. Gordon Moore became postmaster 28 February 1817 and was replaced 12 July 1828 when Rev. Aaron Williams was appointed. Dr. Samuel Wright was
appointed 14 January 1833 and undoubtedly the office was moved several miles toward Howell‘s Ferry Road. Daniel C. McKinney was appointed 27 September 1858, followed by Samuel Melton on 26 November 1858. James Madison Smarr was appointed Postmaster in December 1860 and continued to July 1861. The office operated out of the Smarr house located nearer the Hopewell community. The office was discontinued in August 1866 and was reestablished when Joseph Mitchell was appointed 9 May 1867 and probably served until the office was again discontinued on 28 May 1869. It was reestablished 16 February 1870 with Andrew S. Withers as Postmaster. For some reason his term was short and was replaced by Mrs. Jane Smith 28 March 1870. The office was again discontinued 17 December 1872 and reestablished 8 January 1874 when Lawson B. Davis was appointed. The office retuned to the Smarr home with appointment of James M. Smarr 21 December 1874. The office came to his wife, Martha E. Moss Smarr, on 19 February 1877 and then to Joseph W. Smarr on 9 March 1899. He served until it was permanently discontinued 30 April 1902.
HOPEWELL CHAPEL: The minutes of Salem Presbyterian Church (Cherokee County) reveals the existence of a secondary Sunday School in the Hopewell community in York County, as early as spring of 1913. Within one year, the Hopewell Sunday School was showing an enrollment of 72. The first comparison in membership between Hopewell and the mother church occurs in March of 1917, when the mother church reports and enrollment of 42, with Hopewell reporting 78. Beginning in 1916, the session was meeting periodically Hopewell School House to receive and baptize new members into the church.
By April of 1918, Hopewell Sunday School showed a tremendous increase in enrollment, enjoying a membership of 126. Salem was holding steady with 42. It is not clear why the attendance leaped so drastically; but by April of 1919 its membership dropped to 72 while Salem showed a slight increase to 45. A year later Hopewell Sunday School has recovered part of its membership, registering 90.
The first mention in the Salem minutes of an “evangelistic service” being held at Hopewell was on August 25, 1923. Reverend John C. Bailey conducted the meeting. The services may have only last two or three nights; but eight people were received on a profession of faith. Two, John Lowry Robbins and Nannie Mae Dowdle expressed their desire to unite with Bullock’s Creek rather than with Salem. The Hopewell Sunday School appears to have continued to August 24, 1927 when the session meet there for the last time.
The next activity we hear of at Hopewell was during World War II when rationing of gasoline became so severe a number of people near the Hopewell community felt it would be beneficial to organize a local congregation. Most of the people were driving five or six mile to either Bullock’s Creek Presbyterian Church or Salem Presbyterian Church in Cherokee County; producing a strain on an already precious and limited commodity.
About the same time, Bible Presbytery, an independent organization in Charlotte and Spartanburg, was seeking for inroads to establish churches of their own in the area and saw the Hopewell community as fertile ground. Reverend Ratchford, the pastor at Bullock’s Creek and Salem seized the opportunity of brought about by the situation and established a church to block the independent denomination. Reverend Ratchford and some of the local families met at the Hopewell School House to elect officers and to organize into a congregation. Hopewell Chapel was established under the watch-care of Salem and used the Hopewell school house for their services. The chapel continued only into the early 1950’s when its members elected to return to either Bullock’s Creek or Salem.
HOPEWELL INDEPENDENT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: Established about 1812 by Reverend William C. Davis, and destroyed in the great wild fire that swept over the area 9 March 1855. The church was rebuilt and continued for sometime, when it was sold to a black congregation. The cemetery has the distinction of having both races buried within its confines. It is located at the intersection of Highway 5 and Hopewell Baptist Church Road in what is now Cherokee County.
WRIGHT HOME: This brick mansion, built in 1854 by Dr. Samuel Wright, was one of the area’s finest home. It had eight large rooms, high ceilings, wide halls and many closets. The front yard was beautifully landscaped. The brick walkway to the road was lined with box trees (not box woods). In 1933 when J. H. Saye and A. M. Grist visited the home it was occupied by the Frank Childers family who allowed them to go into the attic. There they found hundreds or thousands of magazines and newspapers—the Yorkville Enquirer, Atlanta Constitution, Christian Herald, Southern Presbyterians, Progressive Farmer, Chicago Ledger, Farm and Fireside, Gaffney Ledger, The Independent, The Rams Horn—but not a single letter or book. Later the Grover Brown family lived there and it became known locally as ‘The Brown House.’
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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